Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One in a row!

Sunshine, glorious sunshine today! It started off cold, around 30º. This was the view out the back window of our RV...

Yes, that is a big mound of snow, and frozen pine needles backlit by the morning sun.

A few more things on the checklist for the cruise boat inspection, but this morning, the marina manager was wondering if there was enough water in the marina basin to launch our rescue boat. I offered to take a kayak out to manually check depths. Here's the view on the way to the dock to get a kayak and head out...

Calm wind, the beautiful Tetons as a background, and getting paid to paddle around in a kayak - and did I mention: sunshine! I used the paddle to check depths and radioed them in. Too soon, I had the area checked and it was time to head in. Then, back to the inspection checklist.

But, the sun was shining! It only got to the mid-50s today, but it finally felt like springtime here in the mountains. I have the next two days off - I may try to find the time to get my own kayak into the water.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day...

It's Memorial Day - take a moment to remember.

A work day for us; Mother Nature hasn't taken any time off, either - rain and snow mix this morning; another 1 -2 inches of accumulation predicted. Looks like another 24 hours (at least) of this, if the weather weasels can be trusted. Just what we don't need here in the over-saturated mountains.

Checking the lake level this morning, we are down another .2 of a foot. Everyone is still waiting for the anticipated BIG runoff.


On edit, Monday evening:

Yep, it's snowing... BIG, wet flakes. It's coming down so hard that our satellite TV can't get reception. Sheesh.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

TV signal?

It was a long, physical day of boat inspecting yesterday... these ol' bones felt it this morning when I got up early. I turned on the TV... nothing; no satellite reception. Easy to see why when I looked out in the first bit of light: a wet snow is falling. And there's a disadvantage of the VuQube: get a layer of snow on it, and the small dish inside can't see out. I put on boots and a jacket and swept off the cube. And almost as fast as I swept it, another layer stuck. In order to get a view of the southern sky, we have the cube about 50' away from the coach... walking through the winter wonderland. Huh

More snow adding to the snowpack - just what this area doesn't need.

When I opened the shade, little Izzy looked out, looked at me, and said, "Yeah, I'm not going out in that stuff." Smart cat.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

What was that?

I spent the day going through the Coast Guard checklist for the boat. Much of that is physical work, crawling in the bilge, climbing behind engines, reaching, lifting... and at this elevation, this old body notices.

On the bright side, I saw something bright. Most of the day. Yeah, the weather folks were calling for precip, but there was sunshine. The temp was only in the 40s, but it was comfortably warm in the boat, with all those windows. Well, that, and working up a sweat. Heck, I got by with only 3 layers most of the day. ;-)

Odds are pretty good that we're going to get it tomorrow and Monday, though: 70 to 80% chance of precip through Monday night. We'll see how accurate that forecast is.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Back to the boat captain business... well, sorta. It will be a while before we can put boats in the water, but I went to work today on one of our cruise boats - we will be getting our annual Coast Guard inspection late next week, and we have a very lengthy checklist to make sure everything is up to snuff. More stuff to go through than I could complete today... most of it is inspection and confirmation of function. It's a good boat, and well maintained.

The toughest part is with the boat being out of the water - we have to climb a 10' ladder, hauling heavy batteries, tools, etc. And since we have no place to store the boat next to the marina shop, we have to haul everything to the boat. But, it is SO good to be messing about with boats again!

Oh, and it snowed off and on (mostly on) all day, but nothing stuck at our elevation. Looking at the 10 day forecast, good weather is just a few days away - and I am ready for it!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Well, it didn't rain...

It snowed. I checked in today and did the first part of my "orientation"... a bus tour of the park. In the cold and snow.

That image above isn't one of our cruise boats - this is a replica of a ferry that was used to get people and horses across the Snake River back when this area was first being settled.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

House husband...

