Wow is all I can say!

What a crazy crazy few weeks it has been. We left Texas at the beginning of August to head to North Carolina. We arrived in Four Oaks, which is about 45 minutes south of Raleigh. Our first two weeks were packed with shop tours for Gearphoria. While we were meeting with a lot of really cool gear builders, touring their workshops and working on the 5th Anniversary issue of Gearphoria, we got word that Blake’s book (Toys That Time Forgot) got finished at the printer and were shipped to my parents’ house in Texas.

So we booked a flight and flew to Texas for 5 days to meet the books when they arrived so we could get all the Kickstarter backers their copies in a timely manner. We woke up at 2:30am on a Friday, flew to Houston from Raleigh on a 5:30am flight. Arrived in Houston around 7:30am. UPS Freight was supposed to deliver the books via 18 wheeler that afternoon. The afternoon came and went. At 8pm I called UPS Freight and I was told they could not maneuver our neighborhood and we were rescheduled for Monday morning at 10am. I went into a frenzy, spoke to a ‘supervisor’ and explained we only had 3 days to pack and ship 550 books! Monday morning, 10am no books. I called again and was told it would be Tuesday. I then proceeded to explain our situation again. I was put on a very long hold, then told they would hire a courier service to bring them by 1pm that day. Well… guess what… 1pm came and went. I called again and was told they could not locate our books. How do you lose 1,0000 books? 3 pallets of books, each pallet weighing 1,200 lbs. Around 4pm a truck came down the street and backed in the driveway. They had finally arrived! Let the packing begin!

I was aware of all of the work that had to be done well before hand. I preordered the boxes, the packing tape (Uline sells this amazing tape called ‘Quiet Tape’) and the tape gun, picked up the bubble wrap at a local shipping supply store. We pre-built the boxes and pre-cut the bubble wrap. 550 boxes built and packed with bubble wrap just sitting there for 2 days waiting on books to put inside and shipped out. 550 hand stamped and hand signed Thank You cards.

There were some long hours of packing and printing shipping labels and multiple trips to the local post office to drop off 200+ books on each visit. But we got it all done! All the while there was another stress happening in the background. A hurricane had formed and was looking like it was coming for the Texas Coast. His name was Harvey. On the Thursday we flew back to North Carolina to finish Gearphoria. The worst feeling ever, to leave your parents behind knowing a hurricane was looming down the coast from them. It was set to hit Corpus Christi so I knew my parents would be safe from wind and any damage it would cause. I helped my dad put some things up downstairs in case they needed to evacuate… you NEVER know about hurricanes. Having been through IKE they knew what to expect. I watched to news and the weather channel, on Friday Harvey came onshore in Rockport, TX. A beautiful little seaside town on the coast of Texas, a place we had visited just months before. The entire town was destroyed in a matter of minutes. Totally devastation. Houses flattened. Businesses gone off the map, the small downtown area doesn’t exist anymore. Then Harvey did exactly what he was predicted to do… he moved toward Houston, very very slowly and dumped rain. Lots and lots and lots of rain, for days… Catastrophic rain. I’ve never in my life heard that word used so much. Catastrophic. Every time a weather person opened their mouth it was Catastrophic. And it was. My parents were very lucky, they only had a foot of water under their house which drained by the end of the day. My brother in Kemah, he had about 3-1/2 feet under his house, everything under there was a total loss. My niece across town in Pearland… her house began to take on water and they had to be rescued by boat. She is now living in her popup camper in the driveway, attempting to continue everyday activities which are being conducted under a tailgating canopy, which is basically their living area… outside in the driveway. She and her husband (who just recently had surgery for kidney cancer) have two little ones, who are now back in school. Trying to live a ‘normal’ life and keep things ‘normal’ for the sake of the kids. I can’t even imagine, her strength is inspiring. Our friends in Friendswood lost everything. And when I say everything I mean everything, water came into their home and they also had to be rescued by boat… their cars completely submerged, water only about 2-3 feet from the CEILING of their home… a TOTAL loss. Not to mention countless other friends dealing with similar situations and thousands of other fellow Texans dealing with it as well. All the while, I’m watching this unfold from my cozy Airstream in North Carolina. Gut wrenching to say the least. Helpless. My heart breaking for my home city and my state.

