Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Cadillac Ranch and The Big Texan…


Leaving Wichita Falls, Tx we headed west for several hours until we pulled into our campground in Childress, Texas. We stopped at Childress RV Park, a city park that was only $15/night for 50A/W. We didn’t find a lot to do in town but it was another town we always passed through and figured this time it deserved a visit.

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The park’s campground was the highlight of town. It has a nice greenspace surrounding a lake with its own disc golf course.on it. Of course we had to play and it was a nice but not overly challenging course. We planned to visit the winery downtown but when we drove over to it we discovered it was closed on Mondays. Oh well, maybe another time…

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The next morning we left Childress and headed further west to Amarillo, Texas. Here we stayed at a Passport America park called AOK RV Park and it was, well, just AOK. We stayed two nights so we could check out the town of Amarillo.

Normally we just drive through Amarillo and as we leave town we usually pass by the Cadillac Ranch in Soncy, Texas. This time we planned to actually visit it. It was created in 1974 by Stanley March III who for some artistic reason took 10 Cadillacs  and buried them nose down in concrete at the same angle of the great pyramids.The cars are in line and there is one of each Cadillac model from 1948 to 1964.


Each is completely covered in graffiti which is actually encouraged. There were several people there spray painting their messages or art on the cars while we were there as well.  I am not sure what inspires someone to want to paint their initials on something but, hey, to each their own… I only wish the spray painters would take their empty spray cans back with them when they finish painting.


We also checked out downtown Amarillo which appears to still be a normal business district. There was very little renovation occurring in downtown. The highlight of the downtown area was a brewery called Sixcar Pub Brewery. We stopped in for a refreshment and found it quite good, especially their IPA.IMG_20190820_151226MVIMG_20190820_171014

On the way back home we also stopped in at the Big Texan Steak Ranch though we had no plans to attempt eating the 128 oz. steak in an hour so we could get it free. Actually we visited because we heard they also brewed their own beer. Most of the ones we tasted were about average but they did serve a very good barrel aged stout.

We will be finally leaving Texas and moving into New Mexico on our next move west…

NOTE: We are in Albuquerque New Mexico until after labor day and then on to Lake Abiquiu…

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Left College Station and on the Road AGAIN!!!

Image may contain: Sharon Hinton, smiling, sitting and closeupAs the days neared to our departure from College Station we were working frantically to the bitter end. We had to be finished by August 14th (the day we left) as we had found a young family to rent the house starting the 15th. We were doing little things all the way until the time we departed.

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Our destination was Midway Park on Lake Waco near Waco Texas some 100 miles west.It felt great to be on the road again and the sense of calm which settled upon me knowing the work on the rental was over was wonderful! A few hours later we were set up in this nice Corp of Engineer Park on Lake Waco.

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We came to Waco to relax and also to meet up with good friends Patty and Chuck. They immediately came by and took us out for dinner at the Baylor Club. It is a restaurant atop the Baylor Football Field. With our table overlooking the 50 yard line we enjoyed each other’s company and got all caught up. We ate off of embossed BU (Baylor University) china and enjoyed craft beers in a glass with an imprinted football in the bottom (a fun surprise).  It was a really great time.

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The next day Sharon and I relaxed like we haven’t in a long, long time. We spent the afternoon playing a round of disc golf along the river which passes through Waco. Feeling parched we enjoyed a happy hour at the local BJ’s Brewpub. How delicious it was to be experiencing a normal day again. Sharon even commented how she had taken for granted our lifestyle on the road and how lucky we were to again experience it.

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Patty and Chuck had us over to the house for steaks another day and once again we had a blast bantering about this and that. Our last day Sharon wanted to go to the Silo's to visit the bakery and so we did. After strolling the grounds and taking a ride on the town trolley, a delectable pecan cinnamon roll marked the end of our stay in Waco. While at the bakery Sharon was excited to meet Joanna Gaines mother, Nan Stevens and snapped a quick selfie to commemorate the meeting.

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The next day we headed further north to Wichita Falls, Texas. Our goal was to visit my nephew and his family. Our main focus was to see our newest great nephew who was nearing three months old. My nephew Steven and his wife Lauryn had us over for dinner. We brought a few presents for our two great nephews and enjoyed the evening. The night ended with a family band session where we all had fun “playing” instruments. So glad we stopped by.

The next morning we left Wichita Falls and continued our trek west…

NOTE: We left Wichita Falls and landed in Amarillo Tx, then on to Tucumcari and finally to where we are now in Tijeras, NM… Next up will be an extended stay near Albuquerque.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Finally All the Work Is Done on the Rental…


This blog will wrap up what we did at our rent house . A ton of work was needed and we were the only two it seemed who were wiling to tackle the job. We certainly didn’t plan on spending most of the summer in Texas but here we are…


The first thing we did was rip out the carpet and the old pad by cutting it in strips then rolling it up. We carried it out to curb along with the heap of garbage already there left by the tenants. Our house already looked a lot better with the nasty carpet out.

