Sunday, June 29, 2014

West Texas


West Texas is very sparsely populated compared to east Texas.  I traveled Interstate 10 from Sonora to Fort Stockton yesterday and  loved the fact that there was so very little traffic.  Speed limit is 80, but I don’t feel comfortable towing at that speed, so I average about 50-60.  Obviously, everyone else was passing me.  But that’s fine, the scenery was all new to me and I wanted to enjoy it. Texas drivers are accustomed to going fast, some of their less-populated country 2 lane roads have speed limits of 70 or 75.  Yes, little skinny country roads.

I expected the area to be pretty much flat, but most of the road was hilly with long grades.  Sometimes it was so gradual I didn’t notice it, but I could feel my truck reacting to it.  Texas people were smart, instead of having steep grades, they just cut through most of the bigger hills and mesas.  That made for an interesting trip, you can check it out with the link at the end of this article.

The first part of the trip was on a basic four-lane highway through a few towns, green fields.  After about 50 miles, the road curved and I saw mesas up ahead, as far as I could see.  These rocky hills were all the same height, flat at the top, and continued for the next 100 miles, and probably beyond.  A few of them were smaller and came to a cone-shaped point.  In one area, there were windmill farms on top of the mesas.  All the vegetation was sparse, scrubby little bushes that were trying to grow out of what looked like mostly rock. 

I got to Fort Stockton about noon and checked into the campground.  There are very few trees in this area, so there was no shade.  I set up camp and then headed for the museum and fort.  It was a bright blue-sky, clear day with no clouds.  As I went into the fort visitor center, I mentioned that Texas had not been that hot back east a few miles.  The woman there told me it was 100 degrees out.   Oh, well, that sure explains it – that’s about 10 degrees more than where I was the day before.  At least the humidity is lots lower than Florida.  But it still feels like August in Florida. 

I’m not sure if it’s always this way, but the winds here are very strong, they were constantly 25-30 mph yesterday and into the night, with the same predicted for today.  It seems like the temperature and winds don’t reach their full impact until mid-afternoon, unlike Florida. 

If all goes well, I’ll be headed north to Carlsbad, New Mexico in the early morning.  Early, to escape the worst of the heat, it’s probably a 3 hour trip.  And when I pass the state line, I’ll be in the Mountain Time zone!

Click the link below to see one of the more interesting minutes of the trip.


1 comment:

  1. It is nearly always breezy. That's why you see so many wind farms there. And I see you noticed the differences in scenery....some people just blow it off saying it is boring but there are always things to be noticed.