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Author Topic: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016  (Read 2940 times)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« on: March 09, 2016, 10:57:35 PM »
March 9, 2016            Day 7           Fort Davis, TX

We've now spent time in all 50 states, and now we're returning to our favorite spots.  We started a little earlier on this encore trip to Texas, hoping to see the ducks that we missed by just a few days last time.  We're also visiting some new places.

Yesterday, we went to the Ft. Davis National Historic Site, and it was a very interesting, well-restored fort.  There was a 15-minute film about the reason to build it (protect pioneers), the role of the Buffalo Soldiers who ran it from after the Civil War to its closing in 1891, when the railroads became the prime method of travel.  Information about their daily schedules and family life gave us an understanding of what life was like, and we are so glad we live now rather than then.   The NPS has re-enactments, and the volunteer rangers are very knowledgeable. 

The rain waited until we were back at the coach, and we had wind gusts of 18 mph that rocked the coach.  It rained all night.

Today, the high was 50, and the wind made it feel like 41, so we skipped the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center and drove 27 miles to Alpine's Sul Ross University and the Museum of Big Bend.  The museum had displays from pre-historic times to now.  The signage was excellent.  The museum was just the right size (we were there about 2 hours) and everything was high quality.  And, it was free!

The docent was a life-long resident, and she had never seen the Marfa Mystery Lights.  She says our chances of seeing them were less than 1%, and the optimum time to see them was 10:00.  So, we decided to stay in tonight.  She recommended El Patio for a Mexican lunch, and it was OK. 

Our GPS had a major burp, and we went about 50 miles out of our way.  But, we did get to see mountain goats (Pic. 1) because of our misadventure.

Staying at McMillen RV--FHU, $30.  I'll have to do the picture tomorrow.  I can't seem to import it.



« Last Edit: March 09, 2016, 11:53:32 PM by Dean & Linda Stock »
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2016, 09:20:07 AM »
Here are my mountain goats (hopefully!)
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Tom and Margi

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2016, 10:17:09 AM »
As always, I'm looking forward to reading your trip reports, Linda.  I'm hoping you have safe travel and good luck in finding all that you like to see.

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2016, 10:58:59 PM »
March 10, 2016      Day 8      Kerrville, TX

We traveled 340 miles today in the rain.  The landscape was more green, but still pretty monotonous.  We were reminded of the need to be super careful as we passed by an accident involving a motorcycle and a semi.  Prayers were said for all involved.  Dean drives a conservative 61 mph and is very cautious, thankfully. 

Thanks, Margi.  I enjoy writing about our adventures and misadventures.

Staying at By the River RV Park--FHU, Passport America $20, pull-thru
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2016, 12:50:08 AM »

March 11, 12, 13      Days 9, 10, 11   Kerrville

We drove 10 minutes to our new park and have a beautiful concrete pad with grass and the nicest patio table with 4 chairs.  We look out on an orchard and they have put bird feeders throughout, so Sherlock (cat) is delighted.  There are squirrels running around and we have nice spring weather.

We went to the Museum of Western Art, a beautiful, interesting building with heavy timbers, walls of stacked limestone, and 23 boveda domes (Picture 1), which are like skylights that are not attached in any way.  The surrounding bricks contain pumice that makes them lighter.  A special mortar was used so that the domes were built without the use of braces or forms.  The floors were thick, smooth mesquite wood and Mexican handmade tiles. 

The art was very enjoyable, and there was no "junk art."  Admission was $7.  They had a Remington and a Russell, and all the art was realistic (our favorite kind).  We could imagine sleeping under the stars while guarding cattle and how native Americans would look on with wonder and concern at the "invaders."

We headed over to Buzzie's BBQ, which is rated in the top 50 in the US and by the Texas BBQ magazine as the #1 brisket in Texas.  On Friday, they have a 2-meat special with 2 sides for $12.  The plates were huge, and we had enough for a second dinner.  I got the ribs and brisket; Dean got the turkey and chopped pork.  I thought my ribs and brisket were outstanding.  Dean had the turkey and chopped pork, and he found them to be dry.  We split a peach cobbler, which was delicious.

