Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Folks We Saw Along The Way

Judy and Dave in Ocean Springs, MS. Judy and Dorothy were college roomies. Nancy and Ken drove over from Mobile to join us. Nancy and Dorothy worked together before we married.

My cousin Stacy at Moak Farms near Kentwood, LA. Stacey is a year older then me and races thoughbreds.

Betty and George in Pearland, TX. We camped in their driveway and they gave us tour of Houston. We first met them on the 2007 Baja Tour.

Bill and Ruby on their cattle ranch near Victoria, Texas. They also came down to see us in Mission for a few days.

Jim and Gayle at the Bentsen RV Park in Mission, Texas where we spent a month.

Ted and Liz at Mustang Island, Texas.

Russ and Beverly in Fredericksburg, Texas.

Martha and Bernie and Nancy and Brion at Capital Reef NP.

Dave and Mary at Canyonlands NP.

Dan and Barb at Goosenecks near Moab, UT.

Dale Ellis drove down from Grand Junction to see KoKo at Goosenecks. He bought an LD a few weeks later.

Ed and Carol and John and Linda at Dinosaur NM.

Beverly and Chuck along US50. We met them on the 2007 Baja Tour.

John and Mary Jane at their home in Mound House, NV.

John and Heidi for lunch in Reno, NV. We met them on the 2007 Baja Tour.

We would have seen Terry and El who we also met on the Baja trip, but Terry had pnenomia.

Bumper at the Minden, NV airport where I took a glider flight.

Kate and Terry in Santa Cruz.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Leg Home

Monday, August 6 – We left California a week ago and landed in west Texas today. Muleshoe, Texas to be exact. Only Mad Dogs and Englishmen travel across Texas in the summer heat, so we must be mad. It's 100 outside, so a/c is a must. We were headed to a free city park, the Waylon Jennings Memorial RV park in Littlefield, about 40 miles down the road from here. We pulled over to change drivers and I saw a sign across the street about the Ray and Donna West Free RV Park. So I pulled in and saw paved pads with gravel and green grass between the sites. And FULL hookups.

While Muleshoe, Texas is not a destination, it sure is a good place to over night when transitioning from I40 to the more southern I20. There are many small towns in central and west Texas that offer free or low cost parking to travelers. I guess it just part of the wonderful hospitality of Texans. [Yes, I lived there 40 years ago]

After we parked, volunteers came to cut and water the grass. I went to chat with one of them and learned he was the county commissioner. He told me about the folks that contributed the money and how the city and county worked together to get it built. He said he could not get much work done on the roads here because it was so dry, so "his boys" built the park this year instead.

California is one of the most scenic states in the country. Sadly, the state is headed into economic ruin. We saw state parks there that were in rough shape and were charging $50 for hookups and $35 for dry parking. Texas does not have the scenery of California, but they have vibrant economy and lots for free overnight parking.

Tuesday, August 7 – Stayed at Abilene SP and ate prime rib at Perini’s Ranch in Buffalo Gap, which has the best steaks we have ever had. Happy Birthday to Dorothy!


Wednesday, August 8 – Stayed at the COE Holiday Park, south of Ft. Worth. Rain storm.

Thursday, August 9 – Planned to stay at Lake Bistineau SP, but after driving 10 miles off the interstate to it, we found the CG was closed for tree cutting. We stopped at the first CG we found, Bonnie and Clyde’s. A step above a dump. $24. Rained overnight.

Friday, August 10 – Stayed at Roosevelt SP east of Jackson. A place we have been many times. $13.

Saturday, August 11 – Home. Gas is $3.35, a dime more than when we left. Highest paid $3.89, average 3.56.

Stats: Miles driven: 15,200 total

KoKo: 9,400 - ending odometer 58,963

Pelli: 5,800 - ending odometer 43,122

Nights on road: 210

Average daily camping fees: $14.21 – almost double our usual

Gasoline cost [KoKo only]: $4,275 [1,200 gallons, 7.8 mpg]

Meals out: 29, $1,160

Jumps to get home: 12

Sunday, August 5, 2012

East Bound

We are headed home. I wanted to go to the San Juan’s in August, spend September in New Mexico and drift home during the cooler month of October. However, we are headed back so Dorothy can go to her 50th HS Reunion and the wedding of her niece. In the heat of August.

Tuesday, July 31 – We awoke to dumpster diving in the parking lot. A grizzled man carefully went through each dumpster and trash can. How do they come up with $35 to park and then have to go through the trash? We see these types all along the coast. Left over hippies?

We delayed breakfast and got on the road early. We were looking for a Wal*Mart but the two we found did not have groceries. Grocery stores are hard to find here.

We headed east on CA166 a fine two-lane through some half-decent scenery. We parked at a FS CG six miles off the road. A forest of pin oaks covers the area. The price was good, zero. One other camper.

Wednesday, August 1 – We left coastal fog Monday and entered desert haze today. The Mojave may be great for jack rabbits, but it’s always been a fly-over area for us. We landed at a San Bernardino County park near Barstow. [San Bernardino the largest county in the US] We were going to stay at an RV park we had stayed in before. When we arrived I recalled it. The owner requires you to follow him in his golf cart to the site [about 40 yards] and he waits while you hook up making many less than helpful suggestions. I told him I would not follow him. He said, Tough. I said Bye. Good thing, as this place is nicer and cheaper.

Thursday, August 2 – We abhor interstates. And I40, especially in west Texas suxs. Few choices of places to stay and of those there are, they sux. That said, I have two goals on crossing, do it in the least miles and always have electric for a/c.

I40 starts in Barstow. We drove from there to Williams, AZ. Started around 8, arrived around 4. A long day for us. But it got us out of the heat. We finally found a Wal*Mart with a grocery in Kingman and stocked up. Gas west of the Colorado River was $4.39. On the Arizona side, $3.19. We have never seen such a difference. 40 gallons at a $1.20 discount buys a nice dinner for two.

Not far east of Kingman, we passed 4,500 feet and the grass was belly deep for the cows. Of course, the temp dropped also. We will be cooler until we drop down in west Texas. A clear day. No haze. Went through a brief rain shower. First since July 2.

Friday, August 3 – Lazy Day. Found a DIY car wash and got the Jeep washed. The first time since the end of June. I don’t think California allows anything but full service washes at $18 plus a pop.

Had a one hour rain shower at the CG. Odd stuff rain. It’s been a long time.

After listening to intermittent bang-bang for over a half-hour, at 10:50 I got up, got my super-bright light and went outside in boxers and t-shirt to see who in hell was making the noise. It was a jerk in the next site trying to get his door to latch by slamming it over and again. When he re-opened the door I put my light on him for a second. That brought him out, stumbling since he could not see very well. He stumbled over to our site and proceeded to dog-cuss me and explain that he had three girls inside and needed to get the door closed. I told him it was time to be quiet. More dog cussing. But, he retreated and the noise stopped.

Saturday, August 4 – On the road again, early. After a half-hour we stopped at a Pilot to fill-up and Dorothy got breakfast at McDonalds. Gas prices are variable here. $3.19 is the low, while we see plenty at $3.49.

After four hours we landed at Red Rock, a city park in Gallup. We stayed here in 2007. Not bad and surprise there is a trail into the canyon that offers scenery that is reminiscent of the best of Utah.

34 - Gallup 02

The sky color when we arrived

34 - Gallup 06

How things change in two hours

Sunday, August 5 – An 8 to 2pm day and we are still in New Mexico. We over-nighted at Santa Rosa SP in the electric section. Down at 5,000 feet. it’s toasty 90 outside.