Wondering about wild grapes

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Lodge at Davis Mountains State Park.

For those of you who would like to visit the Davis Mountains State Park but do not travel in an RV or prefer not to stay in a tent, there is a nice lodge located there with wi-fi, a restaurant, a pool, a small shop, and of course rooms.  It is located on  the far end of the park at the end beginning of the valley.  Here are some pictures.  The first one is taken from where my RV was parked:

 And an enlargement of it:

My wife took this one out of the Jeep's side window as we were driving up to the lodge:

And another one as we approached a little closer:

And of course I had to get into the picture to show you that I was actually there.  This was in the court yard just outside the shop (the open door on the left of the picture is the entrance to the shop). 

I would think that this would be a pleasant place to stay, but I am very happy and satisfied in my home on wheels.  Now, you all have a great day today, you hear?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Made my yearly trip to the nearest drag strip that hosts the NHRA Top Fuel races, which is located near Baytown, TX.  It was a beautiful day but heavy rains the day before had soaked into the track's surface and then with the hot sun shining on it, some of that moisture came to the surface and caused the cars to spin the tires down strip.  This caused a increased times and slower runs.  I only saw one 313 mph run in the 1000 feet to the finish line.  That is 20 or more mph less than they are capable of.  But, of course, I still really, really enjoyed it.

I had given two tickets to our dog's groomer who had a close friend that just loved the races.  The groomer got sick, so his friend brought his son along.  I always try to get there fairly early so we have a lot of time to walk around the pit area and see the drivers and the cars.  Here is Rick and his son about to get John Force's autograph.

And here they are getting Ron Capps autograph.  I have never collected autographs from the drivers.

This is Rick's son getting Greg Anderson's autograph.  Greg is a past pro-stock champion.

They had a top fuel engine on display with a list of statistics.  It is an older display because I believe that they run 10,000 horsepower now.

 This is the structure at the beginning of the race track.  They bring the cars through that tunnel in the middle into the staging area.

 OK, time for some action!!  How about some Funny Cars burning out?

 And of course the top fuel dragsters.  As you can see, my reserved seats are just up from the tree.  Directly across the track is the unreseved seats and the TV cameraman.

I took another picture and zoomed in.  Click on the the pictures to see them full size.  Then you will be able to see much more detail.

I guess that is plenty of pictures.  Hope you enjoyed seeing the pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.  Now you all have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Wandering up the mountain.

 One day I couldn't resist the pull of the mountain, it was calling to me.  So I just had to take a drive up there.  Just after I started up I took a picture back down to where the motor-home was parked.  There were some swithbacks on this road so just the little ole Jeep and me took this side trip.  So, you all come ride along.  Pick on these pictures to enlarge them so you will be able to see everything.

 There was so many beautiful views that I had a hard time deciding what all to show you, so I just picket a few that were spread out along the climb up.  At one switch-back, the Jeep and I passed this stone structure arrayed with antennae:

 At a higher elevation on the same side of the mountain and looking in the same direction as the first picture, you can see we are gaining altitude.  In the forground is our camping area and you can see the whole park back to the Lodge which is the large building at the top:

Going a little higher and on the other side of the mountain, we found ourselves looking down on the town of Fort Davis.  Those are unique rock formations for sure:

And another picture of the rocks.  This mountain range was formed by volcanic action and that is what must have produced the strange rock fomations.

The Jeep and I finally got to the summit.  I took a picture looking east over the vast plains.  I enlarged a small part of that picture to show you this strange building.  I thought it may be a secrete government site where they keep all the UFO's stored, but it turened out to be a very huge greenhouse system for raising fresh vegetables in this harsh climate:

The Jeep wanted proof that it took me to the top of the mountain, so I just had to take its picture:

I took a lot of pictures but if you want to see them all you will have to pay me a visit in person.  Too many to post, for sure.  The hardest part is deciding which ones get posted and which ones don't.  I will not be posting tomrorrow.  Just telling you so you will not worry.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear!!!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Got back home safely.

We got home yesterday afternoon.  The last day was the hardest drive for sure.  Not just because we were heading home, but because it was not on interstate highways or those straight West Texas roads, but through populated areas with lots of small towns and a few large ones and the roads where mostly two lane, narrow, and with no berms.  But we made it even though it tired me out.  OK, I am ready to do it again (grin).

Today, I am going to show you some wildlife pictures that I took while at Davis Mountains State Park.  This first picture was of a deer just outside my windshield:

 The next day they visited the camper behind me.  I took their picture anyway:

 I opened my door (screen door handle visible at left) and took a picture of a Javelina outside on the other side of that tree.  The next night a bear was on this side of that tree!!

And here is the bear picture.  My wife wouldn't let me open the door.  She said the bear would come in.  I figured it would run.  Either way, I decided to take the picture through the window.  My old camera that I always used needed charged so I used my other one.  I thought the flash was turned off but it wasn't and the reflection from the window and the screen blocked the bear picture.  I guess you are going to have to take my word for it.

Later this huge Javelina came by.  It was the biggest one I have ever seen.

