Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ellie Is Home!

Camp Taz came to an end and we all said our "See Ya's" and headed out this morning. It was another special experience with my friends and I think we all came away with new resolution to follow our Weight Watchers program.

Last night, we attended an event called "Tales from the Crypt", which is part of Columbus's annual pilgrimage events. Since I was not raised as a Southern Belle, I am not familiar with this tradition, but as near as I can explain, it is an annual event in many Southern cities which involves celebrating the history of the town. Historic home tours, cemetery history tours and so forth are all part of these traditions. In Columbus, students at the Math and Science High School are assigned a project at the beginning of the school year to research and prepare a presentation about a "resident" of the local cemetery. They audition their script to be included in the Pilgrimage. Only the best presentations are chosen, and those students present their historical skits during this event.

We enjoyed the evening of touring the cemetary to watch and listen and learn from these talented students. Pictured below are Shirley, Sandy, Elaine and me:

One of our usual activities at the camp is going kayaking on Tibbee Creek. This year, however, the rain has swollen the creek so much that we only got out a few times.
This picture of the boat dock and kayak landing give you an idea of the water level. Oh, you can't see the dock or the kayak landing? Well, the railing in the center of the photo is where the steps are. You can't see the actual dock because it's under about 8" of water. There is a kayak landing area just to the right of the railing, but all you can see is the very top of one of the guide poles, if you look carefully.
By yesterday afternoon, we thought the water level was down enough, and the creek flow had slowed enough to go out. So, three of us, Shirley, Sandy, and I, ventured out in the kayaks. Well...we found out that, although the water level did go down, the current was a lot stronger than it looked. We got out into the water and across the channel with little problem. Once across the channel, there is a huge area where the water is very still - usually. Yesterday, we were paddling quite a bit all the time. We went upstream a few hundred yards and then came back across the channel to come back downstream to the dock. That's where it got interesting.
Shirley is the expert at this, since it's her place and her kayaks. She took the lead in getting us back in to the landing, but it was a challenge even for her. She did get in to the landing and managed to catch both Sandy and me without any unfotunate incidents, but it was tricky! Below is the dock, with Shirley on the bottom step, washing her feet off after dragging us back in to the landing. Thanks, Shirley!

Back to today....This morning, once Jim fetched me and we got back to the Allegro Campground (aka Camp Redbay), I met our service tech, Stanley, and his helper, Ricky. Stanley has worked for Tiffin for quite a few years and seems to have a good understanding of what our needs are. His part of our repairs are pretty much finished, but we still have some other issues that other repair sections, like the wood shop, countertop shop, and paint shop, will be involved with.

It was good to get back home to my little family!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Update From Camp Taz

Usually, when I come to Mississippi to attend Camp Taz, one of the main activities each morning is to go kayaking on Tibbee Creek. Well, this time, Mother Nature had a different idea. This time, we stand at the bank and watch the water flow by. Or, we walk from the Camp House down to the boat dock to see how high the water is getting. We did kayak the first afternoon I got here, and the following morning. But the rains started and that has put the brakes on further kayaking this trip.

We have not had really severe weather here, although it has rained several inches over the past few days. It looks like the worst of the weather has moved out, and we'll have a couple of chilly nights, but no more rain. The Camp House is situated on a bluff above the creek, so we are not in any danger of flooding up here.

I've talked to Jim just about every day, and so far, he hasn't floated away from Red Bay. He has been taking care of business and getting The Castle moved into the service bay each day. Work is progressing, and we may have everything fixed up before long.

I'll be back from camp on Tuesday. Meanwhile, here are a couple of pictures I've taken with my little camera.

There are two eagles who make their home here on Tibbee Creek, here is one of them from a distance. I took this picture from the kayak the one morning we got to go out:

One one of our walks, I was able to get a nice close up of a dogwood bloom:

It's beautiful here, and I'm having a great time visiting with my friends, eating healthy, and getting in some good exercise!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ellie Has Gone to Camp Taz

If you've been a long-time reader of my blog, you may recall that last fall I attended a "camp" with my Weight Watcher online friends. It was a turning point for me, as I've lost 40 pounds since that gathering.

Well, the time has rolled around for another "Camp Taz", and since we were already in the general part of the country where it's held, I am able to attend again. The last couple of days have been spent, in part, getting things ready for me to leave.

