Friday, April 3, 2009

What a difference a day makes – this morning we woke up to bright sunshine and no wind but the temperature was only 38F, pretty darn cold but it did warm up to about 72F by this afternoon.

We had a nice drive from Lampasas to Onalaska which is on Lake Livingston, it was mainly 2 lane highways but the roads in Texas are very good so 2 lanes aren’t a problem as there is always wide shoulders. Today we went from the Hill Country to the Piney Forest, as per the name there are lots of pine trees. We also saw many clumps of wild flowers along the side of the road – they are so pretty. I tried to take a couple of pictures but they were too blurry so just trashed them.

We are now booked into Northshore RV Park right on the shore of Lake Livingston and what a nice park this is, cement pads, full hook ups, good wi-fi and all for $98.20 for four nights – sure can’t beat that price. The previous 2 nights we paid $54 for nowhere near as nice a place but, when on the road, you have to take what is available!! There appear to be quite a few seasonal trailers here but they are all new and seem to be well kept and no junk all over so the park looks nice and so far it is very quiet. Here are a couple of pictures I took of the park, our trailer and the view.

We are looking forward to exploring the area, we just hope the nice weather continues.

As always, today was another great gift of a day in the sunny, but very windy, south and we look forward to another good day tomorrow.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I had trouble sleeping last night so the last time I looked at the clock it was 2 a.m. and sometime after that I awoke to the sound of heavy rain and thunder – not my favourite sound in the middle of the night!!

This morning when we got up it was sunny but the wind was HOWLING and BLOWING like you wouldn’t believe, not pretty!! We debated about leaving and kept procrastinating but about 9:30 John went out to get ready to go and once outside he realized how bad it really was so we finally decided to just stay put for the day. While he went over to the office to pay for another night I called the park at Livingston Lake and told them we wouldn’t arrive until Friday. The couple beside us decided to leave about 10 and we wonder how far they got as shortly after they left a couple of motor homes came in and the one that took the spot beside us said he had been on the road for ½ hour and that was enough for him, this made us really glad we had decided to stay put for the day.

About 11 we headed out to find Wal Mart and HEB (HEB is the major grocery store in Texas) and a gas station. We found HEB and picked up some groceries there, went to Valero and fed the truck at a price of $2.099/gal. for diesel then to Subway for lunch. From there we went to Wal Mart and then home where I loaded up the laundry and headed to the laundromat.

The laundromat here in the park was really nice and I had it to myself and bonus, it was attached to the rec hall which was really nice and they had a nice lounge with very comfortable chairs so I settled in there while the washing was doing – tough!

While I was gone John oiled the hitch and did more work on securing the awning and then when I got back he got us hooked up so we are pretty well ready to go in the morning.

This morning I put spagetti sauce in the slow cooker so tonight was a comfort food night. Now it is time for a bit of TV or reading and we are hoping tomorrow will be a much quieter day weather wise. I think the high was around 69F today but the wind was cold so it certainly didn’t feel anywhere near that!

As always, today was another great gift of a day in the sunny, but very windy, south and we look forward to another good day tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fool’s Day, how many of you got fooled!! We woke up this morning to sunshine but the wind was still a-blowing, sure do hate these Texas winds, especially when driving – it’s not bad if it is a tail wind but any other wind is not pretty!

Last night there were a couple of dogs who barked half the night, I could have gladly strangled them and have to wonder where their owner were, I can’t imagine they could sleep through the noise.

Our route today was to take I-20 east to Abilene then head south/west from there, well on I-20 we were being hit with strong cross winds as the wind was right out of the south and for some reason after about an hour I happened to look back at the awning – oh shh----t, all I can see is blue fabric blowing in the wind, not a nice sight at all. John pulled over right away and we determined that fortunately I had seen it before any damage was done but the trick was to pull it out and rewind it, not about to happen where we were sitting with the wind hitting us broadside. As luck would have it we were right at an exit so got off onto the frontage road (fortunately this happened in the middle of nowhere!) and fortunately there was an underpass under the interstate so John was able to get in there and stop and we got the awning re-rolled. Now, how to stop it from happening again, this is the second time we have had this happen in strong cross winds and we aren’t very happy with Mr. Zip Dee as on all our older trailers the awning had a lock on it so the wind couldn’t get under it and start it unrolling but the newer ones don’t have this locking mechanism, guess it is part of their cost cutting program. Anyways, we went slowly down the frontage road till we came to a small town with a Dollar Store (that was about all they had!) so John was able to get a roll of duct tape and tape down the end of the awning so hopefully the wind couldn’t catch it again.

The duct tape worked and we had no further problems with the awning but did have high winds most of the day. On I-20 we passed miles and miles of wind farms, sure was a good day for them with all the wind!!

You can see the dust in this picture

At Abilene we picked up some good highways that took us south/west to Lampasas where we are at the Boone RV Park for the night.

We are now in hill country and it was a pretty drive for the last couple of hours, this is one part of Texas we really like but figure we should check out other areas also.

