On days like today, it’s up to me to entertain myself. When I know the day is not going to offer much by way of interesting scenery or towns, I look for little things to pay attention to. Starting with a cup of coffee at the Country Store Cafe in Tornillo. It’s the kind of place where they are happy to see anyone come in, much less someone who is not a local. Very welcoming & good coffee.
Then there are always signs. These are for our camp spot and the competition next door.
Fort Hancock is a town on the route that was originally the site of another fort manned by the Buffalo Soldiers in the 1870’s. II stopped to look at a little lunch counter in Fort Hancock in the old general store. The counters and shelving were from 1895 and were stocked with miscellaneous old items that may have been in the store over the last 100 years. The young guy running the little lunch counter had been to culinary school and was trying to get a start in the town where he had grown up.
Most of the route followed close to the Mexican border and looked like this:
After The Rider stopped for the day, we drove 50 miles to the KOA in Van Horn. Anticipating a layover day Friday, we wanted a good place to stay for at least 2 nights & this area has few choices. KOA’s are growing on us because they are consistent: clean, reliable service, friendly, laundry facility & wifi. Dennis, the owner, gave us a great deal: $25 per night for a site with electric & water. We booked for 3 nights.
Today my first destination after MacDonalds for wifi & coffee was the El Paso Nail Salon. The server at dinner recommended it to me when I asked if there was anywhere nearby to get a pedicure in the morning. Yes, I said “PEDICURE”. Sometimes you just have to do it. I haven’t had one in five years, but the dry climate and dust eat up my feet. It was well worth it, especially the bonus massage chair. My Vietnamese nail technician spoke little English, but smiled a lot when she wasn’t shaking her head and frowning over the state of my finger nails. $35 later I had a pedicure and a manicure!
When I caught up with The Rider, El Paso was behind us and the route was passing through small towns along the Mexican Border. Campgrounds are scarce and I picked one named Hideway Lakes RV one mile off route outside of Tornillo. It turned out to be a fishing spot with two u-shaped lakes about 150 yards long. You pay by the line. In our case, we had no lines so they charged us for one vehicle. The fee was $10 for up to 9 pm. Then another $10 that is good till 9 am. We would be allowed to catch a maximum of 5 catfish if we were so inclined. Amenities include a bathroom with no sink and no drinking water. And LOTS of loud birds. We felt like we were in the Alfred Hitchcock movie The Birds. The coolest birds showed up toward dusk. Huge white birds sitting in trees and then flying overhead. About the size of a Great Blue Heron, only white. A call to our chief bird consultant, Bill Sedivy, determined that they were Great Egrets.
Along with the birds we got honey bees. They liked hanging out in the camper and around the campsite until dusk, but declined to sting either of us. However, we each found a bee in our almost empty beer bottles. Mine got spit out on the ground. Fortunately it was motionless, probably drowned.