Bandera/Hill Country Trip

Skyline Ranch RV Park - Bandera, TX

2231 Hwy. 16N, Bandera, TX 78003


830 796-4958 / 800 267-1402
https://www.skylineranchrvpark.com/

April 19-21, 2021 - 2 Nights

Type of Park: Private-owned
Check In: 12p    Check Out: 11a

Site #33 - Pull-Thru


$38 per night for 30 amp 
Discounts: Good Sam 10%, TACO, AAA
• Water
• 20/30 amp
• Sewer
• Cable TV
• Picnic Table
• Site Pad: Gravel. Mostly level

👍🏻 Pros:

• This site has a couple large Live Oak shade trees
• On the end, so the front of the camper has a large area for the "yard"

👎🏻 Cons:

• No grill or fire ring
• The end of the site drops down a little, so it was hard to back UP the incline on the gravel when hitching up

📝 Park Notes: 

• Restrooms / Bath House
• Wifi
• Propane sold onsite (weekly delivery)
• Laundry facility
• Park Store
• 3 Rec Rooms
• Less than 1/2 mile walk to Medina River
• Gazebo on trail to river
• Walking distance to Wild Horse Saloon
• 

🐦 Wildlife:

• Birds: Several kinds. Heard turkeys, but couldn't spot them
• Deer, squirrels

🚘 201 miles Home - Bandera - 10.7 mph
       48 miles from Texas 281 RV Park - Skyline
      202 miles Bandera - Home - 9.4 mph

Monday

Got to the Park a little after noon. 201 miles from home and 10.7 mpg. Office was closed for lunch so I set up and then checked in. My site was very close to the office. It's a nice shady spot on the end of the row so it had a large front "yard". There is going to be a Casita rally this weekend and the park is already about half full of these little campers. I drove down to the river. I saw lots of wildflowers, deer, longhorns and donkeys. The river was wonderful! So peaceful with the cool, clear water babbling over the rocks. It does something for my sould and I could stay there forever. Walked along the trails there. There's a little gazebo on the trail between the campground and the river. Went to Brick's River Cafe to go eat. I got a shaved ribeye salad and it was so good! They were out of Bread Pudding, so I called TJ's and they said they had it. I went there and they were out too. I went by Fickle Pickles and got my stash 🥒 then went to Arkey's for a while and hung out with the locals. Went to the Red Horse to meet up with one of my gal pals. Stayed a while, came back to the camper and walked to Wildhorse. 

Tuesday

40's this morning. What gives?! Had my morning coffee and enjoyed listening to the birds. I heard turkeys but didn't see them. Went to Mi Pueblo's to get a breakfast taco. Their corn tortillas are really good. Hit the road for Fredericksburg to look for wildflowers 🌼 and to visit Wildseed Farms. It was blanketed in red this time of year with all the poppies. The fields right now are dedicated to the Veterans. After shopping for a few items there, I headed out for Luckenbach (that didn't take long). Then I headed down the backroads to go to Alamo Springs Café, but when I got there, they were closed. The owner was there and since there was NO cell reception, he gave me directions to my next destination. He even gave me a cap so it wasn't a totally wasted trip. The café is right next to the Old Tunnel State Park. I didn't stop since it was the middle of the day. Another trip….  

I skipped Bankersmith and stopped by The Cartoon Saloon (aka Toonstone, TX). It's a tiny little place but has so much character! 👍🏻 It's a "Must Do" if you're in the area (but you might want to load the maps for offline use). Instead of "stopping by", I hung out there for several HOURS just chatting with the locals. 🍻 It was a great little spot to relax. As it got later, we closed up and we went to The Cocky Rooster in Comfort and got a pizza. (Remember, I had skipped lunch). Had a couple of drinks and then I headed back to Bandera. It was a nice, spontaneous day - my favorite kind. Check out The Cartoon Cowboy and some of the work displayed in this unique little art gallery. If you go, tell Paulie and JP that I said Hi. 


