Once the weather finally warmed up here in the Southwest, time seemed to speed up as quickly as the fat grew around our waistlines from all of the good eats and tasty Shiner beer we’re consuming (we are in Texas after all!).
Our road trip adventures are happening faster than we can write about them, and as much as we don’t want this blog to be a “this-is-what-I-did-today” journal, for the sake of catching up, here’s a quick recap of a few of our favorite stops:
Hatch is nothing more than a wide spot in the road, but it’s got a worldwide rep for being the green chile capital of the world. When we heard that Anthony Bourdain once said that he had the best red enchiladas of his life at the Pepper Pot, we had to find out if it was true.
Bourdain was right. The Pepper Pot’s menu was the finest of traditional New Mexican cuisine, and I’ve never had a better green or red sauce than theirs (with the exception of my Mom’s, of course!). The aromas and flavors were a smooth, smoky blend of New Mexico’s finest chilies, the staff was friendly, and this massive lunch was just $25 for the two of us.
The Texas Hill Country
There’s an unexpected beauty to the Hill Country region that’s drawn our rig back since 2008. This year the countryside was especially green and lush, with incredible spring flowers and overflowing creeks and rivers.
We love Texas so much that next time a pile of money falls from the sky, we’ll buy a small piece of Hill Country land to winter on. The food can’t be beat, the people are friendly and open, and most aren’t afraid to express their opinions. Texans tell it like they see it, which even when I don’t agree with it, I can appreciate.
Still, we love Texas but we’re not sure if Texas loves us. Last year the trailer got stuck in the mud at Luckenbach. This year, a flash flood almost took our rig on the Guadalupe. After that near-death experience, once again, our truck almost drowned in the slippery, deep mud of the Luckenbach parking lot.
But it was totally worth it.
Come hell or high water, nothing was going to keep the good people of Luckenbach from holding the first annual Texas Hat Festival.
If anyone knows about hats, it’s Texans. The Luckenbach Hat Festival was all things hats, with a ton of incredible Texas bands, vendors, games and contests.
Like the ugly hat contest I entered. I didn’t win, but at least I can say I got my fifteen seconds of fame, on stage at Luckenbach. I also got a pretty nifty cowgirl hat for just twenty bucks, then ended up wining one later from an event sponsor!
Staying in the Hill Country hasn’t been cheap. Texas doesn’t believe in free public lands or have a whole lot of national forests, so we haven’t boondocked since New Mexico. While it’s been a luxury hooking up to the grid for the last few weeks, RV parks are spendy, costing no less than $27 a night. While there’s deals to be found, like the “By the River” campground we almost died at in Kerrville, they are few and far between.
Despite all of our misadventures here and the high cost of RV parks, it’s the Texas music, the diverse scenery, the food and the people that make it all worthwhile.
Of course, there are always exceptions . . .