To avoid traffic going thru El Paso, TX, the 375 loop (Woodrow Bean Transmountain Drive) was our alternate choice. This is a mountain pass with a very scenic ride through the Franklin Mountains and is at least two lanes in each direction for its entire length.
Our original reservation was for 2 nights, thinking we would go to dinner at the El Capitan Hotel, recommended to us by Rob’s aunt and uncle. But unfortunately the weather forecast didn’t look favorable on our departure day, so instead of delaying, we left after a one night stay. Since the park doesn’t give refunds, we had to forfeit the cost of the additional night ($38.50). Oh well! Good thing we left because it was really windy on Sunday. Wind doesn’t typically scare us but we were concerned about dust storms which can reduce visibility to zero, not to mention the galloping tumbling weeds.
Next stop was Fort Stockton RV Park in Fort Stockton, TX, a park we have been to several times before (there aren’t a whole lot of options out here in the middle of nowhere.) They didn’t have a site for us near the entrance where they normally put us. Instead we were assigned to site #57 which was towards the back of the park. We actually liked that site better, quieter and more privacy.
At the Visitor Center, it was suggested that we take the driving tour.
Wow, lots of history! Spent a few hours driving around seeing all of the historic sites. Very cool! We have a lot of photos from the driving tour in our photo album but you can also visit this site to read about each historic site on the tour.
Before our departure the next day, we walked over to the Road Runner Cafe at the park for breakfast, not realizing that the restaurant was closed on Mondays & Tuesdays. Bummer!
Our next destination was another park we had been to before at the beginning of our 2022-2023 journey, South Llano State Park in South Llano, TX, which has 56 sites with water and 30 amp electric.
Very nice park with well spaced sites and lots of privacy. Note the campsites are $20 per night but Texas then charges an additional $5/per person per day which would make it $30 per night. Jeesh! Since we had plans to stay at several Texas State Parks during our travels in 2022-2023, we had purchased a Texas Park Pass for $70 which not only waives the daily entrance fee but adds some additional discounts. Even though we only stayed at 2 or three TX State Parks, this netted us some significant savings.
Lots to do here. Swimming, paddling and fishing on the river, hiking on the trails and of course, nature watching! Or just relaxin’!
Always fun watching armadillos wandering through the campsites. Plus the park is home to one of the largest turkey roosts in Central Texas. Turkeys roost from Oct. 1 through March 31, so the day use area is only open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. during these months so that the roosting turkeys are not disturbed by humans.
And birding is not limited to just the turkeys! Bird watchers have recorded more than 250 species here over the years. Perhaps you’ll see some of them while visiting one of the four bird blinds where bird watchers have recorded more than 250 species over the years. The endangered golden-cheeked warblers nest in the backcountry of the park each spring and summer. Although we sat at one of the blinds for awhile, we only saw a few ordinary birds. For the star gazers in the crowd, this park is also an International Dark Sky Park.
Of course, breakfast was a given at nearby Isaacks Restaurant in Junction, where I had a Western Omelette ($10.99) and Rob had the Junction Special, two eggs, two bacon and sausage and two pancakes ($10.99). Decent breakfast.
Check out our photo album!
A visit to one of our favorite cities was next on our itinerary, stay tuned!