I got up early as I was trying to get out of here by 11:00 am. I had taken care of most things so there was very little left to do in the way of preparation and I did not move as fast as I should. We went out for the mornings walk and ran into the Super who was working on his flower garden, I spent 15-20 minutes talking to him which I had not planned on. Then after everything was complete and we were ready to go as I turned the corner in the park, one of the residents’ cars was sticking out into the driveway and it was very tight, and I was afraid I would not make the turn. I knocked on their door, but they were not home, so I called the Super who came over to direct me. Then, as I started to drive. We both noticed that the back wheels of the Jeep were dragging. I fiddled around and tried a couple of times of going through the gear routine to disconnect the gearbox with no success. In the end, the Super noticed that the brake was on although for the life of me, I cannot remember doing that. I had already driven 50 yards up to that point with no problem. With the handbrake off, I waved goodbye to the Super and we started on our way.
It was a very strange drive. We started off by getting onto IH35 which made sense and drove on it for about 45 miles. Then, we started on County roads which seemed to take us all over the place and I was beginning to worry that we had a problem. But no, RV Trip Planner came through again and we hit the small town of Malakoff made another turn and we arrived at our destination,
I checked in at the office and was warmly greeted by Frieda, the lady behind the desk who checked me in. I had forgotten that I had already paid and was ready to do it again, but Frieda cheerfully reminded me. Johnny, the park repair person was ready to show me to my site and I followed him to site E-4 which is an exceptionally large tree shaded pull through currently with nobody on the one open side. This is the best site I have had for a long time, trees everywhere and lots of shade, wide open spaces with my nearest neighbor currently at least 50 yards away. That may change of course if someone moves in next door.
It took me about an hour to set up. Lowering jacks, connecting power, water, and sewer, and then disconnecting the Jeep which went surprisingly well. The humidity was extremely high, and the sweat poured off me. I have not sweat like this in a long time. I sat for a while but decided that it would be better to go walking sooner rather than later as both dogs just had an exciting and trying experience with the trip. They never really settle down and sleep or anything like that and are on the lookout the entire time. Consequently, they need to walk to relax after any of our journeys.
We harnessed up and took a quick stroll towards the lake which is maybe 150 yards away. I had been told that dogs are not allowed in the swimming area, so we made sure to avoid that. We spotted a big blue heron waiting patiently by the shoreline for his evening meal. It is a tough life when the only way you eat is to catch your own food. Maybe us humans need to do that again as we are so spoilt. We strolled back to Quatro who, by the way, had received several complements from a few people passing by and Johnny, the park repair person.
We spent the evening relaxing and mostly cooling down. It is interesting to note that although the humidity is high and the temperature is hovering just under the 100-degree mark, the RV is doing fine with its own A/C units without the use of the auxiliary fans that I have. The shade trees are an enormous help in that regard.
Written 06/21/2022. Read my other blog at https://pondblog2011.com
Shiloh on the Lake, Malakoff, Texas Day 2
I slept like a log and did not wake up until 9:30 am. Must have been all that hard work of breaking camp, driving for 100 plus miles, and then setting up all over again which made me tired. That plus the aggravation with my stupidity with the Jeep when we were leaving. We went out walking and discovered the dog park which is actually two dog parks adjoined with access to both through gates. This way, a couple of dog families can walk at the same time and still be separated. I stopped to talk to the repair person who does like to chat. That is OK as I get to learn about things that way. He told me that the closest grocery store is in Malakoff, 3 miles up the road.
I made breakfast for myself and the all-important coffee and fixed the dogs something as well but as usual, they completely ignored what I offered them. The email situation is getting much better thanks to my efforts of unscribing from those I do not want. Now, it is almost manageable.
Following the brief stint on the computer, I decided that I really should go into town grocery shopping. Malakoff is not very big and really comprises of one main street with a Brookshires and a few other stores like Dollar General and such. The population is not very large, and the lake is the main attraction bringing in travelers from miles around. I stopped at the Brookshires Store and wandered up and down the aisles finding nearly everything that I needed and a few things that also caught my eye. As I was leaving, a young employee offered to push my cart and unload my groceries, but I decline because my pride got in the way. I did not realize they do this for every customer and not the aged and infirm. I really got to take a long look at myself in the future…
I drove across the street to the Dollar General as I was looking for a Sun Visor for the Jeep. I wandered around but could not find one and jumped back into the Jeep. On the way out of town, I spotted an Automotive Store and thought that surely, they would have something like that, but no, they did not have one either. With nothing that I could do about that particular item in this small town, I drove back to Shiloh on the Lake.
Then disaster struck. I got out of the Jeep and searched in my pocket for the keys to the RV, and I could not find them anywhere. I know I had them when I left as they were in my pocket after locking the RV along with the keys to the Jeep. I almost tore the Jeep apart in my efforts but with no luck and concluded that I had dropped them somewhere. With no alternative, I drove back first to Brookshires, but they did not have them and then on to Dollar General. This time, the Gods were with me as the counter clerk searched in his drawers and came up with them. Apparently, I dropped them in the Parking Lot, and someone turned them in. I thanked them profusely and drove back to Shiloh on the Lake which, incidentally, is only 3 miles from Malakoff and the road crosses one of the damns over Cedar Reservoir with its spectacular views……..