Otherwise, we have had our computer desk remodeled, and new blinds installed in the Castle. I will post pictures of those projects when I get back home from camp next week.

Meanwhile, I am off in the woods of Mississippi, walking, kayaking, and getting caught up with my friends. This is Tibbee Creek near Columbus, where the camp house is located:

Jim is back at the "other" camp - the one in Red Bay, taking care of our business there, and being in command of the dogs.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Red Bay Sunday

Once again, there isn't much going on to report. We slept in all the way to 7:00 this morning, it was quiet and peaceful here at Camp Red Bay. I got out for a good, long walk and then helped Jim sort and get the laundry ready, and he went off to the laundromat. I broke with tradition and did not clean house. I got the bed made and the dishes washed, but that was pretty much the extent of the housework today.

Instead, I started working on our paperwork to sign up for a South Dakota residence. After much discussion, research and thought, we have made the decision to move our residency to South Dakota, with America's Mailbox in Rapid City. They will assist with getting our vehicles registered, and we will get our drivers licenses when we go there this summer. Over the course of the day, we got most of the forms filled out and will get them sent off on Tuesday. When we originally chose Texas as our home state, the decision was based, in part, on the fact that much of Jim's family resided in Texas, and we knew we would be in the state quite a bit. However, we've since had an opportunity to learn more of the details of the differences between the two states. Financially, there isn't a lot of difference, but the fact that we do not need to upgrade our drivers licenses to a new class, and we won't have to have our vehicles inspected annually make a difference to us. Insurance costs will be slightly lower in South Dakota as well.

Otherwise, walks, reading, and relaxing have been the order of the day. Later this afternoon, we rustled up our dinner, with Jim grilling some of the shrimp we bought and froze in Rockport.

And that concludes our Red Bay Sunday. I suspect the next two days - getting me ready to leave on Wednesday - will be much busier!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Red Bay Update, Sat. Mar. 21

Well, happy Spring to everyone! Yesterday was the first day of Spring, and we celebrated by doing not much of anything. We did take The Castle out to top off the propane and fuel tanks and get it washed and dried. We were going to do the washing ourselves, but a car/truck/RV wash has opened right across the street from the campground, and since it was just a little cool and windy, I suggested we have them do the job for us. We stopped in to talk to the folks working there, and they were able to get us in. I'm not sure who owns it, but they are doing a lot of business. Every time we drive by there, we see from 1 to 4 motor homes there, getting washed. We think it was worth the $100 it cost.

We went out to dinner with Sharon and Bob last evening at Gills Grill, one of the few decent places to eat here. I did ok with grilled shrimp, baked sweet potato and salad. They came back over to the motor home afterwards and visited for awhile before calling it a night.

Today I was on a mission. It's been awhile since I cleaned out the pantry - this was the day. Jim headed out with his grocery list while I worked on cleaning out the old stuff and getting things organized again. When we lived in a house and I worked, cleaning out cupboards was something I got around to doing maybe once a year. But living in such a small space makes it much more critical to keep up with cleaning out those cupboards a lot more often.

Otherwise, there wasn't much going on today. A lot of people left the campground this morning, and a lot of people came in this afternoon. I expect the place will be mostly filled up by tomorrow evening.

I haven't taken any pictures lately, so here's one I took last fall of a Mississippi sunset:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Red Bay Report, Thursday, March 19

Today has been a typical day in Red Bay. Wake up to the sound of diesel engines roaring, have coffee, take the dogs out, have more coffee. The next plan was to go for a walk, but first I needed to charge the battery on my Walkman. So I did some Wii Fit and ran the vacuum cleaner while I waited for that to finish charging.
Jim decided to head to the nearest "package" store (translation: liquor store) to stock up on beer, I stayed behind. The county in which Red Bay is located is dry, and it's several miles to the next county to buy spirits. I did get my walk done while he was gone. When he got back, we decided to head back out again to check another package store a little further away to see if they had any Alabama wine, which he didn't find at the first store. We didn't find the exact wine we were looking for, but found a couple of bottles of the same brand. On the way back, we stopped at Walmart for a few items. I found a rain jacket while we were there, so I got that. Maybe I won't need it for awhile!
Just before we left, I loaned my grooming table to Sharon for her to try. She'd been thinking about getting one, and needed to groom her schnauzers. When we got back, Bob brought the table back over. Sharon tried it, but found it hard on her back, so she decided to stick with her current way of grooming.
Jim and I collaborated on a great dinner of cream cheese jalapenos, grilled chicken, fried cabbage, baked potato and salad.
Tomorrow could bring more excitment - we'll just have to see what happens.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Delightful Surprise

Today started as usual, with coffee and our walks. We took care of some tax business and then I got busy on the dogs. It had been quite a while since they were groomed, so they were both looking pretty fuzzy. Today needed to be their day!

