Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Leaving Texas

Corpus Christi to our next destination is about 650 miles.  Leaving Corpus I was amazed at the enormous oil refineries.  We wanted to drive as far as possible the first day which, because we both drive we were able to go about 450 miles.  This is not the furthest we have gone in one day but it was enough.  We basically found I-10 again and traveled east and staying north of New Orleans.  we spent the night at a nice Cracker Barrel in Lafayette, I think at exit 101.  Nice level site in the back and across the street from a park, good for walking Buddy

We had a pretty uneventful couple of driving days and finally arrived at the Naval Construction Battalion Center, aka CBC Gulfport, Mississippi.  Gulfport is absolutely beautiful with white sand beaches and a beautiful sunset.  This area was also hit hard by Katrina and there is evidence everywhere.  Homes and businesses are just gone.  Some have rebuilt but there are many empty lots completely bare except for some foundations, driveways or steps that go nowhere. 

This is the place to eat shrimp, crab and oysters, all fixed at least nine different ways.  There are many large, no, make that enormous casinos.  I'm afraid this area may become another Las Vegas.

Unfortunately all of a sudden I cannot download my pictures.  My last blog had pictures but was unable to load a few pictures and the very end.  So this is going to be a short blog until I can figure out what is going on.

Travel safe and smart

Nancy & Joe  

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Corpus Christi TX, 3 of 3

We were getting close to the last day of Corpus Christi so off we went for more exploring on Padre Island.  It was turning out to be a great day so we headed to Padre Island National Seashore.

These little white spots were from pocket gophers, they were everywhere

We saw many of these gorgeous white tail deer
They all looked very healthy with these cute little white tail with dark stripe down the middle

 Camping at the beach on the west side of the island aka Laguna Madre.

Still on the west side of the island, no wave action here.  There is a red tide alert all over Corpus Christi, but not on the west side of the island

However on the Gulf Side the Red Tide is very noticeable with dead fish everywhere.  These spots on the beach are dead Man Of War.  Dogs are not allowed on the beach during the red tide as it is very toxic to them and could kill them in a few days. 

The Gulf side of island

We ended our stay with a  Christmas dinner and  Gift exchange at the Bay Club on base.  This was put on by the campground, they supplied very good sliced turkey and ham and the rest of us supplied all the rest in potluck style, and was it good.

Well I am suddenly having trouble uploading pictures to Picasa so this is it for tonight.

Safe travels to all

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day 2011

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas

Drive safely and smart

Nancy, Joe and Buddy

Friday, December 23, 2011

The King Ranch

Part 2 of 3

As most of you know I have not been east of the Arizona/New Mexico state line so everything is new and interesting to us.  Corpus Christi is a major is deep-water port, I thought it was just a beach.  Well the beaches are beautiful with white sand.  The Harbor Bridge on US 181 arches 235 feet above the water.  Also on the waterfront close to the aquarium is the permanent home of the USS Lexington Museum now a National Historic Landmark.  The Lexington was famous during World War II, it had many attacks but never sank, in fact Tokyo Rose called is “The Blue Ghost.

Here at the RV park there are many seashore birds, white and brown pelicans and once while at the end of the pier I saw a couple of dolphins and plenty of jack rabbits that Buddy has chased.  He can’t even get close, with those long legs and their keen sense of hearing they take off before Buddy takes a second leap.

white pelicans 

This guy was a little shy and kept running off

We are very close to The King Ranch so of course we had to visit.  The history of the King Ranch is very interesting.  Click here to go to their site. My son just showed me how to do this Click here   stuff so I hope it works for you.

The ranch was founded by Capt. Richard King in 1853 and has continued in operation by his descendants who have developed the Santa Gertrudis breed of cattle and produced the first registered American Quarter Horse.  Currently they have about 33,000 head of cattle, 220 horses.

All these pictures are taken through the bus window.  These are the beautiful dark mahogany-red Santa Gertrudis breed of cattle that was developed and is the newest breed of cattle in the U S

Roger, our tour guide, note the contraption he has that is holding the mike.  It's a coat hanger, and kind of looks like those harmonica holders.  It's holding the mike and he has a piece of duct tape around the mike to hold the button down.  It worked like a charm.

