http://www.blogger.com/html?blogID=4316350785635987648 Cave Dwellings: January 2008
Cave Dwellings

Key West, 2005

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Bike Ride In The Desert

Well, our weather yesterday was above and beyond all expectations...90 degrees and sunny. It sure felt good to sit in the sun on Jan 29th. Today is cooler...and cloudy..it is about 65 degrees. We hooked the RV back on to our truck and dumped all of our tanks. It is easier to just hook on, rather than drag the little blue honey wagon behind our truck and up to the dump station about 4 times..it takes that many trips to dump all the tanks..For those of you who don't understand the term "dump the tanks"...I won't gross you out..just use your imagination.

We decided to take a bike ride around the state park this afternoon..We rode down to the lake and saw a Blue Heron and an Egret along the water's edge. I managed to get them to pose together in the same photo..


they refused to take our photo together in return, so we took a picture of each other. You will notice that some people,(whom shall remain nameless), get to ride mountain bikes...and some get old rusty Schwinns..

You will also notice who is biking up the hill on his mountain bike..leaving his poor old wife to walk the 'ol Schwinn up the hill..Falcon Lake Motor cross..

We took a photo of a "camper for one"...Yes, someone is actually camping in it. He is an older gentleman...from Illinois..which goes to illustrate just how desperate some people are to get out of there in the winter. The back end opens up into his little outdoor kitchen. He certainly doesn't sport a Queen bed in there either. This is one of the smallest campers we have seen. We signed up today for 2 more weeks, keeping our spot.

The weather is good, birds are beautiful and, as you can see, sunrises fabulous. At some point in time while we are here we may go to the "Valley",(McAllen, Donna, Mission...waaaay South.) From various spots you can park your vehicle and walk across the border into Mexico. This is always a crazy time..I must brush up on my Spanish before we do..Spanish words for "more Margaritas", "bathroom, pronto!" and "was that a worm I just swallowed?"....If we cross, rest assured you will get a report and photos worthy of Newsweek...well, maybe worthy of The Enquirer...more later. The CavePeople

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Another Great Breakfast





Today is Sunday,and the weather is cooperating, so Dennis decided to cook our breakfast outside. The sun was out early, but now it has clouded over. It is about 63 degrees, so I won't complain. We have been walking, riding our bikes, reading, and doing Sudoku and crossword puzzles....We're going to have to slow down on our activities.
Yesterday we took a "walkabout", which means we made a pass around the campers to see what newcomers had arrived. We ran into Harold from Minnesota and his wife, who were here last year. Harold is a nice German fellow who is a mouse catcher...by that I mean that last year he informed us he had mice chewing into the firewall of his car, so he proceeded to set mousetraps in his engine. He said he caught about 40 mice...lovely. We ARE in the land of snakes, you would think they could at least do their job. We also met another couple that we have seen here before. They are from Wisconsin, but we don't hold that against them,,,joke. They have a big Discover America 5th wheel. For those who don't know, Discover America is a step or two above our HitchHiker...pretty nice. They also travel with 2 kayaks strapped to the top of their truck. We stood and visited with them a while and then came back to our little abode to sit outside, listen to our I-Tunes and have a cocktail. (Den has rigged a way to transmit our "I-tunes" CD's we have loaded into our laptop so that we can play them through our surround sound speakers...Now THIS is CAMPING!! I have turkey wings in a beer, orange, lemon and lime juice brine with kosher salt...we will cook them tonight on our charcoal grill....did I just say "WE"??..correction...Den will cook them...I just prepare.. then sit with my glass of wine and watch the magic.
I am putting a few photos on for your enjoyment..The weird looking bird is called a Green Jay, and they are in the South Texas/Mexico area..I love the colors of them..they were here at our campsite for about 1 hour last Wednesday... Den took a photo, and we haven't seen one since...Maybe they went shopping for shoes to match their outfits..at any rate, I sure hope they remember the great lunch we provided them.
Well, time to go and read some more of my book...you really ought to try this life...it ain't half bad!! Cave People

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Finally...the weather we wanted arrives!





