Friday, May 5, 2017

Texas - 2017 (4)

May 5, 2017.
I left the Emma Long Metropolitan Park at 6:30 AM and encountered not much traffic going through Austin.
In Waco I stopped at the Flying J truck center for propane. I paid $ 3.29 per gallon. Last week I did not want to pay $ 2.89. I thought it was too expensive. I should have filled up the tank there.
I decided to stay at the Flying J RV parking area. It probably will be noisy in the night.
After setting up the motorhome I went to the Texas Ranger Museum.

The 45 minute film gave a very good overview about the history of the organization.
From Indian fighters they developed into the major crime fighting unit in Texas. The horses are gone, but the white hats stayed.

The museum shows what equipment the Rangers used in the past.

Bonnie and Clyde were taken down by the Rangers.

The Rangers inspired films. There is also a TV show.

At the present time there are only 160 Rangers.

My next stop was the Dr. Pepper Museum.

This soft drink was invented in Waco in a drugstore.

The city was hit by a tornado in 1953 and it changed the place.

An old bottling line is on display.

There are old vending machines.

Since Dr. Pepper merged with Seven Up there is also a Seven Up bottling line.

At the end of every museum is a store. I would like to buy an embroidered T shirt. All the T shirts they sell now are the printed ones.
I bought an ice cream and enjoyed it.

May 6, 2017.
I arrived at the Elks Lodge in Arlingen at about 9:00 AM. After setting up the motorhome I drove to Dallas and visited the George W. Bush Presidential Library.
This was the most expensive Presidential Library visit for me. Parking was $ 5.00 for the first hour and each additional half hour cost $ 1.60. The entrance fee was $ 16.00. At the LBJ Presidential Library the total cost was $ 5.00.

Part of the library is a gallery.
The gallery houses Portraits of Courage, a Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors. The paintings are done by President Bush. The subjects are wounded service men and women.

The display cases range from Bush’s boyhood to the presidency.

A large steel beam from the World Trade Center is also on display.

The copy of the Oval Office is full size and not roped off.

I went back to the motorhome and at 3:00 PM I left for Fort Worth. There I went to the Stock Yards.
It is now a tourist place.

People can have their picture taken on a live steer.

In Fort Worth are many statues depicting cowboys and cattle.

The big event at the Stock Yards is at 8:30 AM and 4:00 PM. Cowboys bring a herd of long horn cattle through the area.

After the cattle drive I walked to Billy Bob’s. It must be the largest bar in the world. I remember many years ago, when I came to Fort Worth to do business at our plant there, I would go to Billy Bob’s and watch whole families, all dressed in cowboy outfits, line dancing. It was a sight to see.

The stock yards were very large as this photo shows.

A Girl is celebrating her 15th birthday at the stock yards. Mexican families spend a lot of money on that occasion.

Theodore Roosevelt must have liked the cowboys.

On my way back I took a picture of the skyline of Fort Worth.

May 7, 2017.
Early in the morning I did two large loads of laundry and then went for breakfast at the lodge. This was one of the best lodge breakfasts I had so far. I also enjoyed the people I was sitting with.
Since I had two breakfasts this morning I decided that I needed to go for a walk in the River Legacy Parks, the crown jewel of Arlington’s park system. It is a large park with many multipurpose trails. The trails are used for biking walking and running. There are also large picnic areas with shelters.
I walked the trail which runs along the Trinity River. The river is very low.

Because of the thousands of signs Texas has everywhere I learned a lot about the State. Here is a sign telling about Jesse Chisholm. I knew there was a Chisholm Trail used for herding cattle to the railroad station in Abilene, but there is more about the man than the trail.  

A person made a little display at the side of the trail.

The afternoon I spent in the swimming pool and in the pool area. It was hot again.

The lodge has thirteen acres. This includes the golf course.

The campground has too much shade for me so I parked in the parking lot. I could have taken one of the electric sides. One couple left this morning. I did not want to move though since I will leave tomorrow morning.

May 8, 2017.
I am heading west.
At 5:30 AM I was on the road. I left early because of the traffic in Fort Worth and the heat.
I was lucky and had a cloudy sky all the way to Lubbock.
Actually I had not planned to drive that far, but the temperature was perfect for driving. Since I am only staying for the night I went to Walmart and parked there.
This is my last stop in Texas. I will be leaving early again tomorrow morning. Tomorrow afternoon tornados are expected in western Texas.