We've been under a gray cloud for a couple of months--things keep going wrong, so we try to repair as these events happen.  Dean's i-Phone holster broke, so we visited Verizon and Walmart.  Both suggested we buy a new I-phone, which we don't think is a reasonable solution.  In San Antonio, we'll visit the Apple store, and if that doesn't work, we'll do an Internet search.  Dean has developed a medical problem, so we've spent a lot of time trying to find a doctor.

Today we went to the Riverside Nature Center (free), but the trees have no leaves yet, and there weren't any birds.  But the docent was very nice, as were the people at the art museum.  She suggested that we go over to the Kerrville-Schreiner park, which we did, but there weren't any birds. 

Mamacita's is rated #2 by Tripadvisor, and everyone I asked recommended it highly.  It's known as a Tex-Mex restaurant, but they used NO spices--really strange.  Nevertheless, the food was good, just not Mexican.  Everyone recommended their steaks, and I'd get that next time.  It is a huge restaurant, with an ice cream parlor (Dreyer's) and bakery where you can watch them make tortillas.  Its motif is a Mexican town.

I continue to be amazed by how nice every Texan is.  As I walked into the restaurant (slowly) the two college kids behind me raced ahead--not to get ahead of me (which I am used to), but to open the door for me.  Wow!  Dean went ahead to get the car after dinner, and as I left, 4 girls about 16-years-old ran by me, which was fine.  However, the last girl let her friends go ahead while she held the door for me.  I wish I could tell her mother how polite she is!

Staying at Buckhorn Lake RV Resort--FHU, I'd rate it a 10, $145/3 days.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2016, 11:54:18 PM »

March 14,15, 16, 17, 18  Days 12, 13, 14, 15, 16  Spring Branch, TX

We planned to spend 5 days with Ned & Lorna Reiter, helping them and socializing.  The first day when we came in, Dean was sick with a couple of weird symptoms, including being really tired. 

The second day, I had everything organized and mapped out.  Trip to doctor was first, but I had called after they closed, so we were just going in.  As we neared San Antonio, we got a call that he wasn't seeing any new patients. So, I called the next two from my research, and YOU HAVE TO FILL OUT AN APPLICATION ONLINE  JUST TO BE ABLE TO TALK TO THEM.  So, iPad in hand, we headed to the "nearest library."  We drove over 20 miles to the downtown San Antonio Central Library (I'm sure it wasn't the nearest), and Dean spent an hour filling out both doctors' applications and downloading the 10 additional pages he would need to fill out if he got accepted.  No problem, because both doctors didn't accept him.  One didn't take Medicare patients, even with a PPO.  The other one was taking only two patients per day, and the first appointment was in May.  So, we went to the "nearest urgent care,"  over ten miles away.  Dean got keflex from the PA, and he is doing much better.

As we left the urgent care center, my scooter flew off the ramp in the back of our Jeep, landing on the street.  A Texan was there right away to help Dean put it back on.  It had broken the secondary security system of chains when Dean hit a pothole at about 15 mph. on a city street.  The Good Samaritan told Dean that he could find a bolt and screw store on the next street over--but it wasn't there.  So, I looked up its address, and it was about 10 miles away.  When we got there, they only sold wholesale large quantities.

We had to find a post office to mail a car key to my daughter. She and her husband were in a terrible accident which did $20,000 damage to her car (it's totaled, but God bless the NTSA for their safety standards), so she wanted to use our car that's in the garage.  They are not at fault, but the other driver said she was uninsured and unlicensed.  But, it is looking better because she has now divulged that she has insurance.  We are so grateful that their injuries aren't more severe, but they are very sore, bruised, and bloodied.  So, I typed in "nearest post office," which took us back downtown to the Central Post Office.  We circled the block twice, found no parking or post office unless it is in the federal court building and gave up.

We needed several items from COSTCO (which is big and lovely), but they were out of the main item we needed.

