Follow along with Sharon and Dwight as we travel 99 days across America in our RV.
Easy day. We spent the morning wandering around The Jack Sisemore RV Museum. I have always loved looking at old RV’s and it looks like Sharon is falling in love with them too!! They had some great examples of all different types; from class A’s to some early small tow behind trailers.
The early afternoon was spent at the The Panhandle Plains Historical Museum at West Texas A&M. The Museum is so packed with local history that dates from the prehistoric time all the way to present day. They did not miss a time period or subject matter!!! We have found so many of these types of smaller museums throughout Texas. The State has incredibly rich history.
On the way home from our day out…we needed to fill up the Colorado with gas…check out the Texas size gas prices !!! LOL.
Dinner was not at The Big Texan but at the great Mexican spot we found a few days ago, Abuelo’s
A big Texas Good Morning to all of our friends. We spent most of the day hiking in Palo Duo Canyon. It is the second biggest canyon in the US…bet you can figure out the biggest. I’ll give you a hint…it is Grand in size !! This guy is full of jokes.
Any hoo, Palo Duro is full of spectacular views and vistas. We had such a good time hiking and experiencing the beauty of the Canyon and there is so much history to learn about. One of the events that really helped to shape the area is that the last battle between local Indian Tribes and the US Calvary took place here in 1875. This event essentially ended the fighting and wars that had been waged on the Indians ever since the Western Expansion many years earlier. Learning all of the history was enlightening and saddening all at the same time.
As time went on, the development of the largest cattle ranch (and the first) in the Texas Panhandle was created in Palo Duro Canyon by the man named Charles Goodnight. I can see why everyone throughout history has loved this place…it’s magical.
We finished off the day with a ribeye at The Big Texan Steak House. It’s kinda touristy, but you have to go there while in Amarillo. It’s been open since 1960 and is world famous. They have a 72oz steak and if you eat it and all of the sides within an hour, you eat free. We are wimps and had much smaller ribeyes.
We both thought it would be kinda cheap since it was a definitely a tourist spot, but were amazed when we dug in and tasted the great flavors. Both of us felt the ribeyes were some of the best steaks we have had. We may go there again before we leave the area.
What a great day!! After Sharon was done day trading at 8am….. we headed west to find as much of Old Rt 66 as we could find. The entire route is hit and miss so that adds to the adventure. Sometimes you are on the old route and sometimes you have to be on I-40…..and sometimes you’re not sure where you are!
The first town we went in search for was Wildorado. Nothing much left here but wild memories of what once was. The town was famous for turn of the century robberies, gun slinging and everything that would scare most people. Papers back East would report on the goings on in the town. We didn’t see anything left other than a few houses.
As we made our way to the second stop of the day, Vega, TX we drove thru some wide open spaces…OMG this place is so big, we really like it. Cattle ranches and large farms and wind turbines fill the landscape. We had a great time. When we got to Vega we found the Milburn-Price Cultural Museum. Gene Conn is the caretaker and what a wealth of information. The things we learned one on one with him were amazing. The local history “stored” in this place and his mind is incredible. The biggest takeaway was the discussion we had about the Dust Bowl Days. We came way with a wealth of information and education and are so grateful for our time there. A bit of trivia is the video below.
From Vega we traveled further west through the farmland to Adrian Texas. On a recommendation from Gene we had lunch at the Midpoint Cafe. Brenda the owner and Kathy her “right hand” are such gracious ladies. We had such a great time with them. Brenda was short one person today so I jumped in and helped clean tables. I love that stuff!! We ordered two cheese burgers and took a piece of blueberry cobbler to go (all of her pies are homemade). The burgers were the ones that you have to squeeze them into you mouth because they are so big. I had some green chilies with mine and wow, what great flavor. We won’t soon forget Brenda, Kathy and the Midpoint.
After lunch in Vega we headed for the New Mexico Border and the town of Glenrio to see what is termed a ghost town in most Rt 66 books. A few ramshackle buildings survive but not much else. In the mid 70’s when I-40 came thru and bypassed it….. it pretty much sent the town into decline.
On our way back to Amarillo we passed a HUGE cattle feedlot used to get cows fattened and ready for market. There were thousands of them on site and if you listen to the video below Sharon is a hoot. She thought she was video-ing the feedlot but accidentally did not turn on the video until she brought her phone back into the car and set it on her lap (notice the video of her jeans……No video but great audio!!!!!!!
