Did you know springtime in Texas is known for its thunderstorms? Yeah, neither did we. The last week in May is when we set off to go to New Mexico, a new state for both of us. But Texas decided to give us a fun good-bye by having a major thunderstorm.
The night before we were leaving, Brad got a weather notice on his phone as we headed to bed. The weather service was calling for a big storm to come though the Lakehills area in a matter of minutes. They predicted winds up to seventy miles per hour with hail, heavy rain, and lightning. We didn’t have much warning so we just grabbed the essentials (phones, computer, camera, wallets) and hung out in the truck. Normally, during high winds the slides should be in but we didn’t have time to do that. We waited for the storm in the truck, refreshing the radar map every minute, and thank God all we got was heavy rain. The eye of the storm ended up barely missing us! We were so grateful because we have heard stories of RVs being flipped over by high winds. FYI: a week after we left, another storm hit the area we’d just left and many RVs did get flipped over. The Facebook RV groups I belong to keep posting pics.
The next day we got up as the sun was coming up. More storms were coming. We were packed and on the road in less than an hour. As we were pulling out of the campground, the rain started. It was such a heavy rain that we could barely see in front of us. In a regular car that can be nerve-wracking and when you have thirty-six feet of trailer behind you it’s even scarier. We had to pull over multiple times because the visibility was so low and the road leading to the highway was hilly with sharp turns.
Thank goodness we were going so slow. A truck pulled out in front of us and ended up skidding and doing donuts right in front of us! We were able to safely slow down to avoid an accident. Here’s some advice: Do not pull out in front of an RV just to save a few minutes of time. RVs cannot slow down quickly. Stop time is even slower when the weather is not ideal. We are so lucky that we didn’t get into an accident.
We got to the highway an hour after leaving the campground. The storm slowly started to let up and by the time we were on the road for two hours, it was just cloudy. Yea!! We could actually sit back and enjoy the ride.
The areas we have seen in Texas have been so diverse—flat, almost desert like, green and hilly, and mountains. We stayed one night in Fort Stockton. The area is known for unpredictable high winds so the campground has a policy that you cannot leave your awning out if you leave the campground. We were lucky to not have experienced those high winds (that came later on in the week).
As we were on the highway, we could see Mexico to the left of us. If we squinted, we could see a tall fence that divided Mexico from the US. There were lots of border control units patrolling the area and border control stops. We were stopped and they just asked if we were US citizens and if anyone else was in the truck. We said “yes” and “no” and we were free to go. We have heard stories of other RVers at stops like that and they were treated much differently. The police went through the RV with a fine-tooth comb, meaning slides had to be put out, drawers were opened, and closets were checked. I’m glad we were just asked two questions.
The town of El Paso—right on the Texas/New Mexico border—was so busy and congested. The city looked like it went on and on and everything you need was right there from the highway. Things like shopping, restaurants, and houses. Normally, Brad and I love big cities, but we have come to realize that we do not like driving with the RV in a big city. Too much traffic equals more people cutting us off and causing more worry. Not fun.
We’ve crossed the border into New Mexico!! A new state for both of us! I was going to write all about our time at White Sands National Monument but that will just have to wait until next week.