Tuesday June 13
Day 2
From Las Cruces to Albuquerque

Oh good God. Remind me never to schedule a trip in the motorhome in the middle of Summer. Who cares, in a car? You drive down the road with the A/C blasting and the whole car cooler than a passel of cucumbers; then you arrive at your motel, where you turn the A/C on full blast and you actually get chilly after a little while. Not so in the motorhome. Not so bad while driving; the dash A/C keeps the driver's position pleasantly cool but without the "house" A/C running, the dogs suffer extremely; and even the driver gets too hot if the house A/C is not on. To have the house A/C on requires the generator to be running; which is fine, except that every time the engine pulls more gas (going up a hill, etc) the generator stalls out. It takes constant monitoring and fiddling to keep generator going and "house" A/C functioning -- but like I say, while zipping down the road that does work OK. But, once you park at the RV Park of the day, things are not so pleasant. Now you have the full lower afternoon sun insolating the sidewalls of the motorhome, plus since the slide is out, the inside square footage to be cooled is much larger, and there is no help from the dash A/C. Bottom line is that if the outside temperature is 95, and the sun is shining on the sidewalls and in the windows, you can't get the motorhome any cooler than 90 degrees.

I pulled into the RV Park in Albuquerque at 3 PM, very happy to be done with the day's drive. For the next few hours, I was unpleasantly warm even with 2 fans blowing on me unless I squirted a mister into the fans to provide a little instant evaporative cooling. The dogs in their fur coats were unalloyedly miserable. Finally I dozed off around 6 PM and when I woke at 8 PM with the sun going down, the inside temp was down to 83 and I am now comfortable at last. I think maybe for the rest of these mid-90's days, I had better plan to nap until the sun is down, then do whatever pastimes I favor late into the night. Urghh.

Today's drive was up an Interstate Monument, in middle of nowhere following the valley of the Rio Grande. It was wierdly like Egypt's Nile Valley -- stark bare desert, but on your right, a long band of deep green. The Rio Grande itself is surprisingly beautiful. Even all the way up near Albuquerque, it runs bank to bank with lovely blue water. I expected the typical Western river, with a thin braid of water between extensive sandy or gravelly banks; but the Rio Grande is really WET.
Other than the river valley on my right, there was just more dirt with a little scrawny low vegetation, and distant mountains of little interest. The Arizona desert is much prettier and more visually interesting. I will probably never drive I-25 again -- but someday I would like to take NM route 1 up through the Rio Grande valley itself, through that deep green strip along the river.

Albuquerque is a very pretty city. The big buildings and the freeway walls, overpasses, even the light stanchions, are all painted in sandstone and turquoise colors with various Southwestern decorative motifs. I got lots of time to look at them, because I ran into a massive traffic jam where 5 lanes of freeway had to funnel down into 2 just before the I25/I40 interchange. Reason was a godawful accident -- by the time I passed the accident site, there was nothing left but a ton of emergency equipment and the remains of a car that barely was recognizable as a car any more. Sitting on its roof, and every side of it bashed to bits. Impossible that anyone survived, I would think. Scarey.

Omigod! The house temp is down to 77 and I am actually beginning to feel COOL! Maybe even turn a fan off!