Sunday, April 1, 2018

Sunday April 1, 2018

After almost 10 years of blogging I have decided that I get too far behind and want to try using Facebook. I have set up a page there with the name Jay and Stella's adventures and will try that for awhile. 

Please bear with me while I attempt this. There should be more opportunities to post pictures as well as text to let you know where we are and what we are doing.

Thanks for all your love and support.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Sunday March 18, 2018-Whistle Stop RV Resort

This will be another catch-up post for the remainder of the West Texas Chapter rally in Abilene.

On Friday, we paid a visit to the Dyess Air Force Base today and were disappointed to learn that no photographs are allowed on base. I understand the fact that current, on duty planes should not be photographed, but there is a large collection of retired airplanes on base that are not allowed to be photo'd. There are other air museums with these same planes on display and they can be pictured. I don't get it...

We did get to tour the inside of a C-130 large cargo plane and heard from a female Load Master and another female Pilot of these huge planes. Very interesting. I am impressed that women are allowed these roles. Guess I'm old school.

We also got to witness a B-1 bomber taking off, actually several of them, taking off for training missions. These things are LOUD! and very impressive.

The photo above is the actual museum which is located off base. It is very small but has a nice variety of items on display.

Above and below are a couple of bombs that are on display in the museum. I believe the one above is what is known as a smart bomb that can be guided in to a target. Below is a 750 pound high explosive bomb that would probably do a lot of damage.

On Saturday we visited the Frontier Museum of Abilene. This is a very interesting museum with great audio and video displays. Their IMAX type production is great and very popular.

Stella in front of an old stage coach. And no, she never actually rode on one!

This is the route of the Overland Stagecoach route. It was used to carry both passengers and cargo and mail to points in the east to the west coast of the United States.

A typical cowboy camp, found throughout the west. 

There was a large collection of guns, rifles, shotguns and handguns, on display. I'm not going to say much about the collection, but it is impressive.

Tony and Erika did an outstanding job on this rally. Everyone had a great time and there was plenty to do. This park is brand new but is well set up and easy to navigate. My only complaint is that the gravel is still very loose and hard to walk on, but in time it will be fine. We are looking forward to more rallies in the "West of the Rest" chapter.

So long.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Wednesday March 14, 2018-Whistle Stop RV Resort

We slept in this morning, until after 8! It's cool at night here and cold in the morning, but it sure is good sleeping. Dave T. came over early for a visit and he and I went for a walk around the park. The walking was pretty hard because of all the new gravel throughout the park, but we still walked almost 2 miles. There is a lady that Dave has talked to that walks her two dogs a total of 5 miles a day. Wow, I'm in awe, not so much for the distance but for the walking surface. I don't think I could do that far every day.

The weather has been good here, with cool/cold nights that warm into the 70's with clear skies. I just visited with friends and just generally took it easy. Later in the afternoon about 20 of us went to an expensive steak house in Buffalo Gap called Perini Ranch. It had received rave reviews from others that had gone there, but I was not that impressed. When our waiter took the orders for food, he used his own method for distributing the food when it came out. The problem was that other waiters helped him and everything got fouled up. As a result, most of the food sat on serving trays for a long time and the food got cold. I thought the food was grossly overpriced, with several $30-40 steaks. I chose a hamburger steak, one of the less expensive dishes, but at $19 for an 8oz. steak with green beans, it should have been better. Rant over.

We returned home and since everyone was full from supper, we all went in and retired for the night. Many more rally-goers will arrive tomorrow and the rally officially begins on Friday.

So long.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Monday March 12, 2018-Moving Day-Top o' the Hill RV Park to Whistle Stop RV Park

Wow, it got chilly in Boerne tonight. By the way, if you're not familiar with this town, it's pronounced Burnee. It was named after a German/Jewish author and publicist.
It was about 51 degrees here when I went out to take down the utilities that we used overnight, and I was glad I had blue jeans and a sweatshirt on this morning. The people in this park are very friendly and helpful and one of the men gave me suggestions for negotiating the roads to exit the park, which was appreciated.

