STE2 Hop 9: Rockport TX to Brownsville TX

STE2 Hop 9

STE2 Hop 9

247 miles via TX 35, US 181, I-37, US 77, I-2, US 83, FM 511 and local roads at each end and to find a gas station in San Jose TX. Cumulative tow miles: 1912. Truck miles: 460. Cumulative truck miles: 2390.

This was the worst hop of the trip. Why? Let me count the ways.

  1. Our intended path over to US 281 included a bypass, on FM 1930, around Alice. Well, FM 1930 was a very narrow road which I opted to skip, so we had to go through Alice.  Not that Alice was a bustling metropolis, but this unexpected adjustment to our route was indicative of what was to come.
  2. Our planned refueling stop was at the H-E-B in San Jose TX.  But the GPS missed it and told me to take the next exit.  There was no way to get back to it except to execute a very long U-turn.  So we went off on local roads looking for a suitable service station.
  3. We found an Exxon, but it had only one diesel pump and some guy was camped out there, apparently having gone into the convenience store to get a corn dog and chat up the clerk.  I decided to go on, which meant snaking my way through the pumps.  I had to move the window washing canister and give Jett a heart attack as I got within 4 inches of pumps both up front and in the rear.
  4. We chose the WalMart next.  I was able to fill up there, but exiting required a very tight left turn.  A bus driver helped me navigate my way out of there.
  5. The staff at the campground gave me the wrong directions to our site and when I got there I found a trailer set up where I was supposed to go.  A call to the office resulted in a reassignment two sites down.  But the markings on the sites were so poor that I tried to enter at the wrong point.  Other campers corrected me on that, but the turn was so tight that I couldn’t make it.  I had to go around and back into my “pull-through” site.
  6. When we started to set up I discovered that we had no electrical power.  Another call to the office.  Apparently power was out to about a quarter of the park. They would look into it.
  7. We went out to dinner and then decided to look for generators.  I found one that was plenty powerful enough, but too big (it would have to fit into the bed of the truck). I found another that was small enough but not powerful enough.  The “just right” one was out of stock.
  8. When we got back the power was on. But the freezer had been off for about 8 hours. We had to toss the ice and we are still considering whether anything else needs to go.

Our home in Rockport TX for 3 nights was the Route 1069 RV Park. This is a bare bones park with a lot of long-term residents. Very small – maybe 50 sites. Our pull-through was small (we had to park cross-ways behind the RV), but at least we could get into it. And, quite surprisingly, the park had very good cable TV – over 70 channels. The park still had some residual damage from Hurricane Harvey (see the previous post for photos of its trashed playground set) and they were cutting down tilting trees.

Odd bus

Odd bus

Our site

Our site

There were some old rigs in the park, including one unique converted tour bus. No slides, maybe 300 sq ft interior space and 3 air conditioning units on the roof. 100 sq ft per unit? Just what goes on in there?

I didn’t like the park at first, but we actually had a good time there. I would return.

I spent the first day touring some RV parks in the area (and found one that was worth a second look) and taking photos of the hurricane damage. The second day I took Jett back to see the one park that impressed me and to show her some of the devastation. We dined out at the only restaurant open for business. I won’t mention it because I can’t recommend it.

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