I got them both washed and Jim set up my grooming table. I started with BoJangles, using my new clippers. What a difference they made. It took me about half the time I usually spend to get him looking pretty good.

I took a short break for lunch and got started with Jasmine. I was just about finished with her when I heard a familiar voice. I looked up and saw Sharon, whom we met when we were here last summer. They were parked across from us then, with their two mini schnauzers. Naturally, we're always drawn to other schauzer families, and we got to know them pretty well then. Jim had mentioned something to me when we were still on the way here about wondering if we'd see them this time. I thought it would be a longshot, but here they are!

We got to visiting with Sharon, and then went over to their rig for a happy hour and continued to get caught up with her and Bob since we last saw them. I took this picture of them last summer:

We ended up going over to the local Mexican restaurant for dinner to continue our visiting. It was great to see them again.

Today turned out to be a fun and interesting day!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Red Bay Tuesday

I actually had a purpose in getting up early today, other than the usual traffic here. Today was Weight Watchers day, and I was driving over 40 miles to attend a meeting. The weather forecast had originally called for clear, sunny skies, but that turned out to be for later in the day. As I left, we were under a dense fog advisory. Great.

Just as I was about to leave, Greg came by to work on the bedroom TV. He did find a pinched wire, but that turned out not to be the problem. He took the TV with him, promising to try to get it back today.

As I drove out of the campground, I came across Chris Berry, the fellow who used to work for Tiffin, but now free lances, building furniture and other accessories for motor homes. I stopped and chatted with him for a moment - we are having some computer desk modifications done by him, and he would be stopping by to talk to Jim.

I finally got going and made my way to Muscle Shoals, Alabama and the Weight Watchers meeting. It was a good meeting, and I had a small loss to show for my efforts. After the meeting I went by the Walmart store and picked up a few items and headed back home.

While I was gone, Jim was busy talking to Norris, the scheduling gatekeeper for Tiffin. He doesn't do the actual scheduling of repairs, but comes to talk to each customer to determine the severity and urgency of repairs. He reported that the service bays are about 3 weeks behind right now, but the paint bays are actually caught up. We might get some of our painting done while we are waiting on the service bays.

Jim also was visited by the fellow who will be replacing our day/night shades with the new type of E-Z Roll blinds. When we get to the actual project, I will go into more detail and include pictures. We should be getting those early next week.

The third visitor was Chris. Jim showed him what we want to have done, and Chris had a great solution. It involves making some changes to how the computer desk is situated, and will include a pull-out shelf for our printer. Again, pictures will tell that story. The other little project we have for Chris is to take out the back "false" wall of the pan cupboard under the cook stove top, and putting in a half-shelf there. He has done this on many coaches, and it increases the storage room in that cupboard quite a bit.

Finally, Greg brought our TV back and hooked it up. Now that is fixed, although we don't even know what was wrong. Oh well, if it works now, that's good.

Jim had planned to cook today, but after his busy, busy morning, he begged me to go out to lunch after I got back. I let him twist my arm, and we went over to Gill's Grill. There aren't a lot of choices for healthy meals eating out here, but this wasn't too bad. They did have a salad bar with some decent choices, and the steak I had was pretty small and lean. I wasn't able to get vegetables without butter, but that's ok, once in a while.

This afternoon was quiet, at least after 3:00 when all work stops and the rigs that have been in service all day return to their sites. The sun finally made it through all the clouds, rain and fog. Yay - blue skies again!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ho Hum...

I'm not sure what else to say about today....

As expected, the roar of diesel engines around us signaled the beginning of the day and the week in Red Bay. We got up and started on the coffee before I took the dogs out. Jim went to talk to the parts folks to find out about the cost of the blinds we want to order, and a pull out tray for the battery compartment. On his way back, he caught up with Greg, who spends his days riding around in a little cart doing minor repairs for people who can get his attention. Jim brought him back to look at one of our day/night shades that had a broken string, and our back TV. The sound on that TV decided to go into hiding the first night we got here, and hasn't been heard since.
Greg took the shade with him to send out to be restrung and puzzled over the TV for awhile, but decided it needs to be seen by an electronics guy.
Here's how the dogs spent most of their day - BoJangles in "his" spot on the couch with his duck doubling as a pillow:
Jazz didn't even get her hair brushed yet!

