Salmon Glacier

Salmon Glacier
Salmon Glacier, BC, Canada

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Palmetto Island SP....Awww Shucks, we do like seafood

We left TX finally and arrived on Thursday afternoon at Palmetto Island SP near Abbeville, LA. This is an other new state for us. We chose this state park at the recommendation of our friends Debbie and Steve and Faye and Dave and we can't thank them enough. This is a gorgeous park with plenty of room and privacy. We did encounter a problem getting here since the bridge south of Abbeville on Route 82 was closed for repair and getting around the detour was terrible due to the narrow roads and extremely rough surfaces. We finally got our bearings and made it without incident.

Our site C 60 in the N Owl Prowl loop

We are surrounded by Palmettos
The park was pretty quiet with few campers until Friday afternoon. It filled up quickly with numerous kids and some folks with loud music. We knew it would only be a couple of days and it got quiet at night. We forgot to buy some firewood but enjoyed the smell of smoke from other sites around the campground. The park has large loops to walk around and numerous roads to different parts of the park to ride our bikes. We rode one evening to the boat launch area with a pavilion and an interesting sign.
We didn't go swimming
We have been having a great time here and the weather has been good. Nice warm days with plenty of sunshine and cool nights. There was a nice little dam with a waterfall near the boat launch area along with views of the lake too.

Again at the recommendation of our friends we sampled the local seafood fare. The first place we ate at was Shuck's Oyster Bar in Abbeville. The owner, David Bertrand, greeted us at the door and showed us to our table. He came around a couple of times to make sure everything was perfect. He even gave us a little history lesson on the Cajun folks of the area since Abbeville and Vermilion  County have one of the highest concentration of true Cajuns. Then it was time for our food. We ordered the Oyster Shuck a Feller which is a Cajun version of the Oysters Rockefeller.
The cream sauce is to die for
Then the main course came. Glenda had the Crab Cakes topped with Shrimp Etouffee and I had the Seafood Pasta with grilled shrimp. oysters and crawfish over angel hair pasta. We were in heaven.
Bread Pudding

Lots of Shucking going on in the back behind the window
The best seafood I have had to date. Then to top it off I ordered the bread pudding. No way could I eat it all so I took some home for the next day. It was still delicious.
We also had a recommendation to go to Richard's Seafood Patio....Richard's is pronounced Reeshards. French you know. So the next day we waited in line to get into Richard's since they are only open from 6 - 9 pm each day except Sat when they open at 5 pm. We got there at 4:30 and there was a short line and we got right in. They are known for their crawfish boil and frog legs however we didn't go that way but wish we had. I had crab cakes and Etouffee and Glenda had the seafood platter with grilled shrimp, catfish and oysters. We both agreed we should have gone back to Shuck's if not getting the crawfish boil. The portions were good and spice was right but just not the taste we had at Shuck's.
So if we are able to return we will get the crawfish boil. You can get a 3 or 5 lb order. We had a woman at the next table that ordered a 5 lb plate show us how to eat them. Also the local folks mix ketchup and mayonnaise to make a sauce to dip the crawfish in. We learned something. Over all the food was very good and we had a nice young Cajun girl wait on us and she helped explain what Boudin Balls are....pronounced Boo Dan Balls. We had the sampler plate of shrimp, oysters and Boudin Balls. I know our friends liked them but for us they were ok. We probably should have gone to another place to get the Boudin Balls that Debbie and Steve told us about.
This area is so rich in heritage and some of the nicest folks you would ever meet. We'll be back for sure.
Tomorrow we head to Mississippi and Buccaneer SP near Waveland, MS. I hope the weather will continue to hold out but there is a moderate chance of rain while we are there. See you in Mississippi. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Continuing to move east...still in TX....Meeting RV friends

WOW, it takes a long time to cross the state of Texas. We are now in our 4th park in this state. In my last post we were in Van Horn, TX then we did a short stay in Junction, TX at a Good Sam park because we were unable to get a site in the South Llano SP about 5 miles south of Junction. However we did drive through the state park while in the area and did a short hike up to a view point. No real need for photos right now. We had some BBQ for lunch one day and took a walk along the North Llano River next to the park.

