November 22-30, 2020 Texas, New Mexico and Arizona

We decided to spend one more night at that Amistad National Recreation Area outside of Del Rio Texas. I’m glad we did cause the sunrise was absolutely beautiful on our last morning there.

We decided to do a day trip to Seminole Canyon State Park. Greg found a great 6 mile bike ride that went along this canyon and at the end was a pictograph of a nine foot panther. The bike ride was fairly flat but we did have to walk the bikes in some spots because of the rocks and gravel. All in all it was a great bike ride and I was thankful that Greg’s knee is feeling better so that we can experience these type of bike rides.

The next day we headed toward our next spot but on the way stopped at Judge Roy Beans museum. The museum was free and it also had a pretty extravagant cactus garden that we strolled through. (I think if you click on the photos below, then you can see the full photo and not the cropped portion)

We continued on to a town called Marathon. This Town was so cute and the rv park was in walking distance so it was perfect. I wish I would have taken more pictures of the town and the campground. It was all very artsy and eclectic. Plus it was super dark for star gazing at night. They even had a giant telescope with a local astronomer. Unfortunately he didn’t come out the night we were there.

We finally were able to get some TexMex for dinner. We’ve been in Texas almost a month and this was our first time eating out for Mexican food. It was amazing.

Yum

They also had this great courtyard with a fire pit and a fireplace and a fountain at the rv park. Such a great place. Like I said, I wish I took more photos. Our spot also came with an outhouse but this outhouse actually had a flush toilet. I’ve never seen that before.

The outdoor fireplace

Next day we headed out towards Marfa where there is a viewing area of mysterious lights that have been seen since 1880 when a cowboy discovered them. We were planning on spending the night in the viewing area so on the way we stopped off at a town called Alpine and did some laundry and shopping and also decided to go to the Big Bend Museum. This museum was huge and had some super old maps of the United States and Texas which Greg really loved.

When we arrived at the Marfa light viewing area, there was just us and one other car. But when the sun was about to set, the place packed out with people coming to see the lights. We knew eventually they would all leave and we would have the whole place to ourselves for the overnight. And that’s exactly what happened. Unfortunately we saw no mysterious lights of any kind, but it was nice to wake up to a desolate parking area.

The next day we decided to take a Trip to BIg bend National Park. Originally we were going to bypass that area but we had watched this YouTube video of this couple that stayed in a tent campground. It looked like a great place to stay. We knew all the other camp grounds in that area were full so we figured the tent place would be our best best. So off we went. The roads in that area of Texas are pretty treacherous! It’s deep canyon roads with sharp curves. We finally arrived and they were full as were every other place in the area. We did get to see the mayor. The mayor of the town is a host. Haha.

So, we then had to head back out of this deep canyon back to civilization. We stopped at a cool picnic area for some lunch first.

Once we got back to civilization we passed an rv park that looked like it wasn’t full so we pulled in and were able to get a “dry camping” spot for just 10 bucks. “Dry camping, for those that don’t know, is when you don’t connect to their electric or water supply or septic. It’s usually far away from the other RV’s or sometimes closer to the bathrooms. It really depends on the campground. This particular place was basically a dirt parking lot but the sunset and sunrise were magnificent.

Took a hike for Sunrise, mostly to warm up a little.

Check out at this RV park wasn’t till 1 and since it was Thanksgiving, we stayed until 1. From there we headed towards the Cracker Barrel in El Paso which was a three hour drive. We stopped along the way to let people know that Mama and Papa were banished from the community.

The Cracker Barrel was a MADHOUSE!! Hundreds of people ordering Thanksgiving dinner for takeout. Lucky for us, no one was dining in so we got lucky and got a table right away. I ordered the traditional Turkey dinner and Greg ordered the Turkey Fried Steak. Mine was fantastic!! Greg’s, not so much.

The evening in the Cracker Barrel Parking Lot was uneventful, that is until the cops were calling because some customer threw his dinner on the front windows of the place. There were a lot of “unthankful” people on Thanksgiving, but in their defense, the lines and the wait for them was very very very long. The next day when we woke up in the Cracker Barrel Parking Lot, the town had come to life. Across from Cracker Barrel was a Walmart. They opened bright and early for Black Friday and the place looked packed. We went over to check it out and it seemed that there were more Walmart workers than there were customers. Optical illusion outside with all those cars.

Black Friday Morning

El Paso is on the border of New Mexico so we ventured west to Rustys RV Ranch. They were full!! Who would ever have thought that Thanksgiving weekend is such a big camping holiday? They did, however, offer us a “dry camping” spot for $17 which we immediately grabbed. This was an interesting Campground. So many birds. Perfect for us cause on the way we stopped at a Cabelas and bought a pair of pretty decent binoculars. This RV Ranch also had caged birds. Lots of different and colorful varieties plus a black swan which was so cool looking.

It got pretty cold at night and into the morning. Thankfully they had a heated clubhouse we were able to go into in the morning to warm up.

With the cold front hitting New Mexico, we thought it would be best to head to lower elevations and headed towards Tuscan. For hundreds of miles we kept seeing Billboards about “The Thing.” Very intriguing billboards that peaked our interest. There were so many of them that we had to stop at the attraction to see this “thing.” We walked through the GIANT gift shop towards the back where “the thing” was behind a wall. We paid our admission of $5 each and could hardly wait to see “the thing.” I thought maybe it was like an alien monkey. Or maybe some kind of reptile with fur. I could not wait to see it!!! I won’t show a photo of “the thing” cause I don’t want to ruin the surprise incase you are ever on Interstate 10 by the New Mexico/Arizona border.

After our visit with “The Thing” we stopped at a Walmart in Arizona. A lot of unmasked rebels in this state. Texas was masked, everyone was masked. Now here in Arizona, another story. We got in and out as fast as we could and headed to some BLM land not too far from that Walmart. BLM is Bureau of Land Management. It was around long before Black Lives Matter but it’s still weird that we are spending a few days on BLM land. it just sounds weird now. Before 2020 it sounded completely normal to say we are looking for some good BLM land. Well anyhow, out west, there’s lots of opportunities to camp for free on BLM land. We found a great spot a few miles down a dirt road.

The full moon couldn’t have come at a better time for us . Such an amazing combination of the desert and a full moon.

Another cool aspect of this spot is the view of a movie set. We had every intention of hiking over to it and checking it out but the weather got the best of us again and instead we decided to drive closer to Tucson where the elevation was a little lower and the temperature was warmer and this spot we found on the BLM land did not disappoint.

If we were having a contest on best camping spots then this one would WIN!!

We settled in just in time for a sunset dinner.

So I just noticed that today is December 1st and we officially have been on the road for a month. We have been keeping track of each night and our grand total for camping fees was $153 for the entire month.

It’s places like this, this free BLM land that makes that possible. A brand new month ahead of us with new places to see and new memories to make. See you again in 2 weeks.

6 comments

  1. Jim had an unfortunate experience at a friend’s house years back. It was a very cold night and he went for a visit. When he left, he started the engine and heard a horrible racket. When he opened the hood, he discovered their two cats had gotten up in their for the warmth. Sad but true! Hood up is a good idea!
    I am loving your photos and commentary!
    Mary

    Liked by 1 person

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