I offered to have supper ready for "the bread winner" when she got home from work... "Um, no thanks." I guess we both prefer her cooking. While she has been going to management orientation meetings, I have been doing the house chores. This morning I did 5 loads of laundry... no, we're not that dirty - we were issued uniforms. There are 3 washers and 3 dryers in the closest employees comfort station. I was about 2 minutes from having the first 3 loads come out of the washers, when a guy came in and took up 2 dryers. He said the washing machine in his RV works good, but the dryer doesn't. Hey, it's first come, first gets, and I didn't have anything in the driers, yet. So, that chore took a bit longer. Washing dishes, making the bed, vacuuming... yep, I'm a regular Rosie the maid.

The sun is out for a short time this morning, but more precip forecast for later today. Still, this is a welcome sight. Little Izzy is lying on the back of the couch, taking in the sunshine. She would really like to go outside for a walk, but where there isn't snow, it's muddy.

The rest of the resorts in the park are going full blast, especially here at Colter Bay - everything opens tomorrow. Well, except the marina. With the rain, I am sure the runoff is getting heavier, but I also heard that they've opened more gates in the dam. Sure hope the local officials are right in their best guess about how much to drain down the lake in anticipation of the expected runoff.


On Edit:

I drove down to the marina to meet the Blonde for lunch. Our favorite view on the way there...

You can see by the view above that there are no cars parked there... yet. There are definitely people in the park, so we're expecting a good opening day tomorrow.

And then there's the marina...

Those docks are sitting on the bottom. The lake has now been drawn down to 46%.

After lunch, I drove down to Jackson Lake Dam. Here's why the lake is so low...

Yep, that's a lot of water coming out. Checking the water flow sites, there's still more water going out than coming in to the lake.

The water on the lake outside of Colter Bay is pretty well thawed. All that rock you see on the right side of the image below is how far down the lake has been drained...

Back to the coach, and I decided to give Izzy the opportunity to see some snow up close and personal...

And then she made the leap onto/in the snow...

I couldn't get a shot of the look on her face - shock and awe! And a lot of paw shaking. That was her first experience touching snow, and I'm pretty sure she didn't like any more than I do.

I had to clean her feet before she could come back in the coach. I made sure she wouldn't track up the carpet, but apparently I didn't clean them good enough...

And here's a panoramic image of the lake view...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Good news, bad news...

I'm guessing this snow will be gone in a mere few weeks... well, in the campground, anyway. Wink I recall some folks asking about where to go to get away from the summer heat. Cool On the bright side, I've got the landing gear situation figured out. The reduction gear box is shelled, and I think the extending part is jammed. On the not so bright side, I'm going to have to replace a bunch of that to get it right. On the kinda bright side, one of the guys from maintenance said he'd bring a front end loader out to lift the front of the coach later this afternoon so we can get level. On the definitely not bright side, it just started raining... and I can't image he'll want to bring that loader 5 miles in the rain. Sad

Joan started work today: manager training in the morning, stocking the store this afternoon. I spent a couple hours messing with the landing gear, then did my "house husband" chores. I saw one of the plumbers messing with the water spigots nearby... and heard our spigot "hissing" (but, no water coming out of it.). That has to be a gargantuan task to get water functional each year after the winters here.

I don't check in for a few days, yet, but did get my business radio today... so I at least feel somewhat connected. I was told again today that there won't be any overtime this year. We'll see what happens when (if?) they get some water in the lake.



Doing the "Happy Dance." And I don't even have a Happy Dance. The Love Shack is level! It took two manual clicks on the landing gear, so that will give you an idea of how far out we were.

My friend with the front end loader called and asked, "You ready?"

"I was BORN ready!"

By the time he got here, the rain had stopped, the sun was out, and I was waiting in front of the coach for him. It all happened fast, so I wasn't able to get any photos. He slid the bucket of the front end loader under the pin, raised it a bit, and I put down the landing gear one click... not enough, so he raised it again, and I did another click. Pretty darn close. I locked down the stabilizers, dropped the back stabilizers.

