Monday, April 27, 2009

First week Home

Well, I promised one blog a week now that we are home in High River, Alberta. The weeks activities were pretty mundane. First couple of days were devoted to unloading ELTORO, and getting him winterized and put away at the RV Storage. Had some indecision as to wether I needed to winterize, as this is the last half of April. Spring is supposed to be here. However, within a couple of days the snow started to fall, and the temperature dropped to near - 10C. Sure glad I made the right decision and completed filling the water lines with non-toxic anti-freeze. Now I rest a lot easier, and rest we did.

Daily activity was: up at about 6:30AM (can't seem to sleep in anymore), have a coffee, read, make breakfast, clean up, domestic stuff, Denice makes lunch (usually some of here conjured up soup- and it is good!), some more domestic stuff, make and eat supper, clean up, read --- The day is over. Where did the time go??

The Sunday after we got home Shannon and Don came up and delivered our promised "Easter Turkey Dinner" that we missed as we were still on the road home. Now she had them done up in Microwave plates and we weren't about to share, so Denice had cooked a Port Roast to feed the crew. Ross, our son, also had come out from Calgary. A good dinner, a good welcome visit with the kids. Skype is good on the road, but not like a real visit. Denice and I enjoyed the Turkey Dinner the next day. Thanks Shannon for the thought that went into that for us.

Then, of course the real reason for coming home, Income Tax. We assembled all the papers, T4's etc, that are required, and stuffed them into a large envelope. Now we have our accountant do Ross's as well, so I needed toget his put together as well. Ross and I have a small "One Man" Landscaping Company called "Langscaping Ventures". Ross is the prime worker and book keeper. Well not much of a book keeper. He does much better at the "Dirt" work then the paper stuff, so I spent parts of two days trying to update his files on his computer in "Quick Books". Somehow with a little number juggling, got the Bank statements and Quick Books statement to a close proximety. Printed out those numbers and put it all in the envelope with Denice and my stuff, and drove it over to our accountant who lives in North-West Calgary. He is a son of a very good friend of ours, who we were neighbors with in Pincher Creek so long ago, when we lived there. He was not home at the time, so just left the documents in his mail box. He promises to have it dome over this week-end. One more thing completed.

"Turned" a couple more bowls. I did one from a small African Exotic burl of a tree that I'm not sure of the name, and Ross did one yesterday from an Oak Log that we brought from Loredo, Texas. It turned out very well.

Now I must tell you, the weather has not been what I would call, "Good Spring Weather", but I guess it's what it usually is at this time of year. Oh to be back in Rockport Texas! We all want to see warm days and grass turning green and flowers starting to bloom. Here in Alberta we really need to wait another month for that. Just last night reading a blog from a full timer who is on the way from Pennsylvania to Alaska, and I advised him to take his time, as its a little early here yet. He responded that they would, as they were going to stay in Rapid City for week. We wish them well with their Alaska visit. We want to return there as well, as we sure enjoyed our first RV trip there a few years back, Oh well, another year. So many places to go, so little time to do it all!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Day 101 - April 18th - High River, Alberta

Today is wind down day. ELTORO out in front of the house, while we empty out all the stuff that we want to take back into the house. We had resolved to leave most of the contents in the motorhome so that we would be able to be back on the road in short order is we so desired. As this is mid-April we should not have to worry about canned goods freezing inside, so will leave them. But, surprising how many trips we made back and forth from motorhome to the house to get all in order. Clothes (We took away too many with us), Laundry, reading material, purchases (not too many of them, but knick-knacks, and small gifts), Frig and freezer stuff, and empty out the outside basement compartments of items that we may need at the house. Seemed that took the most of the day, but now we have it all inside. Piled her and there throughout the house. Still need putting away ---
By 4:00pM I took ELTORO out the the RV Storage, where my 2003 Ford Superduty Pickup had been stored for the winter in ELTORO's spot. Went to start the pickup, and of course the battery was dead. Had to boost it from ELTORO. Moved the pickup and backed in ELTORO. Still need to go out tomorrow and winterize. Forecast is for some more snow and cold next week, and I'm not about to take a chance on broken water lines. Nothing is as worse then getting ready to go for our next outing and finding a bunch of waterlines that need repairing.
Came home and had a light meal to end the day.
Your bed at home sure feels good!!
Now the future of this "Blog". I think I am going continue it for the summer, but will only update weekly, likely on Sundays, just to keep those who are following the "Langs" up to date of our activities.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Day 100 - April 17th - Home Sweet Home

Well thats interesting. Exactly 100 days since we left home until we returned.

