Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Visiting the Battleship Texas and San Jacinto Battleground

This is the sight of the battleship Texas, which is moored in the Houston Ship Canal. This ship was built in 1912 -1914 and served in both WWI and WWII. It is an amazing historical tribute to the Navy and gives you a great insight into life on a ship almost 100 years old. 

The Texas has 10 14" guns as well as many smaller weapons. Wow -- I would hate to have been on the wrong end of these barrels! 

The battleship is an amazing sight. We also learned that during Hurricane Ike, there was an 18' storm surge and the big ship came though in great shape.

Here, Orinda models the Bofors 40mm anti-aircraft gun. During WWII, about 1,800 men served on the Texas which must have made for very close quarters.

This is the fantastic monument at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site which is at the same site as the Texas battleship. This monument is taller than the Washington monument in Washington, DC and celebrates the victory by Sam Houston over the Mexican Army and thus ensuring the independence of Texas. This is well worth the stop and you will learn a terrific amount of information on the early history of Texas and the west in general.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Glad we made it to San Antonio Freightliner to have the faulty purge valve and some maintenance completed. The valve continued to leak and it was hard to keep air in the suspension. Fortunately, a new valve was at hand. While this work was being done, we decided to explore San Antonio a bit.

Of course, our first stop was the Alamo. What an interesting place it is with many, many historical artifacts and interpretations. The city has done a great job preserving this shrine of freedom.

We were impressed at the detailed information that was available and enjoyed learning more about this important site. While we were there, we crossed the street to the San Antonio Riverwalk.

Here is Orinda on one of the entrances to the riverwalk. We were amazed at the many, many fountains, flowers and water features that surround the walk. A beautiful spot!

This is the river itself. You can stroll on both sides of it past many different cafes and shoppes which was interesting for Orinda!

We ended up staying a second night at the Freightliner dealer since the work was completed in the late afternoon. No problem since they had complimentary full hookup sites! Super deal.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Traveling across Texas

We had a wonderful time at Palm Creek, but it is time to head east toward Florida. We traveled through New Mexico and then entered the great state of Texas -- and is it big! We stopped at a rest area in the Texas Valley and were amazed at the fantastic rock formations. Cody was also very impressed at the sign warning us about snakes!

The rest area was large and convenient and we decided to have lunch while we were parked. A nice stop.

There were many of these large rocks all over the area, but within a couple miles, we entered a very flat, desert area again. A very interesting terrain.

Right after we had lunch at the rest area, we stopped for fuel. After Rick filled it up, we cranked up, but the Low Air alarm in our coach went off -- our air pressure for air brakes and air suspension was dropping fast! We drove into a close parking lot and since this was a Saturday and there were no service facilities around, Rick decided to to take a look and see what was going on. After crawling under the coach, he found that a purge valve was jammed open (the brass valve on the picture above is the offending culprit!). Rick cleaned it up and tapped it with a plastic handle -- lo and behold, it clicked and then worked! Cool! We took off and had no further problems that day and made it to Ozona, TX for the night.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Rick plays in the Palm Creek Golf Tournament

I have really enjoyed playing golf at Palm Creek. The folks are very friendly and I have played with and gotten to know many different people. Plus, the course is beautiful and is very well maintained. This picture is on the walkway between the 6th and 7th hole -- the flowers are always beautiful!

The Palm Creek Golf association is made up of residents who volunteer their time to put on a variety of scrambles, league play and the annual Tournament. This is quite an undertaking with each player having an established handicap (created during other events held at the course). These handicaps are used to create 4 "flights" of golfers of comparable playing ability, so each person has a fair chance by playing folks of similar skill.

Rick had never tried anything like this, but figured "What the Heck", and signed up. He was assigned to the second flight with folks of 10 - 16 handicaps (which was right for Rick with his 14 handicap). The fee was $40 which included 2 -18 hole rounds of golf and a reception on the last day -- a pretty good deal! The first day, Rick had the best round of his stay at Palm Creek and shot a 60 (par for our 18 hole Par 3 course is 54) and he was thrilled. This score was good enough to tie for the first round lead in our flight, so it all came down to the second day's round.

Here, Rick shows his trusty 6 iron after the round in which he shot a 66. Not as good as Monday's round, but still good enough to win our flight! He was really pleased -- especially when he learned that there were CASH prizes!

He was delighted to receive a $50 bill for first place! Perhaps a new golf club might be in order! All in all, this was a great event and the many friendly folks playing made it very enjoyable.