Sunday, February 5, 2012

On the Road Heading to Big Bend

We are once again on the road with our travel trailer. This time we are heading to Big Bend National Park, Texas Hill Country, Austin and Houston. We will be in the Big Bend area beginning Sunday where we will be staying in Lajittas from Feb 5-8 and in Alpine Feb 9-11. Then we are on to Austin Feb 16-20 and Houston for Feb 21 and a couple of days before heading back to Hattiesburg.
On Wednesday we left Hattiesburg about 2:00 pm. We waited until major thunderstorms had cleared and our plan was to drive to Baton Rouge and stay in a Wal-Mart parking lot. That worked well and we were on the road early Thursday morning.
Thursday night we stayed at Village Green State Park just outside Lumberton, TX. This is a very small and very quiet campground with lots of nice walking/running/biking trails. I usually do not run trails, but these looked so appealing that I decided to give it a try. It probably was not the smartest thing to do since Hollie was going on a long bike ride and would not know exactly where I was running. I took the risk because the trails were loops and I figured if a took a tumble, I could probably crawl back to where someone would find me. As it was, I did not take a tumble, although I once did a four point contact by tripping, but catching myself with my hands and actually remaining on my feet.
The trail was sandy and shaded and mostly without the usual number of roots waiting to trip me. I took it really slow and tried to pay close attention to my foot placement. I did not worry about my pace and just enjoyed the scenery and the different feeling that running on trails gives. I ended up doing 4.5 miles. I first ran 2 miles and then did the “almost fall” after which I walked .25 before getting back to running 2.5 miles.
Thursday we drove from just outside Beaumont, TX to about halfway between Houston and San Antonio. When we left the Village Green State Park, we took back roads to East Houston before picking up I-10. I cannot imagine how we tolerated living in the Houston area for over 20 years. I really shouldn’t say that because we had good jobs, good schools and at that point in our life, it was just fine. It’s just that now that we have lived in a small town, it is hard to tolerate the traffic and the planning that must be done just to get *anywhere* in a timely manner.
We stopped at a Sam’s near Katy and were amazed at how much has been built and how things have changed, although we have been back 5-6 times since we worked in the Katy area. It’s just a shock to see the growth and building that has taken place. Houston seems to be booming!
We stayed the night at Palmetto State Park near Gonzales. There had been about 2 inches of rain the day before so the area was very wet, with all the trails closed. So I did not have the temptation to see if I could do a run without tripping/falling. This is another small park so much so that I had to do my run on roads outside the park. It was supposed to be a rest day from running and I usually do yoga on those days, but that was not possible while in a small travel trailer in a very wet park. So I ran and walked the roads, getting in a total 6 miles.
Saturday night we stayed at Seminole Canyon State Park near Comstock, TX. We arrived at the park later than we had anticipate and it was very windy, cold and the area is very hilly. I had run for 7 straight days so I decided to go for a walk so that I could meet my self-imposed minimum of 30 minutes of exercise for 100 straight days. I am also attempting to average 100 minutes over the course of the 100 days. I ended up walking for 60 minutes and then stretching for 5 so I got a total of 65 minutes for the day.
When we arrived at the park headquarters, I had noticed a sign that said "Wi-Fi available here" so after dinner I decided to check and sure enough, out there in the middle of nowhere we had wi-fi.  It was nice to catch up on email and news.
Today we drove to Lajitias which is on the Rio Grande just outside Big Bend. I have visited this area several times before. In fact, years ago two of my female friends and I caught a ride in a row boat and went across the river to the Mexican village for dinner. We then got the little Mexican guy to take us back to the US. Of course, that is now impossible to do with all the security worries.

When we got to our campground, we discovered that we had somehow lost the bottom/base of one of the front jacks for the trailer. By the time we figured out how to set up our trailer with that part missing, I was cold, hungry and not in a mood to run. But, because of the 100 Day Challenge in which I am participating, I quickly put on my running clothes and took off---very slowly and stayed that way for the entire run. I ran 5 miles and walked 1.5.

This campground is advertised as an "RV Resort" and so far it seems to be one of the better places that we have stayed. The restrooms were individual rooms, there is a large meeting room, a TV room, Wi-Fi, cable TV (not working) and an outdoor pool---a little cold for that.

I think that tomorrow, I will just hang out around this area and maybe checkout the "town" before going back to Big Bend on our remaining days.

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