Sunday, January 29, 2017

Still Stopped in Junction, TX

January 29, 2017

Tom was up first this morning and by the time I walked into the living area the coffee was ready and waiting. We were going to leave this morning but I suggested we stay one more day and so we are still parked here just taking it easy.

We attended Mass at St. Theresa Catholic Church this morning.

After Mass we stopped for lunch at City Sweets Bakery Cafe. Tom had looked up what to do in Junction, TX and it was on the list of places to stop.

We then took a short ride around the town.

Kimble County Courthouse

Information about Kimble County

Information about the Courthouse Building.

These plaques are on the Courthouse grounds. From what I read on the plaques
these four men played an important role in the history of Kimble County.

The view down Main Street.

The Llano River runs by the RV Park.

The temperature hit 67 degrees so we decided to sit out for a bit during
"Happy Hour". Our drinks are waiting.

Tomorrow  we will be back on I-10, continuing our way West, taking our time, and enjoying the journey.

A bit of trivia:  The exit for Junction, TX  on I-10 is 456. It is the halfway point between Jacksonville, FL and Los Angeles, CA.

"Life is sometimes made of the small moments of contentment,
you find in the quiet corners of your day."

Saturday, January 28, 2017

North Llano River RV Park & Resort

January 28, 2017

As I mentioned in the previous post we stopped here for two nights so we will be leaving in the morning. The young man who led us to our site said it had been very warm here last week. Today is a beautiful sunny day but it is only around 52 degrees. (Still better then the 25 degrees with snow in Escanaba.)

We caught up on some wash today. Tom went and did jeans over at their laundry, pretty much the only thing I prefer not to do in our washer, and I did sheets here in the motor home. I know a lot of RVer's prefer the extra space but I love having a washer/dryer. It was one of my must haves in the 5th wheel and now in our motor home.

This is a very nice park and we are certainly glad we decided to stop here. They have full hook ups, cable, and the WiFi has been excellent. They even picked up our garbage this morning. It is a clean, well kept up park, and they all look like pretty level pull thru sites. The site we are in, and it looks like there are several more, was long enough to stay hooked up if we had wanted to. They even have two Adirondack style chairs at each site on a small patio. This is definitely on our list of parks we would stop at again. It is easy access off of I-10 but not so close you have highway noise and it is on the river.

Site 48A

A month ago we thought there was a good chance we would be in Quartzsite at the Blogger-Fest today putting faces to the blogs we read. Plus,it would have been nice to be able to re-connect with people we met last year. We are sure everyone there had a great time and we are looking forward to the posted pictures.

"Now and then it's good to pause
in our pursuit of happiness
and just be happy."

Stopping for Two Days

We are presently parked at the North Llano River RV Park & Resort in Junction, TX after 4 days of traveling we have decided to stop for 2 nights and take a break.

January 26, 2017

We were up early, had our coffee, and should have been on our way about 7:30AM. Instead we spent about 30 minutes trying to figure out why we had no blinker or brake light on the left side of the Jeep. A little after 8:00 Tom made a call, spoke with the Tech guy at Lazydays who set up our towing system, he made a suggestion as to what to try, his suggestion worked, and we had lights. Not long after that we turned onto I-10.

Side note: Most of the pictures I take when we are traveling are through the front windshield.  I love that I have a large wide open windshield now.

We remembered this bridge from 2015
when we were pulling the Crusader East.
From a distance it looks like you are going
to be going pretty much straight up.

When they say narrow lanes and no shoulders ahead they are not kidding.

Then they teased us for a while with this lovely wide open road ahead.

We stopped at the Welcome Center and missed their
Welcome to Texas sign.

The Texas Welcome Center

The start of our trek through Houston.

This caught my eye and I do not even drink beer.
I think because this is one of Tom's choices.

We can see Houston in the distance.

Pretty much half way through Houston.

Would have like to see how they accomplished it.

Coming out the West Side.

Tom and I both believe it would be hard for another state to compete with
Texas when it comes to displaying the US Flag and their State Flag.
These are just a few I took on our way through Houston.

We turned into the Colorado Rest Area-Westbound near Columbus, TX.  After a quick discussion we decided 227 miles was enough for the day and this is where we spent the night.

January 27,2017

We pulled out of the rest area around 8:00AM after having coffee. Looking ahead I saw the next rest area was in about 70 miles and our goal was to eat breakfast there, which we did. We ended up parking next to some fellow Michigan travelers. After a quick conversation about where we were all headed we bid each other safe travels. (Even though they were "trolls" it was a nice chance encounter along the road.)

At the entrance to the rest stop near Luling.
We were on Texas Farm to Market Roads for a few miles today. Instead of going through San Antonio we had decided to take State Highway 46 around. As it turned out there was an accident ahead of us and "Hazel" re-routed us pretty much as we had planned.

Top left New Braunfels' Airport;Top right for our grandchildren
The rest of the pictures are some of the scenery along the way.

Spotted a windmill.

You have to wonder, since, the slow lane going up a hill is going to be used
mostly by large vehicles, why they do not trim back just a few of the branches.

