FEB 26, Tuesday, Wheel alignment on trailer and onwards north to Big Bend, TexasWe left at 9 AM after saying our goodbyes to everyone; even Kim and Tim showed up which was very nice. On the way out, we stopped at Al and Debbie and Gigi & Laurent to say our goodbyes. Hard to leave good friends! We drove to CAMCO Wheel & Axles and had the rear axle recamper for $52. We went for breakfast while they were doing that and after paying, an hour later, we left and headed West and North-West on Hwy 83. We stopped along the way for lunch and met another Rv’er heading to Arizona from the Valley. We stopped in Laredo at the Flying J for fuel at $3.99, off I-35. We turned off I-35 a while later and headed North on Hwy 83. In Carrizo Springs, we turned onto 277 and made our stop here for the night at BRUSH COUNTRY RV Park for $25/night. We arrived around 5PM. We got a call from Donna and Val called her back. Time to relax and enjoy the rest of the sunshine. It is a balmy 70*F and sunny. This park has nothing fancy to offer more than a rest place for all the oil workers. As we neared the town we could lots of active oil well. It has created a booming era for this place and the economy is appears to be strong. It was quite noisy from the highway traffic but the price was right.
We travelled 425 KM (261 miles) in 5.5 hrs.N 28* 31.672’
W 099* 52.424’
ALT: 647 feet
We left around 9 AM, drove through Carrizo Springs, a small community, and headed to Eagle Pass. This was another medium size border town and a major thorough fare to northern Mexico. We continued on Hwy 277 to Del Rio; we had a head wind all the way which was quite strong. From here, we took Hwy 90 west. Most of the way was flat desert country with very little to see or look at. We stopped in Landry for lunch and to look around. We stopped here back on ’05 or ’06 so we didn’t do any significant visiting. We drove on and slowly climbed to over 4000 feet and the temperature was only 58* F and sunny, a big difference from the Valley. We stopped in Sanderson where I took on fuel @ $4.19 and topped up again in Marathon at $4.59 (ouch!). Here we turned south on Hwy 385 to FM 2627, down 6 miles to STILLWELL RV PARK and MUSEUM. We paid $27 for full hook-up including internet. It was not as impressive as I was led to believe from the write-ups but we are here and enjoying it. It is a quaint place but I would NOT return. We have full hook-up and internet for $27/night. This used to be a working ranch owned by “Hallie Crawford Stillwell” and her husband back in 1880. She was a tough old lady who made her way in life through her own stubbornness and stamina; she was a teacher, a writer and a justice of the peace to name a few job of hers. We are at the Northern entrance to the Park. We went for a walk and looked around. Dinner, read a book then to bed.
We drove 316 miles in 6 hrs @ 53 MPHN 29* 38.597’
W 103* 04
ALT: 2464 feet
Sunny and cold in the morning. Before leaving, we found two geocaches here and two more on the road back to 385. Good way to start a trip! We headed south on 385 and stopped at the Park entrance to buy a seven day pass then continued on to miles 29 where we stopped at the Park Info Centre the PANTHER JUNCTION and got more information on what to see and do. We drove on south- east to Rio Grande Village Campground and found site 88 and set up. We have no hook-ups except our generator and own water. After a glass of wine, we drove to the store at the road junction and got more info, bought a T-Shirt each as souvenirs and found out they have internet here. We drove down to the end of this section where we found the trail to the hot springs. We also saw a boat launching pad to the Rio Grande River and while there, saw a Mexican crossing the river on horseback. The river is quite shallow in these parts. From here, we went on to the “BOQUILLAS CANYON” overlook. The scenery is absolutely FANTASTIC! It is so nice to be back amongst mountains again. The desert is full of cactus, ocotillos, Yucca plants and many more. This is also where we saw all these little trinquets, walking sticks and rocks for sale and all made by Mexican. What they do is come across the river, lay out their wares with prices on them and you, as a tourist buy these on an honor system. You see, they are NOT allowed to do this nor are we to buy them but it is very common and everyone does it. (SEE PICTURES IN PICASA LINK). We did buy two little items; a scorpion and a road runner, very pretty and well done. We could also see the village of BOQUILLAS DEL CARMEN, Mexico across the river. It was surreal.
We drove back to the main road and went to the turn off to the Hot Springs. It was a gravel road and at one point, the road split and became extremely narrow. We arrived at a parking area and had to hike for half a mile to the spring. There were already a few people there soaking in. We looked around and took some pictures (with their permissions) then came back. We also saw some petroglyphs and some old buildings which used to be a store, office and hotel/motel back in the 30’s and 40’s. Amazing how history is so abundant in these parts. It was time to come home, relax with a glass of wine and think about how we saw on this first day. I BBQ’ed sausages for dinner and we had that with mash potatoes. The generator is going so that I can write this. We are here for 5 or more days! Lots of hiking here but dogs are not allowed on the trails unfortunately so Tucker will have to spend some time alone in the Trailer. Speed limit in the Park is 45 MPH and strictly enforced.
We drove 55 miles in one hour and 20 minutes @ an average 42 MPH (Speed limit in the Park is 45 MPH)
N 29* 10.811’
W 112* 57.307”
Alt: 1873 ft