Thursday, March 27, 2014

Big Bend National Park in March

My Sweetie and I took our one-year-old Winnebago Minnie travel trailer to arguably the best National Park in Texas. We both needed some relaxation time and space away from the recent news* I received so Big Bend seemed to have everything we needed - warmth, quiet, and solitude.

I hooked up the camper and had everything loaded so when My Sweetie got home from work around 1140, we jumped in the truck and started our journey southward. I planned on taking I-20 to Pecos and then make a sharp left turn south on TX 18.

We were sailing along, running about my normal 55 mph, when just about 25 miles north of Fort Stockton, we noticed that our awning was showing a bit of blue between the arms and the camper. Normally, we didn't even notice the awning when driving but within a few miles, the high West Texas Winds pushed my awning arms out and unfurled the awning!

Geez. Now what do I do?

I had a small rope  (about 20 foot) and tried securing the awning arm to the camper. Evidently, I needed to secure both arms as this makeshift repair job barely lasted another mile down the road. Try as I might, I could not bet the awning to stay put while I drove.

Eventually, by stopping and re-adjusting the rope every few minutes, we made it to the northern part of Fort Stockton. My Sweetie suggested that the gas station might have a rope available so I went in to see what I could buy to help secure the awning.

I bought the rope, secured the awning, and we continued on the way.

We got to the park and, after another 49 miles inside the park, to our reserved camping spot. Fortunately, I still had about .5 gallons of gas left in the truck (forgot to fill up in Fort Stockton and Marathon - stupid, I know). 

Next day, I fill up the truck ($130) and then buy another rope.

The park was beautiful. On Saturday, we hiked a few short trails and ate our lunch at the bottom of Burro Mesa runoff. Peaceful and really beautiful. The only downside was that it was a bit cloudy. A really great thing was that it was a bit cloudy! Pictures weren't as good but boy, cutting that sun down to a manageable level was pretty nice.

We got back to the camper just in time to start cooking what turned out to be one of the finest steaks I've ever had (thanks Sweetie!) and tie down the camper with three ropes. As it turned out, the next morning on the way out, the awning slipped a bit and we had to retie everything again at the Panther Junction Ranger Station.

Driving along US 385 to TX 18 to I-20, we eventually arrived home and parked the camper in our storage unit. Tired but rested. Can't wait for our next trip. We're heading to Fredericksburg, Texas. :)

* The news I received was that I was told that my biopsy came back positive for cancer. Bummer time.

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