DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS
We finally caught up with some warmer weather last January as we headed into Texas, and we had a blast exploring the San Antonio and Houston areas. This video has some of the highlights as well as the embarrassing moment when we realized we’d traveled down mile after mile of twisting country roads to arrive at the wrong RV park! Want to learn more? Keep reading below.
Finding our Campground
Lake Medina RV Resort. Medina Lake RV Campground. Can you blame us for getting them mixed up? Or, more specifically, can you blame Jeff for navigating us to the wrong campground? Lake Medina RV Resort is at the bottom of a long, twisting road through the Texas hill country, and as we pulled into the parking area we were suitably impressed about where we’d be staying for the next couple of weeks. But, of course, we weren’t. The lady in the front office was very polite – it was clear that we were not the first RVers to make this mistake – and even agreed to hold some packages that we (Jeff) had ordered in anticipation of our visit. So back up the steep, winding Texas hills we went, to finally arrive at the Thousand Trails Medina Lake RV Campground.
Thousand Trails is a membership nationwide network of RV parks. It gets pretty complicated, but the bottom line is that paid members can stay in TT parks for free. We’ll do an entire blog post and video about Thousand Trails sometime soon.
The Medina Lake RV Campground is famous for the herd of deer that call it home. What beautiful animals! The camp store sells bags of dried corn so that you can feed them, and they’ll come quite close when they see your bag! Sometimes they’re eat right out of campers’ hands, but we didn’t find any that wanted our corn that badly.
Unfortunately, the water level in the lake was extremely low due to drought conditions so we didn’t have much opportunity to enjoy the lake, although Tucker, our Golden Retriever, was eager to play a game of fetch in the water. It’s a large and beautiful campground and was mostly empty in early February. It served as a good home base for our central Texas adventures. And a good place to watch the Philadelphia Eagles win the Superbowl!
On Sunday we headed out to the Western Heritage Cowboy Church for a home-cooked breakfast and some genuine cowboy worship. Despite the fact that we were obviously not cowfolk, we were warmly welcomed and enjoyed some good preachin’ and enthusiastic singin’. If you’re in the area, you should consider stopping in!
One beautiful day we took about an hour’s drive into the fascinating city of San Antonio. After a delicious Tex-Mex lunch a bit off the beaten tourist path, we walked to the Alamo. This notorious fortress was the site of a crushing defeat for the Europeans, and of course “Remember the Alamo!” became a rallying cry in the struggle that eventually lead to the establishment of Texas as a republic.
The area we think of as Texas used to be part of Mexico. It was largely undeveloped and uninhabited in the early 1800s – so much so that Mexico actively encouraged North Americans to migrate to the area so that it could be developed economically. The plan backfired when too many Americans started moving into the area and decided to declare an independent Republic of Texas. Think about it. The problem was too many North Americans moving into Mexico! Mexico tried to maintain sovereignty over its territory, but ultimately lost the war.
After touring this bit of history, we were both ready for a nice cappuccino or latte, so we headed to the San Antonio River Walk, a charming shopping and dining area along the San Antonio River, but we couldn’t find a single coffee shop! We eventually headed back to the car, knowing that our pets were eagerly awaiting our arrival back at the campground. Along the way, lo and behold, we found a great coffee shop! A nice end to a fun day of exploration.
In the Houston area we had our first experience “driveway surfing” or “moochdocking.” In other words, we parked our RV in the driveway of our good friends Jim and Kathy Hibbard. We became next-door neighbors for several days, which made hanging out with them a lot easier than driving back and forth from a campground. And our dogs had a blast running free in their large, fenced-in property.
Hurricane Harvey Relief
One highlight of the visit was the day that Kathy joined the Hibbards and some folks at Pathway Church in their ongoing outreach to victims of Hurricane Harvey. Another highlight was enjoying a great BBQ dinner with Jeff’s high school buddy, Neal Goren.
Our original plan was to keep heading west or south, but some pressing needs at home made this the turn-around point in our journey. We hope to get back in 2019 and continue our explorations of this fascinating state!