Eclipse Trip Leg 6 — Kerrville to Dallas/Fort Worth

And then it was time to leave Kerrville and head northeast to Dallas/Fort Worth. It was an exciting and very rainy drive.

Texas takes their drainage ditches seriously and now we know why. They even put flash flood warnings on the digital billboards. There was so much rain! We passed an intersection closed to flooding and saw rapids in the creek beneath another road.

I have never seen so many wildflowers or in so many colors (red, peach, yellow, purple, and white). Maybe it’s just because we weren’t driving on a major highway, but I didn’t expect the road to be so pretty.

Thank you, Texas, for introducing me to frontage roads and turnarounds. They make life much easier. Another Texas thing (and possibly elsewhere) is that many car dealerships have something over parts of the parking lot to provide shade.

Where We Stayed

North Texas Jellystone is an enormous campground! To give you an idea, we were in site #455. Our site was very spacious. It was really windy here! Not sure if that’s typical of the area, but the winds really tested our flag pole.

Campground NameNorth Texas Jellystone
LocationBurleson, TX
DatesApril 9-11, 2023
Site NumberSite 455
Site SurfacePaved, level
Hook-upsFull hookups + 50-amp electric
Cost$85 per night (including taxes)
Water Pressure85 psi
Voltage125 V
AT&T Speed Test13 Mbps down; 13 Mbps up
T-Mobile Speed Test311 Mbps down; 40 Mbps up

This campground isn’t just for RVers, far from it actually. They have more options than I’ve seen anywhere else. In addition to RV sites of all types, you could stay in a cabin, a tipi, a Conestoga wagon, a “grain bin” cabin, and more!

We must have visited North Texas Jellystone before the “season” starts, because almost nothing was open. That was disappointing because the campground itself has a lot to offer. There are at least four pools. The two largest were closed, possibly for maintenance because one was empty and the other was low. We found two others that looked like your typical hotel pool and didn’t appear closed, but the gates were always locked. There’s also a water park, but that was also closed.

We didn’t go in person to investigate, but their map shows things like archery, a maze, and a climbing adventure area!

They have a few nature trails. My favorite feature was the petting zoo! There’s a fenced area with chickens, a donkey, two alpacas, a calf, goats, a sheep, and maybe some others. There are some brushes in a basket on the fence, so it seems like there are times when you’re allowed to go in with the animals. Unfortunately, the sign always said closed and the gate was always locked whevener we passed.

I know this isn’t the most popular topic, but can we take a minute to talk about the laundry room! Their laundry room was incredible! They have two huge tables for folding and several rolling carts for moving laundry from the washers on one side of the room to the dryers on the other side. Along the outside of the laundry room are individual bathrooms (I think eight), each with a toilet, sink, and shower.

What We Did

Bailey Lake Park

Bailey Lake Park is about a 10-minute drive from the campground. There is a paved walking trail (basically a sidewalk) around an eight-acre lake. The park also connects to several other trails.

This was an unexpected place for a mural! I think that makes me like it even more.

And we saw this momma duck and her ducklings.

Fort Worth Water Gardens

The bad timing on this trip continued at the Fort Worth Water Gardens, because the water was off while they were being cleaned.

We found one pool that was separate from the main section, so it was working normally, and just that one was cool to see. Even without the water on, you can tell this is something to see, so if you’re ever near Fort Worth, I suggest stopping by.

As it was starting to rain and we were headed to the zoo next, we walked around downtown Fort Worth in search of a store that sold umbrellas. It seems like a nice city, just not quite as pretty as San Antonio.

Fort Worth Zoo

Warning: This is going to be a long section. There will be videos of baby animals, but there will also be nerdy observations about zoo exhibits and signage.

We visited on a very windy day. It was raining when we arrived. At the ticket booths were signs warning that many animals may not be in their outdoor exhibits that day due to the weather. I was not expecting to see much, but it turned out to be a great visit.

The primates definitely weren’t happy with the weather, but most of the other animals were out and about.

