Sunday, December 6, 2015

Saturday December 5, 2015-Inks Lake State Park

This evening we went to see a boat parade down the river above Inks Lake. Our vantage point was from the old highway on the closed-down bridge, which was a good point to see the boats below us, but it was surrounded by a very high cyclone fence, which made taking good photos very difficult.

The boats gathered and then circled under the bridge. There was also a barge with the fireworks on it below us. Again, it made personal viewing the fireworks easy, but they were very nearby so I couldn't get the full effect. 

After the boat parade we drove into Burnet to see the Christmas lights on the town square around the County Courthouse. Beautiful!!

I especially liked the icicles hanging from the limbs. They are actually flat lights with descending lights that make them look very realistic. We plan to go to another couple of light displays before Christmas and I'll show you the pictures when we go.

So long.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Thursday December 3, 2015-Inks Lake State Park

We have been having a great time again at Inks Lake where we are camp hosting again. This is our fourth year to host here and my third year to be a deer hunt guide. 

I think I have showed you this picture before, so this is just a reminder of how beautiful our site is here. If they had wifi here, it would be perfect!

Our neighbors, Paul and Willene's place.

We were visited here at the park just before Thanksgiving by our friends Tony and Erika, but unfortunately I didn't take any photos during that time. I am sorry for that, but trust me, we had a nice time with them. We ate out a couple of times including Cooper's Barbecue in Llano and the Bluebonnet Cafe in Marble Falls but best of all, we had fun with our friends!

We went to visit Grandma Willie Mae and my brothers Phil and Ted the day after Thanksgiving. We had a delicious lunch at Pat's Place in New Braunfels. That is Grandma Willie Mae in front, Stella and I to her right, Phil and Carol, and Ted. As some of you may know, Ted lost his wife Kay in February. 

This is one of my three deer hunt blinds. I am just showing you this photo to give you an idea of the size of this area. It has the longest distance for shots of any of the blinds and I am proud to say that it has one of the best records for deer harvesting. I am standing in front of the blind and it is approximately 125 yards to the brush line. If you blow the picture up you can see the deer feeder in the left center of the picture. The man in the black jacket is Don, another host in the park and a professional photographer and the orange speck is the hunter, Shane.

Here is a better picture of Shane, one of five disabled  hunters that were here this week. This is an Americans with Disabilities compliant hunts, and as far as we know, one of very few in the country, certainly the only one in the TPWD system. We had the Director of Public Hunts, Justin, here for this hunt and he was very impressed.

Here I am posing with Shane and his two deer. As you can see, he is confined to his wheelchair as were three of the other four hunters. The fifth hunter was named Alia, age 10, who has a prosthetic leg. He took three deer by himself, one of which was his first-ever! I believe that he is having the deer mounted as a trophy of his first deer hunt.

A better photo of Shane with his hoodie down. It was cold this morning, about 35 degrees, another reason to congratulate these guys for braving cold weather to come out to hunt. We are honored to have these guys, both young and old, to come out and participate with us. 

The hunt will continue and I will try to keep you posted on or activities. We will have a youth-only hunt during the Christmas vacation and I will try to remember to bring my camera with me during that time.

The weather has been just about perfect for the past couple of days, with cold temps in the morning and warm and dry days, with temperatures in the upper 70's. I'll love it while it lasts!

So long.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Wednesday November 11, 2015-Inks Lake State Park

We are pretty well settled in here at Inks Lake. We still can't believe how many folks are in here to host along with us. I guess it will be okay, just a bit different. We had a park host meeting yesterday and the topic was brought up that NO host can boss another around. I don't know how that is going to be received by some people here but I guess we'll see. 

Some of our old Texas Boomer friends, Jim and Kitty Gardner, came to stay at the park for a few days and it was good to see them. Today we took them to Cooper Barbecue in Llano for supper and we had a great time. We got caught up on our travels and some plans for the future. It was a very nice time with old friends.

While we were there, a group of U.S. Army soldiers came in to eat. We learned that they are at Fort Hood fr training but not where they are from. It was nice to spend time in the presence of Army heroes that are still serving on Veterans Day. I would also like to add my congratulations and thanks to all the veterans out there that served. As some of you know, my Dad served in the Navy during World War II and was injured when the LST he was on was bombed and sunk. 

My work in the park will begin in a few more days and until then I will have to find something to do. I'm sure that I can find something...

So long.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Monday November 9, 2015-Moving day-Johnson Creek RV Resort to Inks Lake state park

Dave came over yesterday and with the help of a few other rally-goers, we got the new tire replaced onto the trailer and the spare put back into the storage under the trailer. Everything went very well except for the cable that lowers and raises the spare tire got off the roller and required some work to get straightened out. 

Later in the evening we had a nice meal of leftovers from the potluck. It was a fine way to end the rally and we visited for a long time before coming back home to begin preparations to leave in the morning.

We woke and had a nice breakfast before beginning our packing up to leave and still were ready to go about 9:30. We saw Dave and Nancy & Tom and Marti off before we left, but we only have about a hundred miles to go to the Inks Lake state park.

