Clear Lake and Crater Lake . . .

Today was another work day (Hey, I thought I was retired) so I was up at 10, and after coffee, worked outside going through stuff in the back of the truck and rearranging things in the bays.

About 1pm I headed into Clear Lake and back to my client from last week They’re back from their trip and had some other things for me to look at. While I was there I got them set up on so they can log into their computers at home from their iPads and laptops while they’re on the road.

I got back to the rig about 5 pm to find we have a new neighbor in the site next door. They’re in an older, but nice Rexhall. That means the park only has 2 vacancies out of 82 sites.

Jan and I headed out to the Ryan’s in Texas City for our Fried Chicken fix. We were also hoping to see Helen, a waitress there that we’ve known for years, but it seems like she’s moved back to Louisiana.

Right after we got here I happened to check the park WiFi on my Android phone and saw the signal levels were much stronger than last year so stop off at Fry’s Electronics last week and picked up a USB WiFi adapter for my desktop.


It’s a TL-WN722N and I like the fact that it has an external antenna so I can add a bigger antenna if necessary.

But a bigger antenna is certainly not necessary here. Along with a better signal it looks like they’ve also upgraded to ‘N’ routers on their Access Points. This morning when I checked my speed with, I was showing 7.59 Mbps download and 5.32 Mbps upload. That’s getting into 4G speeds!

In comparison, my Verizon aircard that works on 3G here normally gets me about 1 Mbps download if I’m lucky.

When I checked the WiFi speed this evening when more people were using it, I was showing about 2.5 Mbps download. Still very good.

Since not much happened today, and we’ve picked up a lot of new readers in the last few months, I thought I’d repost our visit to Crater Lake National Park last June.



Thought for the Day:

"You cant stay drunk all day unless you start very early"



Crater Lake . . .

Posted on June 14, 2011

Jan having gotten up earlier as usual, this morning started at 8:30 for me, since we were leaving at 9 for our daytrip down to Crater Lake National Park.

But our first stop was at the park entrance at Big Jim’s Coffee Wagon, a coffee and pastry kiosk that’s open everyday from 6:30 to 10:30 am, and gets a lot of business from outside the RV park, as well as park residents. Jan had a Hazelnut Hot Chocolate and a breakfast sandwich, and I had a Snickerdoodle Latte and a bagel w/cream cheese. Both very, very good. We’ll go back.

Big Jim's Coffee Wagon

Then we were on the road heading about 100 miles south to Lobert Junction where we would pick up SR 62.

Along the way, we saw Mt. Scott which is right next to Crater Lake, and blocks it from our view.

Mt Scott

Right before we turned onto SR 62 we stopped for gas and a pit stop at the Crater Lake Junction Truck Stop, and then it was back on the road for the 35 mile trip up into the park.

We started out about 4000 feet, and by 4500 feet we were seeing snow.

Crater Snow 1

And more snow at 5000 feet

Crater Snow 2

And even more at 6000 feet.

Crater Snow 3

Then we see this. Oh, Boy!

Avalanche Zone

But finally at about 7200 feet we pulled into Rim Village, and seeing a lot of people on top of a hill taking pictures, we decided to join them.

Crater Lake Hill

And this is what we saw! Be sure and click on this panoramic photo to see it full size. Be sure and use the slider bar at the bottom to see it all.

If ever a view was breathtaking.

Crater Lake Panorama

Crater Lake is 6 miles across and 1949 feet deep, and from where we were standing on the rim, it’s 900 feet to the water.

This ‘lump’ is Wizard Island, formed from lava eruptions after the volcano Mount Mazama exploded in 5700 B.C., and then collapsed into the crater we have today.

Wizard Island

Here’s an Internet photo showing it from a better angle.


And this Internet aerial view gives a better perspective of the entire crater.


The water in the crater, formed from snow melt over thousands of years, is some of the purest in the world, and really acts like a mirror.

Crater Lake Mirror

Since it still goes down into the low 20’s here at night, you can see a sheen of ice around the edges of the lake.

