Saturday, February 28, 2009

More RV Looking

Georgetown, Texas

Weather: low 42 degrees, high 55 degrees, clear skies, windy

How windy was it? try up to 35 miles per hour. I don't think it would have been much fun moving the RV today. Luckily, we weren't moving, so we sat back and thought about a possible new RV.

When I went for my morning walk, the wind was blowing so hard that it actually pushed me off balance a few times. The park was about 75% full this morning, and by noon, at least half of the RVs and campers had given up and gone home. That's too bad for people who are still working. I'm sure they were looking forward to a peaceful weekend on the lake.

After we got going this morning, we went back to the RV dealerships that we had visited earlier this week. The first one we went back to had gotten a new model in they wanted us to see, but it did not move us. There was nothing about it that we liked. We talked to the salesman and his boss about our needs and desires, and they are going to keep their eyes open for something that might fit us.

The second dealership still had most of what we looked at earlier, but nothing new had come in. We talked with them a little about one we saw this past week, but that they had sold. Another one of the same model can be brought in for us to look at, but we would have to put down a refundable deposit for that to happen. We're not sure if we want to do that. I asked that pictures be sent to me, along with what the price would be with our trade in. We'll look over the pictures, specs, and prices to see what's best for us.

When we finished RV looking, we decided to take a drive in the country to clear our minds a little. We ended up in Taylor, a town of about 15,000 people located east of Georgetown. Taylor appears to be a nice town that is going through some growth. The town was settled by immigrants from Czechoslovakia, Germany, and Austria in 1876. It looks like the primary industry is ranching and farming. Some of the growth appears to be generated by people moving here from the Austin and Round Rock areas.

One reason we went in the direction we did was that we wanted to find a couple of Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds located on Granger Lake. The lake is over 4,000 acres in size, and was stocked with catfish, white bass, and crappie. After a little bumbling around, we found the campgrounds, and both of them appear to be places we will want to spend some time. The closest town is about eight miles away, but that's not a problem for us. As long as we have a cell phone signal and some shopping is available within a reasonable distance, we're good to go.

Tonight, we went to a local bar-b-que restaurant to try their food. We like the Texas style of bar-b-que, and are always looking for the best. The one we went to tonight was Duke's Smokehouse, located just off I-35 in Georgetown. Both of us had the brisket and sausage plates, along with the sides and trimmings. The food was good, and the price was reasonable. Plus, we have enough leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Or maybe supper.

The temperature is forecast to get down to 32 degrees tonight. It seems hardly possible, when we had highs in the low 90s yesterday. Carolyn's loving this cool weather.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Taylor, Texas: More To Life… More To Like

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Lost Looking For The WalMart Mall

Georgetown, Texas

Weather: low 67 degrees, high 90 degrees, cloudy early, then clear skies, windy

90 degrees??? Already??? Is global warming finally kicking in? I don't think so, because we have seen these warmer temperatures this early in the year in Texas before. Besides, tonight the temperature is forecast to be in the 40s, and in the 60s tomorrow. More seasonable, and making Carolyn happy because she likes cold weather. Not that the 40s would be considered cold, but she'll take what she can get.

We looked over the invoices and spec sheets for the RVs we looked at yesterday. We're still pruning the list, looking at the features each offers. Tomorrow, we will go back to the dealers we visited yesterday and look again, now that we have more information.

We spent a good part of the day taking care of house keeping chores and minor repairs that we have to do from time to time. In the afternoon, I had to go to the WalMart Mall to pick up a few things, and what an adventure that was. According to the WalMart atlas we have, the local WalMart Mall is located at exit 261, which is not very far from our campground. I thought that a WalMart Mall shouldn't be that hard to find, so I didn't ask anyone how to get there. It's that manly thing. We don't need no stinking directions. Just get out of the way and let us get at it.

After wasting what seemed like an hour and burning half a tank of fuel (not really), common sense kicked in. I stopped at a Dairy Queen and asked a worker where the WalMart Mall was located. He gave me directions, including the fact that it was not marked and was located behind a Home Depot. Armed with the directions that had the secret code word included, I finally managed to find Wally World. Talk about hiding something. At least it was hidden from me. The parking lot was full. If the entrances were marked, they probably couldn't have handled all the business.

Tonight, I was outside for a little while, and noticed the moon and a bright star (which was it, Mars or Venus?) very close together. I took a picture, but my zoom was not strong enough to capture what I saw. In addition, there was a slight haze that affected the quality of the picture. Here's what I was able to capture.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - West, Texas: Home Of Scott Podsednik Of The Chicago White Sox

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Looking At RVs

Georgetown, Texas

Weather: low 65 degrees, high 84 degrees, clear skies, windy

We had a leisurely morning, not getting out until after 1100 hours. When we finally ventured out, we decided to check out some of the local RV dealerships. When we walked in the door of the first one, I told the receptionist that we wanted to look at their fifth wheels. She said she would call a salesman to show us around. At that point, I started thinking that we had stopped at a high pressure type of place, and we don't play that game. I told the lady we didn't need any help, and we would not make a decision today. She told me that all their RVs were locked, and the salesman would have to let us in. So, when the salesman came, I explained what we were doing, and even if we found something we liked, a decision would probably not be made today. With that understanding, off we went to start looking.

There was only one thing wrong. No problem with the salesman, he was not pushy at all. The problem was that the dealership did not have anything that would fit our needs. We are seeing this more and more, where dealers are keeping their inventory as low as possible so their costs are kept down. After we talked with the salesman a little, he went to get us a list of manufacturers that have gone out of business. When he came back, he said the sales manager told him about a Jayco coming in on Saturday that might fit our needs. We made an appointment to go back on Saturday at 1000 hours to see the RV.

Next stop was about eight miles north of Georgetown at Jarrell. This dealer had several RVs that might fit our needs, and we looked at about ten of them. The list was narrowed down to three that we want to investigate further. We have the specs on those three, and have requested invoices so we can review what each RV has on it as far as equipment. Uppermost in our minds is to ensure that we don't buy something that is heavier than our truck is rated to pull. As I have said before, the truck will pull just about any RV, but if it is too heavy, there may be a problem with stopping. I don't want to run into that problem.

The search for another RV is looking more promising. We are not under any time pressure to find something, and will take as much time as necessary. More as this story develops.

By the time we finished looking at RVs, both of us were ready to go home for some well earned meditation. Tonight, we went to Chili's for supper. As much as I complain about chain restaurants, I have to say that I was satisfied with this particular restaurant. Service was excellent and the food was not bad. We may have to go there again before we leave here.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Georgetown, Texas: Gtown

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Moved To Georgetown, Texas

Georgetown, Texas

Weather: low 57 degrees in Marble Falls, high 83 degrees in Georgetown, partly to mostly cloudy skies

We left the Marble Falls area this morning, pulling out a few minutes after 1000 hours. We ended up in Georgetown, about 60 miles away. Tough pull.