For a brief time, we had water this afternoon! Of course, after a winter (and what a winter) being shut down, there were leaks in different places. So, the water is off again, but there is hope for tomorrow. With the hope of water, I put on coveralls and slithered under the coach to hook up the sewer... yes, the sewer hook-up is literally under the coach. We have the satellite TV hooked up, and as you can tell by the fact I'm posting this, our Wilson Sleek booster is working, so we have internet. In fact, I'm getting a much faster connection compared to last year... may be because there are not as many people here, yet, or maybe Verizon improved the 3G signal for this area. Without the Sleek, there is no signal.

Joan's first day was busy. Manager orientation in the morning, getting things set up in the store in the afternoon. She tells me they made a significant dent in getting things arranged. I know what a hard worker she is.

We're getting settled in.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Look Around...

We had a chance to take a look around today. Here's what it looks like currently in the campground...

It's scheduled to open on Thursday. I'm thinking some snow is going to have to melt before anyone tries to bring a camper in here.

We stopped to pick up uniforms, IDs, and car stickers. Joan starts tomorrow, and she's going to have a bunch of work to do. The store needs to be cleaned and stocked. The front door is reasonably accessible...

Of course, the other entrance may need to be cleared a bit...

Yes, that is snow piled higher than the door is tall.

Last year when I started, they already had the boats in the water. It looks a bit different this year...

The lake is topped with a slushy layer of ice; the water below that has been drawn down to the point that Colter Bay doesn't have enough water to launch the boats at this time. The snowpack this year is WAY above normal; the water content of that snowpack is also above normal. The Bureau of Land Reclamation folks are very concerned about flooding if we should have a rapid runoff... so, they have let the lake water out the dam, bringing the lake down to around 50%. I have been told that a rapid runoff (high temperatures and rain) could fill the lake again in less than a week. All we can do is wait and see, but the talk is that the marina opening will be somewhere around the 10th to 12th of June.

It's sure to be an interesting season.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lots of snow...

The Love Shack has landed! We had a good hour of driving (no wind, no precip, some actual sunshine), a less than stellar hour of driving (20 mph headwind, occasional spit of rain), and an hour of "clearing the pass", where the snow on the sides of the road was over the top of the truck! shocked What I have been hearing is true - they have WAY more snow here than last year.

Our first view of the Tetons (Mt. Moran in the clouds), coming down the other side of Togwotee Pass...

The good news: we are in our site in the park (they cleared it out with a Bobcat before we got here).

The bad news: we still had to shovel a lot of snow to make room for the slideouts, and to find the water spigot and the sewer. The really bad news: no water at our site for a while. "A while" is an indeterminate time - they are trying to clear the snow around some of the bathrooms in the campground, but it is like concrete; and the plumbers aren't coming out until they can get to every bathroom.

The REALLY bad news: our landing gear motor took a dump, and we are a half-bubble out of level. Go ahead, make the wise crack; you won't be the first. Roll Eyes Hopefully on Monday, I'll be able to call the factory and get some guidance from them. I tried to crank the gear down further with the manual crank... head a big CHUNK cry and I stopped. Oh, and due to the snow at the back of the coach, we can't get our rear stabilizers down... so we have a bit of a spring in our walk, especially at the back of the coach. Wink So much for trying to get the movement out of the coach.

And back to the good news: we are here; and in one piece. Joan has to check in before me, since she's a manager. The lake level is so low that we won't be launching any boats until at least mid-June. I guess I'm fortunate - all indications are they will have other work for me, with getting things set up. They have asked one of the other captains to not check in until late June. I believe this means I will not be putting in killer overtime like last year, so I may have the opportunity to get out more and enjoy some free time. My manager apologized for that... "Yeah, I'll be OK with that," I told him. lipsrsealed

Joan has to check in tomorrow, and starts work on Monday. I will be a "house-husband" until Thursday or Friday. I may get an apron, bake a cake, and have a good meal ready for her when she gets home from a hard day at work. smiley

Got the photos above added after 6:00... the world didn't come to an end. I sure would have been pissed if that last thing I did on this Earth was shovel snow.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hey, guess what? It rained.

