Tag Archives: Amarillo Ranch RV

Wheels Are Rolling

Last Tuesday (3/31), Carol and I said “See ya later” to our friends and co-workers at Amarillo Ranch RV. We enjoyed our time there and made some new life long friends. If you are in the Amarillo area and need an overnight stop for your RV, be sure to stop by Amarillo Ranch RV. They have easy access to I-40 and friendly staff.

Our new destination is 1500+ miles to the east in Virginia.

Our first day took us to Oklahoma City about 259 miles away. We stayed at Roadrunner RV Park a little south of I-40. This is an older RV park which means the RV sites were close together and the roads in the park where tight and narrow. Our site was so low in the front that when we leveled the RV, our front tires where off the ground. For a one night stand, that is OK even though it is not desirable. The clerk on duty did not know anything about the coming storm. He did say if the wind got bad, we could go to the restrooms (no pets allowed). If the tornado siren sounded, we could go to the underground shelter (no pets allowed).

IMG_2518After we got set up, we ate left-over Italian from Sunday afternoon late lunch. We watched the local weather report and paid attention to the weather on my phone. We knew the weather was going  to get rough over night but did not know the timeline for that. We went bed figuring we would just ride out the storm as we had done many times before. About 11:45 we felt the wind rocking our RV and heard the pounding rain on the RV. Carol was already up. The rocking woke me up. Obviously we were a little concerned because we had not experienced weather this rough in a while. A few days prior to our arrival IMG_2520in Oklahoma City, a small tornado touched down about 9 miles south of where we were staying. Oklahoma City area is prone to tornadoes in the Spring so we were being cautious.

I captured an image from my weather AP on my phone at 12:15AM. We are the blue dot. To the right of the blue dot, you can see the dark red center of the storm cell. This was the source of the heavy wind and torrential rain we endured. We did not hear of any major damage in the park or our area. I think we dodged a bullet.

Carol and I are strong believers in the power of prayer. In the Bible, there are a couple of passages where Jesus commanded a storm to stop. (Matthew 8:23:27 and Mark 4:35-41). Every time we encounter a major storm such as what this was, our prayers are for God to quieten the storm or move it away. Then we always ask for God to protect us. Then we follow our hearts. Col 3:15 says: Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking, because you were all called together in one body to have peace. Always be thankful. Our hearts were saying to stay put, so we did.

The RV shook like crazy and the rain and hail pelted us pretty hard. By 12:30, the storm had passed and we went to bed. In the morning, the sun was shinning and we found no damage to the RV or our car. God had once again heard our prayers. He protected us from the storm.

Wednesday morning we went to IHOP for breakfast and drove to our net stop. To be continued…

Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.


Weather Phenomenon

Last Sunday (Mar 1st), we experienced freezing fog – a weather phenomenon we’ve not seen before. Fog normally occurs when the difference between the air temperature and dew point is less than 4°F or 2.5°C.  (Dew point is the temperature at which moisture condenses and evaporates at the same rate.)

Freezing fog occurs when super chilled water droplets in the air freeze when contacting a frozen surface. Some times this creates a slick sheen of ice and other times it creates a crystalline structure.

Such was the case on Sunday. Amarillo had experienced several days with below freeing temperatures. This caused surface freezing. The humidity level rose to 96% which produced excess moister in the air. The water droplets then froze on contact with the frozen surfaces. Rather than producing a thin layer of ice, which would have occurred had the surface temperature been above freezing, the water droplets produced a crystalline structure. I was able to capture the beautiful scenery before the air temperature rose above freezing.

Click the first image to step through full size photos.

I hope you enjoyed viewing the photos as much as I did by seeing God’s artful creation.

Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.


Catching Up Is Hard To Do!

I’ve fallen of the blog wagon. It’s been two months since I last posted and I’ve been trying to figure out how to catch up. Best solution seems to be start with something current and sprinkle in the past.

Five days ago, I noticed a wet spot near one of our RV sites. Wet spots are not a good sign unless there was a recent rain or a camper washed the front end of their RV. Neither of these scenarios applied to this wet spot. Over the past several days this wet spot grew from about 12″ in diameter to about 10 feet in diameter. Yesterday, we dug into the wet spot and found what a cavity that was full of water. We drained the cavity and hoped for the best. The cavity quickly filled with water. Time to dig a deep hole to figure out why there is water here.

My work bud, David, is experienced in running the back-hoe while I am experienced in getting into the hole to fix the leak.

IMG_2122On the left is a PVC coated steel pipe – on the right is a standard PVC pipe. The two pipes were connected with a coupling that is not supposed to leak. In this case, the coupling leaked. We figured this happened because the PVC flexed while the steel pipe did not. A better solution would be to have solid connection between the two pipes. We also included a short piece of flex line so the PVC could flex under ground and not break the connection to the steel pipe.

IMG_2125Once everything was glued and the glue had a chance to set up, it was time to turn on the water and test our fix. We were fortunate to find a water cutoff valve about 3 feet away from the leak. I gently turned on the water valve to pressure up the line. Within a minute, the connection between the PVC and valve came apart.

IMG_2128From the looks of this, it appears the glue did not chemically weld the pipe into the fitting. After replacing the fitting on the cutoff valve, we were able to get a secure connection.IMG_2127So here is what the weakest link looks like. This is called a Mueller Coupling and is easy to find at Lowe’s or Home Depot. While it can be used to connect PVC and Steel pipe, I do not recommend this because it is prone to leaks.