We were looking for the Army Corps Of Engineers park located on Lake Georgetown, which was formed by the damming of the north fork of the San Gabriel River.

Here we are set up in our campsite. The park is the closest COE park to an urban area that we have been in, with a HEB grocery store located less than two miles away. In addition, we have 3G air card service, which is almost unheard of when staying in a COE park.

Finding the park was an adventure in itself. We missed the turn off Texas 29 to get onto I-35 so we could go north to FM 2338. After going about a mile out of the way, we were able to turn around and backtrack and get onto the interstate. Then, we missed the turnoff to FM 2338, going about eight miles too far north. Turning around, we bumbled our way to a convenience store, where I received directions to the campground. It was pretty easy once I knew where to go. Who needs a GPS system? And miss all this fun?

I've mentioned the severe drought the area is suffering from, and it is affecting the water level of the lake. As much as I like dry weather, I wish it would rain to help the area. I took this picture while taking a walk late in the afternoon.

The 60 mile drive plus a few miles of bumbling and drifting our way to the park tired us out, so we didn't get out in the area today. Tomorrow will be a different story. We're always looking forward to checking out a new area.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Bertram Texas: Home Of The Oatmeal Festival

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Diesel Fuel For $1.679 Per Gallon!

Marble Falls, Texas

Weather: low 50 degrees, high 78 degrees, clear skies, windy

We expect to move the RV to another location tomorrow. At this time, we are uncertain where that location will be. It may be that we pull out to the highway and flip a coin. We're not moving because we don't like the area or the park where we're parked now. To the contrary, we like everything we have seen about this area. The weather, people, scenery, even the cost of living are great. We just feel like it's time to find another place to set up and get to know the new area. We will definitely be back here in the future.

We returned to Burnet today to take another look at the court house, and I'm glad we did. The current court house was completed in 1937, and was built using the local pink granite. It is definitely not a pile of concrete. When the sun shines on the exterior, sparkles can be seen from the mica in the granite. It is very striking. The statue is of former county sheriff Wallace Riddell, who was the longest serving sheriff in Texas with more than 39 years of service.

Here's a picture of the inside of the court house. Note the design on the floor, and what appears to be either marble or granite on the walls.

On the north side of the court house grounds is located a memorial to the people who served our country in the military. I have never seen a memorial such as this, and it caught my attention. Numerous historical plaques and memorials are placed around the court house, remembering the history of the building and area.

On the way back to Marble Falls, we stopped at an RV dealership to see what they have available. In two words, not much. We only saw one that we would be even remotely interested in. One thing that turned me off was that the RV was built in March of 2008, and the salesperson was trying to tell that this was a 2009 model. That's a little hard for me to believe. An RV that's already a year old is a 2009 model? And the price she quoted does not reflect an RV that's a year old. She said she was willing to get the pencil out and see how much she could whittle off the price, but she should have done some of that already.

Since we plan to move tomorrow, we decided to fill up with diesel. Imagine our surprise to find diesel for $1.679 per gallon. The last time I saw diesel this low was in 2004.

When we arrived home, we washed our laundry and did a little cleaning and stowing in preparation for moving. Since we are moving more often now, getting ready to go doesn't take as long. Late in the evening, we noticed a commotion at the RV next door to us. It looked as though they were having problems getting a slide-out pulled back in. I walked over to see if I could help. It seems someone had stolen their battery. That's only the second time that I have heard of something being stolen in a park that we have been staying in.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Carthage, Texas: Gas Capital of The World

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fredericksburg, Texas

Marble Falls, Texas

Weather: low 37 degrees, high 64 degrees, mostly clear skies

We finished a trip today that we started last week. On the day that we toured the LBJ Ranch, we had planned to go to Fredericksburg, but were side tracked by the ranch and other things. So, today was on to Fredericksburg to see what that area is about and I have to say, there's a lot to it. History, shopping, eating, beautiful sights, wineries, museums, golf courses....... There's much more here than we could do in one day.

The population of the town is about 10,000, but it probably has many more people than that on weekends and in the summer. It was settled by Germans in 1846, and the German influence is seen in the architecture and food. Gillespie County, where the town is located, was one of the few counties in Texas that voted against secession before the Civil War.

When we got into town, we decided to drive through town and out the other side to get an idea of what was where. On the way back in, we stopped at the Amish furniture store and drooled over the beautiful and functional furniture. If we ever live in a house again, it would be nice to have some of this well-crafted furniture in it.

Then we walked down the street about a block to Chocolat, a candy store that specializes in handmade chocolate candy. As we walked in the store, we were offered a free sample of their liquid center chocolates, filled with wine, liqueur, coffee and other liquids. I tried the tawny port and Carolyn tried a coffee filled one. My sample was really good, but for some reason I couldn't talk the girl into giving me another one. That reminds me of a visit we made to a brandy distillery in Oregon. I'll tell that story sometime.

When we left the chocolate store, we drove some of the backstreets, admiring the old houses that have been preserved so well. Then it was out to the Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park, which contains ball fields, walking trails, a golf course, and an RV park, all owned by the city. It is located adjacent to the airport. Looks like we may have found another place to spend some time in the future.

When we got back into town, we stopped and looked at some of the stores and businesses located near the center of town. I'm always looking for a photo opportunity, so when we saw the old court house, out came the camera. The old building is now being used as the public library. Next to the old court house is the court house that was built to take it's place. Quite a contrast, isn't it?

Here's a picture of the old jail. I can't imagine that any time spent in a jail would be pleasant, but time in something like this must have been really hard time.

We were starting to get a little tired, so we started back toward home. Before we left the area, we stopped at The Wildflower Farm, which specializes in (you guessed it!) wild flowers. Unfortunately, it is still a little early for the flowers to be blooming, but we still enjoyed looking at all the neat things that can be bought for a home flower garden.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Llano, Texas: The Hub Of The Hill Country

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Vertigo Strikes

Marble Falls, Texas

Weather: low 27 degrees, high 60 degrees, clear skies

Our first plan for the day was to drive over to Fredericksburg. After thinking about that plan for a few minutes, we decided to go east of Marble Falls on FM 1431. We had not been east of town yet, and wanted to keep the drive fairly short. Little did we know what we were going into.

We thought we had been driving in the hill country before today. Now, we can say we have been in The Hill Country. The road runs through some of the prettiest country we have seen, with hills that seem to go on forever. These hills are high and rugged, with steep climbs and sudden drops, sharp curves, and beautiful views. At times, we could catch glimpses of Lake Travis to the south. We can understand why people are so enamored with the area, and we are planning to spend some time here in the future.

The first little town we passed through was Smithwick, then Lago Vista, Jonestown, and then in to Cedar Park. Both Lago Vista and Jonestown seem to have had a lot of construction recently. There's only one problem with all of this new construction we saw: Most of it is standing vacant. Another sign of the weak economy? This area is probably popular with summer tourists, with all the access to the water and hills. Cedar Park, where we began our trip back home, is a suburb of Austin with a population of about 40,000 people. There didn't seem to be any sign that a recession was happening here.

