With the sun setting, we settled in for many road hours ahead. I filled Fyn up with rice cereal and she was content snoozing in her car seat.
Everything seemed to be working well on the Sprinter thru to morning, when we stopped in NM at Milagro Coffee Y Espresso. I was hoping for one of the huge almond croissants pictures on Yelp, but they were out. Dang!
From Las Cruces, google maps recalculated itself, and instead of staying on the 10, we ended up on the 25 towards the mountains. About 45 min into the drive.. .”I don’t ever remember going this way before. Hmmm, looking at the map, looks like it’s about the same distance to Phoenix this way though.” 1/2 hour later.. I don’t think we can keep going this way, those clouds look gnarley.
Severe weather warnings were in effect all thru New Mexico with 40mph winds. We’d been fighting to keep the Sprinter on the road, counter steering and white knuckling it with each gust of wind that blew through, making the new found play in the steering continually worse. It looked like he was driving a toy car with several short jerks to the right, then the left, all just to keep us going inbetween the lines.
We pulled off the road, let the dog out and looked up the weather. Turning around meant battling the wind again, but copious amounts of dark clouds loomed ahead and it was sure to be worse if we continued this way. Over an hour of backtracking, battling winds in no mans land, the baby now screaming non-stop wanting out of her car seat, we opted to post up just outside of Las Cruces at a Petro Truck Stop in Deming. By far the nicest truck stop I’ve seen. Clean and somewhat decorated restrooms, isles of spaciously organized goods and snacks, a full sit-down restaurant, and a Starbucks! We ordered some reasonably priced dinner, ate in the van and all went to sleep to wait out some of the storm.
Hit the road again around 10pm, but after 2 hours of rain, wind, road constructing (and all sorts of freak out noises coming from the drivers seat) we pulled into another truck stop to bunker down. About 30 miles outside of Tuscan, me, husband, pup & baby all snuggled in the bed to catch some rest and hope the morning would bring on better conditions.
Around 6am we were moving again.
A classic road trip “what is that smell?” game took effect. It’s like raunchy sox. I think it’s my shirt, no, it’s on my shirt, it’s these seat covers! I’d take them off but I don’t even want to know how gross the seats are beneath them. Did we mention we got this van on Craig’s, and ran out of time on the conversion? I added “new seat covers” to the list and we pulled into a Loves for some more gas, and a family shower. Remember, that’s $11 per shower, not per person.
Shortly after we hit The California my allergies took it as their cue to come back from the hiatus they take whenever I am anywhere else. I had at least 3 bottles of Allergy Busters nose spray at the house, but it seems not 1 made it into my stuff to pack pile. A homeopathic combination of purified water, eucalyptus and capsaicin pepper, it’s the only thing that’s ever worked for my allergies, and actually works for migraines too. Doesn’t completely knock them out for me, but usually will take the pain level from a pounding 11, down to a tolerable 3 or 4, almost instantaneously.
Semi after Semi passing us on the left and right, sometimes at the same time. With each passing, the husband gripping the steering wheel a little tighter to counter steer the van from leaving the road. Ahhhh. Since we were now sitting in LA traffic, we pulled off at a Target to grab some noise spray, but they didn’t have it , so I picked up some Afrin instead. Totally didn’t work. With snot soaked paper napkins shuved in my nose, I nursed our tired little baby to sleep while the husband got the pup some fresh air.
Nightfall came a 3rd time since we’d left Texas, and after a full 53 hours of being on the road, we rolled through streets of house strung with lights, and finally hit our destination.