Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Reno to Raleigh, Part 1

Post covers Dec 13 to Dec 22, 2016.

After spending the night at the casino parking lot in Beatty we headed off for Las Vegas. We decided this would be a shorter driving day after having a long day the day before with the doctor's appointment and then driving to Beatty to beat the snowstorm. We decided to use our new Thousand Trails membership for the stay in Las Vegas. We got there early in the afternoon and got checked in right a way. We found that the Thousand Trails in Las Vegas is a tight campground but since we were only staying one night, it wasn't a big issue. So far all the Thousand Trails we have been to don't have an issue with the babies or our fencing, so we do like that about them. The babies enjoyed being back in warmer weather and sat out for bit in the sun. We made it an early night as it was time to catch up on some rest so no casinos this time in Vegas.

For the second full day of our cross county jaunt, we headed to Picacho, AZ for an overnight stay at the KOA there. It is about half-way between Phoenix and Tucson and was mostly a nice drive from Las Vegas (excluding Phoenix area). We took about 6-1/2 hours to get there, a little longer than we like but worth it to get a jump on our travels. When we pulled in, we found a friendly staff and spots with a decent amount of space. It is the desert of Arizona, so of course it was all sandy dirt there.

As with all the KOAs we have been to, they are exceedingly dog friendly and we set up the pen for us all to sit in and enjoy some more warm weather and a gorgeous sunset. The babies also got a nice outing to their dog park and got to choose which hydrant they liked best :)

We decided to partake of the restaurant they have on site, Frankie's Chuckwagon, and had a nice home cooked style meal and fun conversation with the staff. All the wait staff are volunteers from the park, so it made for a nice evening.

The next morning we headed out for the outskirts of El Paso. This would be five hour drive today and we again had nice weather for the drive. Now that we've gotten to do several days of driving in the new motorhome, we have come to enjoy it much more than the Super C. The ride is nicer and having a larger view out the windshield makes for more fun. The babies have come to like it as well with Prada and Vinnie spending most of the time on the dashboard and Spella curls up on the hump between seats or on the floor at Kim's feet.

We found a KOA in Anthony, just west of El Paso that is brand new. As with yesterday's KOA, they were dog friendly and had a great new dog park to play. We also found the spaces to be large for a KOA and had plenty of room to set up the babies' pens. The sunset was great looking from the park as it set up a little bit above the area.


The next day was another longer drive to get to what we thought would be a nice place to stay. We found a park in Junction, TX on the river. South Llano River RV Resort turned out to be a small place but was easy to get to from I10 but in a quiet area. We got there late so the office was closed but we had called ahead and they had a packet waiting for us outside the office. The spaces were a bit tight but for an overnight stay it was adequate, and having a pull-through space made it nice so we didn't have to unhook our toad. We didn't get a chance to go into town as we were tired from the day of driving. This was the only campground on the whole trip across country that we didn't have any AT&T reception for our hotspot but we were able to tether to our Verizon cell phones which had decent LTE signals. I didn't take the time to set up our cell booster to see if it would help with the AT&T signal since we were leaving first thing in the morning.

We left early the next morning and only had a 4 hour drive to our next stop. We decided to stay at another Thousand Trails park, this one outside Columbus. As with most Thousand Trails, we got to pick out our site and Kim picked out a nice one right on the Colorado River. The space had no-one on the right side of us and a large amount of green space between us and our neighbor on the left. We had decided that we needed to stay somewhere for a couple nights after the last several days for driving so had picked this for the stay. It turned out to be a great choice. The park is dog-friendly and we had a nice large area to set up the pens and let the babies run around in. The park has lots of green space and a herd of deer that live there, so that gave the babies room to go for a walk in and something to look at.

We spent time exploring the area and found a small winery, Rosemary's Vineyard and Winery. The place was great to visit and when we stopped by we were the only ones there so got a nice tasting and learned the story behind the vineyard and the couple running it. We also had a chance to catch up on laundry while there and Alan got caught up on some of his consulting work. This is one of the campgrounds we are already wanting to return to when in this part of Texas.

Part 2 will complete our trip to Raleigh for Christmas with Kim's daughter.