Lake Somerville State Park - Nails Creek Unit
In financial preparation for our Alaskan cruise, Britt decided to pick up some extra shifts in Brenham, Tx. The drive is a little over an hour each way from our home, so with a 4 day stint coming up, we decided to look in the area for a potential camping site to spend the week. This really is a ‘2 birds, 1 stone’ situation in that she would not have to drive as far and we can take the Airstream out for a pre-trip trip. Check the nuts and bolts, if you will. We did ourselves a Google and found a state park a little over 20 minutes outside of Brenham, Lake Somerville State Park. After spending a decade in the Bryan/College Station area, we had definitely heard of Lake Somerville as a local getaway spot, but neither of us had ever been.
Do you smell that?
I’m glad we decided to take this pre-trip trip because immediately after I got to the camp site I noticed the smell of propane. Not good. I thought it was a small leak, but it ended up draining our 30lb tank by noon on the second day. This led to a fun little task of crawling under the Airstream tracking the entire length of propane line smelling up and down until I found the source. Even less fun. Fortunately, the leak was at a coupler and not in the middle of a length of pipe. This should be an easy fix when I get her back home, but I still wanted to put a bandaid on the leak while we are in the park. My trusty super-glue seemed to do the trick. A drop or two over the leak, let set, stare at it with hyper focus, repeat. I no longer smell gas, so we will keep our fingers crossed.
Does it feel hot in here to you?
The AC unit was upgraded from the original 1985 13.5K to a brand new 15K BTU unit during the renovation. We upgraded to a 15K unit since we have such a long trailer, but it really has to fight to keep up with the Texas heat. It had reached 92 degrees outside the past two days which really is not that bad in Texas. From around 2pm until sunset, I was in my underwear sitting directly under the unit. (Excuse the mental image) We developed a few tricks to help keep the Airstream cool. We can partition off the trailer with curtains which help the AC cool a smaller space, but that leaves the back bedroom well in the 80’s and un-usable during the day. In my head, we have two options. First, not take trips in Texas in the hot summer months (like everyone else apparently) or just install a second AC unit. This would entail upgrading the unit from a 30A to a 50A service. Not a huge deal, but moderately expensive. The big debate hinges on whether the extra AC during the Texas summer is worth the extra weight the rest of the year. Decisions, decisions.
Lake Somerville SP
As for the park itself, Lake Somerville State Park is a well-kept, quiet park. When we arrived Tuesday afternoon, the site near us had a group of around 8 campers in tents. They kept to themselves and left their site immaculate. After they left, as of Wednesday evening, I have not seen another group in the entire park. Mid-week camping in July is not for the socially-dependent individual. Luckily for me, I love the isolation and time to read/reflect.
I went for a jog through the park and ended up taking the Nails Creek Trail to see how the trails were. This was a short, ~1mile, loop that passes by Lake Somerville. Most of the trail was quite wooded with the exception being near the lake where it opens up for beautiful view of the water. The trail itself was nice and wide, well-marked and smooth terrain. I jogged the entire route and never had to worry about rolling my ankle. The staff at this park was top notch too. Very friendly, amazingly helpful and even though we like our campsite, were more than willing to let us change sites if we wanted (which we didn’t). They also gave us the official state guide to the rest of the 95 state parks/historical sites in Texas. That is a very informative and useful little book.
I would recommend this park for a low key weekend getaway, but unless you plan to spend the weekend in the water, wait for cooler temperatures.