We haven't had good internet service for almost 2 weeks, so this entry will be a long one...
12/30/08 We got on the road today, and headed down a county road to Langtry – 200 miles southeast of Midland. Drove through a lot of desolate, flat country. We finally started seeing some buttes (or are they mesas ?) with windmills on them. Then came to some “hilly” country. We stopped at Iraan (which they firmly pronounce Ira Ann, so as not to be confused with Iran !!) and got gas. Had to sit and wait for guys to come out of the station/restaurant to move their vehicles so we could get back out of the station without unhooking the car. Gas at Midland/Odessa was as low as $1.38 but we paid $1.65 (figures). Heard it was down to $1.18 down in the valley, so maybe we’ll end up getting some cheaper gas before it starts increasing again. Finally got down to Highway 90 – the town at that highway intersection heralded 9 residents! I think Langtry has about the same….
We’re staying in a big gravel parking lot next to the Community Center, where you can drop your $2 in a receptacle for your overnight stay. We have about 10 turkey wander through the parking lot! There is a tiny campground across the road with hookups, but I think we’re too big to fit. We’ve stayed here before and it’s not bad (now that we have a working generator again). We’re almost next to the Rio Grande River, and can see the country’s highest bridge from here. There’s something that sounds like an owl hooting, and then an echo – it was cute at first, but it’s starting to get on our nerves!
The Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center is a block up the street from us. We’ll visit it tomorrow and take some pictures, as our pics from the last time we were here were on our older computer that I’m sure got stolen in our house break-in. We’ll drive around some tomorrow and stay tomorrow night again before we head down toward Armistad National Recreational Area/Del Rio area.
Wednesday we drove down and explored the Visitor Center and 3 campgrounds at Armistad National Recreational Area. The name means “friendship” and is an iinternational recreationsl area on the United State-Mexico border. The reservoir was created by the 6-mil-long Amistad Dam on the Rio Grande. The US and Mexico together developed a recreation area, flood control, water storage and power generation project. Two brnze eagles stand at the center of the dam to symbolize their working together. The river extends 74 miles up the rio Grande, 14 miles p the Pecos River, and 25 miles up the Devils River.
Finally got some cell phone service down there, and figured out where we want to stay. There’s a gas station on the way at $1.499 (where I filled my car tank for $8.35…..), and we’ll stop and fill up the RV so we have a full tank to run our generator. They have no services at the campground (other than welcome cell phone service), so we’ll set up our satellite and Hughes Internet dishes and work off our solar panels while we’re there. We plan to stay 2 weeks, and another 2 weeks if the camp host will allow it. Because we’re “old”, it’ll only be $2/night, and we’re right on the reservoir. We’ll then use our 30-gallon water container and our poop toter, as there’s a free dump station and potable water about 10 miles from the campground. We’ll only be about 10-15 miles from Del Rio, so will go there for entertainment (like Walmart, etc.)…
When we got back from Armistad, we went to the visitor center. Really neat place with some interactive displays. Outside is the saloon where Judge Roy Bean (the hanging judge) was the “law west of the Pecos.” He ruled America’s last frontier with his own brand of justice on the land west of the Pecos River. His saloon/billiard hall and courtroom was called the “Jersey Lilly” because he was in love with a stage star called Lillie Langtry (Jersey Lily) and he put a sing on his home called “Opera House, Town Hall and Seat of Justice”, hoping she would come perform there some day. When he wrote her that he had named the town for her, she accepted his invitation to visit but did not make the trip until several months after the judge had died.
There’s also a cactus garden interpretive trail that shows names of various trees, cactus, etc. at the Visitor’s Center here in Langtry. Across the street is a combination soda shop/Post Office, and there are a few houses in this tiny town, along with a number of abandoned, falling down buildings, and a church on top of the hill. Neat little place to visit.
Right near here, at Dead Man’s Gulch, was where a silver spike joined the transcontinental tracks of Southern Pacific’s Sunset Route in 1883 – with tracks stretching from New Orleans to San Francisco.
New Years Day
We missed New Year’s Eve (which we usually sleep through every year) but did hear quite a few fire crackers going off around 9-10 p.m. We packed up early and headed out for Armistad. Had to cross the highest U.S. bridge, which was under construction so it was only 1 narrow lane! We’ve got a pretty nice site here (I think there are 18 sites), and we got some sun this afternoon sitting in our little shelter. The lake/reservoir is up 18 feet from normal, due to the heavy rains southwest of here and a dam breaking in Mexico, so a lot of the boat launch is covered. The water is about 25’ in front of our RV and you can hear the ducks in the brushy water as well as see them on the lake. Weebles is happy because there’s a little girl Lhasso in the park to sniff… We’ll put up our satellite and Internet dishes tomorrow.
Didn’t have any luck with our Internet on Friday, but finally got Dish set up so we could watch TV (as we only get one channel on the antenna and you can’t understand the language!). Still no luck on Saturday, but we got the solar panels cleaned off on the roof and our hummingbird feeder put up. Got up to high 70’s today – beautiful day.
Sunday and Monday – not very good weather. Down in the 50’s and windy and rained some Sunday night. We went into Del Rio and went to Walmart and drove around town a little bit. On Monday we emptied our tanks into our little blue toter, and Bob had the neighbor help him load it into the car and take to the dump station up the road. He got lost on the way, forgot to take the small hose, and the water wasn’t working when he got there to clean up his mess or to bring back water. Finally got back almost 1-1/2 hours later (it was only 10 miles down the road!). Luckily we still have drinking water in our tank….
Tuesday – another beautiful day. Did laundry, found wifi behind the Ramada Inn to download our e-mail, and finally got my KFC. Got very windy while we were in town.
Wednesday – drove to town to get water in our 30-gallon tank. Bob washed windows and we tried again, unsuccessfully, to set up the Internet.
Thursday – faxed an application in so we can get network channels through our DISH network (ABC, CBS, etc.). Forgot to sign the form, so had to refax another page! Picked up some more water, and when we got back we walked to day picnic area (about 1.5 miles round trip).
Friday - walked to picnic area again early in the afternoon. Then later we drove into town for a Chinese buffet – very good variety.
Saturday – very windy again today. Went to the thrift shop downtown and I found a teapot. Got a few groceries, LP gas and some Styrofoam to put around the freezer so we don’t have to run the generator as much. Had an Iowa NY Strip for supper.