“A great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache.” Catherine the Great
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.
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.
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.