Monday, August 8, 2011

A recalcitrant baby

August 8, 2011—As any parent knows, children don’t always live up to their expectations. Our “Baby” is no exception.
Yesterday we tooled along. I was happy to leave Louisiana; Jim was unhappy to enter Texas. I love Texas! Although I don’t like the Beaumont/Houston area, as soon as we entered the state, I felt like I was going home again, despite the fact that it has been 25 years since I moved away. Jim, however, doesn’t like Texas because of the ultra-conservative politics. I can’t say I blame him in that respect.
When I lived here, I was a middle-of-the-road Republican. I still would be, except for Bush and the right-wing ultra-conservatives that have pushed this country to the brink of economic ruin. I really don’t get involved in politics and religion. I just wish everyone would let everyone else be! But, they don’t, and in Texas, the politics lean farther right than they do even in Jacksonville, another bastion of conservatism.
But Texas is so beautiful! And the people (except for the religious and political fanatics) are so great! I absolutely loved living there, and I would move back there in a heartbeat, albeit it would be a move to the Austin area.
Jim? No. As soon as we passed over the Texas/Louisiana border, he became determined to get out of Texas as soon as possible. Of course, that takes a while: I believe the milepost sign said it was 885 miles until the end of I10 in Texas. That’s a long way.
So, we drove, and drove, and drove.
I suggested that we boondock (dry camp) last night. Our choices were many, from rest stops to Walmarts. But Jim wanted to keep going until he got too tired to drive. So we kept moving westward. That was fine with me. I don’t want to “tourist” until we get our business done. Plenty of time to see the sites on the way back.
We passed through Houston late Sunday afternoon as the sun was starting to set. That was a good thing. If it had been rush hour, we probably would have sat in traffic, moving at a snail’s pace, for hours. Instead, we got through the confusing and ill-marked spaghetti bowl fairly rapidly.
We kept going. San Antonio, according to the markers, was another 250 miles from Houston. We reached it by around 11 p.m. And still we kept driving…until Baby apparently protested. All of a sudden, outside the lit highway areas, Jim noticed that we couldn’t see very far. Our headlights failed us!
We pulled over at a picnic area (where there were several semis parked for the night). Then Jim tried to start the generator to get the air conditioner running. Baby protested again. The generator worked, but we could not turn on the air conditioner!
There is not a whole lot you can do at midnight. We slept the old-fashioned way—with the windows open. Fortunately, there was a cool breeze and the temperature had dropped to the 70s.
Jim has a pretty good idea of why Baby failed to live up to our expectations—at least regarding the air conditioner (something about a faulty transfer switch at the generator). We’ll stop at a Camping World in El Paso tomorrow. Right now we are at a remote RV camp at the Balmorhea exit, about 150 miles from El Paso. We stopped early so he could investigate our problems and finally rest.
This is a plain-Jane RV camp—no amenities except for full hookup. We can see the Davis Mountains in the distance, and the Texas sky is HUGE right here. In a desolate sort of way, it is beautiful.
We’ll sleep in comfort tonight.
Until next time,
Linda, your Reluctant RoVer.

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