The last posting had us preparing to leave behind the Anza Borrego Desert and head towards New Mexico and beyond. We are beyond already. To get here, “here” being Falcon State Park, Texas, we drove through Arizona stopping in Benson for an overnight. While sitting in Benson I checked into the Hogg’s itinerary and realized that they were in Karchner Caverns, just 30 miles from us and both of us were headed to RV Doc’s Campground in Las Cruces. My reason for going there was two fold. We wanted to visit Leora Zeitlin and Stuart if possible and RV Doc’s can provide service such as the Lube, Oil, Filter change we needed.
We spoke to Bob and Pat and agreed to meet at RV Doc’s and get together for dinner. We already knew that Leora and Stuart had crazy schedules for Monday night it didn’t seem likely we could get together with them. At noon on Monday we pulled into a New Mexico Rest Area for a driver change. As we pulled in we realized they had free wireless internet access so we logged in to receive and send email. While Carol was waiting for her email to send we heard a beep and looked over to see the Hogg’s ’03 Southwind pull up alongside us. As that moment the email went out. Had it gone 30 seconds earlier we would have missed them. During our greetings we discovered that we had a 2 PM appointment and they had the 3 PM for the same service at RV Doc’s so we skedaddled after a very quick lunch while they took their time.
Carol got on the phone with Leora and we learned that there was a faculty concert with percussion and tuba at the New Mexico State University campus in Las Cruces that she was planning to attend. The program was avant guard and the Hoggs came along with us. The second piece on the program was written by and Eastman faculty member, Sydney Hodkinson, performed by two Eastman graduates, James Shearer, Tuba and Fred Bugbee, Percussion. The piece “Omaggio” is an homage to Rayburn Wright. We went with Leora to the green room after the concert to meet Fred Bugbee and congratulate him on a wonderful concert. His performance of Marimba Fantasy Suite, Keiko Abe, in three parts, gave a new meaning to the instrument. We had never heard it played that way and I would love to hear it again.
We decided to stay on Wednesday night as we only needed two days to cross Texas and the Hoggs were staying on as well. We offered to take them to White Sands National Monument since they had never been there. It was cool and sunny and the last four miles of the eight mile road in the monument were closed because of excess moisture from the past summer’s and fall’s rains. We did go in to the nature trail and had a grand hike in the dunes. We also participated in a small rescue as a German tourist couple had locked their keys into their rental van along with their 6 month old infant. Fortunately, it was not hot and the baby seemd fine with all the attention. I had phone service (thank you Verizon Wireless) and got a call to 911 which brought out the Park Rangers with tools for opening locked cars.
Dinner that night was at the Paisano Café, a real treat if you are in Las Cruces. They do not have a license to serve wine. After dinner Stuart and Leora joined us for dessert and Bob and Pat left. We brought Leora and Stuart back to the coach since they had never seen it.
The only bad news from this stay is that RV Doc’s is closing, the land has become too valuable for development into condos to stay as a campground. We have stopped their almost every year and will miss it.
The next day (Thursday, February 8) we set out in a two coach convoy for Fredricksburg, TX with a planned stop in Ft Stockton giving us two 4-5 hour days on the road plus gas and food stops. Mid afternoon on the 9th we rolled into the Fredricksburg KOA