I spent part of the morning working on ideas for the menus at the upcoming get together with my Weight Watcher friends. This is another event similar to the one I attended last fall. I talked with the woman who hosts us at her "camp house" and we planned several meal ideas for the long weekend which will be starting on March 25.

This afternoon, Jim went back over to the parts counter to follow up with the blinds question. It looks like we will have the opportunity to stimulate the economy a bit here, as we did go ahead and commit to the order. More on that project to follow.

For excitment this afternoon, we actually went to town and wandered through the local Dollar General store and the Fred's Discount store. That took all of about 30 minutes, and we came back home to start dinner.

Yes, it's been quite a day here!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Another Sunday in Red Bay

This morning was our last quiet morning for a few days - weekdays in "Camp Red Bay" are pretty hectic. The roar of diesel engines begins around 6:15 each morning, signaling the beginning of the workday at the Tiffin service facility. We enjoyed the quiet this morning!

Jim got the laundry ready and headed over to the campground laundromat. It's one of the nicest we've been to, with 5 washers and 5 dryers. We had 5 loads to do, so that worked out just right.

We had no rain this morning, but it was still foggy. I played around with the satellite system while Jim was doing the laundry. Finally, the signal locked on and we once again have satellite tv. I got my walk done and helped Jim get the clothes folded and hung and put away. Pretty exciting, so far, isn't it?

I decided it would be a good idea to try and find the Weight Watchers meeting location in Muscle Shoals. The meetings that are held around Red Bay are all in the evening, so I am going to drive the 40 miles to Muscle Shoals on Tues. morning. Jim went with me and we set out. It was a good thing we went, because the directions and map were quite a ways off. After driving around the area I thought the meeting location was, I went in to the local hospital and asked someone for directions. I got the correct location and found where I need to be, and we came back home.

I still didn't take any pictures today, but I did find some to share. The campground hasn't changed much since last August:

Janna sent me a comment with a question about taking the dogs out in the rain. I put these raincoats on them, they don't like them very much, but they put up with them because they hate the rain even more.

This duck (or goose?) was one we spotted in Rockport in 2007, but could never identify. Today, when I read Sandra's blog, Nightly News, she posted a picture of some Egyptian Geese. I think this may be the same thing:

We have been watching the campground fill up this afternoon. I imagine it will be a busy, noisy morning tomorrow!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Back in Red Bay Again

Today was our last travel day for awhile - or so we think. After spending a really rainy night in Canton, MS, we left about 7:30 this morning and headed north on I-55. We stayed on the interstate until we got to US 278 and then we turned east. The roads were pretty good all of the way, and really great part of the way. We even took the motor home on the Natchez Trace Parkway for a couple of miles to avoid city traffic through Tupelo, where we picked up Highway 78 east. Just about 40 or so more miles after that to Red Bay, Alabama, where we'll be until the Tiffin repair folks kick us out, or our motorhome is all fixed, whichever comes first.

The rain had let up this morning, so we drove most of the way without a lot of rain, although we did have some light sprinkles at times. We got to the Allegro Campground a little before noon and got checked in. They did have some spaces available, so we are parked in site number 77, just across from the customer lounge. How convenient is that!

Among our list of "to do" items, we are planning to have our day-night shades replaced with pull-down blinds. We will be responsible for the cost of those, as well as a printer shelf or cabinet that we are hoping to have built. Otherwise, our list consists of a number of (mostly) small things that need attention.

We've spent the afternoon just hanging around, as the rain started up again shortly after we got set up. It's been alternating between rain, fog, and mist all afternoon. We've had problems getting and keeping a satellite signal as well, so we have been reading quietly and playing with the dogs or on the computer.

