Greetings from New Braunfels, TX!

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
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They opened the pool today

:yahoo:

As soon as I'm done with my work I'm putting on that swimmy suit!

Today is also the day all the hair salons and barbershops can open so now I get to decide if I want to get a cut or go native.
 

Monello

I'm a credit to my gender
PREMO Member
Today we hit the farmer's market in downtown New Braunfels. They have a thriving downtown area. Plenty of places to eat and drink. I didn't see any boarded up stores. You can tell that around 70 years ago, it was the place to make your weekly purchases.

2nd stop was Gruene. We had a lot of company. Plenty of people out and about. Restaurants are seating at 25% of capacity. All the stores list a small, maximum capacity. Restaurant servers are all wearing face masks. Only about 20% of the visitors were masked. We had to wait about 30 minutes to get seated at a restaurant.

We finished the day off by getting in the pool and hot tub. Not a lot of people in the water, about 15. The campground has several dozen cottages and many had cars parked in their driveways. For the longest time they were all closed.

Virus wise, the county were we are located only has registered 6 virus deaths and just 15 active cases. The experience here in south central Texas isn't like the situation in the northeast US.
 

Louise

Active Member
PREMO Member
Today we hit the farmer's market in downtown New Braunfels. They have a thriving downtown area. Plenty of places to eat and drink. I didn't see any boarded up stores. You can tell that around 70 years ago, it was the place to make your weekly purchases.

2nd stop was Gruene. We had a lot of company. Plenty of people out and about. Restaurants are seating at 25% of capacity. All the stores list a small, maximum capacity. Restaurant servers are all wearing face masks. Only about 20% of the visitors were masked. We had to wait about 30 minutes to get seated at a restaurant.

We finished the day off by getting in the pool and hot tub. Not a lot of people in the water, about 15. The campground has several dozen cottages and many had cars parked in their driveways. For the longest time they were all closed.

Virus wise, the county were we are located only has registered 6 virus deaths and just 15 active cases. The experience here in south central Texas isn't like the situation in the northeast US.
Enjoy your freedom! :patriot:
 

Monello

I'm a credit to my gender
PREMO Member
Yesterday we drove up to check out Canyon Lake. The goal was to see the feasibility of launching our boats there. First thing I noticed is that traffic has increased a bit on the local roads. We took the direct route, instead of following River Road, which is much more scenic but about half as slower. The road crosses the Guadalupe river several times. Each time we saw a few tubers floating down the river.

At the boat ramp we saw a bunch of boat trailers. At least a dozen people were out enjoying the lake. There were a few jet skiers and several people fishing. A few families were lakeside splashing in the water. The plan was to go back today but it's raining right now.

On the way up we noticed a few businesses that were open. It's mostly open land driving up to the lake but there are a few businesses that cater to the boating and floating crowd. There are a few B & Bs, some restaurants and bars plus shacks that will rent you a tube and also pick you up when you are done having fun on the river.

On the way back we stopped in at Goofy's for a drink. We were informed that in order to get an alcoholic drink we needed to order food. In our time on the road, this has only happened to us 1 other time. That was when we popped into a Mexican joint in Santa Rosa, NM. In Santa Rosa we were surprised by getting served some mighty fine tacos to go along with our draft beers. We sat outside at 1 of their picnic tables. Vrai wasn't hungry. I got a taco plate. 3 tacos for $6 bucks. While they weren't the best tacos ever, they hit the spot and the price was reasonable. There was a decent crowd at Goofy's for a Monday afternoon. All the people outside were able to keep their distance from the other patrons. A few drinkers were sitting at the bar and some of their indoor tables were occupied. A lone woman sat in the back room that had some electronic gambling games.

With any luck we should be able to get our boats in the water in the next few days. It's been a while since the boats have touched water. We can happily paddle around in the upper part of the lake and avoid all the big boats and jet skis that cruise around the main stem of the lake.
 

vraiblonde

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Today we put the boats in at Canyon Lake and spent several hours relaxing and enjoying the day. A bunch of other people had the same idea - people boating, jet skiing, swimming, picnicking, etc. Pontoon boats seem to be a thing around here.

Afterward we went to the Float House, which is a river fun mecca with tube rentals, food, drink, and music. There were about 8 million people having a blast and not social distancing in the least, not a single one of them wearing masks, which was refreshing because I'm so tired of seeing people with their dumb masks. I'll be super glad when that ridiculous fad is over.

