I’d always wanted to go to the Davis Mountains. McDonald Observatory is the coolest place. We’d bought tickets at the observatory for a star party and a guided tour. The star party is where you wait until it’s pitch dark (and believe me, it IS dark as pitch there!) and then look through all the telescopes to see the stars. And not just any stars, but tons of stars! Saturn! The moon! Orion! So exciting.
Two days before we planned to leave, the air conditioner broken in the car.
I don’t know about you, but in North Texas it’s HOT. Like Hell Hot. I’m not even lying. Since it was a Saturday, I took it to the local garage to get it checked out, thinking it was out of Freon. Not so. The compressor had completely gone out. And there was no way to get the thing fixed before we left for West Texas on Monday.
So we did what any normal American family would do. We packed up the car and headed west anyway. We’d left at around 7 am that morning, so the temp was only a balmy 80 degrees. The further west we went, though, the hotter it got. We stopped in Midland for lunch and were grateful for the restaurant AC. You never really appreciate it until you don’t have it. And you’d think it wouldn’t be so hot in the car driving down the highway.
It was like fire hot. Like Sahara Desert hot. Like we want to DIE hot. We rolled into Fort Davis about 6 pm that afternoon sweaty and tired. There’s something about driving with the windows down that makes you feel all gritty. Like you have an inch of road dirt coating your skin. It’s icky.
Heat seemed to be everywhere we went. We couldn’t escape it. The mountains weren’t too bad when we drove all the way up to the scenic view. It was windy and cool up there. But down on the ground? Oof. It was even hot when we took the tour of the historical Fort Davis and we did that in the early morning. We had cool wind for the star party, though. Thank goodness.
We were somewhat lucky in that we had clouds heading to Carlsbad on Friday of that week. But it was still freaking hot. So it was a blessing when we made it into the caverns, 700 feet down. It was a wonderful 54 degrees in there. We actually needed jackets.
By the time we got back to the surface, we were greeted with…you guessed it…more hot. I’d checked the forecast at home. The high was going to be 106 on Saturday. I couldn’t bear the thought of driving home in that scorching heat in a metal car with no AC. So husband and I decided we would drive at night. It was 85 when we left Carlsbad. We rolled into the driveway at around 2:30 am. The temp? Eighty degrees.
That’s Texas for ya. It’s been scorching ever since. We’ve busted 100 for a couple of days in a row but it’s nothing like last year when we had 100+ temps for over a month. I seriously wanted to fling myself off a bridge—and I had AC in my car then!
The vacation, though? It was fun. And one we’ll certainly remember.
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