RV Adventures in America

I am a recently retired nurse, Herb is retired post office and USAF Reserve. We just sold our house and we intend to full-time RV in our 31' Class C RV with our two dogs to see more of this beautiful country
Living in: Albuquerque, United States
  • Day665

    King Ranch Tour, Kingsville, Texas

    February 14 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 72 °F

    Hello all! I hope this finds y'all happy and healthy. For those of you who follow me on Facebook, this will be redundant, but there you are (you not only have the choice, but my permission to totally ignore all of this!)

    When you grow up in Texas, you grow up absorbing the mystique and essence that is Texas. It’s what makes Texans so annoying to outsiders. We say, “It’s a Texas thing, y’all wouldn’t understand,” but you have to accept and understand that it is part and parcel of all of us. So, we quite literally grew up knowing about the King Ranch and believing that it is the biggest ranch in the world! That is not strictly true anymore, but the image remains. So, today we took advantage of our proximity to the King Ranch to take a ranch tour and to both Herb and I, the tour was certainly a highlight of our overall journey!

    The iconic King Ranch, established in 1853 by Richard King, now encompasses 825,000 acres (larger than the State of Rhode Island) and is the largest ranch in Texas. It remains wholly owned by the descendants of Richard King and it is not just Texas history, it is a working cattle ranch, horse ranch, cotton farm, milo farm, and breeding ranch (both horses and cattle). It is all privately held land and the agribusiness now encompasses several states and several countries and at last count, was worth $1.1 billion!

    As private property, no one can just wander through it. All tours are conducted via tour bus and you can’t get out and take pictures, so the pictures I took were all through the windows of the bus using my phone and its telephoto is piss-poor at a distance. A lot of those pictures are of such poor quality that I took the liberty of replacing the pictures with images from the internet.

    More here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Ranch?wprov=sfla1
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  • Day643

    South Texas, Jan 30,2020

    January 23 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 70 °F

    HERB & MARTHA NEWMAN TRAVEL BLOG UPDATE, January 30, 2020

    Hello all!

    I hope each and every one of you are able to find at least one good thing every day to be grateful for and one thing that gives you joy and wonder. If they are the same thing, even better!

    When I last wrote, we had just arrived in Corpus Christi NAS, TX. We actually spent a pleasant week there. The RV Park is right on Corpus Christi Bay, about 20 yds from where we parked.

    After our sojourn at the Navy base, which while pleasant and cheap, we moved on to South Texas—specifically the Rio Grande Valley which is comprised by several medium to small towns: Brownsville, Harlingen, Donna, McAllen, where we took up residence in several Encore and Coast-to-Coast parks which are part of the Thousand Trails & Colorado River Adventure RV Resorts where we are able to stay with zero money outlay. Their only caveat is that you can only stay for a limited time, so we have to migrate every couple of weeks or so.

    The weather here is wonderful! High temps are 65°-85° and lows run from 48°-60°. The area is a big draw to Midwesterners and various Canadians who are known as “Winter Texans” I saw one car whose Indiana car license plate was WINTERTXN!

    TBH, I think we should keep this a secret between us since I gather from the frequent negative comments from the legions of Thousand Trails members complaining about not being able to find spaces in Florida and we don’t need them complicating our winter sojourns!

    After our first 2 weeks at Tropic Winds RV Park in Harlingen, we went 30 miles south to River Bend Golf Resort which is a planned community built on the banks of the Rio Grande. It’s mostly houses and “Park Models”, but they have RV sites kind of interspersed among them.

    Yelp said that Brownsville’s Gladys Porter Zoo was a tiny gem, and Yelp was so right! Clean, and nicely laid out, the animals look to have plenty of room.

    We are now back at Tropic Winds RV Resort and will be here for a couple of weeks.

    Until next time.

    Herb and Martha had a day at the Gladys Porter Zoo.
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  • Day319

    Albuquerque, NM

    March 5, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 48 °F

    Hemet to Las Vegas to Albuquerque

    Before leaving Hemet, we took a trip to the Salton Sea. It’s an interesting place actually, an accidental sea, that became highly saline and now seems to be drying up. Find more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salton_Sea. It makes for a fun place to walk around and there are tons of birds to take pics of.

