Skip to content

Oklahoma! A ‘Leisurlee’ Boondocking Visit – Full-Time RV Life


Oklahoma! Where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain.  That’s where we were headed.


Our friends, Randall and Julie, extended gracious hospitality to Mike and me during our short visit to Oklahoma at the Leisurlee Acres Cattle Company, which is their cattle ranch outside of Cache, Oklahoma.  There were sprawling pastures, shady trees, friendly cows, no traffic, and a distant view of the Wichita Mountains.

Randall and I grew up together.  His parents were close friends with my mom and dad.  His dad and my mom have known each other since toddlerhood because our grandparents were also dear friends throughout their lifetimes.   His siblings have always been our ‘cousins.’


The ‘cousins’ circa early 80s

We all reached adulthood, went our separate ways, had families, and lived life.  We kept in touch occasionally, but hadn’t seen each other in person for ages. About 20-plus years, in fact.  When I stepped out of the motorhome to greet Randall, the timespan slipped away.  He was family–we were welcomed and the visit was perfect from that moment on.


The view from our front window

Randall and Julie had a spot ready for us down their long lane.  It was within walking distance to their home and beside the lush, green cow pastures.  I spent my growing-up years in the country, so this was a setting near and dear to my heart.  Only someone who has spent many years in the congestion of a large city (Jacksonville, Florida), where traffic, crime, and lack of personal space is the ‘norm,’  can appreciate that first cleansing breath of fresh air while standing on real grass (and being able to spread arms wide and twirl in a circle without touching another human being–Sound of Music style).  That’s how much I loved being there.  It wasn’t a location thing, it was a soul thing.


Julie and Randall

Our visit was easy.  Except for water, we were pretty self-sufficient.  The weather was cool, so generator use was minimal.  We ran it just enough so Mike could work.  The four of us would meet up in the late afternoons for dinner, swap stories, and share memories.  We then went back to the RV for the rest of the night and pursued our individual interests during the day.  On the weekend, they gave us a tour of the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge and recommended a buffalo burger at Meers Restaurant.  We had the pleasure of meeting Julie and Randall’s cohorts (the majority were retired Army veterans and their wives) at a cookout on Saturday night.  There were lots of delicious food items, humorous shenanigans, and wild and hilarious stories.

It was, hands down, my favorite ‘camping’ location ever.  It was an uncomplicated, down-to-earth, and renewing visit spent enjoying the simple things.  I loved visiting with Julie on the back porch.  Mike had the opportunity hold the gate while Randall introduced a young bull to the herd.  We got to do some four-wheeling around the property.   We spied turkeys, rabbits, squirrels, and coyotes throughout the visit.  We had a colorful hummingbird that flittered outside the RV window every morning.  Even the dogs eventually became friends and started tolerating each other towards the end of the trip. Yes, it was a fabulous visit with family.

I also loved the cows.




The four of us–it was sad to say goodbye

Julie and Randall, we cannot thank you enough for the opportunity to spend time at your home.  Thank you for sharing your oasis with us.  We can’t wait to visit again–if you’ll have us.

Love, Dawn

P.S. Randall is a retired Army veteran.  I want to thank him for his service and also the service of his friends.  It was an honor to meet each and every one of them.


Review of Cedar Hill State Park – Dallas, TX – Full-Time RV Life

We stayed at the campground in Cedar Hill State Park while visiting Dallas.  It was a spacious park set among hills and trees with historical sites and hiking trails.  It’s among the banks of Joe Pool Lake with swimming, boat launches, and fishing areas.  Much of it is under construction due to recent flooding, but there is still plenty to see and the campsites are large and private.


We stayed a week and the price point was rather steep since we also had to pay for the Texas State Parks Pass to avoid paying the daily $5.00 entrance fee to the park.  The week stay was around $280, but we did have access to the park and full hookups.  The sites were spacious and secluded in a peaceful wooded setting.


