Blue Angels Practicing, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida - May 10, 2017

Blue Angels Practicing, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida - May 10, 2017
Blue Angels Practicing, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida - May 10, 2017

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

An Accident, A Luau, A Ranch and A Carpet - January 21 - 27, 2015

My last blog reviewed the "Spare Parts" movie I saw on Monday afternoon, January 26. I'm going to back up just a little to cover the days I missed between January 20 and now.

From Wed., Jan. 21 through Sat., Jan. 24, I worked four ten-hour days at the RV park office. Friday afternoon, Jan. 23, I had a text from my walking buddy, Susan. She was driving to Half-Price Books on a rainy afternoon. The vehicle in front of her slammed on the brakes. She hit the brakes too, and stopped within inches of hitting the vehicle in front of her. Unfortunately, the pick-up truck behind her did not stop quickly enough and hit her at about 5-10 mph, pushing her car into the vehicle in front of her. She did not get hurt, but her car was totaled. (Note: That was the car we drove 5,000 miles on our trip in June 2014. A great car!)

My friend Susan's car
Her car was totaled and towed away.
I feel so bad for her. She loved her car.

Saturday: After work on Saturday, our RV park had a Hawaiian luau dinner appreciation party with dancing. After all the cold, rainy, dreary weather San Antonio had over the past two months, everyone was ready for a luau. On the menu: rum punch, pulled pork, potato salad, veggie plates, fruit plate, deviled eggs, baked beans, rolls, carrot spice cake, coconut cake, coffee and iced tea. Our team of decorators went all out to achieve a beautiful tropical setting. Over 100 people turned out dressed in their muu muus, sarongs, sundresses, pareaus, and tropical shirts.


Food table

Sea horse riding a saddle




Lots of people danced and socialized...



 
Me and Bob

Paul playing Hawaiian songs on his ukulele

People were enjoying the evening. A raffle for door prizes was held. A separate raffle was held with the winner getting "The Best Seat in the House" for the SuperBowl game - a sofa in front of the big-screen TV with beer at one end and wine at the other. We left the party around 9 pm as we had to get up early for a day trip to Kingsville and Riviera, Texas on Sunday, January, 25.

Sunday: At 7:45 am we headed south toward Kingsville, Texas along the Gulf Coast. We planned to meet MonaLiza and Steve, then decide what to do for the day. Bob and I arrived in Kingsville a little before our noon meeting at Chopstix Restaurant. We explored around downtown a little, then went out to King Ranch area to read historic markers. On our way to the restaurant, we drove through A&M University at Kingsville campus. 

Tile art of Santa Cruz cattle
The flags flying at the entrance to King Ranch -
notice the "Running W" King Ranch flag (left)
Texas A&M University, Kingsville, Texas
The Javelinas are the mascot for Texas A&M University. Notice their sharp teeth in the sculpture below.

Javelina sculpture at Texas A&M University

Over lunch, we talked about our options for the day and decided to take the 1-1/2 hour bus tour of King Ranch. 

Discussing options for the day with MonaLiza and Steve
We drove five minutes out to the ranch and found they were doing tours every hour instead of every-other hour because it's their busy season. We bought tickets for the tour that started in an hour so we could have time to watch the half-hour movie about the King Ranch, shop in the gift store (didn't buy anything) and watch some birds outside. Then it was time to hop on the bus. 

MonaLiza's blog has great information on Captain King, how he came to the United States, and what it took for him to begin ranching. You'll enjoy reading and seeing her different viewpoint of the ranch.

Our tour guide, Diana (pronounced dee-ann-ah), is fourth generation Los Kinenos (King's people). Los Kinenos were Mexicans from the small town of Cruillas, Mexico who were in dire financial straits. They sold all their cattle to Captain King to try to survive a terrible drought. As Captain King was driving the cattle back to Texas, he realized he had taken away their best chance for long-term survival. He returned to the town and proposed that the people move to Texas and work on his ranch in exchange for food, shelter and income. They were already excellent stockmen and horsemen. Many agreed to move north with him. Descendants of the original Cruillas people continue to live and work on the ranch today.

