Saturday, January 22, 2011

Village Creek State Park, TX (Days 6-7)

We launched from Louisiana mid-morning and soon joined the west-bound travelers on I-12 north of New Orleans. A major east-west thruway, Interstate 10 drops down to New Orleans and splits off 12 north of the lake. It’s a fast-moving collection of trailer trucks, pickup trucks, quite a few RV’s, and many autos. The speed limit most of the time is 70, and that’s the pace in the right lane. The left lane is moving from 70-85.

There’s a twelve-mile long bridge/causeway that we recalled from last year. Nothing but marsh and water as far as one can see, and pity the vehicle that has a breakdown. We cruised along at 70 when we could (there was quite a lot of construction) and approaching Texas, we saw ominous black cloud up ahead. After a quick stop for maps, we were back on the road in light rain but lots of wind. The spray from the trucks was tough for probably fifteen minutes and then we we out of it. We turned north at Beaumont and navigated up to Village Creek State Park outside Lumberton.

Village Creek is a small park with only about twenty sites with electricity and water. However, only two were occupied. We checked in, showed our Texas Pass*, and picked a site. The park has a wonderful network of hiking and biking trails so Penny and I were off before dark on a long jaunt. With no one around on the trails, I let her run freely.

The weather is cold for Texas. The temperature dropped after the cold front and was about 34 this morning. The electric heater kept us snug. It took a 5 mile walk with Penny this morning and it was chilly at first, warming as the sun broke out.
Today we got Mary’s bike going and she took her first ride since last time in Texas. With no traffic and smooth roads, it’s a perfect place to get comfortable again. Meanwhile, the dog and I took a long bike ride this afternoon down along the river. It’s challenging bike riding with the soft sand on parts of the trails and the dips and climbs through sloughs. I missed my mountain bike tires although the hybrid did pretty well. We went all the way to the end where there is a beach and Penny took a little wade and chased some shorebirds. She’s a tired pup tonight.In the morning, we hook up and head to one of our favorite spots, Goose Island State Park. The trip will go right through Houston but since it is Saturday, I’m hoping it won’t be too difficult. The weather looks to be cool for the next week but nothing like our friends and family in the Northeast are putting up with.

It’s been a week on the road and it will be nice to settle down at one place for a while. We plan to be at Goose Island for over a week and visit one of our favorite coffee shops, The Daily Grind, in Rockport.

Check out my birding blog here

* If you plan much camping at state parks in Texas, you need to buy a $60 annual pass. Otherwise, it is $5.00 per head each day you stay at a park. The pass also gives you some half-price coupons for the first day so it doesn’t take long to pay off. We bought one last year and it is good until the end of February.

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