December In Fulton Texas

Here we are!  I don’t know where we are.  The signs, the GPS, and the map tell me that I am in Fulton.  The closest post office is the Fulton post office.  But, if you don’t put Rockport (the town about 10 blocks SW of us) on the envelope we won’t get the mail.  Where am I?

Our Campsite Blue Lagoon Resort
Our Campsite Blue Lagoons Resort

The Blue Lagoon RV Resort is our home base for the December, January, and February.  It is pleasant, small (110 sites) campground right on the Texas Intracoastal Waterway portion of the Gulf of Mexico.  We have had mostly very nice weather in the mid 70’s.  Murphy lives here too and he enforces the same rules as everywhere else!  The only bad weather occurs on the days when we are outside.

Christmas Boat Parade
Christmas Boat Parade at Rockport
Christmas Potluck
Almost Time For Christmas Potluck

Christmas here was nice even though we miss family and friends.  We have made many new friends and did have a good time at the Christmas “Potluck”  with the other “Winter Texans”.  We also shared the day with the kids and grands via telephone.

1892 Victoria County Courthouse across the street from the De Leon Plaza
1892 Victoria County Courthouse across the street from the De Leon Plaza

The very pretty historic part and the bustling newer section of Victoria made for nice diversion on one particularly rainy day.  We did get a number of nice breaks in the weather but also had to make some mad dashes to stay somewhat dry.  Elaine suggested and Gordon, with twisted arm ;-), went along with the idea of an ice cream lunch.  On the way home we saw the outskirts of Port Lavaca a future day trip destination.

Birds at Aransas Refuge
Birds at Aransas Refuge

Even though we did not see much wildlife the Aransas National Wildlife refuge was very nice.  The weather wasn’t conducive to birding, it was cool enough that the reptiles were still in bed, and the mammals were hiding because we went in mid day.  We did see some very good exhibits and met some of their friendly volunteers who encouraged us to apply to work with them.

Goose Island Live Oak
Big Tree

I had to go see this tree!  It is known by various names: Goose Island Live Oak (It is on Goose Island), Lamar Oak (The port of Lamar was bombed and burned during the civil war), Bishop’s Oak (St Joseph’s Chapel is nearby), and simply Big Tree.  It is a 1000+ year old example of Virginia Live Oak (quercus virginiana) with a trunk circumference of over 35 feet, a crown span of 90 feet, and a height of 44 feet.

Wishing all a happy and prosperous New Year

Growing old beats all viable alternatives, especially on the days when you refuse to act your age.

Gordon, The Random Rover

A Stop Near Medford and Back To Home

We sadly leave the Oregon coast and head inland on the final legs of this summer’s odyssey.

A Perfect Private RV Pad
A Perfect Private RV Pad

A beautiful drive over the mountains through Coquille and Roseburg took us to see our good friends Peggy and Gerry near Medford, Oregon where we were welcomed with open hearts and arms.  It was our first visit to their home and again we were blessed with perfect weather.  We played cards, chatted, ate, danced, shopped and had a great time being introduced to the area.  Our hosts deserve many thanks for the fun times and wonderful memories.

Border Town, NV -- Beaty, NV -- Bullhead City, AZ
Border Town, NV — Beatty, NV — Bullhead City, AZ

Lots of miles on the way home. The first day out of Medford we went down to Mt Shasta and then  through Susanville, CA and finally to Border Town, NV.  Most of the drive was through the forests with lots of steep grades.  The next day we continued on to Reno, NV,  Fernley, NV,  Fallon, NV, and finally  to Beatty, NV.  Mostly desolate desert country.  From Beatty we continued through Las Vegas, NV and east  through Laughlin, NV and finally to Bullhead City, AZ.

Mesa Campsite
Mesa Campsite

Highway 68 to Kingman, AZ then I40 east to highways 93 and 60 through Pheonix, AZ to Mesa.  We took a break from traveling and spent 1 day shopping in Mesa.

