VW Bus Adventures — Kisatchie to Homochitto

We hope you enjoy The Journey into nature.  Fair Winds and Happy Travels!

.V.. (Peace) & Love,

GVR

Advertisements

Family Adventures

Banana Bend on the San Jacinto River —

It had been 30 years since he’d last seen the place, but my husband Nico insisted on taking Baby and I on a family adventure to see Banana Bend on the San Jacinto River.  I was a bit skeptical; picturing a run down, or shut down, remnant of what once had been a fun party place on the bend of the river.  Boy…!  Was I ever surprised!  –In a very good way.

I had already found myself quite charmed by the tiny ferry boat that had carried our crew of three across the ship channel, quite a ways inland and up the waterway from Galveston Island.  Able to carry not even 20 cars at a time, The Lynchburg Ferry was like stepping back in time, in a way.  Unlike the Bolivar Ferry — which we’ve ridden often — The Lynchburg Ferry looked a bit unstable at times, and traveled much slower than its much larger neighboring ferry (Bolivar Ferry).

So I snapped one-after-another photos of our crossing, and we were on our way…yet-again, down the road, searching for that place Nico had left in his past…until this day.  Bumping down the two lane road in our old VW Camper Bus, we stayed on the look-out for a sign…any sign, to let us know we’re heading in the right direction.  Then…we spotted it!  — Banana Bend…Just Ahead.  The sign said, in a nutshell; though Nico was going too fast for me to read the small print.

A few miles down the road, we came to an overpass that Nico didn’t remember ever seeing decades ago when he last visited Banana Bend.  So…we turned around and went back to the sign he’d sped past in such a hurry at last pass.  Sure enough, in small print, it had listed the street where we should have turned before.

Making our turn onto a much smaller road — a Farm to Market road — we continued on our adventure, searching…searching.  Then…there we were: facing two yellow kayaks planted vertically in the ground, reaching up into the sky, with a sign in the middle telling us we had arrived.

A nice little man was working the entrance gate, and let us in to look around since they were soon to close down for the day.  I felt like we had entered an island hide-away…on the river!  Palm trees everywhere, along with tiki palapas style cabanas and picnic tables.  And it was all so secluded, you’d never know it was there…unless someone told you.  I was thankful to Nico, for bringing us to such a charming island escape as Banana Bend.

And even though we were only able to stay for a short time before dark was beginning to fall and we had to head back and try to catch the last ferry, we had already began to plan a day trip to our new island escape (or escape from the island).  Having recent bouts of island fever, I know Banana Bend is just the place I’ve been needing all along.

*Here’s to new adventures, inland…and beyond!*

**NOTE to Families**  Recommended Family Days – Saturday/Sunday Afternoons & Weekdays (off-season): After careful research, it seems that BB is quite the party place during summer months and on weekends.  We visited late on a Saturday during the off-season, and all was peaceful and quiet.  It’s best to do your homework before visiting, to know of which events are taking place on any particular day or weekend.  Visit Banana Bend on Facebook.    

To Plant…or Not To Plant! –A Nomad in Limbo

The hardest thing about sitting still for long, is being at-odds with two sides of myself.  To plant…or not to plant a garden.  With Spring in the air, it’s impossible to resist sprinkling a few seeds about…just to watch them grow…for as long as I am here in this one place.

No, I realize, I cannot take a garden with me when we do actually pull our Mermaid Mansion on down the road.  But I can at least enjoy the fruits of my labor while enjoying this island life for a little while longer.  –Or until our old vintage relic-of-a-tiny-home-on-wheels is ready to roll.  She still has a ways to go, and her tires are pretty lifeless; so new rubber is tops on our list of To-Do’s…when it comes to setting our nomadic spirits free once again.

For now…here I sit, writing a few words and thoughts; struggling still with two extremely different sides of me.  In the meant-time, when I’m not writing, chances are I’ll be out back…digging and planting the ‘bit of earth’ I’ve been Blessed to call mine…for now.  Never mind that it is only borrowed.

