Monday, November 24, 2014

All Good Things Must Come To An End

Well once again we have to slide in the slides, pull up the jacks, and unhook so that we can head down the road to a new location and experience and leave Blue Bonnet Ridge RV Park.

We are really going to miss our good friends the Jungels-Norris family who were a Godsend and gave us just what we needed as a family.  I am sure we will be seeing them in the future.

We also met Sean Allen who was a very nice young man who liked to hang out with us and the Jungels-Norris family.  We will be sure to look him up when we get back in the Terrell area.

Along with them we also made friends with Dennis and Gabrielle Haynes who were staying in the lot next to JD and Jenelle Jungels-Norris.  The kids offered to walk their dogs and so of course we met them and became friends.  We also met their son Daniel and daughter Callie.  They have another daughter, Raechel, who we have not met in person yet, but will some day.

We are going to miss them all as we leave Terrell. 
A picture of JD (his back anyway) and Jenelle (pink shirt with cross) Jungels-Norris along with Sean Allen (sitting facing).
Dennis and Gabby Haynes with Sean Allen and the Jungels-Norris family.

The good thing is that this time we are going to traveling with Dennis, Gabrielle, and Callie Haynes.  Dennis is retired from the NY Army National Guard and so we both know some of the same people and have plenty to talk about, especially when it comes to comparing our war stories.

Before we left Terrell the kids had fun carving their Halloween pumpkins that one of the park employee bought them since they helped him with some of his daily chores in the park, such as picking up the trash.
Jenelle, JD, Misty and some of the kids carving the Halloween pumpkins.
Avery wondering why his hand is sticky.  Now you know why I was taking pictures and not carving the pumpkins.

Pumpkins carved while at Blue Bonnet Ridge RV Park in Terrell, TX.
Our neighbors' girl's pumpkin.
Our Neighbors' girl's pumpkin.
Courtney's pumpkin.
Tia's pumpkin.
Avery's pumpkin.
Ethan & Ian's pumpkins.
Unfortunately we left Terrell, TX before the kids got to trick or treat and so they did not get to see their masterpieces on Halloween night.  They did get their candy though once we got to El Paso, TX.

While driving to El Paso, TX, which was our next destination, we stopped for a few days at Van Horn, TX and took in some of the sights there with our friends Gabrielle and Dennis Haynes along with their daughter Callie.

We stayed at the Van Horn KOA which was a nice park, like a KOA should be.  The park hosts were also very friendly and accommodating.

While in the area Dennis, Gabrielle, and Callie took us sight seeing to some of the area's attractions.  One of the first things they did was take us to the local Prada store.  They had a limited selection and I think maybe they were a couple seasons behind.  Also I am not sure of their hours since they were not posted.  For more info you can go to Prada Marfa.
Prada store just outside of Marfa, TX.
Just some of the handbags available.
More handbags to choose from.
Their shoe selection at the Prada store in Marfa, TX.
From the Prada store we made our way to the Marfa Mystery Lights observatory.  To this day there is still no explanation of what the lights are.  Unfortunately it was not dark yet, so we did not see any mystery lights, but that does not mean they were not there.
Panoramic view of the Marfa Mystery Lights observation area.
Information on the Marfa Mystery Lights.
After our Marfa Mystery Lights experience we drove to Guadalupe Mountains National Park which is an excellent example of a fossil reef from the Permian Era.  The views were awesome along with the hike to the top of the mountain which is the highest point in Texas at an elevation of 8749 feet.
Entrance to the Guadalupe Mountains National Park in west Texas.
We were intent on making it to the top of the mountain, but some of use had some issues along the way.  You know the type, tightness in the chest, confusion, labored breathing.  Luckily Ethan performed CPR on me and got me going again. (Kidding!)
My chest hurts!
Don't worry Daddy, I know CPR!
Ethan performing CPR on Dad after he collapsed from climbing on the mountain.
I think it is working!
Dad feeling better after receiving CPR from Ethan.  Now only his tummy hurts.
After our little medical emergency we dusted ourselves off and headed on up the mountain.  We never did make it to the top, but had fun trying.  I did find it hard to breath while trekking up the mountain path and pretty much just wrote it off that I need to lose a good thirty or forty pounds, but then Misty complained about the same thing, so maybe I'm not too fat after all. (I know I am, but let me have my moments please.)

