Palm Trees in southern Florida

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Waiting for the tow truck

RV life- Time to go

After 6 months of sitting everything on the RV looked good, I charged up the battery, pumped the gas and cranked it up. Within a minute the GM 454 was idling nicely. Down the road to the gas station was the first step,  put a fast $97 in gas in it and we were on the road!

45 minutes later I smelled something familiar, the stock gauges are hard to see but I looked hard and did notice the temp gauge was as far up as it would go...   :-(    
I knew why I smelled hot coolant. 
I pulled over & got as far off the 75mph Texas highway as I could and turned the engine off.

Time to take a look... It seems the serpentine belt for the fan/water pump - alternator - air pump had broke.

I need a new belt & coolant, nothing around but cows.
The GPS says we are 15 miles from Victoria Texas....
 I called Coach-net.

Nothing but cows

This was a problem I'd never had before, where was I?

No signs, no mile markers just a road, fences & cows. I wasn't tracking my progress with a map, I had GPS!
20 years ago I'd have had a map....

The GPS told me where I was so I could tell Coach-net where I was & Coach-net could tell the tow truck. The tow truck eventually called me.
20 years ago I'd have just hitched into town, 20 years ago I'd have had a spare belt.

I think I was smarter twenty years ago.

Today I have a cell phone & roadside assistance.
It did take awhile for the truck to get to us, they were busy that day.
I have time.

I can put a belt on, I just wanted a safe place to do it. Coach-net tried but couldn't get me into a Victoria RV park (not on a tow truck).
They offered me a truck stop or Walmart.
We went to WalMart, Coach-net even called WM & ok'ed it.

The long tow was covered, all I had to do was talk to the driver, his mother came out to give my wife a ride because the truck only has 2 seats.

The next day I put the drive shaft back on (took it off to tow the RV), went to an auto parts store for the belt and put that back on.
WM for coolant & distilled water and we were back in business!

I will admit that crawling around under the engine was easier 20 years ago too.

All in all it turned out to be just cheap thrills.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Free Rent

It's about time to pack up  & move again.

We've been here for almost 6 months, I'm guessing it will take almost 2 weeks to slowly get back to Iowa where we will spend another 6 months working. 
Moving is not too bad when you're on the road every few days or every week or so, when you sit months at a time it becomes the chore that moving always is.

We are going back to Iowa for another season at Adventureland & the 6 months of almost 'free rent'. It's not just the 'free rent', I really enjoyed the work last year and this will be gas money for next year's travels.

I do have a few stops on the way north. I'd like to see some more beaches between Rockport & Galveston, The Houston Space Center & The First Monday Trade Days in Canton Texas

We came down to southern Texas last October looking for a warm place to spend the winter. While looking I saw an ad for a workcamper & here were are!
It's been warm, friendly people, a quiet park and 'free rent'.

Home for the last 6 months

"Free Rent". The words "free rent" blind you, then they bind you....who wants to leave free rent?

We started out traveling then we spent some 'time' in nice location.... 2 months in Quartzsite. That was good.
Then came Adventureland (that first summer) and workcamping. I became mesmerized with workcamping ('free rent') & that brought me to this spot.

It's been fun but I think next year will be spent traveling.

Friday, March 14, 2014


Since I've noticed the seasons I've always liked Spring.

I'm a west coast boy and a lot of the west coast really has just two seasons, green or brown, wet or dry ....  Spring isn't really anything other than the turn from green to brown.
Plus I've spent nine years of my life in Hawaii & the only way to tell it's winter there is the ocean is a little cooler (like mid-70's).

Then we spent 13 years in the upper mid-west, when there is a 'real' winter I noticed spring!

Lately I've been noticing the birds chirping when I wake up, birds chirping is a sure sign of Spring.

I'm down in south Texas and spring comes to the south sooner than it does up north.
Last year we were in Del Rio Texas heading to Iowa and Spring had made it as far as the Texas/Oklahoma border area, I had mixed emotions as we passed it by heading north.

The right time of the year you can tell where spring is, even at night. If you are driving from the north Spring is where you start getting bugs on the car window, a clear windshield to 'wow!' we found Spring!

One year I was stationed at Coast Guard Air Station Chicago & we were doing a Great Lakes shore survey for someone or another. As we went flying up the Wisconsin shore of Lake Michigan I could see the line where spring was, it went from green to gray to white in a good sized band (maybe a mile wide) and ran across the earth from the shore of Lake Michigan to as far as the eye could see..

I've always liked the sounds of the birds when I wake up, that means Spring and the better weather is here.

I needed a picture, any picture, the back of this nickle did the trick.

This picture has nothing to do with spring really, but I pulled a coin from my pocket and saw this Viking ship on the back, what the heck?

I had to put my readers on to see it clearly.. it's a Lewis and Clark coin.

Enjoy your Spring folks!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Looking for work?

I'm at a point in time where I'm not looking for another job, I have seasonal work I like and it starts next month.
During the nine years in Washington I would have taken a different job...

You spend most of your life doing whatever it is you do to put food on the table & a roof over your head, doing something you like really makes it a lot more fun.
My job in Washington paid the bills & then some but it wasn't usually anything more than a job.

I'm down in southern Texas and there are help wanted signs all over the place. Not just at Popeye's Chicken or the pizza places either!

The county is looking for road crews, that sure sounds like a government job and they have a billboard for it!

On several different occasions I have seen a help wanted sign for this project, they wanted laborers, welders & a tug boat captain.

There is a TV group out of Victoria that has been advertising for behind the camera help, non traditional hours and they will teach you. Wow!

I even heard an ad on a radio station out of Corpus Christi looking for apprentices,  that's not something I hear about very often.

Actually none of these jobs are something I hear about very often....