Sunday, January 15th - home gas $2.24
Square dance "Camp Inn" weekend is now a memory and heading
south is imminent.
The past weekend at Marriott's
was a resounding success. We had a GREAT group of
dancers (picture) most of whom have been
with us for numerous Camp Inns and some first timers. I really enjoyed
hearing first timer Roger Van Havermaat exclaim "This is great."
If he said it once he said it ten times referring to the overall
experience. Roger went on to say "If I had only known it was going to
be this nice I'd come years earlier." It was evident Roger enjoyed
Errol Atkinson did another tremendous job of calling and work
shop along with Judy Powers expert cuing of rounds. With Nick & Patti
Rieser taking care of the details the weekend went on without a hitch.
With all this behind us now it's time to finish packing and take
care of all the details then start our engine. We'll be leaving Tuesday
morning January 17th.
Monday, January 16th gas $2.29 KY - map
Campers packed, all the miscellaneous chores complete what is left for one
to do.. Come on Mom let's hit the road! If that's the case it's time to
fill the rig with fresh water. Outside temperature near freezing, water
hose all stiff and kinked. Got everything all connected and purged the
water lines. Now flip the lever to fill the fresh water reservoir.
#%@#* NO FLOW. Screw it. Mom run up to Wal marts and get some bottled
water. No sooner than the Neon was out of sight the water begin to gurgle
and flow. We now have four gallons of bottled water to tote.
We're off, 3:15 pm. Smooth drive all the way to
where the rest area provided comfortable accommodations at a very
reasonable cost.. Free!
Tuesday, January 17th gas $2.24 TN - map
Awoke 6am with a scheduled full day of rain, a tough day of driving. It
was interstate most of the way with a good deal of trucks, big, fast,
water flying trucks. We made the Natchez Trace Prkwy midday and that was a
welcome relief. An empty new roadway void of all hassle, very
We again stopped at the Meriwether campground the first on the Trace. Last
year we were the only campers in the park, this year there are four others
here. After dinner and settling in we called
campgrounds. We heard rumors the prices are sky high. Price was not
important because the first five called were full. One owner said he even
has two rigs parked on his front lawn and they were only taking weeklies.
He said every available space around the area has campers and FEMA
trailers. He said he was still only charging $25. We found one, ten
miles north of
, for $30 a night so I guess will give it a try.
Dieter is in good spirits. Still out foxing the seniors. We stopped at a
rest area and we were milling around, Mom in the rear and me getting two
cookies for the next trek, placing them on the counsel then taking my turn
in the rear. As I walked back up to the front, here comes smiley with two
large bulges in his cheeks. "Dieter drop it." Plop plop,
two soggy cookies on the floor. Now what is one to do? Can't reward the
mutt for misbehaving. I was very tempted to eat the darn things but I put
them on the sink. As I climbed into the drive seat looking over my
shoulder guess who is giving the dog wet cookies. "Well your not
going to throw them away!" Hmmm.
Wednesday, January 18th gas $2.26 MS - Paul
B. Johnson SP $13 full - map
WOW what a morning! Bright sunshine and a clear blue sky with a light
ground cover of the white stuff. Temperature heading toward the mid
sixties. Initial plan was to jump off at
and head directly towards
. The ride along the Trace is sooooo relaxing that when we hit
we opt to stay on the Trace till
. It's a little out of the way but worth the time. We stopped to checkout
some wild pigs/hogs ? Other than that it was straight through to just
to Paul B. Johnson state park MS. Free wifi wow.
We called ahead the park was full but we were told we could overnight in
the office parking lot for $11. We said yes. The park has about 50% FEMA.
Once here we found a small full service site for an additional $2. No
Thursday, 19th - Paul B. Johnson SP $13
Short sleeves today high 69°. We drove to the coast, Oh my God! You have
to see the devastation, pictures can not capture it (pic). Mile after mile rubble upon rubble (pic). It looks like it'll take 10 years
just to clean up the debris. Here is what's left of the dolphin's home (pic). This is one of the casino barges that
washed ashore (pic). Hurricane Katrina
We met niece Debby and husband John for lunch. Deb drove in from Foley AL
and we met at the Isle of Capri casino for a great buffet. Mom hit for a
couple hundred but only walked out with $65.
I was surprised to see the price of gas drop as we neared the coast. The
cheapest we seen was $2.18
Friday, 20th - Wal Mart Crowley LA -gas $2.23
Blah day. Your basic travel day, cloudy all day. Left the park and made
our way towards
. Stopped in the small town of
at Wal Mart for the night. Two other rigs overnight-ing with us. Did a
Saturday, 21st - Galveston TX Galveston
State Park $21 - map
Early start this morning, left about 6:30 am local time. Nice easy drive
I-10 was getting a little lumpy and the CB was saying construction in the
area on I-10 so we took the option to go around the city and construction.
SR 73 was a good choice no traffic and a easy ride to the ferry to
. We drove straight to
where we stayed last year. It's on the water and very nice. We plan to
stay here a couple days just to try to adjust into this
Along the route in, there are a number of bridges that got my attention.
They go straight up and straight down with low side rails. Here is a
sample of a small one (pic). Here we are
boarding the ferry to
(pic). Final stretch along the Gulf on
Sunday, 22nd -
TX Galveston State Park $21
FOG big time all day. Took Dieter for a run on the beach and you would
swear it was old home week. He was so exuberant he was doing flips.
What a mutt.
Drove in to old town for a walk around checking out the old buildings and had out first dinner out. Mexican I think :-)
Spent the rest of the evening trying to tame this old laptop.
TX Galveston State Park $21
Overcast with the promise of sunshine. I may as well be in
, no sun again! Still in sweatshirts. Took watchdog
Dieter on the beach for a looong run. Spent a couple hours collecting
seashells while Dieter chased birds in and out of the Gulf. He was a mess.
After lunch we did some touristy stuff. We toured the
and the Moody mansion. Both are located in the historical district. We
found both homes extraordinary with lavish woodwork throughout, beautiful
woods and trimmings. What a way to have lived.
The Bishop's Mansion was built by
Colonel Walter Gresham (attorney) in 1886 where he lived until 1923 when
the Galveston-Houston Diocese purchased it for Bishop Christopher Byrne.
The Mansion was built in 1895, the Moody's bought the home after the great
storm of 1900 and lived in it till about 1985. The grand entrance of both home are really
you thought you played a BIG horn..
Tuesday, 24th -
Galveston State Park $21
Great Day! Of course it started out under the clouds so laundry was the
order of the day. But, after the laundry was finished SUNSHINE! High of 69° with sun what
else could ask for? Did a little bird watching at Sea Wolf park, seen the
Common Egret and Sandhill Crane along with frolicking porpoise, just great being outdoors. At the
got this shot of the ferry we came over
Back at the campground we of course hit the beach for a long walk. Just
over the walkway from the campground the
beach. I'm sure it is crowded during
season but at 69° it's just a nice place to watch the sun set to finish a great day..
Spent the remainder of the
evening working with Errol and his web. After a little password confusion
we finally got the web up and running again. Now you can visit the Patches
page to see the photos taken at the January dance.
Talked with Nick &
Pattie and they are move south nicely and are somewhere on the Natchez
Mary Berg reports that Chuck is being tested and still has to take it easy
until test result are finalized.
Craig reports 1" of
snow on the ground and the weather is turning colder at home. Robbie is
feeling better and Sea the
is doing fine.
Glenn closed the gate I left opened and can't figure when he'll be
to keep me on track. Business is presently booming.
is going to save 50% of his income. Emily won one and lost one and Steph
is holding Chryslers together and doesn't know when he'll be able to put
Emma on a plane to see grandpa.
Wednesday, 25th -
TX Galveston State Park $21
We decided to stay here another day. We were walking the beach in the
sunshine and decided this isn't all bad. Afterward, we drove through some
of the nearby residential areas to find all home are on stilts. (pic) Even the larger homes. (pic) (pic).
