South Llano River State Park
South Llano River State Park was the first park (and leg) of our West Texas Adventure RV trip. It felt like the gateway to west Texas, because west of Junction, the towns in Texas get sparse and so does everything else...gasoline, food, etc.
The last time we were at South Llano River State Park was in January (2005?) and the temperature at night was 17 degrees. This time, it is the end of May, low to mid 80's and everything is green, the river is flowing, the birds are singing, and spring has sprung in this great park!
We were fortunate that a great campsite was available that was right by the trail leading to the bird watching area, fishing pond (above), and the South Llano river a little further down the path.
After we got our RV connected and secured, we hiked down the path to the river. On the way we stopped at the bird watching area and saw some amazing birds.
The birds below are just a few of the species that we saw while sitting in the bird blind. They are the summer tanager (top left), male painted bunting (top right), male indigo bunting (bottom left), and I think the bottom right bird is a female indigo bunting.
A little further down the trail, towards the South Llano river, we came across a couple of fishermen trying their luck at Buck Lake. I came back to this small lake one morning and caught a couple of nice crappie and a small bass on my fly rod.
Beyond Buck Lake, we walked through a large grove of huge pecan trees. They provided some great shade and made the hike to the river quite pleasant on this very warm afternoon.
This bottomland is one of the oldest winter turkey roosts in central Texas. You can read more about the birds and other wildlife at South Llano river state park on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.
Once we arrived at the river we cooled our feet in the running water and relaxed to the sounds of the river and wildlife. There weren't many people on this stretch of the river.
When we first entered the park, we saw lots of campers cooling themselves in the rapids at the entrance of the park. We saw people in kayaks and tubes floating down the river - it looked like this was the spot where most kayak and tube trips began.
On our way back to camp, we spotted this bench cut from a large tree trunk. Better to make good use of this large trunk than to try and haul it off for disposal. :-)
After dinner, we relaxed in cool evening air and reminisced about the day's adventures. We made small-talk with folks taking evening strolls around the park while there was still a little light left.
Visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website for more information about South Llano River State Park. We look forward to our next visit to this wonderful park!