River Road is filled with campgrounds, tube places, eateries, and bars and every one of them was busy today. It was a glorious day, mid-80s, mostly sunny with enough clouds so it didn't get oppressive.

I'm madly in love with this area.
 

Monello

I'm a credit to my gender
PREMO Member
Pics from our weekend adventures. Paddling around the lake while occasionally making random casts with a fishing pole. 148276

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vraiblonde

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Yesterday Monello did his first river float! :yahoo:

As we've mentioned, there are several companies set up along the river where you rent a toob, float down the river to a designated point, where they'll pick you and your toob up and take you back to your car. It's like $20/pp to do this, and you can float for 1.5 hours to 6-7 hours.

The toobs are a basic high grade inner tube with a bottom attached to it. You flop down and off you go. It's mostly a lazy river with mini rapids every so often to make it exciting. You do get wet, you do get sunburned, you do accidentally grab a leech covered tree to keep from going into the shore weeds :twitch:

On the weekend it's crazy crowded but mid week isn't so bad. I think the guy said they had 500 on Tuesday (keeping in mind that's just one float company reporting), but it's a long river so you're not all bunched up.

Pretty much everyone had a cooler with them and it's one big party on the water. Last time I did it some of the people who live on the river were selling cups of margarita and cans of beer - you float over, give them a couple bucks, float away with a drink - but I didn't see anyone doing that yesterday.

Here's what it looks like:

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After our float we went to Mozie's in Greune for dinner.

The only thing we need to do is hit Greune Hall before we leave. They were supposed to open back up on the 18th but their FB says this Friday.
 

Monello

I'm a credit to my gender
PREMO Member
Seeing how this is a holiday weekend, the campground is starting to look like an actual campground. For over 2 months there was almost no movement in this place. Just us and the neighbors from New York, 2 spots down from us. Yesterday a guy rolled in with a new travel trailer. Now I see a few other sites occupied with people getting set up. I miss our old normal.

The wind here is screwy. The other night, out of nowhere, it starts blowing real hard. I know they get tornados in these parts, so that is always a concern. Once when I was camping on Andrews Air Force base, the tornado siren went off. They herded us all into the bath house since it was constructed of cinder blocks. At that point I didn't care what happened as long as I wasn't injured. Insurance will take care of any vehicle damage. We lucked out. Even though that campground is a few miles from DC, it's in a wooded setting and a lot of branches hang over people's rigs.

Our float adventure was fun. The options were for 1 1/2 or 3 hours. 2 sounded perfect and 3 seemed a little too long. Now that I've done it once, I'll know what to adjust if we go again. There's enough fast moving water to keep it interesting. I'm not sure why something like this didn't catch on on the upper Patuxent river. Down this way there has to be at least a dozen float outfitters. I think the closest place so SOMD to float is Harpers Ferry.

We didn't take any pictures. No camera. The only thing I brought was a cooler with beers, water & sodas. Even that was overkill. But I used the cooler as sunscreen. I put it on my exposed legs when I floated the parts of the river that didn't have any shade. I bet the river will be crazy busy this weekend, as will most of the greater New Braunfels area.
 

vraiblonde

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Last night we had a rather major storm - thunder/lightning, tornado warnings, phones going off with alerts. The TV here preempts all channels with weather alerts when it gets crazy. Not just a little crawler, but the weather guy comes on with a map to tell you you're getting ready to get nailed. I don't recall seeing that before.

Anyway, it was impressive for awhile and we thought we might have to bug out, but the tornadoes split at San Antonio and took out small towns in north and east TX instead.

People were in the bathhouse with music and alcohol, having a tornado party :lol: These are my kind of people. They don't freak out, they don't panic, they break out the booze and a deck of cards. If chit's gonna happen, there's nothing you can do about it - have a drink.

The storm I remember was in the Keys and I was terrified. The locals were like, meh, this is nothing, but it was the biggest storm I've ever personally experienced. And in a motorhome, no less.

And I remember when we thought we might have to bug out in Flagstaff because of the fire.

Also we had a flash flood storm in Panama City Beach - like, a real one where within the space of a few minutes our RV park was a lake.

