A drive from El Paso to Mesa - Heading West in our RV, Photos included.
Driving from El Paso TX to Mesa AZ
We had to get to Mesa Arizona, and, we had to get there fast.
We started having trouble with our RV fridge in Alabama. We soon found out that our RV Fridge was totally Dead and needed replacing while on the north side of Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans.
We had shifted everything to 4 very large styrofoam coolers in Alabama but while we were in a Thousand Trails campground south of San Antonia, its demise was confirmed by a long telephone call with a Camping World technician in Mesa Arizona.
So, we were actually heading to Southern California, but now we needed to get to Mesa, and fast.
It was the local service center techs in San Antonia who gave me the bad news that our fridge was going to be very expensive and we also found that we needed to go to an "authorized service center" to get my problem resolved so that our Insurance would pay for the repairs.
Anyway, we had finally found an authorized service company in Mesa Arizona that just might be able to provide us with a fix.
Is Texas Big? Hell Yes!
Well, after a little research, I found that my best trip was going to be two big hops in our RV.
First I had to cross half of Texas on I-10. That trip alone was going to take me at least ten hours of driving time.
Then I figured that if we got to El Paso in one hop, we could stay in a campground for a few days and the next hop to Mesa would still be a long one but still several hours of driving. El Paso would be our rest stop for us to rejuvenate before the next hop.
If you look at a map on Google Maps, you can zoom in and guess what you see?
Not a damned thing.
Just miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles.
But, this being my first "Texas Crossing", we loaded up our pantry, our coolers, and the fuel tank. Then, we got a good nights sleep and we lit out to El Paso.
The first omen of the trip for me was the fact that we had only drive about thirty minutes before signs of civilization had thinned down to almost nothing.
And i mean NOTHING! After two hours, even the Cactus, that had first been everywhere, had given up on living in that flat expanse of sand and rocks.
But, I had the cruise control on 75 and we kept making time. Even rest stops were rare, and that's where having a Motorhome came in handy. We had our own toilet and food, and most importantly, air conditioning.
OK, the drive I was making was a long one that I should have done in at least two hops. But, I was committed now and by the way, my wife kept our coffee pot going so I was wound up on Caffeine all of the way.
We finally pulled into ElPaso about an hour before sunset, found our campground where we had reservations, and set our Rig up in our campsite.
I opened a beer and walked outside, thinking; Damn Texas! How am I going to avoid this trip whenever we decide to head back east?
El Paso Book
El Paso? Just a little too Wild West for us.
My wife and I were whipped, but I had three nights reserved at the campground, and we were going to just sit back, check out the city itself and recharge our batteries, so to speak.
But then, while we ate our dinner, we had the TV on and we were just half listening to the newscaster when I heard the words; Killed! 26 people! Automatic Weapons! and then the words that caught our attention; Drug Cartels!
The newscaster had our undivided attention then. We soon found that, just across the border, two Cartels had just fought each other on the streets and the death toll was at 26 by the time it broke up and the Mexican police arrived on the scene.
My wife ad I operate as a Democracy. She looked at me and said; We are leaving this place in the morning! And, I agreed. So, it was unanimous.
I went up to the office of the campground and as I walked by a souped up Golf Cart two mean-looking guys, both carrying guns on their hips walked out and got into the Golf Cart.
I went inside and walked up to the Clerk and told her about wanting to cancel our reservation for the extra days.She said; Oh Sir, Do not worry, we have armed guards that ride our campground all night. You are perfectly safe here.
But, I explained to her about our Camper Democracy and laughing, she cancelled our reservation and wished us well on our journey.
My wife and I finished one bottle of Chardonnay and opened another before we went to bed. But, I didn't sleep very well that night. So, its no surprise that we were pulling out of the campground before sunrise the next morning, excited to get back to civilization.
My wife and I both agreed, as we left the El Paso area, that it felt good being on the road, even if it was going to be another long run.
Our thoughts on El Paso?
I don't have enough time here for that.
Typical Roadside Desert west of El Paso
On the Desert Highway, I-10
So, we left El Paso
the very next day
on a hot Texas morn
with Mesa as our goal.
We filled our Rig with Diesel,
then we pulled out.
It was ten minutes of traffic
and then 8 more hours
on Interstate 10-West.
Only twenty minutes and
civilization had disappeared.
We were in the Desert,
just us, the rising Sun,
and, of course, the Cactus.
I set the Cruise on 80,
and aimed my Rig for Mesa.
The cops were as thick
as the proverbial thieves,
on this lonely stretch of road
There were tourists
getting their tickets every few miles
or so it seemed to me.
I guess they must have been thinking
that 80 meant 90
and were chasing the desert winds.,
Everyone was passing me.
as I was just cruising,
the lonely right lane.
Pictures along Interstate-10W
Sightseeing at a High Speed
Being Passed was OK with me.
I wanted to see the sights anyway.
The Texas wind was bad and
I had a cross-wind, all the way.
Steady winds of 25 mph
entertaining gusts to 40,
or so the weather man said.
With aching arms
I had to hold
the steering wheel steady,
turned constantly to the left,
just to keep the RV running straight.
Everything in Texas, is bigger,
But I had heard this before.
I think that they work hard,
to maintain that mythical score.
And even the grades of hills
have to be longer I soon found.
for No real reason I could discern.
They just make them longer.
As the hours passed,
and the Desert continuously
we pulled out our camera,
and shot the terrain and horizons!
Mountains, near and far,
both clouded over,
and bathed in Sun,
and all set against that
brilliant Blue Sky.
Well, we shot them all.
through our rolling,
glass caged windows,
We saw the beautiful
and the derelict
roadside sights alike.
Interesting Rock formations at a New Mexico Rest Stop
Camping in the Desert
Timeless and Doomed Sights
Gas Stations,Cars and tractors.
All rusting and waiting,
for oblivion to whisk them away.
But between these sights,
so dreary and sad,
we caught flashes
of Nature's Beauty
spread across the Land.
Though a Mountain
might melt to nothing
over many millennia,
or so I'm told.
They seem to be smug with their fate,
because they know,
that they will outlast Man,
and his curious garbage.
The cars will rust and decay,
the buildings will droop and fall.
Their once sturdy metals
will all dissolve,
long before the Mountains,
meet their fate.
Roads cut with might machines,
will grow over with Natures dust.
The insidious cruelty of roots
will break down walls,and bridges alike.
While the Mountains,
will just stand there, and watch
Man's greatest monuments,
go the way, of time's
So, you'll see no pictures,
of Man's fading monuments here,
but rather pictures of sturdier stuff.
Blue Skies over the Desert with Mesas in the distance
Natures Own Decorations
Nature's own decorations,
un-moveable, and firmly set,
in their own positions,
of perfect decoration,
of a landscape
that will last.
all set exactly
where they should be.
For us to observe,
They really don't care.
They are what they are,
and where they are meant to be.
So, I want you to look,
and see what we saw,
along Man's silly highway,
that is itself destined
to fade on it's due day.
And, just maybe,
you can enjoy
these few glimpses
of Nature's best.
A Long Drive for repairs, finally ends.
It was a long drive for us and then we finally did arrive at our campground in Arizona. Needless to say, we were exhausted.
But, after a trip to the service center in Mesa the next morning, we had out campers parts ordered and after two more days of living out of coolers they came in.
It turned into a two day job so we spent the night in the parking lot of the service center, but when we drove back to our campsite, we had a functioning Fridge once again and our lives as spoiled RV campers went on.
We ended up staying for over 6 weeks in Apache Junction, Arizona and we loved every day of that stay. But that is another story for another time.
© 2010 Don Bobbitt