Fredericksburg, TX April 2021

Spring Time in Texas

It is spring time in the Hill Country. Trees are leafing out, occasional morning showers turn to beautiful sunny afternoons with big puffy clouds. Warm days, cooler evenings. It really is quite nice here in Fredericksburg.

Norm and Shirl got a new LP gas fire pit so we go over there and burn their gas a few evenings a week. Sometimes there is pie.

Mike and Jackie bring Charlie (light brown) and Clancy (reddish).

And Curtis and Peggy come to visit as well. They have a home near Marble Falls but spend of much their time here in the RV Park. They are both well into their 80s and just as nice as they can be.

Dave Cobb and Debbie (his new best friend) came one evening as well.

We walk everyday around the park and watch the pond bloom and listen to the bull frogs burp.

The Cardinals are getting ready to head north.

And flowers are blooming.

We got some new yard art, took a drive and saw a small herd of Oreo cows (Banded Galloways, from Scotland) and some gorgeous Hill Country views.

We went to the Vereins Kirche (a community building, a school, a church, and now a museum) and learned more about Fredericksburg’s founding and the German immigrants in the mid 1800s. Then we went across the street to the Pioneer Museum to learn more about how the community evolved. Early settlers got a land grant for farming and a small plot of land in town. Many built a small “Sunday” house where they would stay when they came to market and to church.

The Vereins Kirche.

One of many schools, mostly one room for all.

A Sunday house, small with only one room with an outside ladder to more sleeping space in the attic.

There is a carpentry shop, a Blacksmith shop, a smoke house, an old store and more all preserving the heritage of Fredericksburg as it continues to change today and into the future.

Last Wednesday I went to the weekly cattle auction just a couple blocks from the RV Park. We hear the cows bellowing every Tuesday and Wednesday.

I sat on my hands so I wouldn’t accidentally buy a cow. It is very fast paced, sort of a beauty contest where each cow gets 30 seconds or so to show off. Hands are raised, heads nodded, the auctioneer yammers on and cows are sold by weight or by the cow (most of these were pregnant). $700 each or there about. By the pound, most sold for about 60¢ to 70¢. Long Horn steers sold for 25¢ a pound. An older guy in a cowboy hat sitting next to me helped me understand what was happening. Long Horns are scrawny, not much meat, and mostly ornmental.

Thinking Ahead to Next Winter

Plans for next winter are being considered, maybe Fredericksburg again, maybe Alabama, maybe Arizona, maybe Santa Fe. Or all of them. We did make reservations in Fredericksburg for December. They go all out for the Christmas season which will be fun to see.

Getting Ready to Head Home

The time is near to head north to browner pastures. We know they will turn green eventually but you can definitely tell that as we go further north spring is further behind than it is in Fredericksburg. We are leaving on a Sunday to sneak by the outskirts of Ft Worth and get as far as we can into Oklahoma in one day. It is always windy in OK. It looks now like we might have a favorable tail wind. Hard cross winds increase the driving effort quite a bit. We will see what comes.


Susan graduated from Fredericksburg PT and got a nice red TShirt. She has an appointment to see an ortho doc when we get home and will continue on with PT. Lots of progress made, still some more improvement is possible. So that is our main project.

She is looking at a semi-recumbent three wheel bike. We found one that looks easier than most to get in and out of and it can be ordered with electric assist.

I might have to get a pickup truck to haul it around. 🤠

Be Safe

We have finished up with two covid vaccine shots but will remain careful, wear our masks, be aware of who we are around and where we are.

We hope everyone will do the same for themselves, their family and friends and for the community. It is dismaying to hear of how many are skipping their second shot or refusing them altogether. The risks are very small, the benefit to you and all around you are great.

More Later, Much Love,

Roger and Susan

Fredericksburg, TX Late March, Early April, 2021


We haven’t seen our good friends Douglas and Amanda for about a year, way too long but last year was hard for everyone. They surprised us when they told us they were coming to Fredericksburg for a few days right after the Rattlesnake Roundup in Sweetwater, TX. Their business depends on Art and Craft shows to sell their handmade jewelry and most got cancelled last year. But it looks like the shows are back on for this summer and they are heading to Michigan for the summer in just a few weeks.

