Tuesday, May 14, 2019

A Cautionary Tale...

   Acadian Oasis RV Park has been in existence for only a year. Inside the office is a counter on which sits a credit card scanner... and that's about it. A nicely paved road runs down the center of a 200' wide by 300 yard deep swath of well maintained real estate looping around a small 15' x 60' frog pond at the far end. The radius of the loop, easily negotiated by a travel trailer or 5th wheel, is a bit tight for a 43' coach (the articulating nature of a vehicle pulling a trailer makes it more maneuverable than a '43 foot bus with a 279" wheelbase - plus a tag axle). I had to shuffle back and forth a couple times to make the turn...not a big deal. There are 16 concrete pads angling off either side of the center aisle for a total of 32 sites. AORVP is a little off the beaten path and I'm not sure they get a lot of big rig visitors. At the moment there is one other 'class A' motorhome in the park and it's significantly shorter than we are.


    When we arrived Saturday afternoon we were greeted by a lovely woman who unfortunately, due to a misbehaving credit card reader, was unable to process my payment. I told her I'd settle up the next day when, presumably the credit card reader would be working properly. I also asked if I could wash the coach. We had driven 325 miles in heavy rain and it needed cleaning pretty badly. She told me they do allow RV washing but she thought there was an additional fee and that she'd have to check with her husband - who was out with their son bass fishing. Okay.

   The next morning I walked down to the office to settle up but there was nobody there. In fact, there was nobody there all day. I called the number on the website and got a recording so I left a message asking that someone please call me when they were onsite - and could I wash my coach. The next day I left another message. Finally, last night at around 7:00pm, I decided to go ahead and begin washing the coach. I washed the passenger side and the front, leaving the driver's side and rear for the next day, today.
     Being a bit fussy about the condition of the exterior of my RV, I'm always interested in whether or not a park allows washing and often ask during the registration process. If washing is not allowed it usually says so in the brochure/park map that most parks include in the registration packet. When a park does allow washing there is sometimes (rarely, but sometimes) a small fee... maybe $5 or $10 - I guess to compensate management for the additional water usage (?). I'm not sure. I'm pretty miserly with my water usage and don't feel like I use much more washing the coach than I do taking a shower.
    At any rate, I have never washed my coach in an RV park that charges a fee. But I made an exception this time. AORVP participates in the Passport America program and I'm paying only $22.50 nightly. I figured another $5 or $10 wouldn't break the bank.
    Last night, after finishing the portion of the coach I had intended to wash I stretched out on the couch and began watching a show on Netflix ("Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes"... creepy). Suzanne was out for a walk with Winnie when someone came-a-knocking at the door. I lifted my head from my pillow and looked out the window and saw a Louisiana State Trooper standing outside. Wondering what the hell was going on, I went to the door and stepped outside.

  "Hi, I'm John, the owner of the campground!"
  "Oh! Hi, Steve Killian!"

   We shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. The concrete around the coach was wet and my bucket, brushes etc. were sitting out to dry. I said, "I hope you don't mind, I went ahead and started washing the coach." He said it wasn't problem but that he usually charges a fee and we could take care of that tomorrow when I settled up. He'd be onsite around 4:00pm doing some yard work.

    Today was Suzanne's birthday. I went to the gym this morning and when I got home, and Suzanne had finished her work for the day, around 11:30am, we hopped in the car and drove to Avery Island, about 20 miles from here and the home of the Tabasco Factory - where we had lunch and took the self guided tour of the factory. It was a fun day.
    About 30 minutes after our return to the RV park I spotted John on his riding lawn mower and rode my bike to where he was working. He turned the mowing over to his teenage son and the two of us walked down to the office. We had a pleasant conversation and he told me (in his heavy Cajun accent) the additional fee for washing the coach was $15. I was a little surprised at the $15 figure. I've been to literally hundreds of RV parks and have rarely seen a fee above $10. Motorcoach Country Club, the most expensive RV park we've ever stayed at, allows washing with no fee. RV parks either allow washing or don't and those that do, rarely charge a fee. Resigned to paying the additional fee and happy in the knowledge that we would be continuing our journey in a shiny coach, I handed him my credit card and, this time, the payment process went off without a hitch. After ten or fifteen more minutes of chatting I hopped back on my bike and returned to the coach.
    Not having paid much attention when he had quoted me the amount due, after sitting down on the couch, I dug out my wallet and looked at the receipt. It was about $35 more than I thought it should be. John was now edging the site directly across from mine so I took the receipt and walked over. He shut down the weed whacker.

