Thursday, March 31, 2016

Village Creek State Park, Wynne, AR, Day 3

The Silver Turtle

Thursday, March 31, 2016, Village Creek State Park, Wynne, AR, Day 3, 0 Miles, 6,248.7 Miles for the Trip

I survived the eastern Arkansas thunderstorms. I kept the radio on during the night, listening to a Jonesboro NPR station. They had weather announcements every 10 minutes - I didn't get worried until one of the announcements for expected flooding was the Village Creek State Park. I looked out the window, and while it was raining pretty hard, no standing water was visible. Since I'm on the high side of the campground, I figured the other side would show water first. The rangers said to head to the bathrooms if things got bad - since they are lower than my site, I'm not sure that would help in a flood. Actually, the highest part of the campground is the tent site the ladies next to me are in. The entire campground might end up sitting on their picnic table! I took a photo of the creek that runs through the campground - It was empty yesterday & running pretty good today. The photo is at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I did meet the owner of the Oliver parked next to me - it was Pete & the Wonder Egg, along with Oscar, the smiling dog. Pete has a blog that I follow. He headed out today. I also talked with the ladies tent camping next door - they survived the night, although one of them got a bit wet.

Right now (12:00) it is starting to rain again. At least there is no wind or hail. The radio warned of $.50 piece sized hail and 60 MPH winds in a nearby storm; hope it doesn't get any closer!

The main part of the storm went by to the north, with, according to the radio, 2" diameter hail in the Memphis area. The sun actually came out for awhile during the afternoon, but now at 3:30 it is back to rain & thunder. A silver painted 13' U-Haul trailer called the Silver Turtle just pulled into the site between me & the tent camping ladies. I watched him rush to get set up before the downpour broke out. Had a short talk, and tour by the owner before the rain got bad enough to drive me inside. He is planning a trip to Alaska, so I hope we get a chance to talk before I leave in the morning.

It looks like dinner will be soup or something cooked inside. I don't know if this is going to get posted - even with the amplifier & outside antenna, the jetpack is only showing a -100dbm Verizon connection at 1X. I generally have to have at least a 3G connection to get an internet connection. It went down from 3G about an hour ago while I was watching the progress of the storm on weather radar on the iPad.

Well, I now have a slow internet connection, so I'll try to upload today's page. Dinner is still looking like an inside job...

An interesting addition - I had no problem uploading photos or the text to my LakeshoreImages website, but could not connect to Google's Blogspot to post my daily blog there. Uploads are fine, but downloads seem to be dead. I'll try later.  It is later...

Until next time -

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Village Creek State Park, Wynne, AR, Day 2

A 17' Oliver
Wednesday, March 30, 2016, Village Creek State Park, Wynne, AR, Day 2, 0 Miles, 6,248.7 Miles for the Trip

I do have to say that although the bathrooms are new and beautiful, they have one of the major problems I see all over the country. The fixed shower head is aimed at the entrance to the shower. Even with a shower curtain (half the bathrooms have one) the water runs out of the shower and onto the entire bathroom floor. Even with a 10'X12' bathroom, after a shower there is no place in the room that had a dry floor, making it difficult to avoid wet pant legs getting dressed. Since the floor stays wet for hours after a shower, it also gets the floors muddy as people use the sink or toilet. Oh well, it was a nice try.

I drove to Wynne to do laundry. As usual, my GPS directed me to a laundry, not a laundromat, but, as usual, they gave me directions to a place with user machines. A very clean (and empty) laundromat. While doing laundry I made a reservation for the weekend at Chickasaw State Park in Tennessee. I tried to do it from the campground, but the Verizon coverage is extremely slow, (but reliable) 3G & the on line reservations service wouldn't work. Still better than AT&T - no service at the campground. So, I'm set for the weekend. It looked like I could have skipped the reservation since the park was pretty empty, but you never know about weekends.

I also made a stop at a Walmart. I tried to pick up a storage box for the grill that replaces the grate in my Coleman combined grill/stove. I'd been keeping it in the original cardboard box it came in, but the box has fallen apart. I foolishly went by the dimensions written on the plastic bin I picked out, then got back to the trailer & grill, and found that the given dimensions were for the cover - the actual bin was too small for the grill. It now houses my Thermacell Mosquito Repellent & refills.

The campground is getting a bit crowded - 4 trailers, including a rare 17' Oliver from Texas & 2 tent campers. The tent campers next to me are first time campers - I hope tonight & tomorrow's predicted thunderstorms don't discourage them. I can remember tent camping in storms - not much fun. Their campsite photo is at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was a chicken & mushroom pot pie.

Until next time -

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Village Creek State Park, Wynne, AR

The New Beard
Tuesday, March 29, 2016, Village Creek State Park, Wynne, AR, 117.9 Miles, 6,248.7 Miles for the Trip

Not a bad drive, mostly on US 70 once I got out of Little Rock. I'm in site 38 at the Village Creek State Park. A nice campground with very nice individual bathrooms with showers. The bathrooms are new. My site has water & electric for $16.58 per night, at least until Friday. On the weekend I lose my out-of-state 25% discount. I'm signed up for 3 nights, and may extend if I can't reserve a site for the weekend a bit closer to Townsend, TN.

The park is almost empty. Two other trailers, one at each end - I'm in the middle. Lots of trees, shade, and paved roads. The only complaint I can come up with is the black flies are out. At least they are not like the Adirondack black flies. These are just annoying; the Adirondack variety take huge bites out of you, drawing blood! Campground photos at
today's LakeshoreImages page.

I tried firing up my Thermacell Mosquito Repellent & it didn't do much. Of course it is called a MOSQUITO repellent, not a black fly repellent, but I thought it was worth a try. Actually, the wind did the best at keeping them away; when it died they were all over me.

I'm including a new photo of me so that those that remember what I looked like when I left Oswego last October are not too shocked by the new beard when I get back.

Dinner was a BLT, snap peas, and a dish of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream.

Until next time -

Monday, March 28, 2016

Maumelle Park, AR, Day 3

Monday, March 28, 2016, Maumelle Park, AR, Day 3, 0 Miles, 6,166.8 Miles for the Trip

Another quiet day. I did a bit more than yesterday - I checked the propane & found one tank empty, so I went is search of it. Found it at the Little Rock U-Haul. Not inexpensive at $19.14 for 4.4 gallons, but they were the closest supplier. Distances can fool you here because of the Arkansas River. My GPS starts out with line of sight mileage to what ever you find, then later calculates the actual route. Since there is only one nearby bridge over the river, many of the closest locations are actually a longer drive.

