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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

VACATION– Big Heart of Texas or on to Oklahoma where the wind comes?

(this post is about Monday, April 4, 2011)

We slept soundly in our rig parked at the Walmart in Albuquerque, NM overnight.  The news reports in the morning said the fires around the area were brought under control and the winds had died down.  It was calm.  The winds were less than 10mph.  Whew!  Compared to the 40-50 – sustained winds of the day before with gusts that reached up to 70 according to the weather broadcast!

So we slept good, once the motorhome stopped rocking in the wind.  I think the relief of having our motorhome operating again helped us to sleep better.  Those nagging worries we had been having all vanished.   Like:

What if the whole cylinder was ruined? or

How long it would take to repair a cylinder too?  or

How could we manage the repair expense on our very meager travel budget?


So today was a new day, the sun was shining, the rig was running and I got breakfast and coffee made … yummmmmmm  

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Steve ran in to the Walmart to refill his stock of Red Yeast Rice pills.  He takes them to help his cholesterol, along with garlic pills and cinnamon pills for digestion and heart.  It has made a huge difference for him, along with change of diet.   So much of a difference that the doc said he can now stay on his regimen and not have to go on a prescription medication for the rest of his life.  Kudos to Steveio!    Giving up greasy brats and peanuts, the two things he misses the most.  These muffins pictured above were a treat!  Usually we have cereal for breakfast with 1% milk.  My sister and I were talking today about our men and their diets.  So we have to eat what they do, just to keep those old farts on the straight and narrow!


We headed on out about 9 am to miss any rush hour morning traffic, and headed east on I-40.   We travelled along until turning off on Highway 54 and headed up northeast along it’s more scenic and rural vistas. 

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Yes, we did go on the interstate for about 200 miles to get east fast, as much as we hate doing the Interstate thing.

Sadly, we have to be back in Wisconsin in about a week here as I write this, and we are only in Texas.  That means we have to get our butts in gear.  So we are heading up on an angle through the top of Texas, and into Oklahoma by later today, figuring on stopping around Guymon.  Will see… we are about due to fuel up too at the same time.  That will make a good full day of driving.


Our only two “must do” stops are to see Rosie in Bethel, MO and join up with Sam and Donna from St. Louis again.  You may remember we stopped there by them on our way down our first night.  He is asking us to spend the night in his yard instead of meeting up to go camping together.  Seems that winter has not yet left St. Louis and he is not ready to de-winterize his rig yet either.   So not sure yet where we will meet up with them.  I just know this vacation is coming to an end all too soon, and we have to get in 1,300 miles yet to reach our house.

We have to watch the weather as we get closer.  And perhaps making a long run of 550 miles on the last day will be dicey.  But we can always stop at Juanita’s studio parking lot near Beloit or Jim and Norma’s driveway if things get worse as we cross the border into Wisconsin.  It’s great to have friends in convenient places! 

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But now we are rolling along, with flat prairie, rolling hills, beef feed lots and I even saw two antelope!   Didn’t get the camera out in time… so you will have to be satisfied with a picture of cows….

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There ya go, more McDonalds burgers on the hoof!


I snapped a few pics here and there through the windshield, trying to capture “Texas”.

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We saw a few smaller ranches scattered here and there, but it seems most of the area has been taken up by the big conglomerates and huge cattle industries.  Kinda like in Wisconsin where the small dairy farmers are bought out by the big corporations.  And all those middle men just drive the price up more and more, with the small scale farmers making less and less. I remember milk being 99 cents a gallon on sale.  Now it’s $3.50 or $4.00 a gallon out here in the west!   Ouch.

Speaking of groceries, we are still on our stash of frozen good wholesome meat that we brought from home from our local meat market.  We have only added a few small items while on the road.  Our stock of canned goods is about half depleted, and we still have noodles, rice, snacks and mixes to feast upon.  About the only thing we are buying on the way is milk, bread, buns, and the occasional box of doughnuts for diesel repair shops????   LOL

And wine.  Yes, we found some nice wine al Walmart for $2 a bottle called Oak Leaf White Zinfandel.  At that price, we sip a glass most every night with dinner.  It makes me feel special and elegant to be toasted by husband after slaving over a hot meal all day….  heh heh….   oh yah, sure!

Last night at Walmart we picked up a few of these little 88 cent Michaelinas frozen entrees  (we like the chinese vegetables and rice, or the fettuccini alfredo)   and I add some frozen shrimp to them and quick whip them up in the microwave after a long day of driving.  That is about the only time we run the generator, for a few minutes of microwave use if we need to.  Those little entrees make a good meal fast, and we don’t have to resort to making cold sandwiches for supper~! 

We have only eaten a few meals out at restaurants during the entire trip so far … and it really helps our meager travelling budget.


As we rolled along, the terrain was very flat and has a beauty all of it’s own.  Some folks might be bored by miles and miles of flatness.  But not us.  This is so foreign looking to us and with the horizon stretching from east to west, it’s amazing there is THIS MUCH blue sky out there!   We don’t see wide vistas in our part of Northern Wisconsin.  So scenes like this are exciting and different and colorful to us.

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We stopped to fuel up in Stratford, TX

$3.90 a gallon for diesel

57.5 gal    $225.01

Right now we are averaging 8 mpg the whole trip… that is kinda nice, even with all the high hills we have climbed over the last few weeks.  Our on board computer built into the dash is called an VMspc  from Magnum IntelliDrive made for Safari.  It comes as an option on most Safari motorhomes of our era.  Sure is nice to have all the information at our fingertips, such as engine temp, rpms, turbo boost pressure, coolant temp, transmission temps, differential speed, throttle percentage, battery voltage, cruise set, intake manifold pressure, trip odometer, fuel consumption, and average and current road speed.  Rather than relying on the gauges, this is electronically controlled right from the engine and transmission.  Neato!


As we came across Texas  (even if it was only the top tippy corner of it)  we saw oil rigs, windmills and lots and lots of cows!   Ducky was getting kinda tired of barking at them in all of the feedlots we passed.  I think that many bovine boggled her collie brain.  Steve admired the new line of cars for sale on local car lots.

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We even saw a Dirt Devil!    It was like a dusty tornado whipping across a field.

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Something else we have noticed in the southern states about school zone signs. 

The signs say: “WHEN SCHOOL IS IN SESSION”    instead of what we are used to in Wisconsin where it says “WHEN CHILDREN ARE PRESENT”     As we passed through a tiny Texas town, it was at perhaps 1p.m. when classes were in session, but there weren’t any students visible outside of the actual building.   We slowed down to 15 mph---- but two trucks pulling fifthwheel trailers who had passed us earlier on the highway were now pulled over by the local police, assuming that they had been stopped for speeding through the school zone right there.

Rolling along, our eyes playing over the landscape… we talk about our dreams in the future, we talk about our children’s lives and how they have all succeeded and found love, we talk about our son who is gone, and we talk about the joy in seeing the future in the eyes of our grandchildren.  We have not turned on the radio during any of the motorhome travels, we have too much to talk about and share with each other.

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And we get to see this go past as we talk about our lives.


As we neared the border between Texas and Oklahoma, I really liked the creativity in naming this little town:

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We drove on until we reached Guymon, Oklahoma. They had some serious fires here on Saturday night, and there were electrical and energy crews all over replacing power lines.  The RV lots on the edge of town were jammed with work crew trucks and trailers.  The fire danger is very high, as the humidity levels have been very low.  Coupled with the high winds, dry grasses and some crazy smoker tossing out a cigarette, it spells trouble for many in this area of the country.

The middle of town had a quaint downtown with paved stone streets.  Though rough to drive on, they sure were a surprise in this tiny Oklahoma town.  Then went on for blocks and blocks.  I wonder how long it took to hand lay down each little stone?   It almost seems a sacrilege to paint the lines and arrows on them!

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We pulled into the Walmart there for a quick overnight stop.  The majority of the lot is slanted for rain runoff, but we found a section of the parking lot on the far north side of the building that was level.  After we pulled in and got settled, another RV pulled in right behind us.  Great minds think alike.  LOL

Tomorrow---- Kansas!

We travelled 333 miles today
3,712 miles travelled so far on this trip


  1. We are paying $6.69 a gallon for milk here in Nova Scotia. It's actually 4 litres, so very slightly more than a gallon, but still it is ridiculous.


  2. I like driving across OK and enjoy seeing its flatness, although some parts of it aren't really flat. But enough is enough, and I'd rather be in the eastern mountains, say NC or VA. I am SO ready to be there.

  3. You are traveling the exact # 54 route that we used coming to the Southwest last November. Remember, most little towns have county parks that make for nice quiet boondocking spots as well. I have some addtional info on Mary Kidder Rak & will email that to you.

  4. With the Grandkid's Nicole and Chris staying with us and Adam here on the weekends our milk consumption went from 1 gallon a week to three or four, but the kid's need it and I rather buy them milk than have them on soda all the time, I'll even get the chocolate that they like so they stay away from the soda after school. It looks like maybe one more night below freezing before the temps are supposed to rise. I remember last year I went for a weekend campout at the lake the weekend after my birthday.We'll be waiting or you, that's for sure,moving my trailer won't be nothing it will make more room and I can work on it in front of the garage door for awhile next week. That's where it's going to stay when Phyllis and Len visit and leave their fiver anyway. be safe out there Sam &Donna.

  5. I like digital pictures that modern technology has invented, hopefully they never develop digital smelling pictures because those cattle yards STINK! Takes a while to air out the RV after you pass one. :c)

  6. I wished I had known you were coming thru Oklahoma...ya'll could of stayed here at Wendy's tonight.Next time...drop me a line when in Souther Texas are in Oklahoma..I have family connections...lol
    Safe trip.

    Cindy and Walker

  7. Doesn't sound like a bad diet, those muffins sure look good. Love those new/old trucks for sale. Not a part of the country I'm very familiar with, but any new scenery is fine by me. I hate the end of a journey when time is working against me. Enjoying your travels. Sure glad you got repaired and back on the road. I know how that is.
    I'm a new follower, and will be back often.

    Keep the rubber down.

  8. I hate seeing cattle in feedlots. I so wish we would go back to small farms instead of supporting the large corporations that don't give a rip about the animals nor the consumers. Just the money.

  9. I'm sorry your trip is almost over. I've enjoyed going along with you and I hate that you have to go back home! Hopefully the weather will start to warm up and you'll be able to plan some week-end trips!


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