Next we sanded and painted the 35 year old wood cabinets in the kitchen. This was a lengthy process as each step would take the better part of a day to dry. Finally after a coat of primer and two coats of enamel, they were ready for reattachment of the hinges and knobs then to be put back on the cabinets we painted.


I had to remove the outdated tile in the kitchen and we also decided to remove all the wallpaper except in the small bathroom.  This was also a lengthy and tedious task. Meanwhile the walls and ceilings had dirt and hair all over them so they had to be cleaned before painting. Most of the walls in the hallway and one bedroom had urine stains from the tenant’s dogs (disgusting).  We used a great product called TSP for cleaning the walls, ceiling, cabinets, window sills and baseboards. Another great product I read about called Nature’s Miracle indeed miraculously eradicated the overwhelming dog smell in the house.


There were also a zillion small sheetrock holes along with several large ones which needed to be repaired. We were then at last able to put two coats of ceiling white on the ceiling and two coats of a soft grey on the rest of the walls in the house.

With the paint up I started the flooring as we decided to replace all the carpet with a luxury vinyl waterproof product similar to what we put in our motorhome. This took a long time for me to complete on my own but once done we were off to finishing up the smaller but necessary tasks. Door repairs, more painting of the doors, removing a small mountain of ash in the fireplace,  hanging new blinds, installing new door knobs and locks, replacing mismatched bathroom faucets, repairing plumbing, replacing the damaged A/C intake, replacing broken light fixtures, ceiling fans and other items.


The backyard also needed some work as their were many holes the dogs dug which needed to be filled. We also raked up three large bags of leaves, removed discarded dog toys and dog feces.  After seeing the damage by the dogs to the carpet, the walls, the doors and the backyard there will be no more dogs in our rental. The lease allowed for one SMALL dog yet he had three LARGE ones (sigh).


The tenants moved out on the 30th and we worked until the day we left on the 14th of August. I worked 10 to 12 hours a day the last 10 days and although we often made time to visit Mo’s Irish Pub for happy hour we amazingly got the job done and were finally able to hit the road again on August 14th.


While wrapping up the work on the rent house that final week we had a prospective tenant drop by for a tour.  He left a deposit the very next day and we like him already as he asked to improve the backyard with some dirt and new sod.  Finding a new tenant right away who has no pets and really seems to care about our property made all the work worth our time  Now we are ready to resume a more carefree life on the road!

NOTE: We are back on the road and in Waco Texas until  August 18th and then up to Wichita Falls to see our new nephew working our way to New Mexico via Childress and Pampa, Texas…

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Amazing What Filth Some People Can Live In…

Wow, it is hard to believe the last time I blogged was way back on Saturday, July 20, 2019, nearly four weeks ago. Where did the time go and what were we doing during that hiatus?. Well we were mostly working very hard on our rent house although we did have a few fun days (mostly in July).


One fun thing we did was attend the Dixie Chicken’s (a well known college bar near the Texas A&M University campus) 40th birthday party. We do recall having had a little too much fun on a few occasions there in the 1970’s. Anyway, this was a great little event even though it was pretty dang hot. We has some fun listening to a lot of musicians at the bash, the best of which was Roger Craeger.


We actually hoped to be out of College Station by August 7th but the tenant in our rent house informed us he couldn’t be out of the rent house until July 24th. Well the 24th came and went. They did not move out until the 30th. We had an agreement where we could go in before they moved to do some work but that meant we would really only have 7 days to flip the house and make it ready for new tenants. That was definitely not enough time so we added yet another week to our stay.


As you may remember from our last blog these renters have been the most disgusting renters we have ever had with regard to cleanliness. They were great in making their rental payments every moth for the last 8 years but apparently they never ever cleaned the place… NOT EVEN ONCE in 8 years. I mean there was even dirt and dog hair on the ceiling – did I mention they had three large dogs even though only one dog was allowed in the lease? Some of these pictures are taken before and then after we cleaned…


We soon discovered we had several major projects to do. We had already built a new fence and replaced the concrete driveway but after seeing the inside we realized we needed new flooring, new paint, several repairs and a massive cleaning of their filth left behind.


Once they moved out the first thing to go was all of the carpet. Although it was only 8 years old it had been destroyed by the dogs digging holes in it and peeing all over the place. After donning gloves the carpet was cut into smaller pieces and carted out to the curbside thrown atop the huge pile of junk the renters left behind.

I neglected to mention that upon entering our rental the stench of dog urine and dirty dog smell was overwhelming. We thought removal of the carpet would help eradicate  the foul smell but it hardly made a dent.


I will rant a bit more about our ordeal in the next blog but just to let you know we are now happily back on the road of retirement…

NOTE: We are back on the road and in Waco Texas until  August 18th and then up to Wichita Falls to see our new nephew working our way to New Mexico via Childress and Pampa, Texas…