Thursday, November 19, 2009

Back in Texas (Again)

Two days after leaving T & V's, we ended up in Amarillo, Texas. There were a few things we wanted to do in Amarillo: see the Cadillac Ranch, and do a little exploring.

The Cadillac Ranch, located along the south side of historic Route 66 (I-40), was built in 1974, brainchild of Stanley Marsh 3, the helium millionaire who owns the dusty wheat field where it stands. Marsh and The Ant Farm, a San Francisco art collective, assembled used Cadillacs representing the "Golden Age" of American Automobiles (1949 through 1963). The ten graffiti-covered cars are half-buried, nose-down, facing west "at the same angle as the Cheops' pyramids." Bizarre stuff, for sure, and it's encouraged that you re-decorate (ie, spray paint) the cars! We found several half-full cans, and Donna caught me in the act of using one.

The path in

Weird, just weird!

Yellow spray can in hand

Donna's favorite?

Later that day, we headed off to Palo Duro State Park, several miles east of Amarillo. If you've ever been to Amarillo, it's a typical west Texas city. Windy, dusty, flat, sagebrush, and cotton fields. Did I say windy and dusty? On the drive over to Palo Duro, all you see are the flatlands...but after getting inside the park, you realize it's a huge canyon area! Trees, beautiful rock formations, streams, wildlife. Not at all what you expect in west Texas! We didn't stay here, but they do have RV sites.

Juniper in the canyon

Nice rock formations

This is the flatlands of Texas? Palo Duro SP

Donna's sister Cheryl has told us about a restaurant in Amarillo that they always go to during their travels: Big Texan Ranch Steak Ranch. Of course, we had to try it. They advertise a free 72 oz. steak...well, it's free if you can eat it, along with a baked potato, salad, five fried shrimp, and a dinner one hour. Many try, most fail. I didn't even think about it, and got the 8 oz version. By the way, if you try the "free" steak, and don't finish in one hour, it's $72...a buck an ounce!

I don't think so, podnuh!
From Amarillo, we headed east to McKinney, for a stay at MCD Innovations. We wanted to replace our front interior shades in the cockpit area. Country Coach had installed black drop down shades in this area, and, at night it looked like a cave up there. We spent a week at MCD, and they manufactured new shades for us that matched our interior. We are very happy with the change, and recommend them.
We left MCD on October 30, and headed south to Lake Whitney for a few days. We had always wanted to stay in this area, but ended up being disappointed. The campground wasn't that nice, and there was nothing, I mean nothing, to do in the area. And of course, our anniversary is Halloween, October 31. We ended up driving up to Fort Worth for our celebratory dinner (at Saltgrass). This anniversary was special: 40 YEARS! Wow, it's hard for us to fathom it's been that long! And I love Donna more each day!
While we were up in Fort Worth, we stopped at a Sams Club. They were setting up a NASCAR display when we came out, and we got to see the Cheerios car. Sorry, we're not NASCAR fans, so I can't name the driver. They fired up the car, and revved it up to about 10 grand - talk about LOUD. And I wonder why my hearing sucks!
On November 1, we moved down to Spring, TX, where we will stay until the end of the month. Donna has been catching up on her sewing and quilting, and I have been doing a bunch of maintenance stuff on the coach. I'm not a Michael Jackson fan, but Donna convinced me to go with her to see the tribute movie, This Is It. I'm still not a fan, but after watching the movie, I can appreciate the creative genius that he was.
We leave here on the 30th, heading down to Houston for some maintenance work on the coach. The hydraulic leak that we thought was fixed is still dripping. We are again excited to soon be on the move again. We'll be staying south and heading west.
I can't believe it, the blog is actually up-to-date!!

Kamp Katherine

On August 14, we became Grandparents again! Katherine Dale came into the world courtesy of Todd and Victoria. We couldn't wait to see her in person! We left Idaho the day after Labor Day and headed for Colorado. After settling in at our RV park in Monument, we headed over to T & V's to see Baby Katherine. That Friday, our daughter, Jenna, and our two other granddaughters, Beatrice and Olivia, flew in from California to meet Katherine. It was great seeing our newest grandchild, and catching up with the other two!

Grandma meets Katherine


Grandma in Heaven!

Todd and helpers feeding Katherine

Victoria, Bea, and Livie get serious

We had a few projects to complete while in Denver. The first, and foremost, was to get the electrical service for the motorhome installed at Todd and Victoria's. I started the project in 2008, but the bulk of the work had to be completed. After some trenching, drilling, digging, caulking, and electrical panel work, I finally finished. This project benefited both Todd and us: he got electrical power to his shed, and we got a hookup for our motorhome. As soon as it was finished, we moved the coach over from Monument.
Last summer we installed a shed on T & V's property. We placed it behind his existing shed - just kind of plopped it down. The ground was a little sloped, but we did what we could at the time. Nature being what it is, small cracks, leaks, and seepage occurred. Time to make it right. There is a pad next to the existing shed, which I expanded. We emptied out our shed, took it half apart, moved it onto the new pad reassembled it, and reloaded it. Whew!! We now feel that our remainding belongings are secure.
T & V had their home painted this summer. It turned out beautiful. They did not have their shed painted, so we volunteered to paint it to complete "the look". I did it in conjunction with the moving of our shed.
All projects complete, we needed to head out again, before winter weather set in. We got out just before the first snowstorm of the season, and headed south.