Sunday March 31 Through Wednesday April 3, 2019
Colorado Bend State Park is one of those rare parks with few services. No dump station. No sewer. No electricity. No water at campsites.
Multiple men and women and single seat vault toilets. There is one dumpster for trash. Potable water was added in the past year and the spigot is threaded so camper provided hoses can be used to fill tanks. This isn’t just a boondocking park. The park often fills up on weekends and holidays with hikers, bikers, paddlers and floaters. Temporary park closures are announced via Twitter and Facebook when the park reaches capacity.
Maps show the Colorado River, the longest river in Texas, meandering through the countryside. In the park, the river makes a nice easy wide turn. While a number of dams along the Colorado provide flood control, the Colorado runs free inside the park.
Free flowing rivers in Texas are magnets for summertime floaters and paddlers. The park provides kayak rentals for paddlers.
Weather this time of year is usually mild. Average April highs and lows for Kileen, east of the park, are 78 high and 53 low.
The park provides free WIFI at the ranger station. While the ranger station is open, expect WIFI speeds to be slow to unusable. Overnight the speeds improve and visitors willing to wait for each painfully slow page load, it is sometimes usable.
Both Verizon and AT&T mobile phone signals disappear well before the park entrance helping to explain the existence of the payphone at the ranger station.
We showed up Sunday afternoon prepared to boondock in mild weather. This would be our first overnight stay in this park. We scouted the park in 2017. Despite heavy overcast, after setting up portable dog fencing, solar panels kept the batteries topped off until after 5:00 PM. Overnight, inside the camper hit 48 while outside temperatures hit below 40 degrees. The weather forecast showed heavy overcast and a colder night ahead.
There was a choice to be made. Stay in Colorado Bend or switch to another park like Inks Lake that had electricity. I had a followup doctor appointment on Tuesday to talk about endoscopy biopsy results. From Colorado Bend, the drive is three hours each way. From Inks Lake, two hours each way. The camper would be too cold to leave the dogs in Colorado Bend. They would have to make the six hour round trip with us. Linda would have to stay in the Jeep with the dogs while I was in the doctor’s office alone. With electricity in Inks Lake, the dogs would be fine in the camper. Just leave the heat on. With the shorter drive, we would only be gone six hours not eight.
Once the decision was made to change over to Inks Lake, we let the heater run the battery down while we put up the campsite and prepared to change parks.
Regrets for leaving after one night? Of course! Gorman Springs, Gorman Falls and the nearby River Overlook (Trails Map) with the river up as high as it was would have been well worth the hike. I would have done those hikes on Monday.
I plan to get back to Colorado Bend State Park sometime soon.
Hope to see you on the road ahead!