The Journey Begins
It was a nice day, the sun was shining and the air was not too cool nor too hot, as we packed the van to head toward our preplanned destination of New Mexico. Todays destination Tucumcari, New Mexico.
We enjoyed driving through Oklahoma, and we noticed the dirt there was so red, unlike the brown and grey dirt of Indiana It was just so different to us, it really stood out. There were some area’s where there was red dirt mixed with layers of whitish dirt, but mostly it was just red. The drive was pretty uneventful.
As we neared the western edge of Oklahoma, we came across a trading post with real live Buffalo, I’m not sure the exact location, but I believe it was near Clinton but we are not 100% sure. We stopped in and checked out the restaurant and the gift shop. Here we purchased some cheap souveniers for the grand kids so they could own a piece of the southwestern culture. We also stopped and took some pictures of the buffalo and gave our chldren a chance to see these impressive animals up close. Having lived in indiana, they had never seen a buffalo except on TV.
From here we travelled on toward the west toward Amarillo Texas. Boy did we ever hate that. Lots of road construction, speed on the interstate through Amarillo was about 15 MPH from start to finish. Based on a joke about Armadillos being Texas Speed Bumps, we nicknamed Amarillo Texas, “Armadillo Texas”. We figured it was suitable.
Once we got past Armadillo Texas we didn’t stop until we reached the Tucumcari New Mexico KOA campground. This was our first encounter with Mold in the desert southwest. Building construction, as we rapidly learned, throughout New Mexico is flat roof adobe styled construction and flat roofs are an attraction to mold over time. Even in the desert southwest where it may be dry most of the time, the sun beats on the roofs, the roofs get old and deteriorate, and eventually leak. Inside most of the flat roof construction buildings the walls are made like modern day construction using wood, hollow walls, and dry wall which gets wet from the leaks in the flat roofs, and mold begins to grow. Even though the desert southwest is dry, Tucumcari New Mexico as well as several other areas get some real nightmarish hail storms and thunderstorms. in fact whlie we were there, 3 of their 4 Wifi towers were out due to lightening strikes just a couple weeks prior to our arrival.
This is not a reflection on the KOA at Tucumcari new Mexico however, this is not their fault and we really enjoyed the KOA campground in Tucumcari, and the people there were very pleasant, the restroom/shower rooms did have a mild odor of mold. It was enough to give my wife a headache, so we did not stay more than the one night. However we still really enjoyed the area, and learned a little about the legend of Tucumcari Mountain while we were there. We also spent our first night in a log cabin at this campground.
Log cabins are wonderful, they have an angled roof, and the walls are solid wood, so there are no dark, hollow, damp chambers for mold to grow in. There was no mold or allergans in the Log Cabin, and with the exception of our tent we would learn as we travelled that this was a reliably mold free environment.