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. 








Texas Froze Over

We don't get very hard winters here in central Texas, but it sure made up for it this year! Texas had sub-freezing temperatures throughout the entire state. You know it's cold when Galveston and places down on the coast have snow!


❄ Sleet/snow started at my house on the evening of Sunday, February 14. I was NOT celebrating Valentine's Day, but that's another story. Temps were dropping and white stuff was falling and continued to fall throughout the night. We had been warned it was coming, so I drained all of the water from the lines in the camper to get ready. Moved a few plants indoors, put foam bonnets on exterior faucets. I recently got my propane tank topped off so I was good to go...or so I thought.

Everything was blanketed in white when I got up on Monday. It was a good day for working from home and it continued to come down. If it clinks on the window, it's sleet. If it's silent, it's snow. I love the silent snowfall! Until the "rolling" black outs started. I have propane heat, but it takes electricity to run the fan, thermostat, etc. It seems we were off more than we were on. More like 52 minutes on, 1 1/2 hours (or more) off.  Luckily I have a laptop and a mifi, so I charged everything when the electricity was on and coasted on battery power when it was off. After a while, I even kept my power brick charged and ready. This first night, the power went off and was off MOST of the night. I was under several layers of blankets and I was sooooo cold. With the rain/sleet/ snow combination, the side of the camper was glazed over and I couldn't get the door to budge. It went through one night of no heat.

Thank goodness I have a propane stove too. A strike of a lighter and I was able to make coffee! Who heard of single digit temps here and the wind chill was in the negative numbers! (Did I mention I live on the prairie?) The wind was awful! But no matter the temperature outside, a good Texas girl still has her Blue Bell. 

🐦 The birds sure appreciated the feed I put out for them. You know it's cold when the Mockingbirds are eating from the seed feeder. The cardinals showed up so pretty against the bright white background. I enjoyed watching them off and on over the days while I was working from home. I was NOT getting out on those slick roads with the black ice under all the pretty white. 

The freezing temps and outages continued for days. One day, the electricity blinked a few times before 8 am and it didn't come back until after 6 pm that evening. It was in the upper 40's INSIDE the house. I had finally gotten the camper open and turned on the heater on very low between 55-60°F just to keep pipes from splitting. I went out there for a little bit here and there during the day (but of course there was no water out there). I'm sure I looked like a shore bird running back and forth with the tide. I was dressed for function, not fashion. Thermals, wind pants, a thick warm robe, socks, slippers... Then I would add a heavy coat and Crocs boots if I walked outdoors. I was not built for this weather! Give me a 100° day any day over freezing temps!


I lost several branches from a few of my trees, but most of my trees are not huge (give them a couple more decades). My parents lost quite a few large limbs from the Live Oaks and Pecans in their yard. My cedar tree looked like a creature from a science fiction movie. It's like it grew legs and was trying to emerge from the ground. This was the "snow went away and the ice came in" stage. 

I survived and the camper seems to have survived as well.  Hooked up the water and tested everything and all looks good. I'm so glad I had drained all the water out ahead of time!






Mardi Gras - Cowboy Style


Mardi Gras in Bandera is an event that I have been looking forward to for MONTHS. Quite a few of my friends from Burleson County have been planning to go. Some of us had Airbnb's reserved and others were in the campgrounds. I had the Airbnb. I thought about bringing my camper, but the slide went out after my last camping trip and I wasn't sure it would be repaired in time. I drove in by myself.

I got into town just after lunch on Thursday and checked into my cabin for the weekend. It was on the way into Bandera and just a couple miles out. The place was spacious and quiet and I LOVED the porch! Would be a great place to sit around and listen to someone play the guitar (or fiddle). The owners were very pleasant. The cabin had everything I needed. Bedroom, bathroom, full-sized kitchen, coffee pot, couch, TV, washer/dryer, heat and AC (and I need both). It IS Texas after all, y'all! I could easily hang out here long term. They even had a fire ring out back fully stocked with wood. But it was a busy weekend and no time for that. 

I went into town and went by the General Store to get those Justin boots that I had been eyeing back in December. They were still there...dang it! Cha-ching. Then I headed out to Bandera Crossing RV Resort where my friends were staying and we just hung around and relaxed for a while until it was time for us to head to 11th Street Cowboy Bar for the first night of festivities. 

💚 Laissez les bon temps rouler! 💛

Our group took over the back corner just like we did last year. Geno Delafose was up first. It was country-style zydeco and my Cajun side LOVED it! Mickey & The Motorcars took over at 10 pm after the pet costume contest. I got to break those boots in pretty well! (Backup boots were in the truck). I was able to dance with a few of the guys from our group. Thankfully, their wives let me borrow them for a bit knowing full well I'd give them back. 11th Street cranked up the big fire pits and we were glad for the heat. 

Before heading "home" for the night, I did make a stop by Arkey Blue's Silver Dollar. If there was ever a place that speaks to me, it's definitely at the top of the list. I have loved this place since I first went there many years ago. 

It was late on Thursday and most of the crowd was still at 11th Street (or not in town yet). But I like it better like that when it's not so crowded. It's more relaxing. One more special friend made it into town late and I made another stop before going back to the BNB.

Remember I said I need AC AND Heat in the same day? When I left, it was plenty warm and the AC was on. When I got in, it had gotten colder and the window units only go AC OR Heat. They don't switch from one to the other. It was quite cold in there! And with the vaulted ceiling, it took a long time to warm up. Thankfully there were extra blankets. In the morning, I found out the "fireplace" heater actually cranked out the heat pretty good so that helped take the chill out of the air.  The porch was a good place to have my coffee, but it was still pretty chilly out. 


Friday: The OST Steakhouse is a good place for breakfast, lunch or supper. Had to hit there mid-day. I went to the BNB and this time I set the HEAT on. Then it was back to 11st Street for round two with Wayne Toups followed by Kin Faux. Everything started off nice, but about the middle of the night, things went down hill on a personal level. Turns out my special friend wasn't special to just me. I left and went to the Wild Horse Saloon for a while and then things took a huge nose dive from there. I won't go into all the personal details, but almost a year and a half was wasted on him for nothing. NOT who I thought he was. That chapter is CLOSED and very painful! 😭💔

Saturday: I gathered myself together and made it to the parade at noon. I'm glad my good friends were all in town (minus one)! One of my cousins even made it in. This is a parade like no other. Regular floats, horses, camels, lots of ATVs. Of course every one of them was throwing beads. After the parade, it was in to OST for lunch, then to the BNB for a nap.




Was NOT in the mood to go back to 11th Street again, so that night, I went to Arkey's and then to Wild Horse Saloon to meet up with a couple that I met last year during Mardi Gras (last year was wonderful all the way around) and one girlfriend I had met the last two times I was in Bandera over the past few months. Then I went to the RV park and hung out with my good friends there until it was time to go back home and crash again. It helped being able to just chill out and breathe. 

Sunday:
I had to go to the Cowgirl Coffee Company up top at the Old Forge. They had King Cake and I had to get my final fill of Mardi Gras. Since my Mama is from New Orleans, that side of me LOVES it. I was going to go by the Cowboy Church just out of town that I have visited on my last trip, but I was just not in the mood and I headed home for the 4 hour drive. 

This weekend did NOT turn out like I wanted it to and even the weather was sad on the trip home.

462 miles all totaled

Camping at Yegua Creek

Yegua Creek Park, Lake Somerville

January 17-18, 2021 - 1 night
Type of Park: COE
Check In: 3p    Check Out: 2p

Site #24 - Back In

$26 per night

  • Water
  • 20/30 amp
  • Grill - Good condition
  • Fire Ring
  • Picnic Table (Some have covers over tables, not this site)

👍🏻 Pros:

  • Big site on the end
  • The way the road goes, no headlights go into the trailer
  • Nice view of the lake
  • Near the beach area
  • Trees overhead

👎🏻 Cons:

  • A couple of large trees just outside the driveway. Hard to see on far side when backing in. 
  • Far side of loop away from the shower/restroom if needed

📝 Park Notes: 

  • Gates are closed and locked from 10p to 6a
  • Dump Station
  • Restrooms / Bath House