Got up this AM in Moose Jaw to a little fog, but +4C temperature. Had a toasted Ham sandwich for breakfast before we headed out. Did the final dumping of the tanks here in Moose Jaw, as not sure where might be open once we get home. I will be able to do the remaining "Winterizing" at home. Don't think we should take a chance of no more heavy frosts yet. It is only the middle of April, and this is Canada !! A couple worth of bucks of antifreeze may save a lot of heartache later on.

Here is a shot of Moose Jaws Symbol.

The next shock of the day was when we stopped at the Shell Station on the west side of Moose Jaw to fill the gas tank. We had gotten used to filling, when the tank was just below the 1/2 way mark, and it usually took about $75 - $90 to fill to capacity. This morning it was about the same level of fullness, But $140 !!! Gas was $.89/litre.

Oh well, the cost of doing business, but then we had to fill again at Brooks, another $130.
First one of these that we have seen on this trip

Here is the place we are looking for!!!
Anyway arrived home in High River at 5:05PM, a long day with 431 miles covered.

I do have to take back my comments yesterday about, "reminding me why we are going this way". Today was a beautiful day, with bright sun most of the way, temperatures up to +21C, and clear sailing all the way home. ELTORO performed exceptionally well with not even a hicup, so it was a delightful day. And there is something about looking to the west, once nearing home and seeing the Majestic Rocky Mountains just beyond our town. Denice commented, "Now all we need now is a nice sunset to complete the day". I think she may get here wish!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Day 99 - April 16th - Moosejaw, Sask

On the road under cloudy skies at Minot at 8:15AM toward Canadian border. Reached same at 9:30AM. Border crossing fairly straight forward, but were required to stop at US side - First time ever we were required to do that. They did an abbreviated inspection of the inside of ELTORO, opening doors and drawers, frig, freezer. etc. Found nothing. Then to Canadian side. Declared $1847. 42. That was OK. Then the liquor. We had 4 part bottles of liquor and 10 cans of beer. Only allowed 2.28 litres between the two of us so had to pay duty and GST on remaining ( $25 US). Then on the way. After Estevan it started to rain. Now ELTORO does not like rain, and soon started to get wet. Then start missing. Then Denice starts to fret -----
Limped into Weyburn and stopped at truck stop. Unhooked jeep and drove back to Chev Garage, and explained problem. Said to bring it in and they would look at it. So that is where it is now, and we are in jeep behind Weyburn Inn where there is WIFI, waiting for outcome. Unsure of next step -- overnight here or get to Moose Jaw. Will update when available.
Now in Moose Jaw. Chev garage in Weyburn checked out motorhome, but didn't really find much the matter. One loose spark plug wire, fixed that. Put some dielectric grease on the the wire and said he could not think what else it could be. Paid $98, hooked up and continued on our way. Being a doubter, I had reservations about the "Fix". The rain had slowed down so we did not have any big issues, but I do not think it has been resolved yet.

We are not much smarter of "Birds" than these. As I said a few blogs ago, "Remind me again why we are headed this direction"?
Anyway pulled into the Prairie Oasis Motel and RV park right on Highway #1 and Thatcher Drive. Only electric available, but thats enough for tonight.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Day 98 - April 15th - Swensons Sales and RV Park, Minot, ND

Better get on the road northward and break trail for John and Brenda. They have gained conciderably on us and are now only about 1 day behind us and following the same route as we are. Will complete this when we stop this aft.
Just arrived in Minot, North Dakota. 415 miles under our belts today. A long day for us!! We were amazed at the amount of water laying in the fields all the way across South and North Dokata. Yesterday we saw our first indication of that dreadful 4 letter "s___" word. Today there was more and more as we worked our way north. But it was as if driving on a "Causeway", with water laying in both ditches and extending away out into the fields. We thought that as we got closer to Minot, ND that it would get better. WRONG!! Here it got even worse. Mouse River that runs through was flooding the complete valley bottom. All farmland was buried and many farmyards inundated. We had planned on staying at the KOA just south of Minot, but when we arrived found it under water. Searched for another and found Swensons Sales and RV park on the west side high above the creek bottom. Spent night here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day 97 - April 14th - Famil-E-Fun RV Park, Mitchell, SD