Wednesday

I got up and went to the river to say goodbye and then into town to get gas and to go to the Cowgirl Coffee Company (upstairs in the Old Forge) for a muffin and coffee. They were out of blueberry muffins so I ended up with a piece of coffee cake. I got my coffee with Irish Cream flavoring and steamed milk. It was really good. I like a little coffee in my cream. ☕ I stowed everything and hitched up. A couple people on the next row over turned out to be from College Station so we struck up a little conversation and I left just before 10 am. I stopped at the Buc-ee's in New Braunfels and Bastrop and got home about 2:20 pm. 532 miles on the whole trip. Bandera (and that whole area) is My Happy Place and I sure hated to leave. 😢




Anhalt Western Roundup

Texas 281 RV Park

33300 U.S. 281 North, Bulverde, TX 78163 
Comal County
http://www.texas281rvpark.com  https://www.facebook.com/tx281rvpark
(830) 980-2282 / 800-456-2126

April 16-19, 2021 - 3 Nights

Type of Park: Private-owned
Check In: 11a    Check Out: 11a
Cost per night $44
Discounts: Good Sam $4/night

Site #10 - Pull-Thru

  • Water
  • 20/30/50 amp
  • Sewer
  • Picnic Table
  • Site Pad: Asphalt

👍🏻 Pros:

  • Shade from Live Oaks
  • Close to showers, restrooms, laundry
  • There’s a little room in the same building with coffee, table, books  (Botanical Room)

👎🏻 Cons:

  • The front area is a little close to Hwy 281 so there’s a little road noise but not bad
  • No fire ring
  • No grill at the sites

📝 Park Notes: 

  • Lot of people live here full time
  • Good Live Oak shade trees, but watch them above and on the side of your rig
  • Wifi
  • Propane sold onsite
  • Laundry facilities
  • Club house for larger gatherings - built of native stone
  • Dog Park
  • Basketball court
  • Chapel, church services on  Sunday 
  • Nature Trail
  • Headquarters has limited supply of RV parts (or there's a Walmart and Tractor Supply nearby)\
  • Billiards, Ping Pong, Horseshoes, Shuffleboard
  • RV Storage area
  • Mini storage buildings
  • Rental Guest Suites available
  • Frog/Koi pond/fountain
  • Quiet hours 9pm to 7 am


🐦 Wildlife:

  • Birds: Lots of happy singing ones, hummingbirds
  • Squirrels

🚘 153 miles Home - Bulverde - 10.9 mph

Friday, April 16

I caravanned with 4 other RV's (8 people) on this trip and another one (2 people) met us in the park. It was misty and hazy the whole trip. There were some bluebonnets out, but somewhat closed due to the weather. We made good time though and the cooler weather was good traveling on the tires. When we pulled into the park, they had staff on golf carts that led us right to our sites and after setting up, we went back to the office to officially check in. I used my Good Sam membership for $4 off per night.  Sites are asphalt and seem pretty level. I added the quick connect adapters to my fresh water hose. In this area, there were quite a few large Live Oaks. If you have a big rig with slides on both sides, you may have to watch the location of them. One of our group barely missed not being able to open one of their slides.  At this time of year, "inch" worms and army worms are everywhere and hanging from the trees. "You got worms!" seemed to be the "words of the week". 


We all loaded up and went to Anhalt Halle for the Anhalt Western Roundup. Rocky King Band started the show followed by Billy Mata & the Texas Tradition. There were vendors and a food truck there as well. I got a ring with a stone that picks up different colors at different angles. A couple of friends that we met in Bandera during Mardi Gras came out and joined us and they are fun people and fit right into our little group. Our group kept getting larger. The large Hall was built in 1908 by a group of Germans and it's been operating ever since. It's a very large hall and huge wooden arched trusses in the ceiling. The smaller, older section was built in the 1870's. 


Saturday, April 17

I got a new neighbor who was in a nice new van RV from Florida. Lana and her dog, Harley were real friendly. She stayed two nights and hung out with a friend who lives in the park full time. We were able to go the clubhouse to fix breakfast - at no charge. As long as it's not in use, it's a free park amenity. NICE! The guys fixed late breakfast in the clubhouse on Leroy's new Blackstone. We had bacon (how else are you going to break in a new cooktop?), eggs, potatoes, tortillas, blueberry muffins, cowboy coffee and great conversations. I love this group! They are fun and casual. 


