Archive for the ‘Wildlife Watching’ Category

Mardi Gras, Texas Style

CyberCelt | February 13, 2012 in Cabins/Cottages,Events,Fairs/Festivals,Family Fun,Lakes,Nature,Rivers,RV Parks,RV Travel,Wildlife Watching | Comments (2)

poster of mardi gras celebration in port arthur

Southeast Texas Mardi Gras

Port Arthur, Texas
February 16-19, 2010

Southeast Texas is close to Louisiana and we do not stand on ceremony.  So, get ready for Mardi Gras:  music, carnival, food and drink, crafts, beads, masks, face paint and parades (golf cart, ATV, motorcycle, munchkin and krewe).

Main Stage Concert Schedule

Thursday, February 16th
6 pm Longneck Road
8 pm Joel Martin Project

Friday, February 17th
7 pm  Geno Delafose and French Rockin Boogie
10 pm Kevin Fowler

Saturday, February 18th
3 pm Jive Gene
5 pm Leroy Thomas & the Zydeco Roadrunners
8 pm Champagne Room
10 pm Stoney Larue

Sunday, February 19th
3 pm Ryan Foret & Foret Tradition
6 pm Wayne Toups & Zydecajun

Parade Schedule

Thursday – February 16, 2012
445 pm Courir du Mardi Gras Parade
Starts at Rosehill, travels down Lakeshore Drive ending at festival grounds

Friday – February 17, 2012
7 pm Valero Krewe of Krewes Parade
Starts at Rosehill/Seawall, travels down Procter Street ending at Houston Ave.

7 pm Golf Cart & ATV Parade
Starts at Rosehill/Seawall, travels down Procter Street ending at Houston Ave.
Registration required, call 721-8717 or Must be 18 years or older.

Saturday – February 18, 2012
1 pm Krewes Royalty March (inside festival grounds)
Starts at Atlanta Ave, travels down Procter Street ending at Austin Ave.

530 pm Motorcycle Showcase Parade
Starts at Rosehill/Seawall, travels down Procter Street ending at Houston Ave.
Registration required, call 721-8717 or Must be 18 years or older.

6 pm Total Krewe of Aurora Grand Parade
Starts at Rosehill/Seawall, travels down Procter Street ending at Houston Ave.

Sunday – February 19, 2012
2 pm Munchkin Parade (inside festival grounds)
Starts at Atlanta Ave. travels down Procter Street ending at Austin Ave.

4 pm Richard Industrial Group Motor Parade
Starts at Rosehill/Seawall, travels down Procter Street ending at Houston Ave.
(registration is required 409-721-8717 or

 RV Parks in Area:

Port Arthur RV – brand new with many amenities.Here is a link to several others.


Other Texas Mardi Gras Celebrations

Mardi Gras! Galveston 2012

February 10–21, 2012 (one weekend left)

Galveston is rebuilt and recovered from Hurricane Ike.  It is time to party! Enjoy elaborate parades, headliner performances, family events, feasting and other festivities that come with celebrating Mardi Gras, island style.  Over two weekends there are 5 masked balls, 19 balcony parties, 24 parades and 26 parades. Headliner is Hot Chelle Rae, with appearances by Electric Touch, Josh Abbot Band, Nakia and Fred Andrews and Honeybrowne.  This is the biggest Mardi Gras celebration in Texas (250,000+ attendees). Go to this one if you live nearby; Galveston has been putting on Mardi Gras for 100+ years. Visit the website for more information.

RV Parks on Galveston Island:

Galveston Island State Park – damaged by Hurricane Ike.  It has been rebuilt, but many trees were lost.

Jamaica Beach RV Park – I have not stayed here, but I would.
San Luis Pass County Park – gated entrance on the beach. Nice!

Poster for Jefferson Mardi Gras


Krewe of Hebe 20th Annual Mardi Gras–Upriver

Jefferson, Texas
February 17-19, 2009
Theme:  Festivals Around the World

Friday, February 17, 2012
Main Stage
630 – 1030 pm – music by Dazed, an exciting new band.

