Monday, November 11, 2019

Day 22, Fort Stockton RV Park, Fort Stockton, TX

Site 10, Fort Stockton RV Park
A warm night - I didn't fire up the electric heater & it was only down to 62°F outside & 68°F inside. After breakfast & coffee, I packed up the trailer and headed west. All of the drive except the first couple of miles was on I 10. While it started out around 62°F, it kept getting cooler as I drove west. Lots of side winds, enough to "twitch" the trailer a bit. Nothing the F 150 couldn't handle, but I'm glad I don't have a lighter truck.

By the time I stopped at Fort Stockton, it was down to 38°F, it is 37°F now at 4:00, with a predicted low tonight of 24°F. I found the furnace running when I opened the trailer door at the campground. I didn't bother to hook up the water - I'll run off the tank for the night to save freezing the water hose.

I'm in site 10, a pull through full hookup site for $36.00 per night with a GoodSam discount. The bathrooms are just a few steps away, and have very nice individual shower rooms with sink & toilet. It is heated! The first commercial campground since the Jonestown KOA the second day of the trip. Since the prediction for tomorrow is ice on the roads south of I 10 and that is the direction I'm heading to get to Big Bend, I decided to stay for two nights. With the easy access from I10, there is a steady string of RVs coming into the park.

After setting up I headed to Walmart for supplies for the next week - there isn't much shopping between here and the Rio Grande Village campground in Big Bend. I got way too much freezer stuff, and, naturally, after filling my cart with what I felt I could squeeze in the freezer, I discovered they had one of my favorites that I haven't found in over 6 months  - Amy's Mushroom Risotto Bowl - I added 2 boxes. The freezer is crammed. I even wrote down the cooking instructions & took stuff out of the boxes to make more room.

I've been looking for a Weber Q1000 grill to replace the one I currently have, but no luck. While they don't stock them in their stores, I can order one from Ace Hardware, but would have to find one to ship it to. Unfortunately, Herb's Hardware in Quartzsite is a True Value Hardware store. The nearest Ace in in Blythe, CA. I was hoping I'd go by a Camping World on the road since they usually stock them & I get a member discount, but haven't seen one so far.

There is a restaurant in the campground with what has been described as a limited menu, but it looks like it is limited to just the stuff I like, so even though a nasty, cold rain is falling, I'll probably head over there for dinner.

Dinner was at the campground restaurant - I had the chicken fried steak. A bit tougher than I like, but filling. A free cup of Blue Bell ice cream for dessert.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Day 21, South Llano River State Park, Junction, TX

Site 42
I woke up to screaming kids at 7:00AM, not that it made much of a difference since that is the time I do my first morning eye drops. After breakfast I did some forum reading while enjoying my morning coffee, then packed up the trailer. On the way out of the park I dumped the trailer tanks. I could have gone longer since they were only 1/2 full, but the dump station was on the way out & empty.

Close to 300 miles today, however 50 of that was a mistake. I put the wrong campground into the GPS, and didn't realize I was going the wrong way until I passed part of the Texas A &M campus tthat I passed on the way to Lake Somerville campground. Other than that, an uneventful drive on various Texas secondary 2 lane roads (with 70 MPH speed limits). The last ten miles heading west was on I 10.

I'm in site 42, a back in electric & water site that is level enough that I didn't need to unhook. The picnic table has a roof & is behind the site, and the restrooms are next door. $25.00 for the night. While there is free admission to Texas parks today, it doesn't count if you are staying overnight.

I chatted with a couple that are towing a 17' Casita with a Toyota FJ Cruiser & showed them the Escape. While they liked the size, they are not interested in giving up the FJ Cruiser; I don't blame them.

By the time I finished setting up the trailer it was dinner time.

Dinner was a couple of Hot Pockets Garlic Chicken White Pizzas.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Day 20, Lake Somerville State Park, Birch Creek Unit, TX, Day 3

A Tree By The Lake
A beautiful day. It only got into the mid 60's, but clear skies so the sun felt wonderful. I walked around the loop and discovered it was 3/4 filled, mostly with tent campers. Two families moved in next to me last night. Very loud kids, but they were having a good time. They spilled into my site, but is it so large that it wasn't a problem. I do believe they have the record for the smokiest campfire, although the new couple on the other side of me is trying hard for #2.

On the walk around I took a couple of photos of some interesting trees down by the lake. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After that it was back to the trailer to do some reading. Once the outside temperature broke 60°F, I got out my chair & sat outside. Around 2:30 I braved the shower. The best I can rate it for is a C. Separate drying room, but the only hooks are 3 nails in the wall. No bench or shelf in either the drying room or shower. No shower curtain. The shower is aimed at the drying room, but a narrowed entrance to the shower keeps most of the spray off the floor. Only lukewarm water, which is a problem because the room is cold. While it may be 65°F outside, the building retains the cold from last night. In any case, I managed.

After the shower it was more reading - current book is Recursion, by Blake Crouch. An interesting SiFi on my Kindle, borrowed from the New York City Library.

Dinner was a grilled chicken thigh (actually 2 since they were small), mashed potatoes, and applesauce.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, November 8, 2019

Day 19, Lake Somerville State Park, Birch Creek Unit, TX, Day 2

Light rain & cold! The high today was 50°F. While the rain stopped around 2:00PM, it is still kinda raw out. Also lonely. I knew that there would be plenty of sites available when I checked the Texas Reserve America site, but other than the host, I'm not sure there is anyone in the Post Oak loop. Of course I do have my deer herd. A 6 point buck joined the group this afternoon.

I spent the day reading. I was going to head for the showers, but while the bathroom MAY be heated, it can't be set for more than 50°F or so. Tomorrow is suppose to be 10 degrees warmer than today, so I'll wait until then.

Since the rain stopped, I did a walk around the loop. I dropped off a bag of trash at the dumpsters, and on the way around the loop noticed that most of the sites have a red "R" indicating that they are reserved. I suspect it only means that they are reservable, since they are all empty. In any case, I'm it for the loop. Since it is a long weekend, maybe they will all show up tonight!

Dinner was a Banquet Chicken Fajita Mega Bowl. I used my electric corkscrew to open a bottle of Silk & Spice wine. I laughed at a friend for using one, but I have to admit that it is much easier than the old fashion corkscrews, and I'm hooked. As to the Fajita Bowl, it won't go high on my "to buy" list, but it was editable.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Day 18, Lake Somerville State Park, Birch Creek Unit, TX

Site 38
How do you know you're in Texas? The speed limit on the 2 lane road without shoulders changes from 55 MPH to 75 MPH! Most of today's 234 miles was on 2 lane roads, with a few sections that were 4 lane. A bit longer than my usual 150 - 200 mile drive, but I wanted to try a new campground.

I'm in site 38, an electric & water site for $24.00 per night ($20.00 for the site & a $4.00 park entry fee). A very large site with some pretty colored berries on a nearby bush and its own herd of deer. Berry & deer photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I definitely drove through the cold front that was approaching Louisiana. My first stop for gas was comfortable in a tee shirt, while my second stop in College Station, TX was windy & cold even with a flannel shirt. Rain most of the trip. Right now, at 4:30, it is 57°F with a light wind, but no rain.

I relaxed after the drive for a bit, then started today's journal & dinner.

Dinner was Barber Chicken & Broccoli & mashed potatoes.

Until Tomorrow -