Bridge across Gertrudis Creek, back when Capt. King started the ranch it was deep and flowing but over the years the creek has dwindled down to a small stream.

 Sign at the entrance to the weaving shop

The weaving shop where all the horse blankets were made

The Running W was on all four corners of all horse blankets

This is Alberto V Trecintio AKA LoLo.  He is 81 and the 5th generation of his family to work on the ranch all their lives.  He is holding a picture of "Assult" the Triple Crown Winner in 1946 that was bred on the ranch.  LoLo was responsible for him and was the first person on his back.  A very charming man with many, many stories.

This W that is being pointed out is the original brand that was registered.  The have since straightened it out.

One of the homes that the foremen live in

The original barn, Mrs King liked the architect of The Alamo

The King family house is used for family members only.  This was the third house that Mrs King lived in, the first was made of adobe mud, the second was about half this size and burned.

The commissary for the ranch.

All the ranch hands and their families lived on the ranch and there are still decedents of the original people still working the ranch.  Mrs. King was a teacher so she had a school built, also a church, the commissary which stored everything that was needed.

Corpus Christi TX

Part 1 of 3

We have had a wonderful visit so far in Corpus Christi. There are two RV Parks here at Corpus Christi NAS, Shields RV Park and Paradise Cove.  We are in Paradise Cove, both parks are on the water.  Both places have free laundry but Shields has only one washer that works.  The area is very flat and it's easy to see that any type of hurricane will flood the area.  We will be spending Christmas here and then leaving on the 26th probably staying at Wally's in Port Arthur or the next town.  We will need to drive about 350 miles for two days in a row.

 While in San Antonio we noticed that the rear curbside tire was wearing kind of funny, looking at it more we noticed the tire was different than the others.  Remember in Yuma we had tire issues and ended up replacing all four tires at Discount Tire.  We found a Discount Tire right on our way to Corpus, after inspection they said the wrong tire was installed and was not rated for a heavy load.  Short story, the tire was replaced at no charge.  Notice the yellow ramp that is holding up the trailer.  This is a heavy plastic ramp that you pull the trailer up on and it holds the trailer up just high enough so that the rear tire is off the ground and easy to change.  This is the second time we have used it so it was a good investment to carry around.

I just love these small towns, we get off the interstate whenever possible.  These boxes on the upper right photo are deer blinds.  Not only are there blinds they also have huge deer feeders that get filled with corn.  I saw these bags of corn at the stores, even grocery stores, they are huge about 75 pounds.  The hunters feed in the same spot every year.  Deer hunting is a really big thing here and with all the devices used the poor deer don't stand a chance.  They are after the cute little white tail deer.

Bottom right is downtown Alice.  (Never saw Alice's Restaurant) Ya know that you are in south Texas when cuisine is BBQ, Mexican Food, AND........ FRIED CATFISH.

While in Corpus Christi we visited the State Aquarium.  A delightfully little aquarium, I only say little when comparing it to Monteray Bay Aquarium in California which takes two days to see it all.  It appeared that many families purchase the yearly pass (about $50.00 for the family) so they can visit often.

They had quite the display of these cute little "sea horses"

Look at the Flat head on this fish

I didn't realize that A & M Texas University was so big, every where we go we see another campus
A&M Corpus Cristi right on the water, a beautiful spot.
Claire you should check this one out.

More to come tomorrow

Safe travels to all

Nancy & Joe

Friday, December 16, 2011

On the Road Again to Corpus Christi NAS

Yesterday, 12/15/11 we just kind of hung out. Made peanut butter cookies, trimmed Buddy's long locks, mostly around his face and feet, which seems to take way too long but he does look better.  Worked on my Christmas Letter, took a few pictures, one of which is the new header.

