Monday, December 31, 2012

Houston, TX

Made it to Houston about 4:30.  The day held a little more dramatic tension than I bargained for.
Slept till 8:30 at Camp Wal-Mart!  So I hit the road this AM - later than expected which is to be expected, I guess.  I’m happy to report that I set the furnace at 65 last night and stayed warm with no noticeable drain of the batteries at all. 

Another day of rugged interstate miles.  It’s not so bad, if you’re training for the rodeo.  The chewed-up highways loosened all my circa-1966 fillings and I hate to think what it did to the GDB’s nuts and bolts.  This combined with a steely gray rain and endlessly ugly sprawl made for a challenging driving day.  I alternated between trying to avoid an accident and wondering why gasoline is so expensive in Texas.  $3.39 a gallon?  But isn’t this where gas comes from?   

The Texas Welcome Center had tons of tourist info.  This display alone contains camping info.

So I drive through the slog in order to stay overnight at Traders Village RV Park – northwest of Houston proper.  I choose it because it allows easy access to Hwy 290 – which I will want tomorrow.  And it’s a resort-type private campground, so I figured it would be pretty low-key New Year’s Eve-celebration-wise.  But also because they acquired a score of 10+++ on the bathroom facilities.  Important, because I longed for a quality personal grooming experience. 

I think my GPS is terminally ill so I'm not really sure how to get where I'm going.  I finally arrive and the patrolman on duty informs me that the office is closed till Wednesday!  What campgrounds close down for 2 days?  We chat in the rain for a while and he shows me a campground map with highlighted sites.  It’s clear to me, although not to him, that these are the unoccupied campsites.   

But he’s a very nice man so I don’t argue or insist. I ask if I may stay in the parking lot overnight.  He agrees and tells me to help myself to the bathhouse about 50 feet from where I’m parked.  Geez, do I smell that bad?  I race there in the pouring rain but the doors are fitted with combination locks accessible only to paying guests.  I run back to the GDB. 

I end up pulling the aisle rug back, opening the bathroom doors, leaning over the toilet, and shampooing/bathing using a plastic gallon jug of drinking water.  It’s a bit awkward but does the trick.  Note to self: next time, fill the water tanks.
It’s actually not a bad place to overnight, in this large parking lot between the campground entrance and a upscale flea market building.  The whole complex reminds me of a fairground.  And I have my very own security guard! 

My view.  Happy campers. 
Well, off to make dinner and read.  I head for Johnson City tomorrow.




                                   Happy New Year!!!



  1. Happy New Year. Sorry bout your inconvenient arrival problem.

  2. Happy New Years to you as well! Enjoy your adventure!

  3. What a bummer! I can't fathom a campground closed for two days on a busy holiday week. (Although I do think our office is closed tomorrow, but if a reservation is made, they put the map and campground info in a box outside the office and you can still come in and make yourself a home. (Yes, I meant to say "a home" not "at home.")

    Are you going to Johnson City, Texas?

  4. Will you be passing by San Antonio on your trip?

    1. Hi Susan,

      No, not this trip. But I want to see it some day.

  5. LOL... oh, me, KIm ... do I relate to this ... HAHAHaaaaa ... I mean

    I've used that method of washing my hair many .... many times. AND listen... Pam of our WGS group brought me the most fantastic no rinse shampoo when I was in New Mexico ... you can get it at Beauty Supply places and probably elsewhere... It's called ... haha.. just went to fetch it and it's called .. No Rinse Shampoo! It's made by CleanLife... love it! I also have one of those micro fiber towels which works great

    ... ain't adventure stimulating ... seriously

    The Blue Bell Ice Cream Factory is on 290 in Brenham... y'gotta stop there on your way into Austin .. the little downtown is awfully cute... oh, but it'll probably be closed tomorrow..

    Wow... this is the last day for ol 2012...

    Happy New Year! Kim ... love it...

    1. @^%*, Carolyn. Why did you have to mention ice cream only to tell me I can't have any?

      THANK YOU though for telling me about the shampoo. I couldn't remember what it was called either. I'll pick some up ASAP.

    2. beeeecause I'm mean! ... maybe they'll be open ... if you haven't had good ol Blue Bell? ... their Butter Pecan is what made me soooo voluptuous and well their peaches and cream or strawberries and cream ...

  6. Wow! You're making some serious time, Kim! Don't forget to stop and smell the roses!

  7. I'll never forget the first time I drove through Texas - I thought it would never end !! It is one honkin' big State !

  8. What a letdown not getting a spot at the campground and a hot shower must have been. But, I guess learning to roll with the punches is the way to go so the inconveniences don't get you down.

    Glad, at least, that you had your own security guard!

    I've found that sink baths are a pretty good substitute when you can't get a shower. But I haven't mastered washing my hair in the sink without getting water everywhere. Didn't think of the toilet!

    I'm really glad to hear that your furnace kept you warm without draining the batteries. Another hurdle overcome! :)

  9. Oh my goodness --I have family in and around Johnson City. We should compare notes sometime. I'm headed that way somewhere around end of March and end of April.

    I hate those dreary travel days. Hope today's a good one for you. Happy New Year!!

  10. It's good to be Hope today is better! Happy New Year!

  11. Seems like you got your low key New Years Eve stopping place! :)

  12. If you think gas is expensive in Texas....wait 'till you get to California. Happy Travels and HNY

  13. You are becoming quite the boondocker!
    Continue to have safe travels!

  14. Which methons do you personally use to search for info for your new entries and which particular search algorithms do you often rely on?


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