Kayaking on Caddo Lake

I have been carrying my kayak around ever since I began RVing.  Since it is too big to store in the available storage areas I decided the best place for it was next to me in the overhead bead.  I literally sleep with my kayak.  Of course it is not a hard shell kayak but an inflatable model that I purchased from Inflatable Boats 4 Less.  They are rather inexpensive and they build a real quality product.  I purchased the 370 model it before I started my trip but only blew it up once just to see what it looked like.  Yesterday was the first day I had it on the water.

WHAT HAVE I BEEN WAITING FOR!!!!  One reason was many of the campgrounds I have stayed at do not have a lake or river.  The other reason was that I was just a bit nervous in that I am alone and if something should happen I would be literally up a creek (only with a paddle).  I know! Neither of these excuses are acceptable.

Anyway to make a long story short I decided to make my maiden voyage with my Sea Eagle 370.  It weighs 32 pounds so I didn’t want to carry it down to the boat ramp to launch it.  I disconnected my electric/water and drove down to the boat ramp, unloaded the kayak and proceeded to blow it up with the foot pump that is part of the package.

In less then 15 minutes I was ready to launch.  Not bad!!  Here is a pic of my Sea Eagle 370 ready to take off from the shore.  That is my rig in the background parked at the boat ramp.

Be sure to click and then click again to enlarge all photos.

I launched it without mishap and headed off in to open water.  Around the boat ramp is a “no wake” area so I decided to stay in that area until I got more used to the kayak.

Here I am headed down stream in my kayak.  It is extremely easy to handle and I got the hang of it right from the start.  What a blast!!!

The temperature at the campgrounds was 102 degrees so needless to say it is even hotter on the open water.  I did take plenty of water with me, but I still wanted to find a shady spot under the trees.

I found this beautiful spot upstream from the boat ramp.  By the way I had no problem traveling upstream in my kayak.  I moved along at a pretty good clip.  I am very surprised how easy it is to maneuver.

This was a great spot for just kicking back and relaxing.  What a life!!  LOL!!

Today I added another dimension to my RV’ing lifestyle.  I am so pleased with myself for 1. Purchasing this great Sea Eagle kayak at such a great price, (be sure to check out their site for discounts).  2. Finally getting it out on the water.  3. Realizing how easy it is to maneuver.  4. RELAXING!!! (Naturally the best part).

I can’t wait to get it back on the water again to hone my kayak skills (and my relaxing skills as well HA!).

Caddo Lake Boat Tour

Caddo Lake State Park takes up only a small portion a corner of Caddo Lake so I thought it a good idea to take a boat tour that I could catch right at the state park.  The price was $17.50 for adults but I only had to pay the geezer price of $15.  It was a small flat bottom tour boat with motor.

A couple of groups of boaters enjoying the water.

Be sure to click and then click again to enlarge all photos.

More people enjoying the water.

Road ends?  Not sure what that is all about.

You see all sorts of homes around the edge of the lake.

The main thing here was that they had access to the water for both swimming and boating.

This home was like a small mansion.

You could barely see this home.  But I bet the trees kept it much  cooler on this 102 degree day.

I took a short video showing some of the beautiful homes and the water activities going on at Caddo Lake over the July 4th holiday weekend.

It was really fun going on this tour and seeing all the beautiful homes and cottages along the shore as well as all the people trying to cool off from the heat.  Maybe tomorrow I will try my luck at fishing.

Caddo Lake State Park – Karnack, TX

Since I have been in Texas I have mostly opted to stay at the Texas State Parks.  They have a lot to offer but if  you plan on staying at them you should also purchase the Texas State Parks Pass for $60.  The parks all have different camping fees but each park requires a daily entrance fee in addition.  So far I have saved $183 dollars by not having to pay an entrance fee and it only cost me $60.  I was also able to use it to get my family in Cedar Hill SP several times.  It covers anyone that you are in the same vehicle with.

Caddo Lake had a weekly rate of $75 which I decided to take advantage of since it was the holiday weekend and I didn’t want to have to deal with traffic.  Normally the fee for a campsite with water and electric costs $12 per night.  There is a $2 entrance fee which I wasn’t required to pay since I have the Texas States Park Pass.  With the pass and the weekly rate it only costs me $75 vs $98 for 7 nights and no pass.  Not bad huh!!!!!

My only request when I registered at the visitor’s center was that I have a site with plenty of shade.  I have made the same request at the last two Texas state parks and each one told me that all there sites were shaded.  That was not true and both times I had to request another site.  I trusted the ranger that she knew what she was talking about and sure enough ALL of the campsites here are very shaded with huge trees all around.  Of course my A/C is running constantly since the temperature will no be going under 98 the whole week I am scheduled here.  Plus it is very humid.  YUK!!!

