Saturday, September 27, 2008

HALLELUJAH We Make it to San Antonio area

We ended up coming in a day earlier, which I had wanted to only if i could get jim to agree; and I kind of tricked him when we got just within around 30 miles of where his brother lives. He was getting so nervous about seeing his little brother, that he was getting so up tight. I said something to him, “gee, we are only about 30 or so miles from San Antonio.” and he responded like I’d hoped and said call and see if we can come in a day early. Sure they said.

Trip down wasn’t much exciting just A Whole Lot More of Texas. We did come down towards the Canyon Lake area, northeast of San Antonio, crossed the Guadelupe River 2 or 3 times, good for rafting and kayaking so the signs and literature say. We stopped and called and got directions to brother Scott’s house and arrived here about 45 minutes later, even despite the going home traffic.

Wow, what a 10 acre spread he has with horses. Scott, he didn’t want me to say what he does for a living as he said everyone he has known or trained will be calling him for a job, is connected with Randolph AF base as a civilian. He lives about 8 miles from the base so doesn’t have to drive far to work. We went to Chili’s for dinner and just spent the afternoon and evening talking. Jim was so worked up about seeing his brother for the first time in 3 decades, he got pretty emotional. It was good to see and that made the twelve days getting here worth it.

And it’s been almost nonstop talking since he got here. Scott took us on Randolph AF Base in the afternoon and drove us around and showed us the different areas where different kinds of planes are kept (don’t ask me to name them as there were prop jobs and jet jobs and the only difference I could tell were some were little suckers and some were just a bit bigger suckers and then there were some reallllllly big suckers). He then took us to his office to see his “toys”. I was even impressed with the different types of “toys” under his responsibility - didn’t understand much but it was fun watching the men who knew what they were doing with the “toys”.

Randolph AF Base is a beautiful “campus” if one can call a base that. Built in the 30/very early 40’s when grace (probably not a good word choice for an AF base) and style (and space) could be incorporated into Southwestern architecture indicative of Texas’ early history with Mexico. Very clean and neat, attractively landscaped. We got to see the elaborate water tower and it surely kept a lot of brick layers busy building that for a long time! Oh, I was so mad I forgot to take my camera so I could get a picture of that. I have no idea if the Base is a functionally efficient (if one can say that too about a base), but I did get confused where we were going most of the time and what direction was North or South, and Scott is such a good (comical) commentator. It was a nice trip and I am glad he invited me along too.

We went out for dinner to a nice Tex-Mex place, did a quick tour around New Braunfels and came home via another confusing route. Time to hit the sack.

The two dogs, Tina and Chance, have given us lots of laughs while we are here and it’s good being around dogs. Tina is a Corgi and she is the Queen of the House. Chance is the Lord of the outside. Tina has this cute little habit of letting Chance know that he is to stay away from her food dish when it is dinner time. Chance is usually laying on the floor somewhere and she has to come running up to him and yaps at him as to tell him that the food in her dish is hers and stay away. She’ll do this twice. He could care less. Chance doesn’t warm up to strangers very fast, so it was a couple of days before Jim and I could pet him. He’s a big ole soft furry dog and he reminds me of daughter’s dog, Buster, when he takes a food tidbit from you - he doesn’t grab but very gently takes it out of your hand.

Oh, I forgot to say that I bought a electric trailer jack for the trailer. I know that someday it is going to be hard for me to crank up the trailer and so now I have a piece of machinery that will do it for me. I bought it off Dewaine just before we left Procter Lake.

Tomorrow is time to hit the road again for son’s place this time - in Socorro NM. We have had a great time here, Scott and his wife Viv, have been so great - just like old times. We have not gone anywhere special, but had lots of special time together with them. Their son, Brian, came over for dinner Wednesday night. He was leaving Thursday morning to go to his sister Debbie’s wedding on Saturday (also my son’s birthday), so it was really good to see him since he was around 7 or 8 years old! They are a great family.

We’ll pack the trailer in the morning and then head west towards Del Rio on US90. No telling what we’ll find out here. Last time I was in the area, some really bad storms went through and left the Del Rio area flooded. We’ll just play it by ear.

