Saturday, July 26, 2008

18-08 Pagosa Springs Colorado cont.


18-08 Pagosa Springs

It’s been great weather up here. I’ve started to check out my next campsite locations. It’s going to be either Bayfield which is about 15 miles from Durango or a Forest location about 25 miles between Pagosa and Durango. Which one I’ll take is hard to say. Bayfield will be in a crowded but well maintained park with full hookups. The Forest location would be as a camp-host. They have no facilities as the campsite, but the location is awesome. It’s right next to a fast flowing mountain stream, lots of trees and very secluded. Can I live without any cell phone reception, no internet reception and forget about tv. Maybe one radio station. Being out in the forest has a great appeal. We’ll see.

I had a wonderful lunch at JJ’s on the River. It’s on the east end of Pagosa Springs. A wonderful outdoor terrace restaurant overlooking the San Juan River. Tubers came bobbing lazily down the river during lunch. I had a waiter who was impressed with my lifestyle and told me how he’d found his passion for accounting. No indication as to how he was going to pursue that career, but I hope he follows through. Almost all the restaurants have outdoor seating, as the weather is absolutely perfect for outdoor dining. I absolutely love it.

Bill and Sheryl stopped by the other night and we sat around the campfire talking about life. Bill is one of the balloon pilots and he gets to travel all over the country and world doing it. He’s been recently invited to Dubai to fly balloons.

My next door neighbor, a middle aged, trim gal who has been up here with her horse, taking horse training courses. Two weeks of intensive training that’s more about the rider than the horse. The course can go for 4 and 6 weeks, depending on your stamina and whether one has the time and money. She has a daughter and boyfriend, so couldn’t stay longer.

My big adventure this week has been to go into town to the small local movie theatre for a film and lecture on “Angels and UFO’s“. Doo do doooo do. Victoria Liljenquist was the “contactee” and the film was about her experiences seeing Orbs, cigar shaped craft etc. Lots of bright spots of lights that transformed from circular objects to spiky translucent colorful lights. Can we say this was on the very edge of credibility…. Well she is a sweet blond with a wonderful singing voice and quite a story to tell. The movie theatre was pretty full as well. Expect many more sighting in the future as our planet goes through some “challenging” changes… all for the eventual betterment of course. Calif. Is destined to sink in the near future, so she’s trying to get the Pagosa area ready for a major influx of people. And she wants to gather up all the urchins (children) that need her guidance and love. She wants to create greenhouses that they can build and work in, supposedly to feed the hordes of folks that will be migrating to the area. You go girl….
Pagosa Springs is one of the cities of light… hay, wait a minute, it’s that what Senior Bush was working on….

I went for a ride with Bill and Sheryl to Farmington for a bit of shopping. It’s amazing what you can buy at a Sam’s Club, but I think you still need to watch the prices. While we were checking out, I went over to the snack bar to get a soda and the gal in front of me had just purchase a couple of slurpees for her two kids and herself. As she waited to pay, she wrote down the purchase in a small day planner. I commented on it and she said, by following a financial counselors guidance and writing down every purchase, she has become debt free, except for her house mortgage. No credit card bills, no other debt. The plan worked for her. What a great success story. I forget the name of the “plan”, but isn’t it nice to hear someone making positive change in their life. Just by being aware of where every penny is spent, she was able to cut out the excess and pay off all her bills.
See pic on right: Am I in Florida or Colorado?

How’s your summer going?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

17-08 Pagoasa Springs Colorado, continued

Pagosa Springs.

This will be a short report this week. I’m enjoying the area very much. Exploring side roads and small towns throughout the area. I went onto the Ute Reservation over the weekend to go to their small casino. It’s in their small town of Ignacio and I noticed they have a community campground, which I would imagine is pretty cheap to stay at: http://www.skyuteeventcenter.com/
The casinos usually have a great deal on a meal and if you sign up for the first time, they usually give you a players club bonus. I had a shrimp and steak dinner for $6.95 and it was really good. The players club gave me a small $2 to play their slots. I won $11, had a bit of fun and left feeling pretty good.

