Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Where the heck is that RV park?


Leaving Waco we headed further NW with our next stop at a COE park near Coleman Texas. We sure didn’t know that this day would be an adventure but it was…

I put the address to Flat Rock Park Campground into the GPS and off we went. I checked out the roads on Google Earth figuring that even though the roads were smaller and narrow it shouldn’t be a big deal to get there. Little did we know…


As we neared Brownwood Texas we found our route north on TX 279 then on to CR 2632 where we finally found Flat Rock Campground. I parked and disconnected the CRV since the office was apparently further down the road than the turn into Flat Rock Campground was.


Sharon drove down to the office and when she got back I could tell by her body language that something was wrong. As she entered the RV she informed me that the lady said the campground was full for the summer and we had not reserved a site. Confused I got back on the laptop to check out the park only to discover there are two parks called Flat Rock Campground and we were at the wrong one.


After travel planning for ten years I have never encountered two campgrounds in relatively close proximity with the same name.Anyway,we entered the new address to Flat Rock Campground noting it was an additional 43 miles west of where we were. Now we were following the route of small roads I hadn't had time to check out on Google Earth as we hit the road.


Fortunately, other than a few hills will narrow roads we found Hord’s Creek Lake but couldn’t seem to find Flat Rock Park Campground. We did find an entry to the COE park named Friendship Park. I drove in and asked the gate attendant if this was Flat Rock Campground and she said it was even though it is called Friendship Park on the sign. Gee whiz!


We drove a good ways into the park and passed another defunct entrance gate with a sign bearing the name, Flat Rock Park. It apparently once had its own entrance road to the gate which is now closed. It has thus become part of Friendship Park.


Our site was incredible as it even had it’s own screened in shelter on it. We certainly enjoyed our waterfront view and our 50 amp power on these warm days. We walked down to the lake and discovered a large field of Texas Bluebells. We also drove into the town of Coleman to check out Teddy’s Brewhaus which was housed in a historic building. The inside of it was really cool and the draft beer was pretty good too  Thank goodness as the saying goes, “all’s well that ends well”.

NOTE:  We are currently in Big Spring, Texas until June 30th…

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Visiting Waco Texas for a few Days…


With Sharon and I finally back together it was time to do what we do best… hit the road! Leaving College Station is always a bit sad especially when we were unable to see some of our good friends because our time was limited due to our NC visit. However as we head west our first stop will be to see more friends in Waco Texas.


We usually stay at Airport Park in Waco since it is close to our friends. It is also a Corps of Engineers Park meaning we will have an inexpensive stay with our America the Beautiful Pass utilizing the half price camping. I wondered why it was harder for me to book a site at this park as I was only able to get two nights together.but when we arrived it was obvious why!


After checking in we discovered the entry road to our camping loop was closed due to flooding as the lake was way above flood level. As a result we figured out would have to drive the RV in reverse from the exit road on the loop to our site so we could pull in the right way. RV’ing is always an adventure.


After settling in, we called our friends Chuck and Patty to let them know we made it to town. They immediately invited us over to their house to enjoy their backyard pool and have some dinner. I should mention that Patty has a green thumb and as a result has a lush and beautifully landscape backyard.


I should also admit that although we spent two evenings with Chuck and Patty at their pool while also enjoying wonderful dinners, I can’t believe we never took any pictures of them while we were visiting! Oh well, there will always be next time. Sharon can fondly remember our visit since Patty gifted her an essential oil diffuser with same nice oils as well.


When not visiting our friends we enjoyed what Waco had to offer. Of course no visit to Waco is complete without a visit to the Silos where Chip and Joanna Gaines have transformed what was once a dilapidated part of town into a bustling tourist center. Visitors really must try some of the treats at their bakery but be warned there will likely be a wait in line for the delicious goodies…


We also took a stroll around the Baylor University campus. This private Baptist affiliated university was chartered in 1845 and is the oldest continuously operating university in Texas! It serves just under 20,000 students and has a bear habitat on campus. Bear habitat, you say? Yes their mascot is a Bear and as such they have a pair of bears on campus housed in a zoo-like setting.


Before leaving Waco we were also able to sneak in a round of Disc Golf at Cameron Park Disc Golf Course along the Brazos River. With it being hot in central Texas this time of year we sure enjoyed playing on a mostly shaded course. We also were very glad to visit our friends. It was a real treat seeing them, enjoying their pool and their company once again!

NOTE:  We are currently in San Angelo, Texas until June 28th…

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Last Days in College Station, Texas…


The day arrived marking our departure from North Carolina to Texas after Sharon’s extended stay to help Katie and Brooks after Allie’s birth..We leave fully assured Allie is in good hands and are happy Sharon had the opportunity to help give Allie a great start in life. We know Allie’s mom and dad are now fully prepared to be a great parents to our newest sweet grandbaby.


We went to the Raleigh airport and bid our farewells. We noticed airport security was full of people and when we boarded our flight every seat in our plane was full. We also were glad to see that for the most part people were wearing their masks as required. The second leg of our flight out of Charlotte NC was the same. We arrived in Austin TX without any issue and were back in College Station TX a few hours later.


We only had a few days left in College Station after returning from NC so Sharon wanted to see everything she could see in our old hometown before it was time to go. Our two favorite places for a walk were the Texas A&M University campus and the George Bush Presidential library.


Texas A&M is one of the largest universities in America with nearly 70,000 students attending it annually. It is a sprawling campus with plenty of space to choose several different lengthy walks. We always enjoy the historic buildings and reminiscing about about the excitement surrounding game days of football, basketball, soccer and softball. Football tailgating with friends was just fantastic.


