top of page

January 30: Valley View to Monahans, TX

You know the phrase "the best laid plans of mice and men"? Well, our plans have been subject to several changes due to trying to avoid the massive ice storm moving through Texas. As I write this, it's January 31st and we're pulled off I-10 westbound at a rest area as the visibility on the highway is reduced to almost nothing and a massive crash of at least a dozen tractor trailer trucks, some jack knived, has closed down the eastbound traffic. But, I get ahead of myself.

On January 30, our plan was to drive to Colorado City, TX, but seeing the track of the ice storm, we opted to try to get further west, out of path of the ice storm. Some of the state parks to the west that we called were closed, due to the storm. We ended up driving through the Permian Basin and Midland, TX, where oil refineries and flares proliferate the landscape.

The Permian Basin is what Glen calls an environmental sacrifice zone - and it sure looks it!

We stopped at Monahans Sandhills State Park, expecting the worst, since it appeared the park was located right off the highway near railroad tracks. We figured it would be a noisy, ugly night's stay. As it turned out, the park campground was located a couple miles from the highway and was buffered from highway noise by sand dunes. It was an other-worldly landscape, especially after dark, with tall sand dunes in the foreground and refineries lighting the night sky.

Are we at the beach or in the middle of Texas?

The temps were in the 20s and, with the wind chill, bottomed out at 6 degrees. We opted to sleep in the back of the car, since we could have the car plugged in and the heat on low. It was quite comfortable.

The view at night from our campsite was a bit apocalyptic, with the refineries lighting the night sky.

It took an epic effort to re-configure the car back to driving mode, with the fierce wind and cold in the morning. And heating water for hot beverages was crazy but necessary.

Our accomodations were quiet cozy. Heating water in the morning was not so cozy - but the new induction burner works in 6 degree weather!

Checking our plans before heading out, we found out our next destination - Brantley Lake State Park - was also closed. So we have decided to drive straight to our next destination, Oliver Lee State Park in New Mexico. That is unless we end up staying in this rest stop, since we are just now seeing that there is a new crash on westbound I-10. More soon!

Next destination: Oliver Lee State Park

Miles to destination: 324

Forecast: High of 57 and mid 30s overnight

Best signs along the way:

Burlap Barn Boutique

Pick Your Meat from the Pit

Trophy Exotic Dove Hogs

Best deal of the day: Glen went into Walmart to use the bathroom and decided to see if they had any organic bananas. He went through the self-check-out and, try as he might, he could not get the bananas to ring up as anything but 1 cent for 3.9 pounds of bananas. Oh well.


Feb 01, 2023

Six days wasn’t bad to get to NM ,it sure looked a lot colder than you anticipated,you are brave going cross country in the winter with a electric car with limited mileage and limited charging stations


Tribal Scribal
Tribal Scribal
Jan 31, 2023

What is it with Texas and ice?? Is the ice attracted to the cold hearted cowboy mentality? Whatever the case, we guess there's an outside chance you'll find highway disaster camaraderie among stranded truckers and fellow travelers? Happy Trails!

Feb 01, 2023
Replying to

We just read there were indeed injuries in the pile up we saw. What a nightmare for the people involved. I'm glad to report we finally made it out of the ice zone, with about a two hour delay.

bottom of page