There are at least 25 large waterfalls in the area, many requiring a bit of a hike to see them, others are right along the main roads. I went back to Treasure Falls near the Wolf Creek Pass and hiked up to the base of the waterfalls. I was properly dressed this time and had a good pair of hiking boots on. A really pleasant hike along a well maintained switch-back path.

Later I went to one of the Hot Springs and swam around in the warm springs swimming pool and took a couple dips in the 108 degree hot springs as well.

I got my good camera back from repairs, Yippee! Hopefully I’ll be able to send some really awesome pictures of the area now that I have it back.

I just finished reading the book, “1491”, “New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus” by Charles C Mann. An excellent book about the Native American Indians covering much of the U.S., Central America and South America. Unfortunately there was no information on the Chaco Culture.

Some of the intriguing facts that have come out recently are:

  • The Native Indian populations were much larger than ever imagined.
    The East coast of the U.S. was heavily populated. Over 100,000 Indians lived in the New England area alone. It was so heavily populated that one new arrival said there was no room for any migrations from Europe to land and settle.

  • The American Indians first encountered were described as being very healthy (if a bit Adam like in dress), well fed, with very organized settlements surrounded by well manicured farm lands of maize, squash and beans and nut bearing trees, including peach trees and other fruit trees.

  • Native America Indians had a much broader impact on the land than first envisioned. Along with continuously burning the prairies and underbrush in forests, they groomed these spaces to control the hunting and it’s believed they actually grew many fruit and nut bearing trees. Along with clearing land for their farms, all of which were abandoned after large portions of their population were destroyed by disease.

  • By the time the second wave of immigrants arrived to the new land, the Indian settlements had been abandoned.
  • Most recently, it has been speculated that the diseases brought over even with the first wave of immigrants, destroyed the Native American Indians in mass
  • From the south, through Mexico, the wave of conquistadors also brought the dreaded measles and other European diseases which the Indians had no defense against. By the time the Spanish were ready to take down the Inca culture, they too had succumbed to the European diseases. Spreading them through their own trade routes into North America, way before exploration parties began searching inland. So by the time the settlers and explorers arrived, only the tribes that were at war with those who traded with the Mexican Indian population had survived because they did not interact that much with the tribes that were carrying these new diseases throughout the land.
  • The West went from a highly populated area to almost vacant land. Oddly the animal population exploded after the demise of the Indian population.

  • When the new European settlers started arriving in-mass, it appeared as if the America’s were a virgin land or at least only populated by small bands of roving Indians. In fact, they had to a large extent been exterminated by the very first encounters with those explorers.

  • New discoveries in Peru indicate that they may have in fact had the largest and oldest civilized nation in the world. The large population numbers are staggering.

  • Those are just a sampling of the bits of information I’ve gleaned from the book 1491. Much of the book covers Central and South American Indian culture and it was just fascinating to read.

  • It’s nice to have the time to read and explore. Learning new things all along the way.



  • Have a super great day,

Friday, July 11, 2008

16-08 Pagosa Springs & Chimney Rock: Colorado

16-08 Pagosa Springs

Chimney Rock Archaeological Area

Touring the back country through the San Juan Mountain Range


Note: Visit http://picasaweb.google.com/douglas.palosaari
to view 3 new photo albums: Wolf Creek Pass, Chimney Rock and Pagosa Springs.
Select the album, select slideshow and then hit F11. You’ll be able to enjoy the
slide show, full screen.

Exploring a new area, breathing the fresh pine scented air, talking to the locals to get a feel for the surroundings, that’s what travel is all about. Learning about the history of an area. And have I found an oddle of history, legends and spirit that pervades this region.

I could tell you about the 4th of July in Pagosa and normal tourist stuff, but what has really peaked my interest is an area called Chimney Rock. It’s at part of the USDA Forest Service and has been designated an Archaeological Area and National Historical Site in 1970. I’m a bit amazed that it has not been designated a National Monument.

I’ve told you a bit about Chaco Cultural Center and how it was the center of the Anasazi life. The Aztec, Salmon Ruins and even Mesa Verde were all linked to Chaco. And here I am standing on top of the mountain peak overlooking Chimney Rock over 90 miles from Chaco.

The guided tour has taken us along a path of discover. First visiting some of the first pit dwellings in the area. We see the progression as each new generation makes improvements on the buildings. Thicker walls, better construction. Mysterious markings, a perfect circular hole in a smooth rock outcropping. Perhaps a marking aligned to the stars and moon.

We finally reach the summit of Chimney Rock and discover one of the last of the great houses built in the Chaco style. It has a large Kiva and many rooms for storage. It’s different from all the other Pueblo structures at this site, in that it has doors to many of the rooms, so the occupants did not have to climb down from a whole in the roof.

From this high advantage, there is no water up here and food would be grown down in the valley near the San Juan river, we learn that the twin Chimney Rocks have the distinction of being aligned with the moon during a specific 38 year cycle, when the moon will come up between the two spires.

From this, the highest location of all the great houses built in the Chaco style, if we look south, we can barely see off on the southern horizon, ridge of Chaco Canyon. What an exciting feeling to be looking through the eyes of the ancients, back in time when the Anasazi might have communicated the 90 mile distance. Experiments were done a couple of years ago using mirrors to see if they would be visible from that distance. Then assuming smoke signals could also have been used, it was determined that messages could be sent to the farthest and most remote site associated with Chaco Canyon. It’s not just the fact that they communicated and got together on a regular basis, but that it involved 10’s of thousands of native Indians that were connected through this sophisticated Chaco Culture. A whole civilization that eventually dispersed. Yet many of their descendants still live in the area.

Well that was a full and rewarding days exploration, so the next day, I decided to just take a drive up to Wolf Creek Pass, it’s about 20 miles north of Pagosa Springs. It’s a pass that leads through the San Juan Mountains. I wish I had been dressed more for the undertaking, as I could have gotten some hiking in, but I was dressed casual in shorts, t-shirt and sandals. Not conducive for a hike, but I did get to do some great car touring.

Waterfalls everywhere, spectacular views along the way that just about take your breath away. High up along the pass, I took a forest road off to one side, past a waterfall tumbling down, right next to the highway. Down off the forest road, I got out of the truck and was able to get up close to my first snow pack remaining up here in the high mountain range. As I turned around, I was able to see another spectacular waterfalls. One that is so close and above the highway but hidden from it by the thick growth of spruce trees climbing up the sides of the mountain. Only by standing in just the right spot, can a person see it.

How neat to discover something so close, yet most folks would never see.

Another day, I decided to take a long drive through Wolf Creek pass and then left onto hwy 149. It’s a full 100 miles each way and will cost me $55 in fuel alone. I make that point, because each of us must now make those decisions about the cost of each trip we take.

I felt decadent driving along the wonderful alpine valleys, mountains and lakes. Knowing I was spending the money for the pure pleasure of enjoying the scenery. You know they are called alpine because it is so high up in “alpine” territory.

The road winds through a couple more mountain passes, crossing over the continental divide and following the Rio Grande River leading to the head waters of the Rio Grande itself. Small communities of log cabins dot the green valleys surrounded by the San Juan mountains. So remote, one wonders what people do once they get here.

A large 5 or 6 point buck comes out through the trees and is scared back into the woods by the passing cars. Many vacation get-a-ways are along the main road leading through the valley. Small rental cottages of log cabins framed by pine trees and the Rio Grande. Forest campgrounds and commercial campgrounds are numerous, most of them right on the Rio Grande river or tributaries that feed into the Rio Grande. Aspen trees are numerous and are mixed with the darker greens of the spruce trees, those tall narrow majestic trees that almost look like arrows pointing to the heavens.

I finally reach my destination, a small hamlet called Lake City. It’s deep in the San Juan mountains and was developed because of gold being found in the area back in the 1800‘s. It had it’s boom and bust and is now a tourist and vacation hide-a-way. There are even three Rv parks right in the town.

