Wednesday, April 20, 2016

2016-7 Dallas to Nacogdoches Texas


The week for fixes and repairs

long horn cattle, Texas

Lewisville (North Dallas) Texas

Carthage Texas

Nacogdoches Texas

Campground:  Lake Murvaul Resort and Marina.  $16 senior rate.  Full hookups 50 amp.  No Tv reception.  Free wi-fi.  Lake for swimming and fishing.  Small concession stand for hamburgers/hotdogs, breakfast burritos.

Campground:  Shady Pines Rv Park.  PA rate:  $12.50, regular rate $25.00. Full hookups, 50 amp.  Pull-thru sites available. Showers and laundry facility.  Next door to CC’s BBQ, great food.

map shows route from Del Rio to Dallas to Nacogdoches Texas
Distance Traveled:  190 miles

I finished up my four day stay at the National Indoor Rv service on Friday.  Paul was able to install the new inverter and control panel but didn’t have enough time to make a new back-plate for the larger hole remains where the two control panels reside for the solar panel system.  I decided to do the work myself when I get the chance, rather than stay  at the Rv service center two more days over the weekend.

Paul looking at the bad Inverter

sometimes you gotta just go for it....

Before I headed out, I had a chance to tour 5 of the expensive motor homes up front.  All were in the $250 to $500,000 range.  I was interested in the latest layouts and furnishings used in these upper end campers.  All had real ceramic and marble floors, leather furniture of course some in darker colors as opposed to the usual white.  The higher end units all came with two bathrooms!  One unit had a master bedroom and bunk beds in a slide out located in the hallway with a really odd bathroom that had three doors to enter/exit from.  One of the stand features on the new deluxe motor homes is that the entry way to the bedroom is really really wide, with a sliding door to close it off if necessary.  I guess it’s to give the coach the feeling of a really open space plan.  Kind of reminded me of my efficiency apartment I had years ago.  (grin)….  Most also had two tv’s in the living area, what a waste.  Oh and most of the units I looked at went back to the booth dining set.

checking out some of those $450,000 motor homes

all have ceramic or marble floors

you get lots of pillows for 450K

and lots and lots of lights and notice the wide opening to the bedroom,
a new feature on the expensive motor homes

and some even had two bathrooms!

booth dining is back in.

So on Saturday, ahead of another big rain storm, I’m heading south/east from Dallas and hopefully will avoid most of the bad weather expected to arrive later today.  I’ve selected a marina/campground on Lake Murvaul outside of Carthage Texas.  Thought it would be nice to enjoy some scenery next to a lake.  And I was able to get a site with unobstructed views of the lake.

and then the rains came and filled up the lake to overflowing

I will mention that even though I was driving through Dallas on a Saturday morning and the traffic was relatively light, it is not a fun task driving on 4-6 lane highways, with numerous “flyovers”.  Those are those multi-leveled clover leaf ramps leading from one expressway to another.   Much of hwy 35 is under construction making the drive a tad more stressful.  The 635  beltway I had to merge onto fortunately was barrier free with numerous lanes to choose from.  I almost missed my exit and had to make a really quick swerve onto one of those flyovers.  I might have cut off a pickup truck behind me.  Oppps, sorry.

This must be the week designated for fixes and repairs.  I noticed a vent cover on the roof of the camper has disappeared.  It has come loose a few times in the past and I just snapped it back on.  Guess I should have used some glue to hold it in place as it is now “gone with the wind”.

Next I had a good shower the other day and after that, no more hot water.  The electric element or possibly a relay switch is not working so will need to plan another day in the shop for repairs or replacement.  I’m thinking it’s the relay switch as I’ve been hearing a clicking sound coming from the basement of the camper.

For now I will just continue using the gas to heat the water tank as it is has both electric and gas for heating.  But I prefer getting things fixed when something is broke.  Who knows when I’ll be able to get an appointment to get it fixed.  Many Rv service centers are booked weeks if not months in advance.

Carthage Texas.

I drove into Carthage today, a small town with a small Wal-mart store.  The town has a beltway around the town and one museum which I’ll check out in the next day or two.

Rv-ers Tip:  Use the Internet to find interesting places to visit when traveling around the country.  Many small towns, such as Carthage Texas don’t have a visitor center and even the web site for the Chamber of Commerce doesn’t list all the visitor attractions.

As a example of the note just mentioned, the Carthage Chamber of Commerce doesn’t even mention the biggest museum in the town.  The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame.  So it really is important to check a couple of web sites to find what might interest the traveler.

Tex Ritter and Jim Reeves

movie poster, Tex Ritter

John Ritter (movie actor) son and father, Tex Ritter

Two notable country singers/movie stars are from Carthage.  Tex Ritter and Jim Reeves.  So of course the museum is a great place to learn about their place in the western country music scene.  Nice museum with some good static displays.  Just outside of town along hwy 79 is the Jim Reeves memorial grave site.  So of course I had to stop by and pay my respects to one of my favorite old time country singers on a rainy Texas day.

the walkway to the memorial is in the shape of a guitar

Gentleman Jim Reeves, a favorite
old time country singer

I also stopped by a unique 14 foot tall statue called “Carry Me Jesus”.  A local artist was inspired by a story from the 1930’s called “Footprints in the Sand”.  It tells of a man walking with Jesus along the sandy shore.  The man becomes tired and Jesus picks him up and carries him till he regains his strength.  The community got together and funded the statue.

The Carry Me Jesus statue

the grounds are still being worked on

A visit to a good Mexican restaurant (the Jalapeno Tree) and the local historical Jail, which didn’t have anything I’d run back to see again, but what the heck, I had a fun time talking to the local curators of the place.

really good Tex Mex food

loved the mural, the waitress said, he must not be a good
guitar player, he's put the girl to sleep.... grin...

Distance Traveled:  36 miles
Nacogdoches Tx

Why drive only 36 miles to the next campsite?  Well, I found an Rv service center that will come out to my camper at the campsite and fix the water heater/relay switch.  The drive was through a light rain again, as the area has been hit with lots of rain lately.  Got to my campsite in Shady Pines and rain let up just long enough to set-up camp.  And of course go next door for some good BBQ.

Hopefully the water heater will be fixed and I’ll be on my way once again.  In the meantime, I’ll explore this unknown town to me anyway called Nacogdoches.  Love how all the small towns in this area have a road that circles the town.

Camper update:  Great service right to the camper.  New relay switch installed and hot water heater working fine.  $140 for service call, repair and part.

Note:  the eastern part of Texas is very green with lots of trees, farms and lakes including a number of Army Corp campsites which I hope to take advantage of shortly.

more photos on my PICASA photos

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