We were soon traveling on I-10 and made quick time of the 214 miles that we had to travel today. We only made one pit stop in one of the small towns that we went through. I found a nice parking lot for a closed-down business, so we used it to stop and use the trailer facilities. 

We made it here about 1PM and in short order, I was hooked up and ready to start the party. There were several Heartlanders here when we arrived and a few more arrived after we did. Mike and Peg fixed brats and sausage with potato salad for our evening meal and everyone had a fine time visiting and chatting with old and new friends. We stayed outside until the sun started going down and the temps started dropping.

We're glad that the rally season has started. Let the parties begin!

So long.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sunday March 11, 2018-Moving Day-Cottonwood RV Park to Top 'o the Hill RV Park, Boerne

Well, the day finally arrived and the rally season is starting. We traveled with Dave and Nancy again, well, at least we had plans to, but stuff happens! We both forgot to reset the clocks to daylight savings time. Actually, the only two items with clocks that I use are my computer and my I-phone and both of them (supposedly) update automatically. I woke about 5:20 and got up, thinking I had plenty of time to read the news and weather before having to get started packing. Stella woke and realized that the time was all wrong, so I had to go next door and tell Dave what had happened. He had done most of his work yesterday and didn't have much to do this morning. I had done much of my outside work and MY work was also almost done, however Stella was way behind! Oh well...

We had agreed to be ready to go at 9 and I assume it was a little before that when Dave and Nancy pulled out. I finished up my work and Stella worked hard on her part, and we actually pulled out at 9:01, but it was the old time, not DST. Traffic was light in the Mission/McAllen area and we made good time. We made the mandatory stop at the INS checkpoint near Falfurrias and just a few miles after that, we made our first pit stop at a rest area that we normally stop at. 

The scenery along the highway was very pretty, with gold and yellow buds in the trees and a small scattering of bluebonnets in the median and some road shoulders. The roads were pretty smooth and traffic light, and we saw very few State Troopers. I think most of them were working in the valley, judging by he number of troopers we saw.

We made our last stop at another rest area north of Three Rivers in the Whittset area. Wow, what a difference a couple of hundred miles made in the weather. It had been in the lower 80's in Mission, but here it was about 70 and by the time we arrived here at the Top 'o the Hill, it had fallen to the low 60's and quite windy. We had been dealing with the wind for awhile today, blowing the trailer round and absolutely killing my fuel mileage. Hey, that's the life of a traveling RV'er!

When we arrived here, we met an old friend that recently moved here from another park in Boerne. Ricky Cobb has been our friend for over ten years and we had lost touch with him when he moved away from Spring, and it was good to see him again. He ran some errands and came by our place to chat, and we got all caught up with him. 

It feels good to be back out on the road! the rally season opens...

So long.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Saturday March 10, 2018-Cottonwood RV Park

No, I haven't suffered a breakdown or died, but we have been steadily busy. Far too busy to keep up with this daily record of what we have done. I envy those that Do keep up with their own blogs, but I couldn't do it. We start the rally season tomorrow, so we'll be traveling again and I'll do better.

The first thing I did was finish up with my dental work. If you remember, I was supposed to have come down here back in the summer to have my final work done, but my eyes broke and I had to get them taken care of and had to change my plans. 

The work that I had done was really pretty simple. They took a new impression of my mouth and made me a complete new set of teeth. This one fits much better and will be my final set, I hope...  This procedure took about four trips over to Progresso Mx. to get completed, but it's so much less expensive there than in the states, it worth it!

We ate out a lot-probably too much, but we had fun and ate lots of the local cuisine. We also ate at some of our favorite chain restaurants, Cheddar's, Cracker Barrel and took Stella to the Salt Grass Steakhouse for her birthday on February 27th. Just for the record, she's older than me again...

