Cave Dwellings: Arrived at the “ArkLaTex”..Unscathed…So far!
Cave Dwellings

Buckhorn Creek, Lake O' The Pines, Jefferson, TX

Monday, March 29, 2010

Arrived at the “ArkLaTex”..Unscathed…So far!


     OK, now that we have had our first night here,( good campfire last night, relaxing cocktail hour, quiet night in the tall pines)….We are ready to enjoy our last 2 weeks of our winter trip.

Saturday evening the night before we left Canyon Lake , McGuyver made a guest appearance for one of the campers who had a flat tire on a boat trailer.   A guy saw Den sitting outside and asked if we had a certain size lug wrench..How did he know that of all the people sitting outside tonight, Dennis would be the one who did?? So McGuyver walked over to the boat with him ,wrench in hand.. (surprise, surprise..)

000_0217 Dennis would be the one with the yellow cap.  Before I knew it, the trailer tire was off and fixed, and we had a thankful visitor at our campfire, getting to know McGuyver better. They sat outside and visited a bit.

They 000_0222and had a couple beers..(another surprise, surprise..).  He seemed like a really nice guy and apparently saw in Dennis what I see…a wizard for fixing stuff. 


Before too long, I looked up and he was gone…but not for long…He returned with his car, radio blasting, and had a couple more beers with Den…Oh, and by the way…here is his car…a cute little BMW convertible that he bought used from a lady who had kept it in her garage…40,000 miles on it..I think I would look pretty spiffy behind the wheel. In my younger days, I had a 1966 Chevelle convertible.  It was yellow with black top and interior and I thought I was about the coolest chick on the block when I was 20 years old…What times!! But, enough about my adolescent indulgences.


..I couldn’t resist running outside , grabbing Den and saying, “ OH.. DEN!! IS THIS MY EARLY BIRTHDAY GIFT??”…I made a big hit with the nice gentleman…. but shocked him somewhat by my evening “uniform”.

  Sunday morning we were up just before sunrise, hooking on and hitting the road…a slight problem with the black tank valve, but we thought it was going to be OK…Boy, were we WRONG…, but more about that in a minute…


After the necessary “dumping of the tanks”, we pulled out of Potter’s Creek at 7:45AM…See ya next year..probably…We  jumped on I-35 at San Marcos and  headed North.  It was a LOT easier traveling this time…We hit this road  on a Saturday before Xmas on the way down…and the exit ramps were backed up with frenzied Xmas shoppers in both directions…Trying to get our big behemoth to safely wind in and out of all that traffic almost gave Den an aneurism.

  We zoomed through Austin with almost no traffic.   000_0230 000_0227

…Not so with the trip around Dallas.  We took Rt.20E off of I-35E and headed North around the city on 635…when suddenly up ahead..brake lights.
This is never a great sign. Then we spotted a tire rolling across traffic headed right at us…Dennis hit the brakes,( and this thing doesn’t stop on a dime, as you might imagine.) The tire missed us and hit the barrier to our right..WHEW!  Our next adventure on the trip around Dallas was called “dodge the clothing”..Someone had apparently lost some clothes and a moving pad out of their vehicle, and it was lying dead ahead in our path…After some McGuyver –mode maneuvering and lots of brake lights, we managed to miss everything and couldn’t wait to get on I-30 East and out of this nightmare!!

  We arrived here at Clear Springs about 3PM….tired and feeling pretty bulletproof.  Here is our campsite, and some shots of the flooding still here since December…

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  So today we naively thought we were going to just kick back and enjoy this great park.  About 11:30AM, Dennis went outside to just check the black tank valve…Not good ….The valve was NOT closed, as we had thought.  It had been open since we dumped, and , naturally we had used it a few times last night..Without going into the gruesome and pretty disgusting details, let me just say that instead of staying in the holding tank, our black water was now filling the pipe…OHHHHH MCGYYYYYYVER!!!!! Even McGuyver was a little panicky.  Suffice to say, only you RV’ers will understand the terror facing us. 

Dennis crawled under the camper, took apart the underbelly cover and established that the control cable was broken, so he manually closed the black tank valve. (Of course it HAD to be the black tank that had the problem!) Luckily we are only 2 miles down the road from Shady Pines RV Sales and Service..We know this because many trips have been made there by the Cave People over the years. Let me now say that Dennis handled the “nasty stuff” without spilling one drop and thank the Lord for the blue honey wagon. Now with just one trip to the RV store, one new tank control cable purchase, and one intricate installation being done by Dennis A.K.A. “McGuyver” Cave, we were beginning to smile again by 3PM.

A few pictures are worth more words than even I can write…


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  Now this is about as dangerous of a photo shoot I have ever done, but, rest assured, I was not injured in the recording of this event…(at least not yet!).…I don’t think Den found my photo documentation amusing, nor really necessary, but I was not to be dissuaded…Ya gotta document the good …and the BAD!!

  So now it is almost 4PM, and McGuyver is in his recliner with a big glass of ice tea…the beer will flow later.  I will close on a happier note, with this picture of a beautiful Blue Jay who happily found my sunflower seeds…Check back tomorrow to see what other possible trouble we can manage to get into!!000_0241



  1. Sounds like you had pretty much a normal last few it goes for the Cave Dwelling crew..

  2. I sat on the edge of my seat in raw terror as I visualized your words this morning. While I have not had any "unfortunate" black tank experiences, I have seen a number of others over the years with clogged tanks (not pretty).

    Enjoy the rest of your stay, looks like a pretty park.

  3. Oh wow, that McGuyver is an amazing guy ! I'm sure you realize how totally fortunate you are !

    Guess you will be wearing boots to have a picnic lunch !

    Ah yes... the 60's I had a Dodge Dart convertible ( I even rigged up a fake car phone to be extra cool ) Those were the days ,

  4. I can relate to your black water tank troubles, When we got our new Coachman it had a cable system for the dump valves, since the day we brought it home when you take the cap off there would be about six onces of black water that somehow drippled past the valve into the pipe, making you have to have a container under it before removing it, I procrastinated long enough for the warranty to expire, since I hate the idea of tying up the trailer at the dealership, last time I took one in they had it for a month, (the old parts on order deal). So I added an insurance valve at the end of the outlet pipe, I think when I do get around to removing the bottom cover and fixing either the cable or the original valve I will keep the insurance valve on,That will be after we retire and start fulltiming in iit and I have time to spare. Be Safe Sam & Donna.