We made a very uneventful drive to our new home for the next couple of months. We were shocked when we arrived at the number of hosts that are here. There are 22 park host sites here and we got the next-to-last one. We are pleased with our site except that there is no Internet service at our site. We still have our own MIFI service but it is somewhat limited, so we won't be able to spend a lot of time "surfing" the net. 

Our site, #205. This is near the first site we were in a few years ago.

Our site showing our neighbors behind us. Paul and his wife are directly behind us and Roger and his wife are to the right. 

I went down to see my fellow deer hunt guides this morning and saw our hunt coordinator, Chris. We will just have to find something to do until the end of this month and the hunts will start on December 1st. I will be busy after that and I am looking forward to it.

So long.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sunday November 8, 2015-Johnson Creek RV Resort

To bring you up to date on things, we took the blown out tire to Discount Tire in nearby Kerrville. I didn't know what to expect because the tires are at the end of their life in the RV world but nothing was said about their age and $38.75 later the tire was replaced. No strain, no pain. There was a delay in getting the tire installed because they were very busy and their phones and computers were down because someone had cut through a fiber-optic line somewhere, causing this outage with AT & T service in town. We ran some other errands and returned to get the new tire and were on our way!

One day we went out to eat lunch with Tom and Marti at a place called Classic Burgers and More and man, were we glad we went! Good, old fashioned burgers and great fries and onion rings were on the menu and they were great. So good in fact that the next day we took Dave and Nancy there. 

There was another reason to take Dave and Nancy out. We had gone to get the truck serviced and I took a wrong turn. We ended up on a loop around Kerrville and I pulled into a driveway leading to a city water well, intending to turn around to head back into town. I didn't realize how soft the ground was because of all the rain and slid off close to the fence. I wasn't stuck in the sense that I was buried but couldn't get traction to get out. I called Dave and he came out with his 4 wheel drive truck and pulled me out.

We had a park sponsored potluck dinner on Friday night and then had our rally Meet and Greet and Blue Bell ice cream. Several people from the park came to the Meet and Greet since they are Heartland owners and two of them actually joined the club!

Saturday was the club potluck and of course it was delicious. I always enjoy the potlucks but it's hard to watch what or how much you eat at one. I did the best I could and feel pretty good about my diet. I'm working on it slowly but surely.

This is a bittersweet day for us. The rally season is over for us until March of next year. We'll miss our friends but will keep ourselves busy at the state park.

So long.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Tuesday November 3-Moving Day-Stephen F. Austin State Park to Johnson Creek Resort, Ingram TX

It was very foggy this morning but we were all up and ready to go pretty early this morning. We were way a little after 9 and soon on the highway heading west to Ingram, which is a small place near Kerrville.

The cloudy and foggy morning makes photos difficult to do well. In the foreground is Dave and Nancy's Big Country. Behind them is Mike and Peg's new Bighorn and behind them is our Landmark. The white unit on the right is Lin and Debbie's Landmark. George decided to leave before us and said he knew the way to the park.

Remember what I said yesterday about the jungle-like condition of the park? The grass is long and shaggy outside the actual sites and there are several dead trees nearby.

Here we are, taking our lunch break at the Buccee's in Luling. Everyone loves Buccee's for their clean restrooms, their food and their shopping experience. They have just about anything you could want in their stores and their fuel prices are usually the best in the area.

After lunch, we continued on down the road, making good time and I thought to myself that this trip was certainly going well. We had made it through Houston with no problem and skirted San Antonio on Loop 1402 and were soon to arrive at our destination. About 12 miles from Kerrville, I heard the dreaded BOOM and saw rubber flying from the right side of the trailer. Oh no, a blowout! I quickly pulled over along with my friends and went to check out the damage. Luckily for us, we suffered little physical damage to the trailer and of course, the tire is ruined, but we have road hazard warranty from Discount Tire. We'll go see them tomorrow to see about coverage. It only took Dave, Lin, Mike and me to get the tire changed out and we were again on our way. 

There had been some discussion on the route to take to get to the park. Stella and I have never been here but Mike said he has, so we finally decided on the route we were now taking. I followed the GPS directions, which had been verified by both the address and the GPS coordinates, but we drove down a very narrow road to a dead-end at an RV park. The problem was, this is the wrong park! Wow, how did this happen? After lots of discussion among ourselves and consultations with GPS units, we decided that we could wind around through the neighborhood and get to the right park. We made it through the hood and over some deep dips in the roads. The last obstacle was a hairpin turn to get to the exit road. Mike and Dave successfully made the turn, but Lin hung the rear cap of his trailer on a landscape timber and tore the cap off the trailer while breaking the back window. Big whoops!

After finally getting around the corner we pulled over to survey the damage to Lin's trailer. We decided to secure the cap as best we could do and continue on the to RV park for the night. He will call his insurance agent to see what they want to do to make repairs. We used good old duct tape to close up the cap and limped on into Johnson Creek RV Resort, our home for the next few days.