I also found a post office to mail Zoe's birthday card, and a Target to fill a prescription. As usual, my last set of refills were through Rite Aid, and there are no Rite Aids in Little Rock (or anywhere nearby). Sure am glad I asked each doctor for two hand written prescriptions.

After that it was back to the campground. By then it had warmed up enough to be comfortable sitting outside, so I spent most of the day reading. I did take a walk to the other end of the campground, checking out some of the river front sites.

Dinner was a "T" bone steak & country style beans, along with an Alaskan White beer.

Until next time -

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Maumelle Park, AR, Day 2

Sunday, March 27, 2016, Maumelle Park, AR, Day 2, 0 Miles, 6,166.8 Miles for the Trip

Not much happening today. I goofed off & stayed in bed listening to NPR Weekend Edition Sunday, including the puzzle. I love listening to it, trying to figure out each week's puzzle & playing along with the weekly winner, although I've never sent in an answer to the week's puzzle. I think I'm worried that if I got picked to play I'd make a mess of it on the air!

The weather started out clear & warm, then got cool & cloudy, then back to clear. At 9:00PM it was still 60°F and clear skies - the stars look good, although too many trees & campground lighting for pictures.

I had a urge for a bagel for breakfast tomorrow, so I made a run to a nearby Krogers. While the store was very well stocked in everything else, they didn't have any bagels or Bubba burgers. I still picked up a few things, including fried chicken for dinner.

Until next time -

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Maumelle Park, AR

Site A4, Maumelle Park
Saturday, March 26, 2016, Maumelle Park, AR, 13.5 Miles, 6,166.8 Miles for the Trip

A short drive across the Arkansas River to Maumelle Park, an Army Corps of Engineers campground. I'm in site A4 for the next 3 nights. The plan was to be sure I had a site for the Easter weekend, and get the RAV4 serviced on Monday. The site is water & electric for $12.00 per night with the Senior Pass. The bathrooms are individual rooms with showers. There are only 2 mens & womens for the entire loop so it may be difficult to shower. A pretty campground with many sites (but not mine) on the shore of the Arkansas River. There is a trailer next door that is smaller than mine! Photo at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I called Steve Landers Toyota to schedule an oil change for Monday. They had room today, so that's what I did for the early afternoon. The rest of the day was spend sitting out & enjoying the sun, and starting a new C. J. Box novel.

Dinner was a kielbasa sandwich & a salad.

Until next time -

Friday, March 25, 2016

Little Rock North KOA, AR

Site B9, Little Rock North KOA
Friday, March 25, 2016, Little Rock North KOA, AR, 99.3 Miles, 6,153.3 Miles for the Trip

The morning at Daisy State Park was interesting - I looked outside at 7:00AM & it was very foggy - the moon was a hazy white orb, and you couldn't see the water on either side. Very eerie. At 8:00AM it had all burned off, with blue skies, although cool at 39°F. Since I wasn't going too far & wanted to be sure my next site was available, I took my time & didn't pack up the trailer & headed out until 10:30.

I'm in site B9 at the Little Rock North KOA. This is my first KOA in a long time. Fairly typical, although the check in wasn't as friendly as usual. Maybe my new beard is giving people the wrong idea? Anyhow, expensive at $45.74 for the night, but a site wasn't available for tonight at the COE campground I'm heading to tomorrow. My site is full hookups, including cable, so at least I got to dump my tanks. The campground & my site are right next to I 430, a very busy interstate with lots or road noise.

The showers are OK, although it took 5 minutes for the hot water to get hot. A small drying room, but the shower curtain combined with the shower head perpendicular to it (it is amazing how many showers are set up so the shower sprays on the curtain (or the space where one would hang it there was one)). In any case, I'm clean. I sat outside and enjoyed the sun for much of the afternoon. While it is still a bit cool, the wind over the last couple of days has finally died down.

There was an ad for Papa John's pizza in the campground map, and I succumbed. Dinner was a small onion,mushroom,pepper pizza.

Until next time -

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Daisy State Park, Daisy, AR, Day 2

Thursday, March 24, 2016, Daisy State Park, Daisy, AR, Day 2, 0 Miles, 6,054 Miles for the Trip

Not much to say for today. We did have quite a storm overnight. Lots of wind & rain, thunder & lightning. The tenters next door lost their blue tarp canopy, but the tent stayed up. During the storm it got warmer & warmer; it was up to 71°F by midnight. After the storm it cooled down appreciably - 49°F this morning, and it never got above 60°F during the day. At least the wind died down.

Again, I didn't do anything other than rested my back.

Dinner was a ham sandwich & chips.

Until next time -

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Daisy State Park, Daisy, AR

Site 21, Daisy State Park, AR
Wednesday, March 23, 2016, Daisy State Park, Daisy, AR, 209 Miles, 6,054 Miles for the Trip

Just as I finished packing up the trailer this morning the man from the Water Department stopped by to collect the camping fee. $20.00 for full hookups.

Since I saved myself 30 miles on yesterday's drive, I added 30 miles to today's so I could drive through Oklahoma. No good reason other than I haven't been in the state in years, so I thought I should visit. I continued into Arkansas, and stopped for two nights at the Daisy State Park in Daisy, AR. Yes, AR. I keep thinking that Arizona should be AR, but after staying there for months, accepted that it is AZ, probably because Arkansas got the initials first.

A very pretty park, with most of the sites on Lake Greeson, although the ones I'm in are a 20' - 30' climb above the lake. I'm in site 21, close to very clean a very clean bathroom building. I got an out-of-state senior discount of $5.00, or $15.00 per night for a water & electric site. With tax, $16.58 per night for two nights. I have to admit to using the handicapped shower. There are two showers, and the standard one is very small, with the shower spraying directly into the drying area (no shower curtains). There is a small bench, but no hooks for clothes & the bench gets wet. The handicapped shower is in a large room with the bench far enough from the shower heads that it stays dry. While there is no adjustment of water temperature, it is hot.

After my shower I decided to make some future plans since it is time for an oil change on the RAV4 & there is a couple of Toyota dealers in Little Rock. I couldn't get a site at the COE campground I wanted for Friday through Monday, but was able to get a site Friday at the Little Rock KOA, then move to the Maumelle COE campground Saturday through Monday. Of course, the KOA cost more for one night than the COE campground for 3 nights, but that's KOA!

Since I had a large lunch, I'm just going to snack for dinner.

