Back on the road.

We know that we needed to get on the road soon because we needed to be in NC (1600 miles) by the 17th, preferably earlier. But there was still one more thing we wanted to do. San Antonio! We went down to see the Alamo and the Riverwalk:

I remember Roxie getting scared on the trip back when lightning went off directly above our truck with the successive very loud thunder!

We left on 6/1 and did not stay the full month so we didn’t get the full value of our monthly rent but we did what we needed to do.

The first leg was up to Nacogdoches, TX for 2 nights. This is where Roxie’s father was born along with all of his siblings. She wanted to look around the town and visit a few cemeteries. Nacogdoches is a nice little town with Stephen F Austin University where we did some research in the East Texas History room.

The odd weather continued. One evening it was coming down the hardest I had ever seen. We were in a restaurant lobby and Roxie did not want to wait but it was pouring down and no one else was braving it. A nice man walked Roxie to our truck but I got soaked. We stayed at an RV park that was a bit out of town (Camp Tonkawa). It was very quiet with many animals roaming around (Deer, peacocks, guinea hens, cats, ants, etc.) and they also had a cold spring that was nice and attracted locals for the swimming.

Leaving Nacogdoches we needed to head a lot of East and a bit of North so each day before leaving I would try to find a path that went on back US highways, state highways or county roads. I tried to avoid the Interstates for extended traveling for the most part.

One of our stops took us through Coushatta LA right at lunch time. We found a great little spot for southern home cooked food (BBQ for me!). The York Chop. The owner’s last name is York, hence the play on names. The food was great but I really loved how it looked from the outside. Typical for this area:

I really didn’t know how far we were going or where after we hit Monroe LA. It is on I20 so we drove the Interstate for a while as Roxie scouted out campsites. She found one at a Military Museum south of Vicksburg MS and that was our plan. However, the longer that we drove, the more we just wanted to stop. We opted to stay in Vicksburg at the Cracker Barrel.

The next day had us heading to Montgomery AL along I20. Since we were still on an eastward trajectory this seemed appropriate. We took off the Interstate and onto US80 that would take us through Selma AL! I ensured that our track would also take us over the Edmund Pettis bridge. Even though we didn’t stop (Roxie took a video that I will post) it was kind of surreal driving over it. We will return when we aren’t under time pressure. That night we stayed at an RV park south of Montgomery. It was OK. We thought we might spend two nights there to do some sightseeing in Montgomery so we disconnected. We went to eat that the Waffle House just up the road.

We thought we might spend two nights there to do some sightseeing in Montgomery so we disconnected. We went to eat that the Waffle House just up the road. When we got into the truck the skies opened up! As we were driving down the freeway back to the trailer it was the hardest rain I have EVER driven in!

We chose to push on the next day to Macon GA. Stopped at a Starbucks on the way to use their WiFi to take care of some bills and other ‘housekeeping’. We had planned on staying at the Macon GA WalMart as our Camp and RV app said it was allowed. Alas, the security guard said they stopped doing that last month. Now what. Roxie very deftly found us a spot in a National Recreation Area in Lake Sinclair GA. Very nice campground, $15, nearly empty, electric and water. Score.

It was a bit steep to back in at an angle like that but I turned on 4×4 and turned off the limited slip and it worked just fine.

5 nights and 5 states. Wow, but we only were averaging under 250 a day. Might need to turn it down a notch or two. But not too much farther to go.

2 week Texas update

We are still here! We had a bit of ‘inclement’ weather 2 days after my last post. It sounded terrible! Thunderstorms, winds to 60mpg, tornadoes, 2-3″ of rain in a few hours and (the Airstreamers worst nightmare) hail stones larger than dimes! What should we do? Hookup and run? Find a car wash or gas station to hide under? Since the county we were in was not specifically one of the map of the worst we (I) decided to stay. Here is one of the maps we saw:

We are in Burnet County and it was not in yellow at all. We both fell right asleep but I was awake at 1 am and listening to the hubbub outside. Heavy LOUD rain, wind but no hail sounds. We had our windows open for the coolness and I never heard the sound of hail hitting the glass. I got up and put up our side and rear awnings, I did NOT have the main awning down. I learned my lesson from Arizona many years ago. I was awake for about 30 minutes until I convinced myself that there was nothing else I could do about all this.

Roxie woke up about 3:15 to the heavy thunderstorm sounds, lightning sounds like directly above the trailer. Very loud and cracking. Roxie did not like this and was scared, she started praying. I looked outside and saw a small stream going under out trailer. I knew this might happen from looking around prior to this. However, our pad is very firm and packed.

We made it through the night and there was no damage or erosion. It was quite an experience.

That day, Saturday, we decided to take a drive through some of the Texas Hill Country. The destination was Fredricksburg. I knew it was a very popular town. We could also try out some back roads, which I love to do. At one point we ended up on an unpaved road but only about 10 miles worth. Roxie thought that I did that on purpose. No, not this time. Along these roads, we saw numerous deer, vultures, wild turkeys, other various birds and a turtle waiting to cross the road!

On the road, we passed by Lake LBJ that had an overlook and a monolith made out of pink granite. The pink granite came from a 600′ dome of it that is near Marble Falls:

Fredricksburg was very quaint and touristy! I kind of figured it would be as a lot of people come up from Austin or San Antonio for the day or weekend. It was a bit too much for us so we opted to keep going.

One place I knew we were going to go by was the Lyndon B Johnson State and National Historic Parks. We stopped into the State Park location and the ranger there was very excited and animated that we could still get into the last tour of LBJ’s Texas home. We latched on to his enthusiasm and headed for the tour.

LBJ is a bit before my time as I was only 8 when he decided not to run for a full second term but I do remember bits and pieces of that time. But it is a very historical site and they do love LBJ around here so it was interesting to view the Texas White House. Part of the journey to the tour was to drive over a large part of his farm and also see the landing strip that he had on his property.

Here is a picture of the house, a swing near the Pedernales River and the swimming pool:

At the house, they also had an interesting guestbook. Concrete squares were created and the visitors would inscribe them while wet:

In this shot, I can see Alan Shepard, Wally Schirra, Deke Slayton, Gus Grissom, Leroy Cooper, John Glenn, Hubert Humphrey, John Connelly, JFK. He had a few important visitors.

He and his wife, Lady Bird, are buried on the ranch with other family members:

He was also born on this ranch in this home:

The road home took us through Johnson City, naturally.

On Sunday, the weather was very unpredictable and gloomy and we actually never left our spot all day! We had to get caught up on viewing The Voice. The rest of the week was household stuff, laundry, groceries, getting mail.

On Friday we had to go to Austin to pick up some mail and we ate at Hopdoddy’s for a late lunch and then decided to complete the LBJ trinity. Lake, Home and Presidential Library. The Library is on the campus of the University of Texas and had its’ own parking lot but the students are already out of classes so it didn’t matter too much.

This is our third Presidential Library, the previous two are Nixon and Reagan. I know both the Bushs’ are in Texas so we might get to those also. Presidential Libraries are always very interesting and positive. You don’t see too many negative items about the President in there. One that I remember from one fo the informational kiosks about LBJ is that he decided to run for US Congress initially because he wanted to bring electricity the Texas Hill Country. Hard to imagine a life without electricity!

Our status has changed a bit also. We have given our two weeks notice on this camp spot. We will be moving on sometime next week after the Memorial Day holiday or perhaps the week after that. We won’t go over the month that we have paid for. We have decided to attend a wedding for one of Roxie’s relatives but that is still 1400 miles away in North Carolina! The sooner we start the slower we can take.