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Southeast (Gulf Coast), Texas, United States

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Traveling Home

We left Tucson late on Friday morning, and drove to El Paso, TX.   We stopped at the Flying J where I got the new RV card, and then we took showers and I dumped the tanks for a $5 fee.  I then filled the fuel tanks, getting the 3 cents per gallon discount, and headed across the street to park in the Texas Welcome station for the night. 

In the early ‘70’s, I worked one summer at ALCOA and met a young Engineer from El Paso, Ed Flores, who was also doing a summer intern job.  After graduating the next summer, we both accepted jobs with ALCOA at the Point Comfort plant.  Ed and his wife, Pat, decided that they really wanted to work and raise their family in El Paso, so after a couple of years, he resigned and moved west.

Since we had time, and were traveling alone on this trip through EL Paso, I attempted to contact him.  On Friday, while traveling, I used my WIFI to locate him on a people search, but when I called the number, all I got was an answering machine….. so I left a message, and took my chances.  On Saturday morning, while I was hooking up the car, he called.   I was surprised…..I knew that I was talking to an old man of 63, but it still sounded like the 24year old from the 70’s!!!!   I gave him this blog address, so I know he will read this!!

We left El Paso about 11:00am CST, and drove East on I-10…….. actually, I let Patsy drive, while I worked on the computer. 

The following are pictures of the Texas Canyon area of I-10 (either in Arizona or New Mexico)….. a lot of big rocks……




If you look back several posts, you will see that the Didelots and us stopped in Fort Stockton, TX to look at some sculptors.  We were told about a big on on the west side of town, but we could not see it.  Today, as

she was driving, Patsy spotted it.   Here it is…

Fort Stockton Sculptor 001

Fort Stockton Sculptor 002

We expect to get to San Antonio today, and spend the night, and then get home early tomorrow.  We will need to hurry and clean up the Bus and put it into storage because a wet cold front is expected next week.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Saguaro National Park, Tucson, AZ

We got a late start on leaving the campground at Gila Bend.  It was after 10:00am when we finally hit the road after getting the Bus ready for 5 days on the road, and filling up with diesel.

We headed to Tucson, AZ, and parked the Bus at the local Camping World store at about 3:00PM, and noticed that they locked the gates to the parking lot at 7:00pm.  That gave us 4 hours to tour both the West and East Parks that make up The Saguaro National Park.  We also needed to make a stop at a Trander Joes store to pick up some cornbread for our daughter in law!!

We headed to the West park first, and since Patsy left her purse in the Bus, I had to sign up of the $10 Senior card for National Parks.  This is a one time fee for a lifetime card that allows us to enter any National Park for free.

The West park turned out to have the most dense population of Saguaro’s.  It is also, the most natural, with a “graded dirt” road on the six mile long tour loop.  On the way to the park, we passed the “Old Tucson Studios”, but it appeared to be closed.

The remainder of this post will be mostly pictures….. starting with sights on the road to the park:

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The following photos are on the paved roads to the visitor center….

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After spending some time at the visitor center, we drove the dirt loop road…..

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We left the West park, and drove to the other side of Tucson to the East Park……

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When we arrived at the East Park, it was getting late, and the sun set while we were driving the 8 mile paved loop road…..

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As we entered Tucson earlier in the day, I saw a billboard that seemed like an omen.  I wanted to take a picture of it, and late last night, I went back up I-10 to find it.  We did find it, but it was not a lighted billboard….. so I drove up on a curb and took the best shot that I could …..

Retirement Sign 01

More on this latter picture in a later post!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Leaving Quartzsite

We made our last trip to the RVAmerica camp last night to visit a lot of our RV’ing friends for the last time.  We returned to our Bus at the TRVN campsite, and I stayed up late updating this blog….. most of the previous posts!!

Our last task before heading out this morning was to pick up some “Bus flags” that I had Hilda, the lady who digitized some photos of our Bus on our visit two years ago, and made some ball caps for me.  Two years ago, she did not have the garden style flags that I wanted, so I ordered a couple off the internet before coming out here.  They turned out nice……

MH Flags 004

I am planning to get a double flag holder and hang one of these with the Houston Lone Star Allegro flag at rallies.

Today, we only drove 150 miles and returned to the same Shell station campground in Gila Bend, AZ that we stopped at on the way in.   We have a lot of clothes to wash after 8 days dry camping in the desert, plus we wanted unlimited use of water and electricity for one night before hitting the road for some serious driving.

Here are some pictures of Quartzsite as we left.  There are still a lot of people and RV’s there….

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I spent the afternoon “backing up” my laptop computer to a hard disk drive that I keep for that purpose.  I had not backed up since 09May2010….. and my laptop is 6 years old. 

Tomorrow, our plan is to visit Saguaro National Park in Tucson, AZ for a couple of hours, and then drive a couple of hundred miles toward Texas.   We have seen signs for the park every year that we have traveled back and forth to Tucson, but always ran out of time or desire to visit it.   We plan to fix that tomorrow.