View from the top of Old Man of Coniston hike in Lake District National Park, England.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Preston, Lancashire, England.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Wyke, West Yorkshire, England on May 29th!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

First day back on the road in Sherman!

Friday started off as overcast, rainy, and breezy. The rain was supposed to stop by 10:30am though so we hung out at Tom's parent's place until around that time. Thanks to Tom, Emily, and family for looking after us so well!

Not the best driving weather, however the wind wasn't bad enough to affect us. Plus, they are calling for a really nice Saturday and Sunday so we didn't want to waste the weekend driving.

We hit the road, headed for Garner State Park.

The first stop was a gas station. Fuel gets more expensive the further west we go. Managed to get filled up at $2.15 USD per gallon ($0.75 per liter CAD)!

Then at the Walmart next door we picked up a few things to make sure we had enough to get us through the weekend.

Didn't take any photos along the way. Like I said, it was a bit of a dismal day. We made our way on the back roads avoiding anything related to traffic from either Austin or San Antonio. There are so many good backroads in Texas we can't figure why anybody would take an Interstate unless they were really trying to make good time. We find the backroads so much more relaxing and scenic.

179 miles (286 kms).

We've been to Garner State Park before. The last time was in April 2018.

It's a big park with around 350 campsites. And there are lots of hiking and biking trails. We are excited to have our bicycles back with us! We missed them during our Australia trip.

Just before the park, we stopped at one of those automatic purified water re-fill stations that are popular down here and paid $2 USD ($2.65 CAD) to fill up our Mexican 18 liter (5 gallon) water jug.

Parked at the registration building, we went inside. Each of the four desks were busy, but we were the next in line.

We didn't have reservations, and I figured that this isn't peak season. But, it's one of the most popular parks in Texas so I wasn't shocked when the lady says "I think we're sold out" and she went to talk to one of the other ladies. She came back saying that they could probably release an emergency site for us but had to check with the manager.

With that approved, we signed up for two nights. Yes, we were lucky! By the time we left, there were about a dozen people in line behind us. We beat the rush!

Our first choice would have been to take one of the cheaper water only sites, but the one we were assigned to is water and electric. That's fine because we can run our fridge on electric and we can use our electric heater in the evening. With our Texas State Parks annual pass, we get half off the second night of a two night stay. So our total bill for the two nights was $33 USD ($43.50 CAD). Not bad.

The sun is shining this morning, and the sky is blue! Should be a good couple of days here.

Our site.

Taken this morning before the sun came over the mountain.

Gotta get out and enjoy the day... hope you enjoy yours too!

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  1. With the shootings that have happened in Chihuahua, are you concerned about traveling through. Are you taking any additional pre-cautions?

    1. Not really, and no.

      Although it's natural to be concerned, you have to be realistic. Chihuahua is a big state. When the massacre in Las Vegas took place, would that have stopped you from driving through Nevada?

  2. Both times we were in Garner, it was mostly empty and very quiet, I think it was March or April. We tried for Lost Maples not far away, it was always full. I love those back roads, though, even better through a big RV windshield.

    1. When we were here last time it was in April and as you said not busy at all, this this time it is very busy. It is funny though because they said they were sold out yet there were still lots of empty spaces available in the section that we are in, so we aren't sure what was up with that.

      We love the back roads, it is nice to see that we aren't the only ones. :-)

  3. I was going to say, maybe Garner is crowded with spillover RV traffic for Lost Maples? This time of year is usually when the Uvalde bigtooth maple leaves turn colors there and every Texan is required by law to see that at least once, I think. ;-) If you go to LMSP, get to the parking lot *early*. I went a couple of years ago on the spur of the moment & miraculously hit it at peak time. I was one of the first ones in, and by the time I got out of the car with my dog (you can take your pups!) I looked up & the whole lot was full! We ran to the trail yet it was already packed with leaf peepers. Still breathtakingly gorgeous, though! Like walking under a jeweled canopy.

    Agree about the back roads here in TX. I always take them, & I find I can get there almost, if not, as fast as the interstates because I can follow more efficient diagonals on the FM & RM roads. The few minutes you might occasionally lose are worth the trade-off. But, shhh!, whatever you do don't tell anybody else!

    1. That could be very possible, plus it is the weekend and it is a beautiful and popular park.

      Unfortunately on this trip we are not planning on going to Lost Maples, for starters it is the weekend so it will be beyond busy if the maples are anywhere near their peak. Secondly, we need to put some miles on to get us to Alpine where we will meet up with the group and hopefully be able to get Sherman checked out to make sure that he is mechanically sound for our trip this winter. So it looks like Lost Maples will have to wait for another time.

      We totally agree with you about the back roads and find the interstates far too busy for our liking and just not relaxing.

  4. Love that park !! Be sure to taste the BBQ in Leaky....

    1. We really enjoy this park too!

      Leaky is the opposite direction that we are headed and generally when we are traveling in either Canada or the USA, we tend to stay away from restaurants, we find them to expensive for our "frugal" budget.

  5. Good to see ye back on the road. Be careful and safe.

    1. Thank you Nora, and we always try to be careful and safe, anywhere that we travel. :-)

  6. Glad you made it back safely after all that flying and that Sherman is up and running again! State parks in the US definitely stay busy on weekends, at least when the weather is temperate, so when RVing we always avoided them other than mid-week. Sometimes it can't be avoided, though. Glad they were able to squeeze you in!

    1. We are happy to be back in Sherman again and getting back to our "normal" routine, not that there is anything normal about it but it still feels good. :-)

      We usually try to avoid the state parks on the weekends as well but we like Garner State Park and it is a big park so it isn't bad and we don't feel like we are crowded in at all. We picked some trails that weren't popular ones and until we got near the end of the last trail we had hardly seen a soul. We were happy that they we able to squeeze us in too. Funny thing though, both nights that we were there we still saw quite a few empty sites!


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