Turning Point: The Beginning of our RV Travels
Lost Maples State Natural Area, Vanderpool, Texas
In November 2002, after going through a series of life changing events, my husband, Lawrence, thought it might be a good idea for us to try something new. All of his life, including our twenty-five years of marriage, he was first the son of a farmer’s son and then a farmer himself. The farming lifestyle did not provide us with the opportunity to pursue pleasurable activities. All of Lawrence’s time, energy and money were spent on the farm. In January 2002, his farming days abruptly ended and life as we knew it changed. No longer was he tied down to the never-ending grind of farm life. Our new life now included the time and the energy to try new activities. It was our turning point.
Because Lawrence always dreamed of traveling, he thought that we might enjoy RV’ing. Not wanting to spend money on purchasing an RV before knowing if we truly enjoyed it, we rented a class B motor-home. Our intent was to travel a few hours away from our home to Lost Maples State Natural Area in Vanderpool, Texas. We planned on camping at the park for a few nights in order to get the feel of things. We were unaware of the impact that this adventure would have on our life.
Never having been in any type of recreational vehicle before, we were fascinated by the newness of the experience. We felt years younger as we traveled down the road in our rented mini-home. The excitement of conveniently having all of the comforts of home with us was pleasingly new. By the time we drove our first mile, we knew that RV’ing was right for us.
Once we were at Lost Maples State Natural Area, Lawrence effortlessly situated the motor-home in our assigned campsite. We easily fit into our new-found lifestyle. It was as if we had been RV’ing for years.
Our selection of Lost Maples State Natural Area was an excellent choice for our first trip. One of the attractions at the park is the fall foliage of the Canadian Bigtooth maple trees. These trees are unusual for the south Texas area as they are normally found much further to the north. Our stay at the park in November was perfect timing. The striking colors of the fall foliage were truly a breathtaking site.
On our second day at the park, we ventured out on one of the many scenic hiking trails. We walked the 4.6 mile East Trail that was a mixture of steep cliffs and flat lands. The sights, sounds and smells along the trail were exhilarating. The cool crisp fall morning air smelled fresh and clean. The joyous singing of many different species of birds surrounded us with beautiful melodies. The dramatic fall colors of the scenery created a panoramic view of nature in all its glory. We were awe-struck by the experience, believing that it couldn’t get any better. But it did.
At the end of the trail, we unexpectedly came upon a small secluded lake. The crystal clear blue water of the lake glistened like a rare and beautiful sapphire. It was a sight to behold. A young boy sitting at the lake’s edge had his eyes fixated upon his fishing pole cork that gently bobbed up-and-down in the deep blue waters. He was in his own world and unaware of everything else. A cowboy-looking gentleman was off in the distance playing “Amazing Grace” on his fiddle. It was at that moment that I felt as if “all was right in my life.” It was a very memorable experience.
Once our trip was over, we knew that RV’ing was right for us. Without a doubt, our next step was to find and purchase our own RV. Our travels had just begun.
“Turning Point” is my essay on our first RV trip to Lost Maples State Natural Area in Vanderpool, Texas on November 24 & 25th, 2002.