Moab, Utah Sibling RV Road Trip – 2015

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“For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations.” –Psalms 100:5

 

 

We purchased our new 2015 Wildcat 295RSX 5th in March of this year, and this was our third trip with it.   The first trip was Spring break to Isle of DuBois, Lake Roberts with Sandi, daughter, Luke and Lily, grandchildren.  The second trip was early June to Lake Murray in Ardmore, Oklahoma with Shahn, son and Addison, granddaughter.

This “sibling” road trip began with exchange of emails in February 2015 between sister, Cathy, brother, Chris and brother, Carl.  Carl was planning and shopping to purchase a 5th wheel, toy hauler.  Cathy and her husband had a toy hauler (bumper pull) and Chris and his wife had just purchased a toy hauler (bumper pull), both couples have motorcycles.  They talked about riding their motorcycles for leisure rides while on this trip.

Our plan was to meet in Palo Duro Canyon State Park on June 18, 2015 all traveling from different areas of Texas.  Reservations were being made a few months out for our over-night camping during this road trip and all were committed, except Carl was questionable.  Carl ended up not purchasing an RV and did not join us on this trip.

Thackerville, Oklahoma – Winstar World Casino-Campgrounds, 777 Casino Ave. (1-Night’s Stay)DSCN1171

Drove 85 miles to Winstar RV park for a one-night’s stay.  There were weather reports of bad storms coming through Dallas which Houston and the Beaumont area were already experiencing heavy rains and flooding.  We wanted to get on the road, hoping to possibly miss it in the Dallas area.  Winstar has a nice RV campground, golf course in the area, swimming pool, nice amenities.

Chillicothe, Texas – Valley Pecans, 1001 US Highway 287 (Tourist Stop)

b_DSCN1405We drove through the little town of Chillicothe, Texas approximately 160 miles after leaving Thackerville and stopped at Valley Pecans.  It was really the only thing happening in this little town, population 800.  We ate lunch in their deli which was really good.  Oh and their yummy retail store full of goodies, nutty goodies!  Bill purchased the peanut brittle, but the real winner was the Pecan Crunch.  We enjoyed it so much that 10-days later we stopped back by on our way home and purchased another pound of it.  If you are ever around this little town, got to stop and browse.  You can order online too, take a look at their website.  www.valleypecans.com

Canyon, Texas – Palo Duro Canyon State Park, 11450 State Highway Park Road 5 (3-Night’s Stay)

Drove 330 miles from Winstar to Palo Duro Canyon State Park.  We arrived a few days earlier than my siblings.  They experienced heavy rain fall during their travels to meet up with us and were stressed by the time they arrived.  Bill and I prepared dinner for the group since we had arrived a few days earlier, already set-up and rested from the drive.  We grilled chicken and sausage, boiled potatoes and enjoyed our first dinner on this trip together, eating outside with mountains as the backdrop.

We toured the area by vehicles, walked trails, and thoroughly enjoyed our stay.  The roads are winding and narrow, utilizing your exhaust break.

Highly recommend you visit this beautiful park located in the Texas Panhandle in the city of Amarillo.   It’s the second-largest canyon in the United States.   While staying at the park, be sure and get your tickets to the popular, sometimes sold-out, Texas-theme performance at the Pioneer Amphitheatre.  If purchasing tickets that include the dinner, dinner begins being served at 6 pm, you can purchase tickets to the show only and the show begins at 8:30 pm, lasting a few hours.  Check out their website for more information:  http://www.texas-show.com

Prewitt, New Mexico – Bluewater Lake State Park, 30 Bluewater State Park Road (1-Night’s Stay)

Drove 402 miles from Palo Duro Canyons to Blue water Lake State Park.  We lost Chris and Kathie for the remainder of our road trip.  It was their first trip pulling his toy hauler with his older model truck and the truck began running hot with transmission problems.  When we drove through Albuquerque, NM, they decided to discontinue the road trip, stay over-night in a hotel to get his truck checked out.  He ended up having to stay 3-4 days and after getting a new transmission.  Chris paid a delivery service to haul his trailer back to their home in Kountz, TX, overall the trip costing him over $5,000.  He still calls this his road trip from hell.

Cathy, Dean, Bill and I continued on with our trip.  We loved this lake where we saw campers camping on the beach—banks of the lake, although it is dry-camping only (no sewer, electrical or water); it was something we could see ourselves doing on a future visit to this lake.  The next morning, Bill woke up at approximately 6 am, waking me up with surprise in seeing all of the free-roaming horses, cattle and deer all around our campsites.  It was cool to see!

