Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wednesday March 30, 2016-Oak Creek RV Park

We had a nice day today until the rains came... A bunch of us went over to David's Stove Shop to check out the eclectic mix of antiques and new items. There is everything from old milk bottles, like the ones the milk man used to leave at our front door when we were kids, to new modern stoves. their specialty is obviously stoves and there are hundreds of stoves, from kitchen stoves to outdoor models. There is a lot of cool stuff inside this store.

Speaking of the store, the entire building is made of wood and metal and seems to be a hundred years old. I learned that David had actually built the buildings from recycled materials from houses and barns that were being torn down. I would estimate that there are 8-10 rooms from at least that many buildings. All of the floor boards, the beams and the interior roofing materials are very old or have been aged to simulate old wood, and the place looks very authentic.

There is a restaurant called The Shed inside the business that serves delicious sandwiches and soups and we had a great meal with our friends. Even though we all ate the small sandwiches, we all brought something home. 

Almost as soon as we got back to the park, the rains came! Thunderstorms with lots of rain and some hail fell for a few hours n the afternoon but when the rain stopped the sun came out and it was a nice afternoon. I did get out and met some of the new folks, Jack and Lynette and Clarence from Oklahoma. We had nice visits and will be looking forward to the rest of the rally and to future rallies that we hope they will attend.

So long.

Tuesday March 29, 2016-Moving Day-Center RV Park to Oak Creek RV Resort

We were up on time to start packing up to pull out this morning, but took our time in getting started. With only 253 miles to go, we were in no hurry. We even ate breakfast before beginning. Everything went very well and we pulled out at 10:05AM, or right about on time. 

Everything was working well until we got to the Carthage area and the GPS unit lost its mind and sent us the wrong way on the highway. It wasn't my fault! I promise. We only went out of the way for a few miles, taking about 20 minutes but Stella and her trusty map book pulled it out and we were soon on he toll road around Tyler. We had to make an unscheduled pit stop but otherwise it was uneventful trip to I-20, where we remained for the rest of the trip.

The only other event of the trip was an older Hitchhiker trailer being pulled with a wrecker, with damage to the left rear fender, apparently from  blowout, but the biggest issue was the bedroom slide was out! I can only imagine the white knuckle driving with a few feet of slide out extended. The wrecker driver did a good job, straddling two lanes, so no one would hit the slide as they passed. We ran with him for about 10 miles before he turned off. You can see a picture of the rig on Facebook. I still cannot download pictures from my phone onto the computer. 

We got here about 3 and were soon set up and out visiting our friends that are already here. Mike and Peg prepared some more of their delicious jalapeno poppers in their Kreigar cooker. As always, they were great and we all enjoyed them. Gotta love food friends and good food.

So long.

Sunday March 27, 2016-Center RV Park

This week has been a great week of family time. We came to Center to see my Aunt Janie and we certainly had a good time with her. That is, until she became ill late in the week and we didn't get together, but all in all, we had a wonderful time.

Sunday was Easter Sunday and we drove, with Janie, over to Tyler to attend church with cousin Linda and her husband Doug, at the Green Acres Church. We have been here several times before, and let me tell you, this place is HUGE! As large as it is, it somehow feels cozy, probably because of the friendliness of the people. If you're ever in Tyler on a Sunday and want to attend church, this is a very nice place.

After church we went to Doug and Linda's house to meet with more family and to have a wonderful lunch. Cousin Amy and her husband KJ were there with their daring little girl Nancy Kate. Of course, an 8 month old baby is the center of attention by all the girls there. 

We had a long talk about RV's and RV'ing with cousin Missy and her husband Steven. They just bought a toy hauler  and had lots of questions and I was happy that I could help them out. We chatted for a couple of hours, talking about everything from trailer operation to routes and destinations. Good times...

So long.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Monday March 21, 2016-Moving Day-Cajun Palms Resort to Center RV Park, Center TX

Well, it's time to move again but this time it's not too far to our next destination. We've got a couple of weeks between rallies and decided ti visit my Aunt Janie in Center. Other than my kids, she is my last relative, so I try to stay in touch with her as much as I can.

