51 Things to Do

Last Tuesday…..

As another ‘polar’ vortex makes its way south to the Texas Gulf Coast, hubby and I stay nestled inside our 250 square foot home on wheels.  With plenty of propane, electric, and a couple of layers of clothing, we stay toasty warm as the high winds rustle the trees and rock the rig.Rockport Texas

As much as the swaying trees and limbs would occasionally make me nervous, I was glad to be surrounded by the mature grove of oak trees breaking the wind.  This is when I got to thinking more about these unusual oak trees.whoopers1,000 year old tree

I don’t know about you, but when I envision a coastal town I see beaches, palm trees, multi-colored houses, high rise condos, and quaint shops in a beach town setting.  Rockport, Texas, is a combination of all that……well not exactly; no high rise condos, very little beach, and instead of palm trees the area boasts an abundance of wind swept oak trees.  Oh, there’s the occasional palm tree here and there, but it’s all about the oak trees.

When we turned off Highway 35 to get to our RV Park I was surprised by the trees.  The above photo is the road that leads to Goose Island State Park as well as Hidden Oaks RV Park….. pretty, but a little nerve wracking when driving or pulling a high clearance vehicle.

sandhill cranes

Usually when folks talk about Rockport they’re quite often referring to the area which is technically more than one town; the town of Rockport, Texas, with a population slightly under 9,000 and the town of Fulton hovering around 1,600.  The dividing line between these two communities is somewhat blurred as one town blends into the other.  Therefore, it’s common for one to refer to the area as Rockport – Fulton or just Rockport, but to confuse you even further Goose Island State Park is actually located in the town of Lamar which is just across the Copano Bay with a population of around 600 but still referred to as ‘Rockport’.Hidden Oaks RV

I never tire of riding my bike or walking around this neighborhood in the town of Lamar, Texas.  The trees and vegetation are dense. The only evidence of the presence of any homes are the driveways leading into the grove of trees. It isn’t uncommon for me to startle deer, birds, or other wildlife as I meander down the roads. The occasional clearings give the cranes room to land.boondocking This particular road (12th Street) ends near the shore of the St. Charles Bay, and also takes you to an oak tree reportedly over 1,000 years old.  Aptly titled the “Big Tree”, this mature oak tree measures 11 feet (3.41 meters) across the trunk, 44 feet tall (13.4 meters), 35 feet around (10.71 meters), and 89 feet across the crown (27.1 meters).

oldest oak tree

wind swept oak trees

The fence was put around the tree to keep people from walking near the base of the tree thus compacting the roots which makes it hard for the tree to get water.  Visiting the Big Tree is listed among one of 51 things to do in Rockport.Lamar cemetary

Visiting the Lamar cemetery is also listed as a ‘thing to do’ especially for history buffs; burials from Confederate Army soldiers, WWI soldiers, as well as other’s dating back 150 years. Even in the cemetery the oak trees are a feature adding a sense of mystery and character.whooping cranes

whooping crane

During storms and high winds, the trees act as shelter for a sorts of wildlife perhaps even the whooping cranes.whooping cranes

So let’s see…… we’ve visited the Big Tree, stopped at the Lamar Cemetery, and saw the whooping cranes; 3 down, 48 left of the 51 Things to do in Rockport.  Hmm, doubt I’ll whittle down that list since our time in Rockport is coming to an end.Rockport

We’ll be hitting the road and one of our stops will be Fredericksburg, Texas.  Any recommendations on places to camp or things to do in the area would be welcome.  Either comment here or email me at livelaughrv@hotmail.com   Thanks and I can’t wait to be in better Verizon territory.  This intermittent connectivity is driving me crazy!

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83 thoughts on “51 Things to Do

  1. To add to your list of places to see in Fredericksburg…when the wildflowers are blooming be sure to go to Wildseed Farms just outside of town. Any local can tell you how to get to it. They have acres of wildflowers, a two gift shops, ice cream, wine tasting, and outdoor yard ornaments.