We took in an overview of
. This is a large convention center, hotel, water park, along with three
large pyramids. Each pyramid is home to a different theme. One is a
tropical rainforest, one an aquarium, and the third is call Discovery
where they have different topics explained i.e. Space, the body, science
etc. At this time they had an exhibition called Bones. It was all about
animal skeletons. They also have an I-max, and of course restaurants. All
an all a very nice quiet day. Sun all day long.
Thursday, 26th -
cnty pk $18
Nice light cloud cover just perfect for driving. We took the short cut
along the water to save 75 miles. Only 200 miles this day so it was easy.
Arrive Port Aransas about 4 pm. Parked on the beach at a beautiful
74°. One thing that quickly came back to me was when you leave the
camper on the beach you should not be eating a cracker (pic). We disconnected and drove to
Whataburger for a quick snack then off to the wild life viewing area where
were met the local Nutria (pic) and
some pretty birds, here the Louisiana Heron (pic).
We returned to the beach and took a space in the county park for the
night. Last year they said repairs were to be made to the park. The only
thing done is the ground has been cleared for a new office..
Talked with Nick & Pattie and they should be catching up with us
Friday, 27th - Port
Aransas TX Nueces cnty pk $18
Beautiful morning, sunny and warm. Walked to the jetty and talked with the fishermen. We
learned that catching the fish isn't the hard part but as the fish is
flopping around the water's surface Pelicans dive bomb them for a meal.
This is quite a challenge for the fisherman. And, of course very humorous
for the spectators.
Dieter did his thing today. Stole a box of treats and got his nose stuck
in the box.
Took the bikes off the rack and did a little riding when we got a call
from the Riesers. Nick reported he was at
(15 minutes). As we peddled back towards the beach the Tioga tooted and
passed us. After setting up camp we went to La Playa Mexican Grill
for dinner. Good to see folks from home, we spent the rest of the evening
in the Greyhawk catching up.
How you feeling
Saturday, 28th - Port
Aransas TX Nueces cnty pk $18
Quiet day overcast and mild. Started the day with an emergency run to
Beeman's for hot cinna-buns. Washed the car and visited with Nick &
Pattie most of the day. Little walk on the beach and concluded the day
with a couple of games of Wizard.
We brought our 10,000 slides
along with us to scan into the computer in our spare time. Thanks to Mark
and Sue for the use of their slide scanner. We've been out two weeks now
and yesterday was my first effort. I did the math and here is what I find:
at two minutes a slide times 10k equals 20,000 minutes, divide that by 60
equals 333 hours, divide that by 40 equals 8.3 weeks.. I guess I won't
finish scanning slide for some time. I didn't even address cleaning and
One neat thing comes from scanning, I discovered a couple slides of
that we took years ago to compare with pictures from this trip. Here is a
picture before and after of Mary's place.
This second photo is from two different prospective. The gas station and
larger apartment (far right) conceal the view of the large office building which is now visible
on the left photo.
Sunday, 29th - Port
Aransas TX Nueces cnty pk $18
Big fog and warm warm warm.. Little bike ride around the area and some
grocery shopping. Had company over for lunch today then a looong walk out
the break wall. Visual proof that Nick
made it all the way to the end (pic). (pic)
We are giving thought to taking the Whooping Crane boat tour Tuesday. It's
basically a five hour coastal boat ride. We'll have to wait to the last
minute for the weather report. Fog is not good...
Hearing numerous reports of warm weather in
, which is good. If it keeps up maybe next year we can save a lot of
Monday 30th - Port Aransas TX
Nueces cnty pk $18
Tour day. Nick drove and we did a little tour of
touring the waterfront (pic) and
stopping at the visitors center for dining recommendations. Water Street
Seafood Company was her recommendation. We enjoyed a good fish early
dinner (pic)(pic) then headed back to Port Aransas for
our beach walk. Laundry day as well.
Tuesday, 31st - Port
Aransas TX Nueces cnty pk $18
Whooping Crane boat tour day. For a senior rate of $28 per we were given a
five hour boat ride (pic). Beautiful
warm sunny day with a heavy breeze of course. There were about 26
passengers aboard this large double deck pontoon boat (pic). Our Narrator was a very knowledgeable
birder and nature lover. We got a lot of individual attention from him and
gained a wealth of bird knowledge which I hope to remember at least until
we reach port. We navigated along the inter-coastal for a couple hours
before yours truly spotted the first whoopers (pic). Our narrator also pointed out the
many platforms (pic) where natural gas
is drawn off by natural pressure. Also in the area are many oyster
gatherers (pic). They drag a rake behind
the boat which they steer around in small circles. Mom and I enjoyed the
event but the Riesers found it a little long and enjoyed napping in the
ships galley. We stopped at Whatabergers for a snack on the way home.
At home we found Dieter waiting patiently with his legs crossed. Walked
the beach for a while and came back home to some of Moms homemade banana
Well tomorrow the Riesers will head to Fun'N Sun as they are committed to
reservations. We'll maybe hang here another day or two or head toward
South Padre Island
just to see how that well be. We'll make that decision over toast in the
morning, and than again may not.....
Wednesday, 1st - Port
Aransas TX Nueces Beach free
Well to make South Padre would take us four hours. We called the park they
said if we get there by 5:30 pm they would fit us in. It's afternoon
already and to get there on time would be pushing us retirees, so we
decided to move to the beach for the night and leave first thing in the
Took a short ride to
. We found it a little to isolated, with a peculiar, tight layout, so we
wrote it off.
Spent the rest of the evening watching freighters (pic) go by. More (pic)
Thursday, 2nd -
Fun N Sun for two weeks $21 per
First thing as we were leaving I was watching this Freighter go by and
noticed the Porpoises jumping in the bow wave. You have to have good eyes
to see him in this picture.
Left early and after about ninety miles took a roadside break and checked
email from a local free internet wifi service. It was getting hot, 90°
forecast, so we decided instead of pushing on to South Padre we would stop
and do the pool. Checked in a little after noon.
The pool was crowded. I thought everyone was in the water way way too long
then I discovered they stayed wrinkled even after they were out of the
Ok Boys who's coming first,
Friday, 3rd -
Fun N Sun
Now we settle in for some retirement living. Advance class for a couple
hours this morning, Bike around the park during mid-day, swimming pool in
the late afternoon, and relax the rest of the day.
Fun N Sun
Pancake breakfast in the recreation hall, all the cakes you can eat $2.50.
I paid $3.50 for the "white" tray. This means I can have
anything offered, biscuits and gravy, sausage, cakes, apple sauce,
scrambled eggs. Good breakfast good price.
After breakfast we drove to Donna for their flea market. Good old fashion
flea market with a lot of variety of 'stuff' not where every booth has the
same socks and tee shirts. I bought some junk, and Nick came back with
Square dance tonight we'll have to rest the legs all afternoon.
Met a nice couple at the dance from
Larry & Joyce, both have recently lost their spouses. Re-acquainted
with dancers we've met in previous years, Judy &
and a new caller Tim
Tyl. We really enjoyed dancing and talking with him.
Remind me to tell Lytle
First Colony is basically FULL. Must be the price the have it down to $11
Sunday, 5th -
Fun N Sun
Stiff breeze all day, warm and sunny. Did a Home Depot thing this morning,
must be getting home sick. Nick Drove we did a boarder check than a tour
of a neighboring town, Rio Hondo. Nothing caught our attention there
so we opted for and exciting time at Wal Mart.
This is Super Bowl Sunday and more importantly ice cream social and free
entertainment at the rec hall. Patti had us over a spaghetti dinner after
which we had all the ice cream we could eat for a $1. We skipped the
entertainment for a quiet evening at home.
I'll have to get some pictures from around the resort so I can remember
where we've been, maybe tomorrow.