Then on to Apple, where they didn't have what we needed.  They referred us to the kiosks in the mall, which also didn't have it.

We left at 7:30 in the morning, and got back to the RV at 6:00, having accomplished almost nothing, but feeling exhausted.

The third day was just the opposite--everything worked, and we got things done.  Lorna recycles!  I was so pleased to get rid of all these recyclables that I've been saving.

The fourth day Dean and Lorna worked together on house chores, and I made mushroom soup for Ned.  We enjoyed seeing their beautiful new home.  Lorna is like the Energizer Bunny.  She is so strong and agile!  Ned is feeling better, his tumors are shrinking, and he's teaching me new apps and websites.

Today, our last day, we saw wildlife!  First, we saw 4 deer.  I got a good photo, but I don't know how to get it from my iPhone to the computer.  If there is a techie who can teach me, please send me a note.  As we sat on the porch chatting in the afternoon, I saw the most brilliant cardinal I've ever seen, but our camera was in the RV.  Of course, by the time Dean got it, he left and didn't return to the tree.  We saw a brilliant orange dragonfly and a beautiful orange butterfly.  For those who see these critters all the time and think it's no big deal, it is exciting to me because we live in the Land of Concrete--southern California.  Lorna's bluebonnets are starting to bloom, and in another week, her yard will be all purple.

We have been busy, and I'm glad we had seen San Antonio before, because my one activity here was to go to the Smoke Shack in San Antonio, where I had delicious BBQ'd ribs today.

Lorna & Ned ordered up for us the most spectacular lightning and thunder show tonight.  Dean and I loved it because we rarely get those in California, but the cat is still shaking.  We had one strike that was close, very loud, and scared one of his lives out of him.

Staying at the Reiters'.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Betty Brewer

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2016, 11:21:37 AM »
Oh Linda,
Your stories are so realistic, I feel as if I am with you. I had to chuckle several times as I too have "located" a post office in towns that were  no where to be found!  Say hi to Ned and Lorna for us.  So glad you got to see them and mushroom soup sounds wonderful.  Hope Dean is feeling better.
Betty Brewer

see where we are

ArdraF

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2016, 10:26:05 PM »
Linda, I too am following along!  Don't you just love those disappearing post offices?  There are a lot of them!  We had one today in fact.  Glad I had seen the "real" one yesterday and knew where to go!  It's also amazing how accomplishing absolutely nothing can make one so tired.

Glad to hear you made it to Reiters and thanks for the progress report.  Hugs to them both!  Lorna's bluebonnets will no doubt be beautiful.

ArdraF

ArdraF
:D :D

Ernie n Tara

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2016, 09:33:34 AM »
Can't you just email the picture to the computer from the phone?

Ernie
Ernie 'n Tara

2011 Winn Journey 34y
2012 Jeep Rubicon - Dozer (orange - kinda)
2006 Jeep Wrangler

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2016, 11:47:39 PM »

March 19 & 20       Days 17 & 18   Austin, TX

Yesterday was quite an eventful adventure that I don't care to repeat.  Ned & Lorna had a great idea of how to avoid the very busy I-35 by using two state routes.  We made all the turns correctly to get out of the tract, but when we came to the exit, we weren't sure.  I wanted to call Ned.  Dean said not to, so we erred and mistook FM 306 for US 281, which we wanted.  We turned the wrong way.  Within 5 minutes, we realized what we had done,  but Dean didn't want to backtrack.  He made the mistake of relying on the RV's GPS. 

A very long story made short....the trip that should have taken an hour and a half took us down progressively smaller roads. I suggested we stop at the Valero station and get directions. I suggested again that we call Ned and tell him where we were.   It didn't happen.

I got really concerned when the streets' names had "Hollow" in them.  I remembered swinging on the monkeyvines in the "hollow" behind Dean's childhood home in West Virginia.  I know that "hollow" and "motorhome" don't belong together.

Eventually we came to a washed out bridge that we were supposed to go on.  They had a flood last Memorial Day that killed 14 people.  This is the only bridge they haven't replaced yet.

