Travels With Dick and Judy

Follow us in our trials, triumphs and tribulations, while on the road in our motor home "The Liberty Belle". We chose to forsake the conventional lifestyle in our 3,000+ square-foot home to move into a 40-foot Winnebago Ultimate Freedom. Travel with us as we take you on the road with us in our new lifestyle.
I may grow older, but I'll never grow up!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

2012 Has Been Busy So Far!

Since we have moved over to Reynolds Creek Park, Judy and I have begun regarding the campground as “our yard” and take special pride in making sure there is no litter to be seen when a visitor drives through.  Each day, we patrol and pick up after those whose mother always picked up after them.  Sad, but why can’t everyone teach their kids to leave an area as clean, or even cleaner, than they found it?  I’m still trying to find the culprit who parks his vehicle on one of the back lanes to drink a 6- or 12-pack of blue Bud Lights, only to toss the empties in the weeds nearby.

The other day, I mentioned I needed a lawn mower to cut the grass in my “front yard”.  The next thing I knew, we had a full crew out here with mowers, weed eaters, trimmers, etc. doing all of the work for me.  It seems that I am not “certified” for power equipment.  I kinda like that idea!

The animals keep coming.  Night before last in the deep gray of dusk, I spotted a gray fox on the road less than 100 yards away from the RV, and I finally saw one of the bobcats near the creek at the back of the park.  The night before, a great horned owl swooped down after a small animal (field mouse or similar) directly behind the house in our “back yard”.   Deer, as usual, are in abundance and we see many here at Reynolds on almost every drive-through. 

 That great blue egret is now allowing a close approach and almost poses for me.

 The "fluff" seen on his beak is actually fish scales that remain after he "spears" the fish with his beak!

 Two nights ago, once again, we were serenaded by neighborhood coyotes. As near as we can tell from all of the scat and chewed up deer bones, there are about 6 or 7 that patrol the 40-acre tall grass pasture that we call our “back yard”.

The weekend before last was the annual January “Youth Hunt” put on by the Corps.  It’s sad that only 7 kids in the whole state took the Corps up on their offer for a free weekend of deer hunting and there were 15 slots available.  There are plenty of deer to go around because the herd here is really huge and needs some serious culling.   Jay, my Volunteer Coordinator, had asked if I would take pictures of the kids.
With space for 15 boys and girls, it was sad to have only 7 participate.
I would have given my eye teeth for an opportunity for a hunt like this
with either of my kids.

Blinds were furnished by the COE, Waco Lake
Time for Father & son quiet time

GrandPaw passing experience on to his grandson

Jay Morris (COE)  looks on as the biggest buck of the weekend is dressed out

Along the same lines, I am currently working with one of the rangers putting together a water safety billboard.  It seems my photographic background and Photoshop skills are being called upon.

The last 2 weekends have seen me on some hikes trying to get in shape for Colorado.  The first weekend, I took a 4-mile hike and, this past weekend, I held up for over 7 miles.  I guess the hunt spooked most of the deer, because I saw almost none during the hikes.  The winds were so high that most birds kept cover, as well. 

Red Tailed Hawk
White Pelicans

Cedar Waxwing
Northern Mockingbird

I did manage to find a couple of eagles nests.  They appeared to be abandoned, but there is one across the lake (about 3/4 mile) that I managed to get a picture of.  If you look closely, you can see the Bald Eagle pair. Still, the hikes were enjoyable.

Mom & Pop are home
on this one!
One of the abandoned nests

One of the hardest things I have had to come to grips with is the abandonment of some really beautiful and functional campsites due to the lack of funding.  However, this does make for neat sightseeing in the back country.

This abandoned site requires a 3-or 4-mile hike down some heavy underbrush and infrequently used paths.
I would love to tent camp under this ancient oak.
A scene not far from the abandoned campsite.
Have I said it before?  I  love it here!

Until the next time…~dick~

Monday, January 23, 2012

A little of this and that!

Since my last posting, I got over the cough, etc. and started with the watery, itchy eyes and sniffles.  Now, my challenge is NOT rubbing my eyes!  It was so bad last week that blood vessels burst in my right eye, which is still totally red (where it should be white) after almost a week.  I promise not to post that picture, which looks like I could be in a vampire movie.  Gotta love the cedar trees at this time of year!!  SO I am living on allergy meds and have scheduled a medical appointment in 2 weeks – when I hope we can find a “fix” to at least control the allergies, so I can get outside and enjoy the area.

Last weekend for the youth deer hunt, the weather was clear and crisp.  The hunt was at another park near us, and Dick was asked to take pictures of the hunters and their “trophies”.  On Saturday afternoon, our friends Dave and Sue came by to visit, and Dick and I invited them to go with us to join the hunters, their parents and rangers for a chili dinner that night.  It was fun visiting and eating!

Sue, Dick and Dave w/puppies

Sue, Jay, Dave and Dick at chili dinner

A great night for a campfire!
While at the dinner, I was asked to volunteer some hours each week assisting in the COE office.  After training, I committed to volunteering a few hours on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday afternoon until mid-February.  This is definitely not “work” – answering phones, assisting visitors and helping, if needed, in the office – and everyone is so friendly and appreciative of our assistance, plus I can read, etc.

This past Thursday night, Dick and I were invited to join our friends Dave, Sue, Paul, Terri and Joe (workampers at the park where Dick and I previously volunteered) to have a “going-away dinner” for Joe, who moved back to Dallas on Friday.  We met at The Pizza House of West and had some great food and a great visit, but are sorry to see Joe leave and hope to meet down the road.

Joe, Dave and Dick - the guys

Dick, Charles (who stopped by), Terri, Paul,
Dave, Judy, Sue and Joe

Judy, Terri and Sue - the gals
This past weekend seemed strange with no company and just hanging out at the RV in the park.  I played “catch up”, read and rested while Dick finished a project for me.  He made a shelving unit for the curios we were able to keep, and it is exactly what I envisioned - right down to the exact color of our cabinets.  Naturally, when we travel, the shelves will come off the dash and the curios will be packed away.  While settled in one place for some time, it all goes back in place so the RV has our special keepsakes from home that make the RV home.

Today is more “catch up” for me while Dick is building shelves for behind our kitchen counter to put spices on.  I am excited to get these bottles off my cabinet – since we found that Dick does not know how to cook without numerous spices on hand!

We are in the process of reorganizing and looking ahead, as it is exactly 3 months before we head for Colorado.  Time sure does fly when we are having fun!

Thanks for stopping by and see y’all next time!  ~Judy~