Saturday, January 4, 2014

Van Horn Texas—Clouds, Wind, non-Boarder Check


We stopped at a rest area shortly after pulling out of Benson around 9:30 because some idiot forgot to move the the 32 GB SanDisk from his computer back to the camera last night.  So after I got the SanDisk back into the camera that I, err…some idiot had forgot last night, I decided to take a picture of us in the rest area.  Notice the clouds formation above the back of the motorhome…that was just a start of our cloud day….


All day there was this Haze throughout the skies.  Didn’t really see much unfiltered sunlight all day…it was always behind the haze, and at times, the clouds.  The pictures taken closest to the sun show up lighter, and a bit on the purple side.


But throughout the day we would come across these clouds that look like they were painted in the sky…as if you can see the brush marks at times.


Had there been no haze, the mountains would have shown up so sharp and clear…but without the haze, I don’t think the clouds would have turned out with this artistic touch to them.


This picture was taken due east around 1 pm Mountain Time.  We were just getting ready to enter Las Cruses, New Mexico, also known as "The City of the Crosses".  Although the sky is bluer, it was not a blue sky, it was still hazy skies with these clouds.


Marcia took many of the southerly pictures today….this one, after El Paso, was taken by me of a south-easterly view while Marcia was taking a nap.


This last “cloud” shot was taken well after El Paso, just before the “non-Boarder Check”.  There was a wind much of the day, a very strong wind at times.  At Las Cruces I-10 turns due south…and that is where the wind blew right into the passenger side of the motorhome.  All I can say is that it was much easier keeping it on the road than that large Class A we use to have.


Around 5 miles west of Sierra Blanca on I-10 in Texas is a Boarder Patrol Checkpoint when you are headed eastbound.  When you are westbound, there is a checkpoint about 20 west of Las Cruces.  But as you pass by the “westbound” checkpoint, all “eastbound” traffic is being thoroughly photographed.  By the time you get to the checkpoint in Texas, you have been identified one way or another.


This is not the best picture, but under the white sign you can see an array of cameras.  Again you are photographed (I always smile myself).


So by the time you make it up to the checkpoint, they know if they need to ask you questions, let you through, or pull you over.  In our case as we came up, the guard looked at someone in the booth, looked back and me and waved us on.  I did see one or two cars get asked a few questions.  Did not see anyone be pulled over.  Did see a few “sniffing” dogs.  Notice the flag above….the wind was pointed right at us as we went over this mountain pass….. but much of the day it was behind us, which helped with gas millage.


So we made it to Van Horn Texas.  This is a very small town, known as the last town before San Antonio area which has a Loves, Pilot or Flying J fuel stop (except for Fort Stockton)….so tomorrow morning we will fill up again.  This park is called Oasis RV Park & Apartments, it is a Passport America Park.  If you ever want to know what a $13.50 Passport America park is like, well, this is probably its poster child.  RV’s lined up any way they can to hook up to the electricity, water and sewer.  For us, just electricity, although the price is the same.  We had to snake our way between other RV’s to barley fit into this spot which will allow for a quick escape in the morning…though I don’t know how quick that will be.  It is suppose to have WiFi and Cable, but we can get over-the-air channels either, so the TV is black tonight, and the iTunes are playing away.  Oh ya, do you know what Van Horn is famous for?   Space Tourism!  This from Wikipedia:

In late 2006, the Wall Street Journal reported that Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of, had acquired 290,000 acres (1,200 km2) of land 25 miles (40 km) north of Van Horn to house his fledgling space tourism company, Blue Origin. As of 2008, Blue Origin had been expected to start commercial operations as early as 2010, aiming for 52 launches per year from the Van Horn, Texas facility.   As of March 2010 however, Blue Origin and Bezos "have been very secretive about" the plans for the Van Horn facility for the past five years, having granted no interviews with news media since a single interview with the Van Horn Advocate in early 2005. 

In early 2010, NASA awarded Blue Origin US$3.7 million to work on an advanced technology, which detaches a crew cabin from its launcher if the shuttle malfunctions." 


  1. That one cloud looked a little scary. Glad you're feeling better.

    1. Thanks. I think you all were fairly close to Phoenix when we were there earlier this week....but my focus was visiting our friend and getting back on the road to home. Someday I am sure we will be in the same area again...Dave

  2. Great cloud photos but we have seen way too many of those since arriving in FL. Don't hurry back! You want to miss the cold weather and rain.

    1. Oh, I think it will be warm by the time we get there...looks like you have a cold week ahead of you as far as Florida standards are concerned

  3. Your cloud shots are just beautiful. I'm depressed about my government giving 3.7 million dollars to Amazon's owner to play around with space stuff. We have so many problems right here on this wonderful planet that need to be addressed why in the world........................SIGH

    1. Couldn't agree with you more to them, money to countries that don't like us, lots and lots of waste of "our" monies....


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