Sunday, December 1, 2013

Livingston, Texas .... Escapees

We drove from Gainesville, TX to Livingston last Sunday, Lacy traveling in her favorite spot.  It does get a little boring ..... but sometimes, you have to suffer to reap the rewards at the end of the day ....

Lovely roads with lots of greenery.  The colors change late in southern Texas

Here's the entrance to Escapees' Rainbow's End RV Park and National Headquarters

Here's our yard for at least two weeks

Escapees National Headquarters Building

There is a club house with large meeting room and kitchen for events; also, a nice library for book exchange, as well as one for videos 

And, next to the club house a 'rest stop' ice cream shop

Many Escapees take advantage of no state taxes in Texas to establish 'residence' here.  They purchase a lot from the organization and build various kinds of structures that are used, along with their RV, for a stopping-off point during their travels.   This is a sample of one.  They may continue to live in their travel home, but have added storage and room for entertaining and visitors.

Here is the Escapees National Headquarters building just a few feet down the road from my site

Brrr, it was cold ....

When we arrived last week, this area, along with much of the US, was suffering unseasonably cold weather.  The temp was dropping into the low 20s at night and not climbing much higher that the upper 30s during the day.  One afternoon, as I was talking with the checker in a local supermarket she said, "This is the first snow we've had in ten years."  What?  Sure enough, I looked outside to the parking lot and it was snowing!  It was time to get back to Floribunda and curl up in our nice cozy home with some good books.

I've really been in reading mode and this cold snap gave me the perfect excuse to just hunker down with some good reading material and feel very satisfied with my life  Yup, I've read five books in 7 days, a couple of which were really excellent, some just good.  Yesterday, I finished "Killing Lincoln," by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard and thought it excellent reading for history buffs, like myself.  I'm planning to read "Killing Jesus" and "Killing Kennedy," by the same authors, in the near future.  The authors' intention is to give an accurate account of these catastrophic events in chronological  order; they are meant to be an objective presentation of facts from the historical perspective and not any kind of treatise of their personal beliefs and opinions.  "Killing Lincoln" was fast-moving and very informative regarding the last days of the Civil War, the surrender of Robert E. Lee's Confederacy and the events leading up to, and following, the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

I've made several trips to the exchange library to return already-read books for new adventures.

On Friday and Saturday the weather returned to normal for this time of year, sunny with temperatures in the 60s; so I've ventured out for some drives to get the feel of this part of Texas.  Much of the scenery reminds me of Oregon:  rolling hills, lots of trees and greenery; while some really lets me know I'm in the south:  swamps, swamplands, dense foliage including kudzu, that invading vine that can cause ecological havoc with native flora.  And, everywhere I look ... flags of the US and Texas, and churches galore.  Livingston is a town of about 5 thousand people; I think there must be one church for every ten people!

This morning Lacy and I took a drive around Livingston and out to a neighboring town, Onalaska, on Lake Livingston, about 14 miles from here ...

Lunch with the locals on Saturday across the street from the Polk County Courthouse

Polk County Courthouse; Livingston is the County Seat

Heritage Park, Livingston

Heritage Park historical cabin

Polk County Museum

Texas ranch-style houses in Livingston

Lots of room and lots of greenery

A little view area alongside the main thoroughfare in Livingston 

The "Real Pit" barbecue restaurant

Trees are turning color and losing their leaves all at the same time

Couldn't resist a shot at this Texas "Badman"

Lake Livingston is a reservoir in the East Texas Piney Woods; it was built and is owned and operated by the Trinity River Authority of Texas (TRA) under contract with the City of Houston for water supply purposes.  It encompasses 130 square miles, is located in four Texas counties and has an average depth of 55 feet.

Shots at the KOA RV Park on Lake Livingston

KOA clubhouse and offices in background

Lake Livingston is a large

And, lastly, this is an entrepreneurial effort on the part of some small business owner right outside of Livingston.  I've passed it several times; it puts a smile on my face

That's all for today ... back to my book!


  1. Thanks for the tour of Livingston and the Escapees headquarter. I've read about it for years. It's kind of a mecca for some fulltimers. Was glad to see what it looks like. But please -- as a native Oregonian it pains me to see my state compared to Texas. That's nearly as bad as saying Oregon bears some resemblance to California. Stay warm.