Crater Lake Ice

And here’s my Sweetie, showing up the view.

Crater Lake Jan

While we were at Rim Village we checked out the gift shop and café. The first thing we notice were these ‘snow tunnel’ entrances leading out to the street.

Snow Tunnel 1

And it’s really a long hallway leading into the building. It turns out that these are done this way so you can get into the building when there is 30 to 40 feet of snow covering up everything. Crater Lake gets a average of 44 feet (FEET!) of snow a year, and this way the snow plows can clear the entrance right along the edge of the road, so you can get inside the building.

Snow Tunnel 2

Even the outside restrooms are done the same way.

Crater Lake Restrooms

A little after 1pm we drove about half a mile along the rim to the Crater Lake Lodge to have lunch.

Crater Lake Lodge

Originally built somewhat shoddily in 1915, it had deteriorated to such an extent that in 1989 it was condemned, torn down, and rebuilt from scratch, with only the Great Hall being saved. And they did a beautiful job.

Jan and I had great Reuben Sandwiches in the dining room,

Crater Lake Lodge Dining Rm

and then went outside to take in another great view of the lake from the lodge porch.

Crater Lake Lodge View

We even had a Steller’s Jay taking in the view with us.

Stellar Jay

All during the day, we kept bumping into this group of motorcyclists, who asked me to take their picture with their camera. So the last time I saw them I took a picture with mine.

Motorcycle Gang

If it had been a little later in the year, we could have taken the 31 mile loop drive around the crater. And we could have also come in the north entrance and saved ourselves about 100 miles. But the loop is still snowed in.

It takes 10 men working for 4 months starting in April to clear the loop. They can do about 1/4 mile a day to clear 30 feet of snow from a roadway 30 feet wide. That means they’re moving over 1 million cubic feet of snow a day. That’s over 25 million pounds. A DAY!

After getting our National Park Passport stamped, we headed back toward home, after having a great day.And then to top it off, after coming through the tiny town of Fort Klamath on SR62, we had probably our last view of Mt. Shasta, about 90 miles away. What a sight!

Mt Shasta from Crater Lake Rd

We got home about 6 pm, after a 9 hour trip of about 275 miles. A long, but really nice day.

Tomorrow, who knows?

But I know I’m sleeping later.


Thought for the Day:

“Whether to shoot someone once is a moral, ethical, and legal question. How many times to shoot them, well, that is a tactical question.”

Early to bed, . . .

Jan woke up about 4:30 am and couldn’t get back to sleep so she came out to the living room to read for a while and was still out there when the sun came up, so she went outside and got these great photos.

Galveston Bay Sunrise 1

Galveston Bay Sunrise 2


This is a close-up shot of some of the refineries and chemical plants down in Texas City.

Galveston Bay Sunrise 3

After the sunrise photos Jan went back to sleep for a while before I got up at 10, and then about 11 we headed up to Clear Lake for lunch and some errands.

Our first stop was the park office so I could pay for our site for the first month. We had to wait to see where we ended up before they knew how much to charge us. But no one was in the office so we’ll try later.

Our lunch stop was at King Food, pretty much our all-time favorite Chinese place. And apparently it’s not just our opinion.

By a mystery diner visit, they were recently selected as one of the Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in the US.

King Food Award

After our favorite Chicken in Hot Garlic Sauce, Extra Extra Extra Spicy with added Jalapenos, our next stop was our storeroom.

We wanted to pick up Jan’s bird feeder and check out our Christmas decoration situation. It’s amazing how much stuff we still have in storage. Of course a lot of it is my son and his families’, so it’s not all my fault.

Next stop was to drop Jan off a at nail place to get her toesies done while I headed over to a client’s office. Looks like it’s about time to upgrade his computers, since they’re 3 years old and starting to have problems.

Picking up Jan and heading toward home, we stopped off at Buc-ee’s for coffee/cappuccinos and then Wal-Mart for some Christmas lights to wrap around the wicker ball we bought yesterday. I got two sets but it may take another set to completely cover the ball.