I have no pictures of today - way too gray and dismal to take any!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Farewell to Texas

After nearly 4 months in Texas, yesterday, around noon, we bid farewell to Texas and Hello to Louisiana as we crossed the state line. It's been awhile since I posted any new state signs!
We stopped at the welcome center rest area just across the state line and had a quick lunch before continuing on to Breaux Bridge and Poche's Fish-n-Camp for the night. What a find! We would never have known about this gem of a campground had it not been for Sandra and Gordon, and Passport America. Finding the park was a little tricky, but we did get there and settled.
We were parked along one of the several large ponds on the property. This was our view from our side window, across the pond to another section where rv's were parked:

I have a feeling there are some good meals cooked on this barbeque:

Pretty area!

We got up early this morning so I could walk before we got back on the road for today's journey. We ended up changing our planned route and stop for tonight. We originally planned to take I-59 north through Meridian, Mississippi. But after we thought about it and talked about it, we ended up taking I-55 north through Jackson, and have stopped at Canton for the night.
Another state sign:

The first part of the trip we had clouds but no rain. A short distance after we crossed the state line into Mississippi, the rain started, and has not stopped. We stopped for fuel at Lovel's Travel Stop in Canton, and paid $1.81 (cash price) for diesel. That's the lowest we've paid. We're parked for the night at Movietown RV park, just outside Canton.
We've been a little concerned about getting a spot with hookups at the Allegro Campground in Red Bay. This is one of their busy times, when snowbirds are on their way north after spending the winter in the south. When we got settled this afternoon, Jim gave them a quick call, and it looks like there will be a few spots open, so we will be heading out early in the morning for the last leg of our journey to Red Bay.
Thank all of you for your congratulatory comments on my weight loss. It feels good to achieve this, now the real challenge is continuing to lose, and maintaining that loss!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Visiting in Brookshire, Texas

Yesterday morning we got up fairly early so I could get ready to attend a Weight Watchers meeting in Katy, Texas. Jim went along and waited for me, as the plan was to have breakfast and do some shopping after the meeting.

I got checked in and weighed at the meeting. I was happy to find that all the eating at the gathering in Kerrville did not derail my program, and I have reached my official Weight Watchers goal. Just a little explanation here; I set a goal weight with WW which is a few pounds higher than my personal goal. The reason I did that is both financial and psychological. Financial, because as long as I don't go more than 2 pounds over that WW goal, I can attend meetings for free. Psychological, because I really want more than 2 pounds of "wiggle room", and I have learned from other members that it's pretty comfortable to continue a slow weight loss after reaching the official goal. I still plan to follow the same way of eating as I have for the past five and a half months and attend meetings.

After the meeting, Jim and I went in search of a place to have breakfast. Uh-oh, not much of a choice in this area! We ended up at a little bagel shop, where I had half a bagel breakfast sandwich and coffee. Then we went to the local Petco store and I bought new grooming clippers for the dogs.

Next stop was Camping World to see if they had the Coleman fire pits we were looking for. Yes - they had 2 left. One was the display model, so we made sure they had all the parts and were willing to sell it. They did and they were, so we called Mark to see if he wanted us to get it for him. He was at a store in Kerrville, looking to see if they had one, so he told us go ahead and get it for him. We did just that, now we just need to get back together with them to deliver it!

Time to get back to the Castle and do a little cleaning up before our dinner guests were to arrive. Of course, I needed to vacuum, so Jim all of a sudden figured out he needed something at Walmart, and he left me to do my cleaning in peace.

Ellie and her husband, Ron, arrived around 6. We visited and got caught up with each other's lives since we last met up with them. Then we enjoyed a pork roast with apricot glaze, hoppin' john and rice, broccoli and salad. I fixed berries over chocolate angel food cake with ice cream for dessert. Ellie brought a wonderful green salad. We were stuffed!

Picture time!

The 2 Ellie's with BoJangles:

Ron and Ellie with Jasmine:

Too soon, it was time for Ellie and Ron to head home, and for us to head to bed to rest up for travel day.

Our first challenge of the day, once we got on the road this morning, was to get across Houston. We'd finally decided, after much discussion and talking to several people, to go straight across on Interstate 10, after rush hour. I think that was a good decision - we made it across with no problems or delays.

Our next challenge was a dead stop for over 45 minutes just east of Beaumont, Texas. We finally called the local T-DOT number and found out that instead of the construction we thought was the cause, there'd been an accident and the eastbound lanes were closed. Finally, traffic started moving again, and we are are once again underway.

The planned stop for tonight is in Breaux Bridge, Lousisiana. Stay tuned for more adventures, justravelin.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Short Travel Day

This morning before we left Luling, we took a short walk around the rv park. Jim stopped at one loop so he could finish getting The Castle ready to roll. I picked up the camera and made one more loop so I could record some of the sights around the park.

