Tag Archives: camping

PALO DURO CANYON STATE PARK

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Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TXPhoto copyright Ashley LandisSince I first started 24inTX, I’ve wanted to go to Palo Duro Canyon.  It’s is truly one of our state’s biggest and brightest gems.

The stunning canyon opens up before you as you drive through hundreds of miles of flat land in the Texas panhandle.

It’s been a main attraction for over 12,000 years.  The canyon walls offered resources and shelter to the Apache, Comanche and Kiowa tribes, as well as Spanish explorers before it became a state park in 1934.

I learned all about the history of the canyon while I was there, but first I had to make the 500 mile journey from central Texas to the panhandle.  If you’re keeping track at home, that’s an 8-9 hour drive, and I documented every hour!

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LOCKHART

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AL3_6257

I have so many places that I want to go in Texas!  But with NBA playoffs keeping me close to home, I don’t have a lot of time to travel.  You can relate to that, I’m sure.  So why not go somewhere close by?

I chose Lockhart State Park, which is about 40 minutes away from home.  It’s a small, but unique park.  It’s the only Texas state park with a staff-operated nine-hole golf course.  And it’s in a town known for it’s flashy courthouse and classic BBQ.

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LAKE SOMERVILLE

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Somerville5625

I haven’t been camping in months.  I’ve been itching to get to a state park, build a campfire and sleep in a tent, but I only had the time to travel about 2 hours away.

I looked at the TPWD web site and found Lake Somerville State Park.  Never heard of it.  Hmm…a camp site by a lake?  Not a bad idea…

My car had been acting funny for the past week or so, but I packed up my stuff and hit the road.  At least for a few minutes before I had to turn around because I forgot something.  I left the car in park and ran in to the house to retrieve the forgotten item when I heard a loud noise coming from my car outside.  I ran out, turned off the engine and reassessed.  Maybe my camping trip wouldn’t happen after all.

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CEDAR HILL STATE PARK

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Cedar1634

I grew up north of Dallas and we’d go on family camping trips all over the state, but we always traveled outside of the metroplex.  I guess that’s why I was surprised to learn that Cedar Hill State Park was only about an hour from where I went to elementary school.

I had to be in Dallas for work on Saturday, so I drove up a day early to enjoy the park.

I packed my camping gear and borrowed a kayak to paddle Joe Pool Lake, then drove north.  When I got to the park, I was even more surprised to find out about a little gem called Penn Farm.

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PALMETTO STATE PARK

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Palmetto1969

Every June I make a stop at Palmetto State Park during the Texas Water Safari, an annual canoe & kayak race.  I stay for the evening, watching teams come in and out of the race check point via the San Marcos River, but I’ve never really gotten to see what the park has to offer.

It turns out there’s quite a bit more to this place than paddling.  (*gasp!*  Safari folk, I’m not betraying you, I promise.)

Let’s start with a few clips from my video diary.  (Keep reading for more photos.)  Unfortunately, the trip started with rain.

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GOLIAD

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AL1_1775

It’s 2014 and I’m back to adventuring!

Santa brought me a new tent and some camping gear for Christmas, and I couldn’t wait to try them out.  As soon as the temperature rose above 65 degrees, I hit the road to Goliad State Park.

The town of Goliad is important in Texas history.  It was a key location during the Texas fight for independence.

The Mission Nuestra Señora del Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga and the Presidio La Bahia, which protected the mission, were sites of bloody skirmishes, and they still stand today in and near the state park. Read more

BUESCHER STATE PARK

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Buescher5853

It’s that special time of year between Thanksgiving and Christmas when the To Do lists pile up with gift shopping, meal preparing, house cleaning, party planning, seeing family and friends, traveling, eating and generally stressing.

When I go “home” for the holidays, I exhaust myself trying to see as many people and do as many things as I possibly can.  That was the case during the Thanksgiving holiday and I came back feeling completely overwhelmed.

Fortunately central Texas heated up for a few days, just long enough for me to have an escape to Buescher State Park near Smithville, TX.

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