Wonderful West Texas.

Lily and I spent a few weeks heading west across the Lone Star State to explore the enchantments of the Chihuahuan Desert. West Texas was such a nice surprise and welcome change of pace from the crowded beach towns of Florida. So let’s jump in because we have a lot of ground to cover.

Surfside Beach, TX

This was our first stop inside Texas and we pulled right onto the beach and camped for three nights mere feet from the gulf waters. I was super excited to be in this location and have such a unique experience. The waves roared and crashed all day and all night. And a pretty big thunder storm rolled thru in the middle of one night lighting up the sky for hours and flooding the beach with pounding rain.

I really wanted to stay on the beach more than three nights but a silly accident that created a significant laceration on my head sent us closer to civilization sooner than I had originally planned. So we pulled out and headed towards Houston.

Marfa, TX

Welcome to the artsy hipster town know for Mystery Lights and a funky art scene. I really enjoyed being here and exploring the Chinati Foundation on a sunny windy weekend.

In between art installations, I stumbled upon a unique and delicious coffee bean in the heart of the historic district. The hipster toast aka avocado toast was pretty stellar too.

One amazing thing about West Texas was the stunning presentation of sunsets and sun glows every night from our perch at the Airstream exclusive RV park. This site setup gave me some ideas about how I want to incorporate the Airstream into our home life someday in the future.

Big Bend National Park, TX

On to the next big destination. Big Bend was highly anticipated and I was ready to get out and do some hiking again inside a national park. After living the sudo snow crow life in Florida I was itching to be out in uncrowded and uncomplicated nature as soon as possible.

We setup home base in the funky little town of Terlinqua, TX and really enjoyed exploring the ghost town and cemetery on a brilliantly sunny day. This area is becoming really popular with digital nomads that crave solitude, sunshine, and fast internet.

As expected, the sunsets from the Airstream were stunning. There is just something breathtaking about the way a desert sunset turns the sky vivid orange/blue and the mesas brilliantly pink before surrendering to the night.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM

New Mexico was the next stop and Carlsbad was ready to be explored. And wow what an experience this was. I mean, I’ve been to show caves on my Airstream Adventures but nothing compared to the grandeur and sheer size of Carlsbad Caverns. It totally blew my mind. I descended 750 feet (75 stories) by foot into the earth, and spent about 3 hours wandering all around the cavern. It just kept going and going and going. There is even an information desk and little snack bar/cafe at the bottom.

Alas, my flashlight eventually died and I was getting tired of being underground so I took the elevator back to the surface and returned to the Airstream for a much anticipated happy hour with my new favorite Tequila. Lily and I camped for free on BLM government land for several days and enjoyed some very nice seclusion and decent sunsets.

McDowell Mountain Park, AZ

We took a little break from the highway to visit friends in Scottsdale and parked off the beaten path for a few nights at McDowell Mountain. I’ve wanted to camp here among the Saguaros ever since our first trip but reservations are really hard to come by. This place is really popular and really very special.

Desert sunsets cannot be beat and it was so nice being able slow down and relax for a few nights in this wonderful location. I cannot wait to come back someday.

And that’s it for this blog and this part of our adventure. We are staying in the desert for just about another month and then heading north towards the PNW by way of Nevada to spend quality time and drink quality wine with our most favorite people. As always, thanks for reading and being part of our adventures.

See you in the next blog. Until then, happy travels!

The Sunshine State, part 2.

Howdy! When we left off, Lily and I were still soaking up the sun in the Florida Keys. I spent the second half of our stay scootering around Key West, trekking across the old Seven Mile Bridge to Pigeon Key, and exploring Bahia Honda State Park.

Of course, I enjoyed many Rum concoctions and patronized a fancy little wine bar on Duval Street. Believe me when I tell you that I didn’t want to leave Key West.

Dry Tortugas National Park

This was a huge highlight of being in the Keys. The National Park is located 70 miles from Key West and is only accessible by ferry or seaplane.

I took the seaplane and it was amazing. Flying at low altitude over the pristine Gulf of Mexico showcased a few rusty shipwrecks, some sea turtles, and even a shark or two circling about.

Fort Jefferson is the largest brick structure in the Western Hemisphere and was used as a military stronghold, prison, and hospital quarantine station before being named a National Monument in 1935. It was upgraded to a National Park in 1992.

The infamous Dr. Samuel Mudd was imprisoned here for his alleged involvement in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The theory of his intentions is highly debated.

Many Cuban refugees make it to Dry Tortugas on their way to the United States. The refugees are intercepted and their primitive and usually overcrowded boats are towed in and grounded on the beach in front of Fort Jefferson. While I was on the island, I accidentally walked into an area of the fort where border patrol agents were detaining and questioning a group of people that had been captured the night before.

I wandered around and explored the entire island for a good 3 hours and then we all scrambled onto the seaplane and headed back to Key West. It was such an awesome experience that I will always remember.

Everglades National Park

After leaving the Keys, we stopped at the Everglades to try and spot some fresh water alligators. And it was a success. I went on a ranger guided night walk thru the glades on a raised walkway and had no problem summoning the alligators to me.

Camping inside the park among the Long Pines was super fun and lent to some interesting noises and creatures that came out at night. The sunset was really spectacular too.

The Gulf Coast

At the end of the year it was time to begin our journey west. We’ve officially passed the halfway point of this trip and must say goodbye to Florida. On the way out, we stopped at Carrabelle Beach and Destin to enjoy a few final southern sunsets and have one last sunshine state happy hour.

And so, that concludes our time in the Sunshine State. We spent just over 30 days in Florida and had the most amazing time. There are still places I want to see so we will be back again soon.

As always, thanks for following our travels and Happy New Year! We will see you again soon for another adventure update as we cross the Lone Star State on our way west.

Happy Travels!!!