Still in LouisianaSunday, December 27, 2009 – Not much happened today. Just took an easy day. We visited the Chalmette National Historic Park and Battlefield, but there was not much to see. Most of the place is under construction, and the ranger station was closed. We took a nice walk along the levy, took some pictures and drove back to the campground.
We tried to explore the trails in the state park we are staying, but even there was not much to explore. We couldn’t even find Geocaching in the area to look for.
Some maintenance won’t hurtI emptied the RV tanks using our indispensable external tanks we bought, we cleaned the RV and socialized with our new neighbors. Larry, a friend we met here before Christmas, came over today and showed us some nice places to visit here around and in TX. Tomorrow is our last day here and we need to go back to work, so we don’t expect to have much time. Tuesday morning – we are driving west again, to Bolivar Peninsula in Texas. I always get excited when we move to a new place.
Monday, December 28, 2009 – No, not there yet. Still in LA for the last day. We had some plans for this area but tight budget has its own demands. For the last 6 months we had a big cut in our check as our company is experiencing low sales, and can’t utilize us. At least we still have a job :) and we do hope things will get better shortly.
So I drove to town and got some silicon and installed the level on the RV, and attached the door clip. The only thing I still got to do is to replace those thumb locks in the storage doors, but I need to order new longer ones.
Other than that –I arranged some photos on Picasa, read new blogs of other RV’ers (most of the links are on the side bar of this blog) and got some work done. I also took Moe for a ride with me, riding my bike in the park. When we came back to the trailer he drank a whole bowl of water and fell asleep for 4 hours straight…
Tonight it is colder than usual – 32 degrees outside and it feels cold inside! I turned on the fireplace and the space heater. I hope we will not get any frozen pipes in the morning. I think it is the coldest night we had so far.
No pictures today, but I am sure many will be next week once we get to Texas.
It’s a long way to Texas
Breaking the rules and learning a lessonWe woke up early today hoping to be on the road before 9:00AM, but a phone call from work has changed our plans. After couple conference calls and some remote sessions we were finally on the way by 11:00AM.
I had our TomTom GPS connected to my laptop last night, updated maps and planned the whole Itinerary, so we can get driving directions going the scenic route on the beach, as Larry suggested.
Our plan is to drive through hwy 90 to 82 and 87
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We stopped at Wal-Mart in Morgan City at around 2:00PM to eat some lunch and do some grocery shopping – about one hour delay.
A little later, down the road, when my fuel gauge showed a little over quarter tank I started to look for a gas station, but once you are passed Perry – just out of Erath (I don’t make up those name – those are real towns in LA) you are pretty much on your own. Few houses here and there, but nothing much. We found an old gas station in a tiny little town named Esther, and didn’t take any chances – we filled our tank! It had those old style pumps from the time you had to crank the cars by hand… I think that was the last Gas station in LA, we did not see any gas station until we reached Port Arthur, TX, some 140 miles later.
Starting to get worriedWhen we stopped at the gas station, the time was already 4:45PM and it was starting to get dark. We knew we had to cross a ferry on our way and we were afraid that the service will stop after dark. We tried to call the campground to let them know it is going to be late arrival, but had no answer. We did not even know if they are waiting for us, if they are locked, or if we have a site for the night.
We decided to look for an RV campground in the area, but there was absolutely nothing in front of us. The way itself was amazing – by the shoreline, with water on both side of the road, and any time there was a small piece of dry land – you could find a house on it, usually on posts. We saw many RVs parked by those houses, but they were all dark. There was no way to park or turn the RV. Try to get off the road – and you are in the water!
Crossing the river for a buckIt was just about 7:00PM when we finally arrived Cameron, where our ferry was. The Calcasieu Lake is connected to the Gulf in a water channel very close to this town, and the only way to cross that channel is by Ferry. It was dark outside already, and we were anxious and worried a bit. When we arrived to the Ferry dock, we saw red traffic lights and lighted signs. It looks like we are OK.
We waited a few minutes and the Ferry arrived to the shore. After it unloaded the cars that came from the other side we drove with this huge RV behind us on to the ferry. One of the crew members collected the ferry fee as we approached the boat. One US Dollar. That’s it! we were shocked!
It was too dark to take pictures, and my camera was packed in the RV – so this is the best “iPhone” picture I could get of the RV on the ferry.
From this point and on the way was dark, and boring. We entered Texas at about 8:00PM driving through a city of oil company (I think it was Valero) and by 9:00PM we finally arrived to our campground – Bolivar Peninsula RV Park. Our GPS took us right there.
There was a note on the office door for us, showing us our site. We backed up the RV, got the front and stabilizing jacks down, opened the door and…
The LessonThe espresso machine was shattered on the floor with all the coffee grains soaked with water into the carpet. The office desk shelf was broken, the printer was in pieces, and the dehumidifier rolled out with all the water spilled on the carpet. What a mess!
So this is our lesson for the day - When you prepare your RV for movement – be prepared for bumpy roads. You never know how good the roads are, or if you will have to slam your brakes on the way. If something can fall – it will. If something can spill – it will. Go through every item inside the cabinets and on the floor. Don’t leave heavy items in high places. They will fall and cause damage.
Damage ControlWe picked up everything, vacuumed the carpet, fixed the dehumidifier and cleaned the espresso machine.
We will have to get a carpet cleaner and hopefully get the coffee stains out of the carpet. Part of the Espresso machine broke, and I will try to fix it tomorrow. Maybe you can order the part online. The office desk – looks like the shelf is beyond repair. I may try to do something with it, but not too much hope.
On top of all those goodies – Patti could not find any channels on TV (we hooked up to the campground cable) and I could not find Internet (we are using our Cellular modems).
I also noticed that the seal of the right slid-out is out of place, I will have to fix it tomorrow as well. What else? It is extremely windy tonight, and the RV is rocking from side to side.
Lesson # 2So here is another lesson learned: When looking up campgrounds on the internet 'Do not assume that they have any amenity they advertise on their site'. Better read the reviews (and the date of the review) and look at the ranking of a reputable referring site (Good Sam, Woodall's, etc.)
On the good sideWe found the campground, we have a place to sleep, and the damage is not as bad as it could have been. It should teach us a lesson though. We also pretty much by ourselves in this part of the campground, so that’s great too, and we are in front of a lake, so that is nice.
Too dark and too late to see anything, so I am going to bed.
G’night from TX