Back at Quatro, I was met by two very happy little dogs who had no idea how close they had been to having to wait it out until I could find a way to get in, whatever and whenever that was. Incidentally, I have two spare sets of keys already cut and in magnetic boxes that I have not yet installed on this RV and on the Jeep. You can bet I will find time to do that at once, although, by not having that done, it did force me to go back for the original keys.
I put the groceries away which by now, any frozen stuff had probably thawed out, helped by the dogs who wanted to smell everything. Then I harnessed them up and we went for a short walk by the lake as a reward for finding the keys before returning to Quatro to write and relax or in my case, unwind from the stress of losing the keys. I was tempted to have an early glass of wine but instead settled for a seltzer. I wrote for a while and noted that even though it was 101 degrees outside in the sun, the RV was nice and cool only using its own AC units without the added use of any fans. Amazing what a bit of natural shade will do. I think it is estimated the shade can reduce temperatures by up to 10 degrees.
We took yet another walk later in the day as a special treat and for me to continue to unwind from the mornings experience before settling down for the evening’s meal and entertainment.
Written 06/21/2022. Read my other blog at https://pondblog2011.com
Shiloh on the Lake, Malakoff, Texas Day 3
We slept late probably because I was having bad dreams and woke myself up thrashing around trying to kick the bad guys. Must be a throwback to my soccer days that I always use my feet when I have those sorts of dreams. Way back then, my legs were the strongest part of my body, and my aged brain remembers it. I finally settled down to sleep and when I did wake up in the morning, Mikey was pressed as close to me as he could possibly get as if to say, “I got you covered, Dad, I will protect you from the bad guys of your dreams”.
We got up and visited the dog park and wandered around to get some exercise. It was already in the low 90’s and is going to be another scorcher. I had a couple of chores that needed attention before going inside of Quatro for breakfast which, incidentally, was a fried egg on toast. The egg was cooked in the microwave and only took a minute. This was of course accompanied by the all-important coffee and to feed the dogs but as usual, their food was ignored.
I settled down to answer emails and write about our experiences which may be of interest to a few of you out there. The number of emails has dropped off, so my efforts are working. Many go back to my earlier life which of course, no longer exists as essentially, I started a whole brand new one when I started RV’ing. That has been the story of my life and probably everyone else’s too. We live our lives in phases each one lasting from a few weeks to a few years. I am not talking being married and all that goes along with married life but more of our interests as we age. My early years were spent playing sports, soccer in particular which I played until I was 72 and only quitting then because I had knee replacement surgery. Small price to pay for all those years of enjoyment. Some might disagree but that is how I feel about it. Along with the soccer, I had a large aviary and raised parakeets and finches for a few years. That was a throwback to my life in England as I did that over there as well. My next big thing was fishponds and I built 5 of them in my backyard and when I sold the house, they went along with it minus the huge Koi that I had donated to Zilker Gardens in Austin. With the house gone and the responsibility of the fish and birds also gone, now it is just me and two little dogs. I should mention that all my life I have had dogs as a part of my family and to date, have loved and lost 28 of them. I miss them all.
I went into Gun Barrel City, yes that is its name, to return a package of a complete trucker’s map of the US. I thought it might help plan our travels, but it is way too complex and expensive for our needs costing $75.00, so I returned it to Amazon via UPS. I was worried that because I had thrown away the original packaging, there might be a problem but that was not the case, and everything went smoothly.
Across the street was a Walmart’s where I stopped to do some shopping primarily to get a sun visor for the Jeep to try to keep it a bit cooler. It sits a lot and is out in the sun some of the time. I did a bit of grocery shopping but had already done most of it yesterday in Brookshire’s although I did find a couple of things in the drug section. One thing I am having trouble finding is the body lotion I use that has sun screen lotion in it. Cannot find it anywhere and, not even with the brand that I have now that does contain it which is fast running out. I bought 3 containers of it the last time I found it because it is so hard to locate.
That was not the end of my lucky day as next to the Walmart’s was a Starbucks. I have not had a Starbucks fix in a long time, so I really enjoyed this one. It lasted me all the way back to this park. I stopped at the office and picked up my latest delivery from Prime which is a tablet holder for when we travel. When we started this part of the journey, I had both the tablet and the phone giving me directions. Both were tuned in to the same trip that I had planned on RV Trip Planner. The problem was that although the directions were the same, the voices were not synchronized, and both were telling me different things at different times making for a very confusing trip. In the end, I switched off the phone and used my tablet, but it was between my legs on the seat as it did not have a special tablet holder. Now I do so hopefully, life will be a bit simpler.
We went out walking around by the lake and in the park as the dogs had been on their own for a while before returning to write. With the humidity, it was 103 degrees and felt like it. The humidity is the killer. Incidentally, on the way coming in, we drove through a bridge construction next to an existing bridge over the Cedar Reservoir which is the name of this lake. I had noticed a smilar construction at another bridge that I had driven over a couple of days ago. I guess they have a reason for the new construction. Not like there is that much traffic on these roads…One problem might be that the exisiting bridge does not have any shouldres and if a car or truck was to break down, it might cause a major problem. As I am just a visitor to this part of the country, who am I to judge.
Back in Quatro after the walk, I settled down to write some more and the dogs zonked off. Great life being a dog in a home they are well loved. I would settle for that except their lives are so short.
Written 06/22/2022. Read my other blog at https://pondblog2011.com