While we are focusing on getting the next issue of Gearphoria out and dealing with many sleepless nights and communicating with our families and friends… something starts brewing in the Atlantic… a hurricane. Predicted to be a category 5 hurricane. Initial models show all kinds of scenarios. Being from Houston, we know to wait and see, that hurricanes turn at the last minute, they don’t always become what they are predicted to become, etc, etc. We watch… and wait… and watch some more… The models start showing and east coast swing. We were set to be in the Outer Banks after Labor Day, then on to Virginia for a bit. While the remnants of Harvey are moving north. There’s a cool front coming in near us… and one evening we are under a tornado warning… phones going off, TV flashing, wind blowing, eeriness outside, we hop in the truck and drive up to the recreation room at the front of the campground. Dash inside all the while getting pounded with rain, we find 3 more couples in there, the local weather channel is on and we are all watching intently to see if the tornado that’s been spotted up the road is coming for us next. Luckily after about an hour of warnings things calmed down and the weather moved out. It rained most of the night.

Then the next day Blake is listening to some weather news, he has his headphones on so I don’t realize what he’s doing. He leans over and gives me a look, a look I know isn’t a good thing. He says maybe we should leave North Carolina. At that point Irma, our category 4 hurricane becomes a 5 and is projected for the east coast. You see, when you live in a trailer and you book out your work months in advance you run the risk of losing deposits on RV parks if you don’t cancel in certain amounts of time, and all of them are different. 6 days before we are to go to the Outer Banks we decide we should leave. We lost our deposit for that stay, but it doesn’t matter, what matters is our safety and the safety of our home. We make the decision to cancel the remainder of our plans for the year and head back to Texas. A decision that we still stand by.

Irma didn’t hit the Carolinas… she headed straight for Florida. And now those people are dealing with the aftermath. My heart goes out to all of them. Behind Irma was another hurricane, Jose. Jose was a category 4 at one point. And he’s still out there. And may still give the Outer Banks and New England a  good dowsing of rain and wind before it’s all said and done. As I write this, there is another storm behind Jose, who has just been named Lee, with another something behind him. And on the pacific side there’s Norma and another something behind her. I sure hope these things die out soon!

 

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In the Middle of No Where Vermont

When I booked our stay in Vermont I was looking for an out of the way place to enjoy the state. Neither of us had ever been there but Blake had dreamed of going for a long time. He used to think about writing a book, and the setting would be in Vermont. So naturally I wanted a beautiful spot so that it would live up to his expectations. I found Lakeside Camping. There were sites that backed up to a pond, a fairly large pond called Island Pond. That’s the town where Lakeside Camping is located. From the pictures I found online it looked perfect. And it was. It was absolutely stunning and absolutely in the middle of no where. Neither of us had cell phone signal and the internet was pretty much nonexistent. Which was fine by me, except that we were due to publish an issue of Gearphoria during our stay. With Gearphoria being an ONLINE magazine that left us out in the cold. Island Pond is about 20-30 minutes from the Canadian boarder on the north-eastern side of the state. We ended up having to drive 70+ miles one way to a Starbucks in New Hampshire to upload the magazine for that cycle.

I quickly learned to look at a calendar from then on and find a place near civilization during publishing week. It was quite the adventure trying to figure all of that out. You might be asking why did we have to drive all the way to another state, truth is that was closer than Burlington!

We ended up making some friends that we still keep in touch with to this day. A very sweet couple who are seasonal spot holders there. Francis and Penny. Francis is always trying to get us to come back and visit. I would love nothing more to do that… hoping it happens sooner rather than later!

