Friday, December 27, 2013

Wednesday December 25, 2013-Serendipity Bay RV Resort

Well, we've been here for several busy days and I haven't had time to make another entry. We've visited with Stella's family a lot and had a good time. The first couple of evenings, we went to a place affectionately called The Cantina. It's owned by a long-time friend of the family named Clarence, who is in the grass business. He owns several grass farms in the area and sold one of them to Stella's nephew Randy a few years ago. The cantina is on one of the farm properties, and is now the headquarters of his company. He stores his equipment on the land and has his office in the cantina building. The building is quite a story, beginning as an old barn with a lean-to attached. Clarence added onto the old barn and enclosed it with old lumber salvaged from other old barns. One entire wall was built with old pallet lumber, so the entire building looks like it's very old, but in fact is just a few years old. There is an old swamp cooler in the main bar area to cool it in the summer that is also a heater, which came in handy in the cold weather. He added a couple of bedrooms or apartments for friends to stay in. The place is rustic but very nice. 

We went over to the cantina on Tuesday night just to meet Randy and his girlfriend Sondra and Chris another nephew and a few other people that were there. Randy and Sondra are staying in one of the apartments. It was pretty cold that night and we didn't stay very long.

We returned Wednesday for an oyster fry with all the trimmings. I helped Randy some when he prepared and fried the oysters and fries while others cooked some grilled shrimp and veggies. It was good to get some fresh seafood, cooked just right! 

Kim and the boys came down on Monday afternoon and we spent a lot of time with them. We took them to the famous Blessing Hotel for lunch and we all enjoyed another great meal. The Hotel was built in 1906 and has stood here, serving travelers in the hotel and the locals in the restaurant. If you're in the area, you should stop in and have lunch, it's great!

Christmas Eve was celebrated at niece Jana and her husband Chad's house. They have a big old farmhouse with plenty of room for everyone, so we had our party there again. I love to watch the little ones as they receive and open their gifts. They are so excited!

Jana had gone out and bought about $400 worth of fireworks and the young ones loved it! I watched them shoot off what seemed like 1000 rockets and 10,000,000 firecrackers and remembered the times that we too joined in. Seems so long ago...

We had a nice quiet Christmas day dinner at Henry and Elaine's house. No fireworks here, just a nice meal and watching a little television. We found a John Wayne marathon and everyone loves him! Nice day!

We'll be returning to Inks Lake soon but want to stay a couple more days to rest up. We are hoping for good weather and warmer than the hill country. We'll see how that works out.

So long.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thursday December 19, 2013-Moving Day-Inks Lake state park to Serendipity Bay RV resort. Palacios TX

I forgot to mention in yesterday's blog entry about spend some time with our friends Dan and Ann Mayer. We met them at the Bluebonnet Cafe in Marble Falls and had a great lunch and ended up spending about 3 1/2 hours visiting with them. We had a great time chatting and exchanging life experiences. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon!

This morning, we got up pretty early and began making preparations to move down to Palacios for a visit with Stella's family who live in Blessing, about 12 miles away. We didn't actually leave until 10:30 because several of our friends stopped by to talk and then Stella had to stop at the headquarters and got hung up there.

We made good time but time seemed to be going sooooo slowly. We only made one stop at the Buccee's in Luling and I captured a lot of Munzees there. This was the first time I had been able to play in awhile because I have been busy with the deer hunts and there are no local Munzees for me to find. Anuway, I raised my score by about 200 points! 

We pulled into Serendipity about 4:30 and before long, everything was set up and we were relaxing. This is our first time down here in about two years and I know that Stella is looking forward to seeing her family. I guess you could say that we're on vacation? 

So long.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday December 18, 2013-Inks Lake state park

As you may have noticed, I have not made any entries in some time. Please let me explain what happened. I have been experiencing a huge amount of data usage by my Verizon MiFi card for the past couple of months and when I called to complain about the unusual amount, I was told that any long entries, photos, videos and even leaving Facebook open could add the large amounts that I have been seeing. My normal use is 10-12 gigabytes per month, but last month it went over 25 gigs and the straw that broke the camel's back was a message today that I had used over 40 gigs! That would be over 1 1/3 gigs per day!

I called Verizon Customer Service and spoke with two very nice people who agreed to exchange the sim card on the MiFi which should take care of the problem. I must call them when the bill comes out in a few days and they will credit my account for the overage. We'll see how this works out...

So long.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Monday December 2, 2013-Inks Lake state park

I was up and about early this morning, going down to the maintenance shop for our last day of preparation for the deer hunt that begins tomorrow. John and I checked most of the blinds, putting out more corn to keep the deer in the area for the hunters. I only have three blinds to bring hunters to and John pointed out some low spots around the blinds and a few other hazards. I am excited and apprehensive about the upcoming hunt, but it should be fun and I expect to meet some new people.

We started putting out signs to guide the hunters to the shop and will go out the first thing in the morning to put out the warning signs. We will shut down all of the hiking trails except for the Devil's Waterhole for safety reasons. Although it has happened before, we don't want a hiker to walk into the hunting areas. 

