I’ve got to make a decision.
I get online and research weather conditions and campgrounds to the west of here along Interstate 10. Since I don’t like to drive more than four hours a day, Willcox, Arizona, looks like a possible destination. However, the weather forecast (at the moment) for Willcox is not much different from where I am in New Mexico, lows of 14 and 11 degrees, respectively. So what’s the point in going there today?
I call up Bill and Kathy.
They’re at Walmart. You may think Walmart is the hub of civilization in the Truth or Consequences and Elephant Butte area, and if you do, in a way you’re right. Anyway. The Walmart is located next to the on-ramp for Interstate 25.
Bill advises me not to travel today. “We can see a line of trucks backed up on the interstate. They closed it yesterday, so you know what it’s going to be like today.”
“Right. It’ll be jammed up with trucks and rvs heading out of here,” I agree.
I tell Bill that I can’t get to better weather today anyway, so I’m not moving.
We discuss the possibility of my pipes being frozen. Bill tells me he and Kathy, being locals, know how to get to Caballo Lake “the back way,” so I can expect them here sometime after noon. His plan is to thaw any frozen pipes and to finish the solar project.
“Bill, don’t feel like you have to do this. I don’t want you and Kathy getting caught in a mess.”
“I never do anything I don’t want to do,” Bill remarks flatly. We both laugh. “This started out as a solar project. Now it’s a quest. Like in the movie, Vacation, when Griswold is determined to get to Wally World. I’m on a quest to get this done!”
To be continued later today . . .
Hello, again . . .
There’s no evidence of any freeze damage!
Bill and Kathy arrive around one o’clock. It’s cold, but at least it’s sunny and there’s no wind. Bill put together a telescoping support I can use while setting the pins in the tilt bars of the solar panel. This is a safety item (See previous entry). He brings the metal bars and tools to install this mechanism. However, as is often the case in projects like this, he discovers he needs something he doesn’t have in order to make a minor adjustment. . . his drill press. So he and Kathy leave around 4:30. They will return tomorrow.
The coldest temperatures were last night and will be again tonight.
It will probably be down in the low teens again. Bill and Kathy told me the interstate is still messed up from Texas to Arizona. It looks like traffic is being rerouted north on Interstate 25 to avoid Interstate 10, the westerly route I want to take. Arizona, within a day’s drive, is almost as cold as here. I want to get the solar project done. I’ve stuck it out this long, so I might as well see it through.
I want to thank my readers.
Many of you wrote about your concern and offered me encouragement. You gave me helpful tips and comforting assurances. I’m also grateful for you refraining from saying what I should have done. I appreciate you putting yourselves in my shoes, and understanding why I made the decision to stay in New Mexico past Thanksgiving. Thank you.
The crew and I have enough provisions to remain here through Wednesday. Then the worst of this storm and cold front will be past, all the work will be completed, and the road to Arizona will be open for rvsue and her canine crew!