When we launched this Grand Adventure, we all expected that it was going to be a one-way trip to Portland, Oregon for a semi-permanent living situation. Doing it in an RV was supposed to make it easier to travel, and less hassle to find a place to live once we got there. As we were preparing for that life-changing event, it occurred to us that we don't really like cold weather. Not even a little bit. I have been quoted as saying that I would not want to live anywhere the high temperature is lower than my age. As I get older, this makes the options fewer, and farther south.
After much discussion, we opted to wait a bit before heading north. This gives us time to get our rig optimized for our personal use, making sure that we have everything that we need, and that all of our systems work. Driving shorter distances has given me much needed practice, as handling this behemoth is very different from the little sedan that I was used to. Also, it is rough on the youngster to be separated from friends and family at this age. We've moved cross country before, but this was the first major move where she had a bunch of friends that she had grown close to.
So, here we are, three weeks on the road and barely 950 miles under our belts. This makes me the perfect person for a Top 10 list of Place We've Stayed. Except I only have eight entries.
From worst to best (based on my enjoyment of the stay):
10. Walmart Supercenter, Huntsville, Texas -- for those of you that don't know, Walmart will often let RVs and big trucks park overnight in the parking lot for free. We actually hit this place up on two occasions, as the convenience of resupplying and staying for free appealed to us. The parking lot is not overly large, so the odds of a big rig parking right next to you and running his generator all night is higher than in other places. BONUS: free WiFi, though the connection was a bit sketchy.
7. Sunset RV Resort, Bee Cave, Tx -- We only stayed here overnight, so I don't have a lot to say. The staff was very friendly, and accommodating considering we were arriving just at closing time. Office is closed on weekends, which struck me as a bit weird. Still, the facilities were nice for the short time that we were there. WiFi was decent.
6. Johnson Branch State Park, Lake Ray Roberts, Tx -- I love lakes (as you can tell by the list) and this one is beautiful. The park had multiple playgrounds for the kids, and tiled shower facilities. The parking pads were severely slanted, and cell reception was unreliable. But if you're trying to get away from it all, I would recommend this place. (When we go back, I'm angling for site 13 in the Juniper Cove, lake view with trees for privacy.)
5. Rainbow's End, Livingston, Tx -- Headquarters of Escapees, and the location of our mail center. Great park, lots of helpful people. The WiFi is pay by the day, and not super strong, but the other amenities make up for it. Swimming pool, clubhouse, and All-You-Can-Eat pancake breakfast on Saturdays!
4. Lake Park Campgrounds, Lake Lewisville, Tx -- Beautiful lake, and really inexpensive! Short walk to the disc golf course, and a short drive to Dallas. Internet was unavailable while we were there, but lake views (campsite 30) and some geocaching made up for it.
3. Loyd Park, Joe Pool Lake, Grand Prairie, Tx -- this was our first stop, and we didn't realize how good we had it! Very nice campground, friendly staff, flat site, very private. Nice bathrooms, lake views (site 59). We stayed there right after the flooding, so some of the lakeside sites were unavailable. The staff was diligently repairing and cleaning them while we were there. I would love to come back again!
2. Inks Lake State Park, Inks Lake, Tx -- Park Ranger recommended site 92, and I have to say that she nailed it. Gorgeous views of the lake, and privacy on one side. No internet, being a state park, but tons of lake based activities to distract!
1. City of Hico's Bosque River RV Park, Hico, Tx -- by far our favorite stop. Quaint little town within walking distance that has a 24-hour laundromat, a historic area, and a couple of restaurants. The park has full hookups, amazing WiFi, and a disc golf course! This is going to be a stop for us, any time we're in the area. The one drawback: the flies. Literally a daily battle. At one count we had 30 in various parts of the coach.
And there you have it. Our next scheduled trip is to the Escapees RV Boot Camp, in Livingston this weekend. Once we have that knowledge in hand, we're planning to head south for the winter. We're thinking Corpus Christi, or maybe even Brownsville. We still want to see Portland, but that can wait until Spring. I need at least two more places to round out my Top 10 list!