November 1-5, 2012 – Emporia, Kansas to Livingston, Texas and back again
November 1 – I left Emporia at 8 this morning. I arrived here in Livingston at 7 some 629 miles later. I got checked in and am making an early night of it.
I left the coach in Emporia. Hopefully, the part will come in while I’m gone and he will have it fixed by the time I get back.
November 2 – This morning, I went to the Escapees to pick up my mail and find out for sure where to vote. The early voting is at the courthouse which is what I suspected. As I got there 2 other people walked in so they were ahead of me. I had expected a long line but those 2 were the only ones ahead of me. There was a steady stream of people, but there was never a line while I was there. I went by the courthouse a couple of times later in the day and there was always plenty of parking so I don’t think there was ever a line.
I stopped by the insurance agent to get a quote for a full timer’s policy on the coach. She is working on that now and will email the quote.
In the afternoon, I stopped to see the lawyer affiliated with Escapees. I need a new will. He is working on that. He wants to see my medical power of attorney to be sure that it is good in Texas so I will have to email that to him when I get back down to Alamo since I didn’t have it with me.
I checked out banks in Alamo, but I decided to wait and open a savings account in an Alamo bank. That way I can transfer funds from my checking in Emporia and withdraw from the savings account without having to pay ATM or other fees.
I had lunch at Shrimp Boat Manny’s. I had the fried crawdad tails which were really good. For whatever reason, the waiter brought me a free piece of pecan pie. I hadn’t meant to have dessert, but who can pass up a free piece of pie.
After the visit to the lawyer, I spent the rest of the afternoon napping and reading.
November 3 – I had meant to get up early and get started toward Plano, but it didn’t happen that way. I just barely made it to the lobby in time for breakfast. I finally got on the road about noon.
I stopped by the Jonas Davis cabin in Livingston before I left. They also have a steam locomotive on display which was used in the lumbering business which is big in this area.
I took a back way to I20. The state highway ran along Lake Livingston for 30 or 40 miles. It was very scenic. The rest of the route was marked as the Forest Scenic Byway. I was driving through the Piney Woods, and it was pretty too. I stopped in Crockett to see the spring where Davy Crockett camped on his way to the Alamo. It is an interesting site with not only the spring but a log cabin which dates to the 1850’s.
The next stop was at the Old Pilgrim Church near Elkhart, Texas. It is the oldest protestant church in Texas. The Pilgrim Predestinarian Regular Baptist Church, a Primitive Baptist institution, was organized in Crawford County, Illinois, by Daniel Parker, who led a caravan of twenty-five ox-drawn wagons to Texas in 1833 after securing permission to establish the church from Stephen F. Austin.
From there I headed to the interstate and on into Plano. I had made good time until I got to Canton. I ran into a huge, huge traffic jam. They have something called First Monday which is a trade day. It evidently starts on Saturday and runs through Monday. It took me 15 minutes to drive 1 mile. Cars were parked everywhere and people were everywhere as well. There were no cops to direct traffic so it was interesting to say the least.
I got here to Plano about 5, got checked into the motel and went over to Chuck and Helen’s. I picked up some mail which is still coming to them for me, and we went out to supper. We went to a Chinese Hot Pot restaurant. It was sort of like a fondue. We ordered the meats and veggies we wanted and cooked them in a pot of broth at the table. It was not only good but great fun. We didn’t do much visiting as there was a raucous group next to us, and we couldn’t hear each other.
November 4 – Today, I had an early breakfast and then took a morning nap. About noon I headed to the Camping World which is located in Denton. I wanted to look for new blinds for the coach. While they had some, they are exactly like what I have. I don’t want that kind, so that part of the trip was futile. I did, however, buy a new water hose and a couple of other small things while I was there.
I went to Chuck and Helen’s after she got home from work – it was her Sunday to work. We went to Red, Hot and Blue for dinner. We had a good time visiting and sat for quite a while after finishing just talking about books and TV programs. Helen had to call it a night fairly early because she had to get up early tomorrow for her hour or so commute to work.
November 5 – This morning, I got a late start. I filled up with gas before I left Plano as it is cheaper there than anywhere else in Texas.
I went to the Stone Dam in Allen. It is the only railroad dam left in the US. It was built to create a lake which would provide water to the steam engines. These dams were built about every 7 to 10 miles apart all over the US. This one in Texas is the only extant one that is known about.
After that I stopped in Gainesville, Texas to Glenn Goode’s Big People. There are 3 men and one woman as well as a calf. Mr. Goode produces figures for businesses from fiberglass, and these are advertising for his business.
The only other stop I made today was in Wynnewood, Oklahoma to see “a” cowboy muffler man. However, there were many more figures beside the giant man. There were horses, a pig, a wolf, a buffalo, an eagle, etc. – a regular menagerie. The cowboy muffler man was filmed for the movie Twister, but the footage wound up on the cutting room floor. Ironically, he was knocked into 3 pieces by a windstorm in December, 2011. He has been repaired and is back in his place.
I got to Paul’s Valley and decided to stop. Since we went off Daylight Savings Time yesterday, the days are much shorter, and I didn’t want to drive too much further. It’s a good thing that I stopped when I did. There is an oil refinery in Wynnewood which has brought in about 2,000 workers to completely redo/upgrade the facility. They have taken almost all the hotel rooms from Ardmore to Norman – somewhere around 90 miles. The Comfort Inn had only 3 or 4 rooms available for tonight. I went to supper early so that I could avoid the influx of oil workers at the restaurants. There was a sign up in the restaurant that said if you were an oil worker and couldn’t find a place to say call this number. They had places available. I’m assuming that those places are in individual homes. I don’t know how long the folks will be here, but it is certainly good for the local economies.
Streets: Bossy Boots Drive; Big Hawg Drive
Businesses: Still on the Corner (liquor store on a corner); Texas Hold’em Storage; Rub Club; Heavenly Threads Quilt Shop; Nine Frog Real Estate; Untouchable Car Wash; Dead or Alive Tree Service; Hair Affair; Pentecostal Touch Salon
Towns: Gun Barrel City; Lovelady; Point Blank; Cut and Shoot
Slogans: You shouldn’t need a GPS to get to class – Texas Wesleyan University; Your wife is hot, call Air Force One AC Service; Spider be gone – System works on mosquitoes too
Places: No evil acres; Paradise Acres with streets named Easy Street and Leisure Street