We've found several local eateries that are on our list of favorites now, Gonzales Burgers, has been for awhile, a new burger place called The Ranch House; they have an amazing menu of sandwiches and Mexican food(of course), Martha's Family Tacqueria, another long-time favorite; Bubba's, a local favorite watering hole with delicious sandwiches and a pizza special one night a week, NaNa's Tacqueria in Weslaco, a small Mexican restaurant that is popular when returning from old Mexico, Stella and I ate in Mexico at Rene's Tacqueria; we found a great Mexican restaurant, the Casa Del Marisco in Weslaco that Dave and Nancy had found on their summer trip down here. They have some of the best Mexican food that we have had down here! We ate breakfast with our park resident group at Rosie's Restaurant in Mission and found another breakfast restaurant called the Diaz Diner, also in Mission. Both had excellent food with a definite Mexican attitude. As you can see, we ate a wide variety of food but mostly Mexican. We are in the Rio Grande Valley, after all and only a couple of miles from the border where we are staying.

Our friends Tommy and Susan came down for a week or so and brought some friends and acquaintances with them that we know, Les and Terri. We had a nice time with them and introduced them to the Ropas shopping experience. If I haven't told you about the Ropas, or have forgotten about them, they are a very interesting store. There are Ropas Usadas (used clothing) and Ropas Nuevo (new clothing). They are collected by various means and sold either by the piece at a very heavily discounted price or sold for 20-30 cents a pound for theused clothes. When you can buy a pile of clothes for 2-3 dollars, it's hard to beat!We know people that buy some very nice pieces there, but it's luck to find something. The stores bring huge bales of clothes out with a forklift and the "regulars", Mexican women, fly onto the new items, seeking put sizes and colors of the clothes they are seeking. Interesting but not my cup of tea, but fun to watch.

I told you about buying a Hum unit for the truck. It saved us from having a problem later on the road. We have had a check engine light on for a long time and no one could tell me what the problem was until now. The Hum revealed a second code for low fuel rail pressure, so I took it to Payne Dodge to be checked out. Our Service Advisor, Carlos, took good care of us. A technician checked on the two  CEL's and found that the low fuel pressure had reset itself, possibly trash in the fuel, or some other ailment that went away, but the other light was for a catalytic converter problem with the actual catalyst material needing to be replaced. This is part of the government-forced emissions equipment, so I had a choice to replace it at the Dodge dealer and keep it legal or take to a place called Spike Performance in nearby Pharr Tx. and have all the emissions equipment deleted and removed. This would have made the truck illegal to get rid of-no dealer would take it in that condition-and worse-yet, if stopped by the police, it could result in the truck being red-tagged until the emissions equipment was replaced and a very high fine imposed. I chose to have Payne Motors do the work and they furnished us with a very nice little Dodge Journey to drive while the truck was being repaired. There was a foul-up with the needed parts and it took a few days for the repairs to be made, but we picked it up on a Friday but didn't make it home before the CEL came back on with the same code. I called Carlos and took the truck back on Monday. We got the same Journey back to drive and they replaced a few more parts and the truck runs like a new one now, and no more check engine lights! It was expensive, but we feel more confident now that the truck will be dependable and should last us a long time (knock on wood).
We visited with old friends Mike and Linda, who just bought a mobile home that is set in a very nice park in Mercedes Tx. We met the while we all park-hosted at Inks Lake a few years ago. It was good to catch up with them and we had a nice visit.

I have been walking 2-3 miles a day here and really enjoying it. I walked over to Retama Village one day and ran into Ted and Donna and had a nice chat with them. We have been so busy, as they are too, and haven't had a chance to spend any time with them, but we'll all be back next season.

We went to a performance of the group Southern Anthem at the Green Gate Grove RV Park, near our park. This is a small family group that does country, bluegrass and gospel music and they are very talented. We went to two performances in our own park, one by Dale and Gayle that put on a pretty good show. They were a bit hokey, but it was a donation-only performance, so it was pretty good. The other performance was by Norma Gonzales, doing a Patsy Cline show. She, unfortunately, had some problems with remembering the words to the songs, seemed to be bothered by the heat (felt pretty comfortable to me, but I wasn't singing) and had a major malfunction with her wig, which came off. Actually, it just got loose and she took it off, but it was a pretty pitiful performance, another donation-only show. 

We have had a great time with our Heartland friends that are here in the valley with us. We formed a Facebook group so that we could communicate and plan get-togethers and have had a lot of fun. We will see them later in the rally season at some upcoming rallies.