We were up early, as usual for a moving day, but it was cold again and we decided to take our time getting out since we only have a couple hundred miles. Sure enough, we pulled out about 10 but as we were pulling out, I got a telephone call from Bobcat, telling me to beware of a huge traffic backup on I-10 due to some road construction. Traffic was stop and go and we lost about 40 minutes but when we cleared the work zone, we picked up the pace and never slowed again. We did make an early pit stop at the only rest stop on I-49 but didn't stop again.

There was still a lot of water beside the highway but it was lower than the other day when we went to Henderson for the rally. There was no water up near the road and none of the cross roads were covered with water and all exits were open today. We made good time and pulled in here at the Center RV Park about 2. In no time at all we were set up and cooling off. I guess we've got this procedure worked out after 8 years. 

I tried to call Janie to let her know we had made it but could not get phone service, which we are very aware of. This is not only in this park but all of Center. Janie said that she has spotty service, even at home. Here, inside the trailer, I can't call out from my chair but if I stretch out in the recliner and open the blinds behind me, it works better. Not all the time, but that's my best chance. If I go outside around this site, no service but I can walk out into another empty site and will get one or two bars. Crazy!

We went over to Janie's house for supper and a nice visit and stayed over there until about 9PM. Tramp was certainly glad to see us and it didn't take me long to get sleepy and hit the bed. I was tired from the drive, and didn't get a nap, so beddy-bye came early. We're looking forward to some quality time with Janie in the next few days.

So long.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Saturday March 19, 2016-Cajun Palms RV Resort

Here are some photos taken (by Stella) on our drive down I-49 in Louisiana between Longview TX and Henderson LA.

We worried about high water over the road but by the time we came through the water had receded. 

Here you can see water in the median and on the north-bound side. 

As you can see, the water is up to the top of the barbed wire fence. I am glad that we saw no dead cattle or horses, but I'm sure that some were lost, we just didn't see them.

This was a closed-down exit due to the high water on the side roads. Luckily we didn't have a need to exit here.

The water here is almost at the level of the roadway. Sure glad it ran off and we could get through!

Someone's home under water. We saw a little village of mobile homes that had water up to the windows but didn't get a picture of it.

More water at the roadway level.

Today, our good friends David and Susan took us on a drive through some of the swamps and small towns in this area.

The following pictures are houseboats in the city of Plaquemine Louisiana. The city is located at the junction of Bayou Plaquemine and the Mississippi river, so boats of all kinds are common.

I think living on a houseboat could be pretty cool. I can see myself sitting in that swing, looking at boats running up and down the river.

Or sitting in my screened-in porch watching the world go by.

Or sitting on the outdoor patio, sipping a cool drink. Waiting on the barbecue to get done on the pit...

Here are some guys out for a boat ride. Today was a little chilly for a boat ride for me, but to each his own.

The mighty Mississippi. This thing has to be seen to be believed. You can actually see the power of the river in the swirling eddy's across the surface of the river. 

We returned to the park for more rally activities. We got rained out last night for the Meet and Greet so today was actually the first thing we have done at the rally. Other than eating out together - twice! It's all about the food at a rally! 

It was very cold and windy, so we all pretty much ate and ran back home. No sitting out and chatting tonight, Maybe tomorrow at our leftover breakfast. Or for those of us that are staying over, at leftover lunch.... It's all about the food.

So long.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Thursday March 17, 2016-Cajun Palms RV Resort

We didn't do too much on Wednesday but rest from the drive over here from Quanah and visit with our friends that are here. Jim B. arrived on Wednesday and wasn't expected until Thursday, so we celebrated his arrival by going out to eat at  local favorite, Pat's Fisherman's Wharf restaurant. The food was great and we all had many laughs while enjoying our meal. 

Thursday we rode over to the Dixie RV store in Breaux Bridge with Bill and Ornell. We looked at some new RV's and bought a few odds and ends of RV supplies that we needed. It was good spending time with our good friends. 