Until next time -

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

West Tawakoni City Park, TX

Site 12, West Tawakoni City Park, TX
Tuesday, March 22, 2016, West Tawakoni City Park, TX, 171.9 Miles, 5,845 Miles for the Trip

On the way out of the Proctor Lake COE campground I stopped at the office to let them know they would need a pressure washer to clean up the trashed men's bathroom. Why anyone would spread "crap" (as clean a word as I can use) all over the bathroom is beyond me.

I had to fool my GPS to let it keep me on US 67 for as long as possible. If I picked "no highways", it took me all over the place for a total of 275 miles. If I shut off "avoidances", it took me on I20 most of the way, and still showed over 200 miles. Staying on US 67, then a 60 mile hop on I20 resulted in today's 171.9 miles. You just can't trust modern electronics!

I'm in site 12, a full hookup site in the West Tawakoni City Park. No idea on the price - so far no one has asked for money, and there is no signs or information anywhere. A large lake next to the park - check out the catfish on the water tank next to the park. About 4 other trailers here in the park, all of which look permanent. Bathrooms with showers, but they are pretty rough, and no hot water. I'll probably skip a shower tonight unless it is in the trailer. Some traffic noise from TX276; I hope it will die down by bedtime. My back is better, but not cured. At the campground there is a good Verizon 4G signal & a weak AT&T 4G. There is an NPR over the air station, so I probably won't need to use the iPhone for my NPR fix.

After starting to setup the trailer, a water department truck pulled in, said he is the person I pay, but only suggested I pick a different site (I was in 13). Seems that when the water tower next door backwashes, the runoff flows through site 13. He suggested site 12, but never asked for money.

After setting up, I drove back to Quinlan (about 6 miles west of the campground) for a haircut. I passed a Chinese buffet, which might be dinner. It is far too windy (it almost knocked me over walking to the bathrooms) to cook outside so that might make sense, and I'm due to try Chinese again - it has been a long time since my last one. Well, I did head back to the Quinlan China Buffet for dinner. While not a huge variety, the food was good.

The park is now filled with kids flying kites.  There sure is enough wind for it!

Until next time -

Proctor Lake Corps of Engineers, Comanche, TX

Site 21, Proctor Lake COE
Monday, March 21, 2016, Proctor Lake Corps of Engineers, Comanche, TX, 135.8 Miles, 5,673.1 Miles for the Trip

A 3 hour drive on secondary roads (US 67) to the Proctor Lake COE campground. I'm in site 21, an electric & water site for $8.00 with the Senior Pass. Proctor Lake is one of the few I've seen in Texas that looks full. Unlike the lake, the campground is empty. I'm the only one in my loop, and there is only one trailer in the next one. There does seem to be a section with a number of trailers - maybe a long term area (or the hosts)?

I was glad to get out of the car seat. Not that it is uncomfortable, but my back is giving me grief. My solution when I'm home is to swim laps for 1/2 an hour 5 days a week - tough to do on the road. Since I have electricity, I'll try a heating pad tonight.

I took a shower - individual bathrooms, one trashed, and the other very clean. Lots of hot water & the usual water saver, high pressure showerhead. I'm going to relax for the rest of the afternoon. No WiFi or Verizon here at the campground, but a good AT&T signal. While I can use the AT&T service to listen to NPR on my phone plugged into the trailer radio, I can't use the phone as a hotspot without giving up my unlimited data. So, this won't be posted until tomorrow.

Dinner will be a chicken mushroom pot pie.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

San Angelo State Park, San Angelo, TX, Day 2

The "Buffalo" in the Park
Sunday, March 20, 2016, San Angelo State Park, San Angelo, TX, Day 2, 0 Miles, 5,537.3 Miles for the Trip

A quiet, relaxing day & the first day of Spring. It started out cold, and although it never got into the ideal 70's, the sun was bright enough to sit outside during the afternoon. I made a quick run to the San Angelo HEB store since someone told me yesterday that they had Alaskan White (my favorite beer). They did, so I'm a happy camper! Other than that I didn't do much of anything. I did get to read the Syracuse Post Standard Sunday paper, something I've missed with limited internet connections over the last couple of weeks. For those interested, San Angelo State Park has good Verizon & AT&T service. The park's WiFi is up, but their internet connection isn't.

Yesterday I was sitting outside talking with a friend currently in Salt Lake City at the USITT convention (a technical theatre organization). I was using Facetime which is a iOS video phone app, and showed her a pan of the park. We noticed a small herd of buffalo in the distance. I looked & sure enough, there they were. About an hour later, I looked again, & there they were - ie they hadn't moved. A closer look identified them as very thin buffalo, but interesting sculptures! For a closer look, check the photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was a chicken Italian sausage & a Knorr's Mushroom flavored rice & pasta side that didn't have any mushrooms, but I did get to enjoy an Alaskan White beer to go with it.

Until next time -

Saturday, March 19, 2016

San Angelo State Park, San Angelo, TX

Site 8, San Angelo State Park, TX
Saturday, March 19, 2016, San Angelo State Park, San Angelo, TX, 239 Miles, 5,537.3 Miles for the Trip

A longer than usual drive, mostly on US 67. Not all that exciting a drive, but much better than the 60 miles I spent on I10. The plan was to stop at San Angelo State Park, with the nearby KOA as a backup if the park was full. Nothing to worry about - I'm in site 8 of the Red Arroyo area & when I arrived, there was one other trailer & one tent. A few more RVs have arrived as of 8:00PM, but it is anything but crowded. Since there is a lake, I suspect the park is a bit busier in warm weather. It is a water & electric site for $20.00 plus a $4.00 park entry fee. I'm here for two nights.

After setting up I headed to town to do laundry. As usual, my GPS directed me to a dry cleaner. Somewhat unusual, Google did the same even though I did a search specifically for "Laundromat". As usual, the dry cleaning staff directed me to the nearest laundromat. After two loads of laundry, I headed for a Walmart Super Center, someplace I haven't been in quite awhile. Bought a couple of books & everything on my shopping list except Cape Cod potato chips.  I'm still finding Alaskan Amber beer, but have had no luck since Washington State finding my favorite, Alaskan White.

After putting away the food, making the bed, I cooked & ate dinner - a couple of Chimichangas, (which, as far as I can see & taste, are fancy burritos) a peach and the rest of a pint of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream (probably one of the best vanilla ice creams I've eaten). I had to eat half a pint since I couldn't fit it back in the freezer. After that I drove to the bathroom for a shower. It is just a little too far away to walk in flip flops, plus it is pretty cool out - already down to 50°F at 7:00. The shower (there is only one) is pretty good. Hot water, standard shower head, heat in the bathroom that works, enough hooks, the drying area stayed dry, etc.