We did explore quite a bit of the area. I found a very interesting bird museum in Huntington. It’s simply called Birds of Vermont Museum. On display there are over 500 wood carvings of all different kinds of birds. All of them done by hand and majority of them were done by one man, Robert N. Spear, Jr. His woodworking/carving tools and desk are in the museum for you to see. It is definitely something I would put on the list if you are in the area! The carvings are fantastic! They look like real birds… some of them you have to do a double take to make sure it’s wood and not a stuffed bird. You can also birdwatch outside, we found our lifer Cape May Warbler there.

I also found another museum in St. Johnsbury. It’s called Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium. To my surprise there was also a collection of birds here too… but these were real. And there we lots of other animals too. The personal collection of Franklin Fairbanks. From Polar Bears to extinct birds and animals, the collection is fascinating. There’s also a bug art collection which is something to see. There are some Native American items and much more to see. I highly recommend a stop here as well.

We took in a Lake Monsters game in Burlington. They are the minor league baseball team, associated with the Oakland A’s. They didn’t win and from what we were told, they we’re having a very good season – we still had a ton of fun!

And what’s a visit to Vermont without some Ben and Jerry’s? Well it’s not a visit at all! It’s a cute little tour, which doesn’t take too long because there’s not a whole lot to see. They are fairly secretive with some stuff. There’s a graveyard out back where all of the ‘retired’ ice creams have gone to rest. And yes there are free samples! We also had to get some of that yummy Vermont Maple Syrup. So we stopped into Maple Grove Farms and stocked up. We even sent some back to our parents and a select couple of friends.

I also discovered that the Airstream mattress was going to have to go if I ever wanted to walk again. I have lower back issues and the stock mattress was not cutting it. So we took another trip to New Hampshire to the Walmart and I used some gift cards to purchase a 4″ thick mattress topper that helped me make it through… we did end up purchasing a new mattress from Rocky Mountain Mattress. Best thing we could have done!

While we were in New Hampshire this time we decided to do a little exploring. We were in the town of Littleton and while walking around we found a cool outdoor / gear store called Badass Outdoors. It’s unclear whether they are still open currently. Their web presence is pretty much non-existant.

I found a great little area just up the road from the campsite to go out hiking around it was known for a lot of birds and we did get a lifer Sage Grouse, a stunning male that just happen to be on the side of the trail. He watched us walk right past him and then posed beautifully while we snapped a few photos. Vermont did not disappoint and we’d love to go back and spend some time with Francis and Penny.  I sure hope we get to do that one day!

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Maine… a dreamy state

When we decided to go to Maine we had no idea how popular it was during the summer months. We got our Airstream at the end of June and I started looking at places to stay. Acadia National Park was at the top of the list. Blake had read about Cadillac Mountain and how the sunrises there were amazing. So when I found a campground close to Acadia that we liked, I called it was completely booked for the summer. They didn’t have any openings until after Labor Day. Enter plan B.

 

Determined to go to Maine I found a great campground in Naples not far from Portland. I had done a little research on Portland. It looked like a sweet little seaside town. Lots of shops and shopping. And about 30 minutes north of Portland was Freeport, home of L.L.Bean. Being from Texas, the closest I got to L.L.Bean was catalogs and online stores. So visiting the flagship store quickly became a priority. When I Googled photos, there was a huge Bean Boot out front. That sealed the deal. The flagship store did not disappoint! We ended up staying Portland side first and then after Labor Day we went to Bar Harbor.

 

Something we discovered about Maine that we didn’t know before we got there was that it’s known for blueberries. In fact, Maine is the largest producer of wild blueberries in the world, and they are grown on 60,000 acres. We knew about the lobster, but we had no idea about the blueberries! We found a great little bakery/cafe in town and they had blueberry everything! I had the blueberry pancakes and they were absolutely de-lish! The place we called  “Bomb Diggity” so there was no way we were leaving Naples without trying that place! And it lives up to it’s name! Yum-my!

