Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Tucson, this time

We're well into our two week stay here at the Tucson KOA.  Our site is right next to Pam and John but they weren't home when we arrived last Thursday.   Lewis immediately recognized their motorhome, however, and when we took him out to "get busy" he pulled me over and tried to get in their door.

guys, guys, this is Gramma Pamma's house!   guys, guys, let me inside!

Since we've been here many times before, we're not really doing anything exciting.   Just enjoying the beautiful, perfect really, weather and good friend's company.    Here are a few shots of our very busy times.

Happy Hour and Second Cup in front of the Grapefruit tree

Dave and John discuss politics

view from one window

view from another window

Tiny's - best burger in Arizona!

Today we all decided to drive Reddington Pass Road from beginning to end.   We had done parts of this road before, the first time in 2017 when we followed Jodee and Bill as far as Race Track Tank.

waterside lunch with the Gravels in 2017

 Dave drove and we enjoyed a nice day negotiating a rutted and rocky dirt road up and down numerous switchbacks, over shallow water crossings and eating lunch on a log in the sun, beside a small stream.

part of an old foundation near our lunch spot today

pink juniper berries

weird red fruit "ears" on tiny a cactus

Toward the northern end of Reddington Road we drove through vast "forests" of giant, multi-armed Saguaro.    Last year we saw a troop of several Coatimundi crossing the road in front of us near here.

we wondered who built this large nest

It is an unspoken rule on these excursions that the driver must stop, immediately and without complaint, whenever one of us spots something needing further investigation.

One of us often exits the Jeep in such a hurry she forgets to close the door behind her.    This trip we found several (3 or 4) crested Saguaros that needed close inspection and photographing. 

satisfied, she returns to the Jeep

Tomorrow we have lots of errands to do, and perhaps a yummy lunch at Vivace and Friday we're driving to Tombstone to visit with Jodee and Bill in their new home!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Still moving west, finally through Texas

We decided to stay one extra day in Kerrville.  The weather was nice and we wanted to check out the area a bit before getting back on the road. 

Beluga's Kerrville view

We headed out on a short scenic loop drive which turned out to be anything but short.   Poor Dave.  We enjoyed ourselves very much, but we ended up driving about 90 miles in total. 

We kept mostly to quiet country roads, driving alongside the unbelievably clear, green Guadalupe River for much of the afternoon.

tree bark art

Up and down the rocky hills, passing large tracts of ranch land enclosed with high wire fences and large, fancy gates, over the river, and through dozens of small towns of golden stone homes and buildings.

many homes are built of this native stone

Most of the large ranches were game "preserves", or more correctly, hunting lodges offering ibex, water buffalo, sitka, catalina goat, hogs, sable antelope, aoudad, etc., etc., for one's sporting pleasure.

The next day we broke camp and, once again, headed west.

We worried that we'd run into more wet weather but the sky never fell even though the wind picked up smartly.

Last night we stayed just outside of Fort Stockton Texas.

The campground was quite pleasant, neat and clean, although not a blade of grass to be seen.

Dave and Lewis met beautiful, platinum blond "working girl" on their  predawn constitutional this morning.     She had quite a voice, as did her companions.

can you see her?

After her shift was over and the sun came up she wandered over for visit.     She apologized for her aggressive behavior earlier and flipped on her back for a conciliatory belly rub.     I came out to meet her, as I had heard her furious barking when Dave and Lewis unwittingly approached her charges.   This gal takes her job very seriously.      She gently accepted my offering of biscuits and then strolled back to her girls as they began to graze away down the slope.

the working girl, a beautiful
Great Pyrenees

 Tonight we're in Las Cruces, New Mexico and tomorrow we'll make it to Tucson, our destination for the next couple weeks.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

moving west

Southern Louisiana is a watery place.   Between Bay St. Louis, our next stop just past Breaux Bridge, LA and last night's stay in Baytown, Texas, we passed and/or crossed over countless bayous, swamps, creeks, rice fields and bridges.

the Mississippi

huge swamp
this view freaked me out!

The fog and humidity rode with us the entire way.

  Our choice in Baytown was Bayou Bend RV Resort, just east of Houston.  It was a very neat, clean park with enough space between sites and lots of carefully edged grass.    Passport America rate was only $25 - a real bargain.     After we got settled in and had a little happy hour I drew the windshield drapes back to check out the sunset.  
It was very bright and orange.   And it was pulsing.  I shook my head and looked again.   It was pulsing.   I called Dave over to look, he saw it too.    We each only had a small glass of wine at Happy Hour,  so it wasn't the alcohol that made the sunset seem to flicker.       To make a long story short, the "sunset" was really a foggy reflection of the numerous gas flares burning at a nearby refinery.     Oh dear.     Later in the evening they were gone and the sky was dark.     

Fog was still with us this morning.      It dropped down to the level of the highway and rain poured out of it.    A very unpleasant drive through busy Houston.

Fog, rain and wind, in varying degrees, were our companions on the drive through Houston and around San Antonio.    

Once on the north west side of San Antonio, however, the precipitation gave way to clear, blue skies!

We're at Buckhorn Lake RV Resort in Kerrville, Texas for a couple nights.    After the difficult drive today we both need a little relaxation and we have a large, beautiful site here.     Stay tuned.


Wednesday, January 15, 2020


I think it is a living, breathing thing.    Fog.   It comes and goes across the road, one minute you can see, the next you can't.   

We're in Bay St. Louis, MS. at the Silver Slipper Casino RV Park.    We stopped here, on our way across the southern states, in order to  park right on the Gulf and spend a few last hours on the sparkling white sand beach. 

On a clear day, I'd be looking right at the Gulf from my window

It's not too far out of our way....maybe 10 miles or so.   Worth it to walk the beach, or sit and read for a few hours before getting back on the road.

I'm allowed a little peak at the beach

Sometimes the fog gets so low that everything outside is as wet as if it was raining......and it's dark in the middle of the day.

The Jeep's hood

This afternoon we drove into the sweet little town of Bay St. Louis.   Fog accompanied us, hiding the Gulf from view.   Once in a while it lifted it's hem a bit and we could see a pier or a seabird.   

tracks to nowhere.....

By the time we parked in front of a small community garden, the fog had quietly drawn itself away again and we could walk around the town without getting drenched.

Ruth's Roots is a lovely little spot, home to local artists work, chickens and rabbits, a community garden of veggies and flowers, a koi pond, a little lending library - its a serene spot in the middle of town.


mosaic bathtub Mary

And, across the street, an old cemetery beckoned us.   We wandered there for a few minutes before heading back home.     The clear skies had made us want to return to "our" beach for a walk with Lew.

This wasn't the first full tree sculpture we'd seen here.   It seems a common thing in hurricane devastated areas such as this.     It seems that every other lot along the Gulf is empty.  Old stairs and walls show us where homes once stood, before Katrina.     Much has been done to manage the huge storm surges that hurricanes bring, but ultimately nothing really works.   The homes that have been rebuilt are now high up on stilt-like piers, sometimes 15-20 feet in the air.

from beach level, Dave approaches a new sea wall to get a better look at an
interesting tree sculpture

Hurricane survivor given new life as a sculpture

We make it back to Beluga and find the fog has pulled out far enough for us to get a beach walk in!

Fog.   A living thing.    Before we can put our things away and gather Lewis, it slips back in and covers everything completely.   I think it's playing with us.

Ah well.....we'll have an early happy hour and go out for a nice dinner then.

pretty Sycamore Inn

more sweet Gulf shrimp

We leave in the morning.    Tomorrow we'll be in Breaux Bridge, LA, then on into Texas on Friday.

velvet ears