Travel Log

As you've probably figured out, Lynne and I like to hit the road when we can.  And since some of our travels are based on the travel reports of others, I thought I'd add to the base of knowledge available on the internet.  Sometimes I'll have brief bits posted here about recent trips.  Sometimes I'll build a whole new web section that I'll link to from here.  The most recent trips will be listed first.  There will be links to campgrounds mentioned that will open in new windows. 

Hope this helps you enjoy your time off. 


December, 2006
Big Bend National Park
(with visits in Terlingua, Fort Davis, Fort Stockton)

This trip was the idea of my mother and wife.  Not sure how they came up with it, but it was good fun.  We left Dallas on a Saturday, Dec 23rd and returned Sunday, Dec 31st.  Something like 1350 total miles, with the last 550 on the last day.  We met my mother, her husband, his brother and the brother's wife in Lampasas.  It was a 3 RV caravan...  With the Lance being the small rig (they have big Winnies).  Lynne and I took a ton of pictures.  Someday, they'll be online.  Cheers.


November, 2006
Bird Island Basin, Padre Island National Seashore, Texas

Once again. the annual Thanksgiving Bird trek...  I have no idea exactly how many years it's been now since I first started going.  But I haven't missed one since I started.  A bit windier than last year.  Not a lot of pics. 


July 4th holiday, 2006
Red Hill Lake Park, Sabine National Forest

This was a trip I did solo because Lynne was out of the country (New Zealand I think).  The park is only about 240 miles from the house, but I drove something like 400 miles that day.  I did some major back roads exploring, with no clear objective in mind when I left the house.  Red Hill Lake just seemed to be the place to stop when I got tired of driving around.  I hadn't planned on sitting still that long, but ended up there for the whole weekend.  Cheap - $10 a night for water and electricity.  Nice small lake.  Lots of pine trees.  It's one of the parks that was damaged when Hurricane Rita rolled north.  And you could tell it by the poor condition of the hiking trails.  And since it rained most of the weekend, I spent the time under the awning or in the camper reading and drinking beer.  A tough life, but someone has to do it. 


November , 2005
Bird Island Basin, Padre Island National Seashore, Texas

The annual Thanksgiving trek to the Texas Coast wasn't quite as windy as last years trip, but we still had a heck of a lot of fun.  I took a few pictures, so I may build a proper site.  For now, this entry will have to do.


October , 2005
Arrowhead State Park, Lake Eufala, OK

This was a long weekend trip to hook up with my mother and step-father. 

We had this loop of the campground pretty much to ourselves. 


June 25-27, 2005
Lake Tawakoni State Park, Texas

Since my weekend is Sunday-Monday and Lynne currently doesn't have any courses she's teaching, we decided to take a spur of the moment camping trip.  I gathered the camper Friday night and Lynne got it loaded while I was at work on Saturday.  During a few breaks on Saturday, I called around to various campgrounds trying to find an open site with electricity (it is Summer, so A/C is pretty important).  It wasn't till I got home from work that I found an open site at Lake Tawakoni State Park.  I talked to Jennifer in the gate house (she was very helpful). 

Lake Tawakoni SP is about an hour from our home by Lake Ray Hubbard.  We drove out I-30 to Rockwall where we picked up back roads.  The roads aren't too bad unless you try to take a short cut from 751 to 2475.  I recommend going into Wills Point before heading back north.  There are also several convenience stores in Wills Point at the 751/47 junction for last minute stocking up. 

The park itself is fairly new.  As such, the facilities are modern.  The front gate office is typical Texas State Park.  You can enter the park 24 hours a day, so you can get in after the office has closed (at 8pm).  Just be sure to head in early the next day to register.  They do sell ice at the office (I didn't check the price), but they don't have any other supplies like found at some of the other Texas State Parks. 

The park has two camping loops, a day use area with swim beach and a fairly large boat ramp/parking area.  There was a fishing tournament going on while were were there.  We stayed in White Dear Reach loop - campsite 9.  Considering this was one of three sites left when we arrived, we feel like we got a great site.  And after walking the whole campground, we recommend the White Dear Reach loop over the Spring Point loop.  As with all Texas State Parks, you can only reserve a type of campsite, not specific sites.  So get there early on the weekend to get a good sight. 

Water access from campsites is marginal.  The lake has a pretty significant water lily problem.  We didn't have too much trouble getting the kayaks out into clear water, but the boaters I talked to were complaining.  I think windsurfing would be possible, but the ideal wind directions would be W-N-E.  I'd probably try to launch off the point next to the boat ramp.  Launching out of the campgrounds would be problematic.

A neat new thing that Texas has going is free fishing in Texas State Parks.  If you pay your entrance fee (or have the state pass), you don't have to have a fishing license to fish in the park.  I believe this pertains to both residents and non-residents of Texas (but ask at the gate just to be sure).  I'm going to start taking my fishing gear with me. 

We were surprised to see that the campground has only one bath house for 78 campsites.  And while it was a clean, modern bath house, it wasn't that big.  This campground is definitely set up for RV'ers (it did have a double dump station). 

 


May 6-8, 2005
Lake Fort Phantom Hill
(north of Abilene Texas)

We headed to Abilene for the Abilene Windsurfing Festival, held at the Abilene Sailing Association.  ASA is private property.  You can camp there only by invitation.  They have a gate that's normally locked.  NEVER TRESPASS on private property.  There is a public park on the north side of the lake just west of the damn.  It's a semi-primitive park.  There's a bath house, but no electricity for RVer's.  It looks like there's quite a bit of "Cruising" traffic on weekends, so security may be an issue. 

The ASA has a nice, if small facility.  They have a floating dock, club house, small bath house and gravel parking lots.  They provided us with electricity for our parking space out on the point.  The club supports the efforts of Charles Ivey and the US Juniors Windsurfing Program.  If it weren't for the signs, you'd never think that they have some world ranked junior windsurfers training here.    

After many years of low water, the lake is finally back to nearly full.   Despite breaking a boom, batten and almost my foot, Lynne and I had a great time windsurfing with the kids.  Lynne even got a trophy.  I got my butt handed to me.  But I guess it's only fair after what I did to them in 2004.

Here's a link to a previous trip to Lake Fort Phantom Hill


February 15, 2005 - March 5, 2005
South Africa

This was a big trip, so it has its own section.

Partially up, but still in work


March 9-18, 2004
Hawaii

Still in work


November , 2003
Bird Island Basin, Padre Island National Seashore, Texas

The annual Thanksgiving trip


May , 2003
ASA Festival, Lake Fort Phantom Hill
Abilene, Texas

The annual windsurfing race hosted by the Abilene Sailing Association and Charles Ivey.


November , 2002
Bird Island Basin, Padre Island National Seashore, Texas

The annual Thanksgiving trip


Older reports may show up here.


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by The Dog House