Thursday night we went to eat at Crawfish Town which is right outside the gate to our park. There is a gate that you can walk through to get to the restaurant from the park but we chose (wisely) to drive over. It was pouring down rain when we left to come home. The food here is superb! Authentic Cajun food with lots and lots of crawfish dishes. I'm not certain which of these restaurants I would rather return to. I guess this will be the theme this weekend, eating great seafood and Cajun food. What a way to live!

So long.

Tuesday March 15, 2016-Moving Day-Fernwood RV Park to Cajun Palms RV Resort, Henderson Louisiana

We were up pretty early this morning, checking television, Internet, neighbors and anyone else that could advise us about the roads to Henderson Louisiana. With all the flooding in the area, we were trying to make a decision about how to get to our next destination. We decided to go the way we had planned, east on I-20 and then turn south on I-49 in Shreveport Louisiana. We read reports of high water both on the highways and on side roads, but we figured it was worth it to try it. Our neighbors are from a little town nearby and were forced out by the floods and they said that we should be okay if we stay on the freeway.

We took off a little after 9 o'clock and made very good time, with light traffic and clear, warm weather. We made one pit stop, just as we entered Louisiana and continued on. If you've heard bad reports about Louisiana roads, Interstate 49 is the exception. The road is smooth with good shoulders and light traffic. The only downside is that there is NOTHING on the road for fuel, comfort or food. Don't start this trip without sufficient fuel and snacks or sandwiches to drive over 200 miles. Of course, four exits were closed due to high water, and there was likely something down one of those roads. When we turned onto I-10, the roads were typical Louisiana roads, bumpy with huge dips. 

We got here to Cajun Palms about 3 PM and were soon set up. The site we were assigned is very short, and our 39' Landmark barely fit. We were unable to park beside it either, and had to use an adjacent site - with permission- until the weekend. If they use this site, we will have to move the truck. We'll see what happens.

We are looking forward to the rally.

So long.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Monday March 14, 2016-Moving Day-Old Cotton Gin RV Park to Fernwood RV Park, Longview TX

We got up about 6 AM to begin packing up to leave for Longview TX, the first leg of the journey to Breaux Bridge Louisiana and the Louisiana HOC Chapter rally. It was dark and cold and I didn't want to go out, but when the sun finally came up around 7:30, I struggled  out and began working. We made good time and actually pulled out about 8:30, right on time. We traveled with old friend Bobcat and Mike and Peg. With light traffic, we made very good time down the highway until we decided to make a pit stop at an Allsup convenience store in Decatur where Stella and I had stopped on our way up here. I didn't notice that there was no crossover on the divided highway, so we rolled on, looking for another place to stop. We drove a few miles out of town and found another station with a large parking lot, suitable to us pulling trailers. We had gotten separated on the road, and only the Bobcat stopped with us. Mike and Peg saw us but didn't have a chance to take the exit to stop also, so we got our sandwiches and coffee and continued on.

We traveled on with Bob until the road split and I misread the sign, and we ended up on the wrong road. Bob took the right road, so he was ahead of us. We just took a scenic route, which I am good at finding! 

We all met back up at a rest stop but again, we were delayed in leaving. It was not really big deal, but we were about 5 minutes behind and we didn't get caught up until we arrived at the RV park. 

It was a good day to travel with blue skies and warm temperatures later in the morning. With the exception of the little boo-boo in Ft. Worth it was an uneventful trip. We should have a more exciting drive tomorrow with all the flooding in Louisiana.

So long.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Saturday March 12, 2016-Old Cotton gin RV Park

Today we went to visit the 501 Winery in Childress. Named for engine 501 of the Fort Worth & Denver Railroad, the old engine is now found in a park about a block from the winery. The winery is located in the old Women's Department Club building that was used for GI's to dance with and meet local women during the second world war. The owner gave a presentation about the winery and it's production before we sampled the wines. I believe that almost all of us bought at least one bottle. 

