Archive for June, 2009

Granddaughter Week Begins

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Click for Fort Worth, Texas Forecast

In the past several years, we have taken the two oldest granddaughters, Ayden and Gracie, to the beach at Galveston.  Not this year.  We reported earlier regarding the recovery in Galveston and it is still not suitable for RV visits since the Galveston State Park was wiped out.

This year we decided to find places of interest in the Dallas/Fort Worth area since this would give us an opportunity to visit with family and friends.  We started off with a whirlwind tour of Fort Worth. The city is one of the oldest in Texas.  Fort Worth was an integral part of the Chisholm Trail  during the 19th century.  Here is what you would have seen in 1876. (Click photo to enlarge)


Just over 40 years later the town had been transformed into a city.  (Click on this 1920 photo to enlarge.)


I’m sure that the Tarrant County Courthouse hasn’t changed much since its erection in 1895.  Its location causes traffic to swing around the building in the middle of the city.


Different branches of the Trinity river flow through both Dallas and Fort Worth.  Look at our last posting regarding the river in Dallas.  The Fort Worth version is a little prettier.


A couple of miles north of the courthouse is the historic Fort Worth StockyardsBetween 1866 and 1890 more than four million head of cattle were trailed through Fort Worth which was also known as Cowtown.


Most people know the stockyards as the location of the world’s largest honky tonk, Billy Bob’s Texas, but it is a lot more than that.  There are several museums, walking tours, dining establishments, mechanical bull riding, and other activities.

At 11:30 and 4:00 every day, you can be treated to a  cattle drive.  While we waited, the girls cooled themselves with one of the several misting units along the street.


This is what Tinka saw while watching the cattle drive.


Click on the photo above to see Rick’s view.  What steers?

The girls had a chance to visit with one of the cowboys before the cattle drive.


Here’s something that is fun.  They have constructed a giant maze with walls that are about 7-feet tall.  There are hidden “letters” that must be retrieved  and your time is clocked to see how quickly you complete the maze.  One of the letters is on the platform at the top of the stairs shown here.


The girls stayed together and finished in about 22 minutes.  We were on an observation platform and could help them when we could.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t see them  most of the time.


The Stockyard area is loaded with restaurants.  Most of them are in what looks like an old railroad loading area.


Before leaving the Stockyards, the girls decided to jump on their own horses for a quick ride.  One sidesaddle and the other with a straw in the mouth.


Here Comes The Rain

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Click for Dallas, Texas Forecast

We can count, on one hand, the number of rainy days that we’ve seen in the last  20 months.

We are parked at the Cedar Hill State Park outside of Dallas.  While we were in Weatherford checking on our storage shed and dining with old friends, an intense storm bore down on the 5th wheel.  Met with about 60 MPH winds, the rig escaped any major damage.  We did have water leakage on the bed from the front air conditioner.  An inspection shows no damage or holes in the roof.  We can only suspect that the wind and horizontal rain shoved water backwards in the condensation drain.  We turned the AC on and about a quart of water came out into a plastic tub we had positioned under the unit.  Once dry, the system seems to work properly.

The rain wasn’t over.  The next morning we headed ten miles north toward downtown Dallas to visit a friend at Methodist Hospital.  We saw an interesting site; the sun was shining on the downtown buildings from the east  while ominous clouds approached from the west. (Some photos below can be enlarged by clicking on them)


As we moved closer, the rain moved in.


During a pause between cloudbursts the sun poked out again.


When we arrived at the hospital, one of the underground garages was closed and most of the hospital buildings were without electricity.  Backup generators were only used for critical needs.

Following a nice visit, we headed a few miles further north to have lunch at one our favorite spots, The Monk House.  Unfortunately, they are only open for lunch on Saturday and Sunday.  A few blocks away we had to detour due to downed trees.


We found several streets that were blocked by debris.  Speaking of debris, on our way home, we crossed the swollen Trinity River and saw this log jam of cans and other trash.


The storm alert radio never gave up.  For three nights straight, the alarms came on automatically at about 15 minute intervals until about 3:00 AM.

Now it is really hot and humid.

Congratulations, Lance.

Monday, June 15th, 2009

After four hard years of work and schooling, Lance has graduated from his apprentice electrician position to become a journeyman electrician.  We were happy to see him cross the stage to receive his diploma.


You can see that his daughter, Ayden, is proud of him too.


We celebrated at Papadeaux’s where Lance’s father, Jerry, and wife, Karen, joined us.


Unfortunately for Lance, he was the only one that had to get up the next morning for work.

Hotter’n Hell in Texas

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

Click for Dallas, Texas Forecast
The weather in Texas is usually very pleasant in June.  But the temperatures will be 98 and 99 degrees this week.  There is a stationery front that is holding the humid air in place and making Texas and Mexico  have high temperatures that feel like 105-110 degrees. That is HOT!!!!!

We are in Dallas and this week we will have  2 of our granddaughters visiting us..  If we lived in a house it wouldn’t be a big deal.  But we live in our 5th wheel and are staying at a state park where we only have 30 amps of electricity.  What does that mean?  It means we can only use one A/C while we are here.  One little A/C  can’t keep up with the temps  and humidity.  It looks like we will be spending a lot of time in Joe Pool Lake swimming or finding activities in air conditioned buildings.  We will be going to 6 Flags sometime this week.  Guess we will ride a lot of water rides!!!!!!!!

Ol’ Man River

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Click for San Antonio, Texas Forecast

The usual view of the San Antonio River is the cement version in the downtown area where you can dine on the banks and watch the tour boats motor by.  A little farther toward the southeast you get a different picture of the river.


Many times in the drier season, it is difficult to find water in the river.  At other times it is quite the reverse.  We’ve seen river levels rise 40 to 50 feet in this area.  Friends of ours in the vicinity experience floods every few years, on a regular basis.

On FM 775, just off US 181, about 20 miles southeast of San Antonio, TX, we can only be glad that progress has included a new bridge over the San Antonio River.


What’s keeping it up?


One can only wonder how many times those boards were replaced after being knocked out by high water. (Click on picture for close-up)