Texas has done it again. Dawny and I have been enchanted by another one of their State Parks.
As I have mentioned in previous posts about campgrounds and ratings, our basic requirements are simple but fairly specific. Succinctly put: wonderful dog walks, decent 30-amp sites, good Verizon signal, and a budget-friendly price.
Martin Dies, Jr. State Park sits on the swampy banks of the Steinhagen Reservoir in east Texas. “Caution: Alligators…” is boldly stamped on a prominent sign at the park’s entrance. Admittedly, this steered our dog walks towards the middle of the road during the first part of our three night stay. We are happy to report that there was plenty of asphalt ribbon to keep us exercised and entertained.
The park has lots of foot trails for fearless folks looking to wander through nature’s swampy wilds. After the first creepy-crawly free day, we ventured a bit more off the road so Dawny could sniffle around the pine needles and greenery, leaving her two scents in the perfect spot.
Some of the best waterfront sites are for tent campers. As a former tent camper from several lifetimes ago, I respect and appreciate that these spaces are reserved for those least likely to block the view and enjoyment of others. For their part, tent campers probably appreciate not being surrounded by monster RVs complete with bright porch lights drowning out the stars and TVs chattering nonsense well into the night. I remember turning my nose up at those lumbering beasts back in the impertinent righteousness of my own youth.
For those of us no longer physically able to last a night in a tent, let alone get a wink of sleep in one, there are 30-amp electric/water RV sites in the Hen House Ridge section. Some of the asphalt pull-through pads are a bit bumpy and short, though, which might be challenging for those with a big rig. There are 50-amp electric/water back-in sites elsewhere in the park.
It is a beautiful park with a wild flavor to it. Splendid shade is provided by towering trees all around. Many of the RV sites border Gum Slough–a backwater creek–their picnic table and fire ring areas providing front-row seats to their own private alligator habitat. Be careful, though. Sitting by one of those fires on a moonless night could well invite nightmares of alligator eyes lurking, stalking… drip-swoosh, drip-swoosh… tick-tock… Yikes!
Back to civilization! Not only was I able to get a strong Verizon signal for my phone and internet hotspot, my over-the-air antenna picked up several major network channels. I am ashamed to say–but I’ll get over it and say it anyways–it was the TV signal that sealed my third night. I was only going to stay two nights, but having the crazed civilized world crash into the serenity of the past two TV-sparse months was too much to resist. What can I say? I lack discipline.
For anyone looking for a good, efficient source of RV campground reviews, visit the website www.rvparkreviews.com. I finally signed up and will do my good-camper duty by posting reviews there as often as I can, although I may still share a more circuitous journey to the same conclusions here.