DEL RIO - We spent the night at the American RV Park west of Del Rio, just opposite Amistad National Recreation Area - right on the Rio Grande River. Very deserty here with lots of scrub brush, hot and dry and not a whole lot of trees for shade. The RV Park is pretty empty, but clean and the camp hosts are very nice. In fact, most campgrounds we have stayed in are fairly empty this time of year and we have had the pick of sights so far.

We discovered the winter vacation land of the butterflies. It’s located between San Antonio and Del Rio. It’s like driving down a parade with confetti in the air. They look like the sulfurs and white butterflies - different colors from yellows to whites to blacks and in between. They are big ones and little ones. I asked a clerk at a convenience store if they were migrating or was this there spawning ground and she just said that they do this every year at this time. I forgot to bring my butterfly book that I bought on the last trip. We got stopped by a train sitting across the road and got to watch all the butterflies. It was pretty cool. I had never seen such a sight before.

Think we’ll stop over at the Amistad information office and learn more about the place after leaving here, then head to Seminole Canyon for some more history, over the Pecos River, then up to Fort Davis. I am hoping we can stay at the Old Purdy Ranch Campground as it’s on a working ranch. Today is son’s birthday. Happy Birthday Son.

Monday, September 22, 2008

We think it's Thursday, 9/19 (we lose track of time)

We stopped and got some gas in Aspermont and I asked the lady at the counter about camping parks south of Abilene in the Brownwood area. She said her favorite was in the Proctor Lake area over near Comanche. As she was telling me about it, a nice looking gentleman, around my age, was standing beside me (I am not married to Jim and I can still recognize a nice looking man no matter what age he is, especially if he is wearing Wrangler jeans - that one is for you Brenda, back at work).. As she finished telling me everything, he asked if the Casita was mine and I said Yes. To make a nice conversation short, he is Ken from California with a daughter in Oklahoma and he was on his way to Rice TX to pick up his brand new 13 foot Casita. So we talked for a while longer.

We continued on our trek on US380 coming across a lot of wide open spaces, huge cultivated fields that currently had just been planted or were being readied to have something planted. This area was very flat. We went thru a couple of very nice, neat little towns, Haskell comes to mind as one of them. At Throckmorton we turned south on US283/183 towards Breckenridge and Cisco located on I-20.

So far on this trip, we have come across 6 wind farms between Oklahoma and Texas. Apparently another in Texas is being built as we encountered 6 trucks with the bases between Breckenridge and Cisco. Most of them we saw while we were having lunch at a picnic area south of Breckenridge.

We got here at Proctor Lake, at another COE campground called Copperas Park Thursday evening. Even with the confusing instructions in my Corp. campground directory it was still hard to find the place. Come to find out the Texas DOT District office in Brownwood took all the signs down around 3 years ago because they weren’t breakaway signs. They never got put back up! But, apparently all the signs for Brownwood Lake State Park got put back up as breakaway signs! I am going to write a letter to the Texas Dept. of Transportation when I get home; and, see if I stay at Brownwood Lake State Park. Humph! We had to ask at a convenience store down the road and he even expressed his disgust with the TDOT.

The campground is located not too far from Commanche, on US67/377. It is an interesting town, with the lots of cowboy history. The courthouse is in the center with businesses located around the courthouse, but with a western atmosphere. We originally were going to stay 3 nights, but liked it so much we added another night and will head towards San Antonio on Monday instead.

We got some laundry done (and I might say at the cleanest and best Laundromat I have encountered on my travels), some grocery shopping done, and a whole lot of just relaxing and enjoying the lake view and meeting people.

A couple next to us, Dewaine and Stella, have two little dogs Tina and Tana who are sisters. They recently turned 4 years old, so when in Brownwood Saturday, I picked up a small cake, a number “4” candle and some doggie bones for small dogs. We had a “birthday party” for the dogs Saturday night. Unfortunately, some “uninvited guests” drove us inside as those mosquitos are Texas size ones. Dewaine and Stella don’t live too far away but like to get away from time to time. They have a big Winnebago. Kind of makes Eggcarto look pretty small by comparison. We have really had an enjoyable time visiting with them. We exchanged e-mail addresses and hope to stay in touch with them from time to time.

Today, Sunday, I have been rearranging my kitchen area. The rack on the back wall over the sink was looking crappy, so I got rid of it and replaced it with one of those wire baskets with suction cups to hold the dish and hand soaps, etc. They do stay up pretty good while going down the road. I have 5 of them in the bathroom and very seldom have had one fall. I just have one more project to do and that is how do I want to hang my cooking utensils. I have several ideas, so that will be my next project. I still have plenty of projects to work on.