This park is nice and has won honors for best small park in Texas as well as having won a 10-10-10 rating from Woodalls. That pretty well makes this place as good as it gets in Texas. We are looking forward to our stay here and the last rally of the season.

We hope tomorrow is better than today has been!

So long.

Moving day-November 2-Cajun RVera to Stephen F. Austin State Park, San Felipe TXh

A group of us that were in New Iberia LA for the rally there are going to the rally in Ingram, so we decided to convoy down together. We started out this morning with five of us, Stella and I, Mike and Peg, Dave and Nancy, George and Lin and Deb. We got away right on time, about 9AM, and after a short but bumpy drive down Louisiana Hwy. 90, we made it to I-10 west bound for Texas. Actually Interstate 10 wasn't bad in Louisiana and we made good time. We stopped for a break at the Texas Welcome Center just after crossing the border into Texas. We stopped for lunch at Buccee's in Baytown and Lin bought some fuel while there for $1.91 a gallon, a great price!

I had convinced the rest of the unbelievers that Houston traffic wouldn't be too bad at this time of day, and luckily I was proven right. We breezed through without slowing down and we pulled into the Stephen F. Austin state park about 4. The main road into the park is closed down due to the replacement of the bridge into the park. The park still looks terrible to us with high grass and downed trees and tree limbs but I guess they like the "natural" look. 

Mike & Peg and Lin and Debbie chose to stay home and eat but the rest of us went to one of Stella's favorites, Orlando's Pizza in Brookshire. After finishing our meal, we discussed the world problems which we were able to solve and it was time to return home to rest for another trip tomorrow. 

So long.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Wednesday October 28, 2015-Cajun RVera RV Park

A group of us went to Avery Island to tour the Tabasco factory and the rest of the island. 

The front door entrance to the factory for the tour. We went through with a group or about 30 people, which was much larger than the tour we took before but it wasn't a problem, just a bit ore crowded.

The entrance to the gift shop. They sell everything imaginable that is related to Tabasco from clothing to ice cream. I tried most of the flavors of Tabasco including some new flavors, both ice creams-both delicious, but didn't get to try the Coke with a Tabasco flavor. The lady attendant disappeared before I could ask for it.

This photo is really about the factory building behind this display. The building appears to be original but they are making some new additions using bricks which look the same as these, so I'm not sure.

This is the restaurant where we had lunch. The huge oak tree in front is just one of many on the island. 

Another shot of this huge tree. 

One of several alligators that we saw sunning itself along one of the ponds. 

Another gator by the pond.

I got out of the truck to see this one a little closer. 

I walked around this one a lot and he kept his eyes on me the whole time. Just after this picture, he jumped into the water. Maybe I frightened him?

This is a shrine that contains a centuries-old Buddha figure inside.


This is one of two elephant figures beside the Buddha house.  People have left change on the trays on the elephant's back as a wishing well.

I was interested in the landscaping around the Buddha house. There is no telling how much labor was involved in stacking the rocks and grading the terraces.

These are bird nesting areas for the egrets that come to this area. I am told that alligators are plentiful under these, trying to find any young birds that fall into the water.

This area is another alligator nesting area. We were disappointed that we didn't see any large gators or any other wildlife. Otherwise, we enjoyed our visit to Avery Island and now we have a reason to return.

So long.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tuesday October 27, 2015-Moving Day-Bluebonnet Ridge RV Park to Cajun RVera, New Iberia LA

We had made arrangements with Dave and Nancy to meet on the highway to make the 370 mile drive to New Iberia Louisiana, the site of the next rally, for the Louisiana chapter. Nancy called as they left their home and we finished our loading and drove out to I-20 to wait for them to arrive but as soon we arrived at the meeting area, there they were! We could not have planned this any better, and we were on our way. 

We made great time on I-20 across Texas and then turned off onto I-49 n Louisiana. We only stopped for comfort stops along the highway, but things slowed drastically when we got to Lafayette. The roads  became very bad and we had to slow down dramatically. And beside that, there was heavy traffic and construction in the area. 

We made it in about 3:45 and were soon set up and ready to go. There were several rigs already here, so we spent time seeing and chatting with them. It's the beginning of another good Heartland Owners club rally.

So long.

Monday October 26, 2015-Bluebonnet Ridge V Park

It's been  a long time since we've had rain like we had from Thursday evening until Saturday morning. It rained constantly during this period, first a light and soft rain, then much harder and finally a downpour! I was surprised that we didn't float away! I didn't have my rain gauge out but wish I had because the only report from the Terrell area was that we had about 9" of rain by Friday noon. I'm certain that this amount was doubled or more by the time it ended.

We have had a great visit with Jennifer & Jay and of course, Ian, plus Melissa. We went over to Jennifer's house on Saturday morning, expecting to drive through huge amounts of water, but it wasn't really bad after all. The rain had just about stopped  by the time we got to their house in Garland. We sat around visiting with them for awhile before loading up to go to the Perot Nature and Science Museum in Dallas. My ex-wife Kay works there and got Stella and I some free tickets to the museum (Thanks Kay!) and the others are Museum members and got in free also. 

