Saturday, June 25, 2022

Athens, TX

Friday - We are now at Lake Athens Marina. There isn’t any shade but there is 50amp power and sewer. At the other campground, we were limited to only one A/C at a time, no washer/dryer, and running the microwave or induction cooktop would shut down the A/C. Compare 50amps@220VAC (11KW) versus 30amps@110VAC (3.3KW). That’s a big difference. 

Not a TT park but it was roughly the same price as the Texas state park. Especially when you add the Texas user fee of $5/person/day. If we were going to be in Texas for a while, we could’ve gotten an annual pass for, I think, $80/person. 

Today's project was putting up some Reflectix on some of the windows. The front-side windows are single pane so they were prime candidates. We also put it on the three large windows in the hallway. We rarely open those blinds and the windows can still be easily opened. We’ll see if it makes a difference. The door window is also single pane. Obviously, the Reflectix can’t be left on the windows while driving.

Saturday - The pano was taken from the clubhouse deck. Our RV is visible on the left so we have a calming view of the lake. It’s 8:45am and it’s already 82°F but there is a nice breeze right now.

We visited with Diary of a Family the last couple of evenings and it was nice to see them again. We last saw them at Natchez Trace back in November. Garrett will be doing the A/C replacement next Saturday. Hopefully, both units arrive here by then. For the installation, we will be moving to the Texan RV Park, the home of the NRVTA, the National RV Training Academy, where Garrett works. Easier access to stuff such as lifts and ladders.

We now have the Reflectix up on the planned windows. We left the small opening window on each side and all of the windows by the seating areas and the bedroom. At 3pm, it was 100°F outside and the air blowing out of the front A/C is 66°F. And, the living room area is 81°F. Quite a change from yesterday when the inside temperature was around 91°F! But, the afternoon still has a couple more hours around 100°F. There is some relief coming on Monday, according to the weather guessers.

A special treat for dinner last night was fresh corn on the cob that we received from our Boondockers Welcome hosts. I cooked them up on the Blackstone. Delicious. 

Friday, June 24, 2022

Eustace, TX - SP

Thursday - Another short travel day. Only 150 miles or about 3 hours including a fuel stop. I’ve noticed that diesel prices are dropping now that we are heading west. Hopefully, the trend continues. We didn’t need to fill up but with the elevated temperatures, we may need to run the generator more.

We are at Purtis Creek State Park and this is the first time we are staying at a Texas state park. The site has partial hookups, 30amp power and water, at the site. We can run one A/C unit plus some other stuff such as the refrigerator. It’s pretty hot here. The picture is the showing the temperature outside the RV. The smaller text is the inside temperature and humidity. The old A/C unit is only able to drop the temperature by a bit over 10°F. They should do a little better than that but that’s why we plan to replace them. 

Update - This was originally going to be a multi-day post since we were planning to be here for a week. But, due to the temperatures combined with the 30amp power (plus no sewer), we are moving to an RV park in Athens, TX. This is a really nice campground with huge sites but not at 100°F+ temperatures. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

New Boston, TX - BW

Wednesday - Something new for us today. We are staying in someone’s yard as part of Boondockers Welcome which is now part of Harvest Hosts. We arrived around 12:30 and were positioned under a large tree and near power and water. Given that it’s 95°F, being able to plug into 50amp shore power is a really nice benefit that most hosts don't offer.

They have room for 10 RVs here some with hook-ups and some dry camping. It depends on when you arrive and what you need/want. The 5th wheel behind us is their RV. Boondockers Welcome is a database, that you need to pay to join, of individuals who open up their property to RVers passing through with some allowing more extended stays than just overnight. Some, such as this one, have full hookups available usually for a fee.

We will be staying just one night and heading to a state park tomorrow near Athens, TX. I ordered two A/C units as well as a new compatible thermostat to be delivered in Athens to a good friend of ours. Hopefully, we can get them installed before we leave the area. BTW, This is the most level site we’ve had since Orlando TT. Most sites tilt one way or the other. The worst ones have the rear lower than the front.  Around mid-afternoon, a class B came in. 

Since there is time, I went ahead and joined the later test session. I think that there might be just enough bandwidth. About 12Mb/s down but only 800Kb/s up. Zoom seems to want about 1.2Mb/s both ways.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Piney, AR

Sunday - A 250-mile drive today through Memphis and Little Rock to a small RV park near Hot Springs, AR. The Jeep gets really filthy after sitting in the RV exhaust for the last 800 miles. That is how far we’ve come since the TT park in NC. I guess I should wash the Jeep just so you don’t get dirty when accidentally touching it. 

We have a site that backs up to water which is nice. It was in the 90s (°F) today but there was a slight breeze blowing over the water so it didn’t seem too bad. Plus, the humidity, at 38%, is much lower than it was closer to the coast. I believe that we are here for 3 nights. 

Monday - This morning, we drove to the NPS visitor center which is in the middle of Bathhouse Row. Kind of odd to see hot springs as individual soaking as opposed to the large pools such as at Chena Hot Springs. 

The bathhouses are rather ornate buildings and they catered to the wealthy. They were modeled after the bathhouses in Europe with statuary and gardens. 

One of the bathhouses is now a museum run by the NPS. Four levels with this gym on the top floor. Since all of the baths are private rooms with tubs, they can be multilevel buildings. 

What is unusual about this National Park is that it is urban. Right outside the NPS visitor center is a busy street lined with businesses. 

This is the “Display Spring”. The real spring was enclosed at the turn of the century so this was put in for the tourists. 
Instead of paying the $25 - $58 (and much higher) fee to soak in one of the bathhouses, I spent some time in the RV park pool. Not very big but the perfect temperature to just float around and cool off. And, it’s not like it’s crowded. 

And, AT&T was good enough here for me to join the afternoon test session.

Tuesday - No plans to do any exploring today. It seems that the big activities for this urban national park is hiking and spending money. Hiking is still painful for Bridget. After walking to the local grocery store (just across the street from the RV park) to pick up a few groceries, I signed up for a test session and got tagged as a lead. 

Just a couple of chores today. I added some more hydraulic fluid and washed the tow bar as it was covered in oil and dirt. While I was at it, I washed the back of the RV as it also had a thin layer of oil and dirt. After that, I spent some time at the pool. Very relaxing. 

We leave here tomorrow. The RV park was fine. Mostly filled with people living and working here. Very few traveling types like us. Having 50amp power is nice as it allows up to run both A/C units and they run just about all day and most of the night. It’s 94°F right now at 1:30pm but it really doesn’t feel that bad unless you are actually sitting in the sun. 

The MagneShade on the front windshield is nice. We are able to open the curtains during the day and the front cab area is cooler. We should’ve gotten them earlier. We ordered some Reflectix for the front, side windows (all single pane glass), and the tall hallway windows. These are double pane but they let in a lot of light and heat.