I got Jim a 4” memory foam pad, while in Brownwood yesterday, to add to the foam pads I had fixed up before leaving home (the existing was just too hard and his back hurt quite a bit when he got up in the morning). We cut it down to a smaller width, but now with 11 inches of padding (I had to leave the cushions there as didn’t have room in the truck to store them until I got home) he has to use a stool to get up on the bed. He slept much better last night, he said and no sore back this morning. I still need to trim the end down by the bathroom door so it’s not such a strain to open the door against the mattress.

Most of the people that came in Friday night have left the campground, so it has quieted down. It really wasn’t that noisy - a few boats on the lake, some water skiers. It sure was nice this morning sitting in the shade, sipping coffee and watching all those who had go get home so they could go to work tomorrow drive by us. We waved.

Am getting ready to take a shower. We have another load or two of things to wash at the Laundromat, then we’ll grab a bit to eat in town afterwards and start getting ready to leave tomorrow after we get back. I like to do what I can the night before so it doesn’t take so long in the morning. We should be out of here at my usual time of around 10 a.m.

We will be heading down towards San Antonio but staying another night on the road before seeing Jim’s brother Scott.

PS Here is picture of footprints on the back of my truck from the raccoon that harassed us at Copper Breaks.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Our Plans Change (Again)

We are off towards San Antonio now - switching back. We talked with brother Scott and he said they didn’t even get one drop of rain nor any gusts of wind from Hurricane Ike. Since it’s 2-1/2 weeks before son expects us to visit him, we have the time. We’ll take six days or so to get there, spending some time at different places - relaxing, doing laundry, restocking the food supply, figuring out how we can make Jim’s bed more comfortable and his sleeping warmer (him checking to see if the window is open would help). Darn, probably means I will be giving up my electric blanket I was hoarding for myself for when it really got cold.

We are in Aspermont TX at a little 5 slot RV Park in this town of, maybe, less than 2000 souls. And I have WiFi so am catching up on stuff. We had a very, very late lunch early early dinner at their local DQ, got some groceries and ice.

It’s awful dang flat for most of the travels today, lots of dairy farms and crops grown to support that industry. As we turned onto US380, the country changed into the “caprock” country - lots of draws, gullies and streams. You didn’t see hide nor hair of anything or anyone. We went thru a little town of Clairemont, shown on the map and it is a bunch of dilapidating buildings on the highway and a few souls standing and talking to each other (I think)in front of a machine shop - no store, no post office, no gas station, nada. But, it had a sign announcing your arrival to Clairemont. And, when you left.

We have a few chores to do outside before tucking ourselves in for the night. Tomorrow we’ll be over in the Texas Hill Country, which I know from experience can be quite beautiful in the Springtime. I don’t think we will have any more raccoon experiences tonight.

At Copper Breaks State Park where they grow big and noisy

Again, we didn’t go very far. We got away earlier than previous days. We stopped at Wal-Mart so Jim could get some T-shirts as he forgot to pack and a few grocery items. Then we stopped by the Route 66 Museum (at left)and took some pictures only as they weren’t open (either yet or not on Sunday). We went by Braun’s Ice Cream, where a truck carrying the part of a base to a wind turbine had an accident. The truck had passed us earlier when we were coming into Elk City. Thank heavens we encountered him before Braun’s.

We came down US283 thru the little towns of Mangum and Blair to Altus OK.; then, south to Vernon TX and west on US70 through Crowell, turning north on State 6 to Copper Breaks. We stopped at a road side rest area north of Vernon and had a bite of lunch and I gave Jim a haircut. The wind was playing havoc with his long hair! The country is FLAT, unlike Kansas’ flat. Ranching and farming, the little towns are neat and clean.

Here at Copper Breaks, there is only one other camper here in the Park right now and he is from Kansas too. We are somewhat sitting on top of a mesa overlooking the lake to the north of us. There is a nice wind blowing out of a northeasterly direction and it is a comfortable temperature right now. Didn’t take us long to get settled in and we are just enjoying the warm weather right now.

