Day #2 of the West Trip: Sometimes, technology lies!

We woke up this morning to find that it had poured rain all night, but the skies were clear, and the bad weather had passed by the time we started making our morning caffeine. We found that driving the RV goes much smoother when you don’t have to battle the wind, though passing semi-trucks are still a bit of a nuisance.

It was an easy, uneventful day of slowly and carefully making our way toward Big Bend National Park. We arrived in a very soggy Louisiana at about 11:00 a.m. and reached Texas at about 4:00 p.m. We got to have horses for neighbors at the Texas visitor center, with two women pulling up with their horse trailer just after we arrived. It was a joy to eat our mac and cheese while two beautiful horses were allowed to graze just outside our window. We may or may not have also allowed our inner kids out to play and indulged in a Pokemon Go break.

It was rainy, but we got through State #3!
Followed quickly by State #4 and the home of our first destination!

Our only learning experience came at about 7:00 p.m., when we were ready to stop for the night. We passed a rest stop as we were approaching Dallas, and as it passed the passenger’s side, I had the quick thought that we might not see rest stops like that in Dallas. So, I asked our extremely useful (seriously, this thing is a lifesaver) GPS to find the nearest rest area. Turns out, we wouldn’t see one for another 100 miles! Since it would be dark in an hour, and we have a strict rule about driving at night, that didn’t work for us.

So, I looked on my Campendium and AllStays apps for alternatives. I recommend these apps for travelers. While our GPS is fantastic, these apps do know things that the GPS does not. The good news is that there were plenty of rest stops on the apps. The bad news is that they were all poorly rated and unsafe. As a bonus, none of the RV parks in the area were open. By the time I finally found a place, my partner was exhausted, and the sun was swiftly setting. We drove half an hour out of our way for this safe place in Waxahachie, Texas, only to pass it on the highway and realize it had been condemned for probably a decade.

App fail.

Thankfully, we found a Love’s Truck Stop only five more miles down the road. We’re exhausted and have hunkered down for the night here. We did a quick walk through, and the place is clean and appears quiet and safe, so we are satisfied that we’ll get a good night’s sleep here.

Tomorrow, we finally arrive at Big Bend National Park for the first of our twenty-seven stops. We’re so excited!

Published by Alyse N. Steves, Ph.D.

Alyse N. Steves received her Ph.D. in Genetics and Molecular Biology from Emory University. She is also graduate of Kennesaw State University, where she received a B.S. in Biotechnology. Alyse is a published author, with her first book making its debut in August 2016 ( Outside of science and writing, Alyse is an avid traveler who also enjoys the company of her family, friends, and pets.

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