TEXAS - the friendly state
While we are not very familiar with all of Texas, what we do know is the we love the friendly people, the scenery and the wide open spaces.
Up to now, the only references we have to the Great State of Texas is locations along the I-20 and I-10 route that usually takes us out west, but it seems that every time we make a quick stop for a supermarket stock up or a gas station fill up and we talk to the people, they actually 'talk to us'. They look you in the eye as they talk and they make sure to greet you face to face. It seems we always comment on how much we like the Texans when we drive through this state.
Needless to say, we have done a few Walmart overnight stops, that worked out well. We even had comments from the staff in one Walmart that they just LOVE Canadians who come to their state for long stays. We have always felt safe in these Walmart locations, apart from the numerous threats of rain, hail and tornadoes while parked in certain locations.
We also appreciated the number of free city parks on offer to stay at for free. Some even had electric and water hook-ups, which is something no self respecting boondocker would say no to! lol
Where we have stayed:
FORT STOCKTON WALMART - very quiet location. It looks like there is not much employment in this town, but we felt safe. The staff were very friendly.
ANDREWS - City Park located next to the Chamber of Commerce. This location has water, electric and sewer facilities, all for free, which we truly appreciated due to the colder nights the area was experiencing. The WiFi was quite weak if we stayed in our trailer without an antenna, but once attached to the Jeffatech Repeater, we had an excellent WiFi service. We were allowed to stay three nights, which we did. We took walks to the public lake a short distance away and we were able to do quite a bit of shopping due to the wide range of stores in the a short ride away.
EL PASO - Sunland Casino. We had successfully stayed here on a previous trip, along with numerous other RVs who seemed to be here on a long term basis. We enjoyed the casino and the pleasant restaurant on the premises. However, this time around, there was only one RV attached to the five electric and water hookups. As before, we did not have need for the hookups, but when checking in with security, we were informed that we could not park anywhere else in the parking lot, apart from the allocated hookup stations. We were expected to pay $15.00 per night for this privilege. We paid for one night and left the next day, determined not to visit this area again.
GUADELOUPE MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK - This mountain is reported to be the highest in Texas and we found the area to be quite attractive. However, the allotted campsite left a bit to desire. It is a small parking lot with small spaces for small trailers. There is the odd space available for a longer RV, but, in general, everybody is squeezed into a very small area. The presumption is that nobody is here to only camp. You are expected to take one of the many hikes, either to the peak of the mountain or around the base. The walk to the peak was very arduous, so Dieter, who attempted it, chose to return before he reached the pinnacle. No internet or television channels.
LAMESA, TEXAS - City Park. Free electric and water hookup with a dump a few feet away from the trailer. Quite a pleasant, wooded park, but nothing much else to do here. We enjoyed using the electric heater, due to the cold nights we were experiencing in the month of March. There were a couple of other RVs while we were there, but nobody stayed very long, probably due to the unlevel parking for their large RVs. Limited cell signal, no wifi and limited television channels.
ABILENE - Thanks to freecampsites.net we stayed at Seabee Park for a couple of nights. We drove to the far west end of the park, where day trippers like to drive and turn around. We stayed on a grassy patch near the boat ramp, with the permission of the ranger, who told us we could stay there for 2 nights. It was very scenic at this site. On the second day, the weather turned questionable, plus there was a strange character looking for a place to park for the night, so we chose to pack up and leave for the closest Walmart in the town of Abilene, where we were given permission to spend the night in their parking lot.
CANTON TEXAS - FIRST MONDAYS We accidentally fell upon this phenomenon because we arrived in the first week of March, when everyone was getting excited about this monthly event that is held the first weekend and Monday of the month. Read my blog about our experience in Canton, Texas.