The RV Road Trip Fulltimer's Blog for March 2011

Mar
1
2011
It's a good thing I got in some riding yesterday as this morning it was 53° outside! I rode about 4 miles south of here near the Mexican border. There is an RV Park right on the river so I took a few pics from that area. It is called Chimney RV Park because of an old chimney left over from days gone by, here's a shot of it.

Chimney RV Park

The park is right on the river which is the border between the US and Mexico. If you look at the picture, you'll see just how easy it is to sneak into our country. Here you see the Border Patrol vehicles, a watch tower (not sure if anyone was in it) and across the water is Mexico. I can throw a rock that far!

US - Mexico Border

Over the course of the year as we scooter around South Texas, we'll place those pictures in the gallery under "Rio Grande Valley". So check there often as we just add the pictures to the existing ones.

Since it is a new month, we updated the expense summary. We sure save a lot of money by workamping! Fuel costs were low last month as we simply didn't go anywhere we didn't absolutely have to. Now that we have the scooter, we don't have to worry about fuel costs nearly as much. And if there is something here in the Rio Grande Valley that you'd like us to go see, let us know what it is!
Mar
3
2011
We get a lot of emails asking about what we do in the park for activities as well as what Cynthia does workamping. I think we touched on the workamping part before, but we'll recap just in case. Cynthia works in the main office doing everything from checking campers in and out using the Campground Master software, reading electric meters, making deposits, facilitating the sale and rental of park models, helping with park activities, etc. Here's a shot of her at her desk... hard at work. :)

Cynthia workamping!

As for what we do in the campground... Well, first of all it is a resort, very different from a campground. There are 2 heated swimming pools along with hot tubs at both. There is a library, pool hall, shuffle board courts, and horseshoe pits. During the season, there is a dance every Thursday night along with weekly potluck dinners, bingo, card elimination, bunco, pokeno, scavenger hunts, dinner parties, aquacise, dance lessons, cookouts, etc. There is also entertainment several times a week. Oh and did we mention that we also have church twice on Sunday! There is very little reason to even leave the park, but we do.

I took the scooter for a ride down to San Juan, Texas. It is about 10 miles from Mission and appears to be an older area. I noticed a steeple over the tree line and rode towards it and snapped a picture (see gallery) and also stopped by their Veteran's Memorial Park. That photo is shown below.

San Juan Veteran's Park

Mar
9
2011
They had a "Thrift Store Fashion Show" here at the park and Cynthia participated. The rules were simple, wear something... anything... that you bought at a thrift store. Here they call thrift stores "usada ropa" which literally means "used clothes". Some folks wore some crazy stuff, some wore ordinary stuff and Cynthia wore a $12 formal dress. Below is a picture of her during the show.

Ropa Thrift Store Fashion Show!

The new scooter required its first oil, filter and gear oil change at 190 miles. I know that's an oddball number but they were trying to get the imperial equivalent of 300 kilometers. They were close - LOL. As I rolled into the park with all my oil changing supplies, the odometer read 189.2 miles. Close enough! It took about an hour and went smoothly, plus it saved me a bundle by not having to take it to the dealer.

It's getting hot here, it was 93° yesterday! Good riding weather but I need to wear sunscreen. I started using an Android app called Foursquare, it is also available on the iPhone. It allows you to "check in" at various locations and you earn virtual points, badges, etc. Many businesses offer coupons through the app in order to get you to check in with them. I check in but I don't buy anything, I'm cheap like that (grin). I'm still on the fence about the app, it looks like it will get boring after a short time but I must admit I am not all that familiar with it yet. I'll let you know how it goes.
Mar
11
2011
I always heard they do things a little different here in Texas, and now I see that is true. Back home when we have an open house, it means the place you are trying to sell is open for viewing. These folks seem to think it means your house is open, really open... no walls, no doors, etc. :)

Open House

Mar
12
2011
This morning we went to the Quinta Mazatlan Birding center in McAllen, Texas. It features an old Spanish style mansion and the grounds are set up with trails, bird feeders, viewing stations, etc. It was a beautiful morning, bright blue sky and a temperature of about 76°. I took my wheelchair because of all the walking involved and we went on every trail that was open. We ended up with 44 pictures and they have been added to the picture gallery. We really enjoyed the park and will go back for another visit one day. Here's the obligatory teaser photo...

Quinta Mazatlan

Mar
16
2011
I reckon it is time to reflect on our first 10 months as full-timers. We hit the road on May 31st of 2010 and we have been having a blast. We have seen some amazing things, met some amazing people and are having the time of our lives. If you know us, we don't do this for the same reasons as most people... we do it for one very specific reason. We operate the RV Outreach Ministry and we try to befriend, encourage and minister to campers across the country.

We started in a 19' travel trailer and are now in a 29' travel trailer. Not because we were cramped, we just needed a camper large enough to accommodate a wheelchair. We have traveled through 12 states and stayed at numerous campgrounds and RV parks. The only thing we miss is family and friends back home, but we take comfort in Matthew 19:29. We sold our Honda Ruckus scooters along the way but have since replaced one with a Genuine Blur and as funds permit, we'll be getting Cynthia a scooter this summer.

Our first camper...