Coming back to the park I made another run past the office, once again with no luck. I don’t think they want my money.

Back at the rig, I set up the bird feeder and Jan filled it up with birdseed, and also threw out some old bread for the seagulls.

Later, a little before 5 we headed out for supper at the Monterey’s Little Mexico over in Dickinson. On the way out of the park, I tried the office again and lucked out this time. I’m now paid up until the 20th of December. For some reason I had to pay a $100 deposit. Don’t know why, I’ve never had to before.


Thought for the Day:

"Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others." – Robert Louis Stevenson


A Big Winner . . .

We decided to have breakfast out this morning so about 10 we headed up to Seabrook to the IHOP. As usual for a Sunday morning, we had a 20 minute wait before we got seated.

After breakfast we went next door the Home Depot to look at their Christmas ornaments. Jan was looking for some that might be Landon-proof for him to hang on the tree.

Next we stopped by Michael’s Craft’s in Webster to get a large wicker ball to wrap with LED lights to make a large ornament for the rig.

Wicker Ball

After Michael’s we headed over to Brandi’s for the afternoon. They just got back last night from their Thanksgiving in Oklahoma with Lowell’s parents.

And apparently Christmas came early this year for Lowell.

Slot Winnings

After winning over $700 at the slots, a little later he won an additional $3230.

A very nice Christmas indeed! And this is not the first time he’s won like this.

Jan, Brandi, Landon, and Lowell’s sister Sherry were going shopping while Lowell and I held down the fort (i.e. watched football).

Landon at Home

They came back several hours later with a lot of new clothes for Master Landon

A little later we headed home with a stop by Kroger’s for some lottery tickets. Maybe Lowell’s luck will rub off on me. Jan says she wants to take him with her the next time she plays Bingo.

Getting back to the park about sundown, the tide was out and with the offshore wind, the bayou was pretty empty with a lot mudflats showing.

Galveston Bay Mudflat Sunset 1

Galveston Bay Mudflat Sunset 2

Still a pretty view.


Thought for the Day:

"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning."


Moving Day . . .

After our coffee and a quick drive past the site to be sure no one had come in and parked there overnight, we moved the rig a little before 11 and got settled in at our new home.

Hooking up backwards wasn’t as much a problem as I anticipated. I had thought I might need another length of sewer hose, but as it turns out my two pieces were just enough.

Power was no problem since whoever originally purchased our coach ordered the extra-long power cord, and that’s been a big help several times.

As it turns out, the only problem was with the water connection. The previous tenant had left one of those silver 2-way hose connectors like this.

Hose Splitter

The problem was the threads on both sides were so messed up that I couldn’t connect my hose to it. And worse, I couldn’t get the splitter off, either. It was stuck good.

The pipe is PVC and when I tried to use a wrench to twist it off, the PVC started to bend. Just what I want to do – break off the pipe.

My solution was to call the park office and let them fix it. We’ll just stay on internal water till they get it fixed.

Here’s a couple of views out our front window. As you can see we’re only about 20 feet from the water.

By the time we got parked the thunderstorms were rolling in and the formerly blue skies were turning gray and dreary.

Galveston Bay 77-1


This shot shows Jan’s favorite island. A lot of birds make this area home and it’s one of her favorite sights.

Galveston Bay 77-2


After we got settled in, a little after 12,  we headed up to Seabrook to have lunch at Hooters, our (my) favorite hot-wing place. Really like their XXX hotter sauce.

After lunch our next stop was Wal-Mart for a few things. It looks like the Black Friday madness has subsided to a dull roar. They were busy, but not overly so. We didn’t even have to wait in line to check out.

Coming back into the park, we saw our newest resident, a Roseate Spoonbill, hanging around with a paddling of wild ducks.

Spoonbill 2

When we first saw it a few days ago, it was resting on the bank, facing away from us, and we thought it was a Flamingo. But these shots proved different.

It was still pretty cloudy, so he looks a little colorless, but in the bright sun, the pink really stands out. A beautiful bird.

I’ll try to get some better shots later.

