It’s that time of year again…snake season. Love ‘em, or hate ‘em, snakes are an integral part of our ecosystem and live in places that we as RVers love to visit. In fact all of us at PPL Motorhomes have our fair share of snake stories. Now, I didn’t choose this topic to frighten, or scare you, but more as an informative and educational piece. For example, did you know that 85% of snakes in Texas aren’t poisonous? That’s just one of many things I learned from the Texas Parks and Wildlife video below.
Remember, when we visit our forests and parks, we are visiting a habitat of wild creatures, so it is our responsibility to tread lightly and avoid contact with the wildlife. Snakes, like all other creatures, just want to be left alone. Watch when stepping over logs, or putting your hands in cool dark places. These are prime areas for snakes to be as they try to escape the heat.
Have any good snake stories? Leave me a comment below, or come into PPL Motorhomes and we can swap snake tales.
PPL Motorhomes wants to say, “Thank You” on behalf of our staff and all of those who buy parts, or leave their consignment RVs with us. We all have one thing in common, we all love our State parks. However, I think that most of us forget that before we ever visit one of our beautiful State Parks there are volunteers already there cleaning up, beating paths, painting facilities and running tours. There are there day in and day out making sure that our experiences are nothing but memorable. They also stay long after we’ve left the park to ensure that the experience is the same for other RVers, campers and hikers time and time again.
The bottom line is that without State Park volunteers, we would not have the parks. They meet, greet and curtail the visitors making sure to take care of the park and the visitors. In fact, the park hosts can be some of the greatest assets to the parks. Many are out there to make sure your camping, or RVing experience is terrific.
Here’s a little insight as to what they do.
Remember, the next time you are out at a State Park, take the time to thank a volunteer for their commitment to making Texas Parks beautiful through what amounts to nothing less than 8 hours of backbreaking work daily. State Park Volunteers are the backbone of our Parks System and without them, well, I’d hate to imagine what sate our parks would be in.
If you are retired and looking for something to do on your RV vacation, consider volunteering at the State Parks you are visiting. Visit this link for more information: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/involved/volunteer/spdest/ There is little more rewarding than knowing your made a significant difference by being a steward of the great State of Texas.
Here’s something that you don’t see every day. RV vs. Bridge, who do you think will win? The bridge will, of course. If there is one thing that all of us here atPPL Motorhomes know, it’s the height of our RVs in relation to the bridges and low hanging tree limbs and powerlines along our routes. You should always know the clearance height of your RV before attempting to navigate under anything. A good idea is to write it on an index card and tape it directly to your dashboard.
Low bridges like in the picture above are rare, but can be found across the state – usually off of the beaten path. I’m really not sure how such an extreme miscalculation could have happened other than to speculate that the driver either forgot he was towing his rig (which seems unlikely), or he wasn’t paying attention to signage that usually precedes a low overpass. When venturing into rural areas, there is a possibility that you will encounter a low bridge, so watch for warning signs.
Keep in mind too though, that’s it’s not just bridges that you have to think about while in tow.
The bottom line is that you always need to be extra aware while towing your rig. It’s very easy to get lazy and start assuming that you will fit under every bridge, overhang or protruding tree. When you stop paying attention is when these things creep up on you and chances are you are going to do irreparable damage to your beloved Texas RV.
We all know someone who has either had an accident of this nature, or has come really close to having one. It can easily be our rig that is the next victim of us not paying attention to our surroundings and knowing our RV’s height. They put measurements on over passes for a reason folks, don’t ignore them. PPL motorhomes wants you to enjoy that RV for many more years to come, so go and put the height of your RV somewhere obvious on your dashboard for future reference.
All of us at PPL Motorhomes are always looking for new adventures and places to visit and last year RV Nana and her bunch visited an amazing place: The Brazos Bend State Park and Observatory. For those of you who haven’t been to this amazing place you’ll be please to know that this destination isn’t short on things to do and see. You’ll find really great bike trails, beautiful scenery and lots of wildlife. In fact, we had a bag of marshmallows out for S’mores one evening and a raccoon scurried down a nearby tree, grabbed the entire open bag and ran back up to enjoy his snack. Within minutes it looked like it was raining giant marshmallows as he tore into the bag.
On that same trip, we were riding our bikes along the lake and came right up on an alligator (10’ long – no exaggeration). He was peacefully sunning himself. At that point, I was on the lead bike and I motioned for everyone to just keep peddling and move to the left quietly. He acted as if he had never even seen us, but it sure spooked all of us from my 9 year old grandson to myself.
Brazos Bend State Park, approximately 28 miles southwest of Houston, covers roughly 5000 acres, with an eastern boundary of 3.2 miles fronting on the Brazos River on the southeast border of Fort Bend County. This was the area of Texas’ first Anglo colonization. It was purchased by the state in 1976-77 and was opened to the public in 1984.
Archeological materials show that prehistoric people visited this area, possibly as early as 300 BC; in early historical times, the Capoque band of the Karankawa Indians roamed between the mouth of the Brazos River and Galveston Bay and may have traveled inland as far as Brazos Bend. In the early 19th century, this area of Texas was the site of Stephen F. Austin’s first colonial land grant from Mexico, and present park land was included in a grant to Abner Harris and a partner named William Barrett in 1827. Most of riverfront was sold shortly after the Texas Revolution, and records show that in 1845, part of the park and 2400 feet of river frontage were in the hands of cotton brokers who lived in Brazoria. At the time, the Brazos River was one of the principal routes of commerce, and it may be that the brokerage firm used the area for one of its riverboat landings. In recent times, the land on which the park is located was used for cattle grazing, pecan harvesting, and as a private hunting preserve.
Texas is filled with amazing parks to visit and Brazos Bend State Park is only one of them. In fact, that is one of the greatest things about Texas, we have all types of terrain from mountains, to hills and valleys to seas, we have it all. So much so, that sometimes it can be difficult to decide where we want to go next and the best part is, these places are virtually in our backyard.
What are your favorite places to visit in Texas? Where should we go for our next family outing? RV Nana and PPL Motorhomes welcomes all suggestions, just drop us a line.
I have been with PPL Motor Homes since 1980 and have been fortunate to grow up with the company. A native Houstonian, I am married to a wonderful Cajun from Lafayette, Louisiana and we've been able to mix the two worlds and build a fun life together. We have 3 children and 7 grandchildren, so it is obvious that I was a Nana long before I became RV Nana. I also happen too be the 2011-2012 President of the Texas RV Association, so you know the RV lifestyle...is my style.