Remember what I said about the steep climbs, sudden drops, and sharp curves? Bad news for Carolyn. About halfway across the hills to Cedar Park, she became nauseated when her vertigo reared it's ugly head. Unfortunately, there was not a place to pull over and let things settle down, so we drove on to Cedar Park, where we looked at the map and picked a route back home that was flatter.

We didn't get any pictures of the countryside today, but I have one to share from yesterday. Here's a picture of an old Farmall tractor that we saw. Now, I ask you: Is this a manly tractor, or a girly tractor? According to someone who knows, it still runs, and is started and driven several times a year.

Here's what a Farmall tractor painted the right color looks like. Quite a difference, isn't it? I like the old machinery that brings back memories of times that seemed simpler. I am going to have to go back to Burnet to look at the courthouse again. In the comments from yesterday's post, a reader rightly pointed out that I got the description of the courthouse wrong, so I will go look more closely. Pictures will be shared when I get them. This shows what happens when I look at something with a preconceived idea of what it is.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Jonestown, Texas: Gateway To The Hill Country

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Burnet, Texas

Marble Falls, Texas

Weather: low 47 degrees, high 55 degrees, cloudy early, then clear skies, very windy

The wind blew hard all last night. At one point, it kept me from sleeping because the stove vent cover kept banging with the wind hitting it. Finally, I got up and secured the cover. Carolyn said she didn't hear anything. I think she could sleep through an explosion.

It looked like rain for the first three hours of daylight, but the clouds eventually cleared out and the rest of the day was sunny and cold. About 1000 hours, we decided to drift to the little town of Burnet, the county seat of Burnet County. Burnet is pronounced differently than might be expected. "It's Burnet, durn it, can't you learn it?", where "Burnet", "durn it", and "learn it" all rhyme. We have learned to not take pronunciations of words for granted.

In December of 1847, a company of the Texas Rangers established a station at the site of present-day Burnet for the protection of frontier settlers from Indian raids. In March of 1849, the station was chosen as a federal fort and named Fort Croghan. Over the course of several years, the town adopted the name of Burnet.

I didn't take any pictures of the courthouse because it is one of those modern lumps of concrete that seem to replace the old courthouses. The business square around the courthouse is very attractive, with the use of several older buildings along with newer ones that maintain the look of early Texas building styles.

Burnet is similar to many of the little towns in the Hill Country. The town is surrounded by the hills of the area, and several area attractions that utilize the natural beauty of the area are close by. Those attractions include Inks Lake State Park, the Highland Lakes, Highland Lakes Air Museum, Fort Croghan Museum and Grounds, the Vanishing Texas River Cruise, and the Austin Steam Train Association's Hill Country Flyer. A few miles south is Marble Falls, with all there is to do in that beautiful little town.

When we left Burnet, we headed west on Texas 29 to Lake Buchanan (pronounced Buck anan). Lake Buchanan was formed by the construction of Buchanan Dam by the Lower Colorado River Authority to provide a water supply for the region and to provide hydroelectric power. Buchanan Dam is a structure over 2 miles in length and was completed in 1939. Lake Buchanan was the first of the Texas Highland Lakes to be formed, and with 22,333 acres of surface water, it is also the largest.

From Lake Buchanan, we decided to start drifting back home, going by Inks Lake State Park. We stopped at an overlook that looks out over the park, and took this picture of a location where we would like to park the RV sometime in the future. When we got back to Marble Falls, we stopped at HEB and picked up a few groceries. Then it was on to the RV and rest.

The temperature is forecast to be near freezing tonight, so we're going to burrow in and stay warm.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Burnet, Texas: Lakes, Hills, History

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Blanco, Texas

Marble Falls, Texas

Weather: low 33 degrees, high 63 degrees, clear skies, wind 10 mph

When we left the RV for our daily outing, we decided we would find a place to eat lunch in the Blanco area. After looking and mulling over the choices, we decided (drum roll, please) to stop at...... Dairy Queen!!! Once lunch was finished, and it was tasty, by the way, we drove a few blocks to one of the nicest little state parks we have seen.

The Blanco State Park is inside the Blanco city limits, situated along about one mile of the Blanco River. The size of the park is such that it has an intimate feel, yet still provides all the amenities, including some nice RV camping sites. On top of that, the river is nice, and it is stocked with trout every winter.

Blanco means "white" in Spanish, and the name is taken from the limestone hills and banks of the river. The surrounding area is well suited for growing lavender, and a three day lavender festival is held every June. There are several crafts shops and antique stores. The Devil's Backbone, a prominent geological feature, is located nearby. A nice town to visit.

When we left the state park, we went back into town and parked on the old courthouse square. This building was constructed in 1885 and served as the Blanco County Court House for about four years. At that time, the county seat was moved to Johnson City, where a new courthouse was built. The old courthouse was then used for several different functions over the years, including as a hospital, where more than 1000 babies were born. At this time, the building is being used as a visitor's center.

On our way back to the RV, we stopped in Johnson City to check out some items of interest. The first place we stopped was the boyhood home of Lyndon B. Johnson, which is where he and his family lived after they left the family ranch when he was five years old. Remember what I wrote about LBJ coming from humble beginnings?

Driving a few blocks north, we found the Blanco County Courthouse, which replaced the old courthouse that was located in Blanco for a few years. Like many of the old courthouses in Texas, this one is a functioning courthouse, complete with court room. It was quiet here today, with few cars parked around the building. Most of the older Texas courthouses are usually placed in the center of town, with businesses placed around the square. This is the first old courthouse we have seen that was off the town center, and very few businesses are near.

With all the activities this week, we decided to cut the day short. We need to save some energy for the weekend.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Blanco, Texas: Lavender Capital Of Texas

Thursday, February 19, 2009

LBJ National Historic Park

Marble Falls, Texas

Weather: low 41 degrees, high 60 degrees, clear skies

Today was a Chamber of Commerce day, with the kind of weather that just makes a person feel good to be out and about. Since we were still a little tired from our long drift of yesterday, we took it easy until about 103 hours, when we had a late breakfast. Then we decided to drive to Johnson City to see where Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th president of the United States, was born, grew up, and eventually retired to.

When we arrived in Johnson City, we decided to go on to the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park, located about 15 miles west in Stonewall, Texas. LBJ was born on the family ranch in 1908, and lived there until he was five years old. His family moved from Stonewall to Johnson City, where he grew up. The park service will allow the public to go on a self-guided tour, or take a guided tour. We chose to take the self-guided tour.

The tour started from park headquarters as we drove along the Pedernales River for about one mile, where we crossed the river and began the tour.

The first stop was at the school building where LBJ started school. He only attended here for a short time until his family moved to Johnson City. The next stop on the tour was at the Johnson family cemetery, where LBJ is buried, along with many other members of his family. Then we moved on to where a replica of the house that LBJ lived in as a child was rebuilt by him to serve as guest quarters.