Lackland AFB Fam Camp is nice but when it is going to be rainy every day it's best to park in the gravel spots with water & electric only.  The water seems to run off those areas and just sits in our area which means mud.  Luckily we have a cork flooring so just wipe up the dirt and/or sweep it out.

Today, Friday, 12/16/11, after listening to the weather forecasters and we made a thoroughlyconfusing well informed, (maybe, maybe not) decision to go to Corpus Christi Naval Air Station right on the water across from Padre Island. Our drive here, 160 miles, was pretty nice, a slight tail wind, high dark clouds, but no rain . Most of the rain is coming tonight and tomorrow, so tomorrow just might be a good day for sewing and walking around the beach here during the breaks in the rain.  There is a big mall close by and I might brave the crowds to look for a certain type of slippers that can be worn outside.

This is the little Christmas Tree made on a loom for $5.95.  
It's very flimsy and would not travel well until next year so it will be donated 

Looks like my Christmas Cactus will open right on time

This is probably take number 19
every time I would set the timer and then run over to my spot Buddy would slowly turn and look at me with those big brown eyes, saying "You have got to be kidding, get this scarf off of me"

Merry Christmas and Safe Travels to all

Nancy & Joe

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

San Antonio, Lackland AFB Fam Camp, with free washer/dryer.

We have been in San Antonio for two days now.  The first whole day we were here was serious fog and rain so we did the laundry and  shopped a little at the commissary.  Day two no fog but rainy on and off and 75 degrees.  We had wanted to go to the Riverwalk and the boat ride but too rainy.  I had to have a blood test so we found the right lab (LabCorp of America) and into San Antonio, only about 5 miles away and went to the IMAX which had a really good movie of the last 13 days of the Alamo.  What a bloody horrible battle.  There were several women and children that survived.  After the movie we walked over to the Alamo and toured through it.  I was glad we saw the movie first, it put events into perspective.  It was still a light rain so we drove to the Market Place.  Walked around, the place is just like going to the touristy border towns except  the shop owners were not trying to drag you into shop.  I bought a small Christmas Tree made of yarns probably on a loom.  It was only $6.00 but kinda of cute.  A sticker on the tree said made in Guatemala.  Picture of it tomorrow,

The weather forecast is for more rain and fog for the next several days.  So, we are going to pack up and head to either Mission or Mustang Island State Park, next to Corpus Christi.

Safe travels to all

Nancy & Joe

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Still at Big Bend

Part 2 of 2
Big Bend National Park, TX

Still at Rio Grand Village Campground we decided to go to the Hot Springs Historic District.  The Hot Springs are probably millions of years old.  However in 1909 J. O. Langford purchased the property, including the spring, sight unseen.  He was the first modern developer of the Hot Springs.  Eventually he developed a post office/store and a motor court that was built in 1927.

The Motor-Court had one rooms and double rooms

Hiking on our to the Hot Springs

Finally the Hot Springs, The Rio Grand and Mexico on the other side

The road in and out of the Hot Springs

We moved to Cottonwood Campground, still a dry camp and generators not allowed.  This is considered a quiet area.

Finally I got a decent picture of a frequent visitor

We drove over to the famous St Elena Canyon.  There are usually rafters and/or canoes floating down the river however, due to the water being so low that is impossible.  I did hike up the rock wall and then up the canyon to the end of the trail.  Spectacular viewes:

Looking up St Elena Canyon on the Rio Grand River

 Starting the trek up the mountain

The switch back trail going up and up
What was I thinking

Looking up the canyon from one of the switchbacks

Pressing up and up along the trail

Looking down river
the spit of gravel in the middle is where I was taking the first picture of the canyon

 Looking upstream again

Finally at the top looking down, the left is down stream

and, looking upstream
Notice the trail along the edge of the mountain

Up and over the rock and then down the other side, looking up river

 The end of the trail is at the white rocks behind me

Looking down river from the end of the trail

Now the trek back out

There are many hikes around that include remains of houses made of rocks, here is just one:

These stone houses were extremely well built

After Big Bend we moved onto Del Rio

Safe travels to all

Nancy & Joe