  2. Wonderful photos! Amazing birds. Have you been to Bosque del Apache in NM? Thousands of sand hill cranes and snow geese. We usually go on late Nov. Thanks for sharing your adventures.

    • Thank you and no we have not stopped at Bosque del Apache. We plan to next fall on our way back to Texas. There are several areas in NM I’d like to spend more time exploring. Our stops throughout that state always seem to be brief…..too brief. 🙂

  3. Well now, don’t need no fancy names, there, girl! Yer in Texas, don’t ya know? Course it’s called “the Big Tree.” Enchanted Rock is special; go early in the day before crowds arrive. If the weather improves you can bike the missions around San Antonio. There’s also a road near one of the missions with a slight rise and railroad track where some unfortunate ghostly children reputedly will push your car across the tracks (wink wink; put baby powder on your back bumper so you can see their handprints). The Czech painted churches are near Fayetteville, well worth a look-see. (And just a gentle correction — “bluebonnets,” not bluebells.) Highway 71 usually bedecks itself nicely with them, along with Indian paintbrush. Kiss an armadillo and tell it Mad Queen Linda says howdy.

    • Wow, now that’s a list. Notes taken. I know we’re too early for the “bluebonnets” and hope to return next spring. So we’ll take in as much as this crazy weather will allow before obligations take us westward bound. Thanks for taking the time to share all these recommendations…appreciate 🙂

  4. I had an uncle with a home in Rockport. We love the area but haven’t been back in years and years. I love Rockport, Corpus and especiall Fredericksburg. There’s so much to see and do around Fredericksburg. We’ve been there and done that several times and now we’re even headed back in that direction to do it all over again. However, we probably won’t arrive until well after you’ve left so I’m going to follow along and see where you’ve been and where you stayed! Travel safe!

    • We went to Fredericksburg yesterday and loved it. I know we’ll be back next winter and stay into spring so I can enjoy the wildflowers. This year has us returning west due to obligations. We’ve fallen in love with the ‘Lone Star’ state and already look forward to future visits 🙂

  5. I love both old trees and old cemeteries. Whenever we visit an area that has an old cemetery I scurry away to photograph some of the older stones. The overhang on those trees look like they could be a bit challenging to pull an RV through.

    • The road to the state park and our rv park were ok and didn’t present a problem with any overhangs/tree limbs. Some of the other streets are questionable. You would love the Lamar cemetery.
      During our 30 day stay, I spent most mornings by myself exploring and had a wonderful time. I still had more to explore!

  6. Love the “Big Tree”!

    Your comment about coastal towns reminded me of the first day I saw the Florida coastline. I was shocked with all the high rises and felt they’d ruined the coast line. Now, I’m okay with it, understanding the intolerable winters from up north and how it’s a refuge from the cold. Most of the California coastline is more natural…not at all tourist oriented.

    • Since I used to visit FL regularly (usually Tampa – Clearwater) I was accustomed to seeing the high rise condos and never gave it much thought. This area of Texas coastline is still pretty small town but with plenty of things to see and do. It was a great visit 🙂

  7. We had a great time going out with you and Al, good company and lots of laughter hope we can do it again sometime. Love the pictures of the area, we’re missing the gulf coast already. Our internet here at Brazos Bend is really limited, can’t up load photos so can’t update the blog. Safe travels hope you find some warmth soon, crazy winter this year.

    • Hey Faye, I’m sure our paths will cross plenty of times. With both of us having kids in AZ and CO and becoming winter Texans, I think the odds are in our favor LOL. Safe travels and I look forward to following your updates!

  8. Hi, Ingrid — Again, such beautiful photos! I am not sure if you saw my return comment about the Lady Bird Municipal Park about 3 miles outside of Fredericksburg. Nothing fancy, but it has hookups and is convenient for exploring the town, as well as LBJ Ranch. Have some apple strudel at the Old German Bakery for me. Please let me know if you have suggestions for San Antonio, as I will be headed down that way in March.