Be sure to click and then click again to enlarge all photos.

I got out in the morning to take a hike before it got too hot (only in the 80’s LOL!).  I read online about a app for my Droid Incredible called RunKeeper.  It keeps track of your hikes and gives you distance, speed, calories burned and even gives you a map of your hike.  It is pretty awesome.  I hiked down to the Saw Mill Pond on the edge of the lake where there is a fishing dock.  You can also rent canoes and take a tour of the lake on a large boat as well.  The lake is a cypress swamp with trees covered with Spanish moss growing in the water.  It is very surreal.

Lots of lily pads growing all around the fishing pier.  I am not sure how you would be able to fish here.

Farther up the road I found a nature trail that I decided to check out.  It was almost a mile long and came out near the park headquarters.

The forest around is very dense but the trail was well marked.

By the time I got back to my rig my t-shirt was soaked completely through.  I want to do some fishing here but have decided I need to get up earlier to avoid the heat and humidity.

Purtis Creek State Park – Eustace, TX

As much as I enjoyed spending a lot of time with my family in Fort Worth, TX., I was really glad to get back on the road again and seeing this beautiful country.  My first stop was only about 75 miles away so it was an easy drive.  I landed at Purtis Creek State Park just outside of Eustace, TX.  It is about 4 1/2 miles down a narrow farm road from Hwy 175.  At first I thought my GPS was leading me astray, but I continued down the road as it had instructed and came out right at the entrance to the park.

While driving there I got a phone call from my Mom, which I answered and put on speaker.  All of the sudden my phone dropped the call.  I pulled over to call back but couldn’t connect.  That should have been a signal as to what I was in store for.  I signed in at the park office and then decided to park at my site and then finish the call.  I had trouble but was able to walk to a spot where I could complete my call to my Mom.  It was sure great talking with her.

Whenever I get set up in any campsite I always setup my laptop to see if I am able to get a good Internet connection.  I could get connected but didn’t even have one bar and kept getting dropped out.  I checked my cell phone and was also having trouble connecting with that as well.  I have Verizon Wireless for both my Internet and my cell phone.  BUMMER!!!!

I do have a Wilson Electronics Dual Band Trucker Mirror Mount Antenna with 3-Way Mount  that connects to my Verizon 3G UMW190 which will boost my signal.  I hooked it up and have had great reception ever since.  Unfortunately I don’t have an amplifier for my phone so if I need to make a call I usually have to walk about 1/4 mile to where I get good reception.

The site the rangers assigned to me had very little shade.  When it is 100+ degrees you need as much shade as you can get.  I returned to the visitor’s center and they happily changed me to the site I wanted.  This is where I am parked for 3 days.  It is not completely in the shade but for the hottest time of the day it is shaded.

Be sure to click and then click again to enlarge all photos.

I took a hike down to the fishing pier to check it out.  There were two guys down there and they both were not having too much luck catching anything but small fish that they threw back.  I could have gone back and got my fishing equipment but didn’t have any bait.  I could have driven down to get bait but would have to crawl on my roof and take down the Wilson antenna.  Besides it was very hot and they didn’t seem to be having any luck so I figured I would have even less luck,

I took a short hike around my campsite.  I was able to follow a trail down to a small creek in back of my site.  This next pic is almost half way to the creek looking back to my rig.

Here I am at the creek.

The following pic was taken from the creek area back to my rig.  You can barely see the rig.  The forest is very dense around here.  On a walk yesterday I saw a deer standing on the edge of the forest.  Once she saw me she took off into the woods.  I was hoping I could run into her again but no such luck.

I am only here for 3 nights and will be leaving here tomorrow and heading to Caddo Lake State Park on the edge of the Texas/ Louisiana border.

Wrapping up Visit With Family

I wrapped up my visit with my son and grandkids on Sunday 6/26.  We decided to go to Putt-Putt (the kids called it Butt-Butt) and have some fun.  Here a pic taken of Garrett and Eric on the Putt-Putt course.  It was really fun.

Garrett teeing off.

Rachael ready to hit a “hole in one”!

After the final hole.

We won some tokens and bought other tokens so we could play with the pin ball machines.  How fun is that!!  Playing “Deal or No Deal”.  We divided up all the tokens and each of them had fun playing different games.

The kids put all their winning tokens together and surprised Grandpa with several gifts.  That was so nice of them?  They were always thinking of me and I am so lucky to have such caring grandkids.  We all went back to my rig and had a fun time talking, laughing, playing with puzzles, and goofing off.  Rachael is goofing off here.  I loved it.

All three of them on my couch.

Rachael explaining how to put together the puzzle they all gave me.

DA DA!!!  She put it together in no time flat.

DUH!!  Why couldn’t I figure that out?

Here she is putting her leg behind her head.  I tried it after they left and could not even come close to performing this stunt.  You don’t think age has anything to do with this do you?

My time with my son and grandkids is over for this year.  I have been here over a month excluding the time I spent flying to CA.  I really enjoyed my visit despite the hot weather.  I promised them I would return next year when it was much cooler and we could do more outside activities.  Maybe in the Fall.

Although I have been here over a month it seemed like just yesterday when I arrived.

Thanks Curt, Garrett, Eric and Rachael.  You guys are the greatest!!!!!

Visiting Family on Father’s Day – One of the Great Benefits of RVing.

After my son went to church with the family they drove out to Cedar Hill State Park where I am camped for 2 weeks to spend Father’s Day with me.  I called to tell him to notify me when they got close to the campground.  I would drive my RV to the entrance of the park and as long as I was in the car with them I could cover their $5 per adult entrance fee with my Texas State Parks Pass.  By the way it also covers my entrance fee each day I am in a Texas State Park.

I hate to admit it and feel very stupid, but I was having such a wonderful day with my family I completely forgot to take pictures.  I had my camera handy in my pants pocket but forgot it was even there.  You will just have to use your imagination to picture the six of us comfortably visiting and playing games in my home on wheels.

Be sure to click and then click again to enlarge all photos.

It was 102 degrees outside but very comfortable inside with the A/C running all day.  The restroom was conveniently across the street from my rig.  We all had a great time playing several games including a new game on TV called baggage where each person has to tell something secret about themselves that the others don’t know.  That was really fun.  Then we played the old card game called War.  Rachel was the winner of that game.   My son Curt gave me 2 bottles of Joe T Garcia’s Salsa both hot and mild and a huge package of sweet rolls which I will be enjoying for days.  The kids gave me a sunglasses case enscribed with “Maui Jim’ on it.  That’s about as close to Hawaii as I will get.

I barbequed cheeseburgers for dinner with beans, chips and cookies.  Everyone chowed down.  Curt, Eric and Rachael went for a short walk but didn’t stay out too long before they came back to the comfort of the RV.  In Texas 5:00pm is the hottest point of the day and it did hit 102. YUK!!!!!

They didn’t leave until almost 9:00.  I told them it was the VERY BEST Father’s Day I have ever had.  It was so much fun enjoying this special day with my family.  It was the first time I was able to be with my family all together.  Living in CA I would see them one at a time and I had never seen my granddaughter prior to this trip to Texas.  That is one of the GREAT benefits of RVing.  I was able to travel to see them and spend some real quality time with each one.

I will be in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and will be seeing them again before I leave to head further east in my travels.  This is really a blessing.

Next time I will remember to take pictures.  However the memory of this day is implanted in my brain forever.


I landed at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport on Monday and wouldn’t you know it but it was the first day of 3 digit temperatures for the year.  I didn’t bring the hot weather with me since it was only in the 70’s when I was in So CA.  When I flew to CA I had only packed short sleeve shirts and shorts.  Luckily I brought a couple pair of jeans as well.  I really needed them.  I had to borrow long sleeved shirts from my brother in law Bob just to stay warm.  There were times when I was actually cold.  Not so in Texas.

Flying back into Dallas/Fort Worth I noticed the heat immediately after getting off the plane.  Now it is Saturday and in the sixth day of 100 degree temperatures.  Today it is supposed to reach 104 and tomorrow it will cool down to 101.  LOL!!!  However it is going to really cool down on Monday when it will  reach 98 and Tuesday when it is forecast to ONLY go to 92.

Needless to say I am not used to this weather since I have been traveling mostly in New Mexico, Arizona, and California.  The problem isn’t necessarily the heat but the humidity.  Texas is a very humid state thus you perspire a great deal.  I have been in the other states when it is in the high 90’s and 100 but it doesn’t feel quite as hot.

I am camped at Cedar Hill State Park just south of Dallas and will be here for another 10 days before I start heading east.  When I checked in here on Tuesday I asked for a campsite near the water and was shaded.  The lady told me I was right on the water and there was plenty of shade.  She was correct in that I was on the water and the picnic table had lots of shade, but my rig was not shaded at all at any time during the day.  I stuck with that site while my grandson Garrett was here so we could do some fishing.  My son Curt picked him up yesterday and I decided to move to a different site where my rig would be shaded.

This is a pic taken out my window of the beautiful shaded spot I selected.

Be sure to click and then click again to enlarge all photos.

Another pic of my dining room.  Not too shabby!!

As you can see my rig is well shaded.

This site in the shade has lowered the interior temperature more then 10 degrees from a previous 86 down to a comfortable low 70’s.  Of course that is with the A/C running constantly.  I am just glad I don’t have to pay for the electricity.

I am very comfortable now and am fortunate I have such a wonderful view.  Plus the trees cut down on the wind.  Life is Good !!!

