Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wet times in San Marcos

Wow, what a thunderstorm last night. We've had worse in the past, but it's been quite awhile. According to our own little weather station we got over nine inches last night. . .  over three inches in just one hour. Many of the local creek and river crossings are closed, so people are having some real challenges getting to and from work.

As we live on a hill there's not much chance of our house flooding. Our friends who are here visiting commented that their room was pretty well lit up all night with the lightening. We definitely need the moisture, so no complaints here!

The possible rains predicted for today have been canceled, so last night's deluge has some time to soak in.  There was quite a bit of destruction up north, in and around Austin, with several photos available in the galleries here

Final leg of our summer travels

My goodness....we've been home almost a month and I still haven't gotten this last little bit posted. Another bad cold landed on me, so I've pretty well be useless for about three weeks now, but I think, just for the record, that I can manage to get this last little bit posted.

Thursday 9/27 - We wanted to beat the predicted winds, so were on the road well before 8 AM - early for us! We had to battle our way through hoards of grasshoppers migrating across the highway, but we made good progress, arriving at our planned destination, Datil Well Campground, by about 2:30 in the afternoon.

We've stayed at Datil Well before, though that was in the spring, so the landscape was a bit different. When we drove through New Mexico this spring we had remarked on how drought stricken everything looked, well, recent rains have remedied that situation. The same storm that caused such flood damage in Colorado also created flooding here in the Socoro area, though it wasn't so severe. That was about three weeks ago, and now there are wildflowers everywhere, and bugs hatching like crazy! The campground was crawling with black woolybear caterpillars. They were clinging to bushes, crawling up rocks, and in the chilly evening, they took refuge under our doormat and the boards we had used to level the trailer. We found them nestled down by the dozens when we picked up to move in the morning.

The wind did kick up as the weatherman had promised, and fortunately we were able to position the rig to block most of it so we could sit outside and enjoy the view.  More wind expected on Friday, so we planned to be up and out early again.

Friday - Hitting the road early is easy when you haven't unhitched!

View of Lea Lake campground from the cliffs
A quick breakfast and we were off.... and a good thing, as the winds didn't take long to move in. We planned another familiar stop for the night, Bottomless Lakes State Park.

The water in the lakes here is a lovely deep turquoise. The red cliffs, with their deeply eroded shadows, reflect in the water and when you toss in a few of the famous southwestern clouds, it's a scene hard to match.

It's a good place for taking walks, and Shiner loves to swim in Lea Lake, which is right at the edge of the campground. We took a nice long walk up the cliff at the south end of the campground, enjoying the large patches of wildflowers and the interesting rock formations, then went swimming in the lake in the afternoon. She's getting pretty good at fetching sticks out of the lake, actually picking up two at once on one occasion!

We planned a two day stop here, taking Saturday off to rest and to watch the Ducks game. It was a nice respite as two long days in the saddle, especially battling winds, get tiring.

Sunday we were on the road again, stopping at San Angelo State Park. There are only so many ways in and out of Texas, so these close in stops become repetitive. To change things up a little we stayed this time in the north campground, rather than the southern where we've stayed twice before.

The park has a strange registration system. If there's no one at the gate or office you have to register at the entrance, filling out the form, including your campsite number, and dropping it in the "iron ranger". Well, how do you know the campsite number before you've picked it out? So off to the campground we go, a LONG way from the entrance, select our site and get set up, expecting to find a deposit box there too, as most other campgrounds have. Not so. With the hitch jack broken, all set up but the truck still attached to the trailer, and no money box in site, all we could do was wait for a ranger to drive by. We got it all worked out, and permission to just drop the pay envelope in the box on the way out in the morning. sheesh..... what an odd system.

Shiner had plenty of entertainment here, as a young kitten decided to try to adopt us. It was so very skinny, and obviously hungry, we just had to feed it.
The poor little thing gobbled down quite a bit of milk and kibble, and seemed to be very interested in Shiner, but managed to stay just out of her reach. We would have adopted it if we had a way to care for it, but being gone half the year precludes cat ownership I'm afraid.

Monday - HOME!! Yeah! and, due to all the recent rain, we've got quite a jungle to deal with. Kendra does mow, but when it rains things really explode, so it's an annual routine for us. It doesn't take long to recuperate the greenery, which will explode again as soon as another rainstorm hits.

Three days of mowing and trimming have brought us pretty much up to acceptable levels, though there's always more to do. We'll be unpacking for a couple of weeks, then back to the home improvement projects. The fun never ends!

Stay tuned for further adventures!!