May 9, 2017
I left again at 5:30 AM. There was again no sun and when I came in the higher elevations it was cooler.
I had planned to stay at the Elks Lodge in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Twenty miles east of the city I ran into a rain storm. There was lightning, thunder and hail. It was so dark that I could not see the white lines on the Interstate. It was scary.
As soon as I came down the hill, into the city, the sky was bright again. When I saw all the city traffic I did not feel like staying and kept on driving.
At the Westside of Albuquerque is a Passport America Park. I stayed there before but today I missed the exit.  I just kept going.
My next target was the Dancing Eagle Casino in Casa Blanca. Ten miles east of Casa Blanca was a large road construction on Interstate 40. It took me an hour to get to the casino.
I arrived there at 11:00 AM. I had driven 380 miles, more than I wanted to.
After setting up the motorhome, cooking a meal, and taking a nap I went over to the casino.
I never got to the casino, instead I went to the Market Place. It is a very nice grocery store with a small Ace Hardware store. They have everything one needs for an emergency.
I always look at the prices in stores. Since the casino is in the middle of nowhere everything is expensive.
Next to the casino is a small Navaho or Zuni village and Laguna is not far away. Those people make not much money. They get checks from the casino though.
I had in mind to go to Dairy Queen and get an ice cream. In the store was an advertisement for 1.5 quart (1.4 liter) of Cow Belle ice cream for $ 1.99. Normally it cost $ 3.99. They had Mint Chocolate Chip, my favorite. I usually do not buy ice cream for the freezer because it will not be there for long.
Now I have it in the freezer and there is nobody to keep me from eating it.
The casino has a franchise for Dairy Queen and they also have a giant gasoline and Diesel filling station.
When I walked across the parking lot I saw those brand new trucks. One driver can deliver all three.

On the evening news they mentioned tornados near Clovis. I was lucky that I was going through there before the storm.

May 10, 2017.
Yesterday evening a big refrigerated truck parked two spaces from me. I did not like the noise of the refrigerator and moved to the other end of the giant parking lot.
I went to bed at 9:00 PM and woke up at 1:00 AM this morning. There was a refrigerator truck parked on each side of my motorhome. The whole parking lot was filled with trucks and a few motorhomes.
I went back to bed and woke up at 5:00 AM. Since I was awake I got ready for another early start.
In Gallup I noticed that all the houses had white roofs. Then I noticed also the side of the Interstate was white. I had snowed and now it was raining.
The rain lasted about an hour.
I passed up stops where I had planned to stay for the night, and decided to drive all the way to Kingman, Arizona and visit Dwight Gruber, a friend who was a regular winter camper in Borrego Springs.
When I arrived in Kingman I called him and he invited me to visit him. I went to my car and the clicker for the door would not open the door. I knew right away that the car battery was depleted. I had the cable from car battery to motorhome installed, but something went wrong.
I called Dwight and he came to Walmart where I am staying. We had a wonderful visit. He is also a friend of Ron Carlson.

After Dwight left I checked out the fuses and one fuse had moved and was not totally connected. This was an easy fix.
I had tried to jump start the car with the car jump starter but the battery in that gadget was also low on power.
I was not worried since the car was still connected to the motorhome and tomorrow while driving the car battery will get charged again.

May 11, 2017.
I arrived in Bakersfield, California at about 1:00 PM. When I stopped at Love’s to get gasoline for the motorhome I realized I gained two hours. It was actually 11:00 AM. I called Nelda and asked her whether she had time for lunch or dinner. She usually invites me to stay at the home where she lives and I eat with her in the dining room.
When I arrived at the home I noticed everybody was wearing a mask over the mouth. They gave me one too.
A lot of residents of the home have the flu. Nelda has not been struck yet. Since it is too dangerous to eat in the dining room we went out for lunch. This gave me a chance to reciprocate. 

After lunch I drove another seventy miles to Tulare. I stayed at the Walmart there.
The car battery did not get charged a fuse blew at the other end. I checked all the connections on the harness and found no short. I will try again tomorrow. My car jumper is fully charged now. When I have to I can always get the car started.

May 12, 2017.
I drove north on highway 99 this time. There is one city after another and always traffic. I was lucky and made good time. On the other side I saw a five mile long traffic jam. A truck had overturned the trailer was blocking the road. About fifty miles further there was a fire on the side of the road. Because of the smoke I could not see what was burning; it smelled like rubber. This created another traffic jam.
I arrived at the Coyote Tribal Casino near Ukiah at about 1:00 PM. Before setting up the motorhome I filled up the gasoline tank of the motorhome. It was $ 2.59 per gallon. That is 50 cents more than in Texas. In Eureka it will be even more expensive.
The car started. The battery was being charged by the motorhome alternator while driving.
Tomorrow I have to drive only 148 miles.

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