Our weather has been progressively better the last few days. Yesterday and today were the best yet, 80 degrees and sunny. We drove into Rio Grande City yesterday after doing our laundry here at the "Rec Hall". Last Saturday at the Hall we stopped in for a cup of coffee and they had karaoke...at 9:30AM. Whoa there!! This means I need to add some Bailey's to my coffee first thing...I don't sing till I have been overserved. We sat and enjoyed the "music", and especially when someone sang "Mack The Knife"...not our usual coffee entertainment, for sure.
Rio Grande City is about 30 miles from here, and they have an HEB, (a grocery found only here in Texas and I love them), and a Super WalMart..very interesting things in the way of groceries down here..I was especially attracted to the frozen pig heads, until I saw the frozen lamb heads..The first person who came to mind was David Ikonen, who would have to have bought one of each...the second person was Ron Schultz, who also has a strange pallet.
We decided we need to purchase an electric skillet for outdoor breakfasts, and also a flat suspended bird feeder, neither of which we could find. Dennis rigged up a feeder for me out of a flower pot saucer and some rope..thank God he brought his drill. I love the birds down here. Last night we sat a plate of bird seed and cracked corn on our fire pit,(we are again on a burn ban here, so it is not used), and we went inside for about 5 minutes, only to come back out and the seed was gone...totally. I suspected Javelina, but they have poor table manners and would have also eaten the plate. Dennis suspected deer. In the photo you can see Den, alias "Tonto" looking for deer tracks, which he found. We sat down and refilled the plate, poised with our camera to "catch the thief". Just as the sun was going down, I heard some low brush moving and here come two deer out of the scrub around our campsite..they spotted us, and moved off before I got a photo. Note to self..If you put out seed on the grill, make sure you stow it in the camper if you run inside...even to the bathroom!
The red bird that looks like a Cardinal is not. They are called Pyrrhuloxia. (That would be page 610 of your National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds, Easter Region. Yes, we are becoming geeky bird watchers. Like the Cardinal, the males are brighter colored red than the females (but they don't look as good in their high heels as the women). We have also seen Roadrunners,(they are a riot, and yes, Wiley Coyote howls every nite here, but we never see him), and also Ferruginous Pygmy Owls,(yes,I know I am losing it), and the Ladderback Woodpecker(pictured). The Mockingbirds are thick. Well, enough of boring you about birds...it's a camping thing... no need to send out the men with the little white jackets...yet...our days are sooo full!! And LIFE IS SOOOO GOOD!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

What To Do On A Rainy Day On The Rio Grande




Well, we arrived here on Wed. the 16th of Jan. and it was sunny and 65 degrees..The bottom fell out Thursday and Friday...but you can't rain on our parade..As you can see, we sat by our "fireplace", relaxed and stayed snug. I took a photo of what it looks like just outside the door of our little haven..pretty rainy and cool. We have been watching TV, played on the internet and viewed the DVD Talladega Nights. After watching CNBC and the stock market I had to revive Dennis..but he is OK now(ha ha) Den cooked chicken outside last night, but this morning I figured it wasn't fit to cook out so I put a beef brisket with beer, chili sauce, onion soup in our crockpot. We did take our walk, with our winter coats on, I might add. It is now 3PM and our RV smells heavenly..like a Texas roadhouse...I think I'll order the brisket.
We have signed up to do our laundry Monday AM. They have a Recreation Hall here with a laundry, which is really handy since the nearest town of any size is about 30 miles away. We plan on doing some grocery shopping in Rio Grande City on Tuesday. It is suppose to be sunny and 60 tomorrow..finally. This terrain is much different than Canyon Lake. We are in the low scrub dessert, where everything either stings, bites or sticks you. Luckily, it is early and the snakes are still asleep...or so they say. I am just goofy enough to love it here...totally removed from civilization. Of course there are campers around us, but no traffic noise..just Coyotes and birds. I will post more when the sun shines.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Our Campfire Breakfast