All sites were back-in only with plenty of room to navigate our 40′ motorhome with parking for the truck and golf cart.  The hookups were convenient and in good working order.


There was no campground Wi-Fi provided, but we had full cell coverage on ATT.   There was no pool and the swimming areas at the lake were closed due to recent flooding.  There were a couple accessible boat ramps and fishing areas surrounding the lake.  There were bathhouses/bathrooms located conveniently in the camp areas.  Most of the hiking trails were closed due to flooding and resulting mud.


The staff was very friendly and welcoming. They explained the advantage of the state park pass and how it would save us money in the long run during our stay.  They were very informative on directions and how to reach our site.


Yes.  It’s a beautiful park, even though much of it was closed due to recent flooding.  It was conveniently located to Dallas and the surrounding area, and it was a quiet location to have visiting friends and family enjoy the outdoors.  There was plenty to do inside the park as far as exploring, beautiful scenery, and geocaching.

It is a park that has wildlife, including rabbits, squirrels, deer, snakes and spiders.  We saw our first live-for-real tarantula (sorry for the blurry picture, but I wasn’t going to get closer for a better shot).


There are many things to see in the Dallas area and we packed in only a few activities while there.  We visited Southfork Ranch, Dealey Plaza, the Mustangs of Los Colinas, and the Veterans Memorial Park in Irving.

Here are a few pictures from our hikes in Cedar Hill State Park with family and friends:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Mustangs of Las Colinas and Irving Veteran’s Memorial – Full-Time RV Life

There are many sites in Dallas to visit, but we were short on time and caught just a few local highlights.  Since my goddaughter lives in Irving, we concentrated on those areas for short spurts of sightseeing.  The following were highlights of that whirlwind afternoon.

The Mustangs of Los Colinas was an exquisite stop.  It’s a sculpture of spirited mustangs running through a body of water–all set amongst a busy office complex.  The artwork by Mr. Robert Glen was meticulous.  The horses were captured in all their majesty and it was easy to imagine them stampeding through the water, wind blowing in their manes, and running on strong, graceful legs.  We were visiting by day in bright sunlight and it was breathtaking.  I can’t imagine the view at night.  The Mustangs of Las Colinas were amazing.




Our next stop was the Irvin Veterans Memorial Park.  This park paid tribute to the local servicemen and women who sacrificed all for the United States of America.  It’s a peaceful place to reflect and give honor to those who have served to protect our nation.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our visit to Dallas was short and very productive.  The time with family was the most important and special.  We can’t wait to visit again.

Now, it’s on to Oklahoma!

Safe travels,


Perfectly Imperfect – A Simple Lesson from a Wildflower – Full-Time RV Life

I was with my daughter today doing some geocaching and enjoying a local museum.   Outside the grounds was an abundance of Queen Anne’s lace wildflowers dancing in the breeze.  I was trying to capture their beauty in photographs as they pirouetted in the gentle wind.  It was an impossible task.



Among the intricate white blooms was a tiny handful of daisies.  It seemed they were begging to be noticed with their bright yellow centers and fragile petals.  Each daisy had a personality of its own, but the shy little one at the bottom right appeared to be hiding his face.



In all our travels, I am reminded how breathtaking nature can be–big and bodacious or small and mighty.  It is simply beautiful in its perfect imperfection.

Just like us–perfectly imperfect and magnificent in our own quirky uniqueness–adding vibrant color and charisma to an otherwise mediocre landscape.

