Today is our day to meet the rest of the park volunteers. We are in a campground that is across the lake from all of the others, so have thus far only met the few who have come over here. We share duties with a summer intern who graduates from college in Dec. and with a part-time seasonal employee who lives just 1/4 mile away. The summer intern is officially in charge but we just work as a team and do our own thing. The seasonal worker does the toilet and shower cleaning on weekends as well as filling in on the two days a week when both the intern and us are off duty. Officially the intern works 40 hours a week but when he has help there are times he really has to make an effort to stay busy all of those hours. The seasonal worker does the cleaning duties except the intern does when she isn't here, and she also takes care of the lodge that belongs to the park between rentals. The lodge is up on a hill above the lake and about a mile from us. That is where we go to do our laundry as well.
We will be leaveing here about noon and have an orientation in the main park 26 miles by land away. We don't have a boat as it would only be a bit more than a mile across the lake. After the meeting is a socail hour and dinner. None of us here have met more than the two bosses and a couple of maintenance workers so it should be a good day.
The main park has a beach, two marinas, four campgrounds comprising nearly 200 sites, camping cabins, a visitor center, park headquarters, and six host sites. Over here we have 20 RV sites and about 3 miles down the park road a horse camp with 11 sites. Things are much more peaceful over here.
After some stops in Kansas to visit friends and family, we arrived at the 54th Escapade of the Escapee's RV Club in Goshen, IN. There were more than 500 RVs there and in spite of some rainy and cold weather, everyone seemed to have a great time. For us things really started off with a bang, as Pam was drawn as one of two winners of $500 in cash door prizes at the opening ceremony! As a result she was able to get a number of things which were on our wish list but we had not yet made up our minds as to the budget! And it must be pointed out that she was generous to me as well since most was spent on things for our RV which we probably would have done eventually, anyway. Our RV now has all interior lights as LED's, we have very nice new rug on the floor, Pam has several new items of clothing and she had a custom sign made and with it a new really neat hanger for it that we both had seen the day before but were not sure we should spend as much as it cost. We really love it and are now happy that she won and we spent the money and had it done. We really had a memorable time and one that Pam especially will long remember.
If you have never been to an Escapade it is an event that all RV folks should attend at least once or twice and the next one will be held in Mach of 2015 in Tucson!
By popular request, I am going to attempt to get the old travel blog going once more. We are now stopped for the summer at Angostura State Park, near Hot Springs, SD. We host across the lake from the main park in Shep's Canyon Recreation Area. We arrived here on April 23, after having spent time visiting family & friends in Kansas and then attending the Escapade RV rally in Goshen, IN. In route from Goshen we also stopped in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to visit our RVing friends, the Williams.
We had a very busy three weeks on the road and saw some new country for us. We traveled north from Cedar Rapids to I-90 and then west across MN and SD to Rapid City where we turned south to Hot Springs and the park. In route we took a day out at Wall, SD to visit the famous drug store and also the Bad Lands NP. I'll make the discussion of that another entry.
We have now returned to our home-base and expect to be here for most of the remaining summer, but perhaps with a few trips of only a few days each. The RV is unpacked, the grass is mowed and things are setteled down for the summer!
We are presently spending some time visiting family and friends in Kansas for the Memorial Day weekend. We traveled first to Wichita for a few days and then on to the farm of my aunt.
We got to spend time visiting with my cousins who still live in Kansas as well as some lifelong friends and acquaintances. We also spent some time in visiting the Dwight Cemetery where my parents and grandparents are buried. While there we also looked over the town where I went to 12 grades of school.
As busy a little town as this was when I was a boy, today the bank, post office, and an elementry school are the only business activities left, along with two churches.
Last night was a full moon and it was a beautiful evening!
We stopped only for a few days at Rainbow's End as most of the staff that we had hoped to see were either out of town, or too busy to see us. We did get to meet one of the members of the internet forum and his wife so it did have some good moments.
Mission Tejas is a beautiful park with a very nice campground with many full hook-up campsites. There is als free wifi but one does have to go up into the area of the office in order to use it. In addition, the park staff at this park could not be more friendly or helpful to those who visit the park. It is a very quite and peaceful park and there are several interesting hiking & nature trails as well. We also spent several hours at the nearby Caddo Mounds Historic Site which was a major city about 300 years ago.
With the weather threatening to turn bad and home only 80+ miles away, we retruned back to our nest on Thursday. It was a great trip and we had a wonderful time, but it is also good to be back home and among the very good friends we haver here once more.
We had an amazing test of our new RV on Thursday night and early Friday as the Galveston area experienced winds of 45 mph with gusts over 60 mph! Needless to say we didn't get a lot of sleep with our little trailer rocking and rolling but it did seem to fare pretty well, even though our nerves didn't so great.
Friday the wind finally dropped off and by early afternoon it was a beautiful day, but chilly. Muffin and I took good advantage of that to catch up on the sleep we lost in the windy night!
We have been impressed with the recovery of the area from hurricane Ike, but some things may never be the same. The state park lost several hundred feet of the beach, dunes, and even into the campground. Where there were once three rows of RV sites, today there are only one row per section. We stayed on the by side where the shower house was not yet completely finished from that storm, but it was a pleasant place to spend a few days.
This morning we slept in and then hooked up and headed north, arriving at Rainbow's End, the Escapee HQ just after noon. We are not sure how long we will stay, but plan to be here several days, then start the treck back toward our home-base.
We are now in Galveston and spent yesterday morning down on the "strand." While we were there, Pam managed to make some new friends too!