But first, the challenge and beauty of the Texas Hill Country west and north of San Antonio. We chose to take the US Routes (on this first leg, that’s Route 183) in order to avoid the windings and ups and downs of Colorado’s I-25 (not to mention the cities) and getting anywhere near Mexico (hubby doesn’t feel safe near the border).
We figured about three or four hours of driving a day, but various cross winds cut that journey time back a bit as we went along. But of course we began with great goals and great optimism.
First Night Out at Lake Buchanan
After weighing the trailer at the local CAT scale in Mathis (just under the limit for Taco, our Toyota truck, to handle), we headed north, got through San Antonio (people drive way too fast, we discovered) and headed north-west to Burnet, Texas, on Lake Buchanan, where our first stop, Big Chief RV Resort, awaited.
Lesson learned: Nine miles is a long way off the highway when it’s getting close to sunset and the road is winding and hilly (and you are hauling a 28ft travel trailer with a Tacoma). Hubby subsequently chose parks that were closer to the main drag.
Beautiful setting, though. For folks who live in Texas, Big Chief, and Lake Buchanan in general, are highly recommended for a weekend trip. We were a little sorry to only be there for one night.
Ranchland View in North Texas
Next day, on June 9, we had Mineral Wells (off US281) as our target, but hubby (expert RV park picker, as it turned out), didn’t see anything he liked near the town, and God forbid we should get too close to the urban sprawl of Fort Worth (city traffic and RVs don’t mix that well—city folk don’t give us space and our visibility is limited).
So, we ended up in little Santo, Texas and stayed for two nights at Coffee Creek RV Resort. So cute! Relatively small, open RV park bordered by an active horse and cattle ranch. I ended up taking pictures of livestock just over the fence from our site. Very bucolic setting, indeed.
WiFi sucked because we were in a little bowl with hills all around, but everything else worked fine. I was busy trying to figure out how to maintain some work productivity on this trip, but working in the truck on the road turned out to be a nonstarter: I tend to a bit of car sickness if I don’t look out the window, and hubby needed my attention most of the time to help with navigation (and no, you can’t just trust Siri to tell you where to go out in the sticks). Besides, we are old-fashioned when it comes to travel, and kept a hardcopy atlas with us at all times.
The Hill Country was definitely a challenge for hauling the trailer with Taco; he pulled well, but focused driver control was necessary to negotiate winding and hilly US Routes with cross winds at various places. And we had to learn to trust Taco over time, also. First time out with this truck and trailer combination, and for a very long way, indeed.
One thing we found very cool is that hubby and I live well together in a small space. Something about our connection (even with occasional communication glitches) keeps us very comfortable in close quarters. And remember, the whole country is right outside the door; humans weren’t made to stay inside; so get out there (without your phone!) and see what’s in your own backyard (or front yard/porch).
Next time: Onward to our last Texas stop and then, O…Oklahoma!