Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tuesday December 25, 2012-Oasis RV Resort

We woke to a warm morning this morning but it was very windy. The wind blew HARD all day long but it rained just a little bit around noon. We just hung around the park until the middle of the afternoon when we went over to Kim's house to spend Christmas day with them. 

The boys were at their other grandmother's house to visit her and their dad, who was coming down for the day. I expected them home, but they stayed over there so we didn't get to spend any time with them.

Kim had gotten some snacky foods, so we watched some movies on television and "grazed" all afternoon. Of course, I had to get in a small nap during the movie, but I wasn't too impressed with it anyway. The movie "Red" is a Bruce Willis film about a retired CIA agent who must reassemble his team to keep from being killed. I'm glad I didn't spend any money on this thing!

Stella and Kim got some more good visiting time, which was a good thing. I know that they have missed their time together. It was a nice way to spend Christmas. I tried to call Ian, my other grandson but couldn't connect with him. I'm sorry we couldn't spend time with him and my girls this season, but we should get some time with them next year. At least, I am planning to...

So long.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday December 24, 2012-Oasis RV Resort

Since getting here to the Oasis Resort in La Marque, we have been busy visiting with friends and family. Since we have been gone for so long, we have a lot of catching up to do with our dear friends in the area.

The main thing I want to say is:



Merry

Christmas

To

Everyone!



So long

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday December 19, 2012-Moving Day-Ron Hoover RV to Oasis RV Park, La Marque

We didn't do much of anything on Tuesday. We spent the night at Kim's house and both of us were stiff from sleeping on uncomfortable recliners and not in our nice soft bed. We made it through the night all right but left right after the boys went to school. We made much better time going back to Houston than we did last night coming down here in the evening traffic.

The technician assigned to work on the trailer came by soon after we got back home and found that the motor in the stabilizing jack had failed and a new one had to be ordered. We had another small issue with one of the window blinds that had broken, but it will have to be custom made for us and will be arriving soon. Some of the other issues that we had I was able to get taken care of.

We spent an uneventful night in the parking lot and left on Wednesday. Again, we were in no big hurry and left about 11:30, but have such a short distance to drive to the Oasis RV Park in La Marque where Hoover has another dealership at this park. You may remember that we stayed here in the spring, leaving on our summer trip from here.

I called Tommy and Susan this morning and we are meeting them for supper at Kelly's restaurant in La Marque, one of our favorites. We had a very nice visit with them and of course, a great meal. We are so glad to be back "home" and in the area where we lived before we embarked on this adventure. We wouldn't change a thing about our lives, but it's still good to be home.

So long.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Monday December 17, 2012-Moving Day, Inks Lake State Park to Ron Hoover RV Houston

Thank you for cooperating with my surprise of Kim, Jeremy and the boys. It worked perfectly and was a complete success. I'll tell you more about it in a few minutes.

We woke about 7 this morning but just couldn't seem to get started with packing up. I had done the usual, taking down the porch and putting away some of the outside gear but there was still a lot to get done. We had several visitors, but finally managed to get away around 11:15. Let me tell you, it was MUCH easier to get out of the site than it was to get backed into it. At any rate, we left much later than we wanted to but made good time and only made one stop at the Buccees store in Bastrop. Can't pass by one of those! The trip went well until we hit the traffic in Houston, which slowed us down considerably.

We pulled into the Ron Hoover dealership just before 4 and before you knew it, we had been put into our place for the next few days by one of the workers on a forklift. I talked to the Service Manager, Tony, and got everything in place for the work to be done. Tony gave me his key to the gate lock so we could come and go as needed after hours.

Today was Cameron's birthday, so there was another reason to come down to Texas City. We planned to surprise them at supper but Houston traffic again slowed us, but when we got near, Stella called Cam and found out that they had already gone to eat and were at the ice cream store so we decided to stop and get something to eat and to surprise them at home. You should have seen their faces when we knocked on the door! It made the drive worthwhile but we are sorry we will miss seeing our other grandson, Ian. They live in Garland and we will see him when we can and celebrate Christmas again with him. Maybe Santa will leave a Christmas gift with us to give to him.

So long.

Sunday December 16, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

It was cool again this morning but not as cold as it has been. The old blankets felt pretty good and I slept until after 8 o'clock! I'm likin' the cool weather and the quiet woods here in the state park. The work schedule has been very quiet lately and not much activity going on. I guess the hosts are taking off for the Christmas break.

We were supposed to meet Pat and Lori in Llano today for lunch but Lori called and said she was not feeling well and that they wouldn't be coming over. They came in from Los Alamos to Kerrville where they will stay until just before Christmas. We are sorry that we didn't get to see our friends but hopefully we'll see them at the Sweetheart rally in February.

I forgot to mention that Melissa, my youngest daughter, had a birthday on the 14th. It's hard to believe that these kids are growing up right in front of my eyes and I don't get any older at all...Hope you had a Happy Birthday Liss!

We didn't do too much of anything else today. I put some wax on the front of the trailer to keep any bugs off when we leave and Stella washed our clothes and some sheets and blankets, so we won't have to do them in a laundromat.

We watched football and congratulations go to the Houston Texans who won their division and clinched another title this year. Stella was glad to see the Dallas Cowboys win in overtime, even though it has no playoff implications.

We had another nice campfire in front of our trailer tonight. I'm sure that we won't have any more for awhile because most of Texas is suffering from a drought and under fire bans. We are under a ban in this county but the state park is exempt. We enjoyed it while we can. Gonna miss that cedar and mesquite smells from the firepit.

So long.

Saturday December 15, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

This will catch me up again with my blogging. Thursday was a same old-same old day of resupplying firewood and picking up the recycle materials. Just another routine day in our lives. 

The only thing different about today was that we turned in our notice to leave here early. We have some warranty work that needs to be done on the trailer and we got a call that we could bring it in next week and get the work done. I won't be posting this entry until next week so that we can surprise the boys when we drop in on them.

Friday was another one of those too, except it was cold, cloudy and windy, so when we went to work at the boat rental booth at the store, they said that they hadn't even unlocked the boats today because of the weather and said that if we didn't want to work today, to just go home and if the weather improved and people started coming in to rent boats, they would call us. 

We went home and hung out for the rest of the afternoon. We had planned another eat-out night at Cooper's Barbecue in Llano and we all left by 4:30. Some of the others had already left, and when we pulled out of the park, Becky got a call from Bonnie telling us about a big car accident on the highway to Llano and that traffic was badly backed up. She suggested that we not come over there and to find someplace else to eat. We made a unanimous decision to go to the Highlander, so we went and waited for Dan and Bonnie to get there. We were sorry that the group got split up but we didn't have phone numbers for the new couple from Oklahoma or Mike and Cathy. We had a nice meal and came on back home without any further drama. 

Saturday morning we got up and after I went for my walk, went into Burnet to have the empty propane bottle refilled. While out and about, I decided to get my tires checked at the Discount Tire in Marble Falls. Stella wanted to go to the grocery store, so we made one trip over and got everything taken care of. The guys at Discount found the right rear outside tire on the truck was flat, so we stayed while they repaired it. They found a small nail or screw in the tire. I had seen a police car that was blocking traffic around a box of nails or screws that had fallen onto the road into Burnet, so that may have been where we picked up the nail. At any rate, it was good that we stopped. 

The grocery store was packed but we didn't need very much, so we weren't there too long. Stella got a new calendar from Discount Tire and I marked down the dates and locations of the rallies that are scheduled while I waited for her. It turned out to be a good day.

