Friday, January 19

Monahan Sandhills SP

Monahan Sandhills
Originally uploaded by jakesmome.
We made it back to the bus just before the big ice storm hit, the one that we were right on the ice line of. It sure didn't seem as bad from the inside as all the news reports were saying it was, though. Luckily I had just been grocery shopping so there was no need for us to leave. Other than stepping outside for some photos of the ice, I stayed in the bus for three days. By monday our tanks were frozen, the water faucets outside were frozen, and we were out of toilet paper. The roads had cleared so we headed west. I-20 between Abilene and Odessa looked like a graveyard with all the flipped over tractor trailers and a fifth wheel, so I began to believe the roads were as bas as all that. We camped just past Odessa in the Monahans Sandhills SP (State Park) getting there while it was still dark. We knew there were some sand dunes but we were happily surprised in the morning by the massive amounts of sandhills that surrounded us. It was awesome! As an added bonus another storm was hitting so we had to spend another night. The ranger gave Joey a tour of the area and gave him some sand disks to use to sled down the 40 -50 foot slopes, normally they rent for $1 an hour. We had so much fun sledding, but what a workout! We all slept extremely well and then woke up to an inch of snow. What a sight. We debated snow sledding but decided we didn't need to get wet and cold, plus I don't think anybody could have made it up another slope. The snow melted by noon and we headed farther west.

We spent the next night at a rest stop just past Deming, NM after unsuccessfully finding a big enough spot for us as Rock Hound SP. Our tanks are still frozen at this point, we're using our drinking water from the two five gallon water jugs to fluch the toilet and wash our hands. The dishes are piling up though, oh well, nothing new. By the next afternoon, yesterday, the tanks finally thaw so we dump in Wilcox, AZ and fill our tanks. Then we hit the next rest stop and take showers, wash dishes and clean house. While I'm in the shower Joey helps a weary traveler by filling up his cup of noodles soup with water and nuking it for him, and in return he gives Joey his own cup of soup. It was a little wierd hearing a stranger in my living room while I'm in the shower, but it was no big deal in the end. He was very intrigued by our lifestyle and absolutely loved the bus, but I'm sure a bit bewildered when Joey said the kids don't go to school or even do school. He couldn't just say we homeschool, he likes to shock people and say we don't teach them anything. Don't worry folks, they learn plenty, we just don't drill it into them.

In Benson, AZ we bathed and fed the bus, the truck and the Jeep, and discovered that for at least the second time we've had gas syphoned from at least one tank. This time it was the welder. Made mental note to get keyed locks for all gas tanks. Jeesh.

We arrived at Joey's brothers in Mesa, AZ just in time for pizza! It had been a couple years since we'd seen them but their grandsons and our kids didn't miss a beat, and were instant friends. We're off to a great start to our old hometown. I think this is where we would say we're from?? That's still a tough one for me to answer, I don't know where I'm from. Anyway, we unhooked the Jeep and left it and the truck safely parked at Jim's house and we headed out before midnight to get two new house batteries and find a cool spot to sleep for the night. Instead something under the dash caught on fire and stranded us where fate would have us sleep for the night. Luckily it was well lit and seemingly safe.

In the morning Joey figured out what had happened and was able to fix it himself, woo hoo, so off to Wally world for new batteries then over to his sisters house for breakfast.....where we are now. Until next time.....have a good one!

Thursday, January 11

Perfect daughter

We're still really enjoying the campground and with Joey working the night shift we get to hang out alot more than we would otherwise. If he were gone working all day the kids and I might just become hermits, instead we've been fishing, hiking, climbing trees, swinging in the park and throwing big monster disks......occassionally the kids join us. As an added bonus us old folks have even lost a few pounds.

Right now however, we are back in Fort Worth visiting my parents. We surprised them yesterday and they in turn surprised us with the purchase of a bus of their own. It's even green! They were hoping to surprise us in Abilene, too bad...we win. I also did what every good daughter would do...I brought my laundry and secretly used my Dad's razor. He used to get so mad at me as a teen when I would use his razor, I just couldn't resist. I hope I'm still here when he tries to use it.

We were supposed to leave this morning but Joey's sick so we're staying another night.

Friday, January 5

Abilene, TX

Abilene, TX
Originally uploaded by jakesmome.
We left my parent's place on Tuesday, the day Joey turned into an old man of Forty. Knowing Joey's obsession with the weather my Mom got him his own professional weather station and my brother gave him a jumbo pack of T-Bones. He was starting the night shift in Abilene, TX but by the time we found an RV park, and it had a free (no license) fishing lake Joey decided he needed to fish and eat T-bones instead. To top off the big 4-0 he got a call from someone special whom he hadn't talked to in over three years! Forty's looking good! Joey is too.

We stayed at that RV park for three nights and then drove out to Abilene State Park today to do some hiking. The state park is the kind of camping we like, and its only 5$ a night, and I just paid the
RV park $325 for a whole month. We hurry back to the RV park with B1 bombers flying overhead, rattling everything loose inside the RV it possibly can, and try to get our check back. We got it back but he
wants $50 for the last night of camping plus the three hours we were parked there past the noon check out. What a crook! I wanted to cause a big scene and tell him what I thought of him and his
lousy RV park but Joey was inside with me and doesn't like it when I argue with men. He knows he'd probably end up punching the guy and he really didn't feel like going to jail tonight. I'm still pissed. I'm tempted to stop payment on the check. I have no problem paying him
the nighly Passport America rate of $18 plus prorating the three hours we were over, but $50??!! He claims he usually only accepts PA for 2 nights and after that it's $25/night, so apparantly three
hours over equate to a full night. Do not stay at the Tye RV Park! I should have seen that coming when the first night we got there I asked about a weekly or monthly rate and he said he doesn't
do that because they're too busy. The park was almost empty! The next day once he figured out I'd be scouting around for a new park he suddenly can do monthly's. Argh...

The Abilene State Park is great, though! Check out Flickr for some photos.

We are Sanford & Sons on the road

dirty bus
Originally uploaded by jakesmome.
We are Sanford & Sons on the road. At least that's what I felt like driving down from Nebraska with the Jeep loaded full of stuff and the truck bed full of even more crap, with the bikes thrown on top for good measure. No one's ever said anything mean but I know RV parks must cringe when they see us coming. At least we're not that bad.
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