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Old 10-30-2010, 08:29 AM   #1
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Scenic stops in west Texas

Quick question (don't mean to hijack this thread): We would like to drive across I-10 to Florida with our granddaughters, to see Disney World; but we've heard it takes 2-3 days to get across Texas. Is that true? I hope I'm not offending any Texans, but is this an interesting drive, or should we consider a more scenic route a little farther north. My wife and I don't mind the drive, but the grandkids need some interesting stops to make that long roadtrip bearable.[/QUOTE]

Along I-10 in the desert part of Texas is Balmorhea. Just south of that, at Toyahvale, is a state park that has what used to be known as the world's largest swimming pool. They dammed up a spring back in the WPA days and made a giant pool. These days people scuba dive in it. Worth a stop for grandkids if it's swimming season.

Not too far south of there is Ft. Davis with a historic frontier fort restored for tourists and McDonald Observatory where one can attend a kid-friendly "star party" and learn about astronomy.

Check this out on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

(sorry to contribute to the hijacking)
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Old 10-30-2010, 10:42 AM   #2
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Try the Caverns of Sonora, just west of Sonora, TX on I=10. The prettiest cavern I have ever seen.

Further west, Fort Stockton is an interesting town. There is the old fort and a number of interesting things to see in town.

You can take US-290 east to the German town of Fredericksburg for German food and shopping and continue on through Austin to see our sights. From there, you can continue on US-290 or take TX-71 and I-10 through Houston.

In the Houston area, there is the space center. Battleship Texas and San Jacinto monument.
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Old 10-30-2010, 12:15 PM   #3
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Guadalupe Mts. a remote sort of way. We traveled past it at dusk and marveled at the scenery.

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Old 10-30-2010, 12:47 PM   #4
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Once you hit Junction traveling west, there's really not much to see or do until you hit Indio CA, except for Big Bend and that's too far out of the way for most folks. Balmorea Lake is too alkaline to swim in for me. Fort Davis is nice but not worth a detour. If you detour on US290 then Fredericksburg is worth a stop. Maybe the caverns at Sonora is it. I've driven I10 many times when I was trucking (I once did 3 back to back runs from Jacksonville to LA and back) and I always just prepped myself for an extended run covering as many miles as I could (I usually drove LA to Austin coming home nonstop except for fuel - 1305 miles). I always preferred I40 if there was any way that I could justify the extra miles because the scenery was more varied. Don't take I8 at Casa Grande AZ to San Diego because the drug cartels control that road now. Maybe get a CB radio and learn how to use it because chatting with other travelers can help to break the monotony and it could be very useful in case of problems. Be sure to bring several gallons of drinking water in the tv just in case.
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Old 10-30-2010, 04:02 PM   #5
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We found Balmorhea State Park just fine for us (we even went swimming) and the kids would love it...the RV loop is not much to write home about but it is really an unexpected and interesting place...two days there is enough, though. And Davis Mountains State Park was nice as well...we thought it was well worth it and would go back... See our travel log for our West Texas Trip for more info and lots of pictures of both these places...

I-8 is a major, heavily traveled route between SoAZ and San Diego...we have towed on it many times without incident. We actually find it a more interesting drive than I-40 further north.
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:11 PM   #6
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Drove through the panhandle once, it was very very hot, AC broke, starter quit, it was not a good experience. We should go back and "do it right" sometime. I've been told it's beeeuteful!
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:17 PM   #7
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Big Bend National Park is great but a bit south of I-10
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:22 PM   #8
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Possum Kingdom near Graham is an interesting place...HUGE lake with clear water. The millionaires from Dallas hole up in exclusive communities there.
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Old 10-31-2010, 07:23 AM   #9
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but the state park there is one of the worst in the stateimho
and the Four P's(Paula, Phoenix and Peabody II and Pearl)…Peabody is here…..
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Old 10-31-2010, 07:43 AM   #10
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:28 AM   #11
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I would recommend Big Bend NP. Beautiful scenery, natural wonders. Fort Stockton and Marathon are very interesting West Texas towns. Our teen age children just had a wonderful time in West Texas.
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:57 AM   #12
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How old are the kids? If your enroute to Disneyland....not to old I guess. Natural wonders will probably be wasted on them...but, they should see them.
South is Sea World in San Antonio. The old Coyboy hotel ...Kinkade Uvalde.....Over to Brakettville and the old Buffalo Soldier Fort Clark. Then the State Park in Del Rio....equally as bad as Possum Kingdom Park. The RV campground at Comestock...Bakers Crossing.....Close past there is Langtry Texas...Home (Bar) of Judge Roy Bean.....The Jersey Lilly. Right beside that is
Seminole Canyon Park with pictographs and caves.
North of here, north at Van Horn, on a scenic drive to the Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Peak. Alburquerque and Sandia. Route 66 west...Painted desert, American Indian attractions, Death Valley, drive below sea level at the Salton Sea. Palm Springs area and Indio date groves.
I am never bored with the drive.....but I'm not 10 years old with Disneyland in view.
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:27 AM   #13
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Hi from Ga. . .Texans be damned, it's 863 miles across Texas. Not much to look at for Disney bound kids is true, but we go out I-40 then back I-20 (Atl to Phx) and enjoy the drive. I suspect there's a reason you don't go to Disneyland in Ca ? ? I think West Texas is purty, but I'm old. Regards, Craig
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Old 10-31-2010, 12:10 PM   #14
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Thanks for separating the original post from the other topic. I guess I should have done that myself.

The granddaughters are 8 and 11, and in the past month it looks like we may have lost them to the shopping mall and their pre-teen friends. When we mentioned that we were planning this trip, they both said they didn't want to go.

We have seen most of the southern California attractions, Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, Universal Studios, etc., plus a lot of the southwest desert areas and the southern Rockies; so my wife and I were interested in seeing the southern states and the Florida Keys. Disney World was for the kids, since we heard it had some different attractions from Disneyland.

We have been to Carlsbad Caverns and quite a bit of New Mexico, but just haven't tried to cross Texas yet. Right now, we are trying to figure out if we have one more summer with the girls. If not, we may head for the northwest. Retirement is only a couple of years away, and the road is calling. Our roadtrips are getting longer and more frequent; and it's getting harder and harder to turn around and head back towards Phoenix. I've been wondering how we would know it's time to retire; and I think it's when we get ready to head back to work and say "I don't think so..."
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Old 10-31-2010, 02:04 PM   #15
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For pure scenic beauty the drive up to McDonald Observatory and the overlook when there are hard to beat, not to mention the educational value.
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