Caddo Lake State Park

Located in far East Texas near the Louisiana border, you will find beautiful Caddo Lake, a sprawling maze of bayous and sloughs. Depending on rainfall, this maze of slow-moving bayous, wetlands, and backwaters covers about 26,810 acres of cypress swamp.  To really experience the beautiful forests of cypress trees draped in Spanish moss, you need to get out on the water. Canoe rentals are available or you can take a guided pontoon boat ride.

We camped at  Caddo Lake State Park with the Heart of Texas Camping Unit. Several other club members brought their kayaks and canoes so we all got together and explored a paddling trail. The trail is clearly marked but I was glad I took along the GPS…just in case! It would be very easy to get disoriented and lose your way in the maze of cypress trees. We paddled 9 miles that day. It was a great day and another fun camp out!


A Texas Hill Country New Year!

A four day weekend over New Year’s was a great time to visit the Texas Hill Country. We chose to camp at Inks Lake State Park due to it’s close proximity to Longhorn Cavern’s State Park and Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, two places we wanted to visit.

Inks Lake State Park was amazing!  We were surprised to see the park was full on New Year’s Eve but soon figured out why.  It’s beautiful! The first evening we hiked the trail to Devil’s Watering Hole. The entire trail looked as though it was professionally landscaped with every rock and plant placed precisely.  I didn’t have my good camera on this hike but took a few photos with the phone.  We intended to go back and hike this trail again, but it seems there’s never enough time. If you’re ever near Inks Lake, stop and hike this short trail.  It’s amazing!


The next morning (New Year’s Day!) we drove the short distance to Longhorn Cavern State Park and took the 1.25 mile long tour through the cavern that took about an hour and a half to complete. It was well worth the $13.00/person price of admission. The tour guide was very informative and the cavern was BEAUTIFUL! It was a great start to the New Year!

From Wikepedia…

“The park is named for Longhorn Cavern, a limestone cave formed by the cutting action of an underground river that receded thousands of years ago. Before the cave became a tourist attraction, it was used over the years by Indians, Confederate soldiers and outlaws, including outlaw Sam Bass. In the 1920s, during the prohibition period, the cavern was used by Burnet County residents as a speakeasy. Performing musicians would entertain through the night. The popular spot was known as Sherrard’s Cave before it was dedicated as Longhorn Cavern State Park in November 1933. From 1934 to 1942, Company 854 of the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed Texas Park Road 4, residences, pavilions and an observation tower in the National Park Service Rustic architectural style. They also explored the cavern and made it accessible by removing some 2.5 tons of silt, debris, and guano and building stairs and walkways both into and inside the cavern.”

No tripod so photos aren’t that great. It really was beautiful!

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Next stop was Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. We had been there once before but didn’t get to take the short .6 mile hike up to the top. My Dad was with us at the time, it was 105 degrees out, and we didn’t want to leave him out in the heat while we hiked. 😉  On this visit is was cold and windy but that didn’t stop anybody! It was packed! Even though there were people everywhere, and I mean everywhere, it was a great hike up. Everyone was happy and festive on their first hike of the new year! It was another great way to spend New Year’s Day!
Wikipedia information about Enchanted Rock:
“Enchanted Rock  is an enormous pink granite pluton batholith located in the Llano Uplift approximately 17 miles north of Fredericksburg, Texas and 24 miles  south of Llano, Texas. The prominent granite dome is visible for many miles in the surrounding basin of the Llano Uplift. The weathered dome, standing above the surrounding plain is known to geologists as a monadnock. The rock is actually the visible above-ground part of a segmented ridge, the surface expression of a large igneous batholith, called the Town Mountain Granite of middle Precambrian (1,082 ± 6 million years ago) material that intruded into earlier metamorphic schist, called the Packsaddle Schist. The intrusive granite of the rock mass, or pluton, was exposed by extensive erosion of the surrounding sedimentary rock, primarily the Cretaceous Edwards limestone, which is exposed a few miles to the south of Enchanted Rock.”

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On our last day in the Texas Hill Country we visited The LBJ National Historic Site and The LBJ State Park and Historic Site.  We were not able to take pictures inside what is known as “The Texas White House” and it rained all day this day so…pictures were few. We learned a lot about President Johnson, Lady Bird, and their strong ties to the Texas Hill Country. The tour of the house was great and was $3.00 /person but there is no charge to drive through the ranch, see his airplane and tour the hanger. Their beautiful ranch sits right on the Pedernales River.
Our next stop was to visit Pedernales Falls State Park and see Pedernales Falls. It was another beautiful surprise!

Hope everyone had a very Happy New Year.

Remember…….”See more, Do more, Live More”!


Palo Duro Canyon

We recently took a few days off and headed to Palo Duro Canyon near Amarillo. It is often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of Texas” and is the second largest canyon in the country. During the summer months, performances of the musical “Texas” are held in the outdoor amphitheater, and there is an abundance of hiking and biking trails throughout the canyon.  The campgrounds and facilities were extremely clean and well maintained and when we arrived, we were surprised to find only one other camper in our campground. We were even more surprised to see it was another vintage Airstream! Unfortunately, they left out early the next morning so we didn’t get to meet them.

“Christmas in The Canyon” was being held that weekend and the first nights’ event was hot air balloons in the canyon. It was beautiful!

The rest of our time was spent hiking. The first day we hiked 6.73 miles round trip to the iconic Lighthouse rock. It was a beautiful hike and the views did not disappoint! The next day we hiked another 7 miles through the canyon floor and decided next time we will take our bikes. We had a fantastic time and are looking forward to our next visit. It’s a beautiful park…go see it! Happy New Year!

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