Check out time was 2PM, so our normal slow start was slower than normal. We finally got going around 1. We made the short drive over to Palmetto SP and settled in at site #8. It was a very nice site at the end of the loop, which normally would mean a bit more quiet.
Normally did not apply in this case. We had two young families that knew each other move in across and next to us. We are not accustomed to having that many kids running and playing along with loud music right around the rig. We really like to see families out enjoying camping and we really don't mind the noise. We were there at one time, we get it. It was just different to all of the peace and quiet we normally experience. It really didn't matter, I was watching football all weekend anyway.
We saw a small oxbow lake in the park and it looked like there may be fish in it. We took the boat out and went for a paddle and I made a few casts. No luck on the fishing, but it was a very relaxing outing. Here are a few shots around the lake:
We saw a Blue Heron and a few other birds and a few turtles.
It was fun, but the lake was kind of small to get a real good workout. Paddling is a good alternative workout to walking and biking. Some times the old legs get a bit sore and could use a day off.
The park has a few miles of bike/walking trails out through the swamps. This area is very swampy because of some artisan springs. They just bubble up out of the ground. Some have a slight sulfur smell, but not bad. The San Marcos river also flows right through the park. In low water you can cross the river, but the crossing was too high and slippery for us to try.
I did a bunch of hiking and biking the 4 days we were at Palmetto. This is a great way to get out and see the wildlife and the beautiful live oaks. Here is a shot of the signature Palmetto plants:
Here is one of the many biking/hiking trails. They are all crushed stone and have a number of wood swamp crossings that are fund to jump. I really enjoyed my daily workouts while we were at Palmetto SP.
This SP has a CCC history and like many Texas parks, was built in the 1930's. You can see the signature rock construction on some of the buildings:
On Sunday we went into Gonzales to go to church and hit the Walmart. We were able to buy Diesel for $1.54 per gallon. That is the lowest price we have seen since we have been traveling.
There is a large white building just across the street from the headquarters of the SP.
This is the now closed Warm Springs rehabilitation center. This was opened in the 1930's also and was built to help people that were stricken with Polio. This was as large as the famous warm springs in Georgia, but this one allowed people of all races and creeds to come in and soak in the springs. The place operated until about 10 years ago, but is now closed.
As is usual, after the weekend, everyone left and the place was quiet. We decided to stay an extra day and enjoy the quiet. Then this bus pulled in with a very large family. We were trying to count kids and were guessing around 8. I spoke with one of the older children later and he told me that they have 15. 15 that travel in a bus and home school. That must be the definition of chaos. Here is a shot of their rig:
The kids were very well behaved and we really never heard them.
Here is one more shot that I took of this Live Oak hanging over the lake. I just liked this shot.
On Tuesday, we decided to do something that we rarely do. We decided to go stay at a place we have been before. We loved Goose Island SP last year and decided to go back and spend another week or so on the coast. We will stay on the Gulf coast much of the rest of our trip. Come back to read my next entry and see if I can end my fishing drought.