In studying the lives of former presidents, I have been struck by how many came from humble beginnings. The ranch was settled and developed by his grandfather in the 1800s. I don't think anyone would say they were wealthy in the traditional sense.

The next stop was at LBJ's grandparents' home. Again, there was no sense that they would be considered wealthy, but I have a feeling they were happy with their lives. Most of the ranch was donated to the government by LBJ, with the proviso that it remain a working cattle ranch, stocked with Hereford cattle. Regardless of how a person feels about LBJ's politics, I think anyone can appreciate the humble beginnings he had and how high he rose in the world.

When we left the park, we headed back to Johnson City with the intent to see whatever was available. Once we arrived there, we decided to leave that tour for another day, choosing instead to go home early and rest. After the rest was over, I decided to do something productive. In an effort to conjure up some rain for the area, I got everything together and cleaned up the truck, both inside and out. Now, it's wait and see. In the meantime, the truck looks good.

In yesterday's post, I mentioned our visit to Llano. Llano is the county seat of Llano County (wow, that sounds western, doesn't it?). The courthouse is still being used. The town has several old buildings that have been maintained well, and the downtown area was busy when we were there. Everything seems to be centered around the courthouse square. One feature I would like to investigate further is the city owned golf course located on the banks of the Llano River. The golf course offers RV spaces for rent and it looks like a good place to spend some time. In addition, we noticed that there are at least three large bar-b-que restaurants in town, and all of them were busy. Looks like some good eating taking place.

I failed to mention in last night's post that we ate supper at The Bluebonnet Cafe. We didn't know what to expect, but soon found that it is a down home type of place, with good food that satisfies, and there's plenty of it. If you want home cooking but don't have the time to prepare it, this is the place to go. I had meatloaf while Carolyn had the chicken fried steak (is that a surprise, Jerry?).

The drifting of the last few days has wore me out.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Johnson City, Texas: Home Town Of Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President Of The United States

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Marble Falls, Texas

Weather: low 54 degrees, high 80 degrees, mostly cloudy early, then clear skies

We woke to cloudy skies this morning, but the clouds cleared out by mid-morning. That was our cue to go drifting in the area. Our trip today was west on FM 1431, which goes by Granite Mountain, which made Marble Falls famous. The pink granite in this huge dome of granite was used in the construction of the Texas State Capitol, and is shipped all over the world. When we saw the dome of granite, for some reason we thought that was the only granite in the area. Were we wrong on that. Everywhere we looked, it seemed as though we were seeing more granite. Many different shades are mined here, but the pink color is what gave Marble Falls it's claim to fame, along with the submerged rock falls in the river. More on that at a later time.

Here's some pictures of the granite dome and other granite.

This picture does not do justice to the size of the dome, which is about 180 acres in size.

These hills are full of these granite formations. It's not likely that they will run out of granite anytime soon. As might be expected, mining the granite is important to the economy of the area.

Next on our route was the view from an overlook of Lake LBJ.

This is a marker that gives the name of the lake. Every opportunity to use the native granite is taken.

Every opportunity is taken to save water because this is such a dry area. The Colorado River was dammed to create the lake.

From the overlook, we went to Inks Lake State Park. This is a nice park that we think we will spend some time at. The lake is smaller than most, but very picturesque.

Note the rocks that seem to be balanced on the other side.

Carolyn asked me to get this picture. Turned out pretty good.

When we left the state park, we continued north on 1431 to Texas 29, where we turned west. A few miles down the road, we noticed an American eagle nest that had two young eagles with two adults working hard to keep them in food.

Unfortunately, the zoom on my camera does not zoom enough to show the detail we could see. This particular picture is of one of the adults bringing a rabbit back to the nest for the hungry young ones.

In the interest of keeping the post short enough that it does not bog down my Internet connection, I'll close for tonight. I have some pictures to share that I took in Llano that I'll post tomorrow. Until then......

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - West, Texas: West Has A Lot To Offer, Come See Us Soon!

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rain And Fog

Marble Falls, Texas

Weather: low 54 degrees, high 62 degrees, cloudy, fog, light showers most of the day

As much as I like dry, sunny weather, I was glad to see the weather like it was today. This area is in a severe drought, and it needs all the help it can get with breaking the dry spell.

Since the weather was not conducive to sightseeing, we did not do much today. Except..... Anyway, we ended up doing quite a bit, now that I think about it. We needed a few things from the WalMart Mall, so we went into Marble Falls. After picking up those few things that somehow grew into several more items, we stopped at the diesel pump on the way out of the parking lot, and I filled up the truck with some of that diesel at $1.899 per gallon. I think the last time I saw it that cheap was in late 2004.

After we ate lunch, we decided we wanted to do something besides sit inside the RV. Looking at our different books on Texas, we found that Johnson City, the hometown of Lyndon Johnson, 36th president of the United States, was just down the road. East of there is Pedernales Falls State Park. So, off we went to check out these sights.

Once we got to Johnson City, we decided to take a left toward the state park, and check out the town on our way back. If someone is looking for a place to get away from it all, then Pedernales Falls State park is a good place to do it. Cell phones are no good at all out there. The park is about 12 miles from town, and that is where the nearest stores of any kind are. The park itself is a nice park. There are some beautiful vistas that were obscured with the fog and light showers. It is well maintained, with plenty of room between camping sites. Most of the sites would be difficult for us to get into because of the way the entrances to the sites are set up.

I didn't take any pictures because the conditions were not good, but I copied a picture of the falls off the site for the park.

This park is very popular in the summer with swimming, tubing, hiking, etc. among the more popular activities. Today, about 10 spaces out of 40 or 50 were occupied.

The picture below is of the same location above, only five minutes later when a flash flood hit the area.

I don't think it would be smart to get caught in something like this. We saw several signs cautioning against being in low areas when the water was rising.

When we left the park, it was our intention to drive into Johnson City, but decided to wait until another day because of the weather. I like to take pictures when we're out, and as I said, this was not a good day for that. So it was back home, where I took care of some little chores, and meditated. The weather is supposed to be better tomorrow, and we have several things we want to do.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Hoquiam, Washington: Birthplace Of Nirvana Band Member Kurt Cobain

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Moving To The Texas Hill Country

Marble Falls, Texas

Weather: low 38 degrees in Waco, Texas, high 56 degrees in Marble Falls, Texas, cloudy

We left Waco about 1015 hours this morning. Taking US 84 west, we drove through several small towns, including McGregor and Gatesville. Eventually, we made our way to Evant, where we turned south on US 281. Then it was on through the towns of Adamsville, Lampasas, Burnet, and Marble Falls. The route was through flat to gently rolling to fairly steep and up and down countryside. Farming appeared to be the primary use of the land at the beginning of the trip, but that eventually gave out and was taken over by ranching. Our driving distance was about 125 miles.

A few things about Gatesville: it is the home of the Texas women's death row, the home of the women's maximum security unit, and has one of the last fully functional, operating drive-in theaters left in Texas.