We all had a late picnic lunch.

That evening we went to the community room to play Quiddler in person. We have been playing Quiddler with them using ZOOM but it was more fun to play in person. Mike and Jackie joined in and Klaus came to watch. Susan and I made a homemade apple pie using Harlson apples from home that we shared with ice cream.


It is an inevitability that birthday anniversaries come once a year and mine was the next day.

Douglas and Amanda snuck over in the middle of the night and hung a birthday banner on our coach.

We got up and got going and we did what good Texans seem to do, we went out for lunch. Mike and Jackie, Norm and Shirl, Amanda and Douglas and Susan and I drove down to Camp Verde, TX to the Camp Verde General Store and Post Office where they have a great restaurant.

This is a treat to go here, always with good friends, and the food is great. And we get to go to the general store which has a large section of kitchen toys. We almost always find something we “need”.

Amanda baked a cake, a four layer carrot cake, my favorite. Susan was her coach and they did a wonderful job.

There were candles, nowhere near the requisite number, there are fire restrictions in effect here. No blowing out candles these days so hand waving had to do.

We fired up the gas fire pit, pulled up chairs, added ice cream to generous servings of cake and enjoyed Amanda’s creation, it even had little carrot decorations.

Klaus and Douglas

Second Covid Vaccine Shot

Finally our day came for the second Covid Vaccine Shot. Susan had rehab in the morning and then we went over to the University Center for our shot. They move people through there in a very organized way. Our papers were filled out and checked and our shots were given at the exact time of our appointment. Fifteen minutes later we were on out way out the door, this time with a lollipop. We feel very fortunate to have completed this process here in Texas, together and after staying healthy though a whole year at risk.

To help celebrate the Blue Bonnets are beginning to bloom.

We are still wearing our masks, sort of got used to them by now and there is no reason to tempt fate.


When I was in Boy Scouts one of the patrols in our Troop had the nick name Lunch-a-Lots. We seem to be going out to eat here two or three times a week, mostly lunches, mostly in places that should be on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. Somehow they all seem to be somewhere that involves an interesting drive through the Texas Hill Country, not especially glamour spots but all serving up the best grub.

The Airport Diner looks like a 1950s diner.

The Doss Country Store & Los Muertos BBQ. Some other folks joined us and it was interesting to get a historical perspective from people who have lived in this area for a long time. There were amazing, detailed murals painted on the walls.

And of course one of our favorites, Alamo Springs Cafe. Best Burgers in Texas is the claim, I think they are.

More Later, Much Love,

Roger and Susan

Fredericksburg, TX Later March, Early April, 2021

Weight Lifting

I am a member of a Foretravel owners online forum. It is an interesting mix of owners, past owners and hope-to-be owners and just interested folks. Some of it is more socially oriented (Facebookish sort of stuff) off in one forum, some is technical stuff, some renovations, some is general discussion but RV related stuff, some is buy and sell, each loosely contained in separate forums. There have been over 7,000 users over time and more than 400,000 posts. People join, people depart, at any one time there may be a few hundred active users.

A new owner from Washington struck up a virtual conversation with me some months ago and it continues on line and by phone. He is an older fellow (which means he is older than I am) and originally from Germany. His name is Klaus. When I talk to him he sounds just like my cousin Sandy’s husband, Claus, also originally from Germany. Klaus was on his way from NE Washington to Nacogdoches, TX to get some work done, look for a new couch and ask questions. On the way there and back he was stopping in Houston and Dallas to see friends. He found out we were in Fredericksburg so he adjusted plans to stop here to meet us.

I didn’t know this was his first trip in his coach and that he was by himself. He called me from Utah with a battery issue which was quickly diagnosed as old and dying batteries in need of replacement. So in his few days here in Fredericksburg I got to help swap coach batteries.

