Thursday, January 21, 2010

Goliad State Park, Texas

This morning as we departed Brazos Bend, we were stopped by a tree that had fallen across the road. It didn't leave enough room for Morty to get by although smaller trucks could make the squeeze. We were stranded until the calls could be put into the maintenance folks who soon arrived in legion with power saws and a front-end loader to make quick work of the clean-up. This is the only road into the park and the tree had to have fallen after these guys reported for work. No harm, no foul -- but we wonder what if we were just a little earlier and said tree had drawn a bead on our beloved Morty.

Morty selected Goliad, because of its perfect distance from Brazos Bend -- 174 miles, and the Galveston and Gulf coast parks in that range were still rebuilding from Hurricane Ike. The magic in using criteria like that is that you open yourself up to discoveries of perfect little gems that would so easily get missed. Goliad is the perfect example. This tiny little park on the San Antonio river has only 20 pull-thru sites plus a few cabins, tent sites, and 20 more electric-only sites across the highway. But the main attraction is the restored mission complex from the 1700's. These meager ruins were reconstructed by the CCC in the 1930's and stand today as a beautiful reminder of how this country first developed.

With the sky as clear as a bell, we re-evaluated the likelihood of spending more time in Texas and opted for the $60 annual pass. If the weather improvement was not enough, the decision was made even easier when the ranger pointed out that some other parks have higher per-day charges that would lower the break even point further than the $6 charges that we had encountered so far. After that we noticed that the weather in New Mexico was still rather wintery while Texas would probably be much warmer and clearer.

We continue to be very favorably impressed by the Texas Park Rangers and other park personnel. Boy, they couldn't be any friendlier or more helpful. Even though Lynne and I were the only visitors in sight, the ranger running the museum gave us all the spiel we wanted about the history and life style of the mission, and came and sought us out again when the local volunteers were putting on a spinning and weaving demonstration. You just could not ask for better ambassadors of your state -- Well done, Texas!

Since tomorrow is Friday, and experiencing the limited capacity of the parks of Texas so far. And with the recommendation of the ranger gals who checked us in, we phoned for reservations for the next couple of coastal parks we were interested in: Goose Island and Mustang Island. Goose was already full for Friday, and Mustang was down to its last two sites. So we booked Mustang Island for the next two nights to get through the week-end.

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