Sunday, March 14, 2010

Back in East TX and not Happy about it!

Sadly, our week of vacation is over and we are not happy about having to come back to that "W" thing. We even talked about calling in "Retired". Just tell them to pick up there stuff that we have around the house and mark us off the payroll! Would'nt that be fun to do just once. Having obligations are things that we grown-ups have to deal with, and we both have tried to keep ours for most of our lives. I know that I have had a paying job of some kind or other since I was 17 years old and Peggy about the same. We have spent the last week enjoying the company of some retired folks, who just seem to have a "roll with the flow" attitude. No need to worry, just handle whatever comes up and enjoy the here and now. I find that very attractive and could get used to that very quick. I lost track of what day of the week it was and someone in the group said that they may not know and do not care most of the time what day of the week it is.  Peggy and I did learn a new card game for us called Hand and Foot. After receiving some good instruction, we were off and running. The group had a great time playing cards, having potlucks, sitting around the campfire and having Happy Hours! I like the way these folks think. They are either cooking and eating or talking about cooking and eating. How can you go wrong. You meet the nicest people in the RV community. Our neighbor in the park was leaving on Friday headed back for his home in Wisconsin. It seems that he has to get back and start the Maple Syrup operation he owns. Tapping the trees, collecting the sap and making syrup! Pretty Cool even if I dont like Maple syrup. He spends every winter on the Texas coast fishing and doesnt go back until time to do the syrup.  We spent a lot of time Geocaching around the Rockport area. This is a real quick way to learn your way around a new town. Hunting Geocaches takes you all over and around to places that you  would not see if you were just visiting. We found all of the caches that we hunted except for two. I think we finished with about 20 or so located. I found a couple of travel bugs to take back to East Tx and place in someone elses cache, to get them on down the road. The below is a photo of a car, travel bug that is in a race with other Geocachers in the Dallas area to see how far their cars can be taken by folks like me who find them and take them somewhere else.

I got to endulge my love for boats and all things boat related by touring the Texas Maritime Museum. This place had photos of the early side wheel paddle boats that shipped products of all kinds up and down most of the bigger rivers of the state. I even saw a lot of giant photos of the early Republic of Texas Navy that used Schooners as gun boats to attack naval ships of France during the early days of our state. I would have taken some photos to include, but the rules said "no pictures inside the museum". Of course they would sell you pictures produced for this purpose for a "nominal fee". The easy access to this quiet bay made landing ships of all kinds easy and it evolved quickly as the major port to ship cattle and other livestock. This pretty much ended when the railways became active and other areas of the country were used as hubs to ship cattle by rail from Kansas City. The museum also had a large exibit of the early oil drilling operations in the gulf, and the designs of the first offshore oil rigs. Very interesting stuff to me. Peggy took a photo from atop the observation deck on the third floor of the museum of the small harbor.

Here I am trying to steal an anchor for my little flat bottom boat at home. I wanted one that will hold and not let the boat drift off. This should do the trick!
I also tried to find one of these beauties lounging around town, but did not find a single mermaid anywhere around the water.
The City of Rockport has a small nature trail and pond area located right on the highway. We stopped and walked just a hundred yards or so to a bird viewing area and saw this pair of Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks, just called "whistlers" by everyone local. There were about 20 in the group but most swam away as we approached. These two came back once we got still and swam up close enough for Peggy to get a photo. 

After the Saturday morning ritual of dumping the holding tanks we were all set to leave and stopped by the little group of campers to say goodbye. As we pulled up and stopped, water began pouring out of the underbelly of our 5ver. I had no idea where the water came from, since we had just dumped, and worried about it off and on all the way home, wondering where this problem started. As soon as I got online to the Heartland owners forum, and typed in a search, the obvious answer seems to be that a check valve located in the walls of the bathroom has gone bad. This check valve is only used when someone hooks up to the flush valve on the sewer, to clean the tank after dumping. This was the last thing done after dumping all the holding tanks and other owners have had problems with this check valve. The forum even shows photos of the offender and tells of remedies used by other owners to take care of the issue. It is great to be able to quickly go online for an issue and to keep you from going crazy. Luckily we had no inside damage and I will take the Rolling Condo to our local dealer and have this fixed. It will entail taking a wall board off to access the pipes and of course, I could take the wall board off, but probably would make a bigger mess than the water leak. I think I will leave it to the professionals to do, since I have an agreement with those tradesmen. I won't try to do their job if they wont try to do mine! Works for me. As long as it is ready to roll again soon. I had a bright idea to take another route home and bypass the greater Houston area. I hate driving on the freeways and figured that it might take a little longer to go the other route, the scenery would be peacful and the trip much easier on me. I was wrong!  Turns out that I had not accounted for Spring Break, when everyone in the State of Texas who lives within a days drive of the coastal towns, and who owns a vehicle or Motorcycle, attempts to drive in a small area at the same time. So that small amount of time added to the trip meant that the five and one half hours long trip, turned into nine hour trip, with me catching every single red light from Port Lavaca Texas to North of the big bridge crossing in Baytown!  A couple of detours, a missed highway turn, and lunch put us dragging into the driveway about an hour before dark thirty. One very long day on the road. I am never doing that again! Today we have to get the 5ver unloaded and everything back in the proper place and get ready to do that "W" thing very early tomorrow morning. We miss Rockport already!


  1. Awww bummer about the W thing and the leaking valve. Soooo where did you stow that anchor to haul it home?

    Karen and Steve

  2. What a great post! Our 5er is leaking too and it was right after Jim did the spray thing with the dump thing. Thanks for the heads-up. I'm so glad you had a great time with the Rockport group. They're right, it's a laid back feeling and wonderful to just take it as it comes. No "w" to worry about getting to the next day.

  3. Now get back to work, and quit having fun! I remember those days, now I just take it one day at a time! You're right about eating and camnpfires. When we go to a bus rally that's about all we do. It's one of my favorite hobbies! Paul