Downtown Portland is a cute little place! Along the pier are a few restaurants and some cute shops. We walked around and I stumbled upon a shop I followed on Instagram… I hadn’t put it together that it was in Portland. The shop is called Sea Bags. They make purses, totes and some accessories out of recycled sails. If you donate your sail you get a free bag. All of the bags are hand made in the shop. They are a little bit pricey but they are certainly unique and fairly well made. I bought a wristlet while we were there with their signature anchor on it. I dreamed about those bags for a year after we visited. And last year for our anniversary Blake bought me one! It’s gorgeous! Navy blue with a printed crab on it. I was born in July so my zodiac is a Cancer (crab). I was over the moon! The bag was about six months old when the whipping twine which is wound around the braid / splice of the handle came completely unwound. There are two places where there is twine and both came unraveled. I contacted them and they were very nice and sent a repair form, I sent the bag in (I had to pay for shipping) and in a couple of weeks I had my bag back and it was as good as new! Unfortunately that same thing has occurred again just last week, and without much use this time. As I’m writing this I have an email in to customer service to inquire about another repair. Slightly annoying, especially when we pay quite a bit of money for the bag. But I’m certain they will repair it again. – I’ll update that when I know.

 

We ventured out to see some lighthouses of course. And found an old fort in the process Fort Popham State Historic Site is located in Phippsburg. We also found a pretty tasty lobster roll next door called Spinney’s. We sat outside on the deck and enjoyed a beer and the view!

 

We enjoyed our campground in Naples. It was called Loon’s Haven Family Campground. A great  campground situated on Trickey Pond. Complete with Loons! The sunsets over the pond are beautiful. The campground is clean and there are many activities for adults and children! There are quite a few seasonal campers. A lot spend most of the summer there and I can’t blame them! It’s a great place to be in the summer. The facilities are clean and there is laundry on site as well. Not far up the road is Sabago Lake State Park. A really nice park with lots of birds to watch and beach front access to Sabago Lake… in fact if we were to make our way back to Naples I’d stay there too!

 

New York State of Mind

After Ohio we headed to New York State for more book research. We stayed near Poughkeepsie at Sylvan Lake Beach Park which is located in Hopewell Junction, NY. A really neat little campground. All of the sites are in the grass but there is plenty of room between you and your neighbors. And surprisingly not horribly unlevel. This was a central location for us to drive to Connecticut and to New Jersey. I fell in love with Connecticut. I kind of knew I would… I had always wanted to go there. We met with a couple of people there, one being a toy inventor and the other has a huge history in the toy universe having sculpted a large number of G.I. Joe’s from the 90’s. Both were absolute pleasures to talk to and we still keep in touch with them today. In fact we make it a point to visit them anytime we are near there.
In New Jersey we got to visit the NECA studio and hang out with Randy Falk, the Director of Product Development for the company. I know Randy from back from when I ran our online toy store, littleplasticmen. He’s super nice guy and had a lot to talk about for Blake’s book.
While we were in New York I realized we weren’t far from Franklin Roosevelt’s home. We decided that would be a cool thing to do so we went and did the tour of his home and the presidential library. We walked the grounds and enjoyed the gardens and the horse stable is beautiful. The house is set on a beautiful piece of land. If you are in that area it is a must do! Not far down the road was Eleanor’s cottage, Val-Kil, we didn’t have time to get there but we made up for it on the trip on the way back. It was such a great history lesson. Lots of things I didn’t know. The tour guides are wonderful and are very knowledgeable.

Lancaster, OH

After Arkansas and Kentucky we headed for Ohio. Blake had decided early in 2015 that he wanted to write a book about unproduced action figures. Boys toys that had never seen the light of day. Ideas that toy companies had, pitched and worked on but for one reason or another never got made. Cincinnati, Ohio was home to Kenner Products back in the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s before being purchased by Hasbro in 1991. They are best known for making the vintage Star Wars action figures and playsets that you can still acquire today.
Also in Ohio, was another toy company called ReSaurus. Blake had meetings with a few of their former employees about some of the lines they worked on that never got made. So we stayed a week at an interesting little campground called Lancaster Campground.
Lancaster Campground is an old church retreat/revival located in non other than Lancaster, OH. It’s a neat little place with a few RV spots. They have water and electric and they have a ‘honey wagon’ that comes and empties your tanks for you twice a week. And the weekly rate with your Passport America card is super cheap!
The grounds are pretty interesting. In the center of everything is a huge auditorium. There’s a cafeteria and a chapel. Around the perimeter is a bunch a really cute cottages. None of them are very big. You can tell they were all intended for weekend stays. Most of them are occupied full time now. Blake was a little freaked out at first. He wasn’t sure what to think. His initial reaction was, “This is something out of Polertgeist 2!” After walking the grounds and talking to a few people and the camp host, I think he settled down. It was certainly an interesting place and it sort of did have that old creepy vibe to it.