7 pm – Doo Dah Parade – Dress in your craziest Mardi Gras costume and join in the parade. Revelers begin at Lion’s Park, weave their way though downtown to the Main Stage for the Alley Dance. Doo Dah Theme:  “Light Up the Night” – For more info contact:  Betsy or Becca / 903-238-1145

Saturday, February 18, 2012
Music All Day on Main Stage
11 am – 2 pm – Jeff Taylor Band is a 19-piece contemporary and classic variety music experience that includes two female vocalists and the famous “Horns From Hell,” with signature trumpeter Jeff Taylor.

3 – 6 pm Jo-el Sonnier or “King of Cajun,” as he is known to his many fans.  King of Cajun is a Grammy-nominated artist and songwriter who mixes French and American lyrics. His energy is contagious as he demonstrates his spirited accordion abilities.  Bring your dancing shoes.

7 – 10 pm Me & My Monkey – Beatles Tribute Band is a must-see attraction.

145 pm – Motorcycle parade
2 pm – Grand Parade
430 -5 pm – Awards Ceremony (Main Stage)

Sunday, February 20, 2012
Main Stage Music

12-4 pm -The Night Hawk Band comes from Hope, Ark and plays a variety of gospel, Cajun and progressive country.  Try to stump them with a song.

2 pm – Children’s Parade
Children’s Activities at the gazebo at Otstott Park
Children’s Costume Contest, Ugly Dog Contest, Pet Look Alike and Best Pet Costume Contest
More info on children’s activities, contact Roger Opiela  e-mail:   phone:  903-742-9800

Going on all day:

  • live music
  • children’s carnival
  • arts & crafts
  • food and drink

There are several nearby campgrounds and  RV parks.  For more information, see Corps of Engineer parks on Lake O’ the Pines. Here are independent writeups of the various parks on the lake.


Chichuahuan Dirt Fest is Big Fun for Bicyclists

CyberCelt | February 6, 2012 in Birding,Country,Nature,Pool,Road Trips,Rockhounding,Romance,RV Parks,RV Travel,Skywatching,Sports,Wildlife Watching | Comments (0)

Chihuahuan Dirt Fest

Mountain Biking Event

February 16 to 18, 2012

Maverick Ranch RV Park, part of the Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa


Desert Sports and Texas Parks and Wildlife at Big Bend Ranch State Park are teaming up again to present

3 full days of fun desert riding over Presidents’ Day Weekend in 2012.

tentative schedule for chichuahuan desert dirt fest

Pricing for the Dirt Fest Bike Ride

  • Register early at until February 13, 2012. Regular registration is $25 for each day.
  • On Wednesday and Thursday the three day pass will be $60.
  • If you do not want to peddle 54 miles, the State park folks have worked out a compromise ride
  • The 2-day EPIC Option is a new feature ride included. Check out the page for the 2-day Option for more information. There are extra fees that must be paid to join that option.
  • For more information, please call call 888/989 6900.

Big Bend National and State ParkBig Bend Area of Texas


Pricing for your stay at  the Maverick Ranch RV Park

The Maverick Ranch RV Park is within reach of the Big Bend National and State Parks. The RV park has full hookups including, (30/50 amp) electricity, water, sewerage, cable TV, high-speed wi-fi, swimming pool, deli/store, bathrooms with showers, dump station . . .

Summer Deals

Stay 3 nights and get one (1) night FREE!
Stay 5 nights and get $25 ‘RV Bucks’ to spend in the Candelilla Cafe or the General Store.
Register for our monthly drawing and win a three (3) night stay at Maverick Ranch RV Park.


$35.00-$39.00 per night for two (2) guests. $2.00 for each additional guest, per night.
$220.00-$249.00 weekly, reserved and paid in advance.
$633.00-$660.00 monthly, reserved and paid in advance.

Maverick Ranch RV park is a Good Sam Member, a TACO member and a member of Family Motor Coach Association.

Christmas in the Parks, Part 2

CyberCelt | December 12, 2011 in Famous Texans,Historic travel,Holidays,Nature,RV Travel,Wildlife Watching | Comments (2)

I am writing about ways families may celebrate Christmas in a less commercial way. The State Parks (SP) and State Historic Sites (SHS) are made to order for authentic Christmas experiences.

First Stop : Wyler Tramway SP

Tram takes you to top of Ranger Peak in El Paso.

