Calm start to the day at 6:20am this morning overlooking the (Canadian) Mississippi River in Galetta, Ontario.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Galetta (Ottawa), Ontario.

Where are they going next? We have flights booked to London, England in October.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Luxury Riverside Boondocking

With most public facilities closed, we are left to find places to overnight on our own. We're pretty good at that, but we also use the iOverlander app to get some ideas. It tends to list a lot of Walmarts and private RV parks and they are definitely a last resort for us, so we have to filter through the listings quite a bit.

But occasionally we come across something worthwhile. In this case, the listing was titled "Luxury Riverside Boondocking". So we drove over there yesterday.

Not a long drive, but we like to keep our driving days short!

Yesterday's drive 53 miles (85 kms).

Here is some scenery from our drive...


Backroads of Texas.

Some wineries popping up in this area.

Arrived at our destination and it would do fine for a night. It's really just a Texas highway rest area, but it's on a quiet road and is quite scenic by the river. Most Texas highway rest areas have a 24 hour use limit, and you are not allowed to set up tents or other structures. But you can park in a vehicle overnight. This one even has a nice restroom facility and free WiFi! There is even an electrical outlet available.

Yep, this will do for a night.



The Pedernales River.


We got ourselves set up and headed out for a walk. We're actually parked right beside the Lyndon Baines Johnson State Historical Park which is technically closed, but the road is a secondary highway that runs right through the park so we went for a walk on the road. There is hardly any traffic.

This odd "cabin" was built in 1860 where the owners raised their 11 children!


A few people out enjoying an afternoon by the river.

The Pedernales River.

We sat outside at happy hour and a couple of people pulled in to use the facilities. Everybody very friendly and some asked where we were from. They said "Welcome to Texas... ya'll stay just as long as you want to!"

One couple had driven 3 hours to get here from the city of Dallas just to go for a drive and get away from the craziness. 

Sunset at Stonewall, TX.

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And in Canada...




26 comments:

  1. We've been to that rest area! It's a lovely spot. The area you're in is one of our favorites. Great homemade music in the crossroads honky-tonks and dance halls, fantastic barbecue, and some of the best bicycling in the country. That river, by the way, is pronounced "Perd-nallis".

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    1. I can see us coming back to visit this area again some day when things get back to normal, so that we can actually enjoy seeing and doing some of these things. It really is a pretty area with lots to do. We are actually hoping to go out for a bike ride this morning.

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  2. Actually those houses were pretty popular in the southeast of the USA over 100 years ago. There are several names for the design, two being dogtrot house and breezeway house. They have made a comeback in some places recently.

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    1. They are definitely an interesting design that is for sure.

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  3. Lovely back roads. Think you might go through Mineral Wells on your way north? Not really a suggestion, but some people find the old abandoned hotel there interesting. Back in the day, there were very popular mineral wells in the area, but when people stopped coming, the hotel was abandoned. Good to see you are finding some out-of-the-way places to explore.

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    1. We love traveling on the back roads, they are so much prettier and way more interesting then the interstates or primary highways.

      No, it doesn't look like we are headed to Mineral Wells, it will have to wait for another visit. The old hotel definitely sounds like something that we would love to explore, thanks for the suggestion. :-)

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  4. Beautiful area and love the breeze way house. I should build a breeze way Hogan.

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    1. It is a beautiful part of Texas, too bad that we can't explore the area more the way we like to. At least it gives us ideas for when we come back to this area someday. :-)

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  5. Looks like you will have a comfortable night at that Rest Stop.
    That Cabin was built with the Bedroom Cabin and Kitchen/Living Room in the other Cabin.
    Be Safe and Enjoy the slow road to Canada.

    It's about time.

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    1. We did have a great night's sleep at that rest stop.

      It is hard to image how they managed to raise eleven children in that house, it didn't seem big enough to hold thirteen people.

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  6. Yep, the Boggs are right, they call those cabins dogtrots in Texas. In the US' blistering hot south, early settlers would do most of their living & even sleep in the breezeway in summer.

    There are lots of wonderful hikes near where you are, like Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. It's closed too, I guess, but I like to even just drive by it whenever I can [then again, I may be biased, I owe my very existence to that big ol' chunk of granite, my parents met there on a geology field trip.😁]

    But I guess yall want to keep pressing north, though. Honestly, I don't know why some folks insist on giving you a hard time about being on the loose. If you're taking the very same precautionary measures the rest of us are, you're probably a lot safer doing what you're doing because, unlike us, you're *not* confined.

    You're in what amounts to a moving dogtrot - you've got the whole countryside full of fresh air to yourselves as you wend your way home!