A Look Back at Arkansas and Kentucky…

 

We left on Aug. 3, 2015 at 6:00 am headed to Ohio, with our sights set on Maine. However, we had a few stops along the way. Our first destination was Paducah, KY. I know what you are thinking… why in the world would you go to Paducah, KY? Well, mostly because Gearphoria had a client there and we went for a shop tour. You can read all about that shop tour and the history of the building there are in here. While we were in Paducah we stayed at Duck Creek RV Park. A nice little place with pull-thrus at the front for short-term guests. The bathhouse is clean and close to those spots, it makes it really easy for an over night spot. I highly recommend it if you find yourself in that area and need a place to stay.
As I was mapping out our route to Paducah we figured out we had to go through Brinkley, AR. Again you are probably wondering why I would get excited about such a small town. A bird, that’s why. An extinct bird to be exact. The Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Back in 2004 a guy thought he saw one and was able to convince other people that he did. They were able to get government funding to go out in search of this extremely rare bird. The whole town got excited. You could dine at the local restaurant with an Ivory-billed themed menu, get a woodpecker haircut, buy a lawn ornament and t-shirts not to mention a whole bunch of other woodpecker related items. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people descended on this little town once word got out. Birders from everywhere came in hopes of seeing such an oddity, however I don’t think anyone ever actually saw it. There was a documentary done on the site and the town. It’s called Ghost Bird. It’s pretty interesting.  Here’s a link to a story in the NY Times from 2008, recounting some of the hype.
Most of the town is no longer sporting the woodpecker memorabilia. We stopped into the chamber of commerce and there were a couple of brochures and they dug out an old t-shirt for me to buy. We did have lunch at Gene’s BBQ, which still has the Ivory-billed menu and photos of the bird on their walls. So even though we missed all of the hype from 2005 we were happily surprised to see a few little things still hanging around from this major event that occurred quite a few years ago!

Quickly approaching two years on the road!

 

 

June 29th was the two year anniversary of us purchasing Trixie. Two years! Hard to wrap my head around truthfully. Once we had a plan and that plan was set in motion everything happened so fast! When I broke the news to my boss, work seemed to fly by. I thought for sure it would drag on and on because I wanted out so bad. Not because I didn’t like my job or my boss, quite the opposite actually. Just that once you start daydreaming about a new life, sometimes it feels like that new life will never get here. We bought Moose in December 2014. We ordered Trixie in April. We listed the house over Memorial Day weekend and it sold in 48 hours. Trixie showed 4 days before we closed on the house.

I had started cleaning out the house about a year before… things I knew we didn’t need or want even if the Airstream wasn’t the plan. Looking back at my Facebook page I starting dreaming this dream long before I realized it. I posted photos of tiny houses, posted camping locations I thought were only in my dreams, and quotes from the Airstream page. Things were set in motion in my heart long before my mind and courage caught up.

I haven’t been as good at keeping this blog as I would like, I am working to change that. So I think I’m going to do a flash back of sorts to our first two years on the road. I tend to take a lot of pictures and only one or two get shared on Instagram and a few on the Facebook page. I think it will be fun to relive what we’ve seen and done so far. There are places we’ve been that I forget about until someone asks something or something spurs a memory.

 

 

Busy Busy Busy!