We came back to the park and prepared for our final potluck dinner. Mike, a friend that is soon to be a new owner of a toyhauler Heartland, prepared a delicious barbecue dinner consisting of brisket, ribs and sausage that he had cooked for about 18 hours. Man, was it ever good! The others of us brought side dishes and desserts and we had a fine meal and great times with our Heartland friends.

After giving out some nice door prizes with lots of laughter over the winners, the evening finally wound down. We turned in, tired but still excited over the fun we had. Tony and Erika, our new West Texas Chapter Leaders did a wonderful job and we will be looking forward to their rallies in the future.

So long.

Friday March 11, 2016-Old Cotton Gin RV Park

Today we went over to Quanah to visit the City/County Historical Museum. This place is full of artifacts from all over the area, and is very interesting.

This is a photo of the old railroad depot and is considered one of the most beautiful buildings of it's type in Texas.

Quanah Parker, leader of the Comanche Indians, for whom the town is named.

One of Quanah Parker's fancy headdresses.

A 48 star flag.

Did you know that Texas has this many species' of pecans? Me neither.

Don't try to go over this bridge. It's only 7'7" tall!

I believe this cell was used to house "tenders" or inmates who oversaw or tended to the other prisoners.

This appears to be a gunshot or possibly a shotgun through one of the walls of one of the cells. 

An old building next to the railroad depot. You don't see too many signs painted on the side of buildings any more.

I was told that the old brick streets date back to sometime in the 1920's when the Works Progress Administration put people to work under the American New Deal agency.

So long.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wednesday March 9, 2016-Old Cotton Gin RV Park

I said that I would add some photos of this cool little park where we are attending the West Texas chapter of the Heartland Owners Club inaugural rally in Quanah Texas.

The office is located in the actual building that was the Quanah Cotton Gin. The park is actually in Goodlet TX but since there is no post office here, They use Quanah as their mailing address.

The lady that owns the park has done a good job of accumulating antiques from the area and displaying them in the old cotton ginning room that we now use as a meeting room or rally hall.

An old cotton sack sitting on a two wheel dolly in front of the wooden cotton gin.

The metal contraption is the dryer for the cotton that has been ginned.

More equipment in the ginning room.

This is one of two of these tables that came from an old Luby's Cafeteria that was being remodeled and re-purposed here. 

An old-style kitchen pantry cabinet.

This is an old ice box. In the olden days, people used blocks of ice to chill and preserve their food.

An old gas stove. 

An old wood stove/fireplace that we will likely use while we are here.

Our site at the park. We will fill up the park with Heartland trailers. After retiring, I have become fascinated by the history of these older places. I talked to the owner of the park and learned that the old wooden cotton gin was built some time in the 1800's and the metal dryer in bout 1931. They were last used in 1976. If I learn any more about the history of this place, I'll let you know. I want to do some research on Quanah and will put it in another entry, so stay tuned...

So long.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Tuesday March 8, 2016-Moving Day-Texan RV Ranch to Old Cotton Gin RV Park, Quanah TX

Today began badly. We had rain all night long but in the morning, it only got worse with thunder and lightning and heavy rains. A severe storm had come through, dumping large amounts of rain and at one point we were under a tornado watch/warning, although we didn't know it at the time. When we travel and stay someplace overnight, I don't change the local television channels because it is difficult to get the changes made by Dish Network-more on that later...

We were up early but out off going outside because of the rain, but I finally decided to brave the downpour and git 'er dun! Since I was delayed, Stella got most of her work done and when I went out, she was way ahead in getting things ready to go. I couldn't let that happen, so in less than 30 minutes I was ready to go! Of course, all I had to do was roll up the water hose, raise the jacks and disconnect and stow the satellite dish, but I was ready! I was cold and wet because it had started to rain hard again, to the point that when we pulled out I couldn't see the street to turn on and drove to the other end of the park to leave. NO, I didn't get lost in an RV park, but it did take a few seconds longer to get out the gate.

It continued to rain all the way through Fort Worth, thru some construction areas, making the drive slow and careful. We made decent time and the rain finally slacked off but we were way out of town and on the open highway, so speeds came back up and we made an easy drive of the rest of the way.

