It never ceases to amaze me how fast summer goes by- If I didn’t know any better I’d swear, it was only a month long. Three summers ago, when we became mobile, I thought things would change. I envisioned us always being in a place with the option to lounge around soaking in the rays of the sunshine. Which for the most part is true. It just comes with a bit more planning than I anticipated.
So, when we didn’t have any travel plans the day before having to check out of our Airbnb, I knew we had to figure out something quick to keep warm.
That’s when I conjured up a brilliant plan to go on a seven-day camping road trip from Las Vegas to South Padre Island. That’s a twenty-three-hour trip with two cats and two kids. What could possibly go wrong? Right.
Well, nothing at first.
Gathering Camping Supplies
Once we packed our bags and loaded up the car, our first stop was to pick up camping supplies. We hadn’t been camping in a decade and didn’t have a tent. You would have thought this would have been easy to swing into a store and pick one up, but, it ended up taking us all day to choose a basic tent with a blow-up mattress and pump.
We didn’t end up arriving at our first campsite until dark which made setting up joyous fun.
BLM Land In Tucson
The following morning we packed up and hit the road once again driving another five or so hours to BLM land in Tucson Arizona. We always wanted to camp on free land while living in our fifth-wheel, but, never wanted to risk harming our rig.
Now that we had our Outback we were ready to take full advantage of the opportunity. We arrived at our site just before sunset allowing us to set up camp in the daylight while Xavier gathered wood for a bonfire.
We goofed off for a couple of hours telling silly stories and creating ninja masks with flashlights before calling it a night.
I woke up and put Roo on a leash to take her outside for a walk. Afterward, I hooked her leash to the branch of a tree and headed over to the car to get ready for the day. Typically, she will sniff around chasing bugs, but this time she was acting differently.
She kept repeatedly meowing at me while standing on her hind legs. I talked to her for a few minutes from the car hoping to calm her down, but, when she wouldn’t stop, I walked over too her thinking maybe she wanted to explore a little more. When I unhooked her leash, however, she took off toward the tent scrapping at the door to get inside. I thought that’s weird, she never wants inside, but just went about my business until it was time to load the car.
She still would’nt come outside
She meowed, fought and hissed at Justin in an attempt to stay inside the tent. Once we got her out the only way she would calm down is if we allowed her to stay inside the car. At this point, I knew something was wrong. I knew she must have either seen or smelled something.
Then as we were pulling off to leave we see a coyote running off in the distance. Roo was being hunted by a coyote! Thank goodness, I decided to walk over to her.
Day 3 City Of Rock New Mexico
The City of Rock is one of those places that pop out of nowhere while you’re driving down the road. All we saw for miles were fields beyond fields, and then all of a sudden, BAM! Smack dab in the middle of nowhere was a cluster of huge boulders believed to have been erupted from a volcano millions of years ago.
We had attempted to camp here a couple of years ago, but the last spot that we could have fit, was taken by a tiny camper van, that could have fit anywhere. It was rather irritating!
This time we had a tent and could fit anywhere.
So we set up camp here for one night in a little cubby hole within the rocks that had an area we called the playroom, living room, dining room, and bedroom. It’s one of our favorite camping sights yet.
Once we left here the real adventures begun!
Day 4 Big Ben National Park
Justin wasn’t exactly what you would call thrilled about the drive to Big Bend National Park. It’s one of those road trips that doesn’t seem to end.
It’s also a place you have to prepared to visit. There isn’t a grocery store around every corner. Actually, I don’t believe there’s what most would call a grocery store for several hours. So, we stopped to pick up a few days of groceries to get us through and let me tell you, it isn’t easy finding plant-based food, that doesn’t need refrigerated or a kitchen to prepare. We ate a lot of nachos, cereal with boxed almond milk and granola bars with a few cans of fruit.
And once again we arrived in the pitch black and had to walk around with a flashlight looking for a place to set up our tent. Other than running into a few wild pigs everything went smoothly. We found a spot, set up the tent, ate dinner, and laid down for bed.
Now, remember we have two cats which in my opinion did well until a few wild pigs came along squealing outside. At this point, Roo thought that the wind was the pigs trying to get her. She would meow very loudly while smacking the sides of our tent in an attempt to fight them off.
Every one of us thought it was hilarious and were cracking up until we realized that the whole right side of the tent was blowing up in the wind. I quickly rolled over to hold it down and hollered for Justin to go outside and fix-it.
And he did, he double staked every corner and we were confident it wouldn’t happen again!
Which it didn’t, instead the rod decided to snap in half leaving us know choice other than to load the kids and cats into the car while Justin and I wrestled the tent down in the insane wind.
Day 5 & 6 The Border
By the next morning, we were all cranky and ready for a real bed to sleep in, but we still had three more nights of camping. I searched the entire area we would be traveling through in hopes to find some decent weather without any luck.
We proceed to travel further south in Texas passing by our first Mexican border crossing before stopping and camping two more nights at a state park.
Finally, after two additional nights of camping, we called our Airbnb host and asked to check in a day early.
I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” — Mark Twain