   "John, I think you might have overcharged me. Sunday night at the full $45... four nights at the Passport America 50% discounted price... the $5 credit card fee and $15 for washing the coach..."

  "No, Fifty dollars... not fifteen."
  "Yeah, that's what they get."
  "That's what who gets?"
  "That's what other places like this get around here"

I just shook my head, turned around and walked back to the coach in disbelief.

Fifty bucks to wash my own coach! In South Padre Island I only paid $80 to have two guys wash my coach while I sat inside drinking a beer! And for an extra $65 they hand waxed it! I'm paying $50 and I have to do the work?! If I'm paying someone fifty bucks for the privilege of washing my own coach somebody had better be standing by with new age music playing on Pandora and essential oils ready to give me a sensual massage!

My bad for deciding to wash before knowing the fee. It never occurred to me it would be anything in the neighborhood of $50!

    I wish this guy all the luck in making a go of his business - but he's got some homework to do. He might begin by sharing with his wife the RV washing policy or by stating it clearly in the park brochure.
   Oh well, I only paid $22.50/night for four of the five nights spent here. I'll have to boondock in a Walmart parking lot or two to recoup my losses.

Live & learn.

Friday, May 10, 2019

I Didn't See This Coming!

    Yesterday, during our drive to Matagorda Bay Nature Park in Matagorda, TX we were listening to news on XM Radio and learned that there had been some bad weather in the area of Texas to which we were heading. They were also predicting more severe weather over the next couple days. Concerned, we called MBNP RV Park and were told that the previous night's severe weather was further to the north but that more nasty stuff was on the way for Thursday night through Saturday.
    We were able to complete the day's journey without getting wet. Well, there was a very brief shower early in the day, but it was over in very short order and I only had to use the wipers in intermittent mode. We arrived at the park under quasi sunny skies with temps and humidity in the semi uncomfortable range.
    Following supper and a couple episodes of The Big Bang Theory on TBS we went to bed around 10:00 to light rain... but were awakened three or four hours later to heavy rain, wind and lots of thunder & lightening. The wind gusts were what concerned me most. Each of the three slides on the coach are equipped with a "slide topper", heavy vinyl material on an aluminum tube that extends and retracts as the slide is extended and retracted. They are designed to shed water and to prevent debris from accumulating on top of the slides. If you have been following my blogs for a while you may remember that I replaced (with the help of my brother-in-law, Doug) the longer of the two passenger-side toppers last winter while we were in Southern California. The almost 29' driver's side topper has been showing some wear and it has been my intention to replace it this summer when we're back home in Virginia.
    I don't know what speed last night's wind gusts were but they were plenty strong. Before going to bed, in anticipation of a stormy night, I went outside and determined that the wind was hitting the coach directly from behind - which I figured was a good thing. The coach wouldn't be rocking nearly as much as it would if the wind was hitting us broadside - and it was my hope that being in almost perfect alignment with the prevailing wind, there wouldn't be a lot of billowing of the toppers.

   When I awoke in the wee-small hours of the morning and heard how hard the wind was gusting I decided it was time to retract the slides to prevent the toppers from tearing. However, I knew from past experience that they would billow and fail to roll up if I tried retracting during such high winds.
   So I waited.
   And waited.
    By this time Travis had hopped up in bed with us. He's very much afraid of thunder and he's not that crazy about the sound of heavy rain on the roof... or wind... or firecrackers...
   At around 5:00am there was a huge gust followed by a bang and continuous slapping sound on the roof over the bedroom.

    I knew this wasn't a good thing.

    Donning my rain gear, I exited the coach and walked around the front to the driver's side. I pointed my flashlight at the roof line where I saw the full length of the topper had torn - at least that's what it looked like. The 29' section of fabric still attached to the roof was flapping wildly in the wind.


   As I made my way back around the front of the coach there was a very bright flash of lightening a couple hundred yards away followed immediately by a deafening CRACK! If I wasn't wide awake by then, I was now!

   As fate would have it, the wind abated about 5 minutes later and I was able to retract all three slides. 

   I called an RV repair facility in South Houston, about 100 miles from here, and was told by a very helpful service manager that they will do all they can to get me back on the road asap. I'm waiting until 11:00am to call Tough Top Awnings in Washington state to find out how quickly they can knock out a 29' awning and ship it to me.