Day 2 of the Roundup - after observations from yesterday, we brought lots of snack foods - chips, summer sausage, cheese crackers, etc. It was COLD in the very back where we were and there was a cold wind blowing in. Our friends that we met in Bandera were back with us again. It was a fun night, but I couldn't wait to get back to my camper and my HEATER! What is with these temps?!

  • Monte Good & the Honky Tonk Heroes
  • Jason Roberts Band
  • Jeff Woolsey & The Dancehall Kings


Sunday, April 18

I was up early (yes...again), fixed some coffee and walked around the park. It's fairly large so I didn't cover it all on foot. Some of the full-timers have hummingbird feeders and seed feeders out. I love the koi pond with it's little waterfall and little frog statues. I talked with Lana and we toured each other's RVs. I told her there was a dog park in the back of the park. My group had breakfast at Clubhouse again to get out of the wind. We had biscuits and gravy, and of course, bacon. I brought the supplies for Mimosas. Six people from our group left with 3 of the RVs and they weren't gone even 30 minutes and more rigs were pulling in. The place stays full, that's for sure. 

Took a nap and had a little relaxation time and then the few of us headed to Anhalt for round 3 with Jake Hooker. It was an afternoon thing and ended by 8 pm, so we were going to eat after at the Antler Café, but they were packed so we went down the road to  The Branch. The food was good (but not impressed with the Chicken Fried Steak that a friend got). Boiled shrimp was wonderful. For dessert, a couple of them got Molten Lava Cake with ice cream and I got a bite - YUM! They were literally licking the plates when they were done. I was stuffed from the shrimp. 

Got back to the camper and picked up a few things, read some email, watched a couple of YouTube videos from Texas RV Y'all and You, Me & the RV and called it a night. Something good is brewing for both of their Patreons. Are you in?



Monday, April 19

I woke up early. Note to self: YOU'RE ON VACATION! I can't sleep past my normal work get-up time. 🙄 It was peaceful in the park so I made my coffee, cleaned up a few things and sat outside to work on this log and greet the neighbors and pet the 4-footed ones. Met a BEAUTIFUL Golden Retriever that reminded me so much of my old dog Cheddar. This time of year, all the silk caterpillars are hanging from the trees. Watch your open cups of coffee…just sayin'. Check your clothes and hair before heading inside. Had coffee and a muffin with my friends.  

Stowed everything and packed up to head to phase 2 of my trip. Left to go to Bandera! It's my happy place.


Camping on Easter Weekend

Big Creek Resort, Marina & Campground, Lake Somerville

North Shore, Park Road 4
979-596-1616
April 1-4, 2021 - 3 Nights
Type of Park: Private-owned
Check In: 4p    Check Out: 3p

Site #79 - Back-In

$35 per night ($105 total)
  • Water
  • 20/30/50 amp
  • Picnic Table with concrete pad
  • Grass site. No rock or concrete base
👍🏻 Pros:
  • No trees to avoid
  • On the end of the line so no one is on the "front" side of the camper
  • Good area for camping in groups
  • Close to good swimming areas and store
  • Close to boat ramp
👎🏻 Cons:
  • Split-level site - table is down a slight hill from parking area. 
  • No shade
  • Across from the cabins on stilts, lake view is a little blocked
  • Cabins are being refurbished and the equipment and materials are stacked near the site (and some construction noise)
  • No grill or fire ring at this site
📝 Park Notes: 
  • Gates closed and locked from midnight to 6 am on weekends. Closed at 10 pm on week days.
  • Can bring golf carts, ATV's (machines with steering wheels, not handle bars) 
  • Dump Station - a little hard to get to for big rigs. Also hard to leave the park from there. You may have to go back into the park to turn around.
  • Park Store - has fishing bait and supplies, too 
  • Cabins are under re-construction
  • There is a Places Munzee here
🐦 Wildlife:
  • Birds: Cormorants (Water Turkeys), barn swallows, scissor-tail

🚘 43.8 miles (not including the trips to home and church)  9.5 mph average

Thursday  

Matilda Mae and I got to the site around 6:30 pm. Site is hard to figure out because the table is down a little hill from the pad and power pedestal. Site has all 3 power sources. It had cobwebs and such and looks like it hadn't been used in a while. There's supposed to be a little loop here, but you can't see it. 