 Here is a picture of small Javelina visiting the campers behind me.

 This last picture is of an ant hill.  Well, it isn't actually an ant hill like we have back here in East Texas; it was flat!  The ants were big and black.  My foot will give you an indication of size.

Out of all the large animals that reside in the park, the only ones I didn't see where the antilope and mountain lions.  Maybe next time.  Now, you all have a great day today, you hear?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Some highlights of our trip.

First of all, let me tell you that I really enjoyed this trip even though I had two break-downs.  I enjoyed all of it but I must say that Davis Mountains State Park was the highlight of my trip.  Between the wife and I, we have taken hundreds of pictures.  I think that I will make some multiple blogs to cover the highlights.  Here I am driving thought Ft. Davis:

I pulled over at one of the few places that I could stop, got out, and took this picture.  These are some really scenic roads.

This is in front of our RV at the camp site that we had at the park.  My wife and our three mutts with mountains in the background.

I enjoyed sitting out outside looking at the beauty around me and for any wildlife that may wonder by.  I noticed that the moon was out in the daytime and the sky is so clear it was plainly visible:

 This was taken from next to our RV looking in the direction we were parked:

I walked a little ways up the hill and took a picture back at our camp site.  Ours is the unit in the middle in front of the white fifth-wheel.

That is all for tonight.  I am now back at an RV park in Junction.  Tomorrow, if all goes well, we will be back home.  Now, you all have a great night, you hear?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Wandering to Ft. Davis State Park

My wife bought a bag of sweet potato chips back home.  She went to get them last night and look how the bag puffed up.  Now, tell me we are not getting up in altitude.  In fact, we will be heading to Ft. Davis State Park today and it is about a mile high and the mountains even higher.  In fact, I believe that the highest place in Texas in located there.  Here is the bag picture:

OK, got to get the four slides in, everything packed up, and all hookups unhooked, so we can head out.  Even if you are only going to move this thing a few miles, you got to prepare it for the road.

It has been a pleasant stay here at Lost Alaskan RV Park and the weather has been perfectly clear.  If you are ever in this area I highly recommend it  The nights are beautiful.  Now, you have a great day and don't forget that I will have no phone or internet service where I will be for the next few days.  So don't get worried if I don't post for awhile.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Billy Bob wants pictures, so. . .

Billy Bob asked for pictures and since I will not have internet for awhile, I will post some now.  We are in Alpine, TX at the Lost Alaskan RV Park.  This first one shows the back of my RV and the mountains on the horizon:  

The next picture is a better view of the mountains:

The one dog is taking it easy in the next picture.  Did you notice that they have their toys all over the place?  The guitar is my toy:

This next picture is of a century plant, I believe, just on the road side of the dog walk area.  If it is, I didn't know that they got that high.  Or is it something else:

This next one is my wife and the male pup in front of a younger century plant, or whatever it is:

The nice couple that are work campers here (she runs the office and he does odd jobs and directs the RVs to their site) have an unusual RV themselves.  They live in it and I bet it has a lot of room.  Have any of you ever seen anything like it?
I can't seem to get blogger to let me start typing this last paragraph from the left, but only from the center.  Don't know what is wrong.  Remember, I will not be able to post for a few days.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

We are just going to relax today.  Nothing new to report and as far as I know, no problems although my wife tells me that I am the problem (grin).  I am not going to bore you with just a bunch of words but just want to check in.

I have some video tapes about the true history of the west.  There are five tapes that are over two hours long.  The first one was mostly about Billy the Kid.  The funny thing was that while he was alive he was never called Billy the Kid.  Some did call him "The Kid".  Then we watched one about the Indian wars.  I realy enjoy watching or reading about the true history and compare it to the what eveyone believes was true or to the "western movies" version.  We watched the first half of the first tape for way over an hour.  Will finish it up today or tonight and then start on "The Gun Fighters" tapeWhere did I find such interesting tapes you may ask?  At the flea market, of course.

Now, you all have just a very great day, you hear.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Wondering, what about a change in plans.

I was planning on heading on down south to Study Butte and Terlingua, but I have changed my mind.  I have been there before but I have never been to the Fort Davis mountains and the McDonald observatory.  So, we shall head on west a short distance and spend two nights at the state park just on the west side of Fort Davis.  I called today and made reservations the 21st and 22nd.  Then we will head on home.

If I had gone to Terlingua, I was planning on leaving by way of the Big Bend National Park and through Del Rio to maybe meet up with Ms. Belinda.  I guess I will have to wait and meet her some other time.  Meeting in person all my blogging friends is on my bucket list.

I just love the clear skies out here.  What a difference from east Texas with all the humidity.  I see stars with the naked eye here that I need a telelscope to see back at home.  The dry cool air and the hot sun also make a great combination in the day time.  We are up about 4000 feet.  At least that is what my wife told me and the we will be going up another 1000 feet when we head a short distance to the west.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear? 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wondering why something don't feel right.

