Home Sweet Home

Our friend, Deb, not only had stocked our refrigerator with dinner and breakfast fixings, but decorated our porch as well – what a welcome sight!  (Correction!  Deb just notified me that it was our friend and yard helper, Dean, who decorated our porch – thank you Dean!)

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Seven weeks of mail was waiting for us.

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What we kept…what-we-kept

What went into the recycle bin…trash

Ollie – Inside and Out

While Ollie was being checked out in the shop, we took the opportunity to go on a factory tour.  It was pretty amazing to see all that goes into making this sweet little camper – double hulled fiberglass with plenty of insulation between the layers.

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Inside and outside bottom hull, before insulation
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Top inner hull with insulation
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Bottom outside hull with plumbing and wiring
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Aluminum frame
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Welded gussets for extra stability
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Finished product (That’s Ollie in the middle)

 

Detour to Hohenwald TN

We had noticed an odd noise with the inverter that changes battery power to a/c power, and since we were relatively near the factory where Ollie was built, we decided to have it checked out.  We were hoping it would be a quick fix, and we’d be on our way, but alas, we had to leave him in the shop overnight.

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We spent the afternoon revisiting the beautiful Natchez Trace Parkway, driving the northern section we had missed when we were here last spring.  The leaves are just beginning to change here, and we loved hearing the rustle beneath our feet as we walked along the Old Trace.

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Hopefully we’ll be on our way tomorrow, stilling planning to be home sometime this weekend in time for the neighborhood block party.

Home on the Range

Home on the Range

In 1971, when Russ was in pilot training in Big Spring TX, we became friends with our landlord’s 5th grade daughter, Marka.  All these years later, we’re still friends and we always try to stop by when we’re “in the neighborhood.”  She and her family are sheep and goat ranchers, first in west Texas and now in Tishomingo OK.  It’s always a treat to spend time with them, where ropin’ is a daily activity and the barn is covered with tools of the trade.

Last night after dinner, they turned on the lights to their outdoor arena, and practiced team roping for a couple of hours in the cool Oklahoma evening.

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Clay saddling up
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Marka getting her horse, Goose, prepped
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The roping cattle dutifully lined up.  Their horns are protected with a fleece lined wrap.
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Marka takes off after the steer, with son Trey soon to follow.  She ropes the horns, and Trey snags the two hind legs.  They quickly drop their ropes so as not to injure the animals.
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Marka and Clay in action
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It’s always fun to see the Border Collies at work.  
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Dinner at Fish Tales with son Trey and his wife, Julie, and friend Jennifer

 

Enchanting Enchanted Rock

Just north of Fredericksburg TX is Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, a recommended “must see” by our Texas friend, Margaret. With all the amazing scenery we’ve encountered lately, we weren’t prepared to be blown away, but we all agreed this was truly an enchanting place.  The hike to the summit of this giant rock took about 45 minutes, with great views all along the way, and a lovely Texas breeze keeping us cool

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Russ and Nancy, almost there!
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Once on top, Russ assumed his favorite position – soaking up the beauty of being in the moment.

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We had lunch at a German bakery, then spent the afternoon at the Admiral Nimitz Museum and the attached National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, home of Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet during World War II.

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One of the finest features of this museum is the Japanese Garden of Peace, a gift from the people of Japan to the people of the United States in honor of Admiral Nimitz.

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Running on empty in West Texas

We were 20 miles outside of Del Rio, on our way to the Texas Hill Country, when we noticed we were low on gas.  We passed through the Border Patrol station (our 4th or 5th since we hit west Texas) and asked if there was a gas station ahead.  Without any assurances, we pressed on to Rocksprings, hoping for the best. We drove 70 miles with hardly another vehicle in sight, and nothing but pastures by the side of the road. Spotty cell phone service didn’t offer any AAA guarantees, but we had David’s foldable bike in the back of the pickup as backup. Nothing like cutting it close!fullsizerender-1

 

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Miles to the nearest gas station shown on our Garmin
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Not bad for a 36 gallon tank!