Our Lady of the Blue Highways

Our Lady of the Blue Highways
Portrait in oils by Jackie Poutasse

Wednesday, March 20, 2013



 Finally leaving Arizona – stopped at a rest stop and took Tucker for a walk – the signs were a bit daunting!   Glad it was dead of winter. (Arizona style, anyway)



We pulled into the Picacho Peak Park entrance for a lunch break.  Looked like it would be a great place to visit – but time was churning on and I wanted to have plenty of time to put up my tent once I arrived in Deming.



On the way to Deming, I passed a couple trading posts – I stopped at one and found a treasure trove of T-shirts – bought one.  Rather – another one.

 Got to the LoW-Hi ranch about 3 in the afternoon, and proceeded to put up the tent.  That was my first problem -  I figured out later that I didn’t properly seat the shock-corded poles, so they came apart, then pinched fabric so I couldn’t budge them.   Finally, 3 other campers (all with rigs) came to my rescue and we got her up and then I installed a small, back-pack tent in the end of the big tent, and put my bed in that – for extra warmth.   It turned out to be the smartest thing I did.

 I arrived on Wednesday afternoon, and spent the next few days just resting, organizing and meeting people.   The campground was nearly full.   Folks, this campground is so neat – of all the other campgrounds in the area, it was the neatest – out in the middle of the desert, but with native plantings, and well defined sites – even a pet park for Tucker to meet friends, and there were a lot of dogs, and also cats there.  




They had a bunkhouse – for games and meetings, and TV and just hanging out, a rec room, laundry room, a couple of covered patios. 

 The weather was nice – cold at night pleasant during the day.  When I say “cold at night” I mean that the temp was in the 12 – 15 degree range at night.  But with my double tent set up, we were quite cozy – as long as I didn’t move around or shift the bedding – then I would get cold spots – so – after 3 or 4 nights like this, I did what any red-blooded, all-American out-door living gal would do – I bought an electric blanket – no problems keeping warm after that. 

 The wind would start blowing about 10:30 a.m., and quit after dark, so that was OK, too.

A fellow named Bob was parked next to my site – when he was 54 – he decided to find himself.  Started walking from Yuma, AZ and before he hung up his pack 6-7 years later, he had walked on all continents but Antarctica.   He had so many great stories to tell – I wish I could have had more time to visit with him.  He was a retired Marine.

One afternoon, one of the campers taught us how to “braid” a T-shirt – makes them more feminine looking – doesn’t work too well for me cause I need every bit of length, but it’s nice looking and something I’d never seen before.

 On Monday’s they have pot luck meals at the Rec room.  On weekends, groups get together and decide on a place to eat out and car pool.   Announcements are made daily on activities in the area during “happy hour” at the Bunk house.  

 On Tuesdays, groups get together and drive to Mexico to have lunch at the “Pink Store” just across the border.   I was looking forward to that.   I rode down with three others – including a woman from my own home town in Montana.   What fun talking about the old town and how it has changed.


The Pink Store:


I was talked into having a Margarita with lunch – “cause the first one is free!”  About 1/3 of the way through the drink, my eyes started crossing.   I mentioned that and was told, “Oh, we should have told you, it’s not only free, it’s strong!”  The food was great, and of course I had a (2 actually) Mexican cokes with my meal.  When I finished eating, I wandered around the store – it has everything.   Pottery, clothing, jewelry, household items – all at reasonable prices.   I was planning on some purchases the next week!

 A newly arrived camper joined us in Mexico – she had just returned from a trip to Central America in her RV - what an adventure.   I can’t imagine I would ever do anything like that, but who knows?  I didn’t get much chance to talk with her about her adventure, because that is the day “things” started happening.

You might remember what my “Plan A” was -  2 months in New Mexico – then  a month in Texas for the wild flowers, then a slow trip back to Montana via western Colorado and Yellowstone Park.   (I actually had a plan B – if it got too cold to head down to Padre Island in Texas til time for the wild flowers)

When we returned to the campground, I decided I needed a nap – The wind was picking up and we were expecting a big storm the NEXT day.   When I poked my head out of my little bedroom, a while later, the end of my tent had blown down.


   Two other campers came to my rescue – we got Tucker out and my bedding, then pulled the tent down the rest of the way and weighed it down.  It was dark by then, and one of my helpers talked to the park manager and got  permission for me to spend the night in the game room – with Tucker, which is against the rules.   I think I would have gone to a motel, but……….  My purse was buried somewhere in the tent.

  I spent two nights sleeping in the bunk house, then was able to put the tent back up.  I managed to wash a load of clothes, then returned to the tent and crawled into bed for a nap – and didn’t get up for 24 hours – some kind of virus.  I was miserable – and poor Tucker – I couldn’t even get out of bed to walk Tucker –after the 24 hours, I could barely stand to eat – although, my new friend neighboring my site fixed me breakfast – that’s all I could managed for 4 days.

 Finally, by Sunday I was starting to feel better, and then the wind kicked up again – big time.   I tried holding the tent up from the inside, but the wind was blowing too hard – I got Tucker and we crawled into the “bedroom”  That little tent was a God-send – it kept that end of the big tent from coming down.  I would say the gusts were 50-60 mph – much more than that tent was built for.

The next morning, the end of the tent was down – one corner on the “little tent” end had pulled out the stake and tore the tie down -   the roof poles were shattered and I was devastated.  I guess Plan B is now out of the question, too - since I can't put my tent back up.

One of the campers said she was very surprised I stayed in the tent all night - she spent the night curled up on the floor because the wind was battering her rig around so much.    My response was that if that tent was going anywhere – I was going with it.
I guess “that” day has come – I have to get a rig somehow, someway – so that is what I’ll be concentrating on for the foreseeable future!   Cause, I sure don’t want to quit travelling.

The first day I was at the campground – I had talked with my cousin, Diane, in Montana – she said she really missed me and wished I was at her house – that is proof that you should be careful of what you wish for -  cause, the day following the storm, I packed up the truck – still not fully recovered, and….. I think the altitude had something to do with it, too – it took me all day – I checked out of the campground and into a motel for the night – and headed for Montana early Tuesday morning.

Until next time,
Luv ‘n Boots and Tucker, too
And, we’ve still got the Bear with us, too
She believed she could do it, and so she did!




  1. Hey girl, let me know when you get there.....I am hoping you will have email by then???? What kind of rig are you going to look for? I am so sorry about your tent....hang in there...you will figure it out,
    Love you, Holly

  2. Glad that you, Tucker and Bear made it safely to Montana again! That sounds much better until warmer weather comes...Kit