On February 4th we drove 131 miles to Oakleaf RV Park in Orange, TX. We didn't even take pictures. It was rainy and there was not much to see. It was our first night camping in Texas, but we had many more to come.
February 5th we drove 93 miles, mostly in the rain, to Rainbow's End, the main campground and headquarters of the Escapees Club.
We were close to the Activities Center, where much of the action takes place.
We met a lot of people we have seen since staying at Rainbows End, including one couple Bill knew through the internet. We ended up staying ten nights in all. It was quite wet while we were there and threatened snow at least once, but we felt warmly welcome. Diane helped out at the CARE center, we both helped out here and there and we generally enjoyed our visit. We even became lifetime members of Escapees during our stay, it just made sense to us.
On the 15th we pried ourselves away and drove through Houston to USA RV Park in Sugarland, TX. The trip was 109 miles. Here is our campsite:
This is a close-up and sharpened picture of how the ground looked in front of our motorhome where we came very close to getting it stuck in the mud:
Our reasons to be in the Houston area were to get some shopping done. We also saw the last of the Lord of the Rings movies, The Return of the King. Houston traffic is bad.
On February 18th we drove 162 miles to Bay View RV Resort in Rockport, TX.
Both of us had colds, we think we caught them at the movie theater in Houston.
Bay View has alligators:
It also has egrets and herons, this is a Great Egret:
On the 20th we day tripped to Corpus Christi and visited the Texas Aquarium.
We did enjoy one meal out, at the Big Fisherman in Port Aransas.
We needed some periodic service done on our chassis so on February 23rd we drove 158 miles to Pro-Tech RV Service in Seguin, TX. They have overnight camping and our service was in the morning. Here is where we camped for the night.
At the back of our motorhome was a fence next to a road with some apartments down it. During the night someone siphoned our gas, which is in the back. It was a noticeable amount when we started the engine.
Once our service was complete on the 24th we drove 63 miles to the west side of San Antonio and settled into Tejas Valley RV Park:
Bill ended up taking Diane to an urgent care clinic since her cold became a bronchial infection. She was doing fine by the time we left San Antonio.
On the 26th we went downtown and toured The Alamo and Riverwalk
On February 29th (2004 is a leap year) we drove 73 miles to Buckhorn Lake Resort in Kerrville, TX. We had a three nights for the price of two coupon.
There were many Prevost bus conversions at Buckhorn, these are the million dollar and up variety. Turns out they were caravanning to a pre-rally for the FMCA rally in Albuquerque, NM.
We also found the colors we want for our Dutch Star, green and gold:
We took a day trip around the Hill Country and ran into some Escapees friends in Fredericksburg. We also found one of the private ranches with exotic animals:
Nice scenery in the area:
While in Kerrville we got a call asking if we were interested in being on the advance crew for the FMCA Convention in Albuquerque, NM in a few weeks. We said we would be interested. They would call us back if we were needed, but it was less than a 50/50 chance.
On March 3 we drove west 118 miles to the Caverns of Sonora, eight miles off I-10 from Sonora, TX.
The caverns have their own peafowl, that is peacocks and peahens. Pictures of Evita and the Peafowl
Later in the afternoon we toured the actual Caverns of Sonora
The caverns gift shop had some really good homemade fudge at a good price. We also learned the cavern is the tornado shelter and pets are allowed.
We stayed two nights because we knew a storm was coming through the next day. It was a smart move to stay put. In the morning the wind was up but it was warm. We decided to head into Ozona, which has more to it than Sonora. A couple miles from the caverns we saw a wall of black coming our way and "boom" we were in a very strong thunderstorm. We worked our way back to the motorhome slowly in the wind and rain. Diane told Bill to unhook the power so he did that before going inside. We had about 45 minutes of nasty weather and then it was gone. We learned the thunderstorm later launched tornados by Dallas. The places where there was a couple inches of water during the storm looked dry an hour later, the ground drained quickly. The campground was on top of the caverns, so the thunderstorm probably added to the growth of the cave.
About noon we did venture back to Ozona and found out they had hail in Ozona during the storm, so we felt lucky. The locals were happy for the rain, they get most of their rain by thunderstorms in this area.
There is not much to West Texas so we drove 265 miles to El Campo RV Park in Van Horn, TX on March 5th. It was windy and we didn't unhook the car for the night.
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