We got up early this morning to do a conference call with the show promoter for Good Sam RV Super Show in Indianapolis next April. Linda & I and Greg & Cori will be double-teaming the seminars there, and we were just trying to get an idea of how we were going to work the schedule.
It looks like we'll each be doing three seminars a day and we'll stagger them so that attendees can attend as many as they want. Now we just have to figure out the details. That show will be a four-day show at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and camping will be available at the track. We'll be providing more information very soon.
After the conference call, we weren't extremely motivated to get packed up to leave, but our two weeks had ended, and I didn't want to go on the $40 daily rate here at Lazy L & L campground. Eventually, we got moving. I went to fill up a propane cylinder, and I called San Angelo State Park just to make sure there were plenty of openings.
After tweaking the route on Google Maps, I added about 15 miles to the trip to remove any potential stress with the smaller back roads. It would be a 230-mile trip today, and we would once again be avoiding the interstates. We pulled out of our site right at 11:00 a.m.
The directions were simple as we took TX 306 around Canyon Lake to U.S. 281 north to Johnson City where we took U.S. 290 west to U.S. 87. Then it was U.S. 87 all the way to San Angelo. I can't get used to the two-lane roads with speed limits of 75 mph. We frustrate the people behind us, since I top out at about 62 while towing and I prefer the 55 - 60 range.
The good news was the two-lane roads had several places where it expanded to three lanes so others could pass, and that route included a good deal of four-lane highway as well. However, we did have one idiot that passed me on the right on a two-lane section. Yes, he passed me on the shoulder at about 70 mph. Sheesh.
We arrived at the South Entrance to San Angelo State Park around 3:30 p.m.
We like the Texas State Parks, but we don't like that they charge you an entrance fee per day per person for every night of camping.
So, a $20 water/electric site is $28 per night for two adults. And they also charge us an extra vehicle fee of $2 per day for our Jeep. So, it's $30 per night; it's not terrible, but many other state park systems don't charge an entrance fee when you are camping, or they charge it only for the day you arrive and they don't charge a per-person entrance fee. Most don't charge us an extra vehicle fee either. Of course the camping fee in other state park systems may or may not be a few dollars higher, but I for some reason I don't mind it as much when it's all included in one charge.
To combat the per-person entrance fees, if you are a couple staying more than seven nights a year in Texas State Parks, it's better to go ahead and purchase a Texas State Parks Pass. That $70 pass gets you unlimited entry for everyone in your vehicle for all parks for a year. In addition, when you stay two nights or more in any park, your second night is half price. If you stay in Texas State Parks for a month or a season, the Parks Pass savings really add up.
So, by staying seven nights in the Texas state parks within a year, the pass covers $56 (7 X $8) in entrance fees for us plus we get a camping discount to cover the rest. Since we were planning to stay in at least two parks for at least seven nights, we went ahead and purchased a pass.
Now, what we like about Texas state parks is reservations only guarantee you a spot, not a specific site (although this appears to be changing in the winter of 2018). That gives us a choice of any open site when we just show up in our usual early-in-the week arrivals.
Specifically at San Angelo, they also have a weekly rate - pay for five nights and get two nights free. We hadn't planned to stay a week, but that made us change our mind. They also have some great "primitive" sites here; no utilities, but they are large and spread out and only $10/night (plus $4 per person per night entrance fee unless you have a pass).
We were given Site 14 which is a back-in with 50-amp electric, water, and a distant view of the lake behind us. We have a covered picnic table, a firepit, and a grill. The sites are huge with lots of space in between.
You won't find a private RV park with this much space between the sites. And even the photo below makes it look like the sites are closer than they really are.
San Angelo State Park feels remote but there is a Super Walmart and and HEB grocery only four miles away.
The park is huge and there are several multi-use trails for hiking, horseback riding, and trail bike riding. It's not the prettiest place in the world, but there is also an opportunity to see some wildlife - deer, foxes, javelinas, porcupines, bobcats, armadillos, and more. There are bison in a huge fenced area, and this is one of four parks that host some of the Official Texas State Longhorn Herd.
San Angelo is also a great birding spot, and they have a wonderful birdwatching "shed" where you can sit and watch the birds around several feeders and a very nice water feature. On a little late drive around the park, I checked it out. Yep, I suspect Linda will be spending quite a bit of time at the bird/wildlife viewing shed.
While I was out, I took a sunset shot.
And here is a dead tree photo from one of the unoccupied primitive campsites.
Back at the rig, we settled in for the night. As long as the wind doesn't kick up, I think we're going to enjoy our time here.