Monday, 6th -
Fun N Sun
Great day. Mon did laundry and got her hair cut while I played with slides
[thanks Sue :-( ]. I made progress this day, I looked at the camper and
said this would be a good day to wash it, that passed. Next I said I
should adjust the left rear, we are not setting perfect, that passed. I
did arrange the under compartments and bump and cut my head so that's when
I decided I belonged inside playing with my slides..
Free entertainment this evening, Ivey, A young country singer who
entertained us for an hour, we enjoyed her. After the show Nick & Pat
joined us for ice cream sundays Mom fixed. Short after the ice cream, Tom
Bankstahl called and gave us an update on the Square dance happens back
home. Good to hear things are settling down for him.
No pictures today, maybe tomorrow.
is tentative for tomorrow.
Tuesday, 7th -
Fun N Sun
Ok here's a shot of our camper just
before we departed for Progreso
. It's about a 15 minute ride from Fun N Sun. For $1.50 we park all day
just this side of the boarder. Walking across cost us .25¢ a piece, no
custom check going in.
The touristy part of town is about a mile long street lined with "shops" and on the sidewalks in front
of the shops are steer vendors. The
sidewalks are now only wide enough to walk two abreast if empty, with on
coming traffic you walk most of the time single file. To make thing more
congested they have walking street vendors, selling the hot items. When there is more space on the
sidewalk you have poor grandma
sitting holding grandchild in one arm and a money cup in the other.
All in all it makes for a slow walk up and back. I assume the reason for
coming here is because everyone else does? Oh the shops do have a lot of
"stuff" and I guess there must be something I need so I go.. Shop Shop
We eat at the Canadian Store, which has
a large restaurant on the second floor. Here they have 6 oz fillet migon
for &7.50. The restaurant is full of Americans and appears clean, so
we dine. (pic)
is on the cutting edge street vendors
have their own web
Wednesday, 8th -
Fun N Sun
Perfect day. As owners of a Jayco Motorhome we were invited to a Jayco
breakfast. We invited the Rieser to join us for the drive to Donna and
breakfast. The breakfast was held at Victoria
Palms RV Resort. What an impressive place. We rate Fun N Sun at about
3½ maybe 4, the Palms was a five. Everything we've seen was well done and
well cared for. The price is very comparable. I think we'll investigate it
more and maybe even spend a couple weeks there if we can get in. Oh yes
the breakfast was nice as were the folks we met. And.. don't cha know it's
located right next door to the Donna flea market.
We again stopped at the flea market but this time the portion located
across from the big one. Here they have fresh fruits and vegetables which
We got home in time to ready for the Michiganders pot luck. 4:30 pm with
pot in hand we headed for the rec hall. Of the 1150 rigs here 50 showed up
dinner. We ate well and afterwards the raffled off door prizes. We took
home a pass to the dog race and a food discount coupon..
Thursday, 9th -
Fun N Sun
Warm and sunny all day. This day we checked out a few RV parks near
South Padre Island
. A thirty minute drive and we entered Port Isabel the mainland city that
hosts the bridge to Padre. First park visited was Long Island Village in Port
Isabel. Great location on waters edge with many canals. Each site is
privately owned and the park rents them out for those owners that want
them rented out. We gave this park five stars. Next, on the Island, we
toured Destination RV
Resort and as you can see from the aerial view it's tight but very
clean and an excellent location, in regard to the
proper. We gave this park a 4½.
Next we toured the very large county park at the tip of the island and
located near Destination. I couldn't fine a web page for the park but we
found it to be typical of county type parks, reasonability priced, fairly
clean, with a good beach location. The park is 100% full.
After the exhausting investigations we eat! We revisited the Pirates Landing were we both had
"Yahoo Wahoo sandwich." It was excellent! Served with waffle
fries which were perfect, crispy on the outside soft and chewy inters and
nicely seasoned. Hmmm em! You know the fish are fresh here when you check
out the fishing pole and catch outside.
Friday, 10th -
Fun N Sun
Dark overcast morning. Nick having problems with intermittent operation of
his furnace, so today was a good day to look at it. We looked at it... Now
it doesn't work at all. Humorous in a diabolical way. We actually didn't
touch anything. So maybe that's better cause things are easier to fix when
they are not working at all. Nick has repair insurance so it shouldn't be
a big problem.
Advance dance this afternoon, Nasser
really put us through the mill. Fast and confusing with simple calls that
are extremely difficult for aged ones. Square dancers, I hope can relate,
pass in, pass out mixed and repeated with quarter in and quarter out.. I
just walked in circles groan groan. After lunch the sun was hot we
headed for the pool.
The evening was Pizza Hut and shopping and the Olympics on TV.
Oh yes, here are a few pictures I took around Fun N Sun:
Panorama of the rec hall.
This is our camp area, Greyhawk.
Looking out the entrance drive.
The pool when it's empty.
Indoor scuffle-board court.
Saturday 11th -
Fun N Sun
Windy but sunny. Pancake breakfast day again so soon, must be Saturday.
Over indulged in breakfast so skipped lunch only to have Mom cook a dinner
of meatballs, mashed taters and chocolate cream pie with Cool Whip
topping, boy am I loosing the weight! At least we square danced this night
, he's a very animated caller. I'll have to shoot some video of him.
Nick had his furnace repaired today, problem, critter nest in combustion
intake air chamber.
Sunday 12th -
Fun N Sun
Sunny with only a light breeze high 70°. Great news best we've had since
leaving home. Wait till you hear this... Gas $1.87.
Such a pretty day we decided to re-visit the Laguna Atascosa National
Wildlife Refuge. Any thing National is especially attractive because all
you have to do is show your Golden Age card and your in NC. The Golden
years. At the visitors center they have a short bird walk and bird blind.
Here you get to see some nice birds as these bird
watcher view the Green Jays. Of
course everyone is not into bird watching (pic).
You do have to be careful walking along the nature trails no never what to
you may come across (pic). yes
After the long drive we stopped and treated ourselves to Mexican dinner.
Very good the name of the restaurant was Mi Rancho. (MI
Here Dieter is treated to a stalk of sugar
Sunday evening, ice cream social and free entertainment. Wow the rec hall
was packed, well over 400 seniors. Butter pecan for me, boy am I losing
the weight! Entertainer Tucker was quite entertaining. Western humor and
he did some Eddie Arnold songs.
Monday 13th -
Fun N Sun
Sunny no breeze. Took a little bike ride out side the park. peddled along
one of the many irrigation canals just to enjoy the outdoors.
Washed the house and started polishing. A little desert this evening at
the Rieser's finishing up with a terrible game of Wizard.
Tuesday 14th -
Fun N Sun
Happy Valentines Day !
What a great day! Square dancing in the morning, 10 am we danced to Tom
Roper who calls at Sun Burst park, just a 15 minute ride from here. Now
this is what square dancing is all about. They had 27 squares (216
seniors) this morning with coffee and delicious turnovers. Now that's good
but the best part is that after the dance he calls a hot hash. This is not
for the faint of heart. We recorded it with Nick vest pocket recorder so
the quality is light but it's good enough to get a feel for the calls. (Hot Hash mp3- 2.4 megs give it time). Now
if we could get some
callers to try this maybe square dancing would grow, I am sure.
Now your system may suggest the file contains a virus etc. I assure you
it's clean. If the link doesn't open and play automatically don't give up.
Right click the Hot Hash link and save to your computer and use Windows
Media player or Real Player or Quick Time to play it. I hope it works for
We survived the hot hash very well don't you know.
After the dance we took the
ladies out for Valentine lunch to Lone Star Restaurant (not
Franchised) as recommended by Friends Jack and Joanne Cooper
(Michiganders). We had delicious Chicken Fried Steak, Nick had Chicken
Fried Chicken. Now I don't what that means but the quantity was big and
the price right in addition to being good.
Quiet evening at home,
Wednesday 15th -
Fun N Sun
Sunny hot and WINDY. Polished
another side of the camper this morning. Than the day of days. The worst
event of the year. Nothing, no words to describe it. My computer died…. It’s like going to the beach
without a suit, like standing in a long line for hot cinna buns and when
you get to the counter they are all gone.