Safe travels, Dawn

Southfork Ranch – Dallas, Texas – Full-Time RV Life

Our visit to Dallas was short and sweet, but there were a couple of places that were high on our to-do list, and this little jaunt was one of them.  During the years of 1978 through 1991, there was a popular TV series, Dallas:


Of course, the phrase “Who shot JR?” was the biggest cliffhanger in TV history.   Millions tuned in to watch the feud between the land-loving, ranch-running Bobby and his evil, greedy, oil tycoon brother, JR.   Cliff Barnes was the villain (or was he?) always in the mix trying to foil the backhanded and sneaky business moves JR tried to make.  Jock and Miss Ellie were the quintessential mom and dad duo leaving a massive legacy to their children–the ranch from Miss Ellie’s family and the oil business Jock built from the bottom up–and was always a contention of war between the family.  The show was nominated for 15 Golden Globes, 19 Primetime Emmy Awards, and 4 People’s Choice Awards.  Netflix has the series on DVD and it can also be purchased on Amazon.  While the series was riveting back in its prime, it probably would not gain popularity today.  In fact, they tried to revive the television classic featuring the next generation with cameo appearances from JR, Bobby, and Suellen, but it only lasted three seasons.

Mike and I were familiar with the show, so we piled into the truck with our goddaughter and her mom to go take a look.  As we approached Southfork Ranch, the heart of Dallas, Mike started blasting the intro song through the speakers and opened the windows.  As we drove by with the theme song blaring, we were transported to circa 1980 as all the faces of the familiar characters ran through our heads and we ‘Da-Da’d’ the tune at the top of our lungs.  Seeing the big white house and beautiful wrought-iron gate with the tree-lined entrance was magical, even if the ranch was closed for the day.


The entrance to Southfork.

Yes, we parked the truck on the side of the road like common tourists.  I peaked through the heavy wrought iron and got this tiny glimpse of the house:


I then walked a few steps to the side of the gate (okay, I know it wasn’t really appropriate, but I couldn’t help myself) and got this view:


I even walked out on the street to snap this scene:


Because the longhorn lazing in front of the ranch didn’t really show up well in the above photo, I got closer and spied this perspective along with some of the outbuildings:


I’m not sure if the longhorn will turn into steaks and hamburgers or if they were for ambiance, but they were wonderful to see.

Of course, a cheesy tourist visit isn’t complete without cheesy pictures:


My goddaughter, Gabby, and her mom, Sherrie.

And obligatory selfies (sans ridiculous duck lips):


To be honest, the ranch is much smaller than TV made it out to be, and the land surrounding it does not appear to be as massive.  We didn’t take the tour because we got there too late, but we might have been disappointed.  It’s best to leave the lives of the Dallas rich and famous to our imaginations, keeping JR and Bobby and their beautiful home intact.

Our drive to Southfork was spectacular because of our fond memories and the ability to totally immerse ourselves in the experience with youthful exuberance.  Watching Gabby’s what-in-the-world-is-this-all-about facial expressions was entertaining, as well.

For now, all that’s going through my head is, “Da-Da, Da-Da, Da-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da, Da-Da-Da, Da-Da-Da.” At least that’s how it runs through my head–does it yours?

Until the next adventure,

Love, Dawn

Dealey Plaza, Downtown Dallas, and Stevie Ray Vaughan – Full-Time RV Life

Downtown Dallas, Dealey Plaza, and visiting the grave of Stevie Ray Vaughan were among the places we visited during our short stay in Dallas.

The legendary guitarist, Stevie Ray Vaughan, is laid to rest in Laurel Land Cemetery in Dallas.  Being a musician, Mike wanted to pay his respects while we were in the area.  The cemetery was massive and  contained several geocaches hidden in the peaceful gardens, so we enjoyed a brisk walk and found some treasures.

The drive through downtown Dallas was slow due to traffic issues.  It did give us a chance to see some of the architecture and bridges, both new and old, as we passed through.  Most photos were taken while moving, but we managed to catch some highlights.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One of the more sobering sites was Dealey Plaza where President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed.  We have watched many videos, documentaries, and conspiracy theories surrounding this sad event in our nation’s history.   Being in the spot where it physically happened was tough.  The day we were there, tourists were waiting on waning traffic so they could lay in the street posing with smiles by the X’s that mark the location of John F. Kennedy’s shooting–where the President of the United States took his last breath with the horrified First Lady at his side.  The atrocity of the moment is immortalized in videos, and to witness people taking selfies at the infamous ‘X’ with duck lips, peace signs, and happy faces made me angry.   Our goal is to see all historical landmarks, and I’m not sorry we toured Dealey Plaza–but it hurt my heart to observe fellow Americans visit the area with such lightheartedness and lack of respect.