Along a river in  Boerne, TX
(The picture does not do it justice.)

There is one speed limit in Texas we question; it is the one for work zones.
We cannot think of a place in the UP were the speed limit reaches 65
let alone in a work zone. Hang onto your "hats" workers.

I-10 not too many miles before our stop for the day.

"You don't always need a plan.
Sometimes you just need to 
breathe, trust, let go
and see what happens."
~Mandy Hale

Friday, January 27, 2017

Making Our Way West.

January 24, 2017

The sun was shining and the sky was a perfect blue as we  pulled out of the  Hitchin Post Corral and Campgrounds at around 10:30AM. We had planned on leaving a little earlier but it is a great thing to be retired and not on a schedule.

Driving over Escambia Bay

Leaving Florida

Entering Alabama

We could see Mobile in the distance as we crossed Mobile Bay.
Then we were going through a tunnel.

After 272 miles we stopped for the night at the Mississippi Welcome Center near Pearlington, MS. I had read they allowed overnight parking at their rest stops but the signs on the way in said, no overnight parking allowed. As it was now dark we decided to just stay and see what would happened. There was a security person walking around but we were never asked to leave. When we pulled out in the morning the parking lot was over flowing with campers and semi's.

January 25, 2017

We left the Mississippi Welcome Center around 6:30AM thinking we would stop at the Welcome Center in Louisiana, make coffee, and have breakfast. Hind sight as they say is 20/20. We should have realized if the Welcome Center in Mississippi was full chances are the Louisiana one would be also and it was. We ended up at the Atchafalaya Welcome Center near Breaux Bridge, LA around 10:30 and after having our coffee decided to have lunch instead of breakfast.

A blurry side shot but we are in Louisiana.

It is hard to tell from the pictures but it looked like the
fog was seeping through the tree tops.

Just past Baton Rouge, LA we crossed over the Mississippi River.

Driving over Louisiana Swamp Lands.

We passed several flooded farm fields today.

After 223 miles we stopped for the night at a Walmart near Lake Charles, LA. We made it just in time and missed a downpour while still driving. We had only been stopped about 5 minutes when the sky opened up and the rain came down. I say just in time because we found out about 30 miles earlier, when it was just sprinkling, that our wipers are catching in the wind and not coming back down all the time. On our list for when we stop in Tucson.

Our view through the front windshield between the raindrops.

One last thing: so I said to Tom, just after we found out about the wipers, something just flew by the window and when I looked forward this is what I saw. (For some reason every time I think about this I cannot stop laughing.)

It is on the list but for now
Tom has a temporary fix. 

Until we get the right mirror. A little
smaller but it works.

"Things work out best for those who
make the best of how things work out."
~John Wooden

Monday, January 23, 2017

One More Day

January 23, 2017

We made the decision to spend one more day at the Hitchin Post Corral and Campgrounds after checking the weather ahead of us. There were wind advisories for where we are, Pensacola, and Mobile and since we do not have a schedule to keep there was no reason to move.

The day started out under dark grey skies then this afternoon the sky turned a lovely blue. It looks like we will have clear skies tomorrow and we are ready to roll. As much as we have enjoyed being here, and by the way they have an excellent free WiFi, we are anxious to be heading further west.

The Jeep is hooked up  and we are ready to roll.

"If the plan doesn't work, change the plan
but never the goal."

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Picking up the Stinger "B" and Heading West

January 21, 2017

After 6 nights in the delivery area at Lazyday's RV in Seffner, FL we headed north on I-75 on January 19th and officially turned west onto Interstate 10 around 3:00PM. After 191 miles we parked at the Walmart in Live Oaks, FL for our first night on the road in the Stinger B. We made our first stop for fuel in the morning and continued west.

The plan for Friday was to travel as far as Pensacola. When we stopped for lunch we checked the weather ahead and the forecast did not look good. They were calling for thunderstorms, some severe, through Sunday afternoon. Plus, damaging winds, hail, and possible tornadoes ahead of us. We decided, as anxious as we are to put some miles behind us, there is no place we need to be that badly so after 151 miles we called it a day. We are presently parked at the Hitchin Post Corral and Campgrounds in Cottondale, FL just off I-10 and will be here until Monday morning. The predicted Thunderstorms, so far, have not been too bad but we have had some pretty heavy rain. The owners of this campground mentioned all the major storms this year have missed them, so far, and we hope their luck continues. (Not just while we are here but in the future.) They are a very nice couple who had been full time RVing and decided they wanted to own a campgrounds. It is a work in progress but one you can tell they are proud of and should be. They are very welcoming and she even went so far as to put down a carpet at the bottom of our steps after directing us perfectly into our site. This campground is definitely on our list of places to stay if we are in this area again. It is close to I-10 and easily accessed for an overnight stop.

So even though we are stopped for a few days we are officially heading west and we are both smiling.

Backing up in time:

We left Michigan the morning of January 11th  after spending 21 days, 7 days longer then we had originally planned. It was nice spending time with our kids and grandkids but we were ready to be back to our home on wheels. We miss them terribly but we love being out on the road, seeing new places, and meeting new people.

Heading west on I-94 then we
turned south on I-75.

