Remember that when you leave this Earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received, only what you have given, a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage. -St. Francis of Assisi

Today...

Where am I today???

Traveling from south TX to Denver

TexasPlainsTrail.com

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Dalhart City Park - Texas


Dalhart City Park was once a Texas State Park. The park surrounds Lake Rita Blanca. GPS can't find it, sends you to a dirt road on the opposite end of the lake. If you can get to the Rodeo Arena in town, you have arrived at the park. The RV sites are near the frisbee golf course.


Lake Rita Blanca - April 2017

I arrived early in the day and parked in the day use area.  I walked on the trails and waited to see if other RVs would be staying the night. 

There is a private RV park in town, but it was more expensive and probably crowded. I would go there if no other RVs showed up, I did not want to be the only RV staying overnight in the city park.

Although this is a large park, the camping area is small, 10 spaces on gravel with no camp host on duty.  $15 for a site with electric. RVParkReviews says full hookups, I only used the electric.

The surrounding park has several trails and a frisbee golf course. The rodeo arena is on the other end of the park. Curfew in the park is 10pm, it was a quiet night after the day traffic left.






View from RV site



There are a few trailheads and a path around the lake.





alltrails.com shows this as a 5.4 mile easy loop trail.

I would definitely stay here again, when traveling through Northern Texas. There are restaurants, a grocery store and gas stations nearby.


In May 2014, I stopped at the XIT Museum in Dalhart, check out that post on my blog here.











Tuesday, October 31, 2017

La Grange, Texas and Texas Quilt Museum

Many homes in the town of LaGrange, Texas were flooded during Hurricane Harvey. This storm slowed down and stalled over parts of Texas causing massive flooding in Houston and small towns. On August 28, 2017 the Colorado River, flowing through La Grange, reached 54.2 feet, the highest since 1913.

Whenever I visit a town, I will follow the town's facebook pages to become familiar with the area and to learn of special events while I am visiting. I will also follow the county sheriff and local police pages to be aware of my surrounding.


Through facebook, I was able to watch the events that unfolded during and after the storm, the town square did not flood. The residents pulled together and helped out everyone the best they could. I read amazing stories of people helping their neighbors



photo found on internet / by Bruce Spindler




When I visited La Grange in January 2017, there was a cold front passing through. For one day we had freezing rain hanging from the trees and picnic tables, the ice looking like leftover holiday decorations. 

I always try to plan extra travel days and was able to stay until the weather warmed up and everything melted.                                                                                                    

The Colorado Landing RV park is within walking distance of the town square. 
This beautiful park with walking paths and fishing piers was right along the Colorado River.






photo from website

On Saturday afternoon I walked to the town square, passing some beautiful houses and some trees that were almost in the middle of the street.  The roads were paved around these large trees.


Fayette County Courthouse on the Town Square

"The heart of the town’s square is the spectacular Fayette County Courthouse, one of the best examples of Romanesque Revival architecture in Texas. The courthouse, completed in 1891, is a beautifully constructed three-story building that features limestone walls accented with blue sandstone and red granite, arched doorways and windows, and an ornate clock tower."


The weather was just perfect for walking. I visited the local antiques and thrift stores and stopped at the local coffee shop before heading to the quilt museum.

The museum is housed in 2 historic 1890's buildings. The museum opened in November 2011.


Mural on the side of the building

I am amazed with the wonderful quilts and works of art produced by the quilters. I dream of someday making a quilt worthy enough to be displayed.

I was not allowed to take photos of the quilts in the main gallery. There was an exhibit of smaller quilts in another room and it was ok to photograph those.




I love the texture and patterns in quilts. I have made a few small quilts, mostly baby quilts and wallhangings. I have a few old quilts and quilt tops that I could not part with when I downsized.




These blocks are for a quilt I am making for my granddaughter
I am a bad Nana, as I have started it almost 5 years ago.





Monday, October 30, 2017

You are exactly where you need to be

Many times, I have pondered this phrase

"You are exactly where you need to be"


We often wonder - Where should I go? What should I do with my life?