So long.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wednesday December 12, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

Today was the day for the park's potluck Christmas dinner. We all met around noon at the park store. It was nice to be able to get together with most of the park employees and all the volunteers for a meal. Of course, the food was great, but then aren't all potlucks good? When is the last time you got bad food at a potluck? We had a nice visit with the volunteers before it was time to go back home.

I had made a walk through this end of the park and there was no firewood need, so we didn't go out today. The recycle will wait until tomorrow. The deer hunting has been cancelled until after Christmas, so there was nothing to do there. With this many hosts in the park, and due to the season where no mowing is needed, it is getting difficult to find something to do around here. Don't worry, something will come up...

My friend John was cooking some venison shoulders that another of the host volunteers had brought for us to eat for supper. He used the large outdoor grill that we had used a few weeks ago for the potluck. They had seasoned the meat, added carrots and onions and wrapped the shoulders in bacon before wrapping them in aluminum foil and putting them on the grill. John had cut some mesquite trees down and trimmed others, so we had plenty of good wood to smoke the meat. We threw in some tortillas and everyone had a nice late evening snack instead of a meal. We were all still full from lunch! The guys sat around talking about hunting and guy stuff and the girls sat around talking about whatever girls talk about. It was a good time for all but when the sun went down it started getting cold and we all went home. A very nice day.

So long.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tuesday December 11, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

My day began with a bang this morning. When I turned the television on to start checking the news, the receiver decided not to come on. It showed me a "repairing hard drive" screen like it had done a while back when we were traveling back to Texas. The problem with today's alarm was that it didn't reset and apparently couldn't find the antenna because it came up as not receiving a signal. I went through the resetting process several times but it just wouldn't work. I gave up on it for now and went about my business but when Stella got up, things got much more serious. When she couldn't watch Price is Right, I knew the receiver was doomed. Sure enough, we took it into Marble Falls where I had seen a Dish Network store. When we got there the lady told me that they only sold new Dish Network subscribers and did not service existing customers. She referred us to another Dish store in nearby Kingsland, Satellite Station. When we got there, the lady was much more curt and seemed in a bad mood when she informed me that they would ONLY serve their customers and since we had not bought from them, there was nothing she could do for me. Wow, what a total lack of customer service! As soon as we left, I called the Dish Network and spoke to a very nice lady there who agreed that the receiver had gone out and took my information so they can send me another receiver. I told her about the lady at Satellite Station but she said it was up to individual dealers to take care of outside customers. I told her that this was a reflection on the company but she had no comment. At any rate, we should have a new box in a couple of days.

On a brighter note, I came back home and after fiddling around with the box, turning it off and on and jiggling the wires (and saying a few bad words), the receiver came back on. It started and stopped a couple of times, but we had television reception again. And best of all, I didn't miss NCIS.

This afternoon I went on the nature trail hike with some of the ladies in the park. It was a beautiful day for a hike, with temperatures in the 60's and bright sunny skies. Several of the other hosts here have been coming here for years, and one couple, Mike and Cathy, are from this area. Mike told me that he has been coming to the park for 60 years! Cathy was with us today as well as Sue, another who has been coming here for 10 years or more, so they led us on our trek. Two other ladies, our friend Becky-along with her little dog Scooter- and another lady who is a visitor in the park and just wanted to make the hike (didn't catch her name) went today. Fresh and ready to start the hike, we decided to walk the .4 mile to the park headquarters where the hiking trail was. We later paid the price when we completed the hike and had to walk back...

Before we go too much further, I told you the other day that I would take photos on this hike but decided not to take my camera for fear of dropping it or falling and damaging it but I did take my phone. The photos just didn't make me happy, so I am not including them. Trust me, there were some beautiful views that we saw and I wish I could show them to you. Maybe Becky got some good shots that I can get. I'll get back to you on that.

The hike went very well and we only took one wrong turn. The trail is marked with painted dots alongside the trail. There are red dots, blue dots and our trail, with yellow dots. At one point, we came to a fork in the trail and briefly went down the wrong path but soon realized the error, so we turned around and got back on the right one. I'm not saying we were lost, only on the wrong path. Of course, if I had been leading, it would have been said it is just like a man to not stop and ask directions. Just sayin'....

We walked about 4 miles today and I think all were pretty tired when we got back. I know I was! I was glad to have gone on the hike and will look forward to another hike in the future.

The Dish receiver was not working when I got back home, so I sat outside and had coffee while reading in my Kindle. Stella had been washing our clothes while I hiked, and when she got back home was when we went inside and worked with the Dish receiver and got it going again. You don't realize how much we rely on the television set until you don't have it.

I was tired and feeling every foot of the 4 miles that we had walked, so I went to bed about 8:30. Imagine that, an old retired man going to bed in prime time! Of course, I was awake at 3, having gotten my night's sleep. I hadn't been up long when the propane ran out, so I was forced to go out and switch the bottles out. It was either that or face the wrath of Stella and the cold doggies. You can see what I did because there is no blood on this paper.

So long.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday December 10, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

Winter has arrived here! I woke about 3 this morning to what sounded like hail on the roof but it was the wind blowing acorns out of the oak trees. I wouldn't be surprised if there is damage to the roof either from the acorns hitting the roof or the sheer weight of them piling up!

I got up and started reading the news online but it wasn't long before I got cold and curled up under a blanket and went back to sleep. I have been sleeping later in the mornings and don't usually get out of bed until 7:30 or 8, which is much later than my normal times.

We chose to clean up campsites and shovel out the debris left in the firepits, which turned out to be a mistake because of the high winds. The wind whipped those ashes up and I think I was dirtier today than when I mowed. The work wasn't that hard but it was cold down by the water. We ran into a man that had spent the night in a tent. He said the wind storm woke him and he went outside to take his awning down but it blew away. He said he went back in and tried to go back to sleep but the wind blew his tent over, bending some of the supports. He was trying to figure out if he needed a new tent and if so, he planned to buy a lower profile tent and was going to change sites to one that was sheltered from the wind. I'm glad we don't have to do that any more, but then we're not "camping" any more.

I was invited to go on another hike tomorrow, so I'll try to get some more pictures to share with you. Talk soon.

So long.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sunday December 9, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

No, I didn't die from working so hard up here at the State Park. We've got plenty to keep us busy around here but it's not really all that hard. I did start a new "job" here, working with a couple of other guys on deer blinds. Not really on the blinds themselves, but putting out corn for bait and getting things ready for the hunters. We must have done a good job because they killed a lot of deer. So many that they cancelled the hunt until after Christmas. It was good exercise, walking up and down the hills to the deer  blinds. I have learned a lot about the trails around the park. I will miss them when we leave.

I learned a little about the history of the park, Longhorn Caverns and the Buchanan dam. The Caverns were discovered and used as a speakeasy during Prohibition years as an underground dance hall with live music included  for the patrons. The state of Texas began building a campground around the caverns, using Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Work Progress Administration (WPA) workers to erect buildings and improve the entrance to the caverns.

The park was established in 1950 and covers approximately 1200 acres. I have been told that the park itself sits on about 370 acres with the rest of the property remaining wild and overgrown with a few hiking trails and the deer hunting area mentioned above. We covered only a very small part of this property when preparing the hunting grounds. The park is located in the eastern edge of a Mesoproterozoic exposure within the Llano Uplift. The rocks of the park are named for the park as the Inks Lake Gneiss, a granitic gneiss (pronounced nice) dated at 1,232 million years old. This information comes from Wikipedia, but I have always questioned how they come up with exactly 1,232 year. Why not  1,231 or 1,233? How can they be so precise? Inquiring minds want to know...

