Well, our plans are usually flexible, and a good thing. We’re in Sonora, Texas, tonight, with winds gusting like a hurricane. It looks like a dust storm outside.
I got up early this morning at our hotel in Las Cruces and did a 40 minute treadmill run while I did my wash in the guest laundry room. Then I got a cup of coffee in the breakfast room and had a cup of yogurt and some of the blueberries I bought a couple days ago in Pagosa Springs.
Since there appeared to be nothing to do in the Las Cruces area, we headed into El Paso where we had a long lunch with my cousin, who filled me in on all the family gossip. We solved many of the world’s problems in the three hours we hung out chatting, and then Dan and I decided to head west and see how far we could get before we got tired.
It was a very windy, dusty day, but as we tracked east, we expected things to improve.
They didn’t. Those are mountains on the horizon. See them? They're actually quite close, but in some places we couldn't see them at all.
And did I mention it was hot?
I was able to get a few good pics, though.
The mountains in West Texas are somewhat similar to those of the Albuquerque area.
They eventually give way to mesas and flatlands.
The wind kept up with gusts in the 40s and when we got to Fort Stockton, we found everything but the scary motels booked. There was some kind of oil company convention in town, apparently. One hotel let us use their lobby computer to check other hotels along our route and we finally found one 150 miles away in Sonora.
It was already 9:00 Central Time, but our bodies were on Mountain Time and the lower elevation was making us feel perky, so we headed east. The sun went down and we spent the next two hours driving in the dark through gusting winds. It was pretty scary to see the truckers getting their rigs blown around the freeway and the dust clouds descending on us. We kept thinking at some point the wind would let up but it never did.
When we got to Sonora we were very glad we had booked a room from Fort Stockton because there was a sign on the door saying no vacancy, reservations only. There's only one other hotel in town that isn't scary and I’d bet money it’s booked, too. And the next sizable town is at least another hour up the road.
We carried our bags up to our room in gusting winds and now as I look out the window I can see a haze of brown dust and the wind is screaming. The weather report says winds at 22 with gusts to 33, but I think it might be worse than that.
Anyway, it’s late, I need to get settled in, and Dan and I need to make a plan for tomorrow. We think we’re going to spend some time in Kerrville, and maybe since we’re in Sonora, we’ll see the local caves. We had thought we might want to camp but the weather prediction is for more wind like what we’ve got right now and no way can we pitch a tent in this!
Check back tomorrow, when I expect to have more and better pictures. There just isn't much to see in West Texas even under the best of circumstances, but with a dust storm, forget it!