Big surprise, huh? We were able to get out of Hart Ranch after a morning thunderstorm rolled through... with no rain falling while we hooked up and put away utilities! We even found diesel for less than $4 per gallon at a couple stops. By the time we rolled into Wyoming, the precip started again. We made it 2/3 of the way across Wyoming, but decided to call it a day thanks to the precip and falling temps. We'll look at the road conditions in the morning and make some travel decisions.

The first plan was to stop at an RV park we've stayed at in the past. When we called, the guy on the phone said they had plenty of sites and, "It's really wet here right now." The roads and sites at that place are dirt/gravel - I could do the translation: it's gonna be muddy. We drove through some ugly muddy construction today, and the coach was already filthy. On to Plan B: there is a casino in the area, and we looked them up on a "Free RV Sites" website... it said there was dry camping in the parking lot. I called them and was told they have a few plug-ins, on some of the light poles at the edge of the parking lot... the paved parking lot. When we rolled in to the casino, they had two plug-ins left; we parked by one, plugged in, and set up. It's only 20 amp, so we have to watch what we run; but if the rain turns to snow tonight, we are at least out of the mud and on a solid surface.

When staying at a casino, we try to do a little business with them in return for the free RV parking. After supper, Joan wanted to try a little gaming... we didn't play long, but I won enough to pay for supper and put a couple bucks in my pocket.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

When it rains, it pours...

Seems that Mother Nature is a month behind... we are deep in the showers, haven't seen any May flowers. High today is predicted to be in the 40s with heavy rain. Continuing flash flood warnings. Our plan is to start our trek west in a day or two, weather permitting... I'm concerned that rain at this elevation will turn to snow as we gain elevation heading west.

Adding to the woes of the Jackson/Tetons area, there has been a big landslide that is blocking one of the main roads into the area from the south (not along our route there); the ground is still moving there, and I'm hearing that it may take 6 to 8 weeks to clear that slide. Not good.

The marina manager sent me a photo of our RV site - they have plowed it out for our arrival.

I may have to borrow a shovel to clean up the snow on the edges so we can get in there. Or maybe it will melt in two days? Oh, and look - there's a rainbow with a unicorn under it! ;-)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I checked out a couple Medium Duty Trucks today while Joan was getting a haircut. Each had some interesting qualities, but didn't see anything that would make us give up Big Red. They are much bigger, a bit less "civilized," but obviously made for hauling. One had an enclosed box behind the cab that was made for hauling a motorcycle; I didn't care for the engine/transmission on that one. The other was strictly a passenger cab, drove nice, but was a bit spartan. We're not seriously looking for a bigger truck, but I would say I am "big truck curious." ;-)

Joan's new haircut looks great! And I'm not just saying that so she'll show more interest in a bigger truck.

As of early evening, the predicted rain hasn't materialized, so Izzy has gotten a couple walks in. She did get to meet one of the neighbor's poodles... she crouched into her stalking position, the poodle shook like crazy. We kept them just far enough apart.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Just to make sure...

Mother Nature gave us sunshine and 65º for a high today. To make sure we couldn't get out on the motorcycle or kayaks, she had the wind gusting over 40 mph. Yep, she has quite the sense of humor. Looks like the weather is heading downhill the rest of the week. Sigh.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Izzy has not been out of the coach for the past two days. Oh, the weather has been cold and crappy, but people who pulled into the site next to ours had two BIG dogs - a boxer and a lab. Izzy took one look at those two big dogs, roaming around outside the small camper and said, "No thanks. I'll stay in here."

This morning, we saw the boxer bust loose and attack a guy walking his dog. No blood drawn, but the guy fell to the ground, hurting his knee; his dog got bit a couple times, but didn't break the skin. Security came out, had a talk with the guy, they packed up and left.

In the two days they were here, they never walked the dogs - just left them tied outside... and didn't pick up after them. Big dogs - big poop. The dogs barked frequently. Often, the people weren't here, but still left the dogs tied out... on rope long enough that the dogs could reach outside their site.

