South Llano River State Park, Texas

Site #33 & 25, these sites have water & electric, dump station nearby, 64 sites, 1730 foot elevation. February 19th - 24th.

Overall Experience: smile

The drive from Bastrop State Park to South Llano State Park should have been easy, only 175 miles, on roads we were very familiar with. But the "door from hell" proved differently. It had acquired a squeak that was more irritating than a couple of cats singing in the back seat of our F150 from previous trips. The actual drive took much longer than expected because of our frequent stops; we tried slamming the door shut very hard, tried various lubricants on the lock, shut the door on a foam strip, but nothing worked. Onward to the park we went, in an increasingly tense state, without any solution to the problem. It wasn't until we were set up at our campsite that we realized the problem: the hinges on the screen door needed oiling.

Settling into our campsite, we remembered liking this park on our last visit, and glad we choose to stop here. There's an area behind our site called the Turkey Roost with limited access (10 a.m to 3 p.m.) from October 1st through April 1 because of the turkey's mating season. Besides the turkeys' presence, there's an abundance of migrating birds with four well-maintained bird blinds for viewing.

We spent the morning of the first day on our bikes exploring some of the areas we previously visited in the park. First was an easy ride on flat trails in the Turkey Roost and day-use areas along the South Llano river. We worked our way over to what remained of an earlier settlement on the property, along with one of the park's bird blinds. This was followed by a ride (and bike walk) on the hillier and more technical trails sections.

The next day started with us changing sites. Up arriving at the park, we broke rule number one: Never choose a site until looking at all sites (sometimes this isn't an option, but when it is, rule number one rules). Our first site was very nice, but the second one rocked. It was the one the RV Gods had intended for us. Lots of space, with a 130-degree view of the roost area, with no sites (or RVs) blocking the landscape.

After lunch, we ventured into Junction, TX. I mainly wanted to scope out our options for filling our propane tank. With the cooler weather during our stay at Bastrop State Park, we used a bit more propane than we expected to, and we will want to top off the tank when leaving for Big Bend on Monday. Now that our tank is built into our RV, I'm more comfortable actually knowing the layout of the propane filling business, i.e., the ability to turn around with the tow vehicle connected (there is no option to back up in this situation). Mission accomplished, we head back to the campground, with a brief detour to a day-use area in the park that was new to us.

We finished the afternoon off with a short (1.5-mile round trip) but steep walk up the road to the park's overlook. It was a nice vantage point to view the park's layout. Upon returning to our site, we concluded the evening grilling sausages and reading. Our Little Free Library has made its return on this trip, and we already have had several folks borrow/donate books. One of the books that appeared in the library was The Battle of the Crater by Newt Gingrich and William Forstchen, which immediately hooked me. An advantage to the library is that interesting books show up at our fingertips.

~ rob't

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