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Old 09-23-2012, 12:22 PM   #1
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First Time Out

We just got back from a nearby outing in Palo Duro Canyon State Park, East of Canyon, TX. Just spent one night, but it was enough to give our T-1350 a good test run. I pull it with a 2003 Chevy S-10 4-cyl. and it did a satisfactory job. Pulled well on the highway, and had no problems at all getting in and out of the canyon. Posted a couple of pictures here in an appropriately titled album.

The camping itself got off to a rocky start, though. Our spot had a picnic table that was occupied by a family (parents and 5 young-ish kids), and their table was occupied by some childish trash-mouth bozo with two pit bulls that were tied out. He was with a large tent camping group of some sort that occupied a flat open area adjacent to the TT spots. The family was off site for a while, but we set up anyhow. (I paid for it, it's my spot, and they were full up.) After the family showed up, I tried to resolve the situation myself, but it became necessary to call park officials to get the confusion straightened out. The family next to us was no problem, but they had nowhere to go because of the other guy. A park ranger came down and promptly straightened it out, and we had a picnic table. (This was a few hours after we set up.)

That little incident was met with a finger, a lot of potty mouth, general "jerk-ness" from the miscreant that couldn't understand there was one picnic table per site.

As a result of all this, we didn't feel comfortable leaving our camp site out of view to hike, for photography, or anything else. That put a big damper on things, but we did get the prime objective accomplished - testing our Sunny as far as towing, getting in and out of the canyon, set-up, etc. We only used the electric hookup because I haven't fully checked the water tanks or function of the gas appliances, and we didn't really want to use all the conveniences this time anyway. I did leak check the gas stuff, and leak checked the water lines with city pressure, but that's about it. I do have a water pressure regulator, but wanted to give the water lines/fittings a good test with the higher pressure.

All in all, it was a good overnighter. Cold have been better, but it made for a good learning experience.

-Dale
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:33 PM   #2
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Wow, those are some spectacular views! That's a shame that you had a bad experience there though. It seems like there's more of that kind of stuff going on in state parks- people aren't as respectful of others. I don't blame you for not wanting to leave the site though, I would have done the same.
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:44 PM   #3
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Wow, those are some spectacular views!
Yes, many people have no idea what's in the panhandle. You can drive right by and never know it's there. People have to get off I-40 to see it.

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That's a shame that you had a bad experience there though. It seems like there's more of that kind of stuff going on in state parks- people aren't as respectful of others. I don't blame you for not wanting to leave the site though, I would have done the same.
I hope it wasn't an omen, but their plates were from the same state Sunlines came from. <G>

One good thing - our next camping experience is bound to be better!

-Dale
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:19 PM   #4
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I hope it wasn't an omen, but their plates were from the same state Sunlines came from. <G>
Oh geez...

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Old 09-24-2012, 08:14 PM   #5
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Palo Duro Canyon, I'm jealous! Been there but didn't camp there as I'm the first in my family to have a TT. We're hoping to get our 2363 out there some day, once we get some more experience. (Sorry about the jerks from our home state tho'.)
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:49 PM   #6
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Palo Duro Canyon, I'm jealous! Been there but didn't camp there as I'm the first in my family to have a TT. We're hoping to get our 2363 out there some day, once we get some more experience. (Sorry about the jerks from our home state tho'.)
I won't hold those jerks against you.

I do understand about the experience. We'd love to have you back for a visit when you're ready.

-Dale
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:02 PM   #7
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(Sorry about the jerks from our home state tho'.)
I may have misspoke. The plate was colored like the Penn plate of the '70s. Not so now. The jerk's looks more like Delaware's. Wish I got a better look at it. Sorry for the misinfo.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:49 AM   #8
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I work part time for a camp ground and it seems that some people from away feel that it is their right to act like idiots because they bring money to the state. Often there is a little too much alcohol involved and that never brings out the best in people sorry you had so much trouble first time out it does get better.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:04 AM   #9
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In pre-planing my bucket list of things to see Palo Duro Canyon came up as a must. That is where they have the summer theater production of TEXAS isn't it? A search on Google images have many spectacular shots. Caprock Canyon is not far away from there. Would you recommend one over the other, or both?

As a PA resident I can assure you we are not all like that goofball.

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Old 09-25-2012, 10:09 AM   #10
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In pre-planing my bucket list of things to see Palo Duro Canyon came up as a must. That is where they have the summer theater production of TEXAS isn't it? A search on Google images have many spectacular shots. Caprock Canyon is not far away from there. Would you recommend one over the other, or both?

As a PA resident I can assure you we are not all like that goofball.

Regards,
MM
First of all, I must apologize to Pennsylvanians everywhere. I was going on the color scheme of the plate - and got it wrong. His plate had the color scheme of the 1970's PA plate. Hasn't been used since 1976, I believe. Now Delaware uses it. Sorry about the misinformation. I never did actually see the state's name on it, and didn't get a photo either - but I got a few good ones of him and his dogs. (He even threatened me if I took his picture.) <snicker> I have no doubt it was an isolated case, but it wasn't a good first impression for us. They are all "up" from here!

As to the canyons, I've never been to Caprock but I have it on my list. I hear it's pretty nice, though. Yes, the musical TEXAS! is at Palo Duro Canyon through the summer. I've seen it a few times since I got here in '04 and loved it every time. I've got some shots of it in my pBase galleries, too - if you're interested in digging through them.

