Monday, January 22, 2018

The party that didn't happen

.....in Davis Mountains.

The weather was perfect when we arrived at Davis Mountain State Park in Texas on Sunday. After setting up camp, we drove into Marfa to see the famous, mysterious Marfa Lights. For many years, these lights have flashed off and on (kind of like flashlights) in the West Texas desert along Hwy. 66. There have been a number of theories on their existence but to date, none have been conclusive. They remain a mystery that draws many to view them at dusk.

Monday, again was pleasant; with temperatures in the 60s perfect for a hike up a mountain (okay maybe it was just a large hill) that overlooked our campground.
It was very windy!
That was after a big breakfast at the Ft. Davis hotel/soda fountain/drugstore/pharmacy/gift shop.

The party was to happen on Tuesday evening at the McDonald’s Observatory. Originally there were eight of us with reservations to the Star Party. Sam and Dave had to cancel the trip and the party; Rex and Anna were to meet us at Davis Mountain State Park on Sunday. At the advice of a park ranger at South Llano River State Park, due to possible inclement weather, they turned around and went home. Tuesday Lisa was a bit under the weather, so that left her and Scott out. Tuesday evening the temperatures plummeted to the 20s and the sky was overcast, so we too bailed on the Star Party.

Tuesday and Wednesday it was just too cold to enjoy the outdoors so we stayed in The Wanderer, drinking hot chocolate, eating chili, reading, drawing, and watching episode after episode of MASH and NCIS. (And we watched the A&M/Ole Miss basketball game; the Aggies won for a change!) Note, we don’t mention surfing the internet? That is because we could not get internet or cell service in the park. Two years ago when staying in Davis Mountains State Park, we drove into Ft. Davis and used the internet at the library. This trip we found the hotel/soda fountain/drugstore/pharmacy/gift shop had free and very fast internet, 

so each day we drove into town, parked in front of the store to check emails, text messages and download our hometown newspaper.


Thursday evening we said “good-bye” to Lisa and Scott and to our new friends, Lucy and George from Upstate New York
Big Bend Brewery, Alpine, Texas
We couldn’t leave West Texas without stopping to visit our good friends, Wendy and Steve, in Andrews.



Lucky for us, George W. Bush’s Portraits of Courage exhibit had just opened at the Museum of the Southwest, a short distance away in Midland. While reminding us of the wounds our Nation’s veterans incurred to keep us safe and to protect our freedom, the former President empowers the veterans to wear their wounds as badges of courage.






We all were humbled and left with feelings of gratitude.

While in Midland we took the opportunity to visit the PetroleumMuseum



where we learned a little history, were introduced to some new drilling technology, saw some amazing paintings by Tom Lovell and played with admired the famous Chaparral race cars.



When we started exploring our country three years ago, we discussed visiting local churches to broaden our faith experiences. However, we found that we were often traveling on Sundays. This trip we did a better job of planning and were able to attend the First Methodist Church of Midland with Steve and Wendy. They gave us the choice of attending the traditional or modern; we chose modern (remember, we are looking for new experiences.) With a 6-piece praise band, casual dress (like jeans and t-shirts,) refreshments in the atrium (also a permitted in the worship service) it was much different than our Presbyterian Church at home. What we liked best was seeing so many families and young folks worshipping and participating in the service.

After much reminiscing, catching up on industry news and mutual friends, discussing grandchildren, and watching the football playoffs, we said good-bye.

We have spent the past month in Texas. Tonight we are in a Walmart parking lot in El Paso; tomorrow we will begin our stay in New Mexico. 

Tip for fellow RVers; if ever you are traveling through Andrews, Texas (probably will not happen unless you have friends or family living there,) the Chamber of Commerce has five RV sites with water and electricity, plus a dump station behind their building on Broadway. It is free but accepts donations. 


