Out With the Old, In With the New

My last camping trip of the year was to the Hill Country. I was planning to go to Bandera for the weekend to ring in the New Year, but I had heard multiple people tell me to check out the lights at Johnson City, so I made a one-night detour. I made my reservations at Blanco State Park and invited a friend (who was one of my Boondockers) to join me. After setting up, we drove up to Johnson City and the lights did not disappoint! It truly is a Lights Spectacular! There were 3 areas of lights. The courthouse, another block on 290 and the Pedernales Electric Cooperative headquarters (this was the WOW! section). There was a hayride going between all the sites, but we didn't have time to partake in that. 

Blanco State Park

101 Park Road 23
Blanco, TX 78606
(830) 833-4333
Blanco County

1 Night
Type of Park: State
Check In: 2p     Check Out: 1 p

πŸ’² Cost per night $20 + $5/person/day 
Discounts: $5 with Texas State Parks Pass
Total Cost $20

Site #13 Notes:

• Back In
• Water
• Max amp: 30
• Sewer (not at this site, but at others in the park)
• Wifi
• Fire Ring w/Grate
• Picnic Table: wood with metal legs, concrete base, metal roof
• Site Pad: level, asphalt, long enough for camper and truck and a little room to spare

πŸ‘πŸ» Pros:

• Sites have a pad for a tent

πŸ‘ŽπŸ» Cons:

• I didn't bring my kayak! Dec 30 - 81° - the Blanco River would have been perfect for kayaking

Park Notes: 

• Restrooms • Showers
• Dump Station • Trails
• Water access • Day Use shelters
• Bigger pavilion for gatherings


• Birds: multiple • Squirrels
• A very thirsty, sweet cat - followed me during one of my walks. Gave him some milk and he lapped it all up and wanted more

πŸ’œ Highlights of this trip:

• Short drive to Johnson City to look at Christmas lights
Proof and Cooper at The Lumberyard, Johnson City - we got in quickly, but they were busy and it was a long wait to order and get the food. Good though!
• Camping with Kat, former Boondocker at my site
• Breakfast muffins from the InstaPot with air fryer lid - gonna have to get one of these!

🚘 148.8 miles one way - 10.0 mph

❤ Bandera!

After breakfast on New Year's Eve, I broke down camp and headed for Bandera. I stopped by The Cartoon Saloon to visit with the Mayor of Toonstone. OMG! Cedars everywhere and they literally explode in puffs of pollen smoke with every wind gust. 🀧 

Went to Pioneer RV Park and set up. Took a walk down by the Medina River. That town and that river are my therapy. They calm me so much! Went by the General Store and then down to Arkey Blue's Silver Dollar for a while. Walked back to the camper for a while and got ready for New Year's Eve. Walking distance to downtown Bandera is a great perk of staying at Pioneer. Hung out with friends at Arkey's and went over to 11th Street Cowboy Bar to listen and dance to Vince Moreno. I even got to dance with his brother a few times. Back to Arkey's for champagne and black-eyed peas at midnight. 

When I got up on New Year's Day, I looked at the forecast for the next day and it was supposed to be SUPER windy. I didn't want to tow the camper in that so I packed up and left a day early (after another walk down by the river and over to City Park). Sad but safe. 

Pioneer River RV Resort, Bandera

1202 Maple Street, Bandera, TX 78003
Bandera County

Type of Park: Private
Check In: 1p    Check Out: 12p

1 Night

πŸ’² Cost per night $38 
Discounts: Good Sam 10%
Total Cost $34.20

Site #147 Notes:

• Back In • Water 
• Max amp: 30
• Sewer
• Wifi
• Picnic Table (all wood)
• Gravel parking pad (odd sites on this row. The even ones are just grass)

πŸ‘πŸ» Pros:

• Pretty level
• Unless they are full to capacity, the park usually doesn't fill all the even numbered sites, so you have a little more room down here on this row
• This lower row is closest to the river (I love it, but keep that in mind during Spring flooding around Memorial Day)

πŸ‘ŽπŸ» Cons:

• No fire ring
• If all the sites were filled, spaces are very close together

Park Notes: 

• Restrooms
• Showers
• Access to the Medina River
• Pool
• A few cabins for rent, including an old caboose
• Small dog park area
• Can walk under the road to access Bandera City Park
• Lots of snowbirds come here for the winter


 • Birds: Ducks

🚘 Trip A: 71.7 - 9.5 mpg - Blanco - Comfort - Bandera
🚘 Trip B: 201.1 - 10.7 mpg - Bandera - Home

πŸ›’ Be sure to check out my Gadgets & Gear page
to see some of my favorite RV and Camping products from Amazon
(and some for the Sticks N Bricks, too)