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The "Next Adventure"
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Return to "Next Adventure" Summer: 2019
 

Making hummusWeather this morning, Hummus making behind

Tuesday, November 12, 2019: At 9:37 this morning I took this photo of my weather station. Outside temperature is 28.1° which is 42.0° colder than it was yesterday at this time. Coldest temperature (not shown) was 25.8° and the temperatures tomorrow are forecast to be colder.

This makes it a good day to try my daughter's recipe for hummus for the first time. I learned it is far more expensive to make your own hummus plus it takes a lot of time to assemble the ingredients then blend. The consistency meant I had to stir the hummus back into the blade by stopping the blending many times. It paid off so now I have homemade hummus.

How we spent our rainy Monday
Monday, November 11, 2019: This is a rainy Veteran's Day but before it started raining, I got in a one hour bicycle workout. Then we drove to the laundromat in Georgetown but learned all machines were busy. So we went to the next text, Harbor Freight where I needed a one time use tool to replace a slide top awning on Mz Ruby. Actually, it may not be a "one-time-use" tool. If one topper has failed, the rest will probably fail soon. So after Harbor Freight we went to BJs restaurant. Click the photo for an interior view of the restaurant. I had a turkey burger. After the turkey burger we drove to the nearest laundromat in Leander, about 4 miles from the restaurant. We don't normally need a laundromat since we have our own washer/dryer combination. However, we need to wash bedding and our little washer isn't large enough. Once the bedding was washed and dried, it was a dark drive home.
A traditional, huge bazaar at the First Baptist Church The Baptists weren't kidding, this bazaar is huge Great craft show in the Georgetown Square
Saturday, November 9, 2019: This was our day to spend together going from one bazaar/craft show to another. We started at a show advertised as a "Huge Traditional Bazaar" at the First Baptist Church in Georgetown. This turned out to be a huge campus and the Baptists were right, it was huge and the arts and crafts were special. The show was on multiple levels and the vendors filled all the levels. Nope, we didn't buy anything. We left the Baptists and drove downtown to the Georgetown Square. Another huge crafts show was happening with even more and better items. Also the shops around the square where special too. Our friends Mary and Mike joined us and introduced us to the "Burger University" where I got a PHd which was delicious. It was more than good to spend all afternoon with Mary and Mike, very special people and a lot of fun to be with. Mike is a veteran and was wearing his Navy cap today. Many men stopped to thank him for his service on this Veteran Day weekend.

Midway the movie

Friday, November 8, 2019: Another bad weather day. Gwen stayed home to sew while I went to the new Midway movie. I cheated by refreshing my memory of the history of the Midway battle. I had remembered how poor the planes were and how ineffective or defective the US torpedoes were. I also remembered every torpedo plane arriving at the Japanese fleet was shot down. This movie does an OK job of showing the decision making on both sides. It also does a great job of showing how the intellegence officers made the difference in the outcome of the battle by breaking the Japanese code. The movie also did a good job explaining the importance of the battle and what might have happened had the US Navy not won the battle. We lost a whole lot of our pilots but Japan lost much more. Japan lost four carriers, a cruiser, and 292 aircraft, and suffered 2,500 casualties. The U.S. lost the Carrier Yorktown, the destroyer USS Hammann, 145 aircraft, and suffered 307 casualties. The battle began with Japan entering the battle with four carriers and lost all of them. The US entered with three carriers and lost one. Finally, the movie made it very clear that one pilot with one 500 pound bomb could sink an aircraft carrier. It also made it clear what bravery it took to be the pilot of one of those plane. "We are lucky the US has such poor planes" stated a Japanese officer after the first wave of torpedo bombers was shot down. They were also lucky American manufacturers sold defective torpedos to the Navy. The attacking scenes were very realistic.

One of our favorite restaurantsA look from across Lake George
Thursday, November 7, 2019: This is a rainy day so Gwen and I do rainy day things. We started with a visit to a local Quilt store while I visited a bike shop nearby. They Gwen went to the Goodwill store like she does in almost every city. She found a treasure there. We were hungry so were on our way for more chicken then spotted "Mod Pizza". It is one of our favorite restaurants in Reno, Nevada. This one was just as good. We got enough for both lunch and dinner. After lunch we spent more than an hour in Hobby Lobby. We both found items. Gwen found decorations while I found a shelf unit to mount in front of my bathroom mirror. Then back home to watch Thursday night football.

Chuy's recommended by our tour driver

Wednesday, November 6, 2019: While on our bus tour in Austin the tour bus driver mentioned Chuy's as we drove by.

Gwen and I decided to visit Chuy's the learn about "Tex Mex". The atmosphere was very active and colorful. Click the photo to see what I'm writing about.

