Sunday, March 29, 2020

Day 51, 52, 53 - Lake Texoma, TX - TT

Friday (51) - We are still here at Lake Texoma Thousand Trails and I really don’t have much to complain about. It's nice to at least have somewhere to be during all this uncertainty. Sure, it would've been great to be here without it as their facilities do look pretty nice. Maybe next year. I did hear that TT was only extending people up to April 7th. I wonder what is magical about that date?

It did continue to warm up throughout the afternoon but nowhere near as warm as yesterday. I dug out the Baofeng BF-F8HP and needed to re-download Chirp, an open source tool to program radios, to the MacBook Pro as well as install Python which is used by Chirp. It turns out that there are only three repeaters in the area. But having the NOAA weather broadcasts could be handy.

Here was today’s “project”. Chicken pot pie with chicken made using the sous vide. This may be something many grew up with but it’s new for me. It looks good though Bridget gave me a hard time since there is no bottom crust. Sigh.…

Saturday (52) - Rain and thunderstorm last night but it's nice and cool right now. At 64°F with a light breeze, it is almost perfect weather. One of the neighbors was here for maybe one day then left. Maybe he came by to make sure everything was alright. He was kind of grumpy.

We have no plans for today. I picked up a frozen turkey something. It turned out to be the front half complete with bones. After it defrosted in the refrigerator for a couple of days, I deboned it and have most of the meat in the sous vide (133°F for 26 hours) and the rest simmering on the stove. Turkey noodle soup I believe. That's actually enough for about 5 days so most of it will be going into the freezer in vacuum sealed bags.

We heard on YouTube that the Orlando TT park had the same policy of extending peoples reservations until April 7th. Then they need to move on. Again, why April 7th?

Saturday evening - Some googling on April 7th brought up a lot of stories of state and county shelter in place decrees that listed April 7th as the end date. Some examples I found were California, New York, and Illinois. I will be surprised if the end date isn’t extended.

Sunday (53) - Bored. Made a video of most of our campsites since I picked up the coach in September. Thousand Trails or Encore is “TT” and Harvest Hosts are “HH”. Just an observation but I don’t think we’ve had to pay for an RV space since the end of January.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Day 50 - North Texas - TT

This morning we ventured out to the Petco in Sherman, TX, pick up some essentials such as dog food, cat food, kitty litter, cat treats… Do you see a trend here? We also went to Walmart to pick up a few more groceries. I was shocked when I saw Bridget carrying a package of TP. I didn’t ask how many people she had to fight off to get it. Actually, the store wasn't sold out of everything like the place I went to last week and there were a lot of signs limiting the number of any item you were permitted to purchase. It seemed like most (but not all) people were following the rules. I did not see a single heavily loaded grocery cart. Bridget did encounter a senior trying to run off with a bunch of TP. Apparently, he didn’t get far. Some things were still in short supply such as chicken, cold cuts, dry beans, rice, paper products, and some cleaning supplies. I did find just about everything on my list.

We forgot a few things and the Dollar General store down the street had them in stock. Even though it’s 87°F outside, I thought it would be a good idea to make a batch of brownies in the convection-microwave. Really going to test out that A/C today. I don’t think it’s shut itself off in the last couple of hours.

Well, at least it’s not raining. And look at all the propane we’re not using… Fairbanks has gotten a lot of snow over the last couple of days.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Day 47, 48, 49 - Lake Texoma, TX - TT

Monday (47) - Slight change of plans this morning. Originally, we were planning to leave this campground next week and head for a small RV park in Oklahoma so Bridget could visit her brother and niece. Instead, I extended our current reservation for several days and she is planning to drive into Oklahoma and visit for the day. There are reports of some Thousand Trails campgrounds being forced to close by the local government ostensibly to keep outsiders out of their towns. Just in case that happens in this town, I wanted the flexibility to just leave and head west without needing to look for another place to stay in the area.

Fortunately, it wasn’t a problem changing our reservation using the online system. I stopped by the office to pick up new cards for the RV and the car with the new reservation information.

