Monday, December 1, 2008

South Texas Valley

We spent the day with our friends from NM, Glenn and Mary Spence, on South Padre Island today (12/1). We met them at Daddy's restaurant and had a great seafood lunch. Then we followed them out to their RV space at Isla Blanca County Park on the southern tip of the island. We had a great visit and they gave us a tour of their new fifth wheel, which is a very nice rig! It was so good to see friends from home.

We have settled in at our home for the next few months in Rio Hondo. So far we have had good weather with daytime temperatures in the 70s - 80s. Not bad for December, we could get used to this!!

On Thursday we headed out to Boca Chica which is the southernmost beach in Texas. We had heard of it for several years and finally got the chance to check it out. We drove 24 miles out of Brownsville on a little paved road seeing very few other vehicles. We knew we had arrived when the pavement ended in sand at the Gulf! It was just beautiful but very isolated, the only other people there were a few fishermen and border patrols. Boca Chica's shore is a shell collector's paradise, miles and miles of unspoiled beach covered in seashells.

Donnie and Shelby at Boca Chica. She really wanted to run on the beach but after overdoing it on Mustang Island (we had to take her to the vet for arthritis medicine!!), Donnie kept her on a short leash. We all still enjoyed strolling on the sand.

On our way to Rio Hondo, we spent a week near Corpus Christi at Mustang Island State Park. We always enjoy our time there, walking on the beach and sightseeing. This photo was taken from a fishing pier in Corpus Christi Bay.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fall Colors

We are spending this week at Blanco State Park, about 40 miles north of San Antonio in the hill country. The fall colors are amazing this year, because it has been so dry and warm. This state park is one of our favorites. We always enjoy spending time outside and walking along the river.
We will be leaving on Sunday, going to Mustang Island State Park, near Corpus Christi for a week. After that our plans are to head south to our "winter home" in Rio Hondo. Donnie talked to Paul Marez today and learned Becky Jo's parents will be spending time again this winter on South Padre Island. We are looking forward to seeing Glenn and Mary, as S.P.I. is only a half hour's drive from Rio Hondo.

Tom & Mary Jo

Our friends Tom and Mary Jo Phillips at their home in Manchaca (near Austin). We were so glad we got to see them if only for a short time. They are a neat couple and make our summers at Mayhill a lot of fun.

Exotic Cars

On Monday we had lunch at one of our favorite BBQ joints, the Salt Lick in Driftwood, TX. Afterwards we walked out to the parking lot and were surrounded by 20 or more exotic cars. Casey, your Dad thought you might like to see these photos. The drivers, from all over the U.S., were participating in a long distance road race.

Happy Halloween!

We just had to share this photo of the grandsons in their Halloween costumes. Rylee and Parker playing cowboys and indians!

Becky's Birthday

Rylee helped Grandma blow out my birthday candles on the beautiful cake his Mom made. It tasted great too! Thanks Angie!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Crater Lake and Yellowstone


One of many waterfalls at Yellowstone. We spent most of the day there yesterday. The morning started out sunny, then it rained for several hours that afternoon. Still a great way to spend the day. The last time we visited Yellowstone was in June 1984, right before Donnie started his new job at Otero County Electric Coop. Time flies...
The park sure looks different after the 1988 fire. No more giant pine or fir trees, just lots of burned tree trunks but small trees are beginning to return. We saw only elk and buffalo this time. Think it is the first time we have not seen even one bear or moose.
We are leaving tomorrow, driving through the Tetons so will keep our eyes peeled for wildlife. We have plotted our course south to New Mexico. Looking forward to seeing everyone in Cloudcroft and Mayhill...AND, sure have missed our kids and grandkids. Can't wait to get to Artesia for our Grandma and PaPa "fix"!!

We are seeing this sight for the third time, but it never gets old. Got here at Old Faithful about 30 minutes before it erupted, so I just HAD to kill a little time in the gift shop (of course!). We have never seen so many other tourists here before...quite a few hundred standing around waiting for the "big blow". Seems like the price of fuel is not keeping people from traveling.

We are camping at Henrys Lake State Park, just 15 miles from west entrance to Yellowstone. It has a beautiful lake, covers 6000 acres, and is real popular with fishermen.

Another lake view...

Looking out our trailer window at the sunset. I could get used to this!!

Our campsite at the lake. We loved it here, except for the very friendly monster mosquitoes.

Crater Lake in southern Oregon. We visited last week while staying at Joseph Stewart State Park. It was not as clear as usual due to the smoke from forest fires in northern California. Still an amazing sight even with the haze. The lake is five miles wide, surrounded by cliffs reaching 2000 feet in some spots. The rim drive is 32 miles long, with great overlooks.

Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the U.S. at over 1900 feet, so no wonder it is so blue.

