Back in Colorado

22 04 2014

We’ve arrived back in Colorado!  After 44 nights and over 4000 miles, we’re parked in site #79 at Lathrop State Park which offers a beautiful view of the Spanish Peaks to the south.  This site has one of the shared water hydrants within a few feet, making filling or even a temporary hose hookup easy. When we arrived yesterday, the Peaks were shrouded in storm clouds that moved out onto the plains as the sun went down.

This morning, the peaks are brilliant with their fresh covering of snow reminding us that this is spring-time in Colorado when the weather can easily go from 80’s one day to a snow storm the next.  However, unlike last year when we hit a snow and ice storm in eastern Colorado, this week’s forecast is for pleasant weather for at least the next 4 or 5 days.  We’ll delay re-winterizing the camper until after we’re home.  Our next trip to the Moab, UT areas when we’ll visit Canyonlands National Park is only 10 day away.  More from western Utah…

Spanish Peaks at Lathrup State Park, CO

Spanish Peaks at Lathrop State Park, CO





Across North Texas

20 04 2014
Corral RV Park, Dalhart, TX

Corral RV Park, Dalhart, TX

We’ve arrived in the far northwest corner of the Texas panhandle, only about 35 miles from the New Mexico state line and 80 from the southern Colorado state line.  We’ve covered over 600 miles since crossing back into Texas at Texarkana a short 2 days ago.

We’re parked at Corral RV Park on the north side of Dalhart, TX.  The 70 or so gravel sites are immaculately clean, large and well laid out.  The 20/30/50 amp electric and water hookups are in great shape.  Their cable TV connections are unique, instead of a hard to find rusty threaded connection hiding somewhere near the ground or next to the electrical – they provide about 20 feet of neatly wound coax ready to be connected right to the cable outlet.  We happened to pick site #16 which was right below one of the several WiFi antennas.  The park provides a code for complimentary 24 hour Tengo Internet usage on a single device which worked very well for us. The only downside to this park is its location across from a very busy train switching facility.  We heard (and felt) the rumble of trains nearly all night.  Tomorrow morning we’ll depart for the relatively short trip to Lathrop State Park outside of Walsenburg, CO.  More from there…

Corral RV Park, Dalhart, TX

Corral RV Park, Dalhart, TX





Wichita Falls RV Park

19 04 2014
Wichita Falls RV Park

Wichita Falls RV Park

Leaving Arkansas we’ve headed directly west across northern Texas, parallel to the Red River which forms much of the Texas/Oklahoma border.  The Red River is an actual river here on the east side of Texas, much different than the dusty gorge that we expect to see in the panhandle area.  After entering Arkansas just north of Texarkana, the river turns south and flows across Louisiana where it joins the Mississippi north of Baton Rouge.  It’s considered the southernmost major right tributary of the Mississippi.

About 300 miles west, we’re parked at the Wichita Falls RV Park by around 3PM.  This is an older park, but the mature trees and grassy areas in between the level well-spaced gravel pads make it pleasant retreat in the busy city.  We’re parked in site #15, right across from the office and as-of-yet, unopened pool.  There’s a small fishing pond behind us and the Wichita River runs across the north edge of the property. Over half of the parks 100+ sites appear to be long-term residents, however the largest and most central sites are available for overnighters. Our site offers full hookups including sewer and about 65 cable TV channels.  Tomorrow we’ll continue across north Texas, with our goal being about 300 miles further west around Dalhart.  More from there…





Millwood State Park, AR

18 04 2014
Millwood State Park, Site #77

Millwood State Park, Site #77

After leaving North Toledo Bend State Park, we’re headed north to Ashdown, Arkansas.  The highway that runs north to Ashdown from Texarkana literally straddles the Texas/Arkansas state line for about 10 miles. The northbound lanes are in Arkansas and the southbound lanes are in Texas.  The 114 campsites at Millwood are organized around 5 loops, with many water-front sites.  We’re parked in site #77, a back-in site on the outside edge of loop D with direct lake access.  Most of the sites are set in a large forest of tall evergreens, and provide water and electric.  There are common bathrooms and shower houses along with a dump station near the entrance station.  While the sites are well spaced, there is no ground cover in these tall, thick trees and sounds of dogs and children playing carry well.  But, despite several fairly large groups being close-by, things are quiet by early in the evening.