Our site...#46

Rocky shore on the North Llano

Our site from the river
There's been some rain in TX lately so things were a little damp everywhere. After  couple of days in Junction, TX we moved on to Goliad SP near Goliad, TX. We had plans to meet our RV friends Faye N Dave or as they call themselves The Wandering Camels

We met them in IL last year as we prepared to go full time and had a fun time getting to know them. They have been wintering in Port Aransas, TX area and we made it a point to stay close enough to visit with them. We drove about 100 miles from Goliad to their RV park. It was great seeing hem again. After our welcome and a short walk around the park we decided to go for a Beach Buggy ride into Port Aransas for some seafood. Basically a Beach Buggy is a golf cart on steroids. They are even licensed to drive on some of the roads there. It just happened to be foggy and a bit rainy but the buggy had a cove on it. It was also Spring Break weekend but the crowds were light due to the rain.

They took us to a place called Fins Grill and Bar and had a great lunch of fish, calamari, shrimp and oysters.

Faye N Dave
Steal A Fish
I got a nice photo of Steal A Fish that Dave talks about on Facebook and their blog. We had great conversation and Faye gave me some good info on the state park we are in now and as we move into Mississippi. She said the sites here at Village Creek SP in Lumberton, TX were a little tight for a big rig but fortunately for us we came here on a Sunday and most of the sites were open so we got our pick. After our farewell hugs, we headed back to Goliad SP and prepared for our next move. The sites at Goliad in the Karankawa area are pull through with full hook ups.(We reserved one thanks to a tip from Faye a few weeks earlier) 

Site #17

Awning side with foliage
The county fair was going on just down the road and we could hear the announcer each evening for the rodeo.
It rained all the next day after we visited Faye N Dave so we just hung out in the rig with some TV and computers. It did let up for a while so we explored a short trail and viewed the Mission Espirito Del Santo on the grounds.
Getting green in TX

Nature Trail

Wet trail

Col rock wall around the Mission

A little history

The Mission
That was a few days ago, as I mentioned. We will get to see Faye N Dave again in IL at Bo Wood COE on opening day April 16th and next winter as they will be workamping for a Cal-Am park in Mesa, AZ just a few miles from where we will be again next winter.. Thank you again Faye N Dave for your hospitality and friendship. So here we are at Village Creek SP, got into our back in site with out much difficulty and there is hardly anyone in the park. The weather as finally cleared and it is warm and sunny the past couple of days. We have been on a couple of trails but due to the rains, many of them are flooded over and closed. I did get a couple of projects done on the rubber stripping over the slide outs with some silicone caulking. We'll be here one more day and then we finally leave TX and into Louisiana. Our next stop is Palmetto Island SP near Abbeville, LA. Here are a couple of photos of our site here at Village Creek SP along with a couple of walk in tent camp sites near Village Creek.
This site was long enough for us

Even the truck

Many open sites up the road

Village Creek very full

Walk in camp site
Well that should get me caught up some. I still need to write a post of our excursion into Palomas, MX with Steve and Debbie but that will have to wait. I should have some more time soon to catch up again. Thanks for reading. See you in Louisiana. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Moving east slowly.... and a new state, Van Horn, TX KOA

Yesterday we left City of Rocks SP and our dry camping experience and headed east to Van Horn, TX. We traveled on I-10 with a stop on the east side of El Paso at a Love's Truck Stop for a quick lunch. We arrived around 4:15 and they checked us in however the first site they gave us was next to the dog run and a shed. That didn't sit good with Glenda so we went back to the office and they moved us about 4 sites away from that spot. Much better. with an empty space between us and the next RV. This is a typical KOA but the spacing is pretty good. We got set up and checked out the park, got some water in the office/store and had some dinner before relaxing with some TV(they have free cable). We found the laundry and checked the prices....$2.00 for the washers and $1.00 for the dryers. So today we leisurely did 5 loads of clothes. We took a break in the middle of the day and went to an ATM, a market for some salad and bananas and a dollar store for a 24 pack of water. We had a nice lunch of turkey burgers and chips and watched a little TV. The wind today started out calm but picked up in the afternoon so we didn't do too much outside. We seem to have had many days since leaving Gold Canyon with wind. It is March though. We did go for a walk around the park after a light dinner Glenda made a nice salad with chicken, avocado and veggies. Of course we still had a few Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies so that was dessert. Tonight is Dancing with the Stars season opener so Glenda is enjoying that while I post. Just before sunset I was able to get a nice photo of the scenery around here.

Tomorrow we pack up and head to Junction, TX and the North Llano RV Park. We will be there again for 2 days before moving on to Goliad SP near Goliad, TX. They are talking rain in the forecast and we hope to get some good days in between the showers that are predicted. Not much more to say except See ya later pardner.

