Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Sam Houston National Forest

The Sam Houston National Forest is quite sprawling, and there are established campsites as well as free camping sites.  We decided to go to an area near New Waverly, Texas, where we had options as to a camping spot.  We settled on an open area (this past Friday) where a few other campsites were already in place.  It isn't super clean here and there's only one vault toilet with no toilet paper!  But, it's a free spot so we aren't complaining.

Little did we know that the nearby trail, which is a multi-use trail, would attract a large grouping of dirt bikers over the weekend.  Although we listened to revving motors most of Saturday and Sunday, it was kind of interesting to watch!

Our neighbors, Cindy and Raylene, were wonderful and joined us around our campfire for a couple of hours!  Their dog, Honey, was the sweetest!

Cindy is backpacking the 100 mile Lone Star trail and this was a weekend to rest and cache.  She is doing this to raise funds for the trail.  Cindy sleeps in the coolest bridge hammock, handmade by Brad of Warbonnet.  She let me try it and it was super comfy!  It has a bunch of great features.  It is always the best to meet awesome people along the way!

Sunday night we met James, who is also on the road full time and he joined us at our fire for good conversation.

Red-cockaded woodpecker are in the forest, but no luck spotting any.  We will probably return to the forest for more searching and camping.  

Thursday night we camped at a really nice state park, Llano River SP.  Friday morning we walked a trail to bird, and sat in a bird blind overlooking a water feature.  Very active area: Northern Cardinal, black-crested titmouse, orange-crowned warbler, house finch, field sparrow, black-throated sparrow, white-crowned sparrow, and pine  siskins with bright yellow on the wings.  While we walked, we met a naturalist, Holly, who got us on the song of the olive sparrow. Also saw ladder-backed woodpecker.
A real highlight was seeing an indigo bunting as we arrived at the park Friday.  Holly told us that was quite early for this bird!  

Monday, the 7th, we arrived in Livingston to camp and run some errands and make some more appointments.  Rain and thunderstorms predicted for the week.  At least the car and teardrop are getting a much needed bath!  The pollen is suddenly everywhere.

Will be planning some trips here in Texas for some early spring migration birding.