There is still no firewood in the park except for a few stacks that haven't been sold. I spoke with Craig, the firewood coordinator, over the weekend and he said that wood has been ordered  but it hasn't gotten here yet. Stella will be doing this chore while I am tied up with the deer hunt. Maybe it will come in tomorrow...

So long.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sunday December 1, 2013-Inks Lake state park

This is the Marble Falls Christmas Festival Lights that is sponsored by the City of Marble Falls and the Chamber of Commerce. There are many, many lights that they erect every season and display in a park area on the bank of Lake Marble Falls. The pictures are self explanatory. 

Christmas has got to be my favorite time of the year.

Kim and the boys left this morning for home. We enjoyed their visit and will see them again at Christmas in Blessing. 

So long. 

Saturday November 30, 2013-Inks Lake state park

Today we made a trip over to the Longhorn Caverns. Stella and I have been here but it was several years ago. Both of the boys wanted to come to the caverns. 

Here is our guide Leona, giving us an introduction and history of the caverns. The caverns were used by the Mohawk and Tonkawa Indians for shelter and tribe meetings in some of the larger rooms. The caverns were also used by Confederate soldiers to make and store dynamite. The explosives were made with some minerals and bat guano found in the cave. In the 1920's, during the prohibition era, the cave was used as a speakeasy. It had a more modern use when Lyndon Johnson was President, when it was used as a bomb shelter for him. The limestone found in the cavern is a good insulator from radiation, which would protect the President. She said that there were a lot of supplies left behind when Johnson left office.

This is a part of the natural entrance to the caverns. The State of Texas owns about a mile and a half of the cavern, which continues on for about six and a half miles.

This is a natural sculpture called the Queen's Watchdog. It was originally found in the Queen's Chamber.

More natural formations. 

 The milky looking walls and ceiling are limestone and were formed thousands of years ago when an underground river existed here.

 Interesting rock formations

This is one of several halls found in the caverns. The entire tour was a little more than a mile and took about 90 minutes to complete. It was nice and cool in the top of the cave but very humid in the bottom. We all enjoyed the tour but we were pretty tired at the end.

So long.

Friday November 29, 2013-Inks Lake state park

We had another cold morning here and I went out and started another warming campfire. I got the boys up early, at the crack of 10, to go on a hike up to the Devil's Waterhole. It was a great day for a hike.

Here are Tyler and Cameron at the waterhole. As you can see, it's a popular place for fishing but we didn't come prepared for that. 

Here is another shot of the boys with a nice little waterfall behind them. Actually I was surprised that we didn't see more folks taking advantage of the weather to hike. It was nice to spend a couple of hours with the boys. I wish we had more time to spend with them. They grow up so fast!

So long.

Thursday November 28, 2013-Inks Lake state park

I know that I've again fallen down in my  blog but I've been busy with my work and yesterday Kim and the boys arrived for a Thanksgiving visit. It is tight in the trailer with three extra people- two of them great big boys- but we managed. Cameron slept with me in the king size bed, Kim and Tyler bunked on the queen size hide-a-bed sofa and Stella slept in her chair in the living room. She and Kim stay up until all hours talking, so it really doesn't matter where they slept.

We returned to the Highlander Restaurant in Burnet for their Thanksgiving buffet and like last year, it was very good. We were accompanied by our friends and fellow hosts here at the park, Bill and Karen. We were seated in the old dining room that was being remodeled, and although it was a bit chilly- no heating vents hooked up yet- we had a nice time. 

We returned home and relit the campfire that we had started this morning. It's so nice to have plenty of firewood and having a morning and evening fire. It has been cold every morning and the fire felt good. 

Below are some pictures of the deer in our yard. These three does spend a lot of time in our yard and sleep in the high grass behind us every night.

I think they're saying "we're busy eating grass and a few acorns that are laying around and this guy comes along to take our picture. Can't he find something else to do?"

We're out of here...

So long.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Wednesday and Thursday, November 13 and 14th, 2013-Inks Lake State Park

The two coldest days and nights here turned out to be very good days for me. I worked on the deer blinds both days and had a great time. The weather, while cold, was beautiful and it was simply a great day to be outside in the woods. We saw some deer while we were out including a very large 6-8 point buck and a smaller 4 point as well as several does. If you are familiar with deer, you know why I didn't get any photos of them. It happens so fast, I would have had to have my camera in my hand and ready to take the shot, and it's hard to drive and take photos. 

Yesterday my friend Stan came by but I didn't get a chance to talk to him. He had some surgery done last week and looked pretty good, although he was moving very slowly. It was good to see him out and about and I'll be looking forward to catching up with him again.

I came home for lunch yesterday and we ate outside on our patio. It was very pleasant when we sat in the sun but in the shade was pretty chilly. I came home from work today and we had a chat with out neighbors and made plans to go out to eat tomorrow evening. I later built a campfire and sat outside beside it for awhile before it got too cold be be comfortable, so I came inside for the evening. Stella made a beef stew that was very tasty and we settled in for the evening. 

We are getting into the swing of things around here and enjoying our stay here. We are having some visitors in a couple of weeks and I am really looking forward to seeing them. 

