NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

A Texas Flashback

Talk about old posts that never saw the light of day, this one goes back to the trip Katrina and I took down to Texas last January! Here's a few of the places we stayed along our trip.

Just 13 miles from the State Capitol in Austin we stayed at McKinney Falls State Park in Texas.  Was is nice to sleep outside and get up in the morning and not put on a jacket?  Heck yeah!  I sprung up off that air mattress and went for a walk both mornings right away.

 I may have not liked the toll roads in Texas (got off at the next stop when I saw the prices YIKES!) but I couldn't have been happier with the park.  Like Wisconsin there was an out of state fee that was a bit outrageous at $6 per person per day.  In Wisconsin it is $11 per vehicle, not per person.  Imagine if you had a car with 4 people?  That would be $24 PER DAY added to your camping fee.  I'm not a fan of penalizing out of state visitors, I wish state parks would discontinue this practice and make the fees more even and fair.  I wish they would all do away with the sticker system altogether and just raise the camping fees a little and have our state tax budget do the rest.  Not likely in Wisconsin as Scott Walker got a budget to pass in 2015 that cut funding for parks and moved to make them self-funded.  So, fees keep going up which is okay because they were a bit lower on average than other states, but staff keeps getting cutting for the park system so the system isn't only taking away dollars but diminishing the experience opportunities for the public as well.

Not into cactus? The park had water as well! 

In case I haven't mentioned it here on the blog yet, I'm a big fan of the toiletry bag I got from LL Bean.  I use it camping and for my hotel stays, everything I need fits inside and I just unzip it and hang it on the back of the bathroom door!  I could fit my travel hair dryer and flat iron also, but I usually just toss them in the tote bag with my towel and change of clothes.  Worth every penny!

While driving past Waco we saw this -

Luckily there were a few clues in this mural that wraps the building of the Twisted Root Burger Company in Waco, Texas. The artist portrayed scenes from War of the Worlds, it might be one of the coolest murals I've seen to be honest.  Would have been cool watching it go up.

In Arkansas we stayed at Lake Catherine State Park.  Of course we arrived after dark and there were no hosts around to help so we had to try to figure things out on our own.  We reserved a yurt, and in the dark thought this was it.

It was freezing!  We had a small space heater that kept us from dying, but it was not a good night's sleep.  Katrina must have hated me that night.

As we were leaving in the morning we saw this...where we were supposed to stay.  I went to the office and got a refund on the price difference.  You know, having something hanging at the site saying it is reserved and who it is reserved for would have prevented this.  That is how things are done in Wisconsin state parks.  So, not very organized was my impression.

Speaking of cold nights, I'm done sleeping outside for the foreseeable future because it has been below freezing here for weeks now at night but with my job I'm away from home at least one night a week.  With my allergies I have to find hotel rooms that have windows that open more than an inch to air out the cleaning chemicals and carpet air freshener and most nights I sleep with the window open and with the heat off so it's almost like sleeping outside.  I strip the hotel bed, put down my dust mite cover and lay on top in my down sleeping bag.  Every time I wonder what the maids think when they come the next day!  Even with all that I toss and turn on the hard mattress and think about how much sounder I sleep outdoors with only a 2 inch air mattress between me and the ground...


  1. Just FYI, the daily fee for Texas State Parks is not just an out of state fee. Local residents have to pay it too! Crazy! One can buy an annual pass for $70 that gets you four 50% off coupons for your second consecutive night of camping, but it still burns me.

  2. Well we went down to our caravan in Wales today and there was snow on the ground. Thats it for this year we'll wait for the warmer weather to camp agane

    1. Thought you might like to see the Yurts on the Campsite I say at, they have wood burners in them