Cave Dwellings: March 2010
Cave Dwellings

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

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Is it the Lucky Bamboo…or just old age???

  Last night Dennis was actually enjoying himself out by the fire…

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He had a good day and finally got to unwind.  We put a couple CD’s in the player and turned up the sound.  We can’t get quite the same sound as we did in December because the surround sound broke in our player…Like I said before, we have had an eventful trip this year.  You would think we would  be having better luck than we have..I brought along the  “Lucky” Bamboo plant from home because I didn’t want to ask anyone to take care of it…

000_0271 So much for the lucky bamboo..I think we were “bamboozled”!!!

  About 6PM last night we got some new neighbors.  Their license plate says Illinois, but we haven’t seen anyone outside yet to see what part of Illinois they are from. Of course, nobody can beat the name of the town we are from…Sandwich.  We get lots of ,”Did you say Sandwich, as in 2 slices of bread with baloney between them?”…yes, we did…Here is the new neighbors house.. That is a really long rig they are pulling down the road.              


This morning we had our coffee in the “to go” mode because the laundry was ready to be tended to, (a nicer way of saying ‘piling up’).  We drove into Texarkana and went to a place  mistakenly called “Fun Wash”.  We remembered being here last year…but we apparently had forgotten the high cost…I really think the name “Fun Wash” was deceiving…I find no fun in depositing $2.00 worth of quarters in each washer load we do….nope,… no fun there at all.

  After our trip to the “high end” coin laundry, we decided to stop at the Shady Pines RV place.  They had a couple new HitchHikers there and we were just curious at the improvements, if any, that had been made.  They no longer make the kind we have, the HitchHiker II, LS…There was no floor plan that we were in love with.  They have made the bathrooms much bigger, with the sink, shower and toilet all together …NOT in OUR camper, thank you. First of all, it takes up way too much room and makes your bedroom area makes you feel like you’re sleeping in a closet…It was fun to look, though.and I took a couple photos of campers we will never have…

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  Our walk had been put off in lieu of the laundry, so after getting all the clean “stuff” in the designated drawer (sometimes I am finding Den’s in mine and visa versa), we put on the sunglasses and set the watch for the 2 mile, 1/2 hour trip into the woods. I cannot tell you how pretty this woods is here…The dogwood are blooming now also..

000_0269   (clik the pik to make bigger)

…and here is what it looks like when the pollen is blowing at you…Run, Dennis, Run!!!!!

  That foggy looking stuff is pollen, kids…believe it or not!! Dennis is already beginning to feel the gritty green stuff in his contact lenses …This is the ONLY drawback of being in the tall pines, though.

  We walked past “Catfish” Jone’s camper.  Nobody was there ,but I loved his sign over the shelter they had set up..

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  As you can see from the photo on the right, they are all set up to cook for a crowd..I think they feed half the campground!!  He has more cooking equipment than Paula Dean.  He has a big electric roaster, a smoker, electric fry pans, deep fat fryers, cast iron skillets… and get this…He deep fries those little biscuits that come in the pop open canister, then puts sugar on them while they are hot!! We had one a few years ago.  His exact words, and I will never forget them, were,”Take one bite o’ that and it’ll put y’all right into a coma!” My blocked arteries sobbed all the way home.

You know, I love camping for many reasons, but one of my favorites is the fact that the “date night” grooming isn’t necessary.  When camping ,I rarely pour myself into any tight jeans, as you can see by the pictures…I almost NEVER use the blow dryer (except to defrost the freezer).  I guess I just let things kind of “go” with the tweezing, mascara and such.  However, I think I have let things on my face get a little too too far out of hand…This afternoon, while sunning, I reached up to brush something from my eyebrow …and it WAS my eyebrow.  Honest to God, I had a long gray hair growing from my brow that would have rivaled any hair on Den’s face, (and he is one hairy guy!)….AND…not only that, but since when do I have gray eyebrows??  When did that happen?? That does it,…that bamboo has got to go!!

