RV Trip 10.10 – Lost Resort RV Ranch, Medina River Winery, Lost Maples State Natural Area, Garner SP – Jan 29-Feb 9, 2023

Our original plan was to go to South Llano River SP in Junction Texas but the forecast was for mid 20’s F overnight and that we could handle but the problem was that there was an ice forecast (yes that’s a thing) for 9 hours and then for 5 hours of snowfall. We didn’t want to risk driving into that area with the roads freezing and we also didn’t want to get stuck not being able to drive out. We did some research and found a little RV park called Lost Resort RV Ranch that was in a farming community west of San Antonio and we also found a Harvest Host location called Medina River Winery. We booked 2 nights at the RV park and 1 night at the winery and this allowed us to avoid the bad conditions as the San Antonio area didn’t go below freezing and we just got rain but no ice.

On the way from Guadalupe River SP we stopped in the town of Boerne (pronounced Burnnie) for groceries and Sharon saw they had a Specs liquor store which has a really large selection so we picked up several wines (including a few Becker Wines from Texas that the fisherman had told us about) and I got an Islay Whisky. After the shopping I had found a Mexican restaurant named Las Guitarras that got good reviews so we decided to stop for lunch. The meal was excellent, I had the Camarones de la Diabla (very spicy shrimp) and Sharon had the Crispy Taco Shrimp and for dessert we had the best Flan we had ever tasted😉 We even met the owner when we were leaving. Later that day Boerne got the major ice storm and in fact closed the schools and lots of the businesses for 2 days so it was good we had gone further south!!

The owner of the Lost Resort RV Ranch was very friendly but her stack of legal paperwork that I had to sign to check in was crazy. When we were there it rained for the 2 days straight (thankful it wasn’t ice) so we really just did laundry and got caught up on the blog.

We were only 15 kms away from the winery so on the day we left we went to Castroville first and found an O’Reilly’s so we could buy some oil for the generator and it turned out they would take back our used oil from when we changed it so that worked out well. Then we went to Julianna’s restaurant which was connected to a golf course. Again the meal was excellent. We started off a Pork Bites appetizer, followed by salad for Sharon and I had Chicken Tortilla soup, and then I had the Pecan Crusted Catfish and Sharon had Chicken stuffed with Artichokes (locally grown) and Spinach. Our dessert was a very decadent Chocolate Cake. Another amazing meal and of course we had some leftovers to take to the RV to have later😉

After lunch we went to our Harvest Host (HH) stay at Medina River Winery. They had 5 places but 2 were occupied so we pulled into a free one and waited until 6 pm when they opened the winery for tastings for the Harvest Host guests. We met the owner and his 2 hosts and sampled their 3 white wines and their 3 red wines. Our favourite was the last one which was a Tempranillo. By this time 3 other HH guests (1 from Michigan, 1 from Boston and her partner from Wales) were in so we were all talking about travel locations. We purchased 2 bottles of the Tempranillo, but the host indicated she could open one of them for us, so we proceeded to drink that bottle while chatting for the next 2 hours, what a fun way to meet like minded people.

The next day it warmed up a bit so there was no threat of ice on the roads which was a good thing since we drove on a very twisty, hilly road to get to Lost Maples State Natural Area.  When you reserve online it’s hard to determine exactly what your site will be like, ours had a very big slope to it, which is not good for the RV fridge.  We had to use all our leveling blocks to get closer to level.  We could have requested another spot, but we were meeting up with a couple from the LTV Ontario Sunrisers who were enroute and booked across from us.  With all the hills surrounding us we had no cell coverage, but you could get very slow Wi-Fi at the park office.

On Friday we had a beautiful day to hike the Maples Trail to the East Trail.  This is one of the few areas in Texas that still has maple trees. These are Uvalde Bigtooth Maples, but they do not produce syrup and their leaves are very small.  I’m sure this area is extremely busy in the fall.  We passed by Monkey Rock, a very appropriate name, then the grotto before beginning a very steep climb up to the plateau.  From there we went to the overlook for lunch, and we got enough signal for text and email.  We had some great views of the valley and trail below but as the saying goes “what goes up, must come down” we had a rocky steep descent to the pond.  All total we did 12 kms, nice to be active after hunkering down for the big Texas Ice Event.  Randy and Julianna arrived that evening, so it was nice to get together to share travel stories. 

Unfortunately, the next day we woke to fog socking in the hills so not a good day to hike but a good blogging day.  We also popped over to the park office to get a Wi-Fi fix and look at the displays in the visitor centre. Once again, we got together with our LTV neighbours over Apple Brandy, wine, beer, and more stories.

On Sunday after saying our goodbyes we headed out to hike the West Trail adding in the West Trail Loop.  The beginning of the trail was nice going by the ponds.  The elevation was gradual but to do the Loop trail we had to go straight up, then we walked through a flat cypress trail and down a very rocky steep slope.  We agreed we wouldn’t bother with this loop section trail again, but we did see some interesting rocks on the trail and two small springs.  We walked through Mystic Canyon with some nice limestone caves before doing another steep climb to the top and then a very long climb down.  We’re glad we did the trail the way we did it as that would have been a killer hill to start!!  A great hiking day with over 14 kms completed.  It was nice to come back to the campsite and sit in our comfy chairs and relax! We were glad we had four days booked at Lost Maples as we had time to do the hikes we wanted despite the weather. 

