Friday, November 30, 2018

Driving West Texas (is monotonous) & Getting Ready to Explore Benson Arizona Area

West Texas

Oil and Nothingness 

Martha and I have made our way from Thanksgiving with family in the Dallas area to Benson, Arizona for a month stay before moving on to Tucson, Arizona.  There are only two words that encapsulate how I feel about West Texas "Oil" and "Nothingness." 

For hundreds of miles along I-20 in West Texas,  you only see a brown, stark and unforgiving landscape with the added bonus of plenty of wind to keep your attention while driving.  There is little there to hold the dirt in place, so when the wind blows, there is dust in the air.

The landscape, buildings and curious looking oil field structures along with a tangle of rusted tanks and pipes dominate wide open plains. They paint a bleak and stark photo in my mind reminiscent of the photos taken of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl. I imagine a woman with a child clutching her leg both with desperate looks on their faces peering at us passing from a dusty old beat up house.

Everything you see along the highway looks tired and worn looking. Sprinkled here and there are shiny, bright and gaudy looking businesses called truck stops that look weirdly out of place in the desert. West Texas is inexorably tied to big oil and gas and its inevitable that when the oil runs out most of West Texas will run out too.

Once you are on I-10 and past El Paso, you enter New Mexico and the scenery changes from everything oil related to miles of nothingness. You encounter a string of cattle feed lots, then it goes from arid to drought stricken, with frequent warnings and instructions about what to do in a dust storm. While it felt bleak and stark to me, Martha said that it felt like she was going home.

Starting Our Exploration of Benson and Surrounding Area

Today we are going to the Pima County Fairgrounds for the RV show mainly because we want something to do that we don't have to work hard at. Later in the week we are going to see "The Thing" It should be interesting. What is the thing?  I don't know but the billboards along two hundred miles of I-10 tease you into wanting to know.  We may even let you know what we see.

We made a couple of overnight stops prior to arrival in Benson. The was "Whip In RV Park" in Big Springs and then "The Desert Willow RV Park" in Van Horn, Texas

Our in Route Campground Reviews Below

(see more reviews and our blog at

WIFI Yes, slow during peak hours morning and evening
ATT - Yes, two bars, three bars with WeBoost
VERIZON - Yes, four bars. five bars with WeBoost
SERVICES - 20/30/50 AMPS, Sewer, Water and cable
OTA TV - Not used here
COORDINATES  32.223400, -101.481400

COST $32.00 dollars with Good Sams a little expensive but if you need full hookups this is the place. 


REVIEW - Easy off and on I-20, great overnight spot and easy back onto the highway. We were able to get a pull through site that handled our rig and toad (55') but reserve early in the day. Great staff, dog park. The park has a lot of full time oil workers living there but it was surprisingly quiet here other than the noisy highway nearby. This is a great overnight spot and if you stay here ask if site #18 is open as it is almost a straight shot out of the park from there.

Our site was #18

site #18 Big Springs Texas

Site #18

Desert Willow RV Park - Van Horn, Texas

WIFI - Yes, works but slow
ATT - Yes, two bars, three bars with WeBoost
VERIZON - Yes, four bars. five bars with WeBoost
SERVICES - 20/30/50 AMPS, Sewer, Water and cable
OTA TV - Not used here
COORDINATES  31.040250, -104.827010

COST - $25 dollars nightly $22.50 with Good Sams
DISCOUNTS - Good Sams and many others (military, etc.)

REVIEW - Mom and Pop place in the city of Van Horn. Large parking lot like appearance but we were in West Texas where all parks match this description.  The park was neat as a pin, though.  Not a thing out of place, and it was obviously well cared for, unlike much of the main street in Van Horn.

Easy off and on I-10 and into and out of the RV Park. Owner is a nice guy and very helpful. You are in walking distance of the only "fancy" restaurant in town which is at the El Capitan Hotel. We did not eat there but I was told the food was good but expensive. The park is all graveled and can be dusty when the wind blows.

Travelers hint - If you need fuel and are leaving early in the morning do yourselves a favor and avoid Loves Truck stop. It is a really hard to get on the highway there after fueling. It seems there is a second entrance to Loves directly adjacent to the I-10 on ramp. Truckers line up to get fuel by using the ramp approach. Because the are so lengthy they block the ramp access by moving as far left on the approach as they can so they can make the turn. It's truly a cluster (insert appropriate verbage here). We waited a little over one half an hour waiting on the traffic jam to clear and it only cleared because a Sheriff's Officer sorted the mess.

Click Photo to Enlarge

Van Horn Texas

Van Horn Texas

Van Horn Texas

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