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Free Campgrounds, Free Museums and Free Attractions

April 8-15, 2019 — Being full-time traveling RVers we have the luxury of following the weather. We avoid the cold, snowy winters by heading south and the stifling hot summers by going north. The goal is to find the sweet spot in between the extremes where it is 70 degrees. 

Sometimes we do well finding the desired 70 degree temperatures and other times we struggle. This week was beyond a struggle and more like an epic fail. The week started out with two days of hot, sunny 90+ degree weather with little breeze. Thank goodness for air conditioning! The next day the heat continued and we experienced our first major dust/dirt storm ever with wind gusts nearing 80 mph.

The following days the winds remained gusty between 20 and 40 mph while the temperatures plunged to the 30’s. The air was cold enough to turn the precipitation to sleet and snow in north Texas. Brrr! 

Despite the miserable weather we did manage to have a great week. We stayed at free campsites all week, visited several free museums and traveled to multiple other free attractions in Texas and Oklahoma. Follow along below for a glimpse into our week. 

All nights this week were free stays with one night at a Harvest Hosts location and six nights at city campgrounds in Littlefield, Texas and Elk City, Oklahoma. 

Mile Driven – RV

Miles Driven – Car

We met a few new friends at Windrush Alpacas in Clovis, New Mexico. In addition to the 60+ alpacas, the farm also has llamas, a horse, a retired Jersey cow, chickens, guinea hens and several friendly cats. The farms owner, Rosemary, was very knowledgeable and passionate about the alpacas and taught us much about their care and habits. What a great Harvest Hosts location!

Rock legend and pioneer Buddy Holly was born and raised in Lubbock, Texas.  A statue and museum in his honor are located in the city between Crickets and Buddy Holly Avenues. 

Here are just a few of the many windmills at the American Windmill Museum in Lubbock, Texas. This photo was taken the day before a major wind storm was set to hit the area with predicted sustained winds at 43 mph and gusts near 80 mph. The windmills certainly must have gotten a good workout in during the storm!

Here was a fun, quirky place to visit in Lubbock, Texas. Prairie Dog Town was started in 1935 and continues to thrive today thanks to the vision and efforts of K. N. Clapp. The prairie dogs pictured below are descendents of the original two black-tailed pairs Mr. Clapp trapped and saved from the government poisoning program. 

Two great museums can be found on the Texas Tech University campus in Lubbock, Texas. The first one is simply named the “Museum of Texas Tech University” and features collections in paleontology, natural sciences, history and the arts. 

The second great museum on the campus of Texas Tech University is the “National Ranching Heritage Center”. It features both indoor and outdoor exhibits of ranching history including fifty authentic ranch buildings from the late 1700’s to the mid 1900’s. Both museums are suited for children and adults of all ages. Admission and parking are FREE. We felt both museums were well-done and very worthy of our time. 

It’s such a treat to find a free campground with water and electric. The Waylon Jennings RV Park in Littlefield, Texas offers travelers four nights free and additional nights at $20 each. The park is provided by the city of Littlefield and is named after Waylon Jennings as it is his hometown. Thanks Littlefield!

This was our view out the RV during a massive wind storm that hit north Texas. The skies were brown from flying dust/dirt. We don’t know what the wind speed topped out at but it was predicted to hit 40 mph sustained with 79 mph gusts. Luckily we were parked in a somewhat protected area at Waylon Jennings RV Park in Littlefield, TX and able to escape the full force of the gusts. 

Cadillac Ranch is a “must” stop when visiting Amarillo, Texas. This is the only place we know of where you can spray paint graffiti on Cadillacs and not be arrested. Wonder how many cans of paint have been applied to these cars over the years?

Not as popular as Cadillac Ranch but also in the Amarillo, Texas area is Combine City. Fourteen combines of varying brands are “planted” nose down in the ground. The combines are fenced off and not open to spray painting at this time. 

Where did spring go, Texas? A few days prior to taking this photo it was 91 degrees. Following the heat came the wind storm with 70+ mph gusts followed by freezing temperatures, fog, rain, sleet and SNOW. Hopefully it returns to sunshine and 70’s soon. 

From Amarillo, Texas to Elk City, Oklahoma we followed historic Route 66. We hope to someday have the opportunity to follow the route in its entirety. 

Lake front property. Such a nice change after having spent four months in the desert. Elk City Lake Park in Elk City, Oklahoma offers RVers four free nights of camping. Electricity and a dump station are available as needed.

A beautiful end to a cold windy day at Elk City Lake. Mother nature creates some fine pieces of art!

Hopefully the week of manic weather swings is behind us and spring returns soon. Follow along next week as we continue traveling in Oklahoma and make our way to Kansas and Iowa. See you then!