They did manage to get into a couple of the slough-like ponds, though, and came out smelling like swamp creatures. They all got baths when we got back to camp.
On Sunday, I drove most of the way from East Texas to Waco…through Tyler, Athens, Malakoff and all those other small towns with multiple stop lights. It was good practice, though. I’m getting lots better at stopping and starting, and corners aren’t so scary.
Waco Lake is a clear, constant-level impound, and the bottom is gravel. The dogs loved it, and worked off a lot of energy playing in the water and fetching sticks.
We stayed two nights in Waco, and played tourist on Monday. The Waco Mammoth Site was closed, but we did spend a couple of hours at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum. We’ve been meaning to do that for years, and were very glad we did. There is a lot of history there, not just about the Rangers, but about some aspects of Texas history that I either never knew or had forgotten. From the statue out front to the exhibits inside, it's well worth a visit.
The Texas Rangers are the oldest state law enforcement body in the United States. They were unofficially created in 1823 in a call-to-arms written by Stephen F. Austin, then were officially authorized in 1835, primarily to defend the border. Disbanded by Federal authorities shortly after the Civil War, the Rangers were quickly reconstituted when home government was restored. They have protected settlers from Indians and outlaws, investigated crimes, acted as detectives and riot police, and protected the Governor of Texas. Since 1935, the Rangers have been a division of the Texas Department of Public Safety, and enjoy a proud tradition in Texas and worldwide.
Not only did we enjoy the exhibits featuring “real” Rangers, we also saw a collection of memorabilia from the “Lone Ranger” movie and TV series. The Lone Ranger, his white stallion, Silver, and his faithful Indian companion, Tonto, were a part of my childhood, so I was glad to relive some of those experiences.
And then came the misadventures. We left Waco on Tuesday morning, bound (we thought) for Austin. Then, in Bruceville-Eddy, just a few miles south of Waco, we experienced a double-blowout of the two left rear tires on the RV. We were traveling south on IH 35 through a construction zone when our Pressure Pro tire monitoring system lit up like a Christmas tree and alarms sounded. Fortunately we were on a stretch of road that had some shoulder and John managed to get us to the side quickly. However, by the time we had pulled over and stopped, we were only a few feet from a section of road with concrete barricades on both sides and no shoulder.