We started our day with a Bloody Mary and breakfast casserole cooked in the Dutch Oven, accompanied by Ronae's great "sticky" buns. Dennis was our casserole chef and it was a real party. The day started with rain and cool, but the rain stopped so we could set up our cookout and it didn't start raining until we were all full and ready for a nap. This was our first time to try our new Dutch Oven and it turned our great!! Our new friends from Wisconsin and our old friends from Minnesota provided the Bloody Marys....what a great time we had. We will miss the commradery we have found here, but we are on to new places tomorrow. We are going to Falcon Lake State Park, which, on your Atlas, is just North of Roma Texas, on the Rio Grande.
Falcon Lake is a great place to spot some exotic birds that we from the midwest never get to see, such as Green Jays. Also it is home to some really nasty looking Javelina that stroll thru the campfire in the evening. We will stay there for about 2 weeks or more. As a rule it is usually warmer down there, and we are hoping for some really nice sunshine. Soooooo..it's "on the road again" tomorrow..more later.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Our Day in Gruene, Texas






Today we went about 20 miles into an historic German settled town called Gruene, (pronounced Green). It is home of the oldest dance hall in Texas, actually where George Strait and his band played for 6 years before he made it "big" in Nashville. Also where the movie "Michael", starring John Travolta was filmed for the famous dance scene..as pictured. The weather was a sunny beautiful 65 degrees. We wandered around and took some pictures to share. There is a couple neat Bed and Breakfasts here, a general store, some antique shops, etc. This little town is sitting right on the beautiful Guadalupe River and on the way home we took the scenic route..the River Road, which winds along the Guadalupe. There are all kinds of "tubing" and rafting spots. People who live here say that the River Road is packed in summer with boats, swimming, tubing, rafting and lots of beer joints.
We got "home" to our camper about 4:30PM, after a stop at the Sattler VFW for a quick drink. Dinner tonight is a cardboard pizza in our oven, which, by the way, I have only used once. It is basically used to store my Sweet Vermouth and Brandy in case it gets cold and I crave a Brandy Manhattan...note to self..remember to remove the liquor from the oven before preheating....more later

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Another Gorgeous Day!



It's Wednesday....I think...one day just blends into another for us...I guess it's Jan 9th. We have been here 1 week and so far the weather has mostly been great..today is sunny and 65 degrees. They really need some rain down here. There is a burn ban in most counties, including this one, but they don't enforce it in the campground as long as you burn in your fire ring.
This morning we drove into Sattler post office to retrieve our new GPS Xmas gift from our son and daughter-in-law..This is a Tom Tom and it talks to us..which is really nice in case WE aren't speaking to each other, at least something is...joke. We had coffee by the fire with the Seles this morning, and by noon, the sun was really warm, so we shed the sweatshirts and got down to shirt sleeves. Den is dumping our tanks with what they call the "honeywagon"..use your imagination. Let' just say everyone knows where you are headed when you pull that behind your truck. I have some turkey chili in the crockpot...also did a little cleaning,(very little). We are having a rematch of "Baggo" this evening with our friends. They have one with them, so it sometimes becomes a nightly contest.
These photos were taken last night around the campfire..the bucks are competing for the "alpha" position with their group, (similar to men, but without the antlers)..they really spar. You can hear the antler clacking and they do it right out in front of us. The other photo is the general store just up the hill from us..It has some groceries,sells beer and wine, ice and firewood. The also have a little beer and wine bar that seats 4, and a backroom with a pool table...all of the necessities of life. All in all, we are having a blast, letting nothing get in the way of our "doing absolutely nothing".
We will be here one more week, then, who knows. This place is a popular "stopping off" spot for RVers headed to "the Valley", or out West to Arizona. It is a good location and only costs $63.00 a week if you are age 62 or over..some of us in our camper ARE..and some ARE'NT. That includes our water and electric..cheaper than home, but with all of the luxuries. Actually, between our TV satellite dish and our Hughesnet satellite dish sitting side by side, we look like we are receiving data from Mars. Well, I am done boring you for now, but don't worry...I'LL BE BACK!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Warm and Windy!!


