Everything really is bigger in Texas and so is this blog post!
I know it has been a log time since we last posted, so I am hoping to catch y'all 😉 up with recent events. Between two weeks of little to no cell service plus another 2 weeks spent with friends and family, we didn't leave much time to write blog posts. This one is going to be less words and more pictures.
After leaving Tuscon, we made our way to Guadelupe Mountain and Carlsbad Cavern National Parks right on the border between Texas and New Mexico. Along the way, we stopped at White Sands National Monument and El Paso for a quick stop at a Harvest Host location for the night.
We thoroughly enjoyed our FREE BLM spot that sat between the Guadelupe and Carlsbad parks and stayed for 5 nights while we took in everything they had to offer.
At Carlsbad Caverns we walked down into the massive caverns via the natural cave entrance. The entrance takes you 800+' down in 1.25 miles of twists and turns.
We went on the "Left-hand" Tour through the caverns that Lila read about in one of her National Geographic books about National Parks.
Lila was very excited to get to the top of her first "Highest peak in a state". This hike was 8.1 miles long with 2,867' of elevation gain and she handled it very well, especially considering how cold and windy as it was.
We left Fort Davis and headed through Marathon, TX to Big Bend National Park and stayed at the Rio Grande Village area for the next 7 days including New Years Eve. Unfortunately, Lila got sick for a few days so we only went on one hike, one trip to Mexico via the National Park, and one drive through Big Bend with a great stop at this ghost town called Terlingua. Luckily, we were there for Sunday Funday.
Sunday Fun Day is where the locals come to the front porch area of this restaurant/hotel and play whatever instrument they have and sing as well. The local antique/trinket store sells beer and as Jen shows above you can tip some back while you listen to music and mingle.
I don't know if I have mentioned it but I think I have almost wore out my hiking boots. 😲
We met Lindsay, Matt, Safia, and Elliott from Canada at Davis Mountain State Park around Christmas then met up again while in Big Bend. We spent New Years Eve, Day, and Night together with them and had a great time. They are on an 8 month road trip going clockwise around the US and Canada and will be home in Ontario when we pass through, so we are planning on visiting them again on our way through.
After Big Bend, we headed to San Antonio area where we stayed at a Boondockers Welcome in Boerne, TX (pronounced Ber-nie) We had an amazing stay with this couple, Rob and Liesl, and their dog, Reggie. They had a great bonfire one night for us and later in the week they asked us if we cared if another couple with a van stayed on their land. We said, No, of course not. Later, they invited us over for drinks and a meet and greet with the new (young) couple from Germany. During our stay, we visited the Texas Hill country, LBJ National Historic Site (Ranger Badge), and the Alamo. We also got in a great lunch and dinner with a friend I haven't seen since high school.
Many famous singers have played in Luckenbach including Waylon Jennings who sang a song about it.
Before we left for this trip, one of our neighbors from home wanted to meet us on the road somewhere. Kelli (the wife) is a HUGE Joanna Gaines fan and really wanted to go to Waco, so we said we would meet them there. We decided to get an airbnb with them and stayed in one of the houses that was featured on the show. We spent the whole 4 days trying to give Kelli the full Magnolia experience.
Texas BBQ - I really wanted to see what all the talk was about Texas BBQ so I found the Top 50 list and tried to make an effort to hit a few of them while we were here. Nick (Kelli's husband) also wanted to find one. So I found the best one in the Waco area called Helberg's which is on the Top 25 new BBQ joints in Texas. I think it will be on the Top 10 next time the list goes out. WOW!
Before we headed down to the Alamo with Sam, I told Jen that I think it would be a better idea to go to the LBJ Library today, since the weather report says it's supposed to rain pretty hard. It wasn't raining in the morning and she told me we can't let the weather report dictate what we will or won't do. We did get in a little heated debate on the topic and I decided to go cool off on a run. Later, I got back and said, "Yeah you're probably right. I'm sorry. We should just go to the Alamo"
See the outcome below:
Let me know how you like the "more pics, less talking" format please. I will be much better from here on out on keeping up with the blog.