At the present time, we are set up in an RV park a few miles south of Marble Falls. We're not sure how long we will be in this park, but there is plenty to see and do here. I do know one thing we will do is explore the town of Marble Falls. It is a scenic town set in the hills and valleys, and seems to be a center of commerce. The population is listed at less than 5,000 people, but seems busier than that.

I saw a sign for diesel fuel in Marble Falls today that made me do a double take. The sign was at a WalMart Mall, and the diesel was priced at $1.899 per gallon. I have not seen diesel that low since late 2004. I'm going to get me some of that before we leave. Maybe a couple of times.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Gatesville, Texas: Spur Capital Of Texas

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Catch Up

Waco, Texas

Weather: low 38 degrees, high 60 degrees, clear skies until late in the afternoon, then cloudy, windy

The morning dawned clear and cold, but warmed up by noon. This was the kind of day that chambers of commerce would like to have every day. The only negative was the wind, but this is Texas. If the wind is not blowing, something is wrong.

We took it easy today, resting up from the drifting of the last few days. On my way back from my walk, I saw a unique vehicle that I had to get a picture of. Here's a picture of a 1926 Model T Ford. Neat!

The couple that owns this car have a motor home and carry the car in a cargo box towed behind the motor home. They are from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and have been down on the coast since November. They said the car is a great conversation starter. Worked with me.

When we finished lunch, Carolyn wanted to go to Bed, Bath, And Beyond to look for a new bedspread. She didn't find what she was looking for, so I guess we'll keeping looking. Next stop was at Books A Million so Carolyn could look for some of the craft magazines she likes. We were luckier there, and she found three magazines. Then it was back home for meditation.

I promised I would relate what we found when we went up to Hillsboro on Friday. Hillsboro is the county seat of (what else?) Hill County. Hillsboro was established in 1853, and in the early 1900s was the center of the second largest cotton producing area in the country. In 1993, the courthouse was heavily damaged by an electrical fire. Through the efforts of Willie Nelson and others, the courthouse was rebuilt, and is being used as a functioning courthouse. When I was there, there was a trial ongoing in one of the courtrooms. Here's some pictures of the Hill County courthouse.

I guess you can tell I like these old courthouses.

When we left Hillsboro, we drove across the countryside a few miles to Lake Whitney. This is a lake that was formed by damming the Brazos River, and there are several campgrounds there owned by the state and the Army Corp of Engineers. We will probably spend some time here in the future.

From Lake Whitney, it was back home and rest.

That catches up our adventures.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - West, Texas: Czech Heritage Capital Of Texas

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Waco, Texas

Weather: low 39 degrees, high 53 degrees, cloudy, windy, showers late in the day

We woke up to much cooler weather this morning, and my morning walkabout was cut short as a result. When I got back home, we decided to take a drive northeast of Waco to Mart, Groesbeck, and Mexia, then back to Waco. It resulted in a big rectangle of a trip. The terrain along our route tended to be mostly flat to rolling ranch land, with mostly smaller trees. Carolyn commented that the area between Waco and Groesbeck looked "throwed away", and I have to agree with her. Old abandoned houses and barns were falling down, and we did not see any new construction at all until we got to Groesbeck.

Groesbeck is the county seat of Limestone County, and that appears to be the primary reason for the town's existence. I took some pictures of the courthouse, but they are not very impressive. The courthouse is big and obviously old, but it does not have the character and beauty of many of the older courthouses we have seen.

Fairly plain, isn't it?

Continuing with plain looking.

Like most places we have been, the people celebrate their patriotism. Here's a tribute to the soldiers that fought in World War 1.

It was interesting to us that there was not a memorial to the soldiers of the Confederacy, since 4 out of 5 men in the county served, and half of those died.

When we left Groesbeck, we went down the road a short distance to Fort Parker State Park to check that out. Fort Parker was a small settlement that was attacked by Comanches in 1836. Several people were killed, and several taken captive by the Indians. Two of those taken captive were Cynthia Parker and her brother. Cynthia was held for many years and when she was rescued, she had married a chief. She had given birth to Quanah Parker, the last chief of the Comanches, and another child. She did not want to return to the world of the white people. When her small child died with influenza, she starved herself to death with grief. Her brother was also rescued, but ran away to go back to the Indians. He eventually settled in Mexico.

We checked out the campground at the state park, but it does not appear that we would want to stay there. There is not anything wrong with it, other than that the spaces are very small.

From Fort Parker, we went to the Confederate Reunion Grounds State Historic Site. This was a site that was used for many years by the veterans of the Confederacy and their families for reunions. This site is just starting to be developed, so there wasn't much to see there.

Our next stop was Mexia, named after General José Antonio Mexía, a Hispanic hero for the Republic of Texas Army during the Texas Revolution. This town has a population of about 10,000, and seemed prosperous to us. Construction on several buildings was ongoing, and a new Super WalMart opened recently. After touring through the town, we stopped at HEB to pick up a few things. Then it was back home to rest.

As I wrote in the title for today's blog, Happy Valentine's Day to all the sweethearts out there. We consider Italian food to be the food of romance. So, we had RV Italian food for supper. Here's what our plates looked like with spaghetti, salad, and Italian toast. Before anyone says anything about the salad being on the same plate as the rest of the food, we are RVers, and tend to use less dishes than most people in an effort to keep our clutter and weight down. Ummm, ummm, ummm, Good!!!

By the way, the plate on the right is mine.

Tomorrow, I'll try to catch up the blog for the rest of Friday's drifting through Hillsboro.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Mexia, Texas: A Great Place, No Matter How You Pronounce It

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Little Road Tour

Waco, Texas

Weather: low 57 degrees, high 84 degrees, mostly cloudy skies

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, we made a trip up to Hillsboro and West today. We took I-35 north out of Waco, and the first place we stopped was in West, which is known for the Czech culture found in its bakeries, restaurants, and gift shops. Each Labor Day weekend, the West locals put together a Czech/Polka festival they call Westfest. Our primary reason for stopping, beyond the fact that it was there, was to sample the kolaches. West is supposed to have the best kolaches in Texas, so we had to try them for ourselves. We went to the Village Bakery, the oldest bakery in town, and which is supposed to have the best kolaches, open since 1952. After all, if you're going to try something, try the best, right?

We walked into the bakery, and it looked much the same as many of the other bakeries we have been to while in Texas. The baking aromas were great, and the displays made you want to buy 1 or 2 or 3 of each. We decided to buy a dozen of the mixed fruit kolaches, and some of the sausage kolaches. The first sample was of the sausage variety, and we were surprised that the bread had a slightly sweet aftertaste to it. That was not a problem, and overall, the bread was good. The sausage, in our opinion, left a lot to be desired. It was coarser than most link sausage we have eaten, and the flavor was almost non-existent. We thought that since this was a Czech dish that the sausage would have more taste and flavor. The wow factor was just not there. Would we drive up there again just for the sausage kolaches? Not hardly. We have had much better sausage kolaches at Shipley's Donuts in Bay City, Texas.

