San Angelo, Texas

Spring Creek Marina and RV Park

November 3, 2020

We hate to continuously crap on New Mexico, but we must say, pretty much everything about Texas was an upgrade compared to the “Land of Enchantment.” Immediately upon crossing the border, we were struck by the change in road quality. Whereas New Mexico had some of the worst roads we have experienced in our time RVing (we figure it had something to do with our tire blowout), Texas had some of the best. However, it wasn’t just the roads that were better, nearly everything about Texas was more vibrant – more people, more livestock, more agriculture, more industry (oil), etc.

That being said, “vibrant” (like most things) is a relative term. West Texas is hardly a scenic destination, and it didn’t take long after crossing the border for our excitement to wear off. Sadly, we still had several hours of driving ahead as we made our way to San Angelo (it’s easy to forget just how massive Texas is).

Our specific destination was Spring Creek Marina and RV Park – a lovely, secluded campground right on Lake Nasworthy (about 10 miles southwest of downtown San Angelo). This spot was a treat. We had great views of the lake right from our kitchen window and the only noise to be heard was from boats going in/out of the adjacent marina. Along with the seclusion came wildlife – lots of it. Upon entering the campground for the first time, we were greeted by a flock of about 20 turkeys which were followed by a herd of deer (all before we even made it to our campsite)! Sadly, the fish seemed to want nothing to do with me. I tried my hand at fishing several times during our four-night stay but couldn’t even manage to get a nibble.

I have recently noticed a trend – we seem to give glowing reviews to nearly every campground. I’d like to mix it up a bit and give out some negative reviews every now and then, but we have generally enjoyed at least one aspect of each campground that we’ve visited (quality, price, scenery, location). While we have undoubtedly been fortunate in our campground choices, we also take great care when it comes to the campground selection process. Since we require a reliable cellular signal to stay online, we usually cross-reference several different RV park review websites before ultimately making our selection. On top of just looking at cell strength, we have also learned what else to look for in an RV park (clean facilities, full hookups, laundry/other amenities) and what to avoid (proximity to railroads/highways, presence of mobile homes).

Our stay in San Angelo happened to coincide with the big 2020 presidential election. To say the park leaned Trump would be an understatement. There was MAGA gear everywhere, so much so that even the RV park office was flying a Trump flag. Given media depictions of right-wingers, we expected riots to start erupting throughout the campground once the election went Biden’s way. Strangely enough, the day after the election turned out to be a perfectly normal Wednesday – no cross burning, no lynchings, nothing. Just a bunch of people going about their day as if nothing had happened. Weird, I know.

Other than the election, this stay will be remembered as the stop when everything seemed to break. We were confronted with the first malfunction upon arrival when attempting to unhitch the trailer from the truck. We got the wheels all chocked and I went to go raise the trailer using the electric tongue jack – nothing. It was as if there was no power flowing to the jack at all. However, the light on the front of the unit was still functioning, so we knew that wasn’t the issue. We ultimately decided that it was either the switch itself or some other internal electrical component that was causing the issue. Either way, it would have to wait until we made it to Oklahoma in a few weeks before we could use my dad’s knowledge and tools to get to the bottom of the problem. Until then, we had to resort to cranking the jack by hand using the manual override.

The other issue that we ran into in San Angelo had to do with the valve handle on one of our two gray tanks. I was going to dump the tanks like I had done dozens of times, and without any warning, the valve handle suddenly just popped right off. Completely flummoxed, I spent the next hour or so trying to reattach the handle with zero success. After giving up on that, I realized that I had to get this valve open somehow if we wanted to shower over the next few weeks until we made it to Norman (sorry dad, got another repair job for you). Fortunately, I was able to get some pliers on the cable attached to the valve, and after some yanking, I managed to get it open.

Although we didn’t get out of the campground much when we were in San Angelo, I did do some grocery shopping at the nearby Walmart. While I was there, I finally managed to find something that had eluded us for some time – a particle board big enough to hold our U.S. road map, but small enough to fit on the back of our bathroom sliding door. We had long planned on putting together a physical map of our travels, and now we finally had the means to do so. Keep an eye out for an updated version of our travel map in an upcoming blog post.

We spent our last evening in San Angelo enjoying a lovely campfire underneath the Texas night sky (the stars were big and bright). But we made sure to not stay up too late, we had another long, Texas-sized drive ahead of us the next day as we made our way to Grapevine – the last stop along our fall tour before heading to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving.