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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Finding our spot in the desert

Since we had seen the Alamo at night, we hung around the Travelers World RV park in the morning.  Caught up a couple loads of laundry, and Steve did some routine maintenance on the motorhome.  Things like checking oil and tranny fluid, radiator levels, water level in batteries.. ya know --- all the necessary stuff.  Just because we are on vacation doesn't mean the motorhome is!

I saw that Susan was out and about so we said our "See Ya Laters" and proceeded to get road worthy.  I mailed out some postcards to the grandtots and mentioned to the staff at the office that our site's sewer connection had a crack near the ground.  Before I even got back to the campsite, a worker was there fixing it!  What service, eh?   I would give that park a 10 on cleanliness and a 10 on being informative and helpful at the front desk when checking in.  The sites up near the front of the park are closer together, but near the rear they were wider apart with more grass and trees to each site.  They are making a nice fenced doggie area soon to be completed.  Plus it's on the bus route if you don't care to drive around town yourself. All in all, it was a good place to stay so close to the center of the city.  We would go back for sure.

Soon we were hooking up the Tracker and Steve tooted a couple "BLAATTTZZZZ" of our air horns as we departed!   Sassy boy!  I am sure they loved that!

We decided to head on west out of San Antonio and look more desert and dry and warm.....  I think the Big Bend area is next on our list, but we planned on a shorter travelling day.  As we hit highway 90 across the state, the winds weren't too bad.  A few gusts now and then, but not nearly as bad as expected.  So we kept on going....

The scenery changed into hilly fields and scattered trees... then into more desert terrain with scrubbier trees, sage brush, cactus and rocks....   at last -----  We found DESERT!   We managed to get our way through the town of Del Rio and up into the rustic camping at Amistad Reservoir in the National Park Recreation Area.  (We noticed some brake pad scraping sounds on our way through Del Rio, more on that later)   Our site we chose is in the desert, with great views out in every direction.  Rate is $4 a night.  There is a dump station and water available in one of the other four campgrounds in this large rec area.  There are a few other campers in this unit, and we feel comfortable and safe here with the ranger's presence from time to time through the park.

Miles driven today 163
Miles driven so far 1,847

Temps are in the mid 70's and we are in shorts and tshirts! 

I steamed up a bunch of Texas Gulf Shrimp, and we had some rice and wine and soft music for dinner... food always tastes better when we cook while out in our camper.  At home it never seems this good!

We pulled out the lawn chairs and watched the sun set... 
ahhhh the colors in the desert can not even be captured by a camera as hard as I try. 

The wispy clouds were highlighted by the setting sun... and the colors blended from blue to purple to pink to a glowing orange. Then the sun dropped quickly down behind the horizon.. and all was just deep bluish purple and fading pink.  Another day done in the desert!

(the powdered ring around the motorhome is borax... to keep ants out) 

We went to bed in the quiet desert, with full bellies and soft light from the almost full moon out there rising in the east.  With a full moon, and clear sky, that means cool desert temps in the 30's so we turned on the heat and were snug as bugs in a rug.  

The morning sun was streaming in brightly at 7:30 am and we perked up a pot of coffee to greet the day!  Ahhhhh then Steveio cooked up a BIG breakfast which was a nice treat for me.  Our task for today was to locate brake pads for our motorhome in this border town of not too many places for big truck parts.  Our good friends on our Safari list helped us with part numbers and places to try.  We even drove into town as many places had a hard time understanding what we needed over the phone.  Finally we went to good old NAPA auto parts... Yes!  They could order our brake pads from the warehouse and have them by 8 a.m. tomorrow morning!  

(Colleen, Susan and Eric.. .take note:  Steve also got a can of belt dressing so the Tracker isn't squealing anymore!) 

Now that we had that settled, we can explore more of the area.  We drove up to the park's visitor center and got an armful of maps, brochures and ideas of things we would like to see.  Then we started to tour around the whole recreational land, and scoped out the other four campgrounds in the system (in case any were nicer than the one where we were)  Nope... ours was the best!  We drove around some of the reservoir and saw how low the water levels were.   Markings on the bridge supports showed how high the water has been at various times, but now it is very low.  Many of the boat ramps were completely closed and the ramps had a steep drop off from the edge where the water should have been.  It would be like driving off a cliff into a bed of gravel... with the lake still many yards away. 

We got out and walked around the desert, and took care to notice
 all the prickly things just waiting to poke at us

We kept the dogs away from these... can't imagine them in their long fur getting tangled up in a few of these, much less a whole bunch!

We saw big jackrabbits almost the size of dogs, with their tall ears upright and bounding away like mad.   We saw lots of birds and heard calls of hawks as they shrieked and dipped down to get something from the desert floor.

Once we got back to the campsite, Steve proceeded to get things ready for tomorrow's brake job.  He was pre-loosening the lug nuts on both front tires.  Luckily he carries a big air compressor along and all his air tools, plus a big breaker bar and torque wrench.

He got all but a few of the big lug nuts loosened, and sprayed the last sticking ones now with penetrating fluid.  If they don't loosen up by morning, we made arrangements with a tire place in town to break the last few nuts free for us.  It isn't too far from the NAPA store where he is picking up the brake pads.  Plus, the tire place said there is a vacant lot behind them where Steve can do our brake work without "technically" being on their lot .... Insurance regulations, ya know. grin grin

We finally sat down to RELAX... can you believe it?  We sat back in our lawn chairs, and gazed at the desert with our binoculars (Hey Allegra and Mason--- Pop Pop is using your binoculars you gave him!)   and we just enjoyed the scenery.  Two campers parked down the way had left the park, but another one came in on the other end.  We are still far away from anyone and we don't hear a thing over here in our site.

As supper time rolled around, I tossed some ears of corn into a pot to boil, and added some broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini to steam at the end.  Steve put some good ole Wisconsin Bratwurst (from Melotte's Meats in Oconto)  on the grill.  We didn't have any buns, but we didn't care, so we cut them up like eating sausage.   Add in a bottle of wine for me, and a bottle of Abita beer from New Orleans for Steve.  Dinner was served.  What a scenic dining room, eh?

We watched the sun set again tonight... as we were talking on the phone to our daughter from Wisconsin.  Seems the state got blasted again with snow--- and she was driving home from a long meeting down in Madison as the snow was falling again.  More snow???

For some reason,
 I think that 
we are glad 
we are 



  1. Thanks for the memories. We were in that area our first year out. We stayed the first night in town at Buzzard's Roost then moved out to the American CG because they had wifi (this was way before our satellite internet).

  2. I'd say it looks like you found a lovely spot in the desert - until I got to the cactus photos, lol. I'm not crazy about cactus.

  3. I am sooo glad that you have a nice, sunny spot in the desert! Makes the ole bones feel mighty good!

  4. I am so glad to hear you found a place exactly to your liking. It looks great and best of all, it's warm. yay. Have fun! Hope the brake job goes smoothly.

  5. As you head west be sure and check out Judge Roy Beans place in Langtry. Easy on and off and lots of information in the visitors center.

  6. gorgeous place..and nice to see you relaxing :)

  7. We lived in Texas for four years, loved the sunsets.

  8. This comment came from my oldest daughter Erin. I thought I would copy and paste it here. LOL:

    OMG MOM!!!!!!!

    Are you actually wearing velcro shoes in that picture on your blog?
    Heather-2nd motion on this one please...completely unacceptable, right???
    GAH! Way worse than the fake plant and goofy switch plates!

    I'll have mercy on you and not call you out on your blog!

    LEAVE THOSE SHOES IN TEXAS!!!! WAITbetter yet-leave them in Mexico so
    they can't get back over the border!

    But I still love you even if your taste is questionable!

    Oh and Chelsea knows you are on vacation and is wondering if you went to the waterpark, too?


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