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, May 21, 2014

Martin S. Dies, Jr. State Park-April 6-17, 2014–Let the next “adventure” begin!

Another few weeks have elapsed and, unfortunately, I did not get an updated blog posted while in Katy, TX last week with our 5- and 7-year-old grandsons. Little did I know how busy I would be! Come along for the ride and share our next “adventure” – and please let us hear from you!

On Sunday, April 6th, we drove a few miles farther East on Highway 190 and, after crossing Lake Steinheigen, we entered Martin S. Dies, Jr. State Park (“MDSP”) - our new "home" for the next 3 months. We are in site no. 67, with trees and shade and just off the lake – a really nice site with lots of birds.


When Dick started to put the jacks down on the motor home (“MH”), they started to go down and stopped. When he tried to open the slide, it opened about 2" and stopped. When he checked, hydraulic fluid was all over the ground. Fortunately, this happened once we got to the park, and we had enough room in our living area to move around. After checking it out, Dick realized a repairman would have to check it out. We asked the office and they recommended RV Services in Jasper, who we actually used almost 3 years ago for some refrigerator recall work. We were pleased with their service then, and hoped we would be pleased again.

We do love our site, though!

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A few days later, this hummingbird stopped by!


When George with RV Services came out, he determined that the repair service in Waco, TX routed the hydraulic hose over the drive shaft without securing it, and the drive shaft rubbed a hole in it. George replaced the hydraulic fluid that had leaked out of the slide-out cylinder, and we were able to open our slide. He said he would be back the next week to replace the hydraulic hose and fix the jack stands. Naturally, Dick and I were skeptical and praying George knew what he was doing! More on this “event” in our next blog, as the repair took longer than anticipated.

Another benefit of park hosting at MDSP was the Dutch oven breakfast provided by the Village Creek Cookers on Saturday, April 12th!  Here are Dick and Barb getting ready to chow down on some wonderful dishes!

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This group comes to the park each year and prepares Dutch oven “Cowboy Stew” and desserts and presents a demonstration to campers. The day was overcast but, fortunately, it never rained! Below, our co-hosts Bev and Don are checking out the desserts - awesome peach and cherry cobblers!

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Dick and Barb visiting with Village Creek Cookers

Before the day was over, Dick bought this stand on which you put the Dutch oven, with coals on the bottom and on top. Beats having to bend over a fire and, in the meantime, it makes a great bird feeder – without the Dutch oven, of course!


The following morning (Sunday, April 13th), Dick and I volunteered for a few hours at the MDSP Nature Center. Here, Micah was getting ready to feed the snakes, and we had a number of campers in attendance.


After finishing at the Nature Center, Dick and I made a road trip to stay overnight with Michelle and Logan in El Lago. We first met family at Double Dave’s Pizza in Clear Lake and had a great visit. Thanks, Nicole, for the invitation. It was great to see my sister Betti and lots of other family!

Cousins - Michael and Logan
Logan and his Mom Michelle
BIL Jim with his Dad
Great Uncle Dick/Grampa with Michael and Logan
The following morning, I had scheduled a medical appointment and, then, we brought our bikes in for refurbishing at Bike Barn, and purchased 2 good used tires for the car (after buying 2 new ones this past week). Talk about “killing lots of birds with 1 stone”! Before leaving the area, the temps dropped from 73 degrees in Seabrook/El Lago to 47 degrees by the time we reached MDSP – with rain all the way.

Before returning to our MH, we stopped by to check in with our full-time RV friends Dave and Janice and to meet our new RV friends Ed and Debi, who came to the park for a few days to visit. Check out “Ed’s RV Tips” at and “Debi’s RV Cooking” at

Dick and I finally made it back to our MH and, after unloading the car, the first thing we did was turn on the heaters and, then, we took out 1 of the storage bags and dug out warm-ups to wear – which might as well stay out for the duration. Finally, we warmed up, and Dick fixed a clam chowder to keep us warm. What a long day!

The following day, we got together with the “group” at Ed and Debi’s MH (since it was too cool to eat outside) for an early dinner – shrimp gumbo and rice (Dave and Janice), potato salad (Dick and Judy) and dessert (Ed and Debi). The food was great, but the visit was even better!

Judy, Janice and Debi
Dave, Ed and Dick
After dinner, the “girls” visited outside (with Janice taking the picture of Debi and I) – beautiful, but cool!


The following day (Wednesday) the “girls” (Janice, Debi and I) went shopping and buying in Jasper, which is something I rarely get a chance to do. Later in the day, Dick grilled hamburgers and we invited our co-hosts Rich and Barb to join Dave and Janice, Ed and Debi, and Dick I for dinner – before Dave and Janice head North for their summer travels, returning to TX in the fall. Janice fixed French fries and onion rings and, again, Debi brought a yummy dessert, plus we fixed baked beans. The evening ended with a walk along the camping loop on the lake with Janice and Debi – with a beautiful view of the sunset.


At the shop meeting on Thursday, April 17th, Dick and I found out that we were in charge of arts and crafts after the Easter egg hunt on Saturday. Here is Naturalist Amy showing us how to make the snowflakes – and our finished project! More on the weekend events in the next installment of “Travels with Dick and Judy”.


It was time to say “see ya” to Dave and Janice as they prepared to leave the park for their summer adventure, and you can follow their travels as “Evans Escapades” -

Dick and I finished our visit with Ed and Debi by going to the Cedar Tree Restaurant in Jasper, TX for an excellent dinner buffet – and said “see ya” until we meet again down the road.


As you can tell, our first 12 days at MDSP were very busy, so I’ll say “see ya soon” and thanks for traveling with us!


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