Up and on the road from Waco, NE at 9:00AM this morning. 7 Miles back to the west on I-80 to York, and then turn north on 81. 20 miles up 81 came apon a detour. The Columbus Viaduct was closed, whatever that is, and we were detoured a few miles to the west for about 20 miles, before joining back to 81. This section a little narrow and through a couple of small towns, but that is OK with us. Adds flavour to the trip! The remainder of the day was fairly uneventful. We had talked about just continueing on for a total of 400 miles or so to Aberdeen, SD, but as soon as we were onto I-90 started seeing signs for the the "Corn Palace" in Mitchel, SD. We have wanted to see that on other trips, but never did get this far east. I remember once at Ripid City, we started east toward Mitchel, but when we found a mileage sign and realized it was 250 miles away, changed our plans, and went south on another route. Today we decided to take the time and go there. I was for taking ELTORO to the site, but Denice convinced me to go and get settled into the Famil-E-Fun RV Park about 6 miles to the west, and then come back with the jeep. Good decision Denice!! I never realized the palace was on the far side, through the down town section. This is a real neat place, with everything made from either corn on the cob, or straw, or husks.
The Palace, with its mad mix of onion domes and minarets, looks like it was drop-kicked out of czarist Russia. It was originally built to show off the fertility of South Dakota soil - and it's remained on the job, standing in downtown Mitchell for over 75 years. A rival "grain palace"
View of the Corn Palace, 1914. (Courtesy Mitchell Corn Palace)
Mitchell's Corn Palace is built out of reinforced concrete, not corn. Every spring, however, its exterior is completely covered with thousands of bushels of native South Dakota corn, grain and grasses that are arranged into large murals.
Typical yearly themes are South Dakota Birds or A Salute To Agriculture; this past year's was Youth In Action. Locals take great pride in the Palace's "corn-septual art" and "ear-chitecture." Mitchell isn't called the Corn Capital of the World for nothing.
The Corn Palace serves as a huge auditorium for touring celebrities (Lawrence Welk played here five times - a record), as a sports arena for the various Kernels teams, and as the locus of Corn Palace Week, the high water mark of Mitchell's yearly social calendar.

Corn Palace Week marks the end of the harvest - and the beginning of the planning for next year's Palace theme.
The Corn Palace has one more title - the World's Largest Bird Feeder. After Corn Palace Week ends and winter sets it, local pigeons and squirrels make a feast of the tasty murals.

After the Corn Palace went on to see the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village. Here is a link to the site, that will explain better than I can.
We were late getting there as it closes at 4:ooPM, and we didn't arrive until 3:30PM, but the on duty Guide was more than generous by giving us a personalized guided tour through the complete facility and archeology dig site. He even took us to the dig site on his golf cart to speed our tour. Now late in the day, so stopped at KFC for some chicken to take back to ELTORO for dinner. Oh Yes!! some sunset pics!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Day 96 - April 13th - Double Nickel RV Park, Waco, NE