Until next time -

Friday, March 18, 2016

Fort Davis Inn, Fort Davis, TX

The Rio Grande River Along TX 170
Friday, March 18, 2016, Fort Davis Inn, Fort Davis, TX, 147.3 Miles, 5,151 Miles for the Trip

Rather than taking the shortest route to get back to heading northeast, I decided to take one of the "10 most scenic highways in the US". There is a problem with any 10 best list since they can each be made by a different organization, so there are actually hundreds of "10 Best". Today's was Texas 170 between the Chisos Basin Road & Presidio, and at least part of US 67 heading north to Marfa. While parts are pretty, it doesn't compete with the Going to the Sun Highway in Glacier National Park, or the Chief Joseph highway in Wyoming. Is does include the most interesting picnic table shelters I've seen - Tepees. I took a few photos that you can see at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I took a photo of an interesting building in Marfa, then headed out to the Marfa Lights Viewing Center. at 11:30AM there were already 4 RVs waiting for night to see the lights. I didn't stay... If you are interested, here is some info about them.

Tonight's campground is definitely a mistake. I used my AllStays Camp & RV app to find a campground in Fort Davis because I couldn't connect with Davis Mountain State Park, one of the places I stayed on my way to Big Bend, and I was still worried about finding a space during Spring Break weekend.

The Fort Davis Inn was listed as the least expensive Fort Davis campgrounds. At $40.00 it isn't cheap! And, while it does provide full hookups, there is one bathroom stall & one shower stall all the way around the back of the motel section. At least I do get a "free" breakfast in the morning. I'm glad I'm not staying at the motel - $149.00 for a room. I'm in site 1, about 20' from TX 17. Lots of road noise that I hope will die down during the night. I don't even want to know if there was space at the state park.

After setting up I drove to the nearby grocery store for some supplies. Like the campground, everything was more expensive than expected. I bought a frozen pizza that I had to cook as soon as I got back to the trailer since it doesn't fit in the freezer. So, dinner was at 4:00. While eating my pizza, I broke a chunk off a front tooth. No pain; while I'll have an ugly smile, I hope I can wait until I get back to Oswego & my regular dentist to deal with it.

Until next time -

Maverick Ranch RV Park, Lajitas, TX

The Trailer Under the Stars
Thursday, March 17, 2016, Maverick Ranch RV Park, Lajitas, TX, 41.3 Miles, 5,151 Miles for the Trip

After being nervous about Spring Break and the availability of campsites, I made a reservation at what I thought was a good distance away. Unfortunately, Lajitas is only about 40 miles from the park, so it was a short day on the road. This is a large full hookup campground; I'm in site 34. The place was empty until around noon when 31 Class A RVs showed up. I think I caught the name of the group - Red River Rovers. The campground WiFi was fast until they showed up, at which point it completely lost its connection to their internet provider. Unfortunately, while I have a good Jetpack signal, it is roaming on some other network than Verizon, & my plan does not allow roaming. Strangely, my iPad (which is also on Verizon) has no problem making a connection, although it is so slow it is unusable. So, last night's photos of the sunset at the Window & a few of the trailer under the stars will have to wait. As to the Window photos, it was a lousy sunset so the ones I took from the campground the night before last are better. The rest of the photos at today's LakeshoreImages post.

The campground had individual rooms for showers, which is nice, but not a lot of room for your stuff while you shower. A large pool, but according to the kids in it, very cold.

I sat outside after lunch, being entertained by a diesel pusher that decided to stop with the engine aligned 10' from my site, then left it running for over a half an hour. Not sure why since he eventually moved into a site. No idea if he was part of the group.

While every once in a while a piece of email slips through on the campground WiFi, I can't see a web page or post, so I doubt this will get posted today. If I wake up at 4:00AM, maybe then! I managed to post at 11:00, so I don't have to get up at 4:00AM!

Dinner was a chicken patty sandwich & the rest of the rice from yesterday.

Until the next internet connection -

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Chisos Basin, Big Bend National Park, TX, Day 2

The Window at Sunset
Wednesday, March 16, 2016, Chisos Basin, Big Bend National Park, TX, Day 2, 0 Miles, 5,109.7 Miles for the Trip

Well, I slept well after my hike. Dinner was a cheese sandwich (I didn't even bother to grill it) chips & snap peas. Saved getting out the grill & cooking. I tried to do some star photos, but the moon is at about 1/2 full (or empty depending on your mood) which cuts out all but the brightest stars, and the many campsite lights didn't help. I did look outside at 4:00AM, and the moon was down, most of the campsite lights were off, but it was 47°F & I didn't want to get up & dressed that early! I did take a couple of photos of the sun setting at the Window (from my campsite). Not all that photographic; I'll try tonight from the Windows View site for something better.

I walked around the campground before breakfast, checking out the sites. All are full, or at least reserved, although I did find one that has a reservation starting tomorrow that I suspect someone could stay in tonight. I also looked for two reservable trailer sites together (for future trips with the Guidos). There aren't many, although 58 & 60 look pretty good, as does 38 & 39.

Lots of Spring Breakers in the campground. Yesterday a rather obnoxious pair of hikers walked through my site with very loud music playing from their backpack. I can understand headphones if you insist on listening to music rather than your surroundings while hiking. Maybe the "music" was their method of keeping the bears & mountain lions away, but if I was a bear I'd eat them just to shut off the noise!

Other than a walk, I didn't do much else today. Temperatures warmed up quickly, so that be 10:00 it was comfortable sitting outside in a "T" shirt. I read for awhile, talked with a couple of neighbors, and relaxed.

Dinner will be a turkey Bubba Burger, Virgo Rice & the last of the snap peas.

Until the next internet connection -

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Chisos Basin, Big Bend National Park, TX

Site 44, Chisos Basin Campground, Big Bend National Park, TX
Tuesday, March 15, 2016, Chisos Basin, Big Bend National Park, TX, 31.4 Miles, 5,109.7 Miles for the Trip

I don't think there are going to be any photos - the parking lot at the Chisos Basin Visitor Center is completely over run, as well as the park's WiFi. I did get one photo up loaded, but that was it. I'll try again later.

I got together with the bicyclists next door for a pu pu since all of us have been to Hawaii (a Hawaiian tradition I'm used to calling "Happy Hour"). Talked awhile before breaking for dinner. The burritos were good, although putting together the Dutch oven to do in 45 minutes what a microwave would do in 2 minutes makes me think that traveling without one wasn't a great idea!