   1. The awning isn't torn. There is supposed to be a spline holding it inside a channel in the aluminum tube. For some reason, the spline is missing and the fabric simply pulled out of the channel. It's a wonder it didn't  happen sooner. In order to reinstall it, the topper would have to be completely removed from the channel on the roof, another spline would have to be snaked through the loop in the 'tube end' of the fabric - then the 29' x 30" sheet would have to be fed through both channels simultaneously. It's kind of a procedure. It took Doug and me a while to get the much shorter 15' topper installed last winter. This one is really a 3 man job - and I'm short a couple men.  I got up on the roof, had Suzanne extend the slide a foot or so and as we communicated via our walkie talkies, I rolled and tucked the fabric in behind the roller bar as she slowly retracted the slide. It's not pinched in place securely enough to allow me to drive down the road - and there's no way to put zip ties around the awning to secure it, as it's still attached to the roof. I'd try to pull it out of the roof channel but it's wet up there - and even if it wasn't, I remember it taking quite a bit of tugging/coaxing to get the 15 footer in place - even with Doug feeding it into the other end and with the channel sprayed with silicone. 
    What I've decided to do, since I had planned to replace the awning anyway, is to cut it off with a razor knife leaving the remaining bead in the channel for now - and order a new awning. I'll have it delivered to our home in Virginia where I can get some help installing it.


   2. ... I just got off the phone with the guy at Tough Top Awnings who told me they can't get another slide topper to me for about two weeks.


     He said, "Just run without it until you get the new one!"
     He assured me that the seals around the perimeter of the slide will prevent any water incursion. He said in a driving rain I might want to pull the slide in but it would otherwise be just fine to extend the slide and use it as we normally would - without the topper.


     Meanwhile, Matagorda Nature Park is located at the mouth of the Colorado River - where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico. Well, not THE Colorado River. THE Colorado River empties into the Gulf of California. This is the other Colorado River. It's still a pretty impressive river... and it got even more impressive overnight!

There's river where there's not supposed to be river

     Thanks for checking out the blog!


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Just Another Day In Paradise

    Today marks our fifth day at South Padre Island KOA Holiday RV park. We'll be leaving Thursday morning and heading for Matagorda Bay Nature Park where we will spend Thursday and Friday nights before continuing to our next stop at Acadian Oasis RV Park in Youngsville, LA. Matagorda Bay looks like a beautiful place to hang out for a couple days. 

Aerial View of Matagorda Nature Park RV Park

There's nothing particularly alluring about Youngsville, LA aside from the fact that it provides us a place to park for three days so that Suzanne can conduct business. I haven't yet called them to make a reservation and to ask about Verizon coverage and wifi - but I have viewed the Verizon coverage map and it all looks good. 

Thursday morning's route to Matagorda N.P.


     The weather here on South Padre Island has been great. It's quite a bit more humid than what we'd become accustomed to in Southern California over the winter - but temps have been in the 80s and despite the forecast of possible thunderstorms almost every day, the sky has remained mainly clear and sunny with an occasional bank of clouds moving in for an hour or two.
    We've sampled and enjoyed some of the local cuisine. I mentioned Yummies Bistro in my last blog. Since then we've had an early dinner at Pier 19...

    ... and lunch at The Painted Marlin Grille...

     Wonderful dining experiences, both. The Painted Marlin served an appetizer neither of us have seen before - avocado fries. I guess you can make a fry out of just about anything these days. 
I really liked them! Suzanne thought they were just okay.


     We've been to the beach a number of times - not to swim, but just for long walks. Travis doesn't quite know what to make of it. He's been to the ocean before - when we were in Plymouth, MA last summer. But Plymouth Bay doesn't have much in the way of waves. The gulf side of SPI does. It's fun to watch him run up to the water then hop back to avoid the incoming waves.

     Sunday afternoon we drove all the way to the northern terminus of  Padre Blvd., the main north/south drag on the island, climbed over the dunes and out to the beach.

    There were lots of "Blue Button Jellyfish" (which apparently isn't really a jellyfish at all) washed up on the beach. I had never seen or even heard of a blue button jellyfish before.  They're not poisonous but can cause itching if you come in contact with one. We managed to avoid coming in contact with one.


        KOA staff has begun digging up site 192 to repair the broken water pipe. I'm SO glad we decided to move to another site! The ground is pretty well saturated over there now and extricating the coach at this point would have been problematic. 


