Fran & Steve's 2003/2004
Waltz Across Texas

Part Two

Our 2003/2004 Road Trip
Travel Log

Part One

360º Panorama of Our 2000 Home
at Laos South LTVA

360º Panorama of Hope Arizona

360º Panorama of Slab City

Harold Drummond's RV Poem

Aerial View of Quartzsite Arizona

Our 2002/2003 Trvelog

Our 2000-2001 RV Odyssey Travelog

Our 1999-2000 Adventure 2000 Travelog

Our 1998-1999 Excellent Adventure Travelog

by Fran Crawford and Steven Fletcher

The southern most tip of Texas was the fartherest point of our ‘03-’04 winters trip. South Padre Island is beautiful even when it is cloudy. It would have been fun to hang out there and wander the beaches and the tourist shops for a while but they were gearing up for Spring Break 2004 and we had a whole list of other things we wanted to see.

Entrance to South Padre Island

The day we hitched up to head west was overcast and very humid. We headed north on Highway 83 from Harlingen with Laredo, Texas, as our goal. Fran wanted to revisit the street where she lived many years ago so we planned to stay over and explore Laredo’s old town.

We found no RV parks in the whole area which was pretty amazing after driving past probably 40 or 50 on the way up the highway through the Rio Grande Valley. None of the RV books we had listed parks in the Laredo area so we parked our house in a restaurant parking lot and explored the town. After dinner at the Mexican restaurant, we hitched up and headed north on 83/35 to where the two highways separated. Continuing on highway 83 we found the Vaquero Village RV Park and spent the night.

Next day we started early with Marathon, TX, as our destination. At Carrizo Springs we took U.S. 277 west to Eagle Pass where we refueled and had lunch. Just north of a little town called Quemado we stopped at a rest area so Steve could check the tires and Fran could check the restroom (wink, wink) and then we proceeded onward. But not far.

On a two way/two lane highway, being passed now and then by faster moving vehicles a SUV passed us with the folks motioning back toward our rig. A check in the mirrors revealed a wobbling wheel so we quickly pulled off the road. We were fortunate that the folks who passed us alerted us to the problem so we could get off to the side of the road before the wheel came off and rolled into the road to caused an accident.

Thanks to our emergency road service and their serviceman Marvin, dispatched from Uvalde sixty five miles away, we were back on the road three and a half hours later. We had to adjust our destination a bit. We would need to stay in a larger town to find a replacement for the wheel we’d lost. We stopped in Del Rio not suspecting it would be ‘home’ for the next eight days. A fuel leak in the truck required parts to be ordered then installed. -- read about our breakdown here

American Campground, the place we stayed near Del Rio, is next to Amistad National Recreation Area. Amistad Dam holds back beautiful International Amistad Reservoir filled by water from Devils River and the Rio Grande. A road on top of the dam connects Texas to Mexico and tourists, who prefer not to go any further into Mexico can ride across the dam to a turn-around and then return to Texas.

On the road again, with a relatively short day scheduled to Marathon, we stopped at Langtry to visit the stomping grounds and museum of Judge Roy Bean, Justice of the Peace, and Law West of the Pecos.

Our rig parked in front ot the Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center

After overnighting in Marathon and heading down the road to Big Bend National Park we began to get a feel for how big, and awesome it is. At the visitor center we were told the RV area was almost full so we decided to take the rig to Study Butte or Terlingua and explore the park from there.

Exploring Big Bend we covered all the paved roads and one 12 mile long gravel road. Even in the overcast day the colors of everything were amazing. The canyons are incredible, the mountains are awesome, the cacti and other plants are beautiful, the park is ... big... BIG big.

Sunset shinning through a canyon at Big Bend NP

The following day we drove the road along the Rio Grande in Big Bend Ranch State Park to Presidio. The road is good road with great scenery but not recommended for big rigs. We left the house in Study Butte (pronounced StooodeeButte).

The dawn of the next day brought us to the last day of our waltz across Texas. From Study Butte north to Alpine and State Highway 90 which took us to Interstate 10. We planned to stop overnight in Anthony on the border of Texas and Mexico but found no RV park readily accessible so we continued on to Butterfield Station, just west of Deming, NM and east of the Continental Divide.

We loved waltzing through Texas even though we feel we have a lot more to see there. Texas is big. We spent a little more than two months there ... it would probably take six months to a year to do it right.

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This last updated April 10, 2004