Note to email subscribers, hitting reply to the email notification of a new post will send your reply out somewhere in cyber space and we will never know of your comments.  If you wish to comment, please do so in the comment section on the blog site or send a note using the email address you have in your contact list. 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Big Bend Adventure

When we pulled up to the entrance to Big Bend National Park on Monday (January 8) our thermometer told us it was 71 degrees. With sunshine and pleasant temperatures all week we enjoyed hiking the easy and moderate trails with our College Station friends, Scott and Lisa.




Boquillas Canyon Trail

Looking across the Rio Grande River into Mexico

Rio Grande River in Boquillas Canyon
Opportunities to purchase Mexican trinkets (note the honor system) 

Lisa and Scott on the Chisos Basin Trail
Window View on the Chisos Basin Trail
Sant Elena Canyon 
ABN navigating the Sant Elena Canyon Trail

One day Scott and Lisa ventured across the border to Boquillas, Mexico. Although we were assured it was safe, we just couldn’t bring ourselves to take the risk, so we checked out the little town of Terlingua on the US side of the Rio Grande.

Lunch in Terlinga


Ozzie and Izzy came along on this adventure but unfortunately had to stay at the campground as pets were not allowed on the trails. Ozzie let it be known that he was not at all happy about this arrangement. (Let’s just say, word has it he will not be invited on future RV adventures.)

Ozzie is the one that looks guilty.
Remember last summer when we spoke about running into Aggies throughout the Northwest? Well of course there are plenty roaming about in Texas. When we returned from a hike on Wednesday, new neighbors were parked next to Scott and Lisa; introducing ourselves to Norman and Kathy, we learned that not only was Norman an Aggie but was also a nuclear engineer and had worked with Captain early in their careers at Texas Utilities. Of course we invited them to join us for wine time. Another couple, Jeanie and Don (not Aggies but Don did study at A&M one year) from the Texas hill country also joined us for a fun and interesting evening.

Thursday evening we were joined by Denny and Laurie from Iowa, Linda and George from St. Louis, Gail and Kevin from Minnesota and a couple from Michigan. Friday evening brought Lucy and George from upstate New York.



Meeting folks from throughout the country is what we enjoy most about traveling in an RV.

We had no internet or cell phone service at the Rio Grande Village Campground, so each day we walked the short distance to the camp store to check our emails, Facebook and to download our hometown newspaper.

.

The nearest cell phone service was about 8 miles from our campground; whenever we were in range we checked for text messages. (Yes, we survived not being constantly connected!)

As we post this we are aware that ice is covering our hometown; while we are hoping our friends and neighbors are warm and safe, we have to admit we are happy to not be there.

Tomorrow we will move over to Davis Mountains State Park.



 Note to email subscribers, hitting reply to the email notification of a new post will send your reply out somewhere in cyber space and we will never know of your comments.  If you wish to comment, please do so in the comment section on the blog site or send a note using the email address you have in your contact list. 


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Warmer days ahead.......we hope!

The Wanderer is loaded, Roger is tethered and we are off to explore in Big Bend National Park.



The past couple of weeks we Captain and the family have watch an insane amount of football as well as some disappointing basketball. (What’s with the Aggies?)  We have played oodles of Pinochle, Texas 42 Dominos and Mexican Train.


Captain clinched the Mexican Train championship by winning 10 of the 23 games played. (Incidentally he was the score keeper, just saying....) Chris and Rex tied for the Boxcar Award (given to the most in-the-box winner; you have to be here.) There was a tie for the The Shame of Mexican Train Award, (also known as the Biggest Loser award, we’ll just leave it at that.)  As usual there was a lot of laughter, a bit of trash talk and plenty of cookies and ice cream. That pretty much describes our past two weeks in College Station.

After a week or so of unusually cold weather, we hope to find warm sunny days ahead.


Note to email subscribers, hitting reply to the email notification of a new post will send your reply out somewhere in cyber space and we will never know of your comments.  If you wish to comment, please do so in the comment section on the blog site or send a note using the email address you have in your contact list.