    1. Hi Gil:
      Earlier in my life I would have agreed with you about the comparison between Oregon and Texas; but having now visited pretty much all parts of this huge state, I have to say this area is really lovely. I also do think some areas of Oregon and California resemble one another - mainly the coastal areas.
      I'm sitting here with the door open, as the temp right now is about 64 degrees. Unfortunately, it's a little overcast and I like to see sunshine, but otherwise it's very nice.

  2. Mom,
    Looks nice in Livingston. I just read a book this AM that Kari gave Alice a while ago called The Five People You Meet In Heaven. I really enjoyed it...

    1. Hi Jeff:
      Yes, I've read that book; and, also his "Tuesdays With Maury," which is fantastic. Think I'll look into his "Have a Little Faith," I think it's called. The countryside around here is really lovely; although I'd be a little concerned about the heat and humidity if I were here in summer!

  3. Sure looks nice there in Texas! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Mary-Pat, Second Jeff's suggestion on Mitch Albom's book. Looks like you are enjoying a relaxing time in Livingston...are you going to become an Escapee yourself someday??? Sure save a bunch on taxes, not sure about your insurance plan, however. We all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, some came over from Berkley (I took him back Friday), and we just had an enjoyable time, up to the point a few hours ago that I groomed Skruffy and Bubba and gave them a bath, that is always a chore. --Dave

    1. Hi Dave, Yes, I'm a Mitch Albom fan. I did join Escapees but am still not sure how to handle the medical insurance question of establishing a residence some place new. Needs a little more thought. Glad Thanksgiving was enjoyable; I also had a nice, albeit low-key day.

  5. Mary-Pat, this is one of the best blog tours I've seen. Thanks for the variety and good photography.

  6. Hard to believe that you had snow there. I appreciated the Escapees tour as I have heard about it but never seen anything. Glad you are enjoying your days no matter the weather.

    1. Yes, it's really hard to believe we had snow only about 5 days ago. Today, it was 70 and even got hot in Floribunda. I had to turn on the fan!
      Lacy and Eleanor loved lying in the sun coming through the windows and door.

  7. You've shown me sights I haven't seen. I have been through Livingston a bazilion times ... great Walmart to spend a going through night. Highway 59 is a shortcut for me when traveling from Arkansas down to Port A or over to Austin.

    The Hill Country is well worth a visit. Lots of German settlement type little towns. Just love it there.

    East Texas and the Hill Country are the greenest part of the State ... great bird watching in Texas. HUGE ol state with a lot of variety from the Panhandle to the gulf ~ East and West ...

    1. As I mentioned to Gil, above, this part of the state is just so different than other areas that are arid and windy and dusty. However, I washed my hair today and it's become curlier and frizzier as the day's gone on. All through Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas panhandle and Oklahoma it's been low humidity. I actually thought I might have a pageboy for the first time in my life. No way in this humidity. Oh well, I'm loving my introduction to this part of the country.

  8. That is a beautiful area of Texas we, were at Lake Livingston juts out side of Trinity last spring and juts fell in love with the area, hopefully will get back there again.

    1. Hi George:
      Yes, I have to say that, after having visited other areas like El Paso, Dallas and Amarillo, I was very pleasantly surprised to see the terrain here. It's really lovely. I'm catching up on your blog; when Sharon said she loves your food photography I was hooked as I love to cook and bake and need to start taking photos more often.

  9. Mary-Pat:
    I have been enjoying your travels. I still have not figured out how to sign up as a follower. I think you would be interested in looking at my website as you will be traveling close to a lot of the Peter Toth statues. you can log on to Keep on traveling, Dave Schumaker

    1. HI Dave:
      I will go to your blog. I think you can add my blog on your own home (dashboard) page. On my I have 'blogs I read' on the left hand side of the page; there's a click to 'add blog to reading list.' Then you fill in the website:

  10. Apropos of your computer problem:

    Do you have the Clicking option turned on for the trackpad? Go to System Preferences>Trackpad and turn it off if it is on.

    1. Hi Jim:
      I'd found it this morning! I woke up thinking, "I'll just de-select all the choices and see what happens." Mac has an option to simply lightly touch the track pad with the same result as a click. As soon as I turned that off my problem ceased to be!
      Dinner was very good and lots of fun last night. Thanks

  11. Loved all of your photos - especially Lacy with her legs crossed. :-) I hope you're enjoying your travels!

    1. Hi Cheryl:
      I'd love an email with an update regarding my comment-question. I so happy you're back with the posts.