The entrance to River Bend RV Park:

View of the park across the pond:

This mom and baby, are residents of the park:

A couple more park residents:

And another park resident:

We saw this fishing pole set last evening when we walked, but didn't see anyone around watching it. This morning, it was still there - I wonder if there are any fish in the pond?

We were heading east on I-10 by about 9:15 for our 100 mile trip today. We saw evidence of blue bonnets along the way:

We had a very easy drive and arrived at the Houston West RV park a little after 11. This park used to be a KOA. It's located about 30 -some miles west of Houston, in Brookshire, Texas. It's right off I-10, but so far I haven't been bothered by the noise. I actually heard more traffic yesterday from the River Bend RV park.
This afternoon, I left Jim to rest and relax on his own, and went to meet a friend of mine, who's name is also Ellie, for lunch and some shopping. We had a great visit and shopping trip. It was good to see her again. She and her husband, Ron, will be coming here for dinner tomorrow night.

While we were in Kerrville, Jim decided he really needs to have a portable fire pit/grill, so tomorrow I think we are going on a hunt to see if we can find one.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Back On The Road - Again

Well, this past week has been a social whirlwind for sure! We had just arrived at Buckhorn Lake RV Resort and started the activities with our friends from the RV-Dreams community when I last posted, and here it is nearly a week later.

We left Kerrville way before dawn this morning to make our way to the Cummins repair facility in San Antonio to have a bit of engine recall work done. While we were there, we found out we have another recall issue that must be taken care of, but that's a story for another day. The work on the motor home was completed quickly and we were on our way again by about 10:30 this morning. After a short drive, we arrived at Riverbend RV Park at Luling, Texas for an overnight stop before continuing on our way to Red Bay for the last warranty visit to Tiffin. It's hard to believe that we've been in The Castle almost a year now!

The week in Kerrville went by so fast, and we had so much fun, I was sorry to see it end. We got to see many of our friends and enjoyed the challenge of trying to stay on track with Weight Watchers. It seems that every time we got together, the subject was either the meal we were eating at the time, or the next one coming up!
We had one evening of "happy hour with snacks", a baked potato night, a potluck dinner, more happy hours, and several meals out. The weather was warm and the pool was open, so of course swimming and sunning were on the agenda as well. Of course, we kept up our walking routine each morning. What I did not have was a good internet connection. My Verizon card was not on broadband, so the speed was ultra-slow, and the park's wifi was iffy at best.
Here are links to a few other blogs for more accounts of the week's fun:
RVing With Poppa - Dortha and Mark
Roaming When We Can - Arlene and Kevin
Green2GoRV - Keith and Donna
The Best Half of Our Life - Donna and Nolan
Averys Wanderings - Glenn and Sylvia
And a few pictures we took:

Mark and Keith look on as Dortha and Donna have a conversation:
Dortha really liked the strawberries dipped in chocolate!
A happy hour visit with the whole group:

I think Speedy and Bob have it all figured out:

We'll miss the folks from the gathering, but in this lifestyle, chances are very good that we'll be seeing them again, down the road somewhere! Now, on to the next adventures!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Enchanted - or Possessed??

I'm going to do this entry a little backwards - usually I try to catch up with missed days in order, but this time I'm starting with today's activities and will work backwards from there. This morning, we woke up and started the coffee as usual. When I poured our coffee, however, I noticed the pot was much lighter than normal, and when I'd filled our cups, there was no more coffee! What? That can't be right. First I thought I might have missed filling the pot when I set it up last night, and decided to make another pot. That's when I knew we were in trouble. The grinder worked fine, but that's as far as it went - no brewing action. Well, now, that's a serious situation in our household. We like our coffee freshly ground, and have had a grinder/brewer for years now. But this coffee maker is less than a year old, how could it be broken!

The plan for today was to climb Enchanted Rock, which we've been hearing about for a long time. Jim graciously volunteered to miss the climb and go find us a new coffee pot. We knew there is a Bed Bath and Beyond back towards San Antonio, and that he'd be able to find what we wanted there, so we went our separate ways today.