Life has a way of changing your best thought out plans.



It's time once again to
 "go with the flow"
 " go where life leads you".




My blog has been dormant for awhile.

I have been traveling and working from my RV, but I lost my desire to blog.

I have not been using my laptop, I got hooked on using my iPhone for everything.


Now my iPhone is not working correctly. 2 years ago, it was a bargain to purchase with a loyalty program with Sprint ($279). I was hoping to keep this phone for many years. I refuse to pay an enormous amount of money for a new phone.


This is a blessing in disguise, I will start using my laptop more. 

Seems that the older iPhone stops working when a new one comes out.
Whats up with that???







I am hoping to improve my writing skills and write the blog on a regular schedule. Practice makes perfect, right. 

My posts will not be in chronological order. I am too far behind for that. 

I will write about things as they come to mind and as I get my photos in order.










Monday, April 24, 2017

A *FREE Vacation

*Free - nothing is free :)
You will need to trade some hours of work for this *Free vacation

What does work-kamping mean to you?

Why do I "work-kamp"? 


This is a breakdown of my Cody, WY/Yellowstone "vacation in 2014"
May 5 to August 5, 2014
I left San Antonio,TX on May 5th and arrived in Cody on May 14th
archived blog posts can be found on the right side of the blog

                                                                            


Total Gross Wages...$3488.00   Travel Expenses*...$1496.00
Net  $1992.00

*Travel expenses are RV fuel and all RV campsite fees from
the time I started out in Texas in May until the time I left Cody in August
this includes the "job site rent" and trips on my days off 


I worked approx. 55 days/11 weeks
An 11 week working "vacation"
Note: this is the lowest paying workamping job I have had
I wanted to visit Yellowstone, so I agreed to it
My job: phone reservations
Bonus: meeting other work-kampers 


Where did I go and what did I see during these three months...

underlined titles will link to my blog posts

A benefit of working in Cody is that most of the attractions were free or discounted

Seasonal employees start with a tour from the Visitor's Center and then receive
 discounts/free passes to the attractions, including river rafting

I enjoyed all of these free attractions:
Buffalo Bill Center of the West
Trolley Tour of Cody
Rafting the Shoshone River
Old Trail Town
Heart Mountain Museum
Concerts in the Park
Music Revue


The Rodeo was a $10 annual pass, less than a single day admission


Along the way, or on my days off, I visited these towns and places

Texas
Wyoming
Chief Joseph Scenic Byway
Yellowstone National Park
Casper, Cody, Wapiti, Lovell
Wind River Scenic Byway
Shell Falls in Shell Canyon - Bighorn Mountains

Buffalo Bill Dam
Wapiti Ranger Station
Shoshone National Forest Campgrounds
Pahaska Tepee - Buffalo Bill's Camp
Shoshone River Trail

Montana

Red Lodge, Nye
Beartooth Highway - National Scenic Byway
Devil's Canyon Overlook
 Chief Plenty Coups State Park - National Historic Site
Cooney State Park, MT




As you can see from my list above and from the photos in my blog posts during the summer of 2014, this is a beautiful area of the country to visit. My RV is easy to setup/move and I would usually pack up and go camping on my days off of work.

If you plan to visit this area, you will need a week or more to see everything in Cody, you could easily spend 2 days at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.


Depending on where you stay in or near Yellowstone, you will want at least a week, if not more time, to explore Yellowstone.  The park is huge and it takes a long time to get from section to section. This is one of the reasons that I opted to take a bus tour while in Yellowstone.


It took some time to set up this list, looking back and reading my blog posts from 2014 to make the links.


I miss the big beautiful blue skies and open prairies of Montana. I plan to return to this area.




If you don't need to get paid, and don't mind kicking in $$ for some of the expenses, you can "google" - Volunteer Vacations - and find some great places to visit.







Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Lighthouse Lakes Park - Texas

It's Tax Day!
Just a few more hours of work
and then time to travel
and take a break

Here is a post that never made it
to the blog last year.



