Wintering Elsewhere

If you’ve experienced winter in the Midwest, you fully understand the appeal of going South during the cold months. We decided a few months ago to make late January and all of February our month to head for the warmth of Texas.

Why Texas? Well, that’s a good question. Our first winter trip to Texas was the Cotton Bowl, New Year’s Eve back in 2000 or so. Dallas was a sheet of ice. The game was frigid and miserable, though our team, KSU, won the game. Several years later KSU played in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. So, you know, that’s further south than Dallas. It’ll be warm and sublime. Nope. Temps in the low 50’s and cold rain the entire time. Even on our side trip to Port Aransas on the Gulf.

But January/February should be much better. Right? Much better than Kansas. Right?

We made reservations for a place we’d never stayed in south Texas near the gulf. Not far from Palacios.

Being eager to hit the road, we decided to leave home early and stay a couple nights at Lewisville Lake in Dallas. Hickory Creek COE park (half price for seniors, so about $12/night). We’d stayed there before and enjoyed it immensely. Here’s the scene at set-up in 70 degree temps:

That first day and evening was so nice. But the wind came up during the night and the temperatures plummeted. We have weather apps on our phones so this was not a surprise. But we did opt to head south and start our stay in Edna, Texas one day earlier than planned. Because, you know, SOUTH, WARMTH, SUNSHINE.

The park where we reserved is Brackenridge Park and Campground on Lake Texana. I just kind of randomly found this place courtesy of Google search, and the reviews were great. The photos were, too. Our first day set up photo confirms:

This park is a county owned park near the tiny town of Edna, and not too far from Victoria, Texas. It’s a very large park with historical sites, nature center, hiking trails, kayak rentals, fishing, a huge recreation complex for rodeos and public events. The RV park is in a separate large area, right on the lake and gated. We reserved in the full hook up area, which are pull through sites with lots of space and nice grass. Absolutely gorgeous quiet place. There were only four other campers in our loop. And the view from our site?? Yeah, that’s pretty sweet.

I already mentioned our attention to the weather apps on our phones. Before the first evening was over the forecast had deteriorated due to a silly Arctic invasion of cold air. The next morning this was our view:

Finding the good: really GREEN grass! Calm winds! Subdued loveliness!

This was the first day of our 5 day stay. And I have to tell you, this was the warmest and driest of the 5 days. But, various versions of this view greeted us every morning. Such a peaceful scene.. Even when the wind was creating whitecaps and it was too cold to get outside except to walk the dog. We did manage to capture these scenes on our various short walks:

But if you know me at all, you know I am not inclined to sit still inside a tiny space and look out through rain covered windows for a long period of time. Every single day I talked the Mr into going for a drive. Brackenridge Park is really not close to any town except Edna, which is a cute town but really small. About 6000 friendly folks. So we ventured over to Victoria and checked out the historic town square. It’s very pretty, but no photos. Rain. We checked out the HEB and had lunch at a local cafe. Actually the HEB in Edna was better for grocery shopping, in case you ever need to know that.

And every day we checked our weather apps to see when the rain would stop, which turned out to be the last day of our stay. The rain stopped, but the wind didn’t. And the sun refused to shine, too. However, we knew we were close to the coast so again we went for a long drive in our truck, with Olive Ann in the backseat.

Olive Ann is a magnificent travel companion

Off we went to Matagorda Beach. We had been to this beach in November 2021 and thoroughly enjoyed it, so yeah, we would go again. It wasn’t really too far from Edna, about an hour drive. As it turned out the shore bird population was very active and easily visible from your vehicle.

And, we found the beach. I’ll give you a little comparison of November 2021 and February 2023

Before leaving Matagorda Bay we ate at a fun waterfront restaurant. The name of it is Waterfront Restaurant. 😁 Such a unique and original name, huh?

Back at the RV, a drizzling rain started back up. Our very last day at Brackenridge Park. I decided that no matter what, I would take a walk. A long walk. Some of the trails had water covering them in places. Did I jump over them? Do I jump over anything? That would be a big old NO! I managed to walk quite some distance. Very very pleasant walk.

Let me tell you this one thing. I would really love to return to Brackenridge Park & Campground for a lengthy stay. It is truly a quiet, peaceful, lovely place on a very large lake. I’d be more selective about the month to stay here, although Texas isn’t all that reliable in the warm winter category. So, maybe March. Or maybe November.

We had planned to do a month long trip. The Hill Country was our next destination but it didn’t happen because of unforeseen circumstances back at home. As it happened, that destination in the Hill Country, as well as most of Texas north of the Edna area, had been hit with a really destructive ice storm. Brackenridge experienced pretty stellar weather by comparison.

As I write this post, I’m looking out my kitchen bay window at this view:

Hmmm. Why winter elsewhere? 💗

2 thoughts on “Wintering Elsewhere

  1. My husband and I have had this same discussion about wintering in Texas, but we haven’t tried to do it yet. I’ve said, “We can go COE to COE all over Texas.” But he says Texas isn’t a good idea in January/February – which is when we would likely go. He has also mentioned hurricanes in other southern states. We’re not sure where we can go though (other than FL and AZ – which are so far) where it is unlikely we would have freezing temps or a hurricane. Even on our little trip to OK, we had to come home a day early and re-winterize. The parks you mentioned look terrific. We would love them! Now after this experience, have you thought about future winters? Will you try again ? Somewhere else? Stay home? Thanks for posting your first hand experience! Sometimes, home is best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really want to try again. Like you say, though, Arizona and Florida are just too far away. We have friends who stay in Port Aransas and it is pretty unpredictable too. But I guess if you commit to a month surely a large part of the month would be good weather. We actually did 3 weeks in 3 different COE parks one March and it was a great trip. The weather was good outside of one big thunderstorm. My aunt and uncle wintered in Harlingen for many years and truly loved it. I think your husband is right about January and February though. One thing I didn’t mention is that Brackenridge is very very reasonably priced. They have monthly rates also.

      Liked by 1 person

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