Thursday, May 7, 2015



27 Apr - 3 May

This is our second time we have visited San Antonio, TX. To read about our first visit click HERE. This time we are staying a Lackland AFB FAMCAMP, about 15 minutes from down town San Antonio.

Hiromi has felt a little under the weather so we have been limited to the area around the base. Towards the end of the week of our stay I have caught whatever Hiromi had. I took my vitamins, aspirins & Day Quil (Nite Quil at night) and got out of the RV to do some sightseeing. I hate to be sick and will do anything to stay active. However, Hiromi dose not want to move and sleeps until she feels better.

If you have never been to Texas, be careful on the highways. The exits and off ramps are not like most other states. On ramp flows into traffic with very short lanes. The road along the highway are one way and are part of the off ramp where the ramp cars have right-a-way, but the cars don't yield when you get off. Speed limit is 65 on the high ways and 45 on the side roads. However, cars passed me like I was standing still. No wonder there has been 782 deaths on Texas roads this year in just four months that's an average of 195 deaths a month.  BE CAREFUL!

Close to Lackland AFB and just along side US 90 stands the 9-11 Memorial and the Holocaust Memorial. Thousands of people must pass these Memorials daily, but we were the only ones there when we stopped. Both of these events will live in infamy, I just sat at these Memorials reflecting on these times in History.

Before going to tonight's baseball game, I made a stop at Sports Cards Plus to start restocking my inventory. The store is not big on common cards, they are know for boxes and high end cards. So I was like a kid going through boxes after boxes of cards searching for my cards. It was all about the thrill of the hunt. When I was done I walked out with 45 cards for $8, about $.17 a card. I can't even find cards that cheap online (plus adding S/H). I was able to add 9 more cards to my Travis Shaw collection along with some Cleveland Indians I got signed in spring training and started on my Pawtucket Red Sox players for when we get to Rhode Island.

Another town, another baseball game. This time it was the AA minor league team of the San Diego Padres, the San Antonio Missions. The team is rich in histroy dating back to 1888. The team is only two years removed from it last AA title in 2013. From 1973-1975 they were the Cleveland Indians minor league team. As a die hard Cleveland Indians fan, there has been several big name Indian players who once wore the Missions logo. Along with Kent State alumni Dirk Hayhurst.

I got lucky once more as I walked around the stadium and found four more baseball from batting practice.

I got the usual team mini bat and 2014 team baseball card set.

As we arrived an Air Force plane was passing over the parking lot to land at Lackland AFB.

The promotion tonight was $1 nite on hot dogs, soda and beer. Hiromi came to the game and it was a cheap dinner out. For the stadium I was a bit disappointed by the size as it was the smallest AA park I have seen in a long time. This time we sat on the third base side front row in front of the third base bag. The bullpen was along the wall beside us, but the team stayed in the dugout until the pitchers needed to get warmed up before entering the game. I saw the home team pull off another win, winning  9-0. It was a trifecta for the fan, the win, 8+ runs and 10+ strikeout fans left the ball park with coupons for a free pizza (8+ runs) and $5 off at Pollo Tropical (10+ strikeouts).

 Our seats along the third base line
 Team mascot a Jalapeno  

The last full day in San Antonio and we took off to see downtown. We walked the River Walk, Alamo and The Menger Hotel. To read about the River Walk and Alamo please click on the link above from our last visit. I heard about the history of The Menger Hotel so I just had to stop by. Located right next to the Alamo, this Hotel was a meeting place for Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders before setting off to battle. It also holds baseball history (go figure I would find baseball history in a Hotel). In 1922 Babe Ruth stayed here when the New York Yankees visited San Antonio to play an exhibition game with the San Antonio Indians baseball club on 31 March 1922.

 River walk
 The Menger Hotel 
 Babe Ruth
 Getting photo bombed in 1922
(The guy back left)

Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders are on video only no pics .. sorry.

 Hiromi and her ice cream trying to cool down from 
the hot Texas heat.

What's Next?
Three days of driving to Alabama, with visits to Mobile, AL and Pensacola, FL.

Sunday, May 3, 2015



22 - 26 Apr

When going off the grid, it becomes hard to keep up with all the actives that we do. Last year when this happend I feel behind and missed three months of our travels with places like BC Canada, Zion NP and Bryce Canyon NP that never made it to this blog. I hope I learned from that experance this time around.

