A Road Trip To Texas and a New Pop Up!

In early October, The Husband and I took a road trip to Texas to pick up a new pop up. I started writing this post as soon as we got home, got a little side tracked, and then my hard drive crashed with all my pictures from the trip. I typically back up my pictures but the ones from this trip managed to not be in the back up. 🙁  I never got back around to finishing this post but the other day I ran into a friend who was unaware we bought a new pop up since my last post was that we sold the pop up. I managed to find a couple super random pictures so I’m getting this out there to catch you up on what we’ve been up to the last eight months.

We started tossing around the idea of upgrading the pop up last summer and ended up finding one at a dealership in Texas that was discounted because it was the last of their 2018s. Since no one else in the country had them at this price, we knew we likely wouldn’t find another one so we hopped in the car and drove 13.5 hours to a town just south of Fort Worth. It was a long three days (roundtrip) but I love the open road and seeing new parts of the country for the first time. We left the kids at home and I’m glad we did. 27 hours of driving over three days makes for llloooonnnnngggg days.

We started the trip by stopping at Love’s for some coffee. I’m not a big fan of gas station coffee but I was quite impressed with Love’s. We then continued to stop at Love’s throughout the rest of the trip for more coffee. I’m pretty sure we’ve now been to every Love’s between Tucson and Fort Worth. I also love their cups so that may have slightly influenced my like of their coffee. 😉

Love’s Coffee

I’ve never been to Texas and it’s been 25 years since The Husband has so this trip was a treat. Driving through El Paso was the same as driving through anywhere else but once we hit I-20 it felt like what I imaged Texas would be like. Highways lined with oil rigs and refineries and pickup trucks as far as the eye can see.

Our Toyota was a fish out of water

Literally almost every single vehicle on the road was an American brand full-size pickup truck. We started counting the number of Toyotas because there were so few. Over the three days we counted less than 20. It was truly comical. It may not be this way all throughout Texas but it was from El Paso to Fort Worth. 

We stayed the night at the Abilene KOA and the staff were genuinely some of the kindest people we’ve met. This was one of our first interactions in Texas and they lived up to the motto of being the friendly state. Fun fact: the word Texas comes from the word tejas which means friendly. Since we did not yet have the pop up we stayed in a camping cabin. 

I’m not sure what I was thinking when I planned the food for this trip but I decided backpacking meals were the way to go. It wasn’t my best idea. Rehydrated food is not as good when you haven’t been hiking all day. Fortunately, we had a bottle of wine to help wash down dinner and the people watching was top notch. The cabin next to us was occupied by three families. There were four adults and six kids. If you’ve never been in a camping cabin they are tiny. A one room square with one small set of bunk beds and a fullish size bed that seems smaller than full. Trying to imagine 10 people sleeping in that cabin while watching the chaos that was ensuing had us laughing while we were swinging on the porch swing choking down our rehydrated chicken and rice. 

We got up early the next morning and finished the drive into Fort Worth. We had a 10am appointment at the dealership. All went mostly well but it still took a couple hours to get back on the road.

First picture with the new pop up!

A coworker of mine had told me that Texas has killer BBQ so we stopped and grabbed lunch at a local BBQ joint. Oh my word…he was right. That meal was to die for. I’d drive back to Texas in an instant for more BBQ. After lunch we were back on the road headed towards home. We had reservations at Monahans Sandhills State Park for the night but a crazy storm rolled into the area. Wind, hail, and heavy rain didn’t seem like an ideal first night in the camper so we grabbed a hotel room and ate another backpacking meal on the hotel room bed.

On the way home we continued to count the Toyotas and enjoyed the new scenery. We also noticed a few things about Texas that we thoroughly enjoyed. Aside from the fact that everyone drives a full-size American brand pickup truck, Texas has the smallest entrance and exit ramps know to man. Jumping off the highway is a thing. Traffic would backup and people would literally jump off the highway and drive through whatever was on the other side of the road. Since everyone is in trucks curbs, ditches, and uneven terrain are no big deal. We saw it numerous times and even did it once because why not. If there was an accident or traffic was bottlenecking, people would put on their hazards to alert everyone behind them. We’ve never seen this before but looked it up while driving and apparently it’s a thing. Last but not least, driving in Texas, at least on I-20, was probably the most enjoyable drive we’ve taken in terms of traffic flow. People in Texas know how to drive on the highway. They only use the left lane to pass and then get right back over. I’ve never seen anything like it in all my years of driving and miss Texas highways greatly when I’m stuck on I-10 behind someone going under the speed limit in the left lane.

