The Texas Panhandle in a Day

I hope when you travel you don’t have the day I had. It wasn’t awful but it definitely could have been better. I guess I’ve been spoiled by all my travel plans going so well the last two months. You gotta have one SNAFU once in awhile.

I left my last New Mexico spot about 9:15 am (see previous blog entry) and we crossed the border into Texas about 10:00 am. I had reservations for the next 2 nights at Oasis RV Park near Amarillo. However, I didn’t realize that it was on the west side of Amarillo.

I wanted to stop at Walmart before parking for the night so I programmed the Walmart supercenter for Amarillo into my GPS. Unbeknownst to me, this Walmart was clear on the east side of town. By the time I realized that, I was already 10 miles past the RV Park exit and seeing a sign to OKC on the freeway and I was past the point of no return. There was no way I was backtracking.

I sat in the Walmart parking lot after shopping and checked RVParky for spots not too far down the road. I found a place called Allenreed, TX that advertised a travel center. Well, I passed dozens of really nice travel centers (also known as truck stops) all through New Mexico so I was expecting large, shiny, many amenities and people. I even sent an email to relatives telling them I would be staying here instead of my original plans.

Well, OMG, pictures and reviews were so not accurate. I couldn’t even see the rv park and it was the diviest gas station and run down motel with a for sale sign on the door. I asked about the rv park and she showed me 4 or 5 spots behind the motel. I really wanted to do a couple loads of laundry and their web site said they had w/d. I asked about it and she told me they’ve been broken for awhile and they can’t get any one out to fix them.

I was tired so I paid my $20 and went to park. Not a single spot was level and I was just so uncomfortable that I drove off without even asking for a refund.

But it gets even more interesting. Just a few hundred yards down the road was one more “RV Park” (I put that loosely). There are actually 3 listed on RV Parky but one is no longer around. I drove up to this next one; the sign said open and there were a few people parked, but I couldn’t get anyone to come to the door. And there were no self serve registration forms. I finally got disgusted and drove off.

Next thing down the road, another 26 miles, Shamrock, TX, which I guess has a little claim to fame with some Route 66 memorabilia. It’s a good sized town. There were 3 parks listed but one was out of biz and another one was right in town and reviews were not good– full of unsavory full timers. I ended up at Lonestar RV Park (in name only), which is a gravel parking lot next to a steak restaurant kind of in the middle of nothing. You give your $20 to a waitress at the steakhouse and they don’t know nothin’ bout the RV Park.

But at least there were 2 other people who checked in after me and one permanent resident who seemed respectable — came in at the end of the day and went off to work in the morning. Now I’m off to Elk City KOA and back to civilization.

Moral of the story — stay in Amarillo or Elk City; no where in between! Buyer beware.

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