We had a fabulous trip to far West Texas once again last week. There are so many interesting things to tell about our trip, and I plan to do that over some upcoming posts to try to give more detailed information about some of the places we saw and things we did. It was nice to have a car along for this trip, instead of just the motorcycle, since our son joined us this time. He rode in the motor home with hubby while I followed in the car so that we would have a way for us all to get around once we parked the RV at camp.
We visited Monahans Sandhills State Park for the first time and spent one night there in route to the Davis Mountains. This allowed us to not only see a “new-to-us” state park for the first time but to also break-up the drive as well. We nearly always prefer to stay in a state park, if that option is reasonably available to us and because we have a yearly Texas State Park Pass. We are spoiled to nature camp sites over urban RV parks, for sure. However, in the Midland/Odessa area, RV campsites are mostly full now with oilfield workers anyway.
The park entrance is just off of I-20, a few miles east of Monahans, which makes the park a great stop for RV travelers. I called ahead of time to make sure that we would not need a gate code to arrive after hours and to ask a few questions about their RV spots. Many of their spots are pull-through, which was perfect for us for a quick overnight stop.
While the park entrance is located just off of the interstate, the RV campground is much further back into the park and away from the traffic noise, maybe about two miles back as my best guess. We found that the distance of the campground away from the road, along with all the sand dunes, made for a decent buffer to block the noise. We were a bit surprised to see how many overnight campers were already there, and we got one of the last pull-through spots. We arrived about 8:30 pm, leveled the rig with the hydraulic jacks, plugged in the electricity, had a quick snack and visit, and called it good for the night.
The next morning, we could finally see the park around us. We were surrounded by sand dunes, and the table at our campsite was also in the sand.
It was very pretty, especially as the sun cleared the dunes to the east. We had a leisurely breakfast and visit, then took Girly Girl for a quick walk before packing up to continue our journey. She is pretty spoiled to “going” on grassy areas, but I was pleasantly surprised that she didn’t seem to mind going in the sand. I guess when a girl’s got to go, a girl’s got to go! I can relate. 😉
We always clean up after our dogs, just for the record. Doggy poop bags are a must for campers with dogs. I don’t want to see leftovers from other pets, and I don’t want other campers to deal with our pets’ leftovers either. It is no trouble either. I wish more campers would do this, but if I have an extra poop bag in my pocket, I will usually pick up poop from other pets in the campground, too.
On our way out, we stopped at the park office to officially check in for the night and to look around the small museum, which was pretty interesting.
The park staff was very friendly, and we bought our obligatory state park magnet and hiking stick medallion for our respective collections. We noticed that the park also had disks to rent for anyone that wanted to surf in the sand, and I could just imagine how fun that must be, especially for kids. (I could also imagine how much sand would end up in the RV, too.)
Recently, the park staff posted on their Facebook page for visitors to not rely on GPS units to direct them to the park entrance. For some reason, some GPS devices take visitors all the way into the town of Monahans. The park entrance is very easy to find, and they recommend just taking Exit 86 off of I-20, as that is right at the entrance to the park. There are also signs on I-20 that show the park at Exit 86, too.
I wish that we could have had more time to look around this neat park and also find the official park geocache, but we really needed to move on to our final destination and set up camp before dark. Hopefully we can come back for a long weekend visit sometime. I don’t think that I would want to come for a visit when our good ol’ West Texas wind is howling, though. I can only imagine how the dust might kick up there.
We left the park later that morning and drove to the Flying J in Pecos, where we filled up our gas tanks before turning south toward the mountains for the remainder of the week. Gas is much cheaper in Pecos than in the remote mountain areas, so we took advantage of those cheaper prices while we could. In hindsight, we should have topped off our propane tank there, too. More on that little issue later.