It has been another good time in the valley, although the weather didn't cooperate for the first month-six weeks. It snowed on us the day we arrived and was cold and dreary for a long time. It has warmed up nicely in the past couple of weeks and actually reached 88 today!

We leave in the morning for Abilene and the West Texas chapter rally. It should be a fun time and we are looking forward to the rally season.

So long.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Friday January 26, 2018-Cottonwood RV Park

We did the two events that we have planned for our stay in the valley, a dealer open house at the Ron Hoover RV dealership on Wednesday and a Meet and Greet at Retama Village Resort on Thursday.

The Hoover event has been going on for several years, but I feel that it may be running out of steam. Attendance has been going down for the past two or three years and the dealer has been cutting back on their Heartland inventory. At any rate, we had about 50 people here, including some other brand owners, some friends and some relatives of Heartland owners. Jason had his mother and father attend, and they were the lucky winner of one of the door prizes. Jason is the chapter leader for the north Texas chapter. I was happy to meet them and glad they won a prize. Perhaps they will convert and buy themselves a Heartland trailer. 

The Meet and Greet has been rather off and on for about the same number of years as the open house, but we missed a few years when Ken and Kathy, owners of a lot at Retama, were unavailable to reserve the meeting room. This year's get-together was pretty short notice. I knew that Ken and Kathy were trying to buy place near Buchanan Dam in the Hill country, close to Inks Lake and intended to sell their place at Retama. I assumed (I know, I know) that the purchase of the new place had gone through but as it turned out, the deal had fallen through literally at the last minute. When I found out about it, I immediately went to work to organize this one. We only had about a month to get the word out and still had about 12 couples, a pretty good group! We all bought food to share and we had everything from a delicious soup to chips and dip and several desserts. As usual, everything was delicious and we all had a good time. 

The weather has been bad in the valley this year and there was no letup today. It was cool and rainy, so sitting outside was out of the question, but we set up a few more tables and chairs, so there was plenty of room for all of us inside where it was warm and dry.

We plan on staying home and relaxing for a few days, but as usual, that's subject to change, just like the weather. I'll keep you posted.

So long.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Tuesday January 23, 2018-Cottonwood RV Park

Our first couple of days here were pretty low-key, mainly because of the cold weather that had followed us down. Stella and I drove over to Donna on Wednesday to see Dustin Hoover at the Ron Hoover RV dealership to go over the plans for the dealer open house next week. From there we drove over to the fruit stand across Don-Wes flea market to buy some grapefruit. We love the Ruby-Red grapefruit and couldn't wait to get some. The flea market was open today but you'd never know it by looking at the parking lot. There were only about 6 cars there and most of the outside booths were closed. The fruit stand was open and doing a fair amount of business but the building is just about empty. There used to be many booths with everything from books to RV supplies. There were two women's clothing stores which were either closed or gone. The doors were closed and we didn't venture in.

On Thursday we drove over to a Verizon store in McAllen, where we met a very helpful young man named Jose, to buy a Hum device. This thing should be a good value to us, giving navigation information, service reminders for the truck, diagnosing vehicle warnings, giving us a hands-free telephone but most of all, giving us a way to contact emergency services in case of an accident. We were told that they now just call the police and EMS if the air bags deploy, without wasting time by calling us first. It can also be useful for roadside service and there is a way to connect to a technician to help with roadside problems. The device is inexpensive, only $30 and the service is $10 per month. 

Friday the weather was dreadful, with overcast skies and cool temperatures. It started to warm up in the afternoon so t least we were able to come out of hibernation and get outside for a while. 

Saturday, Dave, Lin and Corbin had their trailers washed and waxed, so all the guys went from trailer to trailer to watch them work. These guys were funny, making jokes and clowning around, but they did an excellent job of cleaning the rigs. One of their wives brought some tamales that they shared with us. Her mother-in-law made them and they were delicious. It's good business to give away a half dozen tamales because all of us will order from her in the future. Mike and I made arrangements to have our trailers cleaned on the 31st. These guys are booked up until then. Business is good!

