Hello again from the Southwest,
Last time I wrote we were still in Alabama. After departing Alabama we have spent time in Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and are currently in New Mexico.
We have officially hit the heat and unfortunately also the southern winds of New Mexico.
During our time in Alabama, we spent a lot of time getting educated on the civil rights movement. In Mississippi we landed in Vicksburg, a small town in which many civil war battles were fought. We toured the civil war museum and spent an afternoon driving through the area looking at the old plantation homes. Vicksburg is an interesting little town on the Mississippi River, although it is somewhat behind the times, it was still a nice stop. Plus, the sunsets were hard to beat.
We zipped right through Louisiana arriving in the big state of Texas. We spent a really nice evening in Dallas visiting family and were treated to a fabulous meal. It was great to see family that we haven’t seen in some time.
From Dallas we headed south to Austin for a week. We stayed at McKinney State Park which is located only a few miles from downtown. We were lucky enough to snag a great campsite and did some nice hiking in the park. The Texas Blue Bonnets were in full bloom when we arrived and we came across some Texas longhorn steer and spent a relaxing couple days along the Guadalupe River, so yep, I guess we are truly in Texas.
Austin was as great as we thought it would be. There is so much to do with lots of activity downtown, and of course, great tacos! We went and saw the Austin bats one evening on the Congress street bridge. It’s kind of a tourist thing but it’s pretty interesting to see over a million bats come out at dusk searching for food along the Colorado river. It was a pretty amazing sight. We also went to a concert on the University of Texas campus which was pretty entertaining. It was good to be on a big college campus again. Austin has the same vibe as Ann Arbor only the city is much larger. I can see why so many people move to Austin, it would be a great location for us if the temperatures were not as hot as they are. It was already in the mid 80’s in March, I can’t imagine the July and August heat.
From Austin we headed to San Antonio where we spent 10 days with our daughter, Lindsey, son-in-law, Micah, and our 2-year-old grandson Grant. Our days were busy in San Antonio. We spent our first day in the historic town of Gruene. It’s a cool little tourist area with cute shops and restaurants. Gruene also boasts the oldest continuing run dance hall in Texas, built-in 1878. Jeff and I went back one evening to listen to music and to be able to say that we danced at the oldest dance hall in Texas.
But really the time spent in San Antonio was all about Grant. We spent Easter with the family and did an Easter egg hunt. As a two-year old boy, Grant is into all types of construction equipment and trucks. On one of the weekend days, San Antonio hosted “touch a truck”. It was an unseasonably cold day but Grant didn’t seem to mind, he got to hang out and touch all his favorite things. It was a great day to be able to spend with him.
We were sad to leave the family behind as we departed San Antonio, but we are hoping to see them on our return trip in the fall.
From San Antonio we were scheduled to head to Big Bend, but as we looked at temperatures the week we were scheduled to arrive, the temps were heading up to the mid 90’s. We decided that hanging out in the desert in a big aluminum trailer with no clouds and extremely high temps would not be the experience that we had been hoping for. We did continue our trip west but along highway 10 we turned right and headed up into New Mexico. Hopefully, we will hit Big Bend on another part of the trip.
We are currently in Truth or Consequences New Mexico staying at Elephant Butte State Park. Yep, the town is actually named Truth or Consequences after the old TV show in the 50’s. The game show ran a contest and the former town of Hot Springs was renamed Truth or Consequences in 1950. T or C is a small town with not much happening but our campsite is on a beautiful lake and the town boast some beautiful hot springs (hence, the original name)
We were scheduled to be here for a few more days but since our arrival we have been experiencing the winds of the Southwest. For the last two days we have literally been in our trailer day and night as the winds have been so strong and the blowing sand pierces your skin. Today there has been relief from the winds and tomorrow we will head to Santa Fe to avoid driving in the winds that are scheduled to begin again on Monday.
The desert and mountains here are stunning. While we were driving through western Texas and into New Mexico, we felt like our trip is starting all over again, with new scenery and a hot dry climate.
We hope everyone is well and that Spring has arrived to wherever you are.
Loving our life living in Valhalla!
Erin and Jeff…..and Ola!