The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Willy, Harley (back center), and Gretchen

A Great Start to Halloween at the Flocking

Halloween morning arrived shrouded in fog but it was warm and the fog soon burned away.  Several more ladies arrived and set up their camps.  Here Birdie, Carolyn, and Karen are busy discussing some RV related equipment and sharing their knowledge on the subject.

Sue (GypsySuzy) arrived and is visiting with Margareta and Susan of What's Up With Susan and Company.  Susan is working at an RV park about an hour away so she came over and spent the day with the group.

Harley thinks that maybe it might be bedtime and if he is well hidden under his blanket, no one will think to put him in his crate for the night.

Dave came out for the Halloween Potluck.  I think he is enjoying a second helping of Karen's cake before bedtime.  Of course he had to make sure the TV was operating properly too.

He was off home in the morning on his motorcycle because a couple of trees were going to be removed in our back yard.

The Flocking Has Begun

It was quite a surprise when I went out this morning and found that the refrigerator was not cold!  Right away I started trying to figure out what could have happened when they put the new doors on yesterday.  Couldn’t think of anything so I tried putting it on propane.  Still didn’t feel like it was getting cold.  I have never had a problem with the refrigerator not working.  DH said he thought it was more unlevel than usual.  I didn’t think about that but then realized I didn’t put the front jacks down last night like I usually do and our driveway is on a slant.
 
With the positive thought that it was probably due to being too unlevel, I packed everything into the freezer compartment with a couple of freezer packs and set out.  About half-way to the campground I reached over to get my coffee travel mug and realized that it had tipped over in the drink tray and, of course, the top wasn’t shut tight.  A short time later, I found a place to pull over, used my turkey baster (in the RV to put distilled water in the battery) to suck out the coffee, and wiped out the cup holders with some paper towels.  Thank heavens, the coffee didn’t go anywhere besides the cup holders.  Also, checked the fridge and YES, it was getting cool. 

Once I arrived at the campground, I set up the RV and then began putting up the banners for the get-together.  Several hours later I remembered that everything was in the freezer and it was now working.  Fortunately, I got things shifted and nothing that was not supposed to freeze was frozen.  Whooo...

Birdie arrived last night as did two other friends, Martha and Pat.  They needed to do a mail run for Birdie and a Wal-Mart run for Martha and Pat.  Gloria arrived next.  Then Dawn, her mother, and her brother Paul arrived in their two RVs.  Judy pulled in next and the latest arrival was Sue.  She was down at Texas RV Supply getting some work done today.

Birdie and I fixed hamburgers with the trimmings, baked beans, and chips for everyone.  Here we are relaxing after dinner.  The Flocking has begun.  The biggest part of the crowd arrives tomorrow.
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Refrigerator Woes

First a strange sign I saw recently.

Didn't you find that a little strange?  It's in a business store.  My friend and I were commenting on it when the cashier came over.  Unbelievable....they had to post it a couple of weeks ago because they noticed several couples come out of the restroom over a period of days.  This is a small to medium size retail and service store.

On to my adventure with the refrigerator.  I picked up the RV yesterday afternoon and headed down to Texas RV Supply to have the doors adjusted.  It's a Norcold.   Well, the technician had to take the doors off to adjust them and found that the corners of the doors, both of them, were separated.  No way to put them back together.  Once they slide those wooden panels out, the doors weigh very little but those panels are heavy.  


I have a service contract with Jayplus.  The manager called them.  It took some time to get the next available representative but once we did, he had a couple of questions for the manager and approved the replacement of both doors and labor.  I just had to pay my deductible.  Texas RV Supply had the doors in stock in their warehouse so they sent someone to get them.  I asked if the panels caused the problem because they are real wood.  He said it was possible but felt that I probably had just gotten some bad doors.  I sure hope he is right.

I wasn't happy with the initial fit because the latch opened way too easily.  I've never had my fridge come open and I'd like to stay with that record.  The manager came out and adjusted it himself and it was much better.  I still had a concern about how easily a dollar bill slips out from the seal so the manager called Norcold to see if there was any other adjustment possible.  We waited on Norcold who is now owned by Thetford for about 15 minutes and then the phone hung up.  So he called again and we waited another 10 minutes before we got a "technician".  He asked her about adjustments and she said she would check.  Then he asked her another question and she had to "check" again.  Translation, she was a receptionist or phone person and not a real technician.  She came back and told us that the seal just needs time to settle in to the new door.  She recommended waiting about three weeks and then, if there was any problem with frost in the freezer or condensation in the fridge, to let them know and they would send a spacer kit.  Three weeks, hmmm, that might work for a full-timer but not for a part-timer.  He asked her about the spacer kit--it's some washers you put behind the seal.

