Kent and Carol - Mobile travel blog

Wildflower Center, Austin

BlueBonnets

On the Segway Tour

Spring fed Swimming Pool

Train in the park

Train going under street.

Crusing on the River

Students practicing rowing.

JBJ Library and Museum

Four floors of Archive Papers


After the last posting, I got some questions so I am going to reply.

RVers have access to a couple directories that list the different RV parks throughout the U.S. and Canada. I use one that lists about 12,000 RV parks and it is thicker than a large city phone directory. It lists the directions to and the accommodations at each park. Most RVers want full hook-ups, which include electricity, water and a sewer connection. Most all RVs could survive with less than the full hook-ups because we have a fresh water tank and waste holding tanks and almost all motorhomes have an on-board generator. All RVs have a propane tank for heating and cooking. Also most motorhomes have an inverter, which takes power from batteries and converts it into AC like you get in a house. That works great, but if you use the inverter too much you will run down the batteries. I have three 12-volt batteries for inverter use and two other 12-volt batteries for starting the motorhome engine. I also have a 10-watt solar panel, which will do a very slow trickle charge of the batteries. You can buy larger solar panels and if you want you can cover your motohome roof with panels, if you do a lot of camping without hooking up to an electric source. We don’t do much of that. We do have the following: 100 gallon fresh water tank, 47 gallon black water holding tank, 54 gallon gray water holding tank, 7,500 watt generator and 2,000 watt inverter. With all this, most RVers and us included still like full hookups at RV parks. A lot of state parks have just electricity, which we can fill our water tank and with careful use of water we can last about 5 days before we need to empty the holding tanks. The almost all parks also have a dump station so when you are ready to leave the park you can empty the holding tanks. I try to have the tanks as empty as possible before driving down the highway to save weight. Most all RV parks are on the out skirts of the cities. Our next destination is Austin, Texas, and by looking in the RV directory I locate an RV park just across the river from the downtown district of the city. I just know this is going to be a very old park with very small, tight parking spaces and with lots of long-term residents. You will find most year round parks have several long-term residents like construction workers etc. because you can stay in an RV park for very little money each month. As an example when we stay in Mission, TX. for the winter, we pay only $290 per month. Well, any way on Sunday, April 11, we make our short drive through rolling hills past many fields of wildflowers and arrived in Austin. We let the GPS lead our way to the Pecan Grove RV Park and as expected it is old, tight and full of residents but what an ideal location in the city. It is in what I would call the “hippy” area, if there is such a thing anymore, with five neat restaurants nearby and then only about a mile from downtown. We ate in two of the restaurants and one was right next door to the RV park. Austin has a very different saying, “Keep Austin Weird”. Not sure what that means.

Monday we drove the Jeep to the Lady Bird Johnson Wild Flower Center, which had some nice architecture and beautiful flower displays. Tuesday I went downtown and took an hour guided tour of downtown on a Segway, which was a lot of fun. That afternoon while Carol slept, I did some Geocaching, which took me a city park just a few blocks from the RV park. There, they had a swimming pool that was fed by a spring (interesting) and the runoff forms a small river, which they used for canoeing. There was also a miniature train with 16-inch rails like the one that I sometimes work with in Kansas City. Of course I had to ride it. It was about a 10-minute ride, out and back, which goes along the river, a view of the downtown buildings, under a city street and then back through the children’s playground, through a tunnel and back to the station. I would have not visited this place without the Geocaching leading me there. That evening Carol and I took a sunset cruise on the river that goes along the downtown district. The cruise also took us under a bridge that is the Spring and Summer home for about 10,000 bats. At sunset the bats all take off at about the same time to go feed for the night. Of course our luck, that particular evening it was windy and the migration was much slower than usual. The boat captain said it usually looks like a dark cloud as they leave together but tonight is was sort of a dribble, but interesting anyway. Wednesday was some more immersion of LBJ as we went to the Johnson Library and Museum, which is on the University campus. The building is six-floors but the displays takes up only about two and a half floors with the other portion for the Archives. There are 45 Million pages of historical documents if you need to do some research sometime. That afternoon we tried out a recommended BBQ on the southern edge of the downtown district. OK, but I still prefer Gates in Kansas City. Thursday, April 15, we headed to Palestine, Texas to guess what, ride a train.



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