Happy Easter 2014

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We are at San Angelo State Park. We’re  happy here and hope you and your families are enjoying the season regardless of the flavor.

We had relatively heavy rain last night, enough to cause minor flooding in the street.  In drought ravaged Texas, this is cause to celebrate.

We were privileged to attend service at Calvary Lutheran Church this morning.  Packed?  They ran out of bulletins!  Two children were baptized, a nice tradition here is they embroider their name (s) in the wall hanging.  After the service the hanging is gifted to the parents. 

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Last year we ‘crashed’ their annual picnic.  Several folks {including Pastor Curt} remembered that and welcomed us back.

Anne-Marie fixed a wonderful meal of Chicken Parm. and Raviolis.  Can’t get much better than that for this fellow!   While she cooked I repaired a few more storage bay latches. I will soon report they are all done!

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After dinner, it was time for serendipity.  Gail Horels and her one horse surrey stopped on her jaunt thru the park.  They give tours (advance reservation required) and can be found HERE.

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Tomorrow, continue on to Georgetown.

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We are at Big Bend National Park in southern Texas. There is no Verizon Internet or telephone service here. For a few days we may as well be on the back side of the moon!Image

About 300 miles from Deming, NM we stopped in the very small town of Marfa, Texas. Their main claim to fame is an oddity called the Marfa Lights. Drive out of town a few miles and stop at the viewing area very far in the distant mountains you can see unexplained lights. They were 1st noted several hundred years ago by Apaches living in the area. We did not see them as it was a full moon, next time maybe.

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We had some important documentation work to be done concerning our vehicle registration. A Power of Attorney had to be notarized, the next morning we went into town. At the town hall we meet Don who seemed to be the town Manager. He was very pleasant and we had a nice visit, it seemed we were going to be his excitement for the day. He was not a Notary but did refer us to another Brother that worked at The Marfa Bank. We were again treated to a basket full of Texas hospitality, they even encouraged me to put my hand in their 150 year old safe!

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The road to Big Bend N.P. was 96 miles, for the most part it was desolate. We were happy to pay a $.50 / gallon premium at a fuel station just outside the park. You see the access road is about 70 miles long, than you have 20 miles to get to the campground. We were not going to see fuel for 200+ miles. In fact we found fuel in the park, it was the same price.

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There are no hook ups here, the sites are very nice. There is a full service campground a few miles away run as a concession. They are $33/night as compared to our comparatively huge site at $7/night. Our solar is working fine, I have discovered that our main TV is an energy hog. It is a flat screen but not an LED.

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Note to File; When disengaging from Toad it is NOT wise to drop the tow bar. Doing so will not speed up the process as the cable connector will break and you will have to resort to a primal skill of rewiring it.

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On Wednesday we drove over to Cas Grande Peak which at 7103 feet is the highest accessible point in the park. The Lodge there has a general store and a campground suitable for tents and small campers. Being about 3,000 feet above the nominal altitude, the vistas are very nice.

There was also a ‘hot springs’ about 4 miles off the road, up a mine trail.  Must have been fun 100 years ago when it was in full swing!  Can you believe I was too shy to join that topless chicks that were in there?

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Meanwhile, back at the campground we were visited by a Roadrunner. He denied having a ‘Beep-beep’ horn or a wolf chasing him. We’ve seen a quite a few of these, they are always on the run and impossible to photograph with my simple camera.

Today is Good Friday, I hope to be in a campground with WiFi so I can edit and post this to you.

We are at San Angelo State Park, nice sites, Water & Electric Hookups.

 

A Dry Heat and a Brisk Wind here!

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Great weather here, if you can stand-up to enjoy it!  35mph sustained  wind is no fun to drive a 40′ barn door shaped motorhome it.  I didn’t get much above 60mph yesterday, my old arthritic hands are screaming at me after gripping the wheel like a vise for a few hours.  At 60mph, I was passed by 1 or 2 motor-homes, God be with them.  I can unequivocally state that a big 5th wheel is much better in the severe winds.

We arrived at Dream Catcher RV Park yesterday at about 4:00, after we setup, we went to Forgetaboutit Pizza shop.  Got to tell you, this place is on a par with the best New Haven, CT can do in it’s ovens!  Our thin crust beauty had meatballs, sausage & peppers.

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Enough about us, This Amelia Mattesen our ‘Baby’ Granddaughter.  She has just been accepted at Worcester Poly Tech.  We are very proud of her!

Please leave a note in the ‘Comments’ section below telling me your good news today!  How do you get notified when I update this?

Benson, AZ to Deming, NM is 176 miles, an easy day!

We’ve spent the last few days at Sargasso Co-op park.  We rested and worked on ‘bucket list’ item that need doing on our coach.  This was made easier by the help of several fellows and the use of the very nice shop that is part of the facility.  Fully tooled for this type of work, it is maintained by volunteers and stocked with donations.  I got a kick out of a sign that noted that The Beautiful Table Saw was married to the Broom, they always work together.

