Monday, August 31, 2009

August 30

Jim made breakfast in his dutch oven - sausage, hash browns and eggs. We hooked up and drove back to Houston. We backed the Casita into the driveway so we could unload it and clean it up before returning it to the storage lot. Carolyn immediately went to work cleaning up the overgrown plants in the yard. While we were gone all of the azaleas in the front yard flower bed had died from the drought. We will have to replace them with something more drought resistant. This trip was a great way to escape the Texas summer heat. We didn't have to use the Casita's air conditioner until we got back into Texas.

Here are some statistics from our trip:

Total days camping: 98
Total miles driven: 12,866
Total gasoline cost: $2,284.26
Average gasoline cost per gallon: $2.44
Average gasoline cost per day: $23.31
Average mileage: 14.9 miles per gallon
Total campground cost: $893.91
Average campground cost per day: $9.12
States visited: 13
Canadian provinces visited: 2
Pictures taken: 8,413
Nights camping at:
National forest campgrounds - 32
Bureau of Land Management campgrounds - 19
Passport America RV parks (half price) - 14
National parks - 9
County and city parks - 9
State parks - 5
Friend's driveway - 4
Canadian national park - 2
Canadian provincial park - 1
Indian casino parking lot - 1
Wal Mart parking lot - 1
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers park - 1


August 29

Elton's son Stephen, his wife Kelly, their children Joshua and Erin, their granddaughter Keely, and their dog Dakota came to spend the afternoon. We all walked over to Lake Conroe and they went swimming. For dinner Stephen barbequed hamburgers and Jim made yet another dutch oven apple cobbler.

Friday, August 28, 2009

August 28

We took Martha to the National Forest ranger station so she could buy an America the Beautiful Senior Pass. Then we went on a short hike on some trails near the campground. We saw a Gulf Fritillary butterfly on a Monk's Cap flower and a small snake of unknown species. A cold front and rain came through just as Jim was making baked chicken and rice and apple cobbler in his dutch ovens. We had to cover the dutch ovens with umbrellas to keep the rain from putting out the coals.

August 27

Carolyn's brother Elton arrived and set up his popup trailer in the space next to us. Carolyn's friend Martha also arrived. Jim made a green chile chicken stew and a peach pineapple cobbler in his dutch ovens.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

August 26

We left Waco and drove to the Cagle campground in Sam Houston National Forest on Lake Conroe. Carolyn's brother Elton is bringing his popup trailer here tomorrow and her friend Martha is also coming. We will be camping here through Saturday night and will go back home to Houston on Sunday.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

August 25

We left Winters and drove to Eola, Texas to visit the states's most remote brewpub, the Eola School Restaurant and Bright Brewing Company. The owner, Mark Cannon, bought the old Eola School (built in 1928) four years ago. The place had been vacant for over 20 years and had been repeatedly vandalized. Mark has been renovating the place on an ongoing basis and he has done a tremendous amount of work. He gave us a tour of the place and we drank some of his beers (which were very good). Mark was nice enough to break out one of his few remaining bottles of banana lambic beer for us to try. We then drove on to Waco where we camped in the Army Corps of Engineers Midway Park on Lake Waco. We took some pictures of the sunset at the lake.

Monday, August 24, 2009

August 24

We got up and walked around Oasis State Park. This desert area has a lot of sand dunes -- it looks a lot like a beach but without an ocean. There is a small lake -- I guess that's why they consider it an oasis. The place is absolutely infested with house flies. They got into the Pathfinder and we fought them all day. We left and drove to Lubbock where we stopped off for lunch and beers at the Tripple J Chop House and Brewing Company. Their beers were very good. We looked at a statue of Buddy Holly and then drove to Winters where we set up the trailer in the city RV park. We had an electric hookup for free. We needed it to run our A/C because the temperature was 101 degrees.