We were almost here when we passed a rest area and I saw our old friend Bob Curry (TX Bobcat). I honked at him and he waved and we proceeded on. He was also coming to this rally and by the time we got into Quanah, Bob had caught up with us, so we went into the park together. 

We got set up without any problems and soon discovered that this place is very cool! We knew that the park was originally an actual cotton gin and while walking around checking things out, there is the old cotton gin and other equipment in the "rally hall" where cotton was stored many years ago. I'll take some pictures tomorrow and show you around.

So long.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Monday March 7, 2016-Moving day-Palms RV Park to Texn RV Ranch, Mansfield TX

Yesterday, Sunday, we didn't do too much of anything but get things cleaned up and ready to go tomorrow. We did meet Kim and the boys at Kelly's restaurant in La Marque for breakfast. As usual, it was delicious and we all ate way too much! We topped off the fuel and came back home to finish up our chores. 

I didn't sleep well and stayed up until well after midnight, working on the Branson rally preparations. I finally went to sleep but woke a couple of times during the night.

This morning we were up at 6:30 but it was chilly again and it was after 7 before we started to work. We made good progress and pulled out about 9:30, q little later than we had wanted to but we made very good time through Houston and to the Ron Hoover dealership to have the new tires on the trailer filled with nitrogen. I am sold on this procedure and will keep nitro in all my trailer tires from now on.

They were waiting for us to arrive and immediately got started and were actually finished in about 30 minutes. Then, on top of that, there was no charge for performing this service! Wow!

We were soon back on the road and continued to make excellent time along the Gulf Frwy. We made our first stop at the Buccee's store in Madisonville where we ate our lunch and took a nice long stop. We continued on our drive but when I started to get drowsy, I pulled into a state rest area to walk around for a few minutes to clear my head. It worked, and we were soon back on the road.

It rained on us a couple of times but it was a very light rain. It held off until we arrived at the Texan RV Ranch for the night. After getting everything hooked up, I took Tramp to the doggie park to get some exercise in for him and we had just barely gotten back home when it began to rain. Lucky us!!

Hope I get some good rest tonight!

So long.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Saturday March 5, 2016-Palms RV Park

This is our last full week here and we tried to make the most of it. We met with friends and took care of last minute doctors appointments because we leave on the rally trail on Monday. We were busy all week and got a lot accomplished.

We got the truck checked out at a shop in Spring that we've used before and trust. We were especially interested in the truck brakes. We were glad to hear that everything seems to be fine and ready to go on our trip. We went by Rayford Crossing and had a last visit with Tommy and Susan.

We went to the doctor and got some new medications but otherwise, it was a routine checkup. They drew blood from me and we are waiting on the results of that. 

Friday I spent doing my spring cleaning of the underbelly and eliminating unnecessary items. I took lots of stuff out of the storage are and took it to Kim's house where I have stuff stored in her barn. Stella cleaned up the inside of the trailer and got rid of lots of leftovers in the fridge. It's amazing how much we accumulate since there's only two of us but many times we get a "doggie bag" at a restaurant and it goes uneaten, and so out it goes! We went to Wal Mart to pick up prescriptions but someone at the doctor's office had left off some of the vital numbers so of course, the sale would not go through. We later met Mike and Patrice along with Everett and Fay at the Grand Buffet in League City. It was a good meal and some wonderful memories with our friends.

Today I cleaned the truck. Well, actually my neighbor is a guy that seems down on his luck, so I paid him to wash and wax the trailer and wash the truck for me. I did help him when he had to get on the ladder to wax the front of the trailer. He will wash the truck tomorrow, We went BACK to Wal Mart to pick up the prescriptions but today the computer went down, so we still haven't gotten what we need. It seems like a huge hassle to pick up some test strips and other testing materials, but it will save us a lot of money. Just a big hassle!

We began filling the fuel tanks of the truck and will finish tomorrow when we finish running around. I hope tomorrow goes better than today.

So long.