Buchanan Dam was built starting in 1931. The first construction company to start building the dam went under during the Great Depression but in 1934 the Texas legislature approved the Lower Colorado River Authority and the dam was completed. The dam is named for U.S. Representative James Buchanan and is pronounced Buckanan as the family name is pronounced. Buchanan was able to get some federal money to help with building the dam. The small town of Bluffton was relocated by the erection of the dam but the drought of last year uncovered the old town site. I would love to have seen it.

As you know, we have had several visitors while we have been here and this weekend we had some more. Our old friends Jim and Kitty came over from their home in San Antonio for a visit to the park while we are here. We met them on our first Texas Boomer rally and they were the very first people we met with that group. It was good to see our friends and we were able to spend some time with them. On Saturday Kitty prepared some dutch oven cooked stew with bread pudding for dessert, also cooked in a dutch oven. It was delicious and we enjoyed our visit with them. They came over to our place on Sunday and we had another nice visit. It sure made a nice weekend.

So long.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Saturday December 1, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

One of the other park hosts, John, invited me to go with him on a deer hunting blind check this morning. John is the host in charge of the deer hunt that is being held on park property, near the park. There are a total of 16 blinds that are available to hunters that are chosen by lottery. This past week was the first hunt and four deer were killed. Statewide, the TPWD takes in millions of dollars on hunting licenses and permits to hunt on state-owned land.

It was very interesting to visit the blinds and to check out the fields where the hunting was being done. John and others cleared the blinds and mowed the grounds to give the hunters a clear field of fire. We distributed corn around the blinds to help the hunters who will return on Tuesday for more hunting.

I enjoyed the hiking and views from the high points around the area that John took me to. I walked up and down many game and hiking trails today but, although I have hunted deer a long time ago, the conditions were nothing like this. I hunted in the piney woods areas, not the high hills. It is most interesting to me that John is able to make these hikes. He lost a leg in an accident when he was young and wears a prosthesis but if he was wearing long pants, you might not even notice it. John and I got along very well and we plan to get together with him and his wife next summer. They own a home in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and when we come there in August, we hope to see them again.

Boy, let me tell you, with the hikes I have made in the last couple of days, I am getting plenty of exercise. I have enjoyed it, but tonight I am tired. I don't think I will need to be rocked to sleep tonight!

So long.

Thursday and Friday November 29 and 30, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

When I went for my walk on Thursday, I saw Carol, the park's nature interpreter, came by and invited me to take a hike with her and a couple of the other park hosts up the Black trail which is above the Devil's Waterhole. I agreed and soon met with her, Anne and Becky and off we went. It was a strenuous hike but we got it done. I was really amazed at how much all the ladies knew about the park, animals and plants that were here. It was a great day for a hike and we all enjoyed it.

After returning home, I decided to take the truck in for it's service before the warning light came on to tell me when it was time to get it done. We will be leaving in about a month and with the Christmas holidays coming up, I wanted to get it done now. We found a Dodge dealer in Marble Falls but when I called to make an appointment, I learned that their service department is located in Lampassas. What's up with that? We found another Dodge dealer in Burnet and had the work done there.

By the time this was all done, we both were hungry but really didn't want to eat this early, so we stopped at the famous Bluebonnet Cafe in Marble Falls for a piece of their fabulous pie. I had some coconut cream and Stella had some German Chocolate and both lived up to their reputation. The coconut was some of the best I've ever had but I think the next time I'm going to get the German Chocolate. It really was that good!

Friday we were scheduled to work at the boat rentals at the park store but I had found out that Burnet County is under a burn ban as of  November 27th and I wanted to find out if we needed to pick up the firewood. When Stella went to the store to begin working there, I went to the maintenance shop to talk to Terry about the firewood. He said that the park is exempt from these rules and that we would be fine to continue with sales. That was fine with me because I really didn't want to pick up all the wood that we had worked so hard to get put out, so I went down to the store to help Stella. It was a very uneventful afternoon but we rented a few boats and enjoyed the weather. It has been delightful here, with cool mornings and warm days.

I had set up a "date" for the group of park hosts to go out to eat at Highlander tonight. They have a seafood buffet on Friday night, so about 12 of us went over there and had a fine meal. We came back and had a campfire at our site and sat outside until after 9 with our friends. It was a very nice way to end the day.

So long.




Saturday, November 24, 2012

Friday and Saturday, November 23 & 24, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

This post is not as much about us as it is about the doggies. I'll get back to this later...

These last two days have been pretty routine for us, with boat rentals and firewood taking up our working time. The store called us yesterday, saying they were very busy and asked us to come in early. We agreed to come in at 10, but when we got there, the weather was cloudy and a cold wind had come up, making boat rentals very slow. I dropped Stella off to take care of the boats while I went to check on firewood. Being the holiday week, there were lots of people in the park and firewood sales had been "brisk" and I discovered that lots of firewood needed to be put out. It took me over 2 1/2 hours to get the firewood put out, and I put out more than normal because of the number of people in the park and the weather. When we checked it today, sales had slowed but we still needed some. A normal weekend in the state parks.

The thing I wanted to tell you about the dogs is the change in the behavior. With the cooler weather, they have both become closer to both of us but especially with me. Tramp has always been more of Stella's buddy than mine, but he has been coming to bed with me lately and snuggling up against me. Cassie has always been a "touch-me-not" when she's asleep and always moves away when I did happen to touch her. She has also been snuggling up hard against me too, and last night both of them were on either side of me and laying on top of the covers. Have you ever tried to move to sleepy dogs when they want to snuggle? These two seem to weigh 200 pounds apiece when I tried to move and getting out of bed was a LOT of fun. Cassie growled at me and Tramp just tried to snuggle harder against me. I suspect that this is a sign that winter will be cold and I can't wait until January and February when it really gets cold. Remind me to update you then. I know this was kind of silly, but I thought it was interesting.

So long.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wednesday & Thursday, November 21 & 22nd, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

Wednesday was a nice day. The weather was very nice, we worked pretty hard for a couple of hours, but best of all, we saw some of our good friends that we haven't seen in awhile. 

The day began with me walking my route to check on firewood and to chat with other park hosts as I walked. There are seldom any Gators for us to use in the morning, so we decided to go to the grocery store to pick up a few things for tomorrow. While there, I called Carl and Faye, a couple that we had met at Rayford Crossing, where we all had stayed at for several years. I had spoken to them a couple of days ago and had learned that they were coming to this area, so we made arrangements to meet at the Highlander restaurant for a late lunch. We had a fine meal and stayed in the restaurant for a couple of hours, chatting and catching up. It was good to see them again and we invited them to come eat Thanksgiving dinner with us tomorrow at this restaurant.

We came on back to the park and got a Gator and loaded it up with firewood. We overloaded each of the five firewood stations so we could take off all day tomorrow and enjoy our holiday. We put out three full truck loads of wood and could have put out more due to people buying it as soon as we put it out. We even delivered a load to a young couple that wanted more wood than they could carry. It started to get too dark to bring any more out, so we stopped for the night. 

We woke to another beautiful day here in the hill country and let me begin today's post with:

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL

I got the big coffee pot out of storage so we would have plenty of coffee when Carl and Faye arrived. They arrive right on time and we had another very nice visit with them. When it became time to go into town for lunch with the other park hosts and let me tell you, today's meal was as good as any I've ever had. Although not exactly home made, it was delicious and perfectly seasoned. After finishing our meal, we all stopped at the front desk of the restaurant to watch the Houston Texans and Detroit Lions as they played in overtime. The game had not ended until after we got back home, but of course, Houston pulled out the win. It was an ugly win, but it is a win and thats what counts.

We then watched the Cowboys lose to the Redskins. Stella is the big Cowboy fan, so she was sad that they lost but they did at least try! Still a loss though...

It was a great Thanksgiving and I am truly thankful for good friends and great food. The football games are just the icing on the cake. 

