Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
June, 2019 - Mount Denali, Alaska

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ray Roberts Lake State Park

We’ve spent the last three days at Ray Roberts State Park in northern Texas, about 45 miles from the Oklahoma border, six miles off I-35. This is a very nice park.

Too bad the weather has been lousy. It’s been rainy with highs in the 40s the whole time. Today was the coldest April day since 2007. With the drought conditions, the rain is very welcome. But, it could have waited a few more days :)

We’re at the Johnson Branch area of the park. The lake is huge and there are actually a couple of sections to this state park. We’re in site #87 in the Walnut camping loop. The site is a paved pull-through with 50 amp electric and water. There are no sewer sites and no wi-fi in the park.

This is the view out of our back window. Very nice.


Today it was still cloudy, but at least the rain stopped. I bundled up in my parka, put up my hood, and we took an hour long walk. There is a very nice three mile long wide concrete walking/biking path that meanders through the park. Since it was pretty muddy out, the concrete path was great.

Texas has many wonderful state parks. The problem with staying at them is they charge you the camping fee plus the daily park user fee. Camping fees range from $20 to $28 per night. Daily use fees range from $4 to $7 per person, per day. That just makes it too expensive. The only way to make it economically justifiable to stay at any of them is to buy the annual pass for $70. That’s pretty pricey, but it gets you into any of the parks without paying the daily fee and gives you four nights of 1/2 price camping at four different parks. We feel it was worth it buying the annual pass.

Other than that we’ve been playing games, browsing on our computers and watching TV. I’m happy our mi-fi and satellite work great here.

Another bit of bad luck has attacked us. Kevin’s Compaq laptop, which is about three years old, has decided to act up. The screen is black. It happened once before, but I was able to get it working again. This time it seems the screen does not want to come back to life. We’ll probably just end up getting a new one.

Hmmm, my Toshiba is about 5 or 6 years old, but still works just fine. Maybe I’ll get a new one and he can have mine. Sounds good, don’t you think!

Tomorrow morning we leave Texas. We’ve made some great memories this winter in this very large state. But, I don’t think we’ll ever winter in Texas again.

I really enjoyed the many types of birds we saw, especially in the Rio Grande Valley. The flock of hundreds of green parakeets that came to our campground in Mission was a site I’ll never forget. We also enjoyed our time on the gulf coast, watching dolphins and sea turtles. Exploring the Hill Country was fun, and we did get to see some bluebonnets.

The weather was okay. It is definitely not as sunny as it is in Arizona. It seems there are many areas of Texas where the predominant language is Spanish which we don’t speak. Grocery shopping was an interesting experience. If you expect to see longhorn steer, cowboys and oil wells around every corner, you will be disappointed. We saw very little of any of those. We were surprised that many of the locals we met didn’t have the strong Texas southern accent we were expecting.

Those are just a few of our observations of Texas. I’m not saying it’s a bad place to go, as shown by the many Winter Texans that come back year after year. It just wasn’t so much to our liking. Next year our plan is to explore the Gulf Coast during the winter months.

Tomorrow night we’ll be in Oklahoma, the next night in Kansas and then Sunday we’ll be near Omaha, Nebraska where we’ll visit with our son Korey and his fiancĂ© Cathryn. I’m so excited to see them again. We have lots of wedding details to discuss!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!