Wednesday, February 27, 2019

On The Road To New Orleans

Wednesday: (02/27) Lou made omelets for breakfast.

We then drove over to the Great Outdoors nursery on Congress St. We saw it as we passed on the bus and it looked like a great place to look around. It was. Very interesting setting and stock. We returned to Walmart and fueled the Jeep and RV and were off toward New Orleans. We stopped for lunch at a Chinese Buffet in Brenham, Texas. I needed a good nap but I wanted to get through Houston before the peak rush hour traffic. We almost made it but ended up with about 20 minutes of stop and go when we got on Interstate 10 but it opened up nicely after that.

We stopped at the Chambers Rest Stop in Anahuac, Texas for the night about 1630. Lou made roast chicken with mashed potatoes and creamed corn for dinner.
(GPS: 29.836978, -94.609379) 

The rest stop is rather interesting because it doesn't look like one.

Thursday: (02/28) Granola for breakfast. On the way we stopped at a Visitor Info Center, then  drove on to Beaumont, Texas where we attempted to go see the Big Thicket Preserve. Unfortunately, we followed the signs and ended up nowhere near the preserve. So we headed on toward New Orleans. We stopped at the Isle Of Capri Casino near Lake Charles to donate a couple of dollars. We continued on with nice traffic jam on I10 and then stopped in Crowley, LA for the night at a Walmart. Chili for lunch. Tacos for dinner.
(GPS: 30.231302, -92.364454)

Monday, February 25, 2019

Austin, Texas

Monday: (02/25) Granola for breakfast. We prepared to roll and were out about 1030. We caught Highway 35 North to Austin. We stopped in Buda for lunch and a stop at a HEB market. We then continued on to a Walmart in Austin where we stopped. We are supposed to be OK here for a night. I ended up needing an afternoon nap. About 1630 we got into rush hour traffic to go see an exotic animal store in the North of town. We returned home as it was getting dark. Chili size for lunch. Leftover spaghetti with sausage and a salad for dinner. Other than getting another tour of the town by Google Maps, it wasn’t an exciting day.
(GPS: 30.220423, -97.755792)

Tuesday: (02/26) I made pancakes and sausage for breakfast this morning. We moved the RV and Jeep off the Walmart lot to a secure street parking spot convenient for a bus connection. We caught a bus downtown to look at the Bat Bridge, a bridge right downtown where many thousands of bats breed at. Not much to see in daylight and we couldn’t return at night for the sunset departure. We had lunch downtown at a salad restaurant called Mad Greens. We then visited the state capitol building. After that we walked a nice shopping district on Congress St. Made it home just after dark. Hamburgers for dinner. We moved back to Walmart for the night.


Thursday, February 21, 2019

San Antonio, Texas

Thursday: (02/21) We made it through the night in the Walmart lot without being evicted. Breakfast at McDonald's in the Walmart store while we shopped. We continued on toward San Antonio with a stop in Uvalde for a walk. Lunch on the road of some quesadillas. When we got to San Antonio we called a couple of RV parks and stayed at the Yanawana Camp RV Park next to the South end of the River Walk by the Mission San Francisco De La Espada, the first mission in Texas. We took  walk over to look at the mission then drove downtown for dinner and a stroll on the riverwalk.
 (GPS: 29.319251, -98.458251)

Uvalde government building above.

After we settled in at the RV park we walked over to the Mission San Francisco.




Friday: (02/22) Granola for breakfast. We drove the city streets rather than the freeways to get downtown. We toured the Alamo then visited the Historic Market Square. It’s full of vendors of Mexican items and a couple of Mexican restaurants. We had lunch at Mi Tierra Cafe and Panaderia. A little more walking then Lou and I dropped Dawn off at the Half Priced Book store while I visited REI and Lou shopped for shoes. We decided to extend our stay a couple of more days. Leftover soup with toast for dinner.

Saturday: (02/23) We headed off to Northern San Antonio where we had breakfast at the Snooze Restaurant. Interesting and tasty breakfast. We then dropped Dawn off at a bookstore and Lou bought a pair of shoes at the Birkenstock store. aLou an I then visited Costco where we picked up a prescription. We then picked up Dawn and did some grocery shopping. We dropped  off the groceries at home then went to lunch. Lou and Dawn had BBQ at Bill Millers BBQ. I had a lunch at the China Harbor Buffet. Mu lunch, mf favorite type, was good. Dawn and Lous wasn’t. After a few thrift store visits we went home before sunset, for a change. Maybe we’ll take tomorrow off.

Sunday: (02/24) Granola for breakfast. We relaxed at home today. Lou and Dawn all day. Me until noon when I took off on the River Walk and visited two more of the old Spanish missions, San Juan and San Jose. It was about an 8 mile walk. The San Jose Mission is the biggest of the five missions in SA and in the best condition. The river walk is quite impressive. I think I could like living in San Antonio. Lunch was ham and cheese sandwiches. Spaghetti for dinner. Lou and I did the laundry after dinner. Should be ready to roll up to Austin tomorrow.








Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Del Rio

Wednesday: (02/20) We had breakfast at  the resort Cafe. We hooked up and headed through the park to Marathon and picked up our mail. We had lunch at the French Grocer there. I  then wasted a few hours there trying to make reservations for our next few days. Evidently many parks will be full due to a spring break? We did get a reservation in New Orleans. We stopped along the road for dinner, roast beef and gravy over mashed potatoes and green beans. I drove on after dark to Del Rio, where we stopped at a Walmart to shop, get gas, and spend the night. (GPS 29.396722, -100.902758)

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Terlingua, Big Bend NP

Saturday: (02/16) Up early and showered. Then did tank duty and were on the road by 0915. We stopped at the market on the way out of town. We turned from Highway 90 onto Highway 118 in Alpine headed toward Big bend NP. We stopped along the way beside the road for lunch. We entered the park but there were no campsites in the park, so we exited immediately and headed back to Terlingua to the Big bend Resort RV Park. We relaxed the rest of the afternoon. About 1700 we drove out to the Terlingua Ghost Town. We explored a gift shop there and enjoyed a beer and some music on the porch of the store. Seems like a locals gathering spot. Dawn and Lou made Tuscan soup for dinner.
(GPS: 29.329608, -103.531318)


Sunday: (02/17) We got up early and showered. Granola for breakfast. We drove out the Old Maverick Road to Santa Elena Canyon Trailhead. We stopped along the way to Explore the Terlingua Abajo mining site ruins, some old rancher home site ruins and a church ruins. We had our ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch beside Terlingua Creek and a nice pond. At Santa Elena Canyon, I hike the trail into the canyon alongside the Rio Grande River. The slot canyon that the river passes through is about 100 feet wide with 1500 foot hight canyon walls on either side. A 20 foot border wall won’t do much good here. We continued on past the Cottonwood Campground. We checked it out and we could fit in there, even if they do limit it to 24 foot campers. There were units our size in there. We stopped at the Castolon Visitor Center and Store and had ice creams. Then on the several more vista points, views, and trailheads before getting home. At home in Study Butte / terlingua, we stopped for dinner ant the Red Chili Restaurant. Pretty good home cooking. We extended our stay for two additional nights here. Tomorrow I’ll head off for a hike.

 An old rancher cabin.

 The ruins of an old mining camp church on the left.


Santa Elena Canyon.

Santa Elena Canyon. The cliff on the left photo is the Mexican side of the Rio Grande.

As dry as the desert is it's amazing how cars like this deteriorate. Our lunch spot on the right, under a cottonwood tree by the Terlingua Creek.

Monday: (02/18) Granola for breakfast. I was off early to a trailhead at Chisos Basin.  Lou and Dawn remained at home. The trailhead was over 30 miles into the Big bend NP. I arrived about 0820 and waited for the Visitor center to open to check with a ranger about the trails. The ranger wasn’t very informative. I had loaded some trail GPS routes last night and chose one the took me for a big loop around the peaks. I hiked up to the pinnacles then out to the South Rim and then back over about 14.1 miles. My usual hiking lunch of tuna salad and crackers for lunch. I hiked up to the crest with a girl named Hunter. She was headed up to Emery Peak. That was a 1.5 mile side trip and involved some scrambling at the top. I didn’t do it, just my loop. Most of that loop I hiked with an older guy like me named Carl from Kansas. He was also a long distance hike and did the PCT in 2015. He also did the Continental Divide Trail so I ask lots of questions about it. I finished the hike about 1636 and got an ice cream and drink before driving home. Lou and Dawn made a pot roast which we had with baked potatoes and asparagus.
I was out as the sun was coming up for my hike.

 The early morning sun provided interesting views.

 The trail up to the Pinnacles.
Nicely maintained trails.

Views from the top of the Pinnacles trail.


Wide open views of the surrounding area.

Tuesday: (02/19) We enjoyed the breakfast buffet at the RV park cafe. Pretty good. Today was another drive day. We headed to the East side of the park to look around the Rio Grande Village. We then started our 53 mile journey on the River Road. It’s a gravel, high clearance, 4x4 road connecting the two sides of the park, much of the time near the river. We tour lots of sites including the old Mariscal mine site. Most of the road was good enough for any vehicle but there were some sections that pushed our limits. Lots of flowers in many places. We managed to goof off enough that we didn’t start the road until 1100. We finished about 1900, finally making it to the paved road with about 30 miles more to get home. Long day. Ham and cheese sandwiches beside the Rio Grande. Lou prepared BBQ ribs with peas and smashed potatoes. Amazing what she pulls out of the freezer for a quick meal.




Interesting veins in the cliff on the let. On the right is our lunch spot beside the Rio Grande.