So long.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Saturday November 17 thru Tuesday November 20, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

Saturday was a pretty easy day but we managed to stay busy all day, delivering and selling firewood. We worked on it in the morning, since it had been cold last night and many people were still burning campfires, and again later in the afternoon. The only bad thing about it was fighting the setting sun when we were going up into the tent area. That sun is brutal!

Austin headquarters has asked for gate monitoring at different times and we got the 11-12M shift on Saturday night again. It was boring because no one came in, so we read on the Kindle (Stella) while I played games on my phone.

Sunday we intended to go to church in Burnet but since we had been up late the night before, we slept until after 8, so we didn't make it. Some of the other hosts had told us about this church with their services at 9 on Sunday morning and we will make it one day.

There was lots of wood sold the night before, so we got a Gator after the football games were over and started putting wood out. Many of the visitors had left but several new ones came in, so it was worth stocking up the firewood stacks. While we were out, we ran into Lin, one of the other hosts, and whose husband oversees the firewood sales for the Friends group. She complimented us for the job we are doing with the firewood and said they had the best week ever for firewood income. It made us feel good for all the work we had done.

When we returned home, our neighbors were sitting outside and enjoying a campfire of their own so we went over and joined them. I sat out until about 9 when I got sleepy and went home. This was the first campfire that we had, and we enjoyed it.

Monday morning our Heartland friends Tony and Erika and Dan and Ann came over for a visit. We sat outside in our yard until lunch time and drove over to Llano to Coopers Barbecue where we had another delicious lunch. From Llano we went to the Big Chief RV Resort where Tony and Erika were staying for a tour of their Elk Ridge trailer and to check out the park. We had a nice visit there and came back over here. Dan and Ann went back home to Austin but the four of us came back here to our park where we had a nice campfire and sat outside until about 9. We had a very nice visit but I stepped on a sharp piece of metal on the back of the firepit at our site and jabbed my foot. I didn't say anything about it at the time but found a big cut in my foot after. I didn't think it had cut me and that I was only bruised, but after taking my shoe off, I found the injury. Stella doctored me up, so I'll be fine. She even put a band aid on it for me this morning so it would be cushioned.

It was cool again this morning but there is a shortage of Gators, so we couldn't replenish the firewood until this afternoon. Tuesday is our scheduled laundry day so I took Stella down to do the wash before we got a Gator and loaded up three truck loads to put out. We will stock it up tomorrow afternoon because we are planning a big Thanksgiving celebration on Thursday and hopefully won't have to work. We'll see how that works out....

So long.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday November 15, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

Going back to Tuesday, I got a Grasshopper and finished up mowing the large camping area near the back of the park. Most of the mowing was detail work around trees and the large rocks, so it was very time consuming and very dusty. I think this was the dirtiest that I have gotten when mowing. I came home and sat outside for awhile to cool down and dust myself off and then took a much-needed shower. The park host group had decided to go to the Highlander restaurant in Burnet. The Highlander is a buffet style restaurant with a different selection every day. We had a very good time visiting with our co-workers and sat inside chatting for a couple of hours.

Wednesday we worked on filling up the firewood "stands" around the park, then began picking up the recycling bins and emptying them of the aluminum cans. We worked on that for about 3 1/2 hours before running very low on fuel for the Gator that we were using. We returned to the shop but the pickup truck with the diesel refueling tank on it was gone, so we were unable to finish our job. There is no diesel tank at the shop except for the truck, and I'm not sure why this is being done. I guess its a way to allow volunteer workers refuel the equipment without supervision or someone having to unlock the tank.

Thursday was a down day for us. I took my morning walk, which includes picking up litter and checking the firewood stacks along the way, but today we were looking forward to seeing our friends, Michael and Kelly who were coming by this afternoon. They arrived right on time, about 1 o'clock, and we sat outside in our yard for a couple of hours until the chilly temperatures sent us inside, where we continued our visit with them. They are fellow Heartland Landmark owners, although they have a different model (floor-plan) than we do. We had a very nice time chatting with them and decided to go eat at the Highlander restaurant. This was a good choice and was right on their way back to Fort Hood, where Michael had been stationed many years ago. He just retired a few months ago from the U.S. Army and we thank him for his service to the country. We are looking forward to seeing them again soon when we go to Mission.

Bringing us up to today, Friday. I did my morning walk and found that there was not as much firewood gone as I had expected but there were no Gators available, so we had to wait to reload the firewood. We were supposed to work at the store on boat rental duty at noon, so I decided to let Stella go to the store while I did firewood. Surely she could handle an hour or so by herself!

I loaded up the Gator and headed out to deliver the wood, and found that the tent end of the park was completely out! I started laying out the stacks and a group of guys walked up and gave me $20 for some wood so I let them take it right out of the truck. I didn't have to handle it and made a sale, so it's all good! I got the wood delivered and walked back to the store to help with the boats, but rentals were very slow today. Stella had rented one kayak and only one canoe and they both came back in soon after I got there. I put their oars and life jackets away and that was about all we did for the rest of the afternoon.... Booooring!

Everything that was out was in by 3, which is the last rental time for the afternoon, so I locked everything up and we left. We drove through the park and found that not as much firewood as I expected had been sold, but we'll have to get out pretty early tomorrow morning to check it again. I just hope there will be a Gator for us to use.

So long.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday November 12, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

Another update from the state park. Work is going well, with boat rentals and mowing being two of our main jobs. The work is not that hard, but the mowing is dusty and very dirty. Because of the drought, there is lots of dust, so when I come in from mowing it takes a LOT of dusting me off before I can come inside. The time change has messed up our boat rental schedule. Marty, the other park host that does rentals, comes in on Saturday from 11 AM until 3 PM so now since the store closes at 5, the last rental is at 3, so since there isn't that much need of someone being there to receive the boats that are out, we were told that we weren't needed on Saturday afternoon. Bummer! Oh well, we have firewood to get put out on Saturday, so that is what we worked on.

While working on the fire wood, we had a visitor come by. Remember AD and Dee from Stephen F. Austin State Park? AD and his new friend Donna dropped by for a visit. Dee, his wife, passed away some time ago, and he has stopped working as a host in the state parks and met Donna, whose husband passed a couple of weeks after Dee did, and they are traveling together now. They have done some gate guarding in south Texas and gone to Nebraska for the sugar beet harvest but have returned to Texas to decide what they want to do next. It was good to see our old friend and to see him happy again. We are planning to see them again when we go to the valley if we can schedule it.

Sunday we had a big potluck dinner for the hosts in the empty site next to us. Well, the site isn't really empty; it has a FEMA trailer on it for visitors that don't have a trailer, usually some big wheel from Austin who wants to come down for a stay. Patty, the lady host that is also staying near our site, had planned this get-together, and bought the chickens to roast. She and John, another of the hosts, began cooking about 11 this morning. I went over and sat outside with them while the cooking was going on and we had a nice visit.

The group came over about 3, and we sat around talking and visiting and having something to drink. The chickens were ready to eat about 4, and we all had another fine meal. Potluck dinners are THE BEST! After dinner, the group broke up and went home, but we had a very nice time with them. I hope that we can do this again soon.

I've got to say-again- that I don't like this new time. I wish we could stay on either daylight savings or standard time. I did some research a long time ago about the laws concerning the time change but can't find it right now. Without boring you with a lot of data that I'm sure you remember, Daylight Savings Time (DST) actually began during the 1st World War but wasn't adopted formally in the United States until 1966. It is observed in all states except Arizona (except the Navajo territory, which does observe DST), and Hawaii and the offshore territories of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Why can't we have a local election of whether to observe it? Hmmmm. Something else to work on.

So long.

















Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wednesday November 7, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

Well the elections are over and my guy didn't win. I have tried to stay away from talking politics here and I won't dwell on what happened or why. This is probably the worst and most divisive presidential campaign that I have seen, and I'm glad it's over. I've apparently lost a couple of friends who no longer read my emails or respond and I unfriended one man on Facebook, not because of his political views but because he is a racist. He is an elected official in Galveston county and I was really surprised and very disappointed in his attitude. So much for politics...

Work around here has been pretty steady. On Monday we worked on the recycling bins, emptying the aluminum cans out of the collection cages and put them into sacks to be picked up later. We were amazed at the amount of trash that is put into the cages. I'm not sure whether people are lazy or just stupid when they put trash into chicken wire cages that are marked for aluminum cans only. Crazy...

Tuesday, as I walked down to get a mower to begin mowing one of the large camping areas, Chris stopped me and asked if we could man the restrooms again because the water was being cut off again. This happened twice last week and we helped and cleaned up after people at the only restroom being used, so we did it again today. It wasn't too hard but it took most of the day, and we are glad to help where needed.

Today, I thought we were going to have to work the bathroom again because they cut the water off again because of a leaky valve, but they were able to isolate the area and didn't need to turn all the water off, so I got one of the Grasshopper mowers and mowed about five or six acres of grass with campsites on them. Luckily for me, there was only one camper in the sites, and they were a couple that are also park hosts, so I was really careful when mowing around them. My only mishap was when I was mowing a site and backed off the raised dining area, hanging the rear wheels off and getting stuck. I found one of the park rangers and he and I hooked up a tow strap and soon had me pulled out and back to mowing. No damage, and an embarrassed Jay. I hope that's the worst thing that happens to me while we are here. Wish me luck.

So long.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday November 4, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

Our days are pretty routine around here. We inherited another job when Gary and Mary left. Gary worked on many of the machines in the shop, which I'm not qualified to do and Mary took care of replenishing the firewood stacks and twice a week, picking up the recycling aluminum cans. We'll see how this works out. Right now, I'm not so sure but I'll talk more about it later.

I don't know whether you can see it or not, but in the middle of the picture near the top is a black board or limb in the water that looked a lot like an alligator in the water. I'm sorry that it didn't show up better but its the best I can do with my camera phone. I'm sure that if a woman or child had seen it, they would have been frightened. I was concerned until I got closer and saw what it was, but it was our excitement for the day. At least it happened near the end of the day when there weren't too many people around.

Another beautiful sunset across the lake from the store and boat rental site. There are a lot of ducks in the lake along with several geese and I'm told, a couple of blue herons.

Friday and Saturday were both busy days because of our new duties, but we got 'er done. We used a Gator to haul the firewood and sometimes, that's a problem in itself because there aren't enough of them to go around. Between filling firewood and renting boats, we worked about twenty hours between us on Friday and Saturday. Stella went down to the store for a couple of hours today to help with rentals and I went down about four o'clock and counted and locked up the boats for the ladies. They appreciated it because that is a part of the job they hate.

I don't know about this Daylight Savings Time. The last several days, I've been getting sleepy early and begin yawning about 7:30 or so. Now that the time has changed, I'll be asleep by dark which is about 6 o'clock! Maybe not, because it's about 7 right now and I'm wide awake and waiting for the Cowboys to get beaten by the Atlanta Falcons. go Texans!!!

So long.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday October 31, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

So, here we are on Halloween night and there are no ghosts or goblins here in the park, but worst of all, no kids to come trick or treating to get the candy that Stella bought. I think she bought it for us, but don't tell her that I figured it out...

Here is a sunset photo that I took at the park where Tommy and Susan were, Sunset Shores. You can see why they named it, because their site was right on the shore of the lake, and man! look at that sunset!

This is a place called Cooper's Barbecue in Llano. We ate there with Tommy and Susan but came back with the Park Host group from here. When you walk up you see all the pits outside the restaurant. I didn't ask how often they use the rest of the pits.

You walk up and choose what meat(s) you want and how much. It smells great, but the barbecue is even better than it smells. I don't know when I've had better barbecue. All the sides and desserts (about 6 different cobblers!) are inside. Not a place to go if you're on a diet.

 This is our work area at the boat rentals in the park store. Only shown in the photo are the paddle boats. We also have canoes and both single and double occupant kayaks. Yes, the lake is really that gorgeous!

Here is our group of park hosts at Coopers. I didn't waste any time taking photos with the hot food in front of me, but did manage to get almost everyone in the picture after we ate. I came up with the idea to come here, and hope to be able to put something together weekly for us to get together and visit.

Here is a sunset shot across Inks lake taken about an hour ago. It isn't the mountains of Colorado, but it ain't bad!

So long.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Friday and SaturdayOctober 26 & 27th, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

There was a cold front coming in today, so we stayed home all morning. It began to rain pretty hard but we were scheduled to go to the park store to rent boats this afternoon, so about noon we went to the store. All the boats were in and since the weather was bad, it was decided that there was no reason to think things would pick up, so we were released.

We met Carol, the Interpretive Director at the park. She is in charge of all of the wildlife education as well as leading kayak trips around the lake. I helped her get some supplies into her storage area under the store building. She seems to know what she is doing and I look forward to possibly going to one of her classes. 

We came back home and hung out for the afternoon. I talked to our friend and fellow park host Mike about having a get together for the hosts on Monday afternoon at Coopers Barbecue in Llano. I passed the word around to a few of the park hosts that I saw and Mike said he would do the same. I think it will be very nice for us to get together and the food will be great.

Saturday the weather was much better, but much colder too. The park was packed with a huge group of Girl Scouts, so we knew we would be busy renting boats today. When we arrived for work, it only took Marty a second to tell us "see ya" and take off. When he wasn't too chatty, I knew he had been busy. Sure enough, we were swamped a couple of times as large groups came through to rent boats. At one point, all of the paddle boats and nine of the canoes were out, but strangely, the kayaks were very slow today. It was a nice afternoon but turning colder, so we were glad when the last boat was returned. It won't be long until we have the fall time change, so our times here will likely change as the store hours change. I'm sure it will all work out and we'll have a good time. Call me an optimist!

So long.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sunday-Thursday October 21-25, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

We didn't do too much Sunday but watched the football games on television. We were scheduled to work this afternoon at the boat rental dock but when we got there, all the boats were in and no one seemed to want to rent one. We stayed around for a little while, cleaning up the area. I moved some walking sticks to a different storage area. It seemed like wasted time but we did get something accomplished.

Monday we went in and talked to Sue about getting a schedule for working at the store renting boats. All she could give us was Friday and Saturday afternoons, so we had to find more work to do to satisfy our job requirement, so we went to talk to Chris the lead ranger. He said there were plenty of jobs and to just get one of the Gators and pick up trash, clean firepits or any of the other jobs. He said that on Wednesday, all of the hosts would be used to help out in shutting down the water in the park and repairing some valves, so this week's time would be taken care of.

Tuesday I decided to mow our yard. We have one of the larger sites with a huge yard. I began with a small lawn mower to cut around the trees and in tight areas before getting one of the Grasshopper riding mowers. My training at Caddo Lake paid off because I was familiar with the operation of the mower and was soon finished. I had forgotten how much "fun" mowing was. It wasn't particularly hot but it was very humid and it didn't take long to work up a good sweat!

Stella washed our clothes in the afternoon. The park has two washers and two dryers for us to use but you have to write in the times to reserve the machines and she had taken this afternoon. It really isn't hard, especially since the washers are in the maintenance office building, right down the street from our site. I took her down and Tramp and I went down a couple of hours later to get her and all the clean clothes and bring them home.

