The Texas drought has taken its toll on so many living things. From livestock and crops, to the hundred year old pecan trees that are a huge part of Central Texas. On a recent RV camping trip, we saw one young couple have the scare of their lives. On a normally quiet, weekend night we were sitting outside our fifth wheel enjoying the beautiful evening and sharing “war stories” with our friends and family when we heard the strangest sound. It sounded like a cross between fireworks going off and a car wreck when a huge branch of a pecan tree just fell.
Amazingly, no one was hurt. Two guys were outside their travel trailer when they heard the noise and both men scattered. This branch came crashing down and landed between the truck and trailer and, amazingly, missed both vehicles. As you can imagine, we all went running to their rescue expecting to see the worst and we were all pleasantly surprised to find no one was hurt. This can happen anywhere, even at your own home and pecan trees can really suffer during these drought conditions. The wonderful crew at the RV park had it all cleaned up the next morning and it was one of those great RV stories with a “happy ending.”
So,the moral of the story is, be careful what you park your motorhome, travel trailer or fifth-wheel under because even the mightiest Texas Pecan Trees can come crashing down without notice.
OK, you’ve read all about the many river adventures you can take with your family and now you are finally making real plans for your get away. Before you pack your RV, take some time now to decide what you will need to take with you to make this a fun filled memorable vacation and not a weekend filled with panic.
- Call ahead and ask questions. Does the river you are tubing have a shallow beach area for kids? Is the water level high, meaning larger currents are a little lower allowing for casual floating? This year in Texas we have seen a real drought and water levels in many of the rivers are much lower than normal.
- Pack more than just your swim suit. Make sure you pack water shoes or old tennis shoes to wear in the water. Pack sturdy tubes and make sure you bring more than you actually need. A sharp tree branch can end your tubing fun in a minute.
- Bring sun screen…and apply it several times each day. You’re floating down the river and it’s nice and cool in your tube so all is well. Then you realize the fronts of your legs and your shoulders look like a cooked lobster. Make sure you pack some after sun cooling gel and then hope you won’t need it.
- Drink plenty of water. Even if you enjoy your beer and soft drinks, nothing quenches your thirst and hydrates you more than water.
- If you are wearing sunglasses or glasses make sure they are secured with a neck band. My granddaughter lost her brand new glasses and was devastated until her Oompah and Uncle B found them along the banks of the river in foot deep water. Talk about miracles!
- Pack older lawn chairs that you don’t mind getting soaked in the river water. Sitting in shallow water just relaxing is one of the most refreshing times you could ever have.
- If you are one of those people who just has to stay connected, make sure you invest in a waterproof pack for your cell phone and tie it onto an ice chest or onto your belt. As for us, we just leave our phones at the RV and figure we’re on vacation and no one really needs us that bad at that very minute. After all, they all know where we are and could contact the park office if it is a real emergency.
- Make sure younger children have life jackets and some type floating device. Also, tell them to stay away from the trees along the banks of the river. That is a perfect home for spiders, snakes and other water creatures. Keep an eye on your children at all times. There are no life guards at most river parks and some currents can be strong so you have to watch every move.
- Keep the river clean. If you empty a can or bottle, pack it in a cooler to bring back to shore and dispose of properly. We pick up cans and bottles as we float down the river in an effort to do our part in helping the environment.
And the most important thing to remember on this RV vacation is to Have Fun!! For the past 5 years we have had some of our best family memories at Leisure RV Resort on the San Marcos River in Fentress, Texas. Make memories in your RV with your family and friends. These memories will last forever!