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January 29: Bismark, AR to Valley View, TX

The best sign seen on the trip so far: CONTROLLED CLIMATE WEDDINGS | WILD HOG HUNTS - at the same location.

Yep, that's right, we're in Texas now, gliding along the highway with flat land stretching out in all directions. Black cows, brown cows and other cattle stand in vast, brown-green fields. We haven't yet hit the intensive oil refineries that clog parts of Texas, so the landscape is more rural and ranch.

The cold and windy shoreline of Ray Roberts Lake offered the dogs a place to wet their whistles.

We arrived at Ray Roberts Lake State Park EARLY, meaning we had much of the afternoon to explore the park, once we set up our tent in the barren, winter campsite. As with many of the state parks in the south western US, this one is centered upon a human-made body of water. This is a nearly 30,000 acre body of water. Our campground - the Juniper Loop - is situated on a small arm of the vast lake.

We explored the web of trails, none of which were marked, making for some interesting hiking. We found our way down to the water and then into the oak-filled woods, where we admired the gnarly form of whatever species of oak it is that dominates the forest.

We spotted glossy, chestnut brown pods on an un-identified tree - and our first cactus sighting admidst the oak leaves on the forest floor.

This photo does not do the oak justice - this was quite the impressive specimen.

We hit the tent early, with the temps dropping down into the mid-20s. Our new modern technology - an electric blanket(!) about the size of a moist towelette - kept us absolutely toasty when combined with sleeping bags. It was hard to crawl out of the bags in the 26-degree morning, but we needed to hit the road early to avoid the massive ice storm that was descending upon Dallas and the surrounding region.

Next destination: Lake Colorado City State Park

Miles to destination: 283

Forecast: High of 44 / Low of 30

Best town name on the trip so far: Bucksnort, Tennessee


Deb Tyler
Deb Tyler
Feb 07, 2023

Beautiful to catch a glimpse of your adventure. Thank you so much for sharing these stunning images. Those volcanic stone formations are amazing. And belated happy birthday, Mary! It looks like you were celebrating in a wonderful place. Safe journey blessings! With love and light, Deb)*


How exciting to see cactus! I sure hope today's the day you find some some

'seasonable' weather and can shed those winter coats!

Feb 01, 2023
Replying to

I think we may have finally found seasonable weather today in Alamogordo 😊

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