I eat at the No-Name Restaurant and enjoy a nice walk around town. Very upscale d├ęcor and great food. Chat with an artist painting the downtown scene from the shade of large poplar tree. I wonder if my friend Kenny is continuing to paint? The western mining town has wooden sidewalks, lots of wild flowers and potted daisy’s and orange poppies. Occasionally I notice narrow irrigation ditches filled with crystal clear spring water swiftly flowing to the river below. Most have been covered up, as it became unfashionable to have them running along each street. Yet those remaining can and are used to water the towns lawns and trees all with free water. How decadent is that.

Lastly for this report, I treated myself to a Hot Air Balloon ride for my birthday, 7/10/??. Ekkk, I’m another year older. I got up at 6:15 am, I hadn’t been up that early since “graduating from work”. The balloon ride starts around 7 am, of course we were in the second crew to go up so we didn’t get in the air till about 8:30. What a fun ride. It’s so smooth, you don’t even know you’ve left terra firma until you look over the side of the large basket we’re standing in, with the huge colorful balloon rising above us.

We floated only a couple of miles, with virtually no breeze to speak of. Looking down we were able to see the wonderful landscape stretch out before us. Three other balloons were in the air at the same time. We see a small heard of Elk amongst the openings between the pines, then suddenly, they’re spooked and we see a full herd of over 100 elk running across the open grass lands. How exciting to see. Note: my temp camera doesn’t have a large enough zoom to show you the scene.

Finally descending, we almost land on top of a barn! Missing it by just a foot or two. The landing was smooth though and the basket carrying all 12 of us didn’t skid, bounce or tip, which it can do with the slightest breeze. One overweight guy had to be pushed out of the tall sided basket. They almost decided to tip the basket to get him out, but were able to push him up and out. Whew, watch your weight, how sad for the guy. But give him credit for going on the ride.

For those interested in doing more research on the Chaco culture, check out this web site:

http://gorp.away.com/gorp/resource/us_nhp/nm/index_nm_chaco.htm
For more information on Chimney Rock Archeological site check out:
http://www.chimneyrockco.org/mainnew.htm
For information on Pagosa Springs:
http://www.pagosa.com/
From previous articles you may want to check out Sandoval County in New Mexico. There’s a great scenic tour:
http://sandovalcounty.org/sandoval.php?vpage=JemezMountai
And
http://www.jemezmountaintrail.org/
And Information on Tent Rocks, great scenery, hiking, slot canyon:
http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/recreation/rio_puerco/kasha_katuwe_tent_rocks.html
Explore the Internet, it’s more educational and lots better than watching TV.

Friday, July 4, 2008

15-08 Pagosa Springs Colorado

15-08 Pagosa Springs Colorado

Campground: Hide-away Rv Park. $450 per month “premium” pull-thru site. Some back in sites for $350 but I didn’t make reservations early enough. Great views, creek running through property and they have some horses and horse paddocks for guests.

Since I will have reached my Summer destination, I thought I’d share some of the living expenses and diesel costs that have skyrocketed over the past couple of months.


Month 2008, Rv sites, Avg. daily, Rv site, Gas cost per mo., Avg. MPG

March, $435, $14.50, $141, 18

April, $419, $13.99, $435, 13.735

May, $546, $17.62, $644, 13.6

June, $388, $12.94, $769, 13.81

Totals costs, $1788, $1989

My average MPG has ranged from a low of 9.7 to a high of 20.5 mpg. As you can tell, by using my Passport America and Recreation USA half price memberships, I’ve been able to save lots of money at campsites. The month of May was a bit higher because I wanted to stay at a number of State campgrounds.

Also note that I spend easily about $1,000 for food, misc. and entertainment each month. It still comes out to a pretty reasonable way of life. When I first started full-timing, I averaged about $500 each for gas, food and lodging. My lodging has pretty much stayed the same, but the food and gas costs obviously have risen.

I hope these figures will enable fellow campers an idea of the costs of full-timing.

Pagosa Springs Colorado.