    While we were in Hemet, we bought an Elite Thousand Trails membership (park fees were eating us alive) and Las Vegas Thousand Trails was our first experience. It was a bit disappointing, but the drawbacks (small, tight campsites; long-term inhabitants with cluttered sites to start with) are easy to put up with to be able to stay in a park without being out-of-pocket for the stay. Long time TT members assure us that LVTT is old and always crowded because Las Vegas is a good draw. I choose to believe them.

    Trying to get into the tight space, Herb misjudged the turning radius of our rear end and he took out the left fender on the tow dolly and did quite a number on the rear of the motorhome. We had previously planned a month-long hiatus at the KOA in Albuquerque to catch up on doctor and dental maintenance, so we made arrangements with GEICO to get the body work done as we came into town and before parking for the 4 wks at KOA.

    So, here we are: stuck in the La Quinta with a vociferously complaining cat and an annoyed Corgi. Fingers crossed that they finish the motorhome soon!
     
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  • Day285

    Joshua Tree National Park, Jan 30, 2019

    January 30, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 59 °F

    January 30, Joshua Tree Nat’l Park
     
    As soon as the government shut down ended, we planned a trip to Joshua Tree National Park. Before going, I wasn’t even sure what a Joshua tree was! Turns out it is a tree-like yucca plant with distinctive “trunk” and “leaves” and grows mostly in the Mojave and AZ/NV deserts. 

    The name Joshua tree is commonly said to have been given by a group of Mormon settlers crossing the Mojave Desert in the mid-19th century: The tree's role in guiding them through the desert combined with its unique shape reminded them of a biblical story in which Joshua keeps his hands reached out for an extended period of time in order to guide the Israelites in their conquest of Canaan.
     
    I find it interesting that they are really fast growers: “Joshua trees are fast growers for the desert; new seedlings may grow at an average rate of 7.6 cm (3.0 in) per year in their first ten years, then only about 3.8 cm (1.5 in) per year,” (Wikipedia).

    We got there late and didn’t have time to do any hiking. We did get to a cool overlook where you can actually see the San Andreas Fault. It shows as a raised berm running South. Their explanation was that as the two plate rub together, it raises the surface sand and rocks.
     
    I find desert landscapes beautiful—after all, I grew up in the desert and deserts ringed by mountains soaring up to 12,000+, Mt. San Jacinto, or 14,000+, Mt San Gorgonio, are particularly beautiful!
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  • Day277

    Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, CA

    January 22, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 64 °F

    Jan 22, 2019 The Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, CA

    Well, hello again! I guess it time to update y’all with our journeys and various side trips. After the Christmas rush, we rested a couple of weeks, enjoying the Inland Empire and its mild winter. We had a few days of rain and some frosty mornings, but more days than not we were able to participate in water aerobics. We went out to several restaurants in the area, visited and shopped in San Diego—we even took Touly down to the off-leash dog beach in Del Mar. We also had group luncheons in San Marcos at The Old Spaghetti Factory for the legendary Browned Butter Mizithra Spaghetti with a few of the old Kaiser Pediatric night shift from the late ‘80s-‘90s and the extended family in San Diego just before we left.
     
    The one thing we did do, was to go over to Long Beach to see the Aquarium of the Pacific. It’s a nice one, thoughtfully arranged. We were surprised to find the 88 mile trip from Hemet to Long Beach only took us an hour and a half (Waze routed us through city streets to get around some traffic tie ups in Riverside). For those no familiar with LA traffic, that is nothing less than PHENOMENAL!.
     
    Here are some of the pic from that excursion.
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  • Day270

    Semi-Hibernation in Hemet, CA

    January 15, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 48 °F

    Wow! It’s been way too long since I’ve posted anything. I just looked at Finding Penguins and realized my last post was two and a half months ago today, when we were in Lubbock! I apologize for the neglect.

    We headed to Albuquerque from Lubbock and spent the better part of two weeks getting rid of the vestiges of the stuff we had in storage. We realized for the money we were spending to store the stuff in a POD, we could easily replace the stuff many times over.