Wow! My last post was Big Bend! Sorry guys, things have been crazy busy. Some of you know but maybe not all of you know that Blake wrote a book! The title is Toys That Time Forgot: A Visual History of Unproduced Action Figures, Volume One. He did a little over two years of research and then took it to Kickstarter, where it funded!
We’ve been working on getting the finishing touches on it before it goes to print. Man, let me tell you it’s a lot of work! You have to think about things you normally wouldn’t. We have a great designer and some top-notch people helping us out with this project and we couldn’t done it without them! We are super excited that Blake gave the ‘go ahead’ last week and we are off to the presses! If all goes according to plan, the books will ship out to our amazing Kickstarter backers late August/early September, depending on a few factors.
Blake has worked so hard on this book, I can’t wait for people to see it! If you are interested in the book you can follow along on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
While he’s been finishing up on all of that, he’s also been working on the new issue of Gearphoria which goes live July 3, (which also happens to be my birthday!) We had to come to Jackson Center, Ohio to have some warranty work done on Trixie. While we were here we drove up to Toledo and had a nice visit with Reverend Guitars. You can read and see all about them in the coming issue of Gearphoria.
I’ve been planning our next round of travel as well. We originally were going to drive back to Texas and leave the Airstream at my parents’ house while we flew to Nashville for Summer NAMM and then fly back to Texas only to fly to San Diego for SDCC (San Diego Comin-Con) a few days later. Blake decided while we were in Ohio, that we should cancel our flight and hotel and just drive from here to Nashville. Not a big deal, we did it last year. Only last year I knew we were doing that. So I cancelled flights, hotels and the rental car. Then emailed the RV park we stayed at last year in Nashville, only to find out they were booked for the 10 days we wanted to stay. After some long searching and a few phone calls. I found a place to stay the first week we get to Nashville and the RV park had a space for the 4 days for the show.
We had staked out an RV park that we wanted to stay at near Columbus the week after we were done at the factory so we could publish Gearphoria. Driving back as soon as we were done was not an option, we’d lose four days before our publish date, I didn’t book it ahead of time because we weren’t sure how long we’d be at the factory. We were certain it wouldn’t be a problem. I looked at reviews online and the place we picked didn’t have great reviews. Most people complained that there was nothing for their kids to do and that the lady who ran the place was very strict with her rules. It was perfect for us on deadline week! That meant it would be quiet and clean and there wouldn’t be a lot of noise and we could get things done. So when I knew the exact dates I called. She said they were completely booked. I knew it wasn’t a very big place but, why? Why was it booked? Then she said, “We don’t have anything because of the holiday” and I snapped, 4th of July! Dang it! That meant we were going to have a big problem, where were we going to stay? This place seemed like the perfect fit! So I figured I’d just book the place we usually stay in Ohio after we have been to the factory… BOOKED. This place has never been booked and we’ve stayed a couple of times. But never on the 4th of July. All of the state parks were full, all of the places I could think of I would want to stay were booked. So we chose to stay in Jackson Center at the Terraport. It’s nice and quiet and we have internet and cell service. A lot of people say they don’t have cell signal, I have Verizon and I have 3 bars and LTE on the Terraport, not to mention Airstream has wifi as well. It’s not super fast but it gets the job done! So here we are, enjoying the quiet, small town feel of Jackson Center, Ohio. The weather is perfect right now sunny, highs in the 70’s lows in the 50’s! Although rain is in the forecast for later in the week. But that’s ok, I’ve got a lot of proofreading to do! Here’s some of the sunsets we’ve been getting in the evenings.

 

 

 

Big Bend National Park!

 

I have always heard about Big Bend National Park. I’ve always wanted to go. Years ago before the Airstream idea ever came about I planned a trip to Lajitas. We were going to stay in this sweet resort and go hiking in Big Bend. Then something else came up and the trip idea got pushed aside. It would circle back to my radar every now and again but somehow it never happened.