Once we got home from our trip, it was past lunch time so we tried the fruit kolaches. They were not bad, but we have had fruit kolaches just as good elsewhere in Texas.

The town is typical of many we have been through before, with old stores that are still being used. We didn't see many of the houses, but what we saw of older ones seemed to be well kept.

Something that the town uses to illustrate their history beyond the Czech heritage is a staged train crash that occurred at Crush, which was located about three miles outside town. This crash occurred in later summer of 1896. Two old locomotives being destroyed were retired, and the train company felt they could gain some favorable publicity for the railroad by staging the crash. About 50,000 people attended the crash, where the two locomotives were run into each at full speed, head on from a distance of about two miles. The problem was that they allowed people to get too close to where the collision took place. One of the boilers exploded. Two people were killed, and many more injured. Needless to say, the railroad didn't try that stunt again.

Here's a picture that is typical of the fruit kolaches. As I said, not bad, but we don't know what the fuss is about.

Here's a couple of pictures of the Crash at Crush.

Impressive, at least to me. This is the kind of quirky stuff that I get a kick out of.

We continued on up the road to Hillsboro, but I think I'll save that adventure for tomorrow. After getting home and resting, we decided to go to Sam's Club for a few things we needed from there. It just so happens we like their pizza, so we had them bake a whole one for us (supreme, of course), and had supper at Sam's. Is that romantic, or what? I think Carolyn would say, or what! No, we didn't eat the whole thing. But we do have pizza for tomorrow for lunch and maybe supper, if we want it.

I'm going to go now. I'm wore out.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - West, Texas: Home Of The Official Kolache Of The Texas Legislature (those folks are easily pleased, I guess)

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Moving Day

Waco, Texas

Weather: low 49 degrees in Glen Rose, Texas, high 74 degrees in Waco, Texas, partly cloudy skies

We took our time getting ready to leave this morning, and even went in to Glen Rose for breakfast before we started putting stuff up. Once we were back at the RV, I took care of my usual departure stuff, while Carolyn did her thing inside. We hooked up and pulled around to the park office and told our friends Jerry, Joyce, and Burl goodbye. We were pulling out of the park by 1200 hours.

The drive planned for today was only about 60 miles to the Speegleville US Army Corps Of Engineers campground, about 4 miles west of Waco off Texas 6. Speaking of the name Speegleville, every time I see that word, it conjures up images of cartoon characters. We have stayed here a couple of times before, and always enjoy our stay. Usually, the park is empty or almost empty, but today there were about eight other RVs here. No problem, the sites are spread out, and there's plenty of room for all. We set up, including the satellite dish, and settled in for a well deserved rest. After all, that was a hard drive of about 60 miles we just made.

About 1700 hours, we talked a little about supper, and decided we would go to the Back Yard Burger restaurant. Good idea except for one thing: It was closed. Looks like another restaurant bites the dust. With that disappointment, we decided to go back home and eat there. Then a little reading, watching CSI on television, writing the blog.....

Tomorrow, we have some things planned to do that should provide some good writing opportunities, and fun for us.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Stephenville, Texas: The Ville

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Restless Night

Glen Rose, Texas

Weather: low 47 degrees, high 65 degrees, clear skies, windy

Last night's weather and wind combined to make a restless sleep for me. We use a white noise generator to mask the noise outside, such as traffic and the wind. Before midnight, the electricity went off and the absence of the white noise woke me up. The wind was blowing hard, the cover for the stove vent was flapping and banging and making noise, and traffic was passing by on the highway. These are noises we hear, but usually at a much lower volume. As a result, I was unable to go back to a sound sleep for the rest of the night. The power came back on about 0300 hours this morning, but the night was so disrupted for me that I got little sleep. Sometimes it's good to be a light sleeper, but last night was not one of those times. Snivel, snivel.

Since I slept very little last night, I didn't feel like going for my daily walk until this afternoon. When I did walk, it felt more like work than anything, and I only walked about half as far as usual.

We discussed when we will be leaving here, and decided that we will probably leave tomorrow. As a result, we spent most of the day putting things in their place, washing clothes, and the cleaning we usually do when getting ready to travel. Our first stop will be in Waco, where we have several things we want to do. From there, we plan to meander down to the Fredricksburg area, which I've never been to. It may take us a month to get to Fredricksburg and do the stuff we want. This is a great time of the year to travel and play tourist in Texas. Plus, I don't think diesel fuel is going to get any cheaper, so that's another reason to do as much traveling as possible at this time. So, more adventures with pictures are on the way.

Tonight, we had pizza and salad with Denise. Carolyn prepared the salad, including the bread crumbs and candied pecans, and it was outstanding. The pizza was pretty good, too. Denise used her little pizza cooker to cook the pizza, and I was impressed with how well the little cooker works. We may have to get one of those.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Bay City, Oregon: Pearl Of Tillamook Bay

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Roadrunner Question

Glen Rose, Texas

Weather: low 60 degrees, high 75 degrees, mostly cloudy skies, windy

Carolyn went shopping with Denise in Corsicana today. They were looking for some deals on pants and tops, and it looks as though they found what they were looking for. They left by 0830 hours, and as soon as they left, I went for my morning walk. I can tell the weather is starting to warm up because I have been taking a light jacket off before the walk is finished.

I saw the neighborhood roadrunner this morning. He (or she) seems to be getting used to me, allowing me to get within 10 feet or so before running away. This brings up a question - how do you know whether a roadrunner is a male or female? In most bird species, the male is usually bigger or more colorful. I have seen pairs of roadrunners before, and both of them look the same to me.

I took care of some chores when I got back from my walk, including going to Glen Rose to the Dollar General Store. We try to keep from making daily trips to buy stuff, but sometimes we forget something we need, or the need arises. Anyway, it was quiet with Carolyn gone, so I got out for a little while.

I've been following the progress of the so called stimulus package through Congress. Our sympathies go out to all who have lost their jobs or can't find a job. It is never easy to be unemployed and want to work. What bothers me in the politics of what is going on with the stimulus package is that we are being treated to a daily dose of doom and gloom that is not characteristic of the way our country has always faced adversity. We're being told that if the package is not passed as presented or delayed while the necessary debate and changes take place, we will face catastrophic consequences. On top of that, little of the package actually creates jobs. Instead, most of it appears to be old fashioned pork.

Whatever happened to allowing our free market, capitalist economy operate the way it has in the past? That's not to say that the shady practices of the past 15 years or so should continue. Neither should the lending practices of allowing people to have loans to buy houses or cars when it was blatantly obvious that they would not be able to pay them back. Now we have the opposite problem where hardly anyone can get a loan. What a mess we have gotten into.

Okay, off the soapbox.