A nice Texan came out of his house and said, "GPS got you here?"  He said the river had risen 48 FEET in 2 hours.  He volunteered to let Dean make a U-turn through his yard, which was basically a construction site as they are rebuilding his home.  It had rained a lot the night before (that spectacular lightning and thunder show we enjoyed so much) and no one realized how big and deep the mudhole was. 

We got stuck.  They tried to put a pallet under and going in reverse.  We just got more stuck.  The  Good Samaritan called a local tow and Dean called a big rig tow with our road assistance provider.  The closest big rig tow was 1.5 hours away.  This is only the second time we've needed a tow in 10 years, and the other time it was mechanical.

The Good Samaritan's friendly golden retriever saw the open door and came right on in, where he and Sherlock, our cat, were nose to nose.  They were both just curious.  Duke's owner got him out, but Sherlock bounced from window to window watching this strange critter.

The local tow guy, an off-duty firefighter who is trying to build a towing business, did his best, including trying to dig us out with a shovel, to no avail.  Meanwhile, the big rig tow guy called and Dean told him what he was trying but to keep on coming.  He said if we got out, we'd call him right away.

The company called us back to see if he had arrived about an hour later (he hadn't), so they called to see where he was.  He was at home.  He had decided we would make it out. So, he was re-dispatched.  Meanwhile, it had become very dark.  He tried pulling us out from the front, then had Dean put down the back jacks, which just got muddy, and it didn't do anything.  He tried pulling us from the back, and after awhile we did get out.

We drove easily to the state park.  I had called ahead when I first knew we were in trouble and got the code for the lock.  But, it was so cold, and the combination lock's numbers were so tiny, Dean couldn't get it open.  After a few minutes a ranger appeared, and even he had trouble getting it open.  Eventually, he did, and he escorted us to our spot.

It was after midnight, and I was too tired to log.

Today we slept in.  We awoke to Sherlock bouncing off the windshield as he chased cardinals that were landing on our mirror and roof.  We all just love it here.

We hit quite a bit of traffic going to the Texas Quilting Museum.  They had 5 spectacular quilts, but no pictures were allowed.  It's over an hour drive, and I wouldn't do it again.

Every town was closed--every restaurant and shop, maybe 50 stores--except Walmart and a few others by the freeway--because it was Sunday.  We will be very aware of that from now on.  We were glad that we had a full tank of gas.

When we came home, Dean worked on the Jeep's brake lights, which the tow truck driver called us about as he was following us out of the hollow. 

Staying at McKinney Falls State Park--$20, water & 50 amps, lovely turnout space with the trees in the right place so we can get satellite reception.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

jagnweiner

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2016, 07:12:00 AM »
Can't you just email the picture to the computer from the phone?

Ernie

As Ernie said, if your Iphone is set up to e-mail, just e-mail the photo to yourself and then open up the e-mail on your computer.  An added benefit (at least with my iPhone) is that when you e-mail it will ask you what file size you want to make the image (small, medium, large).  That way, you can easily re-size the photo at the same time you e-mail so that it is within the forum size limit.

-Scott
2000 Itasca Horizon 36LD

Ned

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2016, 08:17:28 AM »
Linda, next time I'll give you a map :)
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2016, 10:36:51 AM »
Scott and Ernie, thanks for the suggestion.  I'll work on emailing the photo and see if I can figure it out. 
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2016, 10:40:41 AM »
Linda, next time I'll give you a map :)
  Thanks, Ned.  If I'd had any idea, I'd have just written down the directions you gave me.  We had two addresses on Hwy. 281 that we had visited during our stay with you, and I suggested to Dean that he put one of those in the  GPS before we left, and that way we'd be sure to get to it and avoid I-35.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2016, 12:31:37 AM »
March 21      Day 19      Austin

We had planned to go birdwatching this morning, but at 9:00, it was a frigid 40, so we switched our plans and went to the Bullock State History Museum. 

We enjoyed it when we were here 6 years ago, and we wanted to go back.  The museum owns no exhibits or displays.   Everything that they show is a temporary exhibit, so everything was completely new to us, but it was the same excellent quality. 