King Ranch is 825,000 acres, a bit larger than the state of Rhode Island. At one time, King Ranch had ranching operations in other countries: Morocco, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, and Cuba, to name a few. Fidel Castro took over the King Ranch holdings in Cuba, and the other foreign ranches have been sold. 

Bob was very interested in King Ranch because he grew up in Hawaii. The Big Island has Parker Ranch, which has always been second in size to King Ranch. Now he has seen and learned about King Ranch too.

King Ranch developed the Santa Gertrudis breed of cattle and had a Triple Crown race horse winner, Assault, in 1946. In 1950, Middleground won the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes.


First we saw Pancho and Panda two resident longhorns.
An old bridge on the ranch, now in disrepair.
White-tailed hawk
Santa Gertrudis cattle

Santa Cruz (lighter red) and Santa Gertrudis cattle
Crested caracara
Below is a "bump gate" designed to open when you tap it with your bumper. If you don't tap it hard enough it will come back and break your headlights. If you tap it too hard, it will hit the back of your vehicle and break the tail lights as you drive through. Tricky.

Bump gate
Sandhill cranes hanging out with the cattle.
Doe-eyed beauty.

Ranch horses
Workers' horses
King Ranch livery
This used to be the General Store on the Ranch
The King Ranch house.

Green jay
We had such a fun time with MonaLiza and Steve. On the bus it was fun to search for birds, deer and javelina (didn't see any javelina, although an earlier bus did). 

After our tour, we drove over to Texas A&M University so MonaLiza and Steve could take a look at it.


MonaLiza found the javelinas!

Yowzers, don't put your hand in there!
MonaLiza and Steve
From Texas A&M University, we drove to the RV park where they're staying, took a little walk and did some birding. Their RV park is right on Baffin Bay behind the Gulf barrier islands.


Baffin Bay beach
Looking back at the observation tower from pier
Interesting sky
Fisherman cleaning fish, birds benefiting
Long-billed curlew
Long-billed curlew
Golden-fronted woodpecker
Papaya and orange trees in the RV park!!
Bob, MonaLiza and Steve in front of their MH.
Thank you for an excellent reason to visit Kingsville and Riviera, Steve and MonaLiza. It was an excellent day. Safe travels on your way West. Hope to see you again soon.

Monday and Tuesday: During our travels to Michigan last October, our roof developed a severe leak. We sopped up as much water from the rear of our living room as we could. Bob fixed the roof leak, but there was still water intrusion, not as bad as the roof leak, but still some wet carpet in the back. Mold was starting to grow in the carpet. A couple of weeks ago, we took a carpet sample to Home Depot and matched the color, bought a big piece of carpet (because they wouldn't sell us a little one), and arranged for an RV repair person to install it. 

Monday morning Bob picked up the carpet from Home Depot. Our repairman came and tore the old carpet out, found out where the water incursion problem was, gave us a price to fix part of the problem, and told us what we could do to fix the rest. The outside seals on our windows were old, and the seals on the outside seams down by our floorboards were old and cracked. He resealed the windows and seams by the floorboards. Also, our gutters were loose on the sides of our roof. Bob went up on the roof, cleaned, then resealed the gutters down each side. 

When our repairman had the old carpet out, he bleach treated the floor where it was wet. We put heaters on it for the rest of the day and overnight. On Tuesday, he returned, treated the dried flooring with Killz (sp?). He then put down new carpet pad and installed the new carpet in the center section of our living room. Since it was such a good match to the carpet on our slide outs, he did not need to do those. Love, love, love the new carpet. He put a thicker pad in and the new carpet is much softer than the old carpet. It feels so luxurious under our feet.

Just a little aside: We worked two months as gate guards in the oil fields of South Texas in 2012. We traipsed in and out of our 5th wheel in sand and caliche dust...much of it got tracked in our 5th wheel. No matter how much we vacuumed or shampooed the carpet, I knew there had to be lots of dirt that sifted down through the carpet. I was right. When he pulled up the old carpet and carpet pad, there was a layer of sand underneath. When I vacuumed it all up, we had about two cups of sand in the vacuum cleaner. Glad to be rid of that!

Enough rambling. I'm done for the night.

Travel Bug out.