     I've been busying myself doing odd jobs around the coach. I try to keep things well organized in the cargo bays but the slide out tray that holds my tools and cleaning supplies tends to get a little out of control from time to time - so yesterday I took the opportunity to reorganize. 


     I wasn't blogging at the time and I don't know if I've made mention of this in previous blogs but, when we first bought the TOUR and headed for Glacier National Park we discovered early in the trip that two of the three roof AC units weren't working. How and where we ended up having them replaced is a long and interesting story (maybe I'll write about it sometime). One thing I liked about this coach, as compared to our old one, was that the condensation produced by each of the three AC units is transported to the rear bumper area by way of plastic tubing where it is deposited on the ground. Many RVs have no such plumbing and the condensate simply rolls off the roof - usually off the side of the roof, depending on the "levelness" of the rig. Well, what I didn't know when I ordered the replacement units was that in order for them to connect to the drainage system, I needed to specify that I wanted them equipped with a 'condensate pump'. 
    That was two (plus) years ago and since then I've been content to let the water run off the side of the roof. It's not that big a deal... but kinda messes up a nice wax job... especially when the roof is dirty - and if you happen to be standing or sitting in the wrong place you can sometimes get a little wet. 
    So yesterday I went up on the roof and removed the cover from one of the units...

...got the model number and called Airxcel, the manufacturer of Coleman RV AC units, and spoke to a tech. I had my fingers crossed, hoping there was something that could be retro-fitted to these units and that I hadn't purchased the wrong ones altogether. The Coleman tech advised me that there was indeed a "condensate pump assembly" made to mount in my Mach 8 units and that they were $56 each. I ordered two and had them shipped to my home address. I'll install them this summer. 

Condensate pump assembly

That's where it'll go - I think


     In other news, Allie had her 19 week exam and ultrasound. Everything looks great and her due date is September 15! We're all very excited!

My grandson - sucking his thumb

    Till next time, so long from South Padre Island!

Friday, May 3, 2019

South Padre Island, Texas


  We arose early Thursday morning in preparation for the 360 mile drive to South Padre Island, Texas. We had packed everything up and readied the coach for departure Wednesday night before going to bed so all that was left to do was for me to unhook from shore power, sewer & water, retract the landing gear and walk the dogs.  

Our planned route to SPI

    The fuel tank was half empty so I wanted to fill up before beginning the day's journey. I had been scoping out diesel prices in the area and determined that the least expensive was at a Murphy USA just down the street from Quail Springs, the RV park where we had been parked for the past four days. Murphy USA shares a big parking lot with Walmart and at 7:30am, with Walmart not having yet opened for business, there was plenty of room for me to maneuver the coach into position next to the diesel pump. I had to nose in next to the island then back out after fueling as there was not enough room for me to pull through. Knowing I would have to back out, we left the car disconnected and Suzanne followed me to Murphy's. This is the cheapest diesel I've found thus far on our return trip. I love finding bargain priced fuel and always kinda shake my head and chuckle a little when I think about what they're charging for this stuff in California.

Even without a Wal-Mart cc I only paid $2.64/gal. 
Compare that to $3.95/gal. in Indio, CA.

    I will say one thing for California, their liquor prices seem to beat most other States we've visited. A 750 ml. bottle to Cuervo Gold averaged around $20 in CA. The same bottle in Uvalde, TX was $39. Unfortunately, a 450 Cummins I6 won't run on Cuervo Gold.  Even if it did, I guess it would still be a lot more expensive than diesel fuel.

   We arrived at the South Padre Island KOA Holiday around 3:00pm after crossing the Queen Isabella Causeway Bridge.

Side note: In 2001 a portion of the bridge collapsed and several people were killed when a tugboat towing barges slammed into one of the concrete support columns. You can read about it HERE.

   I pulled up to the stop sign near the office and Suzanne headed in to register us for the week. I like to let the engine idle for a couple of minutes before shutting it down and as I was sitting there a van pulled up beside my side window. I opened the small window-within-a-window I use for paying tolls and such and the guy in the van handed me his business card and asked if I wanted to have the coach washed and waxed. I was planning to wash and wax the coach myself as much of the day's drive was in drizzly weather and she was in need of some TLC. However, when Carlos quoted me a price of "around $65" for a wash I was all in! I paid $120 to have the coach washed before leaving California. $65 is a bargain! I told Carlos I would be in touch.