About 2000 hours, we had a strong thunderstorm with winds up to 70 miles per hour pass through our area. We knew the rain was coming because we were watching it on the computer and television, but the suddenness and strength of it when it struck was surprising. The rain and wind lasted about 30 minutes, and then stopped all at once. This system is part of the one that produced tornadoes in Oklahoma earlier today.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Hoquiam, Washington: Home Of The Loggers’ Play Day

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Happy Birthday, Lori

Glen Rose, Texas

Weather: low 52 degrees, high 75 degrees, partly to mostly cloudy skies

About 2200 hours last night, we had a rain cloud pass over that dumped some heavy rain for a few minutes. The wind blew hard all night, and about 0300 hours this morning, we had another heavy shower pass through that lasted for about 30 minutes. It rained off and on after that until daylight. As I said yesterday, the area needs rain, and I guess I can put up with it. I like dry weather, but understand the rain is needed.

With the weather stuff going on last night, I was late getting up. Carolyn was already up and ribbed me about getting lazy. I think I have earned the right to sleep until 0730 hours after a lifetime of work and getting up before 0500 hours for many years. She may be right about me getting a little lazy.

While I was getting my daily walk finished, Carolyn put a couple of loads of laundry in the RV park washing machines. When I got back, we discussed what we would do for the day, and decided we would make a trip to Cleburne to visit the HEB grocery store later in the afternoon. Then it was time for lunch, which always seems to put us in the mood for meditation. I should say that I meditate, while Carolyn seems to usually take a nap. She says she's meditating, but I'm an expert on meditation, and she seems to be napping to me.

After meditating, we returned some library books to the Glen Rose Library, then drove over to Cleburne to the HEB grocery store. We became used to shopping at HEB when we lived in Bay City, and the one in Cleburne is the closest one in this area. We found several things we needed, then went to the WalMart Mall to pick up a few things we usually buy there. By the time we returned home, it was time for supper, which was fried chicken, asparagus, rice with oriental vegetables, and fresh french bread. Ummm, boy, it was good!!

Our youngest daughter Lori had a birthday today. We spoke to her on the telephone and wished her a happy birthday, and many more. We sent her a card last week, along with a present. When we get to Bay City sometime in the next few weeks, we'll take her and her family out to eat and celebrate. Happy Birthday, Dear.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Cleburne, Texas: Branded 1867, Re-established Daily

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Typical Day

Glen Rose, Texas

Weather: low 57 degrees, high 75 degrees, cloudy skies, windy

The weather forecast is calling for rain late tonight, with more slated for tomorrow. The area needs the rain, so I guess I can put up with it for a couple of days. The last two weeks have been great as far as the weather is concerned.

After my morning walk and breakfast, we went for a ride around and through Glen Rose and the surrounding area. We were surprised to find that several houses are being built, even in this economic climate. What was also surprising was the low number of houses that are for sale. That may be because people have taken their houses off the market, but we think it's primarily because this is a desirable place to live.

The area has a lot going for it, with the natural beauty and small town feel. It is close enough to Fort Worth and Dallas to get there easily enough, yet far enough away that it can maintain the special feeling that we like so much. It gets hot here in the summer (try 110 degrees on for size) but the humidity tends to be much lower than it is east of here or on the coast. Then there's the quirky history I've written about before. Does it sound like we like this area? Well, we do.

When we returned home, it was time for some meditation. Later in the day, I watched some college basketball, while Carolyn visited with our friend Denise. After a supper of leftovers, we watched Law and Order on television. Then Carolyn watched some cooking shows while I wrote the blog post and caught up on the e-mail. Just another day in the life of the Retired Drifters.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Sarasota, Florida: The Nation's Per Capita Arts Capital

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Day Of Rest

Glen Rose, Texas

Weather: low 62 degrees, high 79 degrees, cloudy early, clear skies in the afternoon, windy

We didn't do much of anything today except take it easy. That is, except for my morning walk, picking up the mail package and going through two weeks of mail, writing out a check to take care of a doctor's bill that came in the mail, and other assorted little chores.

We didn't leave home all day until the evening, when we went to Granbury to Spring Creek Bar-B-Que for supper. This was the first time we have been to this restaurant in about a year. The last time we were there, we left disappointed because we thought the quality had slipped. Tonight's food was much better, and we had enough left to bring home for lunch tomorrow. Both of us had the chicken, along with potato salad, beans, cole slaw, and a drink. Some of the best rolls we have ever eaten were served with the meal. Carolyn asked if I wanted to get some peach cobbler with Blue Bell ice cream, but I didn't have the room. Sounded good.

When we got back home, we finished the evening with Carolyn watching her television shows and me getting the blog written and reading a mystery novel.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Decatur, Alabama: Hub Of The South

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Dinosaur Valley State Park

Glen Rose, Texas

Weather: low 52 degrees, high 78 degrees, cloudy early, partly cloudy the rest of the day, windy

Carolyn didn't want to do anything today but stay at home. I decided to go to the Dinosaur Valley State Park, located a few miles outside of Glen Rose, and take some pictures of the dinosaur footprints. In addition, I wanted to walk some of the hiking trails, and spend some time enjoying the beauty of the area.

When I got to the park, I bought an annual pass that allows us to enter any state park free. We plan to spend more time touring the state's natural attractions, and the pass will allow us to save some money. I'm always looking for ways to save.

The park has much natural beauty, but it's primary attraction is dinosaur footprints found in the bed rock of the Paluxy River, which runs through the park. The footprints were found in the 1930s, and more footprints are found occasionally after heavy rains. Sadly, most, if not all, of the footprints are destined to be lost in time as erosion from water and silt, as well as freezing water in winter destroys these relics over 130 million years old.

At one time, dinosaur and human footprints were found together, but the human footprints were hoaxes. During the 1930s, some people in the area made money by cutting the tracks out of the rock and selling them. Many of the best specimens were taken to museums and universities all over the US. In an effort to save the remaining footprints, the area was brought under the protection of the state, and the state park was opened in 1972.

Here's some pictures of the footprints and the park.

The park also has hiking and biking trails, as well as approximately 50 RV camp sites. Horseback riding is allowed. It's a good place to spend a few quiet days.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Kingman, Arizona: The Heart Of Historic Route 66

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Getting Rid Of Junk

Glen Rose, Texas

Weather: low 36 degrees, high 72 degrees, clouds early, then clear skies, windy

Carolyn spent much of the day with her friend (and mine), Denise. They went to lunch at El Chico's, which is fine with me, since I prefer a more authentic Mexican restaurant. While they were gone, I went to the WalMart Mall to pick up a new sewer hose and water pressure regulator. Things seem to wear out and need to be replaced from time to time.

When I left the Mall, I went down the street to the RV dealer where we looked at some RVs last week. I looked at the two fifth wheels that we are most interested in again, but I'm not ready to say that one of those RVs will be the one we buy.

Back at the RV, I replaced the water pressure regulator. By the time that little chore was finished, I was ready for some meditation.

When Carolyn got home, I asked her to give me some help in going through and rearranging the stuff we have in our basement. It seems as though the amount of stuff in the basement keeps growing, for no good reason. Normally, I take care of everything outside the RV, and that includes the basement. Today, however, I felt like I needed another set of eyes to help me get a little more order in my area of responsibility. With Carolyn's help, we managed to get rid of some stuff we don't use any more, and consolidated what we are using. Now, we have room to stuff more junk in the basement. Not!!!