April 2016



Wandering around the bay on a day off work. 





Time to get a kayak, it would probably have to be an inflatable because I have no way to carry a kayak with my RV.

There are several places around here that offer kayak tours or that rent kayaks.  I have no way to transport a rental, so a tour is probably the best way to get out on the water.






Kayak Trails
This area is the launching point for kayakers to enter the Lighthouse Lakes Paddling Trails, which take visitors through the back lakes behind the historic, 1857 Lydia Ann Lighthouse. 

Aransas Pass Light Station

Lydia Ann Lighthouse

The lighthouse was on the other side of the channel and difficult to photograph


The lighthouse from which the trails take their name figured in the Civil War,
 and its original Fresnel lens still lies buried somewhere in the surrounding marsh.




The Lighthouse Lakes Park is ecologically important because of the great diversity of coastal habitats in this geographic area.  

This park is located on Harbor Island which contains one of the densest populations of black mangroves on the Texas Coast.


The park offers kayaking, fishing, birding and nature watching.  Home to the largest kayaking paddle trail in the State of Texas. Established by Texas Parks & Wildlife, it is 6 miles south of Aransas pass along the Aransas Channel on the Redfish Bay Causeway.










Lots of industry near the water, this rig is"parked" near the ferry terminal

"Port Aransas is about to become the home of another offshore production rig, to be put in storage on Harbor Island."
"The massive structure is expected to be towed from the Gulf of Mexico to Harbor Island around July 15, said Burt MoorhouseSouth Texas operations manager with Gulf Copper, the firm that leases the Harbor Island property where the rig will go."


Love to watch the changing light at the end of the day


Part of the reason that I am so far behind with posting to the blog, is a problem with getting pictures from my iPhone to my computer.  My old iPhone stopped working and I purchased a new iPhone in September 2015.  In the past, I would plug the iphone into the laptop and photos would automatically transfer to Picasa.  But with the changes to iPhone and iCloud and Picasa not being supported by Google, I was not willing to struggle with all of this. 

I still do not totally understand all of this and I am not so sure that I want everything to be in the cloud, but then again, I am putting my life out there with this blog.

I do want to record these moments and photos here.  I have printed my 2011 blog posts to a book and plan to print all of the years. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Birthday and Holidays 2016

November and December 2016



My birthday is in November and Sophia loves to help in the kitchen.





Sophia helped to bake a delicious chocolate raspberry cake. We had a tea party to celebrate and eat cake.



She wanted everyone to wear party hats and found some things in her toybox and dress up box to use as hats.




Thanksgiving is all about the food, we didn't have to do a lot of cooking. We went to Colorado Springs to spend time with my son-in-law's family.  We took a few things along, the stuffing from our family recipe and a sweet potato pie.




We had a special visitor on Christmas Eve, my daughters village sends the Fire Dept out with Santa Claus, to surprise the kids. Sophia was excited, baby Grace was not happy.

We were so happy that they did this, with everyone being sick, we never made it out to the mall to see Santa.







Christmas was at home. Everyone seemed to be coming down with some type of virus.
We only made 2 batches of cookies, but that was enough since we were not going anywhere. It was nice to stay home in our jammies and not worry about traveling.







Christmas is all about the kids, Sophia is 3 and loves music - singing, dancing, making up songs.
She received several musical instruments.






Grace is just 7 months old, her 1st Christmas. Lots of learning toys for her.








Monday, March 27, 2017

Links, Updates and Pages

Have you noticed the pages listed under my header picture?


2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
Work Kamping
National Parks
Travel Books
More Books
RV Stuff 



These pages make it easy for you to find information about the places I have visited.

I have updated these pages to add links to websites.


I will try to add links for just about everything that I mention, making it easier for you to get additional information. 

Check back often, as I continue to update these pages.

I also hope that you will check out the Amazon links on my pages. I have become an Amazon Affiliate, hoping to earn a few dollars to offset the cost of internet service while traveling.


