Holy crap! I arrived at Paragon Casino RV which has 250+ RV spaces--Very Nice RV spaces--and it was sold out to a Rally! Oh well, most casinos have blacktop boondock sections for truckers and RV'ers so I used their dumpstation and found me a spot (center of photo)!
Since I am now back in action with my inverted power, I plugged in everything to my inverter outlets and gave my electronics a nice long drink of electricity!
It was early afternoon and I knew the casino would be almost empty and it would be easy to find a Video Poker machine. It was and I played for about 2 hours on my $20. I finally cashed out with $20.05---Hooray I'm a winner! Headed to the Buffet "All You Can Eat Crawfish" and spent another 2 hours beheading crawfish (which resemble dwarf lobsters). My mouth had been waterin' for crawfish all day...
One must have a lot of patience to labor over pulling out the small amounts of tail meat, but the reward is so sweet and succulent! They give you a 3 gallon bucket and sprinkle cajun seasoning over the critters; if you have any cuts on your fingers, you will immediately be writhing in pain after coming in contact with the seasoning. Instinctively, I nosedive my finger into my glass of water. Ahhhh....
Then, after the first taste, there is a delayed action of the seasoning on your taste buds which lulls you into a false sense of security. Suddenly ...Yeeooowwwwl---you are airborne! The scorching burn hits your oral mucosa with a venegance and you desperately gulp down half a glass of water, eyes running all the while knowing that your upper body will soon become numb. Your lips feel like all the nerve endings are exposed and they have doubled in size. However, the shock soon wears off and you suck it up and continue your quest for sweet crawfish meat. It was a bit 'o heaven!
Next stop, Denton TX where there is a Camping World. I need them to test my batteries because, although my inverter system is working, it is not giving me the time it should. They tested good and they found that my inverter settings were not optimal to getting the kind of performance I wanted, so they changed them. Really haven't had a chance to test things out...just hopin' that does the trick. Perhaps I have out-teched myself this time around...
Spent the night in a nice Passport Campground (I'm in the middle of the photo) that not only had free wifi--it had FREE LAUNDRY! Since I had not done laundry since leaving Florida, I had 3 large loads. That amenity alone was worth $9 as I find it is usually $1.50 per wash or dry load. They also had FREE Wifi and FREE showers. I love that word---FREE. Sweet! I only paid $12 for the night so I got my money's worth big time.
Next stop--the AOK in Amarillo TX. This place is a major dive, but I always stay here.
No real office--no DOOR on the office. You just put your dollars in an envelope and slide it under the door. Handwritten price list. Pool is filled in now (file photo) Not a soul in sight!
However, while settling in, there was a knock on the door. I peeked out my window and saw a nice gent and asked "Who's there?" He said his name was "Frank" and he was my neighbor and an Escapee. Well, of course I HAD to open the door for a guy named Frank!
Turns out he and his wife wanted to chat and wondered if me 'n Cassie wanted to join them on their nightly walk. Of course, I said yes and it was a very pleasant meeting.
Next day, I planned to have a Mother's Day Brunch at the Big Texan Steak Ranch. This is a pretty famous destination in Amarillo and one sees billboards for 100 miles advertising a FREE 72oz steak if you can eat it in an hour.
Parked the rig in the shade under the billboard. They didn't require proof of motherhood so I was seated and got my ticket for unlimited prime rib, roast beef and ham. Boy did I get my fill of animal meat and hot food! And you were served a dessert of cheesecake with choice of several toppings. All for $7.50 special Mother's Day pricing!
Shortly after leaving the brunch as I was headed for Albuquerque NM, the infamous New Mexico wind started up with some fierce crosswinds. I appreciated the truckers who maneuvered defensively when approaching the lil ole lady in the moho weaving all over her lane.
Several supergusts slapped my RV to the side of the road and suddenly, I heard a disturbing bang over my head. I pulled into a Rest Stop (rig right center of photo) to rest and look at my roof. Up the ladder I went and crawled across the roof in the punishing winds toward the location of the thwaump. Hmmmm..it appeared my omnidirectional TV antenna, a saucerlike device which sets on elevated support legs, was flapping in the wind when the gusts hit 60mph. However, it did not appear to be in imminent danger of flying off into space, so I had no choice but to "let it be" and hope for the best.
Driving was extremely tiring and nerve-wracking so I decided to get off the road and stayed the night in Tucumcari at Cactus RV. Tucumcari resembles an Olde West ghost town and its business is almost entirely tourism as Old Route 66 travels through it. Mom 'n Pop restaurants, RV parks and cheap motels. Not a blade of grass in sight. Every other building is shuttered up, falling down or deserted. The RV park office also appeared deserted except for several handwritten signs which advised "No Entry" and "Bell #1 and Bell #2" or "Other Door". I chose Bell #2 and soon, I heard locks turning and was admitted to the inner sanctum of the Registration Office, where I ponied up the night's fee and hunkered down as 50 mph wind gusts slammed my RV and threatened to rip my slide canopies to shreds.
Next morning, I was happy that slide canopies survived! Weather forecasts were worse for wind advisories and I had visions of tractor trailers turned over belly up along I-40. Instead, to my surprise, this is what I saw. Guess it's a sign of the times.
I decided to get on the road at daybreak in order to travel during the relatively calm part of the day. I will be making landfall at my friend's home in Edgewood, NM which is 30 miles east of Albuquerque.