As you enter the Park, there is a herd of Texas Longhorns owned by the Parks and Wildlife Dept. These animals are descendants of original Longhorns that came about from the crossing of two types of beef brought in by the Spanish in the 1500’s: regular cattle for milk and beef and a specially bred black cattle that were used for fighting bulls. Many cattle escaped to run wild and from them developed the Texas Longhorn, a multicolored animal. They weren’t called the Texas Longhorn until after the Civil War. Seven other State Parks have Texas Longhorns.

Today is Day 2 at Copper Breaks. We arose on the late side, fixed a light breakfast, took showers (much nicer showers than at Fort Supply, at least my clothes didn’t get wet), and watched the only other camper leave around 10 am. We just lazed around, reading, working puzzles, fixed lunch. Around 2 p.m., we drove around the campground checking out the view of the Lake and other camp sights, to the Campground office to pay for tonight, looked at the museum information (interesting about Indians and the ranching industry then and now; and, how someone named Blair sunk $12 million dollars into a plan to get copper out of clay and nothing worked, he went broke and left). We drove into Crowell to pick up a few groceries and get some gas; then back to camp, read and BBQ’d some hamburgers for supper. (View of lake at Left above)

If one really wants to get away and have some REAL solitude, no kids running around, no big boats on the lake (not big enough), just contemplate life, read, write your memoir’s, nap, hike (lots of hiking trails), fish a little, smell the rain coming (which it didn’t), smell the rich, wet earth that’s being dug up by some critter underneath your window at night, watch the moon rise, hear the coyotes/wolves howl at the moon, beautiful sunsets and sunrises, watch the wildlife (Jim’s favorite were the roadrunners), or whatever, then Copper Breaks State Park is for you especially at this time of the year. The staff are wonderful. Restrooms are clean and plenty of hot water (what can you ask for when there isn’t anyone else here in the Park). It’s located on State Hwy. 6 between Crowell and Quanah. But bet it’s a hot bugger in the summer!

Tuesday, we head westward on US70 across the lower Texas Panhandle to Oasis State Park in New Mexico, on US70 just southwest of Clovis NM. We’ll probably be there just one night, then continue toward Roswell NM.

They Certainly Grow Them Big in Texas!

Just before bedtime, I headed up to the shower house. When I got about 50 ft from it, I encountered the BIGGEST raccoon I have ever seen rummaging around the trash dumpster. He was huge - as big as a small miniature, tiny horse, as big as a great dane or a standard poodle. I am so glad he thought I was the aggressor and left as I certainly didn’t feel very aggressive when I saw him. He was just HUGE. They really do grow bigger in Texas!

Then around 2 hours after we had gone to bed and I was in a good sleep, I heard a “bump, bump” and a “thud”. Jim woke up with a start, saying “what was that?” I told him it was some critter who wandered underneath not knowing how low it is and bumped himself on the frame or holding tanks, and just go back to sleep. So we settle down and all of a sudden there was the noisiest chattering, snorting and growling going on outside and whatever it was was really mad. He paced 3 times up and down the front of the trailer making his feelings be known. By the time I could get the outside lights on and look out a window, he was gone.

We settle down again, and I’ll be darn he was back again venting his frustrations only this time he banged something to make a metallic sound. Maybe he threw some gravel at the tire rims as all the chairs and table had been put up. If they hadn’t I then would have expected to see a masked face staring at me through the window! This time when the lights came on, I saw him scamper away - looked like a young raccoon as he wasn’t near as big as the one I saw earlier. Then a few minutes later, he came back and made some more noise, except on the back side of the trailer (probably ‘cause his forest protection was closer) and Jim hollered a expletive word at him and we never heard from him again!

We are now at New Mexico’s Oasis State Park, just north of Portales. There is a fishing lake and I understand the locals use it on weekends for their getaways. Cannon AFB is just north of us - west of Clovis. It’s another quiet place with only the camp host’s site and one other site occupied. Deserty with elm trees around the campsites. Sage, yucca, sunflowers along with some grass cover the ground. There are sand dunes just to the west of us, in fact the campground is in a dune area that has been stabilized with the vegetation. Temperature is right at 80 degrees and it’s almost 5 p.m. And dry air. Expect in the 50’s tonight.

There is a little museum here and just down the road is the Black Water Draw Site, a National Historic Landmark. This is a where prehistoric man and animals came to use the spring-fed waters; where the Clovis man hunted. Many archaeological digs have been done here.. The oldest hang-dug well is located here.