There were 3 exhibit areas, and one was about food issues around the world, and I learned so much.  Did you know that fish numbers in the world's oceans are down by 90-99% of what they were 30 years ago?  61% of Americans are obese, as are 20% of the Chinese. We earn the most agricultural export dollars, based on our wheat crops.  They showed pros and cons of many issues and were very balanced.

The other 2 exhibit areas were about Texas history and were equally fascinating.  I learned a lot about the KKK.  At one time, the Texan House of Representatives had a majority of members who were in the KKK.

We don't usually eat lunch, but after touring the food exhibit for a couple areas, we were hungry. The employees said the cafe was great, and we enjoyed our lunch.

We stopped at a highly recommended BBQ, Lambert's Downtown Barbecue, and picked up dinners-to-go.  It is in Texas's Top 50, but neither of us would return. They use a lot of chili powder in everything, and the 2 ribs that I had and the pulled pork that Dean had didn't compare at all with Kerrville or San Antonio.

Tomorrow is supposed to be much warmer, and I can't wait to see my birds and take pictures.

Staying at McKinney Falls State Park.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2016, 11:57:14 PM »
March 22, 23, 24      Day 20, 21, 22      Austin

We visited several state parks and refuges, which were birdless.  We saw more birds in the HEB parking lot than we did in the parks combined.  Of course, they were cowbirds and other common species.

The only place that had anything interesting was the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Facility, where we saw lots of shovelers. By the time we went to this one, I was calling ahead of time and asking if there were lots of birds.  Of course, all of them said yes, so now I've refined my questioning to ask about what kind of birds. 

The Texas Quilt Museum was OK, but they wouldn't allow pictures.  We visited on Sunday, and we were amazed to see all the shops, restaurants, even gas stations, closed.  We were in DOWNTOWN and we were the only people on the streets.  It was kind of eerie.

We also visited Blanton Museum of Art, which is located at U of Texas Austin.  It is a huge campus (think UCLA).   Their enrollment in 2015 was 51,000.  We were going to pay for parking in their garage, and the machine that gives out tickets said the whole multi-level garage was full and wouldn't lift the gate.  Thank goodness no one was behind us, so we were able to back out.  We got lucky and found 2 handicapped spaces at the rear of the museum.  Otherwise, it would have been a very lengthy walk.

 In the art museum, there were 3 themed areas.  One was on discrimination of all types in the 80's--not a happy topic, and neither of us enjoyed it.  The second was Biblical.  We aren't knowledgeable about religious history, and most of the pictures were of people in distress. 

The third area was a hodgepodge, and I did enjoy a few of their works.  This tall statue (Picture 1) shows a "wetback" who has paid a "coyote" to carry her across the Rio Grande to the United States.  One of the ways the INS and Border Patrol could differentiate legal Hispanic immigrants from illegal Hispanic immigrants was if their shoes and pants' cuffs were wet, so people would hire someone to carry them across the Rio Grande to the Land of Milk and Honey.

Picture 2 reminded me of an early Rembrandt, and I love Rembrandt's work.

Art is personal, but we'd definitely skip this next time we're in Texas.  The people in the museum, visitors and employees, were all very nice.

We stopped at Black's BBQ.  I think their delicious brisket is my new #1, and their potato salad was good.  Their ribs were very dry, but had a good smoke flavor.

Staying at McKinney Falls State Park.



March 25      Day 23      Roma

Dean discovered a new problem with the Jeep, which he says is just a matter of wear, so we departed late.  We had traced our route on the map last night, but apparently there are two Falcon Heights, and we went to the wrong one, which is 2 hours from where we needed to be.

 I called ahead and got the gate code, and the lady told us they were expecting about 1,000 people--their busiest weekend of the year.  However, "you'll be safe because we'll have a large police presence."  Oh, dear. 

