Potters Creek Park – Canyon Lake, TX

March 2015

Potters Creek is a US Army Corp of Engineers (CoE) park, the third one that I have stayed at, and one that continued the tradition of good CoE parks. I haven’t been disappointed yet, and Potters Creek kept that streak alive.

Being situated on Canyon Lake, it is a prime location to stay in the days leading up to the first annual Devils Backbone TXTRI, Kathy’s triathlon that she had been working extremely hard to bring to life for at least the last year and a half. The triathlon was being held at the Canyon Lake CoE campground, which wasn’t open for the season yet (opens April 1st), so this was the closest public campground (about 7 miles down the road) to the location of the great race.

Meetup

Another fulltiming RV couple that I have known online, but had yet to meet in person, swung by Potters Creek Park for a couple of nights so that we could finally meet in the flesh. Jeanette and Eric graciously offered to stop at Potters Creek so that we could hang for a while. I love how many fulltimers are willing to adjust their plans so they can meetup with people. One of the many perks of being mobile.

Jeanette and Eric were interested in meeting Kathy (and who wouldn’t be, right?) so they invited both of us over for dinner. This meant that Kathy made an appearance at Potters Creek a day or so earlier than planned, but it was great that she was able to meet some more of “my people”. It was well worth it as both Kathy and I very much enjoyed getting to know my fellow travelers in person.

After a couple of nights, Jeanette and Eric were headed west. I have a feeling we will be meeting again down the road. They truly are great people (as are most of the fulltimers that are out there doing their thing).

Parents

My parents graciously offered to volunteer at Kathy’s triathlon which meant a couple of things:

  1. They were finally going to get to meet Kathy after hearing me talk about here for quite some time.
  2. They were coming to Texas in their motorhome and this would be the first opportunity we would have to camp together.

Fortunately their arrival early in the week prior to the triathlon corresponded with the person directly across from me leaving. This also happened to be a site with a prime view of the lake since it was slightly up the hill (my site had a good view as well, but my rig was facing the wrong way so my front window didn’t have the magnificent view that my parent’s from window does – I had to go outside to enjoy the sights).

So for four nights my parents stayed directly across from me, which meant we spent quality time camping. This was very, very nice, especially since Kathy was there for some of the time.

Campground

Potters Creek has around 130 sites (water and electric) in three main loops. There are also some group camping areas that were closed when I was there.

There was good spacing between sites and some are closer to the water, but have less of a view. I opted for a site up a slight hill with trees, offering both a bit of shade and a great view of the lake.

Jeanette and Eric actually arrived a day before I got there and scoped out the area, telling me what site they thought I should snag (just a few down from theirs). Kathy and I had checked out the campground a few months before so I knew what area I wanted to stay in, but having eyes on the ground to tell me what sites were actually available was a godsend (especially since the gatehouse thought the site I ended up getting was still occupied).

There were a fair number of tent campers during my 9 night stay, as well as a bunch of RVs. For being a non-summer month, this place was pretty hopping. The loop closest to the lake was the fullest, which I thought to be a bit strange as it was definitely not my first choice of areas to camp. There are no trees (thus no shade) close to the lake, and you weren’t actually on the lake. In order to get to the rocky shore you had to go through the tall reeds/weeds/whatever in the heck they were. Everyone being down there meant less people in what I deemed the good area. In theory.

Exploring

Kathy has a rental house in Lockhart and we spent one afternoon getting it ready for new tenants. For those of you not in the know, Lockhart is known as the barbecue capital of Texas. For those of you who have their heads stuck in the sand, I love me some good BBQ, so it was imperative that if we were in Lockhart, we would be getting some ‘cue!

Back in October, on the way to Houston, we had stopped by Black’s Barbecue (also in Lockhart) for a bite to eat. I wasn’t overly impressed with that meal and Kathy allowed how it wasn’t up to par.

This meant I was looking forward to a second take on the Lockhart BBQ scene when Kathy suggested that we go to Smitty’s Market for lunch during our work on the house day. OMG! That was a treat, to say the least.

Smitty’s is the real deal. Open fire pits that you could literally fall into if you weren’t careful – right next to the line you stand in to order. Smoke singed ceilings and brick walls. Dark, dingy rooms with long wooden tables. And meat that makes my mouth water just thinking about it. Yeah, my kind of place! You can say that my second Lockhart experience made up for the first.

Canyon Park

Potters Creek, like the other CoE campgrounds I have stayed at, is lacking in the hiking trail department. Fortunately the CoE campground that Kathy’s triathlon was going to be held at has an extensive trail network, so one morning we drove down to Canyon Park to get our hike on.

Portions of Canyon Park are a bit spooky. As in the parts where they use to let people recreate and have since let it go back to nature. There are concrete picnic tables all over the woods, drinking fountains that are long dead, dumpsters, and abandoned boat ramps. I am not sure why they abandoned large sections of the park, but it is really cool to be cruising along a trail and come across these relics.

Potters Creek campground was a success. Camping with my parents. Final preparations for Kathy’s triathlon. Staying at another CoE campground.

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