Big Fishing Day at Cedar Hill State Park

I flew in from CA on Monday and stayed at my son and his wife’s home for the night. They drove me out to pick up my rig on Tuesday and then drove to the Cedar Hill State Park just south of Dallas.  My grandson Garrett was going to spend a couple of days with me in my rig.  This was a good time for me to get better acquainted with him.  It was really fun having him with me.  At the same time it was really nice being back in my home on wheels and continue my travels.

Cedar Hill SP is on the Joe Pool Lake.  It is a big lake and Texas State Parks allows fishing from the shore in the state park without a fishing license.  Here is a pic of my grandson Garrett fishing from near our campsite.

Be sure to click and then click again to enlarge all photos.

Another pic of fishing from the shoreline.

Wow he even caught one!!!  What a whopper!!

Grandpa didn’t want to be outdone so he had to catch one as well.  Now we both can brag about the huge fish we caught.  Of course we threw them back in the lake to be caught at a later time.

We had tried fishing during the day but it was much too hot.  It has been 101 each day so far.  Yuk !!!!!  I am not used to this heat so a lot of the day was spent inside my rig watching tv and reading while the a/c was blasting to keep us cool.

Of course there was a beautiful sunset to end our day.

I will be here for 2 weeks and then head farther east in Texas to a couple more state parks.

Visiting Family

It has been some time since my last blog but I have been very busy with family.  I arrived in Forth Worth, TX prior to the Memorial Day holiday weekend.  The first campground I checked out only had one site available but there was no shade.  Passed on that one and tried the next who did have a spot in the shade.

The next day I took the entire day to was all my clothes.  I have been on the go and staying in state parks where they don’t have laundromats ever since I crossed into Texas.  When you are on the move and camping in state parks you don’t get much time for laundry.

My son Curt, granddaughter Rachael and grandson Eric  picked me up at the campground and took me to their house where I stayed for the holiday weekend.  I was so happy to see them.

My grandson Garrett was going to be graduating from high school the following week.

All of us kids, both big and small played games all weekend.  It was really a blast.

Here the younger  kids are trying on the graduation cap of their big brother.

We all went to a Baccalaureate for Garrett prior to his graduation the following week.

Playing more fun games.

Here all all the grandkids at a golf driving range.  We all shared a large bucket of balls and everyone had fun.

Here are 3 of the 4 dogs waiting to get in to also take part in the fun.

On Monday night they drove me back to the campgrounds where I had to get ready to fly back to CA for my nephew’s wedding and doctor appointments.  I sure had a super great time spending time with everyone.  Once I return from CA I plan on staying in Cedar Hill State Park just south of Dallas and have the kids over to do some swimming and boating in the lake.

Everybody’s Somebody in Luckenbach

One place I really wanted to go on my way north was Luckenbach, TX.  The town was immortalized by  a song sung by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.  I just had to see this place.  It is located just a few miles east of Fredricksburg off hwy 290.  But you can’t blink or you will miss the turnoff.  You drive about 5 miles down a little country road wondering where you are going.  I couldn’t even use my GPS because Luckenbach wasn’t even listed on it.  I have an older GPS and haven’t updated it since I purchased it many years ago (time for a new one).

Be sure to click and then click again to enlarge all photos.

The little old country road to Luckenbach.

This is the Post Office/General Store/Saloon.  A great combination.  You can pick up your bills from the post office, go in the back and have a few stiff drinks to try and forget what you owe to everyone, and then buy a bottle and six pack to go from the general store.  All this while not moving more then twenty feet.  Not bad!!!

Notice the rooster on top of the general store/saloon/post office.  He was crowing at everyone.

I did get suckered into a couple of souvenirs just to show everyone that I had been there.  A great looking cork stopper for my wine bottle.

Plus a small magnetic placard.  After all I NEEDED both of these items anyway.  LOL!!!

My next stop was Blanco State Park just 15 miles outside of Johnson City.  It is a beautiful SP and I had a huge farm as my back yard.

Of course all my new friends came out to greet me.  HA!!

A view of the dam at the Blanco River.

It had the real lazy Blanco River to play in.

From there I drove north about 170 miles to the Live Oak campground.  This is a Corps of Engineers campground where I got a 50% discount by showing them my America the Beautiful (geezer) card.Not bad for $9.  This is a view of my new backyard.

A real nice camp site even though I was only here for one night.

A nice shot of Belton Lake.

A thundercloud in the distance.  Hope it doesn’t come this way.

While here I got a call from my sister who informed me that there was a large thunderstorm headed for the Fort Worth/Dallas area.  She was worried that I would be driving right into it.  I assured her that I would be watching the weather channel and would not move until I knew it would be OK.  Fortunately the storm moved farther east and I was OK to drive into Fort Worth.