Good night.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Delay due to Fog

We didn’t make it very far today. Currently, we are at the Elk Creek RV Park in Elk City OK. It’s nice, clean, showers and rest rooms are clean, but we are packed in. (The price is reasonable for cable & WiFi - $22.50 with Sam’s discount) The main reason I am here is to catch up on Hurricane Ike, how and if it affected brother Scott in San Antonio, use of WiFi to catch my blog up and so Jim can watch the multiple number of football games that he is watching!

We didn’t get away until noon as I wanted to keep an eye on the fog that had settled in and preferred not to drive in unfamiliar territory in fog - besides we might miss seeing something. I haven’t quite gotten into a “hitch-up” routine yet and it’s probably because am sharing some of the chores and teaching Jim to do some easy things.

We drove south on US283, a fairly nice highway and nicer when you get closer to Cheyenne OK. The topography is rolling hills, cattle ranching, grasslands, sage and what looks like scrub oak. We pretty much followed the route that Custer did when he left Fort Supply to go after the Cheyenne Indians, so I imagined what it was like in this country in the winter with snow on the ground.

We did stop at the Washita Battlefield National Historic Site at Cheyenne on OK 47A. It is a fairly new facility, an excellent program on what took place here where Chief Black Kettle was killed, along with his wife, a very knowledgeable staff person by the name of Crystal. There is a self-guiding trail where you can drive around the Black Kettle National Grassland and see where Chief Black Kettle’s camp was. For those interested, there is food, lodging, an RV park at the City Park and a privately owned one; plus gas. The town is small but very, very neat and clean and shows an obvious pride by the locals.

Since it’s just 20 or so miles north of Sayre, located on I-40, we popped over here to this RV Park. Elk City has the Route 66 Museum, which looks interesting, plus we learned there is a museum to Beutler Bros located on the property. We might go see that since we are familiar with the company as they have supplied rodeo stock for the Phillipsburg KS PRCA rodeo forever!

I fixed a supper of baked potato and salad and now we are just relaxing. We only have a couple of hours drive tomorrow to Copper Breaks State Park.

First Day on the Road with the EX

And we are still speaking to each other! So far he’s a pretty good traveling companion but still has a lot of “the ropes” to learn. It helps that he has been around me and knows when to “get out of my hair”.

I had hoped to leave home around 10-10:30 a.m. but due to a technical glitch - the ball latch wouldn’t latch around the neck of the ball on the truck’s receiver hitch. So it was play around with that for awhile, say a few cuss words in between and finally it worked. I thought what am I going to do, if it won’t work - well, one thing we wouldn’t be leaving today.

We stopped in Hays to get Jim’s prescription, load up on a couple bags of ice for the ice chest (which is where I keep the pop and juices) and then we headed south on US 183. On the pretext of needing gas, we turned off US 183 at Greensburg to see what it looks like now after the F5 tornado that went through there in May of ‘06. There are new buildings going up along main street and a new Dillon’s (a Kansas Kroger grocery store) is being built, plus several banks and other businesses. You can still see a lot of the damage that was done to buildings.

We left with clouds, dark gray clouds over head and only saw a glimmer of sun a couple of times. After leaving Greensburg, I did get gas in the little town of Coldwater and saw the most interesting little electric car (looks like a golf cart but enclosed) used by an elderly gentleman. It has heat and AC and is street legal. As we proceeded towards the Oklahoma state line, the clouds got a little more ominous and every now and then a few drops would fall - a sign of what our night was going to be like.

The landscape, south of the state line, is of sand hills/mounds that have been stabilized, over the years, by brush/grass growth as well as some trees. I know there is an area east of here where a lot of folks like to go with their dune buggies/4-wheelers and ride around the dunes.

We are tonight, and tomorrow night, at COE’s Fort Supply Campground, near the little town of Fort Supply. Natch, it’s located on a lake and we are a hefty stone’s throw to the water’s edge. Jim watched a Large Blue Heron on a little jetty across the road from us while I fixed a spaghetti dinner. I pulled the awning out as it was sprinkling a little, even through the tree I had parked the trailer under.