When there wasn't any information packet at registration, we went looking for those many officers or the Campground Host.  We couldn't find anyone, but eventually a park policeman, who is also the administrator second in command, found us.  He led us to a vacant site, and it was already 10:00.  We hooked up electricity, ate a bite, and went to bed.

Staying at Falcon State Park, $18, electricity and water, the most congested state park we've been in with the turnouts right next to one another.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2016, 01:04:51 AM »

March 27-28      Day 25-26      Roma

For the past several days, we haven't had internet when I wanted to post.  I wrote each night, so I'm glad that I got it posted.

I awakened to a beautiful yellow-headed bird with yellow and black wings outstretched on a nearby tree (paronque??).  And, I also woke up to a very sick husband.  A really bad flu?  A case of violent food poisoning? A systemic infection?

All Dean wanted was to be left alone.  But, the ranger came knocking and told us we had been parked in a temporary spot and now needed to move into a permanent site.  I told him how sick Dean was, and Dean did get dressed and come out.  The ranger asked repeatedly about getting him an ambulance or going to a medical center (which was closed of course, since it was Saturday).  He asked about drinking water, which I'd been trying to get into him since I awoke, and Dean drank 3 bottles.  The work camper, Dave, unhooked our electricity, led us to the new spot, and hooked up our water and electricity.  With gentle encouragement from the ranger, I convinced Dean to go to the ER in the Rio Grande City, a small burg about 40 minutes away.  They got IVs going and transferred him by ambulance to Mission Regional Medical Center because they had more specialized equipment.

Questions came flooding my mind.  Possible solutions also came, but they depended on luck.   I can't get up the coach steps by myself.  Maybe I can find a ranger to give me a hand up the steps. The cat is inside the coach and needs to be fed.  It's a 91 day.  Does the cat have water?  Mission is about 2 hours away.  I have less than 1/4 tank of gas.  Will I be able to find an open gas station?

As I was waiting in the ER, I texted my kids to let them know what going on.  They put their heads together, and I got a text saying Dawn and her husband Keith were on their way, would drive the 1500 miles in 24 hours, alternating drivers.  They couldn't get a flight because of it being the end of spring break and Easter Sunday.   Dean is covering Dawn's obligations that she won't be home to do.  I didn't even think about them coming so far when I originally texted, so this was a surprise.  But, when I realized what they were doing, a feeling of calm and peace replaced my feelings of being overwhelmed.

March 28 @ midnight.  Dawn & Keith arrived about 2:30 AM.  I didn't hear them arrive, but the cat jumped up.  We took care of immediate problems until 4AM and crashed.

We were up about 8:30, and things are moving quickly.  AC isn't working, which is important because of the cat being in the coach.  Keith opened windows that I couldn't because of my arthritis, and it cooled by 20 immediately.  Meanwhile, Dawn was handling other problems.  We had a strategy session about what the problems are and what is the best we can do to solve them.  #1 is the long distance from Dean, so I contacted FMCA to get a "pinch hitter driver."  They promised to get back to me today, but they didn't, so I'll be on the phone with them first thing tomorrow morning.

Dean's progress has been a roller coaster.  Dean was very weak and now can stay awake for 30 minutes.  His voice is stronger.  He is now talking sensibly. He no longer has food poisoning symptoms, but he has no appetite and doesn't want to eat anything at all.  He still has a very painful leg.  Temperature has returned to normal; he's rehydrated.   They are running several different IV drips of antibiotics, and they put him on oxygen.  There are still many hurdles to clear.  And, we've added 2 new medical problems.  It is heartening to have family here working with us.  It's awful to ruin Dawn's Spring Break, but it's great that she didn't have to worry about her students.  I am so proud of them.  And, they see problems I don't and come up with solutions I hadn't thought of.  So, not only are they wonderful, but they are so bright.

Once again, I can't overstate the kindness of the Texans we've met.  The rangers at Falcon SP have been looking out for me/us and always appear when needed.  Everyone has been great to us.  I am so grateful.

