When I received my Texas travel kit this summer, I felt a bit foolish. Sure I’ve hit some milestones, like the Chilkoot, the Dempster, a summer in Quebec, and my solar panels, but Texas had way too many variables to be a sure bet. Still, it gave me something to shoot for and if I fell short, well, there’s always next year. Dreams do not have expiration dates. And yet, against all odds, here I am! Texas was an icon of my childhood; one of my first computers was a Texas Instruments machine, so the shape of the state was close at hand for a long time.
Texas is more expensive than some of the other southwest states and wouldn’t make sense to me as a place to boondock for the winter, but it’s perfect for a pass-through journey like the one I’m having this winter. Next year, I will set my eyes on a place like Quartzite where I can drop anchor for the season or a state like New Mexico with affordable state parks. But this felt like the perfect winter for Texas and I have the Frugal Shunpiker Guide to help me keep the costs down.
It was a bit of a harrowing drive from Westwego to I-10, which I had expected. Something bizarre happened to me as I drove over the Huey Long Bridge: I got a nasty case of vertigo and felt quite ill during the drive across this very high bridge. The only thing that could explain it is that Huey was the first name of the dude who rear ended me. Yeah, that has to be it!
I-10 was a nasty 400KM stretch of rutty highway. It was really unpleasant and rough, with a lot of construction and high winds, and there were no obvious places to stop so I ended up driving straight through.
I felt quite itchy going past this town:
(Maringouin is the québécois word for mosquito. 🙂 Do not use it this word in France, however!)
The sun was low in the sky and in my eyes by the time I got to the rest area, so I was really glad not to have to push on to the Walmart in Orange. I wasn’t able to find any signs confirming that I can spend the night here, but a security guard confirmed it’s okay. I think it’s going to be a noisy night. There’s an RV parked on my driver’s side and a big rig on the passenger side. I’m hoping that big rig gets replaced by another RV.
There are places along the coastal bend around Port Lavaca where you can boondock for free or cheap and most campgrounds in the area are pretty cheap. We stayed a Powderhorn RV Park & Marina. Loved the spot. It”s out of the way and we could take sunrise and sunset photos there. Also you get fed a lot – refish, shrimp, oysters. YUM!
Welcome to Texas!!
Sandra, thanks for that tip! I’m actually heading somewhat in that direction. 🙂
“I wasn’t able to find any signs confirming that I can spend the night here, ”
I always, always go inside to Customer Service and ask if overnight parking is permitted sign or no signs. I have gone in when there were signs saying that overnight parking was NOT permitted and received permission with the understanding that there is a city ordinance against my doing so. They have always added that there is an ordinance but it is not enforced. I then add ‘we did not have this conversation and if I get hassled I’ll simply say I was too tired to drive any further’.
I’ve had luck doing that, too, at Walmarts. In this case, I got confirmation from the security guard that DOT policy is to allow overnight parking.