DAY I - THURSDAY
This was one of THOSE days. I was beginning to wonder whether I would make it to Stonewall for the Cen-Tex LoW Campout. Val and I had planned to leave around 2:00 to caravan to the campground. However, there were several "challenges" I had to meet before I could get on my way, which interfered with those plans. Val went on without me.
First, I called Time Warner Cable to ask them to provide a longer cable. The technician who had installed the cable had made it exactly the length needed to reach from the pole to my motorhome connection. This meant that, when I returned to my site after a trip, I had to park at EXACTLY the same spot as when the cable was installed. Last month it was a real challenge to do that, so i didn't want to have to go through the same procedure again. Unfortunately, the service center employee just couldn't understand the issue. I asked him to transfer me to his supervisor. Her phone rang for two or three minutes and no one ever answered. Finally, in desperation I called the cable tech directly to see whether he could do the job sometime while I was gone. When I explained the problem, he understood and told me that he would install an extension. He was here in less than 30 minutes.
Second, I made a real boo-boo when I decided to run the bathroom faucet for a while to put some water into the gray water tank to use to rinse my sewer hose. I thought it would save time. In the meantime, I was busy doing other pre-trip tasks and didn't know that the water was backing up into my shower stall. I keep my clothes hamper in the shower stall, so all those clothes got soaking wet. Aarrgghh!!! Now I had to make an unplanned trip to the laundry room.
Third, while I was in the laundry room Robert came to tell me that a package that I had left in the RV park office on March 17 had not been picked up by UPS. My several phone conversations with various UPS representatives got me going in circles. When I tried to call the local UPS supervisor's office, I got a message on my phone display: "Not allowed. STOP" I decided to retrieve the package from the office and try to call the UPS supervisor from that phone. It didn't give an error message. However, I didn't complete the call because one of the substitute office managers was in there talking with Robert. He told me that I could have the package shipped from Office Depot. I decided to stop there on my way out of town.
I was finally on my way around 3:30. Fortunately, Stonewall isn't far from Austin. When I arrived at the campground, I learned that I would have to share a site with June. Later in the evening she told me that my taillights were on. I had turned off the lights so I couldn't figure out why the taillights were still on. It turned out that my brake pedal had not returned all the way up so as to disengage the lights. Who would have thought?!
Route: US 290 West
Total Miles Driven: 62 miles
Weather Conditions: Sunny, windy and dry.
Road Conditions: Good
RV Park: Peach Country RV Park
Park Conditions: Good. Level sites. Park office off site; ineffective office staff.
DAY II - FRIDAY
Several of us went to Willie's Barbecue and Steak House for lunch. The food and service were good. I brought home enough for another meal. Tonight we had a fish fry, with Bob Williams doing most of the cooking. The rest of us brought some side dishes. What a feast we had! After dinner we played table games or just visited.
This afternoon at our business meeting, we welcomed three new members. We are so happy that our club is growing again.
DAY III - SATURDAY
This morning ten of us went to the nearby Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site. First, we saw the 25-minute film, which is very interesting. Then we walked on the nature trail leading to the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm. The weather was perfect for this outing.
Life on the farmstead is presented as it was in 1918. Park interpreters wear period clothing and do the farm and household chores as they were done at that time. Some chores are seasonal, such as canning and butchering. Daily activities include feeding, milking, gathering eggs, slopping the hogs, cleaning, cooking, churning butter and making cheese. They scrub the floors with homemade lye soap and plow the garden with a team of horses.
Johann and Christine Sauer, along with their four children, settled here in 1869. Over the years they built several stone buildings near the original rock and log cabins. Eventually, the Sauers had 10 children. One of those, Augusta Sauer Lindig, served as midwife at the birth of President Johnson.
The Beckmann family acquired the property in 1900. A good cotton crop in 1915 allowed Emil and Emma Beckmann to build a new barn, to add a frame room onto the old rock structure and to construct porches connecting to a Victorian house covered with fashionable pressed tin. In 1966, Edna Beckmann Hightower sold the site to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/lyndon_b_johnson/)
At the visitor center, one of the buildings has exhibits telling the story of President and Mrs. Johnson. An especially interesting oil painting is "Austin Montage" which was given to President Johnson by K. E. Tatchall of Somerset, England, who had never been to Texas. He painted what Texas meant to him, getting his conception from travel folders, etc.
DAY IV - SUNDAY
As Val and I were getting ready to return to Austin, Daisy would not start because the battery had run down. I don't know whether this is related to the taillight problem of Thursday night but I suspect it may be. Stuart brought his rig around to mine to jump start it. Finally, Val and I were on our way.
We stopped at Miller Creek RV Park on US 281 south of Johnston City at the junction where it splits off from US 290. We wanted to check it out as a possible campout site for later this year. The park manager was very helpful. She showed us all the facilities, which include a nice recreation room with large kitchen, exercise room, fire pit, hot tub, etc. As we were returning to the office, we saw our club president, Janie Cummings, walking toward us! We were impressed with the facilities. It would be a very nice place to have a campout. (www.millercreekrvpark.com)
We were just a few miles from Miller Creek when Val called me to say that she was having brake problems. Bummer!! She called Good Sam Emergency Road Service (ERS). If it can't be repaired on the roadside, they will tow her to a garage. I also have ERS, which a great comfort. I wouldn't dare drive anywhere without it.
Back at Pecan Grove RV Park, getting resettled in my site was much easier, thanks to my new longer cable. No more backing an inch at a time trying to meet up exactly with the cable connection!