An omen?  I love seeing wildlife.  As we pulled into the state park tonight at close to midnight, a javelina crossed our path.  And, he froze in his path so I got a good, long look at him.  When we tried to get a picture, he took off.  But, I'll have that mental picture forever.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Roadhappy

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2016, 01:22:16 AM »
 I have been following your trip and am very sorry to hear of your problems this week.  Thank goodness your kids could come and help when you needed them.  You should have gotten on this site and asked for anyone close to run over and help you.  We are 7 hrs away but I would think someone would be close.
 
Hopefully Dean will get better quickly and you can continue your trip.

Always enjoy reading about your journey.

Robin
Robin & Charles
2008 30' Crossroads Cruiser Fifthwheel
2008 F250 Powerstroke

ArdraF

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2016, 09:55:48 PM »
Tell Dean we're thinking of him and hope he feels up to par much sooner than later.  That's the pits.  Glad you have help!

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2016, 02:31:58 AM »
1:30 AM Thanks for the kind comments.  My son-in-law drove the coach to Mission, where we are in a wonderful park.  It has casitas, so I am going to stay in one of those since I can't enter and exit the RV unaided.  Meanwhile, the kids are going to drive home tomorrow, taking Sherlock with them.  Dean's progress is very slow.  I am anxious to speak with the doctors tomorrow.  We've been so busy that I haven't had a chance yet, but now he has my undivided attention.  We just finished doing laundry, and I have to be up early tomorrow.  Thanks for the help, Betty.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Tom and Margi

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2016, 05:51:52 AM »
I'm so sorry to hear of your troubles.  Sounds like you've reached a good solution with the help of your kids.  Hope the doctor has some encouraging news for you and Dean today.

Betty Brewer

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2016, 10:42:49 AM »
  Thanks for the help, Betty.

You are welcome Linda, though  I did not do much.  When the dust settles I would like to hear the details  of your attempts to get help from FMCAssist.  I was  hoping that coverage would provide good service and will want your opinions.

But mostly what I  want is for Dean to  get well quickly.  Hang in there. God Bless Keith and Dawn. 
Betty Brewer

see where we are

Betty Brewer

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2016, 10:52:56 AM »
Betty here  posting for  Linda Stock.  Her adventures continue only they are no so much fun.  After severals days and several hospitals Dean ended up in  St Lukes Hospital in Houston.  Just how she got the motorhome moved  twice is a story in itself.  Thankfully her  daughter and son in law from California drove 24 straight hours to the rescue.  The kids have now taken the motorhome  back to California along with Sherlock the cat. Linda is in a hotel near the hospital.

 Dean remains in hospital with several IV antibiotic drips and a nebulizer but Linda reports his personality is aback and he is much much improved. The major concern is his leg and the swelling. She said Doctors have begun to mention DISCHARGE but  the long distance drive  from TX  to CA will take several days as his leg is to be elevated mostly.
She especially wanted me to thank all of you who have sent  messages, prayers and well wishes.   Her misadventures continue as she got a flat on her  Jeep (despite 2 new tires) and her computer went black.  She is taking  Uber and likes it as a form of transportation.   She keeps me posted through text messages.  Don't we love technology!
Betty Brewer

see where we are

Tom

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2016, 11:02:01 AM »
Thanks for the update Betty. This has to be quite a stressful time for Linda. Glad to hear the kids were able to take care of the motorhome.  Sounds like there's light at the end of the tunnel for Dean, but I don't envy them the drive back to CA.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Tom and Margi

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #24 on: April 03, 2016, 11:23:18 AM »
Thanks for keeping us in the loop, Betty.  What a horrible set of circumstances.  So glad her children dropped in to help her copy with many obstacles.  Hope Dean recovers well enough to travel soon.  Hugs to them both!

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2016, 05:08:11 AM »
So much has happened since I last posted in Mission.  Mission got his fever down to the 99's, but he was still weak.  On the third day of Dean's hospitalization there, he called me to forewarn me that his leg looked awful, but the infectious diseases doctor said that was part of its getting better.  When I saw it, I knew we needed more help.  It was 2 to 3 times normal size, mottled, fire-engine red with blue and deep red or black areas--UGLY! 

