2024 May 12-19 Lake Buchanan and Surroundings


May 12 – Drove from Denton to Lake Buchanan, stopping in Dallas

We stopped in Dallas to visit Joan’s cousin Don Haig. His wife Jan was in Greenville, SC with her mother Jeanet Dreskin, 102 years old. We were sorry to miss Jan, but glad that her mother got a visit from her.

We found our way to Don’s beautiful home and got our second-time tour of the premises. (We had been there once before, on our way to the Albuquerque Balloon Festival in 2019.) Jan is an extraordinary artist, as is her mother Jeanet, so the home is filled with extraordinary art by both of them.

insert photo of Don and Joan – 2 in a row

As agreed in advance, we took Don out for brunch. We went to the Yolk restaurant, and enjoyed the food almost as much as the company. It is always good to see Don.

After leaving Don at his home, we continued on to our next campsite, the Lake Buchanan RV & Cabin Resort. Our site 21 was right on the lake, separated only by a vast expanse of land that is filled with water when the water level is not so low from the severe drought. The view was beautiful, with the Lake Buchanan Dam not too far away on the left.


May 13 – Exploring the resort

The Lake Buchanan RV resort has a nature trail that we decided to walk through. We were rewarded with beautiful wildflowers, which also lined the roads throughout the area. We missed most of the bluebonnet season, which were replaced with Golden Wave Tickseed, field after field of them.

May 14 – Marble Falls and lunch at Trail Blazer Grill

When the dam was built creating a lake, the falls at Marble Falls disappeared under the water. There remains a lovely park where the falls continues to fall under the water.

We revisited TrailBlazer Grill for a repeat of a wonderful lunch from several years ago. Joan had a generous salad with shrimp that was dressed with a Caesar dressing she concocted herself. I had about 1/4 of the yummy salad.

Stu had his favorite Texas dish. Light, flakey catfish and home breaded onion rings that the waitress made especially for us (and all the other customers – at 6:30 that morning).

May 15 – Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge and Bay View Restaurant

Balcones must be a very famous name for something we know little about. The National Wildlife Preserve is a mixture of federal, state, and local properities created to provide a home for multiple species of animals.

Unfortunately, development is encroaching on the area, buying up the private land and encroaching on the solitude of the preserve.

There is not a lot to see there. Several shorter trails cover the several different types of geography but the once beautiful Vista Overlook now looks over a scar of a housing development.

Dinner at the Bay View Restaurant and Bar was far better. The view of Lyndon B  Johnson Lake is panoramic, looking down on undeveloped and lightly developed land – and – a power plant at the base of the lake feeding a spider web of high voltage lines. The power equipment and a thread of the Colorado River (Texas style) is far below the heights of he restaurant.

We started dinner inside but the room was Texas cool, that is gloves and a warm coat for us. We moved outside onto the lovely paito and it was perfect with a good view of the lake and surroundings.

Joan had Thai  Chicken salad, “it was wonderful.” The dressing was spicy for Joan – the water has a house made dressing just for her. Tasty peanut based dressing complemented the salad and the shared roasted brussel sprouts.

Stu had a fried redfish and a corn blended side. Both were very tasty.

At dusk, we were greated by zillions of very tiny flying things. Lots of unexpected protean in our salad. They left at dark for a night’s sleep.

May 16, Laundry, Shopping, and Lunch

The Texas Wash House was clean, quiet, not crowded with sufficient large machines to quickly do our laundry.

Lunch at Crazy Gal’s Cafe was quiet, enjoyable and kind of tasty. The server provided a never ending cup of hot tea and honey to help overcome the rainy day.

Joan’s salad was mostly iceberg lettuce and Stu’s omelet was OK, but not special. Comfortable place for a rest in the rain.

May 17 – Visit Canyon of the Eagles resort, then the Romans arrive in their RV

We hiked several shorter trails at the Canyon of the Eagles, wowed by the beauty of the wildflowers, both along the trails, and along the roads to and from the resort. We were surprised to learn that the “wildflowers” had been planted from seed (millions of seeds), starting in the 1930’s and continuing through the present (30,000 lb. each year along more than 800,000 miles of right of way) – by the Texas Highway Department to help conserve water, control erosion, and provide a habitat for wildlife.

Much to our surprise we had a wonderful lunch on the patio outside the Overlook Restaurant at the Canyon. We weren’t expecting much after the bad reviews and the lack of a menu on the internet. Quite a pleasant surprise, and it wasn’t expensive (despite the reviews) and it was delicious (despite the reviews). They need a much better PR department, which is on the way now after we let them know about the bad PR they get on the internet. Our head waitress turned out to be in charge of “social media” and had no idea how bad the PR was for her almost deserted restaurant.

Around 6pm the Romans arrived, Rebecca (Stu’s daughter) with her husband Miguel and 2 children, Sierra 7 and Dylan 3. Stu gave the children the mini waffle maker he had brought for them, and so it was time for waffles. Unfortunately, his antique waffle iron of many, many years had been inadvertently thrown away in the oven he replaced on our trailer.

photos of kids and waffles.