These are just a couple of pictures taken in the campground while walking back from the front office. The bright pink flowers in the tree don’t show up very well.

Tuesday (48) -It’s 76°F and sunny right now. Finally decent bike riding weather. I rode around the park and out to the highway along the back roads. I found out that the Dollar General store has been rationing out their inventory and they are open for seniors only from 8am to 9am. That’s a pretty good policy.

According to the Apple “stalking app”, Bridget is at her brother’s home in Oklahoma right now. I believe that her niece is also there taking care of her dad. At least for now. I just noticed when looking at the map that GA was 200 miles closer than Arizona. I didn’t realize that we were that far east!

We are here for another week and a half before heading west. According to Google Maps, it’s 1,069 miles to our next reservation in Arizona and we have four driving days. That seems reasonable. At least that’s the plan for now. But like anything these days, it’s subject to change by factors outside of our control.

Wednesday (49) - Another nice, sunny morning. Perfect day for a bike ride down to the lake. I was curious if the color would change with the blue sky. It didn’t look quite a mud-colored but still not really blue. This picture is taken next to one of several boat ramps which are not part of the TT park. We passed a dead (run over by a vehicle) snake on the way back. At that point, Bridget decided to not walk in the woods.

Both of our neighbors have returned here at the campground. And the place seems to be filling up. TT has even been willing to allow people to extend their stays beyond what the rules normally allow. We didn't opt to extend past our limit as we could've stayed for up to 3 weeks.

This is the temperature at 6pm today. Definitely on the warm side (some people are never happy). This was forecast to be the warmest day of the week. The air conditioners are running fine and we are in the afternoon shade. Especially when we can have the awning out.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Day 45, 46 - Lake Texoma, TX - TT

Saturday (45) - We needed to run the furnace last night for the first time in quite a while. It hit 39°F last night but hopefully, we’ll see warmer temperatures for the rest of our stay here in northern TX. This morning, we went to a Walmart in Madill, OK, a small town of about 3800 people. Bridget wanted to pick up some office supplies. I did find some eggs and a few other grocery items but there were a lot of empty shelves. The cashier said that the store was inundated earlier in the week by a lot of people from cities in Oklahoma and Texas.

We crossed over Lake Texoma and the water was the same shade of brown as the dirt. I’m thinking that the runoff from the heavy rain must carry a lot of soil. There are a lot of pictures of the lake with nice blue water. The one thing I'm not sure I like about Texas is the lack of terrain. There are hills but not really any mountains.

By late afternoon, it had cleared up but only warmed up to the upper 50s. The forecast is for more rain tonight but it's not supposed to be windy or cold. That's a step in the right direction. We walked to the entrance of the park as I needed to get out of the RV and get at least a little exercise. It was about 1½ miles round trip so it was a least something.

Sunday (46) - BTW, I don't know if I had mentioned it but Bridget took this MacBook Pro to the Apple tech at the university. He had changed the logic board but had forgotten to re-serialize the new board. I.e. Embed the serial number of the laptop into the firmware of the logic board. He took care of it and Bridget brought the laptop back with her. Now everything works. The lack of serialization broke odd things such as the ability to unlock the laptop with my Apple Watch. A feature that I had really gotten used to. It wasn't essential as the laptop does have a fingerprint reader which works fine. Another oddity was that I couldn't open the support website. And it wouldn't let me delete the old instance of the logic board on iCloud. So some software wouldn't run due to licensing issues. Anyway, it's fixed now. This laptop is so much nicer to use than the MacBook (non-Pro) that I've been using since August.

It didn't quite hit 60°F today but was close. More significant is that there was no wind. I walked down to the office to browse their ice cream selection. There was a discussion between the staff and another camper regarding the seven days out of the system requirement. The staffer thought that TT may make an exception but they (office staff) weren't able to do it. The camper needed to call the 800 number. She wasn't very happy. I hear that there are a lot of RVs on the road right now as people are trying to make their way back home. Not really an option for us. But I did pick up a pint of Nestles Toll House ice cream.