No Motorhome Travelling today - Searching for Denice's Roots in Schickley, NE -- Successful!!Lazy morning as we knew we had lots of time. At about 10:00AM Denice called a first cousin once removed, Gerald Krause, to get some info on cemeteries in the area. She had also e-mailed a couple of other relations, and they all responded. Found that yesterday we had been looking in the wrong town, as they were buried in Schickley rather than Geneva, two towns about 10 miles apart. I also researched some info on the web as we have good WIFI here. The local county Web is very well done, and organized. So armed with a whole bunch of info, and printed plot maps, took the jeep and and drove back to Schickley, NE, about 40 miles. Drove around until we found the town cemetery. Not too difficult as the town is only about 6 blocks long by 6 blocks wide. As we now had good info with the printed plot map and relative names associated with each, we were able to locate with relative ease each of her ancestors. Of most importance to her were her Great-grandfather and Grand-mother, Henry Peter Krause and Louisa Kreger Krause. She took multiple photos, and I took back up ones just in case! Denice will now be able to document all of these into her "Family Tree". This is becoming a valuable document to us, and should be retained long term with our decendants. Denice has over 8000 names associated with our "Tree". Many, many days, weeks, months, and years of work researching all of these associations. Once finished at the cemetery it was near noon, so went back into town and to the local restaurant, Dawgs Cafe, where we ordered burgers. As with all small town cafes, they were big and very good. Listened to the local chatter about politics, weather, etc. Every small town has that type of atmosphere at the local gathering place. While paying the $10 for our two burgers, I engaged the local proprieter and owner in some local information about possible other living relatives of Denices. Seems that there are none remaining locally, that she could recall. We asked about other close by cemeteries, and she gave us directions to both the Luthern and Catholic ones a few miles from town. We went to both of them, but were unable to find any other headstones of interest.This did not disappoint Denice as we had already found about 25 that she was in some way related to. A very worth while trip, and one that my wife has wanted for a very long time. We had never been in this part of Nebraska before. Returned back to ELTORO in Waco NE. for dinner. Now tomorrow we will be back on the road Northward again. Had an e-mail from John and Brenda. They left Rockport this morning and made good time travelling over 400 miles today. Who knows, if they keep that rate up they may catch up with us!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Day 95 - April 12th - Double Nickel RV Park - Waco, Nebraska

A real short Drive today. On the road at 9:00AM and cross into Nebraska. Another 40 miles and turn off into Geneva, Nebraska. Denice believes this is where her great-grandfather and some of her other ancestors and relatives are interred. I had found the Geneva cemetery on "Streets and Trips" so had little problems finding the site. As you can imagine Geneva is a real big town!! However the cemetery IS big. Must be a long history here. No place to park ELTORO and the jeep so pulled into a feed processing facility next to the grave yard, and parked there. One of the locals in a pickup drove in to ask if he could be of assistance, but I ensured him we were OK and only looking at roots. We did not even know where to start so just wandered through all the headstones, looking for the names of Krause, Kreger, and Rachow. Never found any of them as we wandered north to south. At the far south end and entrance found a directory and plot map. But it only indicated those after 1900. We would have to contact the director at the State National Bank tomorrow, for those prior to that date. Wandered back through, just randomly checking head stone names. Did find a couple of Krauses, but unknown to Denice. I did find one of some "Langs", but pretty sure no relation to me. It was good to get back to ELTORO as it was rather cool, only 50F degrees. We don't know what we will do back in Canada --- and remind me again why we are going home!!!
Head north again, but only as far as Highway I-80, then turn east for 7 miles to Waco, NE and Double Nickel RV Park. Self register, nobody around, and find a site that satisfies us. Hallelujah!! Good WIFI !!
Get on the internet and do some investigation, as we have nothing to do for the remainder of the day. Find that the people we are looking for are actually buried in Schickley, NE, a real small town about 10 miles further back. We will investigate that tomorrow.

Day 94 - April 11th - Evergreen Acres RV Park - Belleville, KS

Again, another slightly less than 300 miles up the road. Now, for some of you folks, I know that 300 miles is just "Getting Started", but you know what, we're retired and we only travel short days. For about 40 miles prior to Wichita. KS we were on a Toll Road Turnpike. A beautiful concrete highway with very few exits or accesses. It ended at Wichita, and then through Wichita on I-135. Appeared to be a nice city, no too big, but much of the I-135 freeway is elevated about 30 feet with bridges crossing below on ever street, with a creek between the north and south lanes. Once past there, the highway was divided 4 lane all the way to where we turned into the "Evergreen Acres RV Park" just 7 miles from the Nebraska border. The Woodalls's RV Guide indicated this park was to have 15 Full Hookups, 5 15 Pull Thrus, 25 Total Sites. Well when we got there we found this was like a farmers back yard. There was only 4 sites that I could find. Nobody was home so I wandered around the complete yard, and I couldn't find any other indication of more sites. Now I supposed there maybe had been more, but it was obvious that I Tornado had gone through the shelterbelt of trees and the yard some time before. I would guess within the last year or two.
This is what happens to a nice farm yard shelterbelt, when a tornado goes through!! I would have liked to talk to the owner to get more details, but the evidence is clearly there, as to the ferocity of the event. Notice the remains of a corrigated Metal Grain bin that are scattered everywhere through the debris.