Not a lot of people know about Big Bend and that’s a shame. This year when I knew we had to be in Texas longer than I wanted I started looking at places to go. A ‘Texas Tour’ if you will. I small journey of our home state. I said let’s go to some places we haven’t been to. Texas is large, and living in Houston all my life all I ever wanted to do was get out of it. So aside from Austin, Dallas and San Antonio, we haven’t explored all of what this great state has to offer! I’ve come to appreciate Texas more since I’ve been away from it than I ever did when I lived in it. Still not a huge fan of Houston though…

So when we knew we needed to be in Austin for SXSW it was only natural to continue to move west. And I am so glad we finally made it out there! I’ll let you in on a little secret… I’m trying to figure out how soon I can go back! I know now is not the time because it’s probably 1000 degrees out there in the desert but I would be lying if I didn’t say that I’ve thought about October in Big Bend more than once!

We stayed a week at an RV park in Terlingua called BJ’s RV Park. There are many options for accommodations in the parts. To tell the truth, that wasn’t the park we were initially booked at. I tend to plan out months in advance, ever since we got Trixie and I found out the hard way the Maine is completely booked in the summer, I tend to make sure we have a place to stay well before we get there. We have to have a plan for two reasons, A) I’m a planner with a bit of OCD. I need to know where I’m going to be and B) We still work full time and we need to make sure there is some connectivity most of the time so that we can communicate. Owning your own business doesn’t allow for much down time. So I originally booked us at Big Bend Resort & Adventures RV park. But when we met up with our new friends oursomedayisnow in Alpine they warned us of some recent reviews about power issues and water quality. I tried contacting them but no one would answer the phone, the voicemail box was full. I sent an email and even a message through their Facebook account to no avail. The only way to cancel your reservation was to call the 800 number which was to a management company in Arizona. They gladly cancelled my reservation with a fee of course. I went through everything with the girl on the phone, explained I couldn’t get in contact with anyone and to this day no response has been sent in any form. I asked for a manager but of course no one was available at the time of my phone call and no one has called me back even though I was told someone would. So I will warn you not to stay there, mostly based on the horrible customer service and the lack of concern about one of their parks with complaints of electricity and water issues. I enjoyed BJ’s very much. It had everything we needed and wasn’t overly expensive. I would stay there again, it’s super convent to the park. But for our next trip I’d really like to stay inside the park… although I just read something about Rio Grande Village Campground getting some major renovations now through September. So if you are headed there and plan to stay inside the park and want full hookups check their website first.

I want to talk a little bit about Terlingua too. What an awesome town! Definitely eat at the famous Starlight Theater! The food was super tasty, they serve Big Bend Brewing Co. beer and my Prickly Pear’ita was outstanding! We dined there several times! You can always catch some live music and hang out on the ‘porch’ trust me it’s a great experience.

Down 170 a bit heading toward the park there is a great little BBQ food truck called DB’s Rustic Iron BBQ. Do yourself a favor and stop there. Really really great BBQ! But beware, once it’s sold out that’s it for the day so get there early so you don’t miss out!

Ok… there’s a ton more I could say, please put this place on your list if you are coming to Texas! How about some pretty pictures?

 

Davis Mountains State Park

After our week in McKinney Falls State Park we headed further west to Davis Mountains State Park. As birdwatchers we’d heard of the Davis Mountains many many times, we just couldn’t ever make the trip out there. So when I discovered we had a little bit of down time I took full advantage and booked a week at the park. Such a beautiful place! We had a great campsite with a canopy over the picnic table. Views of the mountains and zero cell service. Although if you needed it, it was a short drive up the closest mountain and you were fully connected again. Having you own business and publishing an online magazine, you can’t be disconnected for too long. The park offered wifi, but it wasn’t strong enough to send or receive an email. So in the evenings we’d drive to the top of the mountain or during the day we’d drive into Fort Davis and use the library to work.

We did some hiking and some birdwatching. We had some friendly Acorn Woodpeckers, which a lot of people were looking for and couldn’t find, well they were in the tree at our campsite! We also had some super friendly Canyon Towhee, two of them, I thought a couple of times they were going to come inside the Airstream with us. The amount of wildlife was entertaining. The Javelinas liked coming into the bird blind and getting a drink of water.