  OK, now that I have calmed down and recovered from the reality of my sasquatch-like grooming changes, I think I’ll go into the bathroom mirror, get out the hedge clippers ,and mow through my newly discovered facial hair..Is this all part of the “Golden Years”?..or just a Communist plot??  More tomorrow…with a more well groomed “me”…. I really need to clean up my act!!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

No Panics or Disasters Today…Yea!!!!!

  Well, a new day has dawned…however we cannot see it from our tall pine location.  I love it when the sun finally peeks through…about 8AM.  The first thing we hear when we peel open our eyelids is the multitude of bird voices.  It is soooo quiet.


  Dennis barely moved all night long.  I think he may have been drained of all movement after crawling his long ol’ body around on his back and under our RV yesterday.  I was a tad sore this morning also, and all I did was squat and hand him tools…socket wrench, hammer, drill, AND I learned a new tool!! Channel lock pliers!!! They may come in handy if I ever need to get my Thanksgiving turkey in a hammer lock!!

  These tall pines here are just bursting with buds that will soon spread green fairy dust, better known as pollen, on everything in the park..and get into every nook and cranny, including your eyes if the wind is blowing.  Dennis, a contact lens wearer for 41 years, can hardly wait. These light green little “dudes” are poised for the assault that we KNOW will come shortly.

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Our walk this morning took us down the little path that is my favorite…It is a narrow road that is now closed.  The pines line each side and it goes from the  main road down to Wright Patman Lake..  It is so nice to walk down this little road and not have to worry about cars, boats or RV’s running you down.  We ride our bikes here too, but have to lift them over the barricade to get there…

000_0254 So far this morning we had nothing break, leak, ooze, stick, crack, fall off or unscrew.  Looks like McGuyver might get a well deserved day off.  We came back from our walk and had our coffee outside.  I was enjoying watching the birds in my flat feeder filled with sunflower seeds..until the little gray squirrels found it.  Those suckers will sniff it out every time. I was determined to win this time, so after the squirrel family had their morning meal at my expense, I emptied out the hulls.  Then, I refilled the feeder, but this time I used safflower seeds.  I read somewhere that squirrels don’t like them.  With our luck, they will think it is the gourmet version of sunflower seeds.

  The sun is getting warmer and I think it is an opportunity for my sunbathing attire to come out of retirement.  Dennis had taken a walk looking for more firewood. (We may have to hire a semi to follow us home with our load of wood.) I plopped my chair in a narrow stream of sunlight with my book and ice water and savored the moment.  Shortly, Dennis wandered into our campground with a log in each hand.



  Usually when we are here over Easter, we  always run into Jimmy “Catfish” Jones, a guy we met the first year we were here.  He is a good ‘ol boy from Arkansas.  You may have noticed we mentioned him quite a few times before…Here is a  photo from 2006, when he was catching lots of huge catfish…

That would be Jimmy “Catfish” Jones second from the right with the hood and hat…He is a total riot.


At any rate, we had looked for his camper and truck here this year.  He never misses an Easter here and brings his wife and about 30  of his closest friends with. We couldn’t believe we didn’t see him here.  Well, we found him today..We were riding our bikes and he almost ran over Dennis, jokingly. He recognized us right away and we stopped and talked a minute.  He asked me if I ate yogurt…I was almost afraid to answer “yes”…and he went to the back of his truck and took out a case of Yoplait blueberry yogurt and handed it to me.  Then he went back to his truck and hollered, “Do y’all like muffins?”..”Why do you ask, Jimmy?”..Sure enough, he came back with 2 packages of Hawaiian English Muffins for us…What do you say to a guy who hasn’t seen you in a year and immediately hands you masses of groceries?? I asked him if he was running Jimmy’s Sharing Pantry for wayward RV’ers..

We bid Catfish Jones a good day, thanking him immensely for our food supply, and assured him we would see him again while we were here.  Then we rode our bikes back to our camper, balancing a case of yogurt and 2 pkgs of muffins like jugglers in a circus.  That guy is sooooo much fun..If you have ever seen Larry the Cable Guy, Jimmy Jones is his clone…walks, acts, and talks just like him…and just as funny.  We can’t wait to hook up with him and his wife, Elaine, later on here at the park.

