Monday, May 5, 2008

Eastern Texas \ Huntsville SP & Lake Livingstone SP

Have spent the past several days checking out the State Parks of Eastern Texas. Wow, what beautiful country this is. Texas is one big ass state so I did take the freeway from San Antonio to Sealy where I got off and took country roads the rest of the way to Huntsville. This area is peppered with a number of State Parks and National Forests including Huntsville State Park, Lake Livingston State Park, Sam Houston National Forest. Not far off you will also find Crockett National Forest.
Once off the freeway I was driving along quaint country roads with giant trees shading my drive much of the time. In fact the tree canopy was so intense that my XM Radio lost it's signal. Cool!
I have become very good friends with my AAA map of fact, it is looking more a great novel passed around for years. My new favorite thing to do is to take a turn then look at the map for my whereabouts.
The first day out from San Antonio I ended up in Huntsville. Not knowing anything about Huntsville my first impression, driving through the old town, was a tranquil old west town set against a forested backdrop. Bean Dog and I spent the day in Huntsville State Park which was absolutely beautiful. There is plenty of camping, fishing, boating and much more. One could definitely spent days reading books and hiking here.
Back to my first impression as someone who only decided to go to Huntsville cuz there was lots of green on the map (green=State parks, National Parks). I spoke with my Uncle (from TX) the day I left Huntsville and he informed me that to Texans Huntsville equal big bad prison. Apparently Huntsville Prison is the number one execution prison in the country. Funny how people have differing views on a place.
While in Huntsville there were two, count em' two festivals going on. The first was the General Sam Houston Festival. The namesake of this festival is General Sam Houston who led the fight for Texas Independence. He served as President of the Republic of Texas, United States Senator and Governor of Texas. He moved to Huntsville in 1847 and you can't miss the massive statue of Mr. Houston right off the I-59.
The second festival was the Airing of the Quilts. The history of this festival goes back to the pioneer days. Women brought their quilts across to Texas in covered wagons. These quilts were cherished possessions. Each spring, the quilts were brought out to 'air' in the sunshine following a long winter of use. The Airing of the Quilts Festival takes place on the Square in Historic Downtown Huntsville.
If you are passing though Eastern Texas take time out to check out Huntsville and Huntsville State Park.

After spending a couple days in Huntsville I just took off driving with no particular place to go. After just a couple hours wandering the countryside I ended up in Livingstone. Livingstone is only 45 minutes east of Huntsville but I took my own way. This is another quaint country town with a State Park just a few miles down the road.
Bean Dog and I had a good time at Lake Livingstone State Park. Grabbed some goodies at H-E-B, local chain grocery store, and took off for a day at the lake. Another gorgeous park with tons to do. Plenty of camping, hiking trails, boating, biking and even horseback riding. Like all the State Parks in Texas; Lake Livingstone is quiet during the week and packs out on the weekends. Bean and I had no trouble finding a fantastic spot with a lake view for a picnic. After exhausting Bean Dog out with a long hike I did the Road Trip Junkie Radio Show right from the park....what a great background for a radio show.

Other Stuff
If you plan to camp in Texas on the weekends make reservations
Both Huntsville State Park and Lake Livingston State Park have stores if you forget something
Boat rentals available at both Parks
Dogs can go anywhere except building and water