When we were registering for our stay, the Camp Hostess told us about all the critters we could see - turkeys, mama raccoon and her 5 babies, deer and maybe even a skunk or two. She also told us the flies are bad (we already knew that) and that the campground is inundated with mayflies. They have life span of one day. They are born, reproduce and die in one day. Hence with a life span like that they have no mouth, since they don’t need to eat. She also mentioned about several places we might like to see on our trip, so I noted those in my notebook.

After dinner, (or rather during) it started raining , not hard but a nice gentle downpour. Jim and I decided to try the showers out. I have never encountered a shower where you have to keep pushing the button to keep the water coming. The water would stay on for almost a minute. It was hard to get a decent rinse. True “military style shower” - just like I take in the trailer. The bad thing was I didn’t know my clean clothes were getting wet while I was showering! I had one sleeve and the back of my top was dry and up around the waist band on my pants was dry - the rest was wet (including my underwear!) I almost felt like running out to the truck naked since it was raining and my clothes were wet, what difference did it make. Oh, ya my ex was with me and there was a camper across the road from the shower rooms. (To left: Drying out the clothes)

Good night.

SECOND DAY WITH EX. . . . . Or My new Weather Radio Works. Yea. . .Not

It rained ALL night, I mean ALL night! I slept good only waking when Jim would change positions on his bed - simply because I am not use to someone shaking the little trailer other than me. He didn’t sleep as good - new bed, harder than his at home, the sound of the rain on the roof. Ahhhh, the sound of rain on the roof - owners of fiberglass trailers know what I mean.

It stayed pretty warm throughout the night and no breeze even, so the rain came straight down. The only bad thing that woke us up with a start - twice - was my new weather radio blaring out at 11:30 p.m. and again around 2:30 a.m. that there is a flash flood warning for our area. Give me a break, I wanna go back to sleep. Most of the Flash Flood area was a little bit to the east of us, so we didn’t worry. But, that first one was certainly a startling wake up. Second time i shut the dang thing off and now only turn it on when I want to check the weather conditions.

We were going to explore Fort Supply but with the uncertainty of the rain showers, we decided not to. Instead we have been sitting under the awning, watching the rain come down, the Blue Heron do it’s thing, people driving by and waving. After lunch, it was nap time. After nap, we drove into the little village of Fort Supply for some ice and just drove around the area. There is a State Correctional facility to the east of town plus a facility for the severely disabled. The road to the Fort was closed.

Fort Supply was just that, a supply fort General Sheridan’s campaign against the Plains Indians, especially the Cheyennes and Arapahos, back in 1868. General Custer and the Seventh Calvary marched south from Fort Supply in 1868, to the Washita River when they met Cheyennes and allied tribes there followed the Battle of Washita. Following in 1874 to 1893, millions of cattle and horses were driven northward from Texas to railheads in Kansas, over the Western Cattle Trail. Following the opening of the Cherokee Strip in 1893, the need for a fort declined and the US gave the old military fort to the Territory of Oklahoma. It has been undergoing extensive renovation over the years.

There have been some pretty heavy reports of rainfalls east of us, primarily in Grant and Alfalfa counties up near the Kansas state line - as much as 12 inches in the last 24 hours! Thank heavens they were east of us. We only got around 2 inches.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, we will hitch up and head southward. I would like to drive down either US 183 or US 283 towards Vernon TX and the Copper Breaks State Park southeast of Vernon for a couple of nights. There is some pretty country in southwest Oklahoma.

Tonight I’ll grill some hamburgers since it’s quite raining and the breezes have died down. The towels and clothes are finally dried out.

We changed dinner plans and went into Fort Supply and had some really great hamburgers at TK’s Diner. Jim had a regular hamburger and I had a jalapeno cheese hamburger with cheese fries! The burgers are very big and the cheese on the home style cut fries was REAL cheese melted on top. They were juicy and very tasty. Then I topped it off with apple pie and ice cream. Okay, tomorrow it’s back to traveling diet.

Back tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ike is Proving to be a Formidable Hurricane

So starting direction is changing to heading west and away from his affects. Brother Scott emailed us that Ike is projected to head right toward him, so I'd rather not put up with rain, flooding, winds, detours, etc and take the easy way out and head west! So we will visit brother Ken in Phoenix first.