It is January 6th, 4PM, and about 78 degrees. Last night we slept with 2 of our bedroom windows open. We rolled out of bed about 7:45AM, unheard of at home, and the plans for Dennis to cook breakfast outside fell by the wayside as the morning winds picked up. It is impossible to keep our little Roadtrip Grill lit when the winds are high..and they are really high today. There are whitecaps on Canyon Lake all day today. I cooked breakfast inside, which I rarely do and don't want to make it a habit. One of the photos above is Dennis using his electric chainsaw on some gathered wood.."he who gathers his own wood, etc. , etc.....
Taking a little stroll was great cardio going against the wind. Den went into the woods to gather wood for our firepit. We brought some from home, but they allow you to gather wood here, too. Dinner tonight is shrimp on the charcoal grill, and maybe a campfire if the wind dies down. We don't want to set the entire residential section up the hill onfire. Last night the wind calmed at sunset and we sat outside until 7:30 by the fire. Here is a camper trick for fires...take a 7-9" piece of copper pipe, drill holes all over it and stuff a piece of old green garden hose in it..throw it into the campfire and watch the flame change to green..you see how much the little things excite us old people??
Tomorrow is an exciting day..a trip to the local laundromat, one of the more thrilling parts of "on the road" living but sometimes very interesting. Local laundrys bring out some real quirks in people.
We are enjoying having internet access at our fingertips..and so far the dish hasn't tipped over in the wind...Den put a bungee on it and screwed it into the ground. Hope all is well in Illinois....as for us, we are having a ball!! Life is good..more later.

Friday, January 4, 2008

I'ts Warming Up!!


It is Jan. 4th and it is actually warming up outside. It is 1PM and 55 degrees. We sat outside with our Minnesota friends, Wayne and Ronae, for a while this morning amongst the deer..check out the rack on the buck behind Dennis. Wayne and Ronae threw out some corn and the deer were thick. We also had coffee with Frank and Joyce Garcia, our other friends we met here last year from San Antonio. They are camped just down the hill from us. Both of these couples have laptops, so Den gave them the "secret handshake" to get on our wireless. Ronae got online because they are parked right next to us, but Joyce can't seem to get online and we figured she is just too far away from our router, so she just came over and Den is giving her a lesson on how to jump on our wireless.
We are going into Sattler to the grocery store, which is about 15 miles from here. We need to get some deer corn...and maybe stop at the VFW for a beer. It is cloudy right now, but the sun is slowly coming out and it is suppose to be 70 tomorrow. It is soooo fun to have some people we know down here. We do miss the comradary of good friends, but always seem to meet some where ever we go.
We are going to get to Gruene sometime this trip. We have to have a longneck at the "Oldest Dancehall in Texas". THis is where John Travolta filmed the movie "Michael". The town is very small and lots of fun...right, Jim and Mary??
More later...

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The HitchHiker Has Landed!


Well, here we are for the next two weeks in Canyon Lake Potter's Creek campsites, which is about 40 miles North of San Antonio..we are overlooking Canyon Lake which is fed directly from the beautiful turquoise Guadalupe River. We arrived today about noon. Last night we spent in Waco, Texas. It was 28 degrees last night and our water froze, so we used what we carry on board. The last time we were in Waco, our water froze and so did we...life lesson: do not camp in Waco in December.
Our temp here is 47 degrees, but the sun is warm. We pulled in and looked for a spot to camp, realizing that our friend's from Minnesota, Wayne and Ronae, were camped here, but their truck was gone. We chose the vacant spot right next to them and I hung a sign on their camper door, "There Goes The Neighborhood". About 3Pm, they came in and we all had a group hug. They are staying until at least Jan 21st...why not when it's only $9.00 a night?? Later, while we were inside hooking up our internet, I noticed a big Sprinter 5th wheel pull by our camper. This looked like the camper of Frank and Joyce Garcia, whom we have met here a couple times before, and, sure enough, we got a knock on our door and there stood Joyce...more group hugs. This is the great part of camping..great friends you make.
It is suppose to be cold again tonight but 70 by the weekend, so that will be nice. My bird feeders are out, grill and picnic table set up, wood ready for the campfire and now ....it is cocktail hour...5 bells!! More later...The Caves