Well, it is 4PM, and not one bad thing has happened.  I am in real need of a shower, though.  God, do you suppose the shower is next to break??  Not to worry, McGuyver would save me. Tomorrow is laundry day, but we plan to get it done early and get back to the park. It is suppose be a warm and sunny day again, and spending it in a coin laundry is not my idea of a good time. More tomorrow,kids, and again, thanks for reading all the way to here.

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


Sunday, March 28, 2010

HitchHiker is at Texarkana…

  No blog tonight….I have my priorities and after today’s drive and all of the set up, a cocktail and a campfire are my first choices…I will, however, bore you tomorrow with a blog!!! The Cave Dwellers

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Gorgeous Day in the Hill Country…our last..

   First of all, I must plead guilty at misquoting Dennis about the type of military airplane that flew over us yesterday on our walk.  He caught my  boo boo when he read my blog this morning. I should have him do the proofreading of all my blogs before I publish them.  Shout out to Al from THE BAYFIELD BUNCH ..he had my back, also.  That plane we saw on our walk was a B-29, and that’s what Dennis told me..I just had a brain block when I was blogging and misquoted him.  I tend to get my “B’s” mixed up when it comes to airplanes.  In my meager defense, I have to say that an actual B-52 DID fly over us last night at the campfire…I am only a rank amateur in the vintage airplane identification, and will remember to consult my professional, Dennis, next time.

This campground has gotten just as busy as when we got here two weekends ago.  It looks like a tent city again.  We sat outside last night by our “yule log”..It received several comments from passers by ( and EVERYONE has to pass our campfire on the way to the bathrooms!)


  If you remember, I mentioned a kite that some poor kid lost in tall tree here in the wind..Well, last night one of our German neighbors decided he would climb the tree and get the kite for his son.  He armed himself with a loooooong tree limb he found and up he went.

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…I asked one of his friends if they had 911 on speed dial…but…by golly, he managed to snag hold of it, and sure enough, it came tumbling down.


…The whole campground was watching as this unfolded, and he got a standing ovation from us..His German friends were hollering what sounded like “HOYE HOYE HOYE!!”…I have no idea if this is the correct word, but it sounded like this.  I was bold enough to ask if I could take a picture of the Kite rescuer and his very proud son.

000_0199  ….and it was only a short while later that they had this very cool kite up and running!!

000_0201   …as you can see, it was a two handed control kite.  Dennis called it a '”combat “ kite. Does that kid look happy, or what??

About 12:30PM  this afternoon, we drove into Sattler to mail some Easter cards.  On the way, we stopped by the Guadalupe Power Plant, just across from the dam.  There was about 3 gazillion steps down to the river, but and I wanted to see it.  When we got to the bottom, there were a few people fishing and a beautiful view of the river and the unique trees living with their feet in the Guadalupe

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This river is soooooo crystal clear and looks blue from a distance.000_0207 000_0210 000_0208

..We went  back up the 3 gazillion steps to our truck and went into Sattler to mail our cards.  We had thoughts of going into Gruene, but knew that on a sunny 80 degree Saturday afternoon, it was going to be really 000_0211crowded….sooo…we opted to zip into the VFW for a couple cool ones.  This area and the Guadalupe River are popular for tubing.  There are lots of great places to tube down the river and the season is just starting to get going here in Texas.  The VFW wasn’t busy, but when we walked in we were told by the bartender that over 100 bikers had just left…(pretty glad we missed that ).  This is a really neat bar.  They have a shuffleboard table that looks like it grew here in this place.  You just don’t see those anymore…And the people that were playing it were serious players…keeping score on a board just above it…very intense shuffleboarders, these Texans.  After a few drinks, we ran over to the local grocery and picked up some Banquet Chicken for dinner…Tomorrow will be our longest drive yet..about 420 miles from here to Texarkana…I will try to get a blog in tomorrow evening, but if I don’t , I will blog on Monday…Hang in there, kids…we will change the scenery yet again tomorrow!