We actually learned something new about Texas A&M this time around. There is a statue of James Earl Rudder we have seen a zillion times but the history of it Earl’s namesake building, Rudder Tower, has a story behind it. Rudder Tower is 110 ft. tall and was designed as such to be the exact height of the cliffs at Point Du Hoc where Rudder and his rangers scaled the cliffs clearing WWII German gun batteries thereby making it safe for the D-Day invasion to begin. This story added to the treasure trove of history and tradition that abound at our beloved Texas A&M University.


George Bush library has a wonderful little walk behind the library circling a pond with lots of flowers and a little bridge walk over to the family cemetery. It was really a treat to walk because the recent rain made the grass especially green and the flowers resplendent.

Another great place we like to walk is Lick Creek Park in College Station. It is a large city park of 523 acres with walking & jogging trails along with a wildlife and nature center. There are some nice long trails there but at this time of year it was really beginning to get hot. Worse than the heat is the humidity as it always measures around 80 to 90 percent this time of year. High humidity always makes higher temperatures nearly unbearable.


Lastly we had time enough to revisit some of our former haunts for happy hour at the Northgate District as well as some of our more recently discovered venues around town. All too quickly our time was up in College Station and it was time again for us to get our wheels rolling On the Road of Retirement…


NOTE:  We are currently in San Angelo, Texas until June 28th…

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Sharon Blogs About Our New Grandbaby Allie!


When our daughter, Katie became pregnant she asked if I would come to help her after the birth. Of course I agreed! John and I made plans around the delivery date but ended up having to scramble for an earlier flight since Katie developed pre-eclampsia necessitating a scheduled C-section because little Allie Rose was also breech and refused to turn even after a hospital procedure to try to flip her. John worked some magic and had me in North Carolina the day after Brooks, Katie and Allie came home from the hospital.


My plan was to cook, clean and do laundry giving Brooks and Katie the opportunity to bond with little Allie.  The first few weeks had to be lived completely downstairs in their 2 story home since Katie was not allowed to navigate the stairs while healing from surgery.  Thankfully they had given plenty of thought to arranging for living downstairs so we had a bassinet, changing table and sleeping arranged for the new parents on their sectional couches. I slept in the guest room upstairs.


Because Allie is absolutely irresistible,  it wasn’t long before I was asking to help with her care especially when the new parents suffered from sleep deprivation. Those early morning baby snuggles will be etched in my memory forever.  I know little Allie won’t remember my time with her but I surely will cherish it. Katie and I also had many priceless moments together while getting to know Allie.  Katie is a wonderful mother and never ceases to amaze me. Its heartwarming to see your baby with a baby!


Katie and Brooks are wonderful parents despite the sleep deprivation and through the confusing times when baby is fussy.  They probably could have handled it all on their own but I am so glad I was able to stay with them to take some of the chores off their hands so they could savor this exciting time. 


Toward the end of my eleven week stay, John came out for a week to meet Allie which was so wonderful as I REALLY missed him terribly.  Baby Allie took to him right away and loves him just as I do.  We really had a wonderful stay but it was time to let the little family establish their routine. It was also time for me to resume my beloved lifestyle at home with my husband who I have an even greater appreciation for after being apart so long.. We are just not meant to be apart. 


I took so many pictures of beautiful Allie and want to share them with you all just as we have done with our other two grand children Cameron and Adrianne.  Aren’t grandkids THE BEST?


NOTE:  We are currently in Waco, Texas until June 18th…

Friday, June 11, 2021

How to replace the end of the shore power electrical cord


About a year ago the plastic sheathing which protects the wires inside our 50 amp shore power cable came “unattached” to the plug’s end. Knowing that this wasn’t good I did some online research and found that most people were using gorilla tape to re-attach it.

PXL_20210327_154736709One afternoon I decided I would use some acetone to clean the wires and sheathing up real good so the tape would stick better. I applied the gorilla tape being careful to keep it flat so water couldn’t get inside the cable behind the sheathing. Using black tape the job looked almost as good as new, but would it last?

PXL_20210426_013556227After four or five months the taped plug-in re-separated. I once again took to the internet in search of solutions. The obvious one, of course, was to simply replace the end but how difficult would that be?


Finding no other viable solutions I ordered a new one. After reading about several replacements I chose the Camco PowerGrip Replacement Plug on Amazon because of its great reviews and I liked the large handle on the back of the plug to assist in taking it apart (especially from a 30 AMP adapter).


Once the replacement arrived through the mail it was time to put it on. I read the instructions carefully and they were very meticulous. The first task was cutting off the old end. I opted to use a hack saw with a metal cutting blade since I didn’t have a large enough wire cutter. Once the end was cut off the directions said to strip each of the old wires in a particular way:

Wire Color        How much wire  unsheathed         How much wire to strip to copper    

green                              3"                                             .75” or 3/4”
black                     1.875 or 1 7/8”                                 .625” or 5/8”
red                        1.875 or 1 7/8”                                 .625” or 5/8”
white                         1.5 or 1 1/2                                   .625” or 5/8”


Why they gave directions in decimals for the inches I have no idea because I had to convert them first. I used a box cutter to cut the sheathing down the three inches needed for the green wire and then used a wire cutter to achieve the lengths needed for each wire. Finally I used a wire stripper to strip the required amounts off of each wire’s end.


At this point one must be really careful to make sure to follow the diagram to put each wire in its rightful place. Then tighten each as much as possible. All that remained was to put the rest of the plug together and tighten the sheath collar real snug.


With the right tools this happened to be a fairly easy task in making our power cord as good as new! It was made even easier when the neighbor’s dog came by to assist…


NOTE:  We are currently in College Station, Texas until June 15th…