You know the feeling…
After hours of meditation
and five hours of shopping we finally have a replacement in hand. Now the
long and tedious job of cleaning, loading, and understanding what we have…. Oh my!
Thursday 16th -
Fun N Sun
Sunny warm windy. Yep your right laptop, on off, alllll day. Pretty happy
with the results, we’ll have to await the arrival of some software from
home. Neat some of the standard stuff they include now a days, Wifi, DVD
burner, and software to burn labels directly on a CD and DVD. Plus free
printer, router and $100 dinner certificate with $200 rebate.
Friday 17th -
Fun N Sun
Partly Sunny light breeze. Morning Advance dance class, Nasser worked us
to death. John & Anita Mc Donald and Gordon & Marilyn Lewis danced
with us and humorously complained as much as we did. Caller
read about my computer problems and offered a possible fix. The lid switch
which shuts off the screen when the lid is closed sticks and may just need
some flexing. After the dance I hurried home to dislodge the stuck switch
only to discover this was not the problem. There was some dirt around the
switch but after cleaning and flipping, still no picture.
Later mom and I drove over
to the SAS outlet and bought bags of shoes. Got Lytle his shoes as well.
We heard about St John Lutheran church’s spaghetti dinner in
for $5. It suppose to be great. So we went and at the church we waited in
line a half hour just to get in. The line moved well and the dinner was
good so we enjoyed it. The Riesers topped off our evening by allowing us
to people watch at Wal Marts for an hour while they did their weekly
shopping. J L
Saturday 18th -
Fun N Sun
Berrr… Cold, in the 40s, and misty wet all day. Mom and I walked down
for pancakes this morning and did the garage sale that was down there with
breakfast. The rest of the day was indoors, did my slides. The thing that
salvage the day was the dance. Larry
Letson came to the park, We enjoy dancing to him. Went out and had a
Dairy Queen after the dance to try and brighten the day.
Sunday 19th -
Fun N Sun
Same as yesterday, with the promise of 70 for tomorrow. Oh Boy. Played
with slides on and off all day. Mom started her needle point project and
made several phone calls to get updated. LuAnn had here knee replaced with
complications after the surgery. After a week things settled down and she
is expected to go home in the next day or two. Mom talked to seven year
old granddaughter Emma who said “We went to the show and saw Eight Below (About sled dogs in
) and although it was G rate
a couple of scenes were totally
Of course the ‘all you can
eat’ ice cream social was this evening with entertainment. I’ll have
to get some pictures, there’s quite a crowd of ice cream eaters and they
are not bashful about filling their plates. Entertainment was Donnie Sneed
a singer comedian who did a great job. If everyone stays to the end, you
know the entertainment was good. The shows usually last from and hour to
an hour and a half. Long enough for the ice cream to settle.
Monday 20th -
Fun N Sun
Sun and warmth. Back to the beach,
we took Nick along while
Pattie sewed all day. The drive took us along the south side of the
shipping canal. Got a nice view of South Padre Island.
A nature preserve and very remote area. This evening we were
entertained by Diamond Joe, country singer no jokes, very nice voice. How
times have changed, all the entertainers now sing with music from CDs,
like karaoke. Although Diamond Joe did play along on a keyboard as well.
We returned home to find a
message from Mary that Chuck Berg’s heart operation went well. We are
happy to hear that. It’s always nice to have good news at days end..
Tuesday 21st -
Fun N Sun
In the 80s today. Danced to Tom Roper this morning, Good time nice people.
Only 25 squares this morning. After dancing we lunched at Mr. Gatti Pizza.
Mr. Gatti's is a pizza buffet with pasta bar in addition to the salad bar
all for $5 each. Then is was on to home to sunbath and await the express
arrival of my software package. Craig made an emergency run to the
house to package select software CDs, just so I could operate more
arrive two pm.
I installed software and
Mom went swimming. This evening we took a bike ride on each road in the
park which totaled 6.5 miles.
Wednesday 22nd -
Fun N Sun
After learning that each of the dances that offer pastries offer excellent
pastries, we of course buzzed around to learn where they come from,
especially the turnovers. The pastries come from La Especial Bakery in
downtown San Benito. We took a tour to locate the bakery and than this
morning at 7 am Mom and I made a bakery run. Now check this out 15 donuts,
which included two turnovers and 2 loaves of French bread for a total cost
of $4. I think two loafs of French bread at home cost more than $4.
Partly sunny warm low
breeze today. Appeared a lot of campers were doing outside house work
today, I gave it some thought but that thought passed. Sitting in the sun
Great show in the dance hall this evening, 14 Karat Country.
Five men and woman did a real fun job of convincing me I enjoy country
music. It was a two hour show and I sat through the whole show without a
wiggle. Nick served some popcorn prior
to the show and I tried to get a picture
but lighting was too dim. Here is a picture
of the group. 10 pm and still 70° that's unusual. Ice cream
Sundays at our home while we critiqued the show.
Thursday 23rd -
Fun N Sun
Cloudy and warm. Early morning dance today with world famous Nasser
Shukayr. Nasser put us through the paces with triple combination calls
like Linear Cycle, Load the Boat, Relay the Deucey. The command was
when you hear Linear Cycle automatically follow it with these
calls... We had fun with that, and did it well I might
add.. Nasser has a great voice and is very animated making him
a bundle of fun to dance to.
This afternoon we
scheduled a tour of Victoria Palms RV Park. First thing you notice there
are very few empty spaces. They have four categories of lots, the smallest
and tight to the very spacious and well planted. The facilities are very
very nice three heated pools and hotubs. We may try to spend some time
Spent the evening copying
old slides. I really enjoying re-meeting all the beautiful people in my life.
Fun N Sun
Warm and nice. Advance class today, got beat to death again. We do
more laughing and carrying on than dancing. Here is the group of us. From L. to R. Marilyn &
Gordon Lewis, Anita & John McDonald, Nasser Shukayr, Nick & Pat
Mom and I.
Mon did Wal Mart than
Nick & Pat's for meatloaf dinner, hmmm good. After dinner we all sat
outside soaking up the great weather. Took a little walk around the
park talking about how warm and nice it was when someone mentioned coupons
for free Dairy Queens as we all scrambled for the car for an emergency ice
cream run... Ga nite !
Fun N Sun
Great day for a parade. Pancake breakfast again, it must be Saturday.
Right after breakfast we all went to the Donna Flea Market. Why?
Don't ask. We took a back road to Donna and I finally got a couple of
shots of the famed Long Horns. I think
they are trained because as I approached the fence they started to close in on me.
Returned just in time for
the Park's Mardi Gras Parade. What an event. It's hard to believe the
cream of the population crop can.. can .. Well check out the picture and
draw your own conclusions... Waiting for the parade pic , Getting closer, Dieter is in the mood
pic. So far so good then pic and again pic. Dieter says "Did you see
that!" pic. Several states created
floats with various themes Michigan was the Holland Festival pic and pic.
Here we have Illinois pic. It was
a grand parade and the participants had a real good time throwing
beads and candy, as did the spectators.
Dinner at 'Super
Antojitos' in San Benito, real Mexican. This evening is the park square
dance with Nasser. His tribute to the new teenage dancers left everyone
taken back. I wish I had taken the video down cause I don't have the words
to describe it.. Nick recorded it, I'll see if I can get some sound
for this page. No ice cream tonight saving up for ice cream social
Fun N Sun
Cloudy morning, warm and sunny the rest of the day. Played around with
computer while Mom did some laundry. Phone calls to home checking on the
health of family and friends . Chuck is doing better this day maybe home
within a week. Nora is running with a temporary cast. Glenn is feeling
better. Gary is running the dog, and Craig can't be found...
Ice cream this evening
and you guessed it, country singers at the rec. hall. We stayed only a
short time and opt to walk the dog to get some exercise and disperse the
I see my "End"
button wasn't working should be fixed now....
