Into West Texas

5 05 2020

Canyons RV Park, Sanderson, TX

Departing Uvalde, we’re headed to Sanderson, TX and Canyon RV Park. We’ve traveled through Sanderson several times on our way in or out of Big Bend National Park. In the past we’re always decided that Canyon RV wasn’t for us. Located between the highway and railroad tracks, the park looked old and rundown and received fairly bad reviews. But, hoping for the best, we decide we’ll try it, or – if things don’t look good, continue to Ft. Stockton.

On a weather note, somewhere between Uvalde and Sanderson we cross through the “dry line”. Humidity this morning in Uvalde was 100%, this afternoon in Sanderson it’s 20%!

The Texas Dry Line

Pulling into Canyon RV, we’re surprised by the bad reviews and what we remember as a “do not stop” park. Sites are wide, level and graveled. Several of these sites have large pine trees on opposite sides providing some welcome shade from the late afternoon sun. Concrete utilities islands are designed for 50A usage on one side and 30A usage on the other side in “back to back” configurations. However, the park isn’t nearly full enough to require any back to back parking and in fact, we’re the only overnight guest. There are another half-dozen or so longer term residents including a FEMA team working onsite. Rates are $30, cash or check only, and deposited in the “Piggy” mailbox. We didn’t try it, but reports are that the new fiber install in town has boosted WiFi to stream-able speeds. New owners are making tremendous headway in changing this to a great stopover park for Big Bend visitors or those escaping the heat of the Texas Hill country or the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Thanks Kevin, we’ll be back!

Departing Sanderson, the original plan was to head north on 285 to join I-10 at Ft. Stockton for an overnight in Van Horn. However, we decide on the much more scenic drive across highway 90 through Marathon, Alpine and Marfa. notes a low tunnel on the west side of Marfa at 13’11”. Arriving at the railroad bridge, the signs note only a 13’7” clearance, making it way too close to what we believe is a 13’6” trailer. After a bit of careful backup work, and directing blocked traffic around us, we head back into Marfa determined to find an alternate route. As it turns out, there is an easy route to avoid this low bridge. Approaching from the east, turn south on 11th street to Murphy Ave west. Follow Murphy to the West Mosley Loop and rejoin the highway just beyond the low bridge. Voila, problem solved!

Alpine, TX

In Van Horn, we’re parked at the familiar Van Horn (former KOA) park in site E8. From here we’re headed to Alamogordo, more from there…

Van Horn RV Park

Across Southern New Mexico & West Texas

15 03 2020

Our View at the KOA, Las Cruces, NM

From Bisbee the original plan was to make a stop in Deming, NM.  We enjoyed staying at Rock Hound State Park outside of Deming in 2016. However, after a fairly early departure from Bisbee, we’re in Deming by around 2PM, and make the decision to continue another hour to Las Cruces, home of one of our favorite KOA’s.  We end up in interior site #55 which works just fine for an overnight stay.

From Las Cruces, it’s a short trip over to Alamogordo, where we’ll spend 3 nights at Boot Hill RV Resort.  From Alamogordo we make an overnight stop at Van Horn RV Park and another overnight at Ft. Stockton RV Park.

Boot Hill RV Resort, Alamogordo, NM

Van Horn RV Park, Van Horn, TX

After this quick transit of New Mexico and West Texas, we’re planning a week long stay in the Texas Hill country, at one of our favorite RV parks, By The River.  More from Kerrville…

I-10 across West Texas

15 03 2018

The Roadrunner of Ft. Stockton, TX

Traveling I-10 through west Texas can be an endurance test of winds, rough roadway and constant semi-truck traffic.  After a bit of a reprieve on the scenic Trans-Mountain highway that leads to the north around El Paso, we’re back on I-10 just east of town.  It’s been a number of years since we’ve traveled much of I-10, generally we divert south for Ft. Davis and/or the Big Bend area.  This year we’re headed nearly all the way to San Antonio – over 500 miles to the east.

With few options for overnight stops here in West Texas, our first night will be at Van Horn, a former KOA that works well for a quick overnight stay.  PARK REVIEW  Arriving around 1PM (after moving into the Central Time Zone) we watch as the nearly empty park fills with overnight rigs.  But, by 11AM the next morning, nearly every site is once again empty.

Our plan was to check out one of the city parks in Iraan, TX.  However a call this morning indicates that the no-reservation park is full – so change of plans, tonight we’re parked at another former KOA, the Ft. Stockton RV Park.  Just east of town, this is a fairly nice park and once again nearly full overnight and empty by 11AM.  On a bit smaller scale than the Las Cruces roadrunner, here in Ft. Stockton, “Paisano Pete” greets visitors and poses for pictures in a small park near downtown.