So the manager and I agreed that I would use the fridge while I am out in the RV for the next week.  If there are any problems, I will bring it back in and he will be back on the phone with Norcold.  Okay, I can live with that.

Overall, I was pleased with the service I received at Texas RV Supply.  Oh, and let me tell you what else I found there.  I scored a 50 amp to 30 amp reducer.  Now you say, you can find those anywhere.  Ah, but this 50 amp plug fits the socket in the RV not the one at the end of the 50 amp cord.  Nice.  I know a few people who have gotten them but they had to order them through the dealer.  That was definitely a find and I snapped it up as there was only one.

I'm already benefiting from it by using it plus my 30 amp to 15 amp reducer so I can have the fridge running to cool off overnight in my driveway.  It will be great not having to coil up that really heavy 50 amp cord before I take off in the morning.  Thanks Texas RV Supply.


I'm headed out in the morning to a Pink FlaminGoes Flocking with a large group of other women RVers.  Everything is loaded except the fridge and freezer items.  Can't wait.  See you later.

Vintage Motorcycles and Fredericksburg TX Views

Saturday morning we set out for the Texas Hill Country.  Dave was interested in going to the Harvest Classic European and Vintage Motorcycle Rally at Luckenbach, TX.  He went a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it.  An added benefit in his mind was the fact that they were adding a swap market this year.

We headed out across San Antonio on 1604.  Major mistake on our part.  They have been working on the interchange with 281 for a while now and, generally, there isn’t a problem getting through.  San Antonio does a lot of road work at night in order to disrupt traffic as little as possible.  This weekend they doing something that required funneling down to one lane going west and then a job onto the access road.  We wasted over an hour there just to get through.  Had we known, I would have gone cross country on 46.  Once we got through, sailing was smooth.

After we hit I-10 and made it to Boerne, I did head cross country to Luckenbach.  The roads are great although they don’t have shoulders if that bothers you.  The curves and hills plus the view make it a wonderful drive.  We went through Sisterdale but didn’t stop at the winery there.  There were more motorcycles on the road (we were in the car) as we got closer but then, the Hill Country is a big draw for motorcycle riders at any time.

Click on Harvest Classic European and Vintage Motorcycle Rally Flyer to learn more about the Rally and Harvest Classic Rally Map to see the layout at Luckenbach.  The plan was to drop Dave off and then head on to Fredericksburg for a little site seeing and people watching for me.  I only got one picture as I went past the Rally site and Dave doesn’t take pictures.  There were a ton of people at the rally; many of them camping in tents and RVs in the big meadow in front.

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Finding a place to park in Fredericksburg was a real challenge as I don’t think I have ever seen as many people there.  I finally ended up in the city parking lot.  It is free, convenient, and there is a rest room there as well.  If you have never been to Fredericksburg, you may be interested in the Nimitz Museum but don’t think you will be through it in an hour.  There is a lot to see so plan plenty of time.

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This is the original building but there are now several other buildings on the grounds.  Notice the widow’s walk on the top front?
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Charles Nimitz purchased the building for a hotel and home for his family.  After being sold by the family, it was eventually turned into a museum honoring Admiral Chester Nimitz and his crew from WWII. 
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Beautiful building, isn’t it?  Fredericksburg has a lot of interesting old buildings but most of them are stone.
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By now it was mid-afternoon, and I found myself in front of Tootie Pie Gourmet CafĂ©.  This company is headquartered in Boerne, TX but they have quite a few locations across Texas.  It all began when Don Merrill read an article about Ruby Lorraine “Tootie” Feagan in the newspaper. The article was about Tootie’s many awards and how she had been featured in numerous publications; singing the praises of her wonderful pies. The article also said that Tootie wanted to sell her little Medina, Texas bakery and retire.

Seeing an opportunity, Mr. Merrill contacted Tootie and arranged a meeting, where he tasted for the first time, Tootie’s famous six pound “Original Apple” Pie. Tootie Pie Company, Inc. was incorporated on June 16, 2005 and in September the Company purchased all of Tootie’s pie recipes, customer lists, the right to the “Tootie Pie” name, and the related baking equipment, and building located in Medina, TX.

Now that you know about Tootie Pie, let me introduce you to Pie Shots.  It is an afternoon special.  You get four “shots” of pie (of your choice) and a coffee for $4.99.  Here you see (l to r) Heavenly Chocolate, Pecan, Lemon, and Pumpkin Pie.  Every restaurant in town had a waiting line so I offered to share my table with another couple.  Nice way to meet someone.
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Then off to see the sights and do some people watching.  Lots of gourmet goodies here along with bagged pecans and interesting metal signs inside.
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This shop was new since my last visit.  I’m not sure he is getting the message. lol
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I love the flowers and plants all along the street.
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And there are places to sit along the sidewalk.  This is in front of the “General Store” not to be confused with the "Five and Dime" just up the street.  Dave's favorite place is "Rustlin Rob's" but I have it a pass since he was not with me.  They have samples of hundreds of jams, jellies, relishes, etc.
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I didn’t get as many pictures as I would have liked but with all the cars and people traffic, they just wouldn’t have been as good.  I did take a turn down around the far end of Main St.  This is one of the places everyone goes to have German food.
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It was just about time to head back to Luckenbach to pick Dave up from the Rally.  I found this interesting historical marker along the road.  I had never heard about the Easter fires.  It seems that when the whites and the Comanches signed a major peace treaty in 1847,  the Comanches lit huge signal fires around the hills.  One of the German mothers, in order to calm her frightened children, told them that the smoke was from the pots where the Easter bunny was using flowers to dye the eggs.
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I picked Dave up out by the road.  The Rally was in full swing so going in was not an option.  Since it was such a beautiful day, I decided to take several small roads cross country to Blanco, and then go south on 281 until I hit 318, which is a short cut I use to cut some mileage off when I intend to go on 46.  What a great drive, one I had not taken before, and traffic was minimal.  That’s why I keep a Texas map in the car.

A Computer Work Day

We ran out of time working on Susan’s computer yesterday so she planned to come down to my house today while they finished up a few more things on her computer.  My friend Birdie called and said she was coming to town today so she planned to come over too.

Between my computer, Susan’s computer, and DH’s computer for Birdie to log onto, we set to work.  Birdie worked on finishing up a blog post from her Alaska trip.  I showed Susan how to make changes on her blog that she wanted and helped her set up a new one for her artwork.  Next we all took a look at Live Writer and got a few tips from each other. 

We headed out for a quick lunch and met Margareta at Schlotzkies.  Then it was back at the computers.
 Susan wanted to learn how to use Picasa so we got the program downloaded and ran her through the basics.  I also emailed her links to Geeks On Tour Picasa Tutorials.  Chris Guld does such a good job on these. You can also sign up for her email tips.  I know I have learned a lot from her easy to understand guidance.
So here we are after all the work is done.  The photo limited due to no other available photographers and I could only reach out so far.
  Winking smile

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                                                        Birdie,      Margareta,        Susan,       Colleen

It was another great day spent with friends.

Three Bloggers GTG

Wednesday morning, Susan and Angel, from What's Up with Susan & Company, picked me up and we were off to meet another Susan, from Travel Bug.  If you have followed Susan on Travel Bug, you will know that she fell about three weeks ago and broke her face (bones, nose, skin, teeth). Her jaws are still wired together to allow the bones in her face to heal.  After we picked Susan up, we went to IHOP and sat around chatting and drinking tea and coffee.  Then we went back to Susan's RV and visited some more.  It was a great afternoon.

I really enjoyed meeting Susan.  Not only do she and her husband Bob lead an interesting life full-timing in their 5th wheel, she is a very courageous woman who is not only dealing with the trauma she is going through but blogging about it and continuing to lead her life one day at a time.

Yesterday she wrote an interesting post, Be Independent, which describes perfectly her philosophy and the way she lives her life.  I think that philosophy is why she is getting through her current health issues with courage and poise.  Thanks again Susan, I hope we can get together again soon.

After we left Travel Bug Susan, What's Up Susan and I headed back to my house so I could pick up my truck and follow her back to Camping World.  Susan wanted to show me her 5th wheel which is there for some work and to get some help with computer programs and blogs.  Two hours later, I headed homeward.  What?????  Camping World's gate was chained.  Susan is hooked up to electric and staying at CW while they do the work since she is a full-timer.  They told her the gate would not be locked.  Susan was prepared to call the manager who assured her she could get out but I decided to check closer before she made that call.  The chain was wrapped tightly around the metal gate, but wait, there was a link hook holding the links together rather than a padlock.  So, I was able to unhook and unwind the chain, open the gate, drive out, park, and come back to redo the whole process.  Whew, staying overnight at Camping World was definitely not in my plans for the evening.

HEB Central Market, San Antonio, TX

My friend Susan has been wanting to find a store that has bulk foods like she was used to in California.  She was familiar with a chain called Central Market.  I told her that HEB has a Central Market in Alamo Heights but it is definitely an HEB store.  We decided to take a trip down there so she could check it out.  Going to this store is not like a trip to just any old grocery store.  They have produce and more produce, almost any kind you can think of....not just what is carried in other stores.

Susan was impressed and we were just inside the front door.


Next we toured the cheese area.  They have hundreds, maybe thousands of different cheeses from all over the world.

Are you hungry?  Lots of patrons come in the store for lunch.  They have a salad bar, a fruit bar, a bar with various spreads/toppings like guacamole, pimento cheese, etc.  Then they have everything from gourmet macaroni and cheese to roast beef, to egg rolls, to roasted brussel sprouts.  I could go on for a whole page.

That doesn't include the grill, the Sushi bar, the wok bar, etc.  You pick out what you want, pay for it, and head to a cafe area where you can heat cold items in a microwave and get drinks.  We tried their baked potato soup, clam chowder, roasted brussel sprouts, and pork eggroll.  All were delicious.

Then we wandered through the wine area.  So many choices.

Too bad you can't smell the delicious bread and baked goods.  We managed to make it through there with samples only.

While we were in checking out the store, Angel (Susan's little dog) was patiently waiting for us in her truck.  She doesn't seem to mind at all and it was cool enough today to not be any problem.  We also noticed some other angels as we pulled out of the parking lot.  They are really beautiful.

We let Susan's phone Sari lead us astray to "Alamo Central Market" which turned out to be just a little store right down near the Alamo.  Good thing I headed us toward HEB's Central Market first.  Fortunately traffic was very light and we headed back north without any traffic jams.

Female RVers Unite!

Yesterday was a great opportunity to get some of my RVing female friends together.

Susan, Birdie, Margareta, Colleen

Susan from What's Up with Susan and Company was at Camping World in New Braunfels, having work done on a few items on her 5th wheel as she travels from a workamping job in West (near Waco), Texas on to a new workamping job southeast of San Marcos.  It was a good opportunity to introduce her to some of my other RVing friends from around the area.  Birdie, also a full-timer, from The Egg and I  is back in the area for the winter months after her trip to Alaska this summer and  Margareta has also returned home from her trip to Alaska.  Yes, it's true, these are only two of the many soloing RVing women I know who were in Alaska this summer.

We all met at the Fork and Spoon Restaurant in New Braunfels.  They only serve German food Wednesday through Sunday nights but the food we had was great anyway.  Sorry, we were so busy visiting and getting to know each other that no food pictures were taken and we only managed to grab this photo as we were leaving.  Margareta knows the owner so we spent several hours inside and then a while longer on the patio outside before we headed our separate ways.  The Theis bakery in the front of the restaurant is closed on Monday but we did manage to share a piece of chocolate cake roll that was delicious.

Here's to friends, old and new, and opportunities to get together for fun. 

RV Battery Hurling Chunks and Refrigerator Slipping Bucks

Today DH said I probably needed to take the RV battery back to Interstate because it just wasn't charging.  His excuse was that he had to go into work this afternoon.  Hmmm.  He just replaced the battery in April because the last one wasn't holding a charge.  It was only about 2 1/2 years old.  Since we never leave the battery sitting in the RV when I (I mean we, huh) aren't using it, it should have lasted longer.  We always bring it back to the house when the RV goes to the storage lot so it never sits there draining or getting too cold in the winter.  It goes on a trickle charger to keep it up.

So I  headed off to Interstate receipt in hand and prepared to do battle if necessary.  The manager took the caps off and used a little gizmo that pulled water up out of the battery and gave him a reading.  I kept hearing "okay, okay, okay".  When he got all done, I asked him what all that meant.  He told me the battery was hurling chunks.  Excuse me?  I thought that's what the kids used to do when they were sick or what the grandkids occasionally do when riding on roller coaster like roads.  He said that it looked like it was about to lose a cell because the plates were breaking up.

So he gave me a brand new battery with a new one year warranty.  And he carried the battery out to the car too.  These are supposed to be good batteries so this one had better last a good long time because they are not cheap and we do take care of it.

So, if your battery won't charge back up like it should, maybe it is hurling chunks too!  lol  lol

I have one other little problem to get taken care of.  While I was getting ready to load up the fridge for my last trip, I noticed that the freezer already had frost in it.  Since the door hadn't even been opened once while it was cooling down overnight, that was strange.  Everything seemed to be working okay but the frost was building up too fast.  I decided to do that dollar bill test.  You know, you slip a dollar bill in the refrigerator or freezer door frame, close the door, and then try to pull it out.  You should get some good resistance if the seal is doing it's job.  Well, the top right corner of both the freezer and refrigerator doors let the dollar bill slip out way too easily.  The seal looks perfect so I checked the manual and yes, the doors are adjustable.  It just doesn't say how to do it.  Looks like I will have to take the RV in to get that done.  Darn!  Doesn't seem like it should be that hard to do.  I googled and found where someone used a thin strip of foam adhesive to tighten up the seal.  Don't want to do that, this fridge and RV are only a couple of years old.  Any ideas on how to adjust the door so the seal fits tighter?

On To Potter's Creek TX

Thursday morning we headed out Park Road 4 toward Burnett and then on down Hwy 281 towards Potter's Creek.  Birdie led the way in "Suite Pea" closely followed by "Herbie".  The Traveling Longdogs were sawing logs as soon as we got on the highway.

An interested crowd gathered to watch while I backed the 5th wheel into our site at Potter's Creek.  The doxies love to watch the deer, especially Willy, and they rarely bark at them.  We had to check out a couple of sites because some of them really need to have branches trimmed unless, of course, you want to sit out in the open at some of the sites you can see in the background.  Lots of the big motorhomes like those for the clear satellite positions.

Birdie was already settled into her favorite site by the time I was parked.  And several friends that spend a lot of time at Potter's Creek were awaiting her arrival back from Alaska.  I checked out her motorhome and car and there wasn't a ding anywhere and she hit most of the roads in Alaska whether paved or not.

Here we are all nestled in for the night.  Yes, it's true.  I have to head home tomorrow.

We grilled a couple of steaks and toasted a good trip with a couple of glasses of wine.  Of course, the doxies took us on several great walks too.

Note:  I ended up not leaving until 4:00PM on Thursday.  My son flew in from Florida in the morning but they were repaving in our neighborhood so my DH called and said not to come until late afternoon because the roads were all blocked.  The gate hosts were gracious enough to extend my departure time from 2:00 to 4:00PM.  Doesn't hurt a bit to have Birdie for a friend as they all know her.  Picking up the grandkids on Friday night so it will be a busy weekend.




The Devil's Waterhole and Longhorn Caverns, TX

On our last day at Inks Lake, we headed out the Valley Spring Trail to check out the Devil's Waterhole which is right above the little hiking guy and the "you are here" symbol on the poster below.  It is clearly marked to warn you that jumping in from the rocks above may be hazardous due to rocks in the water so be warned if you go.

Here are Birdie and Harley heading down the trail.  Willy, Gretchen, and I were right behind her.  She is toting her camera and binoculars as there are lots of birds.

View from the trail.

Here are a couple of more intrepid hikers above us.  We went about halfway up before we decided that three doxies pulling us pell mell down the hill might not be the smartest move on our part.  The furkids had a ball on the trail and on the rock.

The waterhole is around to the right.

Of course, we encountered some wildlife on the trail.  Look closer...it's in the lower middle of the picture doing it's best to camouflage with the rock

Some more wildlife enjoying the lake.

This rock looks ready to totter right on over but there a couple of smaller rocks wedged under it.

It was a beautiful day.

Next it was back to the RV so the doxies could take their afternoon nap while Birdie and I set out for Longhorn Caverns.

I might as well admit that we got there about 15 minutes after the tour left and the next one was two hours away so we just toured the grounds.  We weren't late....we just didn't know what time the tours would be.
This is another place where the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) did some great work.

There was obviously some work to be done in through the door on the left but there were stairs up to the little parapets above.

The opening to the Cavern is around this path and then down the steps into the open bowl area.

Here you can see the land bridge above the opening.

This opening is actually a lot bigger than it appears in the photo.  You go through here and then into the cavern but you can only go in with the guide.

As we headed back to the lake, we passed this humble Texas abode.

And took this picture of the valley from up on a hill at a small rest stop.

Another wonderful day.  I'm almost caught up with posting and then I will catch up on the 250 blog posts from friends that I missed while I was gone.  I almost forgot.  If you want a thrill, be sure you come to Longhorn Cavern and Inks Lake via Park Road 4 which begins about halfway between Marble Falls and Burnett.  There are two hills with a very short valley between them.  If you want less of a thrill, take 29 west out of Burnett and go south on Park Road 4 from there.  Less trees sticking out over the road and less exciting hills.