Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Day 38, Wednesday, December 7, 2016, Rio Grande Village, Big Bend National Park, Day 2

A Muddy Rio Grande
Wednesday, December 7, 2016, Rio Grande Village, Big Bend National Park, Day 2, TX, 0 Miles, 2,768.7 Miles For the Trip

Another cool night. I went to bed with the outside at 66°F & inside the trailer at 70°F. At 6:00AM it was 40°F outside & 49°F inside. I fired up the furnace for the first time since last February, and it smelled like it. Eventually, the dust burned off. I went back to sleep until the tree trimmers woke me up at 7:30.

I took a long walk around the campground - it is about 3/4 empty, with quite a few reservations for the weekend. Many of the first come sites are available, however a number of them have signs that they are closed for tree trimming. I did notice that immediately after the trimmers were done, the closed signs came down.

After breakfast, I put together a basket of laundry. $2.50 to wash & $.25 per 8 minutes to dry. They had a give away table at the store of stuff that was past date, or cans that were dented. I took a can of SpaghettiO's, something I haven't eaten since I was a kid. Also some bottles of tea, and some snack bars.

After putting the laundry away & making the bed, I headed out to do some hiking & back roading. You may recognize some of the photos from last year's stop - the clouds are different, but I did go to Boquillas Lookout & the hot springs on that trip. The Rio Grande was much faster & muddier than the last time due to recent rain. Many more photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After that it was back to the trailer to make up today's page, then a trip to the store for a shower, and to post today's page.

Dinner will be a couple of Beer Brats, and some peaches.

By the way, the plan is to move to the Cottonwood campground tomorrow. Since there is no WiFi or other access to the internet in the area, yo uprobably won't here from me for a couple of days.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Day 37, Tuesday, December 6, 2016, Rio Grande Village, Big Bend National Park, TX

Site 93
Tuesday, December 6, 2016, Rio Grande Village, Big Bend National Park, TX, 255.5 Miles, 2,768.7 Miles For the Trip

The first dry night in a couple of days. Cool, down to 41°F by morning. I headed out around 9:15 on US 90, and stayed on it until the town of Marathon, where I stopped at the French Co grocery store for some supplies, then south on TX 385.

The plan was to stop at the Stillwell ranch, a campground along TX 385 that has hookups, but after getting almost to the park, I decided I might as well look for a site there. Of course, with Big Bend, almost to the park is relative - it is another 45 miles to the campground. I'm in site 93 at the Rio Grande Village campground, a dry site for $7.00 per night with the Senior Park Pass. I'm here for two nights, after which I'll try for a couple of nights at the Cottonwood Campground.

There is no FM radio, WiFi, Cell coverage; the only contact with the outside world here at the campsite is XM Radio. There is WiFi available at the campground store, about 1/2 mile from my site. I'll head over there to try to post this when I'm done.

Dinner will be a grilled chicken patty along with a salad.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, December 5, 2016

Day 36, Monday, December 5, 2016, Lonesome Dove RV Ranch, Del Rio, TX

Site 28
Monday, December 5, 2016, Lonesome Dove RV Ranch, Del Rio, TX, 209.1 Miles, 2,513.2 Miles For the Trip

It rained most of the night, but stopped in time for me to pack up the trailer for travel. No interstates today, with most of the driving on 70MPH 2 lane roads. Lots of oil wells along the drive. I don't know if it was the gaining of 1000' of altitude or headwinds, but today's mileage was only 11.1. I'm at the Lonesome Dove RV Ranch, just off US 90 in Del Rio, TX, Site 28, a full service site for $26.00. The place is a long term park, but they have a few sites for travelers. They also have a huge library where I traded a bunch of books.

After setting up the trailer I called the Del Rio Toyota dealership to see if I could get my 10,000 mile service. I'm a few miles short of the 10K, but won't be near another dealer for many miles. They did the service & a TSB that adjusts the transmission shift points - it has been hanging in lower gears after down shifting longer than necessary, particularly when not towing.

No picnic table at the site, so I set up my roll up table to grill a steak for dinner (along with peaches & a salad).

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Day 35, Sunday, December 4, 2016, Choke Canyon State Park, Calliham, TX

Site 119, Choke Canyon State Park
Sunday, December 4, 2016, Choke Canyon State Park, Calliham, TX, 199 Miles, 2,304.1 Miles For the Trip

Well, it is finally time to move on. The Matagorda Madness is pretty much over. It rained off & on all night, and into the morning. I disconnected the utilities & got the trailer ready between rain bursts, staying mostly dry. I headed out around 8:30, taking mostly 2 lane Texas roads (with 75MPH speed limits) poking along at 60MPH and stopped for the afternoon at Choke Canyon State Park.

Speaking of Texas, I talked with more than one fiberglass trailer owner here that felt there was no reason to tow their trailer out of the state. At first glance, that seems to be a bit narrow, but when you think about it, Texas is large enough and varied enough that you can get just about any scenery, weather, temperatures, etc without leaving the state. It is one of the few places where the road signs that label the exits by mileage has exit numbers close to 1000! Actually, you can get all the seasons (well, except for snow this year - they had it in the past) here at Matagorda in December. In any case, I enjoyed my stay and the rally.

I was concerned that I might have a problem getting into Choke Canyon State Park without a reservation since it is near San Antonio. No problem, there are only 3 trailers in the RV loop. I'm in site 119, a water & electric site for $22.00 + a $5.00 park entry fee. The 30 amp connection was dead, but I carry a 50 to 30 amp adapter, so I still have electricity.  The campground is on a lake that is currently 19' below normal so while I'm on a site that borders the lake, you can barely see it.

I asked if the showers were heated, and people at the office checked with the rangers to see. The ranger said he would drive over & turn on the heat. Now that's service! Between the Texas State parks and the LCRA organization running Matagorda Bay Nature Center, Texas has the most helpful staff I've ever seen in a RV park or campground.

While Verizon shows a 4G LTE connection, it is the slowest one I've found on the trip. I couldn't load the large version of the campsite photo after 3 tries to 1&1, the ISP for my LakeshoreImages site although it did manage to load here. We will see if the page makes it. Even AT&T has faster service. Too bad I can't tether my laptop to the AT&T iPhone. To do that I would have to give up my unlimited $40.00 per month data connection - it isn't going to happen!

I stopped by a Walmart on the way, and picked up a couple of NY strip steaks. While I was hoping for one for dinner, the rain hasn't let up enough to get out the grill & cook one. I suspect dinner will be a microwaved buritto & a salad.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Day 34, Saturday, December 3, 2016, Matagorda Bay Nature Park, TX, Day 14

Group Photo #2
Saturday, December 3, 2016, Matagorda Bay Nature Park, TX, Day 14, 0 Miles, 2,105.1 Miles For the Trip

Another rainy day. I spent most of the morning reading forums, blogs & a bit of my current book. During the afternoon I stopped over at the tent and sat around for a bit, and, since it was raining, did the group photo in the tent rather than at the Nature Center. We actually took 4 of them since someone arrived late & I had to get in at least one of them. There were a number of people missing; some went home early because of the weather, and some were hanging out in their trailers.

After a bit I headed to the Waterfront Restaurant for a flounder dinner. Unfortunately, it wasn't as good as I'd hoped. While their chicken fried steak was great, the flounder was a bit overcooked & mushy. At least the baked potato was good.

There was an impromptu pot luck dinner at the tent hoping to use up leftovers. I stopped by for some photos & hung out for a bit before heading back to the trailer.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Until Tomorrow -