Monday, May 20, 2019

Last stop in Texas and then on to Louisiana for some crawfish and seafood

We made the adjustment to an RV park in Beaumont, TX since our reservation got cancelled at Stephen F. Austin SP as I previously mentioned. It got good reviews and was a good stop for a few nights. While there we found a seafood restaurant called the Bayou CafĂ©'. You order at the counter and they bring it out to you. Nothing fancy but the food was good. 

We couldn't escape the rain that has been plaguing Texas so we had to hunker down one day for an all day rain. Once it let up we found a wetland preserve near the park and decided to explore it a little. A nice boardwalk with lots of marshy grasses and we even saw an alligator in the distance. Lots of birds and frogs. A nice diversion. 

After our short stay we moved on to Louisiana and stopped at Poche's RV Park in Breaux Bridge, La. We had a recommendation from our friends Faye and Dave, The Wandering Camels. They had stayed there a few weeks before and were impressed with the fishing ponds and sites. We arrived and were able to pick the site we wanted. We took #65. It was on the end of a row in between ponds. We did have some afternoon and evening sun but we clipped a tarp to the awning and shaded our site well. We typically have stayed at Palmetto Island SP in Abbeville but the roads to the park are horrible and will beat you up totally. It's a great place but it was time for a change. 

At Poche's there is so much room to get our steps in so we took several walks around the ponds each day and of course looked into getting some seafood. Our first try at seafood was a restaurant called Crazy 'bout Crawfish. We didn't do crawfish but we did enjoy some large Gulf Shrimp and crab cakes. I even took an order of bread pudding home. It had raisins and pineapple in it. A little different but very tasty. A nice local place with good food and a little atmosphere. Our next find in Breaux Bridge was a place that boils crawfish and you can buy potatoes and corn to go with it. The Boiling Spot is a order for take out place or they did have some outdoor tables if you wanted to eat there.  Glenda is not into crawfish like me so we also ordered some Gulf shrimp for her. It was very well seasoned and had plenty of jazz to it. 

Site #65

Our view

Crazy 'bout Crawfish

Faye told me they contributed a license plate to the collection they have at Poche's
I found it. 

The Boiling Spot

Crawfish and shrimp

Hello Big Daddy
We enjoyed our stay and if in the area again I would certainly come back. The folks in the office are very helpful with information about where to get good seafood and enjoyable to have some conversation with. 

We're not done yet with seafood cravings...time to move on to Mississippi and stop at Buccaneer SP in Waveland. This area had been hit hard by Hurricane Katrina but is making an incredible come back with new homes on the gulf shore. 

More on Mississippi and our stop there next time. Thanks for following along. 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Sand dunes in Texas? Moving east, LBJ Ranch and visiting friends from Illinois living in Austin

It was a short drive to Monahan's Sandhills SP for our second overnight stop after Desert Willow in Van Horn, TX. This really surprised us with all the sand and dunes. I mean who would expect this much sand with NO beach in Texas. We didn't have a reservation but this time of year it is easier to get into a park during the week without a reservation than other times. The lady at the gate gave me some sites we could take and just told me to take one and come back after we got set up and let her know which one we took. We took #10 a pull through with a nice covered shelter. They're semi circle sites so your left side is next to the road but we had good privacy on the awning side. IT was pretty hot but the AC worked well and there was a decent breeze. The other thing was the awning was facing east away from the afternoon sun. We took a couple walks around the park and up on the dunes. That evening a few folks came out to play on the dunes and the park office has snow discs to ride down the dunes. We didn't do that. But I'm sure at different times of the season a lot of folks do. 