So long.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tuesday November 12, 2013-Inks Lake State Park

The morning began cool and it only got cooler! Supposed to get cold for the next couple of days, but it will be back in the 80's by the weekend. I can stand a few days of winter because I know it will warm up soon. Remind me of this in January and February.

I went down to the shop, and as soon as John and Chip arrived, we were off to the woods to check on the deer blinds. We found that someone had done something to the Gator that we were using because the sign-out sheet was in the office with Do Not Use on it with no explanation. Jeff, the ranger in charge of maintenance and repair took off today so we didn't find out why it was down. 

John took us to some new blinds for Chip and I so we could see the layouts and start to familiarize ourselves with the locations. It was an enjoyable morning and we learned a lot. Chip brought his portable GPS so we can mark all of the blind locations on a map for the park. We saw several deer this morning and lots of deer sign. I put out more corn and we noticed that a lot of the corn that was put out over the weekend is gone, so we know they're there. Oh, and remember my comment above about January and February? John told us that it snowed on him last January during the deer hunt. I can't wait!

So long.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday November 11, 2013-Inks Lake State Park

Yesterday was a cloudy, gray day with coolish temperatures all day long. We went to Burnet to the grocery store and came home and watched football all afternoon. I thought it was a good way to spend the day.

Today was another cool morning but it was clear and a very nice day, once it started warming up. We got a Gator and cleaned fire pits in the morning and chatted with other park hosts during the morning. There is another couple that just arrived that was here last year and they have started cleaning fire pits also. It doesn't need two couples to clean the pits, so my new job of working on the deer hunt will fit right in. I should be working plenty of hours on that project to make all of our hours. We'll see soon enough.

We spent a lot of time outside enjoying the clear skies and warm temps. It is supposed to turn much colder tomorrow, so we wanted to stay outside as much as possible. We even ate lunch outside, leftover hamburger patties on toasted buns-very tasty! The doggies love it when we spend time outside because they can come out too. 

Kim and the boys will be here in a couple of weeks for Thanksgiving. Now if I could just get Jennifer and Melissa and the crew from Garland to come up at the same time, it would be a perfect holiday. Just a thought...

So long.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Saturday November 9, 2013-Inks Lake State Park

The work week went very well. We worked on the project that we accepted, cleaning fire pits and we got them all done, between rainstorms. We and the other hosts here do not work in the rain. Our work should get to be less and less as we get the pits clean, so it should not be too much of a problem.

Thursday morning was a beautiful sunrise, out my window in the living room. These are almost an every day event up here, so I won't bore you with a lot of sunrise/sunset pictures. 

John came by and asked me to work with him and his crew on preparing the deer blinds for the upcoming deer hunts next month. We all worked pretty hard on Thursday, but John, using the tractor and mowing deck, outdid all of our efforts, and we got a couple of the blinds looking pretty good. John and I came upon a small buck standing near one of the blinds. He wasn't afraid of us or the noisy Gator. I took a couple of pictures with my phone but the deer didn't show up very well. Maybe I can get off by myself in the evening and take some deer photos to share. 

Saturday was a special Munzee day, with everyone getting 4X the points. That means that for every one deployed or captured, we get 20 points! I left home about 7:30 this morning- just after daylight- and began deploying. I started the day with 9851 points and at the end of the day I was at 11,111 points! Up two levels! Whoopee! That includes a couple of captures that I made and a couple of my own that were captured by someone else. 

One of my captures took me to the Dead Man's Hole. You can read the plaque for yourself, and it's pretty interesting. 

The hold has been filled in and is only two or three feet deep. There was a family there when I took this picture and I had a nice little chat with a 4 year old little boy. He seemed quite impressed with the hole where bad guys were buried-his words-

I ran my phone battery down twice today, so I had to sit in the truck for awhile while it powered back up. It was down to less than 30% when I got through and I'm sure it was glad when I was done. I'm gonna rest well tonight too...

So long.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Monday November 4, 2013-Inks Lake State Park

The weather men/women had forecast rain all day today, and this time-they were right! It rained all night and off and on all day. The temperatures never rose above the low 60's, so it was chilly too. 

We didn't see or hear anyone else going out to work today either, and I saw very few park employees running around. I guess everyone took a rain day off. During one lull in the rain I went down and checked out a Gator to start cleaning some of the fire pits but it was simply too wet to get into the sites. It started raining on me again before I got back to the shop, so I gave up and came home.

Stella fixed us a new recipe of tortilla soup in the crock pot and it was delicious. Then she made a banana cream pie for dessert using a no sugar added pudding that was also delicious. I'm liking these rainy days when she has plenty of time to cook!

Tomorrow and Wednesday are both supposed to be rainy days too, so there may not be an entry for those days unless something else goes on.

So long.

Sunday November 3, 2013-Inks Lake State Park

We had a very nice Sunday, watching all the weekend campers leaving. We miss our old site that was beside the dump station because it was our entertainment to watch. I couldn't believe the amount of jockeying around and trying to cut people off, just to get up there and empty their waste water tanks.

