Nov 15, White Sands and frustration in El Paso

Nov 15, 2019

It was time to leave Alamogordo, we had places to be and one of those places was the White Sands National Monument.  Just 30 minutes down the road it is a sea of sparkling white sand dunes like you would expect to see in a movie about the Sahara.  The sand dunes are not made of the standard silicon sand but rather gypsum the stuff they make drywall. It is the largest gypsum dune field on earth.  Practically speaking it is a little finer than regular beach sand and easier to compact when wet. 

We stopped at the visitor center, paid a rather pricey $20 for a plastic saucer sled, and drove out to the dunes.  There we got about three runs down the dunes each before the sled broke and fell apart.  Oh well it was kind of fun while it lasted. Good thing we had sand toys for Olivia to play with.

White Sands was really… white.
We managed to get a few runs down with the sled before it broke
Holly meditating on the sand

We also found that the dunes make a wonderful backdrop for a photoshoot.  I will let you judge the results yourself but I would call it time well spent.

We had fun with a mini-photo shoot
Of course Olivia had to get into the act
More picts of Holly

We couldn’t spend too much time at the Dunes as we were looking to get to El Paso.  As we piled back onto the RV we found that the problem with fine sand is that it gets everywhere.  Oh well. 

We got to El Paso in the early afternoon and our main goal was to get started on changing our residency to Texas.  Our first step was to change our car registration and driver’s license.  Strangely enough Texas does not have a central DMV like in California.  To change the car registration we had to go to the County tax office.  It was Friday afternoon and the line at the tax office was long and slow.  I found out that in order to register a vehicle in Texas you have to get it inspected first which could be done at any car repair facility.  OK, fine so we left the tax office and went to the auto shop across the street.  There I was told that they could only inspect regular cars and could not inspect vehicles over 10,000 lbs. We would have to go to a special inspection location.

I called around and after several calls found that Stanley Spring and Suspension could do the inspection. A 20 minute drive later we arrived at Stanley on to find out that the inspector was out to lunch.  I got the feeling that this residency change thing was going to be a lot harder than I thought. OK, lemons to lemonade time.  Our RV was heavy in the rear which resulted in the front of the RV being higher than the rear, we were at a suspension shop so I asked them to look at it and give me a quote for resolving the problem.  They said they could add an extra leaf to the rear leaf spring suspension which would increase the rear carrying capacity and level everything out for just under $900 and they could do it in one day.  That sounded reasonable so I made the appointment for the next Tuesday, the 19th.

By this time it was getting late in the afternoon so we needed to find a place to stay.  We were going to need to stay for a few days and the iOverlander app was pretty sparse so I called around for RV parks.  The first few were full but the Desert Oasis RV park had a space.  $35 a night or $120 a week.  At that price I booked a week.

We arrived at the Desert Oasis RV park, a small, dusty RV park on the eastern outskirts of El Paso, next to a mobile home park.  Unpaved roads and dusty dirt pads, no wifi.  Well, I guess for $120 a week I couldn’t be too picky and we certainly didn’t want to try to spend multiple nights at Walmart’s.  We pulled In, I paid the week in advance and immediately left again to go to the Rib Hut nearby.  Holly wanted her first meal in Texas to be BBQ and I agreed completely.

At the Rib Hut, Holly got the three beef ribs for $18 while I got a combo platter for $17.   Holly’s beef ribs were huge and my combo platter had turkey, sausage and brisket.  The food was pretty good and there was enough to share with Olivia with no one leaving hungry.

Our first taste of Texas BBQ was at the Rib Hut in El Paso

After dinner we went to a local McDonald’s with a play place.  The play place was full of kids, a little dark and had some glowing tables.  Olivia promptly yelled “Its like a party” and leaped into the fray.   Meanwhile Holly and I did some work on the computer and made some plans thanks to the free internet.  Olivia played for a few hours before we pried her away and we went back to the Desert Oasis where I found that the electrical outlet at the park did not work.  No worries, we didn’t really need it so we just turned in for the night.  The Desert Oasis is next to a busy road but it was not too bad later in the night.







3 responses to “Nov 15, White Sands and frustration in El Paso”

  1. Hongwei Li Avatar
    Hongwei Li

    Have you got you driving license changed? What is the reasong it?

    1. Hin Avatar

      Yes, we have changed our driver’s license and vehicle registration. We are moving our residence from California to Texas so we don’t have to worry about paying California State Taxes while we are out of the country.

  2. Hongwei Li Avatar
    Hongwei Li

    Have a great fun!

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