While we were planning this year-long adventure, both our families planned a family cruise out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and asked us to go on this cruise with them. We agreed and the family cruise became one of the few set times and places on our trip. We were having so much fun traveling around in the west, that we had to make up some time driving from New Mexico to Florida. This re-cap covers the six days it took us to travel 2,100 miles from Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico, to Ft Lauderdale, Florida.
Come on over!
After exploring the Carlsbad Caverns, KC and I planned to check out the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, an hour’s drive away, across the Texas border. We drove into the campground, exhausted from the week’s travels and looked for a campsite. The only one left was a walk-in site at the far end of the campground, far from the bathrooms and potable water spicket. Looking up, I saw menacing thunder clouds promising rain. Not wanting the extra hauling/walking distance to the water and bathrooms and not ready to face another night in the rain (we camped in rain two nights before this at the Great Sand Dunes National Park), I looked up the drive time to my friend, Lizzy’s house in El Paso, Texas.
We were already planning to visit with Lizzy the next day after getting a hike in at the Guadalupe Mountains, so I was hoping she wouldn’t mind if we showed up a day early. Her house was a two-hour drive from the campground and after talking with KC, we decided to call her to see if she wouldn’t mind. “Hey Lizzy! Can we sleep at your house tonight?” I asked. Her response was “Heck yes! Come on over! We have a bed waiting for you!” So we drove to Lizzy’s house that night. Thank God for awesome friends, especially when they save you from camping in the rain!
Lizzy and her husband had to work the next day, so KC and I explored El Paso during the day, including a morning run at a park nearby the border. That night, the four of us went out to dinner and hung out afterwards. We were having so much fun catching up (she moved to Texas last year), that I forgot to take pictures of us together until the next morning, when we were saying good-bye after breakfast.
One of the great benefits of road-tripping around the country is catching up with friends who have moved away.
Rain in Texas
From Lizzy’s house, we drove to Austin. From her house to Austin, it was sunny with fluffy clouds in the sky. Little did we know that this would be the last time we would have good weather until we reached Florida.
After driving all day, we reached Austin and found a campground just outside the city. We set up camp around 10PM and settled in for bed. Around 4AM, we were woken up by booming thunder that sounded like it was right on top of us. Rain poured down around us and thunder just kept coming. Now, being in a tent with a metal frame during a lightning storm is not very safe. We quickly got up and a flurry of surprisingly coordinated teamwork for people startled awake at 4AM, managed to pack up the car in just over half an hour. Both of us were in soaked pajamas as we drove away from the campsite. Eventually, we found a Starbucks, where we could change into dry, normal clothes and get some coffee to wake us up.
The rain followed us from Austin, TX to the Florida border. We later found out that our night in Austin was the first rainfall of that caused some flooding in Texas.
The story continues in Part 2. You can check out more pictures on our Mad Dash to Florida Photo Journal Page.