After spending the summer out West, we became a little spoiled with the boondocking opportunities available around every corner. Once we turned East, especially once we crossed into Texas, we started having a harder and harder time finding free places to camp. Texas posed a particular challenge since much of the state’s land is private, and public land is difficult to come by, especially for camping. However, we lucked out with two incredible boondocking finds on our way across the great state.
Our first site was literally lakeside. We could hear the waves hitting the shore a mere 10 feet from our door. It was so peaceful. When we pulled in, we had high hopes for the 3 days we were planning to stay, getting the paddleboard out, playing in the lake, enjoying the calm water that greeted us. However, 24 hours into our stay, the wind kicked up and did not let up for the remainder of our stay. While Will did get out on the paddleboard, he had issues getting back home when the wind and waves started while he was out.
Even though we were not able to enjoy the water as much as we had hoped, we thoroughly enjoyed the quiet and the incredible sunsets. We saw several people in the area during the day, but we were the only campers that we could see (there were a few others in another area). Just the way we like it!
While the lakeside site was amazing, the riverside spot we found next was even better. Not only were we again the only people camping (in fact, we only saw one other vehicle in the 3 days we were there), but this time we did have the opportunity to paddleboard, and we took advantage of it!
As soon as we arrived and got set up, Will pumped up the paddleboard and more or less pushed me out on the river. Sunset was creeping up on us, and I had been a ball of anxiety all day, and he knew the paddleboard would help calm my nerves.
It turns out paddleboarding at sunset is truly my favorite thing. The river was as calm as could be, and when the sky turned a cotton candy pink, I could not get enough. In the 3 nights of our stay, I made it out for two sunsets. It was magical.
While this site was a dream come true, getting to it was a nail-biter. We knew going in that the “campground” had once been an Army Corps campground that it is now defunct. We did not know that the roads getting to it are very narrow and are used by logging trucks that are working in the same area. On our way in, we were already calculating areas where we could turn around or back into if the site did not work out, but we had not factored in encountering a logging truck. However, Will and the driver worked together, and we were able to safely pass one another. Thankfully, we did not have such an encounter on our way out.
Finding these amazing spots took research and planning, but it was well worth the work. There is truly nothing better than having an entire waterbody to ourselves, hearing only the sounds of nature around us, and not having to pay a dime for the experience.