I had the opportunity to visit with the wife of the guy who fell... his back and knee are hurt. We discussed the situation. Some people just don't know how to work with their neighbors in close proximity situations, like an RV park or a marina. I call them "amateurs"... people who encroach on others' space, or let dogs be a nuisance, or let their screaming kids run through others' sites, or build big smokey fires, or play loud music. There is a place for all those things, but not when you are close to others who may not appreciate your choice in music... or your screaming kids.

This is a great RV resort - our favorite in the country. It's a big place and they get lots of RVers from all over the country. It is also a membership resort, meaning you buy into it. They do have a marketing offer that allows people to come in and "try" the resort for a 3 night stay at a reduced price.

We've seen less of the "amateur" behavior at the membership parks than other places; the time of the year does make a difference, too. On the bright side, little Izzy has taken several long walks today, since the site next to us is now vacated. Even though security made the guy pick up after his dogs, we sill watch where we walk. ;-)

Friday, May 13, 2011


I don't mean for this to be a regular weather report (since I've often said, "Don't judge a day by the weather."), but the Weather Channel lies and Mother Nature is fickle. It's been cold, windy, and rainy in the Black Hills... I was hoping to get some motorcycle riding and kayaking in before we head west, but that hasn't happened, yet. It's given us time to get errands and other tasks taken care of... like leisurely lunches out. Wink

I got a report from the marina manager last night: even though the snowpack is above average, the lake level is lower than normal. They must be letting water out through the dam. That may delay the official opening of the marina for the season. I'm OK if they decide to work me less than last year. smiley

A new development here - it's like watching an old Japanese sci-fi movie... Mothra! I don't know where they come from, but we've had moths getting into the coach. Starring Little Izzy as The Moth Hunter! She has great speed, reach, and can catch a lot of air... especially when launching off the recliner. She may need a little work on her accuracy, but she makes up for it with enthusiasm. Roll Eyes Having ridden motorcycles for over 40 years, I can attest to the fact that moths don't taste good... and Izzy agrees. But, she can take them out of the air when she can reach them. cheesy

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


It's a cold, blustery day in the Black Hills; an occasional spitting rain. Not a pleasant day to be outside. If not for Izzy wanting to go for a walk a couple times today, I wouldn't have gone out at all. Joan did some bookwork and laundry, I dumped holding tanks, talked to insurance companies and gave Joan a private concert. Everyday life goes on. Tomorrow is supposed to be colder, windier, and rainier. I'm usually good for about 2 - 3 days of crappy weather before cabin fever sets in.

Checking weather for the Tetons (Moran), it is warmer there today than it is here. The forecast there for the next 10 days has a lot of rain in it... that should help melt the snow at the lake elevation. Maybe. We'll be watching that forecast close for the next 10 days.

On Izzy's last desire to go out for a walk, I opened the door, she stuck her nose out and looked at me with an "are you kidding me??" look on her face. I said, "Hey, you wanted to go out. I put on boots and a coat - we're going for a walk!" It didn't last long. Right now, she is laying beside me, sound asleep on the couch. We have the fireplace running. It's comfy inside.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A check up...

An expensive day today... no, we didn't buy a different coach or tow vehicle. Big Red was due for her 100,000 mile check-up, and she did just fine. Lots of fluid and filter changes, and a thorough lookin' over of all the mechanicals. The only thing that needed to be replaced was the lines for the transmission cooler... they had a slight leak. I had those replaced about 25,000 miles ago, so I'll keep an eye on 'em. Otherwise, the mechanic and service manager at the place we bought the truck declared her fit and ready for lots more miles. We had them check the frame and hitch extra close (after our little incident last month) - all good.

The service manager related something interesting to me: he said they saw their first failure on an Allison transmission a couple weeks ago. On that truck, it blew a line and started a BIG transmission fluid leak. He said the driver continued up the long incline while pulling a heavy trailer, apparently aware of the fluid loss. Result: fried transmission.