Saturday night we went to the Restful Valley RV Park with Corbin & Flora and Dean and Cheri to see Bill Chrastil perform his show there. He does salutes to Elvis, Conway Twitty, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and many others and has a great show. He won awards for Male vocalist of the year in 2016 and Entertainer of the year last year. His show is worth seeing if you have a chance to see him.

Sunday we had a potluck supper of barbecued ribs and assorted vegetable dishes, and as usual, it was delicious. We watched the football championship after the meal and enjoyed the game. I haven't watched much football this season and it was good to see some games again. The cool temps sent everyone in pretty early but it was a nice day.

Monday we made our first trip to Mexico and it was really pretty routine. It was the first trip for Mike & Peg and Deb & Lin, so it was a "show and tell". Stella said Mike & Peg may have been to MX many years ago. Lin got his hair cut while over there and I made an appointment with my dentist to do my follow-up visit that I had cancelled this past summer. I got my shoes shined for our get-togethers later in the week, but all in all, a very uneventful and boring trip. 

We went to Na Na's Taqueria for some real Tex-Mex food. We came here last year and enjoyed ourselves, and they have remodeled the store, making it bigger with a large outdoor dining area, where we ate.  

Today (Tuesday) we went to the Pulga flea mkt. This is primarily a Mexican market but they have a lot of interesting stuff to look at. I bought a new case for my cell phone and a new pocket knife, but the best thing was, while shopping, I found a booth that had some puppies. The next thing I knew, I was the proud owner of a new 8 month old Chihuahua that I named Lady. Now we have Lady and the Tramp! Pictures and more details to come...

So long.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Monday January 15 and 16th, 2018-Moving days-Bay Colony to Cottonwood RV Park, Mission TX

We left cold Dickinson this morning to what we hoped would be warmer temperatures in Mission. We got bad information (go figure!) from the weather-guessers on television about the expected weather this morning. We were told that temps would still be in the 30's and when we woke, it seemed that cold, so we didn't get in a hurry to pack up and leave. There was not that much to do and we didn't get started until after 8, but when I went out, expecting cold, I was pleasantly surprised at the warmer weather. I had also worried about the traffic in Houston and wanted to delay our leaving to give the morning rush to finish. I didn't think about it being a holiday (Martin Luther King) which had eliminated some of the traffic, so with our getting started later, we had no problems with traveling through Houston. We breezed right on through without even a slowdown.

We made the mandatory stop at Buc-ee's in Wharton for a bite of breakfast as well as a pit stop in the "cleanest rest rooms in the world". It was only a few miles to our overnight stop in Victoria at the Gateway to the Gulf RV park. For some reason, we were both tired and after a quick set-up, we were both napping in our theater seats. We ate a quick supper and were again down for the count. It started raining and got much colder during the night, so when I went outside to begin preparing to leave, I was surprised to find sleet falling and ice covering the drivers side of the truck and trailer. The wind was blowing hard, making it miserable to be outside, so I completed my job and went back inside to decide what we were going to do. We knew the park was supposed to fill up tonite, so since the ice wasn't sticking to the pavement, we decided to go for it and push on to Mission.

It continued to rain/sleet on us and the temps never went about about 33* on our way down. So much for warmer weather in the Rio Grand Valley! We took the suggested (Garmin) route of a shortcut to US 281 to go into Mission. I was surprised to find the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint (southbound) was closed. The northbound side was open for business but everything on the southbound side was gone. I guess they finally figured out that the illegal aliens are going INTO the United States, not back into Mexico.

The rain had tapered off into on again/off again, but when we got to Cottonwood, it began to snow! How crazy is this? After dodging around some orange and tangerine trees, we finally got backed in. It seems much easier to get set up but the only difference is that I don't have to set up the satellite dish now but it does seem to go faster.

I told you it had been cold on the way down. To demonstrate, it was 47* inside the trailer when we went in and set up ALL the heaters and furnace! it didn't take long for the temp to come back up and we could thaw out. There wasn't much visiting with our friends that are already here, but we will start catching up with them soon.

Later in the afternoon, after the snow stopped falling (not sticking, we drove over to Martha's restaurant in Donna. This has been one of our favorite restaurants since we first came down here in 2009. We had stayed next door at the Casa Del Sol on our very first trip to the Valley. Good times...

