Sunday, March 18, 2012

Huntsville, TX

After leaving Louisiana, Max and I headed to Rainbow's End at Livingston, TX.  Although I am a lifetime member of Escapees, I had only been to Rainbow's End, the headquarters for the club, once before.  I had a chance to line dance every morning and that was fun.  Hadn't done that in a while.  Went on a tour of the park and the mail room.  Escapees provides the largest mail forwarding service for RVers of all the clubs with over 9500 clients.  We also went dancing at the VFW and drove out to Lake Livingston, but the highlight of our visit to the area was visiting our friend, Nancy, over in Huntsville.

On the way I spotted this house which has been overgrown by the wisteria.  Although wisteria has a pretty flower, it is an invasive plant and many people don't like it.

This is the Steamboat House, built in 1858 by the president of Austin College for his son.  But his son refused to live in it because people made fun of it and called it the Steamboat House because of its design. In 1862 Sam Houston rented this house and died here a year later.  The house is only one room wide and the lower rooms all have separate doors to the outside as well as adjoining doors.
The house is now located at a city park where Sam Houston's farmhouse has also been relocated.  There is very good museum too.  I would recommend it if you ever go to Huntsville.  

Nancy took us on a tour of Huntsville.  Not only is it the home of Sam Houston, but it is also known as the prison city.  There are over 9 prisons located either in the town or in close proximity.  The town claims a population of 39,400, but sadly, about half of this population is inmates.

The Huntsville "Walls" unit, was the first Texas prison, built in 1849.  It was so named because the entire facility is surrounded by a wall.  For many years there was a prison rodeo on rodeo grounds located inside the prison.  Those rodeo grounds have now been torn down, but they were the location for the rodeo scenes from the film Rhinestone Cowboy.

We eventually made it back to Nancy's log cabin in the woods, where we sat on her front porch and enjoyed the outdoors.

This woodpecker kept us entertained.  He did not seem to mind that we were less than 20 feet away and watching him.

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