P.S..... I was able to talk to Steve about why our Progressive Industries Surge Protector would not allow power into the rig when hooked up to the generator. It seems that we needed to ground the generator to the frame of the rig to close the open ground error we were getting. Thanks you again, Steve and Debbie for all the help and information you have given us and great memories. I know you're having a fun time with Ted(El Rojo) and Pam.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

City of Rocks SP....Bayard, NM First time dry camping...big learning curve Thank goodness for friends

While we were at Pancho Villa SP with our friends Steve and Debbie, we talked about still wanting to go to City of Rocks. Now this is a park with only a few electric sites and the rest are dry camping, boondocking or what you would call non electric. This means that you have no electricity to run the microwave, TV, hair dryer, coffee maker, etc. You can run your refrigerator on propane, you can run the furnace, you can operate a water pump to get water out of a water tank in the RV, you can use the hot water heater on propane and some other things however when you use those appliances it will draw power from your battery so you have to be careful not to discharge your battery to low unless you can recharge it again with wither solar power or a generator. I had neither but Steve had a generator. We thought we could just recharge each morning after using some of the appliances. So off we went to City of Rocks SP just 30 miles north of Deming, NM. We found a nice  on electric site up on a high part of the park next to some huge rock formations. Enlarge the photos for better viewing.

It took Steve and Debbie a little time to find the right site but finally they settled on one in a lower part of the park just down from our site. Once everyone was settled in and set up we made  run into Deming to pick up some medications for Glenda and Steve and then we stopped at the St. Clair Winery. They had some great wine, olives, jams, jellies, different types of cheese and crackers. So of course we tasted and we bought.

Steve and Debbie

Once we were done we headed back to the park and got supper started. We had some great New York Strip steaks, potato packets and salad. Steve and I grilled the steaks to perfection and the potatoes done just right. The girls had set the table and made a delicious salad.

The gang

After dinner we sat at the table and played Spades....girls against the guys. It took a while but the guys finally won. It was getting late so we all retired to our rigs. Everything was going good with our battery. We could use the water pump, the hot water heater and the furnace. Then when we woke up the next morning we noticed the refrigerator showed a message of low DC. I looked at the monitoring panel and it showed the battery was almost dead. That's not good since the slide outs and stabilizing jacks run on DC current and if the level is too low they don't work. Steve brought is generator over and we tried to hook it up to recharge my battery. However the Power surge protector wouldn't let the power through due to an open ground. That was weird since Steve had used the same generator and plug ins at his rig. So we ended up going directly to the battery to recharge it there. It seemed to work so we let it run for a while. It showed that we had 2/3 capacity so we took it off and started to explore. We climbed around the rocks and took several photos. There were even some guys practicing their climbing skills on the low rocks.

Glenda doing a photo bomb

What are you doing down there?

Guys bouldering

Glenda holding up a big rock

Touching the sky

Steve, Debbie, Hurley(the one with four legs) and Glenda

After climbing around the rocks we headed out on some trails around the park. We went to the Botanical Garden and then followed a trail to an observation point on a hill across from the park. Once we followed the trail up we had great views of the park and the different camp sites. I got some great photos of our rig in the distance. Some telephoto shots with some into between to give perspective.

View of the rig from one of the trails

Distant view of the park

Some telephoto

A lot of telephoto


and less

and regular lens
After being out in the wind and sun we all went back to our rigs and rested for a while. That evening Steve and Debbie invited us over for some stew that Debbie had made the day or so before. They ran their generator and used their oven to bake some biscuits to go with the stew. Wow....delicious. Then to top it off Debbie had bought some ice cream and she had some berries so we had scoops of ice creams with berries and then she surprised us with some lemon flavored olive oil drizzled over it. How decadent and filling. A perfect ending to the meal. Then it was their turn to introduce us to a game. They like a dominos game called Mexican went well with our excursion to Mexico while we were at Pancho Villa SP. I started out pretty good and kept my score down which is what you're supposed to do but Steve finally ended up winning with Glenda with the highest score. Not what you're supposed to do. It was late and we walked back to our rig to find that the charge we put in during the day was gone.
Now we were back to no power or at least minimal power. The LED lights did work but we turned off the refrigerator, we didn't use the furnace, water pump or water heater. We got an extra blanket and cozied into bed. We actually slept well except for fear that if we couldn't get the batter y charged up in the morning we wouldn't be able to get the slide outs in r jacks up to leave. So I texted Steve and he brought his generator back and we did a battery charge for about an hour. I turned it off and we had enough power to close the slides and get the jacks up. All was good.
This was a great learning experience. We only have one 12v battery but Steve has 2 6v batteries which actually carry more amp hours than one 12v. So that will be something we need to invest in. In addition if we did something like that then we could also either increase the number of batteries to 4 or 6 and then think about solar power or a generator. We're just not sure how much dry camping we will do in the future so it s still something we need to research and talk about. In any event we need to improve our battery bank no matter what. So we did our hugs and see you later's then we were off east to Van Horn, TX.
We can't say thank you enough to Steve and Debbie for their friendship, encouragement and assistance. We had the time of our lives and look forward to getting together again next winter. They are planning on spending a month in Gold Canyon at the Canyon Vistas RV Resort we will be at.
This is what our adventure was to be about and our new friends from Canada around the US are making it so. Thank you all. 

