Monday, November 17, 2014

Adventures and Misadventures

Well, we have had more adventures, and misadventures since my last post.  It seems the last report from the road is the hardest to finish, but it's finally done!

We enjoyed Lake Bob Sandlin State Park so much that we stayed a couple of extra days.  The trails were wonderful, if rugged,  and we were only scolded once for letting the dogs off leash.  

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.  

When we got to Waco, we stopped at Airport COE Park, one of our favorites.  About 25% of their sites are full-hookup, and #61 had a great view of the lake.  

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.  

Since we could only creep along on our one remaining tire, there was no way we could pull out into 60-70 mph traffic without help.  We called 911 and were quickly assisted by two Bruceville-Eddy patrolmen.  We limped off the interstate, and some 3 hours later had our spare and a new tire mounted and were on our way.  Interestingly, the guy who changed our tires said he had fixed several blowouts on that stretch of road in the past week, the latest that morning at almost exactly the same spot where we had problems.  I wonder if someone didn't drop a box of nails or some other tire-unfriendly material!

Instead of going into Austin during afternoon rush hour, we spent Tuesday night outside Belton at Live Oak Ridge COE Park, then continued on to Volente on Wednesday.  We parked the rig and began the looooonnnnng, arduous task of unpacking and settling back into our “sticks and bricks.”  We had a great time, are glad to be home, and are looking forward to our next adventure.

1 comment:

  1. How scary to have a blowout. Glad John was able to manage it. Looking forward to your Thanksgiving post.