However, what we found was OK, as only one other site was occupied with a 5th wheel, again with nobody home. So we just set up and enjoyed the afternoon. Nobody showed up in the evening or the next morning so we just left our name and address, and $20 in an envelope and motored on.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Day 93 - April 10th - Best Western RV Park - Guthrie, OK

Another day, another 300 miles toward home. No Issues, just drive. Went through FT Worth, and then through Oklahoma City. A couple of the many interchanges in Ft Worth, TX

Neither was difficult. Lots of traffic, but just follow "Penny's" verbal commands from "Streets and Trips"! Rolling Hills between Ft. Worth and Oklahoma City
An amusement Park in Oklahoma City
Arrived here early - only about 3:00PM, at Guthrie, OK. Guthrie is only about 20 miles north of Oklahoma City It was short day, only about 6 hours driving, but that's enough for us for the day. Checked into the Best Western RV Park. Never realized when I did the search on "Streets and Trips" that this would be the same as the Best Western Hotel chain. It's OK but just basic. Good enough for one night!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Day 92 - April 9th - I35 RV Park - Waco, TX

Well, we are now on the road. Made the first 300 miles without a hitch. Left Rockport at 8:30 AM after bidding farewell to John and Brenda. It has been a most delightful 3 weeks with them. Always enjoy the time with friends who have the same likes and dislikes as ourselves. We travelled up highway 188 to Refugio, then 136 to Victoria, then 77 all the way to Waco, then onto I35, and out to the I35 RV Park just outside of the city. Todays drive was quite windy, and as we left the humid seashore the temperature just seemed to continue to rise all the way. I drove and Denice "Co-Piloted". That's better than saying "Back Seat Driver", and she snapped pictures. Here is one she took. As John put it, "Is that of a species, or an individual flower". However this one of the Texas State Flower, he "Blue Bonnet" turned out rather good. When we turned into the RV park the thermometer was registering 93 F. Just a little too warm. This is anice RV park with lots of large "Pull Through" site for$25 / night with a "Good Sam" card. WIFI is available but it is satelite and kind of "Hit and Miss", but seemed bettewr in the evening when the temp lower slightly. It is now 8:45PM and the temp still is 79 F. Air conditioner running, and liely will be a good portion of the night.

Once on the internet we checked out John and Brenda's Blog. Now John, I just told you how much we enjoyed our time with you guys, and now Denice says she wants to Kill you. Could it be this photo of the Spoonbill?????

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day 91 - April 8th - Last Resort RV Park - Rockport, TX

Well today is kind of, "Get off the Pot" day as tomorrow we are on the long road Northward. Start packing all of our stuff away. Amazing how much we have got out, after staying in one place for a month. Worked all morning sorting and storing. Relieved, when John and Brenda ask us to accompany them to Corpus for lunch. We went to the Olive Garden across town and we all had soup and salad. All you can eat for $6.99 each. It was great! On the way in, just before crossing the big bridge, John motioned to Denice, that a large flock of Spoonbills were on a sandy beach beside the highway, but hidden from her view. These were the only seabirds she has been unable to photograph. As we were on a 6 lane highway bridge, we could not stop, although yesterday she stopped 4 lanes for a turtle. A great photo op missed!!

--- John, Denice wants to add, "I don't really believe there was any spoonbills there anyway!! Were you just pulling my Chain"?

After lunch returned to Rockport and ELTORO. Washed the Jeep as it was covered with pollen from the oaks. The first 2 weeks here, it was falling leaves, as I guess the oaks shed their leaves here, once in the spring and again in the fall, and then the last 2 weeks it has been falling pollen. Then put all of the remaining paraphernalia away. We had already decided to go out again for dinner with John and Brenda, to "China A's" buffet again, as we really enjoyed it when we went a couple of days ago. You can't beat it for 10 Bucks. This to be a kind of "Farewell" dinner, as it may be sometime before we see them again. Certainly not until we are all back in Canada. Then you know how it is, we are 50 miles apart, and will start to live our other lives again until our next big tour.
However , we did have a great buffet again! So much to choose from - just one of each dish - my plate runneth over - my stomach is in agony - time to rest.
Before retuning home Denice and I take one last tour along the beach to try to get some Ocean Sunset Photos. The Gods were with us and cooperated well. Nice clouds, nice sunset, even dolphins frollicking in the bay. A great way to end a great month in Rockport, Texas.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Day 90 - April 7th - Last Resort RV Park - Rockport, TX