After heading north from Bloomfield New Mexico, the scenery began to change quickly from high desert sand and barren rock to cool mountains as I entered Colorado.

The contrast is so striking. The elevation kept climbing as I continued on hwy 550 then heading east on hwy 160 to Pagosa Springs. The brief view I had of Durango on my way to my summer home was spectacular. Durango sits in a valley completely surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. But my goal is to get to the Hide-A-way Rv park just outside of Pagosa, a mere 88 miles. I’ll be visiting Durango throughout my stay in the area.

I expected good views around Pagosa, but the closer I get the larger the mountain ranges and the more spectacular the views. Ponderosa pines cover the mountain ranges. Slivers of white snow packs still remain on the higher elevations. I’ve made it, I’ve arrived at my new summer residence for the next two months. Rivers and streams splash and tumble their way down the mountain passes and valleys, heading both east and west, since I’m right on the continental divide.

Unfortunately, as I was unpacking at my new “home”, I dropped my Olympus camera and now I’ve had to send it off for repairs. Thanks goodness it is still under warranty, by a couple of months. So you guessed it, there won’t be any pictures for a couple of weeks, until they repair and return the camera. So you’ll just have to picture some of the scenes in your mind until I get the camera back.

I drove into town today to mail off the camera and have lunch. How cool, the hot springs are right there on the other side of the river, flanking the town. They tell me it’s one of the largest thermal hot springs in the world. I’ll be enjoying it throughout my stay here.

The town was re“discovered” in the late 70’s and has seen a boon in building. Lots of log cabin type home and expensive retirement and vacation homes dotting some of the landscape. But I’ve got to tell you, there’s still tons of wonderful forests, mountains and I understand a whole slew of great waterfalls. I’ve already met some great folks who live in the area.

From Fernando (his father named him after a popular song back in the hippie era) and his wife who own the Rv park I’m staying at. He’s originally from Chili, Patagonia specifically, moved to Spain for a while and headed to Calif. Where his job in the construction industry was so hectic, that he has a permanent ulcer at the young age of 38. His doctor recommended a simpler life and he ended up here.

The waitress at a local diner who is 3rd generation to live here and she’s lived here all her life. Through the sometimes heavy snowfalls of winter, last winter was particularly heavy and through the wonderful summers of moderate temperatures and cool evenings. It was 85 at noon the day I got in, 68 degrees by 4:30 in the afternoon and it dropped to 49 the first night I was here.

Oh and I met Ann Oldham working at the Historical Museum in Pagosa Springs. She’s an author of a couple of interesting books on the local area and characters. One of which is currently being written into a screen play and could someday be become a movie. How cool is that? Ann told me about some of the wild life in the area, the bears, mountain lions, elk and deer. They tell me the occasional moose can be seen in the area as well. She was working in the museum one day and had the doors wide open. A bear came along side the building, and walked across the parking lot. A customer hurriedly came inside and asked if she knew there was a bear outside. It had apparently walked right outside the window she was sitting near. She told of a local drugstore that had it’s front and back door open (the weather is really great here) and a bear walked in the front door, right through to the back and out again and didn’t damage a thing.

You don’t hear stories like that living in bigger towns now do you?

I was thinking about my dear friends Ray and Ruthie Hemrick. They both enjoy a good game of golf and I saw the most beautiful golf course on a small lake, lush green grass and those wonderful vacation homes dotting the landscape right outside of Pagosa Springs. Huge mountains with those wisps of snow still on the top elevations completing the view. I just know they would have a grand time exploring the area and playing a round of golf.
And my friend Peter would really enjoy the classical music concerts that are performed out here throughout the summer months. All outdoor venues.

Looking out my big picture window I notice the sky getting really dark, and suddenly I’m looking at a bright rainbow. I run outside, wishing I had my camera and look at a most awesome full rainbow against a dark menacing sky. I think we’re in for some rain tonight.

The creek and ponderosa pines climbing up the side of a steep mountain ridge opposite my camper are the views I usually look out at. Along with a couple horses the owner keeps on the property. The white painted mother and her foal got loose today and Fernando had to go chase them back into their fenced area. Someone had left the gate open.

