What is great about Tyler State Park

After the rains stopped Sunday afternoon it was great to see the sun come out.  It was so neat to see the families as they slowly emerged from their trailers. The kids jumped on their bikes, the moms started setting up the campsite with chairs and rugs, and dads starting loading the fire rings for a campfire.  This was taken from our vantage point and shows why so many younger families are choosing this form of recreation.  Spring break is a good time to ramp up the camping season. We have watched as the trees put on new leaves every day and our site actually looks across the road into the woods.  You can see where the Leader of the Pack and the girls spend their outdoor time. We can sit out here in the evenings and watch TV which is set up in the basement, chat, have cocktails and enjoy the freshly washed air.  Be sad to leave this place but more travels await us after a brief stay at home to catch up on home duties, doctor visits, mail, and meetings.  Next trip promises to be into Texas Hill Country for wildflower sightings.  Stay tuned!

And then the rains came…

Apparently we have had a lot of rain in Tyler and most of East Texas. Hopefully it is a drought buster!  It started to rain again Saturday about 2 PM and all night then all day Sunday until about 3:30 PM.  In spite of the nasty conditions the park continued to fill up.  At one point this was the view out our back window at the soggy crowds as they arrived. Some of our nearby groups came to the park Friday, set up then promptly changed into costumes on Saturday morning.  They were attired in all sorts of long dresses, hats, and the guys wore kilts and swords.  They were here to attend the Four Winds Renaisannce Faire south of Tyler held near Whitehouse. Check out their main page and the jousting knight. For more info go to their website http://www.fourwindsfaire.com/   Looked like fun and these folks had been there before so apparently it’s worth a return trip.

Sweet Dreams

After sleeping in our 5er since October on many trips, we determined the OEM mattress was not cutting it. So today on a rainy Saturday that all changed. This morning we drove back into Tyler and as soon as we finished lunch with our kids and grands, Daughter and I set out on a search for better night’s rest.  At the second stop we found the perfect combination of queen size, comfort and price – Rufino Plush by Corsicana Bedding.   It’s made in America, actually a local Texas company, and has a 10 year warranty.  In 1974, they moved into a 24,000 square foot facility in Corsicana. And as the economy changed, they expanded their services to include production for retail furniture and bedding stores. By the end of 1978, the demand for their mattresses and box springs was booming. So they changed their name to Corsicana Bedding, Inc. to reflect the growth and focus in this amazing industry.  They continued to grow through the mid 1980’s. In 1987, they expanded the sales area from Continue reading

Dogs in – Bugs out

After many months of looking for any option that would protect the screen door from 2 Basenjis on guard and keep bugs out and allow breezes in, we finally solved the problem. We bought a 30 inch white screen door guard from Home Depot.  By turning it sideways and some careful measuring, Handy Hubby was able to cut it with tin snips and a hack saw then use the remaining parts to effectively install a nice looking grid with screws on the lower part of the entry door. The first picture shows a closeup of the installation from the inside and the second picture shows the completed project from the outside.  Looks nice and the girls approve every time other dogs pass by and do not tear the door off. Seems like this would be a good market for someone to address as I know we are not the only RV owners with dogs who look out the door. But there sure was nothing we could find that was durable and fit our door.  Some used part of a baby gate – too narrow for our door and some used plexiglass – no breeze.

Heading East into the Piney Woods

After a short break at home and a trip into Ford Service department where they decided we needed a software update (after all the F-250 is a rolling computer, isn’t it) we are back on the road. First stop is Tyler, TX to attend a formal social function for a grandson.  Luck is on our side as we are able to park in their driveway and have the benefit of family and friends close for a few days. Weather is on our side as it seems like spring and the northern part of the country is still experiencing snow and storms.  We attended the ball, visited with family, had some good meals,and attended a fund raiser for the youth at the Methodist Church.

On Tuesday we were able to get a spot in one of our favorite Texas State Parks.  Tyler State Park is located just north east of Tyler, TX.  So we made a quick trip to Fresh, a specialty grocery store by Brookshires, and picked up some goodies for the trip. Then after lunch we moved to the park. We have a large pull thru that is located in Big Pine campground and looks out to the woods and a large open space for the gilrs to enjoy. The redbuds are already in bloom and the dogwoods are right behind.  The warm weather is helping all the trees to leaf out quickly.  We will be here for a week and plan to get lots of paperwork done on several office projects. Storms in the area so we may get some much needed rain and a good chance to see if the cargo area has any leaks.

Best Laid Plans…

As they say, the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray, and our plans did go astray after leaving Deming on Thursday morning.  We planned to go to Balmorhea State Park for a night or two. This Texas State Park is located on 45.9 acres in the foothills of the Davis Mountains southwest of Balmorhea in Reeves County. Built by the CCC in the early 1930s, the park was deeded in 1934 by private owners and Reeves County Water Improvement District No. 1.  The park was opened in 1968. The main  feature of the park is the 1.75 acre freshwater pool built around the springs. The spring has a constant flow of 22 to 28 million US gallons a day so no chlorination is required. The water temperature ranges from 72 to 76 °F and up to 30 feet deep. The pool is used for both swimming and scuba diving. San Solomon Springs has provided water for travelers for thousands of years.  Artifacts indicate Indians used the spring extensively before white men came to the area. In 1849, the springs were called Mescalero Springs for the Mescalero Apache Indians who watered their horses along its banks. The present name was given by the first settlers, Mexican farmers who used the water for their crops and hand-dug the first irrigation canals.

As we passed through El Paso we called for reservations. Driving on towards Van Horn, TX we stopped at another great rest area for lunch and nap. We enjoy putting the slide out and being in a clean, quiet place. When we hit the road again we soon had another infamous Ford DEF fault signal, same as the one heading west when no one could find a problem in Mesa. So we were on the phone with Ford again.  They even planned to come get us and tow us to nearest service dealer – back in El Paso.  We decided that was not a good plan especially with 2 Basenjis and a 36 ft 5th wheel hooked behind the truck so we pulled off into a Love parking lot and idled while we are on the phone. The signal went out and they said we could drive on safely. So big change of plans – drive as far as we could until dark.  We ended up in Big Spring, TX at the Texas RV Park of Big Spring and had a good nights rest.  Next day would be a comfortable drive into Dallas.

Heading back to Texas

Wednesday we headed back to Texas.  After hooking up, we went to the Truck Stop here in Gila Bend and used their scales to weigh our whole rig for the first time. Weighed just over 21,000 lbs. so that told us we needed to cast off a few unused items when we get home.  The F-250 does not know or care about the load but will help on fuel mileage. Still getting an average of 11.7 mpg so we are pleased.  After we got back onto I-10 we drove toward Deming, NM.  We stopped at a rest stop near the border which is near Cochise’s Stronghold. Having watched many western movies all these years I recognized the large boulders as a place the Indians always waited to pounce on the cowboys.  What a great place for a rest area! 

The whole area south of here is where the Apaches lived and has a lot more grass than the rest of the area so can see why they stayed here so many years.  There are small trees actually growing amidst the rocks!  Made a great place to exercise the girls by walking up and down the hills. And they had lots to sniff here.

After the break we drove on into Deming and planned to stop at Low Hi RV but it was a bit far south and off the beaten path so ended up at 81 Palms again!  Had a steak dinner at the Ranchers Grill as a break from home cooking with some fellow rvers from Missouri on their way to Mesa, AZ.