We all enjoyed the museum, although I thought that it was more for children than adults, it was still fun and interesting. Ian impressed us with his baseball pitching abilities in a sports display in the basement of the museum. I don't know how to download the video clip from my phone or I'd show it to you. He really does have some good moves as a pitcher. 

The kids took us to a new-to-us restaurant, the Cane Rosso in Dallas. This was some of the best pizza we have ever had and if you're in Dallas, craving pizza, try it out! 

Monday we had another meal with Jennifer, Ian and Melissa at the Rio Lerma restaurant in nearby Forney. This new restaurant has had good reviews and is about half way between Garland and Terrell, cutting down on the traveling for all of us. The meal was good and we enjoyed a lot of fun and laughter. We stayed there for a couple of hours, but still, all too soon, it was time to break up the party. They had to get back home, since it's a school and work night and we had to get fuel for the trip tomorrow and then get chores done back at home. With lots of hugs, we said so long to them until next time. Love ya kiddoes!

So long.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Thursday October 22, 2015-Moving day-Center RV park to Bluebonnet Ridge RV Park, Terrell TX

We were up at our normal 7 AM to start the moving process. Since we only have about 160 miles to drive today we were in no big hurry. I didn't go outside until 8:30, just not in the mood to pack up, but I finally went out and got going. We pulled out around 10, and by using the newly-opened loop that is outside the park, we were off. By taking the loop, we bypassed downtown Center. Now Center is not a huge city, but driving around the town square towing a 39' fifth wheel is not a fun thing to do. 

We made excellent time with no stops, actually we did stop at a highway rest area for about 10 minutes, we were in Terrell! It only took a short time to get checked in and we were soon set up and home again! Gotta love these short trips!

So long.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Wednesday October 21, 2015-Center RV Park

Stella and I took a drive to downtown Center TX where many of my relatives are from. Most of them are gone now but my Aunt Janie is still there with a few others. We went to visit her for a few days and had a great time visiting her.

Stella found a man selling fruit and vegetables on the square so while she shopped, I took some photos of the old County Courthouse and the grounds. The old courthouse is now a museum but I didn't go inside.

This appeared to be the main entrance with flagpoles, benches and a statue in front.

This is the opposite side, and appeared to me to be the back side of the courthouse.

A side entrance with the year 1885 above the door.

A building with barred windows, that I assumed was the old jail. T on was another building on the square with no markings or signs

The Texas Historical Society seal on the building.

Look very closely at the rings on the concrete curb. I assume that they are the old tie rings for horses around the courthouse.

As I said, we had a very nice visit with Janie and wish that there was more time to visit with all our relatives but we do the best we can.

So long.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Monday October 19, 2015-Moving Day-Choctaw Casino KOA to Center RV Park, Center TX

We were up pretty early this morning to get ready to move to the Center RV Park, but it was only a little over 200 miles to travel, so we weren't in a big hurry. It was freezing cold when I went out the first time-in my short pants-so I was soon back inside changing into my sweat pants which were much warmer. They were warmer but not water proof! As soon as I stepped outside, I got soaked down by the stupid sprinklers. I went on outside and was met by several others which were taking a break from packing up because of the sprinklers.

They only ran for a short time, so we were back in business and ready to go a little after 9 o'clock. After hugs and handshakes with our remaining friends we pulled out around 9:30. We made good time down the highway. One odd thing that I want to report was that we saw a Pontiac station wagon, probably a 80's vintage. We had seen another one the other day when coming to Durant. It was a Chevy, with the wood panels on the sides. I just thought it was ironic to have seen two station wagons in two different locations. Man, those things were huge!

We made it into the park here in Center and were soon set up. We had a bit of a problem with an electrical hookup here, but we've experienced that before here, so we just changed sites. Everything finally got connected and we are home for a few days!

So long.

Sunday October 18, 2015-Choctaw Casino KOA

Well, the rally is over and we had another great time! Many of our new and old friends are leaving today, but we still got together for a quick breakfast of leftovers and coffee. Did I tell you that this park furnishes not only a coffee pot but coffee and all the fixin's. 

After breakfast, we saw many of the folks off. A few left very early but most left later in the morning. We will see some of them at the next two rallies but some will be awhile. 

Several of us that stayed behind went over to the casino to blow our money, but as usual Stella was the only one that came back with a few bucks. I'm married to such a lucky woman ! And not only because she is married to me!

We came back home and watched the football games and napped until about 5, when we went back to the rally hall to eat the various leftovers that were in the fridge and freezer. We had a filling meal and best of all it cleaned out much of what had been left from the rally. A win-win!

We can't wait until we return here net spring. 

So long.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Thursday October 15, 2015-Choctaw Casino KOA

It was a bit cooler this morning when I got up for my walk, but again, it warmed up in the afternoon. A cold front is supposed to be here tomorrow, so maybe we're going to see some fall weather.

We got word this morning that our good friends, Michael and Kelly are coming in today for an overnight stay. They are coming from the Branson MO area and going to south Texas to work in the oil patch again. 