As you can see in the picture above there is no snow. After battling a blizzard the week before traveling from the UP today it was really windy and cold but the road was clear.
About two hours into our trip the rain started and continued most of the day sometimes making it almost impossible to see ahead. We had hoped to make it to North Carolina but the heavy rain did slow us up somewhat and we ended up spending the night in Ripley, WV. Having just traveled this route in October we knew there were some pretty steep climbs and downgrades ahead of us. The beauty of being retired is we could say, we have time lets not do this in the dark and rain.

January 12, 2017

We woke up in the morning and it was a wonderful 61 degrees with no rain and though it was still dark when we started out it looked like we would see the sun.

Even though the temperature was in the 60's there was ice along the rock walls.
(I took this out the side window so it is blurry.)
We are on I-77.

The sun trying to make its way through the clouds.
(A few rain drops on the front windshield.)

Snow ahead in West Virginia.
This is a ski resort and I am guessing they make the snow.

Another blurry side window shot this time of snow in Virginia.

Remnants of a snow bank near Mt. Airy, NC

Pilot Mountain ahead and we have sun and blue skies
in between beautiful white clouds.

Our goal for today besides traveling south was to stop and visit with Mary Beth, a lifelong friend, and Peter for a few hours this afternoon. Not only did we have a lovely visit but Peter also served us a delicious lunch. Mary Beth set a beautiful table with a cactus center piece in honor of our plans to be west by the end of the month. (I wish I would remember, just once, to take a picture.)

A picture to commemorate our visit.
(Mary Beth always remembers.)
Thank you guys for a wonderful afternoon. 

All too soon we were on our way. Our goal was to reach I-95 and we eventually did stopping in Manning SC for the night. There were some delays on I-95 so Hazel, Google Maps, routed us through quite a few back roads with the promise we would save time. (If I remember correctly the promise was about an hour.)

January 13, 2017

We awoke to slightly cooler temperatures, only 52 degrees, then the day before. As we were riding down the Interstate I could see a full moon off to the right. When the sun came up we had blue skies and from what it was showing on Maps we would have clear sailing for the next 462 miles. (Hazel did route us around Orlando because of a traffic backup.)

We have crossed into Florida. First stop the welcome center for our sip of
Orange Juice. 

We arrived at Lazyday's around 4:30 PM. Tired but happy to see the motor home parked and ready for us to take occupancy. Now the fun of getting our home on wheels organized and ready to roll starts.

Pretty sure they buy quite a few of those
red bows. 

January 14, through January 18, 2017

We were busy organizing the inside and basement of our home. During this time Lazyday's was busy getting us acquainted with our motor home and ready to roll down the road. While we were gone they had replaced the front windshield, two front tires, and the convection microwave. At our walk through the young man who was showing us the ins and outs of our motor home found a few things that needed to be taken care of and they were promptly taken care of. Our delivery advisor, Marroe, did a wonderful job of making sure everything was taken care of and scheduling what needed to be done. We spent one of our days at the Driving School, they offer, and had the opportunity to drive a motor home. It was nice to have the opportunity to put into practice what was talked about in the morning class. This class was very informative and definitely worth the time. (Tom talked to a gentleman who was purchasing his third motor home. He had taken the class just before us and said he learned something new.)  Lastly, they got our Jeep ready to be towed and showed us how to hook it up to the Stinger B.

We had a wonderful experience purchasing from Lazyday's. Everyone we came in contact with,starting with our salesperson, Jerry, the woman who went through the paperwork to finalize our purchase, the insurance woman we worked with, our mechanic, Jose, George, the RV instructor, the driving instructor, the tech who set up our tow package, the young woman who went through the benefits with us, and ending with Marroe, our delivery advisor were helpful. We feel they all took excellent care of us. The day we took the driving class they took it into a service bay to work on it and when we got back later that day the slides were out, the air was on, and the tanks had been dumped. At least once each day our salesperson stopped by to make sure we were being taken care of. The RV Instructor did a thorough walk through taking the time to answer numerous question and then came back to make sure what he had recommended be taken care of was. The mechanic took extra time to answer all the questions we had and to make sure we understood what he was talking about. The gentleman who set up our towing package explained everything in detail, and like everyone else we came in contact with, was very helpful and spent time giving us helpful hints about the whole hook up process. Our delivery advisor kept us informed every step of the way as to what was going on with our coach including while we where home in Michigan. She really worked for us making sure everything about our coach was in working order. Even now, we are out on the road and our pump has quit working, after Tom talked with a tech person the conclusion was we need a new pump so she called with several solutions. We have opted to stop at Lazyday's in Tucson where it will be replaced. Our whole experience was pretty stress free and it was because of the people we came in contact with at Lazyday's.

So we will be here, at this campgrounds, one more day enjoying some quiet time. Correction: The Packers are playing, if he can get a signal, Tom will be watching football not sure how quiet it will be. Then Monday, if everything comes together as planned, we will point the Stinger B's nose west and put some more miles behind us. If not, well, we will make a new plan.

"Make every interaction count, even the small ones.
They are all relevant."
~Shep Hyken