After some errands (washing truck, Home Depot and grocery store run) it was a simple dinner back at the RV with a great sunset. Long and fun day for sure.
The Ghost Town of Glenrio TX. Abandoned in the mid 70’s after I-40 came in and bypassed the town.
Several abandoned sections of Old Route 66
Please listen to this video. It is really just audio, but incredibly funny!! We were passing a feed yard of Steers (1000’s of them) and Sharon thought she was videoing but somehow didn’t start the video until after we had passed the yard and the camera was in her lap and she was opening up the windows in the car to get rid of the smell…… the ensuing audio is priceless !!
Good Morning Crew!! We got up early today because we had to get the RV over to the repair shop to have some new shocks put on. Before we left St Augustine I had installed new shocks, but after driving for a few days quickly realized they were not what we needed. The softer shocks may have contributed to our hitch bending slightly. I’m sure some of you may have noticed Sharon and I driving separately for a few days, that’s why. But soon we will be back together :)). We have an appointment to have a new hitch installed in Las Vegas. By the way, if you need work done in Amarillo, I highly recommend De Volada Truck Repair. Outstanding Shop.
Okay, enough of that. After dropping the RV off we headed east on I-40 towards McLean, TX. Cool little town along Old Rt 66. I visited the town many years ago but Sharon had never been there. Two very cool museums there; the McLean Historical Society and the Barbed Wire Museum. Both are well worth your time. The amount of history housed in both is mind blowing. Ms. Jenny at the Historical Society is what I may call “The Curator”. She takes so much pride in making sure all is perfect for visitors and keeps up with documenting the “generations” of local history. The Barbed Wire Museum is again, so full of history and all that went into frontier life and the settling of the Western US. There are hundreds of wire styles and tools from all types of pioneer ranching and farming life.
On our way to McLean we had a very nice drive along I-40 checking out the vastness of the Texas Countryside. While in McLean we had lunch at the Chuck Wagon. The burgers were some of the best I’ve had. We met Pam and the Staff and had fun joking around with them. By the way, did you know cheese comes on cheeseburgers? That’s for you Pam if you’re reading this!!
Also while in McLean I found a old abandoned garage with a 1989 Firebird inside. It was all covered in dust and was the same one Savannah (my daughter) and I saw many years earlier. This time with much more dirt on it.
On our drive back to Amarillo we picked up some of the Old Rt 66 (these days it’s tuff to find) and stopped by a few of the “big balls of string” along the way. The leaning tower, bug ranch and some cool old buildings. One last stop along the way home, was a Texas Safety Stop (Texas rest areas). It had the most amazing view of the landscape and ton of history to read about inside. Sharon and I both really like this State, it resonates with us both.
We left Abilene bright and early today right about 7:30 am. We had just under 300 miles to cover; which for an RV and a couple of short stops along the way takes about 6-7 hours. I have to say, the roads in Central TX are excellent and the scenery is epic. The vast open spaces will put you in awe and the landscape around every turn does not disappoint. That along with the one of my favorite things; windmills. There are miles of wind farms in this area. They sit in the same fields as oil wells; which proves one of my oldest thoughts. Both new and old technology, dinosaurs and green-tech can co-exist and both have a place in our world. Texas in my opinion seems to do a lot of things right. Also on the way to Amarillo we saw some of the longest freight trains know to exist. Needless to say, JB Hunt intermodal is doing just fine. After tagging at the Cadillac Ranch it was time for some Mexican!! Sharon found this awesome place, Abuelo’s. Amazing food and cool atmosphere. If you find yourself in Amarillo, do yourself a favor and go and grab some dinner.
Today was a very cool travel day. We woke to an awesome Texas sunrise and coffee. We said good bye to our friend Lola, you remember her from the Bankersmith video last night (her mom and dad had gone to breakfast). We filled up with gas (ouch) and did about 200 miles through the Texas Hill Country. Wow, it’s all I can say. The landscape is amazing and I really like what I see. We passed some big ranches, wind farms and some cool little towns on our way to The Whistle Stop RV Park for the night. One of those towns was Mason, TX. We stopped and hung out downtown because of the cool street festival. Met some great people and garnered the same pride that we had already seen during our time in Texas. When we arrived at the Whistle Stop it reminded me of the movie “RV” with Robin Williams; I hope we don’t have the “poop pipe” problem that he had. Where is Archimedes when you need him !! Now you have to watch the movie, right?? A quick trip into Downtown Abilene for a few pics and a coffee before bedtime. The National Center For Children’s Illustrated Literature is located here. That is what the different characters are representing. They have some as street art.