Our meals were large. Mine ended up being two meals since I took half home in a box. Gwen did the same. Both had lots of flavor. Everything made Chuy's worth visiting again.

Meeting up with friends

Tuesday, November 5, 2019: Almost exactly a year ago we purchased Mz Ruby from Mary and Mike. They drove Mz Ruby from their home in Georgetown, Texas to Las Cruces, New Mexico to save us a day of driving. Since we are visiting Georgetown we connected with them again. They live in Sun City, one of the planned communities and residential areas I have been riding my bike. They took us to breakfast this morning at the restaurant connected to the Sun City golf clubhouse. They wanted to show us the life at Sun City. It is a 55+ community with activities and special interest groups happening every day. Click the photo to see the residents woodshop. For $30/year a resident can become a woodshop member and have the use of some fabulous woodworking equipment. I have some of this equipment in our shed back in Oregon but nothing of this size and quality. We were given a tour of the woodshop. I told Gwen if we lived here I'd spend half my time on my bike and the other half in the woodshop. But of course this is too far from my children in Reno. However, this has planted a seed knowing that their are affordable 55+ communities much closer to Reno. It is obvious that Mary and Mike are enjoying their retired life at Sun City.

Austin, TX Austin Skyline One of the prettiest buildings
University of Texas Texas state capital Another skyline building
Monday, November 4, 2019: Gwen and I take a bus tour of Austin, Texas. The bus did not stop during the tour so all photos are on-the-go. We wanted to get an idea of sites to see before we try going on our own. Click all the photos for enlarged views. We did go to a restaurant mentioned by our driver after the tour. Austin is a very active and beautiful city. I plan to return with my bicycle.
Off to a fall craft fair A very popular craft fair Booths inside and out
Sunday, November 3, 2019: Gwen and I visit the Sun City Hill Country Arts and Crafts show. This is a very popular event only a few miles from our camping location. The show was divided into categories. Woodwork, pottery, fabric, stained glass, jewelry and more categories. We ended up buying one pottery item, a hanging tile. This was impressing with many of the items handmade by the residents of Sun City. It is a very well organized, planned communtity with 7,500 homes with a plan to continue building to 10,000 homes. All in a 55+ age group. Click all photos to enlarge.
Gwen is visiting IKEA for the first time Trying our dining room chairs Puzzles for Gwen at Costco
Friday, November 1, 2019: I took Gwen to IKEA for the first time because I have always enjoyed visiting IKEA with my son Ben and his kids. Gwen is focused on finding a new set of dining chairs and IKEA has about 50 to choose from. It took us two hours to get out of IKEA but Gwen found her chairs. Next we drove to Costco in Pfugleville. Gwen found a whole rack of jigsaw puzzles to choose from. Puzzles are one of her favorites.

Lots of construction around the Austin Visitor Center

 

 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019: The weather today was cold and wet. Gwen chose to stay home and warm. I chose to visit the Georgetown Visitor Center first. I was able to get several important brochures and much advice from the host lady.

Next I drove to REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) in Austin to check on bicycling shoes and tires. I was disappointed with both.

I plugged the Austin Visitor Center into my GPS which took me seven miles deeper into Austin and into a very busy construction area. I parked three blocks from the visitor center and walked. I was disappointed because all the Austin Center offered was a map and advice of what others like to see. I asked for a bike trail map and none was available. The host circled the areas on the map where bike routes might exist. Also, this was a very difficult center to get to, another source of disappointment. I did see some of the high rise skyline of Austin. Here is an all glass building. Click the photo for a view of the Austin Center entrance.

I did stop at another bike shop on the drive back to Georgetown. This bike shop shared Ride With GPS which seems very useful for someone like me who is always in a new area. He also shared Strava Heat Map, also very useful to me. It highlights the routes most ridden by cyclists who are using the Strava APP.

 

Dr Pepper Museum Vintage bottle Vintage bottle coin machine
Tuesday, October 29, 2019: This is a travel day from Waco to the Jim Hogg COE Park on the Georgetown Lake near Georgetown, Texas. It was a ninety mile drive in the rain. We are 9 miles from the Georgetown visitor center and 36 miles from the Austin visitor center. Before leaving Waco we visited the Dr. Pepper museum because Waco is where it was invented. It is also a favorite for myself and my two sons. The original marketing was to drink it at 10, 2 and 4 pm to increase alertness and energy at those times of the day. Since it (like all sodas) is mostly sugar water, drinking sugar water at 10, 2 and 4 would likely give you a sugar buzz at those times. The museum is a balance of illustrating the business of drink formulas and drink marketing. The final photo is a coin-op bottle machine. My grandfather had one in his feed store located in Monett, Missouri when I was very young. The bottles were suspending by their necks in cold water inside this machine. You would slide the bottle along the track to the release point, insert the coins and the trap door would release the bottle as you pulled it up and out of the water. I don't remember the fee but it was probably a nickel (about 1950 - 51). I DO remember a pineapple milkshake was 25¢ when I was a paperboy in 1959. Click all photos to enlarge.
Waiting outside Coffee available outside Breakfast menu