John came by in the afternoon to pick me up to go for a ride around the deer blinds. We should start work on them this week when the deer corn comes in. John has done a lot of work with the mower, carving out roads and trails but there is still plenty of work to be done. I'm looking forward to it.

We had a campfire last night but we didn't spend too long at it because the wood wouldn't burn, it just smoldered and smoked. It was still smoldering this morning, so I added a couple of small pieces of firewood and some kindling that I had and coaxed it back up to a full fire. It was nice to sit outside with a small fire burning. The breeze was cool but sitting in the sun was very pleasant. I managed to keep the fire going all day, so we had another campfire after dark. Our friend Mike came by to look at our lights and our neighbors Chip and Bunkie came over to chat for awhile. We barely made it back inside before the rains came! We knew that rain was forecast, but we hadn't been inside ten minutes when it started. Lucky...

So long.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Saturday November 2, 2013-Inks Lake State Park

Today was such a nice day, we spent a good deal of time outside. Tramp and I went for a couple of long walks among the weekend campers, and be assured that he introduced himself to everyone around him.

This afternoon, after my nap, I decided to go get a Gator and sell some firewood. I didn't get too much from the wood pile and more than anything, I just enjoyed being outside and meeting lots of people. I helped a couple with directions to this area, and a lady and her son needed some air for their bicycle tires, so I went and got my small air compressor out and filled them up. I visited with several people as I drove by. People are very interested in our lifestyle of being full time RV'ers and I am happy to talk to them about it.

I talked to my daughter Melissa, who reminded me that she will the big 4-0 on her next birthday. Wow, where has the time gone? It was nice to sit beside the lake and chat with her, even if she did remind me of that fact...

It was a great day and I enjoyed it.

So long

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Friday November 1, 2013-Inks Lake State Park

It was another very cool morning here, about 48 degrees. It warmed up very nicely and was a beautiful day with clear blue skies and low 70's temperatures. There wasn't much going on in the park today except for lots of people coming in for the weekend. Trucks & trailers and motorhomes poured in all day and by evening, most of the sites were full.

The main thing we did today was to go to the Highlander restaurant in Burnet to see our friends Stan and Cheryl. They were park hosts last your when we were here, but medical treatments will keep them from coming back.

Here is a shot of the group. We all enjoyed our meal and the company of our fellow workers. 

Here are the guests of honor, Cheryl and Stan. They look good and we wish them well with their procedures. We will miss them at the park.

So long.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thursday October 31, 2013-Inks Lake State Park

Well, from yesterday's post, below you will find the winner! According to the reader's votes, this one was the popular winner. And thanks to all of you that cast a vote. I appreciate it.

Happy Halloween!

It rained all night long and more rain was predicted for today, so we walked the two circles that we still needed to work on and found that only three fire pits need work. They were still very wet, so we decided to put off our work until tomorrow. It turned out to be a perfect day with clear blue skies and low 70's temperatures, a great day for a drive!

There is a special Munzee game going on that ends tonight, so Stella and I drove over to Luckenbach to see Waylon, Willie and the boys, and most of all for me to capture an Eyeball Munzee and one more that was there.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Here is Stella standing on the porch of the Luckenback Post office. There were a surprising number of people in town today.

We went to Fredericksburg for me to capture the Munzees there and it took me a little while to find all of them. Fredericksburg is a very interesting town and I am thankful for all of my friends that deployed Munzees all over the place.
We decided to stop at the famous Bluebonnet Cafe in Marble Falls for a quick meal. The pictured items are not loaves of bread, but home made pies. I didn't get one today- you know, the diet and all that- but it sure was tempting.

Here are some cut pies that show the height of the meringue on the pies. Makes my mouth water...

We got back home and I built a small campfire outside. It was nice to sit out in the cool evening but it soon got chilly and we came inside. You can rest assured that we will have many more fires before we leave here....

So long.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wednesday October 30, 2013-Inks Lake State Park

We had heard weather reports that some severe weather was coming in, so we stayed home for awhile with very cloudy and threatening skies over us. About nine o'clock, we decided the weather guessers were wrong (again) and went down and got a Gator and went to work. We made very good progress on the fire pit cleaning, but ran into one of the other hosts, who reminded us of a pumpkin carving contest at the store today. We knocked off a little bit early to go to the contest. 

Here are my favorites:





Please let me know which one you like best.

So long

Tuesday October 29, 2013-Inks Lake State Park

Our second day of work here was much like the first.I went down and got a Gator and came back to pick up Stella. She wasn't finished walking the dogs- they didn't like our new schedule and wanted to stay inside a bit longer- so I went back to the primitive section to check on a site that had been reported to us by Jim and Betty and sure enough, it needed some work. It didn't take long before I had it all cleaned up and came back and picked Stella up. 

We cleaned the cabin areas today and it went well. There was a group of female inmates from the nearby prison also working in the area and we didn't want to interact with them or get in their way, so we skipped a couple of the firepits in that area. This is easy enough work but if you haven't done any physical work in awhile, you quickly realize it. We've both been stiff and a bit sore, but we enjoy it. 

