Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Moving on. . .

You never know what you are going to see on the road. . . but when we left Florida, the day after the Nascar race at Homestead, we got passed by "Digger's" truck/trailer. There were a couple other race vehicles that passed us and I'm pretty sure there were a couple of driver's coaches in there. We also got passed by what I think is playground equipment. Kind of comical looking at an open frog's mouth going around us!

I found this picture of the kids I snapped just before we left the other day. They are in front of the little Christmas tree I put up for them while they were gone on their honeymoon. This will be a special Christmas for them.

We left Zachary, Louisiana, on Saturday and stopped for the night in Beaumont, Texas. The plan was to go through Houston early on Sunday morning and that was a great plan. We lived in Houston for three months last year while Terry was undergoing cancer treatment and we know the city quite well. But this Sunday was even light traffic for Houston, so we sailed right through. The only problem we had was the wind. Wow. The wind was 25-35 mph with higher wind gusts. My arms were hurting from holding the wheel, but we did manage to cover 199 miles before we stopped for the night at noon. That's right. . . noon. Those winds were fierce and we probably shouldn't have been out there anyway. As we passed through Edna, Texas, we ran into a dust storm. Fortunately, the worst of the storm was north of the roadway and there was an area there that you could not make out anything on the ground because of the swirling sand. We made it through the area fine, but it was a little wierd.

We stopped in Victoria for the night. We got in early and crashed. We both took naps and then later went for a drive. It has been awhile since we have been here, so we reacquainted ourselves with the area. We ate some barbeque for supper which was good, but we are going to start eating in the motorhome more. Terry is noticing a little water weight and that is not good for him, so we will get to the valley and start walking daily and watching our diet more closely. It was cold in Victoria and we had to run our heat pumps, but that was sufficient.

Yesterday we left Victoria to drive to Three Rivers. Our fulltiming friends, Bob and Betsy, are working a gate on a ranch. They control the traffic going in/out of a natural gas pipeline distribution hub. When they first arrived there, the land had only been cleared and now there are many structures on it. They log in hundreds of vehicles daily and they have to be documented in and out including anytime they leave, like for lunch, etc. Gate guards cannot leave their site unless they have someone come and cover for them. Other gate guards in the area swap off duty with them so that couples can go out to eat, etc. Debbie, from a gate north of town, came down and took over while we went out to eat with our friends. We went to a local restaurant which at one time was owned by the baseball player, Nolan Ryan. In fact, Ryan owns one of the large ranches in the area here. We had a great dinner with our friends and we went back to their motorhome to visit with them and their dog. Once it was quitting time on the site, Bob went outside to log all the traffic going out. Later, the gate would be locked and their work would be done for the day, but they still have to remain on site. There are large lights up all night run by diesel generators and the place is pretty much lit up. If it weren't for those lights, it would be pitch black once you stepped out of the motorhome.

I took pictures of the area. Each one of these sites looks different, depending upon what they are doing on the land. Bob said this site is only one-fourth complete, so it will be quite larger when finished. The picture of all the lights is a Valero refinery at Three Rivers.

Actually before we went to see Bob and Betsy, we decided to tour Choke Canyon State Park. I had heard the name before and was curious about it. It was very close to our camp, so we went over to look. The lake, as most lakes in Texas right now, is very low. The area is 16 inches below the normal rainfall and the lake looks it. They did have some rain last week, but not nearly enough. A lot of ranchers have sold off their cattle and have come to work on the rigs and the other job sites in the area. Pray for rain for Texas.

As we entered the park, we saw this curious little fellow. I love armadillos. They are just strange looking. . . don't seem to be afraid of you, and seem to be oblivious to our curiosity. We also saw deer enjoying the shade under a grove of trees. The campground was very nice and would be a decent place to stay. Camping is cheap enough, however, they require a $4 daily park pass per person. So at $20 a night camping, our total per night would be $28 for water and electric. Hmmmm. Not a great bargain. Not surprisingly, the camp was poorly used. There were 20 "cabins" which looked similar to KOA camping cabins, but they were all unoccupied. They were called shelters, but they were enclosed and had air conditioning, so I think cabin would be the term. They also had picnic areas, a tent area, and a gymnasium with a kitchen and stage which could be rented.

We have decided we are going to head to Mission today. We are a few days early, but it has been a long time since we have been there and we are anxious to get there. We are having cool days and cold nights and we are ready for the warmth of the valley.

Till next time. . .


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