We had our rally kick-off Meet and Greet in the rally hall. They really know how to present their park for rallies. They have a completely furnished kitchen with coffee and tea pots available for use, with all the extras. It makes putting on a rally easy!

When the M & G was over, I went up to the park office to wait for Michael and Kelly to arrive, and sure enough, about 20 minutes later, they were here. After hugs and handshakes, they went to check in and were soon on their way to get set up for the night. Michael only put out the minimum for the overnight stay and we made arrangements to meet up to go over to the buffet dinner. Dave and Nancy along with Larry and Mary Ann went over with us, so we had a nice group. They put us in an area by ourselves and we had a nice visit, catching up with our friends. Larry and Mary Ann had a fire at their house and while checking on the roof, Larry fell onto a fence, narrowly avoiding being impaled on the fence. What a lucky guy!

We sat and chatted for almost 3 hours before calling it a night. Michael and Kelly stayed in the casino to gamble. They both got $10 in credit on their players cards but I didn't hear and screaming about how much money they won, so like almost everyone else, they came back home broke. And I was so hoping that they would win so Kelly could buy me that new Landmark!

So long.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Wednesday October 14, 2015-Moving Day-K E Bushman Camp-Choctaw KOA, Durant OK

We woke this morning to cool temperatures and clear skies, a delightful way to move. We got our normal 7:30 or so start and took our time and actually pulled out about 9:30. Dave and Nancy were traveling with us and knew of a better route to take around Tyler on a toll road and it really did the trick! With very light traffic, we made excellent time and it seemed to be no time at all and we were nearing Dennison. We made no stops and made it to the park about 1PM. this has got to be some sort of record for us. Of course, Stella said it's only 168 miles. 

Before we knew it we were set up and ready to have fun with our friends that were already here. Mike and Peg came over and invited us to go eat some bacon wrapped jalapenos at their place. We haven't seen them since we were in Creede, and they were such a help to us. 

Several other friends came over to eat the appetizers with us and we had some good chats with our friends and many laughs. It was a very pleasant night for sitting out and we stayed out until about 9 o'clock. There is a cool front coming in this weekend, so we need to take advantage while we can. More friends will be in tomorrow, so more fun to follow!

So long.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Sunday October 11, 2015-K E Bushman Camp

The South Texas chapter rally is over and we had a great time...again. There was a huge turnout for this rally with 7 newbies attending. I was able to spend some time with some of them, making new friends.

We stayed home for most of the rally, only going out to eat once at a nearby family-style  restaurant. The food was typically good and plentiful and we enjoyed ourselves very much.

I sold my old Carryout antenna while we were here. I told one of the other attendees that I had one for sale and Tim looked me up and bought it. While we were here, I met Ron Russell, a representative for Titan Brakes, who was here for a seminar on disk brakes. Ironically, Tim had bought and installed disk brakes on his Bighorn while here at the rally.

We had good weather for the rally, but it has been hot! We had some cool mornings, but no rain and hot temps. This area needs some rain badly but the temperatures are unusually hot for this time of the year. It's good to be out and traveling again but I'm ready for some cooler fall weather. Oh well, I'm sure it will cool off soon. At least by Thanksgiving!

So long.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Wednesday October 7, 2015-Moving Day-Bay Colony RV Resort to K E Bushman Camp, Bullard TX

We were up about 7 to drink our coffee and get ready to start packing up to travel today. Today will be my first pack up and drive trip in a long time. Everything went very well with the pack-up process and we pulled out about 9:30 or right on time. 

We made excellent time through Houston and were in the Spring area about 10:30. I had made plans to meet Tom and Marti at Sam's Barbecue in Fairfield. We had decided to call when we were out on the open road to determine if our times would work to meet for lunch and it worked out perfectly! We were both about 2 hours out from Sam's so everything is cool! Actually we pulled in a couple of minutes before them.

We had another great meal at Sam's as usual, and enjoyed out chat with Tom and Marti. We hadn't seen them since Amarillo, when Tom came up to drive me back home a few weeks ago. 

It was only about 70 miles from Fairfield to Bullard and the Bushman Camp, so it was no time at all and we were here! After a quick check-in we were getting set up. The site that we were assigned to is a pull through but we couldn't pull through it because of the way it was laid out and the surrounding truck and trailers, so I had to back in. It was very difficult but we managed to get it in without tearing anything up. In another 30 minutes, things were connected and we were set up!

I later walked around to see who was already here and helped Dave and Nancy carry their rally supplies and door prizes into the rally hall, so my work was done for the day and came back home to rest up. Actually, I came in and laid down on the couch and slept until time for bed. Ah, the life of the retiree!

So long.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tuesday October 6, 2015-Bay Colony RV Resort

Well... my 50th class reunion went very well. We skipped the daytime activities, a Friday tour of Galveston by trolley after a lunch at Maceo's Spice in the Strand district, A Saturday tour of Ball High school, and a Sunday brunch at the San Luis hotel. 

Our Friday night meal was at Willie G's which is a very expensive (excessively so) restaurant which turned out to be a total bust, at least for us. We happened to be at the end of the line in getting served and they ran out of food! Well, not really ran out, but Stella and I only had 7 or 8 shrimp and some dried out chicken. 

