Originally, we planned to go from Hot Springs National Park to San Antonio, TX however, our extended stay in Red Bay caused us to drop that visit from our plans and head straight to Big Bend National Park in southwest TX. That is about 14 hours of drive time (in a car, traveling at the 75 mph TX highway speed limits) and about 900 miles so we decided to break it into a three day trip.
We’ve found that 67 mph is about as fast as we want to go in the RV and we are usually beat by the time we travel 300 miles or so, depending upon the roads and traffic. This gave us a chance to try out some WalMart parking lot camping on the way. Good news, it’s free. Bad news, it’s kinda noisy and you are not supposed to extend your slides which makes for a cramped visit. Also, no hook-ups so no power or water or sewer other than what you have on board. And truckers tend to use these locations too, coming and going at all hours, disturbing Siobhan’s beauty rest…so inconsiderate (just kidding)! You can run the generator for a couple hours but really need to shut it down by 8 or 9 PM. This is a great way to stop for the night and be on your way first thing in the morning.
Hudson Oakes, TX was our first stop. (Friday date night at Walmart – oh-la-la!) Found a convenient location just off the highway to camp at for the night and it’s easy to stock up on provisions (beer, wine, supplies, oh – and food). Pretty uneventful evening. Right back on the highway first thing in the morning.
Next night, after checking the RV Reviews website for info on a “local” Walmart in the Midland, TX area we learned that it would not be a safe place to stay. Evidently, not much going on in that town so the local folks tend to hang out in the parking lot and drag race their cars all night until the police so up to shoo them away. We found an (glorified parking lot) RV park that got “clean and safe” reviews and it was only a few minutes off the highway so that worked for us. Notice we had the slides out – a step up from Walmart camping! Another quick stop and back on the road.
The next day (Sunday 4-23-2017) we pulled into Marathon,TX after a white-knuckle ride due to high winds that kept us struggling to keep the rig on the road most of the way there. Another really small town and the closest one to Big Bend National Park (BBNP), our real destination. Since BBNP is so remote, we decided to use Marathon as a home base and just take the Jeep to the park for day trips.
We will fill you in on that in the next post.