Spoonbill 1


We still haven’t seen the Great Blue Heron that was here our past three winters. Hope he’s OK.

Great Blue Heron

Getting back to the rig about 2, the rainy weather made a perfect setting for very nice nap. The rain on the roof of the rig made it very easy to fall asleep.

Supper was leftovers of Mexican and BBQ with cookies for dessert. Nice and simple.

Our friend Nick Russell called about 7:30 to bring us up to day on his latest misadventures. And believe me, Nick attracts misadventures like nobody else.

Tomorrow I want to dig out my truck manual and see what I can do about the broken window lifter.

If the weather cooperates, that is.


Thought for the Day:

I’m working on my second million . . . I gave up on the first.


Almost Home . . .

Once again I was up about 9am since we were suppose to move this morning , , , maybe. So about 10 I headed over to the office, with a detour by the site where we supposed to move today.

But as you can see it was still occupied

Galveston Bay 77

So I checked in with the office and they had no news except that the 5er was supposed to leave today.

We’ll see.

Since we couldn’t move yet, about 11 I headed off to see a client. I’m still working my way through all their computers, cleaning and tiding them up, doing updates on the OS and programs, and clean out the gunk.

About 3:30 the RV park called and said we could move anytime as the site was now empty. I told them we’d move tomorrow since I wasn’t at the park and they said no problem.

I headed back to the rig about 4, stopping by the newly vacated site to check out our view-to-be.

Looks pretty good.

Galveston Bay 76

The only downside is that since the site is set up for a 5th wheel, if we want to have our windshield looking out over the bay, (and isn’t that the whole point of parking on the water?) I’ll have to cross-connect the utilities under the rig.

No problem, but I’ll probably have to buy another length of sewer hose.

Jan and I then headed back up to Seabrook to have dinner at Chili’s, with Jan having the Baby Back Ribs, and I had my usual Grilled Chicken Caribbean Salad.

I’ve been eating this salad for years, but in 2008 they discontinued it. And we stopped eating at Chili’s for two years. When we finally went back it was back on the menu. The waitress said they’d had a lot of complaints and requests for it, so I guess our boycott worked.

We’ll probably try to move about 11 tomorrow, but it depends on the weather since we’re supposed to have heavy thunderstorms tomorrow. Just what you want on a moving day.


Thought for the Day;

"Democracies have been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death." – James Madison


Happy Thanksgiving . . .

I was up about 9 this morning because I had a couple of chores before we head out for our Thanksgiving feast.

My first chore was to empty the backseat of the truck because we need to go by and pick up Lowell’s sister, Sherry since she’s going to be having dinner with us today. I also wanted to remove the ball hitch from the rig and reinstall our Blue Ox tow bar system.

Next I dug through the bins and found my 100ft tape measure so I could measure the two possible sites that might be available tomorrow.

While I was working outside the rig, Kathy Brophey stopped by to say HI. She and her husband Dennis have been here at Galveston Bay RV Park since this past Monday. They’ve been reading our blog for several months, and after reading about our time here, decided to stay for a month and check out the area. We’re going to get together for dinner sometime next week.

After finding the tape measure, I drove over to the other two sites we may move to tomorrow to check them out.  And it’s going to be a tight fit.

The site that’s empty right now, site 76, is only about 34 feet long. If we could put our tires right at the end, we could fit with the overhang, but there’s a tree in the way so that won’t work,

Site 77, the one we were supposed to move into tomorrow, is still occupied. We were told they were there to move it several days ago, but couldn’t get their slides in. It’s on a curve, and is 46 feet on one side and 39 on the other, so we’d fit, especially with the overhang.

I guess we’ll find out more tomorrow when the office opens.

About 10:45 we headed up to Brandi’s to pick up Sherry, and then back down I-45 to La Brisa where we were meeting Chris, Linda, and Piper for the Thanksgiving buffet.

Everything was good, except the dressing. Readers will remember that Jan’s pretty adamant that if it ain’t cornbread, it ain’t dressing. And this was just those little cubes of white bread with some spices and chopped celery and onions and stuff. Yuck!