I'm in site 44, a parking space along a fairly narrow campground road. I squeezed over as far as possible & hope I don't get sideswiped. The campground is full, as is the rest of them in the park. There was a couple of empty sites at Rio Grande Village Campground as I pulled out, but I suspect they filled quickly.

Well, it is later. I decided to hike to the Window, a 3.6 mile round trip that feels like a 10 mile hike - on gravel & lots of stairs. After returning, I read in the shade for a bit. As soon as I finish putting this together, I'll drive to the Visitor Center to try to post again.

The rest of the photos are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Don't know about dinner, right now I'm too tired to eat!.

Until the next internet connection -

Monday, March 14, 2016

Rio Grande Village Campground, Big Bend National Park, TX, Day 6

Bosquillas Road under the Stars
Monday, March 14, 2016, Rio Grande Village Campground, Big Bend National Park, TX, Day 6, 0 Miles, 5,078.3 Miles for the Trip

The campground is still filled this morning. People are making deals - before anyone leaves, there is someone that has already claimed their site, and another half dozen driving around looking for one. None are ever actually empty...

There is a "no generator" section, although it doesn't mean much. While no one runs a generator in that section, it is next to the generator allowed area & there are a couple of trailers that are running construction generators. I can easily hear them at my site 3/4 of the way across the entire campground.

After watching a Texas Ranger ride by on a horse, I drove to the Bosquillas Canyon road & parked in a turnoff. I watched the stars come out (the brightest "dot" in most of the photos is the planet Jupiter, a lonely first light) and took a few photos. Nothing spectacular, but fun to do.

This morning I talked again with a gentleman I met yesterday. He is 78 years old & bike camping (yes bicycle, not motorcycle). He joined the bicyclists in the site next to mine & I'm currently recharging his tablet. We traded a book - even though weight is obviously important to him, he travels with real books rather than a Kindle; a man after my own heart! He has been traveling by bicycle since his retirement.

I read most of the day, taking a few breaks to walk around the campground. I haven't decided what dinner will be, but I'm leaning towards digging out the Dutch oven & baking a couple of frozen chicken burritos.

Until the next internet connection -

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Rio Grande Village Campground, Big Bend National Park, TX, Day 5

The Hot Spring, Big Bend National Park, TX
Sunday, March 13, 2016, Rio Grande Village Campground, Big Bend National Park, TX, Day 5, 0 Miles, 5,078.3 Miles for the Trip

I hope all of you remembered to "Spring Ahead" into Daylight Savings Time, of course that is if you don't live in Arizona, where they ignore daylight savings time (except on the Navajo reservations, where they do daylight savings time). If you visit Page, AZ during daylight savings time, with the combination of Arizona time, Daylight Savings Time & Navajo Time, it is almost impossible to schedule anything. On top of that, I heard on NPR that California has a bill in their Assembly to also do away with daylight savings time - there was lots of discussion whether to just drop it like Arizona, or go to daylight savings time all year. Talk about a mess!

Normally, Sundays are a good time to arrive at state & national park campgrounds. People are packing up to go home after a weekend. Even the middle of the week is usually OK. When I arrived here last Wednesday, there were 5-6 open non reservable sites & about as many reservable ones (usually only good for one night). This morning the campground was declared full at 8:00AM. While Spring Break for us northerners means going a long way south or staying home, here everyone figures it is a great time to hit Big Bend. I feel sorry for all those hopeful faces pulling in in everything from a compact car with the camping gear on the roof, a rented Class C RV, to a diesel pickup towing a 35' 5th wheel. All are cruising through the campground multiple times hoping someone would leave. While there are a bunch of empty reserved sites starting on the 13th (today) they won't become available, if not filled, until 2:00PM tomorrow.

Today is another warm one. At 2:30, it was 81°F outside & even with the Maxxfan running, 85°F in the trailer. Last night did cool off (42°F) enough to cool the refrigerator, which gets unhappy if the night time temperatures don't drop below 70°F. I didn't do anything other than make pancakes for brunch. I used the last of my pancake mix - I'll have to look for more, but don't expect to find my favorite New Hope Mills Buttermilk mix. The rest of the day I keep moving to the shade as the sun traveled overhead. I did take a couple of walks around the campground, but no hikes in the rest of the park, and no interesting photographs.  Since I didn't take any photographs today, I used one from yesterday for today's post.

If the sky stays clear, I may go out to the turnoff for Bosquillas Canyon. It looks to be a good location for some nighttime star photos. There is far too much spill from the various campsites for photos at the campground.

Dinner will be a grilled chicken patty, the rest of the refried black beans with green chiles (which were very good) and some snap peas.

Until the next internet connection -

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Grande Village Campground, Big Bend National Park, TX, Day 4

A Roadrunner
Saturday, March 12, 2016, Rio Grande Village Campground, Big Bend National Park, TX, Day 4, 0 Miles, 5,078.3 Miles for the Trip

Last night was the coolest since I've been here. Up until now it has only gone down to the high 50's, but last night the furnace came on with the early morning temperature of 38°F. Today made up for the cold morning. Beautiful clear cloudless skies & 80°F by noon. I checked my propane this morning, and one of the tanks is empty. They have a notice that filling propane at the store is by appointment, so I checked - the Texas certified propane tank filler won't be back at work until Monday morning. I have plenty left until then, but always like to fill empty tanks as soon as possible. I bought a couple of postcards to send to the grandkids & a couple of bottled ice teas. Sure is less expensive by the dozen!

After that I drove out to the Hot Spring area. The spring is about a 1/2 mile walk from the parking lot at the end of a reasonably good dirt road. It is also a 3 mile walk from the campground, but my back is bothering me enough that I'm trying to stick to short hikes. The spring is right on the Rio Grande. I took a couple of photos while on the walk, including one of a shack on the Mexican side of the river.

After that it was back to the campground, put the awning out (no wind) and relax reading in the shade. While sitting in the shade a roadrunner walked by. He or more likely, she stopped for a couple of photos.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I'll post this this afternoon when I go to the store for a shower. Dinner will be a Bubba Burger & refried black beans with green chiles.

Until the next internet connection -

Friday, March 11, 2016

Rio Grande Village Campground, Big Bend National Park, TX, Day 3, & The Terlingua Ghost Town

The Holiday Hotel
Friday, March 11, 2016, Rio Grande Village Campground, Big Bend National Park, TX, Day 3, & The Terlingua Ghost Town, 0 Miles, 5,078.3 Miles for the Trip

After breakfast I decided to head to Chisos Basin to see if my trailer will fit in the space I have reserved for next Tuesday & Wednesday. On the way to Panther Junction I drove through the section of the park that had a wildfire a few weeks ago. If you think the desert doesn't burn, here is photo proof that it can!

