Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

We are now in Del Rio Texas

We are now in Del Rio Texas

Mexico fun and all ready to start traveling again!

April 20 – 27, 2014 

It’s now time, after 4 months of fun in the sun we are packing up to start traveling again.  We pull out tomorrow morning the 28th for an overnight stay in San Antonio.  Then we head to a small town about 70 miles west of San Antonio called Ingram TX.  We have friends that just moved there from south Florida a couple of months ago.  We spent the winter with them last year in South Florida. We plan to be there for 4 days and then head northeast toward Tennessee next weekend.  In some ways it feels like we are just starting out again.  It’s great to feel excited about what the future travel destinations hold for us.

This week I completed the last of our tasks to get ready to travel.  I lubricated the RV suspensionlast Monday the 20th.  Then on the 21st we defrosted the freezer. Defrosting the freezer only takes about an hour to do.  We put all of the frozen food in a large cooler, turn off the refrigerator, and then use a hair drier to quickly melt the accumulated ice.  After that, we use a large towel to soak up the water and then clean the surfaces with a mild soap.  It’s now ready to refill with food and run for another 4-5 months before we do it again.

Wednesday I opened the back of the refrigerator to clean it out for the first time in almost 2 years.  Well, to my surprise there wasn’t anything in there to clean out, it was very clean. I spent a little time checking out the wiring for loose or bad connections and to just understand what was going on in there.  Not sure I learned anything except that I didn’t need to be worried about a nest of insects or large amounts of dirt. 
This is the outside of an RV refrigerator for those who don't know.  It's the 2 sets of vents on the left.  The vent on the right is for the stove top exhaust. 

Thursday we spent most of the day at the pool.  Yay us!

We managed to get over to Mexico again on Friday.  We had a great day pampering ourselves and shopping.  We both got pedicures and I got a haircut all for $30 with tips included.  We both had a drink each while we were getting the pedicures for a total of $2.50.  We bought some gifts and a new pot for Rosey, our pet plant.  Of course we also restocked up on some liquor at the duty free shop.  After spending 6 hours in 95 degree heat and 80% humidity, we were ready to get back home!

The Rio Grande River with USA on the right and Mexico on the left.

Pulling up to the border.  We parked in the lot on the left at the last exit before the check point.  Cost $2 for the day and then you walk across the border.

This sign is just after you enter Mexico. There are 4 border crossings near where we are, this is the only one that is safe to cross.  The drug war is all around us here.  It is really sad that these people are being held down by the drug cartels.

View of downtown Nuevo Progreso MX.

This is the woman who worked on my pedicure.  In the background you can see the barber who cut my hair.

Patty enjoying a beer while getting a pedicure.  I had a frozen margarita.

Ok, one picture of me.  We had lunch at a pizza place.

Mexican pizza baked in a brick oven.  It was really good!  We ate half and took the other half back home and had it for dinner.

Saturday the 26th we went to the Wal-Mart in Weslaco TX and to the H-E-B (local grocery store) to get essentials for traveling and to get more gifts from here to take north.  We also picked up a 5 foot table for Patty to use in her new hobby business cutting t-shirts.  While at Wal-Mart I also topped off the fuel tank for our 240 mile trip on Monday. 

Patty's new work area for making cut shirts.  She will add her sewing machine when we pick it up in Indiana in June.  The table folds for when we are moving.

Patty making a shirt.  She made 6 shirts on Sunday.  It was really too hot to be outside!

Before we left for Wal-Mart on Saturday we pulled out the beginning of a birds nest from the RV hitch cavity.  We had been watching birds go in and out of the space for weeks but didn’t find anything in there until now, which still wasn’t much of a nest.  I’m really glad there wasn’t a nest with eggs or worse yet babies in it.  I don’t know what we would have done then!

We also bought mouse traps on Saturday.  On Thursday last week, Patty was in the process of making coffee by dumping the old grounds in the garbage can.  I was just getting out of bed when she yelled that I needed to see what was in the garbage can.  Yikes!  Do I really what to see what was in there?!  It turned out to be a field mouse.  