But everything else was delicious. And along with the usual traditional Thanksgiving dishes, being a Mexican restaurant, they did have some Mexican dishes too. Tamales, great cheese enchiladas, carnitas, refried beans, etc.

All in all, a great meal. Certainly a possibility for next year.

Saying our goodbyes, and dropping Sherry off, we headed home via King Food, hoping to get some Hot & Sour Soup to take home to go with our King Food leftovers from Sunday night, which was going to be supper tonight.

But they were closed. Bummer.

After calling Nick and Terry to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving, it was time for one of those full-of-turkey Thanksgiving naps. My head hit the pillow and I was gone for about two hours. Nice.

About 5:30 Brandi called from Oklahoma to check in and double-check we got all the photos they sent.

Then about 7:30 Jan heated up our leftover Chinese supper for a great supper.

Brandi and Lowell sent this Landon pics down from Oklahoma.

Landon and Dad


After getting some driving lessons from Dad,

Landon on Tractor 1

it looks like he’s ready to take off on his own.

Landon on Tractor 2


And this is what happens when you eat entirely too much turkey. Just too full to move.

Landon with Stuffed Belly


Landon invents a new sport: Cooler Riding. ‘Faster, Grandma!”

Landon Cooler Riding


And of course, he still enjoys merry-go-round riding with Mom.

Landon and Brandi on Merry Go Round


Thought for the Day:

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” – Thomas Jefferson


Turkey Day Eve . . .

Waking up to a cool morning, hot coffee was a big hit, with a later lunch of leftover Sonny’s BBQ from last week with a little of the delicious Creamed Corn from Rudy’s BBQ last night.

Jan doesn’t like corn, but she loves Rudy’s Creamed Corn.

About 1 I headed out on some errands, and another client visit.

My first stop was EPO, a great local electronics parts place that I’ve been going to since we moved here in 1978. I needed some heavy-duty ‘F’ connectors and they had exactly what I needed.

Then it was Sam’s Club for some Joint Juice. They were really, really busy with the whole parking lot full. I can imagine what it’s going to look like on Friday. I certainly won’t be there.

Then it was back to my client’s for a couple of hours. On the way home our daughter Brandi called to say that they’ve made it to Oklahoma OK. They left about 7pm last night for the 7 hour drive, and Landon slept the entire way.

Getting home about 5 pm, we turned right around and headed back up SR146 to La Brisa, another great local Mexican place, and even better, it’s close by. And they have really good Chicken Tortilla Soup.

And actually, we’re having Thanksgiving dinner at the La Brisa over on I-45 in League City tomorrow. But rather than Mexican, It’s a traditional Thanksgiving buffet with all the trimmings. It’s be our first time for their Thanksgiving buffet, but they do a great job on their Saturday and Sunday morning breakfast buffet, so it should be good.


Thought for the Day:

“Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” – John Adams: letter to John Taylor, April 15, 1814


4 Wheel Drive No More . . .

Our morning started off with a move from site 72 where we’d been since Sunday night, to site 4 over in front of the office. Since we were only going about 100 yards, we didn’t have to pack things away as much as normal, and we had no problems at all.

We can move into the waterfront site this Friday if we want, and then move again on Dec 10th to a better site. But we’ve been burned before when we waited and waited to someone to leave, and they kept re-upping.

So we’ll have to decide what we’re going to do.

About 12:30 I headed out to check in with one of my long-time clients. They’ve got 5 computers that need cleaning and updating, and some problems with a home entertainment system that I need to sort out. So this will keep me busy for several weeks.

Brock’s Automotive had called earlier and said my truck was done, so about 3:30 I headed over there to settle up with them, and then Jan and I will pick it up later this evening.

As it turns my previously 4 wheel drive truck is now a 2 wheel drive truck. The damage to the front transaxle was more extensive than thought. It wasn’t just one axle bracket that had broken, but the transaxle case mounts had snapped off which is why the whole thing had dropped down on the skid plate. In fact, if the skid plate hadn’t been there, it probably would have fallen to the pavement.

