Oil Rigs and Pump Jacks
We finished our tour exploring the Carlsbad Caverns early enough in the day to consider getting on the road. We talked about it on the way down the hill and concluded it was better to leave early than stay until the morning. Winds were predicted to pick up and it would make staying at the Chosa campground pretty uncomfortable. Back at camp we had lunch and started securing the rig to get out by 1 PM.
The drive through eastern New Mexico to west Texas is not the most scenic part of traveling across the United States. We took a two lane back road from Carlsbad to Jal, N.M. and had to deal with traffic. Most of it had to do with servicing the rich oil and natural gas fields in the area known as the Permian Basin.
The Permian Basin is a large sedimentary basin in the southwestern part of the United States. The basin contains the Mid-continent oil field province. This sedimentary basin is located in western Texas and southeastern New Mexico. It reaches from just south of Lubbock, past Midland and Odessa, south nearly to the Rio Grande River in southern West Central Texas, and extending westward into the southeastern part of New Mexico. It is so named because it has one of the world's thickest deposits of rocks from the Permian geologic period.
Trucks with rigging supplies, tankers with crude oil and miscellaneous other vehicles lined one behind the other. We must have been the odd-ball rig on the road. To the left and right of us were all the sights associated with the oil industry; drilling rig towers, tank farms and the iconic symbol of the oil field, the pump jacks.
A pump jack is a widely recognized piece of equipment used to pump crude oil from underground reservoirs. The founding of the Lufkin Foundry and Machine Company in 1902 led to creation of this oilfield icon known by many nicknames — nodding donkey, grasshopper, horse-head, thirsty bird, etc. Depending on the size of the pump, it generally produces 1.5 to 10.5 US gallons of liquid at each stroke. Often this is an emulsion of crude oil and water.
From Chosa campground just south of Carlsbad, N.M. to Andrews, Texas was 157 miles and 3 hours, 24 minutes of driving time. We lost some time due to the traffic on the road and a hour entering the Central Time Zone. We arrived at our stop for the night around 5PM. Karen found this gem called Legacy Park on her computer while I was driving. Apparently the town of Andrews has a five RV hook-up parking lot behind the Chamber of Commerce building off the main highway into the community. She called to ask if we could stay and they were so nice on the phone. Here's the best part...they offer the sites at no charge. Water, 30A/50A electrical for FREE! Now that's what I call "southern hospitality".
We unhooked the truck and set up for the night. After a delicious dinner of creamy scallops with spinach over pasta that Karen made for us, we ran errands around town. Filled the truck with diesel, bought groceries and hit the Sonic drive-in for ice cream.
The location was 4 stars out of 5 only because of the neighborhood traffic noise, but overall an excellent place to spend the night. We were grateful for this stopping point on our journey and left an optional donation to support their memorial park honoring veterans and first responders.