3/18/14:  From Brady we continued on to Lamesa, Texas for a one night stop at their city park.  This is where we found our cats twelve years ago - don't think they have a clue this is where they came from!  From there it was on to Bottomless Lakes State Park just east of Roswell, New Mexico where we stayed for three days.  This park is located along a series of lakes that were formed when limestone caverns collapsed years ago.  While we were there someone climbing around on the rocks above the campground fell into a deep crevasse and had to rescued and life flighted out.  

Lea Lake at Bottomless Lakes State Park

Pavilion at Lea Lake

From Bottomless Lakes it was on west on US380 to I-25 and then west on US 60 into Arizona where we stopped for two nights at Sun Valley just east of Holbrook.  Made for a very long day but glad we did due to VERY high winds the following day.  This morning we continued on west to Flagstaff and then north to Page where we have stopped to spend a couple of days overlooking Lake Powell.  We are camped overlooking what is called Lone Rock where they filmed the movie Planet of the Apes years ago - no lake back then.


3/12/14:  We left Hondo four days ago after a wonderful visit with old friends (they are not really old - we have just known them a long time).  Traveled north through Bandera, Kerrville and Fredericksburg to Brady for a few days with Len's cousin.  He is a master at making sculptures from wax and gave us two - a buffalo and a mountain sheep!  

 

Unfortunately we had a little accident when pulling into the campsite at the Brady City Park.  I got a little too close to one of the posts (that I couldn't see in the mirror) and severely damaged two storage compartment doors.  Looks like it is going to cost me about $1500 to get them replaced.  Could file a claim with the insurance but I suspect they would get all $1500 back in increased premiums over the next 4-5 years.  The sheet metal was bent out about ten inches on both doors before being "fixed".  Had some help from cousin who had a few tools that I did not have with us.  This photo is AFTER I bent, hammered, screwed and bolted them back into a condition they could be closed and locked:

On a brighter note, we found a couple of antique shops and picked up a few items.  Foremost was another Aladdin lamp - this one a hanging one.  It has a dent in the oil container but the price was right!

This morning we continued on west to the small town of Lamesa, Texas.  This is the town where our two cats are from, although, I don't think they have a clue!  tomorrow it is on west into New Mexico where we will spend three days near Roswell at Bottomless Lakes State Park.

On Monday one of the local gentlemen car collectors drove through the park in his 1932 Ford fire truck.  Made it a point to stop and give all the kids a ride on the back of the truck.  Nice old truck:


3/2/14:  We left Matagorda four days ago and traveled to the small town of Yoakum, Texas where we stayed at a nice city park located right on the golf course - to bad we don't golf.  The following day we continued on to the Escapee park near Hondo (where we used to own a lot).  Had a great evening with old military friends living in Hondo and then had a group over for a fish fry yesterday.  Great seeing old friends once again with lots of laughs.


2/21/14:  We have been here at Matagorda for a week now.  Fishing has not been very good for anyone PLUS someone decided they needed three of my poles and reels more than I did last weekend and stole them from the picnic table here at our site!  Fortunately I do have more poles and they were cheap Walmart poles.  Still, what some people will do for another dose of illegal dope!

Took a ride over to Palacious Tuesday for dinner and a margarita at the Mi Casa Mexican restaurant - Tuesday is $1.99 margarita night!  Used to be 99 cents but inflation has even hit the margaritas!  Had a look around the town for potential future visits and, unfortunately, found our favorite park Bayside RV Park closed.  We did find another one on the north end of town and on the water that appears to be nice and reasonably priced.

Over the weekend one of the fan motors on our basement heat pump decided to quit working.  Pulled the unit out (not an easy task) and determined the motor had indeed failed.  Ordered a replacement and it arrived Wednesday.  After working on the unit I had left it kind of half in and half out of the motorhome.  The fog and rain had managed to thoroughly coat the electronic circuit board with moisture.  Needless to say, the unit still did not work properly after replacing the motor.  Ordered a replacement circuit board and it arrived today.  We now have it working properly once again.  Sure glad the temperature didn't get too hot this week!


2/13/14:  From Crystal Beach it was on to the tip of the Bolivar Peninsula and onto the Galveston Island ferry.  Then it down the length of Galveston Island to Freeport and finally Matagorda were we are once again at the Matagorda Bay RV Park located at the mouth of the Colorado River where it dumps into the Gulf of Mexico.  We will see if there are any fish biting here but not expecting much due to the cold weather they have been having.  We will be here for two weeks - perhaps it will pick up a little.

Our Home on a Boat!

Ships Waiting to Enter Galveston


2/12/14:  On to Crystal Beach, Texas this morning.  Enjoyed two wonderful evening with my old school buddy - dinner at two seafood restaurants with a dozen oysters on the half shell and crawfish etouffee both nights - what a treat!  Rain was pouring down last night until after we went to bed - must have rained a couple of inches.  This morning was somewhat misty for the first 50-75 miles then sunshine finally found us here in Texas but it is still unseasonably cool.