Notice how big my smile is? That's because my back is to the lake. My knees sure got wobbly when looking over the edge of the lake. Talk about a LONG way down!

This waterfall was right next to the highway, so didn't even have to hike to get this picture.

We stopped at a scenic overlook and noticed all this snow that still hadn't melted, so...had to take a photo of Donnie standing in it, wearing shorts no less! Just another summer day in Oregon...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Still on Oregon Coast

We are still in Oregon, staying at Humbug Mountain State Park again. We drove down to Brookings ( in Oregon near the California state line) on Sunday. This view is from an overlook north of Brookings. We have had more sun lately so the ocean is a beautiful turquoise color.

We plan to spend one more night at Humbug then head east tomorrow. We have always wanted to see Crater Lake so will stay a few nights at a state park west of there, until we have done all the “touristy” things.

The Brookings harbor where we checked out the docks and the Chetco River, which runs into the Pacific. Donnie would like to bring our boat here some time to cruise the river. We had lunch at a great little place on the harbor called the Hungry Clam, but we had fish and crab cakes, no clams this time.

This is the southernmost lighthouse in (Brookings) Oregon. It is a privately owned home (no tours!) but it is a working lighthouse. Can you imagine the view the owners have from their living room window?

Cape Arago Lighthouse south of Coos Bay, Oregon. It is on an island and can only be reached by a bridge that is closed to the public, so this is the closest we could get to take a photo.

While stopped at a scenic overlook near the gardens, I noticed this sailing ship in the distance. Donnie was able to get this picture with a telephoto lens. One of the locals said that this ship regularly sails this area. Wish I had more history on it to share...

Shore Acres State Park also south of Coos Bay. It was originally the estate of a pioneer timber and shipping magnate. There are seven acres with rose gardens, all types of flowers that bloom at different times of the spring and summer, and several very impressive overlooks. It also has a GREAT gift shop that I enjoyed!

Donnie at Shore Acres State Park gardens.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Donnie was finally able to get a photo of the Cape Blanco lighthouse near our campsite. Until this morning it had been completely covered in fog. So...success!

The ocean from a scenic overlook near the lighthouse. No blue skies today!

Campsite at Cape Blanco

We have put out bird feeders which have attracted little ground squirrels (my Dad used to call them Chip ‘N Dales) in addition to lots of blue jays. They are so much fun to watch and we also have several baby cottontails that join us in the evenings. We have spoiled them to the taste of carrots, but we probably aren’t the first campers to do that...

Shelby doing what she does best. She does get more lively when the squirrels and birds are hopping around the yard.

One of the camp roads. Lots of big trees and greenery. Reminds me of a rain forest, especially when the fog rolls in...speaking of fog...we haven’t been able to take a photo of the lighthouse here yet. It has been too foggy on the point where it is located. We are hoping it will clear up in the next few days and give us a shot.

Our campsite at Cape Blanco State Park. We think it is the best space in the park. It is surrounded by salmon berry (NOT tasty, trust me I know!) bushes and ferns, so it makes the space very secluded and almost wind proof. The wind blows almost constantly here at Cape Blanco, as it is at the point farthest west on the coast.

Our "back yard"

Cape Blanco State Park

Check it out...I have my binoculars at the ready! Not a whale in sight, but still interesting watching the seagulls and pelicans.

The weather was so nice yesterday (just a light breeze) that we took our lawn chairs to an overlook here in the park. There was a little fog out in the distance but the ocean looked bluer than we had seen it lately. Just a great morning to relax and enjoy the water.

This is the Coquille River lighthouse in Bullards Beach State Park near Bandon. We drove up there a few days ago and even got to tour the lighthouse. There was a park volunteer that took us up to the top of the tower and explained a lot about the river and history of the area. Great views and we even learned a thing or two!

View of the ocean south of Cape Blanco State Park.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Park Hiking Trail

Donnie and Shelby found this great walking trail in the Humbug Mt. State Park where we are still staying. It is the old Highway 101 that runs above the current highway. It is closed off to vehicle use, and makes a great place to walk. Shelby had a great time, running around, sniffing the sea air. She found a great big snail that she found interesting. At least she didn't try to eat it!
The trees along the trail are gigantic. Some of them covered in moss and twisted from the ocean winds.

We walked 4 1/2 miles. Wow, I was really tired, but Donnie and Shelby seemed to take the hike in stride. Guess they have more energy than I do!

Great views of the ocean from the trail. Wish it had been less foggy. Made a good photo anyway.

Whale Watching!!

We have seen our first whale, up close and personal! It is just amazing! We stood here at the edge of the port for at least an hour, watching it feed on crill. We were told by some locals that it is a gray whale. After it got tired of this bay, it moved on north up the coast. What an experience...