Over 1,700 miles in 5 days/4 days nights. Florida to Arizona with nights in New Orleans, Houston, Fort Stockton, TX and Deming, NM. Days with drives of 6-9 hours, which is alot for us pulling an RV since we like to stick to 3 hours. All on I-10. Long and boring, so why not capture pictures of the trip. Sit back and relax and enjoy the journey through our windshield and the roadside rest rooms!
Alabama came and went quickly! I-10 skirts the coast and has lot of bridges and a tunnel that goes under the Mobile River. We saw the USS Alabama battleship on the way in Mobile.
On to Mississippi, which was another quick jaunt. What a tease these two states were in time! Not alot in Mississippi except swampy areas.
And here we are in Louisiana. More swamps which led to alot of bridges over open water and swampy area. We hit New Orleans mid-afternoon on the first day but still encountered a good bit of traffic through downtown. Our first night on the journey was spent at Bayou Segnette State Park. A really nice alternative to the expensive private parks. Free laundry and spacious sites were unexpected but certainly welcomed.
Up next is Texas, and yes everything is bigger in Texas and they are not afraid to show it! You do not come to appreciate just how big Texas is until you try to drive across it on I-10 and the first mile marker is 880!! That is 880 miles to the NM border! I seriously thought we would NEVER find the other side of TX!!! The second night of our trip found us just outside of Houston, in Katy, TX. We stayed at the Katy Lake RV Park and found it to be really nice, well taken care of with a lovely lake with fountain in the middle of the park to create an oasis like atmosphere. We used our Passport America card here to receive half off the nightly rate. $24.50 for a nice FHU site with cable and free donuts and coffee in the morning. This is another great yearly membership, which pays for itself in only 2 to 3 nights and they have locations nationwide and are continuing to grow. We try to use this every time we are relocating to a new area to save on what we pay for sites. Check it out here. That night we had a lovely dinner with Tom and Melanie Golden of Tom Golden Travel and fellow full time RV'ers that we met at the Grand Design RV Rally in IN. We love catching up with them and look forward to seeing them down the road again, perhaps in Colorado in June.
Leaving the Houston area, we knew we were now in for some long, long days with more desolate looking landscapes. We were warned to fill up before we left the greater San Antonio area so we didn't get in a bind for diesel along the way. Once we left the New Braunfels/San Antonio area, the landscape really began to change. Gone were the trees and homes and large cities. Queue the rolling hills, wiry shrubs, sand and dirt fields, buttes, plateaus and wind farms.
We made it to Fort Stockton, TX, still a couple hours from New Mexico. We stayed our third night at Fort Stockton RV Park, which was the only thing on that exit. A cute little park with full hookups, a diner onsite and a quiet back in site on the outside of the park.
On day 4 we had breakfast at the little diner by the office and packed up and were on our way by 9am with another long day ahead of us. New Mexico was our target for today. Today's drive in Texas was ever more desolate than yesterday but it got interesting as we got close to El Paso as I-10 skirts the Mexican border and there were border patrol checks. El Paso was a welcome sight for sore eyes. Civilization and knowing that New Mexico was very close was exciting, but then we found out that I-10 was closed through downtown and we would need to take the Transmountain Pass to the other side of town. That caused a bit of a panic and we made a quick stop for diesel since we did not know the extent of this mountain pass and we only had 1/4 tank. It actually wasn't that bad and was only an 8% grade going up and a gentle down. We were then back on I-10 and on our way to New Mexico.
Night 4, our final night, was at a nice little park in Deming, NM at Lo-Hi Rv Ranch. This was also a Passport America park and at $19 a night, we scored! We were a bit out of the city and were able to see some pretty amazing starry skies, along with some great views and a fiery sunset. Waking up we were soo excited because we would be in AZ! Because we really pushed ourselves in the previous days, this one would be one of the shorter days because we needed to be at the RV park before the office closed at 4pm.
The final leg of the drive again, was not all that exciting with similar desert views, but we did find a cool rest stop which was in between some bouldery (is that word?) hills and we spent a bit of time taking fun pictures.
We pulled into Val Vista Village around 3pm and reflected on the long journey and truly how smooth it went. Outside of switching out a tire sensor that was acting up, we really did not have any issues.
I would be remiss if I did not add my thoughts on all of the rest stops we visited on our trip. I cannot even count on two hands the number we visited and by far those stops in Texas impressed us the most. I know, your thinking, seriously, they are just bathrooms, but Texas takes their pit stops seriously! Even those out in the desert had something of interest. Here is a picture collage of our stops. Enjoy the pics of our not so shitty stops! LOL
As we got further west in TX, the bathrooms were more of an open air experience with lower walls between stalls. It was unique to say the least, but they made up for it with beautiful tile murals on the walls like this one. At least these places kept the journey through Texas interesting.
We are now settled into our new AZ digs for the next 3 months while we workamp at Val Vista Villages. We are working on getting adjusted to the new time zone and close quarters. More to come on that. Thanks for following us on our journey west!
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