Do any of us ever really own the land on-which we sit…live…or garden?  I know we cannot take it with us when we go.  But we can sure enjoy the smell of soil on our hands, sifting through our fingers, and the scent of sweet blossoms before they bear fruit.  I can only live in the moment and enjoy what life has brought my way.  And when we do ‘set sail’, and Mermaid Mansion is bumping down the highway…to destinations unknown, I’ll gaze out the window…with the scenery zipping by, and I’ll embrace that moment with every ounce of my being.  –Ever-so grateful for the change it will bring.

*Embrace every moment*  **Live for today!**

 

Living In the Moment — Mother Earth’s Papaya Tree

Like so many folks nowadays, I find myself longing to spread my wings and fly out into a vast world of discovery and adventure.  In my own reality, I’ve been a nomadic spirit for as long as I can remember, so it’s nothing new to me.

Back when I was young, before school-age, I would pretend I was trekking through a jungle with the natives of some far-away land.  I loved to climb trees, swing upside down, swim, flip and dive…forwards and backwards, from any high-dive I encountered.  I look back on that little girl with the adventurous spirit, and I can see where she has been lost many times along the way of this journey that is my life.

Even now…as I sit writing this, I long to jump in my old VW ‘Adventure’ Van, and bump on down the road a-piece…to where ever we choose to set-up camp for the night…a week…a month.  The only thing keeping us rooted here–like the papaya tree in my garden–is our lack of financial freedom.  We’re working on it, but we’re not there…yet!  :  /

Like the tropical beauty of that papaya tree–which must’ve been a gift from Mother Earth, since I cannot take credit for its sowing–spreading its shallow roots…fruiting where it grows, I find myself blooming where ever I am planted.  Though, unlike the papaya tree, I am not content to be firmly rooted in this spot forever…or ’til the end of my days.

I look back on our wandering days with pure happiness and the fondest of memories.  That is the only time in my life that I can honestly say I was where I wanted to be.  I was happy.  I was everywhere the wind blew us, and the winding road led us.   I was freer than I’ve ever been since…or before.

Such freedom was our goal five years ago when we sold it all…moved out of our lovely rock house (that we were merely renting), put all of our keepsakes in storage, and headed on down the road…bound for nowhere in particular at the time.

Since then, we’ve moved around like a band of gipsies (hence the nickname ‘GypsyVin Rose, given to us by friends and folks we met in our travels (Vin Rose being our daughter’s middle name)), as I believe we are all gypsies at heart.  We first ventured out in our home state; to the Guadalupe River, camping in our old girl ‘Peniki’.  See VW Road Trip to New Braunfels.

We’ve traversed miles and miles…and miles in our classic hippie bus — living, loving, and laughing in our Peniki VW Campervan.  Through many states…adventuring down to Key West and back again; staying near-a-month in paradise.  Traipsing through Louisiana’s swampy bayous and national forests; smelling some of the freshest air I’ve ever smelled.  –Ever…!

Playing on the white sandy beaches of the Mississippi gulf shores, and surviving the remains of a water spout come-ashore while camping at Buccaneer Park.  Riding bikes on Dauphin Island in Alabama; witnessing history in the old forts that survived to tell a tale.  Passing through Florabama; ecstatic to know we were on the same soil where Jimmy Buffett had his One Love One Ocean concert…following the big oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.   We wanted to stop, but we were bound for the next camping spot.  I wish now…we had stayed awhile; had a bite to eat or something.

So many places…we ventured for most of that year.  It made selling our stuff, material possessions, so much-more worth it when we were out there on the road, giving in to Wanderlust.  Unlike the papaya tree –even though I am forever grateful to Mother Earth for such a Blessing– this is not my last stop…if I have anything to do with it.

I long to feel the wind in my locs, as we bump down the road, closer…closer, but further and further still.  So far from where this little suburban girl pretended to trek through a foreign jungle, yet so much closer to our next great adventure.  I’ll be sure to pack plenty of papaya before I go.

*Be true to yourself…and set your spirit free*