We spent our first winter on the road in Mission, Texas workamping at Mission Bell / Trade Winds RV Resort. The Good Lord turned that into a paid position until April 2012 to allow us to build our savings back up and prepare for more travel when we leave here. We love our camper and the life we are living. Many people think we are poor but I'm here to tell ya, we are some of the most blessed people you will ever meet. Sure, we don't have the "things" that many people cling to... but the most important things in life... aren't things.

Our current camper...

If you have the opportunity to "go full-time", go for it. Don't worry about what society thinks of you, what your friends think of you or anyone else. Only you can live your life, don't live it according to someone else's rules. The way I see it, if someone doesn't already have a perfect life then they aren't qualified to tell me how to live mine. :) Our adventure has panned out just like we thought it would. We've had a few ups and downs but everyone has those, even people who live in houses.

Jerry's health issues have caused us to make some adjustments and we may have to make another. We didn't think he would have difficulty setting up the camper at campgrounds or hitching it up to the truck, but he does and it is only getting worse. Although we love the camper we just got, we are considering swapping it and the truck for a decent older 25-30' Class C or B+ of equal value. We'd even consider an older Class A but no longer than about 30' or so. If you have one in really good shape and you'd like to trade, let us know! Remember, we're non-smokers!

Well, that's the summary for this episode of The Adventures of Jerry n' Cynthia! Check back with us often and tell your friends and your favorite forums about our site. And remember, if you are ever near where we are, please stop by and say hello!
Mar
20
2011
This week has been really windy. The temperature is nice and warm and the wind keeps you comfortable but it makes it hard to hear when you are outside. Plus with the wind, you don't dare put the awning out! Some folks leave them out all the time and tied down but the wind puts a tremendous amount of stress on the fabric and the arms and that will lead to premature failure. We'd rather not do that ourselves.

We drove down to Alamo Rec Veh RV park yesterday and Jerry spoke to a group there from Christian Resort Ministries. We really enjoyed it and made a lot of new friends. We're looking forward to seeing many of them next winter when they return to the area. We wanted to visit the Texas Trader RV dealer near there but they close at 2pm on Saturdays so we didn't make it. Jerry may ride the scooter down there this week if he feels like it. We sure would like to find a good used Class C or B+! Oh well, we're in no hurry.
Mar
24
2011
We're going to South Padre Island this coming weekend! The weather looks to be very nice, partly cloudy with highs in the mid 80s so it is a perfect time to go. Cynthia is planning out the things we'll go see and do and I'll make sure the batteries are charged in the camera and the phone (also a camera). We'll be taking the truck, not the scooter. Still in the break-in period on it so we can't get it up to Expressway speeds just yet.

We've been working on a new web site for our fellow RVers and those that hire workampers. It is ready to go now but the "official" launch date will be March 28th. The site is www.WorkampingJobs.com so feel free to head over and submit your "help wanted" or "work wanted" ad today. There is no cost to use the site at all, there's a great FAQ section and hopefully everything is very intuitive. Registration is not required to use the site either! Let us know what you think!
Mar
25
2011
I got up early and washed the truck this morning, it had a very nice layer of South Texas dust on it. I even Windex'd the windows! CJ went with me to wash it, he loves to ride in the truck. When we got back to the camper and I went to the truck without him, he got upset. He thought I was going somewhere without him! He sure is a great RVing dog.

Cynthia has been busy these past few weeks in the park office. Lots and lots of people leaving and heading back to wherever they come from. After the 1st it will be a ghost town and she won't have to do very much. She needs a break every now and then... but I think she views going to work as a break from me - LOL.
Mar
28
2011
We survived the weekend AFTER spring break! Ha ha, it wasn't very crowded on our weekend trip to South Padre Island and we had a very good time. We went from one end of South Padre Island to the other and took quite a few pictures along the way. We spent the night at the Travelodge which, by the way, was NOT very clean. Cynthia got to take her first tub bath in months and I took the longest shower I have taken in quite a while.

South Padre Island Entrance

We drove through the KOA and the Isla Blanca RV Park and saw plenty of campers. Everything from a big pink Class A to a little white popup. There were lots of folks fishing, swimming, cooking out and having a wonderful time. We took 34 pictures while on the island and they can been seen in the picture gallery here. But here's the pink Class A that was parked at the KOA.

Pink Class A Motorhome
Mar
29
2011
Port Isabel, Texas is just before you get to South Padre Island. A bridge across the bay separates them. This bridge was hit by a barge in 2001 (I think) and 5 or 6 people were killed and 3 survived. A huge section of the bridge fell into the water! We found out about this while visiting a museum in Port Isabel. Of course, we snapped a few pictures while there but it doesn't do it justice. If you are ever in Port Isabel, please take an hour out of your time and visit the museum there. Here is one of the pictures we took, the rest are in the gallery.

Port Isabel Museum

We also visited the Palo Alto Battlefield National Park just outside of Brownsville. It was really neat to see the things in the Visitor Center and to be able to go out on the battlefield itself. Signs explain what happened there so many years ago. I took my wheelchair as it was too much walking for me, but the paths are paved and smooth so it was nice. It is located just 5 minutes off the highway that leads to South Padre Island, so there's no excuse not to stop if you are in the area. The rest of the pictures are in the picture gallery as well.

Palo Alto Battlefield


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