Kent and Carol - Mobile travel blog

Texas State Train

Walking thru the steam engine cab.

Passenger Cars

View from 6th Floor Museum-JKK's car would have been where the bus...

Stock yards shopping area with train track

Cattle Drive

Rainforest Area

One of the water tanks

Medieval Times building

"our" Knight

Bombing memorial

Thursday, April 15, we headed to Palestine, TX, which is northeast of Austin about a three-hour drive. The drive was a very nice drive through tree covered rolling hills, which reminded me of a drive through areas of Missouri. The RV park I had picked was out in the woods surrounding Palestine, it was small, but a lot of space between RVs and very quiet. That was a big change from Austin. Saturday we drove about 6 miles to the State Park to ride The Texas State Railroad steam train. This train runs from Palestine to Rusk, TX with an hour and half layover for lunch and then returns to Palestine. Before the train left you are able to walk through the cab of the steam engine via a raised concrete walkway, which is different than most railroads. The same company that runs the Durango-Silverton and the Great Smoky Mt. Railroads also operates this train. Carol and I have now been on all three of their railroads. After the train ride, Carol picked up some necessities at Wal-Mart while I looked for and found 3 geocaches.

Sunday we drove the RV to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The drive was about half and half, state roads and Interstate with a very light rain most of the way. We arrived at the Traders Village RV Park, which is half way between Dallas and Fort Worth. It is a large RV park next door to a large Flea Market complex. We did not check out the market because there was a very light rain falling when we arrived. Monday, we drove the Jeep into downtown Dallas to visit the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. This building was the former Texas School Book Depository building, which was used in the assassination of JFK. On the sixth floor of the building you get an audio tour via a personal player that leads you through JFK’s election, the assassination and the investigations that followed. It still leaves you with questions of who and why this happened. The seventh floor tells the stories of the photographers that took many of the photos that are on display and then back to the first floor to the obligatory souvenir store. We then tried out a Spaghetti Factory Restaurant in the downtown district. Tuesday, we drove the Jeep to downtown Fort Worth to visit the National Historic area that was once the largest stockyards in the Southwest and has now been turned into a tourist area with cowboy themed shops and restaurants. There is also a museum of the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and a short train ride down through the center of the shopping area ending with a turn around on the train turntable. Only problem, the train only operates on the weekends and we were there on Tuesday. Twice a day the cowboys drive longhorn cattle down the main street of the area. We stayed for the 4:00pm cattle drive and then headed back to the RV to beat the rush hour traffic. Wednesday, we drove to downtown Dallas to visit The Dallas World Aquarium and Zoological Gardens. It is about a four level building with Rain Forest type animals in the upper levels and aquarium type creatures in the lower levels. The bottom level has a large tank of sharks etc. in which you can walk through the tank via a tunnel. We then drove about a mile from the aquarium to The Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament theater. The building is a replica of an 11th –century castle where you are feed a four-course dinner without any silverware, you know, like the 11thcentury. During the dinner, knights on horseback compete in jousting matches and events of skill. The audience was divided into six groups and you were of course supposed cheer for the knight that represented your group. It was fun but Carol and I both thought it was like the Dixie Stampede but not quite as good as the Dixie Stampede. Thanks goodness for the GPS with the trips into the downtowns and then the after dark drive back to the RV after the show. Sometimes I was really not sure where I was but “Garmin” got us there with no problems.

Thursday, April 22, we drove the RV to Oklahoma City and arrived at the Twin Fountains RV Park. This was a nice, new looking park that was relative close to the downtown area. Friday, we drove the Jeep into downtown to visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. The museum was in the former newspaper building that withstood the bombing on April 19, 1995. The displays begin with an audiotape from a hearing being conducted across the street that provides the sounds of the explosion. The following displays show the panic, confusion, rescue and recovery to the investigation and capture. There are many stories told by the rescuers, survivors and family members of the lost. Outside is the memorial park and reflection pool that is on the footprint of the old Murrah Federal Building. There is a bronze and glass chair for each of the 168 victims of the bombing. It was all very well done.

Saturday, April 24 we are heading to Wichita to visit my sister and Carol’s two brothers. Then Sunday possibly to Salina to visit Carol’s sister and then on to Kansas City by Monday, April 26 or Tuesday the 27th. We have some routine doctor visits and visit time with the daughters and grandkids. We then plan to head out again by mid June for out next adventures.

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