Wednesday we began early in the morning on our assignment for the water line repair. We were given the job of monitoring the only bathroom in the park while the repairs were made. It wasn't bad and I had brought a couple of our chairs, so we sat in the shade beside the bathroom and read our Kindles. We had other hosts that came by and visited with us during the day, so it wasn't a bad gig at all.

Thursday I decided to return my new computer that I bought a couple of weeks ago. I am just getting used to the workings of Windows 7 using Google Chrome as the operating system when all of a sudden I could not connect to the Internet. Nothing could do to fix this problem, so I took it back to Georgetown to the Best Buy where I had bought it. Of course they brought out one of their Geek Squad guys and he turned it on and everything came up without a problem. What can I say, it never fails! We ended up just making a day of being over there and did a little shopping and got something to eat before coming back home. It turned out to be a pretty good day and we enjoyed ourselves. Maybe we're just easily satisfied...

So long.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Saturday October 20, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

Today was a regular work day for us. We relieved Marty, the other park host that works in boat rentals and he was glad to see us. The park is full again this weekend and likely will be until Thanksgiving unless the weather turns cold. I noticed that many of the people in tents had left this morning. It was chilly, about 49 this morning, and they left.

We were busy all afternoon but had fun with the folks that we served. The only problems that we had were a couple of the paddle boats went outside the restricted area but I said something to them when they returned and I think I made my point with them. Paddle boats are not allowed out into the main lake because of the power boats that are also in the lake. The paddle boats are slower and much more difficult to maneuver out of the way, so it is a safety issue. The park once rented boats out overnight but don't any more. There are no lights on the rental canoes, kayaks or paddle boats, so again it is a safety issue. The park had no control of people taking the boats out after dark.

I had to wrestle a canoe and a kayak into the proper position for locking them up. Folks are asked to return the boats to the same position they are in but sometimes don't do it and then we have to turn them around. The boats are heavy and have to be picked up and turned around so that the security rings match up. I was told that one of the projects is to put security rings on both ends of the boats but it hasn't been done yet. Maybe I'll ask about it and we'll get it done before we leave.

We have been doing much better on our eating and came home and only had a light supper before relaxing in front of the television. We have good TV reception and Internet here, thank goodness. Much better than the higher dollar "resort" in Creede. I've said enough about that.

So long.

Wednesday, Thursday & Friday, October 17, 18 & 19, Inks Lake State Park

We didn't do much of anything on Wednesday. We stayed home all day and did stuff around here. The dogs have been missing us, so we stayed home with them and they appreciated it. We groomed Cassie in the afternoon, I combed out some of her tangles and Stella clipped her while Tramp supervised everything. We spent most of the afternoon outside and it seemed to tire us all out and we came inside and almost immediately went to sleep. It was a good day!

Thursday we didn't plan anything because we had to work this afternoon. This would have been our first day to work this week but there was a misunderstanding about our hours and the store's hours. We had planned to come in at 3 and understood the store was open until 6 and would have rented boats until 5, but we were an hour off. They closed at 5 and would have stopped renting at 4, but when we arrived to work all the boats were in and locked up so we found some things to do, cleaning and stocking and knocked off at 4. We had cleared this schedule with two of the regular employees, but we'll make up the time later in the week.

Friday we went in to work at 12:30 and immediately went to work renting boats. We were fairly busy because there was a large group of home school children in the park and they all wanted to go for a boat ride. It was a good day and we enjoyed it.

Susan called and invited us to meet them at a place called Spykes barbecue in Kingsland. We had heard good things about it but it was only so-so as far as we were concerned. It was okay but not great and we all wished we had driven the 30 miles to Llano and Coopers. They will be leaving tomorrow and it was good to spend time with our friends before they leave.

So long.

More Trois Estate photos


Here is a mound on the floor of the balcony that is in the form of the Enchanted Rock that can be seen in the distant background. The large vent fan is for the kitchen of the restaurant below.

The entire area is in an adobe style with narrow roads as in a Mexican village. The buildings and roads appear to be very old but we learned that the construction of the property was begun in 1998.

The entire balcony was done in a mosaic pattern and the furniture matches. I must assume (and I know what that means!) that the furniture came from Mexico, where I have seen similar pieces.


The indoor pool is in a grotto. complete with man-made stalactites. I didn't get a photo of the rounded roof in this building. The inside is rounded and covered in bricks, which again makes it look very old. Details like these are seldom seen any more.

This is the stage in a bar in another building. Notice all the trophies on the wall.
 Another small figurine on the bar. The bar is used if there are activities here. The plan is to rent/lease many of the buildings to vendors and this work is still under construction. Even though the buildings look old, I noticed modern plumbing and electrical in the buildings.

Still in the barroom are more antiques. The old Indian mannequin, the calendar on the left side of the picture is from 1940 and seems to be perfect. The picture of President Lincoln on the right side appears to be an original, but I guess all of these can be duplicated and made to look old.

Some more details of the property are that the couple that developed and built it are now divorced. They both continue to live here, the man in one of the adobe buildings near his showroom, and the woman lives in a 20,000 square foot underground home that we did not get to see. We met the man in his showroom, which is approximately 8,000 square feet and houses a huge gun and trophy collection which is shown by appointment only.

I can't rave enough about this place. It is being used for weddings, receptions and parties. In case you're wondering, we found the rates pretty reasonable. Regular room are $159 per night during the week and $229 on the weekend. Both include a gourmet breakfast prepared by the chef. The bridal suite is $259, breakfast included. It should be a real attraction when built out and with the stores and shops open.

We finished this day by going to a place called Cooper's Bar B Q in Llano. It is a different serving method here. We were served at the outdoor barbecue pit, where there were several large pieces of meat. Take your pick of brisket, sausage, turkey or large beef roast, as much as you want. It is very easy to ask for much more of this delicious meat than you want or need. We went inside for side dishes and of course to pay and eat our meal. It was probably some of the best barbecue that we've ever had. Very much worth the trip!

So long.

Tuesday October 16, 2012, Inks Lake State Park

Tommy and Susan found out about a place that is across the road from the Enchanted Rock Park called the Trois Estate. We found it this morning and WOW! what a place it is! I don't know when I've ever seen as eclectic collection of artifacts and buildings, almost too much to tell about.

There were many rooms and halls on this property. This deer-horn mirror is in one of the buildings that has several rooms with a large meeting hall on the ground floor. 



I guess Stella has found a new friend. I'll certainly be nicer to her as long as he is around. I later learned that the owners had many full size trophies, but many have been sold.


The door on the right is one of the rooms that is available for rental. We were all amazed at the collections. See below:

 I don't have any idea where these mannequins and small-scale buckboard came from, but there were many in this hall.

 It also contained these old cowboy outfits, but all the guns are BB guns!

Many of the BB guns were in their original boxes and brought back memories of my childhood. Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and many of the other old Hollywood cowboys were represented. I will add more photos to my next entry.

If you're ever in the area, it is worth it to stop by this place and check it out.

So long.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Monday October 15, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

We got up this morning and went to the park store to sign up to work there. I realized when I started writing this that I had omitted the entry for Saturday, so I guess I had better back off and tell you about that.

We had originally signed up to work at the boat rental on Saturday from 11-4. Another host named Marty works in the rental area but he got off at 3, so he could be there to train us for a few hours before he left. The training didn't take that long, but there were some issues over closing times and the times for cut-off of boat rentals. Once we got this straightened out, things went very well.

It was hot and muggy and there were lots of people renting boats and we decided to work over until 6 to help out the ladies in the store. They would have had to take care of the store and boats too. It wasn't that much physical work, but there are the boats to be checked in and all the equipment, oars, life jackets and then having the guest sign the ticket that they had returned everything. We were glad to help out and later decided to volunteer for this spot permanently.