I’ve only been in Archuleta County for a couple of days, but I’m already starting to feel an affinity for the mountains, the wonderful Ponderosa pines and Spruce climbing up the sides of the mountains. Driving into Durango today so I could purchase a small digital camera until mine is fixed and returned, I realize how high up in the mountains I am. The drive to Durango is a gradual decent of a couple thousand feet, around winding roads following the natural valleys and mountain passes, past broad valleys of rich green farm lands bordered by those thick pine forests. Cows grazing, well actually relaxing and lying around in groups, probably having a coffee klatch, chewing the cub so to speak. They look very happy and content. Neat old barns dot the landscape along with newer log cabins sitting atop hills on the edges of steep outcroppings. Signs pointing to side roads every couple of miles direct the driver to national forest roads, leading up into the mountains. Hidden gems waiting to be explored.

After picking up my spare camera, I couldn’t let my readers down by not having a couple pictures in the next article could I? I realize that Durango, although it has all the connivances of a bigger town, I like Pagosa Springs even better. Durango has a real western town feeling, but has all the trappings of a bigger town. Parking meters, lots of stop lights and one way streets, a highway running north and south, east and west through town. It seems more active and busy.

Although I’ve only been into Pagosa Springs twice so far, I’m charmed by it’s small size. And it has all the basics one would need. The shops, local restaurants and the hot springs too boot. You enter the town after coming over a mountain pass that has some of the newer grocery stores and shops along the main highway. Descending into town the road turns left onto the main street. Lots of free parking on your right, with the river and hot springs on the other side of the river. Traffic stops as soon as you start walking across the street.

I went back to the small museum to check things out and discovered they had a great selection of used paperback books for 50 cents each. What a deal. They had a quilting exhibit and one of the displays showed the patterns that were printed in the Morning World Herald, Omaha Nebraska. The display showed the patterns that were printed in the paper between 1941 and 1942, costumes of many nations. What a great idea for a newspaper. One block of a quilt design could be printed in the paper and worked on during the week till the next weeks addition came out.

The museum worker’s daughter owns the local newspaper and is doing a similar thing in the local paper. The designs are of local wild flowers.

One of the quilt designs had the swastika with a history lesson attached. Apparently the swastika was an ancient design for a cross and had been used by the Romans, found on Buddhist idols and even on Chinese coins in 315 BC. It originally was considered to be four “L’s” which stood for Luck, Light, Love and Life. Of course it will never recapture it’s original intent. An interesting and odd piece of history to be found here in Pagosa Springs Colorado.

There will be lots more reports from Pagosa... If I could, I'd find a way to get all you readers out here.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

