The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Harley takes his role as navigator seriously!

2022-05-28 Cameron's Graduation

 We were on our way to Brownwood Texas by noon on Friday for our grandson Cameron's high school graduation. Steve, Helen, Dave, and I did the drive up in our car. It's close to a 4 hour drive so Harley stayed home with the neighbors checking on him and feeding him dinner while Angus went to Pawderosa for the night. We arrived in time to take Cameron and Morgan out to a very early dinner before the ceremony. 

The ceremony was outside at the stadium. It was very hot (98 degrees) and we were in the full sun.

We arrived early so we were in the first row of bleacher seats. It was a quite a while before the graduates were gathered and ready to march in.

We were close enough to see well and get good pictures so it was worth the heat.

The tall one is our Cameron.

It took a while to march all those grads in to their seats.

The serape stoles signify Spanish club. The white is for those cum laude grads and the cords each stand for something as well.

Almost at the diploma stage.

The big moment. They made very good use of the score board showing each of the students as well as group shots.

Happy to be done!

Student hijinx.

The final excitement for the students!

They also showed the plans each student has for the future. Cameron will be going to Angelo State University in San Angelo in the fall.

It was a very long day. We didn't arrive back home until midnight but we are so glad we made the trip.

2022-05-21 Downtown Bastrop TX

 My last sightseeing tour in Bastrop was the downtown area. First stop was the Visitor Center and Museum. It's right on the main cross street. Traffic was pretty heavy on the road running through the downtown area but once you turn onto the side street, it's much quieter.

I didn't have time to make the paid version of the museum worthwhile on this trip but they did have a big display on the El Camino Real de los Tejas which was interesting.

Looking down the street I could see Maxine's Cafe.

It looked interesting all decked out with bunting but it really wasn't the right time for a meal.

A number of buildings in the cute downtown area are historical buildings.

The metal art around this building was beautiful and told a story.

Ordinary utility cabinets were also painted artistically.

There is also an "Old Town" area that is between the main street and the river.

There is a nice selection of restaurants and bars in this area.

It was too late for lunch and too early for dinner. And too hot for a glass of wine walking around. I could have used a soda.

This was a bakery but I caught it right at closing.

This park is right below the Old Town area. They were setting up a band area for a group that will be playing later in the evening. It would be really nice sitting on a balcony at one of the bars or restaurants and listening to the band playing below.

This entrance and walkway down to the park is at one end of the Old Town area. It was really hot so I chose not to head down to the lower area because it would have been a long walk back up.

More local art camouflaging utility containers. They did a nice job.

I will look forward to another trip to Bastrop and a visit to the park and Old Town. 

2022-05-20 Bastrop Lake Lower Colorado River (LCRA) Parks TX

 The next place to camp that I checked out was Lake Bastrop South Shore Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) Park. This is the larger of the two LCRA parks.

They have a nice fishing pier.

There are some buildings available for rent for occasions.

There are outdoor activities like miniature golf.

They also have a swimming beach and a sand volleyball court. there are various boat, kayak, pedal cart rentals available.

There is a camp store. I failed to get a photo of the cabins for rent for $71.50/night with pet friendly cabins about $10 more. They contain two bunk beds with the lower bed looking like a double. The cabins have A/C and electric and a space where you could have camp chairs or an inside table. There is an outside table, grill, and water spigot. They also have RV sites: 6 full hook-up for $44/night and 32 water/electric sites for $37.50/night.

This is the North Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) park also on Lake Bastrop

It is the smaller of the two parks but they have shade trees and a fishing area.

They also have a swimming area and kayak rentals.

These 5 airstreams are for rent with fancy sites but they are not cheap at just under $250/night. They also have 11 RV sites -water/electric $37.50/night and full hook-up for $44/night.

Both of these parks are also available for day use with price per person rates. those rates are included in prices for those that are staying overnight.

2022-05-20 Bastrop and Buescher State Parks TX

 Harley and I arrived at Bastrop State Park in the afternoon on Thursday. I originally made a reservation for Friday night but decided to go a day early. I contacted the reservation office to add the day and had to take a different site for Thursday as someone had already reserved my first site. I asked about the 2d day discount on my state park pass. The woman on the pone tried really hard to fix it but the system wouldn't let her. She told me that they could do it at the park when I checked in but she was going to message her supervisor about the problem. When I arrived at the park, the ranger who was obviously new did her best to help me. First she found a site that would allow me to stay in one spot and told me to go and look at it. I did and it was not workable. I'll explain why a little further along. I told her I could easily move my motorhome. Then I asked about the 2d night discount. She was all set to do it when another ranger chit-chatting in the back came rushing out and told her she couldn't do it because both nights had to be in the same spot. There is nothing anywhere in the rules that I could find that says you must be in the same spot. The unhelpful ranger went back to visiting with her coworker in the back and I headed off to my first site.

These sites are all full hookup with little shade. There was a big fire a number of years ago that roared through this whole area. They managed to save all the CCC buildings but lost many trees and many locals lost their homes.

This was my first site. I was just barely able to get my RV level enough for the fridge to work without damage. While travel trailers can level by raising/lowering the tongue quite a bit, motorhomes can lift the front quite a bit with their levelers but not much at the back because you do not want to lift the back tires. 

Herein lies the problem. all the pull-through sites on the right slope down at the front significantly. The ones on the left slope down at the back significantly. That doesn't work well for motorhomes unless you also haul a bunch of blocks to manually level. It would be helpful if the sites made this info clear.

I moved my RV around the corner to the seconnd site the next day at noon right after the previous occupants moved out. It worked out as I just moved the car after I was set up. This site was more level and I was able to hook up my car before I left right there on the site. Interesting enough, the folks that reserved my first site had not arrived when I took Harley out at 10PM nor were they in the site at 8:30AM the next morning. I suspect they never came.

I toured the park the first afternoon. There was a nice playground.

This was a headquarters for the rangers.

There is no lake or river at Bastrop but they have a beautiful pool. It should have opened several weeks ago as it has been very hot in May; however, when I asked, I was told that they haven't been able to get lifeguards. I saw a sign on the door offering $12/hour plus training. That's a hard sell when fast food places are paying $15/hour.

This was a pavilion.

This was a big facility that the park rents out. I think it was a dining hall. Someone came into to the ranger's office to check it out for an upcoming wedding.

This is the electric/water section. Had I known about the problems (unlevel, very little shade) with the full hookup sites, I would definitely have stayed here instead. If I go back this is where I will reserve as the sites are level and well shaded! Back-in is no problem.

It was quiet and much cooler in this area.

There is a road between Bastrop State Park and Buescher State Park. It's 12 miles long and apparently very popular with bicyclists and runners but it is very hilly so be aware.

This tells all about the devastating fire a few years ago.

A lookout pavilion at the scenic overlook area.

The view is pretty big.

It's a long windy hilly road to Buescher.

The devastation is still visible years later.

A few trees survived the raging fire.

When you arrive a Buescher on this road, there is no ranger station or place to check in.

There are some nice CCC buildings here too.

Buescher is a very small park. There were a few people camping there but not many. Normally there is a small lake which would be a big draw but the lake is empty because they are rebuilding the dam.

Harley takes his job as navigator and security guard very seriously but he makes sure he gets plenty of rest in between jobs.