After finishing up our firepit cleaning, we took our load of debris over to the dump across the road and dropped it off and came back to the shop where I picked up a pair of limb loppers to trim some tree branches for beautification and safety in the park. Again it was easy work, but much different from sitting in my recliner, so I'm sure my body will be protesting my new activities. 

We finished up around noon and knocked off to come home and have some coffee and rest. We went to Marble Falls later to the Wal Mart and HEB stores and while Stella was shopping, I deployed a few Munzees in the parking lots. There aren't many Munzees in town, so it was fun spreading the game around for others to play. 

Our second day of "work" went very well and we will soon settle into a routine. Looking forward to it!

I did receive a telephone call from a friend of mine that is now a detective in Dickinson about the Galveston County District Attorney's office wanting to contact me. An assistant DA soon called and asked me to go over an investigation that I had done of the recovery of a skeletal remains back in 1985! Wow, an oldie! When I learn more about it, I'll let you know.

So long.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday October 28, 2013-Inks Lake State Park

Today was scheduled to be our first official day of work at the park. I had spoken to Betty about taking over for her and her husband Jim in cleaning firepits and she agreed that we could take their place. I went down to the shop and picked up our Gator and the tools needed to do the cleaning and came home to pick up Stella.

We started in the primitive section of the park and found things in good shape. Only one site was in bad shape and needed a good bit of work to clean up the firepit. It is amazing what people put into the firepits, bottles, cans and of course, lots of paper and cardboard. We worked for about three hours in the far end of the park and although we were tired, it wasn't that bad. 

After taking the Gator back and securing the tools, we came back home and sat outside to cool off. It was cloudy and overcast and looked like rain, but it never did. Several of the other hosts came by to sit with us and we chatted with them, catching up on things going on here. I did a few chores around here before we went inside for the afternoon. 

It was a good first day back and I think we're going to like it.

So long.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday October 27, 2013-Inks Lake State Park

Saturday night about 8:30, after I finished the blog entry, we got a knock on the door from one of the park guests who reported a 12 year old boy missing. He said that the boy's father was there but was not feeling well and that no one had seen him in several hours. Stella and I got dressed and went to Terry's house to report the incident. Terry called Tony Casanova, one of the State Game Wardens assigned here and we went back to the campsite to begin looking for him. When we got there, Tony was there and taking the information about the missing boy, and he asked me to check the restrooms on this end of the park. I checked three restrooms and then decided to stop at the fishing pier and there he was, fishing in the lake! I immediately knew it was him by his clothing and after verifying his name, I called Terry to let him know that he had been found. We gave him a ride back to his camp and watched as his tearful sister greeted him. I later learned that he had told his dad where he was going to be and his dad simply forgot. I think he was on some medications that may have knocked him out. At any rate, he was returned to his family, safe and sound.

Today was our last laid-back day. We ate a nice breakfast and watched football all afternoon. I took Tramp for a walk and spoke with Betty, another of the park hosts, and told her that since she and her husband are leaving on Tuesday, we would take over their "job" of cleaning firepits. She said that would be fine, so now we are set up! We'll start working on the firepits tomorrow morning. 

I also posted a trip into Burnet for a night out with the group at the Highlander restaurant. We ate there several times last year and the food was very good. One of the hosts from last year, Stan and Cheryl are in the area for some medical work to be done and they want to meet up with us at the restaurant, so it'll be a party! Can't wait...!

So long.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Saturday October 26, 2013-Inks Lake State Park

I was awake and up about 7 this morning. It was cloudy and overcast but the park is full, so I decided to go sit outside for awhile to watch people get up and about. There are a lot of Boy and Girl Scout groups here as well as a rally of Casita trailers. You know, those tiny little trailers that look like a giant white pill? There must be 30 of the little things here this weekend.

When I went into the bedroom to get my sweats, Stella asked me if I was going for my walk. As soon as Tramp heard the word "walk", he came clawing his way out from under the covers. He's not going to be left out of a chance to go outside! He came over to me as I got dressed but I reassured him that I was not going very far and he could go back under the covers. I know, it's one of those things that you have to be there to see, but it was cute and I thought I'd share...

We didn't do too much today, enjoying our time off. I watched my car shows this morning and worked on next year's travel plans. I have the first few rallies on my calendar and will keep on adding as they are scheduled. 

Our friend Becky came down and we sat outside chatting with her for awhile. Trampy whined and I let him come out so he could play with Becky's dog Scooter. The only problem is that Scooter didn't want to play... Tramp enjoyed his time out in the fresh air anyway.

The weather cleared off later in the afternoon, but the clouds returned and it looked like rain but it never did. We spent a good amount of time outside, watching the park guests going by. It was a nice way to spend the day.

So long.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday October 25, 2013-Inks Lake State Park

We woke to another cool morning, although it's warmer now than when we arrived here. I took Tramp out for some roadwork early this morning. I'm planning on dieting while we're here and also am beginning a new exercise regimen to go along with that. 

Stella had brought some park maps home that needed some warning notices stapled to them to be handed out to guests as they enter. She had done about half of the stack, so on our way to town, we dropped them off at the park headquarters. The girls on duty were very thankful to get them because it is tedious work that they apparently don't care for. 