On the floor at the entrance My breakfast

Monday, October 28, 2019: We treated ourselves this morning to breakfast at Magnolia Table, the restaurant Chip and Joanna renovated in their HGTV show, "Fixer Upper". You can feel Jo's touch in everything from the chairs on the patio, the covered waiting area outside, the font on the signs, menu and floor tiles, and the food choices in the menu. I also felt Jo's presence in the flavors. Click all the photos for enlarged views. Here is the lunch menu. I also liked some of the unique selections on the menu such as a taste of the four juices. The one negative which I documented in a review, I can't give a "five star rating" if the restaurant does not heat their syrup. However, in this case, I would return to Magnolia Table.

Camper top

Sunday, October 27, 2019: I saw this rooftop camper today at the Waco 70.3 Triathlon.

This type of camper is becoming popular. I see them as half a step up from a tent. In this case, it has a hard top and soft sides. Many of this style have a soft top. You aren't sleeping on the ground and the top may popup in seconds. This unit may have a mattress permanently installed in the base. You can't stand up inside. If you decided to drive anywhere away from the campground the unit must be stowed first.

These units, whether soft or hard top, are expensive and with all the negatives, I don't believe they are worth it.

The dam holding back Waco Lake Preparing for tomorrow's big Ironman Triathlon Waco Riverwalk
Saturday, October 26, 2019: I rode my bicycle into downtown Waco today. I first tried to ride the bike trail but was turned back at the Waco dam by construction. Tomorrow is the Waco Ironman 70.3 so there was a lot of preparation today. Lots of athletes in town walking their expensive bikes around, I fit right in. The downtown area around the historic suspension bridge was very busy. I enjoyed watching these fit athletes and admiring their trim bodies. The tri-athletes must swim in the Brazos River. I'm looking at the river and the color reminds me of the color of my "black water" when I dump the tank. It is a good thing these tri-athletes aren't RVers or they might find it difficult to dive into the Brazos. While riding I passed some nice Waco homes. Waco must like brick. Here is one, two and three. Click all the photos above for larger views.
Our first place to visit, Magnolia Market How to develop a brand name! The brand is everywhere
Time for a cupcake from a Joanna recipe. This one is "Nuts and Bolts" A small selection of choices Check out the Silo Bakery Menu
Friday, October 25, 2019: Our first day in Waco found us exploring the Magnolia Market at the Silos created by Chip and Joanna Gaines. We have been fans of "Fixer Upper" on HGTV for several years and had already decided if we were ever in Texas we would have to visit Waco just because of Chip and Joanna. This was a windy cold day but fortunately the rain stopped this morning. The "market portion" was a building full of unique decorator items plus T-shirts and hats. I bought nothing, Gwen bought a mug. Next we visited the Silos Bakery because we had to get one of Joanna's cupcakes. The line was around the corner of the building but because of their ordering system, it went very quickly and there was plenty of space in their outdoor table area. We weren't disappointed in anything we saw. I especially like this great example of "how to build a brand name". Click all the photos for more views. Everyone was taking their photo at this location so we did too.
Two hours in Fort Worth traffic.
Thursday, October 24, 2019: This is a travel day from Sulphur, Oklahoma to Waco, Texas. This was a drive of a bit more than 200 miles but we spent two hours in bumper to bumper, stop and go traffic around Fort Worth. We are headed to the Airport COE Park which was recommended by several on the Winnebago forum. We drove through wind, rain and lighting the whole drive. I figure is hasn't rained here in months but the day we need to drive, it pours rain. Click the photo for our camping location.
Touring the Chickasaw Nation Cultural Center Bronze Hunters Catfish and turtles in the cultural pond
Wednesday, October 23, 2019: Gwen and I toured the Chickasaw Nation Cultural Center today. We learned much we did not learn in history class. The Chickasaw Nation is self governed. The current governor was elected in 1987 so he must be very good. The cultural center is as much for the Chickasaw native to teach the history of the tribe. We have learned more than we ever knew about the Chickasaw tribe but a member of the tribe would likely visit often and learn much more. We enjoyed traditional Chickasaw food for lunch. The Chickasaw defeated the Spanish then the French. They kept treaties with the British but were forced from their traditional homeland by the United States. They educated themselves and learned to use US laws to create their own nation. Click the photos for enlarged views. I also made a short video of the "Stomp Dance".

