One Year On The Road

It has been one year on July 12 that I started my fulltime RV’ing lifestyle.  I can’t believe it has been a whole year.  I took the time to go back through this year and show you some of the highlights of my adventure.

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July, 2010 – Inyokern, CA –  My very first campsite at the beginning of my adventure.  I was really a rookie back then.

July, 2010 – Sequoia National Park – Boondocking in Fish Creek Campsite in the Sequoias.

August, 2010 – Sisters, OR – Camping on the Metolius River outside of Sisters, OR.  What a fantastic spot.

August, 2010 – Crater Lake National Park.  Words cannot describe this beautiful place.

September, 2010 – Eugene, OR – Getting my solar panels installed.  My boondocking will be much quieter and more efficient from now on.

October, 2010 – Albuquerque, NM – Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta – 10 fabulous days with other fun Lazy Daze owners.

October, 2010 – Palomas, Mexico – Central park.  Visited there after attending Escapees Chapter 21 Rally.

October, 2010 – Deming, NM – Rockhound State Park – This a rock hounds dream park.  Lots of different rocks.

November, 2010 – Socorro, NM – Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge – Visited there during the Festival of the Cranes event.

December, 2010 – January, 2011 – Death Valley, CA – A beautiful view of Death Valley during an annual Lazy Daze Rally.

January, 2011 – Quartzsite, AZ – Got together with a bunch of Lazy Daze owners during the Quartzsite RV Show.  It was a blast boondocking in the desert.  Lots of food, a campfire every night and the BIG TENT RV Show.

February, 2011 – Anza-Borrego, CA – Boondocking in the Anza-Borrego Desert.

February, 2011 – Niland, CA – Boondocking with the LOW’s (Loners On Wheels) at Slab City.  Everyone should go there at least once.

February/March, 2011 – Benson, AZ – The winter SW Lazy Daze Rally at Pato Blanco RV Resort.  Lots of great food and people.

March, 2011 – Picacho Peak, AZ – A civil war re-enactment at Picacho Peak State Park.  Event lasted all week-end with gun battles and actual tents and other equipment during that era..

March, 2011 – Douglas, AZ – Visiting with friends at Bell Starr’s Silverado Ranch.  Belle is wearing the pink hat.  We all helped Belle work on her ranch projects.  A MUST see.  She is quite a lady.

April, 2011 – Alamogordo, NM – White Sands National Monument.  Very surreal.

May, 2011 – Carlsbad, NM – Carlsbad Caverns.  A MUST see.

May, 2011 – Melvin, TX – I just had to visit there.

May, 2011 – San Antonio, TX – The Alamo in downtown San Antonio, TX.  Another MUST see.

May, 2010 – San Antonio, TX – The San Antonio River-walk.  A really neat and fun place.

May, 2011 – San Antonio, TX – The Tower of Americas.  The view from the top is spectacular.

May, 2011 – Luckenbach, TX.  I just had to visit here because of the song made famous by Willie Nelson and Waylan Jennings.

May, 2011 – Blanco, TX – My campsite in Blanco State Park.  How about that for a back yard?

June, 2011 – Fort Worth, TX.  The highlight of my year.  Being able to visit my family.  It was sooooo much fun.

July, 2011 – Karnack, TX –   Caddo Lake State Park.  I spent a week here and loved every minute.

It has been a wonderful year.  I have traveled 12,702 miles in 6 different states and 2 different countries.  I have attended 8 RV Rallies where I have met a lot of people, learned a lot about things I never knew anything about, and spent money upgrading my rig.

This year has been much better then I even anticipated.  I met a lot of great people who I continue to keep in touch with.  I am looking forward this next year to travel to places I have never seen before and meet more wonderful people.

Jefferson, TX

I took this day to unhook and travel 15 miles to the quaint little town of Jefferson, TX.  There are lots of old buildings and homes and the area offers steamboat tours of Caddo Lake and surrounding areas as well.  I enjoyed browsing through many of the antique and collectibles shops (junk stores HA!).

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Anybody for a unusual ride in this limousine.  I’m not too sure about sitting on top though.

This was Broadway Street which is only a few blocks long.

I really liked this neat little key holder for my rig.  At $4 I couldn’t resist.

It was real pleasant drive from the Caddo Lake SP to Jefferson, TX all on two lane country roads.  I got to see the wonderful farmland along the way and a lot of neat homes.  I just love driving the two-lane highways.  It is soooooo relaxing.

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.

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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.

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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!!!

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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.