Fun N Sun
Sunny and warm.. Mom and I drove over to Hidalgo (pronounced E-dal go). We
hoped to learn more about the irrigation system in the Rio Grand Valley.
We visited a museum pump house on the
Rio Grand River. I was all excited to see three boilers which were used to generate steam
to drive the pumps. Each pump moved 90,000 gallons per minute to irrigate
some 72,000 acres. There are manmade canals throughout the region with
valve/vent stacks on every other corner. we learned that the entire
watering system is private co-op owned and is still in operation. It
started in 1905. All the steam driven pumps have all been replace with
Driving through town we also found out that this is the location where the
first Killer Bees entered the USA in
After the tour we drover to Pepe's on the river for a bite to eat.
At home I played with our
slides and always enjoying finding the real nice slides, Mom.
Fun N Sun
Sunny and warm. Early morning dance at Sun Burst park again with Tom
Roper. This is Paczki day and as unbelievable as
it sounds no one, I mean no one ever heard of Paczkis. What could be more
depressing. Fortunately for us Roper's dance is a coffee and pastry dance
and they serve delicious turnovers. Susan called to let us
know she was upholding family tradition in case we did find any Paczki.
And, as a side note J
Emily's team beat the first place team in the finals earning their
volleyball team a place in tournament competition. Congratulations Emily
I spend the afternoon on
the phone with tech support. I can't use the cell phone as a modem
since I changed computers, and tech support didn't make much progress. So
remote updating may have to wait for free wifi access as we move along.
Fortunately wifi is all over these days. Keep your fingers crossed.
This evening we took the
Riesers out for a farewell Mexican dinner at La Casa del Taco in Weslaco.
It gave us the opportunity to use one of our discount coupons, from buying
the new lap-top. Our rent is up March 2nd and we'll be moving west. Nick
and Patti plan to stay near by for a little longer. Each morning as I
write I see two and three rigs departing. This has been going on for the
past four or five days and you can see more and more vacancies in the
park. In fact a note was delivered to our door offering a 20% discount if
we stayed another month. Tempting but we are getting restless.
Fun N Sun
Sunny and warmer. Called Cingular first thing in attempt to resolve
cell phone connection issue. Worked with top line technician Mike in
Seattle Washington for five hours and bottom line, no connection. Mike was
great to work with but the only conclusion we could draw, the connect
cable is not compatible. Sooo until I can check another cable everything
is on hold. Let's hope the free wifi is readily available.
Downed a Margarita and
headed for the pool. Departure tomorrow morning and nothing is
ready. Retirement is not easy! oops Change in plans, Mom want to do the 10
am dance before leaving.
Late this evening I
thought of another place I could of put the extra cord I have for the
phone. Low and behold I found it in the slide scanner box. I made some
progress with it and now I think tech support can get me going...
to Mission, TX Mission Bell $14 Passport America
Sunny and really warmer. Happy Birthday Tom Bankstahl !
Took some time to ready camper for departure before the dance. Nasser was
in good form this morning rattling all our bones. He did great job
with Duckham's Ding &
Dong, we were in stitches. We got to know Nasser quite well and he
announced our departure to a receptive crowd. Mom requested his 'Teenagers
are dancers' song and I have no words to describe it. Bases for his song
is as seniors we don't understand kids music and he proceeds to prove it
with noise and gyrations I didn't think any grown person could do..
Everyone was laughing so hard we could hardly dance. Thank you Nasser
! (Nasser send me and mp3 of this so I share it with the
world.) Good luck to you and Gina.
We left about 1pm for the
40 mile drive to Mission Texas are and staying at Mission Bell Resort.. We
plan on spending one night here so we can have time to visit with Art and
Nancy. Nick and Pat want to catch a couple of squares dances here so they
will stay a few days longer.
We went to Art and Nancy's new purchase (park model) and found them hard
at work updating the landscaping around his property. We gabbed for a time
then all six of us went to Pepe's on the River for Margaritas and dinner
with live entertainment.
We got back just after dark and enjoyed a long walk. After a hot day it's
a perfect evening for walking, refreshingly cool (no sweaters) clear sky,
and soft breeze. Good night... .
Mission, TX Mission Bell
to ..... Falcon Heights Gas $2.09
Goodbye civilization hello wilderness. Today we head west.. May not have
web access for several days??? Short drive west on US 83 to Falcon state
park $12 water/electric. Here is where the Rio Grand is dammed to create a
very large fresh water reservoir. Fishing and birding are popular here.
You can tell when your in birding country by the rearview mirrors.
Falcon Heights, Falcon State park
We biked today and at the camper set up our
own bird watching station and got the Lichtenstein
Oriole. Caught this Mocking bird as
well. Dieter was not
I put in a new oil filter (pic).
Atferwards we did a little walking then a little lounge chairing while we
watch our bird station.
Movie at the activity center this evening. Chairs setup in front of a
large TV and at 7pm someone popped in a tape, Sarah Plain and Tall. We
enjoyed it. and then preparation for early departure..
Falcon Heights to Brackettville TX, Gas $2.14
to $2.29 MAP
Beautiful sunny day for traveling. Traveling US-83 to US-90 to get to
Brackettville. Some of the things that differ from home along the way are
the highway memorials, they're so elaborate (pic),
and of course the highway monitors, the Harris
Hawks, and the trail markers. We
stopped at every small town along the way taking 11 hours to 240 miles,
groan. One notable stop was the spinach growing capital of the world and
of the home of Popeye, Crystal City.
We did our civic duty while traveling the endless miles of scrub covered
countryside, after seeing six grown men climbing over a six foot high
fence in the middle of no where, we stopped the Boarder Patrol to
report the incident minutes after seeing it. He scurried off in hot
In Brackettville we
stopped at Fort Clark and
checked in for a couple of days. Fort Clark was established in 1852 with
large block buildings and the third largest fresh water spring in
Brackettville TX, Fort Clark
Cloudy in the am hot and sunny the rest of the day. Took the bikes
off and did a little biking. The Fort is almost three square miles in size
so to get around biking is perfect. This Fort is basically co-op owned
with a wide variety of residence. Some of the original barracks type
building have been converted to condos and the officers quarters are now
winter homes. Also a variety of motor-homes and trailers are scattered
through out. Deer and turkey walk freely about. Here Mom is cooking
chicken with venison walking about.
Rieser arrived about 6:00 pm after a
long drive. There was a crowd watching
their arrival. Of course Dieter enjoyed all the sights as well. We shared chicken than
walked and talked till we called it a night.
Brackettville TX, Fort Clark
Cloudy in the am hot and sunny the rest of the day. Got word that
Nora's leg is healing well and she can now put some weight on it. Also
heard from Mary that Chuck is coming along as well. He'll be spending some
time in rehab but is improving slowly.
Nick and Pattie went off to visit the Alamo movie set this morning, which
is a few miles from here. We had toured the set in 2004 and opted to bike
ride around here instead. Afterwards we sat in front of the camper and
watched the deer and turkeys for some time this afternoon. After
dinner we had some of Pattie's cherry pie and finished the evening with a
game of Wizard. Tomorrow we push on to Del Rio, short drive.
Brackettville, TX Fort Clark to Del
Rio, TX American $14 (PA)
Cloudy in the am again as we made a casual departure from Fort
Clark. Followed US 90 to Del Rio a nice size town of about 34,000. There
is a large Amistad National Recreation Park located on the damned waters
of the Rio Grand here. We are staying at the American RV Park (Pass Port
America $14 per) just out side of town near Amistad. Amistad has camping
but no services, dry camping only.
The drive was less than an hour so no stress here. After setting up we
decided to have lunch out and Nick decided on Gatti's pizza buffet and a motor tour of
downtown. We stopped at the bridge to decide on how to approach getting in
Mexico. The bridge appears to be about a mile from end to end and a cab
cost about $15. So we talked with the sales lady at the winery who said
she parks this side and walks across, and the Mexican town is right at the
other end of the bridge. Oh did I mention Winery?