Saturday's meal at the Fisherman's Wharf was much better. Waiters came around with quesadillas and bacon wrapped shrimp for appetizers and they were delicious. The main course was a good chicken dish with good fish and great fried oysters. The best thing was that there was plenty of food for us, as we were again one of the last tables called. 

The best thing about the reunion was visiting with many, many of my classmates. I can't begin to list everyone that was there but I would say that there were almost 150 of my classmates and their spouses. It was flattering and gratifying to me that so many of them knew of our travels and adventures. Many knew of my recent medical issues and expressed concern about my health. Of course, we are all of the same age, so medical issues were a big topic of discussion around the tables. 

It was so good to see so many old friends and we all wished the weekend could have run on longer. We will have another reunion in five years but I would like to see some other restaurants used. I volunteered to help with this reunion but was not chosen. Oh well, I had a great time and no pressure...

Sunday we went to Pearland to watch Cameron's select ball team get skunked 10-0. Cam was the the only one on his team to get on base, but he was stranded on base. He was pretty disgusted over the loss, but it didn't hurt his appetite. 

Monday we went to a doctor appointment for Stella and ran errands in the afternoon. We went to Kim's house in the afternoon and Stella fixed some of her goulash for supper. We finally got a chance to see and spend time with Tyler, who is now working for  construction company as a general laborer and taking college credits online. He says he likes his job with the additional money that he makes but says he doesn't know his grades. We'll see about that!

Today began with a doctor appointment for me. It didn't go too badly for me and she is starting me on some new diabetes medicine. It is a weekly injection, so I won't start it until next week. 

This afternoon, it was another reunion with a classmate, Bob Narvaez. Bob and I went to the junior high school together but drifted apart and lost track of each other until recently. It was fun to catch up with our lives and to recall stories from our youth. We had a nice 2 hour supper visit with him and hope to meet him again when we return to the area.

Tomorrow will be my first pack up and leave day and it will feel good to be back on the road. I don't expect any problems, and hope that there are no surprises.

So long.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thursday September 24, 2015-Bay Colony RV Resort

We have been taking it easy and meeting with friends and family, trying to get caught up with visiting. We have been staying relatively busy but not overdoing anything but most of all-having fun!

The license tags on the trailer expire at the end of this month. Stella called and asked about renewing them online but found that there was a small problem at the tax office and they couldn't be done at this time. As those of you from Texas know, we have a new way of renewing now. You must have the vehicle inspected for safety violations before a new license plate is issued. The safety inspection has been required for many years but most people either forgot about it or simply ignored the law. No one enforced the law, and it was a non-issue....until now.

Looking at the new law from a law enforcement view, it will cause compliance now and should take unsafe vehicles off the road, but it's a pain to have to pack everything up to drive across town to have this inspection done. We've got a good handle on packing up to leave and it took less than an hour to get things ready to go, but it took longer to drive across town to the shop than it took to perform the inspection.

At any rate, it's done now and good for another year. Maybe next year we will schedule it better and I won't be so mad at the state of Texas.

So long.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Thursday September 17, 2015-Bay Colony RV Resort

Today was my follow-up visit to the doctor to get the results of the tests that he ran. They came back wonderful, although he did see evidence of a very light heart attack in the past that I was not even aware of. There was no scarring of my heart with no long-term effects except the normal doctor's advice of taking my new heart medicine, cut down on caffeine, get more exercise and lose some weight. He put no restrictions on travel and asked that I come back in four months when we plan to return to the area. He said that there was no need to be strict about the return and if it was five months, that would be fine. I can live with this...

So long.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Monday September 14, 2015-Bay Colony RV Resort

There has been a large gap in my posting, but it wasn't my fault this time. The Internet service went out on Thursday night and wasn't restored until today. Our mifi card is running low this month because of the usage at Mountain Views, so I wasn't able to access the Internet. Bummer...

I went to the doctor's office Thursday morning to have a battery of tests run, a nuclear stress test, an echocardiagram and a scan of my carotid arteries. I have been taken off caffeine and chocolate already, but in preparation for the tests I had to not have decaf coffee for 24 hours and to fast for six hours before the tests. Let me tell you, decaf coffee is not bad any more. Gone are the days of nasty Sanka, or after-taste coffee's and it was rather hard not to drink my normal three cups in the morning.

The nuclear stress test took the longest and of course, was the most strenuous, but it wasn't bad at all. The technician, V, as he asked to be called, inserted a virtually painless IV into the back of my hand to insert the nuclear material into my body. I was told to drink plenty of water to speed up the material in my body, and then the resting scan was made. After a short wait, I was put on the treadmill and walked for a total of 9 minutes until my heart rate was raised to 165, the desired rate for testing. I made it without passing out or even breaking much of a sweat. I didn't cry when he stuck the IV in and didn't whimper when I had to walk on the treadmill, so I was pretty proud of myself. 

