Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, totally worn out, shouting "Wow...What a Ride!"

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

A Slow Trip to IL

March 15-30, 2021

March 15-18

Our first stop on our month-long trip was at Brazos Bend State Park, a 179-mile ride, this is our fourth visit to this state park and we always enjoy spending time there. This time our visit was during spring break so it was busier than we’ve ever seen it. We set up in our usual site, 115, we know we can get satellite service at this site despite it being a wooded park. The new truck did great though we aren’t pushing the speeds till we get 500 towing miles in, still trying to figure out how to get some information to show up but Dave’s learning what buttons to push.

Site 115

After our set up we headed out for a walk to look for alligators, Dave needed more pictures for his gator inventory file.


Birds, Brazos Bend is great for bird watching.

A few other wildlife sightings

Dave’s goal as we go up the east side of Texas is to eat as much crawfish as possible. Our first stop was at Bayou Boys in Needville TX where Dave enjoyed his first taste of crawfish in a year, it was one of the best he’s had. He enjoyed their boil so much we went back for a second meal.

Most of our time at Brazos Bend was spent getting lots of walks in, we tried a couple of trails we hadn’t been on yet. Since they weren’t on the water where the gators are found we didn’t see many folks on these trails. Every morning we did take a walk around 40 Acre Lake and the trail to Elm Lake where we got our daily alligator sightings. 

We did try a few new trails to get away from all the folks here for spring break, it just so happened there was a geocache on them. 

Our first campfire since December.

March 19-21

Our next stop was Tomball TX, about 66 miles away, though not to our favorite place there, it had suffered damage last month during the TX dee freeze. Instead, we headed to Corral RV Park a private park, it was a decent park and we wouldn’t hesitate to go back if we couldn’t get into our favorite place.

Site 196
A quick stop at the Tomball Farmers Market resulted in an awesome mushroom assortment. 

We visit this area to see Dave’s Uncle Ray and Aunt Beth, we try to see them whenever we leave our place on the beach but it had been a few years since we saw them. We spent some time visiting Old Town Spring where we enjoy visiting the shops and had a great lunch at Wunsche Brothers Salon.

Dave's try at a selfie with an iPhone

Delicious chicken fried steak

Great mirror and a great couple
The restroom at Wunsche Brothers Salon was interesting, one large room with individual stalls, boys and girls together in the same room. 

A great lighting store, Zeugma Art Bites, too bad they won't work in the RV.

Another day we spent time walking through a large antique dealer mall then had another great meal at Adriatic CafĂ© Italian Grill. One of the best Italian meals we've had for a very long time.                      

After our daily adventures we would head back to their home, we spent the time catching up and playing cards or dominos. We’ve now added them to the list of folks we’ve taught the card game Dave’s game to. As usual, our time with them goes by way too quickly. 

March 22-24

Our next ride was 118 miles to Magnolia Ridge COE, near Woodville TX,  where we had a beautiful site. Our time there was spent relaxing and walking around the campground, had to walk off all the great food we had had the last few days. This is the first park, since we left IL last fall, that we wish we had our canoe with us. While the campground only has 40 or so sights it’s one of the nicest ones we’ve been in. One to add to the let us go back to list.

Site 27

View from our site. 

Scenes from our daily walks. 

We did take a ride to Lufkin for crawfish, unfortunately, it wasn’t as good as his previous meals.

Of course, there was a fire with beer for Dave.  

March 25-28

Our next ride was a bit longer at 166 miles where we arrived at Buckhorn Creek COE near Jefferson TX. We had a nice site right on the water, with great sunset views.

Site E119

Sights from our walks. 

We took a ride into the town local nearby town of Jefferson. It was so crowded with visitors we didn't get out, we did find a few interesting things there though. 

An old passenger train turned into a home

An old Texaco station picture for my Dad. 

We had some awesome sunsets. 

Dave decided to play with the camera a bit. 

