STE2 wrapup

Our arrival in Brownsville TX concluded the second segment of the Second Trip East (STE2). The segment by the numbers:

  • 9 hops
  • 19 nights
  • 1912 tow miles
  • 2390 truck miles
  • $719.07 in campground fees ($37.85 per night)

The actual route differed from the planned route only in minor ways, mostly due to missed turns or, in one case, a decision to skip a road that looked too narrow.  The biggest difference was the RV parks.  We had to select a different RV park for Austin because the first choice (and second choice, and third choice…) was booked.  I also changed the penultimate stop because I thought I found a better option.

Highlights:

  • Completing our map, YAY!  We didn’t do 48 states in 48 months, as originally planned, but we got all 48 in 61 months.  That feels like a major – if unimportant – accomplishment.
  • Seeing Jett’s sister, nephew and niece in Austin.  It is always nice to catch up with her family.
  • Seeing first-hand the utter devastation left by Hurricane Harvey.  It was stunning and sobering.
  • Losing money at the Choctaw Casino in Durant OK. No, we don’t enjoy losing money but the casino is beautiful, the machines were fun and the RV park there is spectacular.
  • Checking out some of the RV parks in south Texas.  It is unlikely that we will choose to winter here, but it is an option and we now have a much better idea what that option offers.

Lowlights:

  • The weather.  It continued to be very chilly through the first 7 hops.  Not until we got to Rockport TX did it warm up.  Now, in Brownsville TX, sweat is dripping from my brow as I type this.  Be careful what you ask for.
  • The scenery. After months in the Rockies, the Cascades and the Oregon coastal range, the flatness of Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas was pretty boring.  I didn’t get many good photos in this segment.
  • The ridiculously bad RV park that we stayed at in Brownsville.  Pitted roads with deep mud, sharp corners, poorly marked sites, office staff who gave me the wrong directions to my site and no electricity when we set up (not the park’s fault, but it contributed to my sense of being in a really bad park). One of the worst in our 5+ years of travel. I will report on this park when I document STE3 Hop 1.
  • Probably wasting $500 to buy a new TV because we thought the old one just couldn’t pull in weak stations.  Well, the new one is just as bad.  The upside is we donated the TV in Rockport.  I’m sure the RV park there – or one of their long-term residents – will appreciate it.

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