When I first talked to Brock’s I mentioned the idea that, since the truck is 7 years old and has 178, 000 miles on it, with another 47,000 miles being towed, I really didn’t want to put several thousand dollars into it to fix this. So I ask them about the possibility of just disconnecting the two drive shafts, leaving me with just 2 wheel drive. As it is the last time we used 4 wheel drive was in a snowstorm driving from Billings MT to Sturgis SD in 2008, so I don’t think we would miss it.

And once the full scope of the damage was found, it was obvious that the entire transaxle/driveshaft assembly would have to be replaced. When Brock’s started checking around they found that a used one was $800 – $1000, and a new one was $3200 #$%#@# dollars. With another $1000 or so for labor.

No way! (I would have put ‘Jose’ in there, but you never know what’s not politically correct anymore)

So for $375, they removed the transaxle and driveshaft assembly, and threw in an oil and filter change. You can’t beat that.

Still driving Lowell’s truck, I headed back to the rig, stopping off to fill it up with gas, before picking Jan up and heading back up to Clear Lake.

Our first stop was Rudy’s BBQ on I-45 in Webster. We’ve always enjoyed eating at Rudy’s in the Austin area, and while we were gone this year, they built one here.

Next, we stopped by Brock’s to pick up our truck while Jan drove Lowell’s truck back to Brandi’s with me following in ours.

Brandi, Lowell, and Landon are heading up to Oklahoma tonight to spend Thanksgiving with Lowell’s parents, so we said our goodbyes and then headed down to La Marque so Jan could meet our friend Maria and play bingo.

I then ran some errands and was back down to La Marque to pick her up at 10 pm.

Unfortunately she didn’t win anything this time. Maybe next time.


Thought for the Day:

“When faced with a problem you do not understand, do any part of it you do understand; then look at it again.” – Robert A. Heinlein


Musical Chairs . . . er . . . Sites . . .

I woke up at 7 am this morning to call Brock’s Automotive and explain why there was a strange truck on a trailer in their parking lot. And that I would be in later to take care of it.

Then I went back to sleep.

We headed out about 10:30 for a day of errands. And our first stop was at the park office to see if we could stay where we were, or not.

Apparently it’s, “or not.”

There is someone coming into this site tomorrow so we’ll have to move over to site 4 in the center area in front of the office. Then as soon as it’s open, we’ll move into in site 77.

Site 77 is on the water, and about halfway between our two past sites, 80 and 73. But it has two problems.

This site is configured for a 5th wheel as a back-in, so if we want to have our windshield facing the water, I’ll have to run our hookups underneath the rig. Not a big problem, but I’ll probably have to buy another section of sewer hose.

The real problem is that the site may be too short. It looks like that if we park far enough back so that we’re not sticking out in the street, my wheels will be at the edge of the concrete pad and my levelers will be on the grass. Not good.

I’ve got a 100 ft tape measure in one of the bays so I may dig it out and measure the site and see.

Otherwise we could wait until December 10th when we could move into site 81, right next to where we were parked the first two years.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Our next stop was lunch at Monterey’s Little Mexico, one of our favorite local Mexican places. After a few months on the road we start to crave their Chicken Tortilla Soup. We’ve had good Tortilla Soup other places, but none quite measures up to Monterey’s.

Then we headed up to Brock’s Automotive to take care of the truck and the trailer. I got the truck off the trailer and turned in to Brock’s and then hooked up the trailer to the Toyota Tundra we’re borrowing from our son-in-law Lowell, and then headed back past the U-Haul place and on to the RV park.

As it turns out, I realized that I had left the U-Haul paperwork back in the rig, so we had to go back to the park to get it before we could turn the trailer in. After that was done we headed home for the afternoon.

After a nice nap, Jan and I met our son Chris, and his wife Linda, at Tookies, a fabled local hamburger place where we’ve been eating since we moved to Houston in 1978. However it was badly damaged by Hurricane Ike in 2008 while we were in Alaska, and it never reopened.


