Gibbons Creek Reservoir is operated by the local electrical utility and features 17 level crushed caliche sites with 50 amp power plus water. There is a dump station, and a few sites come with sewer connections. It is quiet everyday and basically deserted from Monday to Friday morning. The lake is stocked with hybrid Florida bass, and now and then somebody will bring in a big one. We paid $100 for a week, which is quite reasonable given its 15 mile commute westward on Hwy 30 to Bryan/College Station and the bustling metropolis that former burg has become. Have your GPS look for a diner called Yankee’s Tavern in Anderson, TX, then follow the signs to the lake. Go back to the Tavern and order a cold Bud and a Chicken Fried Steak.
Caveat: you can only register to camp on Friday through Sunday, but pay for a week and they’ll give you the combo to the gate lock.
We took in a sold-out baseball game on a Friday night between the Texas A&M and LSU. I am saddened to report that much has changed in the 15 or so years since last I witnessed Aggie baseball. The home crowd no longer waves at the crews of passing trains. No LSU guy got picked off, thus I cannot report whether the students still chant “Stooo-pid, stooo-pid” as the enemy baserunner slinks back to his team’s dugout feeling dumb as a kid starting his third consecutive year in 4th grade. In the 90’s the crowd united to create a sound effect rising then falling in pitch concurrent with the path of a foul tip’s climb up the screen behind home and its eventual descent back to earth. Not anymore. Maybe Aggies are taking themselves too seriously today? But all is not lost! The scoreboard and PA system still play the lead-in to that old Chuck Connors series “The Rifleman” after every strikeout by an opposing batter. They edited out the name of the series and actor, but use your imagination, it goes like this:
H-E-B, named for the initials of its founder, Herman E Butt, is a wonderful grocery, with several B/CS locations. We shopped there for excellent meals ranging from smoked pork ribs to Paul Prudhomme’s famous meat pie to a Venezuelan street vendor dish, cachapas. That last one is a pancake made mostly from fresh corn blended into a batter, fried, and then used as a wrap for smoked pulled pork shoulder.
After all the so-so Tex-Mex food in Fort Stockton, it was a pure delight to get take-out from Raspas el Payosito and Tacos el Tio. Both are low-cost hole-in-the-wall gems in Bryan. I ordered Raspas’ huarache, a shoe-sized sole of ground corn topped with barbacoa, veggies, and queso blanco. Kat had Tacos el Pastor. At Tacos Tio I fell back upon my high school Spanish and ordered Fajita Tacos and Quesadillas con Pollo, in the only language Mrs. Tio knew. (Yep, I’m pretty proud of myself.)
For those who hesitate to venture near the shadow of the ghetto, I still have something for you. It’s not Mexican; it’s Thai. Kluay Kluay is a new place in a modern strip mall, modestly furnished but long on flavor. Seated in a booth I noticed two other tables of four diners. Nobody was talking, but cell phones were texting madly. (The times, they are a-changin’.) Our meal began with appetizers — egg rolls, a chicken satay, and tempura shrimp. Then we were off to their curries. Mine was the green chile with chicken. KK offers four grades of heat: mild, medium, hot, and Thai hot. Mild feels hot to most Anglos. I love peppery foods, but medium made my hair sweat. And that’s what I call perfect.
I’m gonna crave that curry for a solid year.