Well not quite two-stepping but we enjoyed a few weeks of visiting friends and family in the Waco, Lufkin and Austin areas so took an opportunity to ‘slide into’ several different camping areas. Here is a short wrap up of some of the noteworthy campgrounds that we stayed in because it was darn cold at nights to boondock. We’ll be in Demopolis, AL at Foscue Creek COE campground until mid April. Hope to take a few side trips while in the state to keep the blog alive. It is a beautiful park with great rangers and wonderful fellow hosts.
Magnolia Ridge campground, a Corp of Engineer campground near Woodville on Steinhagen Lake. This is one of several COE parks and a state park on large Steinhagen Lake (aka Dam B, Martin Dies Lake). There are three large loops for camping, some flat-grade hiking trails through tall pines, lots of quiet park roads for bike riding, and most sites are on the water. There are not so nice bathroom facilities – there are showers but they are trimmed in wood so look a little rough and there is no heat.
On one hike we found a HUGE –really HUGE alligator snapping turtle that was sunk in the mud trying to stay warm. He was about 4′ long from head to tail and just over 2′ wide.
Live Oak Ridge campground, a Corp of Engineer campground near Temple. This nicely wooded campground is well maintained with a boat ramp onto Lake Belton. The park is small with no trails, however just across the street is the Miller Springs Nature Area which has several miles of easy trails.
Ratcliff Lake in the Davey Crockett National Forest near Lufkin. This is a big campground for a Forest Service campground with three big camping loops. The sites have electric and shared water spouts throughout the loops. There are a couple of hiking trails and a nice 45 acre lake (no motors). Most of the sites are shaded by big pines and oaks. The facility is a little rough but still pleasant.
We also had a great time seeing friends in Mason and having smoked brisket (a Texas specialty) and pork butt. Our friend who is a hell of pit master did a 5:00 AM – 7:00 PM shift on the BBQ pit to get it just right — true dedication!
Two of our kids live in Austin so my siblings and aunt flew in so we could all chill out together. Did not do much sightseeing but did get to see the ever-changing art of graffiti town. It is a failed condo development that an art league oversees and has some incredible talent represented.
On our way to Alabama we were treated to a crayfish boil (with potatoes and corn) by a truck camper friend in Louisiana where they know how to cook and clean these crazy mud bugs.