My first morning in the Piney Woods was waking up in the bed of my pick-up truck which was parked at Wolf Creek State Park. The Amazon purchased mattress that fit in the bed of my Tundra had deflated during the night and my back felt like I had been thrown from a bus and I rolled to a stop on a pile of rocks. The smell of coffee brewing on the camp fire was the only motivation that I had on this cool April morning to get moving.

As I climbed down from my truck in search for the magic coffee that I knew would cure what ailed me, I looked to the East and into the horizon. The sun was just coming up over Lake Livingston. A single motor boat passed by with some eager fisherman ready to catch their limit of Catfish or White Bass, and an Eagle flew over an island off in the distance. I looked at my wife who was already pouring coffee an I said “We should move here, this is Nirvana. “ I could not believe that having lived in Texas for 40 years we had never ventured up to Lake Livingston, or knew anything about the Piney Woods.

Looking back I am really not even sure how or why we ended up camping at Wolf Creek Park that Spring night. We are not campers, I have no boy-scout skills, and frankly, I always looked at camping as nothing more that Tail-Gating in the woods. My wife must have enticed me with the promise of adult beverages before we set out on this journey. (Did I forget to put air in the mattress?) Anyway – 45 days later we were closing on a small lake house on the Northern banks of Lake Livingston in a small hamlet known as Onalaska. We took to the area quickly and before I knew it, we were selling our house in Houston and becoming full time residents of Polk County in the Piney Woods.

This is my first article for the Piney Woods Pathfinder, and I am looking forward to writing each and every month for your amusement and pleasure. We have met so many wonderful people since moving here, visited great restaurants, (and bars) and enjoyed our adventures in the Piney Woods. I will keep you up to date as we explore all hidden gems of East Texas and share our escapades while we travel along the way.

As I am putting the final finishing touches on this article, and running a spell check one more time, we are preparing to load up the truck and meander up to Canton, Texas for the country’s largest Flea Market this weekend! It is about a 3-hour drive from Onalaska and I was told that the market is over 400 acres of booths and tents selling everything from chickens to Tamales. I have already googled the most effective route by car and found two winery’s along the way. I believe our plan will be to visit both since I don’t think it is in my nature to pass a winery and not sample the fruits of their labor.

Life is what you make of it. There is beauty and fun all around us.

Till next time, this is
Piney Woods Wanderer
(Never lost, but sometimes hard to find)