He also said our transmission fluid looked and smelled like new. I have it serviced according to the mfg schedule. Love that Allison and Duramax combination. This is the first vehicle we have ever owned that has passed the 100k mark. It's still tight, solid and comfortable.

And not one time did anyone say what I heard on my last check up: you're in good shape... for your age.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Doing our part...

... to keep the economy going. We spent much of the past two days "gearing up"... getting what we need for supplies, clothing, shoes, and necessities for our summer stay in the mountains. There is a nice Cabela's and a Scheel's Sporting Goods here; Wal-Mart takes care of most of the rest. Space is limited in our rig, so we have to do our best to plan our needs.

Mothers Day was absolutely gorgeous here for the weather - sunny, light breeze, and temps in the low 70s. That took a turn today, with overcast sky, temps in the 50s, and a cold wind. It wasn't conducive for the cleaning that everything needs, but we'll get a good day sometime in the next 10 days.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Back in the land of the one-finger wave...

No, not that finger. Out here on the prairie, folks are friendly. Really. And traffic isn't so thick that it's a constant stream of vehicles... if you're in a pick-up and you come across another pick-up, the local greeting is "the index finger lifted up off the steering wheel." I got that first greeting while driving north today in western Nebraska... and it just felt like coming home. After the crazy-ass drivers in most of Texas, this felt nice. No one cut me off or passed like a maniac, then cut in too close... yep, just friendly.

We rolled into our all-time favorite RV park today: Hart Ranch. We're in an expanded site, with plenty of space for the 5th wheel, the cargo trailer, the truck, and paved patio area. Nice! Out on the perimeter where it's close for Izzy to take walks in the grass... she is a happy little furry girl.

We have a few things to take care of while in the area, but we're hoping to get in some R 'n R before we head west to the Tetons and back to a schedule.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Second verse, same as the first...

We started the day with a good tailwind, resulting in over 12 mpg (quite good with this rig). We turned west, resulting in a 40+ mph crosswind... which, of course, clocked around to a headwind... and sent our mileage plummeting to 7.5 mpg. To make up for it, diesel prices have climbed as we go north and west. Double whammy.

We stopped along the way to pick up another kayak that we bought from a boat dealer friend of ours. It fits fine in the cargo trailer, but that's starting to feel pretty full. ;-) We're looking forward to trying the kayaks out in the Tetons. Assuming the snow melts. Yes, there is still a LOT of snow there. The reports we are getting are putting the snowpack way above normal. Here's a recent photo of the marina store...

Umm, we don't own a snow shovel.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Three state day...

We left Texas this morning, rolled through Oklahoma, and into Kansas. We had a nice tailwind for most of the morning, it switched to a crosswind in Oklahoma, and clocked around to a headwind north of Oklahoma City. We're down for the night at an off-the-road park we found in the Good Sam book - nothing fancy, but only $20 for the night, including 50 amp power. We did about 400 miles today; just looking to make some miles.

Diesel prices ranged from $3.98 to $4.19 along the way. I saw that oil is down below $100 per barrel today, but I'm sure we won't see the price at the pump drop as fast as it went up. CNN reported that the average family is spending $368 per month for gas right now... we'll run through that in the next couple days. Still, not bad... for a house. ;-)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


A good visit with Joan's Mom, the reason we're in the Dallas area. Mother Nature finally cut us some slack on the weather, making it easy to get Joan's Mom out.

One of my C-Dory friends posted this link on our cruising thread, and I just have to share it - it takes in two of the things that always make me smile...


Monday, May 2, 2011

Nothing in between...

Yesterday, before the front blew in, it was 92º with a hot, humid wind from the south. During the time we went out for supper, the temp dropped 30º, and the wind changed from the south to the north... and blew like stink all night long. Yesterday we were in shorts and t-shirts, today it will be jeans and jackets. Rainy, windy, and a high around 50º. Oh, and that tail wind that helped our mileage yesterday has turned to a headwind.

Yep, nothing in between.