All-in-all, it was a good trip. Long but enjoyable. We’ve camped in the pop up a bunch since October and are starting to get the hang of it. I’ll get a post up soon with more details on the new pop up and our thoughts eight months in.

Fall Break in Sedona

When I started this blog I wanted to give a voice to the less popular national parks and to write about family friendly activities. It’s easy to find information on the most popular parks but that’s not always the case for the smaller parks. I kept running into this issue when planning and decided to do my part to build out the content. What I did not expect is the joy I would get in looking back and reading about our trips. As time goes on memories fade. I am so glad I decided to start this blog to capture some of our memories in written form. Now, my blog is part for the world and part for me. This post, however, is all for me because I want to remember the last several days forever. (I wrote this post mid-October and never got around to hitting post. I’m not changing anything because I like the way it was written.) Read more

A Short Stay in Telluride, Colorado

The last stop on our summer road trip was Telluride, Colorado. The plan was to spend a few days mountain biking and then head home. Unfortunately, mother nature had other plans. It rained the entire first day we were there and rain was predicted to continue through the weekend. We decided to cut the trip short and head home. Read more

Four-wheeling in Ouray, Colorado

Ouray, Colorado is know as the “Jeeping Capital of the World” and for good reason. The Husband’s and my favorite part of our trip was four-wheeling near Ouray. Our kids didn’t love it at first but it grew on them. Little Miss enjoyed it more when we started to get into the more technical sections. Little Mister started to enjoy it once I traded him seats and let him sit up front. Read more

Ouray, Colorado – The Switzerland of America

I am in love with Ouray, Colorado, affectionally known as the Switzerland of America. The only thing it doesn’t have is mountain bike trails. It’s probably best that way because if it did we might have to move. We spent three glorious days in Ouray and it’s exactly what we needed. We had fun in Durango (which was our first stop on our summer road trip) but our campground was too noisy and crowded so we didn’t get to enjoy the peace that should come with camping. We have come to realize that we are campground people; not so much RV park people. Fortunately, our next stop was Ouray where we got the peace and quiet we were looking for. Read more

Family Fun in Durango, Colorado

We just returned from our eighth summer road trip. It’s crazy how fast the years fly by. These road trips are a must for our family and we make sacrifices all year long to make sure they happen. We have seen so many incredible places and the time we spend together is priceless. I’m always sad when it’s over but excited to start planning for next summer. This summer we stayed a little closer to home (I’m still recovering from driving to Montana last summer ) and visited Southwest Colorado. The beauty in this part of the country is just incredible. I felt like we were in a painting for the majority of our trip. Read more

Garwood Loop Trail – Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park is practically in my backyard. And by practically I mean about 10 minutes from my backyard. I love hearing stories about how the park came to be and about the homesteaders that originally occupied the land. Can you imagine owning 480 acres with a house smack dab in the middle of what is now the national park? That would be an absolute dream. That’s no longer possible for anyone, but one day that was someone’s life. Read more

Great Basin National Park

Great Basin National Park in Eastern Nevada is one of the least visited national parks in the system. Several of my favorite travel bloggers have been to Great Basin and every one has said it is a hidden gem. We needed a place to spend a few days on our way home from Glacier National Park so we chose Great Basin. Read more

Route of the Hiawatha Mountain Bike Trail

I am crazy excited to write this post. Mostly because I had so much fun on this ride and want to relive every second of it. Every.Single.Second. Read more

Glacier National Park

Summer is here and we just completed another road trip through this incredible country we call home. This summer we drove a little farther than normal – from Southern Arizona all the way to Northern Montana. It was a looonnnggg drive and the highways through Nevada and much of Idaho are crazy straight. A drive I definitely wouldn’t want to do alone. We learned a lot and had a lot of firsts. First time driving for three days in a row. (It was painfully long.) First time camping for two weeks straight. First time living out of a cooler for two weeks. (We didn’t realize we’d need an ice budget.) Once I finish recapping the trip I’ll write up our lessons learned. Read more