We got a good start to our drive further east to Hords Creek COE(Corp of Engineers) park. The park is in the middle of nowhere Texas but near Coleman, TX. We had to dodge a couple of thunderstorms as we made our way to the park. We're definitely getting closer to the Midwest.  Glenda found a place called "Best Fried Chicken". We stopped in for a take out order and took it back home. I do have to say the chicken was very tasty and not greasy like some places. We ordered some fried okra and corn nuggets. IT gets a thumbs up from us however I don't know if I can say it is THE Best Fried Chicken I've tasted. Hmmm...maybe it is because I don't eat fried chicken that much.

Nice lake view

Best Fried Chicken?

After a couple nights there we continued on to Cranes Mill COE between San Antonio and Austin. We had an uneventful trip however the F&M roads in TX are pretty rough and narrow. I took my time and found the park. We pulled up to the gate about 1pm and the gate person said the check in time was actually 3pm. We were early and he wasn't sure he could let us in.....I didn't say anything and he finally acknowledged that the park wasn't busy and no one was on our site so we could check in. Gee, Thanks.

We had a nice open site that was long enough to back in to and a parking area in front. The park is off the beaten path and a popular place for fishing in the area. We took daily walks around the park when it didn't rain and saw several deer each day. Lots of wildlife in the area.

Lots of vultures in the park hanging around

Fish carcasses after the vultures feast

We were looking for some BBQ while in TX and Glenda found a little BBQ food truck in Lockhart, TX about 25-30 miles away. It had very good reviews on line so off we went. It was a little hard to find being tucked back off the road between businesses. IT was VERY laid back but the food was delicious.

While I waited for our food I enjoyed walking around the side of the BBQ and getting great whiffs of the smoke from the smoker that was in the back. 

Even with the rainy days at the park we did manage to take a drive to the LBJ Ranch Visitors Center and visited the area called the Texas White House and the LBJ State Park and Historic Site in Stonewall, TX. We took a walk around the historic site and then drove over to the LBJ Ranch auto tour. We saw the cemetery where LBJ and Lady Bird are buried and we saw the Air Force 1 that LBJ used to fly from Washington DC to Texas. It was a lot smaller than we expected but the landing field in Texas wouldn't accommodate a larger jet and this was back in the 1960's.

We learned a lot and found some new interest in his presidency and life. If in the area it would be a nice experience. We enjoyed it.

Reproduction of LBJ boyhood home

Air Force 1

The Texas White House

A big reason for our route that took us by Austin is our friends Aaron and Susie Schenz. We knew them in IL and actually had the opportunity to visit with them when they lived in Utah about 3 years ago. We love visiting with friends in new places. Well we made plans to meet at a Chuy's Mexican Restaurant. It's one of their favorites and near the downtown of Austin. We arrived a little early and took a short walk along the Colorado River through a park. Very busy area.

Google building

Stevie Ray Vaughn 

Glenda, Susie, me and Aaron

Aaron and Susie

We had a wonderful visit and the conversation went on and on. So fun to catch up with friends as we travel around the country. Certainly makes it easy for us and them. Couldn't be in the area and not make contact. Thank you for dinner.

Looks like they may have finally found the place they want to stay put in. Aaron is starting a new consulting business and Susie is working in a school office. I'm sure we'll be back this way again one day.

No trip through Texas would be complete without a stop at a Buc cee's Travel Center

One more stop in Texas before making our way into Louisiana and that would have been Stephen F. Austin SP however I got a text from the park and a call letting us know that due to ALL THE RAIN around the southern part of Texas especially around Houston, our reservation was CANCELLED. The park was closed due to flooding. We had looked forward to our stay with all the great reviews we had heard of. So we went with jello and made a quick reservation at Gulf Coast RV Park in Beaumont, TX. It was a longer drive but it got us through Houston. Traffic there is horrifying at best. But with Glenda's expert eyes and navigation we were able to skirt around the worse part on I 610 and made it safely to the park. We split our reservation into 3 nights at Gulf Coast RV park and 3 nights at Poche's RV Park in Breaux Bridge, La.

More on those parks in the next post. Doing my best to catch up and keep it interesting. I hope you'll follow along.