24. Apr, 2016

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TUESDAY 01-04-08 

Today we set out on our first of two days travelling to Roswell, New Mexico. We started off slowly, having run in to the same roadwork’s we hit when we first arrived in San Antonio. The RV seems to be getting through a lot of fuel. We were travelling at around 65-70mph, just going with the traffic on Interstate 10. We stopped off for a break at a Rest Area which was quite impressive; it even had a dump station and fresh water for RV’s. 

Unable to find a suitable Rest Area we decided to go to the Wal-Mart supermarket at Fort Stockton. On our arrival we found a number of RV’s parked up for the night, and so asked for permission to join them, and the staff kindly agreed. 

We are still struggling to understand the RV’s systems, and initially thought we’d have to spend the night without running water as we had no water pressure. 

The Chef had bought some cooked food from an Albertsons supermarket which we’d passed earlier in the day, and all we had to do was heat it through in the microwave. The two items on board which cannot run off the auxiliary batteries because of their high power consumption are the air conditioning unit and the microwave oven. 

Unfortunately I couldn’t get the generator to start up and provide us with the power for the microwave oven. We couldn’t even get the gas oven pilot light to ignite. The air was blue, it’s all you need at the end of a day’s travelling. The Chef had to heat the food up in a saucepan. After the meal I had another play with the generator and finally got it running. It should be straightforward to use now that I have some understanding of it, and things got even better as I discovered how to create the water pressure. 

Fort Stockton itself grew up around Comanche Springs, at one time the third largest source of spring water in Texas, and near the military fort which was founded in 1859. Fort Stockton was garrisoned by companies of the 9th Cavalry known as “Buffalo Soldiers”. After the military post was abandoned in 1886 and the railroad companies had bypassed it Fort Stockton went in to decline. Granted we were only on the edge of town but had to agree, it looked a dump, and really quite poor, so we decided we’d activate our motion alarm detector tonight in case we were broken in to whilst we slept – it looked like that kind of neighbourhood. 

LOCATION TONIGHT: Wal-Mart supermarket, Fort Stockton, New Mexico (GPS: N30.895304 W102907532).