Monday, April 19, 2010

Becoming a Texan

Current location: Livingston, TX

Coming from Colorado, being a Texan is not something to boast about. Texans are not particularly liked in Colorado. Being liberal democrats, relocating to Texas certainly isn't something to aspire to. After all, it is the home to the Bushes. But for many reasons which I have discussed before, we made a trip to TX specifically to become residents. Call us crazy.

So here we are, in Livingston. Livingston is a small town about an hour north of Houston. We arrived on Sunday afternoon. Contrary to what I wrote in my last post, we did not split up the drive into 2 days. We woke up Saturday and it was raining pretty hard. The forecast was not good for Oklahoma or Texas so we decided to stay put. Unfortunately, the forecast for Sunday was not much better, but we decided that we'd get an early start and give it a shot anyway. If the driving conditions were bad then we'd make it short day. We pulled out of the campground at 8:00 am, very early by most RV standards. We would have been out by 7:30 but had some difficulty getting hitched up. We encountered rain on and off most of the way, but it was not a hard rain and there was very little splashback, with the exception of a couple of places. We were making pretty good time and decided to keep going. We pulled into the campground around 3:30, after 388 miles. OK, so that's a little over our maximum daily recommendation. But we should get some credit for not driving on Saturday, right? :) Adhere to one rule, break another. That's break-even.

Although we had plenty of time to get set up and settled in the daylight, we determined that this was still too long of a day. We were tired, maybe in part due to the fact that neither of us slept particularly well the night before. I think we were both anxious about moving again (does that feeling ever go away?). I think we'll try to be a little stricter on our daily mileage on the next leg.

We are staying at the home base of the Escapees, the Rainbows End campground. The Escapees club has several campgrounds across the country and as members, the rates are pretty cheap. Many members spend the winter, or longer, in these parks. The lady parked across from us has been here 3 years! We weren't expecting this to be a park that would appeal to our tastes. We tend to like the more natural settings, with privacy in between sites. Well, good or bad, we weren't surprised. The sites are very close together with just a few trees scattered throughout. There is another section of the campground which is a little more campground-like, but it does not have sewer hookups. We could have easily stayed over there and dumped on our way out, but this is where they put us and we didn't know any better to ask. Oh well, we won't be here too long. I don't think this will be a place that we visit often.

What was a surprise is the beauty of the area. It borders Sam Houston National Forest and although we aren't in the forest, it is pretty lush. When we think Texas, we think of western Texas, dry and flat. This area isn't anything like that. Although I recognize that we've come at a good time of year. I'm sure in mid-Summer it gets very hot and humid.

Today, we went and got our paperwork for registering the vehicles. Tomorrow we have to go get a safety inspection and then take all that paperwork back to get plates. It won't be a cheap day because we'll also have to pay sales tax on the RV. The dealer didn't charge us sales tax in Colorado since we were registering out of state. The tax rates are cheaper down here so it does save us a little bit of money. And the registration is significantly cheaper than Colorado.

We hope to get our drivers licenses and register to vote on Wednesday and then hopefully we'll be all done with our chores. All in all, it's a pretty easy process, we think, although we haven't completed everything yet!

On Thursday, we will be taking a road trip to Galveston to visit our friends Rod and Connie Shaut, whom we met at last years RV-Dreams Rally. They were our neighbors and we've kept in touch since. It will be nice to see them and will be nice to have a break from our chores. On Saturday morning, we're scheduled to meet up with Edith Muckenfuss, Krystal's mom. She spent several years as a contractor in Iraq so we've never had the opportunity to meet her when visiting Texas previously. I guess it's about time since Ryan and Krystal have been married for several years. And then we are scheduled to pull out on Sunday morning. So our time is pretty well booked, but we've made sure that we still have a lot of down time. After all, we're trying to learn to slow down! :)

We haven't figured our route to California yet, but are giving ourselves 2-3 weeks to get there, so that should allow time for some extended stops along the way. Our tentative plan is to drive 2 days straight and then stop for 2-3 days, but I guess that will really depend on what we find to do along the way. The one thing that we do know is that we don't want to unhitch and unpack every night. We think we'd much rather get some miles behind us while we're packed and then be able to stay unpacked for a couple of days. Not that it takes us that long to pack and unpack; we're getting that part figured out, but it's still a bit of a hassle.

Well, another day of our new life is drawing to a close. Are we still happy with our decision? You betcha! Are there any second thoughts? Nope. Is it always easy? No, but I think it will all pay off once we get this phase behind us and we can just focus on the life we've dreamed of. We recognize that we're still in the transition phase and that we won't always be driven by such a time schedule.


  1. welcome to Texas... you will find this state quite diverse and we are all not extreme conservatives... I live in an area of extreme conservatism but only 90 miles away is a city of extreme liberalism... i just don't talk politics around here much :)

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  3. PJ says: Understand your reasons for Texas. Washington also has no state income tax, and the most expensive license tab we have is $58 for my 1999 Tahoe. 1996 pickup,2000 Grand Am, 2008 camper are all cheaper.

    Lived in east Texas for a while, hated the humidity, bugs, and snakes. Was happy to go back to cool Colorado. Washington is much same as Colorado most of the time. No offense to Texans - everybody gotta be somewhere, the majority of my family lives there.

  4. Welcome to Texas! I was surprised when you guys said Livingston...there is not much to that town, but on a better note, you guys are close to my family. I'm so glad y'all get to meet my mom! FINALLY!!!! =o) Take pictures so I have proof!!!! Haha. Love You and Miss You!!!!