Between downtown and the Rio Grand is
Val Verde Winery which
offered free wine tasting, hence the stopping in (pic). After tasting several samples (pic) (pic)
we purchased several bottles of various vintages. A final stop at Wal
Marts and were home for the evening. We sat out under the moon lit sky
while Mother Nature tried unsuccessfully to rain on us.
Del Rio, TX
Sunny warm. Mission today, Mexico.
We decided to walk the bridge. The best I can figure, using
satellite imagery, is the bridge is ¾ of mile long. What a pleasant surprise, the first
impression is clean and very commercial.
Now it's about 10 am so the streets are empty
unlike Progresso which is always crowded. Store windows are clean and
shinny. Inside the stores, again, are clean and the products are free of
dust. Kahlua still around $8. We shopped
and walked and shopped and walked and shopped.
We even found the streets free of debris. A very pleasant experience. 75¢
toll to enter Mexico and 30¢ toll to leave. Customs man said 3 liters per
person of alcohol if your not a resident of Texas. One liter per person if
your a Texan. So with baggage in hand we walked back across the bridge and
headed for Whatabergers for a double meat treat. Stuffed and tired it's
back to the traveling home for a long evening of relaxing... Tomorrow
heading west to less population..
Del Rio, TX to Comstock
TX Seminole Canyon State Park
Sunny warm. Another short drive day, 35 miles. Another event
while traversing the boarder, are the numerous boarder patrol check points. They have dogs and asked a
couple questions and wave you on through. Once at the Seminole Canyon Park
we checked in and bought tickets for a two mile hike tour. After lunch and
a afternoon rest-up we joined several others for the 3 pm tour. Dean our tour guide gave us lectures along
the way, about the Indians and the cliff paintings we were about to see.
Down to the bottom of the 200 foot canon
we trudged, all in a row. Looking back as we entered a cliff side site,
called Fate Bell Shelter (after a land owner), you can see the interesting
Canyon. The cliff paintings were not too exciting but
the hiking tour was fun.
Comstock TX- Seminole Canyon State Park to
Sanderson TX gas $2.39
Sunny warm. In route to Sanderson (Canyon RV $17) we stopped
in Langtry Texas the home of the original
bar where Judge Roy Bean dispensed booze and law. We bellied up to the bar for a quick one. It was an interesting visit and
nice break in our 60 mile drive. Adjacent to the bar is a nice cactus
garden were mom and a I posed for a picture.
Here at the visiting center we quarried the condition of Big Bend, our
next stop. Fellow tourist said the park was closed due to fire. We learned
high winds dropped a wire at one of the camp grounds and 38 acres burnt
and only the one campground was shut down for a day. All is back to normal
Sanderson TX to Big Bend National Park
(cities of Study Butte & Terlingua)
Sunny warm. We left relatively early and had a pleasant drive
west, except for a steady wind on the nose (groan). As we approached the
park entrance the signs read Campgrounds full. It wasn't even noon yet.
Drove through the park to the west entrance and booked a couple on nights
at "Big Bend Motor Inn & RV." ($24) After settling in
and getting and sending the email we took a drive to the nearby ghost town
of Terlingua. During WWI they mined
mercury here and most of the buildings have crumbling and abandoned.
The Trading Company is
still in service and at one time was the largest store between El Paso and San Antonio. It
was here I learned that it took cooking 4 tons of rock to produce one
flask (about gallon) of mercury. They shipped 100,000 flask of mercury
from this area,
We find this countryside fascinating. The hot dry air (humidity 14%)
the abundant variety of cactus and un-understandable reason why and how
people live here year around. fascinating!
Big Bend National Park (cities of Study Butte
Sunny warm. With a lunch cooler packed we headed to Santa Elena
Canyon Overlook, SW corner of the park. The drive along the dusty gravel
road proved productive. Our first spotting was a family of Javenlia's for which I had to leave the
protection of are armored vehicle and track off road to capture the photo.
Next sighting was Jacal's home. El Jacal
de Luna live here until 1947 when he died at 108 years of age. Arriving at
Canyon Santa Elena we were all anxious
to climb the rock for the spectacular vista. Here we climb, walking sticks in hand gaining
altitude. Near the acme the going gets tough,
but worth the views & pictures. Here is a panorama of some
of the terrain (big file). On our
way back we enjoyed the Devil's Cane blooms
and of course what would a trip West be without a picture of a Red Racer - Pic..
Big Bend National Park to Alpine TX @
Pecan Grove RV $21
Sunny warm. Well we tried to register for another day or two but
were turned down. The park is full with a reservation backlog. So we moved our rigs to a empty parking lot and
drove the Neon back to Big Bend for a tour of the "Basin."
The basin is a lush depression high in a mountain located in the center of
the park. Not only was the Basin campground full but so was the
nearby commercial area. So full that all we could do is circle the parking
area and then retreat to lower altitudes. So much for the Basin.
Continuing on with a short drive on a very suspect
road, we found ourselves at the hot spring. The remote hot spring is
located in the Rio Grand river. The hot spring comes up through a cement tub area and dumps warmed water,
105°, into the Rio Grand. A lot of tourist were in the pool and as inviting as it appeared Nick
wouldn't take off his shoes. Here we were entertained by a Roadrunner near the trail. Later we had our picnic lunch at the nearby Rio Grand
Village campground and topped it off with and ice cream bar. All and all
we toured the highlights of the Big Bend Park and as nice as the weather
has been and good as our luck was with wild life the Riesers have no need
to return. It was obvious this part of nature is not their bag. Maybe a
little too remote a little to dry a little to barren. As much as mom and I
enjoy the spectacular views the unique and interesting vegetation and the
continuous discovery of things we've never experienced, enforces the fact
people have different interest. So.. with the cap on Big Bend we drove the
80 miles to Alpine in the direction for our next major objective Carlsbad
We arrived at Alpine around dinner time and since it's been a busy day it
was Pizza Hut for dinner. After dinner Nick took us for a short ride to
view the mysterious lights of Marfa. We got there just after dark and
found a crowd of some hundred people waiting for the mysterious lights to
appear. We seen some what appeared to be car lights coming down from a
distant mountain but that's all.
Alpine TX, Pecan Grove RV $21
Sunny cooler We decided to stay another day. First thing this
morning Nick and I checked out the operating mechanism for a windmill. Next we toured the Western
Museum at Sul Ross State University
and Art Colony . In checking I was astonished to see handmade bridles for $6,500. At close
examination you can see the detail of the tight
weaving. Upon leaving the museum I jawed with a local cowboy who was non-responsive. We
late lunched at a local sandwich shop then took in a couple more stores
around town. We finished at Apache Trading Post where we took in a fifteen
minute video on the lights of Marfa. We didn't know any more after viewing
the tape than before. Outside the store is JackAssic Park where we posed with the donkeys. Oh yes one more
thing. This is the point in time when at this latitude the trees come into
foliage. This triggers my allergy and I'm miserable. I'm more
miserable when I think it'll start all over again when I get home.. groan
Alpine TX to Fort Davis TX
Sunny warm again. Did a little grocery shopping and found a
free wifi, so all caught up again. Communications are less often now.
Another short drive day. In route we see numerous Prong Horn Antelope in addition to the
beautiful mountains. Fort Davis is
the home of historical Fort Davis
National Site. A beautifully maintained site is one of the best
remaining examples of a frontier military post. Established in 1854 and in
service till 1891. Five building have been fully restored and outfitted
with original equipment of the time.
This is also home of the McDonald
Observatory. The main telescope is a 433" Hobby-Eberly, one
of the world's largest. They offer a very informative tour twice
daily. Since mom and I have visited here before we did a walking
tour of the town while Nick and Patti did the observatory. Here is a
picture of our campground.
