All Across Texas

May 5 – May 7, 2013.  Driving across the southern United States, you find from time to time there isn’t much more than wide open spaces that look the same mile after mile.  Other than the Dallas/Fort Worth area, North Texas is a very wide open space!

No disrespect intended, but driving for a total of 12 hours across flat, desolate plains was not all that interesting.  The views were primarily the same; nothing, nothing, nothing, small crossroad town, nothing, nothing; you get the gist.  However, the gas mileage was fantastic; it jumped all the way up to 9.5 mpg!

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After leaving Shreveport, LA. we came to the end of our first leg of driving by rolling through Dallas.  On any other Sunday afternoon it probably wouldn’t have been too bad (unless it was football season) but I highly recommend not doing so on Cinco de Mayo!  I think we may want to start looking at these things a bit more thoroughly; starting to see a trend!

(Jodi)  I’ve rarely traveled West of the Mississippi prior to this adventure.  I’ve never taken an extended road trip, except for the drive from Ohio to Florida, Ohio to Boston, Ohio to Cheyenne.  Most of the East is very similar in its nature.  Same hills, same trees, same farms.  Its beautiful, and familiar to me.  And while the “hills” might change, the “feel” of the North East is the same.

But what I’m finding the most amazing on this trip is the changes in the “nature” of the United States.  Of course I’ve studied the different areas, but to see the actual transition from one area of the country to the next, in person, is just fascinating.

North East Ohio driving south gets more hilly, slowly turning into the Appalachian Mountains, cool and wet.

Slowly turns into Florida (I don’t even call it the South, though some may argue with me, Florida just feels like Florida), hot,  humid, wet, palm trees, lizards and alligators (or so I’ve heard…)

Slowly turns into “the South”.  It seems more natural and wild rather than landscaped.

Heading into Texas… there definitely is a time where Texas feels like Texas, separate from the South.  Like Florida, Texas (To me) feels like an area in and of itself.  Wide, flat, open, BIG and sadly abandoned along our route, where homes, towns, stores have just been left, abandoned, until they fall away to nothing.

Then BOOM….. cross that New Mexico border and you KNOW you are in the west.  The landscape just changes, almost in an instant.  From ranches to deserted desert landscape.  Extensive, dry, rocky, sage brushy, non-flat….. You can look out and just see where the wild west movies might have taken place.

The change is simply fascinating to my sheltered East Coast eyes….

(Ken) Departing Dallas we headed west on Rt. 287 toward Amarillo, TX.  Needless to say, the days travel was flat and uneventful.  We stayed at the AOK Campground just outside town, and were quite pleased with our stay despite to look of the place.  For only $11.00 (with our Passport America membership) and full hook-ups it was quite the hot spot for a one night stay while traveling Interstate 40.

(Jodi) Kenny is being kind.  The place is a dump.  For its benefit it was cheap, quiet, the water had good pressure and didn’t smell of anything except chlorine.  But first, there were no signs or instructions on how to sign-in.  After walking around aimlessly lost, a fellow camper popped his head out to tell us we had to cross the road to the “general store” to sign-in.

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OK… This was our view out the front window… ’nuff said.

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On the morning of the 7th, we continued west into New Mexico.  That will be another story!  Until next time, enjoy the pictures and…………cheers.

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