We closed out our time in Port Aransas with another visit to the Leonabelle Turnball (say that three times fast!) Birding Center for a final breathtaking sunset. This location has a boardwalk that leads out into a pond and marshy area, and an observation tower from which you can usually see quite a variety of birds. Significant numbered flocks of roseate spoonbills, brown and white pelicans, black-necked stilts, redhead ducks, pintailed ducks, northern shovelers, coots of course and harrier hawks keeping them all alert and active. Plenty of egrets and herons of all sorts, including at least fifty black-crowned night herons clustered around one of the smaller marshy ponds for the night. Look carefully near the bottom of the sunset picture.
Here's the heron that was napping there.
We really enjoyed our stay on Mustang Island, at the Gulf Waters RV Resort. We loved walking on the beach every day and seeing the changes in the ocean and the things it washed up on the sand. We got kind of hooked on picking up garbage every day and felt a real sense of accomplishment at how clean the beach near the RV park looked by the time we left. Our bikes, cars and RV took kind of a beating from the damp salty air though. Rick couldn't wait to get that salt washed off.
We had planned to stop in San Antonio for a few days to get our drifting jacks fixed up. Rick had been carefully choreographing this repair stop for weeks. He ordered five valves from Lippert so that we'd have them in case any or all needed replacing. But once we dropped it at "ExploreUSA RV Super Center" and checked into a motel nearby, assuming the work would take awhile, it turned out that it wasn't our valves that were the problem - it was the jacks themselves. Oh boy. We we left San Antonio and headed to Kerrville, in some very cold wet weather. By the time we got to Buckhorn Lake RV Resort in Kerrville the front of the RV was a sheet of ice. That's a first for us! Thank goodness the roads were OK, but we drove very carefully anyway.
Buckhorn Lake is a lovely place - a lot like Gulf Waters in many ways- but it isn't an ownership resort - at least not the part we're in. It has all the amenities you might want inside the park itself, and is very conveniently located to Kerrville, but outside of town so it's quiet and surrounded by Texas hill country scenery. (There is a little noise from I-10 nearby, but it's not a busy section of the highway.) It has a typical Texas ranch theme rather than the tropical paradise theme at Gulf Waters.
We're in site 6046 along the outside edge, so we have a big open space behind us and plenty of room to spread out.
It's all very brown around here, as Texas is in a multi-year drought. Fortunately, there are also many springs in this part of Texas that create ponds, lakes and rivers. The park has several. Across the river from the RV site area is a motor coach section where owners can develop their lots in any way they want, ranging from shaded patios to multi-story houses.
There is a bar/BBQ/cafe with interesting decor, a large indoor event space with a theatre, two pools with hot tubs, two bathhouses and laundromats, and a social room with a good book exchange. The office is equipped with plenty of groceries and RV supplies. Verizon and AT&T reception are pretty good, but not what I'd call perfect.
Because of the water issue, they don't allow you to wash your own RV, but there is a guy who brings his own water in and will wash your RV for a very reasonable price. Best of all the winter monthly rates are also really reasonable.
After a pretty extreme cold snap for a couple of days (see those icicles?) it warmed up and now it feels to us like late spring or summer in New England. We're loving it. We got our bikes all spruced up and have been riding every day and getting to know the surrounding area. More about that soon...