   I exited the coach and unhooked from the car. I usually unhook before parking in a site - even if I know it's a pull-thru. I'm pretty fussy about how the coach sits in a site and usually end up wiggling around a bit to get in the exact position I want. Just as I finished, Suzanne emerged from the office with our registration packet and a fellow was waiting nearby in a golf cart to escort us to our site. I followed him to our site with Suzanne in close pursuit in the car. Upon reaching our destination my escort stepped out of his golf cart and guided me into site 192. It was kind of a tight swing but I ended up in a pretty good position and with a friendly salute, my escort bid me farewell and motored off.  I got out and walked around to see if I was satisfied with the orientation of the coach and decided I needed to be a foot or so further to the passenger side so as to allow room for the driver's side slide to avoid bumping up against some palm tree branches. Climbing back behind the wheel, I pulled forward a couple feet, turning the wheel to the left in preparation for my re-positioning maneuver. I shifted into reverse and could tell immediately that the front tires had sunk in to the gravel. Gently feathering the accelerator, for fear of spinning the drive tires, I eased the coach up and out of the ruts and back onto terra firma. Phew! I may have said a little prayer to the Baby Jesus in the process as well. I got out to take a look at the situation and saw two very deep, very wet ruts in the gravel where my front tires had been. 
   Getting back behind the wheel I got the coach into a position I was satisfied with (this time without moving any further forward) and was about to start setting things up when Gary, the assistant manager, pulled up in his very yellow, very official looking  KOA golf cart. He said that the problem had nothing to do with the estuary-like area about 100 feet directly in front of us (as I thought) but rather it seemed that there was a ruptured underground waterline. Concerned that the situation might worsen and effect the ground on which the coach was now sitting, I decided to move a couple sites over where the ground was higher and where I knew the gravel wouldn't turn to quicksand. The ground was also more level in site 194 and made it easier to get the coach on an even keel.  

    Soon after leveling, connecting to power and deploying the slides, Carlos' crew showed up and began bathing the beast. I left the connecting of sewer and water apparatus till later so that the guys wouldn't be tripping over hoses etc. The more I thought about it, the more I thought a waxing might not be such a bad idea... if the price was right. So I called Carlos who quoted me a total price of $145. 
I now have a very shiny RV.

   Gary came by for a short visit a little while later and shared with me the best places to eat, best beach access etc. We took his advice and had breakfast this morning at the appropriately named, Yummies Bistro (4 1/2 stars on Yelp).

    Some photos from KOA and SPI...

    Thanks for checking out the blog!


Monday, April 29, 2019

I Forgot A Few Things...

   There were a few things I forgot to include in yesterday's blog.

   One afternoon, while we were in Alpine last week and after Suzanne had finished work for the day, we took a ride to the Fort Davis National Historic Site.

    Fort Davis was built in 1854 to protect Army garrisons from winter weather. It also...

"...was strategically located to protect emigrants, mail coaches, and freight wagons on the trans-Pecos portion of the San Antonio-El Paso Road and the Chihuahua Trail, and to control activities on the southern stem of the Great Comanche War Trail and Mescalero Apache war trails."

It was a very interesting place - one of the best preserved forts from this period in American history with some fascinating stories associated with it. The Wikipedia link I included above (and again HERE) is well worth the read!

    Also, at the Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center, in addition to the Jersey Lilly was the Opera House - which really wasn't an opera house at all - but rather Bean's house. 

    He called it an opera house in the hope of luring Lilly Langtry, a famous actress of the day with whom he was apparently obsessed, to travel to his little S#@!hole town in West Texas (that he named in her honor) and perform there. 
   She didn't.


    Then there was this picture I took from our campsite in Alpine. It looked as if the clouds decided to complete the top of this mountain...


     And finally, this photo of Suzanne and me at the Rio Grande in Boquillas Canyon in Big Bend National Park...

    I guess that's about it.

    Thanks for checking out the blog!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'...