I ordered three new batteries at an O’Reilly’s here in town so that when he got here we could make the switch. This isn’t quite like changing the 3 AA batteries in your remote control. Each one of these AGM lead acid batteries weigh in at 167 lbs each. They are about 22 inches long, 12 inches wide and 10 inches tall. And did I mention they weigh 167 lbs each.

In our coach you just open up a side bay door and the batteries are right there. In Klaus’s coach the batteries are in a tight space in the middle of the basement. There was a slide out cargo tray and a big cover panel that we had to remove to get access to the battery space. It was a metal box about 24″ wide and about 36″ in from the side of the coach. The height of the basement ceiling from the floor is about 27″. So crawling into this small space and wrestling out 167 lb batteries got left to the young (and reluctantly willing) … me.

There were two batteries in a rack at floor level and a third on a second rack half way to the ceiling. The cables got disconnected and the ends covered to prevent any shorts. The batteries on the floor level were swollen and jammed into the rack. I got my pry bar and with some effort got the first battery loose and up over the 1″ tall lip of the lower rack. It took about 15 minutes to work it back and forth and over the edge of the rack out into the basement space (where I was all knotted up). We hooked a strap to it and pulled it to the edge of the basement opening and out onto the ground. And then we did the same with the second battery. This one was no easier but it finally came out and on to the ground.

The upper battery was wedged in as well. We had some access to the underneath part of the rack so we were able to pry it up and move it forward onto the edge of the rack. The plus and minus battery posts were very close to the steel framing of the opening so we wedged in a few layers of cardboard over the plus post and worked it out past the framing. Then we set up a folding step in line with the battery and slid it out on to the step, turned the battery 90°, and then off the step onto the floor and then out onto the ground. I crawled out of the basement cave and gave it my best shot to stand up. Tough, creaky and stiff.

A young fellow, way younger than either Klaus or me, volunteered to help us get the three batteries (more than 500 lbs total) into Klaus’s Jeep so we could go get the new batteries and get rid of the old ones. He thought he could just hoist one up and get it in by himself. He was surprised when he tried that. It is a two person job.

We assumed that at the battery store there would be a strapping youngster to get the batteries out and the new ones back in. So much for assumptions, there was one middle aged guy there who recently had shoulder surgery. So the old and now 1/2 pooped team had another 500 lbs out and 500 lbs back into the Jeep

Back at the RV park our younger neighbor lent another hand and got all three batteries out of the Jeep and helped get the two lower batteries in and in place. Much easier when they are not all swollen. And then the third one up on the middle shelf. We used one of the folding steps on the ground to get the battery about even with the basement floor. Then a second step just inside the door of the basement on the basement floor which got the battery close to the right height. Then the first step in the cave next to the step with the battery on it and slid it over to that step. Once more with a piece of plywood onto the first step further in the cave and rotated the battery 90° so it was aligned pretty well with where it had to go. A bit of pushing and some pry bar help over the edge of the rack and slid it into place.

Then I reconnected all of the cables and double checked everything. No sparks! After four hours of grunting and groaning we turned on the charger and engaged the power. All was good. We reinstalled the sliding tray, I put away my tools, ate some ibuprofen for lunch and took a shower.


Our friends Douglas and Amanda were coming to the Fredericksburg RV Park on the same day we had the battery rodeo. I think they knew what was happening and managed to arrive after we were done. More on this visit in the next blog post.

I am pooped thinking about what we did and grateful we got it done with no one getting hurt. Susan was too. I was pretty stiff in the mornings for a couple days but happy to have been able to help out.

More Later, Much Love,

Roger and Susan

Fredericksburg, TX Early March 2021

Progress, One Step at a Time

When we left Alabama Susan had graduated to a lace up and Velcro brace to support her broken leg and a walker and had been to physical therapy five times. These were pretty basic PT sessions. How to use the walker and early efforts to begin to regain flexibility and range of motion. She had a long way to go. So when we got to Fredericksburg she found a Physical Therapy resource, got the necessary referrals and started seeing a therapist two or three times a week.