🐦 Wildlife:

  • Birds: Cardinals, Mockingbirds, Pelicans (Eagles have been spotted here, but not on this trip)
  • Lots of Deer
  • Squirrels
  • Armadillo

🚘 40 miles round trip - 10 mph



This was the first trip with the Silverado. I can see around both sides of the camper without extensions on the mirror! My brother joined me for a little while and helped me get the fire going. The grill was really nice and we made our steak for supper. 🥩 Lots of pelicans were out on the lake today and there were quite a few deer out. After dark, I had the laser lights shining on the trees and it look like fireflies bouncing around. It was really quiet in the park. There was no sounds of AC is running or anything like that like it usually is in the summertime. Most people were pretty quiet and there was no loud music to break the calm. There was an armadillo that was digging around in the leaves after dark and he was very intent on what he was doing and didn’t run off even when I walked over and shined the light on him. It was a very peaceful night. It was pretty chilly (low 40's) and I had the "fireplace" space heater going and 3 blankets on the bed. I was toasty and even had to take one of them off in the middle of the night. I wish my little camping buddy was here with me. I'm going to miss her so much. 




I got up in the morning and started another fire and put the coffee on. What makes coffee taste so much better when it's at a campsite? I got out all the stuff to make breakfast tacos. Way more than I needed for just one person. Took a walk around the campground to check out some of the other sites on the next loop over. A lot of the campers were from northern states and most started tearing everything down and leaving in the morning. I waited around until lunchtime to pack up. I went and hit the dump station and then came home. It was a nice trip, but too quick. 





If you look close, you can see Pelicans flying low on right side of grill





RIP Dixie



My 15-year companion, Dixie, passed away yesterday morning and crossed the rainbow bridge. 

I woke up to find her laying in the middle of the living room floor. She has not been herself the last few days and had barely left her little bed so I knew she was not doing well. It was still a shock.

My brother and my parents came over and helped bury her in the backyard wrapped in her favorite blanket. We talked about her and shed a few tears. It was a sad day. I was working from home that day after we took care of her, but I felt like I should have been on bereavement leave. 😭

We picked Dixie out of the litter before she was even weaned. My son said "Look at that little face". She won us over a wee age. We were able to bring her home Thanksgiving weekend of 2005 and she became an instant part of the family. I got her to be a companion for my young son, but she attached herself to me. She would sleep with me in the bed and she loved burying herself under blankets and pillows. You couldn't sit anywhere on the couch or bed without checking for a lump first.

She liked to go wherever I was and she liked being outdoors when I was. She has been on multiple camping trips, geocaching trips and hanging out in the yard. If I would ask "Do you want to go camping?", she would get so excited. Even if it was only in the back yard. You could see her grin. 

She had my Daddy wrapped around her little paw too. Whenever we went over there to visit, she would always jump up on the recliner with him and share his peanuts. Many times, he would say in a gruff voice "Hey hound dog!" and she just wagged her tail as if she knew it was an inside joke. A Rat Terrier would not be Webster's definition of a Hound Dog. 

We always called her "Shaky Butt" because she would get so excited about things and wag her whole back half. If my Mama was watching her and told her "Mama is home", she could just open the back door of her house and Dixie would come barreling across the pasture. It was sad the last few months that she didn't wag at all and the little tail stayed mostly clamped down. She used to jump up on the bed and couch, but the last couple years she had to have help getting up. She walked slow, but she still liked to curl up next to me.

She had two tricks that she learned at a young age. Roll over and Stick 'em up! On the later, she would stand up on her back legs and stick both front legs straight up in the air. My son even entered her in the County Fair pet show. She had her own cute personality.

It's going to be hard coming home to an empty and quiet house. When I pulled out the carpet a couple of years ago and got my vinyl plank flooring, her nails tapping around was a constant comfort that she was there. She was my cleanup crew for my leftovers (and even if I wasn't full, I always saved her a bite). 

She has a spot in the yard next to a small pine tree. At some point, she will be under it's shade. She'll forever be in my heart. I'm going to miss my baby girl.








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: P...