Ft. Stockton RV Park

Ft. Stockton RV Park

After quick overnights at Van Horn and Ft. Stockton, we’re bound for 5 nights near the Kerrville area in the beautiful Texas Hill Country.  More from there…

Van Horn and on to Davis Mountains State Park

17 03 2017

Van Horn RV Park

After leaving Las Cruces we’ve arrived in Van Horn – a popular stop in our west Texas travels.  Last year we spent 2 nights at Mountain View RV Park and decided it was a bit too close to I-10 and the rail road tracks.  This year we’re back at the former KOA, this year a little drier and dustier with the drought that is continuing in west Texas.  We’re assigned site E7, a long back-in with full hookups.  Site E8 would be somewhat better, an end site with a small patch of almost green grass and a cactus garden.

Van Horn RV Park

After a quick overnight in Van Horn, we’re bound for Davis Mountains State Park, one of our favorite Texas State Parks.  Located just outside Ft. Davis, the park provides easy access to the historic fort and McDonald Observatory.  We’ll spend the next 3 nights at Davis Mountains where we’ll catch up with our good friends from Montrose, CO – who are on their way back to Colorado after spending about 7 weeks in Texas RV parks. More from the Davis Mountains of west Texas…

Davis Mountains State Park

20 03 2016
Davis Mountains State Park, Site #51

Davis Mountains State Park, Site #51

Good Morning from the Davis Mountains in West Texas.

We’ve visited the area several times, even before we had the truck camper.  We’ve stayed at Indian Lodge, but have never managed to get reservations at the Davis Mountains SP campground.  It seems that we’re almost always through Ft. Davis during Spring Break, when all campsites are busy and the town is full.  However, with better planning this year, we managed to reserve a campsite for 2 nights, apparently right at the end of Spring Break.  One of our favorite spots in West Texas, the McDonald Observatory always has special spring break Twilight Programs and Star Parties.  However, with the moon nearly full this Saturday evening, there’s little chance of seeing much through the telescopes.  And with temperatures dipping below freezing overnight, we opt to forgo the evening programs.

A nice change from Van Horn, our first night in the campground is quiet, relaxing and peaceful.  With all sites nearly full on Saturday when we arrive, we’re almost alone on Sunday after the spring breakers head home.  The nearby Black Bear Restaurant at Indian Lodge offers a tasty lunch buffet on Sunday.  In the afternoon we head out to the observatory for the daily Solar Program.  It’s always interesting to watch the sun “live” (as opposed to real time, which isn’t possible since it takes 8.5 seconds for the sunlight to arrive on Earth).  Watching the coronal flares and molten gases on the surface, we’re more inclined to slather on a bit more sunscreen and be better at wearing hats.  We’re also reminded that the Star Party includes one of our favorite aspects, the constellation talk, followed by telescope viewing. At least the telescope viewing is best enjoyed outside of Spring Break and Easter weekends – and both are better on darker (new moon) skies.  We may check schedules for our return trip.

Technology somehow still completely escapes Davis Mountain State Park.  Hidden up a valley, there’s no cellular service or over the air TV. The park offers some WiFi, best used at the entry gate or the interpretive center.  However, with just the right placement of a PC next to a window, we’re able to slowly download email.  We’re parked in site #51, a nice creek side water/electric site nestled into the trees.  There are two loops with full services including cable TV – the pull-throughs creek-side (#1-#8) are very nice.  The “upper loop” (#28 – #28) are located on a fairly steep loop and will take a fair amount of front to rear leveling and have fewer trees. The rest of the sites are best left for tent campers, low trees and narrow roadways would make RV entry very difficult.

Tomorrow we’ll continue east, with a overnight stop in Del Rio, then on to one of our favorite spots, the Texas Hill Country west of San Antonio.  More from there…

Van Horn, Mountain View RV Park

17 03 2016
Mountain View RV, Van Horn, TX

Mountain View RV, Van Horn, TX

After leaving New Mexico we’ve spent two nights at Mountain View RV Park in Van Horn, TX.  We’ve stayed in Van Horn once before with the truck camper at what is now a former KOA.  Mountain View is the park you see from I-10 – looks nice with lots of pine trees.  But, after two nights we’re tired of the highway & train noise and dust.  Mountain View has normal sized spaces, nearly each has a pine tree, the hookup including cable TV are in the right place, for $38.50 per night.  Advertised as under new management, they operate under the “next space open” assignment technique, ensuring everyone is packed in as tightly as possible.

There are some east edge sites that would be a bit nicer, but apparently the electric doesn’t work in those.  There’s a good laundry room and plenty of showers.  Over 80% of the residents appear to be full-time residents – everyone mentions a pipe line that is being built in this part of Texas.  Our only outing was to Chuy’s, a local Mexican food restaurant that appears to be using a 1987 visit of John Madden to gain new customers.  It was very busy on this Friday night, so presumably one of the best places in town.  We initially ordered a Margarita and a Shiner Bock (a very popular Texas beer).  The response, “we’re out of both of those”.  Not sure how that’s possible…but, welcome to Van Horn!

Mountain View RV, Van Horn, TX

Mountain View RV, Van Horn, TX