Goin’ Places That I’ve Never Been… Odessa, Texas

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MARCH 20, 2016

We leave Edgington RV Park with a friendly reminder:

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Today we drive the scenic route, 82, through the Lincoln National Forest passing through the village of Cloudcroft and the town of Artesia.  We gain over 4,600 feet in elevation in the first 17 miles of this stretch. And up we go!

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(Yesterday I tried my best to remove the bird poop from the window, but today I have streaks…)

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Cloudcroft Curiosities:

  • With its elevation of 8,600 feet, it is one of the highest locations in the United States.
  • The Lodge at Cloudcroft hosted famous guests including Judy Garland, Clark Gable, and Pancho Villa.
  • Conrad Hilton managed this resort lodge in the 1930s. (en.m.wikipedia.org)

We head to Artesia.

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About Artesia:

  • In 1903 an artesian aquifer was discovered in the area, hence the name.
  • The artesian wells were depleted in the 1920s.
  • The former Abo Elementary School was completely underground so it could also function as a fallout shelter in the 1960s.
  • The city has a residential training program for the United States Border Patrol, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the US Air Marshals. (en.m.wikipedia.org)

image flickr.com

image rightspeak.net

After passing through Artesia we head toward Hobbs which borders Texas. Again we defy the Garmin’s suggested route as we continue on Highway 82.

Lots of oil wells pumping! I mean lots! We can smell the oil from inside the RV.

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We arrive at Hobbs with no place to pull over for the night. Our 2 memberships, Passport America and Good Sam’s Club offer no help so I consult the Garmin and Google. I call 2 promising places in Hobbs but Jeff and I decide we can get a better price if we continue driving into Texas. And sure enough, the first place I call in Seminole, TX, Avery RV Park, is priced just right! It’s about 15 miles south of our route. “So what,” Jeff pipes in, “We are on an adventure!” And then we turn down a paved-over gravel road and travel for another 5 miles. Jeff starts looking upset as we arrive, per the Garmin’s directions, in the middle of nowhere. “It’s an adventure,” I remind him. Jeff stops and calls Avery RV Park but the line is busy. Frustrated, we decide to abandon our search for the RV Park and continue driving until we end up on Highway 385 heading south toward Odessa, TX. By now I am pouring wine to drink and eating tortilla chips in the back of the RV.

We pull off the road and I call an RV Park in Odessa. The woman and I become instant friends on the phone as she is an older and wiser gal who picks up on the tension between Jeff and myself. She has story after story and gives me detailed directions to the Mesquite Oasis RV Park. At last we pull into Site 98 for the evening.

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And we bite the dusk for the night…

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Odessa Odds and Ends:

  • In 1881 the area was a water stop for cattle and a shipping point on the Texas and Pacific Railroad.
  • In 1927 oil was discovered and sustained the economy.
  • As the cycle of booms and busts, however, affected its economic growth and stability, Odessa has focused its efforts to attract new business opportunities.
  • H.G. Bissinger’s book, Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream, is based on the 1988 football season of Permian High School.
  • Author James Michener describes Odessa as a city where “you are more likely to be murdered… than in any other city in the nation,” in his book, Texas.
  • In 2013 Odessa had the highest crime rate of any city in Texas. (en.m.wikipedia.org)

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