So after getting run off from New Orleans we finally found shelter at a Cracker Barrel. We were told we could park out front and that is exactly what we did. We were the only RV that spent the night that night. We slept pretty good considering we were very close to the highway. I think we were tired with all the excitement in New Orleans. Anyway we always look around us and see if there was anything we should see or do before we head out to our next destination. As luck would have it there was a Planet fitness 2 miles away so we decided to take a shower there before setting out. I always love it at Planet Fitness when they say enjoy your workout with such a “you can do it attitude!” Well so far we have always enjoyed our workout. All that showering and toweling off can really wear you out. Ha Ha! Anyway while I was walking Jasper I looked on an app called I Overlander. It is super helpful in so many ways but today it was extra helpful. It said that there was a city campground with a free dumping station. Oh and it was only one mile away and also had potable water. Winning!
Now just in case you are not into RV’s you may wonder what a dump station is all about. Well our RV is like a lot of other RV’s has three tanks. A 17 gallon fresh water tank, a 14 gallon grey water tank and a 14 gallon black water tank. We can carry 17 gallons of freshwater which can be used for anything from drinking, washing dishes, showering, brushing teeth to flushing the toilet. So if you use the kitchen sink or the shower it goes to the grey tank and if you use the bathroom sink or the toilet it goes to the black tank. So after 3 to 5 days we usually need to find a place to dump them and start the process all over. When you are boondocking it can become super important to time this just right. It is not near the horrible experience that it sounds like. But it does need to be done in a timely manner. So when we were done with our tanks we headed back to Cracker Barrel and ordered a breakfast (To pay them back for the free night.) to go and hit the road. We had a full tank of gas from the night before so we were ready to boondock on the beach.
On our way we saw that we were going to be within 15 minutes of a Jolliebee so we headed their for lunch. It was pretty much in the middle of Houston. Anyway when we arrived we found out that it had a Red Ribbon Bakery, a Max’s and a Cherry Foodarama. We had just pulled into little Manila! Lyn was all smiles and wide eyed because all of these restaurants and stores where from the Philippines. In other words we hit the jack pot! I walked Jasper while Lyn went into Jollibee and Red Ribbon. Lets just say we are both dieting when all this food is gone. Of course that will be days from now. Ha Ha!
We have really wanted to camp on Magnolia Beach since we decided to do this trip. It blows my mind that you can drive right up and park about 10 yards from the water and its free and there is plenty of space. It actually faces north on the bay and the sand is made out of finely crushed shells. Whats great about this is any kind of vehicle can drive right up to the beach. We drove up and down twice to try to find the perfect spot. We actually found a spot between two campers that had their front doors facing away from each other. We pulled in and had our own little oasis in our House Car right on the beach. As my Dad would say…Wonderful! Because its a bay I think the tide only comes up about 10 feet. Anyway as usual our rig was one of the smallest ones there. There is not a lot to do here but I think that is the idea! We sat outside after setting up and enjoyed the view with a nice breeze. We walked Jasper and then got the Radwagon off the back and rode it around. It rode really well on the hard packed shell sand. We could even ride into “town” to the one and only small store/gas station if we needed anything. You can even tent camp in a grassy area that has picnic tables and shelters. And there is even a bathroom with outdoor and indoor showers. The vibe was very chill and laid back and we enjoyed every minute of it.
We spent three nights at Magnolia Beach and hope to return soon. But as some of you may know we have a hard time staying still. I decided that we need to get a 100 Watt folding solar panel to charge our coach battery. Even when we used the lights sparingly the battery was not lasting for more than a day or two. We really do not want to get a generator until we need air-conditioning because it is just one more thing to carry around. Unfortunately since most stores do not carry solar panels in their physical stores, it means that we have to have them mailed to us and our address can change daily. Right now my sister Julie has graciously let our mail come to her house and sorts stuff for us and even has sent us a few things but this was too big. So I looked in a few RV groups and they said you could have amazon send it to a hub locker and then go pick it up there. Ok problem solved except….. these solar panels were too big. Anyway I found another service called Amazon Counter. This service allows you to ship bigger packages and pick them up from their provider. So today we are heading to San Antonio and staying in the driveway of a member of Boondockers Welcome. Its kind of like couch surfing for RV’s. Its free with out electricity or $10 with electricity. We decide to get the electricity and live in the luxury of flipping lights on and off at will and watching TV with our handy dandy crank up antenna. Hey nothing but the best for “Two Miles From Home”! Ha ha.