It started out with stretching and flexibility workouts, range of motion exercises and home work exercises for hips to help keep her walking straight. All of this is helping. When the ankle is sore she uses an ice pack.

Every day we walk in the park. Susan started walking without the brace sometimes a couple weeks ago. And trying these shoes or those for best comfort. We are at the point now where the brace has been retired and walking is pretty good. In the last week she has started walking without her cane, she still carries it along, sometimes twirling it like a baton or up and down like a drum major. Last week we walked around the park perimeter twice, no cane, 1.4 miles!

Progress is steady, Susan is working hard on making it a reality.


We had high hopes of getting a Covid-19 vaccine while we were in Alabama but like so many other places vaccine supplies were slow in coming, distribution mechanisms were confused and difficult to work with. In the end it just wasn’t going to happen. No word from home yet on them being available so we pinned our hopes on Texas. We had heard that the HEB grocery store pharmacy was giving shots so every day (usually more than once we checked to see if any were available. It was a frustrating effort and left us feeling hopeless.

We signed up at the Fredericksburg Hill Country hospital to be notified when appointments were available. This is where you go in Gillespie County to get notified if vaccines are available. We also signed up in nearby Llano (pronounced “yano”) County for the same thing. There was no way to tell how long the lists were, where we were on the lists or even how many vaccine doses might be available.

And then one morning we both got a text message from the Fredericksburg Hospital with a link to make an appointment for a vaccine shot. We were excited and relieved – all the reactions you can imagine, all the same ones most of us feel when this opportunity comes up. Within minutes we had appointments for the next morning at the nearby University Center. It was only minutes away, Susan’s appointment was just a few minutes ahead of mine, she went in, I waited a bit.

It was very organized, rows of individual tables spaced apart, fill out the paper work, answer a couple questions from the intake person and then wait a couple minutes for the injection giver to get to you. She was a nurse, not dressed like one, probably retired. Looked to be my grandmother’s age but probably only a couple years older than me, a kind and reassuring voice, a jab and it was done! What a rush of emotions. We were on the right path, the right one for us.

When we came out we looked out behind the University Center where there was a large pasture with a most curious looking horse. Actually several of them. The front end was tan and behind a very distinct line the back end was black. I took several pictures and when looking at them later realized the head too was black. Our friends here had been describing the Oreo cows they had seen. Were these the Oreo Horses? And then we noticed a large herd of deer in the background that we had not seen at all in person. These are Texas deer, about the size of a big goat. It was interesting that focusing on one thing, the tan and black horse, other details are just not seen.

After all was done we went to the Dairy Queen for a treat since we didn’t get the customary lollipop.

I hope all those we know will take advantage of a vaccine when it is available to them. Not just for you and your family but for all of us.


In addition to walking with Susan most of the time when she walks I walk around the entire campground almost every day, back and forth up and down each lane. Many days one and a half times around, sometimes twice. Two complete loops is about 3.5 miles. Since there is a slight slope west to east that means almost half of that walk is up hill. Our friend Mike who is here from Nacogdoches walks most days as well, sometimes we walk together and chat about the news. He listens to much more news that I do and on sources that I would likely not listen to any way. It is OK to get another perspective on occasion. And sometimes I get to take their small poodle Charley for a walk. Lots of start and stopping with that one but I like it. He seems to me to be a tiny dog but his buddy Clancy (their other poodle) is half Charley’s size.


We will rarely take the direct route anywhere we are going. Fredericksburg is an interesting town and fun to drive up and down the streets to see what we see. Lots of nice old homes, lots of updated and gentrified old homes and some brand new ones made to look old. And lots of pretty normal new homes and town homes, filling the need for the growth spurt being felt around here. In general they are doing pretty well with style and materials to maintain the sturdy limestone look of the old German roots.

Who would have expected to find a giant tree house in someones front yard? Why not here?

More Later, Much Love.

Roger and Susan