Of course, Dave had to find some more crawfish, so off to Gilmer, we went where he got crawfish, boudin, and alligator boudin from Krawdaddy’s Crawfish 2GO. He enjoyed it so much when we went to Longview for a grocery run he tried the Krawdaddy’s location there. Their crawfish and boudin have been as good as any he’s had over the years. 

Of course, there's always a fire, and we had the best site for one. 


We enjoyed our time at Buckhorn despite an issue with our neighbor, here’s Dave’s Facebook post that describes it well enough.

“We had an incident yesterday with a neighbor on the site next to us that kept cutting through our campsite to get to the lake to fish. He had easy access but he would have to walk a few more steps to walk around our site. Faye was sitting outside when he walks between my truck and camper, she asked him nicely to please not cut through our site. The man got belligerent, started calling her names, and seeing that we had Vermont plates on our truck, went down the political road. This same individual lets his dog off-leash and we watched it poop next to my other neighbor’s power panel. Nothing worse than starting off or ending your camping trip stepping in dog poop. Just now Faye was in the bedroom and watch one of the guests drop her drawers between his old bus and their POS truck and proceed to take a piss. Mind you the bathhouse is less than 100 yards away, talk about trailer trash.  We sometimes had kids cut through campsites cause they don't know better but to have a 60+-year-old do it and not think he's doing anything wrong is a first for us. Campground etiquette is something that every camper should live by, respect others' space. They leave tomorrow, it's such a nice campsite and campground but several of the campers along with the people in them are a little sketchy and that's coming from me!!”

March 29-31

A 56-mile ride took us to our last Texas stop for this winter. Clear Spring COE is a return visit for us, in the fall of 2014 we visited this park and it’s still a very nice park. This time we got a site out in the open, the lake appears to be up and there is evidence of the recent storms that came through here.

Site A17

With lots of roads to walk, we can get our daily mileage in. 

A great place to view the full moon.

Aside from going out for crawfish and one terrible Mexican dinner, we stayed in the park the rest of the time. 

April 1-4

Our next ride was to Little Rock Arkansas, about 159 miles, most of it on bouncy interstate 30. I’ve heard lots of good things about Maumelle COE on the Arkansas River. We had a wonderful riverfront site, though we never saw much boat traffic, what we did was personal pleasure or fishing boats.

Site B29



The last crawfish meal makes over 30 pounds he's dug into and he's enjoyed every meal of them.

With a river view, how could we not have a fire?

The traffic is crazy in this area, we went out for grocery shopping, laundry, and of course crawfish. While the park was great the traffic turned us off to the area, with it being Easter weekend we didn’t even try and check anything out in the city. I doubt we’ll be back but highly recommend the campground.

April 5-7

A 236-mile ride took us to Greenville Recreation Area in Greenville MO. At the site, we reserved we couldn’t get Dish satellite reception so we switched to site 22 where we had no issues getting the satellite to work. Verizon signal is fine with our booster. It seems the campground has undergone some changes recently, all sites are FHU’s and have 50amp service, the first time we’ve had FHU’s since we left Tomball.

There is a great bike trail into the current town of Greenville, with the side trail to the river it’s about a 4-mile round trip walk. We’ve enjoyed walking it every day.

walking tunnel under US 67

The bike trail also continues around the campground and takes you up to a protected walkway along US 67 going over the Saint Francis River and up the opposite hillside providing a view from way above the campground. This part of the trail is about 4 miles round trip, so we're able to get in about 8 miles of walking every day. 

The campground is on the original site of the town of Greenville seems this area is prone to flooding, in the 1940s the town was moved and many remnants of the former town remain. I found this cool website that will show you some of the historical photos of the town What Was There. I am always intrigued by ruins, whether it be towns or abandoned homes or factories, which makes me wonder about the people who once lived and worked there. 

The old town of Greenville's cemetery is still here, the oldest grave we saw was for a lady who was born at the end of the 1700s. 

Of course, we had to have a fire to watch the sunset.

In the morning we make our last push to IL where we’ll be for the summer. My parents have received their vaccines and we look forward to getting ours soon, this should enable us to enjoy doing some fun things this summer. 

Until next time…