Monday, November 6, 2017

Cooler day here but still nice....

Our Location: AOK Campground, Amarillo, Texas

We were up early this morning and ventured into Walmart to try to put some time in before hitting the road. It worked, we were on the road at 8:35 am, five minutes later than we normally are. ~laugh~ Amazing how it just works out to be about the same time every travel day. 

Cotton fields in Oklahoma

A cool start to the morning, windy as well in Weatherford, Oklahoma. A nice night though, not too noisy and I don't think the low reached the predicted numbers but it was still much cooler than the previous few days. We were one of 5 over night guests in Sam Walton's front yard, plus a number of big rigs. The last 3 Walmarts have all been open 24 hrs and I expected them to be noisier and have been pleasantly surprised. 

Welcome to Texas

A strong head wind when we first started out had the Big Dog drinking diesel like he was in a hurry to empty the bowl. Before we reached the Texas/Oklahoma state line the wind died down noticeably.  We topped up the drinking bowl with diesel for $61 USD for about 26/27 gallons of fuel near Elk City, Oklahoma. 

Really red/brown coloured earth in Texas

Some construction narrowed the lanes down a bit for a while but nothing too troublesome and the traffic was flowing well. I've noticed that there is less and less traffic the further we head west, longer stretches where there are fewer vehicles around. I like that. 

Amazing colours here further along in Texas

We crossed into Texas without any fanfare. No welcome center to greet us but we managed to make our way along. The first impressions of Texas weren't very favourable, as it appeared to be somewhat drab and dull. Granted it's a dull day but the feel of the area was less than exciting, perhaps it was my expectations or perhaps it was just the landscape, devoid of colour that made it seem drab. The further we get into the state the nicer it appears, the more appealing it becomes. 

The view from the first rest stop West bound I-40 in Texas.

The first rest stop is located quite a ways from the state line but for a good reason. The view is eye catching and for first timers exciting to see. The vistas are beckoning and offers great promise of much more to come the further you delve into the state. Its almost as if the country side is laughing at the surprise it's caused in you. I think Texas may be a great place to explore in the future. 

More views from the viewing platform at the rest stop

The rest stop is dominated by a white 3 sided or horseshoe shaped structure that looks to be rising right out of the ground. Each of the tall white sides has a single star cutout in it. Obviously for the Lone Star State. The building seen from the front is interesting and inviting with a small metal windmill showing thru the windows. Inside it contains washrooms and a circular bar with information about the area and the state placed on placards ringing the windmill. The back part of the building is also all windows showing the amazing first time view of the time eroded lands of Texas. Picnic areas are covered by a metal roof that appears to be waving in the wind and allows the picnic area to view the scene while enjoying the great fresh air. 

For the first time viewers like us, this was eye catching.

One of the most amazing things for me to see here in Oklahoma and Texas is all the cotton fields. They stretch on for acres and acres. Big watering machines dot the landscapes here in this part of Texas as do the bales of cotton as well as hay. A 5600 acre Wind Farm shows off the many fancy wind turbines in this area. They seem to just keep going and going and going. Like back in Ontario though, not all of them are turning, which causes the question, why not? These wind turbines are high enough to allow crops to be planted/harvested and/or livestock to graze without causing issues.  Dual purpose land!!!

The red colour is earth, the sky is huge, the horizon naturally hazy.

Just outside Amarillo we found the Passport America park, AOK Campground. It's right off of I-40 and we can hear a few trains, planes and automobiles going past but we're happy here for a while. We've had enough driving/towing for a few days and had a few things we wanted to deal with here. 

This is more of the 'exciting' landscape that I expect from the western states this winter.

Parking in site # 27 we have full hookups and good wifi. It's not a fancy park, but it's clean and presentable. So far the folks have been friendly and other than the noises mentioned the park is quiet.  The planes flying over head appear to be military with a couple of passes by a fighter jet or two. A couple of cargo planes as well flew over after we had put the Igloo's feet down and hooked up. However we aren't too worried, if it's too noisy we'll just move to another location in the area. 

First rest stop in Texas on I-40 West bound.

After setting up we started BBQ'ing lunch, we were both hungry by this time as it was already after 1 pm. While tending the BBQ I called the Red Rover Repair office and spoke with Matt Curry. I had a few issues I wanted to have resolved and the reviews for him were excellent. I was hoping to get an appointment for tomorrow or Wednesday. Not going to happen, he was here in about an hour. Of course that was just when lunch was cooked. ~laugh~ 

Picnic areas at the rest stop.

Long story short, our problem with both the hot water heater and the furnace is due to the Asian beetles. They seemed to have climbed in there and clogged things up, he cleared them out and bingo, we're good to go again. He checked over the fridge outlet as well, walked around the Igloo and gave me a few heads up and pointers. Really nice fella, very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. He even put a couple of screws in the fender cover that were loose. His name is Matt Curry, he summers in Amarillo, Tx and winters in RGV (Rio Grande Valley), TX and works in both places. You can reach him at 956-369-9918. Here in Amarillo he charges $45 to come out to the park, and $80 an hour after that which also means that if he has to go for parts you are paying him for that time, not just the time he's physically at your site. I think that's very reasonable and fair. Nice guy, or did I mention that already? ~laugh~ So if you need someone to work on your RV in those areas give him a call, you won't be disappointed. 

Forgive the dirty window but the landscape is .....vast.

So we've been here for less than 3 hrs, we've got our issues fixed, we've paid for a couple of nights and we've finished our meal. Now it's time to just sit back and relax. We have a few ideas of what we're going to do tomorrow but as you know that could change at any time. So I'll not write anything down just in case it changes. 

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this post. Until safe....take care....

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