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1 to 15 March 2014   16 to 31 March 2014

Saturday March 1st, 2014

A weird day weather wise today.
We started with just a sprinkle of rain around 5 this morning.
Dark clouds throughout the day and by 5 pm we finally got rain, but not too much.  Just enough to fill the puddles.
The rain goes around us as we can see when we look at the mountains in the east.
Here are some photos of today's weather...

Rainbows are visible.
I go outside to take a photo and Michèle catches me wearing my boxer PJ!

Different views of the rainbows...

And the day ends with a nice sunset.

The desert life really likes the rain and for us too.  The air is cleaner because the dust is down and no more dust flying around when people drive by.  So nice!

Sunday March 2, 2014

The day started with a few sprinkles, nothing big.

After lunch, I start to pack our stuff in the basement.
I lift the carpet to reposition it for drying and surprise, a baby scorpion!
Boy did I jump!  He does not look big, but I am sure he winked at me!

The packing is all done, we are ready for travel tomorrow morning.
We are heading to San Antonio, Texas.  A trip of about 1800 kilometers.
How many days to get there?
Who knows!

Monday March 3, 2014

We are leaving this morning and heading east.

By 8 am our wheels are finally turning.  Our first stop is at the dump station, next get some fresh water in the tank,
While the water fill up, we hook up the car to the motorhome.

By 9 am we are on the I-10 towards Phoenix.  Goodbye Quartzsite!

This is what the I-10 looks like for most of the way.

I have an application on my tablet that shows me all the Flying J and Pilot truck stop, including the price for diesel,  Phoenix is the cheapest.  We have to go through Phoenix, but the traffic is not too bad.  The Flying J in Phoenix is a real zoo.  It is very busy.
It usually takes 20 to 30 minutes total stop time to refuel, but this time it takes almost an hour!

Back on I-10 towards Tucson Arizona.  Some of the landscape by the Interstate in Phoenix.

Downtown Phœnix.

Unreal the number of police on the Interstate.

Benson, Arizona and we stop at the local Walmart to get more victuals.

The rocks are kind of funny looking in this mountain.  We did stop here back in 2012.

We have seen very few farms so far.

Goodbye Arizona and Hello New Mexico.

A good thing it is not windy today!

Some parts of the road were so flat and straight.  The scenery is very nice with all the mountains.

Today's drive a long one by our standards.
We will spend the night in a Flying J in Lordsburg, New Mexico.

Note: ever since our last fuel up in Phoenix, the engine has some hesitation every now and then.

Tuesday March 4, 2014

Back on the road by 10 after eight this morning.
A view of our "campsite".

Next big city is Las Cruces.  Once there I will have the fuel filter changed and hopefully this will fix the hesitation from the engine.

Some of the rest area have cute little shelters.

It is very hazy today.  Coming down in the valley and Las Cruces.

Lucky for us, we found this truck service center and they will change the filter for us.

We only have to wait about one hour for the mechanic to finish a job and he will get to our filter right after that.
The service manager comes and makes us a sweet offer.  He says that if he opens a work order, he will charge minimum one hour at $109 plus the filter.  The options he gives us is to buy the filter ($36) and no work order, but we give what we think is fair to the mechanic.
While the mechanic changed the filter, we talk and I asked him what kind of wage a heavy mechanic make here is Las Cruces.  He told me because he is an apprentice he makes $15 an hour.  We still gave him $30 for his trouble, we saved a little over $70.  Good!

We need fuel and across the street there is a Pilot truck stop, off we go and fill up.

Changing the fuel filter has not fixed the problem, darn!

Shortly after Las Cruces we leave New Mexico behind us.

Welcome to the BIG state of Texas.

You know you are in cowboy country when...

Ten minutes later we are in El Paso.  A lot of traffic here.
With the Rio Grande river in the valley, there is a lot of agriculture and beef in the area.

Being this close to Mexico, the Border Patrol Checkpoint are in full swing.
First, all kinds of sensor look at you as you go by, it probably takes photos too!
The photo probably goes into a folder that does not exist ... You know what I mean!
The border patrol agent looks at the license plate (tag, for our American friends) in front of the motorhome (Ontario, Canada) and then he asks if we are an American citizen!  He must have finished near the top of his class in geography!  LOL!

We are changing time, we jump ahead an hour.  We will jump another one in less than a week when we move to daylight saving time.

First part of the day was in flat prairies and the second part of the day is in hill country!

Some of the overpass have nice murals on them.