A pretty drive to the Chisos Basin campground, although quite a hill getting into the place. My site does not look anything like the photo on the Rec.Gov web page, but the trailer will fit. It is really a tent site with a parallel to the road parking space that will just fit the trailer & RAV4.

Since I was already half way there, I continued west to the Terlingua Ghost Town. A couple of people told me it was a required stop, and a couple of others said it was a ghost town that isn't. I'll have to agree with the second group. It isn't an empty ghost town such a Bodie Historical Park in California, but it also isn't a tourist package like the Goldfield Ghost Town in Apache Junction, AZ. Instead, it is a collection of broken buildings combined with bars, stores, hotels (the one in the photos has signs advertising it as open even though it is missing much of its roof & windows) and other abandoned & functioning buildings, as well as people's homes. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I have to admit is is somewhat interesting, but I didn't spend a lot of time there. On the way back I stopped at a grocery store in Study Butte (the nearest one to the campground & about 44 miles from Rio Grande Village). I should have picked up a bunch of pre mixed, bottled tea since I drank my last one after getting back to the campground, but forgot - didn't have it on my list...

The sun has been peaking out around the clouds - enough to fully recharge my batteries, but not enough to make sitting outside completely pleasant. Still, that's what I did most of the afternoon. I'll take my laptop to the village store to post this page & check my mail when I'm done.

Dinner will be spaghetti, sausage & meatballs.

Until the next internet connection -

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Rio Grande Village Campground, Big Bend National Park, TX, Day 2 & Mexico

The Mexico Ferry
Thursday, March 10, 2016, Rio Grande Village Campground, Big Bend National Park, TX, Day 2, 0 Miles, 5,078.3 Miles for the Trip

A very windy night, although it didn't get as cold as I expected. The furnace never came on, so I probably will not need propane until after I leave the park.

I walked around the campground before breakfast - saw a couple of Casitas, a couple of Scamps, and an Escape 21 (belonging to one of the campground hosts). Fiberglass trailers are well represented, although many of the sites are large enough for just about any sized RV.

I drove over to the camp store with my laptop to post yesterday's journal. The WiFi is quite usable, even for posting photographs.

After that I decided to go to Mexico for lunch. While I've been to Canada many, many times, the last time I can remember crossing into Mexico was on my family's 1950 cross country trip. I suspect it was simpler then, although it wasn't all that difficult today. After showing my passport to the immigration agent I walked through the gate & down a path to the river. For $5.00 you get a round trip ticket to be rowed across on the "ferry".

On the Mexican side you have a choice of a truck ride, a mule or burro ride, or walking, as well as, if you want, hiring a guide. I walked the mile to the village of Bosquillas. Quite a difference from the US side of the border. Lots of stands selling souvenirs, and kids running up to you doing the same. Nothing obnoxious, but interesting. I walked the length of the town taking a few photographs, then headed to the Jose Falcon's Restaurant & Bar for lunch. I had enchiladas in red sauce, along with taco chips with huge bowls of dips, including enough guacamole for at least 4 people. That, along with a Dos Equis beer was $15.50.

The lunch time entertainment was provided by a gentleman with a guitar. While badly played, he made up for it in volume! More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After lunch it was back to the ferry & the US. At the campground I talked with my neighbors John & Laura, who are returning east by vehicle after riding bikes across the US going west. They are looking at fiberglass trailers, so, of course, I gave them a tour of the Escape.

It is still very windy, but I'm going to try sitting outside for a bit. I decided to take a break from taking a break & go to the campground store for a shower & to post today's page. The shower rates fairly low - non adjustable thin stream of water, and a 1/4" deep puddle on the dressing room floor, despite a shower curtain. At least it did last for 5 minutes (for my $1.50). As to the WiFi, it is working, but much slower than yesterday. Might be the handful of people sitting at the tables outside the store with laptops! In any case, I hope all the photos posted.

Since I had a huge lunch, dinner will be cheese & crackers if I ever get hungry!

Until the next internet connection -

Rio Grande Village Campground, Big Bend National Park, TX

Sunset Over the Campground
Wednesday, March 9, 2016, Rio Grande Village Campground, Big Bend National Park, TX, 115.2 Miles, 5,078.3 Miles for the Trip

Gulp - a sign at Maraton, TX (80 some odd miles from the campground) stated the campgrounds in the park MAY be filled. I decided to keep going since MAY isn't all that definite. At the Persimmon Gap Entrance Station (46 miles from the campground) the ranger had not received the daily report on the Rio Grande Campground, so again I kept going. At the Panther Junction Visitor Center (20 miles from the campground) they had a sign that stated the electric sites at Rio Grande Village were full, but all other campgrounds in the park were open. They have fuel at both Panther Junction & Rio Grande Village (at $2.30 per gallon for regular) so I didn't need to worry about that, so again, I kept going.

At the campground I pulled into the first empty site, started to set up, then looked at the post - the site was taken until the 12th. I calmed down & drove through the campground. Many empty sites that had departure dates of the 10th - maybe the bad weather chased them away. In any case, there were 4-5 sites that were officially open, & I took one of the shorter ones, leaving the longer sites for larger RVs. I'm in site 64, a end of the loops site with lots of room on either side. Like most National Parks, dry camping for $7.00 per night with the Senior Pass. ($14.00 without the pass). The bathrooms (no showers) are just across the loop. There are showers ($1.50 for 5 minutes) at the Rio Grande Village Store, about 1/4 mile from the campground.

After setting up I walked to the store, bought a "T" shirt - hey, I haven't bought one in a long time! While they do have many basic supplies, it sure isn't a Safeway. After getting back to the trailer, some very red birds (maybe Vermillion Flycatchers, although my iBirds Plus app doesn't show a photo of them with the crest raised as in the last photo) jumped around in the trees next to my site - I took a few photos.

It looks to be cool through the weekend. Mid 50's during the day & 40's at night. (Added note during posting - Actual temperatures were 71°F during the day & only 60°F at night, at least last night) Heavy clouds, but no rain as of yet - it is predicted most days until Saturday. We will see how well my solar panels do under heavy clouds. They haven't been subjected to that since going to Alaska in June.

Dinner was a grilled Chicken Andouille Sausage & beans. As expected, there is no cell or Jetpack service here in the campground. There is WiFi at the store, so I'll probably post this tomorrow if the connection is fast enough for the photos.