The Wood I Collected
The Wood I Collected

Our last day on the road out through Apache Junction, Florence, and Tucson with no stops.  I had to turn on the windshield wipers!  7611 miles and we are home. There and back again – a marvelous summer filled with family, friends, places and experiences.  Definitely a trip well taken.  Above you see my saw table filled with the wood I was given, or I scrounged, and some that I purchased.  Oregon myrtle, Maple, Yellowheart, Birch, Alder, Madrone, Myrtle and Maple burls, Cocobolo, Purpleheart, and even some unidentifiable driftwood will be waiting for me to be home long enough to practice woodworking.  We will soon be off to the Texas gulf coast for the winter.

Happy and safe travels to all,

Gordon

Hannah


Hannah is a 2010 Keystone Montana 2980RL.


Hannah, a blue moose & Elaine in a blue coat

She is our home away from home.

I have made and installed many things to make traveling easier and more fun.  Below you can see some of them.


Lock
No CH751 Locks

Believe it or not, almost all rv’s have the same lock and key combination for their storage bays!  I replaced all my bay locks for security and piece of mind.  If you would like to do the same just “Google CH751”.  It was not difficult or expensive and the folks at Industrial Lock & Hardware were very helpful.  Now my tools and equipment are much more likely to be there when I need them.

DrawerBox
A Drawer In A Drawer

All the available drawers in the bedroom were approximately 7 inches deep which is fine for some things but very inconvenient for small things that you want instant access to such as your toothbrush, toothpaste and razor.  As I did not want to get into matching the detail, wood and color of the bedroom furniture I salvaged the drawer fronts and built two new drawer boxes with a shallow drawer box to slide back into the cabinet when access to items in the lower part of the drawer is desired.  The top section is rolled back in the picture.  And yes, for those who know me those are all hand cut dovetails on the boxes which makes them the strongest and nicest looking drawers in Hannah!

Existing light with LEDs and switch
A Bathroom Night Light

We really needed a night light for the bathroom that would work off the battery and consume very little energy so we would not have to be concerned about running down the batteries when “boondocking”.  This is my solution.  A three lamp LED provides enough light for safety without being obnoxious.  As currently wired we can have either 1 or 2 of the lamps on or we can of course turn it off completely.  Just a single pole double throw center off switch, a small resistor, 3 super brite LEDs, and a little hookup wire and all is good.  With one lamp on, as shown in the picture, the current draw is only .007 amps!  I could run the night light for months and not run down the batteries.  The lamp will still function as it originally did.

Basement
Hannah’s Basement

The main storage bay, which I call the basement, will hold a lot of equipment and supplies, but would quickly become a huge aggravation without organization.  I  have installed hangers, brackets, hooks, clips and permanent storage places in addition to misc. containers to keep things neat, clean, and accessible.

Pull out shelves
Pull Out Shelves

What can I say, my wonderful wife has been married to a cabinet maker for more years than she would care to admit.  In trade for putting up with a continuous trail of sawdust everywhere she obtains the convenience of pull out shelves wherever I can fit them.

Bookcase with folding solid surface top
Book shelf & Counter Extension

We really needed a place for at least a few cookbooks and we really wanted a little more counter space.  This is the solution attached to the end of the kitchen peninsula.  With the matching solid surface top I made for it, It looks like original equipment.  It holds a varying supply of books and often is the home for a toaster oven.  Space is always a premium!

Magazine Rack
Magazine, Brochure, & Map Rack

This is the bentwood oak magazine rack I made to keep the current reading material at hand as we travel. 

Hanger Bracket for shower
A Place For Drying

And we have a place to hang swimsuits, wet coats and hats, and anything else that needs to drip dry.  I made it by heat forming plexiglass.  It is attached over the shower with stainless steel screws and will accommodate regular hangars.

Misc. dividers and Racks
Misc. Storage Solutions

Some more storage solutions, custom fit to our needs.

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