It’s Tuesday afternoon and it’s a sticky 90°. We just settled in at the McKinney State Park, just south of Austin, sitting in the shade sippin’ on a cold one. Hank and Winnie are passed out under the picnic table, trying to move as little as possible. I can’t believe how fast February passed us by.
From Mississippi we set sail for Texas. Before hitting Houston we turned south and headed for the coast with no plan and no destination - we'd would figure it out as we went. Around 6pm we found our way to a small beach front public park near Surfside TX, and cooked up some skillet hash for dinner. Our plan was to lay low and hope the Authorities would not notice our 'discreate' vehicle parked in the darkness…. we were wrong. Round 9pm a police cruiser and two officers approached the Winnie and advised us we were not permitted to stay in the park overnight. The officers did however provide directions to a beach just outside the city limits where we could park the Winnie overnight and so we headed on our way. We pulled onto the deserted beach and parked beside the dunes. The next morning we awoke to a beautiful Gulf coast sunrise.
Later that day we settled in Victoria, TX and stayed a few days at a very pleasant city-run RV spot on the outskirts of town. Only $12 a night with all the services we needed! Nestled in a huge city park, this area was ruled by several herd of deer and we (and Winnie - the dog, not RV) had some very close encounters. Our stay in Victoria culminated in a great show in a beautiful re-purposed riverside pump-house aptly called The Pump House.
Saturday brought a double header of gigs that started in the afternoon at Goliad Brewing in the tiny town of Goliad, TX. We played in a huge beer garden home to some mighty fine food trucks – including a southern cookin’ Chicken & Waffle truck that offered servings so good you’d wanna eat till you exploded (which we did). It was definitely a highlight and we’ll be making a return visit next year for sure.
By 3pm we were on the road to Corpus Christi for the night shift at Harrison’s Landing. As we began unloading the gear, we quickly realized we’d be playing on an open-air, floating barge. We set up in one corner with the Corpus Christi skyline at our back, the calm Gulf waters below, and played to a great crowd of folks. Only a few times did a local tour boat wiz by and throw some wake, but we managed to keep our newly acquired sea legs steady. During a break we meet a great couple from Corpus who had several tips on the area including a public beach we could park for the night. Just after 1am we drove over the dunes, up onto the beach and settled in for a great nights sleep with the Gulf breeze blowing through the window
The next day we made the long, dusty drive south to the Rio Grande Valley and pulled old Winnie into a gorgeous RV park, Llano Grande. The park is a 5-Star facility and boy was it lux. The resort was definitely the nicest place we’ve ever stayed and it made our two weeks of downtime feel like a vacation. Our early trips to the pool paid off when we meet a fellow Canuck named Larry from Hunstville. Larry always sported a foam-front, mesh back trucker cap, had a wide bristle moustache and spoke perfect Canadian - sounding very much like Doug MacKenzie, don’t cha’ know! He kept us in the know of park events and even invited us to a potluck jam that he was hosting that weekend. Of course we went and had a beauty time – best park jam, ever!
Since we were only 15 minutes from the Mexico border, we took a day trip one afternoon and vowed to spend all of our money on cheap beer and churros – which we fulfilled with ease. We also played a few clutch gigs in south Texas including at great night at The Prelude, a music joint owned by some great friends we meet the last time we were in the deep south.
And that, in a nutshell, was our February. We’ve got a few shows this weekend and will be bombing around on the motorcycle the next few days to get the lay of the land. I’m excited to spend some time checking out Austin and will hopefully have some things to report soon.
Hope y’all are doing well and keepin’ the home fires burning. Here’s a few shots from our afternoon hike around the park.