    • Thanks Suzanne…..strudel is now on our must do list. We just returned from the Alamo and the River Walk in San Antonio. Loved it. Let’s hope the weather is more agreeable to continue our explorations in the hill country!

  9. You got some great shots of the area especially the wildlife. As for Hill Country, we went to Johnson City, ate German food and BBQ, and visited a few wineries.

  10. When we were at Goose Island, I loved looking at the shapes of the trees. At night they are very spooky looking.

    • Yes, they can look a little spooky and mysterious. I think next winter we’ll spend some time at Goose Island even though our RV Park was just down the road. I like the idea of staying near the water 🙂

    • Thanks and this is my first Rockport. Yes, the trees were a surprising welcome but the birding is unbelievable…..this visit may just have turned me into a birder 🙂

  11. Gruene is a great little town. Has some real history and home to the”oldest dance hall” in Texas and the old Grist Mill is a neat bar and restaurant…Another trip is to take the River Rd from just outside Sattler. That is one great and beautiful road that follows the meandering Guadalupe River and ends up around New Braunfels…Also, there are some natural caverns not far from Startzville
    Oh, and the LBJ ranch is not far from Fredericksburg..AND, who could not see Luckenback??? Get out the Atlas/GPS and have at it..it’s warm in those bars..

    • Just checked out Potters Creek for a future stay and have several exploratory trips planned for the week. We may even extend our stay that’s how much we’re enjoying it here at Canyon Lake. Now if only this weather would warm up I’d be a real happy camper. Thanks for the info!

  12. Hi Ingrid – I grew up in the gulf coast on Padre Island, by Corpus. I loved the crooked trees in that whole area :-). Check out Enchantment Rock near Fredericksburg. You can hike around it or take the trek to the top. Great views.

      • Fortunately, I new exactly what you meant. We’re enjoying our stay at Canyon Lake so much we may just do a day trip or two to Fredericksburg and make notes for a spring stay in ’15. I’d love to be here for the wildflowers. Thanks for the info and we loved our stay in and near your home town 🙂

    • The way in which they grow does provide a level of mystery…. some even looked like they had faces – creepy is probably a good word 🙂

  13. Glad you got to see the big tree. Over the many years there have been jerks try to poison it but a lot of folks rally to nurse it back. I believe I have a pic of me from many years ago at the bit tree without a fence.

    For Fredericksburg bring your coat. Still chilly up here. If driving around you get close to a place called Camp Verde – Stop! It is a very small place. It is small out of the way place still retaining some of the 1857 atmosphere with a modern twist. If you do not see the buffalo heard or camels, ask at the general store.

    • Yep, got our coats handy as we are currently parked at Canyon Lake. Tomorrow we’re hoping to explore parts of San Antonio and next week Fredericksburg. I think I’ll need to put the Hill Country on the books for spring of ’15. Things are so much more spread out than what they look like on the map. Thanks for the info…..noted and if we don’t catch those things this year, we will next 🙂

      • We try to stay at each place 2-3 weeks and still leave with locals saying you have not seen “….”. We are trying not to be hit and run tourist but get to know an area as though we live there. I am not sure our strategy is working as there is so much to experience everywhere.

        • Agree….. 2-4 weeks is what we ideally like. Sometimes other commitments mess with the best laid plans. I’ll have to look on the map and check out your next location!

    • I hear ya! I’m not a happy camper at the moment….. hunkered down north of San Antonio in cold, rain, and wind. Who’s idea was this? Mine, of course 😉 Oh well, fairer weather tomorrow – I hope – if not, we’ll be high tailing it to AZ 😆

  14. It’s been fun vicariously accompanying you on your adventures in Rockport while we’ve been in Florida — like you, we’ve loved the time we’ve spent in Rockport and want to return. I agree, the biking is fabulous there. And the birding! Hope the weather improves for you as you move toward the hill country — we’re back in Apalachicola and socked in with heavy fog. What a winter!

