Sunday, March 26, 2023

Lake Conroe, TX and Family

 Weekend stop: Colorado River Thousand Trails, Columbus, TX.  Site: E-83, corner lot

We decided to press on from Davis Mountain State Park due to Sparky's worsening tooth troubles and seeing Sparky's daughter and grandson sooner, by skipping Lake Medina in Lakehills, TX and going straight to Colorado River in Columbus, TX for the weekend. Spring break is the same for everybody this year in the Houston area, so we wanted to be sure to be able to get a full hookup site over the weekend when break started. Sparky will try to find a dentist in the Spring, TX area when we arrive on Monday.

The drive to Colorado River was filled with bursting wildflower blooms of Texas bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush flowers. We started seeing them as soon as we turned on I-10 northeast outside of San Antonio. It was AMAZING....bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush (orange clusters) for miles and miles. Sometimes they were just alongside the road edges, then you would see entire fields of them. In all the times we have traveled this route between our membership parks, we have NEVER seen this wildflower profusion. We must have missed the blooming season every time. From farther away, they look much more orange in color. Here is what the beautiful little paintbrush looks like up close:

paintbrush and bluebonnets

When we got closer to Columbus, TX, the wildflowers increased. There is a field just a couple of miles from our RV park, right along TX 71. This field had mostly bluebonnets and phlox (the red flowers).

And inside the park, in the center of the great big field between the two levels of the RV park is their very own field of Texas Bluebonnets!  Here we were thinking we'd have to travel to Big Bend National Park, or Ennis, TX to see the Bluebonnet Trail and they were already here, ready and waiting for us. The white flower is a prickly poppy popping up here and there in the bluebonnet field at the RV park.

We spent the weekend catching up on our rest, especially the driver, (that's me, says E.) and doing chores like laundry and cleaning. (That's Sparky). She rode her bike all around the park for exercise and on the trails that wind around the park as well. There are bluebonnets blooming all around the trails, too. Quite the season for them and we are so happy we got to see it!

At Colorado River Thousand Trails RV Park

On to Lake Conroe, TX....where some of our family is....Sparky's daughter and grandson, to be precise. 

Lake Conroe, TX   Highs: all over the place--86, 70, 63, 76, 79, 52 (!)  Lows: 30's-60's  Site: G-83, back in

Lake Conroe could be THE gem in the Thousand Trails system, but there are negatives along with the positives, just like most Thousand Trails parks. But it's a great park for visiting Sparky's family. The park has added new sections, but about half of them are set aside for annuals or seasonals. If you are a transient like we are (moving from park to park about every two to three weeks) then your choice of a nice concrete level site in the new sections is very slim. Why don't we get an annual site? They are quite expensive, for one, especially in this area, and we are not ready to pick a park to stay put for about 6 months at a time just yet. 

This park has beautiful amenities which have been posted on this blog before--fantastic pool, (although unheated), great tennis, basketball and pickle ball courts, family oriented activities, and a terrific location to all points shopping and points of interest in Houston. They also have two new sections towards the lake--I and J. One of those is for the seasonal people, and the other one, about 15 sites will be for people needing short term stays. There is also a relatively new "B" section but surprisingly, even though the sites are concrete, they didn't do a very good job of making those sites level. Some have too steep an incline ramp up to the site, and others just plain aren't level. Here's a nice rig in the "B" section and he had to get his front end W-A-A-A-Y up with jack pads to get level. If you have a residential fridge like we do, if you are not level, you can damage the fridge. A lot of RVs will have a propane/electric switchable fridge so they don't have to worry so much about being perfectly level.

We got a site in G-section which is a back in, but it's very nice, with plenty of room around us. And we have a fire pit. We have not had a campfire due to dry conditions and county regulations in MANY places we have been this winter, so Sparky is excited that we can finally have one! Except we never did, haha. Every time we got ready to have one, it was either too hot or too rainy. Boy, it rains a LOT in the Spring/Tomball area in TX!

The only other sites that were available were in the buddy sites, where you share the living space outside, your door faces the door of your neighbor and your outdoor living space is very narrow.

It seems that Thousand Trails is gearing their parks towards people who pay for an annual site. Roads to the annual/seasonal sites are usually paved and newer. Here at Lake Conroe, the roads to the transient sites for the weekend campers or vacation campers are still very bad.

We are here for two weeks, so Sparky can see her daughter and grandson, who is growing like a weed. For the last couple of days, we've played baseball and family games. We went to a beautiful park called Burroughs Park, one of the nicest and biggest city parks in the area at 320 acres with a stocked 7 acre fishing lake, sports fields, 8 miles plus of hiking trails and more. It's off of Huffsmith Rd. in Tomball and it has the BIGGEST dog park ever! The playground facilities were fantastic, there are ponds there, too. It was really beautiful. The trails meander away from the active public areas, so it's a great place to walk through the woods. The Woodlands area of Houston is very pretty with lots of forests and trails, excellent shopping and of course, expensive homes.

Grandson is growing up so fast....He's a wonderful, smart young man and so polite. He says he'd like to go traveling with Grandma some day. Yay! 
Sparky found a good dentist at Spring Park Dentistry in Spring, TX. So far, it seems that her tooth problems are related to the crown being "high" and her bite being "off" so the crown was filed and polished a bit. The dentist, Dr. Ho, was very thorough in testing the bite pattern, as the previous dentist who did the crown, was not. The discomfort is still there, but because Sparky has been solely favoriting the opposite side for more than three weeks when chewing, the dentist said the crown nerves could be inflamed and irritated. Sparky wouldn't hesitate in a second going back there if the problems continue, which at this point, they are. She's going to give it a few more days, then back she will go. Beautiful office, modern equipment, super nice staff and two very good dentists. Very high reviews as well. Sparky went back a second and third time for bite adjustments and it's a little better. Always reluctant to have a bite adjusted so much it's not your original mouth any more! But with NO abcess, NO sign of infection, the roots all looking healthy, that was the only option for now.

What's on tap for the rest of the stay? Sparky's daughter and grandson are off on a short side trip during spring break, so we will take care of some necessary chores with the truck and rig, like treating the rubber seals around the slides, getting an oil change for the truck, cleaning the jack stems on the RV, laundry, the dentist, and anything else we can think of, maybe breakfast at First Watch on Sunday! Then when they get back--more visits! Sparky was going to kayak Lake Conroe, it's a really big lake, but again--too much wind, too much rain and not great kayaking conditions, so we will shoot for next time.

photo taken by grandson
One more week passed quickly in the Houston area, and now it's time to head out for Louisiana, Alabama, then Kentucky. Our plans are to end up this summer in the U.P. in Michigan. It was a great visit with family, and now we are off once again heading towards the midwest. 
Grandma got beat at Connect 4 too many times!

We are watching our travel weather closely as it seems bad storms are occurring more frequently than we've experienced in the past, at least they are on our route through the U.S.!  We'll see you down the road...Until next time....
                                        Sparky and Eldo

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