One reason we were anxious to get out of Texas was the weather. We were encountering major storms, tornado warnings and high winds on a regular basis. We drove through hail and dodged many thunderstorms all the way from the Rio Grande Valley, the hill country to Turkey, Childress and Amarillo. It’s hard to remember a time when we would be sick of the rain. As a gardener in Kansas, I was used to getting teased by reports of rain to come and then just getting a few minutes of rain. If that… It was sort of ironic that we were getting pounded. I even bought a rain gauge in Childress.
We arrived in Clovis, New Mexico and headed for Akers Trailer Park. Love that name. Mr. Bill Akers was very helpful on the phone and we got parked under a large tree for a couple of nights. The park was small and very quiet and we had a great spot under the big tree. We had come through some rain that day but it seemed to be clearing up. That was when Bill warned us that they were expecting heavy rain that night. Great. I put out the rain gauge.
Clovis is another of those towns that has seen better days. Bill told us there was an area of restaurants, Walmart, etc. a few miles north but we aren’t interested in Applebees and Chilis or any of the chains. I used my Yelp app to find a good Mexican restaurant and we checked the weather to see what our window for biking around would be.
We rode around the downtown; there is a huge rail yard and I thought maybe I could get some good graffiti pics. We saw lots on the trains coming in.
We were cruising around when a railroad guy informed us we shouldn’t be there so we left. The rest of the downtown was kind of sad. As Mr. Akers described it, a lot of antique shops, old movie theatres and plain empty buildings.
And the Bike Dude. Closed and window barred.
We decided to go back to the bus for a while before heading for Servecio Azteca. They got good reviews and we were hungry even though we only rode about 10 miles. This meal was both lunch and dinner and the real highlight was the salsa bar. They had so many different kinds, all delicious!
While we were eating our giant platters of food, it started pouring down biblical amounts of rain. We have ridden in the rain before, once we got caught and had to ride 10 miles back to the bus. This was much closer, only about a mile from Akers Trailer Park.
By the time we finished eating, the rain had stopped but the flooding was epic. The intersections were all underwater. At least it wasn’t raining anymore. After we got back to the bus, it rained all night long, a total of two and a half inches! Bill said they had been in a drought but it doesn’t do that much good when it comes down all at once. California needs that water!
As for Saving Us From Ourselves; when we got ready to leave the next morning, I went into the office to thank Bill and he walked over to the bus with me. He said when we drove out to “just keep going” in case the ground was soft. Jim was in the driver’s seat and we were ready to roll when Bill said, “What’s that under the bus?” I thought he was just seeing the low clearance but our little chairs were still under there! We just had them rejuvenated and they would have gotten destroyed if we drove over them! We always perform our checklists religiously but they had slipped through; they’re not on the checklist. If you look closely at the picture of the bus above, you can see them hiding under there.
On to Bottomless Lakes State Park and Roswell. And Saving Us From Ourselves: Part II.