Monday, November 26, 2012

Texas Here We Come!

I want to thank everyone for being so patient for this first post, as I learn my way through the Blogging process.  Please know that it will only get better so here we go. . .
Eau Galle WI on 10/22 at 9:10a. 60F

No first picture as Kay forgot to get out my camera for the

start of this journey, but you know how excited and anxious you can get when you finally realize that this is the day. (I’ve included an old picture which should still give the same affect.)  It was a good day because we saw an eagle soaring over us as we headed through the small community of Downsville which is approx. 4 miles from our driveway.  This to us is definitely a sign of good luck for us!   The cats had their first taste of the RV and we are all adjusting.  Abby (12 yrs.), who doesn’t like noise of any kind does not quite know what to do with the bumps and rumble strips along the way…..whine, whine, whine.  Our second cat, Chuck (6 yrs), doesn’t have a problem at all with anything. They will be just fine.

A nuisance rain continued to follow us through to Des Moines, IA as we drove the 218 miles it takes to get through the state.  Filled our gas tank in Ames with diesel at a price of $3.989 gal – the lowest we’ve seen so far and made a simple lunch before hitting the open road again.  That price tag was around $288 and thus far we had driven 264 miles from home.  In Des Moines the weather was a balmy 73F and we were able to enjoy some autumn color with some sumac still the vibrant reds that we experienced back home.  It appears that they got more rain as we see a lot more green grass during this travel.  Total driving time from Wabasha to the MO border was approx... 7 hrs. for us at 60 mph – who’s in a hurry anyway!  We pulled into Bethany MO at a Walmart for the night and met a very nice couple of MN parked for the night too.

Bethany MO on 10/23 at 8:15a. 67F
On this day we headed toward Kansas City on our way to the Escapee RV campground (Turkey Creek RV Park) in Hollister.  Jeff drives for a bit and then Kay is in the driver’s seat for some action!  We were picking up some wind on this day so it was a little bit of a challenge for both of us.  Kay drove a little over an hour when we pulled into Humansville for a lunch break around 1:10p.  We elected to eat in the RV and not check out Nana's County Diner, where the temp was a balmy 81F.  We thought we were in Packer land with the unique paint job outside of this eating establishment.  Just a short lunch and then back on the road, finally pulling into the RV park at 2p.

Hollister MO (across the river from Branson)
Refrigerators are really a necessary item to have and the reason why we are not putting on any miles quite yet.  After 12 years of service it decided to quit so we are waiting for a new unit to arrive from IN.  Several coolers with ice being refreshed are sitting on the floor in the unit with blankets in the hopes that we can save some of our food.  If the unit doesn’t come on Friday we will have to wait until Monday – installation takes about 3 hrs and was completed on the 28th for us so that we could hit the road continuing south.  Kay is still sick with cold through all of this - Ugh!
Oh Happy Day!  Service reps spent almost 3 hours removing/installing the new back unit as we kept our oak doors intact on the front of the unit.  We were back in business.  After we put what good food remained, we had breakfast and got ready to roll our of the campground.  Everyone we met made our stay very enjoyable so at a little after 10a. we pulled out of Hollister MO for the Arkansas roads.  Because of the time spent waiting for the fridge our planned trip to Hot Springs, AR will just have to wait for another time because we still had to put on some miles before getting to our destination in southern Texas.  At this point in our travels we had already put on approx. 816 miles.
Next stop - Hope, AR 10/27 at 4:15p 57F  

Traveling through Arkansas was absolutely beautiful and from Little Rock/Texarcana we couldn't help but notice the many beautiful churches that periodically dotted the landscape as we traveled through some very interesting towns.  Tree colors were just starting in this area.  We stayed the night at Hope (birthplace of Bill Clinton) and met Art from Florida.  After inviting him into our home we were able to share some stories and laughs and hear about his travels after just retiring as Kay.
10/28, Louisiana here we come - leaving Hope at 8:08a - arriving in Orange, TX at 2:49p. (over 1300 miles traveled so far).


The Visitors Center had absolutely every piece of literature imaginable on anything that you were interested in.  We gathered up quite a lot of information on the what the state had to offer for us (birding, beaches, mountains) and headed toward our miles around Houston on a Sunday afternoon.  It was quite the experience, let me tell you.  Jeff said it was the worst driving he had ever experienced and for him to say that - let's just say that he's rather not go there again.  We had decided to take the expressway around Houston via toll roads which turned out to be a very expensive venture of a little over $14.00, and in later talking with people they say that it's easier to just drive through the city.  Wish we would have known that a little earlier!  At 6:14p. that same day pulled into Alvin, TX for some diesel ($3.79/gal) and spent the night to leave the next day for our journey along the Gulf - Yahoo!!!
10/29 - Port Lavaca, TX 12:15a.- we have landed on the beach!


What a better place to pull into and enjoy the sights.  Actually not too many RVers at this time as it was after the weekend when I'm sure there were may others enjoying the scenery also.  Here are some of the pics that we experienced - beautiful sunsets, ocean breezes.....water.....water.....warm temps!!!
We stayed here, leaving on the 31st to head to Bird Island Basin Campground in the Padre Island National Seashore to stay one night before heading out on 11/1 to arrive at our destination after putting on 1,925 miles during this trip.


A perfect way to end a very delightful experience on this get-away beach. . .beautiful!  We will definitely be back again.
Nov 1, 2012 - Edcouch, TX
With only a couple of days under our belts here at the resort we have decided that this is the place to spend the winter and take up more miles probably in April.  The first week we enjoyed temps in the high 80's-90s and had to keep the A/C on but now into mid-Nov it has cooled off into the 70s with some cooler nights (in the 50s) bringing in some cloudy days but with no precipitation.  They call this area of the Rio Grande the Magic Valley as most of the food grown here is shipped everything.  Without saying the grapefruit and oranges are magical and we are seeking out the many varieties of veggies and fruits that are plentiful and abundant to everyone.  We are definitely Gringos here in the valley as it is also referred to as North Mexico. 

More on the next Blog to be shared on a trip to Mexico and of the many interesting places.  I just need to remember to take my camera so that I can share the visuals with everyone.  As I said, the posts will get better....I promise...and will not take forever to get published.  I'm loving retirement, my best friend (of course) and life!  Talk to everyone soon. 

Hugs to all ~ Kay & Jeff

Happy Thanksgiving!