We don’t often think too far ahead in our routing, we prefer planning things a day at a time.
On this particular repositioning, we know we need to keep ‘heading east’ and we’ll likely eventually make it to Florida. (You do start to learn these complex navigational things after so many years on the road.)
We had extended our visit at Davis Mountains State Park a couple of times, and it felt time to make some more miles and adventures.
Our obvious options were to either head back up to I-10 and continue into Austin, or explore a new-to-us route following Highway 90 across.
Having done I-10 multiple times in the past and knowing how it’s pretty much … well.. boring (excluding a pleasant stop at Balmorhea State Park) – we of course opted for the non-interstate route.
Looking ahead on campground apps, we spotted Seminole Canyon State Park – one we hadn’t heard much about. Reviews on Campedium were positive, and the Texas State Park reservation site showed wide open availability for the primitive sites.
So, we headed off eastward in the morning with that as a likely destination. At just under 200 miles, it’s within our range of what we consider a ‘long driving day’.
The drive was beautiful, relaxing and easy – by far our favorite east/west route through the great state of Texas so far.
Seminole Canyon State Park – Comstock, TX
We had read tips on Campendium that the primitive sites were actually originally slated to be premium full hook-up pull-thru sites before the park system faced budget cuts some years ago. Thus, the sites are huge, scenic and private feeling.
At a measly $8/night – that seemed like our cup of tea. When we arrived, we checked in for 2 evenings – a suitable stop over to rest, get some work done and re-charge.
Sure enough, the primitive sites were underutilized during our stay (granted it was a tad on the warm side during the day) while the electric loop was packed in.
There is very little Verizon signal in the area, frequently roaming onto Mexican towers. And the AT&T during our stay, while the signal was strong, was very sluggish. Which meant, we wouldn’t be getting too much work done anyway.
Which was fine by us – we certainly are in need of some serious down time.
So we made the most of our stay by getting out the electric folding bikes to explore the park. This allowed us to avoid unhitching the MINI.
We got up early on our first morning to make the 10am guided tour to the pictographs in Fates Bell Shelter – the area of the canyon right beneath the visitor’s center. While we’re not morning people, we’re glad we made the effort to drag our lazy butts out of bed and bike on down to the tour start.
The guided tour costs just $5, and takes you straight down into the canyon via steep steps.. and then across the floor and up into the cliff shelters. This is where 4000 year old art is still visible left behind by pre-historic artisans (funny how a few years make graffiti into art?).
It’s pretty amazing, some of the most well preserved and accessible treasures of its kind in the world. Absolutely beautiful, and we definitely recommend the tour if you stop by the park.
After our tour, we then hit the hike & bike trails within the park to explore. We started on the 6 mile Rio Grande trail, which takes you down to the Panther Cave Pictograph overlook – and right along the river with a view into Mexico. (For anyone with fears of being so close to the border – these are several hundred foot cliffs on either side of the river.)
On the way back, we got a bit side tracked seeking another overlook point, and ended up on the Canyon Rim Trial, which while still designated as a bike trail – was marked as challenging. It was indeed a bit more than our street bikes are probably made for, and we did end up walking them for short portions.
But WOW was this trail gorgeous. Much of is right along the cliff edge with fantastic views (hmm… maybe that’s how it got its name?).
Sometimes that serendipity just steers you where you need to be, and pushes our edges to be a little more adventurous!
Overall, Seminole Canyon took us by surprise. We had no expectations coming in except a decent place to overnight before re-entering ‘civilization’.
It certainly WOW’d us with its beauty and history.
What’s Up Next?
I write this as we wrap-up a week in Austin visiting family – and will catch the travelogue up on our visit soon. We have a little less than 3 weeks until we’d like to arrive in central Florida to catch Chris’ folks before they head northward.
Since the timing is smack dab in the middle of Spring Break, we’ve broken from our preference of winging it and have actually *gasp*… made reservations for our next few stops! While we’d likely fare just fine without, we would like to ensure a few nice extended stops in preferred spots. We’ll of course continue sharing the journey!
We also have a lot of blogging and video sharing we’d like to catch up on, which we hope we can get back to soon now the book isn’t consuming our time. Topics include more bus renovation projects, some mobile internet videos, reviewing some cool new tech we’re using and we know there’s some interest in learning more about our new eBikes.
Whew. We’ll get there… sometime.
Next Live Video Chat: Planning a Day’s Drive
When: Sunday, March 20
4:30pm PDT / 7:30pm EDT
Topic: Planning a Day’s Drive
Where: Join the Chat on Livestream
We don’t plan our travels too far in advance. We may have a few destinations along a cross-country repositioning pinpointed – but many mornings we wake up, not knowing where we’ll be sleeping that night.
In this video live cast, we’ll talk about how we plan today’s RV drive. We’ll cover:
– Deciding how many miles to cover and keeping our desired pace
– How we pick our next stop
– Planning the route ahead, and the tools we use while underway to navigate.
You will need to create a quick free account with Livestream to view the video cast. Just click the link and setup an account in advance… a couple minutes ahead of time should be sufficient, but you can do it anytime. At the end, we’ll be happy field questions. And if you can’t make it, you can catch the archive later.