2012 - 2017 Travel Map - Now in the Bad Lands National Park, South Dakota

Major Truck Service and Move to Austin Texas

October 21 - 23, 2013
   
Monday the 21st I took the truck to a Ford service dealer in Terrell Texas 13 miles east of our site.  This was going to be a big $$ service.  At 62k miles the truck needed fuel filters, transfer case fluid changed, engine cooling fluid changed, fuel injector service, oil change, and the transmission fluid changed.  While they were doing this they found a cooling hose leaking so I also had the hose assembly replaced.  

I took the truck in at 8 am and they drove be back to the RV and then picked me back up at 5 pm when it was done.  The good news is that I shouldn't need to do this level of service for another 60k miles.  The bad news is that it cost $1,500!  I was hoping to have this expense after the first of the year but I just didn't want to wait and take any chances with the truck.  
Tuesday the 22nd it was time to move on to our next destination, Austin Texas about 200 miles south.  It was a great day to travel, 72 degrees and not a cloud anywhere to be seen.  The only negative is that there isn't much scenery along the way, basically a boring 200 mile ride.

We arrived at the Oak Forest RV Park at 2:30 without a reservation and found they didn't have space for us for a week, only for 3 nights.  Oh well!  The price was good at $22 a night and the park is only 6 miles from downtown Austin. We really didn't know what we are going to do here anyway. We were going to catch up on laundry and do a little food shopping as we are out of some basic stuff.  We decided to just stay the 3 nights and get the laundry done at our next stop in San Antonio.

Our site in Oak Forest RV Park in Austin Texas.  This is a really nice park.

Wolf at the entrance to the park.

Steel Cowboy also at the entrance to the park.

Pool and hot tub at the park.

As we were hooking up at our site one of the park workers came over and asked if we knew there was another Sanibel owner here.  Well we do now!  This will make just the second one we have seen on the road.  

After getting settled in and having a little dinner we walked the park and stopped to talk to the other Sanibel owners. They were outside so it was pretty easy to strike up a conversation with them.  They had seen us come in so they knew where we were in the Park.  They just got their rig a week ago from a local RV show.  It is the same year as ours, 2013.  However theirs is a 3600 model where ours is a 3500 model.  The difference is mainly only in the floor plan.  I say only because the 3600 has 3 slides instead of 4 like ours. Both units are the same weight and length.  It was very interesting to visit with them and see the 3600.  We still like our layout better but it really is just a matter of what you like as one is really not “better” than the other.
The Sanibel 3600 is in the center of the picture in the back.

Wednesday the 23rd we made plans to see the state capital and take a hike around Lady Bird Lake.  We headed off to the state capital which is only 5 miles from us.  The Texas state capitol is the oldest government building in Texas being built in 1888.  
Texas state capital.  The first capital we hung out in.

A white squirrel just outside the capital.

Just after we got through security at the capitol building a tour guide came up and said we could join his next tour that starts now. The tour was with just us and one other couple.  It was a great tour of the building with loads of facts about Texas history.  The tour lasted about 40 minutes and was well worth our time. It’s funny; this is the only state capital building I have ever been in.  After living in Indiana and New Jersey for many years I never once took a tour of the capital building.  It really is a shame as I don’t have anything to compare to.
The rotunda with a seal for each of the 4 countries that have had a flag over texas.  Texas is the only state that say they have had 4 countries lay claim to them.

Capital dome 230 feet above the rotunda floor.  The Texas star is 8 feet across.

The Texas Senate and our tour guide Bill.  They only meet once every 2 years then they go back to real jobs.  If only we could do this with the federal senate!

Lights in the ceiling of the senate that spell Texas.  

The Texas House chambers.

Painting of the battle of the Alamo in the Texas House chamber.  Painted at the turn of the century and has hung here since then.

The last Governor's portrait hung in the capital.  Governor Perry has been Governor since George W. Bush left office in 2000.  When Perry leaves office his portrait will be hung.

Now for the hike around Lady Bird Lake that didn't happen. We plugged in the trail name in to our GPS and off we went. The trail is only about 3 miles from the capitol building.  We arrived with no issues.  

This trail is very, very poorly marked.  We found the trail head which was a sign pointing toward the trail.  Guess what, the trail went both left and right.  Since it is called the loop trail we figured it didn't matter which way we went so we went left or what we thought would be clockwise around the loop. 

After walking a mile the trail disappeared into a residential area. So back we came and we first took a side trail that looked to go in the right direction.  Nope, that was a dead end in the woods!  Back out we came and we went back to the start and went right this time.  

OK, now we are getting somewhere!  This looked to be the trail, but still no signs or markers.  Then we got to another trail split after walking another 1.5 miles.  This time the trail split to go over a walking bridge that seemed to take us the right direction.  No signs here either!  We took the bridge and the trail split again on the other side with, still no signs!  We went left as we thought this would take us back to a bridge to get us back to the trailhead where the truck was.  Not so!  

However, we finally found a map of the trail on a building wall that showed the trail. The trail had 2 main entrances, one each side of the river that leads to the lake.  We just walked from one entrance to the other!  We never got to Lady Bird Lake!  Now we need to walk the 1.5 miles back to the truck. It was OK as we really had not prepared well for this hike. We didn't bring water and we, evidently, didn't research the trail very well.  We did get a 4 mile hike in though.  All is good!
The only trail marker we found.





There is a little train that operates on the hour to take you to Lady Bird Lake.  That's what we should have done!

This is a spring fed swimming area that feeds Lady Bird Lake.  It is closed due to major flooding in the area a few months ago.  The water is said to be 68 all year so people swim all year here.  68 is a little too cold for us.

First time I ever saw an electric car  (Volt) plugged in getting a charge in public.

We spotted this political statement for the Labor Party as we were headed back to the RV.

We got back to the RV just in time for the other Sanibel owners to come over for a visit to our rig.  They took a tour of our rig and we discussed with them our issues we have had with it over the past 15 months.  Like us, they had not seen a 3500 and we had not seen a 3600 before.  However, we were familiar with the layout of the 3600 and we chose the 3500 over the 3600.

Tomorrow we are planning to visit a Wal-Mart for some small items in the morning.  Then we are planning to visit the downtown area and see the bats swarm out from under the Congress Bridge.  Amazing that seeing the bats is a top 10 item to do in Austin!   We are also planning to have dinner downtown somewhere.  Downtown is supposed to be quite eclectic.  We shall see!

Stay Tuned!

2 comments:

Debbie McCormack said...

Looks like a lovely hike anyways. How fun to come across another Sanibel owner. 7 Months and anxiously counting until we head out FT. I've been enjoying reading your blog posts.

Mark and Patty said...

Yup, it was a good hike anyway. Glad you enjoy the blog. Summer of 14 is not far off.