    • Yep, it has definitely been a crazy winter. Currently we’re just north of San Antonio and hunkered down. Hoping to get out tomorrow and actually do something. Yes, we’ll return to the Gulf Coast next winter and maybe even head further east into FL….that is if those birds don’t stop me. Stay warm 🙂

  15. It’s funny how varied our signal can be and how much it means. I’ve considered an external cellular signal antenna for the trailer, even more than a wifi antenna. Often we can stop in at a coffee shop or walk to a campground’s laundry room to reach wifi. But when our cellular signal is weak we sometimes find ourselves longing for even one more bar of signal.

    Nice pictures, Ingrid — and you’ve left something to return to the area for. A couple of dozen more times.

    Jim and Debbie
    dreamstreamr odyssey – chasin 75 degrees (and finally finding it!)

    • I think I need to adopt your motto “chasin 75 degrees”. It’s a wee bit too chilly for my thin blood here in San Antonio. I can actually do better without cell phone service than I can without internet. Take away my internet and I suffer from withdrawal LOL. A Wilson boost is on our wish list. Safe travels 🙂

      • We met and exceeded 75! It was over 80 today in Bushnell FL, a great change we have been looking fwd to. We’re moving tomorrow to Orlando for the week, the wx should be great every day.

  16. Fredericksburg and area is such a neat place to visit. If you have enough time and are interested, the National Museum of the Pacific War is there and is well worth the visit. A friend and her hubby just spent quite a bit of time touring it over two days back in the fall and loved it. Becker Vineyards is a neat place to visit with great wines. We always try to eat German food when we have the time to stop in Fredericksburg, and we have always had good food at any restaurant we have dined at. I always enjoy just visiting the shops and can easily spend a day doing just that. The LBJ National Historical Park is not far away, which is especially beautiful in the spring when the wildflowers are blooming. The ranch is huge and we enjoyed just driving around it, opting to forego the paid tour of the home. I’m not sure if it will be as pretty in the winter, though. My visits have all been on non-RV trips, so I can’t help with recommendations on where to stay. I hope you enjoy your time there!

    • Awesome….thanks so much. I’m a little bummed about not being around for the wildflowers but I guess that means I’ll just have to return spring of ’15. Amazing how our travel list continues to grow. Thanks again….your recommendations are noted and we’re just waiting for a window in this weather so we can enjoy 🙂

      • One other thing you might think about in that general area is visiting Garner State Park. This is definitely off season, but I suspect you would still enjoy a couple of nights there just to check it out. It is one of the most visited state parks in the nation and sits on the Frio River. it’s kind of like the Disneyland of Texas State Parks in the summer, though. We really enjoyed going there last April for a week. The river at Old Garner is just beautiful, too. 😉

        • Perfect…..I’m not sure we’ll make it to Garner this trip but I’ve made notes already for next year. I can honestly see myself becoming a ‘winter Texan’, we’re loving your home state 🙂

  17. If you enjoy reading, I recommend an historical fiction trilogy call Adelsverein by Celia Hayes. It is a very entertaining read about the settlement of Fredericksburg by the Germans. It is available on Kindle.

  18. I really enjoy large, old trees, and John enjoys old cemeteries. So we would enjoy two of the 51!! Of course, I enjoy seeing the larger birds, too. That is a great photo of that whooping crane that is either landing or taking off…good job!

  19. I love large, old trees. That one is a beauty. John love old cemeteries. So we would enjoy these. Of course, those large birds are terrific. That is a great photo of the one leaving or arriving.

    Hope you weather takes a turn the correct way soon.