As I said earlier, we told the ladies that we wanted to work in the rentals on Thursday thru Sunday. We will be there to close all four days, and this will take care of our total hours for the week. We also spoke with Chris, the lead Ranger. He was fine with what we had offered in the store and I told him to call me if he needed help with other odd jobs.

We had also signed up to work a late-night (11PM-12M) monitoring job at the front gate. Austin headquarters is asking for monitoring of the front gate at different times of the week for people entering the park. There are no gates into the park, so I guess they are curious about how many people come in at these times. At any rate, we stayed up late (very late for me!) and not one vehicle came through.  We did our duty but to me, it was a waste of time.

On Monday, after we got all squared away with work, we went over to Kingsland where we met Tommy and Susan to hang out with them. We went over to Llano where we looked around for Bill and Mary's RV park-didn't find it- and went for lunch at a place called Coopers Bar B Que. This was some of the best barbecue we have ever eaten. You walk in and buy your meat right off the grill and then go inside to get sides and drinks. It was a different place, but the food was excellent. I highly recommend it if you're ever in the area.

So long.
















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Sunday October 14, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

We went over to Tommy and Susan's site at the Sunset Shores RV Resort. We sat out on the grass beside Lake LBJ and you can see how they named this place. Tommy and Susan got the nicest site in the park, and I am envious. This is a beautiful park and great site.

This is probably as pretty a sunset as you will find, and it happens here every day! You can just see a large flock of ducks floating in the lake. They line up in a long line every afternoon and float off into the middle of the lake. We later asked one of the park rangers here and he said they probably spend
the night out in the middle for their safety.

                                   
Lexie, Susan's Labradoodle, enjoys laying in the cool grass, not paying a bit of attention to the beautiful area where she is. Oh, to be an RV'ers doggie!

So long.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Thursday & Friday, October 11 & 12, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

Just a quick update from the last two days. We haven't been doing a lot around the park.....yet. Chris, the lead Ranger should be back next week and give us some assignments so we'll be busier and time will go by faster. Everything is working well here, the Internet has a good strong signal and the satellite is working very well with local (Austin) television stations.

I've met some of the other hosts, Mike and his wife Linda. They are newly retired and just getting started in their new life. Mike told me that they still own a house but plan to sell it and downsize. He said they have looked at some of the patio homes with an attached RV port but are still trying to decide.

Weekend campers started coming in yesterday and man, you can see it all here! I have seen everything from Big ol' Allegro Bus motorhomes to little tiny "teardrop" trailers that are not much larger than our bathroom. There are scores of small pull trailers that are about the size of our bedroom, but the smallest that I've seen is a man and woman on a motorcycle that is pulling a trailer. Their sleeping arrangements are an aluminum cot with a tent over the bed. They must bathe in the park showers and change into pajamas there and crawl into their bed. Talk about no privacy! You know what they say, "it takes all kinds", but that's awfully small! Don't even think about "fun times while camping"! This is a family blog...

So long.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wednesday Octobe 10, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

Well, we finally had to work some today. We went down the street to the maintenance shop and checked out one of the John Deere Gators to use along with some tools. We cleaned up firepits and picked up trash in the cabin area, the day use area and the tent/popup areas. We worked for about 3 1/2 hours and called it a day. By the time we got back to the shop and dropped off the refuse and cleaned up the Gator, we were tired and ready for some rest. It really wasn't that bad and the good thing is that the rest of the week should be very easy because everything is clean.

We also talked to the lady at the store and signed up to work there on Saturday,helping to rent out the canoes and kayaks. We will be teamed up with one of the "regulars" who does this all the time, so we should get some good training about what is expected, so it should be fun.

Stella signed up to work on Saturday night at the front gate. They are doing some kind of count on how many people are coming in during the night. The park has no gate-never has since we've been coming here- and how many people will be coming in between 11 and 12 at night? It's something that Austin wants done, so we'll do it.

I came back home and after nap time, worked on next year's travels. I did some rough estimates, and we'll be going about 4000 miles to attend 15 rallies! I can already feel my belt getting tighter from all the potluck meals... We'll get to mark off at least a couple more states on our travel map and we will be meeting a lot of new people. I can't wait to go!

So long.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesday October 9, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

Well, we are all settled in at Inks Lake. Below you will see our site with the truck backed in front of the trailer. The site is very shady and seems to be very nice. We are looking forward to our stay here.

 It was difficult to get into this site because of the proximity of the trees and some low-hanging branches that dragged on the front of the trailer when backing in.

Here is our front yard which is also very shaded. We have deer in the yard every morning and evening. The dogs don't seem to see the beauty of wild animals but maybe after our time here they will.

We went down to the maintenance office where we met Terry Young, the Assistant Superintendent of the park and the coordinator for the Park Hosts. He introduced us to several people that we will be working with including another Park Host couple. We got our ID cards and some shirts to wear when we are working. We still don't have an assigned job and the head Ranger is off this week, so we are kind of at loose ends right now. We will go out tomorrow and see what we can find.

We went into Burnet to the HEB store to do some shopping. We came back home by the long way which includes a very steep hill that is a lot of fun to drive. There is also a huge castle out in the woods that someone built several years ago. I believe it is used for weddings, receptions and parties. It just looks strange for this tall castle to be out in the middle of the forest.

After getting home and unloading our groceries, we came in and relaxed for awhile but soon had a visitor, our friends Bill and Mary! They drove over from Llano where they are staying. Bill found a real deal on an RV park over there that includes as much golf as he wants to play for a very good price. They have decided to stay there for the winter season, so we will have time to get together with them again.

This is turning out to be a very nice place and we are looking forward to our stay here.

So long.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday October 8, 2012-Moving day-Alamo Fiesta RV Resort to Inks Lake State Park

Today was our moving day. We went to Wal Mart and stocked up on some fuel because it is the lowest prices in the area and we got an extra .10 off for using the fuel card there. Since I have discovered that he fuel computer on the truck is reasonably accurate, I no longer bore you with fuel mileage but just keep an eye on it while I'm driving.

We came on back to the park and visited with others as they made their own preparations to leave. We didn't get in a hurry because it is less than 90 miles to Inks Lake. We pulled out around 10:30. We made good time and made a pit stop for Stella along the way. Gotta keep the old gal happy!

Stella had called the park and learned that they had a Park Host site available for us. Terry, the Host coordinator was off today so we didn't get job assignment yet but should have something tomorrow.

They give all the park hosts a site that are clustered. The site we are in was very difficult to get into but I finally managed to get it into position after a lot of jockeying around. I wouldn't want to do this often. It makes me miss my pull through site! I was tired after parking but managed to get everything set up. I noticed some marks on the front and side of the trailer from some low-hanging branches that I had to negotiate to get into the site. I wasn't too happy about the way I had to get into the site, but I am really upset with the damage to my trailer. I'll get my ladder out tomorrow and see how bad the damage is.

So long.

Sunday October 7, 2012-Alamo Fiesta RV Resort

Today was the final day of the rally. Tom did a fine with the rally and I am very proud of him. This was his first rally and everything went very well for him.

The weather was cold this morning and it was overcast and damp, but we all came out to see our friends off.

There were a few breakfast tacos left over from yesterday, so some ate them and the rest of us just had coffee. It was nice to sit around in the morning with our friends for some final visiting. It wasn't long before they started pulling out. It was sad to see them leave but it is just a part of Rv'ing.

There were 7 trailers that stayed after today, some like us, leaving tomorrow and the rest on Tuesday. After seeing all the folks depart, we all went home to get out of the cold and stayed inside for the afternoon. Most of us got together for supper but couldn't decide what we wanted to eat. We began by trying to find an Oriental buffet but didn't have any luck there and ended up at a place called the Shang Hai, which was not a buffet but the food was very good. It was a good way to end the rally.

