Thursday, May 16, 2013

Adios Texas – Montana or Bust!

Spring Tornadoes In Texas

I have been in Texas since last October and I have been sitting on my property sitting job in East Texas for five weeks now but I will be leaving next week.  I am not sure yet which direction I am going to take to get to Glacier, Montana.  Last night was a real tense night and makes me aware of how vulnerable I am to the weather living in a travel trailer.  At about midnight my emergency weather signal went off and warned of a tornado alert for a large area of Texas just south and east of my location. 

I got dressed and made my escape plan and turned on the television to see what was happening.  A large EF-4 tornado had hit the town of Granbury and killed six people and injured hundreds more.  Many are missing and the death toll will surly go up.  The good thing is the early warning signals sounded for over 20 minutes and saved many lives.  The news said there was over ten tornadoes in this area of Texas and lots of property damage all over.  It was really raining and the small hail falling on the roof of my travel trailer combined with the very loud thunder made for a very noisy and restless night.  It is still raining today also and the pond outside my parking spot is full and running out the overflow pipes now.  I’ll guess it rained at least four or more inches.

After watching all the news associated with this storm, I am glad I am not living in an area where tornadoes are common.  I would never survive being in such a storm while in this travel trailer. I have learned over the years that weather is my worst enemy out here on the road.  It requires being fully aware of what is going on at all times and having an escape plan.  Of course that is true no matter where you are and applies to fires and floods also.

I had planned to go straight north from here and visit my new RV friends, Larry and Nancy, in Kansas on my way to Montana.  I am now a little concerned that going north through Oklahoma and Kansas may not be a wise choice due to the really volatile weather patterns across the central plains area this time of the year.  I may head west and go north through Colorado.  I need to make that decision soon.

Family and Friend Times

I have been very busy while here helping and visiting with my brother and three sisters and Cousin Edna.  Cousin Edna is 85 years old and was admitted to the hospital last weekend and I worry about her.  I will go visit with her this weekend for sure.  I do not plan to come back down to Texas next Winter so I am glad I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with them.  Each one has some type of health issue and it concerns me that this may be my last visit and hug with someone I love and care about.  On Mother’s Day I drove to my 85 year old Aunt Sally’s home in Frankston (deep East Texas) and took all the food and my grill and some flowers and a red velvet cake and made her and my cousins lunch.  It was a great visit and it is always nice to see my Aunt Sally and get a loving big hug from her.

I  also had the chance to get together with old High School friends again while here and that was very special.  My new and special RV friends, Fred and Judy, from Austin came up to visit me and we had a wonderful time.  Judy thinks I make the best onion cheeseburgers in the world!  They were pretty good and I am really glad they liked them.  I was just honored they came to see me and Fred really liked my big bad truck.

My Big Bad Ford Truck

I have been getting things done before I leave here for Montana.  I greased the trailer wheel bearings and torqued the lugs and filled the tires with correct air pressure. 

I even bought myself another tow vehicle while here because I have not liked the way my Jeep pulled the travel trailer.  The Jeep had a short wheelbase and it was a little squirrely pulling the trailer and made me feel unsafe.  I loved the Jeep but this truck makes me feel safe and is fun to drive.  Anyway, I bought a one owner, in great shape, 2007 Ford Lariat F-350 long bed diesel.  I spent more than I intended but justified it by saying this will be the last vehicle I ever buy hopefully.  It already has a fifth wheel hitch and metal sliding bed cover which is good as I plan to upgrade to a fifth wheel in the future as I can afford it.  I know it will pull my little trailer with ease.  It may not sound like good gas mileage but it is averaging around 16 MPG without pulling my trailer and I don't expect that to change.  That’s 5 MPG more than the Jeep and it is much bigger and heavier.  I really love this truck! 

Having a big Ford truck like I do now almost makes me want to wear my cowboy hat and boots and hang a rifle or fishing pole in the back window.  Dexter likes our truck too.  I went to lunch today at a local place in Emory and left the electric sliding back window open a few inches.  When I looked out, Dexter was laying on the seat back with his little nose sticking out the crack!

Birds, Deers and Memories

I am going to miss the sound of the Cardinals singing every day when I leave this peaceful Texas place.  We don’t have them in Oregon and I don’t think they are in Montana but I will soon know. They wake me up singing at the crack of dawn every day and sing to me in the evenings and a whole lot in between when the crows aren’t yelling at each other.  Pati and I loved to sit on our back porch (our Veranda) and watch and listen to those beautiful birds and the deer when we lived near San Antonio.  Here’s a picture of her before she got too sick…..breakfast on our Veranda.  That's Dexter waiting for a bite.  I sure miss those days….they were very special. 

Pati and Dexter on the Veranda

Sometimes I think if I get Alzheimer’s I won't have memories of Pati but that’s a selfish attitude.  I realize how lucky I am and how special it is to be able to recall her beautiful smile and all those wonderful times we had together.  I just need to learn how to find joy and happiness in my memories instead of sadness for my loss. I think time will help me to do that. Today it has been eleven months since she passed away.  I can’t say time has flown because it has been the most sad and lonely time of my entire life.  I am not looking forward to this same time next month and the reminder that a year has passed, but I know it is coming. 

Interesting Blog

I have been following some RV travel blogs since being out here on the road and recently came across one that is very interesting.  You should check it out at   This  lady travels alone with her two dogs full time in a little Casita travel trailer, 16 feet long, pulled by a Chevy van.  She documents every cent she spends and is living full time on less than 13K a year.  I am hoping to learn a few tricks from her so I can afford to stay out here without going broke!  Since my brother and his wife live in Hurricane, Utah and I want to see more of Utah, I will be spending more time down that way so maybe someday we will cross trails.

For now I need to get this posted and published.  I don’t anticipate too much more happening here to talk about unless the weather surprises me!   See you down the trail.