Killing Tumbleweeds

It was time to hit the road from Tucson, AZ to Las Cruces, NM. I’d had a wonderful week in the area, which is worth a separate article. But now I was headed to another famous park, Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Refuge, which is famous among birders.

I wanted to stop, again, at the KOA in Las Cruces, which has a fabulous hilltop view of the city and surrounding Organ Mountains. Especially for sunset when the city lights start to sparkle. It might be the cleanest KOA ever, and I also needed to do laundry.IMG_4717

What an exciting drive! I heard they were calling for high winds, but didn’t expect to battle 40-65 MPH the entire way… and even worse, dust storms! I had seen a dozens of highway signs warning of low visibility all over the southwest, but didn’t expect to have to participate. Sheesh- I am a rough weather magnet.

And talk about a bad hair day! Fugedaboudit. Even the dog had a bad fur day.

I was exhausted from gripping my RS Adventurous steering wheel, causing a symptom I refer to as “Popeye Arms”.  It sort of reminded me of my sailing days… I tried to maneuver into broad reach to get better mileage- no dice.  Not to mention, having to hang on to the van door, when I stopped for gas, to keep it from being whipped back on the hinges. It even blew my sunglasses off. Don’t even think about a hat- gone forever.

I was also, an unfortunate witness to London and France, on a gal at the gas station. Travel Tip # 137- please don’t wear a skirt or kilt during a High Wind Advisory.

In addition to the sweeping winds, especially fun when you are passing or being passed by semi trucks, I had to endure the giant, Voldemort, morphing clouds of dirt, sand and grit. Hundreds of feet high. Almost the entire 271 mile drive. I swear I saw giant gaping mouths in the dust- like right out of the movie “Scorpion King”. I had to keep the window sealed, and the air on re-circulate, or I’d still be cleaning.

_MG_3149Now, I should be careful what I say. In my last article, I wrote that I’d only seen one, lonely tumbleweed. This drive, I watched them flying high in the huge dust devils, flung hither and yon. I murdered at least a few dozen as they were hurtled across the highway, and have new scratches on my grille to prove it. The large, skeletal balls exploded into oblivion- instantly. I got home and was still pulling pieces out.

But I have to admit, I was fascinated, watching the dust clouds form and move across the desert, like huge living things. It was a magnificent display of another form of nature’s great power- intimidating and beautiful.

These weren’t even the bad ones- they say it’s just another spring day around here.

All in all, I was fine- if a bit disheveled, and it’s an added notch on my list of Roadtrek adventures.