So long.

Saturday October 6, 2012-Alamo Fiesta RV Resort

Saturday morning began with coffee and then Explore USA brought us some good breakfast tacos. We all enjoyed our breakfast and we sat around the rally hall for awhile before going back home to relax a bit.

A small group of us went over to Explore USA to look at some new trailers that they had in stock. We looked over the stock but didn't find anything better than what we have now. It's always fun to look though...

We came back to the park to rest up (nap) for tonight's festivities. We had a wonderful potluck dinner tonight and a repeat performance of Wii bowling and other Wii games. Again, it was a lot of fun to watch and we had a lot of laughs at the antics.

The weather was nice all day but a cold front-first of the season- so everyone shivered as they walked back to their trailers. It actually felt pretty normal to us, having just come back from Colorado. It was nice to get back into some warm weather but we are glad that we avoided all the 100 degree days.

So long.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Friday October 5, 2012-Alamo Fiesta RV Resort

It's good to be back in Texas! The weather is cool enough at night to still need covers on the bed, but not the heater and several blankets. Tom and I opened the rally hall this morning for coffee and had a small potluck breakfast. I said small, but there was plenty of good food for all.

We all just hung out for the rest of the morning, but planned to go eat supper together this afternoon. Most of the guys went inside during the afternoon to check our eyelids for cracks, but we came out later in the day. About the time we all began to get ready to go, our friends from Colorado, Bill and Mary came by to see us. We took them around to introduce them to the Heartlanders that are here. We took them back to see the Landmark that was here on display and we sat inside it, chatting about and other Landmarks until it was time to go. e decided that we would go to the Hungry Horse to show it to Bill and Mary. They enjoyed their food and we all had a good time together.

Bill and Mary are staying in Fredericksburg, so they soon returned home after supper. The main rally group had gone to a local mexican food restaurant, and soon after they returned, we went to the rally hall for an ice cream social. I didn't have any Blue Bell but watched some playing Wii bowling. It was fun to watch and we all enjoyed the games.

The rally is just beginning!

So long.

Thursday October 4, 2012-Alamo Fiesta RV Resort

Many of our friends that were coming to the rally were already here, so it was almost a rally atmosphere. We got together this morning to have coffee with some of them that were outside. We sat outside for a couple of hours and around noon we took Tom & Mart and Terry & Carol to the Hungry Horse for a Chapter Leader lunch. We had a very enjoyable lunch with them and went over some things with them, since they are both new Chapter Leaders. We stayed in the restaurant for a good while after lunch, chatting and planning for future rallies.

We came back to the park and hung out with our other friends that had arrived and sat outside for most of the afternoon. Those of us that had been to lunch were still full, so we skipped supper. We went inside for awhile and came out later and sat outside, enjoying the nice weather. It was nice to be able to sit outside without a coat and long pants on again.

So long.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Tuesday and Wednesday, October 2nd and 3rd, 2013-Alamo Fiesta RV Resort

First of all, I want to give you the stats from our summer trip, which ended when we arrived in Boerne. We traveled 6900 miles in 8 states, attending 4 rallies-3 chapter rallies and the Heartland National rally in Gillette Wyoming. We met many new friends from all over the country and of course, many beautiful and interesting places. Its not over yet, so please stay tuned.

I've been missing Tyler and Cameron and had been wanting to try to surprise them by dropping in on them unexpectedly. We decided to make a drive down to Texas City and spend the night, returning to Boerne on Wednesday. We knew that Cameron, who is now playing football, had games on Tuesday afternoon, so we went down, planning to show up at his game. We found out that this week his game was on Monday, so we missed his game but still planned to surprise both of the boys, but somehow they had figured out that we were coming. We went to the karate school where Cameron had gone after school and picked him up and met Tyler and Kim on their way home. They took us out to eat some delicious mexican food at Gringos restaurant and we had a nice time visiting with them. We returned to their home for more time together before we had to go back to our motel room to take care of the puppies. It was really good to seethe family. It won't be long now before we go back to stay in their area and we are looking forward to it.

So long.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012-Alamo Fiesta RV Resort

Today was a relaxing day of rest from the trip from Colorado. Stella and I both slept in this morning. I went for a walk and found one of the trailer washing service guys driving around the park. We worked out a deal to wash the trailer-there are STRICT rules against washing either trucks or trailers posted in the park-and the trailer really needed a bath. We had been on the trip to Fort Collins (ran through rain) and of course the trip down from Colorado (in the rain) and the trailer really needed cleaning. They did a good job and of course, the wax I had put on the trailer helped bring the shine back.

After the trailer got washed, we went to run some errands-Stella got her hair cut and I went to Office Depot to order new business cards. Some of our friends, Berry and Janet arrived for the rally.

When we got back, it started to rain hard, so we ran inside and stayed in for the rest of the afternoon. I should have known it would rain after getting a wash! The trailer still looks good but I don't want much more rain. It will sure screw up the rally if it rains.

I will be offline for a couple of days but please check back for my update. I think you will like it.

So long.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday September 30, 2012-Moving day-Tye RV Park to Alamo Fiesta RV Resort

We went from a small overnight park in Tye Texas to the Alamo Fiesta RV Resort for the South Texas Chapter of the Heartland Owners club.

This is the office for the resort. We have been here several times in the past and incidentally, it was the location for the first IRV2 National rally that we attended back in about 2004.


 Here we are, all set up in our site. We had our choice of sites in the reserved area, and chose #159. This is our first time in this section of the park and I think we made a good selection. Time will tell...


We're kind of lonesome back here all alone! It will fill in soon enough and the party will start!

We were up about 7 this morning but were in no big hurry because we only had about 225 miles to drive today. Stella made us a good breakfast and we were on the road about 9:30. We made good time down the highway since there was very little traffic on a Sunday morning and it had stopped raining.

The further we drove, the more we realized that this was the exact route that we took a couple of years ago when we took Tyler and Cameron to Colorado. I even remembered a couple of stops that we had made with them and it brought back good memories. That's just one of the great things abut this lifestyle, the memories. It's so nice to see something on television and be able to say, "Hey, we were right there!"

We got into the park about five minutes til 2, and the office closed at 2, but it was already locked up. We picked up our brochure that showed us to our site, but the work camping lady came to the door to see if there was anything else that we needed. She saw our trailer and said that they had just bought a new Landmark as well, so I invited her to come to the rally. She is very close to being an owner, so she should be able to come have some fun with us to see what its all about, being a Heartland owner. I just hope I don't get in trouble with Tom for inviting her. Its hard to remember that I'm not the Chapter leader any more.

So long.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saturday September 29, 2012-Moving day-Corral RV Park, Dalhart to Tye RV Park, Tye Texas

It was a very pleasant night here at the Corral in Dalhart. We didn't discover until we arrived that we had stayed here with Tyler and Cameron a couple of years ago.

I slept late (for me) and Stella slept until almost 7, but it didn't take long for us to get started and we still pulled out about 8:20.

It started to rain on us when we had only gone a short distance and it rained on us all the way to Tye TX where we decided to stay tonight. There is nothing here but bare ground and full hookups, so its okay for an overnight stop. The office was different than most parks. They have a sign on the door to put your check or cash in an envelope and into a drop box and go pick out a site. Keep in mind that this is during business hours... A guy rode up in a golf cart, looking like Goober. He did escort me to a site, but I guess a nice trailer like the Landmark deserved better service. We have the nicest trailer in the entire park! We are out in the middle of the park, all by ourselves.

So long.