This morning I was later than usual getting on the road because of the weather. The last weather forecast I heard last night said that the front would move on out of Austin by mid-morning today. However, it was still raining lightly then, so I decided to go ahead and head on out. I donned my big plastic raincoat with hood and got busy unhooking. By the time I had left Pecan Grove and fed Daisy, it was 11:00 o’clock. I stopped at the Bell County Rest Area and nuked some leftovers for lunch. I was pleasantly surprised that the I-35 highway construction areas weren’t so much an impediment this time as they were when I went through there last April.
Tonight we had our usual good potluck dinner. We were pleased to have six visitors this time: Katherine Boening, Sam, Carol Nance, Edna Paige, John Cuthbertson (former member) and Nancy Riley (also a former member). After dinner several members went to a dance at the senior center and the rest of us played table games.
Today I went with Barbara Coles and Emma Crews to the Waco Mammoth Site. I first visited it three years ago but there have been some significant changes since then. On July 10, 2015, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order designating it as the Waco Mammoth National Monument! This prestigious honor was made possible through years of collaboration of the City of Waco, Baylor University, Waco Mammoth Foundation and the citizens of Waco. Waco Mammoth National Monument is the 408th unit of the National Park Service and 14th unit in Texas.
This site is where fossils of twenty-four Columbian mammoths (Mammuthus columbi) and other mammals from the Pleistocene Epoch have been uncovered. It is the largest known concentration of a single herd of mammoths dying from the same event, which is believed to have been a flash flood which trapped them in a steep-sided channel and drowned and/or buried them in mud. A camel was also trapped and killed during this event. Other animals were buried in other floods.
We learned that specimens from digs are wrapped in plaster jackets. The jacket is made of layers of plaster and burlap which are applied to a specimen in the field to protect the fossil from damage. Once the plaster has hardened, the fossil can be moved safely to a museum for storage. A plaster jacket contains a fossil and “matrix” or the soil and minerals in which the fossil was found.
From the Mammoth National Monument we went to lunch at Manny’s on the River where we enjoyed some good Tex-Mex food.
After lunch we drove through Brazos Park East and then crossed the river into Cameron Park. Cameron Park is a 416-acre urban park; it was dedicated in 1910 and named in memory of Waco philanthropist and lumber baron William Cameron. The park also contains Waco's 52-acre Cameron Park Zoo. We stopped at a couple of places to walk around and take photos. There are some beautiful views of the Bosque and Brazos Rivers where they merge.
At the end of our club business meeting this afternoon, Donette and I were honored for our April birthdays. Our birthday boy, Mike Murphy, was honored in absentia.
Tonight most of us had dinner at Saschee’s where we enjoyed country cookin’ and live jazz music. There were some things on the menu that I had never heard of, such as chicken and waffles, fish on a bed of collard greens or fish on johnnycake.
This morning Barbara Coles, Emma Crews, Nancy Riley and I visited the Dr Pepper Museum. Dr Pepper was created by Waco pharmacist “Doc” Alderton in 1885, the oldest major soft drink in America. The wax figure of Dr. Charles C Alderton is still welcoming visitors and providing some historical information. The figure is extremely well done, even down to details such as his realistic fingernails.
Dr Pepper was originally bottled in this 1906 historic building. Three floors of exhibits include an interior artesian well, bottling equipment and containers, business exhibits and about thirty years of Dr Pepper commercials. Most of them are quite entertaining. (www.DrPepperMuseum.com) I just had to buy some Dr Pepper-flavored Jelly Bellies from the gift shop.
After our museum tour we went to the Collin Street Bakery for lunch. Of course it is nearly impossible to visit there without taking home some delicious goodies – in my case, macaroons and turnovers.
On the way back to the RV park Barbara put down the top of her VW convertible. The weather was perfect for such things. When we arrived “home” Nancy asked Mikail Davenport to take pictures with her iPad of us in the convertible in front of his motorhome. Of course, I had him take some with my camera, too.
STATS Route: I-35 N => TX 6 E => FM 3400 => FM 434 => Riverview Road Total Miles Driven: 106 Weather Conditions: Light rain until Round Rock, then sunny Road Conditions: Long sections under construction; not quite so congested as last April RV Park: Riverview Campground Park Conditions: Large trees, long pull-throughs, gravel roads, WiFi, three clubrooms