I love watching the sunrise, and just like the beginning of a new day there’s something refreshing about flipping the calendar to a new year. It’s like being given a fresh start. As one year comes to an end a new year begins. I’ve been known to make a New Year’s resolution or two in the past, and although I haven’t made any official resolutions this go around, I do have high hopes and plans for the New Year … I’m sure there’s something in there about diet and exercise as well – me along with millions of other American’s, huh 😉
We hit the road three days after Christmas…. two days later than we originally planned. Bad weather in southern New Mexico and western Texas necessitated an adjustment to our schedule, considering parts of Interstate 10 were temporarily closed due to ice and snow. While hubby and I kept an eye on news reports pertaining to the latest happenings including airport closures and flight cancellations, we agreed we sure don’t miss those years of air travel. The flexibility associated with RV travel has really spoiled us and we can’t imagine traveling any other way. Well, yes we can imagine it, we just don’t ever want to do it again.
That said, our drive from Phoenix, Arizona to Rockport, Texas went well with the exception of having to deal with unwelcome cold weather. We spent the first night in Deming, New Mexico, at the Dream Catcher RV Park (an Escapees park), and although we had a full hook-up site, we kept the water hose and sewer pipe stowed choosing to hook up to electric only due to the below freezing temps.
Night two was spent at a regular stopping point for us; the Hilltop RV Park in Fort Stockton, Texas. We thought about overnighting at the Walmart but once again with the extreme cold, we opted for hook-ups. I will say it was interesting as we passed the Walmart the next morning, the parking lot looked like an RV Park. I don’t ever recall seeing so many RV’s overnighting at a Walmart. Turns out, not only was the Hilltop RV Park full that night, but so was the Walmart. I think the inclement weather affected a lot of people and their travels causing Fort Stockton to be overflowing with RV’s.
Moving on – We planned on spending night three in San Antonio at the Elks Lodge. I was looking forward to revisiting the Shops at La Cantera , located within walking distance from the lodge. From an architectural and aesthetic point of view, this outdoor mall is absolutely beautiful and it was my hope to see it decorated for the holidays with lots of Christmas glow. However, as we approached the Elks Lodge we encountered a sea of RV’s. I’m not sure how they all managed to squeeze into such a small parcel of land, but every nook and cranny seemed to be wedged with various RV’s. An RV chili cook off festival at the lodge had us moving on down the road in search of plan B. A holiday visit to the Shops at La Cantera will need to be saved for another time.
About an hour south of San Antonio off Interstate 37 is the Choke Canyon State Park. We scored a great site – #133. We enjoyed the campground and would definitely stay here again.
On day four with twelve hundred miles behind us, we arrived at our destination just before noon. While I helped hubby position the RV into our new spot for the month of January, I’m greeted by a familiar sound in the distance; the sound of whooping cranes. As Al steps out of the truck to assess his handy work, I assault him with a child like exuberance that has him rolling his eyes.
He quickly remarks with a chuckle, “Can we please finish setting up and have lunch before you run off to see your birds?” With a hesitant nod, I slowly respond, “But of course! After all, I have the next thirty days to commune with my feathered friends.”
So folks as you might have guessed, we’re back in Rockport, Texas, in the very same park and site we were in 365 days ago. Seems as though we’ve come full circle and returned to a familiar starting point to kick off the New Year. We’re once again rendezvousing with the birds along with friends from our old sticks and bricks neighborhood in southern Colorado. What started out three years ago as a sojourn strictly for hubby to get together with a buddy to engage in sporting activities has since turned into my opportunity to commune with birds. I don’t consider myself a birder, but merely someone who has a passion for cranes …. and maybe spoonbills, egrets and herons, but who’s counting 😉
This has obviously turned into an unexpected passion for me, and I can see myself returning to this area time and again. You can click here to read more about how my passion for cranes developed.
Although the weather this first week in January is expected to have less than stellar conditions for gallivanting about with the camera, I’m still excited to be back along the Texas Gulf Coast. Cranes are considered to be a symbol of luck. I’m hoping by starting off the New Year hanging around these intriguing creatures of luck, that 2016 is a great year.
One of my most memorable places in 2015 was camped amongst 20,000 plus sandhill cranes. You can read about that visit here.
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year filled with lots of good wishes AND good luck!