From Elk City, OK we drove through the Texas Panhandle. There are very large wind farms in the Texas Panhandle.I was very surprised. Texas has such an image of conservative, oil country.
The moon setting behind a WindFarm. One day this past December, 40% of the states energy was generated by wind. This is a very windy state. Texas recently invested $7 billion in transmission lines to get the wind generated energy into the grid near it’s big cities. Before this, when the grid’s capacity had been reached, the turbines were shut down, even though the wind is blowing. I wonder how often this overload happens in other states?
We spent last night at Red Rocks Park, near Gallop, NM. What a beautiful place. We get there about an hour before dusk and walk toward Church Rock. There’s a big open red sandy area on the way to the trail where Sherman runs in circles until he gets a Puncture Vine sticker in his foot. I remove it. He runs until he gets another one. I remove it. He runs again and get’s a another one. I remove it. And we now walk on a short leash up the trail for about 20 minutes. Then back to our night-time rituals and to bed early.
I wake up with Sherman licking my face at about 5am. I bring him under the quilt and we go back to sleep. He wakes up and wants out from the quilt about 6. We get up and do the morning rituals. We’re on the road about 7:30.
Mid-Morning we’re approaching Tuscon. I want to go to Petco for a couple things I’m out of that go into Sherman’s food mix. I find one near the freeway. As we pull up it starts to snow. Very light snow. I get what I’m after and we return to the freeway. As we’re driving out of town the snow get’s heavier. And heavier. Huge snowflakes in a medium wind. An hour later it’s beginning to stick on the road and my concern meter is rising. 10 minutes later we start a long downhill and a few minutes down in elevation it turns to light drizzle and in another 10 minutes it stops. End of precipitation for the day.
We stop in a rest area a couple hours later. I walk Sherman around large red rock formations. Near the bathroom building, there are a series of displays about Arizona. History. The different areas of the state and how the terrain differs. Suggested places to visit. How long it takes to get to them from where we are. These simple things, leave me with a feeling of welcome. That someone cares that I’m passing through. That I might even want to stay longer to see more of the State.
As I’m pulling out back toward the freeway, I realize I don’t want to drive too much longer, so go through my various camping apps to find a place within an hour. I see a recommended place on the freecamping.com site that’s a couple miles north of Oatman, AZ. I remember seeing something about Oatman on the displays. It’s a mining ghost town that has some of the old buildings repaired and used as galleries, studios, restaurants. That’s were we’re going to spend the night. I set it up in Maps and we’re off onto Old Route 66 toward Oatman.
The first 5 miles is through low land near Lake Havasu with sign that say if there is water here DO NOT drive into the water. There’s 3-6 feet of dirt piled up on the sides of the road from floods. We go 20 miles north to Oatman. Beautiful high desert with amazing mountains and cliffs.
Closer to the cactus’. You can see little green buds on the ground between them. These propagate from the pieces knocked off by animals, winds or weight. Each cactus “finger” is a lengthening group of knuckles. Touching them can knock the end one off.
I love these shark fin mountains. (A sidebar: There’s a movie called Meru available on Amazon Prime. It’s the story of the first ascent of the peak of Meru, a shark fin peak near the Ganges River in Northern India. An amazing story.)
As we drive into Oatman there are mules roaming the street. I read that when the miners left they left many of their mules behind. They now live wild in the area. I put down the window to take a photo and one walks right over and puts his nose in the window asking for food. I scratch his chin and slowly put the window back up. He stands there just looking at me as I drive slowly away. There an another dozen in town as we drive through.