Tomorrow we’ll start our westward journey back toward Colorado with two long travels days – stopping once in north-central Texas around Wichita Falls and then in the panhandle around Dalhart.  More after we return to Texas…





North Toledo Bend State Park

17 04 2014
Sabine River / Toledo Bend Reservoir

Sabine River / Toledo Bend Reservoir

We’re in Louisiana!  After traveling almost directly north from Beaumont, we’ve crossed over the Sabine River bridge just west of Many, LA and made our way onto a small peninsula on Toledo Bend Reservoir to North Toledo Bend State Park.  This park has about 60 sites set in a beautiful, dense forest of tall evergreens, oak and other deciduous trees.  The dogwood trees are in full blossom as are many wildflowers along the roadways.  Most obvious is the red clover or cowgrass covering the hillsides in mounds of crimson red explosions.  This would be a model state park for nearly any state to emulate.  From the landscaped entrance, to their paved and immaculately clean sites and the facilities offered, North Toledo Bend State Park has it all.

Toledo Bend State Park, Site#1

Toledo Bend State Park, Site#1

Set around two loops, all sites are back-in, a few with lake views and almost all with excellent privacy.  We’re in site #1, directly across from the campground host.  Each site provides 20/30/50 amp electrical service and water hookup, plus a fire pit and picnic table. The park has done an excellent job of preserving the natural beauty while ensuring good height and width clearance for even the biggest rigs.  The roadways are paved and many sites provide gravel shoulders for extra vehicles or boats.    There’s no OTA TV service that we could find so a southern exposure site might be important for those with satellite dish requirements.  The park provides complimentary WiFi which except late in the evenings provided adequate for our needs.  T-Mobile cellular service is spotty, but there’s a fairly good Verizon 3G signal that was helped with the aid of our Cellular Booster.

Our location in site #1 was good, but with alot of traffic could get noisy since it’s on the main campground road and directly across the street from the common restoom/shower house.  Sites #11, #13, #14 & #16 have most direct lake access, and provide some limited water views.  PARK MAP

After a very enjoyable afternoon/evening and a wonderfully dark and quiet night, we’re unfortunately going to pack up and head north.  This may be the best place we’ve stayed since leaving home over 40 days ago, and definitely worth a return visit in the future.





Hidden Lakes RV Resort, Beaumont, TX

16 04 2014
Hidden Lakes RV Resort, Beaumont, TX

Hidden Lakes RV Resort, Beaumont, TX

After leaving Goliad, we navigate directly through downtown Houston and out the eastern side of the city on Interstate 10.  By about 2PM we’re parked at Hidden Lakes RV, just off of I-10 and a few miles west of Beaumont.  Hidden Lakes is a relatively new RV park providing about 70 full hookup sites set in two sections around a small lake.

We’re parked in site #32, about the middle of t he front section.  Back-in sites #10-#17 offer great privacy, #18-22 have good views across the lake.  In the back section two rows of sites organized side-by-side appear to be mostly long term residents.  Sites #36-#53 all back up to the lake. There’s a bit of road noise from an adjacent highway and even a train whistle or two during the evening hours.  We found the parks’ WiFi to be adequate, and all of the facilities are clean and well kept.  We’d probably stay here again if our travel plans included Beaumont.

 





Goliad State Park & Historic Site

15 04 2014
Goliad State Parks

Goliad State Parks

Good Morning from Goliad, TX.

We’re almost directly north of Harlingen along Highway 77, and about 90 miles SE of San Antonio, in Goliad State Park.  This wooded park is split in half by Highway 77 and nearly surrounded by the San Antonio River as it makes a lazy U-shaped bend before joining the Guadalupe River and entering San Antonio Bay at the Gulf of Mexico.   The best campsites are #1-#20 on the main loop next to the entrance building – we’re in site #19. Some of the outer sites will present a leveling problem, but offer great privacy.  But, while the highway isn’t visible, you can hear the trucks passing over the river bridge from some of the eastern sites.  All sites provide water, 20/30/50 amp service and sewer.  There are also about 20 sites on the other side of the highway, originally only overflow sites, these are set side by side in a parking lot type area.  We had about 10 channels of OTA TV from Victoria and fair 3G Verizon service.  The T-Mobile service was spotty at best in the campground, but much better up on the hill around the administration building.

Mission La Bahia

Mission La Bahia

The highlight of this park is the Catholic Mission Nuestra Señora del Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga also known as Mission La Bahia established in northern “New Spain” to convert local native Indians to Christianity.  The Mission was originally established in 1722 on Matagorda Bay near Port Lavaca to secure the Texas coastline from the French. The Mission was later moved to a more favorable location on the Guadalupe River.  The Mission was moved again in 1749 to La Bahia, now the town of Goliad.  Just across the river is the historic birthplace of Ignacio Zaragoza, a general in the Mexican army known for the defeat of French Forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862.  Cinco de Mayo is now celebrated in both Mexico and the US as recognition of his historic victory.

Tomorrow we’ll continue NE through Houston, around Galveston Bay and end up in far east Texas near the Louisiana state line around Beaumont.  More from there…