Little report required today. Rest, Relax, Eat. Seems like we have been doing a lot of that!! Went to HEB for a gallon of Milk and a dozen eggs - Cost $50 time we got out - How come it's always that way? Decide to do another Oak Bowl from the RV Parks Woodpile before I put the Lathe away.
Only 2 more sleeps until Travel Time.
Work all afternoon completing same. Turned out pretty well. It is small, but that is as big as I can turn on my small Lathe that I have with me. It is a bowl with a lid. Not sure what you would put into it, but I'm sure some Lady will find something ------ Any ideas Brenda?
Now trying to eat up some of the frozen food, to empty out the frig and freezer by the time we get home. Denice cooks up a big chicken breast for supper. Along with mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, and sliced cucumber and tomatoes, rounded out to a very fine meal. My cook is the best, especially when she doesn't do "different".

Monday, April 6, 2009

Day 89 - April 6th - Last Resort RV Park - Rockport, TX

Nothing much to report, except that Vacation time is running out quickly. Only 3 more sleeps until time to hit the road northward. I did take the time to check the 10 day weather forecasts for our chosen route through the Mid-Western States. Appears we have a window with fair weather all the way. The only anomaly is a few showers around Wichita, Kansas about the 12th day of April, about the time we will be passing there. Good weather forecast all the way to the Canadian border. Not even frost at night.
The photo of the day today will be of Denice, "Saving the wildlife of America". Today was laundry day, so we went to Aransas Pass, where the best laundry is located. Completed the project and were headed home. Just on the outskirts of town, I had just got up to highway speed, when the co-pilot shouted, "STOP". Now never one to question the co-pilot, I slammed on the brakes and pulled to the right shoulder.
"Did you see that"? she queried.
"See what" I responded.
"That big turtle trying to cross the road".
"Never saw it"
"Back up"
I did for about a couple of hundred yards, along the shoulder while highway traffic zoomed by. I guess nobody else saw, or didn't care about one Mr Turtle. We pulled to a stop and "MS. Save the Animals" was out of the door, stopped all 4 lanes of traffic and rescued poor Mr Turtle. Now that may be what she calls "Enhancing" the story a little, but she did save the turtle from a sure fired "flattening" experience. She took him and placed him back in his own environment to a water filled ditch. I'm sure he was thankful and so were we. Today we did our duty of protecting our fragile environment.

Day 88 - April 5th - Last Resort RV Park - Rockport, TX

Just another relaxing day. Breakfast, lunch, then a quick trip to HEB for supplies. Denice is making dinner for the Brown's and ourselves this evening so need a few more things. Dinner consisted of a Thia soup that she concockted, that turned out very good. Then the main course of Thia Shrimp on a bed of white rice. Now that was different story. As soon as she put it on the stove I detected the curry smell as being "Different". Now when Denice makes something "Different", I am always somewhat concerned. Now especially when we have company. Well, when presented onto the table, I took the liberty of placing the tangs of my fork into the juice. The tangs instantly turned blue from the heat. I touched them to my tongue, and felt nothing for a few minutes. Then fire shot through my mouth, until quenched with a glass of milk. Now a warning to our guests. IT IS HOT!!! Well we all took cautious helpings, but limited the amount of sauce. Everbody enjoyed, or at least they minded their manners, and said the flavor was great, but a little HOT! One helping each was all that each of us needed, and a gallon of milk.

Day 87 - April 4th - Last Resort RV Park - Rockport, TX

Another nice day in Rockport TX. At about noon John and Brenda invite us to go to Pizza Hut for lunch - we accept. Then after take the ladies to the Old Historic Street to do some shopping - They search through the stores looking for that most unique item that they can brag about to friends back home. John and I walk the streets, just waiting for their return. Not too much that excited us. Returned home by 3:30PM and did some more "nothing" until time to eat again - left over pizza.Talked on "Skype" to the both of our kids back home. Not too glorious of a picture. Snow, snow, snow. Although it is now starting to melt. Sure hope it keeps that trend as it is only 5 days until we need to head that direction!!!

