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We got back from our big trip in January and once March rolled around, I started getting a serious case of itchy travel feel. Two months and not even a short weekend trip might not sound that bad to most people, but I guess I just can’t sit still for that long. What made it worse is that we really didn’t have anything lined up for summer either, so I started feeling a little caged. However, we couldn’t go anywhere since we had a few events in town we really didn’t want to miss as your friends only have so many weddings and baby showers. Luckily, April came around and with it a travel opportunity: friends invited us to join their family for a weekend of camping and riding ATVs near Kermit, TX. Perfect! It’s only about 2.5 hours south of Lubbock and thus totally doable for a Friday through Sunday weekend trip – after all, I do have to hord my days off since we don’t get that many in the US.

When we arrived Friday night our friends had already parked their RV. We set up tent pretty quickly and then enjoyed a nice BBQ together. The next morning I woke up with the sun, had my breakfast consisting of granola and Frappucino, and explored the camp a little. It was beautiful with the sun just coming up. That morning light tints everything in such a soft light! I usually don’t get to see it since I sleep too long, but I enjoyed it thoroughly that morning. After everybody got up, some went on the first ride of the day and I stayed back with the other preparing the real breakfast: bacon, sausage patties, tortillas, eggs – in short, deliciousness! I went on my first ride shortly after breakfast. It took me a while to get used to the clutch and shifting gears, but once I got a handle on it, it was so much fun.

There are trails around the park that you can follow if sand dunes aren’t your thing. I liked the trails, because they are easy to follow and it gave me an opportunity to get to know the ATV a little better. The sand dunes are lots of fun though! I kind of took it easy and went through some bowls and up and down the dunes. Marco went a little more crazy and followed our friends along the ridges of the dunes and sideways on some steeper dunes. I guess I’m just too much of a chicken, because I was always afraid that the ATV was going to fall over sideways :)

This was only my second time in sand dunes without a large body of water anywhere nearby (the first time was in White Sands New Mexico which was gorgeous). It’s weird as I always half expect to see the sea after the next set of dunes. It’s no less pretty though.

Overall, we had a great time and I am so thankful to our friends for letting us tag along on their family weekend. Marco and I even got a little Easter basket filled with American goodies like Girl Scout cookies and Mini Whoppers since it was Easter weekend. Seriously! Texans are the nicest people. Where else do people just make you part of their family this quickly if even for a weekend? Talking about Girl Scout cookies… I finally tried my first thin mints. I now understand what the big fuss is about :) They are so good! On a less fun note… there was a guy with a big swastika tattoo in the park and that kind of freaked me out. I’ve written before about my thoughts on that topic and it’s one of my most popular posts (which I really didn’t expect), so I won’t go into it other than to say that it made me seriously uncomfortable to have such a sign be portrayed so openly so close to me. And really, the guy was there with his family and friends and they didn’t do anything to anybody. It just made me very uncomfortable. Anyways, they were there just for the day, so by the time Saturday evening rolled around, it was just us and a few more overnighters in the park. Luckily our friends’ parents have an RV! Rain and thunderstorm came in out of nowhere and we all happily sought aylum in the RV. I guess that would be the downside if you just went with a few tents. Even before the thunderstorm came in, it was very windy and we spent most of the afternoon in the RV hiding from the wind. By the next morning, luckily things had calmed down again and we went for more rides before driving back home to Lubbock. What a weekend!

Know before you go: 

  • Kermit Sandhills is located about 10 miles north of Kermit, TX, and not to be confused with the Monahans Sandhills State Park. The difference? Kermit Sandhills is pretty much exclusively for ATVs (and similar off-road vehicles) and Monahans State Parks allows almost everything but ATVs.
  • At Kermit Sandhills you can just put up your tent on the sand beside the RVs somewhere or, if you have one, bring your RV and hook it up to water and electricity.
  • When we were there in April, there were also quite a few people who just came out for the day and left soon after it got dark.
  • There are some covered areas with picnic tables.
  • There are two porta potties and supposedly some outdoor showers which I didn’t see, but also didn’t look for.
  • Prices: We paid $10 per day per person and $5 per tent per night I think (April 2011). Check their website for up-to-date information before you go: Kermit Sandhills.
  • You have to bring your own ATVs as you can’t rent anything there – or at least not from what I could tell.
  • Bring lots of sunscreen – the sand is pretty light and it reflects the sun, so it’s pretty strong out there.
  • The nearest towns are about 10 miles and 30 miles away, so plan ahead and bring your drinks and food. I didn;t see a shop or anything on the premises.
  • Expect lots of people! When we were there, there was everything from kids with mini-ATVs over dirt bikes to huge caged monster ATVs.

Have you ever gone riding in the sand dunes with an ATV? What was your experience? Similar to mine? Would you jump at the chance to go?

Enjoy some pics from our trip below and head on over to Travel Photo Thursday for more travel pics from around the world.

Kermit Sandhills: Fun With ATVs in the Texas Sand Dunes

Kermit Sandhills: Fun With ATVs in the Texas Sand Dunes

Kermit Sandhills: Fun With ATVs in the Texas Sand Dunes

Kermit Sandhills: Fun With ATVs in the Texas Sand Dunes

Kermit Sandhills: Fun With ATVs in the Texas Sand Dunes

Kermit Sandhills: Fun With ATVs in the Texas Sand Dunes

Kermit Sandhills: Fun With ATVs in the Texas Sand Dunes

Kermit Sandhills: Fun With ATVs in the Texas Sand Dunes

Kermit Sandhills: Fun With ATVs in the Texas Sand Dunes

Kermit Sandhills: Fun With ATVs in the Texas Sand Dunes

Kermit Sandhills: Fun With ATVs in the Texas Sand Dunes

Kermit Sandhills: Fun With ATVs in the Texas Sand Dunes

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