Hot Times in Kerrville, TX (July 10 – September 10, 2022)

On Sunday, July 10th, we drove 203 miles from the Waco, TX area to Kerrville, TX, where we will spend the next two months at Buckhorn Lake Resort.  We expect to suffer through 100 degree daily high temperatures for the foreseeable future.  However, after spending well over $100 on fuel every travel day, we are looking forward to being stationary for a while.

We had originally planned to spend these two months in Colorado.  However, the crazy high fuel prices convinced us to scrap those plans.  Instead, we decided to come to Kerrville, TX and take care of myriad medical, dental, vision and hearing exams.  In our first two weeks in Kerrville, at least one of us had an appointment almost every day.

We did attempt to get some exercise in the early hours of the morning.  Phil played pickleball most mornings, from 8 – 10 a.m.  Jan would often get in a walk or a trip to the fitness center during this time.  Occasionally, we would also get out for a walk in the evening.  However, most of the day was spent indoors, reading and playing on our phones, with the A/C going. 

We did catch a couple of afternoon matinees at the Kerrville cinema.  On Sunday, July 17th, we saw Where the Crawdads Sing.  Then, on Tuesday, July 19th, we saw Top Gun: Maverick.  We enjoyed both of them. 

On Thursday, July 21st, we had to drive to Austin for one of Jan’s doctor appointments.  After the doctor, we took advantage of being in a big city by hitting several big box stores.  Then, we met Jan’s niece, Katie, and went to Sour Duck Market for dinner.  Although the temperature was 100 degrees, the restaurant had fans and foggers throughout the outdoor seating area and the heat was quite bearable.  We placed our order and paid for it entirely online.  The only human interaction was when they delivered our food and cleared our dishes afterward.

On Sunday, we drove to Luckenbach and watched a performance by a husband-and-wife duo, known as Treble Soul.  Hannah Prestridge and Curt Jones had met in 2014 while performing on Broadway in Nashville, TN.  They returned to Texas in 2014 and were named the Texas Country Music Association’s Vocal Duo of the Year in 2018.  In 2020, they auditioned on American Idol and Hannah won a Golden Ticket to Hollywood.  In addition to watching the performance, Jan purchased a Willie Nelson ornament for when we have a Christmas tree.

As we moved into August, the temperature dropped a few degrees, with daytime highs averaging only around 95 degrees.  On Saturday, August 6th, we attended an End of Summer Shindig event at the Kerrville-Schreiner Park, along the banks of the Guadalupe River.  Although the crowd was surprisingly small, we enjoyed listening to the music.  The generator that was powering the band’s amplifiers failed half-way through each of the first two songs, but they finally got it working.  Then, a wind gust blew over one of the lighting stands but, fortunately, the guitarist caught it before it hit the ground.

Over the next few weeks, we tried out several new-to-us restaurants in Kerrville, including Thai O’cha, Grape Juice and Pint & Plow Brewing Company.  On Friday, August 19th, we spent time browsing the shops in Fredericksburg and had lunch at the Fredericksburg Brewing Co., the oldest brew pub in Texas.

On Sunday, August 21st, we drove back to Austin and had brunch at Cenote with Katie and Michael, before they relocated to Baltimore.  The next couple of days were very rainy, significant because Texas had been suffering from a severe drought.  Phil took advantage of one of the rainy days by playing pickleball indoors at the Kerrville Methodist Church

Our remaining weeks continued to be uneventful.  The temperature dropped slightly, with daytime highs in the mid-80s and low-90s but the humidity kept us indoors most of the time.  We did a lot of reading and made a few trips to the pool.  We spent a lot of time exploring house plans online and scheduled meetings with an architect and two builders in late September.  We also took advantage of strong wi-fi service (unusual for a campground) by binge watching all eight seasons of Game of Thrones.

On our final full-day in Kerrville, we had an unwelcome event.  As Jan started to use the microwave/convection oven, the power went off.  We had had this issue three months earlier but, after jiggling the power cord, the oven had worked again.  This time was different.  We jiggled the power cord and, although the power blinked on for a second, the electrical outlet started making a sizzing sound.  Upon examination, we could see that both the receptacle and plug were fried.  Since we had done minor electrical repairs on the rig in the past, we imagined this repair wouldn’t be too difficult, but we were wrong.  The wiring of the original receptacle had been done at the factory, before the outside walls were installed.  It was wired using 12-gauge Romex non-metallic wire, which was quite stiff, and there was virtually no slack in the wiring.  Phil had to expand the hole in the wall, just to be able to extract the receptacle.  Fortunately, the receptacle was hidden in the cabinet above the oven, so the damage wasn’t visible.  To add to the challenge, the receptacle was a snap-in wiring type that wasn’t sold at Lowes, nor Home Depot.  We’ll save the rest of the story for our next post, but the good news is that it ended well.

Our electrical issue didn’t keep us from enjoying our final night in Kerrville.  We dined at The Boat and had a table with a view overlooking the Guadalupe River.  We shared a half-dozen oysters on the half shell, then split the seafood combo.

