Tag Archives: Texas

2017 – Lake Texoma Thousand Trails – Gordonville, TX

20170921_183701.jpg In spite of Texas late September summer-like temperatures, we enjoyed our stay at Lake Texoma Thousand Trails, Gordonville, TX. We were last here in May, 2013 and the campground is about the same as it was then. We appreciated the ranger giving us a list of vacant full hookup, 50 Amp sites that were available, I think there were 8 or 9. We picked the one that looked good to us and settled into a large, level, gravel site. There’s a $3 a night surcharge for 50 Amps – in fact, the power pedestals for those sites are padlocked until the surcharge is paid. This Thousand Trails has both a large “family” pool and Activity Center and a smaller Adult pool with spa and Adult Activity Center. There are many annual campsites that have been improved in various ways by the residents. A surprising number of the residents light their sites at night with “running lights” whether or not they are present. However, if a person arrives looking for a 30 Amp full hookup site they would have many nice spots from which to choose. The roads in the campground are typical Thousand Trails: read rough and pothole filled.

We had no problem getting a satellite signal and our Verizon signal was a solid 4G.

20170925_094859.jpg Our arrival day at Lake Texoma was a difficult travel day for us in which a tire on the pickup came apart, doing considerable damage to the pickup. As a result the pickup was in need of repairs and we needed to travel to Houston to pick up our car so we would have transportation during the repairs. The campground management worked with us as we dealt with these unexpected, unwelcome circumstances. We did shorten our stay by a few days as we needed to time our relocation days with the repairs.

20170921_104144.jpg One strange coincidence is that the last time we visited Lake Texoma Thousand Trails we had a tire begin to delaminate as we traveled. We had to stop and buy two new tires. Here we are four years later and, as we traveled to the campground we had a tire (likely one of those bought on that day in 2013) come apart, forcing us to stop and buy four new tires. It almost makes us afraid to schedule Lake Texoma Thousand Trails again!

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2017 – Volunteering at San Jacinto Battlefield and Battleship Texas

battleshiptexas2.jpg We’re just concluding our third winter of volunteering at San Jacinto Battlefield and Battleship Texas.  Honestly, my previous reviews pretty much say it all.  Once again we’ve enjoyed spending most of our volunteer time talking to people about the Texas – the only remaining battleship that served in both WWI and WWII.  We’ve also enjoyed working with other volunteers who, like us, fulltime in RVs.  Some are have come here year after year, so when we return it is a bit of a homecoming.  Others are new friends and it has been fun getting to know them.  The park staff are a pleasure to work with too.  If you haven’t gotten the message: we like doing this and plan on returning next fall for another winter of volunteering.

As has already been described, 2016 was a non-traveling year for us.  Because of that, we’re looking forward to a return to our touring fulltime RV life.  Our stationary circumstances left me with even more time to plan our 2017 Adventure than I would have had otherwise.  We have a potential route planned and several reservations have already been made.  No doubt, we will end up making adjustments, but if you don’t have a plan it’s impossible to change your plans!  Also, we’re headed for some popular areas in the coming months and without reservations we’d end up struggling to find a suitable spot or end up paying premium prices somewhere.

One change we’re making this year is adding a couple of extended, one month stays.  The idea is to spend extra time in interesting areas, save a bit of money by paying monthly rather than weekly or daily rates, and stay in southern states till warmer temperatures arrive in northern states later in the spring.  Time will tell if we like this strategy and will include it in future planning.

We’ve had a good stay at our winter quarters of San Jacinto Battleground and Battleship Texas and we’re looking forward to great days on our 2017 Adventure.

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2016-17 – Ships on the Houston Ship Channel

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It’s over 50 miles from the Galveston sea buoy in the Gulf of Mexico to the turning basin at the far end of the Houston Ship Channel, a journey that will take a ship around 6 hours at the reduced ship channel speeds.

20170109_142029.jpg Our winter volunteering spot at Battleship Texas at San Jacinto Battlefield is at about the 40 mile mark on that journey.  Ships from all over the world travel this waterway.  Many of them are oil tankers and cargo carriers.  There are also occasional car carriers and a variety of other vessels.   Of course, tug boat/barge traffic is non-stop.  The Ship Channel, also known as Buffalo Bayou, isn’t especially beautiful but it is almost always interesting.   Our campsite is very near the ship channel and we can hear the rumble of the tug boats most of the time.  Interestingly, the big ships are quieter than the tugs.  Once in a while the ships blow their low horns.  We’re glad that they don’t do it very often because they are quite loud.  Most of these photos were taken either from the deck of Battleship Texas or from the walkway along the water.  The walkway is a late addition and we’ve enjoyed it very much these past months.

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Smile…You’re on Candid Camera

We were watching the weather on TV yesterday evening and suddenly, without warning, we found ourselves on the screen!  Well, almost, anyway.  Come to find out, there’s an EarthCam on top of San Jacinto Monument pointed our way.  The weather channel was using EarthCam to show what a pretty day it was here.  The camera looks out over the reflecting pool, to Battleship Texas, and to the Houston Ship Channel.  Our RV is parked to the left of all that, nearly lost in the trees, not far from the big electrical transmission tower.   Even though we are pretty much lost in the low resolution and the trees, it feels kind of funny knowing that while we are volunteering at Battleship Texas and San Jacinto Battlefield that we are on camera for the world to see!

Check it out at here.

Campground Review: Advanced RV Resort, Pearland, TX

20161004_085542.jpg Advanced RV Resort’s location in Pearland, TX makes it ideal for people who want to be close to downtown Houston. Astros, Texans, and Rockets games, the museums, and the medical center are all a 15-30 minute drive. It is close to nearly every restaurant chain you’ve ever heard of and there’s shopping of all kinds within minutes. The resort is right at the intersection of Highway 288 (an expressway) and Beltway 8 (a toll road) providing easy access east/west and north/south. The entrance to the resort is actually on the Beltway 8 feeder road. That means if you intend on going any direction aside from east you have to travel down the one way road, cross over to the other side of the toll road and come back to continue in the desired direction.

That, in itself, is no big deal. The noise of the traffic, and the traffic itself, can be a nuisance, but is part of the price one pays for being in such close proximity to the major city that Houston is.

The resort itself, although pricier than we’re used to paying, is well kept in every way. The grass is constantly mowed and edged. The roads are excellent and wide enough for two big rigs to pass. The restrooms and laundries are the nicest we’ve seen in any RV park. There’s an Activity center, multiple laundries and restrooms, two doggie parks, a pool, and a spa – all well cared for.

20161004_090527.jpg The pull through sites are long enough for any rig. The back in sites are limited to rigs 35’ or less. As is true of most any urban RV park, the sites are quite close together. Some of the back in sites are narrower than others. There wasn’t room on our site for both pickup and camper. We could squeeze our small car in next to the camper so we parked the truck in overflow parking.

In any campground the sites nearest the highway are more prone to be noisy and that’s especially true of this campground. Beltway 8 is actually elevated at this point, so the walls do little to block the noise and those sites get the brunt of it all.

Tom Bass Regional Park adjoins the resort and there’s actually a gate one can go through to enter the park. However, the grass on the other side of the gate was generally tall and one had to wade through it quite a ways to get to a better cared for section. Many people, though, took their dogs into that area so they would have more room to roam.

20161004_090226.jpg Our stay at Advanced was our longest stay since retiring as we accepted an interim position, filling in between pastors at our home church. I doubt it will come as a surprise to anyone if I mention that it was very hot and humid through the summer!

If you are looking for a nice place and close to the Houston action this is a good one.

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