I have been working on printing some more Munzees. This area has not had a lot of exposure to the Munzee craze and I intend to change that. Stella had been helping me to get them done but we ran into a small snag and had to "phone a friend" and our friends Michael and Kelly came through for us. We got my new supply loaded onto a thumb drive and took it to the local Office Depot store where we got them printed up. I capped a couple of Munzees in town before we went to the HEB store to do our grocery shopping. I cut out my Munzees while Stella shopped. 

One of the Munzees was at the Whataburger store in Marble Falls, so we went in and had a good burger for supper. Whataburgers are the gold standard for burgers and these didn't disappoint. It's good to be back in Texas!

We came on back home and put the groceries away and sat outside for awhile. Stella had worked pretty hard on the stapling job, but it was soon time for her to get back inside and get back to work (LOL), so we put the chairs away-rain is forecast tonight- and retired for the night. It was a good day but I'm planning to do some work around the park tomorrow and start earning our keep.

So long.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thursday October 24, 2013-Inks Lake State Park

We had to make a flying trip down to Bellville TX to get some personal business taken care of. Stella's handicap placard has expired and she found out that she would have to come in to get it renewed. Part of the problem is that she got the old one when we lived in Galveston and now we call Bellville, Austin county home. We loaded up both of the doggies and took off about 9:45. Of course the route we took had the most traffic and road construction and it seemed like it took all day to get there, but we really made pretty good time. 

I had called Galveston county to ask about the renewal and expected a big hassle when we got to Bellville, but everything went smoothly and we were done in about 20 minutes. While there, Stella got our new tags for both the truck and trailer, so it was a good day. It was a long way down but it was worth it.

We decided to go to one of our favorite restaurants while we were down there, Orlando's Pizza buffet in Brookshire. We ate here many times when we work camped at the Stephen F. Austin state park, and today was another good day for pizza there. 

The weather cooperated again, with clear skies and a nice day for driving. Now to come back and get to work at our park. Well, maybe one more day of relaxation before going to work...

So long.

Wednesday October 23, 2013-Inks Lake State Park

We had another great day here this morning. Since we are taking some time off, Stella fixed us a good breakfast of fried eggs, fresh-made biscuits and ham. What a great way to start the day. 

We went down and met with Dee Dee to get our uniforms and ID cards. She took us over to the storage area where the uniforms are stored and got us all fixed up with shirts. She said that Terry has the ID cards but he wasn't in at this time. 

We went for a ride around the park, just to look around. We stopped off and talked to Craig and Lin, two volunteers that have been here a long time. Craig is associated with the Friends of the Park group that supports the volunteers, and runs the firewood sales and other money-making operations and Lin works at the park store. Craig said that he has two couples that are taking care of the firewood right now but Lin said that they could probably use us at the store to rent boats again. 

We went by and sat outside with John and Becky at their place for awhile to get caught up on things around here. It was good to talk to our friends again. We came on back home to hang out for the rest of the afternoon and sat outside later in the afternoon. 

As I read through some blogs that I have been following, I found that Mike and Sandy Mills had visited the Gulf Coast RV Resort while we were there. They had visited some friends of theirs, Ed and Marilyn. When I saw a picture of Ed and Marilyn's truck and trailer, I recognized it as one that I had seen while we were there. In fact, some friends of ours have a Mobile Suites trailer and I had mistakenly gone to Ed and Marilyn's while looking for Tom and Judy's rig. I probably saw Mike and Sandy's Tiffin motorhome but didn't recognize it or them. They also went to Floyd's Cajun Seafood on Friday night when we had been there with our group on Thursday. If I had stayed up on my blog entries, we might have met Mike and Sandy while we were there. Bummer! Maybe next time...

So long.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tuesday October 22, 2013-Inks Lake State park

The weather is spectacular here in Burnet! Low 50's at night and mid 70's during the day. Great!!

We went over to the Park Ranger office and talked to Terry Young, the Asst. Mgr. of the park and volunteer coordinator. We chatted about who was here that we knew and who was coming back this year. We learned that DeeDee, who had just started to work here is now in charge of uniforms and we will talk to her tomorrow when she returns to work. We also spoke to Ranger Chris Hall who said he was glad to see us back. He was happy to hear that I want to work on the deer hunt this year. I worked some on it last year and enjoyed it and have already talked to John, another volunteer, about working with him. Chris told us to take a couple of days off to get our feet on the ground and then we would talk about a job assignment. We went to the store to talk to Sue but she was busy with getting another volunteer signed up on the computer system so she can work in the store, so we'll have to come back.

With all of our "work" related errands done we came back home and Stella put some beef ribs in the crock pot for supper while I set up the porch outside. With the great weather, we sat outside for a couple of hours.

We put over 11,722 miles on the truck this summer! I would say that about 9000 of that number was towing miles. We had a very good summer trip but are glad to be back in Texas and will take some time to rest up before leaving on next summer's trip. I'm already making plans!

