Saturday, August 4, 2012

Random Travel Thoughts

We arrived at Lake Livingston State Park yesterday. I was surprised to find a WiFi connection here. There is a page on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website that lists parks with connectivity, and Lake Livingston SP is not listed. However, as the information on that page indicates, TPWD is in the process of adding WiFi to parks; obviously, Lake Livingston SP is one that has recently been added.

I'll review the park and provide pictures later. For now, I'll simply update our journey so far.

After leaving Omega Farms yesterday, we stopped briefly at Strouhal Tire Center just south of Willis on old Highway 75. Our trailer was due for inspection. The folks at Strouhal were quick and efficient, and we were only there for less than 30 minutes. The inspection cost a mere $14.50. Now we're legal for another year.

When we first checked into Omega Farms, I asked the attendant there if he knew of a place I could get the trailer inspected. The fact that RVs need to have an annual inspection sticker was news to him. He lived in a motor home in the park, and said he had never had his rig inspected.

I've had trouble finding inspection stations since owning the trailer. Last year, I called around San Angelo until we found a place. This year, after several frustrating calls -- few people seem to know where to get RVs inspected, and you can't get them inspected at just any inspection station -- I finally smartened up a bit and decided to consult the Texas Department of Public Safety, who has authority regarding vehicle inspections. So, here's a handy tidbit of information for any of you who can use it. There is a website where you can locate all types of inspection stations. Go to the Inspection Station Locator on the DPS website, and you can quickly find an inspection station near you. After performing a search, be sure to use the key at the top of the entry to determine which stations offer the type of inspection you need. In my case, I was looking for stations that offer a trailer certificate ("TL").

After the inspection, we took Highway 75 north through Willis and then to New Waverly. From there, we headed east on a series of state highways and FM roads to State Livingston SP. It really was a pretty drive, and Coldspring was an especially attractive little community, with numerous interesting shops located around the town square.

After setting up the trailer, we had some lunch and relaxed a while. Last night, we met Donna's half-sister and her family for supper and had a nice visit with them. They have a house on Lake Livingston, and we will visit them again while here.

Although we closed on our house July 23 and began our travels then, we have set July 27 as the official start of our travels because that is when we picked up our trailer from storage. Beginning with Omega Farms in Willis, I plan to keep a tally of travel data. I'll probably change the format as this progresses, but I thought it might be interesting to see our mileage, our costs, and other relevant information.

Mileage: 45 miles (Willis to Lake Livingston SP)
Lodging fees: $175 for 7 nights at Omega Farms; $99 for 6 nights at Lake Livingston SP
Gas cost: $15.07 @ $3.29 per gallon

Actually, I've kept a travel log since we purchased our trailer in late March 2010. Up to now, we've traveled a total of 5510 miles. Our total gas cost while pulling the trailer has been $2065. Our total lodging cost has been $2528. We have spent a total of 112 nights in our trailer. This calculates to a daily cost of roughly $41.

Now, that is an attractive figure, considering hotel rooms alone run much more than that. But remember there is a total cost of ownership when thinking about owning an RV. That total cost includes the purchase price of the trailer, insurance, maintenance, and other costs. If I were to include all of those figures, then my daily rate would be much higher.

But back to travel. I'll develop a format for tracking our travel data, and I'll probably put that information on the RV section of my website at some point.

I'll make the rounds in the park here over the next few days, take some pictures, and post a review of the park. 


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