Well, there you have it. My most recent project. This is the fourth water leak I’ve fixed since we’ve been here. We are off for the next couple of days so I think we may finish our Christmas shopping and do a little sight seeing. Thanks for stopping by. Y’all come back now.




We’re Home!

Home is where we park it and we are now home at Amarillo Ranch RV in Amarillo, TX, way up North in the Texas Panhandle. Elevation is 3605 feet. In fact we are closer to Albuquerque, NM (287 miles), Colorado Spring, CO (365 miles), Hot Springs, AR (563 miles), Branson, MO (578 miles), than Corpus Christi (656 miles) and Sugar Land, TX (603). We are parked in a temporary site until the 10th, when our permanent site will be ready for us.

Our first stop from Corpus Christi was Potter’s Creek where we had a relaxing evening and a chance to have dinner with Carol’s brother at Italian Garden. Next we headed north to San Angelo where we spent the night at Spring Creek Marina and RV Park. Price was a little high but the location was good. We had a great TexMex dinner at Henry’s. The place reminded us of Kiko’s in Corpus Christi. Next stop was KOA in Lubbock where we had dinner with our friend Donald and Raye Nell Hanna. I worked with them at Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi. Final stop was Amarillo Ranch RV.

When we pulled into KOA in Lubbock we were greeted with a hard but quick cold shower from the north. Of course that made things a bit muddy around the RV. We also notice our right rear stabilizer did not extend. We had the stabilizers worked on back in September ’13 in Moscow, Iowa. The replace the solenoid that controls the right rear stabilizer so it should be a warranty repair. The we notice the right front also would not retract. That could have been a problem had we not been able to get it retracted on Friday AM. We got on the road Friday AM for our final destination.

We met our managers and a couple of other workampers. They were all very friendly like we experienced at Mark Twain Landing in Monroe City, MO in 2013. We are looking forward to getting to know them better. Building relationships is so important when working in a new environment.

Something in the air caused Carol to have an allergy reaction when we arrived. Saturday AM we drove to a walk in clinic so she could be treated. With meds in hand we came back to a pretty warm motor home. The AC was not working at all. SHEESH! The air handler fan came on when I switched it from Auto to On. That told me the compressor shut down. After turning off the unit for a few minutes, i turned it back on and everything came back alive. Sunday I will need to give the condenser coil a good rinsing since it looks pretty dirty. The humidity is low up here but we still have temperatures in the mid to high 90’s. I am guessing the compressor overheated due to poor air flow through the condenser. Hope that does the trick since replacing our A/C would be expensive.

Our managers took us to dinner at The Big Texan last night. We had a chance to get acquainted even though the restaurant was very noise. We got our paper work and schedule. Monday we will be ready to get back to work. Meanwhile, today I will give our rig a good washing while Carol takes care of laundry.

Driving along the highways we often come across small towns. Most of these towns sprung up when a few folks decide they want to band together and perhaps enjoy the benefits of a structured community. Many of these small towns never incorporated so they remain an unincorporated community. Farm and ranch operations that required large acreage meant these families lived far apart. Often times, they joined together to form a church or school. As the communities grew, next came banks and general store, blacksmith and saloons. Some of the communities grew and prospered but in many, that never happened. As we passed these small towns, I often wondered about their history and more importantly why they did not flourish. Here are just a few that caught my attention as we drove.

  • Whitsett, (pop. 98) on US 281 just a few miles west of I-37. Construction of Choke Canyon Dam in 1986 was supposed to increase the population of Whitsett but that never happened. Whitsett is best known as being the setting for the 2008 horror film The Wild Man of the Navidad.
  • Oakville, (pop. 260) on  I-73 exit 65 is home to Van’s BBQ. Van’s has some of the best BBQ you can find and delivers it’s brisket plate on butcher paper to your table. After finishing what is served, they will step by to ask if you would like a second helping.
  • Lukenbach (pop. 3) located on US 290 a few miles north of Fredricksburg, the town was made famous in 1973 when Jerry Jeff Walker recorded the album Viva Terlingua  live at the dance hall. Later, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson memorialized Lukenbach with the song “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love),” Today, the dance hall still hosts a variety of musical events.
  • Cherry Springs (pop. 75) located on US 87 between Fredricksburg and Mason, this small town is home to the infamous Cherry Springs Dance Hall. This dance hall has hosted many of the greatest legends of country music such as Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Buck Owens, Webb Pierce, Ernest Tubb, and George Jones, It was here on October 9, 1955, that the Louisiana Hayride Tour played, with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Wanda Jackson and Porter Wagoner.
  • Grit (pop. 30) located on TX29 just north of Mason. The community was probably named Grit because of the area’s gritty soil. Originally settled in 1889, Grit grew to a whopping 63 people by 1968. Not sure why it never grew.
  • Van Court (pop. 125) located on US 87 Southeast of San Angelo and is the county seat of Tom Green County. Not much is known about this small community other than it is the county seat.
  • Posey (pop. ?) located on US 84 between Slaton and Lubbock. About all that is left in town is a Lutheran Church and a grain elevator. The railroad does not stop in town any longer. The town is now considered a dispersed rural community.

I am sure there may be other small communities that we passed along the way. Sorry I did not post photos, since I did not have but a few. Thanks for stopping by – y’all come back now.