The wind in west TX was super crazy - 50 mph was their norm. The gift shop in Fort Stockton sells t-shirts that say "Yes, it's always this windy here." That was the time Monello thought he was going to have to pull over about 30 miles from the RV park because he was getting knocked around.

What I do like is that rain in TX goes hard and goes home. None of this weeks long depressing nonstop pelting like spring in SoMD.

I'm always sorry when the bad weather happens during a weekend - especially a holiday weekend - when people have been planning a vacation, only to have this chit happen to ruin it. It doesn't matter to us; we're almost always someplace cool and recreating on some level. But here you go, you get two weeks vacation, pack up the kids and dogs and make the trip to the beach or the lake....only to have the weather jack you up. That would suck.
 

vraiblonde

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Okay, forget the Guad - floating the Comal is the way to go. It's the same 2.5 hours, but they've directed traffic into chutes where you go in and water slide in your tube. Then you float some more, and there's another cute. There are proper sides with ladders in case you need to get out for some reason (like, if you want to walk back and tube the big chute again, which is what we did).

I did not have to use a leech covered tree to reposition myself.

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The river is surrounded by park lands, so you could float, then stop and have a picnic lunch, then float some more. A lot of people just put in and hang out drinking and having fun.

One of the place you could stop is the Float In, which is a burger/beer joint on the river. They have a balcony area, where we sat, and a picnic area down by the river.

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After our float we had burgers and beers, enjoying the day and watching the folks come down the 1st chute.

In case you want to see, here's a how-to video. Skip to 1:20 to see the first chute.


New Braunfels is on the short list for when we're ready to settle down somewhere. I feel bad about throwing over Bastrop, but NB is where it's at.
 

Monello

I'm a credit to my gender
PREMO Member
Today we floated the Comal river. It's a shorter river than the Guadalupe but it's a lot closer to the campground. Just 4 1/2 miles from our campground. Rental tube, river access and shuttle trip back is $20. Time on the water is around 3 hours. You can stop in any place and stay longer if you wish.

There are 3 chutes on the river. They are man made, cement tracks that take advantage of the water's cfs and speed.

Here's a few videos. I didn't take anything with me except a mask and snorkel. They hold your car keys for you.



After our float, we got draft beers on the river at the Float Inn. There's no shortage of people out on the river. If you ask the local teens if they enjoy living in that area, almost all of them are glad to live there and aren't chomping at the bit to move away to San Antonio or Austin.

If you find yourself in the south central Texas area, put a river float on your thing to do list.
 

vraiblonde

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Oh, and you all who won the waterproof bag a couple years ago - if you wondered if it's truly waterproof, it is! I had it underwater several times today and everything was nice and dry inside.
 

Monello

I'm a credit to my gender
PREMO Member
Yesterday w went to Gruene Hall for a drink & to listen to live music. Flat Top Jones was the featured band. Here's a video of a different time when they played at the Hall.


We were able to get a seat inside. The tables were 6 feet apart, so there were only about a dozen and a half tables inside. Each table had 6 seats and you couldn't move any of the tables or chairs. A couple saw us walk in and offered us 2 of their chairs, which was a nice gesture. There were also picnic tables outside and they were also spaced out. Signs on each table said no more than 6 people could sit there at the same time.

The bar was closed. Beer and wine was sold outside under a tent. A runner had to go inside to fetch your drinks. Not sure why they just didn't have a few coolers outside to make it easier. There was a New Braunfels PD rep walking around outside. From our vantage points inside and out, we could see the rest of the town. There was no shortage of people out and about. The parking lots were packed. Several businesses had live music. There was also an outdoor market going on up the road. A few people were wearing masks, maybe 10% or so.

It was good to get out and have a normal experience. Lots of other people had the same idea. I'm sure the river was jammed packed with floaters, since it was such a nice day.

Tomorrow we head to the Fort Worth area. I just found out that protesters shut down a section of I35 yesterday. That is the road that takes you from where we are up to Fort Worth. The interstate is the easier route when I drive the RV. No traffic lights and few on & off ramps. Secondary streets have multiple driveways where people are always coming and going. So I need to monitor the traffic and protest situation. I'm sure things will be fine but the onus is on me to make sure that is indeed the situation.

A picture of a local New Braunfels business. The Planet K head shop
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