The Grassy Knoll


From the defacement of the word allegedly on the marker, conspiracy theories cloud the historical facts.


The open window on the right, seen through the tree branches, was where Lee Harvey Oswald took aim and fired at President John F. Kennedy.


The spot where President John F. Kennedy was shot.

Dallas is a beautiful city.   It’s unfortunate a part of its history is shrouded in the tragic shooting of President Kennedy.  Words cannot express the myriad of emotions when visiting this site of American history.

I will leave you with these words to honor a President who sacrificed all for the United States:


Love, Dawn

Review of The Oaks RV Park and Campground, Cedar Creek, Texas – Full-Time RV Life


We recently had the pleasure of having a 60-day stay at The Oaks RV Park and Campground in Cedar Creek, Texas.  The park is located between Bastrop and Austin, Texas–close enough to several local attractions and far enough away from the city hustle and bustle to allow for quiet RV living.  The following is our experience and opinion about The Oaks RV Park and Campground.


This peaceful and rustic campground is set back from the access road off of Highway 71 between Austin and Bastrop.  The price point for us was quite reasonable at $375 plus our electric usage per month for our 60-day visit to spend time with family and enjoy the local attractions.  The RV park is well-kept, clean, and meticulously maintained.


We were given a cement slab, pull-through site that included beautiful oak trees.  The site was entered without issue and the hookups were convenient and easily accessed.  The drive into and roads throughout the park were gravel.


The Oaks RV Park provided a laundry facility and bathhouse, which were well-maintained and clean.  They have a large free-standing, covered portico with rocking chairs and picnic tables surrounded by oak trees and green grass.  They do not have a pool, however.  The WiFi is the typical campground fare, not enough for working or streaming but good enough for general e-mailing, texting, calls, etc.  They do have a community fire pit.   There is plenty of space for pets to run and play.


Jami and Larry are extremely friendly and accommodating.  While we are pretty low-maintenance guests, every question we had was answered immediately.  We were greeted with smiles and felt welcomed and appreciated.


Most definitely.   The Oaks was a quiet, rustic park (not a resort) where Mike could work in peace and close enough to visit family in the evenings and on weekends.  I could explore desirable destinations during the day since it was all within driving distance (McKinney Roughs, Smithville, BastropGruene, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Sam’s BBQ, a chicken sanctuary, Luckenbach, Fredricksburg, Old Tunnel State Park, and the area is a treasure trove for geocachers).

I just want to add that the owners of this park are extremely hard workers.  Not one day went by that they were not seen tending to and improving the property.  The sweat equity they put into the park is admirable and inspiring and they have created a quiet sanctuary for simple RV living.

Thank you for the wonderful stay, Jami and Larry.

Join us as we continue our travels (on the left sidebar).

Love, Dawn

Goodbye Austin, Hello Dallas – The Roller Coaster of Full-Time Travel – Full-Time RV Life


Artwork by Gabby–My Goddaughter

The title of this blog is Random Bits of Trial and Error and it’s morphed into the travel log for our full-time traveling memories.  Since random is the key word–random is pretty much the subject. There are so many informational blogs out there about buying the right RV, how to dump the tanks, horse power, the best toads, downsizing, organization–you name it–the blog-and-vlog-osphere is full of valuable knowledge.  This is different.  I may do RV park reviews one day and write about some weird out-of-the-way place we stumbled across the next.  I might lament about some mechanical problem and cover a really cool restaurant we ran into.   There are practical things like how we get our mail and a tirade about how emotional this life can be.  It’s not just a reflection of our travel, but of the feelings and ups and downs that go along with being on the road.  It’s not always about the adventure of seeing exciting and fun places–it’s also about paying attention and giving time to the people that are important to us.