Running down the road heading west.  Everything was going just fine and then, all of sudden, something didn't feel right.  Then the severe shaking started.  Luckily I was within a few hundred yards of an exit.  Took the exit and found myself in the middle of no-where.  The only building in sight (and you can see for ever in west Texas) was a tiny little gas station with only two pumps.  I was just a little over 50 miles from Fort Stockton.  Now what do I do?  I looked underneath, checked the inside dull tires, and everything else I could think of.  Then I noticed that the rear end was almost dragging on the road!!  Something just ain't right.

My wife pulled out our Verizon hot spot portable wi-fi.  She searched the internet for some mechanic that does road service for RV's.  Found one and gave them a call.  The person who answered was a referral service and charged almost a hundred bucks to get me service.  She had a guy call me and he said he would send out a couple of mechanics, but it would take several hours to get to me.  They finally showed up and tried every trick in the book and but where I was sitting they couldn't get my unit jacked up far enough fix the problem but said they thought it was the actuator that puts air in the suspension system (air rides).  They said I had to take it somewhere they could work on it.  One mechanic rode with me and the other drove a truck behind.  We crept along and finally got to Ft. Stockton.  It was getting late so they told me that they would fix it the next day.  I stopped at the first RV park for the night and they came by the next morning and directed me to an abandoned gas station where they could work in more comfort.  Here are some pictures:

The best part of the trip so far was meeting with The Old Fatman, Barney.  He was nice enough to come and see me at Alpine.  I believe we have a lot in common.  Here is proof of his visit:

And of course I had to get my ugly mug into the picture.  I make Barney look really good!!  He is a great guy and my wife and I had a great time visiting with him, although our youngest dog had her doubts (grin).

Meeting and visiting with a great guy like Barney made my trip with all the problems worthwhile.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Had a problem with the Motorhome.

We unplugged, disconnected the electric, and headed out to go further west.  Pulled up to the road and made a left hand turn toward the interstate.  Since I was down about a half tank of fuel, figured to stop and top it off.  It took just a little over 50 gallons, so it was half empty.  Paid and was getting in and I saw something running out of the left rear side of the RV.  At first I just thought that it was the fresh water tank draining.  Remember I told you I was trying to find a way to drain it and couldn't?  I decided to make sure and low and behold it was diesel.  I opened up the motor compartment and found that I must have drug a little and damaged the fuel filter.  It looks like a very long oil filter and attaches the same way as an oil filter.

That, of course, changed all my plans for the day.  I got back to the RV park and paid for another day and before I could get to my parking spot, it died.  The motor ran out of fuel and was sucking air.  It coughed a few times and left me sitting in an access drive way to some of the sites.  The fellow that helps run this place was a great help.  I told him my troubles and asked where I could get another filter.  He said there were two parts stores that may have them in town.  So, I unhooked the Jeep and went to town.  Stopped beside a police car at an intersection and asked him where I could find some auto parts store and he told me where two of them were.  Tried the NAPA store first and they didn't have one, so I ordered one and will pick it up in the morning.  On the way back I stopped at the other one he told me about and sure enough, they had one.  So, I brought it home and with the help of nice guy that worked at the park, we got it back together.  Of course it wouldn't start even though I had filled the filter with diesel before putting it on.  He and I were stumped so I called my son.  My son saved the day!!  He told me to go stand facing the caterpillar engine and on my right there would be a yellow knob.  He said turn counter clockwise to unlock it and pump it until you can't pump it any more.  He said it may take up to a hundred pumps, depending.  Sure enough, after we did that, it fired right up and I could unblock the campground road and pull into my spot.  Left it run for awhile to make sure all the air was out of the lines and shut here down.  So, here I sit for another day or so.  I don't have much time so may cut my trip short and try again in the future, or maybe finish my trip but even though it will be a couple of days less than I had planned.  Have to be home for this years NHRA Top Fuel Drag races you know.  Now you all have a great day, you hear?

got a little over 300 miles in.

Going through umteen thousand small towns and country back roads, I think I made pretty good time.  I made it to the Junction North Llano River RV Park.  The trip was not without problems.  The first was the refrigeratorThe freezer part works fine but the refrigerator does not.  So, buying bags of ice, putting the ice in plastic zip lock bags and stuffing them in around the food.  Maybe I will hit a bump and it will start working again.  Hey, I am trying to be an optimist.  Burnt up about a half a tank of fuel and that was with the generator running to run the overhead ACs.

Ok, got rid of the bad stuff, so here is the good stuff.  I had pulled through my gate, stopped, and went back and shut and locked it.  See the nice fresh cut grass?  Had to cut the grass before we left.

 Stopped at this road-side park to let the dogs out.  It had some beautiful trees.  Sorry, I took the picture through the dirty window.

 My wife took this picture somewhere.  Looks like after the trip was almost over, on I-10 heading for Junction?

And of course she had to take a picture of the Old Fart that was driving the bus:

And of course a sunset to end the day:

Now, we will have (hopefully) an easy day.  Will fill up with fuel and head west on I-10.  Not going too far today.  Have already made reservations at Fort Stockton RV Park.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?