2/10/14:  After nearly three months at Bayou Jim's at Grand Isle we departed this morning and traveled to Abbeville, Louisiana - about 150 miles west near Lafayette.  A friend from grade school and high school lives nearby in Lafayette with his lovely wife.  After I discovered they lived here and contacted them we had a brief visit back in December when they drove to Grand Isle for the day.  Plan to stay here and visit for a couple of days this time.  Sure is fun remembering things and people  from all those years ago.  Had a wonderful dinner at one of their favorite seafood restaurants.  I enjoyed a dozen oysters on the half shell and some crawfish etouffee.  Sylvia had some crab cakes and crag claws.  Really great food.  Plan to do it again tomorrow.

Our stay at Grand Isle was one of the longest we have ever stayed in one place since we started traveling fifteen years ago.  Time just seems to fly by when you are in a place with great friends and comfortable surroundings.  Unfortunately, the fishing for the last couple of weeks has not been very good at all.  The cold weather seems to have driven them to other locations.  Oh well, the freezer is close to being full so really don't need too many more.  Hopefully we will find some Texas fish that want to be in the freezer!

Our friendly pelican (the one with the nail in it's beak) has been hanging around begging for food for the last two weeks.  Once in a while someone will give him a piece of fish or even a fish that is too small to keep.  In some ways he has become a bit of a pest.  Yesterday he managed to get tangled up in my fishing line and get the hook stuck in his chest.  He was quite cooperative while I reeled him in, grabbed his beak and hauled him up onto the pier to pull the hook out.  Almost feel like we should bring him with us now - can you just see a friendly pelican perched on the top of the motorhome as we travel west!!!


1/28/14:  Cold once again today!  So cold they have closed the schools and all government offices for a "snow" day!  They are even out sanding and salting the bridges and elevated roadways.  Looked at a map of the state and many sections of the freeways are closed.  Hopefully tomorrow will be warmer!


1/24/14:  SURE IS COLD HERE! - 44 is the forecast high today!  Good day to stay inside and work on the computer.  Had to do a complete reload of Window 8 yesterday.  Somehow a virus or a trojan got by all my security (Windows Defender & Malware Bytes) and started downloading MASSIVE amounts of data.  Can't have that on a limited bandwidth connection.  I have been reloading programs and getting them to work as I like.  

Took a ride (about 200 miles) Wednesday down Highways 55, 56, 57 and 315 (towns of Montegut, Chauvin, Dulac, Theriot, and Houma).  Some really nice camps and some REALLY derelict camps.  Our friend Bill from New Hampshire rode along with us and had a great (too much) lunch at the Golden Corral in Houma.  We were amazed at the amount of heavy shipyard work on the south side of Houma - even one large ocean going ship (300 feet or more) located there - didn't think the Bayou was deep enough to get one that big in.

Did a good deed earlier in the week.  We discovered a brown pelican with a LARGE nail in it's beak.  Looked like he/she was hungry so I lured it in close with a piece of fish and grabbed it's beak and was able to pull the nail out.  He then followed me around begging for more fish.  Here are a few photos (by Tiffany):

Pelican with Nail

The Nail

Not real happy about being caught

And here are a couple of more (also from Tiffany).............

Blooms across the Bayou

Fishing Hard (Jim, Bill, Len & dog Smokey)


1/17/14:  More red fish today and here is a picture to prove it (the boards they are laying on are 2x8s).  All were between 19 and 22 inches.  Interestingly, two of them were "caught" at the same time with a pole with two hooks but neither of them were on my hooks!  Both had been caught on someone else's rig and broke the line.  They just happened to swim by my line and get hung up.  Don't think I will EVER see that happen again!  Of course I threw those two back because you CANNOT keep any fish that is foul hooked!

Took a walk out on the beach at Elmer's Island this afternoon.  Beautiful weather, hardly any people and a few dolphins playing in the surf.  

Elmer's Island Looking East

 

Elmer's Island Looking West (If you look closely you can see some oil platforms)

West End of Grand Isle As Seen From Elmer's Island


1/16/14:  Got cold and windy for a couple of days but turned fairly nice today.  Had five more red fish in a couple of hours this morning - again all in the 18-22 inch range.  Freezer is getting fuller!

Bought some LED light strips to see if they will work as replacements for the fluorescent lights in the motorhome.  From what I have read they should work great and consume about 10% of the energy - great for camping without hookups.  Will post results when I have upgraded a couple of them.  When ordering them from Amazon I found they also had colored LEDs so ordered a string of them to play with.  Put them across the windscreen and set the controller to "play" for some colorful results.  Click HERE to see them in action (sorry about the quality of the video).


1/12/14:  Weather warmed up today and the fishing was great - limit of red fish before lunch!  All in the 18-22 inch range.  Sorry no photos this time.


1/10/14:  The new year once again finds us at Bayou Jim's campground at Grand Isle, Louisiana.  Weather so far this year has not been great so not too much fishing going on.  Friends from Baton Rouge have been here with us for the past month.  Kent can no longer drive due to macular degeneration so we drove up to get them last month and then tool them (and their motorhome) back to Baton Rouge yesterday.   Not much else in the way of news.