Choke Canyon State Park Part 2

I have had a great time here. But, I have to admit two nights would've been enough.

My original reason for coming here was to go to the Salsa Fest. I went with Mike Messer about five years ago, and it was a lot of fun. I decided, that I could camp and do the fest in one trip.

I left the house on Thursday morning. I hitched up and headed toward the park. I decided to take the highway that leads to Poteet, instead of going the way I usually would to get to this area. It was a nice drive. I'll probably go home the same way.

When I got to my site, there were several deer feeding on newly cut branches in a little wooded area that shades my site. By the time I was finished setting up, they were long gone.

It was really hot, but I managed to get the Colby 2.0 cooled down to about 78° within a few hours. I decided, after getting overheated and feeling puky after hiking in the afternoon at Kickapoo Caverns State Park and Canyon of the Eagles, that I would be better served taking my hikes in the morning. So, instead of a hike, I drove into Three Rivers and ate barbecue for lunch and filled my gas tank. After that, I pretty much just hung around the camper trying to stay cool.

I went outside to see the stars, and there was a creature moving around about 100 feet from me. I got a little nervous because I think this is the park where John William Moran saw a bobcat really close to his site when he was here. I came into the Colby 2.0 and got my flashlight. It was just a deer grazing in the field between my site and the lake. When I shined the light around the area, I saw four other pairs of eyes staring back at me. Several deer were bedded down in the grass.

Yesterday, Friday, I got up early and took a hike all over the park. It was about 6 miles by the time I was finished. And believe me, I was finished! I carried a bottle of water with me that I refilled every chance I got. The trails were nice, even with the heat, and I got to see some interesting things and several animals.

When I got back to the Colby 2.0, I stripped off my hot stinky wet clothes and laid on a towel on the bed to cool off for about an hour. After that, I hung around the camper trying to stay cool again. There was a sudden short – lived thunderstorm that just hit out of the blue. It brought winds and heavy rain with it for about 10 minutes. It cooled everything off for a short time, but then it just got muggy.

I decided to read at about 5 PM, but fell asleep instead. I really love naps in the Colby 2.0. I turned the TV on when I woke up. I discovered that I had about eight channels here. I picked up channels four, five, and 12 from San Antonio. That's better than any of the parks I camp at near San Antonio. I half heartedly watch TV until about 10 PM. Then I went to bed early.

I got up even earlier this morning. I was determined to take that same hike, but this time, I wanted to find three geocaches that were hidden along the trails. I thought if I left even earlier in the morning, it would stay cooler. Boy was I wrong! There wasn't a cloud in the sky and no breeze at all the whole time I was hiking. I actually filled my water bottle more times then the day before. I also took the time to rest wherever there was a shady spot to sit.

I manage to find the three geocaches I was after. One of them required a little bit of bushwhacking. I have the scratches on my arms and legs to prove it. I guess they're kind of like geocaching badges of honor. I wonder what people thought when they saw me walking through the cabin loop with dried streams of blood all over my legs. It always looks worse than it really is.

When I got back to the Colby 2.0, I did a repeat of yesterday. I stripped off, threw a towel on the bed, and laid there until I was cool. Then I got up and took a nice hot shower. That really felt good.

I got dressed and drove into Three Rivers at about 1:45 PM. It is only about a 15 minute drive from the park. I decided to go back to Sowell's barbecue for lunch again. This time, I opted for a bacon cheeseburger. It was great!

I headed straight to the Salsa Fest after that. I have to tell you I was disappointed. They moved the fest out to a park. That was a nice change. They had a lot more stuff there, too. But, they didn't arrange it very nicely. Add to that it was hot hot hot! I stayed just long enough to say hello to Nick Stilley. His mom, Stacey, told me he was working a booth there. Seeing him made me uncomfortable. He had to be sweltering!

I walked by the salsa tasting tent. It was open to the public starting at 3 PM. It didn't look like they had very many contestants. I only saw about 15 people displaying their salsas. (I thought I just heard a clap of thunder, and sure enough a tiny little thunderstorm just went over the park. Just a tiny sprinkle of rain and a few gusts of wind.) when Mike and I came, there must've been about 50 entries. It was so hot today, that I didn't even bother to go in and taste any. I got back in the truck and headed back to camp.

On the way back, I stopped at the other unit of Choke Canyon State Park. The water is so low in the lake, that there isn't much use for that part. The boat ramp there is closed, and I didn't see any real access to the water for fishing or swimming. I did get to see the dam up close.

I've noticed that this area seems to be in a state of decay. All along Highway 72 towards Three Rivers, there are deserted RV parks. Several of them are for sale. I guess they just couldn't do business with the lake so low.

For the rest of today, I'm going to lounge around and do nothing but read and drink wine coolers till bedtime. I'll get up early to head home before it gets too hot. I'm not in any big rush, since Rachel is in Valparaiso, Indiana for the next few days helping her sister, Linda out after her cataract surgery.

My next trip will be in about two weeks, when I go back to Kerrville Schreiner Park. I like to go there for the full hook ups when I've gone on a trip but doesn't have them. The nice thing about the Colby 2.0 is that it has bigger tanks then the Colby T did. I can go about a week without emptying them, if I am camping alone and practice conservation methods. I usually try to get a trip with hook ups even if I don't need to dump my tanks, because I don't know where I'll go next, or if I'll have full hook ups then.

Anyway, that's all for this trip. Happy trails!

All of the pictures I took at Choke Canyon State Park and the Salsa Fest are in a shared folder in Google drive. You can use this link to see them: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2r_w46vGUfHLU14N2hRUnNyN0k