So long.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Monday October 21, 2013-Moving Day-Gulf Coast RV Resort to Inks Lake State park

We were up early as usual on a moving day but the park's breakfast was calling so we went down and met some of our friends for a last breakfast together. After finishing our meal, we came home and began working to leave. While packing up, I noticed the owners of a Landmark that had come in last night were outside, so I went over and talked to them. I had seen their owners club plaque on the back of their trailer, so I knew her name. I introduced myself and soon learned that we had seen them last year when we were traveling in Wyoming when they broke down along the road. At any rate, it was good to meet another Heartland owner.

We finally got on the road about 9:45 and made good time even though it started to rain on us. I continued with my new "policy" of driving a little slower and increasing my fuel mileage and we got well over 12 MPG. Our only stop was at the Bucc-ee's store in Luling. We got a couple of sandwiches and some coffee to tide us over until we got to Inks Lake. It was a good stop for me too because I captured most of the Munzees in the parking lot and got 186 points! Most of them were Mystery Munzees, which have varying values. 

We arrived at Inks about 5:30 and met our friends John and Becky. They showed us one of the open sites for volunteers and we were soon backed in and hooked up. We are next to Chip and Bunky who were here last year when we were. It got dark before I got everything hooked up, but I got it all done this morning.

I did have another one of those anomalies that have been bugging me lately. When I hooked up to the electricity, my Surge Guard started buzzing. I then hooked up to the 30 amp side and the same thing happened. It quit making noises soon, and I returned to the 50 amp service. Now I can use both air conditioners if needed. This is Texas after all, and although it isn't warm now, it can change quickly. 

We are still glad to be back in Texas.

Here's our home for the next several months!

So long.

Tuesday October 15 thru Sunday October 20, 2013-Gulf Coast RV Resort

Well, the south Texas was a great one, with old friends and new ones, gathering at a park that we have been to several times in the past. We saw friends that we haven't seen in a few years, some who have changed brands and now own another trailer brand.

We ate out once a day for the entire week. We ate at Cheddar's on Tuesday with Mike and Peg, Mexican food at Carmela's on Wednesday, some delicious seafood at Floyd's Seafood on Thursday with about 16 of our friends, Salt Grass Steakhouse on Friday and then returned to the park for an ice cream Meet and Greet where we all got to know each other and to revisit old friends. Great time!

Saturday night was the potluck dinner, changed from a lunch-time meal. Tom and I thought that many would want to go over to Louisiana to one of the casinos to gamble and then eat at a buffet or one of the restaurants there but no one showed any interest, so it was changed to a dinner. As usual the meal was great. Several of us sat outside because of the small rally room, freeing up a lot of room at the tables inside. It all worked out very well because everyone had plenty of room and we got a chance to visit during the meal. 

The park served breakfast every morning of biscuits and gravy, waffles, bagels and cop food (donuts), along with coffee and juice. The lady that serves the breakfast has been at this park since it was new, nine years ago. I remembered her from when she washed trailers to make some money, but she told me that she fell off one, injuring her back, so she quit doing that and now works for the park, serving breakfast and cleaning up.

Sunday was the sad day, as usual, with most folks having to head home, some to go to work and others just getting back home. We stayed another night here with five other couples. We all went out to eat some Chinese food at a new buffet restaurant that was having their grand opening. All the meals were $4.99 - half price, so it was a great value. We had our last meal together and had another great time, just like the rest of the weekend had been. 

Great rally and great friends!

So long.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Monday October 14, 2013-Gulf Coast RV Resort

We had an "interesting" night last night and more adventure this morning. Last night the propane detector alarm went off with a shrill noise, which caused Cassie to freak out. She hates loud noises like that and she made Tramp nervous too. 

Like most RV'ers, we are used to the smoke detector going off when the battery goes out, so it took me a couple of minutes to determine which alarm it was. When I figured out which one it was, I silenced it with a reset button but it kept on sounding off. The first thing I did was make a smell test both inside and outside the trailer. Stella had cooked a couple of hours ago using the stove but it was off and we could not smell propane. I went outside, thinking that one of the small propane bottles from the gas grill may have started leaking but they were brand new bottles and still in their plastic covering. Since Stella was done cooking for the night and the fridge was running on electric, I turned the propane bottle off, so there was nothing running off propane but the darned thing kept going off. The alarm said green light was operating properly, red light was alarm and yellow light was for replace the unit. The light was red, indicating an alarm but everything was off. I found no odor of propane anywhere outside, thinking that one of the neighbors may have had a leak, but smelled nothing. I decided to simply disconnect the wires to permanently quiet the thing and took care of the problem. We slept with the windows open as a precaution.

 Then this morning when I turned the television on, I got nothing, just a black screen! I went to the rooftop antenna and it worked fine, so I watched the local news and weather and decided to try the Dish antenna again and this time it worked. Thank Goodness! We don't need to buy a new television right now...

That was all of the drama for the rest of the day. We stayed home and rested but later in the afternoon we got a call from our friends Bill and Ornell. Some of our other friends, David and Susan, had come over to their house to hang out for a couple of days before coming here to the park for the rally. We drove over and had a nice visit with our friends. I'm sure that we will be spending more time over there before the rally begins. 

