The forecast continued nasty and we determined to continue on west, but Sunday seemed like a reasonable day to do some exploring as we moved on. An article in Motorhome Magazine discussed a couple of “living” ghost towns in New Mexico that seemed worth visiting. They are Hillsboro and Kingston along State Route 152 which goes from no place to Silver City (almost no place). We cruised up I 25 after a stop at Stahmann’s Pecan Shop near Las Cruces to pick up necessary supplies, and way to much Blue Belle Ice Cream. Each of us ordered a single in a dish and ended up putting half our portion in the freezer for after dinner. We exited on to 152 and headed west, no choice as there is a large lake to the east.
We visited the Barbershop Café in Hillsboro and bought a couple of items. The proprietor told us that the road was closed at Kingston, but there was plenty of room to swing around. Oh, he also told us that the 12’6” overhead warning was wrong. He was half right. The low clearance bridges, two, were posted on the road as 12’6” but on the bridge they were posted at 12’8” and there was plenty of clearance if we stayed to the center of the road. At the fork for Kingston the continuation of 152 was closed as promised and the fork into town (population 25) was covered with snow and ice. In order to make the turn we had to disconnect the tow’d and do a K turn keeping the drive tires on pavement. We returned to Hillsboro and took 27 south toward Deming, NM. There we found the Starlite Motel, Café and RV Park with plenty of room and we setup just as dusk was falling.
In the morning we discovered something else was falling as well. We woke up to find the road passing the RV Park closed and the grounds covered with white frozen stuff. Further inquiry lead to the information that I 10 westbound was closed to the NM border and from the AZ border through the Dragoon Mountains. We changed plans and Carol did laundry and I went out and made some friends.
Monday morning we were in touch with Norm and Shelley Topf. They were in Quartzite and heading toward Yuma. If you look at your map, Deming to Yuma is an easy (?) 8 hours on I 10 and I 8. With an early start from Deming we rolled steadily west all day. The Topfs and the Ploessers were settled into Pilots Knob RV Resort, a membership resort where, with a coupon which we had picked up at a fuel stop, you could get 4 days 3 nights free along with a free meal. The cost was listening to a 90 minute pitch to own a piece of the desert. We elected to bypass the sort-of-free for really free. Just down a desert road there is a Free STVA (government speak for a Free Short Term Visitor Area). The only requirement is that we obey the signs about where camping and driving are allowed. Thank you to the American Taxpayer. We enjoyed our stay there for 3 nights free with no sales pitch and no other amenities.
We took a day with the other two couples and drove into Algadonas, Mexico to buy glasses, meds (not for us) and lunch. With the new US protections against illegal immigration and other idiocy, the wait for pedestrians to cross has extended from an hour last year to 3 + hours this year. The wait for a car was just about an hour. They are reviewing passports now, although it is really unclear whether they are required, but they do not have scanners! This means that if they chose to review the passport they must key the data in for each one. It will get worse before it gets better. The only people being inconvenienced at this border town are US citizens and the business people in Mexico whose business is dropping like a rock as tourists learn how long the wait is to get back into the US. There is no wait at all getting into Mexico. Once back in the States we took a rest and went into Yuma for dinner at Brownies, claiming to be the place in Yuma where everyone eats. We spent Thursday doing some repairs and maintenance on the coach and going into Yuma for some groceries and some sight seeing.
We received a call from Yechiel at some point during this day that they would like us to join them for Shabbat with Les Duman, Miriam’s dad, who was visiting. A quick map check showed the drive was doable and a call to Malibu Beach RV Park secured a site for a week. Friday morning we got up really early, we were still on Mountain Time so our 6 am wakeup was really 5 am in LA. We drove back into Yuma to buy gasoline (for 30 gallons a $.50/gallon difference is worth going 16 miles out of the way). We spent the day driving across southern California to San Diego and then up through LA to Malibu. It was early enough in the day that the traffic was only dense, but moving. After setting up we got in the car to join them for Shabbat. Traffic was no longer moving on the I 10. It took over an hour to get to their house and we arrived just in time to leave for services.
We will be sitting here spending time with them and watching Azriel and Avtalyon so they can have some time off until Friday morning when we plan to leave for some place to be determined. Our site is grand and the rear end of G2 is hanging out over PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) and we see the ocean from all but our windshield.
This is the view from the Ocean.