Fort Davis TX to Carlsbad Cavern NM
Windmill RV PA $12
Overcast and warm. Leisurely start, after the Riesers toured Fort Davis we headed west. It was a forever
drive we must have driven over two hundred miles J We
stopped for lunch at Chuys, a restaurant we've stopped at twice before in
the past and they still don't remember us. From there it was a relentless
drive to the Guadalupe Mountains where took some road side pictures picture. In this aired land it's
interesting to find road side signs of
water over the road depth. Then on to Carlsbad new Mexico. It was a long
hard drive but we made it. Now all we have to do is rest up for our trip
to the Cavern tomorrow.
Carlsbad Cavern NM Windmill RV PA
Overcast and mild chance of showers today everyone's excited.
We are now on Mountain time (two hours different from home EST). We
arrived at Carlsbad Cavern www.nps.gov/cave/
about 10 am to fine the parking lot almost full. We exercised our Golden
Pass Port option gaining free entry and proceeded directly to the walkway
to the cavern.
The cavern is a continuous downhill walk for some 800 feet in depth. After
transcending the first pathway your in a cavern-ness room. Looking backup
the walkway, people entering appeared very small . You have to believe
your at the bottom. Well some two hours later we were still walking and
winding our way downhill. We spent over three hours underground and truly
enjoyed the elevator ride back to the surface. The Big Room
near the bottom is relatively level and is GIGANTIC. This area will dwarf
a 25 story building. You have to be impressed simply by the immensity of
this Carlsbad Cavern. I took so many pictures they're on their own page.
They are in slideshow fashion and I think best viewed by clicking on them
one at a time. (pictures) .
We dined out at Pasta Cafe and spent the remainder of the evening relaxing
with our legs propped up. We did have a few sprinkles in the late evening
with the promise of more to come.
Carlsbad Cavern NM Windmill RV PA
Rain, big time! Even had some large hail during the morning then
Do nothing day, sat around most of the day. Took a little ride downtown
after the sun came out (for a time). It seems that there are no storm
drains for last nights rain because the rain collected in the lower
intersections for some fun driving.
Stayed sunny till early evening. Riesers came over for Taco
Casserole dinner after which we rode back to Carlsbad Cavern to see if any
bats would be flying out. They really don't arrive here till late April
(from migration) but the Ranger said there has been some sporadic evening
departures. So we sat at sundown and waited 45 minutes, till the rain
started, no bats tonight. Rained big time after we returned home... Wonder
how the 'washs' will be for tomorrow's departure.
Carlsbad Cavern NM to .Midland
TX Midland RV park $18...
Sunny, windy and mild this
morning. Favorable wind for easterly travel. This is the day we
start for home. Nick is planning to take I-20 and we plan to stay a little
further south, somewhere between I-10 & I-20 avoiding the Dallas Forth
Worth area where they've had big time flooding, and, it's still cold up
After puttering around for half the morning and after the Riesers left, we
finally got rolling. Took local state road 128 through the most prolific oil
producing area we've ever been through. For hundred miles every 200
yards and a far as you could see was an oil
pumping rigs. Most of them were pumping too.
There is an aviation museum here in Midland where they have the largest
and best collection of reconditioned WWII fighter planes. We'll take that
Worked with Errol for a while to help get the Patches news letter and
pictures from their March dance
posted to the web.
Tonight we took a ride around the area before settling down for the
Midland TX Midland RV park $18...
Sunny, cool, with little breeze.
First thing this morning we're off to the Commemorative Air force
. Wow what a place. Dayton OH has more planes and is larger but the
best thing I liked about this hanger, all the aircraft inside are in
service, flyable and you can walk around and touch them.. CAF has over
145planes, from the B-29 to the P51, but because the CAF aircraft do
fly most are dispersed across the country in museums and in air shows.
They rotate with aircraft on display here which consist of only 14. I took
a ton of pictures, so for my friend Willie and flying friend Mike T, I put
them in a slide
We had an early dinner, rested and readied to move on tomorrow.
Midland TX to San Angelo
TX San Angelo St Pk
Cold. Heading east this morning and
don't you know the wind is on our nose, and strong. We're heading towards
the small town of Coleman to a Core of Engineers park. We find them to be
real nice and with the Golden Age Passport very reasonable. As we
drive along I-20 I can see brighter sky to the south. Finally at Big
Spring we head south in to the sunshine and a few degrees warmer. As I'm
heading towards my destination, mom says San Angelo State park would be
nice, there's a number of interesting things there. Plus, in the near by
town of Wall they talk about a neat restaurant in the an old cotton gin
mill. So at San Angelo we pulled into the spacious State Park an took a
site overlooking the damn waters of the Concho River. Nothing
blocked our view of the lake, not even another camper as we are the only
ones here. Talk about eerie! Plenty of wild life jackrabbits as big as
Dieter all over the place and a few deer about.
After settling in we drove to Wall and found the Gin Mill. A neat place
clean and friendly. Mom had the chicken fried steak and I went Mexican.
Food was good and everything went well but as we talked to the waitress we
learned they have only been open a few months. Appears the owners that we
read about have sold. The pit falls of travel.
San Angelo TX San
Angelo St Pk
Cold and Cloudy. Went up town this
day to check it's offerings. First off was Fort Concho. We were fortunate
to have only one other person on our tour and even more fortunate to have
a history major who was doing his doctorate on Fort Concho giving us a tour. Dressed in
period costume (picture) he
explained the various buildings, content and the part they played in
history. Afterward we tour the original old district and found in clean
and inviting. Did some shopping then home for dinner.
Sun finally came out and warmed a
little.. Later a trip to Wal Mart and that's it for the day..
Happy to hear from Mary Berg that Chuck is doing great. Their trip is on
to Myrtle Beach, he is OK'ed to drive in a week and at this time
everything look s good..
San Angelo TX to Waco TX, Midway COE
Campground $10 Gas $2.41
Sunny and Cool. Nice easy drive
taking US 84 most of the day. Cotton country also lots of goats. Seeing
more green as we drive. Stopping just outside of Waco at a Core of Engineers park. Checked in around
3:30 pm and took easy the rest of the day.
Waco TX, Midway COE Campground
Sunny and warming. Short-sleeves finally! Took a little motor tour of Waco first
thing this morning. Impressive city. First off we drove to the heart of
the downtown district and like most US cities all the streets were
deserted, no walking traffic no auto traffic it was very spooky. It is
very clean and well maintained over all but very quiet. We toured nearby
Baylor University Campus, very impressive, the largest Baptist University
in the world. As we continued out tour the loops around the city is where
it's at, people, traffic, and a very very busy place.
Waco TX, Midway COE Campground
Sunny and warm. Phone calls today,
everyone seems to be doing well at home. Then museums. One I think Uncle
Ed and Chuck Berg would enjoy is the Texas
Ranger Museum. It has a great collection of hand guns and long
rifles and they're not ordinary guns but engraved and unusual hand guns.
here are a few samples, a belt buckle gun,
Match revolvers, some great 45's, and a palm gun. We enjoyed the museum and movie.
Afterwards took the rest of the day off.
Waco TX, to Nacogdoches, TX
Gas $2.37 Paradise Lake Resort $22
Overcast and mild. Nice driving
weather on US 84, a little more truck traffic than I expected for a two
We must be in the green belt of Texas for the vegetation is a nice green
with planted fields coming up green. As we neared our destination we
compared the scenery to that of Georgia with red clay and lots of Azaleas
and Dog Woods in bloom.
Nacogdoches (Nack o doches) is the oldest city in Texas.
They've maintained the 'old town' nicely with red brick-paver
streets and antique shops with clean windows. Over all a very nice
area. We'll spend the nigh here and move on towards home tomorrow.
Nacogdoches, TX to Marshall
TX, gas $2.37
Rain. Rain started during the night
and rained all morning. We left around noon and headed north on US-59 to
Marshall. This of course was not our destination but upon reviewing
different points of interest in the Texas manual and the Country Discovery
magazine, as we drove along, Mom reported the fascinating history on
Caddo Lake outside of Marshall. Well let's see now, Marshall...