After making it through the first test, I was pretty confident when I went in for the echocardiagram. A mean-looking woman gave this test, so I was quiet during the test. She used a wand dipped in a nasty gel that was hooked up to a machine to scan my heart. I couldn't see much on the screen so I guess she found my heart in there somewhere. She used a different wand but the same nasty, slimy gel to scan my neck for the carotid artery test. Both tests took less than 30 minutes and I was free!

Kim, my nurse daughter, came in for the echo and carotid tests and she later remarked that my heart looks better than hers, but she has a known heart murmur. 

I made a follow-up appointment for next Thursday to get the results of the tests. I was relieved that I didn't get a call to go to the hospital for any kind of corrective actions, so I feel pretty confident that I don't have any major issues right now. I guess I'll find out more on Thursday.

So long.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sunday September 6, 2015-Moving days-Mountain Views at Rivers Edge Resort, Creede CO to Bay Colony Resort, Dickinson TX

This post will document our leaving Colorado after my heart attack and our return to Texas. We were originally scheduled to leave Mountain Views on Tuesday Sept. 1st but since I was released from the hospital that morning, We decided to stay another couple of days and leave on Thursday. Since we had lots of reservations made to make the trip to Carthage Missouri, for the chapter rally there. Stella got busy, calling to cancel reservations as soon as we got back home. We both forgot about the Labor Day holiday weekend, so when she began calling to make reservations along the way to go back to Texas, she found no spaces open. Bummer...

We then changed our plans to leave on Sunday, after the holiday, but after many reminders that I had been told to go to a cardiologist as soon as I could, we decided to go as soon as we could locate someone to drive us. I was outvoted when I said I could drive and pull the trailer back to Texas. I called my friend Dan Mayer, who said he would drive us to Amarillo but asked us to meet him in South Fork, a short distance from Creede. Tom Mangum, among others, had already called and offered to help in any way he could, so I called Tom back and he said he would meet us in Amarillo and take us to Dickinson. Wow, what an awesome group of friends! That left me with only the drive to South Fork. I still contend that I could drive it, but again I was over ruled. That Stella is Tough! The next thing I knew was that Stella had run into our neighbors Joe and Elaine Lawler who are from Iowa and Joe insisted to drive us the 20 miles to South Fork. That fixes us up with drivers all the way!

We got up Friday morning to a crisp 50 degrees but as soon as the sun came up it warmed up. It was a great day to travel and we were soon in South Fork. Joe had a good time with the train horn on my truck along the way. It really echoes in the mountains!

Dan drove across the plains of Colorado and into New Mexico and even knew a good restaurant to stop in when we got to Raton NM. We enjoyed our lunch stop and continued on into Texas. I was sorry to see that there is no huge Welcome Back To Texas sign at the border at Texline but at any rate, we were back in Texas! After another couple-hundred miles we were in Amarillo. Both Dan and us had been to the Oasis RV Resort before, so we knew where we were going. Upon arrival, we were told to find a site and see the office in the morning. It didn't take long to hook up water and electric and throw the satellite out and we were set up!

Tom and Marti had booked a motel, so they came out to the park and we decided to go to the Big Texan Restaurant, home of the 72 oz. steak challenge. None of us wanted to try the huge steak but there was a young man that was making pretty good progress on one while we were there. 

After a good night's sleep, we went by to pick up Tom at his motel and drop Dan off at the Enterprise office to pick up his rental to drive back to Pagosa Springs. We went back to pick up the trailer and of course, little Tramp. We were soon on our way to Mansfield TX to the Texan RV Ranch. We had lucked out and got the very last site in the park. This park is mostly long term use but it was easy in and out and had decent utilities. 

Jennifer, Melissa and Ian came over to see us from Garland. We had a nice but short visit before going to the Spring Creek Barbecue restaurant for supper. We found a table in a banquet room that we had all to ourselves, so we were able to stay for a couple of hours visiting.It was nice to spend even a small amount of time with the girls and Ian. We went and added some fuel that we had found at a good price ($2.07 per gallon) before going home.

We pulled out in the morning about 8:30 and made very good time on the highway. There was a surprising amount of traffic on the road but it wasn't bad. Tom had never been to Sam's Original Restaurant in Fairfield, so we stopped and showed him what a great restaurant it is. We got there just after they shut the breakfast buffet down, so everything on the lunch buffet was fresh as could be. We enjoyed our lunch but were on the road again soon. Traffic continued to be heavy but moving right along until we got into Houston. And the backups came... Actually we never came to a stop but the crazies were out in force. Tom had been enjoying the train horn as we met or passed real trains and a couple of them returned his honks, but he really didn't get that much of a chance to use it in Houston.

We got into Dickinson about 3:30 and were pulled into the site and hooked up in short order. Tom's brother Charlie came to pick him up to take him to meet Marti in Schulenberg to go back home. It had been a very uneventful trip, and let me say it one more time, OUR FRIENDS ARE AWESOME!!!

I have an appointment with a cardiologist on Tuesday, so we'll see what he has to say and we'll go from there. Please continue to pray for me and wish me luck.

So long.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Monday August 31, 2015-Mountain Views at Rivers Edge Resort

No pictures today, but you'll soon see why.