Have you ever wondered about the statement when folks say…”it’s a state of mind”? Well I have to tell you, I now understand. We spent the morning traveling from San Antonio to our Harvest Host location near Fredericksburg, TX. The boondocking campsite was superb; in a field with a awesome view of the night sky. After we parked and set up we spent some time exploring the area in Downtown Fredericksburg (Home to Chester Nimitz). The area is chock full of wineries and cool shops. The area was settled by German immigrants….so Sharon was finally able to find a decent bratwurst (outside of Wisconsin). Then it was onto chatting with the animals (especially the steer) located at our Harvest Host camping spot. This part of Texas is full of spirit and very caring people. They are firm in their friendships, family and beliefs. Bankersmith and Luckenbach are more than physical places, they are “that state of mind”. We felt very at home with the places we visited and the people we met. Dinner was was had with fast friends (Gene and Jennifer from Austin) we met at the Harvest Host at Bankersmith Honkytonk. The steak was fantastic……and the bull”s balls were OK…. but the people we met and sang with were the absolute highlight. I would also be remiss if I did not mention further, Luckenbach. I can only imagine Waylon and Willy picking with friends. On a side note…What has struck me as we traveled throughout Texas, is that every time you see an American Flag, you see a Texas Flag. I mentioned this to many of the folks we met and hung out with and they all talked about the the pride they feel in their State. I was impressed and felt very included by them.
Dwight found a Hawaiian shirt store……he bought 3!!
Sharon Finally found good bratwurst outside of Wisconsin!!!
The Wine Garage…..wines and cool cars……
Luchenbach…..a state of mind…
Bankersmith TX….. a true Texas Honkytonk…..good food, drink, music and most importantly…good friends!!!
It is finally time for bed!!! Off to our humble abode and the sounds of nothingness under The West Texas Sky.
We spent the morning at Natural Bridge Caverns, just north of San Antonio. The caverns were discovered in 1960 by four college students and are of an unknow age. By the information at hand experts believe the limestone openings and caves have been forming for hundreds of thousands of years. Each of the formations generally grow at approximately 1 cm per one hundred years. We have all been other caverns, but these are phenomenal to see. After the caves we spent an hour on Twisted Trails. Twisted Trails is a 3 story complete obstacle course that you are harnessed into. It allows you to test your balance and to work outside of your comfort zone while walking over many types of cable and suspension bridges, balance beams of all sorts and zip lines. Finally dinner at a cool local joint called Josephine Steak and Whisky. The place is nestled under a section of active interstate.
We spent the day biking north on the Riverwalk from our RV Park. The Alamo and Mission Concepcion were on our list today. There is so much history to the Alamo. The real name is Mission San Antonio de Valero. We all know about the siege and battle that took place; but the original purpose, like all of the other Missions was to help spread Spain’s influence and religion in North America. Mission Concepcion is the best preserved of all of the Missions in San Antonio. What you see in the pictures and videos is all original, right down to the paint on the walls. After the Alamo and before heading to Mission Concepcion we had lunch on the River at Cafe Ole…very tasty !!
Pictures of the Riverwalk
The Alamo. No pics inside due to it being a designated Shrine to those that served and died here.
Sharon and I spent the day on out Rad Bikes riding down the San Antonio River Walk. It is a 15 mile long pedestrian bike and walking path that cuts north and south through the City. Our RV Park is right at an access point for the trail so it was easy for us to hop right on. We traveled south along the trail today and visited many of the Spanish Missions that were built in the early to mid 1700’s. We learned a bunch about the culture of the time and the relationships the Spanish and the Indians developed. And, in case your wondering; we biked approximately 15 miles today round trip. Tomorrow will be more of the same. Heading north to the Alamo. Before dinner of meatloaf and potato asked we took a dip in the pool; very refreshing after being on the bikes all day.
Mission San Jose; Considered the Queen of the Missions
General Riverwalk Pics
Mission San Juan