When we stopped today I called a park at Lake Livingston and made reservations from tomorrow through Tuesday, it looks like a nice park and is another new area of Texas for us to explore, just hope we get decent weather and no bad storms.

We are looking forward to settling down for a few day – five days of travel is enough at a stretch!!

As always, today was another great gift of a day in the sunny south, even though it was a bit stressful, but we look forward to another good day tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Today is our son Mike’s birthday, again hope it was a good one Mike!!
Today we did exactly the same mileage as yesterday, 502 km (312 miles) and it was another good drive plus we didn’t have the winds of yesterday and Sunday afternoon. Actually, John did our mileage for yesterday and it was 16.4 miles/gal so we won’t complain about the tail wind, and that is actually figuring out the mileage rather than just doing the truck reading.

Today was all back roads and the drive over the mountain from Alamogordo to Cloudcroft was really pretty, a bit slow because of the hump over the mountain and the twisty, turny road, but once we cleared Cloudcroft it was clear sailing with good roads and very little traffic.

Tunnel Through the Mountain

After Artesia, NM we were on new territory for us and it was an interesting drive as after Artesia it was all oil land – over a hundred miles of nothing but oil rigs and transformer stations feeding the rigs. Then we were into farming country and it appears that most of it is cotton, as we passed about four cotton gins. There were some areas with cattle and all the way to Big Spring, TX there were oil drilling rigs but they had thinned out a bit from what we had seen earlier.

Just outside of Hobbs, NM we went through about 2 miles of land that was totally burned and it must have been quite recent as we could still smell the smoke, pretty devastating looking!

Burned Out Area

Entering Texas

Just as we got to Big Sprig we saw a huge wind farm on the horizon so guess they are harnessing the wind in this area, it is nice to see them taking advantage of the wind rather than using irreplaceable resources.

Today we lost another hour in time, yesterday we lost an hour as New Mexico is on Mountain Time the same as Arizona, but NM does daylight saving time so we lost an hour as soon as we came into NM and today when we came into Texas we went on Central time, thank goodness that is the last time change until we are almost home as 2 hours in 2 days is hard on the system. The one bonus though is that we are now only an hour difference from home instead of three hours.

Tonight we are at Whip In RV Park at Big Spring, not a great place but at under $20/night we can handle it for one night. I am not sure of our destination for tomorrow, that is my next job to figure it out so you will have to come back tomorrow to see what our day was like and where we got to.

As always, today was another great gift of a day in the sunny south and we look forward to another good day tomorrow.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sunday was the day we left Yuma, sitting for four months is too long and we hope to do more traveling and less sitting next winter!! We were on the road by 10 a.m. and had a good, uneventful drive to Benson. The traffic through Tucson was really light – bonus!! We arrived at Cochise Terrace about 3:30 and to our dismay all their pull throughs were taken, wow, I didn’t expect this at this time of year.

When we got out of the truck we just about got blown away and when we went in the lady in the office said people were getting off the road because of the wind and that was why they had no pull throughs left, but not to worry, they had a site we could back into and not have to unhitch – perfect! The wind was brutal but it was a tail wind for us today so we hadn’t worried about it! Anyways, they put us in a site where we didn’t have to unhitch so we were happy and got all set up. John managed to barbecue but it was a challenge. Just after we got set up a couple stopped by to see where we were from, turns out they are from Niagara Falls, ON and had spent the winter at Cochise Terrace.

This morning just as we were getting ready to leave two women stopped and asked John if they could see our trailer as one thought they had had one like it (only smaller) years ago. Had a nice chat with them, one of the ladies was from just outside Port Huron so knew Sarnia well, a small world.

Today the wind was really brutal, but again it was a tail wind for us so not a problem, in fact we got really good mileage today so we were happy. The drive was great again with not a lot of traffic, the kind of driving day we like! The only time we got hit with the wind was coming down after crossing the mountains east of Las Cruses, we got the wind hitting us from the side and it was brutal, we were really glad we only had a couple of minutes of that!

I Love These Rock Formations Around Wilcox, AZ

Entering New Mexico - Goodbye Arizona!

White Sands West of Alamogordo, NM

Border Patrol Stop

We stopped at a park on the west side of Alamogordo, NM but it was $25 for a spot in the sand so decided to drive to the east side of town and check out a Passport America Park, turns out it was much nicer, the owners were really friendly and the price was right at $15/night – gotta like that. Passport America is funny, there are some really nice parks (like where we were last night), some nice parks (like tonight) and some really crummy parks, guess we just have to check them out to see what category they fall into – LOL! This park has Wi-Fi but it isn’t very strong here so I will wait a while and see if it gets better after most normal people have gone to bed!!

The temperature has really dropped – it was 59F when we stopped tonight so it will be interesting to see what kind of temperatures we get from here on, I don’t care about the temperatures so much, just keep the tornados away!!!

As always, the last two days have been great gifts here in the sunny south and we look forward to another good day tomorrow.