There is also an affiliate link, under my header photo, for Drake Tax Preparation (1040.com) this link is for those who want to self-prepare their Income Tax forms. I have used the tax professional's version of this software for many years.

I feel that Drake Tax Software is better than other tax software companies and they are a very professional, reliable company.

If you are looking to hire someone to prepare your tax return, you can contact me at www.tlstaxservice.com or through the email at the top of my blog page.

I must still work while traveling.  I am not old enough to draw on a pension at this time and will probably work for a few more years, and then I will be traveling and volunteering more. 

Alaska is still my ultimate traveling goal................

So many places I have not been to yet - Maine and the North Eastern coast including Canada - then eastern coast of the U.S. - the Pacific Northwest - the desert in the winter, etc.........

I have traveled around the Great Lakes a little, but not in my RV.



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wheat Ridge, CO - Clear Creek Trail

October 27 - December 27, 2016


 Nana's home

I stayed at Prospect RV Park in Wheat Ridge, CO for 2 months. The park is adjacent to the Clear Creek Trail and Greenbelt area.


Clear Creek Trail is a concrete path along Clear Creek connecting the City of Golden with the City of Wheat Ridge. There are also several other paths closer to the creek and around the small lakes.

I liked the location of the RV park, the owners and managers are very nice, it is a laid back, quiet park. The drawbacks are that it is a very tightly spaced park, popular with travelers and residents so it is difficult to get a reservation. Many of the sites do not have full hookups, my site had electric and water. They have several private shower rooms and a nice laundry room. Luckily, I spent most of the time at my daughters and only had to move the RV two times to use the dump station.

A city/suburban bus stop is a few steps from the park, the bus will take you downtown, to different areas around Denver and also connects to the light rail system.

All of your usual suburban conveniences are nearby and there is a small produce market across the street. 






I tried to get out for a walk most mornings and afternoons when I was at the RV park.



The first month I was here, we had glorious fall weather. 

After Thanksgiving, the weather turned colder than normal and snowy. I unhooked the water and eventually ending up winterizing the RV.




I stayed overnight at my daughter's house for most of the month of December, only returning to the RV on the warmest days.

The sun, at this elevation, can make the days feel warmer than the number on the thermometer. The sunshine helps with the decision to get out and walk, even on a cold day.




An area near the trail, under the highway on the west side of I-70, you are allowed to "pan for gold". Curious, I headed that way one afternoon and there were at least a dozen people in the creek, they had carts full of equipment, shovels, buckets, screens, pans, etc. Wonder if they had any luck?





 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Digital Clutter

S.O.S.

I'm drowning in digital clutter!



All this week, I have been sorting and categorizing photos on my computer. This all came about after moving the photos from my phone to my computer.

I found that most of the photos are grouped by date, some just have a file name created by the phone app.

I tend to stay in one place for several months at a time, so I have been creating folders with names/locations and moving the photos into these folders.









This is not fun, but necessary, especially if I am going to continue to update my blog. I've had this computer since October 2011 - so that is a lot of photos. 

After creating the named folders and reducing the number of folders, it will be time to go through and discard duplicate photos and the photos that are "not so good". 






Why did I wait so long to do this?  When the photos were stored by date and I was posting to the blog on a regular basis, it was easy to find the photos - but now, after 6 years, it's a mess and needs to be better organized.

The other clutter is email.  For some reason, I was not deleting emails on a daily basis.  I think it was because I was using my phone, so did not "see" how many emails were piling up. I am going through and marking a lot as spam and also deleting several thousand emails.  Such a waste of time.  






I've also deleted some apps from my phone - Facebook, Feedly and Amazon plus a few others.  I've kept RV related apps for now - for navigating, for finding RV spots and fuel, etc.


All of today's photos are from my 1st winter along the coast of Texas, 2011-2012

Drake Tax Software

Overnight stays in these states:

Overnight stays in these states:
It is the sandstorm that shape the stone statues of the Desert. It is the struggles of Life that form a person's character ~ Native American Proverb