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.

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.

HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT !!!! COOLER?

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.

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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.

Texas Hill Country – South Llano and Garner State Parks

I have been traveling in the Texas Hill Country for the last seven days.  From Abilene SP I drove southeast to South Llano SP where I stayed two nights.  I really enjoy the Texas State Parks because they have so much to offer.  Before deciding where to camp I use RV Park Reviews.com .  I also got a map of all the Texas State Parks.  At this point I decided I was going to stay in enough Texas state parks to make it worth my while to spend the $60 for the Texas State Parks Annual Pass.  The pass eliminates the daily entrance fee(anywhere from $3 to $6 per day), but what they don’t tell you is that you also are entitled to 4 passes for 1/2 off camping fee if you are staying for 2 nights at a campground.

At South Llano SP this is near the entrance to their Fawn Trail, which is about a 7 mile loop from the camping are.

Throughout the trail they have set up many bird blinds.  I took this pic of a Cardinal from one of the blinds.

The Fawn trail takes you high up above the trees to view a large canyon.

A pic of the trail heading down toward the campgrounds.

Here is a pic of my campsite.  All the campsites provide plenty of room with shrubbery on either side for privacy.  The only problem was that I had no Internet or cell phone service.  I even hooked up my Wilson amplifier with no luck.

Another view of my site.

Two days later I drove further southeast to the Garner SP.  This park was very open and had a lot of area for day use.  I was here on Thursday and Friday and I think I left just in time as the noisy weekenders were coming in for a couple days of rafting on the river.  This is a pic of some of the campgrounds backed up against the hills.

Another view of the hills.

My campsite is located in one of the many campground areas within the park.

I really love the Hill Country.  I purposely stuck to the two lane highways and the scenery was beautiful.  There are many ranches and farms all through this area.

Abilene State Park

After Caprock Winery I traveled 166 miles southeast to the Abilene State Park.  Before getting to Texas, I was very comfortable with the New Mexico State Parks.  You drive into the park and check out the site where you would like to park, then go back to the pay station and deposit your money.  In Texas you must check in at the visitor center and tell them what type of site you are interested in.  They assign you a site and you pay your money and then proceed to the site.  I didn’t have any choice in the site except for shade and no shade.

I opted for a no shade site with water/electric hookups at $12/night.  There was also a $4/night entrance fee that is not included.  Thus your site is $16/night.  Not bad but quite a bit more then the New Mexico campgrounds where I was paying $4/night with water/ electric and $0 with no hookups(with my annual pass).  You can purchase a Texas State Parks Pass which is an annual pass that will cover the entrance fee.  If you are planning to visit many of the Texas state parks it may be beneficial to purchase the annual pass.  Cost of this pass is $60.

I was really surprised by the Abilene SP.  It was very big with trees everywhere.  They even had a huge swimming pool (although it was not open at the time), basketball court, baseball fields and even a bird blind, plus lots of hiking trails.

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


And again at this bridge.

If you don’t have an RV or a tent you can always opt to sleep in one of the screened shelter located throughout the park.

Or you can also select a wooden screened shelter as well.

Once I got set up I was off on a hike of the grounds.  I started hiking on the Eagle Trail, just a few yards from my campsite.  It wound around thru the woods and crossed the Elm creek at this bridge.

and again at this bridge.  It led to a small pond where I chatted with a couple who were fishing.  They had only caught one small fish but they were sure enjoying the beautiful day.

This stairway led to the swimming pool.  They had just filled it recently but it was not yet open.

Then around 7:00pm the deer started to come out to check the grounds for food.

This one was very friendly and almost came right up to me.

I am not one to feed the animals so it finally went on it’s way.

I stayed at this park for 2 nights and might have stayed longer if I wasn’t on a schedule to put me in Fort Worth before the Memorial Day weekend.