Sunday, March 16, 2014
Today, we were again awakened by the howling winds. The real cold was moving in. We noticed there was a wind advisory in effect for this day, which meant winds 15-25 mph, and gusts to 45mph were possible. We've actually driven in worse, so Tony wasn't too worried. With the dual rear wheels of the pickup, it makes for a very stable towing experience. We also noted that Ruidoso had 3 inches of snow overnight, and was under a winter weather advisory. I guess another good reason to leave when we did!
We finally got up and got going about 8am, a little later than we had planned but we had a less than restful night due to the winds. Tony went and paid for our stay, then worked on outside prep (dumping tanks, pulling up landing gear, etc. While I finished up inside.
Eileen at Windmill RV Park, Merkel, TX
Getting ready to roll
We got on the road about 10:15am, and headed toward home. We had no real problems with the cross/tail wind, though we probably had to take it a few mph slower than usual. We didn't use as much fuel as we do going out west, which was good.
At one point, Tony noticed an RV in the West-Bound lanes with an open/missing window, and the curtains were flapping in the wind. A little further down the road, we saw a mangled RV awning in the WB lanes, and the Highway Patrol had blocked a lane of traffic to work on getting it out of the way.
Later down the road, we saw 5 people on the WB shoulder fighting an unfurled awning on their motorhome... it looked like it had ripped partially off, and was trying to fly away! Each time, it reminded us to keep an eye on those things in high winds.
As we drove, we decided to take a little side trip down I-35W to the Camping World in Burleson. So, we exited and stopped, found a place to park the rig and I put out a couple of slides so we could release the kitties in the coach while we shopped. I wanted to specifically look at purchasing the Hatchlift system, to use on the front compartment door. Ever since we had our frame work done at the factory, the front compartment door does not like to stay latched in the open position. I think the catches are not in the same position they were before. It has fallen on us on more than one occasion, smacking us in the back or head, so we decided this was a good investment. It uses a small hydraulic piston to help hold the door open. We needed two, since our door is fairly wide. I could buy them direct from the manufacturer for a little cheaper, but would have to pay shipping, and it would be more difficult to return if there was an issue with the product.
We looked at all the other goodies, but opted not to buy anything else without more research to get the best price.
Once we were done shopping, we loaded up kitties, PULLED IN THE SLIDES, and hit the road again. We made it home about 3:30pm. We decided to go ahead and get the rig into the driveway, so we could properly clean and put things away, as well as complete some of the projects we now have (Hatchlift, LED awning lights, etc.) Tony backed it in almost perfectly the first try. I was so glad, as I got to stand out in the 20mph wind and 47 degrees, to help guide him!
Overall, it was really a fun trip. I am glad I was able to mix business with pleasure and we got to visit Ruidoso/Ski Apache during a good spring-break season. The kitties did wonderfully traveling, and we got to relax and enjoy one of our favorite places.
Our next trip will be for the Heartland Owners Club North Texas Chapter Rally in Santo, TX in April.