View from our sixth floor apartment patio in Pogradec, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Pogradec, Albania .

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Gjyrokaster, Albania on October 6th.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Don't mean to be gross, but...

What a great day we had yesterday!

After breakfast, we drove over to Martin Dies Jr. State Park. Went to the park office, and bought our $70 USD ($92 CAD) Taxes State Parks annual pass. (Thanks Mom!). The lady explained all of the benefits we get with the pass, including four coupons that give you half price camping for one night of any two night stay. Good deal, and we'll definitely take advantage of that over the next two weeks.

The one year pass doesn't expire until the end of the month in the following year, so our pass doesn't expire until December 31st of 2018. So you're better off to buy your pass at the beginning of any particular month if you have the choice. We saved the $4 per person entry fee at this particular park, and we'll be keeping track of our savings over the year to make sure it was worth the $70 we paid.

With our pass in hand, we parked Sherman and set off to explore the park.

First, we did a short trail through the woods.

There are a lot of very swampy areas!

And what likes to live in swampy areas?

Yep... alligators.
Notice me in a t-shirt? It was a nice day!

The lady in the office said you don't see them much at this time of year and they don't often come up on to  the land at this particular park.

We went and walked around on of the campground sections. Very few people around at this time of year. And reasonable prices. $16 USD ($21 CAD) for 30 amp and water. $18 for 50 amp and water.

And the sites are really nice and well spaced. 

Part of the campground.

Except, one of the waterfront sites we noticed that we had to watch where we stepped. Looked like somebody didn't pick up after their dog! Gross.

A cormorant?

Turtle, sunning itself.

What's that on the log?

Don't mean to be gross, but that's a pile of poop on the log. What animal puts out a pile of poop that big? I have a closer picture I could show you... but it's too gross!

Then we thought... is that alligator poop? And then we thought again about the dog poop we saw earlier in that campsite. Maybe that wasn't dog poop!

After lunch, we drove to the northern section of the park.

More swamp.


Hiking in the woods.

Scenery along the way.


Across the bridge.



No idea what kind it was, but we didn't get too close. 

Then, we figured we had better do some driving. 

We headed west on highway 190. Stopped at an Indian casino and thought about staying overnight, but their lot wasn't very level. We went in and joined their Players Club and got a meager $5 each of free play, which disappeared in about two minutes each. Not worth the stop, but I suppose it could have been!

In the city of Livingston (pop 5,200) I saw gas for $2.059, and pulled in to top up the tank. Before getting out, I quickly checked and saw another station along the road selling for $1.999 a gallon. So we pulled out of there and went to the cheaper one. $1.999 USD a gallon is $0.69 a liter CAD!

We carried on to the Livingston Municipal Airport. Very small airport, with no terminal and only a few hangars. Nobody around. There were a few vehicles parked off to the side, so we simply pulled in there. Even had an unsecured wifi signal!

Photo taken this morning. (GPS 30.69015, -95.022141)

One small plane landed shortly thereafter, and he taxied over to fill up but didn't even look our way.

The sun went down a half an hour later, and with our curtains closed, nobody would even know we were there.

Across the road from us is a jail. Or, "Secure Adult Detention Facility" as they call it.

Slept fine. In fact, I woke up at one point during the night and thought about how quiet it was!

We're only a ten minute drive from Lake Livingston State Park, so we're going to go check that out this morning and make some more use of our state park pass.

Yesterday's drive, 67 miles (107 kms).

Did you get a Christmas gift for Fido...?

And in Canada...


  1. If one were adventurous you could google what alligator poop looks like...but I don't recommend it :) That might also be turtle poop on the log, I had a pet turtle when I was a kid and they are messy

    1. Trust us we had already done that and even from the pictures it is hard to say. We will have to ask a ranger when we see one, that is probably the best way to find out.

      If it is turtle poop, it would have to be one BIG turtle! ;-)

  2. Sounds like a great day! Love, love, love your bridge photo and all the turtles! Continued safe travels!

    1. It was a great day. Any time we can get out hiking is a great day! :-)

      I love that bridge photo too, thanks!

  3. I often ride my bike on a paved trail where there are lots of coyotes. For some reason they seem to like pooping on the pavement. Can't always blame bad owners!

    1. You are right, you can't always blame a dog owner, however usually coyote poop has lots of hair in it so it is generally easier to tell it apart from regular dog poop.

  4. Not sure if I would like walking in a swampy area with potential alligators and snakes around. Some nice pictures of the area however. I am sure you both will get lots of use from your park pass! Stay safe.

    1. Nah, it doesn't bother us. It really isn't the time of year for them to be out and as long as you are paying attention there really shouldn't be an issue anyways, if it was that dangerous they wouldn't be letting you go out there and hike the trails.

      We are going to make every effort we can to use that pass as much as possible over the year.

  5. Enjoyed joining you for your walk, though was a little concerned about the snakes and potential alligator attacks. No such concerns here on my walks! Petrol here is currently over $2 a litre! Happy Christmas to you both!

    1. The risk is very, very small here. They are probably required to let you know "just" in case there is a problem, then they can say "Well we did warn you"!

      One day we will make it over to New Zealand and when we do, we will find a small van to buy/rent to do our camping and traveling in so hopefully the petrol prices won't go up too much more than that. :-)

  6. A couple of things. How much cheaper can gas get? Your gross picture was probably human. They do that BTW. The Texas State Park Pass is a great deal as Texas charges a per person day use fee that we´ve never agreed with. Last but not least, is that one of my T shirts? ;)

    1. After we bought the gas at $1.99.9 a little ways down the road we saw it at $195.9! We have no problems with it going lower. :-)

      There is no way it was human poop, trust us on that!

      Yes, we think the pass will be a benefit because as you say, if you don't have one then they charge you per person which we think is ridiculous as well. Plus they charge you that each and every day you are in the park even on top of your camping fee!

      Haha! No I don't think so, why are you missing one? :-P

  7. So you know that all of us will google alligator poop didn't you? The first thing that comes up if you do google is the Urban Dictionary definition and it made me giggle. Was warm here again today so as you turn south you can lose some layers. Safe Travels.

    1. Well some of our ambitious readers might! ;-) I have already googled images of it and we decided that we can't conclusively say that it is alligator poop. We will have to ask a ranger at one of the parks we visit to hopefully get a better answer.

      Right now the temperature is perfect but I don't think it will last!

  8. Great information about the Texas State Park pass. I'm truly enjoying your pics, I miss the spanish moss and the cypress trees. May have to take a detour from the southwest on the way home.

    1. If you think you will spend enough time in Texas over a period of a year than, yes we think it is a great deal. Before this we hesitated to go into their parks but now we just want to hit them all up. :-)


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