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Author: Anna

Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park, Middlebrook, MO

Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park, Middlebrook, MO

Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park is nestled in the St. Francois Mountains of eastern Missouri and nearby to the Taum Sauk Mountain which is the highest point in Missouri – a whopping 1,772 feet above sea level! The Shut-Ins is a type of rock formation found in streams where they carve through a mountain range, creating rivulets, rapids and plunge pools. These rock formations resist erosion and are confined to a narrow valley or canyon, with the river valley widening out both above and below. The Johnson’s Shut-In has clear, cool water, deep pools throughout with many waterfalls as the water works its way thru the rocks and a large deep pool area at the end. The river is unnavigable, even by canoe, due to the rapids and narrow channels. It was another rainy day as we walked the trail around the shut-in and watched brave people jumping into the deep pools of water from the high rocks surrounding the river. Even though the water was so clear they were a lot braver than us! The Ozarks are simply beautiful and we were anxious to see more. The trail continued straight up the side of the mountain but because of the very slippery mud we turned around and decided to play it safe stay on the lower trail along the river.

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Las Cruces, NM

Las Cruces, NM

We spent a week in Las Cruces in early March and enjoyed our stay in the Hacienda RV Resort in the heart of the city. We had THE BEST Mexican food at Nopalito Restaurant and have discovered yummy Prickly Pear Margaritas! We liked them so much we had to buy some Prickly Pear syrup so we could make our own.

We only had a couple of days to explore and get some shopping done because of weather. During several days with wild wind and dust storms we had to just hunker down, keep the windows closed and wait them out. At one point we had wind gusts over 60 MPH!

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Silver City, NM

Silver City, NM

We stayed at Rose Valley RV Ranch in Silver City. We really liked this very rustic park at 5900′ elevation as well as the surrounding area near Silver City. We were located near the back in site #61 so we had wide open views of the surrounding mountains and trails behind us. There was a historic cemetery next door where Billy the Kid’s mother is buried.

The historic downtown area of Silver City has a lot of history and was a bit more upscale than what we found in Elephant Butte or Truth or Consequences. Western New Mexico University has a big campus here and no doubt contributes to helping the town thrive. The town has a artistic and eclectic vibe with lots of art workshops with over 20 galleries, boutiques, gift shops, restaurants, etc. We really enjoyed strolling these historic streets, seeing the sites, and sampling all the espresso shops!

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Capulin RV Park

Capulin RV Park

We stayed in Capulin RV Park for 2 weeks in December leaving the RV here while we drove to Colorado to spend a wonderful few days at Christmas with our kids and grandkids.

We arrived in Capulin a week before Christmas so we could experiment with how to operate in the extreme cold weather including finding ways to reduce our propane use so we wouldn’t run out while we were away in Colorado. Many days here started out with single digit temperatures, negative degree wind chill and rarely got above freezing for a high. It was just miserably cold weather but it offered a good opportunity to figure out how our RV works in this kind of weather.

Our camp hosts, Mark and Michelle, were extremely nice and kept the park very clean. They went out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed and were comfortable during our stay. We would definitely camp here again because of their hospitality and willingness to watch over our ‘home’ while we were away. However, the 21 mile drive each way to Raton and back for gas, propane, groceries, etc. made it a bit more remote than we would normally choose (especially since the highway was closed several times for ice and snow storms). We were so glad to leave the area and get back to a bit warmer weather further south.

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Oasis RV Resort

Oasis RV Resort

We stayed at Oasis RV Resort in Amarillo, Texas for a week in December as we made our trek west.  There was a mall and some larger stores there so we could do some shopping for Christmas.  This was a very nice park with lots of space, amenities and it was well maintained.  There were no trees so staying here in the summer would be very hot but for this cold and windy time it was a good find.

The first day there we had to go to The Big Texan Steak Ranch!  We had been there before when passing thru.  It has a great variety of steaks and that was what we were hungry for.  It advertises that if you can eat a 72 oz steak and all the sides in 1 hour then it is free.  There is an elevated table set up with timers in the front of the restaurant for anyone who want to take the challenge. We did not even try!  The whole ranch is a fun place to visit.   There is a line of limousines with longhorns mounted on the front to shuttle people to and from the ranch.  Inside is an over-the-top western decorated restaurant, a gift shop, western arcade and large desert counter. 

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