Moab, Utah – Moab Valley RV Resort, 1773 N. Hwy. 191 (3-Night’s Stay)

Drove 310 miles from Bluewater Lake State Park to Moab Valley RV Resort & Campground.   This park fills up with reservations made up to several months in advance.  It is a very nice, clean park with swimming pool, beautiful views and the staff are wonderful.  It was quite hot, so we planned our touring by 8:00 am, by 12 noon it was miserably hot in late June.

Bill and I had driven through the city of Moab in August 2014, returning home to Texas from purchasing our new 2015 GMC Sierra truck in Boise, Idaho. After convincing Bill to briefly make a stop by the Visitor’s Center for brochures, I knew that I wanted to return to Moab.   One brochure was a review of the Mighty 5, the most visited national parks:  Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park.  We had visited Bryce and Zion National Park several years earlier by flying into Las Vegas, Nevada renting a car and taking a road trip staying in hotels. IMG_8350

We thoroughly enjoyed Bryce and Zion. The brochure listed possible itineraries with highlights of things to do, how many days it may take to see everything, etc.  You can find the information online at visitutah.com.

Our first night in Moab we went out to eat at Sunset Grill with a scenic view of the town from a mountain-top.   It was originally the private home of Charles A. Steen, geologist who discovered uranium in 1949 making millions.  There are photos all over the walls with literature and history of the site where this restaurant sits.  Beautiful views with outdoor tables as well as seating indoors.

 

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View from Sunset Grill

Seniors who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, age 62 or over can purchase a lifetime America the Beautiful pass for $10.00.  At some facilities this pass also provides a 50 percent discount on some expanded amenity fees charged for things like camping, swimming, boat launch, etc.

We toured the Arches National Park, purchasing our pass at the entrance.  Cathy and Dean on their motorcycle, us in our pick-up truck.  On some of the tour, Bill sat in the bed of the truck taking photos and videos of Cathy and Dean following us on their bike.  The second day we toured the Canyonlands National Park.  We walked around the quaint, cute town which has many sport activities, river rafting, ATV rentals, balloon rides, ziplines, all kind of fun things to do.

Pagosa Springs, Colorado – Mountain Landing RV, 345 Piedra Road, Pagosa Springs (2-Night’s Stay)

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Echo Lake

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Pagosa Springs – Visitor Center Fishing

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Yummy Grilled Trout

Drove 219 miles from Moab to Pagosa Springs.  This park is clean, close to town, offers room rentals, but our camp sites were not very impressive, no shade. There were no lake or river views, not many amenities.  It is close to the snow skiing area, if visiting during the winter months.

The fishing was good and fun.  We went fishing the afternoon we arrived and again early the next morning.  We drove to Echo Lake which was recommended as a great fishing spot.  People were fishing in kayaks and we fished off the banks.  Bill caught three nice trout.

The visitor’s center representative told us about a secluded fishing area outside of town.  We drove to where we thought they had given directions off County Road 335, and found nothing but residential areas with postings “no public access” to the river; ending up on dead-end streets, narrow and winding, dirt roads.  Although, we saw pretty country-side, it was frustrating not being able to locate the “great” fishing area open to the public.  Finally after driving around a couple of hours without finding the secluded area described, we drove back to town and fished the San Juan River, next to the visitor center. Bill again was the only one in our group catching fish, one catch he claims as is the biggest trout he ever caught.

We went back to our campsite and grilled up the trout for dinner.  It was great eating!

The last day in Pagosa Springs we parted ways with Cathy and Dean their heading home towards Cloudcroft, NM, Bill and I our heading home towards Amarillo.

Amarillo, Texas – Oasis RV Resort, 2715 Arnot Road (Return Trip Home, 1-Night’s Stay)

Drove approximately 420 miles to Amarillo for our first night’s stay on our return trip home.  Oasis is a nice park with nice amenities, building on the Cadillac Ranch theme by having a nose-first buried bus at their entrance.

Cadillac Ranch is close to this campground and is a roadside tourist attraction, although not really a ranch but a public art installation and sculpture.  It was created in 1974 by an art group and is located just west of Amarillo, off I-40, Exit 60 (old Route 66).   The artwork consists of a number of painted Cadillacs, half-buried nose-first in the ground.  This is a site to visit if traveling in the area, if for nothing else to take photos or you can bring your own can of spray paint, adding your own touch of art or graffiti on the cars which is encouraged.

We left Amarillo the next morning, making the 378 mile drive, arriving home in Allen, Texas.

If you want to plan a road trip, how about visiting all the National Parks in the United States?   There are people who have already done all the work in planning out the road trip.  Randal Olsen’s link is below and you may find it helpful. 

Check out this blog: 

http://www.randalolson.com/2016/07/30/the-optimal-u-s-national-parks-centennial-road-trip/

The site below will create the optimal shortest route for up to 20 stops for free (20+ stops they charge a nominal fee):    www.routeXL.com

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