Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Hanks Creek COE - Lake Sam Rayburn, Texas

We left Oak Park on January 9. We decided to make one more stop before going into the Houston area. We selected another COE park on a lake. Notice a pattern here?

We selected Hanks Creek Park on Lake Sam Rayburn in East Texas. The drive was about 170 miles. We went more East than south, but it was a nice drive through the East Texas piney woods. I have been having a strange issue with the truck, so that creates a little anxiety, but I don't think it is a major issue. I will write more about that as I do some troubleshooting.

We were a bit surprised to find that the park's office was closed for the winter. There are volunteers working in the park, but they just do maintenance. I talked to one nice lady and she told me to just go on the Recreation.gov website or call the toll free number to get a site. We had very weak cell signal, but I was able to get a call through. We waited on hold for over 30 minutes. I decided to just move into a spot and hope they would eventually get on the phone. They did, and we got set up for 3 nights. Kim really liked one site that was right along the lake (She is still all about the view), but there were some guys with a cherry picker working in the area trimming trees. She went to ask them if it was OK, and they said, "no problem".

The site was $26 per night with 30 amp and water. We had a few TV channels and very weak Verizon cell signal. We were out on a point jutting out into the lake. We had no signal in most of the rest of the campground. We were the only rig in this part of the campground. We loved it!

I went for a long bike ride around the park and neighboring roads. It looks like a nice quiet lakeside community.

After the bike ride, I decided to take full advantage of the day and go for a walk with the camera. The forecast for the next day was for rain and wind. I had walked for about 100 yards when I noticed two large birds at the top of a tree. I thought the profile was that of an Eagle, but I moved closer to be sure. Sure enough it was a mating pair of Bald Eagles. They look to be young, but had the distinctive white head and tail. I did not have the best lighting, but I did the best I could. This is the reason I was excited about this camera that my son is allowing me to use.

As I moved closer, one flew off, but the other stayed for a bit longer and let me take a few more shots.
One Eagle taking flight

It was an awesome experience. I love Eagles, and this photo session was special. I did get a shot of what I think is their nest.

The rain came as expected the following day. We stayed inside and just read. I have not taken some time and just read a book since the last time we were on the road in May. It does not take too long to settle into the "rhythm of the road". We were in a very good place.

We got up on Friday the 12th to temps about freezing. We waited for a bit of warming and then headed south to Baytown, Texas. Why would we go to Baytown? I will tell you in our next entry.


  1. Don't you just love it when you have an entire park to yourselves? You and the eagles that is.....

    1. Nothing better than an empty park. We are going to stay a bit more north on this trip to try to stay in empty parks. We will see how it works out.