The medical arm of the family had suggested all along that we go to Houston, but when Keith took a picture of Dean's leg and sent it to them, they said we HAD to leave.  Dean is very loyal, and the people in Mission were very nice, and he wanted to stay.  So, I called his doctor at home, and he  said, "Get him to Houston NOW!!!"  He had called on his cell so Dean would have his number to call him back.  In our minds, Dr. Bell is God's main man, so after Dean talked to him, he was ready to leave.  We asked to leave at noon, but Mission wanted to run some more IV's and took forever to do the paperwork.  We didn't leave until 10:00 at night.  Keith (who had never driven an RV before he drove the 1.5 hours to Mission) now made the 7-hour drive to Houston.  We were all on short sleep (two 4-hour nights), so I stayed awake talking to him to make sure he was not drowsy.  Dawn followed in the Buick, and I called her every half hour.  I was really concerned about someone falling asleep. 

We parked the coach at Lakeview RV Resort and I took off with Dean for St. Luke's, while the kids got some sleep.  They were absolutely incredible.  Dean was seen immediately, and by 7:30, his room in the ER (yes, he had a real room), was a hub of activity.  From 7:30 to 4:30, he was constantly being scoped or tested.  He didn't go more than 10 minutes without someone working on him.  The lady who did the EKG said she is usually kept busy with heart transplant patients.  I had no idea of the quantity of transplants that are being done.  Words can't describe how wonderful this hospital is.

Within 24 hours, the redness had substantially decreased and the swelling was down a little.  We were very impressed with St. Luke's.  I think it's the best and largest hospital that I've ever been in.  Uber drivers told me that people come here from all over the world.  Houston has square miles of outstanding hospitals, all in the same area, and all top quality.  Dean continued to improve by leaps and bounds, but the leg still had issues.

We were doing OK, so the kids took the RV and Sherlock back home because they needed to be back at work.  What a disastrous Spring Break they had!  I will always be so grateful.  I don't know how I could have coped without them.

We had anticipated being discharged on Tuesday, but our insurance contacted the hospital and said Dean could do fine with oral antibiotics and the doctors agreed, so we were discharged at 9:00 PM on Sunday.  Dean had 11 prescriptions to fill, and of course, Walgren's pharmacy was closed.  But, they did list their 24-hour pharmacy, and it was only a few blocks away.  We waited an hour, picked up the meds, and came back to my motel room.  Oh, I forgot to mention-- the NCAA Final Four was being held in Houston, and there was a big, famous golf tournament, too, so they had 80,000 visitors.  I spent an hour when Dean was hospitalized trying to find a room within 10 miles of the hospital.  Everyone was sold out, except for a Howard Johnson's at $330 a night and a Quality Inn at $200 per night.  I bit the bullet and spent 3 nights at the Quality Inn.

As Dean organized his meds, he discovered that the doctor didn't give him insulin pens.  Instead, she gave him vials, but NO SYRINGES.  The next morning, we tried to get a scrip for syringes or the pen, and it was next to impossible.  Finally we did get it from the doctor who was covering for Dean's doctor.  So, we left late.  But, we made it to Kerrville, where we are at the Best Western (at half the cost of the Quality Inn), and they include a hot breakfast.

I love Texas and all its wondrous sights.  I would enjoy doing this trip again, but I think our wings have been clipped and we're going to restrict our trips to California and Arizona.

Betty sent me the FMCA Assist link http://www.fmca.com/benefits/fmcassist.html, and I'd encourage everyone to know their benefits.  It would have saved us thousands.  About 7 years ago, we paid $3000 to have the coach driven from WV to CA, not realizing that we had this program.  I called them 2 days ago, and they were supposed to get back to me yesterday, but I haven't heard.  Maybe today.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

ArdraF

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Re: Texas Rocks With the Stocks 2016
« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2016, 10:43:02 AM »
Linda and Dean - we send good wishes both for Dean's recovery and your safe return to California.  Please do let us know when you get home.

ArdraF and JerryF
ArdraF
:D :D

 

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