We waited for an extra week in Orange Beach, weather was nice there but much colder inland. All week we were checking in to see if the place that we were heading for in Nacogdoches was open. They finally got power and water back on Friday, 3/19/2021 after almost a week without. So the next day we pulled up stakes and headed for Nacogdoches. We got there on Sunday after an overnight at a casino in western Louisiana. It was very strange to see snow piled up along the sides of bridges and roads.
We pulled into Nacogdoches mid-afternoon on Sunday and stopped at the Foretravel factory campground, two other coaches were there, no people. Two more came in later that day.
We got up early the next morning and drove to Nacogdoches Motorhome Service (NMS). They are a newer spot in town, about 2 years old now, staffed by folks with lots of experience, all worked at Foretravel and Motorhomes of Texas before. Their job was to replace the eight airbags in our suspension system, eight shock absorbers and the three ride height valves. These are the main parts of the suspension. The air bags are like springs, shock absorbers smooth out the ride and the ride height valves let air in or out of the air bags as the coach moves up and down going down the road to maintain a level ride.
This is something some owners will do themselves. I read all the accounts of getting the job done and figured it would take me a day per corner, four days, plus a day in the middle to rest and a day at the end to recuperate and hopefully no injuries. And you need some special tools, ones I could borrow to do the job.
The folks at NMS assured me they could get it done in a day. And they did. We were there about 9 hours, they had two folks on it most of the day for 14 hrs of billable labor. And they did a good job.
While they were working on it we went back to Foretravel, bought a couple of lug nut covers there and checked on a used couch for a friend in Washington State. Then we went to Motorhomes of Texas where we got some gas spring struts that are used to hold upper cabinet doors open and checked there for a used couch too.
Then we drove up to Xtreme Paint and Graphics to see the caved in roof over their office. What a mess. They were hanging up paper records on strings to dry out in a part of the shop that didn’t get wet.
And then we met Mike and Jackie for a late lunch at a newer place in town. It was nice to sit outside and visit.
And then back to pick up the coach. All done. We drove south about 10 miles to an exit to turn around and head back to the Foretravel Campground. It was a busy highway and hard to make a turnaround anywhere else.
We got takeout from Auntie Pasta’s for dinner. It is one of our favorite spots in Nacogdoches. We got small baguettes with dinner which we saved for a French Toast breakfast a later day.
In the morning we packed up and headed for a small campground in a rural area on the west side of Houston where our friends Rudy and Carolyn are staying. We got into our spot got everything set up, added some water to our fresh water tank and visited with Carolyn for a bit. Rudy got back about 4 PM, got cleaned up and we set off for Rudy’s favorite place (we like it too), the Monument Inn on the Houston Ship Channel. Keith and Jo, more Foretravel friends, were coming after work to meet us there. We all arrived just at 5. Susan got to ride up the stairs on a motorized chair that goes up and down the stairs. We had a nice dinner, I ordered crab stuffed jalapeños. We had these last time we were here and they were very good, not too spicy. These were an appetizer, six. And when they came they were much bigger than what we remembered. They could have been enough for a whole meal and were very tasty. It was nice to see Rudy and Carolyn and Keith and Jo. We had expected to spend a few days here but a weeks delay put the squeeze on time.
The next morning we packed up again and headed to a campground in The Woodlands, TX on the northern part of Houston. We were going to see our friends Scott and Carol who had given up their full time RV life and built a small cottage in the back yard of their daughter’s home in nearby Magnolia.
It seemed like a long way to drive over there from the campground but much shorter on the way back. Their cottage is probably twice the size (square feet) that their coach was, all new, very nicely appointed. Scott is sort of fussy that way. It is attached by a deck to their daughter’s home so moving back and forth was easy. We visited for a couple hours and Scott cooked up a big tri-tip. Low and slow as they say on his smoker and then finished it off at high temps to get some outside sear. He had a smaller smoker in his coach equipment and he now has a much bigger deck model. When it was done it was perfect along with salad, beans and vegetables. We brought desert, home made Key Lime pie.
We left Magnolia in the morning heading west on Texas Highways and Farm to Market Roads. Most were 4 lane, some divided. Typical Texas roads, better than most.
We were headed towards Austin, a place to avoid if you can, it is not quite as bad as San Antonio where road construction is still going on that wasn’t finished four years ago when we went through there. There is a highway that loops around the southern part of the Austin metro area. Not really around but through the southern part, a less congested way to go. It took a while but we got through. We went north a bit to Johnson City and then west to Fredericksburg. When we first came here this was mostly ranch land, lots of cattle and open areas. Today it is endless wineries, some vineyards (enough to qualify as Texas wine). And craft breweries and distilleries. All the way to Fredericksburg and spreading out in every direction.
We are staying at Fredericksburg RV Park which is in the middle of town. The in town part is very nice, just minutes to downtown and everywhere else we need to go. It is an older park with basic amenities, mature trees and friendly people.
So we are here, street sign planted and patio set up.
More Later, Much Love,
Roger and Susan