Wednesday, January 9, 2013
DAY 2: OVERSIZED LOAD
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Day two was uneventful as we traveled from Oklahoma, and across the panhandle of Texas into New Mexico. Since we had traveled this route many times before we decided we’d start our visiting sites later in the trip, and just get closer to Las Vegas the first two days.
One thing we did notice was at the Texas border I-40 turned into 75 mph and someone forgot to tell the wildlife that it had.
We crossed into Texas in the early morning and the amount of road kill was tremendous, so if you happen to be traveling that way during wildlife moving hours be sure and be aware of this so you don’t get unwanted hood ornaments for your vehicle. Some of the victims of the fast moving vehicles were very large deer.
Speaking of wildlife during our trip we saw many different animal crossing signs Some of which were, deer (pretty standard here in Oklahoma), elk, cougar and cow. We also saw falling rock signs different from the ones we’d previously seen
Signs that should have been shown, because of what we saw on the roads included wild boar, raccoon, and porcupine. Highway 40 seemed to be really hard on wild life.
Now on to a better subject, well sort of, the trip budget. We left with a budget of $50 a night for lodging with us paying for 21 days of lodging—not including the nights the company had paid for at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for us, fuel for $4.00 per gallon for a roughly 2,500 mile round trip and then an additional $500 for miscellaneous things and then we had a $1,000 emergency fund for just in case, back at home, that could be transferred to the travel account easily and quickly. After all Murphy dearly loves us.
When calculating the fuel budget we figured 2500 for the round trip including side trips. We also calculated we would average approximately 7 mpg because of pulling the fifth wheel and with all the mountains we would climb.
The grand total for this trip therefore would be $3,000 give or take. Plus the $1,000 emergency fund. Our goal was to come in as far under budget as possible, partly because of all the Murphy snafus we’d had before we left, and partly because we are tightwads that want to travel and get debt free at the same time. I know this budget sounds extremely high for someone on the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover plan, but please remember that the company was paying nearly $500 of our fuel costs, plus there would be two weeks at around $100 a week that dh would not be paying for fuel to drive to work, so that is $700 total of our fuel budget that was not above our normal costs. Plus we were planning a three week trip.
So far at this point we were doing pretty well we had found fuel each time we filled up at under $4 until we had to purchase fuel right after lunch and had to pay $4.04 a gallon, and with boondocking that first night we were $50 ahead on campground fees. This, in our book was a very good thing. By the end of day two were were $112.30 under budget. Things were looking good in spite of that $4.04 per gallon fill-up on our 33 gallon tank!
As we drove through Groom, Texas we smiled at the Leaning WaterTower and nodded our approval at the Giant Cross, both of which are on Route 66 but can be seen from I-40.
We made it to Santa Rosa, New Mexico before dark to pull into the Santa Rosa Campground. We stayed here on our previous trip and knew exactly what to expect. We were not disappointed. It is a plain Jane campground with all level pull-thru spots and full hook-ups. AT $28 per night they were well within our budget.
When we were there in 2008 they had just re-opened their restaurant for business and we’d had a very good meal there at a reasonable price. We contemplated doing the same thing as we drove there, but as I checked in I found out that the restaurant was closed on Sunday’s. Since we weren’t certain if we’d stay an extra night or not I picked up a copy of their menu and quickly decided that their prices had gone up. A few samples of the menu prices are : Chicken Fried Steak—8 oz $10.95; Fried Chicken—Breast, Leg and Thigh $11.95, BBQ Beef Brisket $11.95.
While we opted to not dine, with them and instead cook one of the numerous meals I had packed, we did opt to use their showers instead of the one in the camper. They were clean and well maintained with plenty of fast hot water, but the shower stalls were actually smaller than the one in my camper.
If you are traveling with a person that needs a handicapped shower or toilet stall, this campground does not have one that we saw. In fact if memory serves me right there was no wheel chair access to get into the women’s restroom at all, due to a step down to the entry door.
As a person of shorter height, I also had a problem with having to stand with my broad backside pressed against the cold wall to keep from being hit square in the face by the fixed shower head spray.
So if you are planning on showering small children there be aware that they will probably be hit full force in the face while trying to rinse off.
Our dinner cooked camper meal for that night was Stir FriedChicken, rice and egg rolls.
Oh I nearly forgot, we saw the cutest thing while we were flying down the highway and unfortunately I didn’t have the camera ready so I didn’t get a photo.
Traveling on old Route 66, parallel to route I-40, was a gentleman riding a bicycle that was pulling several little red wagons full of his belongings. Each wagon was linked to the one in front of it and the front one of course was hooked to the back of his bike. The cute part was what he had on the wagons. It was one of those large yellow and black truck banners that said “OVER SIZED LOAD”. Gotta love the fellow’s sense of humor, considering the load was plenty long enough for the sign to be stretched out in full. You also have to admire the leg muscles he had to have had to be pulling that load up the hill as he rode!
Jan who was glad for her hot shower on day two while away from OK.