Today was a pretty laid back rest day and we didn't do anything special. Since we've been chauffeuring Mike and Peg around, they've been fixing supper for all of us, which we've really enjoyed.

I felt bad all evening and went to bed at the normal time-about 10 o'clock. My chest had been tight, but upon laying down, it really hurt, with a crushing pain. I was too uncomfortable to stay in bed and got up and went back to my trusty recliner. It didn't get any better there and I started to feel clammy. I decided to call an ambulance. It seemed like seconds went by before Mark, a paramedic, showed up. He came in and began getting my vital signs and preparing me for transport. When he began taking my blood pressure, the first thing he said was "WOW"! He then took it again and said his meter only went to 240. Wow indeed! The rest of the crew soon arrived and brought in a machine to record an EKG as well as blood pressure. The first reading on it was 240/192!!

After finishing up the vitals, we were ready to go. I was soon loaded up into the ambulance. Stella decided to ride in the ambulance too, and Mike and Peg drove over to the hospital for comfort and support.  Actually Peggy drove and Mike rode along. At any rate, we were glad they were there. I was given more baby aspirin before leaving home and Mark soon contacted the hospital for treatment orders. He started an IV in my arm and gave me saline solution drip and gave me a nitro pill and oxygen and continued to monitor my condition. 

After what seemed like 3 hours on a 40 mile, very bumpy road, we arrived at the Rio Grande hospital in Del Norte. This is a nice hospital with a very skilled team in the emergency room. I was wheeled into Trauma 1 and Nurse Kayla took over. My BP had come down to 190/134 but my heartbeat was 194! Double WOW! As someone who is never seriously sick and hasn't been in a hospital for 50 years or so, this was very scary!  

Dr. Robins came in and took over. One of the first meds that he ordered for me was an injected medicine that would momentarily stop my heart to get the heart rate down. After explaining to me what he intended to do, he asked Mark and the ambulance crew if they wanted to watch this procedure. They did and just as the doctor was administering the drug, I looked up and saw what seemed to be a roomful of people there to watch me die! Not really, but it did cross my mind. Let me tell you, it WAS a weird feeling but it did the trick! I never actually felt my heart stop but my rate dropped to about 130, a manageable level. 

To make a long story short, about 1 o'clock, I was at a level that was acceptable. High but acceptable. Mike and Peg took Stella back home and I tried to settle in for the rest of the night. That $15,000 hospital bed was very uncomfortable! I was hooked up to a monitor that also took my BP, two IV ports in my wrists along with bright lights.  Nurse Kayla came in and covered me with a warm blanket and adjusted everything including turning out most of the lights so I could sleep. I wasn't admitted because this hospital has no Cardio specialist on staff and that is what I need. 

They came in about 6:30 to draw more blood for testing. I tried to sleep again but could only nap. The doctor came in around 7:30 and said that he had found something in my blood sample that he didn't like and he wanted to do another blood draw to recheck it. 

After the second blood draw, Dr. Robins came in and told me that he had consulted with the cardiologist in Pueblo and they determined that I could be released to go home. My choices were to be airlifted to Pueblo or to go home to see my own doctor there. You can see what my choice was. 

We came on back home and began changing our travel plans. It was soon apparent that since this is a holiday weekend, we would not easily find any place to stay, so we decided to just stay here in Creede until Sunday and return to Dickinson. Kim is working on finding a cardiologist in the area. 

Since I am writing this on Wednesday, I will tell you that I had a good night's sleep last night and feel great this morning. I started taking a new medicine for my blood pressure and heart rate this morning and am feeling like my old self again. I took Stella to the grocery store yesterday and went for a couple of walks around the park this morning. Mike and Peg pulled out to head to Carthage MO for the rally. We will have to miss it. Bummer.

So long.

Sunday August 30, 2015-Mountain Views at Rivers Edge

We took Mike and Peg up to the reservoirs on the Rio Grande today. It's a long but beautiful drive.

This is one spot along the Rio Grande that is very typical of the views along the river.

This is the largest of the three reservoirs. It runs for miles and ends at a dam.  

Please don't fall !! 

Beautiful mountains at the end of the road! 

This is near the end of the road. Actually it runs on much further, but it is narrow and 4 wheel drive is recommended.

 This should be a Ram commercial

The tall mountain is where the actual springs for the river are found. Maybe someday we'll take a Jeep or ATV trip there.

So long.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday August 28, 2015-Mountain Views at Rivers Edge

We took Mike and Peg on a drive up the Bachelor loop and Pool Table Mountain today. As always, it was a spectacular drive and the pictures don't do justice to the views we got.

It was a beautiful day for a drive, with very little traffic. We drove up here with Dave and Nancy a few weeks ago but there were lots of ATV's, a tent where someone had been camping and even a truck bringing a small travel trailer up to spend some time camping in the mountains but none of that today. The first time we found a herd of mountain goats but this time we only met a herd of cows. I guess you can't see wildlife every time. 

It's a gorgeous drive and we can't wait to return.

So long.