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. 😉
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.
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.
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.