This week I have been researching the San Antonio and Austin area of Texas. The area looks fascinating. There are lots of state and national parks near each other. The landscape is a mix of conifer covered mountains, high desert with Prickly Pear cacti, wildflower meadows, lush fields, sandstone rocks, and lots of water. The picture above is from Blanco State Park. It is my present destination preference. I doubt that it is warm enough there to swim this time of year, but swimming is allowed along this water spillway. There are canoe, tube, and kayak rentals. The park appears to be central to all there is to see in the area. We will be visiting family in Vicksburg, Mississippi for Christmas.
Part of my research into the Texas Hill Country was the possibility of earning our campsite by volunteering with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. I learned that if you go to their website and fill out an application, the volunteer coordinator will send the application to parks you indicate an interest in. Here is a link to the website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/involved/volunteer/spdest/
I'm assuming each state has a similar process.
One of the parks I researched is Pedernales Falls State Park. Isn't this serene. I read on the park's website that if you see the water start to rise you should leave the area immediately. Flash floods are common in Texas!!!Here is a picture taken less than 5 minutes after the serene photo above!!! I decided we don't need to stay here and be playing in the water with the dogs! I found this photo very disturbing in regards to our lack of knowledge about things unfamiliar to us. It got me thinking about other scary things in the western states that we don't know anything about such as tarantulas, scorpions, and a variety of poisonous snakes. I found a great website that gave me some reassurance as to how to handle bites by any of these creatures. The link is: http://www.surviveoutdoors.com/reference/spiders/tarantula.asp Armed with our new information, we are headin' south Sunday the 18th.