We now move to our next location Garner State Park for four days.  The journey to Garner was on Texas FM/RM 337 (Farm to Market or Ranch to Market) from Vanderpool to Leakey.  Unknown to us at the time, it’s famous for its switchbacks and has been called one of the most scenic drives in Texas, not that the driver has the chance to notice the scenery!!  It is a very popular part of a motorcycle route called the Three Sisters (driving 3 roads to create a loop). 

In Leakey we had to stock up on a few groceries and since it was lunch time, we checked out Mama Chole’s for a Tex-Mex lunch.  Lunch doesn’t look appetizing (maybe it’s the beans) but it was very hot and tasty.  Sharon had the Chicken Enchiladas and I had Dave the Plumber’s combo which had Carne Guisada (slow cooked round steak in sauce) and a Jalapeno pepper stuffed with seasoned beef and queso cheese and of course, rice and beans. The service was friendly, but Sharon wasn’t sure about being called Madam.

Texas FM/RM 337 Highway

Garner State Park is not the largest State Park in Texas, but it gets the most people, over a million last year!!  Since it’s off season, the park wasn’t busy at all. It seemed strange going from a park with 30 campsites to one with 513 and the next park after (Kickapoo Cavern SP) only has 15 campsites! At Garner we were in the River Crossing camping area and there were only 2 other campers, one from Massachusetts and another one from Ontario😉After getting setup we walked over to the visitor centre, but they were already closed so we checked out the native species garden and learned about Ferdinand Jacob Lindheimer who named many of the plants in Texas. Since nobody was around and they had Wi-Fi, we took advantage and did FB Birthday video with our friend Cathy.

The next day we woke to rain so stayed put for the morning.  In the afternoon, even though it was misty, we headed out to do a 6 km hike on the Blinn River Trail, the Oakmont Campground by the Frio River and back by the Madrone Walkway.  In Oakmont we saw the CCC built pavilion with its outdoor dance area, they still have dances in the summer, and we also saw the cabins they built that are still in use. We carried on by the river and saw several people fishing and we ended up at the base of Old Baldy, before heading back. That evening we had BBQed Cornish Hens for dinner, tasty but lots of bones.

The next 2 days were going to be sunny so we did an MTB ride on the first day and a very strenuous hike on the second day. For the MTB ride we did the Frio Canyon and Wild Horse Creek trails to get to the original CCC park entrance. At that stage Sharon headed back on the Old Entrance Road Trail and I carried on to do the Ashe Juniper trail loops which eventually went around the backside of Old Baldy. This section was rockier and had more elevation gain so that’s why Sharon had opted out. I did just over 16 kms total. Along the Old Entrance Road they had a lookout with some signs and some very industrious ants.

Leaf Cutter Ants

Our strenuous hike day consisted of the Madrone Walkway to the Crystal Cave trail where we headed straight up the mountain to the cave, thankful for our hiking poles. Then we took the Bridges Trail to the Bird Trail which was an extremely difficult downhill section which we got lost on because there were so many paths and very few painted yellow bollards.  The All Trails app helped us find the correct path to take. Eventually we found our way to the White Rock Cave Trail and proceeded down to the Pecan Grove campground for lunch. After lunch we did the steep uphill climb to Old Baldy and close to the top there were about 20 firefighters practicing rescues along the rock face. At the very top we got cell service so Sharon called her mom and got to also to speak to her cousin Susan who was visiting. To head back we took Foshee Trail back to Bridges Trail and that descent was the easiest thing we had done all day. The whole hike was just under 9 kms but we had done 1417’ of elevation gain on very rocky trails so this was our most strenuous hike of this trip so far but totally worth the views. 

That will conclude this blog and the next stops are Kickapoo Cavern State Park and then Seminole Canyon SP as we continue to head west in Texas.


  • We just keep missing each other. We have had to make some changes in our plans. Garnier ended up staying much longer because of a dental issue. We may have just passed each other. Lost Maple, we had to cancel, and Seminole Canyon. We did Big Bend National Park and loved it all over again for the second time. Our back country site was hannold draw. Check it out so many things to do. We treated ourselves to a RV resort after BBNP. Maverick Ranch RV park in Lajitas. Pool laundry golf course WiFi bike trails bar and great live entertainment. We did day trips to Big Bend ranch state park and did the Hoodoos trail. Closed Canyon fort Leaton state historic site guided tour and many more things. The weather was nice and warm. Davis Mountains state park was another great park but again our plans changed and didn’t get to do the star gazing at Mcdonald observatory. We just went to Guadalupe river state park didn’t get to do much but for sure will go back. Plans changed again. Now trailer in storage and flew home . Should be back on the road on the 22 to Palmetto state park. Then back to Galveston state park same site lol. We have had a few curve balls throwing at us but still enjoying the journey. Love following your blogs. Safe travels and happy Camping.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comments Cheryl. We are in Seminole Canyon SP now and will go to Marathon and then Big Bend Ranch State Park for 3 nights and then head to Fort Davis SP. We went to Big Bend National Park on another trip so thought we would Boondock in the State Park this time. We plan to do the Hoodoos trail and the Closed Canyon trail as well as some others. Who knows we might see you somewhere else on the journey, safe travels when you’re back on the road👍


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