While climbing the mountain we paused so the older kids could have their pictures taken with Callie on a boulder that was on the edge of the trail.  The pictures do not do it justice since you do not see the boulder they had to climb on to get the picture.
Callie and Ethan taking a selfie.
Callie and Courtney posing for the camera with two thumbs up.
Callie and Tia with a thumbs up.
Callie and Ian smiling for the camera.
Courtney, Avery, Misty, Ian, Don, Ethan, Chloe, and Tia at Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
As I mentioned before the views were really great and we had a fun time climbing up and down the mountain.  As we left the park that evening we took some shots of the mountain and that evening's sunset.
Guadalupe Mountain's El Capitan.
Close up of Guadalupe Mountain's El Capitan.
The sun setting at Guadalupe Mountains.
A panoramic view of the sunset at Guadalupe Mountain's El Capitan..
After we left the park we drove to the McDonald Observatory to take in a star party.  This was the first star party that we had ever attended which was very informative.   Afterwards the observatory had all different types of telescopes set up to view an assortment of astronomical sights such as Ring Nebula which was very beautiful.
McDonald Observatory.
As the star party started we were fortunate to have the International Space Station (ISS) come over our heads while there.  It is as if the observatory had planned it that way and it was part of their show.

I tried to get a picture of it with my iPhone while it passed by the almost full Moon that night.  The ISS is the small spot on top with the Moon at the bottom.  It was one of those situations that you had to experience yourself to fully appreciate.
International Space Station passing above the almost full Moon.

Of course not everything has been peaches and creme in our travels with a couple of mechanical breakdowns.  When we reached Ft Bliss we discovered that we had a leak in our hot water tank, our toilet quit flushing, and the washing machine also developed a leak.

Water leaking out of the RV from the hot water tank.  You can even see it dripping onto the tires.
When I pulled the cover and looked at the hot water tank I did not see any leaks from the connecting water lines but noticed the water was coming from underneath the tank.  This was not comforting since that meant the tank would need pulled and probably replaced. 

The average cost of this water heater is around $800.00 but usually runs into the thousands.  Luckily we have an extended warranty that covered the cost of it and the labor, so, "Yay extended warranty!"

Even though this is only a ten gallon hot water heater, the water mixing valve, which is the silver thing coming out of the back top of the tank, makes it seem that it is a sixteen gallon tank and so Misty and I can take back to back showers with plenty of hot water.

We can also heat the water with both electric and gas, so if I have both running, the water temperature recovers quickly so that the kids can all take showers back to back.  Not that they would want too though.  It seems they like to go to the shower house better than taking a shower in the RV.
Our ten gallon hot water tank.
Leaking hot water tank.
What it looks like when the tank is removed.
To fix all of our broken stuff we called Double T Mobile RV Service who came right out to assist us.  They took our extended warranty information and dealt with them so I did not have to, which was nice.

After ordering the parts they had us fixed in no time and then called a few days afterwards to check up on us and make sure everything was still working fine.

I would recommend them to anyone who needs their RV worked on.
Double T Mobile RV Service.
The new hot water tank in place.
So that is everything that we have done or been through up to this point.  As always we really enjoy our adventures and the people we meet along the way.  Most do not realize what we are talking about until they hit the road themselves.

We are so blessed and thank God everyday for what He allows us to do.  Just like most, we get in the dumps at times and maybe even feel sorry for ourselves, but always realize that God has given us the gift of travel and roaming spirits that want to know whats around that next bend of the road to fulfill His will.  His greatest gift was his son Jesus Christ, and He continually gives us what we need to live and we need to praise Him every minute of the day.

We have thoroughly enjoyed west Texas and still have some other sights to see.  We will be sure to show them to you in our next post, but have covered enough for now.

God bless and Happy Thanksgiving!  Be safe on Black Friday if you dare to shop.  As for us, we will not.  It is safer to shop on-line.

Don, Misty, and Kids...

No comments:

Post a Comment