Blown Away

“A great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache.” Catherine the Great
Ain't no way the hairstyle is keeping up with this wind!

One thing about travelling through the SW, especially in Spring-time is that you’ve got to be ready for the winds. To say it’s breezy would be putting it lightly. The winds here are as wild as the landscape, sometimes lulling you into peaceful repose only to kick you in the behind with a 50 mph gust just a few minutes later. It’s part of the fascination of the place and, as any good sailor would tell you, there’s no point trying to work against it.

A surreal red sunset lingers in the dust-storm of the day

The winds in New Mexico form as a result of intense surface pressure gradients that typically peak in winter and spring and you’ll see wind maps light up the area during that time. The biggest month is April, during which some of the gusts that funnel over the high plains can lead to massive dust storms with zero visibility (literally! We actually experienced this one of our days in City of Rocks). It’s a crazy time that teaches you rather quickly to stay on top of the forecasts.

When it comes to RVing and winds, it’s a simple equation. Big, square, flat surfaces and large winds do not mix well. So, when the speeds whip up like this it’s best to do as nature intended -> put your ass to the wind and wait it out.  For the really big gusts we’ll slimline the beast by pulling in the slides too, but usually we’re able to keep at least one side out by tying town the slide-toppers (using rope or tie-downs). Then, when the forecast calms down we hike up the jacks and make our move.

In a few days it'll be calm again

Which brings me back to where we are now. The forecast is very gusty here in Elephant Butte so we’re going with the flow and waiting it out for a few more days before we move on. Getting swept away can be rather fun, if you allow it, and the hazy sunsets can lead to dramatic and eerie shots (always a bonus for yours truly).

So, with our butts pointed south we’ll ride out the surf and wait for nature to let us pass. We’re in no rush, after all.

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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do

  1. Jeff and Deb says

    we have vicariously been enjoying your journals from NM….this post makes me want pull out the kite or sail boat :)

  2. Sandie Dixon says

    Love the sunset picture. We are in Albuquerque with our butt to the wind also. Today isn’t as bad as yesterday and tomorrow it’s supposed to slow down a wee bit and hopefully when we head out on Thursday it will be a breeze not a wind. Definitely springtime in NM.

    • libertatemamo says

      Goodness, I had no idea you guys were so close!!
      We’ll be in Alberqueque ~2 weeks from now (week-end of 20th May), but
      I’m sure you guys will be further North by then. After that we’re headed to Santa Fe.
      Let me know if you stick around the area.

  3. says

    Smog, blowing dust and other bad weather make the best sunsets. Clear days make for really puny ones. Do you think maybe the reason the SW Arizona desert sunsets are so pretty is that they have California between them and the setting sun? :)

  4. Martha says

    Isn’t nice not to be in a rush? While you are waiting out the wind we are waiting out the snow! Take care!

    • libertatemamo says

      I saw your pics on the blog!! Can’t believe you guys are buried in snow.
      Stay warm!

  5. says

    “The winds here are as wild as the landscape…” what a great phase to describe the wind! NM truly is a beautiful state, we certainly enjoyed our time there and need to venture back sometime in the future.

  6. jil mohr says

    windy here in benson arizona…not quite like where you are…we leave this weekend and hit NM then…maybe the winds would have died down by the time we get there….sorry our paths are not going to cross….this time!!!!!

    • libertatemamo says

      No worries! We’ll be waving to ya as you cross over. This weekend we’ll be near the VLA, then off to the Monzano Mountains
      followed by Alberqueque the week-end of the 20th May. If you happen to cross those areas we’ll see you, otherwise we’ll have to catch up when you come back to the West after your adventures.

  7. says

    We often wonder about the RVers who travel on the windiest days. Who are they, why are they so important that they have to risk their necks (and lives and vehicles) — as well as anyone else on the highway at that time, in that kind of situation?

    • libertatemamo says

      I’m with you on that one. My first thought is always “are you nuts??!!”
      Travelling in the wind is the last thing I ever want to do.

  8. says

    I love the winds, despite how it always blows the hair right smack into my face and then ends up messy afterwards:P (okay, maybe not too much, but a comb/brush is always an essential travel item anyway;)

  9. says

    I’ve shared this many times hoping to convince even one person not to wait to live their dream. It was my husband’s favorite piece. We never made it to retirement and fulltiming, but made many happy memories, none-the-less. And I return to them for solace as I know life can change in a split second.

    Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long trip that spans the continent. We are traveling by train. Out the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of row and row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village halls.
    But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the station. Bands will be playing and flags will be waving. Once we get there so many wonderful dreams will come true and pieces of our lives will fit together like a completed jigsaw puzzle. How restless we pace the aisles, damning the minutes for loitering – waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.
    “When we reach the station, that will be it!” we cry, “When I’m 18, when I buy a new Mercedes Benz, when I put the last kid through college, when I reach the age of retirement, I shall live happily ever after!”

    Sooner or later we must realize there is no station, no one place to arrive at once and for all.  The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.
    “Relish and enjoy every single moment!” is a good motto. It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad.  It is the regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today.
    So, stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more, cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.
    …Robert Hastings


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