Wyler Tramway Gondola

Holidays at the Wyler Tramway State Park

1700 McKinley El Paso, Texas 79930
(915) 562-9899
December 16–18, Noon–5 pm

Ride to the top of Ranger Peak  in a gondola, where Santa Claus awaits your visit. After chatting with Santa and having pictures of the children taken with Santa, do not rush off.  Take time to view the Christmas decorations and to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, apple cider or coffee at the  gift shop. Make sure you look through the gift shop, where you will find  candles, books, apparel, toys and other one-of-a-kind items.

You may notice you are viewing sequential rock layers ranging from ancient volcanic granite to more recently-deposited limestone. The view encompasses 7,000 square miles, 2 countries and 3 states.  If you feel like hiking, follow a two-mile round-trip trail that curls its way around Ranger Peak from the observation deck.  If not, there are accessible ramps and paved grounds leading into an observation deck with an unobstructed view. Try the pay per view high power telescopes.  You are sure to spot birds and wildlife. You are one mile high and the view is fantastic. In the distance, you can see parts of Mexico and New Mexico. The City of El Paso lies at your feet.


photo of El Paso at dusk

Photograph at of El Paso at Dusk by Christopher Rose, The Texas Tribune

Note: You are a mile high, so make sure everyone has jackets and, perhaps, a Santa hat?  Call ahead of time in case of weather or check the NOAA weather site before you set out.

$7 for each person 13+ years
$4 for each person 12 years and under

Friday and Saturday: 12-8 pm
Sunday: 10 am-6 pm
Tram closed Monday-Thursday.
Ticket sales end and last gondola starts up one hour before closing.


 Second Stop : Washington-on-the-Brazos SHS

Barrington Living History Farm

Barrington Living History Farm

Barrington Farm Holidays

(at Washington-on-the-Brazos SHS)

21300 Park Rd. 12
Washington TX 77880
December 17, 10 am-430 pm

Step back in time and into the lives of the original residents of Barrington Farm. The scene is complete with heritage breeds of livestock.  Interpreters, dressed in period style clothing, help visitors understand what life was like 150 years ago.  Make decorations to decorate your home or toys to give as gifts. Explore and enjoy the simplicity of farm life. Listen to popular music of that time.  Learn  the meaning of “Peace on Earth, Good Will towards all Men.” This is a wonderful trip for youngsters.

$5 for adults
$3 for students 7 years and over.

Third Stop : Monument Hill and Kreische Brewery SHS

Restored Home of H.L. Kreische, German Settler

Kreische House Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2009

Trail of Lights

414 State Loop 92
La Grange, TX 78945-5733
(979) 968-5658
December 16 and 17,  6–8 pm

I know that Monument Hill and Kreische Brewery State Historic Sites do not sound like somewhere you would celebrate Christmas. Take a chance. I know you will enjoy Christmas in early Texas-German style! Enjoy the genuine hospitality of the Friends of Monument Hill and Kreische Brewery, sponsors of the event.

Stroll along a ¼-mile trail and thrill to the thousands of lights decorating Monument Hill and the H.L. Kreische House, which is decorated in the style of Texas-German 1850s-era Christmas. Bring your children; they will want to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus! View the town of La Grange from the trail’s hillside overlook. From the hilltop, you have a beautiful view of the Colorado River. Picnic sites, rest rooms, playgrounds, trail exhibits and scenic overlooks are found in this flat, bluff-top area. The trail is handicapped accessible and provides access to the Kreische House, Monument and Tomb.

Statue on Monument Hill in LaGrange, TX

Angel Statute on Monument photograph by Texas Escapes

The monument holds the remains of the fallen from two incidents in the Texas War for Independence, the Dawson Massacre and the Black Bean Death Lottery. The remains of the house and brewery are monuments to a German immigrant Heinrich Kreische. He purchased 172 acres on a hilltop, including the tomb. Kreische married and had six children. Built in two stages, the three-story Kreische house commemorates both the growth of the Kreische business and his family. The remains of the brewery remain as a monument to what one man can do with nothing but limestone, knowledge and hard work.