Marshall has a pottery factory established in the 1890s and has camping
for $8 a night. Pulled into the Marshall Pottery parking lot around
2:30 pm. and went in to see what they offered. Well don't cha know they
have loads of STUFF. I shopped for and hour and had to return to the
rig for how much pottery can a guy look at. Although, I found
terracotta pots 18" dia. by 18" high for $5.99. Seems to me they
cost about $20 back home. In any case after hanging around the rig waiting
for your mom for a half hour, I decided to pull the rig to the camp area.
I left the car in the parking lot for mom and drove the rig over to setup
camp. After setting up and waited another half hour I decided to
walk back to the car in case mom couldn't see the rig. I sat in the car
another 15 minutes and figured I better go in an see what taking so long
for she may be on the floor in the rest room. I found Mom wondering around
about where I had left her more than an hour ago only now she was pushing
a cart, and it wasn't empty. With a little encouragement we left the store
a C note lighter. Don't ask...
On the brighter side the rain stopped shortly before Marshall and the sun
came out for the rest of the evening, only wish your mom could have
enjoyed it.... J
Pots Pots2 Store Camp Sun
Fog.. Cleared sunny &
warm. Early tour of the historic district. Some neat old structures and
nice renovations. Stop near the visitors center and took advantage of the
free internet, free internet is everywhere. There has been a large
increase in the availability of free internet. I have yet had to use
Visited the historical railroad station and near by hotel and in talking
with the information person at the station, we learned there were much
better buys at the Pottery Man as compared to Marshall pottery. One
thing lead to another and we found ourselves on our way to Jefferson
Texas. which is sooo.... cool, we're told. Twenty minute drive north, past
the pottery Man, and we're in Jefferson. This place has loads of
homes dating back to the 1880's with a downtown comprised of a lot of
antique shops and neat restaurants. We ate and did a couple of shops and
decided we would spend some more time here. We'll have to do some
research to find out this town's claim to fame.
Established in 1840 at a river landing
on Big Cypress Bayou. Jefferson was a major East Texas river port of
entry with as many as 15 steamboats
at a time lining the docks, and score of wagon trains heading west. In
addition to this, nearby iron ore deposits bring smelters and
plentiful pine and cypress stimulated the lumber industry. Today there is
no river traffic. Population was 30,000 at it's peak and 2,100
A huge natural log jam backed up the
Red River creating Caddo Lake and allowed steamboat traffic to and from
the Mississippi. In 1873 this jam was dynamited and the lake drained. This
may of caused the demised of Jefferson. (Still researching this).
Marshall TX to Jefferson TX Core of Engineers park
$9 Buckhorn Creek
Little overcast but warm. With the
back seat of the tow vehicle full of large clay pots and the motor-home
stuffed with lots of literature and odds and ends, like a tin bird bath,
we trudge north. Only 25 miles today to the COE park outside of Jefferson
where we have lakefront property. As
soon as we settled in and had lunch we were off to Jefferson.
Interesting facts about this log jam in
the Red River. In 1690 Indians were asked about the log jam and they said
their ancestors told of it, so it's been there a long time. The Great
Raft, as it was locally know as, stretched down the river for 160 miles.
160 miles of logs is a heck of a lot of timber. It's theorized that a
catastrophic even such as an earthquake and storms cause the accumulation
of logs. City folks during their hay day figured if the rive were free of
logs boat traffic could better serve out laying areas. Well as a result of
a presidential champagne promise, in 1873 the Great Raft was dynamited and
the water flowed once again. So much so that Caddo lake drained to such a
low level that boats could no longer navigate to and from the Mississippi.
So goes the history of Jefferson.
We spent the day here walking and
talking. Here is a home of the 1890s.
We had 5¢ coffee and $2 ice cream at the general
store. Did some shopping and the
museum before returning home.. I tried to buy some gas at 18¢ a gallon
but no one would come out an pump.
What'a ya think?
Jefferson TX Core of Engineers park $9
Warm and scattered sun. About
the Great Raft, appears there are a lot of different stories about it's
formation and effect. Here are two references that differ: Great Raft
and the Raft
and also see Lake Caddo.
In any case today we're off to Lake
Caddo. Florida Everglades and Georgia's Okefenokee swamps are a
little different than eerie Caddo Lake Cypress Swamps. Numerous movies
were filmed here. It reminds me of the movie Cool Hand Luke, where Paul
Newman escapes it to the swamp. As
we were driving around the the lake we stopped for lunch at the only diner
we seen. Cute clean place adjacent to a boat launch. Here mom found a pal for Dieter. The mutts owner is showing
off the latest ear wear. It was here at
the restaurant where your Mom found a swamp boat ride for us, so after we
ate it was off to the livery. Waiting
for the boat ride your Mom drew a lot of attention.
The swamp ride was not too scary as the Cypress trees which are heavily
laden with Spanish Moss have yet to bear any leaves and the overall view
was a little stark. After the boat
ride we drove around the area and it was neat to see a lot of vacation
homes tuck away at the swamps edge. I can't imagine the mosquitoes here. Fun day!
Jefferson TX Core of Engineers park $9
Warm with scattered sun. Quiet day,
decide to take a run to see Pottery Man to see if we could fit more stuff
in our car for the ride home. Got a nice little outdoor table for the back
porch, so I'll have someplace to set my morning coffee. Also found a six
foot folding decorative screen for .. for .. Well we must need it for
something.. We'll see.
later in the evening we drove around
the lake to see other COE parks and check out the surroundings. Took a
picture of our camp site and later the sunset. That was the day, did some slides
before bed and that's it.
Jefferson TX to Texarkana TX Clear
Spring COE park $9
Hot with scattered sun. Well my
eyes are starting to itch so it must be time to move a little further
north. Trying to stay ahead of my allergies. 35 mile drive so
we didn't leave till 1:pm. This park is almost full with over 100
sites and it being Sunday late afternoon, there are few empty sites. Nice
an spacious sites all near the lake. Made plans to check out Texarkana
Texarkana TX Clear Spring COE park $9
Sunny, perfect day. Drove to Texarkana and did a driving tour of
the downtown district. There is still life in old downtown. One unique
item is in front of the main post office located in the center of town.
They have a small area where you can stand with one foot in Texas and the
other in Arkansas, for this city is located in two state. The line goes
right down the middle of the city. We hit Wal*Mart and spent the rest of
this beautiful day in the park. Here's why I don't mess with your Mom.
Gathering fire wood she almost pulled this tree over, picture. Our campsite. Big drive tomorrow, heading
toward Little Rock.
4th Texarkana TX to West Memphis
AR gas $2.54
Beautiful sunny day. Talked with Uncle Ed today, he got the
pictures I sent to Wal*MART for processing, of years ago fun. He said he
enjoyed them. Long driving day. Wal*Mart for the night.
5th West Memphis AR to
Terre Haute IN $2.62
Beautiful sunny day. Easy driving all day. Since heading
towards home anxiety prevails. Looking forward to see all the children and
grandchildren. Reviewing the past months proved rewarding. Everything went
well and as smoothly as could be expected. I think one misjudgment was
leaving the "Valley" too early. Using a previous year as a
reference was not a good idea for 2003 was very warm. This year, during
the same period, an unusual cold spell happened just as we hit New Mexico
which lasted a good week or more. Should we decide to return to Texas in
'07, I think we've bummed around Texas enough, we'll just spend the three
months right in the valley.
Been in constant touch with the Riesers
since separating and learned that the other day Nick was backing up
without his support group and ran into a tree, decapitating his ladder.
Nick was not a happy camper that day. Duck take is in vogue. Riesers are
off to visit some quilter acquaintances for the weekend, so they won't be
home till next week sometime.
6th Terre Haute to..........St. Clair Shores
MI Gas $2.54 Michigan gas $2.65
Early start in a light rain all the way to Indianapolis where the
rain stopped. This may be our last entry for the web....We'll see
Arrived home 4:30 pm safe & sound.. Now for the arduous task of
See you at the DANCE
TOP of page