We will spend the next two nights here in the town of Balmorhea, Texas.
Our RV park is part of a mom and pop truck stop.  It has fuel pumps, a little store and a restaurant, a very large parking lot and the RV park.

Why pick this park in the middle of nowhere? Because close by you have the Balmorhea State Park with its big pool filled with natural spring water.

Tomorrow we are going for a swim.

Wednesday March 5, 2014

Our site, it is good for a few nights and cheap on top of that.  $30 for two nights, can't beat that.

Some of the cactus we have around us.  Someone has carved "faces" in one of the cactus.

We are heading to Balmorhea State Park for a swim.
We have to go through the village of Balmorhea first.  More photos of the village after the swim.

We've arrived!

What is so special about this park?
It was built between 1936 and 1941 by the CCC and the "New Deal" of president F.D. Roosevelt.  This idea was to get unemployed men during the great depression back to work.  This was all done by shovel.

The pool holds 13.2 million liters of water or 5.3 Olympic size pools.  The water comes from the Solomon spring.  The water temperature varied between 22 and 24 C.  At the deepest point, it is 9 meters deep.  The water is crystal clear.  Since it is a spring, it hold life, like fish, turtles and other "life form".

Michele and I went for a swim and it is a very pool.
The difference in the colour of the water is because that half of the pool bottom is cement and the other half is natural.  The blue/green is the cement bottom and the dark blue is the natural bottom.

The water is so nice.

In one of the pool corner, we saw a lot of minnows.

The state park also has a RV park.  Each site has a shelter to protect from the harsh sun in the summer.

They also have a reclamation of wetland in the park with a nice little observation window to look at under water.

It was a nice swim and we will come back later this afternoon.

We have to go back through Balmorhea.  A big tree fell down a long time ago by the look of the new branches growing out of the trunk
That means they did not even cut it up when it fell!  Weird!

We drove around the little town just to look around.
What do we see? Wild turkeys!  In town?

I guess garbage collection is done differently here!

A few abandoned houses here and there.
The car looks like it had a tree fall on it.  Maybe the tree we saw on main street?

A store with Mexican imported stuff.  We liked the metal men in front.
Some closeup of them.

Four pm and it is time to go back for a swim.  This time I have my swim goggles and a noodle to float around.

An aerial view of the pool.  You can tell where the cement is and the natural bottom is.

A collage of photos.

I really love this place, I wish it was closer to the coast.

Thursday March 6, 2014

We have to get back on the road again if we want to make it to San Antonio tonight.
Ready to leave.

Another long day in front of us.

One big roadrunner!

As we approach San Antonio, the lay of the land turns into hills.

Sheeps in Texas!

In the small city of Junction there is this huge cement ditch to carry water.
Texas seems to have either droughts or floods.

Must be good hunting around here, we saw a lot of blinds in the fields.

While in Junction, we stopped for fuel for the motorhome.  We are on the RV fuel lane.  Not as fast to refuel as the truck lane, so I wait as the tank slowly fills up!

Getting closer to San Antonio.

We have to drive through San Antonio to get to our RV park.  It is late afternoon as we get to San Antonio and the traffic is crazy, especially when you are tired of driving.

We have been here before.  We are lucky they found us a spot for a week because they are very busy this time of year.
Down side, we cannot get the satellite TV because of trees.
Our RV park and our site.

Friday March 7, 2014

The San Antonio river flows right next to our RV park.  The city has built a nice bike path along the river all the way to the River Walk.  It goes 20 kilometers on the south of the city and 10 km on the north side of the city.
We are located at about 8 km from the River Walk.
I am going to the River Walk this morning.

With springs comes the new life.

Here are some photos I took along the way.

A very nice ride of about 20 km.

We spent the afternoon at the local thrift shops.

Saturday March 8, 2014

It is raining, it is on the cool side with a 10 C.
A relaxing day ahead of us I think!
First some laundry.

Light rain fell all day.

A lot of reading going on!

The forecast for tomorrow?  About the same as today.

Sunday March 9, 2014

It rained for most of the day, but it stopped just in time for diner.
Texas means steak so I have one.

A trip to the hot tub after diner, life is good.

Monday March 10, 2014

Cool temperature and rain for this afternoon.
Before the rain comes, we go to small library for some book exchange.
What a neat idea, old doors to make a rustic separation.

Michele looking for Sandra Brown books.  Most RV parks have a book exchange library and it is a very good idea.

Right after lunch the rain start.

Today is a day for reading and computer time...

Tuesday March 11, 2014

This is the first time I saw a water fountain with  a bowl for dogs.  This is a great idea!

