Sunday, May 12, 2013

Kamping - KOA Style

Don't let the photo trick you: it's not an RV parking lot. 

See the little black car/truck on the road to the left?
It's right next to our spot. (Photo: Google Maps)
You can park your Pop-Up there, too.  Or a tent.  Or heck, forget all of that and just rent a cabin!  (Mom almost did!) We met Walter, the KOA campground host extraordinaire, at the RV show in Houston earlier this year.  His friendly demeanor and great humor really made us feel at home before we even got there (of course, the free night's stay didn't hurt either!)  We drove up to Rusk Friday evening - boy, are we loving the late sunsets these days! - to spend the weekend in site 41. 
We were right along the edge of the campgrounds, facing west - so we had an amazing view of Comanche County. (Walt told us we were in the second highest spot in the county - beat out by about 1 foot from the camper beside us!)  The sun rose to our backs, so it made for a great morning.  The only major downside would have to be the mid-day sun overhead with no shade.  But you know what? The sunset more than made up for it!
Photo courtesy RDB
We were really pleasantly surprised with the KOA.  Having never stayed at one before, we were under the false impression that it would just be a parking-lot full of RVs, noisy kids, and way-too-close neighbors, but this little spot nestled in the piney woods of East Texas was a true treasure.  (And by far, it had some of the cleanest bathhouses this side of the Mississippi!)  They had events going for Mother's Day but even at that, it wasn't intrusive to the quiet and peaceful atmosphere that we long for when we go camping.
We even found a place to hang the hammock for a bit.
Less than 10 minutes from the campground is the Rusk Depot of the Texas State Railroad.  This park was a part for the Texas State Parks System up until 2007, when it was branched off to become a part of the railroad.  Both RDB and I were excited to spend the day riding the steam-engine powered train from Rusk to Palestine.  Enjoyed it so much (and took so many photos) it deserves it's own post - you can read about that adventure here.
Mom joined us for dinner Saturday night (and then coffee Sunday morning, before heading back home).  It's always such a pleasure to have company when we camp - and to get to treat Mom to a sunset steak dinner for Mother's Day? I don't think it gets much better than that.  Of course, I think she mostly just wanted to come play with the Grand-dog....

Once again, it was a wonderful weekend.  Honestly, I think it was one of the best we've had all season - I'm not sure anything can come close to getting to ride a real-live train all day.  It's been something I have always wanted to do.  And to get to go camping, too?  With my best friend? And my Mom?  I think she said it best: 
I am fortunate.
For more camping photos, go here.


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