Some of our other Heartland friends will be coming in this afternoon from Canton. One couple, Mike and Peg, had just arrived as we were pulling out for Bill's house. It's gonna be a busy week, but in a good way...

So long.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sunday October 13, 2013-Moving Day-Mill Creek Ranch to Gulf Coast RV Resort

We didn't get up particularly early this morning because we've only got about 250 miles to go today, and beside that, we just don't want to leave! We went down and had a donut and some fruit at the continental breakfast and had a nice long visit with several friends. 

It started out with just Terry, Dave and Nancy. I got some good news that Ann has accepted the new position of Chapter Leader of the North Texas chapter. This was her first rally to "run" as Wagonmaster and she did a fine job. I'm certain that she will do well as Chapter Leader.

After more visiting with friends we went and got packed and ready to leave. We made the rounds for hugs and handshakes before leaving. We didn't get away until almost 11 o'clock but again, we weren't worried because of the short distance. Once we got on the road, it seemed to take forever to get to our destination. There were no freeways to drive on, so we took state roads, but went through lots of little towns. We only took one break, at a U.S. Fish and Wildlife picnic area (that someone had forgotten to close and lock up due to the government shutdown). It soon became Stella's Kitchen, as she fixed us some sandwiches to tide us over until we arrived at the Gulf Coast RV Park in Beaumont. 

When we arrived, this place is under water! They had a few inches of rain yesterday and more last night and there is standing water everywhere! It was also very muggy, with ultra high humidity. We're back in Texas, so we'll just wait and the weather will change. It always does.

Here's that group picture that I forgot to put up on yesterday's entry. 

So long.

Saturday October 12, 2013-Mill Creek Ranch RV Resort

We started today's activities with a group photo at the fishing pier. I will include this photo in my next blog entry. 

From there we went to the Explore USA for a dealer open house and lunch of hot dogs with the trimmings. The dealership has added a couple of new buildings and a LOT of new concrete since we were here a couple of years ago. They have a good selection of new Heartlands in stock and there were a few folks that were seriously looking at new trailers. 

We came on back home and rested (napped) until time for the potluck. It rained later in the afternoon which sent some inside but it sure helped in my "resting" time.

 Everyone lining up for the feast! 

And before you knew it, the meal was over and it was visiting time. 

Terry was the proud recipient of the traveling sombrero. This was something that was started at the Wisconsin rally and now the authentic Mexican sombrero has come all the way to Texas. 

The party broke up pretty early because there are several of us that are leaving tomorrow. When we checked in, we learned that a mistake had been made in our reservation and we are one of the ones that must take off tomorrow. Oh, and remember the electrical problem we and Don had when we arrived? The one where the park maintenance man blamed our surge protectors? We learned that everyone on one entire row must either leave or move because a professional electrician is coming in to work on the electrical system. Told ya so!

So long.

Friday October 11, 2013-Mill Creek Ranch RV Resort

We had our normal Friday night Meet and Greet and for Stella and I, just one more reason to be glad to be back in Texas...  That's right, Blue Bell! The  BEST ice cream I've had in a long time. When I was just a lad, there was a creamery in Galveston called Purity that was absolutely the best but they've been closed for many years. Blue Bell is a very close second though...

We had four choices tonight, so what did I do? Yep, all four!

And the crowd came! As far as I know, everyone came to the M & G and it was good to see so many old friends and some new ones as well.

There was plenty of ice cream for everyone, but also lots of time to chat and visit. I guess that's why they call it a meet and greet.

Things starting to wind down but there is still plenty of fun ahead. Some of the women hung around to play with the new puzzles they bought in town. I came on back home so the dogs wouldn't get worried or lonesome and we went to bed pretty early. I was still tired from all the driving.

So long.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Thursday October 10, 2013-Mill Creek Ranch RV Resort

I woke this morning to see a very pretty sunrise out my window, so I went outside and took some pictures around the park. 

 There are a few of us here but our numbers will increase later today. There were probably 10-12 here this morning and we are expecting 23 total for the weekend.

Our trailer on the right and Terry and Carol's on the left. A very pretty sunrise!

This is the rear view of Don and Monica's trailer. He had an electrical problem when they arrived and while working on that, he found a water leak. The chores never end!

There is a nice little pond nearby. They have some tiny little signs warning guests of the presence of water moccasins and copperhead snakes. In my opinion the signs should be larger and not right down by the water, but that's just me...

Across the road from our site. It's gonna be a beautiful day!

As more and more arrived, around noon a group of us decided to go into town to explore the stores around the square and to get something to eat. 11 of us went to the Canton Bakery where we enjoyed a variety of sandwiches but the company was the BEST!

After finishing lunch, we walked around looking in the antique and junk stores. It was interesting to watch a crew of prisoners working around the courthouse cleaning up for some events this weekend. I'm glad to see the Sheriff's office using inmate labor. We returned to the park and some planned to get together to play games and to work on some jigsaw puzzles later. I wasn't feeling well and came on back home. Very nice first day of the rally.

So long.