    After that was completed, we changed our plans about direction. Having gone back to ABQ, it wasn’t logical to go back through Texas and then on to Florida, so we rearranged our plans and headed for Southern California. San Diego RV parks are outrageously expensive, so we found an RV resort in Hemet, CA.

    The park is called Golden Villages Palms and they have over 1000 spaces, three swimming pools, eight pickle ball courts, three sand volley ball courts, a fully equipped fitness center, two dog parks, and a mail center. It’s nicely clean and shady and a full social calendar. We try to go to water aerobics on Mon-Wed-Fri and do weight training on Tues-Thurs-Sat, and we never miss “Yappy Hour” at the dog park. Dogs frolic and owners drink wine (dog treats and wine provided by the park) and talk about life and dogs and being on the road. I’m guessing 60% of the winter clientele are Canadian Snowbirds, most of the others, like us, are full-timers fleeing winter.

    A short time after we arrived here it became obvious that Fonzie was in extremis, so we took him to a very kind vet and Fonzie crossed the Rainbow Bridge as we held him.

    Touly was with us in the room when Fonzied passed and he grieved for a while, but extra love and a couple of trips to Dog Beach in Del Mar helped. There's a white and buff Shih Tzu here that he checks out whenever he comes to the dog park that is across from or campsite.

    The first month here was a flurry of holiday stuff. Thanksgiving at Sarah’s and I prepared a Prime Rib Roast for Christmas Eve dinner at Sarah’s.

    We did do a side trip to the Natural History Museum of LA County. (Doesn’t hold a candle to The Field Museum in Chicago, but we’ll keep that to ourselves!)
    We have tickets to  the Aquarium in LA—we’re trying to get there this week, so more pics then.

    Here are the Natural History Museum pics.
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  • Day197

    Lubbock, TX, Airpark RV Park

    November 3, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 64 °F

    As my normal Facebook followers are aware, we have had recurrent problems with our vacuum toilet leaking in our new 2018 Fleetwood Southwind. It has been investigated no fewer than 5 times in the last couple of months. This time we left Fredricksburg RV Park on Tuesday for a 7:30 am appt. Wed morning at the REV Technical Center (Fleetwood manufacturer’s service center) just south of Ft Worth, we planned to stay for at least three days, because whenever we leave the facility, it starts leaking again within 48 hrs.

    Once again, they could not find anything, so we planned to drive to Lubbock Friday morning, but Friday morning it leaked again so Herb ran over to the service center(they have an electric/water campground next to the facility) to get the supervisor to come look. He thought it might be due to a valve or possibly the shower, so they took it back in and replaced the valve and caulked the shower. They got done by 1 pm but it was a long 6-hr drive to Lubbock.

    We had trouble finding a campground in Lubbock—none had any vacancies, but we lucked into a new RV park near the airport. It was so new that we were the first ones to stay here! It will be good I think when they get finished with it. The owner came out and helped us get set up.

    Herb’s oldest friend in the whole world lives here and since today, Nov. 3rd, is Herb’s 72nd birthday, we will allow Joe and family the honor of buying him dinner here!!

    We will head to Albuquerque on Monday. We had originally planned to go to Corpus Christi after Fredricksburg then on to Florida for the winter, but decided that since we had no intention of ever owning another house, we need to get rid of the stuff we left in storage that is costing nearly $300/mo. So we will spend a couple of weeks arranging that, then head west for the winter. San Diego RV parks are exorbitantly priced, but we found a reasonably priced one in Hemet, an hours’ drive to San Diego. We’ll be there until middle of February—Herb has medical appts in ABQ in March.
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  • Day168

    A few Burges High School Grads

    October 5, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 84 °F

    This was a VERY informal gathering of Burges High School, El Paso, TX, graduates from various years in the 1960s. (Making us official geezers!) I didn't actually get pictures of everybody who was there, and for that I apologize--notable arrivals who didn't get pictured are Mary Lewis Hensley and Katie Lewis O'Toole. Here are the pictures I did get:Read more

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