Speaking (well, typing) of photos, I took a short drive to the Boquillas Canyon Overlook for a couple of photos just before sunset. Some very pretty light on the sides of the canyon, even from the campground. The rest of today's photos are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Until the next internet connection -

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Lost Alaskan RV Park, Alpine, TX

Site P3, Lost Alaskan RV Park, Alpine, TX

Tuesday, March 8, 2016, Lost Alaskan RV Park, Alpine, TX, 25.9 Miles, 4,963.1 Miles for the Trip

By the way, the showers at Davis Mountain State Park are almost perfect - Clean, have seats in the dressing area, lots of hooks, standard shower heads that don't aim at the dressing area, shower curtains, heat in the bathroom, and places to put your stuff in the shower. The only problem is the hot water isn't. While I understand lowering hot water temperature to prevent scalding of kids, it was barely lukewarm with no added cold water, making for a quick shower! I've developed a back ache & I was hoping to do a little soaking.

A very short drive today. On the way I saw an Escape 21 stopped along TX 118, so I stopped to say hello. I met Mary F, an administrator for the Fiberglass RV Forum and her husband. They were having some vibration problems with their front storage box & had stopped to try to solve the problem.

I needed to do laundry, and wasn't sure if there would be any laundromats further towards Big Bend National Park, so I stopped at Alpine & the Lost Alaskan RV Park. I'm in site P3, a full hookup site a long hike from the bathrooms & showers, for $30.56 with a Good Sam discount.

After setting up the trailer I checked out the laundry at the campground, but it was busy & small. I opted to head to town. My GPS directed me to a dry cleaner & laundry (no user machines) but they gave me directions to a real laundromat. It was next to a coffee shop, so I sat outside sipping good coffee & reading while the machines did their thing.

I stopped at a grocery store on the way home & replaced most of the things I had on my list. Back at the campground I put away the groceries, made the bed (a project, as usual) and did some reading. I'm currently reading a Terry Pratchett "Diskworld" novel , The Truth, an excellent satire on the newspaper industry. If you have never read Pratchett, I highly recommend it as well as Going Postal as good introductions to the series.

It is too windy to sit outside, in fact you can see the clouds in the campsite photo. Very light rain off & on as well.

Since this is the last site I expect to have electrical hookups for a week or two, I'm using the toaster oven to bake a pot pie for dinner. If you don't hear from me tomorrow, it is a good sign - it means I got into one of the first come sites at the Rio Grande Village campground.

Until the next internet connection -

Monday, March 7, 2016

Davis Mountain State Park, Fort Davis, TX, & The McDonald Observatory,

The Harlan J. Smith Telescope, McDonald Observatory
Monday, March 7, 2016, Davis Mountain State Park, Fort Davis, TX, & The McDonald Observatory, 82.1 Miles, 4,937.2 Miles for the Trip

A relatively short drive today to Davis Mountain State Park. I'm in site 12, a full hookup site, including cable, (when I made the reservation there were no Electric & Water sites left - I ended up paying $5.00 extra for a sewer hookup I didn't use), Total cost $31.00, including a $6.00 park entry fee. A nice site, although the picnic table is a little too far from the trailer for ease of use.

After setting up, I drove to the top of the park on Skyline Drive. Took a few photos, then decided to get my astronomy fix by going to the McDonald Observatory, about 15 miles from the campground. I took the Daytime Pass tour ($8.00 senior price) which included a solar viewing session & a tour of two of their telescopes. A well organized, informative tour well worth the money. I had to take two somewhat unrelated photos - the biggest tank of Nitrogen I've seen (we used it to cool fog for use on stage) and a sample air caster. They use them to turn the entire many ton telescope - we have used them to move stage scenery, just a bit lighter! Lots of photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After that it was back to the campground & dinner - a grilled chicken patty, chips & snap peas.

By the way, if I disappear for awhile it is because I will have no internet connections.  While tomorrow looks OK, after that I'll be heading into Big Bend National park where phone & hotspot coverage is unavailable.  I'll post pages if I find a WiFi connection.

Until tomorrow -

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Oasis RV Park, Van Horn, TX

Site 20, Oasis RV Park, Van Horn, TX
Sunday, March 6, 2016, Oasis RV Park, Van Horn, TX, 239.9 Miles, 4,855.1 Miles for the Trip

Unfortunately, the light clouds around dinner time last night got heavier & heavier, and by dusk, completely overcast. I walked over to the observatory just in case, and there was a sign canceling the Star Party.

In the morning I packed up & left City of Rocks by 9:00AM, heading to Texas. As I drove through El Paso, I realized that that was one section of I10 I've never driven. I usually take US 62 & US 82 and bypass that section. After driving through El Paso on I10, I now know why! Very busy, lots of on ramps that drivers don't believe in yielding to the interstate traffic, etc. Anyhow, I made it through & reached Van Horn & the Oasis RV Park. A very old, typical "Next to the Interstate" RV park - pretty much what I like if I have to stay in a commercial campground for one overnight. A one room bathroom (with an interesting shower head - if you stop & use the one in the men's bathroom, what ever you do, don't try to tighten it to stop the spraying leak. It fell off in my hands & was difficult to thread back on.) Many would not be happy with the facilities, but they were clean, if a bit worn. They do have a pool, although I didn't use it.

Sites were $21.39 with a Good Sam discount - full hookups + cable & Free WiFi - no picnic table. Good Verizon & AT&T coverage.

I decided rather than setting up my own table (there isn't much room on the site) I'd try the Chuy's Mexican restaurant across the street. I had their #1 special, a combination of one of just about every standard Mexican restaurant item available. Far too much for me to eat everything, but very good.

Until tomorrow -

Saturday, March 5, 2016

City of Rocks State Park, NM, Day 7

The Campground From the Overlook
Saturday, March 5, 2016, City of Rocks State Park, NM, Day 7, 0 Miles, 4,615.2 Miles for the Trip

Another mild morning. After my walk & breakfast I sat around outside reading. I took a break to drive up to the high point in the park that overlooks the campground for a photo. After that it was back to the trailer. I started to do some packing in preparation to leaving tomorrow.

I hope the light clouds clear enough for the "Observatory Night" that is scheduled tonight.

I put the stove away & dug out the Volcano Grill & Dutch oven to bake a couple of burritos for dinner.

Until tomorrow -

Friday, March 4, 2016

City of Rocks State Park, NM, Day 6

Friday, March 4, 2016, City of Rocks State Park, NM, Day 6, 0 Miles, 4,615.2 Miles for the Trip

Another late start to the day. After my walk & breakfast, I sat around and read. I finished Christopher Pike's The Season of Passage. Quite an interesting SiFi novel, one of the few books that I had trouble putting it down. Part of the reason for the late start was staying up until 12:30 AM reading!

