Friday, 31 January 2014

Junction TX to South Padre Island TX (416 Miles)

Well, that was one long haul today! We were originally headed for Corpus Christi and Mustang Island State Park. That would have been about 210 miles away from South Llano State Park where we were last night. However, as we all know, “plans” can change. Whilst sitting at McDonald’s in Pleasanton, TX, we decide to continue on to South Padre Island, adding another 204 miles to our trip today but we think it was the right decision. Besides, we can hear the surf pounding on the other side of this small spit of an island…..

Anyway, back to the drive. We left the park about 9:00 am this morning (Friday).That was a super nice state park at South Llano River. We really enjoyed our very brief stay there. They had the most beautiful bathrooms that I think we have seen on this trip. Although it was pricey for a state run park ($28 like I mentioned in the last post) we still really loved it. And what about those armadillos??!!! That was worth the price of admission in itself!!
 
Nice to see trees again!!

Grey skies about 50 miles north of San Antonio but warm!

We thought we might actually get rained on.....gasp!!
But we did not!!

Super great highway system but also super fast!!

 

 

 
 The drive was totally on interstate highways. First we went out on Hwy 10 and around San Antonio (wow, what a set of overpasses that was. Then onto Hwy 37 and then Hwy 77 into S. Padre. But talk about W-I-N-D!!! Again, like yesterday, wind the whole way and quite nasty at times. The long drive didn’t bother us it was the constant fighting the wind that was fatiguing.

Old church just before San Antonio....

Downtown San Antonio



 

Killing time.....yawn!!

Doug's turn to drive!!

Yes, finally some heat, facing into the sun through the windows!!
34.5 C (95 F)

Huge oil refinery

Coming down Hwy 77, before S. Padre Island

Now, there's a sign we haven't seen before!!
Look at the height of this bridge over to the island!!


 


 


 

 

 

Doug had to put our fancy, schmancy party lights out,
just like the big boys all around us!!

Nice pool area, a little cool tonight.
We'll see tomorrow after our bike ride!

One of the restaurants close by, Pier 19
 
Doug had originally researched a “county” park here, Isla Blanca Park. It has hundreds of RV sites and is right on the south tip of South Padre. The reviews weren't the absolute best but we thought we should check it out anyway.  Well, upon inspection, to not mince my words, it was a total dump. Just because you are beside the marina and ocean, doesn’t mean that you should let the sites and bathroom become in ghastly state. Instead, we opted for the KOA, right next door. We haven’t ever gone to a KOA before, in all our years of camping. This one looks pretty nice, huh? They have great facilities (ie bathrooms!) and we were made to feel welcome, even in Euri. Sometimes that is not always the way. Lots of these parks in popular areas just like the big rigs and not “pop-ups” like us. It is more expensive and we have committed to 2 nights here (at $46 per night, including incredibly slow internet…..) We can stay for one more night if we want. We will see. They have a Commons room, little store, the nice pool and are right on the ocean as well. Breakfast is on tomorrow in the commons room for $3 each. No oatmeal tomorrow for us big spenders!!

Did I mention that we could hear the surf pounding??!!

We are super stoked to get out tomorrow and ride the bikes and see the beach. We will definitely be reporting back to you all. Maybe a little sunburned, but we will give the full report tomorrow!!

Peace...

Thought for the Day:  They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night....Edgar Allan Poe

Carlsbad NM to Junction TX (334 Miles)

Late post from Thursday

If it’s Thursday, it must be TEXAS!!! Yes, we crossed the Texas State line at 9:45 am Thursday. Not sure why it seemed so exciting for us, but it was. We left Carlsbad at 9:10 am via Hwy 285 which is a 2 lane, good road and takes you past all kinds of oil rigs, pump jacks and oil field hauling trucks. I have never seen so many white pick-up trucks in my life. If you need a white pick-up truck, come to Texas, you will surely find one here!!

 

 



If you click on this picture, you can see
the huge line-up of trucks...



It was super windy and Doug tried to capture that on camera although it is hard. It darn near blew us off the road at times. But what was amazing was the dust that churned up.
 
 

 

Once we got to Fort Stockton, we turned onto Interstate 10. This is the very same highway that you take all across Arizona, New Mexico, etc. I believe it will take you all across the Southern US. It is a four lane divided highway and is very busy with trucks , cars & RV’s of every shape and form. The speed limit is 80 mph. Since we only travel at 60-65 mph, it seems like those big trucks and all the cars really go sailing past. Embarrassingly enough, we were passed by 4 Prius cars – hybrids, every one of them, even one in the rest area-YIKES!! Anyway, it was a great quality roadway for sure. At least down here, there was pleasant scenery to look at, unlike coming down the Hwy 285, but it was still super windy! One thing we did notice though is the number of dead deer and skunks on the highway. Not sure why so many skunks. As for the deer, well unfortunately for them, this is hunting territory. Guess they either have to learn to dodge a car or a bullet!!
 
 I know, another one like in the caverns!!
 
 
 
Beautiful highways
 
Pretty speedy!!
 
There were about 8-10 trucks like this all hauling what looked like pieces of a bridge structure. Super long with a “tag-along” rear axel and pilot cars in the front and rear.
Pretty cool for this girl from the transportation world!!
 
Doug had researched out a great park, just south of Junction TX, just off Interstate 10. We are about 100 miles north of San Antonio. The park itself is about 7 miles off the interstate. It is called South Llano River State Park. There are great sites, all with water and electric but no sewer. They are a little pricey at $20 per night plus $4 per person usage fee so that’s $28 altogether. Also, there is no cell coverage and certainly no internet. That is why this is posted a day late, as you may have noticed!!
 
 

 

 
Then, the greatest thing we have encountered, animal wise…..an armadillo!! We have never seen one before and we were super excited!! They are so cute! We watched him for quite a while. They are quite busy little fellows, burrowing in amongst the leaves and prickly shrubs. Were we ever entertained! Also, the cute little bunny, who sat still as stone, waiting for us to pass. There was a little fawn in one of the campsites when we arrived too. 
 

 

Don't look into the camera!!!

 

 



Cool little shack for watching those wild turkeys and other birds!! 

 

Road in park....

Cheers!!



 

Tip-toeing across our mat!!
 
We are leaving here Friday morning and continuing south to the Corpus Christy area and, hopefully, some much sought after warmth and sun. We aren’t sure where exactly we will stay. We will let you know when we know. Our goal is, hopefully, to find a nice spot where we can stay for a week. Doug has researched a few of the spots down there and some look really promising – here’s hoping!!
Again, don’t worry if we are off-line for a day. You know how we always try for the places with internet! Until then….talk to you when we are on the Gulf of Mexico!!
Peace…