Texas here we come!

RVingOne of just many pluses to living in a home on wheels is the way at which we are able to travel.  Traveling can be done as quickly or leisurely as we desire.

That said, when it came time for us to depart Phoenix, we allowed ourselves 2 weeks to travel 1,300 miles; destination Galveston, Texas.

Long gone are the days of Al and me pushing a drive like that in a day and a half.  Actually, more than once we’ve done 1,200 miles in one day… a very long day.  This slow meandering style of travel is the only way to fly drive.Heron

So let’s see …. In previous posts I’ve already talked about our stops in Apache Junction in Arizona, and Rockhound State Park and Alamogordo in New Mexico which leaves us with the Texas journey yet to talk about.

November 2nd we bid farewell to New Mexico and skirted around El Paso, Texas as quickly as possible on an early Sunday morning.  We were grateful traffic was light in what normally is a very congested city.   Knowing this, the early Sunday morning drive was planned well in advance.  The 4 ½ hour drive to Balmorhea State Park was uneventful and whizzed by.  Well, ‘whiz’ is probably an exaggeration because anyone who’s driven west Texas knows it goes on forever.  Texas is one BIG state…. bigger than a lot of country’s.

How big is Texas
Hey look – Balmorhea State Park is located in the same spot as Paris. Our destination is by the S in Austria

We first heard about Balmorhea State Park about 3 years ago from fellow full-time RVer’s.  What makes this place so unique and a destination for families is the large swimming pool.  But this isn’t just any swimming pool, this is the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool.

spring-fed swimming pool
world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool

The Civilian Conservation Corps built Balmorhea State Park and the swimming pool in the 1930’s and nearly 80 years later folks are still cooling off at the park.  Although this particular fall day the air was cool enough and thus no swimmers – including us. largest swimming pool in the worldSan Solomon Springs; water comes from a large underground aquifer flowing through porous limestone and fault lines.  Worker’s hand dug and constructed the pool using local materials. world's largest swimming pool

The water temperature averages 72-76 degrees Fahrenheit (22-24º C) year round.  The depth of the pool goes from a shallow 2 feet to as much as 30 feet (9.1m) deep allowing swimmers and scuba divers alike to enjoy this spring-fed pool.

Swimmers can expect to share the water with plenty of fish.  We saw lots of minnows and some large catfish swimming around.Texas State Park

As we strolled around the park we noticed a series of waterways and wetlands. The fresh clear water quickly moves throughout the park.cienga wetlands

San Solomon Cienga; a wetlands habitat for endangered fish and other aquatic life was near our campsite.Texas State Parks

I found myself strolling over there several times to observe the turtles.Texas State ParksAnd speaking of campsite, Balmorhea State Park offers 34 campsites.  Some of the sites even have cable hook-up which is something we’ve never seen before in any state park.  We didn’t opt for a ‘cable’ site but next time through I think we will because you won’t find any TV reception with the RV antenna…. ‘we be in the boonies, honey!’

Texas State Parks
our campsite at Balmorhea State Park

We enjoyed our one night stay at this state park. We did purchase the seasonal Texas State Park pass for $70 since we planned to stay at more state parks this season.

I loved the use of the local limestone used throughout the state park

Next stop South Llano River State Park.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 12.1 MP Digital Camera with CMOS Sensor and 24x Optical Zoom – Black