Other highlights:

  • Fixed up some Easter Eggs for my camping buddies
  • Nice sunset and the wind had died down quite a bit, but still a little cool
  • 🔥 Sat by the Solo stove for a little while
  • The camper walls are thin so I can hear everything the neighbors say (a little muffled). They were still going pretty strong past 11 pm. 
  • Low 40's overnight

Friday

  • ☕ Got up and made my coffee (in the camper because it was way too windy to do it outside). Making a small amount in my percolator pot doesn't work. Ended up using the drip coffee maker. 
  • 🌯 I had listed a Get Together on RVillage, but I was way late in posting it and it and the weather was pitiful, so no one else came. I made breakfast tacos and coffee for a couple of my friends. The wind came up again and we ended up having to take everything inside.
  • Except for the wind, it's a beautiful sunny day. 
  • 🌮 Made tacos for lunch
  • 🐟 We had a fish fry for supper and it was SO good! 
  • My bestie gave me a Brumate "koozie". The rainbow titanium one I have been wanting! It definitely worked well all weekend. 
  • 🔥 It was cold and windy and we sat around the solo stove again.

Saturday

  • Saturday was overcast and windy again. 
  • JJ&D did breakfast and they made biscuits and sausage gravy. 😋 
  • Family came out
  • 🍔 Hamburgers for lunch. I brought over my canopy and we anchored it down. It definitely helped keep the rain off. It's a good thing JJ brought his Weber grill! 
  • After we ate, the rain stopped and the sun came out for a while. 
  • The guys sat around telling stories (and the tales keep getting taller) and everyone seemed to be really enjoying themselves. 
  • 🔥 We huddled around the Solo stove most of the time and there was crazy teenagers in nothing but swim trunks out in the water swimming and riding around on jet skis! 
  • 🥩 I love BYOSteak night! 
  • 🎈 Friend's surprise 50th birthday party at Bottlenecks. We left my truck inside the gate so I could activate the Exit gate so my friends could come through.

Sunday

  • The wind had laid down finally and it was just a little overcast. I actually got to put the awning out. 
  • 🐰 I took the Easter Eggs to my friends' sites. Besides candy, I had things in the eggs like hose washers, single-use super glue, AA batteries, zip ties and single-shot size liquor bottles (had to put them next to the eggs because of the size). 
  • 🌯 I made breakfast tacos
  • ⛪ Went to Easter service
  • After service, I came back to the park to have leftover steak and rice for lunch
  • 🧳 Packed up Matilda Mae and headed for the dump station. A man from Bryan let my go ahead of him because he said he was going to be a while. 
  • Got home and unloaded a few things. Then we sat around playing cornhole and my brother brought out his drone. My son came out a little later and we all celebrated his birthday. 🥳
Despite the wind and rain, it was a nice weekend. 






RVillage Has a New Look

I have been using RVillage lately as one of the go-to places for RVing info. It's a whole social network just for RVers - full part, part time, seasonal or wanna-be RVers. It's a great place for info, discounts and connecting with like-minded people. Find me there!

I just noticed that they have a new beta site and a new look. I like the way it looks. A little more modern and clean. Right now, it's only available to Gold level members. 

This is the current look of the website. 


This is the new view. 

The More link has the following info:


Search has moved to the top along with the Gold Membership info. RV Parks has it's own button now. Market Place is now split out to Businesses and RVillage Store. As you scroll down the pages, the menu bar "floats" at the top. Blogs appear very similar, but the new site has larger pictures and only a couple lines of "preview" of the posting. Creating a blog post on the new site seems to be missing some functions. Groups function pretty much the same as well. 

Profiles 

They now have a cover photo. Friends and Photos are shown on the side, more like a Facebook feel.

Old:


New:



Posts now have multiple "Like" options and they are in color! Ooh...ahh! 👍🏻💓😂😢😠


If you don't like the new site, you have the option of going back to the old feel. 



There are more small differences and I'll be checking them out, but this was a "first glance" update.