Fort Worth Zoo Travel Tip

Admission is half-price on Wednesdays at the Fort Worth Zoo.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a lion cub at a zoo. It was fun to watch him bounce around.

And then there was the baby elephant playing with a stick.

The tigers weren’t very active, but their exhibit was very impressive.

The African painted dogs were up and about exploring.

The children’s area looked amazing! We went in to look at the baby longhorn (he was precious by the way), and I couldn’t help but notice that it looked more interesting than the kids’ area I’ve seen in some other zoos.

They also have a Texas Wild! section. I’ve seen zoos devote a sectipn to local wildlife, but Fort Worth outdid themselves here.

Also, their herpetarium is incredible. There are so many species! The one I most wanted to see was the gharial. “The Fort Worth Zoo is the only institution in the United States to have produced multiple offspring of the gharial, a critically endangered species.” (That comes directly from the FW Zoo’s website.) Sadly, this is the best photo I was able to manage that day.

I thought they did a pretty good job with signage at the Fort Worth Zoo.

Most zoos have signage about the species in a particular exhibit, but the Fort Worth Zoo had some interesting signs that went beyond that.

For example, there was one showing a map with multiple species. I would have liked the sign better if the colors were transparent, so you could see if/where the species’ ranges overlapped, but it was still interesting. There was another sign showing some animals that live at different depths around an oil rig.

A lot of the signage in the herpetarium was digital, so you could tap the screen to bring up information about another species. The only thing I think would have made it better is having something to indicate that you could interact with these signs. I almost missed it!

There were also signs that were just fun, not educational.

Ok, enough about signage. On to clever design. We were walking along a path when the wall to our right started to move and a gap appeared. When it was big enough, an employee drove a vehicle through and then the wall slid back. If we hadn’t been there to see them drive through, we would have never known it did that! I wish I’d thought to get a video of this, because a photo just doesn’t do it justice.

Two minutes before this was taken, that gap in the wall wasn’t there!

They also incorporated this bus into the lion exhibit as a viewing window. You can go inside and look through the windows!

I saw several “education stations” in the zoo. There weren’t all in use when we passed, but they seem like a great way to bring an interactive component to the guest experience.

I think this is the first time I’ve seen a hummingbird in a zoo. It was interesting to see him flit around. And when he sat still was the longest I’ve ever been able to watch a hummingbird.

Can you find the tiny little bird in this picture? Hint: follow the white arrow.
Super Star Car Wash

Between bugs and mud, the truck was a mess, so we went in search of a car wash. Even without the RV, we are too tall for most automatic car washes, but we got lucky! We found a Super Star Car Wash with a clearance of I think 7’4″. Jesse gives this location bonus points because they supplied clean towels at the vaccuums so you can dry your windows and mirrors.

Where We Ate

Not Your Average Fast Food Place — Props to In-N-Out

We stopped for lunch at In-N-Out one afternoon. The food was better than I expected. The burger had a good flavor and tasted fresh. They even had pink lemonade, so bonus points there. But the longer we sat in the booth, the more impressed I became, and it had nothing to do with our food.

First, it was windy, cold, and rainy that day. There was a sign on the counter that kids can get a free hot cocoa on rainy days. I think that’s a super sweet idea.

Second, another sign on the counter was about adding a donation. Not an unusual question, but it also said In-N-Out would match the donation 3 to 1. Now I’m really impressed.

Finally, while we were eating, a family came in with a typical three-year-old (a little bit loud and really busy). An employee appproached him with a smile and handed him what looked like one or two sheets of stickers. It was a simple thing, but I Think those matter.

So overall, In-N-Out seems better than your average fast food place.


The birds sound different here! I can’t always see the bird at the time, but I’ve thought several times that they sound different. I did manage to catch one of those black birds. I’ve heard stranger sounds on this trip, but this is the best video I’ve managed to get.

The squirrels are gray and brown here, not gray and white like they are at home.

Happy travels!

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