Sunrise at Bob Hall fishing pier Padre Island Texas
Today was cloudy but calm so I had an easy drive to Uvalde Texas, if everything goes as planned tomorrow I will be at the Amistad National Recreation Area.
I'm Boondocking at the Uvalde Walmart, no surprise there, because it sure saves a lot of money when you're traveling and you can boondock at a Walmart parking lot for a night or two. Last month I spent way more than I normally would for a camp site. But I felt it was worth it because I was right next to the beach, had water and electric hookups, was close to shopping, and it wasn't crowded. So even though it cost me about $600 for that month, I can deal with that because in January I'm hoping I won't be spending very much at all.
When I went down to Arizona last winter I was very familiar with southern Arizona having spent years running around the State and owning some property in Tombstone I pretty much knew what I was facing with RV parks, Boondocking, and living there in general. So spending the whole winter in Arizona was an easy transition from just visiting.
But Texas is different. Mostly I had just driven through Texas either on I 40 up north through the Panhandle, or I 10 down South which goes the full width of Texas, usually without stopping and seeing much of anything. I did make a couple of trips down south as far as Brownsville where I did a little sightseeing along the way, but mostly my Texas experience was “just passing through”. So that's made this winter's trip to Texas “a work in progress”, and a learning experience.
So far my experience has been that Texas can be pretty expensive if you stay on the coast, and that's not surprising, in fact it would be surprising if it wasn't. And I don't mean just the cost of camping, even Walmart was charging a little more for some things than I've paid elsewhere. And then there's the cost of dealing with rust and sand if you're anywhere near the beach.
Why does sand cost anything you may ask, well here's one example. Normally I oil the hinges on the Arctic Fox's door a couple of times a year. But on the beach, because of the blowing sand, I had to oil the door about every week or I could hardly get it opened and closed, so what do you get when you mix oil with sand ?..... you get a grinding compound. So every time you open and close the door your rapidly wearing out the hinges, which one day will need to be replaced, and that costs money. And it was the same thing with my folding steps. The morning I was leaving I tried folding the steps up and they wouldn't move. I had to go inside and get some spray lube and spray everything on the steps that is supposed to move, and finally got them able to close. So even though these things aren't the end of the world they still add up to a hassle and some possible expenses down the road that you might not otherwise have had.
Now I haven't in any way given up on Texas as a place to spend the winter, I realize I'm still learning and Texas is a mighty big playground to learn in. So I'll keep running around trying different areas and hopefully be able to find some great Texas places that will keep me and my solar panels happy.