The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Harley takes his role as navigator seriously!

Landed at the Lake

After my exciting drive yesterday, I arrived at LaPointe RV Resort at Canyon Lake (TX).  I picked out a spot, backed in, hooked up the electric, opened the slides, and took a quick break before heading back to the park office to let them know what spot I was in and what the electric meter read.  This is a membership park but they do allow Passport America and Escapees to stay here space available.  I could only pay for Wednesday and Thursday night since this is a holiday weekend.  I could possibly get bumped by a member; however, since they told me to come in tomorrow (Friday) morning at 0900, I am not going to get too worried about it.  There are still open spaces tonight so I think I will be okay.  I got some lunch and cooled off a bit before setting up the rest of my spot.

This is the view out my back window.

Well, hello neighbor.  Have you met my fawn?

We took a walk around the park.  This is the tenting area.  It's in the 100s every day so I sure wouldn't want to be in a tent right now.

We walked around the loop and were greeted by these curious deer.  Don't worry.  Willy, Gretchen, and Harley never bark at the deer.  They like to watch them.

Surprise, we have company.  the furkids are always really excited to see Birdie.  It's been a while since we have been able to get together.  She was over at Sommerville when she found out I was coming to the lake so she decided to head out and join us.

We pooled our resources and had a great fajita chicken salad for dinner.  After dinner and the temperature dropped a couple of degrees, Willy, Gretchen, and Harley took us for a walk around the park.  Tomorrow is another day so I'm off to bed with my kindle.  Night all.

On the Road Again

Okay, the RV is in the driveway, the fridge is cool, and I am throwing things in and heading out. Yay! I don't care if it is a crowded weekend. As long as I have a spot to stay, it will be wonderful. Let's see:  clothes (check), medicine (check), dog medicine (check), dog crates (check, check, check), wine (check), dog food (check), fridge food (check), freezer food (check), wine (check), computer & bag (check), kindle (check), wine (check), camera (check), hmmmm, that should cover it.  Give the dogs a quick bath, leashes, and we're off.

"On the road again, I just want to be on the road again.....".   Willy, Gretchen, and Harley are a very uncritical audience when I break into song.  lol   

It wasn't a long trip but it was kind of exciting.  The normal route I take out to Canyon Lake has some construction going on as you turn off I-35 so I decided to take some back roads.  No problem, good roads.  Out 3009, right on 46 heading towards New Braunfels,  hmmm, "Old Crane Mill Road", that must be the one Vicki and I pulled her Casita back from Canyon Lake on.  Gee, looks a little narrow.  One lane going each direction.  Wow, these lanes can't be much more than 6 feet wide.  Check out these hills and it's windy like a snake on the move.  No shoulders, trees crowding the sides.  Hmmm, 20 MPH speed limit then 30 MPH, nope, back to 20 MPH.  Okay, when the signs in Texas say 20 MPH, you want to pay attention because we are not known for holding down the speed limit.  No place to turn around.  Okay, we can do this.  I pulled over the top of hill to see a pickup truck parked off the side in the ditch but it looks like it was intentional and we can get problem.  What!   There's a water tank truck coming at us ahead.  Hope he slows way, way down.  Might have to pull the mirror in.  We can do this.  

Guess he took one look at the big 5th wheel and truck (it couldn't have been the driver) and he pulled off in the ditch behind the other truck.  Okay, I didn't scare him off the road....they were meeting up.

Well, thank goodness those were the only two vehicles we met on the road.  "Old Crane Mill Road" is what I call a really fun motorcycle road.......RVs.....not so much.   Anyway, we connected up to the road heading into Sattler and zipped right along.  Oh, yes....there's the road I should have taken to get here.  All's well that ends well.  Sorry, no pictures, couldn't take my hands off the wheel.

Arrived at my destination after a long travel day of 1 hour.  More on that later.

Lost Days

Wow, I see that I haven't posted in weeks.  It is too easy to get out of the habit.  It is not that nothing is happening but most of it is just routine.  Son and DIL are settled into their new home here.  It is wonderful to have them nearby after so many years of being across country or continent or world....military families you know.  Grandkids went back to their Mom after summer 6 weeks but have been back for a weekend already.  Every 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekend now which will be wonderful.  They are so happy to see their Dad and Helen more than once a month and then we also get to see them more often.

Steve just finished a big car project.  He lowered his Volkswagen TDI Sportswagen a few years ago in Florida and loved it but now that he is driving his truck and Helen will be driving the Sportswagen most of the time, he wanted to raise it back up so she wouldn't have to worry about speed bumps and entries into car parks etc., so he started the job at 0830 the other morning in our driveway as we have shade and his driveway is rather steep.

Back to the original springs.....the shocks are new.

Sun moved so the car moved partway into the garage.  By this time it was mid-afternoon.  DH supervising in the background.  I bet your garage doesn't have two chairs and a small table inside.  lol

 By now it is getting in dark...this is a really big job.  It was a big job to do the original conversion but more fun since he was excited about doing it.

But he is not one to quit and so he persevered and got the job done.

Sunday we all loaded up and went to the flea market for a little entertainment as well as a test drive under load.  ha.  All went well.

Today he spent all afternoon at the Volkswagen dealer waiting for them to do an alignment.  Then off to the tire dealer for new tires. worked great going to the dealer......after the alignment, it pulled strongly to the right.  Hold on the tires.

Call from Steve to his Dad tonight.  He did some more checking after he got home.  It seems there is a problem with the springs.   He'll be over first thing in the morning (much earlier than our first thing) to redo part of the job.  He is nothing but persistent.

On a more exciting note, I am getting the RV and heading out this week.  Okay, it's just a long weekend but I am having withdrawal symptoms and so are the Traveling Longdogs.  The kids and grandkids will join us partway through.  DH will be working and wouldn't want to come along anyway.  Let the fun begin (later in the week).

A Trip to Check Out Some State Parks

I thought Friday might be a good day to check out a couple of state parks within an hour of us.  Dave was working and I initially thought Steve and I would head out right after he back from the gym.  He heads to the gym early every weekday and usually gets home about 9:15.  We didn't get started that early however as he wanted to get his yard mowed and had a few other items to take care of.  So, after the shower, we were off about 11:15 and then there was the lunch stop.  Working out requires lots of fuel.  So we headed towards Austin on I-35.  McKinney State Park is on the southeast edge of Austin so you are right there before you turn off.  Of course, it was already approaching 100 degrees.  Signs were up saying all campsites were taken but we were just doing a drive-through to see if this is a place we might want to come camping.  Our first stop was to check out Lower Falls because we are always looking for a place to swim if we camp in the summer.  We parked in the lot, checked the signs, and headed out.

We had to hike across a rocky area of very warm down volcanic rock.  Volcanic rock, what a surprise, right?  It is really ancient.  It looks fairly smooth in the picture but is quite pockmarked and rough to walk across.  One thing I found very surprising was that after the initial signs at the trailhead, there were no other signs or indications of which way to go other than a faint path you could see on the rock.  It actually shows up much better in the picture than it did while we were hiking out over this wide open space.

We heard voices which actually gave us the best indication of which way we needed to go.  We found ourselves looking down into this pool.  While it looked refreshing, there was no easy way to get down there and jumping was out of the question with the rocks below and still having to get out afterwards.  It was a little disappointing as this wouldn't be a good place to take the kids with the access issues.

Our next stop was to check out the Smith Visitor Center.  Things are rather dried out around here with all the hot weather and lack of rain.  It almost looked abandoned but we found a ranger inside an air-conditioned building.  We checked out the exhibits giving some history of the area.

Our next stop was the Upper Falls.  This area has a real path leading down to the area and is a fairly short hike.  The water looks great here but it was actually stagnant all around the edges and again, there was that whole access down to the water problem.  These places would probably be a whole lot more inviting for a swim if the water wasn't so low but they were pretty.

We went down the road past some group campground areas where there was some kind of day camp going on.  The kids looked pre-teen or early teen and appeared/sounded like they were having a great time.  We came across a group of them hiking back up the road in their orange T-shirts.  Next we drove through the campgrounds.  There are trees which is always nice in the Texas heat.  Some of the camping spots (must be around 100 with water/electric) seemed pretty nice although some were a bit of a leveling problem if you weren't tenting.  It was a little disappointing to see so many low-hanging branches above the roadway as they would surely rub the top of 5th wheels or even travel trailers.  I guess this is one of the first areas that get cut back when funds are lower.

We decided that the water for swimming wouldn't make this one of our favorites for summer camping but it might be pleasant in the other seasons and it would be close enough for some easy jaunts in to Austin.

We headed south through the back-country this time and decided that it would be much nicer to bring an RV in this way rather than through the industrial area off I-35.

It seemed like we would have just enough time to make a stop at Lockhart State Park on our way home.  We took Hwy 183 south.  It was interesting as 183 runs right next to Tollway which starts north of Austin, skirts Austin, and then heads down to I-10.  It feels like 183 is an access road to the Tollway.  Steve was surprised to the 85mph Tollway speed limit.  Texans are not fond of paying tolls so the Tollway doesn't have the traffic that was expected.

On to Lockhart State Park which is right outside of (you guessed it) Lockhart.  This is a much smaller park.  There are only 20 camping spots.  Ten of them are in a wagon wheel shape with very few trees.  The other ten were along an area with trees but these spots were pretty small so we definitely wouldn't fit there.  I guess the big draw here is the 9 hole golf course near the wagon wheel campsites.  They do have a nice swimming pool which at $2/person wasn't too bad.

We love camping in campgrounds especially when they have a nice lake but state parks can sometimes get a bit expensive.  First you pay an entrance fee which can range from $3 to $9 per person if you don't buy the $70 annual pass.  Then you pay camping fees of $20 to $25 per night so private parks can sometimes be less expensive.  I guess the cost doesn't seem high if you are from the East or West Coast but not so inexpensive if you are from the Midwest.  They all seem busy on the weekends though.

We want to head out again soon but would love to see the temps drop below 100 degrees.  It was 104 today.