Dallas to Pawhuska & all things between

catching up with the cuz

We finally hit the road out of Livingston – hallelujah!! Our first stop was to meet my Aunt JoAnn and her husband Robert at Man’s Best Friend Dog Park in Mansfield, Texas (halfway between their home west of Fort Worth and our RV park east of Dallas). We grabbed some Torchy’s Tacos on the way; they were unusual but oh so delicious!! (Thanks for the recommendation, Susie!!) It was so great to catch up with my aunt – we haven’t seen her since Dad’s memorial service almost four years ago. Unfortunately we didn’t have a lot of time to hang out; we’re looking forward to visiting her home next time we swing through Texas so we can spend more time together.

After the dogs had enough playtime, we said our goodbyes and headed to the nearest Buc-ees to get gas, and because Deron’s sister Stephanie had told us we had to visit one while we were here – and she was right! If you’ve never seen one, think of a combined gas station/restaurant/shopping mall all in one building. It was so fun to shop around and see all the unique stuff! It reminded us of the huge Autogrills on the Autostrada in Italy (but even bigger).

We arrived around 5pm in our RV park – and lo and behold, there were people out and about!! Plus, we were on a nice, flat concrete pad, and there were all kinds of grocery stores and restaurants nearby. It felt like we finally came back to civilization! The next morning we headed over to visit my cousin Michael and his wife Heather (and son Parker) in their beautiful home in Dallas. We spent hours talking and reminiscing about everything under the sun while our dogs played with their golden retrievers. Michael grilled tasty steaks that we enjoyed for lunch with Heather’s yummy roasted potatoes, and then he and Deron picked up a truckload of sushi for dinner.

The next morning we headed back over to Mike and Heather’s, but stopped on the way for Deron to finish the last part of his LTC application – getting fingerprinted.  Mike and Heather treated us to a delicious lunch at their favorite Mexican restaurant, Mi Cocina, and then dog whispered our dogs to sleep while we ran to Costco to stock up. After we managed to cram our supplies and the dogs into the car, we said goodbye to our fabulous hosts, and headed back to the RV park. As we packed up and prepared to leave in the morning, we realized that as excited as we had been to see people in the park that we could interact with, we weren’t ever able to actually meet anyone, as we’d been gone the whole time we camped there. Ugh!

Tuesday we headed out early as Deron had an appointment to take his commercial driver’s license driving test (of course he passed; he’s an excellent driver 😊), and then we headed to McAlestar, Oklahoma. Trying to navigate (with ZERO cell service) to the local dog park was a little scary – lots of narrow streets and low-hanging branches, but we managed to arrive safely and give the dogs a chance to run around the big, beautiful park. When we arrived at our nearby RV park, Deron discovered the Honda’s battery was dead, and the tire pressure light was on again. (We had just had a flat fixed and gotten two new tires last week!) Thankfully once he jumped it, it was ok, and the tires are all fine. He thinks the parking brake was on just a little bit, which apparently causes a lot of havoc.

We only stayed one night in McAlestar (listening to cows lowing at the nearby stockyard and the train whistling on the nearby track all night) and then headed to Bartlesville via a super confusing toll road (thanks, GPS) where the only option was to pay with exact change – which we did not have. So, there’s possibly a ticket in our future…

After setting up camp, we explored the walking path and little dog park on the premises, and then took off to check out Bartlesville and nearby Pawhuska. Right off the bat we noticed many of the businesses in Bartlesville have a buffalo statue out in front, each painted in a unique style. No idea why, but it was fun to try to snap pics whenever we saw one.

We stopped at Freddy’s Steakburgers for lunch – kind of a weird burger concept: they smash the ground beef way down so that it has “crispy edges” (no idea why they use the word “steak” in their name – no steak was involved in the smashing of the burger). I’m not a fan. After lunch we continued to Pawhuska to get the lay of the land for our shopping/eating trip the next day (for those who don’t know, Pawhuska’s claim to fame is the Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile – see FoodNetwork for more info). The downtown area has a lot of really neat old buildings, and the Mercantile building fits right in.

Back at the RV park later that night, Deron met some fellow former Californians who had moved to Texas a couple years ago and had just sold that house to move to Bartlesville. The next day Deron and I headed to the Mercantile to shop and have lunch – and so did the other Californians, unbeknownst to us. While I was shopping I heard someone behind me say “I see the Californians are here” and I could not for the life of me figure out how he knew we were from California – until Deron told me it was the family he’d met the night before, haha!

The Mercantile has lots of cool stuff but I limited myself to a couple souvenirs. After we finished shopping we had some coffee in the bakery (mine was a “spicy cowgirl” Mexican chocolate mocha😊) while we waited for our lunch table to be ready. They took Deron’s cell number to text him when it was time to be seated, but a few minutes later it occurred to me that they couldn’t text him, since we had ZERO service in Pawhuska (see random observation about Verizon and Oklahoma)! So Deron let the host know, and we ended up just going back down to the restaurant a bit later to check, and our table was ready. I heard the host talking to another party complaining that they’d never gotten his text, and he said, “Yeah, sometimes when it’s raining our service is spotty.” I felt like saying “Hello!! Even when it’s not raining there’s no Verizon service around most of Oklahoma! Perhaps you should find a new way of letting people know their table’s ready!!” Anyhow, our lunch was delicious.

Friday we headed out for a Harvest Host stay at the Stafford Air and Space Museum in Weatherford, Oklahoma. There was an awful lot of roadkill on the highway; at least two of them were armadillos, so we’re still hopeful we may see one (a live one) yet. Thankfully, we had great cell service through most of the drive – but one mile away from the museum – suddenly, no service again. Ugh!

Since it had been a long travel day, as soon as we parked and set up (which is minimal when boondocking), we took the dogs to a local dog park (after Deron stood in the lobby of the museum to use their Wi-Fi to get directions). Afterwards we grabbed an early dinner at Braum’s Burgers and Ice Cream – we’ve seen tons of them since we got into Oklahoma, so we figured we might as well try one. They were so busy at 3:30 in the afternoon! The burgers were pretty good – better than the flat “steakburgers” we had the other day!

Now that we’re out on the road again, we’ve got lots to do (and billions of pictures to take), so I hope you’re looking forward to hearing about all the things. Love and miss you all!

praise & prayer

I read about a couple that travels around the country doing marriage counseling from their RV; they post on social media where they’ll be and give the RV park they’ll be staying at some promotional materials – and they’re often booked solid with appointments with couples who are driving each other crazy living in their RV! I can see why; being in this tight space together is teaching us to have more kindness and forbearance for each other, and to be better at communicating. We love it!

We’re currently working on on-the-road income-generating ideas (i.e. some kind of food sales out of the RV? Deron is thinking of making a #schutzonthemove sticker for the back of the RV so I can get more followers and we can use the blog for promoting where we’ll be selling our fabulous food, or doing whatever.) Thanking God for being with us on the road, and for all the things He’s provided for us to see and do in our beautiful country. Praying that we’re representing Him well in all we say and do.

travel teasers… what’s next?

Stafford Air and Space Museum

Cross Ministries in Groom, TX

Pike’s Peak, Manitou Cliff Dwellings, Cave of the Winds, Garden of the Gods, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado

6 thoughts on “Dallas to Pawhuska & all things between

  1. Glad you made it to Buckee’s. If you go back through Texas Velvet Taco is also really good and unique tacos. I love Torchy’s they do a great job, they make everything from scratch too.

    Greg loves his 2 meat combo when he goes to TX he always gets BBQ. I asked him for recommendations but, he just goes to the McDonalds of BBQ when he is there, so I can’t vouch for it.

    Looks like fun!!



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