Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Overnight at Monahans Sandhills State Park with Mr. T

Pam found a Texas State Park along our route from Aledo Texas (near Fort Worth) to Benson Arizona.

It was too far to drive in one day.  In fact we divided it up into a more comfortable three days and made a reservation at Monahans Sandhill State Park.  It reminded me a little of White Sands National Monument but on a smaller scale.

We haven't stayed in too many Texas State Parks over the years but we were glad to find this one.
The entrance provided for easy access off I-10 was a well designed with the ranch sign over the road.
The Visitor Center where we registered had an area out back that led to a desert trail that looked inviting.
 Inside they had a display and history center that included information on the expansion of the Texas and Pacific Railway through southern Texas in the 1880s.  A surveyor for the railroad, John Monahan was dispatched to find water for the workers laying the tracks in that area.  He found water and workers congregated there, eventually establishing businesses and the small town.
 In 1926, oil was found in the area and the boom began!  As we concluded our quick tour of the displays, we were met by Park Ranger Arturo T.  He said, "You probably won't remember my last name, folks here call me Mr. T."
 Mr. T. told us the area was in the midst of another oil boom and the area had grown to over 30,000 people and was likely to reach the high of a few years ago of 60,000 population.  Interesting.
He also said the State Park had to sift through potential guests wanting to stay in the campground because a lot of the oil workers ask to stay at the park.  Instead, many workers end up staying in over-priced RV parks that have sprung up all over for miles around.

One thing we will remember about Monahans is the oil boom that IS occurring in the area.  Miles and miles of oil related businesses near Odessa, Midland and Monahans as well as all the 'pump jacks' (what we just called oil wells) dotting the horizon.

Turns out Mr. T. is from Roswell NM and we are within a few years age-wise.  I asked if he knew the legendary LPGA golfer Nancy Lopez who was from NM.  He said, "Believe it or not, my Father-In-Law was best friends with Nancy Lopez' father".  How about that?

We moved on and found our campsite in the midst of the mounds of sand dunes.  What an anomoly in the middle of the country side.
 If you notice, we decided not to open the front DS slide.  I was just a little too close to the campground road for my liking so we didn't do that.  Ended up being fine for a one night stay.
 This is a photo (above) of our spot next to the sand dunes.
We got our walking sticks and walked about a quarter of a mile up to the top and looked around.  It was beautiful.
 We loved our unique spot in the middle of west Texas.  I hand no idea there was a few square miles of real sand dunes out here.  It was beautiful.

And so was the sunrise next morning from our site.
 On the way out we had to wait a few minutes for a very long trail to pass and we had time to take another photo of the visitor center from the entrance road.
Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!


  1. We stayed there for a couple of nights in 2016 ... enjoyed it. The campsites aren’t the greatest ... especially when drifting sand takes away some of the space, but we made it work.

  2. That title was great click bait! I did not know about the oil boom and sand dunes either. Guess I was sleeping when I drove through there. I think you meant you waited for a train, but then again perhaps it was an interesting trail. Fun post.