We did some looking around the RV and found several places (droppings) where mice had been.  So now we have traps set in 4 locations but have not trapped one yet.  We were hoping the one we caught in the garbage was the only one but that wasn’t the case.  We got up Sunday morning to find the bait had been eaten from 3 of the 4 traps without triggering any of them!  We have reset with peanut butter all over the triggers and hope to snag them or it.

On Saturday I washed the awning and cleaned the RV wheels.  We also played our last darts of the season.  We can see why things slow down here in the summer time, it’s really HOT!  The AC in the dart room at the pool really didn’t do very much to cool it down.  It was still over 90 at 7 pm!

Sunday the 27th I put a UV coating on the awning and washed the truck.  I also completely emptied the “basement” (under floor storage space), swept it out and then repacked it.   Yesterday was hot, but today it got even hotter.  It reached 100 by 2:30 and then went up to 106 by 4:10!  I worked outside most of the day so I would come in and hydrate every 20 minutes.  It is now time to head north and we are now ready to pull out in the morning!

This is to document the high temperature today. We understand that this is very early for this high temperature here in South TX.  

Just a fun picture of some fajita meat.  It looked like a pair of meat underwear.

 Stay Tuned!

Golf and Dinner out; New Truck Tires; New Recliner

April 08 – 20, 2014 

Well, this has been an expensive week!  It was no surprise that the truck needed all new tires (6) and that they were going to be costly.  The truck also needed rear brake pads, also not a surprise.  After it was all done the bill came to just over $2,500.  The good news is that we will probably not need to replace the 4 rear tires again on this truck.  The original set lasted for 65k miles, just over 6 years.  Our plan is to replace the truck when it reaches 110k miles which should get us another 3 years.

Monday the 15th was the planned tire and rear brake replacement on the truck at Hacienda Ford in Edinburgh.   I had made the arrangements a couple of weeks earlier so that the tires would be there and we had an agreed price.  I didn't plan on or have an agreement as to how long the work would take.  I would have never thought it would take 11 hours!

I arrived at 8am and was asked if I wanted to be driven back to wait for the work to be done.  I figure it will take 4-5 hours so I wanted to stay and relax and read so I declined. I also thought they may make things happen faster if I am waiting. At 9am I went to get coffee and the truck was in a service bay and the wheels were off the vehicle.  I was feeling really good that things were moving and maybe I would be out of here before noon.
There it is, our truck in the second bay from the right.  It looked like that all day!
At 11 am the service manager came to me and told me that they would be done in about 2 hours which would be 1 pm. OK, not bad I thought, a little later than I thought, but not bad.  So I went to finish my first book.

1 and 2 and 3 pm go by and now I'm concerned.  The service manager tells me that the technician has been working on just my vehicle all day and he just said that he would be done in the next hour.  Well, what am I going to do, I'm here and let's just get it done now!

At 4 pm the service manager finds me and sits down across from me and says that before they can put on the wheels they needed to put on the new brake pads and they found that one was missing in the box.  I'm thinking "you haven't done the brakes yet! Wasn't that done this morning!" If they can find a brake pad somewhere they will get the job done today for me.  

At 4:30 pm I am told that they found a brake pad and that they will complete the job tonight.  Oh yay!!

Guess what; at 5:45 pm I'm told that there wasn't enough time to complete the work and they were sorry but I would need to be taken home and come back in the morning. Wow!!

I was called the next morning at 7:30 to tell me it was done and they were coming to get me.  I was told that the technician had a real hard time getting the tires off of the rims and other than that they just didn't know why it took so long.  They gave me a free oil change coupon to make me feel better about the wait.  That's worth $100 for this truck.  You know, I really am not mad or upset as I have the time so as long as the work got done, I'm good.  Just really can't understand how it could have taken that long and the service manager could have been so wrong so many times!  It will remain a mystery I guess.
Now we have tread!
Tuesday the 16th we planned to play a round of golf and have dinner out.  We had a tee time at 2pm and we were in line to tee off when my phone rang.  Patty answered it as I was getting us a couple of beers at the club house. It was a shipping company looking to deliver my replacement recliner.  We knew we were getting a new chair under warranty from the manufacturer, but didn’t know just when. Now it looks like we were not going to get any pre-notification either.

