Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023
Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

RV + River + Ranch = Roaming

Kerr County, Texas to Blanco, Texas:
Last night we camped in a picnic area overlooking a river on Hwy. 27. Bob drove into town and brought back two combo plate chicken enchilada dinners. We ate them at the picnic table in the early evening with a view of the river and surrounding countryside.

The night sky was so awesome…no city lights. When I got in the car to drive to find a cell phone signal, it was pitch black outside. A flashlight would have been needed to find my car if I didn’t have an automatic clicker that opened the car and turned on the lights for me. I drove to Ingram and made my phone call.

When I returned to the 5er, I heard an owl hooting very close to our trailer. After "rush hour" very few cars traveled the road so we had peace and quiet for sleeping.  

Today is our day to roam the hill country of Texas. Our day started early when we both drove about an hour to YO Ranch off Hwy 41 south of Junction. It was a transition day, moving the RV to a new campsite in the afternoon. 
YO Ranch Main Gate
We decided to take it with us to the ranch as they have RV parking. We DID NOT KNOW how long (8-1/2 miles), narrow, rough, and pot-holed the road to the ranch was. Both of us made it there without too many incidents.

The YO Ranch raises Texas longhorns and exotic game animals. Today we took a bus tour of the ranch to shoot (photograph) animals. The tour started out with a stiff breeze which, within the first 20 minutes of our two-hour tour, turned into a full-on thunderstorm. We had a great show of lightning with thunder for about ten minutes. It passed through quickly, but it scared some of the animals into hiding.

We saw Spanish goats, ostrich, giraffe, rheas, Mouflon sheep (scared off by bus and thunder), red deer, Sika deer, scimitar-horned oryx (native to Africa), blackbucks (native to Pakistan and India), dama gazelles (endangered in the wild), elands (native to Africa), black Hawaiian rams, nigale (native to Africa) and Texas longhorns. We had a good time searching for the animals amongst the trees and brush. Our tour consisted of only eight people!
Texas longhorns

Dama gazelle

Red deer
Black Hawaiian ram


Scimitar-horned oryx
Wild animals Bob & Susan with tour bus
After the tour we had a chuckwagon buffet with green salad, roasted new potatoes, green beans, roast pork, French bread and apple crisp for dessert. With full tummies, we headed back to the highway.

Remember the long, narrow, rough, pot-holed road we drove in on? We had to drive out on it too. This time we had an incident. A passenger car was coming toward Bob and the 5er. The road was narrow with a big tree on one side. The oncoming car did not yield. Bob had to move far to the right (under the tree). I was watching from behind in my Escape pod. After the car passed, Bob tried to get out from under the tree. The branches hit the top of the trailer and scraped along the top and right side of the rig! He took off a lot of leaves.

After we went through the gate, we pulled over and he checked the rig. One of the outer skylights was broken (the inner one wasn’t). There are scratches along the whole right side of our 5er. Bummer. We were both shook up. (Note to other RVers: We recommend that you NOT take your 5er or MH on the road to the ranch office.)

On the tour one of the other tourists mentioned we should drive back along the North Fork of the Guadalupe River as it is very picturesque. Bob decided not to go that way as we did not know how the Farm-to-Market Rd would be for the 5er. So I took my Escape on the road. It is absolutely gorgeous. Wildflowers in white, yellow, red and orange lined the road.

The road is narrow and does not have very many places with shoulders to pull over and let people go by. Bob was wise not to take the 5er on this road.

The Guadalupe River wends its way through horse estates, retreats, summer camps and lovely homes with frontage on the river. People have created their own swimming holes with rope swings, docks, diving platforms, slides into the river and some had canoes on their riverside rock patios. It was hard to drive and sightsee at the same time. In the length of that section of river there was only one picnic area and few places to pull over to take a picture (so I stopped in the middle of the road).

At the Hunt, Texas area of the Guadalupe River was an art center and I found these there:

Stonehenge II

Easter Island statue

Our next destination: Blanco, Texas at River Oaks Riverside RV Resort. This is a Passport America park. Here is our honest opinion of this park
1.       This park is not easy to find. There is no sign on SR 165.
2.       Directions to the property were not given to us over the phone when we made the reservation. We were told to “call when you get close.” There was no cell phone coverage when we got close.
3.       There is no “Resort.” Resort to me means swimming pool, spa, and laundry room at minimum. This is a very basic, rustic RV park!
4.       No wi-fi access within miles.
5.       Information given in Passport America description is for a riverfront RV park. The “riverfront” is ¼ mile away by trail. The river is at the bottom of a bluff with stairs leading down to it.
6.       Trees are not trimmed back enough to allow easy passage of a 5th wheel or large motor home. Watch for branches overhead and on the sides.
7.       They only accept cash and don’t have change.
8.       Everyone at the park besides us was living there. No other temporary travelers came in on the three days we were there.
9.       Fresh water spigot leaked like crazy…they didn’t seem to care. Told us not to worry about it.
10.    No cable TV.
11.    No shade trees in the center of the park, only around the edges where the regulars live.
On the positive side:
12.    Not a problem to do repairs or wash our 5er.
13.    On top of a hill so can be windy and cooler.
14.    Very quiet, off the beaten path. The only thing you hear is birds chirping.
15.    The regulars are friendly people.
16.    They had availability for three nights over a weekend, which most of the Passport America (P.A.) Parks blacked out in this area at this time of year. Also most of the other Passport America Parks only allowed one to two night stays at the P.A. rate.
Our new home (ha ha, just kidding). Actually bluff overlooking river at RV park.

Our campsite at River Oaks RV Riverside Resort
We settled on this park because it seemed centrally located for all the places we wanted to visit: Pedernales Falls State Park, Austin, San Antonio and Guadalupe River State Park. In actuality, it’s about 50 miles to the big cities, 20+ miles to Pedernales Falls S.P., and probably another 25-30 miles to Guadalupe River S.P. We explored some very pretty back roads in my Escape on our way to other places, so we actually cut down on the mileage a bit.

Tomorrow Bob plans to make the repair to our skylight. We’re off to Riverwalk in San Antonio and Camping World in New Braunfels in the morning.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s episode.

1 comment:

  1. Do you have ny knowledge on Three Oaks RV Resort in Floresville, Texas? It is about 20 miles SW of San Antonio.

    I really like your blogging about your travels the more details, the better!

    We are hunting a spot to land in our 5th Wheel--- along with our two 90 lb. doggie/kids! Husband working in the Eagle Ford Shale!

    We love the New Braunfels area and the Guadalpe River!


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