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.