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  • Monica Stanley

Travel Time - Spicewood/Krause Springs/Dinosaur Valley State Park, Texas

The time finally came to take Vern the Van on a solo-trip... he and I on the open road... just doin' our thang.

I chose to head to Spicewood, Texas because I love the Hill Country, it isn't too far from home or town, but mostly I wanted to scope out Krause Springs for a family camping trip later on and needed to see if it would be something our girls would like.

It is less than an hour from several great outdoor spots, like Pedernales Falls State Park, Longhorn Cavern State Park, and so much more!

Vern did great on the drive. In fact, he was great the whole trip... except when he lost power and wouldn't recharge or maintain any, which made things awfully cold when it got dark. I went to the gas station and got a Styrofoam cooler and some ice in an attempt to keep my small amount of refrigerated items from spoiling.

Beyond the unexpected loss of power, it was a pretty decent little trip.

I camped at Krause Springs and it was nicer than I thought it would be! It was quite pretty and had lots to see and do, perfect for meandering about. A pool, water hole complete with rope swing, a garden with melodious wind chimes galore, and some free-range hiking as you please! The pavilions and space would make this ideal for a group family camping trip. However, the spring-fed showers were FREEZING. Like, I straight noped-out on that! The hosts were helpful and they had lots of great spaces to choose from, especially if you aren't looking for full RV hookups.

I planned some super gourmet meals for my trip. It was bagels and cream cheese for breakfasts, peanut butter banana bagel sandwiches for lunches, and Frito pie for dinners. I wanted to keep it super low-key since it was just me and not deal with a bunch of dishes. I'm glad that was the choice I made because I wouldn't have been able to wash my items without the power to run the water pump anyway! I did cheat on night 2 and had some pizza and a couple drinks at a local distillery on my way back from hiking. Iron Wolf was chill, with good food and drinks!

I look forward to coming back to Krause Springs with my kids. They'll love it here!

I did some very light hiking around the property on my first afternoon in town. They have some water falls, stone ledges, and really beautiful trees at Krause Springs. I look forward to getting deeper in their land next time when I don't waste too much of mine dealing with battery inverters.

On day two I drove to Pace Bend Park to see if I could find some good hiking trails to get lost in thought on - something I very much needed this time around. This was a good place to hike. A balance of easy and some challenge, sun and shade, but I did get a bit turned around a couple of times which was not preferred. I had plenty of water and found my way back without incident, but the trail wasn't marked as well as it could have been, for me at least. I didn't get a ton of photos from there, because the side I was on didn't have a bunch of "vistas" or the things that were really cool didn't photograph that well - that happens. Several cool setups for mountain bikers.

On day three I decided to hit up Dinosaur Valley State Park for a hike on my drive home, since I would pass right through Glen Rose anyway and I needed to scout the trail to see if they kids can handle it well. I found the trail that was easy and would keep them satisfied, as well as let them see some dinosaur tracks. And then I found the boulders... so that was fun. I was sweating pretty good by the end of that little stretch of trail, but it was fun and really pretty.

I quickly learned that the upper trail was the more walkable path to where I was also headed. Either way, I made it and it was fun to have to climb a few boulders again and be the only one on the trail for a moment.

When we brought the kids to Glen Rose a few years ago, the State Park was essentially not open for the tracks hiking at that time so we did all the other fun stuff that Glen Rose offers. But I look forward to taking them back here to explore the state park more, especially since it is only an hour from home. That makes a weekend trip easier than most.

Clearly this trip was far more about being in the woods than what food adventures I could have. I need those trips too from time to time and I got to have lots of solo hiking time in the woods - so the goal was met.

Time away can be hard. And when it doesn't go as planned (no power wasn't fun) it can really put a dent in things. I enjoyed my solo time and I look forward to doing it again with my kids in tow to see what other fun things they see that I missed.

Oh! And I had the bright idea to use the extra pillow cases as wraps for the legs to the dining table to keep them from clanging together as I drove... worked perfect!

Other than the power outage, Vern handled the road like a pro and didn't seem to want to stop driving either. I'll be counting the days until we can hit the road again.

Til the next one,


#vernthevan #adventureswithvern #travel #artfullyunfiltered #camping #hiking

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