That’s why pulling out of Austin was hard.  Saying goodbye to the quality family time we’ve gotten is difficult.  We stay long enough to get a routine going and then it’s time to pack it up and head to another destination.  Don’t get me wrong, I love our nomadic lifestyle and change of pace every few weeks.  It’s keeping us both active and we are seeing places we’ve never visited before.  It’s the sadness of saying goodbye to the people we love and the happiness in heading to the next family visit.  It’s like an emotional roller coaster ride. We so enjoyed Austin and visiting Mike’s parents, but we were headed to Dallas to visit my sister, Ruth, and my goddaughter and close family friends.  It was necessary to switch gears.

We only had a short visit planned, so I tried to prepare for the fast pace of making the most of the time together.  My rheumatoid disease friends will understand the significance of resting up in preparation–in Austin, I had a bout with flu followed by tonsillitis/strep, which necessitated halting the RA immunosuppression injections for a period of time and brought on a rheumatoid flare.  Being sick was not an ideal hand of cards when traveling, but, thankfully, it was manageable.  The hard part is leveraging the time needed for self-care when there is travel in the mix, people to see, and exciting things to do. Downtime is a necessary added obstacle and another portion of the perpetual roller coaster.

ruthie 2


Our trip to Dallas was concentrated on simply visiting loved ones, and that’s basically what we accomplished.  Ruth and I spent an entire day together sitting in comfy lawn chairs at the wooded campsite catching up with one another–talking, laughing, and sharing healing tears.  It was an all-day gab fest and I think we both enjoyed spending the quality time together.  We got caught up on our kids, jobs, life, our parents–the whole gambit.  We don’t get to do that often, and it was a memorable time for both of us.  Sad part is we were so involved in our quality time, I didn’t get a selfie with her.



The time spent with Gabby, my goddaughter, and her moms, (Sherrie and Becky) was a lively time, too.  I introduced them to geocaching and we spent stealth time finding caches in the dark, in the park, and all around the Irving, Texas area.  I got to see where Gabby goes to school, her room, and get lots of hugs.

Yes, we did see a couple tourist areas in Dallas, but the majority of the time was spent at the motorhome bonding with family.  The tourist areas were wonderful (future blog post), the geocaching was exciting (future blog post), trying a couple local restaurants was interesting, but the memorable time was simply visiting one another and catching up.

“Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.

–Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

It is a roller coaster leaving one place and heading to the next, and there are even twists and turns and loop-de-loops when we are settled between destinations, but the rewards are rich, renewing, and wonderful.  It’s a random life that makes each moment different and unique.  I love the anticipation of each steep hill, screaming with the downward spiral, and the thrill of every twisty turn–this is our life and I love every random bit.

Until the next time,

Love, Dawn


Review of Quiet Creek RV Resort – Fredricksburg, TX – Full-Time RV Life

quietcreek 2

We stayed at the Quiet Creek RV Resort in Fredricksburg, Texas, for two nights for a weekend getaway.


The price point is a little high, but reasonable since it’s in a tourist area.  According to the website, they are currently running specials for $98 for a two-night stay.  The park is brand new–it’s very clean, streamlined, and sits in a valley with a nice view of the surrounding hills.  It currently has little shade, but that will change as the trees and foliage grow in.


The majority of the sites are pull-through, so access was easy and fast.  Hookups are all modern and convenient.


Wi-Fi was typical campground fare–enough for e-mails, etc., but not enough for streaming or working.  They have clean restrooms and showers with a well-maintained laundry facility.  The pool was nice size, but it was too cold to enjoy it during our stay. One of our favorite amenities was the leash-free dog park.  It was spacious and clean and our bullmastiff loved the freedom of running to her heart’s content.


The staff was courteous, friendly, and welcoming.  They were highly visible during the day maintaining the park and keeping it clean.


If we are in the touristy area of Fredricksburg in the future, we will definitely stay again.