Dale Stanton's Photo Galleries at pbase.com

-Dale
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:18 AM   #11
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I work part time for a camp ground and it seems that some people from away feel that it is their right to act like idiots because they bring money to the state. Often there is a little too much alcohol involved and that never brings out the best in people sorry you had so much trouble first time out it does get better.
Yes, I'm sure some do get really cocky simply because they're not at home and in party mode. We have friends that also work campgrounds around the country and they fill us in on strange things now and then, too. (I think they're in Michigan somewhere now.) I know it's not the norm, and may be pretty rare, but still....

We're going to give it another shot this weekend.
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:27 PM   #12
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Dale,
Thank you for the photo's. Great shots, can't wait to see it for myself.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:02 AM   #13
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We were at Palo Duro Canyon in May of 2010. Beautiful, interesting area. Had a great time, but did have some of the same type characters across the road from us, (dogs, kids, etc), and their friends in the tent area. Had to sic the Rangers on them too. Would go back again if it was closer to home... Jim
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:48 AM   #14
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We were at Palo Duro Canyon in May of 2010. Beautiful, interesting area. Had a great time, but did have some of the same type characters across the road from us, (dogs, kids, etc), and their friends in the tent area. Had to sic the Rangers on them too. Would go back again if it was closer to home... Jim
I hate to hear that, Jim. That can't be good for any campground. Is this a common occurrence? I've heard from several campers that it's "rare", but you can imagine the thoughts it puts through a first-timer's mind.

I've also learned that it's usually better to not reserve a spot. The refund policies at the campgrounds I've seen/researched say they don't give them unless something campground-related prevents you from getting a spot. Over the weekend, we had a spot reserved and prepaid. It rained quite a bit here, and conditions were such that we would pretty much be confined to the TT the whole time, so we didn't go. Since spots were available and accessible, we lost our money - but learned a lesson from it. If we were travelling the country or a distance from home, it would have been a different story.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:22 AM   #15
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Dale; I'm the navigator, secretary, chief cook and bottle washer of this duet. I've been camping for nearly 40 years, tent, pop up, Class C, fifth wheel, and then back to tent for 10 years. 3 years ago I introduced Jim to trailering, and while I love it more than he does, he does indulge me a few nice trips each year. Just got back from nearly 3 weeks in San Antonio. The only time I make reservations is if we are traveling over a holiday or busy weekend. We left for Texas over Labor day weekend. I tried making res for that Fri night back on July 4, at a popular state park here in FL and it was already booked, so had to go to choice two. I know over holidays, most parks require a 2 night stay, so I made res for Sat and Sun, again in our 2nd choice, just north of New Orleans. I did make res for the rest of the trip and then for a week at the KOA in San Ant. I don't normally do RV parks or chains. But this KOA was very convenient to where we needed to be and it was very nice. I like trees, nature trails, wilderness, not a parking lot with a swimming pool and hot tub! The KOA had it all. Coming back, I made no reservations at all, except the last Fri. I called in the AM to make sure they had a site for that night. They did at the time and I figured we could be in by mid afternoon, so didn't res anything and we had no problems. But the campground did fill up that night. Our stop in New Orleans was cancelled because of Hurricane Issac. I had been checking all week and the website said the park would be open that Sat, when our res was. Well Sat, I called and it has not opened yet! Reserve America did credit the full amount back that same day. I stopped at the AL, MS and LA welcome centers and no one could tell us how far west the flooding and power outages were. Started calling from the AAA book and got one site, but they wanted $80/per night. Talk about price gouging. Finally got a space for the 2 nights at $40/night, but it was a big parking lot. However, they have free hamburgers during the LSU game, we had just missed the chicken wing cook off and I wasn't interested in Bingo the next day! But the next town over had several antique shops, so I was OK. I figure, if need be, we could have stayed in a rest area for a few hours to catch some sleep, we have the propane tanks filled, so even with no power, I can make my tea. So the only inconvenience is no AC. Not pleasant on the Gulf Coast in Aug/Sept but doable if need be.
I guess my advise is, you're taking a break, relax, enjoy and go with the flow! If you like the cable TV, wi-fi, hot tubs, I probably would make res, but with your little TT, you are probably like us and enjoy getting out into the woods. Unless it's a holiday, I don't think you need res any place.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:53 AM   #16
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I guess my advise is, you're taking a break, relax, enjoy and go with the flow! If you like the cable TV, wi-fi, hot tubs, I probably would make res, but with your little TT, you are probably like us and enjoy getting out into the woods. Unless it's a holiday, I don't think you need res any place.
Thanks, Anne.

We've already settled to the fact that reservations are not normally necessary - not like reserving a hotel room. <G> This was even suggested by park officials when discussing refunds. (After all, it's first come, first served no matter what.) You're right - we do enjoy hiking and nature/photography. No desire to stay at big, fancy parks. We do prefer electricity and water, but have no desire for full service facilities.

We're generally good about going with the flow. As we get used to our Sunny, we'll be able to kick back and relax a little more. We've only had her out one time, and this is our first TT. As we get more familiar with our Sunny and camping with it, procedures, and technicalities, it will be a lot easier to ebb and flow with situations.

Thanks again,
-Dale
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