The driver couldn’t find the resort and said that we need to sign for the chair.   He also told us that he couldn’t hold the chair and that we had to be there to receive it.  So we packed up our clubs and off we went back to the resort after getting a rain check for the golf.  I was not very happy about this situation at all! And I made Patty well aware that I was a very unhappy non-golfer! (tee-hee)

When we arrived back at our RV the truck was waiting for us. The truck did not have a lift and the box with the recliner was ticketed at 200 pounds!  So, the truck driver and I got the box off of the truck and I was surprised that we had very little trouble.  It seems that Prime Time, our RV manufacturer, sent the chair as if it was going to a business where they could easily receive the box during business hours.   Anyway it all worked out and with help from a couple of guys in the park we got the old chair out and the new one in.  It was sort of funny, I must have had a dozen people come up and want to know what was in the box.  Put a large box in front of the RV and everybody becomes very curious!

What's in the box?

This is what was in the box!
We finally got to play golf at the Los Lagos Country Club on Wednesday the 17th.  Patty was playing well but not really scoring well, that happens, and this was only her third time out in a year. I played my usual and shot a 101.  I really wanted to break 100 but it just wasn’t to be.  My biggest problem is with fairway shots from under 100 yards. 

Anyway, the price was right though, just $26 for the 2 of us and a cart.  I used my prize of one free round that I got at an outing from the resort which made the cost that low.

Nice picturesque par 3 hole.
We had a prairie dog watching us play golf.

After golf we went to a restaurant in McAllen called Lansky’s and Bratz.  We received a $25 off coupon from our mail forwarding service because Curt from Illinois used us as a reference.  Thanks Curt! Anyway, the restaurant was super expensive, like NYC expensive except this was the RGV and not NYC!  Most everything on the menu was a la carte, even the bread!  The good part was that the food, for the most part, was really very good.  With a bottle of wine, tip, and including the $25 off coupon, the tab came to $190 for the 2 of us.  Believe us, that is exceptionally high for dinner in the RGV!

Thursday the 17th I went with Bruce here in the park to the town of Monte Alto to deliver our old chair to the community center.  Monte Alto is the poorest areas in Texas.  A lot of the people there are seasonal farm workers.  When it isn’t picking season there is no money coming in.  Bruce and his wife Mary Sue have been helping out here for several years so he knows the area very well.  I have seen areas like this in other parts of the US but I didn’t have a guided tour like this time.
A watermelon field in Monte Alto TX.  The watermelon vines
are the green areas between the high grass.

The rest of the day was a maintenance day mostly.  First, the truck’s front tires had only 50 lbs. instead of the required 85 lbs.  I don’t know why the Ford service technician did that but it is what it is.  I also like to have 5 lbs. over the required pressure so that the pressure is still high enough even on a cold morning.  So I keep 90 lbs. in the front tires and 80 lbs. in the 4 rear tires.  I got out my 150 lbs. compressor and filled all of the tires to what I wanted them to be.  I also put Teflon tape on the valve stems before replacing the pressure pro sensors.  I have noticed that they can leak a little over time if I don’t do this.  I don’t like needing to put air in the tires when we are leaving our camp sites so this is just some extra protection.

After the truck tires I filled the fresh water tank with about half a quart of bleach mixed in.  Our rig has a pressure fill for the fresh water tank so I just fill the water filter canister with bleach and then turn the valve to fill the fresh water tank.  This mixes the water with the bleach.  It takes about 20 minutes to fill the tank.  After it is full, I turn off the water and replace the water filter and then turn the valve back to the regular connection for the rig.  Now I let the bleach water mix sit in the tank for a couple of days and then drain it.  We don’t use the fresh water tank very often but I try to keep it clean for when we do use it.  I do this cleaning process roughly every 3 months.

Friday the 18th we had Rainy and Greg as guests over for dinner and drinks.  We made BBQ beef short ribs, salt potatoes, and green beans.  Again, it was a very fun evening and we consumed large quantities of libations. 

Several people in the park stopped by to chat and during it was mentioned that after a couple of months here you need to rest from all of the partying and hang up your liver to dry out.  I can now see how that may be necessary.

Saturday the 20th we hung our livers out to dry so to speak and vegetated most of the day.  The sun didn’t come out all day.  The temperature was in the 80’s but it was just cloudy.

Saturday night was the usual darts night at the pool. This was the smallest crowd since we arrived here in December.  However, we still had 14 people to play (2 teams of 4 and 2 teams of 3).  A good night was had by all, especially since my team won the overall again!

Sunday the 20th, Easter Sunday, Patty and I helped with serving the Easter lunch here at the resort.  We also made a large pot of carrot casserole to share.  There were around 60 people in attendance for the lunch.  There was a lot of leftovers so we had another group get together for a leftovers dinner that same night.  Everyone who came was very full when they left for the night.
Our carrot casserole!
Patty has decided to start her own business making cut shirts.  We had never heard of cut shirts before arriving here at this resort.  They are basically a plain t-shirt that has been artistically cut into a pattern.  Each shirt is individual and can be made to order. Dresses, skirts and collars in 100% cotton are also designed. Nudists are especially fond of these. Patty is still thinking of a name for the business, so if anyone has the winning suggestion you get a free shirt!.

To get the business started, Patty negotiated a deal with one of the 3 women here who make these shirts.  The deal was that Patty would not compete here at this park and in return she got a substantial inventory of pre-made shirts at cost and lessons in how to make the shirts.  These shirts really look great!!!

Patty in one of the shirts.  Very nice!
A new update to our travel plans, again.  We have decided to go to our RV manufacturer in northern Indiana to have our warranty work done instead of doing it along the way.  Most everything else stays the same.

We are now in our last week here.  Starting Monday we will be in getting ready to leave mode.

Nice picture of the pool here.

Now we know what these are. They are called Killdeer.
They are nesting here at the resort now.

Stay Tuned!

Lunch with my Aunt and Uncle and other Social Events

April 07 – 12, 2014 

We really have been a little too social in the past week here in the park.  Well, social in that a little too much alcohol was had a few too many times.  

We are now officially in the off season here in the park.  That means that there have been a few “last” parties to attend and to over indulge a bit or a lot in our case.  One late night our RV steps became an obstacle course for both Patty and I.  For some reason it became very difficult to climb the steps without falling off of them.  We believe the next couple of weeks will be more relaxed as most of the seasonal folks have left to go north for the summer. 
Cactus are blooming.

Tuesday the 8th we met up with my Aunt Marilynn and Uncle Larry from Indiana.  The have been wintering in Arizona for the past few years and are looking for a change. They were thinking about Florida and I suggested that they look in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) as it is much less expensive here. So they decided to take a look at the RGV before going to Florida to look for a place to winter.

My aunt and uncle have a fixed 5th wheel that they use in the winter.  By fixed I mean that they don’t have a truck to move the RV, they leave it in one spot, fixed, on an annual basis.   We have met many people who do this and we may ourselves someday way in the future.  That is a real snow bird living with a place down here in the south and then have something up north for the summer.  Of course, most of your traveling to see the country is over by this time.  But there are many variations to this and we are keeping an open mind as to what to do in our future.

Anyway, we had a nice lunch at a Tex/Mex restaurant in Edinburg.  They had not found anything they liked so far in the area.  We are members of the RV-Dreams club and I had seen where a member had a place in Mission Texas just a few miles south for annual rent.  This place, Retama Village, is classified as a luxury resort park.  They decided to visit Retama Village before they headed to Florida after they left us and ended up liking the park.  Looks like they will have their RV moved down here at the end of the year just about the same time we get back here.  Now they don’t need to drive to Florida.  We will now get to have more lunches with them in the future here in the RGV.

Tuesday evening we had a couple (Steve and Julie) over for dinner before they left for Canada at the end of the week. They also full time RV as we do.  Steve is a member of the board for the fun association here so we had some conversations about that and about our travels around the country.  It was a very nice night but we were past our usual amount of drink and were ready for bed soon after they left.

Wednesday the 9th was the last happy hour of the season. Well don’t you just know that several of us made sure we had all of the happy hour we could get that night.  This is the night the RV steps got a lot harder to climb.  I ended up cutting the bridge of my nose on the steps somehow and Patty had skinned a shin bruised a rib on the steps. It, however, was a great night out with great friends here!

Thursday the 10th we were pretty much hungover.  Patty had a Dr. appointment for the results of the MRI she had done on her left wrist.  She had a cyst drained a few weeks ago and she was still having some pain. The results showed that her wrist was just getting older, arthritis was setting in and the pain was not unusual or something to worry about.  The Dr suggested she do some light wrist exercises to help strengthen her wrists to fight the age related degeneration.  I am trying to get her use my stretch bands. We will see how that goes.

Back home and we were ready for a short nap!
We changed out 5 12v incandescent lights to LED.  It's probably not economical to do this for us as we don't camp without power very often.  It is just a nuisance to change these as they burn out all of the time.  Still, the incandescent cost about $1 and the LED costs $16 and have just changed 6 in 2 years.

Friday the 11th we were back to feeling normal again, but that was short lived!  We kept a low profile most of the day and then decided to venture out to the Friday campfire around 7 pm.  We met up another couple who we have made good friends with (Rainy and Greg) and one thing led to another and we went to their house for drinks.  Just before midnight we stumbled back to our RV for the night.  We were being extra careful with the stairs this time and made it inside without incident!

Saturday the 12th we needed to go into town and get some miscellaneous items.  Since we are out, we decided to go to the big flea market here in Donna Texas called Don-Wes. 
Big thing here are the Texas sweet onions called 1015 onions.  Snowbirds buy them and take up north to give as gifts.  Here at the flea market they were selling 25 pounds for $7.  We bought a small amount and so far we liked vidalia better.
The flea market is nothing really to write home about however about 2/3 of the place was closed as this is after season and the snowbirds have mostly gone now.  We looked around for a short time of maybe an hour before we decided to call it quits.  We ended up not buying anything.  

We then headed to the WalMart in Weslaco about 5 miles east to pick up the few items we originally went out for.

Oh yeah, also Saturday I finished copying all of our CD music to the computer.  We now have a few over 1200 songs on the computer and on my smart phone. Our plan is to use the smart phone to connect to the truck so we can play our music when we get tired of the radio.  We are also planning to store the CDs at my brother’s house in Indiana with the little bit of stuff we have there now.

We were back in time to take a nap before darts at the pool. Darts is another good time to drink too much.  However, tonight we managed to keep from doing that again.  Anyway, my darts team won the world championship for this week. 

This was the first darts outside of the official season and we had a fairly large turnout of 5 teams, 4 teams with 4 players and one team with 5 players for a total of 21 players.  We also had maybe 7-8 people just to hangout and socialize.  It was a very good night with the temperature staying in the low 70’s all night.

Next week we plan to play golf and have dinner at a new to us steakhouse.  We also are planning to visit Mexico to pick up a few items and have a few $2 margaritas with lunch.

So, now we are just a couple of weeks away from leaving here ourselves.  I have the rig washed, the hitch inspected and lubricated, and I just lubed the RV suspension this week.  Monday the 14th we get new tires and rear brakes on the truck.  Sunday I am going to fill the fresh water tank with water and some bleach to clean it.  Then sometime in the next few days we will clean the AC filters in the RV.  The last week, the week after next, we will reorganize the under frame storage space back to our traveling mode.  Right now we have stuff ready to use and not ready to travel.  The storage  reorganization will be the last things we do to get ready to leave.
Lots of cool birds.  This one seemed to want me take it's picture. Do not know what it is though.

Stay Tuned!

Patty's Back! Start Process of Leaving for the 2014 Travel Season

March 29 – April 06, 2014

Patty is back now from Buffalo and we are back to what we call normal.  She left Buffalo with 5 inches of snow and 30 degrees to our nice temperature of 85 on Tuesday the 1st of April.  We are now less than a month away from leaving our winter getaway and starting our 2014 travel season!

Saturday the 29th I played water volleyball in the afternoon and darts at night.  It really isn’t as much fun playing darts without Patty there, but it was still good.  I also received our new grille cover in the mail.  It is certainly heavy enough to endure our abuse at least for a while.

New grille cover.

Sunday the 30th I just chilled out and played water volleyball again in the afternoon.  I’m not sure if my fingers will ever recover from so much playing.  It seems that volleyball really makes my fingers stiff and sore.  I have a feeling that arthritis in my fingers is going to be a part of my future.  I am curious to see if my fingers are better after I don’t play for a while.

On Monday the 31st I started into my "getting ready to start traveling" mode by servicing the 5th wheel hitch in the truck. It was much simpler than I expected!  The whole job just took me about an hour and a half.  The job basically is to check the torque on all of the mounting bolts and to lubricate the bearings.  

The hitch comes apart into 3 big parts; the base that is connected to the truck frame, the pivot, and the hitch jaw mechanism.  The pieces are held together by large spring pins that are really easy to remove by hand.  
The 3 main parts of the 5th wheel hitch. The part in the foreground is the piece that does all of the movement.  The next piece is the actual jaws that connect to the RV.  The last is the part that connects the truck.

This is the pivot piece and the 4 corners are the greasing points.

This the bottom of the connection from the truck to the RV.  The center rusty part is where I needed grease a while back!

This is the base of the hitch.  It is connected to the truck on the frame rails below it.  The 2 corners is where more grease will be applied.
I looked up the maintenance schedule for the hitch on-line and found that the manufacturer recommended engine oil for the bearings.  Engine oil would be sort of messy so I used high temperature grease.  The grease will stay in place to provide better lubrication I believe.  There are just 4 bearing surfaces to lubricate.  Two are for the side to side movement of the hitch and the other 2 are for the front to back movement.  The bearings are really just big (1.5 inch dia.) steel rods sitting in U channels.  So, they are not hard to lubricate at all.

The other item was the torque check of the mounting bolts. The manufacturer requires 75 foot lbs on all of the ¾ bolts. There are 4 inside the truck bed and 8 outside under the truck on the frame.  The ones in the truck frame are very easy to check.  I found the bolts on one side to be very loose and the other to be over torqued.  The bolts on the truck frame are just not accessible to check due to the tires being in the way.  I just checked to make sure all of the split ring washers were compressed and they were.  I’ll have Ford service check them when I have the tires replaced in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday April 1st I spent the morning cleaning up the RV so Patty wouldn’t need to do anything when she got back in the afternoon.  I headed out just after 1pm to pick Patty up from her flight that was due in a little after 2pm in McAllen. 

McAllen is about 40 minutes away and I wanted to be early in case her flight was early.  Turned out her flight was early at about 10 minutes to 2pm and I arrived just 5 minutes before that! We got back just in time to play Wii bowling in the clubhouse. 

Tuesday night and Wednesday were very windy with sustained wind of 30 mph and gusts to 50 mph.  It felt like we were on a boat at a marina all night.  The one thing we have learned about south Texas is that there is a lot of wind. I would guess that the sustained wind here is around 20mph or higher about 75% of the time.  I can only remember just  2-3 days of no wind at all in the past 3 months.

Wednesday the 2nd was the usual happy hour at Sandy’s outside bar here.  Also on Wednesday Patty got here CPAP machine.  The company sent a tech to fit it to her face and to show her how to use the machine.  The machine uses distilled water so now I have a place to use the left over that I have from servicing the RV battery.
The CPACPTech has arrived!

Thursday the 3rd we went on another bike ride, this time at a county park in Rio Hondo.  The park, Adolph Thomae Jr. County Park runs along the Arroyo irrigation channel.  The irrigation channel runs from the Gulf to about 70 miles inland.  

We were to just ride along the channel for a few miles. However, I had a flat tire about 2 miles into the ride.  It looks like I picked up a thorn in the rear tire. Luckily, one of the others on the ride had a spare inner tube.  We changed it out, but I just went back to the truck and waited for the others to get back from the ride.  The rear tire was not adjusted correctly so the brakes were not working right.  I’ll fix that before the next ride. 

Tire off and looking for the item that punctured the tire.

Wild turkey in the park.

View of the irrigation channel toward the Gulf.

Comical signs.  Patty was worried about the yellow one!

After the ride we went for lunch at Chili Willie’s (CW) in Rio Hondo.  CW has a great repetition for just good food in a very casual atmosphere.  Everything is fresh and made to order and very reasonably priced. 

Very rustic inside Chilli Willie's.

At some point seems people threw their cigarette packs on top of the bar area.

Thursday evening we attended a birthday BBQ at a friend’s house here in the resort.  She is the same age as me and is 57 and born in '57.  It was very hot at the BBQ as the sun came out and the temperature rose to the mid-90s.  Good thing they put up canopies for shade!

Friday the 4th I started a project to put all of our CD’s on the computer.  I asked around about how this is done and didn’t get what I was looking for.  Seems most people use ITunes from Apple to do this.  I am not a fan of Apple so that was not what I wanted.  Apple just makes so much stuff proprietary is may reason for not wanting to go that route.  

Anyway, I found a blog where people were sharing the best ways they had found to rip CD’s on to a hard drive and then to make compressed MP3 files from the electronic copies.  I am now using Exact Audio Copy and a compression program that was recommended and it works great!  It takes about 15 minutes to rip and to compress a typical music CD. We have around 125 CDs to rip!  

My CD ripping station.

Today the 7th as I am writing this I have ripped and compressed about 80 CDs to just over 4G of space.  When done we are planning to put the music on my phone and use the music in the truck when we don’t want to listen to the radio anymore.  We rarely listen to recorded music because we like to listen to new stuff on the radio.  However, we may listen more often now that is easier to do with it being electronic.  We may also get more new stuff now to put on the phone.  We also plan to put the CDs someplace for storage to help reduce the weight in the RV.  

Saturday the 5th it was sort of cold and damp again.  The temperature held around 70 all day with no sun.  There was sort of a mist in the air too.  We played darts for the last time as this was the last darts session of the season here.  You can still play if you want, there just won’t be an organized event.  We also had a few friends over for cocktails after darts.

Sunday the 6th I was very ambitious and washed the entire RV.  The weather was again much like the day before without rain, making it good for washing the rig.  I would have liked to wait till closer to leaving time but I don't want to wash it when it is 100 degrees outside.  Also, the rig is really very dirty.

I start by washing the roof and then applying a UV coating to protect the rubber roof.  This takes about 2 hours.  Next, I wash the exterior a quarter at a time and then rinse. Sometimes I use squeegee but not this time. The exterior wash takes about 4 hours which includes the awning. I don’t wax the RV by hand but use the wash and wax stuff which works pretty good.  I was very tired after 6 hours of washing the RV.
Roof before cleaning

Before cleaning

Looking East from the top of the RV

Looking West from the top of the RV

Roof clean and white again!

Clean roof!

Our clean RV and a new pic of our site for the past 3 months.

Side view of the clean RV.

While washing the RV my Aunt Marilyn called to let us know they were in the area, actually on South Padre Island.  They are looking to move their 5th wheel RV from Arizona to either here in the RGV or Florida.  So far they have not liked what they have looked at here in the valley.  Anyway, we made arrangements to meet up with them on Tuesday next week for lunch.  They are looking at an RV park just 8 miles from us on Tuesday so we will meet them there.

In the next few days I will service the RV suspension and we will get new tires and brakes on the truck.  We are actually really looking forward to getting back on the road now.  Four months is a long time to stay in one place!  

We also changed our travel plans a little.  We are now going in a more direct route north to Indiana instead of to Colorado.  We will do Colorado when we decide to go back West in the future.  We are planning to get the RV serviced in Little Rock, Arkansas and then spend some time in Memphis and Nashville TN before getting up to Crawfordsville, Indiana the beginning of June.

Miscellaneous pictures from around the park last week.

Sunrise last Saturday morning.

Some sort of cactus that looks like a giant asparagus!

People are leaving so we are almost by ourselves in this area now.

A cool looking bird.  Do not know what it is though.

Stay tuned!