One of the fund raisers my former employer, the State University of NY at Oswego Theatre Department is doing is selling the seats in the refurbished theatre. I bought one in memory of my late wife Carol, and received an email from the dean asking if I'd do a short video for the facebook page that pushed the idea to others. Now I'm not much of an actor - while I was active in theatre for over 40 years, I have been in two shows as an actor, both very small parts that I was forced into as an undergraduate. So, making the video was a chore, but I did it. Getting it to the department was almost as difficult as making it. Too big to email, and I don't have a drop box account. I put it on my Google Drive & hope I configured access for the person who is suppose to get it.

Other than that, the day was spent doing nothing. Around 5:00 my neighbor invited me for "happy hour".  I sat around with two ladies that are full timing in class B vans. We talked about places we've been & places we are going to, then headed home for dinner.

Dinner was a Southwest salad.

Until tomorrow -

Thursday, March 3, 2016

City of Rocks State Park, NM, Day 5

Santa Rita Copper Mine
Thursday, March 3, 2016, City of Rocks State Park, NM, Day 5, 0 Miles, 4,615.2 Miles for the Trip

The wind did die down enough to make spaghetti & meatballs for dinner last night. I sat out in my chair until 9:00 watching the stars. I put a telephoto lens on the D800 but without an equatorial mount (one that is motorized to counteract the turning of the earth), I found even a 5 second exposure at 400mm caused significant streaking. I did keep one image of Orion's belt that included a blurry image of the Orion Nebula. Skies like last night really make me want to get & carry a good telescope. Not much use in Oswego where we have clouds most of the time, but out here it is amazing!

I slept in a bit later than usual, but did my morning walk around 9:30. A few RVers moved out this morning, but the park is still fairly full. Around 11:00 I headed for Silver City. My key did me the favor of not working when I got to Lawley Toyota & they replaced the battery in the key. No charge, and it seems to be working - only time will tell! I looked at a 2016 Tacoma - a nice looking truck that they would have loved to sell me. While the 3% sales tax is a great deal for New Mexico buyers, the sad news is if I bought it, when I registered it in NY, they would collect the sales tax difference.

I stopped at a Chinese restaurant for lunch - not a buffet, but lots of choices. OK, but not the best orange chicken I've had. I stopped at Albertson for a few items I forgot on Monday, then I drove to the Santa Rita Mine for a photo. I took one the last time I drove by, but this time a made a panorama, (Large 1.4MB Version)I looked for some of the other mines in the area, but didn't find them.

After that it was back to City of Rocks & some reading. Dinner will be something simple since I'm still full from lunch.

Until tomorrow -

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

City of Rocks State Park, NM, Day 4

Looking North
Wednesday, March 2, 2016, City of Rocks State Park, NM, Day 4, 0 Miles, 4,615.2 Miles for the Trip

Another mild, but windy day at City of Rocks. Lots of new arrivals - this end (as well as all of the electric sites) are full. I didn't do much other than sit around ducking the wind & trying to read. Lots of dust in the air stirred up by the wind gusts. While most of the place is rocks, there is enough fine sand to put a coating on everything.

I did get out to take a couple of photos last night. It didn't clear up as much as the previous nights.  One more image (a 2 hour exposure with the D800) at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I did make use of the last day of my Jetpack cycle to do some downloads. I was at 16GB this morning so I had 4GB to use. Unfortunately, it is a bit slow since all I currently have is a 3G connection. Off & on it switches to 4G, although the 3G is just about as fast.

Dinner is planned to be spaghetti & meatballs, but unless the wind dies down I'm not sure I could get the water to boil on the camp stove. It usually calms down around 5:00, so I'll wait until then to decide. There is always soup cooked on the stove in the trailer.

Until tomorrow -

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

City of Rocks State Park, NM, Day 3 & the Silver City Museum

Star Circle
Tuesday, March 1, 2016, City of Rocks State Park, NM, Day 3 & the Silver City Museum, 0 Miles, 4,615.2 Miles for the Trip

I didn't think I'd be able to shoot a "Star Circle" last night since fairly heavy clouds rolled in during the afternoon. They did make for some interesting sunset photos. Still, I went outside at 9:00PM and found the sky clear. While I was hoping for a longer exposure, the camera battery called it quits after one hour and 9 minutes. The various D700 batteries I have been using seem to be nearing the end of their life cycle - they don't run the camera as long as they used to. Of course, long exposures are hard on the camera since they hold the shutter open, consuming lots of power. I'll try again tonight with the D800.

I had breakfast after a walk around the campground. Saw an Escape 19 further up the road, but didn't stop in since it was only 8:30 AM. While it was cold enough for the furnace to kick on a couple of times during the early morning, it warmed up quickly, and by 9:30 it was warm enough to sit outside.

Around 11:00 I decided to head to Silver City to see the Silver City Museum. On the way I stopped by the Escape 19 & discovered the owner was at the Quartzsite Rally.  Of course, with 185 fiberglass trailers, I suspect it is likely that any fiberglass trainer in the southwest was there!

A visit to the museum had been suggested by a couple of fellow RVers, and it was only about 30 miles away. While interesting, the museum was much smaller than I expected. I did take a few photos, but it only took about 1/3 an hour to do the tour. One of the rooms was dedicated to multiple floods that created the "Big Ditch" out of what was Main Street. On the way back from the museum I stopped at the visitor center & photographed a section of the ditch. Sunset & museum photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

My push button door opener (built into the RAV4's key) has become intermittent. There is a Silver City Toyota dealer, and the key wasn't working on the way into town, so I decided to stop on the way out to see if they could determine why. Of course, as I got into the vehicle to head to Toyota, it started working fine, and worked all the way back to the campground over a bunch of stops. Pulled into the camp site & it stopped! I may use it as an excuse to go back later in the week to see some of the mines & minerals at Silver City.

Back at the campground I decided to head for the showers. It is just a little too far to walk in shower shoes, so I drove. I forgot that the water is very soft - takes forever to rinse. They have single push button operated showers & a sign that says "Water is precious, conserve"; the low volume shower heads produce such a fine spray that the water never really gets hot unless you are within 6" of the shower head. It takes 6 - 8 push button cycles to get the water warm enough to stand under it. I bet they would save water using standard shower heads & faucets. In any case I'm clean!

Dinner was be a Bubba Burger & Knorr Cheddar & Broccoli Pasta Side.

Until tomorrow -