07-08 Beaumont to Blessing Texas




Gulf Coast Rv Resort. Beaumont Tx. Passport America Campground, limit 2 nights half price. Perfectly manicured lawns, all sites have concrete drives and patios. Full Hookups. Cost $17. Including free continental breakfast and waffles that you make yourself in the shape of Texas. Cool.
Chaparral Rv Resort. Blessing Tx. Passport American Campground, unlimited stay, $11 a night. Basic campsite, full hookups and cable Tv, small concrete pad. Similar rates available to anyone if you make your reservations online.
Beaumont, Tx
Blessing, Tx
To ..Corpus Christi, Tx
You know the most interesting thing about the Rv lifestyle is that you meet such a cross section of society. Not all of them are camping or traveling as I do. While I was at the Bay St Louis campground, there were whole families still living in the FEMA trailers. Trailers that were designed for weekend use, not “full-timing” with a whole family. By the way, I understand they are all supposed to be moved out by June 1st in Mississippi and by the end of July or Aug in Louisiana.
I wasn’t planning on driving almost 200 miles today, Sunday, but when I got to my destination, the campground was full up. So I called ahead, something I should have done before heading out this morning, and I’ve ended up in Beaumont Tx. I had to stop and talk to a big tall dude, as he was watching his little kids play outside in front of the biggest 5th wheel camper I’ve ever seen! He told me he’s not there much, but his wife and kids are. He’s usually off in Kazakhstan these days, working on Oil rig ventures for his company. Now why they are living in a camper, with a big 450 ford and a sports car too boot, one can only guess at. He said it’s amazing that most of the oil is found in the most desolate places on earth.
I’m sorry I can’t tell you much about Beaumont since it rained out for the two days I was in town. I do know that it was the location of the start of the oil boom in Texas and the town is noted for having a ton of museums. None of which I saw.
On Tuesday, I headed out towards the Gulf of Mexico via a short ride on I-10 to hwy 124 and then I followed 87 along the coast. The drive to the coast itself was interesting. I passed many catfish farms along I-10 and even some rice paddies. Heading along hwy 124, it was almost like being in the everglades in Florida, except the flat marshy areas are true bayous, with rivers and lakes in between the low lands dotted with small oil wells, bobbing up and down. Oh, I forgot to mention the 20 mile bridge on the west end of Louisiana. It goes over those bayous, and I could see fishermen in their boats, in between the submerged trees and the bridge pilings. The water was very high as the Mississippi and other rivers draining into the Gulf of Mexico are at their highest this time of year. Hard to tell where the river ended, a lake began or the Tree filled Bayou began.
Traveling along the hwy 87 on one of the barrier islands that forms part of the Inter-coastal waterway, I saw many older stilt homes along the water. Newer stilt homes being closer to Galveston, where I got a ride on a fairy across Galveston Bay. The fairy ride is free and I got a chance to watch the big oil tankers coming and going out of the harbor. A lady pointed out a concrete ship that had sunk in the harbor. It had been built many years ago as an experiment and sunk not far from shore. The top half still visible. I remember growing up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in Houghton, where a man in my home town was building a concrete boat as well. I believe he finished it, but at the time I heard about it, he had no idea how he was going to get it to Portage Lake. Wonder if he ever got his boat to float?
Driving along the miles of road along the Gulf, much of it unspoiled, a big rat ran across the road in front of me. Grass and sea oats covered low sand dunes separating me from the Gulf of Mexico. Some areas the road edging closer to the water. I eventually crossed back over onto the mainland and headed towards my next stop, Blessing Tx. My goal is to get to the Corpus Christi area and Brownsville, to see if I like the area as a possible winter residence.
In this coastal area of Texas, I’ve had difficulty finding Ultra Low Sulfur diesel fuel. Most of the gas stations in the small towns only carry Low Sulfur diesel fuel. I wonder how many people with newer 07 diesel engines put in the wrong fuel without even knowing it.
Lovebugs! Yuck! Yuck! Yuck! I thought only Florida had love bugs. Boy, was I wrong. Spat! I’m having to wash the front of my truck daily and the front of the camper each time I move it. What a mess.
Blessing Tx. Pop. 861. Median age, 32. Household income, 25K. This is a poor community in rural America. 50% white and 50% Hispanic. Mainly rundown mobile homes with a sprinkling of newer well maintained homes. Many of the young workers here have children in the 4-5 year old range. Dogs are allowed to run free. I’ve only seen one neighbor that keeps their dog tied up. The town, what little there is of it, has a small bank and gas station. It does have the first designated Historical building in the county. The Blessing Hotel. The town was named Blessing because the railroad decided to come through here. A life line in past years for delivering goods but more importantly for getting their farm produce to market. I had a buffet lunch at the Blessing Hotel. I would NOT recommend eating there. Lots of over cooked veggies, pasty tasting gravy, overdone rice and something fried… not sure what it was.
I’m staying at the Chaparral Rv Resort…. Well not exactly a resort. There are no niceties. Well ok, they do have a Laundromat and cable Tv, but that’s it. It’s another in between place, and I wouldn’t rush back here to stay. Next time I would stay in a small seaside town called Palacios Tx. It has the largest shrimp fleet on the Gulf of Mexico. Or maybe Port Lavaca. They have a county park right on the bay. But Blessing is a nice place to chill out and relax before getting to my next destination, Corpus Christi Tx.