“Windy (for those of us who remember the ‘60’s, think of the Association’s song by that name)!!” The weather man on KSFU on TV 13 says this nonchalantly, “ tomorrow will be near 80 again, it will be windy with gusts over 50 mph…” OVER 50 MPH!!! Good Golly Miss Molly! That is close to hurricane-force winds! It was out of the west so at least it helped Corey. So our ride out of Carlsbad on Hwy 180 began…
The next night was spent on BLM land about 15 miles before the Texas border! With free camping land, we should not be picky. However, oilrigs are everywhere! We are smack dab right in the middle of America’s most productive, putrid smelling, disgustingly bland, oil fields. So we found a spot up wind of many of them (there were warning signs for H2S gas – it’s poisonous). Nice! We’ll sleep peacefully. NOT!
Oil rigs are everywhere! And they have an odor 😒
So, lets talk about our overnight accommodations. With winds strong enough to blow sand into a storm, we found several berms that we could plant our tents behind for cover. It actually was a sweet spot away from the oil smell. And it had places to fix our stove and have a campfire. Corey made a nice fireplace out of some flat rocks and sand. It was a very nice spot indeed. I got a good bike ride exploring all the dirt trails and Corey gathered firewood. Morning found us cold and ready for breakfast. I got a good fire going, made coffee, and boiled water for oatmeal. Life is good. After we packed and were almost ready to leave, Corey took the warm fireplace stones, made a commode, and used it to do his business. Now, how many of you had a heated toilet seat when you went camping?
BLM Campsite with the protective berms and Mason-built fireplace (& toilet seat)
Walmart was our first stop on February 7th. Corey had been biking for 15 miles and we were coming into Hobbs, NM. We replenished out supplies and had lunch at SubWay… and used Walmarts free Wifi. After revisiting our plans we set out for Texas! Highway 180 was a good road to ride but the map was inaccurate on where there were rest stops. After some confusion, we decided to stay at a local hotel in Lamesa (Corey had biked almost 70 miles!).
The scenery continues to astound us!
Texas won’t let you camp at the rest/picnic stops without permission. After a few calls, they were gracious enough to let us camp at ones along Hwy 180. However, the next one we came across was pretty disgusting so we made an executive decision – we were going to stay at regular campsites.
Oil is not the only energy product Texas is good at… Windmills are everywhere! & full moon!
February 8th had Corey heading down Highway 70 to Big Spring. The town has a quaint campground 5 miles out of town on Moss Creek Lake. By Maine standards, it was a rather small pond…but I am not going to argue linguistics. This place could accommodate 50+ campers…and we were the only ones! Must be out of season!
Moss Creek Lake (Big Spring, TX) and the stars over the campsite
This was also a 70 mile leg and Corey needed some rest! We spent 2 nights at Moss Creek Campsite recuperating and enjoying the peace and quite. Interestingly enough, temps still plummet to below freezing at night despite relatively warm days. And every night, the coyotes sing us to sleep! I am going to miss those canines. One small problem: we drained my car battery so to leave on February 10th, I had to call Good Sam (like AAA but for campers). Things happen for a reason: the gentleman was out in 20 minutes to jump start us then he preceded to tell us about some must-see places in Abilene! Life is good.
An interesting issue on i20; the frontage road came to an abrupt stop! The road did not continue across the railroad tracks. Corey picked up his bike, carried it across and I got on i20 for 2 miles. Navigation a success!
We stopped for lunch on the “Frontage Road” ….opposite the prison!
For my Rumford Elementary Friends, I have a few questions. Who was the first person to discover the caves in Carlsbad? Do you know what year? When did it become a National Park? How old is our National Park Service and who was the President that signed it into law? So many questions… hope the snowdays aren’t slowing you guys down!
Pictures are nice but… there are some things you just need to see in person!
Despite wind and cold nights, weather has been relatively cooperative (no rain or snow). This is about to change.
After a 2 day rest, Corey peddled his butt 65 miles to Sweetwater. Temps were in the 80’s. We are following i20 and this part of Texas has a few more people. We plan on being in Abilene by Saturday to stay at Dyess Airforce Base. They have a nice camping area (and cheap). It is suppose to be cold and rainy by Sunday so we will hold up a few days here (And take Sam’s advice and go visit Old Abilene).
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