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Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Hi Howard and Linda.
Welcome to New Mexico.
Howard, if you are going to be in the Four Corners area, consider playing golf at Pinon Hills Golf Course (Farmington). We live there, so let us know.The course is widely known as one of the best in the country.

Al Viscardi

Looks like you are settling into New Mexico very nicely! Love your campsite & todays pics also. Do not miss the Big Room in Carlsbad Caverns. It is spectacular. Wear good walking shoes & take your time! You can get by with sharing one of the audio guides, as the markers are spaced quite abit apart, easy to share. And only $3 each to enter the caverns, good for 3 days! A great buy..Enjoy!

Howard and Linda we enjoyed your company and the meal also it was alot of fun.
southwestjudy & Bob & 2blackdogs

A little education on Texas State Parks...and most other state parks, nationwide.

If you purchase a Texas State Parks Pass ($60.00 for one year) you do not have to pay the entry fees for up one year...(can be almost 13 months if purchased on the 1st day of March, the pass is good until March 31 or the last day of the month the next year, in which it was purchased. You can read about Texas Park passes at the following website.


Most people do not know that most states do not have big budgets for state parks. Texas Parks specifically have had about 65 % reduction in funding from the legislature. Many parks have closed due to a lack of funding. The way the parks department makes improvements, etc. is to charge an entry or parking fee per person or per vehicle. In Oregon, it is per vehicle...in Texas with a Parks Pass you AND your guests (in your vehicle) all may enter on your pass per visit.

In Oregon, the annual pass is $25.00 (2006 Rates) and the time frame is the same as in Texas...A two year pass is real bargain for $40.00.

In Oregon, they call their daily $3.00 entry fee a "parking pass" so it is per vehicle. So a pass would save you money after camping 8 days...

In Texas, I have taken as many as 8 persons (Girl Scouts over age 12) in on our vehicle pass. All you need to pay for with a parks pass is the camping fee.

If you enjoy state parks as much as Ken and I, and you are going to be in the state an extended period of time, a pass would probably save a you money.

Thanks for the information. Almost all state parks have daily entrance fees.

Some states, charge campers the daily fee per person per day on top of the camping fee. Some charge campers the daily fee per day, but it is per RV, rather than per person. Some charge a one-time entrance fee just for the first day, but not for every day you are staying. And some don't charge an entrance in addition to the camping fee at all.

Most states do have annual entrance passes and even annual camping passes.

For those states that charge a daily entrance fee on top of the camping fee, you simply have to do the math. It's easy to determine whether an annual pass is worthwhile if you know how many nights you are staying in state parks in a particular state.

With us making it up as we go, we didn't know how many nights we were going to stay in state parks in Texas. We gambled that it would be less than 10 nights - the breakeven point for the annual pass. We were wrong. :)

So annual passes can save you lots of money. Or they can cost you more than necessary. Definitely consider them if you will be in a particular state a long time.

But the state parks fee structures differ so much, you have to look at each one closely. It can get confusing, so get out the calculator. :)

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