Tag Archives: TP&W

Happy Trails, Part 82

I have to credit a fellow recreational vehicle camper for this term, but I have come down with a case of the “hitch itch.”

It strikes me whenever we’ve been parked for a length of time, yet the open road beckons us. It is beckoning my wife and me. Thus, I get the “hitch itch,” or the “itch” to hook our fifth wheel RV to the bed of our pickup and hit the road.

The cure for the itch will come quite soon as we head out on another road trip. It will be an intrastate journey, keeping us inside Texas for its length.

It will be a lengthy trip.

Our plans are to make ample use of three state parks, which is our RV campsite of choice. We have a Texas Parks & Wildlife park pass, which waives our entrance fees into any state-run park in Texas. There happens to be a lot of ’em. They’re everywhere! They’re all well-run, well-maintained and well-groomed.

They’re also inexpensive!

We’ll be heading to San Angelo State Park to start off. A couple of days later we’ll shove off for Lockhart State Park south of Austin for several days. Then we drive to Village Creek State Park just north of Beaumont for a brief visit before winding our way back to Amarillo — with a stop in the Metroplex to visit our precious granddaughter and her parents.

This “hitch itch” strikes periodically. Frankly, we suffer from it more than we don’t. We have enjoyed this lifestyle so much that we want keep enjoying it for as long as humanly possible — health permitting.

To date, we both enjoy good health. We both have our wits. We enjoy the open road. Toby the Puppy is a serious road warrior as well.

The only nagging “health problem” we cannot eradicate — nor do we want to get rid of it — is that hitch itch.

It will disappear the moment we hook it all up and hit the road.

State parks are the way to go

This is the latest in an occasional series of blog posts commenting on upcoming retirement.

GARNER STATE PARK, Texas — The picture attached to this blog post tells the story: this place is as tranquil and quiet as it appears.

This park is nestled in the gorgeous Hill Country of Texas, just north of Uvalde, which is the hometown of the person after whom the park is named.

I refer to the late John Nance “Cactus Jack” Garner, the former vice president of the United States during the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration. It was Garner who once famously declared that “the vice presidency ain’t worth a bucket of warm piss.”

They didn’t call him Cactus Jack for nothin’, you know.

My wife and I have decided that state parks are the way to travel through this vast state of ours.

We have purchased a state park pass, which for a year allows us access to any state park in the state without paying an entrance fee. The nightly fee for camping there in an RV varies: $15 to $20.

I’ve complained for decades now about Texas state government. It spends too little on this, too much on that. It devalues public education and seeks on occasion to legislate morality.

Blah, blah, blah.

I am a big fan of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the agency that runs our state park system.

Our state parks are second to none. Well, perhaps that’s just my opinion, given that I haven’t been to state parks in every state in the Union. I’ll just settle on declaring that Texas’s state parks are inviting.

They’re well-appointed, clean, well-groomed. Park staffers are full of that legendary Texas hospitality.

There’s a decent chance my wife and I — along with Toby the Puppy — will visit most if not all of them as we continue to enjoy this new lifestyle called “retirement.”