I’d decided to take a job as an activities director at an RV resort in Rockport, Texas, way down on the Gulf of Mexico. I’d be getting a full hook-up site and wages in exchange for thirty hours a week of work. It was a 55+ RV park which meant I’d be coordinating events, classes, and activities for the snowbird retirement crowd. Yay Bingo! It was a new and exciting adventure. But first I had to get there.
“There” was 1,400 miles from my present location in north central Arizona. Piece of cake! Five days out and I’d be there. My planned route would take me from 89 South to I-10 East. A leisurely 250 to 300 miles a day. I had plenty of time to stop along the way at points of interest like the Navajo jewelry stands in the Painted Desert. I enjoyed talking to the people there about their lives and they were eager to oblige.
I stayed a night at Picacho Peak state park near Tucson. The peak’s prominence has been a landmark for travelers since prehistoric times and in 1862, the largest Civil War battle to take place in Arizona was fought there. The Civil War came to the southwest? Who knew!
Further east in New Mexico, my next night was spent at Leasburg Dam, a state park just north of Las Cruces. I arrived too late to do any exploring and left at daybreak but not before the unique experience of going to their restroom/shower facility and taking a shower in pitch black darkness. The lighting wasn’t lighting; I had to hold the shampoo and toothpaste tubes up to the skylight to be sure I wasn’t brushing my teeth with Pantene.
On the third day I crossed into Texas at El Paso. The highway in front of me was wall to wall traffic slowing down for US Customs; semis on the right, the rest of us on the left. All I could do was stop and wait and watch.
Up ahead, there was a three ring circus in progress; little white customs trucks parked every which way on the road; customs officers with German shepherds pouring out of them. The dogs were straining on their leashes, going up to cars and sniffing at tires and trunks. It was enough to put me on the edge of my seat. What if they came up to Tin Can and wanted to search her? How dare they even think it!
Well, I made up my mind right then and there. No dirty paws or scummy boots in my home. If they wanted to search it, they’d have to take off their boots at the door, thank you very much! The dogs; I’d give their handlers wipes for their paws.
As I whiled away the time in my farcical daydream, the line inched closer. Maybe ten minutes had passed when much to my surprise, the circus troop of officers and dogs hopped in their trucks and drove off.
Better than confront me, I’ll tell you!
(aka Tin Can Traveler)