by Gary Hawkins, February 28, 2015
During our road trip out to Tennessee for the birth of Xaria, we had time to visit some great spots including White Sands, NM, the Very Large Array, Socorro, NM, the Bill Clinton Library, AK and Elvis Presley's Graceland in Memphis, TN. We covered a little over 2,500-miles as we meandered from state to state, spending Christmas Day lunch in a Subway.
White Sands, New Mexico
The Very Large Array, Socorro, New Mexico
Enjoying the Guided Tour of Graceland
Our more direct and slightly shorter road trip back was going to be functional - get back home with our new born in a timely and safe fashion without making the journey too stressful. We targeted about four hundred miles a day, planning to take a one or two day break in El Paso, TX to visit friends.
All Packed Up and Ready to Go
Most days on the road back proved to be pretty uneventful, excepting the fact that towing such a distinct teardrop camper tends to garner a lot of attention. On several occasions, people approached us in gas stations while we were feeding Xaria; most wanted to know if we were marketing, or even better carrying Yuengling beer. On one occasion a couple unbelievably followed us off the freeway to enquire about their favorite tipple! While checking the teardrop one morning in a hotel carpark, a State Trooper came over to see if I had any of his partner's favorite drink. We did not realize just how popular Yuengling beer was until we got on the road.
The longest part of the journey back was crossing the wide part of Texas. Oil pumping stations whistled past the windows. Our stop in El Paso came at just the right time. We were over half way home, but everyone was ready for a few days off the road.
Our Gracious Texas Hosts Dianne and Gary
Xaria and Sophia Enjoying a Comfy Bed
After leaving El Paso, a dash across the bottom of New Mexico and then on through Arizona. We stopped in Phoenix to catch-up with another friend. According to data compiled by the National Climatic Data Center, Phoenix basks in sunshine more often than any other major metropolitan area in the U.S; the day we visited was glorious.
We knew our journey was nearing its end as the mass of wind turbines on I-8 came into sight. Just a few more hours now and Xaria would finally be home.