John and Judith Martin along with their Lagotto crew and I decided to camp together in El Paso. They have a Rialta, which they claim drives just like a car!  That must be great! I’d already passed the KOA they’d found and drove back getting somewhat lost in the process. We both lamented the KOA we landed at. It could have doubled as a landing field for mini UFOs, all dust and gravel, tons of round lights on sticks all lined up in massive rows, few amenities.

El Paso KOA next to John and Judith.

The small dog park was too muddy to use so we used the kids play area, definitely not what comes to mind as a KOA. Windy out there and barren. Nice to spend the time together chatting with Judith about the Club.  John told me about teaching “Art Materials and Techniques,” will absolutely look into this. I was very touched that they’d spent time thinking about ideas for me, how I can survive and even prosper. I gave them one of my Mom’s lemons. I felt a bit blessed that night with my rig parked next to theirs. I woke early and found a nearby off leash dog park.

My plan was to head south to San Antonio and Austin; didn’t look too far on the map, then shoot back up to Ft Worth. The manager at the KOA suggested I take 375 Trans Mountain loop and to be sure and look down and see the view as a more interesting route. He told me the KOA had once been part of the Camping World next to it but had been a KOA for the last 2 years.  The winds and dust storms could be brutal, he said it was near impossible to get grass to grow. They had an entire second lot, bigger than the one we camped on studded out with RV power boxes and those lights on lollipop sticks. Was not a fun place but since we weren’t blown to smithereens it was okay.

Time was confusing as I crossed time zones, all though Texas and beyond I’d go to sleep on local time and wake on California time. That put me short of sleep every night. The other thing about Texas is the distances. On the map somehow it doesn’t look bad; in real-time there is the wind and not being able to keep up with the 80 mph speed limit amid plethora of semi’s (I’d say trucks outnumbered cars 8 to 1.)  Needing to do a little in-town shopping I bypassed the scenic loop for speed and worry about the forces of nature, figuring the “touring section” would begin after the dog show. Was a lot of construction on I-10 slowing things down as it was.

Along somewhat of the same thinking, mostly it was the wind making driving extra tiring I took the turn northeast on I-20, I was still thinking if the wind let up I might have time to buzz down south, that’s where the wildflower blue spring blooms were happening. Along my route I saw dust and oil drilling. Okay somewhere about this time I was wondering why the Specialty had to be in Ft Worth, over 1,500 miles one way. The battering wind would only be a warm up for the real thing. After innumerable full RV Parks that been turned into oil worker camps and fully booked hotels I landed at Monahans Sandhills State Park west of Odessa. Plugged in and banged on the air conditioner, it was hot! Sand dunes with no ocean was not making sense to me. The sand is soft, blowy, powdery; once it cooled off we hiked around but not too far off the road. That sticky sand would only further mat my dog’s coats, I wondered about them breathing it.  Was a peaceful evening being far enough off the hwy to see stars.

Two other single camper women came by to chat. The two of them were each driving an older Born Free Class B van, one had a dog with her. Conversation centered on projects to keep our rigs running and pretty, dogs and places to go.  They told me about a Dinosaur Board for the Dometic Refrigerator, mine had quit running on AC or 12Volt and was limited to only propane. It’s a replacement control board and now on my list for repairs. The new carbon monoxide alarm I installed went haywire that night necessitating a disconnect. Jackson was up and therefore me, most of the night. Taking him out in the quite stars, with the other few distant campers asleep was kinda dreamy. In the morning Mason was starting to get sick as well.



Notes from the women I met: Someday check out Davis Bayou Campground and Seminal Lake Corp of Engineers.  Also Ft Davis Mountain State Park Texas…  2nd scenic loop near the observatory.