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    1. When I looked at that house I thought about how much that breezeway would have been used for cooking and such, especially during the summer and with eleven children, you would think that they would need as much "living" space as they could find.

      Yep, the Enchanted Rock SNA is definitely closed, we had talked about trying to go there, it really sounded like a lovely spot. What a wonderful story about your parents meeting there.

      We are being so very careful, for our own safety and to those around us. We stay well away from people, we use our own bathroom facilities, we don't touch anything else that others might have touched such as picnic tables or benches, we minimize any of our stops both in length of time and in quantity. Since we crossed the border on March 30th, we have stopped once for gas, twice for groceries and once for laundry. We think that we are probably doing better than most people who are out and about. Our main objective is to stay away from people but still find places where we can get out and get fresh air and exercise. So far we think we are doing a great job of that. :-)

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  7. When you do get to the border you have to be prepared to write a report on where you intend to go and where you intend to quarantine yourselves, so you may want to have a game plan ahead of time. You will not be allowed to move around. If you can, stock up on supplies for 2 weeks before crossing, unless you have someone to bring them to you in Canada, you won't be allowed to go out. I goit mixed messages on whether it was OK to walk my dog. One official told me it was Ok as long as i avoided other people, another told me in my back yard only. You could find yourself in trouble if you go for a walk by yourself or as a couple during the 14 day period. They may tell you it is not allowed when you cross, as they have tightened up the rules a lot in the last couple of days. Around here it takes almost 2 weeks to get a delivery from a grocery store. May be a lot easier in a rural area. We ended up having to order in a lot which gets expensive, but on the other hand it does help support some suffering restaurants. Don't worry about having Canadian cash, nobody wnats it, they only accept cards these days. Don't even think about cheating, fines are up to a max of $750K and 6 years in prison. They are taking it much more serious up here than in the US. It was very noticeable after we crossed, but maybe that is why the situation here is so much better. On the plus side fuel prices are about the same on both sides of the border.

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    1. Yes, we are well aware of the rules crossing into Canada.

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    2. Be aware that the cops are going to wherever you said your "home" is, to check up that you are really there. Happened to a couple of people we know.

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    3. We totally understand the rules and about staying "home" once we return to Canada.

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  8. You are in the heart of the pandemic!

    How are your aging parents and associated family doing?

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    1. According to the current statistics we are far away from any "pandemic". In fact, the county we are in in Texas has 1 confirmed case. Family is all doing fine, thanks for asking.

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  9. You are parked on Texas Ranch Road One! Not too far, in Texas terms, from where we live. When our daughter was little one of her favorite things was to be taken to RR1 and stop to swing and slide at each of the numerous rest stops playground! If you head west through Fredericksburg and north to Mason the blue bonnets are out and there is great BBQ in Mason, the original Coopers! Safe Travels!
    Jim

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    1. Well then we are sending you a virtual wave hello from us, we hope that you can see it! ;-)

      Right now all of the playground equipment has been taped up and cordoned off to stop children from using it. It sure is a difficult time for kids, I am sure many of them just don't understand what is happening and why they can't use the equipment or go to school or play with their friends.

      We are definitely seeing lots of blue bonnets and other pretty wildflowers but if we happen to be headed that way we will certainly keep our eyes open for them. As for the BBQ's, I guess that will have to wait for another trip.

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  10. And you might be interested to know that when the Pedernales floods, and it does, the area where you are has been under three feet of water. There are going to be severe thunderstorms in the early morning, after midnight so stay alert. They will be moving pretty fast so i doubt they would bring on a rise that high! It is amazing how fast the water can come up!

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    1. Thanks for the heads up, luckily we didn't get a bad storm and we had very little wind or rain during the night but we did stay aware of your warning.

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  11. Next time you are area, in post-covid era, a tour of the LBJ ranch is worth the trip. It has been left as is since LBJ's passing. Guided tour of the house is essential. The Kennedy's were scheduled to arrive at the LBJ ranch after the Dallas motorcade, and the guide recounts that Lady Bird was watching the motorcade on the kitchen TV when Kennedy was shot. As I said the house was left in original decor of that era and the old BW TV still in the kitchen was the same one Lady Bird watched. Just to stand in that same spot and see the same TV was haunting. I'll leave the rest of the story for you to find out for yourself on YOUR tour. It sent chills down my spine.

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    1. We will definitely be back to this area for sure and yes, the LBJ Ranch will be part of our must see items for this area. We talked about that yesterday actually. Wow, that would certainly have been a surreal moment, to have been there. We look forward to doing that tour one day.

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