It is warming up fast so we head downtown to walk the River Walk of San Antonio.
The river walk is right on the other side of the skyscraper.

What a neat looking tree.  It seems like the trunk woven.

We came across a large number of pigeons and we were watching them when they suddenly took off over our head.  The scared us and lucky for us they did not poop as they flew over us.

The River Walk.

We stopped at the Buckhorn Saloon and museum for a beer.

Almost all the stuffed animals on the walls have what we call "atypical" antlers.
Here are some of them.

Michele had a Pina Calada and me, a beer called Moose Drool.
It wasn't too bad.

We have to take a photo with the animals guarding the entrance!

We are back on the River Walk.

San Antonio himself!

We really like San Antonio and the River Walk.  It was a nice walk of about 8 km.

Wednesday March 12, 2014

Do you remember the problems we had with the motorhome engine?  The hesitations.
We got the fuel filter changed in Las Cruces, but it did not fix the problem.
As we were driving to San Antonio, I suddenly remembered that when we bought the motorhome, we had a similar situation.  At the time, I took the motorhome to the mechanics and he told me that the pressure sensor of the injection pump was defective and causing the hesitation.
The sensor was pretty expensive so I told him to wait and I would just wiggle the wire to the sensor and see what will happen.
Here I am wiggling the sensor wire and a few other one.

I cannot wait to drive again and see if it is fixed this time!

Thursday March 13, 2014

Time to leave San Antonio.  We should be at our next RV park by midday today.  We hit the road at eight thirty.

We got lucky and did not have any traffic jams on our way out of San Antonio.  We still have a long way to go!

In Texas, beef is king!

The police are still out in force on the highway.

We are still many miles from downtown Houston, but the traffic is getting heavier.
What a huge interchange they are building!

In the USA, when you drive in a big city, drive on the third lane from the left and you should not have any problems with accidental exit on a highway you don't want to be on.
Next onto I-45 towards Galveston.  our RV park is in League City, about halfway between Houston and Galveston.

Finally we make it to our new home, Safari RV park and mobile home.
The traffic was not too bad coming across Houston

It does not look too bad, more photos in the next few days.

Friday March 14, 2014

A nice sunny day so off we go to the Space Center of Houston.

There are a lot of people here today.  It is spring break after all!

As we were waiting in line for the tram tour we saw this woman with those cute cowboy boots.

This is our tram and it is taking us to the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility and the Saturn V rocket.

The Space Vehicle Mockup Facility is where all the astronauts train on mockup of what is in space at this time.

All the modules of the International Space Station (ISS) are here for the astronauts to train on them.

They are exactly same as the one in space.

The only module that is not white is the Russian Soyuz capsule.

Robot or robonaut will play a more predominant role in future flight and as member of the ISS station.
From left to right, a vehicle for the moon or mars exploration, next is a robonaut looking like an insect.  It will be used in more rugged terrain and to the right, a single vehicle for astronaut and on the last right, a robonaut on wheels.

The future Orion capsule.

Next stop is the hangar with the Saturn V Rocket.

But first, on the left is the Mercury-Redstone and on the right, Little Joe II.


This is one huge rocket.

Some Longhorn cattle.

The inside of an Apollo capsule.

This photo does not give you the true beauty of this scene.

We are now in the Skylab and we can see some "astronauts" going about their daily routine.
Remember they are in zero gravity!

There is so much to see here!

The cockpit of a space shuttle.

We really enjoyed our day at the Space center.  We recommend the audio tour, it is worth the extra money.
We also watched a few of the movies they presented.  It was about the conquest of space and the future of space travel.

Saturday March 15, 2014

The weather prophet are telling us it will rain with some thunderstorm this afternoon.
I off for my bike ride this morning before de rain.

Close to our RV park there is a baseball park named "Big League Dream Park" , a play with the name of the city we are in, League City.

Our RV park is not as good as some we have been to, but for us it is still good.  Located between Houston and Galveston, quiet, no pool and no internet, people are good around us.  So overall, a good RV park if you are visiting Houston.
Draw back for me, not bike lane and no sidewalk on the locale roads.
The drawback from my bike ride, here are a few photos of our site.
We are at the end of the  street.

On the positive side, we can now watch TV because our satellite can see the sky.

They did not make a mistake this time, we have rain all afternoon.  That means a lot of reading and internet.

Some thunderstorms go by all around us, but we get lucky and get none over us.

After dinner we got to skype with Danielle and Jeremy, Gabriel is in bed!  So good to see them.  Tomorrow we will see Gabriel.

Until next time.

Life is good...

Province Visitée  États visités

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