    The 83 mile drive back down SR180 from Alpine, Texas to Terlingua was pleasant and uneventful. We had gotten an early start so we could spend the afternoon at the National Park and arrived at BB RV park sometime after 11:00am.  I requested site 19, the same site we had when we were here last week, but as it was occupied we were given site 18 - right next door. With temps in the mid 90s I was kind of excited to see there was a big shade tree on the passenger (south-facing) side of the coach. The site was just long enough to accommodate us but I had to park the car across from our site in an area where employees park. After carefully positioning the coach I had to attach a wash brush to one of my extendable handles so I could break off a dead branch, about 10' up, that was in the way of the slide on that side.
   What I hadn't thought about was the problem this lovely shade tree might create for my recently acquired satellite dish. And after leveling, deploying the slides, connecting to water, electric & sewer and completing all the other little tasks we perform upon arrival at a new location, I powered up the dish and it began it's search of the heavens. Soon thereafter a message appeared on my TV screen advising me that the dish was unable to locate a satellite. Our only option was to move to another site and neither of us felt like doing that. Big Bend RV Park doesn't offer cable service and there are no over-the-air antennas within at least a hundred mile radius of this very remote location. Luckilly we have a pretty good DVD/Blu-ray library and, over the next two days, contented ourselves with watching a few Sherlock Holmes episodes from our "Complete Basil Rathbone Collection" and a Bond movie. It's all good.

    Anyway, after getting set up, we walked and fed the dogs, hopped in the car and headed for the Chisos basin area of Big Bend National Park. There are three main areas of the park we wanted to be sure to see: the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, which we had done before bugging out the previous week, Chisos Basin and the Rio Grande Village/Boquillas Canyon area. Thursday was our day to see Chisos Basin.
   It was about a 30 minute drive to the visitors center at Chisos Basin. After checking out the visitors center/museum we headed outside to take a 2 mile loop hike. A couple hundred yards in the path became very rocky. Expecting a smoother walking surface, neither of us had worn hiking shoes. That and the memory of Suzanne's fall during our Borrego Springs Hellhole Canyon hike last month convinced us that it might be wise to turn back - so we did, and instead took the short 0.5 mile paved loop. Still, the scenery was spectacular. I didn't take many pictures but here's one I took with my phone. 

   On Friday we drove out to the Rio Grande Village/Boquillas Canyon section of the park. I think it may have been our favorite. This time we came prepared and, wearing our hiking shoes, hiked into the canyon and to the Rio Grande.

   Pictures never capture the grandeur of places like this. In the second picture above there are people standing in the lower left corner of the frame. I included them in an effort to add perspective - but they're almost impossible to see. Suffice it to say - that's one big-ass rock wall!

   Saturday morning we packed up and headed back into the park, this time in the coach with the car in tow. There would be no sight seeing this day other than what we could see through the windshield as our purpose for heading back into the park was to reach SR 385 North to Marathon.

   I did see something very cool a few miles along SR 385 - a BIG tarantula crossing the road!

Not the tarantula, but a tarantula

   He was scooting across the road at a pretty good clip, right in front of me! Luckily I managed to avoid squishing the fuzzy little critter.


   Our destination for Saturday was Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site. I had made reservations at their RV park for one night - water & electric for $20! What a bargain! 
   About 23 miles west of SCSP&HS on SR90 in the sleepy little town of Langtry is a uniquely American tourist attraction... the Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center.  It's just a hundred yards or so off the eastbound side of SR90 on the 1.5 mile Rt.25 loop. 

   We learned some interesting stuff about this eccentric dude. Thankfully, the dispensation of justice in west Texas has come a long way since the days of Judge Roy Bean.
    This is the original "Jersey Lilly" (named for Lilly Langtry, a famous actress of the day for whom he also named the town) where he served liquor and held court.

   We told the woman behind the counter at the visitor center that we were heading for SCSP&HS and she told us that there is a guided tour at 3:00pm. In fact, you can only tour the canyon with a guide and tours are conducted just twice daily - one at 8:30am and the other at 3:00pm. It was 1:45pm so we hurried back to the coach and out onto SR90 east. We arrived at the park about 20 minutes later and while Suzanne took Winnie for a walk I went inside and registered for our one night stay and purchased two tickets for the 3:00 canyon tour. We quickly unhooked from the car and Suzanne followed me as I drove the coach up the hill to site E-8 where I deployed the slides, plugged into the 30 amp service and turned on the AC so the dogs would be comfortable while we were away.
    The canyon tour was fascinating.

4500 year old pictographs

300 year old mesquite tree

    The RV park was top notch and a short walk to the top of a scrubby knoll afforded a vast 360 degree vista of the West Texas desert. The sunset was incredible and the lack of artificial light made for a stunning night sky on a moonless, cloudless night. 


    So today is Sunday and we're in Uvalde, Texas at Quail Springs RV Park where we will remain until Thursday. Suzanne will put in her three days of work and then we'll head for South Padre Island. We're about 325 miles away and I planned to do it in a day... but we may break it up into two.

    Thanks for checking out the blog!