I started my RV and Park Host journey at Lake Livingston State Park. A group of friends and I went to Lake Livingston to "camp" for the weekend and it was the first time pulling my RV.
Truck prices were out of control so my plan was to rent a truck until prices came down. So I rented a truck from a place in Buda, TX... where I bought my RV. I pulled the empty bumper pull travel trailer and drove back to pick up my car. When I first started out, I also had a 5x10 utility trailer filled with HTXO/BCO gear! Camping equipment, SUPs, Kayaks, etc. So every time I moved, I had to rent a truck and do the trip twice.
Since I schedule park host jobs for about 3 months at a time, I figured this wouldn't be so bad. But my ultimate goal was to figure out exactly what I needed to carry with me, what could stay in storage and what needed to go. The Ultimate Declutter. 😀
Lake Livingston State Park - Jun 2021 - Oct 2021
Staring in June 2021, I park hosted at Lake Livingston State Park. Luckily, at this park I was an Interpreter Park Host. This means that instead of cleaning bathrooms and camp sites, I worked directly with the Interpretive Park Ranger to help with programming. So I learned how to lead Archery Events, supported kayaking and SUP events, and my favorite, talked about the bees! Lake Livingston State Park has a live bee hive inside the nature center. So every Sunday I would stand there and tell people about the bees and it was so much fun. And if you know me, you might have guessed, yes... I listened to several bee podcasts. And it was so much fun to know that I already knew a lot of what the podcasts talked about.
During this time for BCO we hosted SUP and hiking events. I was able to take a ton of videos on the Lone Star Hiking Trail, about plants and animals. We even did a sunset SUP event. The sunsets are amazing at this park!
Huntsville State Park - October 2021 - Jan 2022
I never actually planned to host at Huntsville State Park. While I love this park, I thought this park might be too busy and not quite the retreat I was looking for. But I couldn't have been more wrong! I was supposed to host at Colorado Bend State Park. But they are in a flood zone and therefore, you have to have a vehicle to move RV. So renting a truck to move my trailer wasn't an option. So with a few days left before I was to arrive, I needed a new plan. I reached out the park ranger I worked with at Lake Livingston and he suggested Huntsville. They had a spot, he recommended me and a few days later, I was in!
I had a spot at the top of the hill. This time I was a maintenance park host so my job was to keep the sites cleaned. It was perfect for me and Tucker. We would walk first thing in the morning and pick up trash. Then I would put him up and go back with the Mule to clean firepits or blow the leaves. Being fall... there were a lot of leaves to blow! So I would put on a podcasts and off I went.
My favorite part... the fog over the lake. It seemed like every time I was out, there was this awesome fog over the lake.
My least favorite part... the public feeds the alligators. During my stay, someone actually reached over and pet an alligator. I'll have to do another post on wild animal etiquette and the danger you put yourself in as well as the animal you're feeding.
Buescher State Park - Jan 2022 - March 2022
How do you pronounce it? Bueschuer, Busher, Bisher? According to the owner who donated the land, its Bisher. Busher is also an acceptable pronunciation.
During my time here, a Carolina Wren bird started to build a nest in my Gator. Check out this blog post to see how I moved the birds nest and the results. https://htxoutdoors.com/spring-birds/https://bcoadventures.com/spring-birds/
I loved how peaceful this park is. As a park host, my job was painting the signs. The parks changed their color branding so we painted all of the street signs. It was great to make my own schedule, sit outside, enjoy the wildlife as I painted.
Bastrop State Park - April 2022 - Jun 2022
I just finished park hosting at Bastrop State Park. There is so much hiking around Bastrop. I didn't do as much as I wanted but I did enjoy being a little closer to a town with an HEB, live music, farmer's market, coffee, etc!
We're headed back to Bastrop State Park in Sept for our Rock Out Weekend Trip.
The best part of park hosting here was helping clear a trail that has been closed since the 2011 wildfires. The trail should be open some time this year, 2022. The other great part about this park was working with park rangers who fight the fires and maintain the land to prevent fires. I learned a lot.
I love park hosting! In exchange for 25 hours of week, I get to fully submerge myself in the state parks with great people! At the same time, after volunteering 25 hours a week for the past year, I just wanted a bit of a break. So I'm taking a break from park hosting until Oct. I go back to Huntsville State Park in Oct til Jan. Until then, I'm going to bounce around TX and figure out what I really have left to do to organize for longer travel trips.
I also want to figure out what my optimal time in 1 spot is. Would l like moving every 4 days, every week, every 2 weeks? Or would I prefer a month or more at a time in a place. The new few months, I'm moving every 1-2 weeks.
Tomorrow is the end of my first 2 week trip and I feel really good about 2 weeks. It wasn't too short where I feel like I'm doing a lot of work already to prep for the move and it hasn't been so long that I'm itching for something new yet.
I think most people who get an RV, grow into their RV. Since I went from a house with a ton of outdoor gear for the clubs, to an RV, I feel like I'm doing it backwards. I'm trying to figure out what exactly I should have with me, how to organize it to make set up and break down the easiest possible, and ultimately, where to go next!