It's good to be here with friends and many things to do.

So long.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Saturday January 6 thru Saturday January 14, 2018-Bay Colony RV Resort and Mailing Center

This will be another catch-up entry to bring things up to date on a week that we spent at "home" in Dickinson.

Saturday January 6th we just stayed home and rested from our trip down from Inks Lake. 

Sunday January 7th we drove up to the Rayford Crossing RV Resort in Spring to visit our friends Tommy and Susan. They took us to a tiny Oriental food restaurant, whose name escapes both Stella and I. The food was good and the service as well. We will try to find it again the next time we are in the area.

Monday January 8th, Stella had to go to the cardiologist for tests to be run. While she was in the office being tested, I sat outside in my truck reading my Kindle. 
Monday afternoon we drove to Stafford where we met my good friend Emile for lunch at the Sweet Tomato in Stafford. Sweet Tomato is one of my favorite restaurants and I try to go there as often as I can find one. They specialize in salads but they also have a nice selection of Italian dishes and a good selection of soups and breads. 

Tuesday January 9th we both went to doctors. We went to Dr. Dorothy Merritt in the morning for routine wellness checkups. All of my numbers were good and when they checked my vision, mine was better than Stella's! We both had to go to the cardiologist in the afternoon, me for  routine checkup and her for results of her tests. We both passed with flying colors and were told to return in 6-9 months, which we were glad to hear. At least now we don't have to make a flying trip down for an appointment with him.

Wednesday January 10th Stella did some shopping at the JC Penney's store and some others in the mall that is nearby. After shopping we went to Gringo's Tex Mex restaurant in Texas City to meet an old friend and classmate, John Maisel. John had damage to his home and wanted to buy a travel trailer to live in temporarily while his house is repaired and I helped him choose one. John and I lived close when we were in grade schools in Galveston. It was good to spend some time with him and catch up.

Thursday and Friday we just ran errands and got some things caught up. It rained some and the weather turned cool, but we got some things done that needed doing, so we made good use of our time.

Saturday we went to the Lakewood Yacht Club for a retirement party for Frances Carter, a long-time secretary for the Hall family that owned the Citizens State Bank where she and Stella worked for many years. It was good to see many old friends. Stella saw many people that she hadn't seen in years, after her retirement from the bank. Oh, the stories that those two can tell...!

Sunday we met Kim, Ray and Tyler for a late lunch at the Topwater Grill to celebrate my birthday. Kim had invited Cameron, who has moved out of her house to live with his dad, and he declined to come. His loss...
We had a delightful meal and visit with them. Tyler just turned 21 years old and I'm pretty sure that he will be venturing out on his own soon. I miss my boys.

That about sums up our boring week. We spent time with friends and family, got some errands done and most important of all, took care of our medicals, so we are clear to travel. Rally season will begin soon.

So long.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Friday January 5, 2018-Moving Day-Inks Lake state park to Bay Colony Resort and Mail Center

Today was the day that we dreaded. It is necessary for us to leave a couple of weeks early to make some doctor's visits in Dickinson, and today is the day. I always have such a good time with the deer hunters, and it's hard to leave, but it's important to take care of our health. 

We woke and began getting thing done inside. I went outside a little before 8 but since we don't have very far to go (275 miles) we weren't in too much of a hurry. I made good time outside with my chores, but several of our friends came by to say goodbye and I was probably delayed by an hour or more. I'm not complaining because it is so good to have many friends to say adios to. Stella's inside work went very well but we were still late in getting away. 

It was about 11 before we pulled out of our site, but we got flagged down at the headquarters by the parking crew. Our friends Bill, David and Dean came out to flag us down because our brand new Traveler television was still up! We had both forgotten to "stow" it in the travel position. We stopped on the road and tried to put it away, but soon learned that it takes 110 volts to operate the antenna, which meant that we had to turn around and go back to our site to hook up to power. I don't have the adapters to go from 50 amp to 15 amp any more. I had them when we had the house and kept the trailer plugged in at home, but that was 9 years ago. It didn't take long to get the antenna down, once power was hooked up, and we were again leaving, but it was about 11:30 when we pulled out of the gate. In our defense, this was the first time we have had to put the antenna down. When we left T&S, where we bought it, they hit the necessary buttons to stow it and today, each of us thought the other was taking care of it.

