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Second Phase

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Dear Readers,

First, let me say a thank you to the moderator of the FMCA online Community, for his kind words and welcoming me to this community of folks. I hope that what I have to say will be worth reading and perhaps funny, if not informative.

When we last spoke I had decided that we would head out on our first big adventure to Santa Fe rather than Big Bend National Park. We had a limited amount of time for this initial trip and the distance between Longview and each destination was essentially the same. One thing for sure, I did not need nor intend to turn our coach into a 42-foot-long oven in the West Texas desert. Although I had been to Santa Fe years earlier, the thought of margaritas on the Plaza and cool mornings sipping coffee outside was more than a little appealing.

So, when all the votes were cast, it was unanimous: We would head to New Mexico and spend our time "out west." Gracie and Coco were especially pleased about this decision because they had heard that the rattlesnakes are a little bigger in Texas, like everything else. In reality, the dogs didn't give a hoot where we went as long as they got to go with us.

As I mentioned earlier, I had told Mrs. Wendy to expect the unexpected, to prepare for little mishaps to occur and to be flexible. I mean, that's the key to happiness on the road, isn't it? Well, as we were loading the coach and getting ready to leave, but before I had even started the engine, Mrs. Wendy began to close the bathroom door when the doorknob simply broke into two pieces. Of course, I went to investigate this unfortunate but somewhat funny incident, laughing and saying, ha-hah, I told you things would happen, and then I closed the bathroom door only to discover that it was now impossible to open. This is great, I thought. We are about to leave on our first open road adventure and I can't even use my own bathroom! What a bummer. But, with the help of a friendly screwdriver and my old house shoe, I got the door open (the house shoe was used as a door stop from this point forward). The problem with the door knob is that the thing- a- ma- jig that screws onto the whatchamacallit broke in two. Suffice it to say that not even duct tape would fix this. So, I am now in the market for a pewter door handle with matching knob. Lowe's may have this if I'm lucky, which is in doubt at this point.

Nevertheless, we headed out and, after dropping off Exhibit "A" from our marital union, the precious Miss Allison, at summer camp, made it all the way to Witchita Falls RV Park for our first night in the coach. Boy was I excited. And I won't bore you with all of the details of his leg of the journey, but I am pleased to report that only one other motorist flipped me off the entire trip and that was in Ft. Worth, as I was trying to proceed onto highway 287 near downtown. If you've traveled that road before, you know what I mean. If you have not, think Daytona 500!!!

As we entered the RV park I began to think about how nice it was going to be to get our rig all set up, the slides out, the music playing, the wine poured. Unfortunately, I was not thinking about the best route to our designated spot, so I ended up trying to turn left around this huge boulder only to look into my side mirror and see that my toad was about to cross that boulder from the side. In short, I had made a fatal driving error: trying to turn where I had no business trying to turn. Moreover, thanks to the Toad, I could not back up. Or, could I??? More to come later.

Brad Steele

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Nice account of your voyage! Had to laugh at too much of this. Keep us posted on your travels, no matter how trivial they seem to you. You write well and it is a joy to read your adventures. By the way, I spent the evening sitting on the porch of our new manufactured home in Edinburg, Texas (not Big Bend but further south). It was a beautiful evening, cool breeze if 83 degrees can be cool but after 98 today, it felt great. No bugs to speak of, an all together pleasant evening. You'll have to give Texas a try in the spring or fall. Even winter is milder in south Texas!

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