Day 86 - April 3rd - Last Resort RV Park - Rockport, TX

11:00AM headed NW along the Gulf for some site seeing -- Brenda and John declined invitation to join us. We drove highway 35 up through Tivoli and on to Port Lavaca, then across the causeway/bridge to Point Comfort. The Causeway and bridge is about 5 miles long across Matagorda Bay. At Point Comfort there is a huge Oil Refinery, but no name of the Company that owns it. I find that rather strange. for back home we wanted to advertise our companies presence when ever possiible. Here, with the sea salt and humidity everything rusts quickly, so most facilities are not too impressive. We turned back at Point Comfort and returned to Port Lavaca, left Highway 35 and toured through the Port. Stopped at a birding site along the bay.Oh sorry, wrong bird. How about this one? The one with the yellow gum boots.
Then headed for Port O'conner. Had to stop along a bayou that crossed the highway and take a photo of a couple of girls that had just caught a big Catfish. Port O'Connor is a neat little port town. Seems like everything is rather new. Lots of new homes, all up on 10 foot high stilts. At least they are prepared for the Big Hurricane!! Then on to Seadrift, another port town, but this one much older. Not many houses on stilts here, but do not seem to show signs of any hurricane damage. I guess these folks are a lot more familiar with the Gulf weather and confident that they are safe, than I would be. Now its getting on in the afternoon and time to head home. Arrived back at ELTORO at 6:30PM. We had put out a large steak to thaw before we left, and now got it onto the barbie. Supper of steak, potatoe salad, and fresh veggies. A great ending to a great day!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Day 85 - April 2nd - Last Resort RV Park - Rockport, TX

Lazy Day - not really a thing to report for the day. Did some reading --- and resting. Denice cooked up a large bowl of Leek/potatoe soup. Gave Brenda half of it and we had the other half for dinner. Weather was very windy today, so we just hunkered down for the day.

Oh Yes, Mr. Squirrel outsmarted me again.
Made a Skype video call to Shannon, Samantha, and "The Little Dude" this afternoon when Samantha was picking him up from Shannons. That was entertaining to see them. Skype is a great program for us Snowbirds to keep in touch with Family back home. And you can take snaps of them from the video cam.
Pretty good sunset tonight, so drove down the bay and snapped these.

Day 84 - April 1st - Last Resort RV Park - Rockport, TX

After breakfast, but before lunch Denice I take a little tour downtown to pick up a couple of things that Denice had wanted from the Maritime museum. Also wanted to see the Tri-angle Gardens that has a Labyrinth, if you know what that is. I guess it’s a place to walk around in circles on a path and meditate. I need some of that!! Then we went to Zachary Taylor Park. This is where he stopped and camped when he was a general, and there is a huge Oak Tree there and a park named for him. By now it was past lunch time and we did not want any more fish, so we went to Mac's Bar-B-Que Pit, and had Bar-B-Qued Briskit for $6.99 each. Very Good. From there we headed to Goose Island State Park. On the way stopped off at the old historic Lamar Cemetary. Lots of old graves prior to 1800's. Then to the State Park. Registration for free for a 20 minute drive through permit, But old "Honesty Herself" said we will need more time than that, so now it cost me $6.00 each. But it was worth it, as we spent about 2 hours there. They have a bird feeding station, so we spent a fair amount of time there taking bird pictures, and then went out onto to the Bay Loop. Here is RV parking right on the beach. I mean 10 feet from the water. I would like that, but it would be windy!! There is lots of parking sites in the Old Oak forest close by though. Total, I believe, of about 200 sites. Registration tell me that their rate is $16/night in the trees, $20/night on the beach. No limit on time as long as they have room. From November through February is their busy time with reservations recommended, but not necessarily required. There is also a fishing Pier called Pelican Bay. The pelicans are extremely tame waiting for some fish remains for dinner. Returned home and picked up Brenda and John and went to A's Chinese Buffet for supper. Must have been over a hundred different dishes to choose from, many unknown to me. Certainly too many to try each, but it was good, for only $10.00 each.