Camping at Big Creek

Big Creek Marina & Campground, Lake Somerville

North Shore, Park Road 4
979-596-1616

March 5-7, 2021 - 2 Nights
Type of Park: Private-owned
Check In: 4p    Check Out: 3p

Site #99 - Back-In

$30 per night
  • Water
  • 20/30 amp
  • Grill - good shape
  • Fire Ring With flip top grate. Not all sites have them. 
  • Picnic Table
  • Hook on pole for light, etc
  • Very close to restrooms/showers
  • Large site. Plenty of room for multiple slides.

👍🏻 Pros:

  • No trees to avoid
  • Good area for camping in groups
  • Good view of the Lake. Site is almost parallel with the Lake instead of perpendicular like most of the other sites. Camper faces setting sun. 
  • Close to good swimming areas
  • Can bring golf carts, ATV's (machines with steering wheels, not handle bars)

👎🏻 Cons:

  • No shade or wind break

📝 Park Notes: 

  • Gates closed and locked from midnight to 6 am on weekends. Closed at 10 pm on week days. 
  • Dump Station - a little hard to get to for big rigs. Also hard to leave the park from there. You may have to go back into the park to turn around.
  • Park Store - has fishing bait and supplies, too 
  • Sites on this loop have crushed granite in the pad sites
  • The pavilion is available to rent for up to 60 guests
  • There is a Places Munzee here

🐦 Wildlife:

  • Birds: LOTS of Robins, Kestrel, Cormorants, Mud Hens, Pelicans, Osprey, Sandhill Cranes (flying over)
  • Deer
  • Squirrels
  • Coyotes
  • Frogs

Friday

Filled both tanks with propane since they were mostly depleted from the big freeze. Mama followed me out and decided to stay the night. It was her first overnight trip with me in the camper. Drove around the park and took her to the store. Only a handful of campers out here today so the campground was very quiet. The lake is a little low right now. Very windy tonight! It was rocking the camper. The TV is working well with the Chromecast and Discovery+ with the MiFi. We turned in early. It got COLD during the night, so I got up and turned the heater on. It helped. Thank goodness for the propane!

Saturday

Got up in the morning and it was still pretty windy. Made the coffee on the stove instead of trying to build a fire. Brought out the griddle and made bacon and pancakes for breakfast. My brother came out and stayed for a while. Since it was so windy, it was a good day to fly the kite. They all left to do their own thing and I had most of the afternoon to myself. I made lunch with that lemon pepper chicken breast and a little bit of the herb and butter rice. I sat out front of the camper out of the wind and got a little sun. Actually got a lot of sun. My face is all red. The Snook girls basketball team was the semi finals for the state title and they lost by about six points. I watched it live on Facebook.  Made a quick run to Dollar General to pick up a couple of things and came back. I had bought some Eskimo pies at Dollar General and I gave one to Paula at the gate and she sure appreciated it. She's a great Park Host. 


Mama and Daddy decided to come back for steak night. We drove around the park first and saw a few deer and the Osprey. Finally the wind died down so we were able to make a fire in the fire ring. It was a real clear night and a lot of stars were out. It’s supposed to get into the low 40s tonight. After they left I sat by the fire for a while. The frogs were singing up a storm and then the coyotes joined in.

Sunday

I got up fairly early and made a small campfire and put the coffee on. There's a few more boats out this morning. Very little wind so it's perfect conditions for fishing, fires and whatnot. Low 40s and the sun is shining and the birds are singing. Made my coffee, bacon, scrambled eggs and toast on the fire. It was a good breakfast and a very relaxing morning. Why does it always taste so much better when made over a fire? Perfect time to have "church" with the Good Lord. Went to my brother's house nearby for a little while and got some plants from him. Went back to the campsite and started consolidating things. Had to wait in line behind someone at the dump station who was just getting started, but we had a nice conversation while I waited. She was from Illinois. 

It was a nice weekend. It would have been better without all the wind, but it is what it is. 








Bandera/Hill Country Trip

Skyline Ranch RV Park - Bandera, TX 2231 Hwy. 16N, Bandera, TX 78003 830 796-4958 / 800 267-1402 https://www.skylineranchrvpark.com/ April 1...