In 2018 we took a road trip to Texas to purchase a new pop up. We just got back from another road trip to Texas except this time we came back with a new travel trailer! I’m not sure what it is about Texas but they always seem to be the only state to have what we want. I won’t lie, when I saw a dealership in Texas had the exact model we wanted and we had a free weekend, I got really giddy. A reason to take a road trip?! Yes, please. I immediately got to planning and a week later we were headed to Texas.
The dealership was in Amarillo, Texas so we had a 10.5 hour drive. There were a couple different ways we could go and after watching a video Through My Lens posted about a trip he took along Route 66, I knew exactly where our first stop would be. Tucumcari, New Mexico. Tucumcari is a small town on Route 66 and an hour and a half from Amarillo. (I’m sure we’ve all seen the movie Cars and know that Route 66 was hurt greatly when I-40 was constructed.) I’ve not spent much time on Route 66 but was really excited to learn the history of the town and find that some of the original motels are still in operation. We snagged a reservation at the Blue Swallow Motel and could not have been happier.
The Blue Swallow is one of the few remaining motor courts on Route 66. All the rooms have a garage to park your vehicle, there are chairs outside each room, bikes to use to ride around, and a common space complete with a washer and dryer. This is a hotel of my dreams. Why are these no longer a thing?
It was literally freezing outside when the sun set but I really wanted to sit in the chairs for a few minutes and take in the experience. I thought it would be good to document the moment but failed at taking the picture. Me and technology don’t always get along. My camera was upside down so you can see what it was resting on and I somehow didn’t realize I was taking the picture because I’m still looking at my watching trying to tell it to take the picture. Welcome to life with Caroline.
The rooms have rotary phones! Holy moly, dialing long distance takes FOREVER. Halfway through dialing I was struggling to remember the rest of the number. I dialed zero for an outside line and then dialed the number but I never could get the call to go through. That was a bummer but it was still fun to relive my childhood.
On our way out of town we spent some time driving around taking in the sites. Exploring new places is one of my absolute favorite things to do.
We had planned to stop at Cadillac Ranch on our way into Amarillo and even purchased a couple cans of spray paint. We spent too much time on Route 66 so we only got to see if from the highway. We had an appointment at the dealership and didn’t want to be late.
The next stop was the dealership to pick up our new travel trailer! I love the pop up and am still a little torn about moving on. I am a pretty sentimental person so I’m probably stuck on all the memories we created with the kids in the pop ups. The kids are older, one is technically an adult now, and are not as interested in exploring the world with mom and dad anymore. *tear* So I guess the travel trailer is an upgrade and a down grade.
Meet our new Winnebago Micro Minnie! I’ve never been one to name vehicles but I think we’re going with Winnie. Super original, I know.
Once we pulled out of the dealership we headed to Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Getting a reservation on a holiday weekend was a little tough but persistence paid off (or obsession)! We didn’t have much time to explore the park but it was nice being in a peaceful setting versus a parking lot off the highway.
The sites were really nice and would be gorgeous in the spring or fall when the trees are full of leaves.
One thing we forgot to bring to Texas was a level. We installed level bubbles on our pop up so we do not normally carry a level. That was definitely an oversight. Our campsite was not level, it wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t perfect, but we made do. We tried using the level on my phone but I don’t think that’s meant to level a camper. That or we don’t know what we’re doing. Front to back seemed ok but left to right was definitely off. It made sleeping a little funky but we survived. First order of business with the new trailer is to install the leveling bubbles!
The next morning we woke up to a temperature of 18 degree. What. The. Heck. These desert rats are not cut out for this. We were so thankful to be in a hard sided trailer versus the pop up in this moment so we could quickly hook up and leave.
Last time we were in Texas the highway was lined with oil fields. This time around it was lined with windmills and cows. I had no idea Texas is home to the beef capital of the world but I can see why.
Driving home we went a different way, partly because we wanted to see new areas we have not been, and because we wanted to stop in Roswell, New Mexico. I had dreams of buying alien themed souvenirs for everyone we know. Unfortunately for us and possibly fortunately for everyone who didn’t end up with aliens they didn’t want, we had a navigation issue and ended up driving around the town. And by we I mean the navigator (me) was too busy staring out the window to realize the GPS was not set correctly. We did find a Welcome to Roswell sign on the way out of town so this is our only evidence of our time there.
I’ll leave you with a few random pictures to close out this post. We’ve been to and driven by White Sands National Park before but have never seen it from this angle. Usually we are right in front of it and it’s hard to see. It was so neat to see how much white sand there really is!
And just like that, 1,400 miles later we are home with Winnie.