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  • J.F. Rowan

Palmetto State Park-Gonzales, Texas


Winter pasture in Gonzales, Texas.

The longer you sit, the harder it is to leave, for me anyway. Yvette was ready to go, but I think I started to grow a few roots. Probably from getting into some routines like working on the trail I had created for the homeowners. Whatever the case, we had booked a few more house-sitting gigs while we were in Smithville including a few in Texas, and one in Oregon in the fall! So, though a rough draft, we plotted a course that would keep us in Texas until about the end of March before we would start to work our way west.

Lush winter understory. So different from New England!

All packed and rolling down the road, this time in search of a place called Palmetto State Park in Gonzales Texas. Palmetto State Park, as the name might subtly imply, is a bit of an oasis. Soil conditions there allow for the capture of rain in such a way as to allow the Dwarf Palmetto to thrive in certain spots. One minute you feel like your in cow-country, the next you feel like your in a tropical rain forest. Miles of trails zig-zag their way through the park, with the San Marcos River cutting the park into almost two equal halves.

Dwarf Palms thrive near a small spring in soil consisting of enough clay to hold moisture for extended periods.

Our first night in this camp we were relegated to set-up in the more primitive area of the park. This was fine, but with no access to the sun (for solar), long term camping for us in this area would not have been practical. So, off to the more “electric friendly” portion of the park on the other side of the river the following day. As it turned out, we ended up with a great, if not the greatest spot of all. Situated right next to one of the main trailheads, we easily logged several steps each day while we were there.

Our final site, #9. All the way in the back and right at the trail head.

The park is filled with wildlife. We encountered a herd of nineteen white-tailed deer, with other smaller groups spotted around the park. During our many hikes, we noticed several heavily traveled animal trails. In one spot, we set up two trail cameras and left them for about 4 days, retrieving them a day or two before we left. As it turns out, we were able to get about 14 minutes (about 90 small clips) of video footage between the two cameras. I sewed these videos together on YouTube. If you would like to play the video, CLICK HERE.

Yvette studying a small animal trail. Several criss cross the park and are evidence of the many wild pigs that are here.

Wild Pig photo capture from video cam footage. A future problem?

There was definite evidence of the CCC in this park. A large pavilion built in 1935 still stands. Built originally as a concession building in 1935, it originally had a roof made of 35,000 palms all attached carefully by hand. The roof has since been replaced with cedar shingles and still looks great.

Now used as a pavilion, this building was built in 1935 by 74 CCC workers. The roof originally consisted of 35,000 palms.

CCC constructed water tower in background.

We made some new friends here as well. A couple, who like us, have sold their home and hit the road full time. They had a 45 foot Class "Pusher" with a Jeep in tow. Great friends who we will stay in touch with and possibly meet again.

It never fails. Whenever I rush a shot, composition takes a back seat. Eastern Bluebird-Palmetto State Park. Im sure he doesn't appreciate the stick up his bum...

This is what happens when nature doesn't provide napkins. Black Vulture.

In Other News...

At the suggestion of some of our viewers, we have set up a GoFundMe page. The purpose of this page is to help cover the cost of keeping up the blog page, domain name and other miscellaneous costs. In exchange, we provide regular blog posts and also YouTube videos of places we see and things we do. It's not mandatory but even $5 helps offset the costs. If you would like to donate, please click HERE. It's totally up to the individual.

#PalmettoStatePark #Palmetto #DwarfPalmetto #GonzalesTexas #StatePark #WildPigs #WhiteTaileddeer

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