Checking in with the forum - itís been a while! I have been enjoying my 17B nearly every month since bringing it home last March. I went to Spain (Basque Country and Catalunya) in October for a two week foodie trip, doing all sorts of cultural immersion activities including eating at a secret gastronomic society, visiting a vineyard and a farm with heritage breed pigs and another with goats where idiazabal cheese is made from their milk.
The big finale was eating at El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, the number one restaurant in the world for this year. We had a 16 course dinner that lasted from 9:00 p.m until 2:30 a.m. An amazing trip but then I was ready again for trailer travel!
I was home for two weeks before packing up the pups and the trailer and visiting the Texas coast for a 2.5 week trip. It was another fabulous trip and, for the pups, it made up for leaving them in a kennel for two weeks. They loved running at full speed on beaches where we were the only souls for miles. I had several days when I pulled all the cushions and bedding out of the trailer and brushed all the sand out! I like that it really doesnít take all that long to clean a little trailer.
I stayed at many campgrounds along the coast starting at Padre Island National Seashore and ending at Sea Rim State Park. I liked all of the campgrounds and thank goodness there was a strong breeze most of the time or I would have been eaten alive by mosquitoes. I made most of the reservations ahead of time but didnít really need to except for Sea Rim. I spent Thanksgiving Day there and there are only 15 campsites and it was full.
My main focus was to photograph birds and other wildlife and was not disappointed with the opportunities. I had been to most of the areas in the past but the last part of my trip was all new territory to me. The dogs were very good about sleeping in while I caught the best morning light, then the afternoon is usually their fun time, then I take advantage of the evening light while they nap again.
Our best night was right on the beach on the Bolivar Peninsula and we woke up to an amazing sunrise. We would have stayed there another night but the water level seemed much higher even before high tide and, not growing up around the ocean, I donít know enough and moved to a nearby campground. The next morning I found out another trailer in that park had to leave the beach due to high water during the night.
Campgrounds we stayed at:
2 nights: McPherson RV Ranch, McPherson, KS - I was attending the Great Plains Nature Photographers annual meeting.
1 night: Live Oak Ridge Park on Belton Lake, west of Temple, TX
1 night: Padre Island National Seashore Malaquite Beach. Absolutely love it there.
3 nights: I B Magee County Park in Port Aransas
3 nights: Goose Island State Park. Whooping Cranes were in a pasture about a mile away.
1 night: Bolivar Peninsula Beach near Bolivar Flats
1 night: Lazy D & D RV Resort
2 nights: Sea Rim State Park.
1 night: San Augustine Park on Sam Rayburn Lake. Had picked up a bad cold and didnít need to go far that day since I was waiting for the freezing rain at home in Kansas City to unfreeze.
1 night: Devilís Den State Park, Winslow, AR. Very cool place. Temperatures still in the 40s there.
Arrived home in rainy 34 degrees. Unloaded in the rain and pulled the trailer to its winter home in nearby limestone cave storage. Iím getting pretty good at setting up and breaking camp and keep it as simple as possible. Although Iím always nervous if I canít find at least one thing I have forgotten to do!
Only mishap of the trip was a broken Jeep windshield. I had just passed a big truck on a 75 mph highway that was flicking little rocks at me. Not five minutes later a big truck from the other direction dropped something on me that left a very artistic 8-inch circular break.
Every trip I end up showing the trailer to several interested people. I have two parties at home now that want to see it this winter too. Something about an Escape that turns heads!