After leaving our 2 weeks in Austin, and the weather showing no signs of warming up – we were ready to get somewhere we wouldn’t have to run our little space heater non-stop! The past week has been spent making that journey.
However, since then the oil boom has kept the park mainly full of contractors. They keep a couple pull-thru spots open for us transient visitors to come by and hang out. It was good to catch up with the Hill Shade family, the kids have grown up so fast and each becoming lovely young adults.
We utilized some WiFi, caught up on some laundry and then made our departure to continue eastward.
We drove until the sun was setting, and then looked around for what might be available in the area. We pulled into a rest stop, which in Texas you can stay in overnight for up to 24-hours. But decided that between running our electric space heater and needing the engine block heater – some electric hook-ups might be nice.
Passport-Amercia lead us to Gulf Coast RV Resort (our review) in Beaumont, TX for $20. For the purpose of an overnight stop to keep warm, it was fine. Easy access from I-10, but far enough off the interstate that the noise wasn’t too bad. The sites are very much the row-style with small yards in-between, but the park does offer free breakfast in the morning. It was a typical hotel style gluten-fest continental breakfast, but a nice touch.
We got a relatively early start the next morning, and had toyed with the idea of potentially stopping for a night or two in New Orleans. But with the weather still dipping into the mid-30s – we decided it just wouldn’t be as much fun.
So onward we trekked, eying the Mississippi Welcome Center just over the Louisiana state line along I-10. All our resources (our app State Lines, All Stays and OvernightRVParking.com) showed it good for overnighting in, but when we arrived we were greeted with several ‘No Overnight Parking’ signs.
We were disappointed after a very long driving day, but pulled into one of the RV spots – quite surprised that they were all nicely landscaped private pull-thru spots. Better than most campgrounds! We at least needed a decent nap before getting back on the road, so we found the very friendly security host and asked how long we could stay.
Her answer: ‘As long as you don’t put slides out, you can stay until you’re rested… and be sure to grab some free coffee when the welcome center opens in the morning!’.
We had a most restful night’s sleep, and in the morning walked around the new Infinity Space Center right next door. Next time we pass through, we’ll definitely plan time to do the full tour.
Grayton Beach – RVer Convergence!
We realized we were just about 230 miles to the Florida panhandle. Originally we thought we might just park hop our way across the panhandle and check out a bunch of state parks we hadn’t been to before.
But after 3 long driving days, we were ready to get in somewhere and be still a few days.
Way back in September when we were hosting at Cape Blanco Lighthouse, we had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer & Deas of Nealy’s on Wheels. They had invited us to stop by and visit them in their homebase of Grayton Beach, FL. So heading to Grayton Beach State Park (our review) as our landing spot was the ideal location!
We have been super impressed with the park, and snagged a wooded private site with water access to Western Lake. It’s not been the warmest here, but at least it’s warmer than what we left behind!
However, despite desiring some relaxing downtime – it’s been non-stop social fun.
Right upon pulling into our site, our neighbor Monte came over and introduced himself. He’s been following the blog and was surprised to see us pull in next door! As he was pulling out in the morning, we gathered up our social energy and he took us out for a nice dinner to thank us for providing the blog & inspiration. It was a delight to meet up, swap stories and hang out!
The next evening, Jennifer & Deas hosted a gathering at their beautiful home, and introduced us to a bunch of their friends. Half of them were locals and half were other fellow RVers who also happened to be in the area. It was quite the evening!
When we got back to our campsite, we had a note on our door from another blog follower – Randy – who pulled into the campground and was surprised to see our bus parked there.
Wow, this is getting crazy to keep randomly meeting up with so many of our readers!
On Sunday, Deas & Jennifer suggested we all meet-up for lunch at a local bar & grill called The Red Bar – where some local musicians jam in the afternoon.
They also mentioned that legendary “Newgrass” Grammy award winning artist Sam Bush sometimes stops in. Our table was full of 11 RVers gathered for lunch and listening to some great tunes.
And then walked in.. yup.. Sam Bush.
What a treat to experience such a legend in a small intimate venue.
We were also super impressed with just how friendly and approachable Sam is, and he ended up hanging out with us for a bit swapping stories about life on the road in a bus!
So glad we picked Grayton Beach as our stop over spot, it’s been a wonderful one!
Aside from all the social fun, we did manage to get our Sea Eagle kayak out on the water for some paddling – because it would be crazy to bypass the opportunity of a kayak launch at our site.
Here’s some other pictures from our adventures in Grayton Beach:
We have 300 miles to go until our arrival in Cedar Key on Friday, which is ideal to break-up into 2 driving days. We have some errands to accomplish between here and there, so we’ll figure it out as we go and hopefully continue the string of awesome serendipity!