Found an Armadillo In Sulphur, OK

 

Tuesday, October 22, 2019: I took myself for another tour of Sulphur, Oklahoma mainly to use the libraries Internet access to post this webpage. Nice library with very quick Internet speeds. After the library I took a walk through downtown Sulphur and discovered some nice walkways and one high class tourist shop. The tourist shop really thinks a lot of their T-shirts, $28.50. The Artisan Hotel is across the street, maybe that's the reason for the high prices. While exploring I found a live Armadillo. I took a short video of what I saw. There are no Armadillos in Oregon so this is our first time to see one in the wild. It was bashful but didn't seem too disturbed at me approaching to take a video.

Click all the photos for more views.

 
Artisan Hotel in downtown Sulphur, OklahomaArbuckle Lake
Monday, October 21, 2019: I took a bicycle ride around The Point and into the town of Sulphur, Oklahoma. Click the Arbuckle Lake photo for a panorama view of the lake on this relatively calm wind day. The town of Sulphur was small but surprised me with this huge, multi-story hotel, the Artisan (click the Artisan for a wider view). There were also several shops which looked interesting so I plan to get Gwen to join me for a walking tour of the town.
Our camping location on Arbuckle Lake
Sunday, October 20, 2019: This was a travel day from Coweta to Chicksaw National Recreation Area Oklahoma. On the way we discovered the Catfish Round-Up Cafe, click to see the giant catfish over the register. Two young women were circulating in the room. One had Apple Fritters to deliver, the other had fresh dinner rolls direct from the oven. The meal I ordered was the pot roast special including two kinds of potatoes, carrots and dessert for $8.49. These folks will suffer "sticker shock" when the visit the west coast. We rolled into our reserved space 41 at The Point Campground but didn't like it. There were plenty of "first come first served" spaces available so we chose space 21 with a filtered view of the lake. The space came with a water connection and 50 amp electric service for $11/night with our "Senior Access" pass.

Coweta and Broken Arrow

Saturday, October 19, 2019: Larry and Carol took us for a tour of the area. Both Coweta and Broken Arrow certain look healthier than Greenfield, Missouri I toured a couple days ago. After the tour of the downtown areas Larry and Carol took us to one of their favorite restaurants. Carol recommended the "mini omlet" which she and I ordered. Very good, I'd order it again.

After returning home, Larry helped me install a heavy duty roller at the base of the hitch. This helps protect the hitch if it gets too close to the ground.

We will be leaving Coweta tomorrow for the Chicksaw National Recreation Area, Oklahoma.

Coweta, Oklahoma
Friday, October 18, 2019: A travel day from Ruark Bluff to Coweta, Oklahoma where I have a second cousin with a horse ranch. That means she has enough room for us to park and a 50 amp trailer hookup, a perfect place to spend a couple of nights. We are able to spend some time with them where they have showed us Coweta and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. We have also been able to do the laundry. Larry and Carol have three dogs this weekend (dog sitting two) and two horses so we are getting our animal fix.
The view from our campground
Wednesday, October 16, 2019: This was a day of travel from Columbia Freightliner to Ruark Bluff East Side Campground on Stockton Lake. This is a Corp of Engineers park near Greenfield, Missouri. We arrived to learn the campground was in the "shoulder" season. That's a good thing because the sites are only $5/night with a Senior Access Pass. Also, lake front sites are plentiful and vacant. The bad thing, all the water is turned off and we arrived with only 18 gallons in our freshwater tank. We will be here two days and we know how to conserve water. The temperature tomorrow is forecast to be in the 70s. Click the photo to see a rural Missouri road to the campground.

Parking lot at Columbia Freightliner

Tuesday, October 15, 2019: This was a driving day from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Columbia, Missouri to retrieve our repaired Mz Ruby. The 347 mile drive took us all day. We arrived at 4 pm to pay the bill and get ready to roll tomorrow morning. The leaking freeze plug and a rusted freeze plug have been replaced. That was the major expense. I also had Freightliner replace the water pump, belt, and several filters since they had most removed to fix the freeze plug. The mechanic has test driven Mz Ruby twice and checked everything which he reported "good". Click the photo for a view of Columbia Freightliner.

Airbus

Monday, October 14, 2019: This was a flight day from Reno, Nevada to Tulsa, Oklahoma. We flew via United Airlines Airbus 319 and 320. The flight from Reno to Denver was less than half full. The flight from Denver to Tulsa was nearly full. United had a new-to-us feature where a passenger can choose between many movies or TV shows for personal viewing. However, the viewing must be on your own phone or tablet and you must have earphones to listen. Something like this makes the flight go fast. We had super economy seats we purchased months ago with lots of limitations on luggage but we still got free drinks and snacks with the flight.

 
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