There was a bad accident with an overturned gasoline truck in Bertram, in the route that we had planned to take, so we took another route down U.S. highway 71 as an alternate route. The problem with route is that it took us through Austin and lots of traffic! As we drove, I noticed the estimated time of arrival on the GPS kept getting later and later. We were making good time (I thought) and going the normal speed but the time just kept slipping away. Maybe they were taking all the traffic into consideration... We hit Houston during the evening rush hour, which slowed us even more, but we finally pulled into the Bay Colony RV Resort about 4:30. Actually, this is about the normal time for the distance we traveled, so I guess it's not so bad. I was soon backed into the site and in a short time we were hooked up and home again! It's nice to hit a button and the TV antenna searches and locks automatically.

There is still a lot of damage and closed businesses in town from hurricane Harvey. We had planned to eat at either Whataburger or Monterrey Tex-Mex but both of them are still closed. Bummer! We ended up going to the Whataburger in League City and had a great meal. It's good to be back in our home area, but things have changed. Traffic is just as bad in little bitty Dickinson as it is in Houston. During rush hour, it's not unusual for it to take 10-15 minutes just to get out of the park parking lot! I guess that's life in the big city...

So long.

Thursday January 4, 2018-Inks Lake state park

This post will be the last one from Inks Lake for this year. I will show you some of the deer blinds but only the ones that I take hunters to. I will also show you some projects that are going on at the state park.

The main entrance sign. 

This is the truck that I have used for several years to take hunters out in.

Longhorn Caverns is another state park that is managed under the control of the Inks Lake staff. It is also on Park Road 4 and a short distance away.

The public areas along Park Road 4 are known as the Hoover Valley.

I will begin showing you the blinds in numerical order. This is #10, a regular, single blind. 

A view from in front of the blind. Look closely and you will see the deer feeder.

Blind #14 is an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) certified blind. It is designed for two people, the hunter and his/her assistant. There is a bard surface area, suitable to supporting and allowing a wheelchair to navigate. Also notice the ramp, and inside you will find a carpeted floor and a shooting able with a padded rifle rest. All of the ADA blinds are similarly equipped.

A view out into the pasture where the feeder is. It's about 80 yards to the feeder. 

#15 is another single blind. These are about half as wide as the ADA blinds.

This is a pond that is almost dry this year. For the last couple of years we haven't been able to use this blind because of high water in this blind. 

This is #16 and one of my favorite blinds. Many deer have been taken here and this year one of the largest deer was harvested here.

A close up view of the feeder.

When I walked up this morning to take these photos, I saw a group of three deer, a 6 point buck and two doe that ran off together. Then this pretty little doe, who was alone and stopped to check me out, ran from the area right in front of the deer blind. A split second after taking the photo shot, she too ran away.

On the way back to the park, I am always awed by the sight of the Falkenstein Castle. I can only guess at the breathtaking views from the upper stories from the castle.

The LCRA (Lower Colorado River Authority) has begun to drain Inks Lake for maintenance. The park will use it to repair the docks and boat landing while the water level is low.

I don't know if the entire lake will be drained but suspect that there will be small holes that will hold water. The lake is only about 800 acres but seems much larger. We were told that the fish in the lake will be able to go into other bodies of water along with the water.

No boat launching for awhile!

I always thought the water was deeper in front of the pier.

This is a group of LCRA employees that are searching for fresh-water mussels. The are aaaaall the way across the lake, but no one is safe from the zoom lens.

I certainly thought it was deeper here!

A view of the store from across

Construction crews are working on a new bathroom on the north end of the park. They haven't been too active this week, but I guess they want some time off between Christmas and New Year.

This is about the only ice remaining after all the cold weather. This is the back side of our trailer and is mostly in shade. I left a small Y-valve partially open to prevent freezing in my hose and this was the result. I hope that we've had the last of extreme cold weather for this year. I am ready for warm weather.

So long.