On edit:

The rain started as a light mist and built to a pounding downpour. As you might expect, it didn't change the driving style of most of the folks on the Interstates and highways - they still switched from the far left lane, across 4 lanes to the far right lane and onto the exit ramps. At one point, we saw one of the "Amber Alert" signs that said there was a stalled car in the left lane ahead; then another sign saying the same thing, and stating what exit it was near. There were 4 traffic lanes plus an HOV lane at that point, and I stayed in the 3rd lane. A car came speeding by us on the left, saw the flashing lights of the stalled car, and slammed on the brakes - all the water on the road sent him hydroplaning, right next to us!! I couldn't swerve to the right because of traffic, so told Joan to brace... the car ran across the plastic barricades separating the HOV lane and caught traction again just inches from the cement wall! The guy did a fine job of pulling out of the skid, but I have no doubt there will be skid marks in his pants as well as on the pavement.

We are down for the night; got to set up in a light rain. Well, I started setting up in a light rain... it quickly turned heavier. That's my fault: I did say, "Well, it looks like Mother Nature is going to give us a break," as we pulled into the site. The rain didn't matter that much - the site is full of low spots that are holding inches of pooled water... I got wet from above and below.

With the pounding rain, you'd think it would wash off some of the dirt and grit we have accumulated over the past few days... you'd be wrong; now everything we own is muddy instead of gritty. Again, my fault; I did say, "Maybe the rain will wash us off..."

I really have to keep some of these thoughts to myself.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

We're off...

Well, the "gentle breezes" blew like stink out of the south, giving us double digit miles per gallon as we drove north. smiley When we woke up this morning, we had no electricity... a quick check out the door showed that it wasn't just us, the whole island was without power. We went after it early, stopped at What-a-Burger to get Joan some coffee and me a Breakfast On A Bun (another Texas thing, much like Blue Belle Ice Cream). For some reason, when we were backing the 5th wheel on our street to get lined up to attach the cargo trailer, everyone on the island decided to take a drive past our place... at 6:30 on a Sunday morning... for no good reason. I swear, there wasn't a car in sight when I started backing up; within 30 seconds, it looked like a concert had just let out. I believe these people sit in their cars, waiting to clog up a street, and are all in contact with each other by 2-way radio...

"Red Rover, this is Checkpoint Danger - it looks like the Love Shack is ready to roll. Get the cars in their way - NOW!"

"Roger that, Checkpoint Danger; we have 50 cars that should clog up their street within seconds. Just to make sure, we can send 14 people walking dogs, 22 kids on bikes, 18 golf carts, and one old lady in curlers with cold cream on her face."

"Um, what's the old lady in curlers for?"

"Just to scare 'em."


Really. If we weren't moving, there would be no traffic on that street for another hour or two. I don't get it; I'm nice to my neighbors, I live by the Golden Rule, and even my cat thinks I'm a good guy. I don't know why these people take such delight in being a pain in the ass. lipsrsealed

Other than the usual Texas driving once we were on the Expressway (pass on the left, pass on the right, pass on the shoulder, criss-cross in front of us like a bunch of Shriners in little parade cars), today's drive was pretty uneventful. Little Izzy sat on Joan's lap most of the way, ate when we ate, and pottied when we pottied. It's 92 degrees in San Marcos (just north of San Antonio), and still humid and windy. That's supposed to change as the hot, humid weather from the south meets up with the cold front from the north... we altered our travel plans for the day to try to slide behind the predicted severe weather that will be across mid to north Texas tonight and tomorrow. Instead of hot, humid, and windy, tomorrow is supposed to be cooler, rainy, and windy. Variety is nice. Maybe the rain will wash off some of the sand and grit that is stuck to every surface on the vehicles?

You know what they say: April showers bring May flowers. Do you know what Mayflowers bring? Pilgrims. grin I love kid jokes!

We did have some entertainment while in line to go through the Border Patrol checkpoint: one of the drug dogs was on high alert on a car just over from us. The PB officer opened the trunk to remove the bags, the dog jumped in, then started tearing at one of the bags. I think the guy driving that car is going to have a very bad day.