Our Schedule

Friday, February 20, 2015

Out and About

Hondo,  TX

After sitting around the park for the last few days, yesterday we just had to get out for a drive.

We left Hondo headed west on Rt 90 picking up 127 north at Sabinal.   Starting at Concan we were on a Texas Hill Country scenic drive along the Frio River.   I know I heard that rivers name in a country song, I think by George Strait, but I can't place it.  Can someone help me out?

Passing by

We drove in but entry requires a Texas State Park pass.   We don't think we will be spending time in state parks while here so we drove on.

Since we entered Texas Hill Country, much of the drive was up and down hills.

In this stretch of the road we spotted some critters.

Riding along we picked up Rt 39 and headed east.  Much of this road follows the Guadeloupe River.

As we crossed over many small streams we noted most were completely dry.  However, that must not always be the case.

We wondered what this homeowner does when it floods as the driveway off the road seems to be the only path to the house.

This is a novel way to dispose the old boots.  They lined both sides of the road.

About 1 pm we got to the town of Kerrville and we were ready for lunch.  We were going to stop at Chilies but when we saw a local restaurant, decided to give it a try.

Len had chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and onion rings.  I selected chicken salad with pasta salad and fresh fruit.  There was enough fruit on the plate that Leonard had to finish it for me.

In Kerrville we picked up Rt 173 south back to Hondo.   These fellows were quite interested in what we were doing.

Or maybe they were just protecting their ladies.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Hondo Hospitality

Hondo, TX

We left Mercedes at approximately 9 am Saturday morning.   The 290 drive took us 5 1/2 hours.

Our home base for the next 5 or 6 weeks is

Lone Star Corral is one of the Escapees co-op parks.   Only Escapees members can park here.  When we went in to register we found that our friends Peggy and David had already told them to expect our arrival and if possible to find a spot close to them.   How nice of Peggy.  We are parked almost directly behind them

Can't see their lot from this picture but they are backed up to the rig next to us.  Peggy and David lease their lot.  They spend much of the winter months here, going back to their home in Berlin, Pa in the summer.   In between they do some traveling.  It's always good to catch up with them.

As we were getting settled, the couple next to us came up and introduced themselves.  Others would wave hello and say hi.

Peggy had told me there would be a Valentines Day dinner.  She asked if we would like to attend.  Sure!   What a meal.    For only $7.00 there was salad, roast pork and gravy, roasted potatoes, peas, rolls and cherry cobbler.   It was luscious.  Len went back for seconds and got another complete helping of everything.   I haven't seen him eat that much in a long time.  

As soon as we walked in the club house door before dinner, a lady came up to welcome us.  Others were very at ease coming up and talking to us.  Sure did make us feel welcome.

This morning we went to the local United Methodist Church.

  Oh my, we could not believe all the people who spoke to us and asked us to stay for a covered dish luncheon after services.  We talked to the pastor and found he used to pastor the Mercedes United Methodist Church where we had just left.   Small world.

After we got back to the campground another Camp Hostess came over to introduce herself and provide us with more information pertaining to the park and upcoming events.

Then we went to the local Walmart.   We had attempted to get a prescription filled at in Weslaco near Mercedes.  They took it and said it would ready the next day.  We went back on Friday to get it.   They asked if we had insurance.  Well yea, through Humana Walmart plan.   Without insurance it is $74.47, with just $3.00.   The pharmacist said it didn't show Leonard as having insurance.   Len showed him the card.  They said the computer jammed and they couldn't get to his account.  Told us we would have to come back another time.  WAIT!  We were leaving Saturday morning.   So they gave Len a business card and said to have another Walmart call them.     We took the card to the Walmart here in Hondo.  They pulled up his account and didn't even want to see the card,  and didn't call the other Walmart  He had the prescription in 10 minutes! 

Tonight we went to the parks ice cream social.  Guests (US!) got free cake and ice cream.

Len had received a recall notice for his truck.  Something to do with the emissions system.  Said to take it to the Ford service department and should take less than 1/2 day to get it done.  We are told the local Ford dealer is a great friend of the park.  Even comes here to BBQ once a year. Tomorrow Len will call for an appointment.

I tell Len this town has everything.  A nice, clean new Walmart, A Ford dealer and Dairy Queen.   What more could anyone want.

Thinking we like Hondo Hospitality.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Does this make sense?

Mercedes,  TX

Yesterday we finished our 6 weeks of volunteering here in the Rio Grande Valley.   We are satisfied with some of the improvements we have provided to the community.

We built a handicap ramp for a local food distribution center.

And a loading dock

We improved the lives of one family who were living in a house built of particle board.  Aside from many improvements inside, we hung T-111 siding.    All painting was done by the homeowners along with as much construction assistance the disabled father was able to give.  It is always a joy when the homeowners take the initiative to assist

Tomorrow we pull in the slides and head on up to the San Antonio area for 6 weeks.

The church here at Mercedes also houses teams from around the country who seek to assist people over in Mexico.   Some are medical teams, others do construction.

Currently there is a construction crew here of about 15 men from Indiana.   They take time from their jobs, pay their own way here and purchase construction materials.  Their goal was to build five 20x20 houses about 7 miles into Mexico.

Earlier in the week they were notified to not work that day as the roads were blocked due to cartels having a territory war and there was shooting in the area.

This morning they traveled to the work site.  While there shots rang out and it appears they were the targets.   They immediately fled the area, leaving construction materials and all their tools and equipment behind.  They head back north tonight with only 3 houses partially complete.

How sad.   Here are good people attempting to help people in need.  They are received by having their lives threatened and their personal tools stolen.

Does this make sense?

Friday, February 6, 2015


Mercedes, TX

If you were driving through the small town of Mercedes, TX you would notice on many corners a rather large boot.

The local boot company Rios of Mercedes has been making western boots since 1853.  

Two years ago while here, one of the volunteers had arranged for a tour of the factory.  We found that each boot is hand made and each boot is made solely of leather.

These are premium grade boots which command a premium price.

The many boots placed in downtown Mercedes pay tribute to various Texas Universities.

Recognize any?