But it was purchased by a new owner, refurbished, and reopened this past July. And we found it certainly lived up to its past reputation.

Tookie's Double-Meat Burger

Their Double-Meat Burgers are a full pound of hand-formed lean ground beef, loaded with your choice of goodies, like bacon ground in with the beef, burgers soaked in wine, covered with jalapenos, mushrooms, cheese, onions, picante sauce, BBQ sauce, or chili.

Your choice of artery-clogging, heart-stopping, stomach-filling meaty goodness.

Tookie’s is back!

On another note, we traveled 9,924 miles this year, for a total of 47,455 since we picked up the coach January 6th, 2008. We traveled more the first two years since we went to Alaska in 2008, and Newfoundland in 2009.

And since the coach had 62511 miles on it when we bought it, we’ve now got 109,966 total miles on the coach.

So far, so good.


Thought for the Day:

“I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.” – Oscar Wilde


Back in Texas . . .

We were up about 7:30 for our last day on the road for several months. After Wally-Docking in Breaux Bridge, LA we had a 225 mile run back to our winter site at Galveston Bay RV Park in Dickinson, TX.

I started the generator to make coffee, and while Jan microwaved our breakfast sandwiches, I went outside to put some air in my slightly-leaky tire. Normally I wouldn’t have bothered since it wasn’t down that much, but since I had an extra 750 pounds on the rear tires due to the weight of the trailer, I didn’t want to take any chances.

We pulled out of the Wal-Mart about 9 am and headed west on I-10.

After a smooth trip we pulled into the parking lot  of Brocks Automotive about 2 pm. Brock’s have been my mechanics for about 20 years, so I wanted them to take a look at it. They’re not open on the weekends, so we just parked the trailer with the truck still on it in their lot. I’ll call them tomorrow morning and let them know.

About 2:30, Brandi, Lowell, and Landon showed up to meet us. They’re loaning us Lowell’s truck for a few days, while we’re having ours fixed, so they were dropping it off.

After getting in our hugs with Landon, we headed down to our park, but our first stop was at a Buc-ee’s on SR 96. Having seen diesel prices as high as $4.04 in Louisiana, I was very happy to find it here for $3.65, the lowest I’ve seen for a good while. And I’ve seen Unleaded here for as low as $2.99.

It’s great to be back in Texas!

I put in 130 gallons, having traveled 1071 miles since we last filled up 10 days ago on November 10th in Bowling Green, KY. But we actually only used about 120 gallons for traveling. The rest was for about 10 hours of generator time.

This means that on this last tank I’ve average a little over 8.9 mpg. Not bad. Driving 55 mph really works.

One thing that surprised me over the last two days is that pulling the extra 2200 pounds of the car trailer, I was still able to get almost 9.2 mpg on the flat terrain between Gulf Shores and here.

We got to the park a little before 4 pm, and trying to pull into the site we had been given over a month ago, only to find a 5th wheel already parked there. And it looks like they had been there a while.

Making a quick loop around this section, I found site 72 open, and on the bayou side as we had really wanted anyway. And it’s right next door to where we were parked last year.

So I took the empty site. After all, someone took my site, so I get to take someone else’s.

Right? Isn’t that the way it works?

Since the park office isn’t open on Sunday, I’ll have to hash it out tomorrow.

We did a quick and dirty setup, just power and satellite, since we were meeting some of the kids at King Food, our all-time favorite Chinese restaurant. We met Brandi, Lowell, and of course, Landon there, along with our other grandchild, our granddaughter Piper.

Here’s Landon finding out he really likes Lo Mein and Pan Fried Crispy Noodles. He would put the end of the noodle in his mouth and then suck it in just like spaghetti.

Landon at King Food 1

Landon at King Food 2

We had a great time seeing everyone again, and tomorrow we’ll have dinner with Piper’s parents, our son Chris and our daughter-in-law Linda who couldn’t make it tonight.

More fun!


Thought for the Day:

“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” – George Orwell