Bill and Kit’s Excellent Adventure Chapter 13

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The Bill and Kit Excellent Adventure Journal-Issue #13

 

Friday, February 13, 2009:

 

Friday the 13th…..and this is issue #13…..eh gads! Oh well, after dodging the “Tornadic Activity” of a few days ago, this could be our lucky day.

Since we have been on the road for 4 weeks now I think I’ll compile some stats. So far, to date, these are the numbers:

Total Time On The Road 28 days

Total Miles Traveled 3672 miles

Total Gas Consumed 409.4 gal

Average Miles/Gallon 8.97 MPG (low; that’s the cost of traveling the back roads)

Total Lodging Expense $859.52 (Including three nights in a motel)

Lowest RV Site Fee $23.00 (Oak Grove at NAS Pensacola, FL)

Highest RV Site Fee $35.10 (KOA at Perry, FL)

Freebie Nights 12 (Thanks again everyone!)

Average Lodging $30.70 per night (Including the three nights in a motel)

Number of Disagreements Zero (Yea…..right!)

Time Lucy Was Correct 98%

Time Kit Was Correct 100% (just ask her)

While on the subject and since there has been some interest in what we are traveling about in, it seems appropriate to describe our “rig”. The term “rig” is apparently what folks call their various traveling conveyances. Although “rig” seems a bit pompous for a pickup hauling a plastic box will stick with the norm. Anyway here goes:

Truck:

2007 GMC Sierra K1500 with 10,500 pound towing capacity.

Crew cab four door with leer cap over the 5 1/2 foot truck bed.

6.0 liter engine, 367 horsepower, HD transmission and drive train with 4.11 rear gears.

Garmin 205W GPS affectionately called Lucy.

Trailer:

2008 Northwood Arctic Fox 22 foot 4 season trailer.

No slides, we exit through the door….. (that’s an RV joke).

Fully self contained

Picture of “the rig”:

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And the floor plan:

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We decided to travel the “Blue Highways” and shun, where practical, the Interstate system. The thought was we would see more of small town America that way…..and for the most part we were correct. The truck is even sporting our traveling philosophy:

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We have also have discovered that RV styles, choice of “rig”, attitudes and philosophy differ widely. There is only one near certainty…..folks who travel extensively in an RV are universally friendly, helpful, relaxed, brave, clean and reverent…..Ok, those last three were borrowed from the BSA but still apply. However if I had to categorize RV travelers they would fall into four broad groups:

  1. Full timers who do not own a “normal” house. These folks generally have a large Class A (bus type) motor home and pull a vehicle. They usually stay put for a while in a few seasonally dictated locations.
  2. Folks that travel from job opportunities to job opportunities in older motor homes or fifth wheel trailers.
  3. Folks from the north that “snowbird” in the south. Usually they stay in one location for the winter and generally have larger “rigs”.
  4. Nomadic folks that travel around, staying a day or two in any one location and usually have smaller, more maneuverable “rigs”.

However all that being said, we have seen everything from tents to huge motor homes pulling huge enclosed trailers. All in all, a pretty diverse group.

Left Caddo Mills (it’s still Friday the 13th) on I-35 heading toward Kyle Texas and the often imitated, never duplicated, always exciting Crowe Family Reunion.

Traveling in an RV can be all about timing. We hit Dallas morning rush hour traffic, Waco noon rush hour traffic and Austin evening rush hour traffic. There actually is a sign the says “Austin City Limits” that folks stop to photograph if not driving 45 feet of vehicle at 65 MPH in rush hour traffic. Needless to say, just south of Austin the sign “Welcome to Hometown Kyle” was a comforting sight.

Speaking of sights, Texas does not have a billboard law and therefore interesting billboards are prevalent everywhere. A few that I was able to photograph are:

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A few that I couldn’t capture were for gun shops and said things like; “Buy a gun…..all the bad folks are doing it” and “If guns kill people than pencils misspell words”.

South of Dallas there was a highway sign that simply said “Private road maintenance next 109 miles” and the roads were fantastic from that point on.

Thought about stopping at the Dr. Pepper Museum in Waco but we were late for the daily Austin Traffic Crawl so continued along. Going to have to put that one on the old bucket list.

Right after the exit to Bugtussle Drive we saw a billboard for “Captain Billy’s Swamp Shack”. Not sure of the cuisine but the name was intriguing.

In Texas there are two new to us methods of traffic control. One is called a “Zipper” and it literally picks up concrete barriers in the front, moving them on through the machine and depositing them out the rear on the opposite side. Thereby creating, moving or eliminating whole travel lanes as they lumber along. Copied the below pix from the web.

Zipper Truck

Zipper Truck

When we first encountered one of these things we thought there had been a terrible accident. There sat what looked like a mangled bus up on a guard rail. Imagine the power of driving one of these things however? You could be a Travel Lane Nazi…..“No travel lane for you!” (Best said with an Arabic accent).

The other highway anomaly are major 70 MPH four lane highways such as Interstate 35 with dual lane “frontage roads” on either side that have frequent openings marked by yield signs. These openings allow interstate drivers to exit, cross your lane of travel and continue along the frontage road. Until one gets used to this scheme you would be traveling along at 55 MPH and suddenly notice a yield sign and these exiting cars would cross your path with a closing speed of 120 MPH!!!! Pretty unnerving…..the solution…..close your eyes and pray.

Arrived at “Club Crowe’s Nest” in Kyle Texas at 1600. This experience deserves an issue all its own…..stay tuned!

Love, Dad/Mom, Poppy/Guma, Bill/Kit

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