 P.S.....I still plan to post an account of our day trip to Mexico soon.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Pancho Villa SP...Columbus, NM with friends

We left Kartchner SP last Sunday and headed east on I-10 then from Deming, NM we went south on NM Route 11 to Pancho Villa SP in Columbus, NM to meet our friends, Steve and Debbie for five days. We had a good trip that day and arrived about 2:30 pm or so that afternoon. Coincidentally, Steve and Debbie arrived just before we did and were looking for their site #7. We flagged them down and discussed our sites. Our site #3 was right next to Route 11 leading into Mexico just 4 miles down the road. Someone was on their site so we talked to the ranger on duty and he told us we didn't have to take the sites we had reserved so we chose to find walk up sites a little further from the road and in line with each other. This park is more dust and rock than we had expected but with our friends here we knew it would still be a good place to camp together and explore. We got set up finally after looking at several sites. Once we got that done it was getting time for dinner so we headed into the small town for a bite to eat. We came across a little place called La Casita. A family run restaurant with no one there but us. We sat down and looked over the menu and made our choices.
Chips and Salsa

Glenda had the Enchilada, beans and rice

I had 3 tacos- 1 chicken and 2 steak with beans

I also ordered a Mexican Coke
The food was delicious and what I would call very authentic. The Coke was similar to American Coke just a little less sugar. We sat and enjoyed our meal and caught up on our travels. 
Monday we got up late, took a walk around the park and just hung out. Tuesday we started talking about the possibility of going into Mexico just 4 miles down the road. We did some research and found that if we had copies of our original birth certificates and a photo ID - like our drivers license then we could go across the border and get back into the US. Glenda and I don't have our passports so that's how would have to do it. More on that in the next post.
Steve had some work to do each day so we just kind of did our own thing each morning until he was available. On Wednesday, Debbie, Glenda and I decided to go for a hike. I talked to the ranger and he drew a map for me to get to a trailhead for the Tres Hermanas(Three Sisters) Mountains near by. We drove north on Route 11 to about half way between mile marker 8 and 9. There was a gate on the left side of the road. Debbie got out and opened the gate and then closed it after I drove through. We drove back on a dirt- sand road to the base of the mountain and parked on the side of the road. We hiked up to a small cave/mining shaft but had been advised that the shaft was dangerous and not to go in. Also there were a number of bees at the entrance so we definitely didn't go in.
View up the mountain

Glenda and Debbie on the way up

Panoramic view

View part way up
We bushwhacked across the mountain base to a cool sheet of rock that lead on up the mountain. We decided to hike only part of the way up. The sun was out in full force and it was about 1 pm. Here are some views as we climbed.

Rock field

We climbed up the lower portion of the rock slab

View down the mountain
We sat on the rock slab and had some nourishment and water along with admiring the views.
We headed back down the mountain and came across a small horny toad. Debbie picked it up so we could get a better photo. He was very docile and cooperated for the photo.

We also came across a cactus with a heart shaped portion that was really unique.

We worked our way back to the truck on a dirt road leading from the mountain. This road also had some border patrol folks off in the distance. At one point it looked like they were checking us out but never came close to see who we were or what we were doing. We had a great time and some good exercise. We all ended up taking short naps once we got back to our rigs. Steve and Debbie grilled some hamburgers and Glenda made some Jello and some baked beans. I brought some of the Jalapeno stuffed olives that I bought in Bisbee. All in all we had a great feast. We discussed our trip to Mexico the next day and I will post that trip, as I said, in the next post.

It's been so much fun so far sharing this time with our friends and getting to know them better. We also have talked about spending a couple of days at City or Rocks SP just north of Deming after we leave here. We will have to dry camp so that will be a first for us. Another story to post soon. I hope you'll stay tuned.