$4 for adults
$1 for children 3-12 years ol

Fourth Stop :  Lyndon B. Johnson SP and HS

Sauer-Beckmann Farmstead

Interpreter at The Sauer-Beckmann Farmstead. Photo by Jessica Schneider

42nd Annual LBJ Tree Lighting

Stonewall, Texas (from Fredericksburg go east on Highway 290 for 16 miles)
(830) 644-2252
December 18, 6–9 pm

Join in this Texas Hill Country tradition started 42 years ago by President and Mrs. Johnson. Enjoy the tree lighting and an evening of family fun. Step back in time at the Sauer-Beckmann Farmstead, where visitors experience a German Texan farm in the early part of the 20th century. Snack on cookies under glowing lanterns and view the traditional candlelit German Christmas tree.  A night to remember for the entire family, sure to put you in the holiday spirit.

This park on the banks of the Pedernales River is directly across from the LBJ Ranch. This site, and the nearby Lyndon B. Johnson National

Fifth Stop : Longhorn Cavern SP

Longhorn Caverns

Longhorn Caverns

Caroling in the Cave

6211 Park Road 4 S.
Burnet, TX 78611 (access PR 4 off HWY 281 between Burnet and Marble Falls or off HWY 29 between Llano and Burnet)
December 17, 5–8 pm

You know how good you sound in the shower?  Image your voice, with others, singing Christmas carols that echo in Longhorn Cavern. There are food and games in the administration building. Different musical artist play each week. Reservations highly recommended. Ask about fees.



Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish visitors and subscribers to this blog the best in 2012. My health has taken a turn for the worse, so I do not know if I will be able to update this blog as often as I would like. It has been big fun sharing Texas with you and your families. I hope to see you in 2012!

Remember, Jesus is the Reason for the Season.


Past and Future Merge on the San Antonio River

CyberCelt | July 8, 2011 in Day Trips,Education,Family Fun,Hike/Bike/Run,Historic travel,Museums,Nature,Rivers,RV Travel,Wildlife Watching | Comments (22)

Museum Reach

The first portion of the extension of the San Antonio River Walk was completed in 2009.  This extension, called  the urban section of the Museum Reach is over one mile from the original River Walk.  You may now take a river tour or river taxi  to the site of the former Pearl Brewery, which is now an exciting complex of restaurants, shops and the San Antonio Museum of Art.

Intricate bridge railings, paint and multilayered textures on overpasses, an aural delight of the sounds of the river, a grotto worthy of Neptune, the dancing lights reflecting in the current, and a school of fish suspended in air are some of the surprises you will see on the Museum Reach. Probably the most unusual is a lock system that raises and lowers boats nine feet to continue the journey.

Mission Reach

Work on the 8-mile Mission Reach has begun. A system of walkways, paths, footbridges and resting places for observation will encourage visitors to reflect on their place within the ecosystem.

The Alamo is just one of many Spanish missions founded in Texas. The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park was established to preserve and interpret the chain of Spanish Missions that were built along the San Antonio River in the 18th century.

Start your trip at Mission San Jose with a 23-minute film, a ranger guided tour, and a visit to restored Spanish Colonial flour mill. Museums are located at Missions San Jose, San Juan, and Espada. Espada Aqueduct is the only functioning aqueduct from the Spanish Colonial Period in the United States.

Visit the National Park Services website to plan your visit.

Spend the day visiting missions that still serve as parish churches, light candles in dimly lit alcoves that echo with the prayers of centuries, and view some of the most pristine lands remaining on the San Antonio River. Ponder the priests that journeyed from Spain to Mexico to Texas to enslave the native population and build the enduring legacy that surrounds you. It is a breathtaking and a humbling experience.

Below is a plan of the Mission Reach sites.

Planned extension for San Antonio River Walk to Mission area

While much of the beauty of the San Antonio River was sacrificed for flood control in the 1950s, the hope is to restore a more natural setting to the southern portion of the river. The plan is to to develop gathering places for learning, recreational park space, quiet spots, rest stops and river access points, so that the San Antonio River will be a recreati0onal corridor instead of a mud-covered ditch, which is what it had become.

Eagleland Reach

South of downtown, the Eagleland Reach segment of river runs from Guenther Street to Lonestar Boulevard. The King William district is filled with historic homes built by early German settlers and the vibrant art community of the Blue Star Arts Complex will become part of the River Walk.

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