I rode with Mark and Dortha. Also along for the climb were Deb and Rod, Donna and Nolan, and Karen and Donnie. Enchanted Rock State Park is about 15 miles north of Fredericksburg, which is about 25 miles or so from Kerrville. The rock itself is a very large dome-shaped rock. The distance to the top of the rock is listed on the park's map as .6 miles, but it climbs 425 ft in those six tenths of a mile. Since once you get on the rock thre really isn't a defined trail, I'm not sure how they came up with that six tenths of a mile, it sure seemed like a lot further than that when we were climbing it. We left Buckhorn RV Resort around 10 this morning and caravaned to the state park. Here's a synopsis of the adventure.

From left to right, front to back is Deb, Karen, Nolan, Donna, Dortha, Mark, Donnie and Rod. Everyone is ready to go, with appropriate shoes, water and energy. Enchanted Rock is behind the group:

Are we there yet?

What possessed us to do this??

I don't know about y'all, but I'm ready for a break!

Hey, we're doin' good - almost there!

Ah, we made it! From left to right are Donnie, Karen, Mark, Dortha, Donna, Ellie, Nolan, Deb and Rod.

We managed to get back down the Enchanted Rock and stopped at Subway in Fredericksburg for sandwiches before heading back to Buckhorn. When we got here, my first thought was to check out the hot tub! Oh, well, maybe saying hello to Jim and the dogs was actually first. And yes, Jim was successful at replacing the coffee pot. And yes, it was worth a 60 mile, one way, drive to get it.

We went to the hot tub and soaked away our cares for a while, joined by Dortha and Mark. It was then time to relax with a beverage for a little while before getting ready to attend the dinner being put on by the resort. We enjoyed the dinner of pork loin, carrots and mashed potatoes, roll and chocolate cake, and the company. I'm sure there will be lots of pictures posted on various blogs, as the cameras were flashing all over the place.

Now, to work backwards to yesterday. We had our walks in the morning, and then went into Kerrville to run some errands and have a quick sandwich at Subway. The plans for the evening for most people were to have a pot luck of beans and cornbread to celebrate Texas Independence day. However, we'd been invited to dinner at Jo and Fred Wishnie's house. They found out that we were coming to Kerrville for the "Gathering" and decided to switch some of their plans to come here. They are staying at a different park, so we went over there. Fred prepared his awesome meatloaf, Jo fixed roasted asapargus and mashed potatoes, and we brought a salad. It was so good to see them again and get caught up on all the adventures we've both had over the last year.

Jenny, this picture's for you:

After dinner, we sat for "family portraits"

We really had a great visit with the Wandering Wishnies.

More RV-Dreamers are expected over the next few days...stay tuned for more adventures.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Travel Day to Kerrville, Texas

It's been about six weeks or so since we posted a travel-day entry. We were definitely ready to get on the road again. After all the warm weather we've been enjoying, of course, yesterday it turned chilly again, and this morning it was pretty crisp with quite a wind!

We were ready to go early and left the Last Resort at 8:00 for our 240 mile trip to Kerrville. We fought a north wind most of the way, which hurt our fuel economy - we got 7.4 mpg overall. The good news though, is that we paid "only" $1.95 per gallon of diesel.

Here's our last view of the Corpus Christi skyline, with the Lexington in the foreground:

Crossing the bridge into Corpus, with that other Phaeton in front of us!

Hey, where'd the palm trees go??

We arrived at Buckhorn Lake RV Resort, which is just west of Kerrville off I-10 around 12:30 and got checked in and parked. Very shortly after that, it was time to go find some lunch. Six of us, Dortha and Mark, Karen and Donnie, and Jim and I, went to Mamacita's for a very nice Mexican lunch. Afterwards, Dortha, Mark, Jim and I stopped at Walmart. Dortha and I both just looked around with wide eyes at the size of the store, the guys kind of groaned and rolled their eyes. I was excited to find several things that the Rockport Walmart did not have. Well, sometimes it just doesn't take much to entertain us. We didn't stay long, though, and got back to the rv park in plenty of time to socialize with the other folks from the RV-Dreams community who are gathering here.
We have Arlene, Kathy, Debbie and Molly:
And Mark, Bob and Chuck:
Over the next few days, I'm sure I'll be able to get some fun pictures of all the people who are here.
Dortha, Karen and I decided we needed to get in our walk, so we made a couple of loops around the park and got 2 miles done. By the time we finished, most folks had decided to go to dinner, and we have now settled in for the evening.
Stay tuned for more adventures from the Gathering.