Heading to Kerrville, TX (June 25 – July 10, 2022)

On Saturday, June 25th, we began our long haul to Texas.  We drove 146 miles to Zanesville, OH, where we spent two nights at Wolfie’s Campground.  As Phil was pulling into our site, one of the trailer’s tires clipped a cinderblock the owner had placed on the edge of the site.  Upon examining the tire, he discovered that the outside tread had ripped apart from the tire.  Phil immediately started calling around to see if he could find a replacement tire.  Unfortunately, being Saturday afternoon, he was unable to find a tire dealer that was open and sold trailer tires.  Phil ended up installing the spare tire on our fifth wheel.  Accessing the spare tire from beneath our rig required removing the bikes and the rear license plate.

Over the weekend, Phil was able to locate a replacement tire at Discount Tire in Hamilton, OH, 47 miles from our next stop.  On Monday morning, Phil called the store and ordered the tire.  We then drove 166 miles, without a spare tire, to Richmond, IN, where we spent two nights at Deer Ridge Camping Resort.  The drive was uneventful until 13 miles from our destination, when traffic came to a complete standstill.  It took us over 30 minutes to move the next mile. 

On Tuesday, Phil drove our Mazda to Hamilton, OH and got the replacement tire.  After installing the new tire on the fifth wheel, we visited Fountain Acres Foods, an Amish store in nearby Fountain City, IN.  We loaded up on spices and fresh veggies.  Phil treated himself to a small tin of sticky buns.

On Wednesday, we drove 216 miles to Effingham, IL, where we spent two nights at Camp Lakewood RV Park. 

On Friday, July 1st, we drove 123 miles to St. Peters, MO, a suburb of St. Louis, where we spent the four-day Fourth of July weekend at 370 Lakeside Park.  This was our third stay at this campground.  Our pull-through site for this stay was directly across the road from the site of one of our most embarrassing RV experiences in all our years on the road.  In October 2015, only weeks after buying our fifth wheel, we attempted to get into our first back-in site.  We attracted quite an audience that afternoon, one of whom just sat in his lawn chair to enjoy the show.  At first, Phil had thought he was going to have success but started to panic when he saw how close he was coming to hitting the tree and rig in the site where we are currently parked.  Eventually, we were joined by two of the neighbor men who moved some obstacles and provided advice that helped get us backed into the site.  In the years since that afternoon, we have mostly booked pull-through sites.

On Saturday morning, Phil’s brother and his wife, Kip and Marcia Gordon, came by to see our rig for the first time.  We then headed out for breakfast at Gingham’s Homestyle Restaurant with Kip and Marcia.  After breakfast, we escaped the heat by heading to the movie theater at Mid River Mall to see Elvis.  That evening, we met at Kip and Marcia’s house and headed out for dinner at Rich and Charlie’s Italian Restaurant. 

On Sunday afternoon, we headed back to Kip and Marcia’s house for dinner.  We were joined by a large group of the extended family, including their two daughters (Shannon Roland and Mackenzie Gordon), their son-in-law (Derek Roland), two grandchildren (Ellie and Rhys Roland), two cousins (Austin and Millie), and Marcia’s sister (Cindy Rebbe).  We dined on pork steak (a St. Louis delicacy), corn on the cob and salads.

Monday was the Fourth of July and was even hotter than the previous days.  When we returned from the grocery store at 3 pm, the temperature was 97 with a heat index of 108.  Knowing that it would be even hotter when we arrive in Texas was of little comfort.  We then headed for dinner at the Roland’s home.  Most of the clan from Sunday’s dinner was there but, unfortunately, Marcia had not felt well and was unable to attend.  After briefly sitting outside, the heat drove us indoors to the air conditioning.  However, the heat did not keep the kids from heading outside to shoot off fireworks.  Since we were traveling on Tuesday, we had to leave before it got dark enough to view the big fireworks displays in the neighborhood.  It had been a great three days and we were really grateful for this opportunity to reconnect with part of our family who we rarely get to see.

On Tuesday, July 5th, we hit the road again and drove 226 miles to Springfield, MO, where we spent two nights at the Springfield / Route 66 KOA Holiday.  Other than trains that roll nearby day and night, blowing their horns, the campground was very nice.

On Wednesday, we drove into Springfield and visited the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World national headquarters.  The store claims to be the grandaddy of all outdoor stores.  It is certainly the biggest Bass Pro Shop we’ve ever visited.  In addition to numerous displays with stuffed animals, there are aquariums throughout the store with fish, turtles and alligators.  The store also houses the Archery Hall of Fame and Museum and the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum.  In the basement, they even have a shooting range.  After leaving the store, we had an early dinner at Bosky’s Vegan Grill.

On Thursday, we drove 226 miles to Rock Creek Road RV Park, 12 miles north of McAlester in SE Oklahoma.  The campground was nothing special, with mostly long-term residents, but our site was roomy and, at $27.50 for the night, it was our least expensive private campground in years.  By mid-afternoon, the temperature had reached 105 degrees, with a heat index of 114.  It took many hours for our two air conditioners to cool down the inside of our rig, which was 88 degrees when we arrived.

On Friday, we drove 300 miles to Lorena, TX (a few miles outside of Waco), where we spent two nights at Camp Caravan RV Park.  The truck’s GPS gave us a couple of mis-directions, including having us in the left lane, when we should have been in the right, as we tried to get to I-35E in the middle of downtown Dallas.  Fortunately, we were able to pick up the highway a short distance down the road.  The campground’s website had warned that the entrance was easy to miss and, sure enough, Phil missed it despite driving down the road very slowly.  There was a roundabout a mile farther down the road so we were able to get turned around fairly easily and found the entrance on the second attempt.