The next five days we will be off the grid with no cell phone connections and only our genator to provide us with the short amount of power we'll need to reheat some of our food. I enjoy the times we are off the grid as we spend our days out of the RV exploring mother nature together. The only down side is the weather is still hot at night making it almost impossible to sleep. But, we came up with a few good ideas on how to try and remain cool to beat the heat. Day temputers in the high 80's to low 90's and night temptures in the mid 60's. One thing is for sure, every morning was a Claritin morning.

Before departing Fort Bliss FAMCAMP we stopped to eat lunch on base in Freedom Plaza at Texas Roadhouse. We ordered the Wendsday special of 8oz steak dinner for $9.99. We were so full there was no need to take another bit of food for the rest of the day. As we got back to the RV, we hooked up the car to the dolly and hit the road for Big Bend NP. Over a seven hour drive, We saw no markings of a rest stops on the map along US 385, so with less than three hours remaining we stopped on the last I-10 rest stop before turning off on US 385.  We would finish the less than three hour drive the next day. We arrived at our campground in Big Bend NP around midday so we still had time to do some sightseeing. Two and a half day of dry camping and mother nature what else could you ask for.

Driving the RV to our campground in
Big Bend NP, did not think we would make it at first.

I've never been book smart, I've learned more hands on and first hand experiences. As a young boy I'd love to camp and explore the outdoors while in the boy scouts. Big Bend NP brought me back to that time in my life where I camped and explored with my three brothers. These pass days I tried to pass that on to Hiromi. Coming from Japan she has never experienced such a wide spread beauty, this was my gift to her and a a glimpse into my boyhood past.

The Rio Grande River is the boarder between the US and Mexico. The river flows west to south 70+ miles before it starting the bend and moves 100+ miles north. This Bend in where the National Park gets it's name "Big Bend". Big Bend has a lot of history were at one time there was a 100 acres of cotton field (the campground where the cotton field use to be is called cottonwood). It was once a major customs office for good brought over from Mexico. At one time it was also the Headquarters for the Texas Rangers (law enforcement, not the baseball team). During prohibition smugulers tried to bring alocholic over the Rio Grande from Mexico to the US.

Big Bend NP is the size of Rhould Island and sometimes we were so far out we did not see another person for hours. Seeing this kept the stories I heard true as Big Bend is the largest NP and least visited. There is a boarder crossing into Mexico, but we stayed in the US and explored what Big Bend had to offer.

We only spent three days dry camping and in that short time we did a lot of hiking. Our first night we went to the natural hot springs along the Rio Grande River. The off road drive getting there was narrow and times I thought Hiomi would drive us off the road and into the dry river bed or into the mountain side trying to stay on the road. She did neither and we got to ejoy the hot springs.

The next two days consisted of hiking canyon floors and mountain ranges. Where else other than Big Bend NP can you explore desert, mountains and rivers all in one place? None that we have found ... yet!

Nothing like surprising Hiromi with breakfast
before we start our day of hiking

The first sign we pass driving to our hiking trail.
Fortunately (or unfortunately), we did not see a bear or lion.

However, we did see a lot of these colorful guys while 
hiking the mountain side to Balance Rock.

Hiromi standing next to a Ocotillo that stands
taller than her.
 Me, stand next to a Century. They live up to 50 years
and reproduce only once before dying.
Hiking along the canyon (East side of the park) 
Hiking along the canyon (West side of the park) 
 Hiromi taking a break from the Hot Texas
heat under a large rock.
Some the the ruins left behind. 
Seashell rock.
 After many years, a cactus growing out of old door way.

One thing to keep your eye open for are the illegal souvenirs. Mexicans will cross the river illegally and place these on trails leaving a pay jar and then cross back into Mexico. The park rangers inform you about this and not to buy them. If caught, customs will take them from you.

 We could have used our shower in the RV, but the only water we had was what is in the tank. By the time the water heater would heat the water most of the water would have been gone and our gray tank would be full. If lucky we would only have one day of showers in the hot south Texas sun. so we came up with a idea. Every morning I would fill up one gallon water jugs with the water in the campground bathrooms and lay them out in the sun all day to get warm. After dinner we would take our dry camping showers.

We are both looking forward to taking a normal shower once we return to civilization.

What's next?
San Antonio, TX