Quiet Creek RV resort was a nice place to park while we went sight-seeing and a relaxing place to wind down for family time in the evening.

Activities we enjoyed while in the area were Luckenbach, Fredricksburg, and Old Tunnel State Park.  There is much more to see and do, but we were only there for a short time.

We hope you found this review helpful.  Please like and comment with any suggestions regarding this review.

Until the next campground visit,

Love, Dawn

Luckenbach, Fredricksburg, and Old Tunnel State Park – Full-Time RV Life

We embarked on a weekend getaway with my sister-in-law, Jackie, while we were in Austin.  We pulled out of The Oaks RV Park and took three days to visit Luckenbach and Fredricksburg and found a couple sweet surprises along the way.

Our first stop was Luckenbach.  If you haven’t heard the song Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love) or listened carefully to the lyrics by Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, I invite you to do so in the following video.  It’ll dance around your head all day.



Luckenbach is not just a place, it’s an experience.  Stuck in the middle of almost-nowhere Texas, there’s a small dance hall, post office, gift shop, outside concert area, a bar where you can grab a Texas beer or a root beer, and a whole lot of peace and quiet.  It is a place where Waylon and Willie actually played, but the big names don’t really go there anymore.  The old post office is now a gift shop with a warped wooden floor and local Luckenbach wares are charming to browse.  The bar has a few stray cats that the owner has rescued and they love to be petted as root beer is served in tall brown bottles.  There’s an old guitar player with a smooth whiskey voice who plays for tips and always takes a break to ask people where they are from.  Outside is an area for tent camping among huge old oak trees and a slow rippling creek.  The wooden bridge that crosses into the area is guarded by a cocky rooster protecting his hens.  Overall, it’s a serene little place.  Visiting there makes me understand why Willie and Waylon wanted to get back to the basics of love.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The rest of our afternoon was spent in Fredricksburg.  We were short on time, so we did not get to visit the area’s wineries or the World War II Museum, but we did get to walk the historic downtown, which was very people-y.  I did manage to grab a geocache while there, which was placed by a teacher’s second-grade class.  We got to see the outside of Fleet Admiral Nimitz’s boyhood home (Mike’s a Navy Vet) and the old hospital.  We had a late lunch at the Rathskeller Basement Restaurant where we had a delicious German meal–we highly recommend the sampler plate featuring jaeger schnitzel and other German fare.  The potato salad and slaw were delicious, also.  I admired some of the ironwork and other quaint places along the street, but it was difficult to get photos without featuring other tourists–it was just too busy.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We were longing to find some more quiet, out-of-the-way, off-the-beaten-path places to see.  The next morning we set out on a drive of the beautiful hill country around us, hoping to visit the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.  Unfortunately, too many people were visiting that weekend and the park was at capacity.  Fortunately, this led us on a country drive that took us through hills with breathtaking views.  We happened along a state park that seemed to be deserted.


We pulled into the parking lot and walked to the viewing area and were treated to this lovely view.




This was an old train tunnel that was abandoned and has been taken over by bats.  The bats come out at dusk and there are several levels in the park for viewing the nightly show.  Each seating area is reached by a rather steep and downhill hike.  We were there during the day, but the view was still spectacular without the bats, which was okay with me (they’re such creepy creatures).

Here are the tunnel views in the daylight:


Again, we snagged a geocache and had a beautiful walk in this lovely deserted park. It was a nice stop in our countryside drive.

On the ride back to our campground, we took a detour through farm country where free-range beef, goats, turkeys, etc., were sighted all along the drive.  It was actually quite pretty and enjoyable, even though Lexie (our bullmastiff) whimpered at the cows and goats.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It was a calm and relaxing weekend and we really did enjoy ourselves.  I also got great photos of my husband and his sister.

The best parts of the little getaway was the spontaneity, lack of planning, relaxed pace, and family time.

Until the next time,

Love, Dawn




%d bloggers like this: