The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Harley takes his role as navigator seriously!

Seeing the Sights in San Angelo TX

We left Palo Duro Canyon on Wednesday morning about 9:30AM. We made it up that long 10% grade road with no problems as we lucked out and didn't meet any RVs on their way in. I have to say that a couple of those convex mirrors you see in some blind spots would be very helpful on a couple of those blind curves. There is always some hotshot that thinks he has to see how fast he can get up or down the road without regard for who he might meet on a blind corner.

Anyway, we were headed south to San Angelo Texas. We lived there in the 70s when we returned from Japan. We have been back to visit but it's been a while.

We rolled into the Goodfellow AFB Famcamp about 5PM. The office was closed but the camphost saw our RV and came out to meet us in his little golf car. The trees have grown up quite nicely in this area since it was built. Unfortunately, that area was all full and we were put in a site in a new area that has all the hookups and nothing else. It definitely needs some landscaping to make it more attractive but we were happy to have a site with electric for the A/C because it was hot. The showers were great with lots of hot water. There is a Laundromat, boat rentals, etc. There is also a nice swimming pool. Since the office is closed Tuesday and Wednesday, we figured the pool would be open on Thursday.  No.....and no real explanation either. It was kind of sad to see that these nice sites were indeed RVs but only a couple actually had people in them. People are allowed to reserve them for up to 90 days so they come out and park their RVs for the summer and maybe show up on the weekends. I guess the base gets it's money but it sure isn't very camper friendly.

Thursday morning we drove into town, just a couple of miles away. San Angelo has worked hard on their riverwalk. While completely different from the riverwalk in San Antonio, it is very nice. There is a path going along it for a number of miles and rocks and stone have been used to beautify the river edges.

San Angelo has grown since we lived there. We had a KMart back then which closed after we left but by then they had a small mall. They are working on making the downtown area close to the river a more tourist attracting area. Goodfellow AFB is a big anchor for the town. They don't have a runway there but the base is the site of a lot of different kinds of training missions. We visited the Visitor's Center near the river which is quite nice and staffed by very friendly and helpful people.

These lovely statures "Los Dos Angelos" are just below the Visitor's Center.

The grandkids really enjoyed seeing all the decorated sheep. This is definitely sheep country and you will find uniquely painted sheep all over town.

We drove through the base just to check it out. It's small but nice. Then we drove through the old neighborhood where we lived back in the 70s. It has definitely deteriorated. Then it was back to the Famcamp. The kids were disappointed that the pool wasn't open but there is a public beach across the road next to a small marina. They also had a nature center there which is supposed to be great for kids but we were out of time.

Lake Nasworthy has plenty of water in it.

The swimming was lots of fun although it was cooler than Steve expected. lol

Lots of fun was had by all.

Thursday morning we headed back to San Antonio and the adventure was over. Until next time!

A Neat Visit to Jack Sisemore RV Museum

I've been wanting to visit this museum for some time. I enjoyed the Elkhart RV Museum a few years ago.....mostly the RVs on display. The Jack Sisemore RV Museum is right here in Texas and you really shouldn't miss it if you are anywhere near Amarillo. You'll find it right behind the RV dealership and it was completely free.....that is definitely not the case with the Elkhart RV Museum. We found the Jack Sisemore Traveland RV dealership right off the highway. When we walked in and asked about the museum, we were escorted through the dealership and out the backdoor to another large building. There are arrows on the ground pointing the way. The salesman pointed us in the right direction to start and told us to take our time and enjoy it.

The Sisemore's began restoring and collecting unusual vintage RVs over 25 years ago. They have built a museum that houses many of the RVs in their collection. The museum is free to the public and open Monday - Saturday 9-5.

In addition to the vintage RVs, there were also some vintage motorcycles on display.

Each of the RVs is set up with a display of miscellaneous camping equipment from the time period.

This 1936 Alma was found in a barn 20 miles from the Alma factory. It is all original, never been restored, it still looks like new.

This 1937 Kozy Kamp was one of the first tent trailers ever built. The Kozy Kamp company started building these in 1936 in Oregon. They were all dark green. This particular one was owned by one family and spent its time in a garage when not in use. It was painted blue in the 50s to match the family Cadillac.

The 1921 Ford Lamsteed Kampkar came with full equipment and ready to mount on a standard Model T Ford Chassis. It cost $535 and was one of only 5 made by Anheuser-Busch of St Louis, Missouri.

Remember the Volkswagen Bus, a favorite of hippies and flower children.

Ever seen the movie "RV" with Robin Williams? Well, we have and we had to watch it again the day we visited the museum because this is the original1948 Flxible used by the Gornike family in the movie.

You are allowed to go in all but one of the RVs so here are Steve and Cameron in the Gornike bus.

This is the inside of a 1975 Itasca....the first one ever built. It sat on display in a Winnebago Welcome Center for over 20 years. It has 6000 miles on it and is like new.
This 1970 Avion pick up camper is one of the last, if not the last, pick up camper made by the Avion company. It is completely original, one owner purchase in 1971.

This 1974 Winnebago is just like one Jack Sisemore started renting when he had Chevron, a Standard filling station. A year later he had six rentals and started Jack Sisemore Traveland. It took two 1974 Winnebagos to build this from Phoenix and one from Maine.  $175 for 3 days.....what a deal.

This 1946 Tear Drop Kit trailer was restored 24 years ago. Dan Polkapaila, the found of Kit manufacturing, gave the team his last set of fenders to restore this little trailer. Dan built the kits out of aluminum that was surplus after the war. Many of the wheels had to have the bullet holes repaired to be used.

This is a 1973 Tow Low. The lift system operates with a big wheel in front.

1952 Harley Davidson.

This is a 1976 Argosy made by the Airstream company.

Most people started RVing back in the early 60s in a pop up like this 1962 Bethany. It has the original mod squad interior.

This 1966 Kenskill was a complete restore.

This is Wally Byam's World Traveling Caravan. You can see a list of all the countries he traveled in it.

I couldn't find any more information about this very unique travel trailer with the porthole windows.

This 1962 Bambi Airstream was just restored recently.

Jack and Trent Sisemore found this 1953 Fleetwood in total disrepair at a filling station 15 years ago and bought it from an 84 year old woman who was traveling across the country in it. She told them it was time for her to quit camping. The serial number is 1123 from the 1st year that Fleetwood built travel trailers.

This motorhome was owned by Max Factor, Jr., president of Max Factor Cosmetics.

Inside of the FMC.

Check out the bunkbed in the upper left.

This 1955 Airstream was found in Santa Barbara, CA. The appliances have never been used and the curtains and upholstery are original.

I think the grandkids and Steve enjoyed this museum just as much as I did. I highly recommend a stop here.

One other place we didn't get a chance to visit was the Panhandle Plains Museum in Canyon, TX. We just ran out of time but I have been there once before and definitely recommend a visit. It is a unique museum with something for everyone to enjoy.

Sidetrip to the Cadillac Ranch and the Big Texan

Tuesday morning, we left the Traveling Longdogs and Angus the Therapy Dog safely behind in the RV with the A/C as we headed west then north to Amarillo.
Our first goal was a visit to the famous Cadillac Ranch. As we parked along the side of the highway access road, I think the grandkids were a bit less than enthused.
This is a unique roadside attraction which features 10 classice Cadillacs dating from 1948 to 1963, the Golden Age of the American automobile. They are standing upright in a row, buried nose-first in the ground. The unusual sculpture is the brainchild of Amarillo millionaire Stanley Marsh III.

Once they got close enough to see what was actually going on here, they got a lot more interested,

And once they knew it was okay to participate in the "art", they were very enthused.

They found a couple of cans of spray paint that weren't completely empty.

Someone that was leaving gave them another can of paint and then, even their Dad got involved.

Cameron put his initials which just happen to be the same as mine.

I heard that a crew comes in periodically and picks up all the empty cans. Morgan managed to leave with paint speckles on her face but every one had a good time.

Of course, DS and the grandkids were hungry by then so we headed across town to our next destination and saw the "Big Texan".  This is the famous restaurant that serves the 72 ounce steak free if you can eat it all. You have probably seen billboards advertising it.

Of course, there is a catch to that.

There is a stage front and center where the competition sits to challenge the steak. No one was partaking while we were there. This is one of the actual steaks.....looks more like a family roast. You also have to eat all the other dishes in the picture along with the steak. The kids were very impressed when they read that a tiny 110 pound grandmother actually ate two of the meals in a very short time frame.

We had a ribeye lunch special that was good and more reasonable in price than I expected. Morgan had a kids burger and Cameron had a kid's steak. They each got a cowboy hat with their meal so that was a good price too. The service was good, the food was good, and it was an interesting place to spend some time. We looked around the gift store for a bit and then checked out the front of the Big Texan Motel next store. There is also a Big Texan RV Park down the road. The restaurant will pick you up in a limo and ferry you over to eat.

Next, we were off to our final Amarillo adventure.