With the good news we received about Carolyn's shoulder yesterday, we have been talking about where we will go. Tentatively, we are looking at starting to meander to the Fredricksburg area. Now, the next thing is to decide when we'll leave here. That's still up in the air.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Alachua, Florida: The Good Life Community

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Good News For Carolyn

Glen Rose, Texas

Weather: low 30 degrees, high 62 degrees, clear skies

This weather is amazing for the last few days. Lows in the 30s, highs in the 50s and 60s, clear skies. Outstanding!!

Neither of us slept well last night because of the call Carolyn received yesterday about her left shoulder. Someone from our family doctor's office called and said she had a torn rotator cuff, and it looked like surgery was indicated. Our limited experience with this kind of surgery was that it was painful and limiting, taking several months to recover from. When we saw the orthopedic surgeon this morning, he asked Carolyn to describe her symptoms, then performed an examination of her shoulder. Then, he explained what he saw in the x-rays and MRI. He said to an untrained eye, it might appear that her rotator cuff was torn. What he found was that she has bursitis in the shoulder, not a torn rotator cuff. In addition, he said her symptoms were indicative of bursitis, and not the more serious problem.

The doctor explained the options that Carolyn had, including not doing anything, which he did not recommend. He also said she could go through physical therapy, which would take up to several months to be effective. The best option, according to him, was to have an injection of painkillers and steroids placed into the affected area. The doctor said this option would give relief within 2-3 days, and would probably ensure that she would not have any more problems. After debating the various options, Carolyn decided to have the injection. She is feeling much better about the sore shoulder, especially since she will not need to have surgery.

The news from the doctor made us feel so good that we spent a couple of hours out riding in the countryside, enjoying a new feeling of freedom from doctors and treatments. Maybe now we can start living the roaming life again.

New adventures are right down the road.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Clermont, Florida: Gem Of The Hills

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

More RV Looking

Glen Rose, Texas

Weather: low 32 degrees, high 65 degrees, clear skies

Carolyn felt better this morning after her adventure with nausea yesterday. She still felt a little tired, but the nausea was gone. As a result, we decided to get out for a little while and enjoy the nice weather. Since the RV show in Fort Worth, we have been wanting to look a little closer at some of the RVs we saw, and today was a good day to look at the Montana.

There is a Montana dealer in Cleburne, located 22 miles east of Glen Rose. We got there about 1030 hours, and spent the next two hours nosing through RVs. When we started looking, we made it clear that we didn't want a salesman tagging along. The dealership respected our wishes, and told us to look at anything we wanted. We still like the looks of the Montana brand, but also like the Mobile Scout. The more we look, the more confused we get. It looks like the Montana will be better suited for the truck we have, but the Mobile Suite has features we like. What to do??

When we got home, we rested for a short time, and then I started doing some little chores that the nice weather is helping with. I drained and flushed the water heater, and checked the anode rod. Normally, we have to replace the anode rod about once a year, but this time it was still in good condition. The RV park we're staying in (Midway Pines) has an air compressor that we can use to air up tires, and I used it today to clean out the vacuum cleaner and filter, as well as the electric heaters we use for supplemental heat. Next on the list of chores was washing the bedspread. Then I replaced a piece of plastic trim under the bedroom slide-out.

By that time, it was starting to get dark. Carolyn prepared homemade burgers, which I always enjoy. This is NCIS night on television, which is one of my favorite shows, so I'm posting a little earlier than normal.

Tomorrow, Carolyn has another doctor's appointment to find out what to do about her left shoulder. The doctor's office called today with the results of the MRI, and it appears she has a torn rotator cuff. I thought that might be the problem, but was hoping it wasn't. Obviously, this has not been a good week for Carolyn. I hope the doctor she is seeing can offer something besides surgery. Especially after her problems yesterday with the anesthesia.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - White Settlement, Texas: Preserving The Past! Preparing For The Future!

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Tough Day For Carolyn

Glen Rose, Texas

Weather: low 35 degrees, high 58 degrees, clear skies

We got an early start this morning and were at the hospital in Glen Rose by 0730 hours for Carolyn's medical procedure. Remember the old saying " Hurry up and wait"? That's what happened today. Carolyn was taken in to be prepped for the procedure almost immediately, then waited for the doctor almost two hours. The procedure was fairly straight forward, and only took about 30 minutes from the time she was taken from her room until she was back. That's when the bad part started.

In the past, Carolyn has had problems with nausea caused by the anesthesia. She told the hospital personnel about that, and they said they would take care of it. Not!! She had a hard time waking up, and when she was conscious. she was so nauseated she couldn't move. Eventually, they gave her two shots for the nausea, but nothing really helped until we got her home and she was able to sleep the drugs off.

Now, the good news. The doctor did not find any problems while performing the procedure. It's just too bad that the drugs make Carolyn so sick. Since she knows what normally happens to her when she has to be administered anesthesia, she is hesitant to have anything done that requires it. I can understand because I have seen how her body responds.

As a result of Carolyn's adventure (or is that misadventure), we stayed at home the rest of the day. She started feeling better after 1800 hours, and I think she'll be back to her old self tomorrow. She said to tell everybody that the worst part of this whole episode did not happen on Sunday. It happened today. I'm not going to say what she had done out of respect for her dignity, but anyone who has been through it before may be able to figure it out. Suffice it to say that it was a medical examination that everyone should have performed once they reach a certain age. I had it done in December of 2007, and did not have any problems at all.

It was some day. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Montgomery, Alabama: The Heart And Soul Of The South

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday

Glen Rose, Texas

Weather: low 40 degrees, high 76 degrees, clear skies, winds to 20 mph

We needed a few things from the WalMart Mall, so I went there early before taking my daily walk. I prefer to shop early because the stores are usually not as busy as they are later in the day. While I was in Granbury, I also filled up the truck with diesel, which is still priced at $2.17 per gallon. I don't know how long the lower prices are going to last, but I'm liking this.

I went for my walk after getting back home. The interesting thing about today's walk was that a light jacket felt good early in the walk, but it was a little warm near the end. The weather here has been nice since the ice and sleet passed through last week. When I returned from the walk, I decided to see if I could drum up some rain for the area by cleaning up the outside of the truck. The five day forecast doesn't show any rain to speak of, but I have found a sure way to get rain is to clean the truck. We've got what is supposed to be a dry front passing through here tonight. Let's see if it stays dry.

Carolyn has another medical procedure scheduled for tomorrow. She has been prepping for the procedure all day. This particular procedure is not that bad, except for the preps, which takes the whole day before the procedure. I think she'll be glad when this is over.

I haven't been watching the Super Bowl, but have checked the score on the Internet. I don't have a favorite because I don't care that much for pro football. If any of the readers have a favorite, I hope your team won.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Grants, New Mexico: Uranium Capital Of The World

Not all who wander are lost.