Think we are going to head for Copper Breaks State Park (opps, it's Fort Supply State Park, near Woodward. Copper Breaks is near Vernon TX) near Woodward OK first, then wander our way towards Palo Duro Canyon State Park, near Amarillo, then angle southwestward to the southern part of New Mexico and over to Phoenix. We have plenty of time to sightsee, relax and take it easy and do nothing, if we want.

Until later.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Only One More Day to Get Ready

We WILL be ready to leave sometime Thursday morning (9/11). I finally finished the black water tank vent, after getting a new pop rivet gun. This one works like it is suppose to. The clothes are going in as well as the food supplies. Oh gosh, I am starting to get giddy.

The trailer won't get washed but maybe as we get closer to the San Antonio area, Hurricane Ike will take care of that for me. I have been watching the progress of the Hurricane as it moves towards the Texas coast; and, it's expected arrival time is around the time we had planned on being in the San Antonio area - we are actually going to Sequin. We may take one or two extra days getting down there and staying a bit longer in southwest Oklahoma until it looks okay to venture forward (er southward) - or, we may reverse our plans and head to Phoenix first. That's what nice about not having a schedule. But, if brother Scott needs us to come down we will do that too.

The weather has been unusually chilly here the last week or so. The trees are starting to lose their nice green color and changing to a dull green. A tree in my yard has already started shedding and turning it's pretty yellow color. We are packing clothes for cool, cold and hot weather.

I have one more doctor visit tomorrow. Summertime is when I get all my checkups and they are all pretty much turning out pretty good. The surgeon that did my 5-year colonoscopy checkup told me "to keep doing whatever I have been doing, as I am in better shape than I was 5 years ago!" WOW. That's great news for one in their mid-60's.

Well, until somewhere down the road. . . . . .

Friday, September 5, 2008

It's Almost Time

Just a little under a week to go and am off again. It's been somewhat a busy summer and the pace has picked up the last couple of weeks. I am still working Friday thru Mondays so my prep work is done during my days off. I am just too exhausted to do much after work.

First, I am concerned about my new friends I made on the last trip who live along the Gulf Coast. I just hope and pray they are okay and have not suffered themselves. I hope to hear from them sometime down the road.

Little Eggcarto has been getting a going over. At the start of the trip earlier this year, I encountered the tail end of a blizzard in southeastern Kansas and drove through lots of brine on the roadways. That's a great setup for rust if it isn't removed right away. Unfortunately, I had that accident on my first day of the trip, when I fell right onto my tailbone and fractured it. I couldn't do anything until the second night (and probably shouldn't have), and that was enough time for the brine to start working.

I have about two-thirds of the rust on the frame scraped and painted with Rusteolum; lite bulbs have been replaced or cleaned and checked out; a light bulb in the brake lite above the back window burned out and is being replaced (only to discover it wasn't the bulb but apparently some loose wiring which will need to be fixed, ugh); am putting screens over the propane vents to keep the mud daubers out; I replaced the trailer's emergency brake cord as the old one was rusting through; my new bed area has been finished and I have made the side dinette area into another bed for my passenger. The vent cap, on top for the black water tank, crumbled due to age and exposure to sunlight. Had a spare vent cap and started to put it on, having to drill new holes in the fiberglass to fit the new top for the rivets, when I discovered my pop rivet gun doesn't work! Ugh, another delay getting things done."Eggie" does need a good bath though, so hopefully will get that in before leaving.

Then there is the packing - food and some clothes - and making sure I have taken care of everything here at home, and the truck is ready to go too. My list of "to dos" keeps getting longer rather than shorter. Hopefully, that changes here in a few days!

I mentioned a passenger a couple of paragraphs ago. Yes, I will have one this time. He is my ex-husband and we still happen to be friends. Jim has a younger brother in the San Antonio area he hasn't seen for several decades; and, a middle brother in Phoenix he hasn't seen for 10-15 years. Jim has been wanting to see his brothers for sometime now but isn't really able to take the task on by himself. So we are heading south to visit the brothers. We'll take in brother Scott first, then wander around west Texas - visiting down near the Rio Grande River, heading up to Fort Davis, then up around Lincoln NM over to the Phoenix area to see brother Ken, then back over towards Socorro to see our son Jim around his birthday time in late September. While there we will take in the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in early October, then head home in time to get the trailer winterized (though may have to do it before we get home since Fall all ready seems to be here!); and, then head back to work for the holidays until January.

That's it for now. Will post another page before I leave.