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Steve from Kiwi RV Repair spend almost 3 hours cleaning and adjusting our gas appliances.  The photo below shows him reaming out a huge amount of sediment in our hot water heater.  Note to file: Do not put a sacrificial anode in a suburban water heater, they are made out of aluminum and do not cooperate with a zinc anode!

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Later in the week, I did my ‘Flying Walenda’ impersonation while caulking the roof.  I had noticed some minor issues during my per-purchase inspection.  It’s almost 90° making this a warm job to say the least. 

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We are parked on a bare lot, no caseda or fancy stone work.  If it goes on the market, it would probably be $12,000.  With annual maintenance fee of about $700, its good deal.  Improved lots are $20k to $30k.  We are on the list….

 

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         Does this seem to be true for you? 

We will travel today to Deming, NM where we plan to spent 4 days at The Rovers Roost, another Escapee’s Park.

Yuma to Benson, AZ 291 trouble free miles!

We left Yuma with our hearts in overdrive.  How would the coach behave?  Were all of the mechanics happy?  Would the car tow well?  Would UCONN prevail next year?  Yes Gino, everything worked out according to plan!

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This is a new low in poor pictures showing our Toad following us down the road.  I’ve towed many thousands of miles in our earlier coaches, this is a good view for the driver to have!

This is more or less a test blog.  I’m trying to get help on how to make text wrap around pictures, if yo know how to do this WordPress, please chime it!

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After a busy day, 4:00 comes to our Happy Hour.  Why 4:00 instead of 5:00 like the rest of the world?  Simple, we are mostly old & retired and struggle to keep ahead of the donators.

Tomorrow I have a fellow coming in to clean & service our gas appliances.

 

 

East Bound to Texas Today, GOOD-BYE DISH!

Thank-you Carl Lawson for catching my mind phart when I said we were going west to Texas on the last post.  I guess it’s a damn good thing I use a GPS.

One of the most rewarding phone calls I’ve made was on Friday when I canceled our DISH satellite TV service.  Like many RV’ers, we have a love/hate relationship with our electronic service providers.  They always seem too expensive and often fail to fill our needs and wants.

DISH stabbed it’s RV customers in the back when it failed to provide ‘Distant Locals’ with very little notice and no viable alternative.  3 years ago, we received east and west coast feed from the networks.  No extra cost, we simply filled out federal documents declaring ourselves as transients.  Last year, DISH advised us that service had been taken over by a 3rd party and cost would be $120/year.  In Janurary, trade papers issued warning that the third party supplier was going broke. 

In March, DISH turned us off.  They had lots of excuses, no reasonable alternative.  While we could get locals from whatever location we were parked at, the station numbers and times were in constant flux making it impossible to watch or record on their system.

We voted with our feet and had Direct TV installed.  I’m know they have their own set of issues: 2 year contact, no RV friendly plan, etc.  My supplier set us up with a New York service address that allows us to receive New York city feed where ever our location.

Our rig had a manual dish installed which works fine.  It takes about 5 minutes to aim and support 2 TV feeds.  The KVH dome next to it is O.E.M equipment and non functional

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We went to a repositioning  dinner last evening at The Asian Palace, one of the best Chinese restaurants we have ever eaten in.  Thank-you’s to Charlie and Dawn Boles for adding this to our list of greats.Image

Anne-Marie is smiling because this is a huge pile of fresh fried colossal shrimp served with a honey based walnut sauce.  We shared this along with the best Won Ton soup I’ve ever had.

A bad day for the checkbook!

We started out at the shop which fitted our Toad with the necessary brackets to mate the Toad to our Motorhome.  This required a $399 kit and about 4 hours of labor.  The photo below shows the car with the front fascia removed during the installation.Image

Next we were on to the Tyre shop.  BTW: A Tyre is an tire that costs over $500.  Motorhome tires never wear out, they dry rot and are rather universally accepted to have a 7 year lifespan if your lucky.  The Michelin tires on our coach would not have been good for a tire swing.  Note below the huge tread depth left on them.

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The tyres in the back are our new Toyos.  The photo on the left shows the sidewall cracks

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These houses are not bundled up for the winter.  Their owners have fled to the northern states and are trying to arrest the ravages 100°+ heat & wind.

I took a cold shower this morning, photo not fit to print!.  No, not because I needed one. The water started out tepid and cooled off from there.  What?  We have a 10 gallon hot water heater. 

When I lifted the hatch to investigate, I found about 1/8″ of dusty sand coating the internals.  Image

Maybe I can wash it away with a bottle of Leinenkugel’s Summer Shanty.  A great adult beverage in the hot weather!  Summer cannot be far away when this brew hits the shelves at Krogers.Image

Tomorrow, we depart for Texas where hopefully we can close up some legal business and Anne-Marie can get released by her back surgeon.