    • Kind a cold at the moment but hoping for a change soon. I think you guys would enjoy the Rockport area….. different from your other travels and isn’t diversity the name of the game? Some of those head stones were pretty cool. If or when you head in this direction, be sure and let me know and I’ll share via email some helpful tidbits 🙂

    • Thanks…..not sure about staying warm as some of that Chicago air has reached this part of Texas 😦 Once the rain and wind lets up, we’re looking forward to exploring 🙂

  20. You meet the nicest friends along the way. Every time I visit your blog, I am reminded of this quote:

    “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.”Henry David Thoreau

  21. I love the Live Oaks in South Texas! Fredericksburg is my favorite Hill Country town. We were there in January on a sunny warm day. Looking forward to reading your next post.
    Beautiful photos, especially the last one 🙂

  22. I don’t know about TX horticulture but those trees remind me of the Live Oaks on the East Coast. They are amazing as are all the living things that just don’t happen to have legs or opposable thumbs. Such amazing forms of life that we take for granted because we are mobile and ‘intelligent’ — and yet the intelligence that it takes to convert CO to O is pretty sophisticated, and the huge amounts of water that they process we give little thought to. In the Midwest they say a single tree will process over 25000 gallons of water in a year. They have ‘seen’ so much of our human history and survive in spite of us.

    Funny… our original plan for this winter had been Rockport… we might have been your neighbors. 🙂

    Cheers,
    Peter
    A retired photographer looks at life from behind an RV steering wheel.
    Life Unscripted

    • Thanks. There’s a lot of Midwesterners that winter in the Rockport area. My folks from northern Illinois would spend their winters on Mustang Island and loved it. I think the Texas Gulf Coast might become a regular stop for us. It just seemed to fit.

      I too was lucky to be self-employed doing something I loved. As a licensed general contractor, I designed and built houses and never minded the long hours. I may yet build a few more houses for fun….just have to convince the hubby to stay put in one spot long enough 🙂

  23. That’s definitely a place to add to our list, thanks for the great photos! Texas is great, but even more so in March-April, temps are still cool and the trees, vines and grasses are thickly greened up.

    • Yes, March and April seem like the perfect months to visit especially the hill country. Non the less, we’ve had a great time and plan to return 🙂

    • Thanks Mike. Oh course……everyone has to visit the “Big Tree”. Just imagine what that tree has witnessed including a civil war battle just down the road. 🙂

  24. We are slow travelers . . . couldn’t possibly move on when there were still so many things to do and see! Your photos are an inspiration and we’ve added Rockport, TX to our list of places to visit. We’re currently starting our 5th (non-consecutive) month in our tiny corner of central FL and have no plans to leave soon. We were here March & April of 2013, came back mid November and plan to stay at least until May 2014. There is just so much to do and some places (like Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and the Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park that simply cry out to be seen multiple times across a season. I guess we’re less “RVers” and more “short-term residents”!

    • We too try to take things slow and we would have stayed a couple of more months in south Texas but obligations beckon us to move on…..with returns to Phoenix and Colorado. But we’ll return to the Gulf Coast next winter for further explorations 🙂

  25. Love the first photo, I’ve always loved the beautiful oak trees – they are special. This winter is just crazy, but “nestled” sounds nice. Nothing wrong with that. We’ve never to Texas in the RV, no help there, sorry.
    Brenda

    • I’ve got a bunch of really nice bird shots and am trying to figure out a post to display some of them. I managed to capture a couple of other rare birds in addition to the whoopers….according to my neighbors book anyway. You would really be in your element around here!

    • I’ve fallen in love with the whooping cranes. I still remember my first day in the area going for a walk thinking, “Oh wow, those are some big birds….and loud”. I had no clue what a rare treat I had stumbled upon. And I was not expecting trees like these; quite unique!

    • Thanks Lisa. I’m not sure just how much of the hill country we’ll explore this year especially if this nasty weather continues. I hear March/April is the time to visit when the bluebells are in bloom. We have commitments taking us back to Phoenix or we’d hang around for the spring flowers 🙂

  26. Those trees are, may not be popular response, dreamy and magical. It makes me think they’re all “alive”, and they’re stretching their multiple arms. That “Big Tree” makes wanna be kid again. I would climb it the second I see it.

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