Adventures with the Little Guy Mini-Max

Started out early on a Saturday morning with our new pickup that we just purchased 2 week prior to leaving with our 2020 MiniMAX in tow. First stop was Caprock Canyon State Park in west Texas. We were welcomed to the park with a herd of bison on our way to our campsite. The regular hook ups site were full so we ended up dry camping in the overflow lot all by ourselves. No problem! 200 watts of solar, a full refrigerator that runs well on propane, and enough fresh water for drinking. What a place to watch the sunsets and sunrises, beautiful!

Next stop on our journey was Three Rivers Petroglyph Site near Tularosa, NM. I had never heard of this place until I was inquiring on Facebook about some cool things to see and do in New Mexico. Another well traveled user recommended this place and said we would not be disappointed… we were not disappointed in the least! Beautiful, well maintained facility with thousands of petroglyphs scattered all around the valley. The site we got had water and electric hookups and we took hot showers each day we were there. I love my hot showers while out camping! From this site we were only about an hour away from White Sands National Park so we took a half day to go explore there also. The winds were blowing 30 to 40 mph and it was near white out conditions and 72 degrees. Neat experience! Headed back to camp and stopped for some local pistachios at a roadside shop. Love all the different spiced and chocolate candies made with pistachios!

Next morning we broke camp and headed east over the mountains in the Lincoln National Forest towards Roswell and ate lunch at a small downtown cafe. I don’t remember the name but I remember how good the authentic Mexican food tasted! After lunch we headed south through Carlsbad and on to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. This would make my 3rd trip though the caverns with the first trip being when I was a teenager some 43 years ago. Not much has changed, an update to the building, re-arranged gift shops and the like, but the cavern was exactly like it was the first time I visited. I did realize that it seemed smaller than I remember, now that the eyes are about a foot higher. Maybe it is just me, I don’t know. An hour and a half almost 900 feet below the surface and it was time to head on down the road to our next campsite.

We arrived at Guadalaupe Mountains National Park late, the visitor center had just closed for the night. After seeing a sign in the campground about what the current time was we figured it all out. Our cell phones synced in the wrong time zone for this location since it was just across the Texas state line. Something to remember if ever in that part of the country. We found our site, similar to a large paved parking lot with numbered stripes on where to park your RV’s. No hookups at any, just find a site you can fit in and go pay at the box near where you enter. Beautiful backdrop with the mountains starting at the edge of the campground. The weather forecast was for sub-32 degree weather for the rest of our trip so I went ahead and winterized before dark. I think it only took about 20 minutes to get all the water flushed out (fresh water only, no black or grey in my tanks) and get the pink flowing out all the faucets and the hot water tank. Went to bed early and the temps started dropping overnight. Woke up to fog and 38 degrees for our journey to the next stop.

A long days drive across west Texas to a place called Possum Kingdom State Park, about 80 miles west of Fort Worth, TX. We arrived about 5 pm and the light was fading as fast at the temperature was dropping. Winds were gusting to 35 MPH with a bed time temp around 29 degrees. Sure glad to have the cabin heater working like it should! Comfy 68 degrees inside the next morning and 24 degrees outside! I took the dog out early for a short walk and his business and was able to get some really cool photos of the fog and myst coming off of the lake. My wife made a good warm breakfast before we started to load up and head out for another long days drive to our last venue before heading home.

Our last stop on this amazing trip was a familiar place to us, we have camped here a few times before. Bluff Landing just east of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma is a nice, not well known Corps of Engineers campground with water and electric sites (and great TV signal!). Speaking of the TV signals, you can see the 2,000 ft towers about 7 miles away most of the TV station is in Tulsa use for broadcasting their signals. The search function was able to lock on to no less than 57 channels! The event we were there for was a local Dutch Oven Gathering we have attended before. The food was AMAZING! If you get a chance to go to one of these events go and learn how to cook with dutch ovens. You won’t regret and will be surprised how easy it really is. Early to bed that night with a full belly (no dinner for me!) and slept like a baby. The next morning was a casual load up of all our gear, including my ham radio antenna I strung up between the trees. As we were pulling out we stopped at another campers site who was making dutch oven monkey bread. He offered some to all of us campers and I ate more than I should, again. I think I was on a sugar high all the way home. A wonderful adventure in our MiniMAX!

Scott Bratt
Ponca City, OK

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