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Back in Goliad State Park Once Again!

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We have now been at Goliad State Park in Goliad, Texas, for a little over a month and are really enjoying our stay here. This is our second fall at this wonderful state park and we feel like we have come home. The staff here is great and really makes us feel at home and is so appreciative of our volunteer service.

Volunteering is a great way to spend retirement. It gives us something helpful to do and we enjoy meeting so many interesting people that this lifestyle provides.

There seems to be more wildlife here at Goliad this year. I can’t help wondering if it has something to do with the drought Texas has been experiencing over the last year. We have seen more whitetail deer, gray foxes and raccoons.

We are also much more aware of the bird migrations this year than last year. We saw a flock of whooping cranes fly over the mission on October 16. It was an amazing sight! It only happens one day out of the entire year as the Whooping Cranes migrate to the Gulf Coast of Texas to their winter quarters. Most of them migrate to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and Matagorda Bay. We took a day trip to the refuge last week and were lucky enough to see four of the cranes and many of the other bird species that winter along the Texas coast. Unfortunately, the elevated walkway and viewing tower was closed for renovations, but we still had a very enjoyable time bird watching.

The weather here in Texas has been really dry still -- we had only one day of rain since arriving here on the October 1. The temperatures have been cooling off somewhat compared to the 100-degree heat Texas experienced over the summer and early fall.

It is interesting to see how fast the weather changes here with the passing of a cold front. It can be in the high 80s on day and the next the high temperature is only in the low 60s with low humidity. It has been cloudy and humid the last few days and we have a chance to get some rain tomorrow, which would be welcome, indeed. We are sure glad we were not in Maine for the Halloween snowstorm!

We had quite the trip coming here from Maine. It was pretty hot across the country on our way to Forest City, Iowa, home of Winnebago Industries. We had a great time visiting Winnebago and touring the factory. It was amazing seeing how the Winnebago motorhomes are put together!

At Winnebago, we had some work done on our motorhome. Even though we did not have a service appointment, we signed on the standby list to have our work done. We arrived on a Monday afternoon and Winnebago had our motorhome in for service at 7 a.m. on Wednesday. All of the work was completed in just one day.

Winnebago's customer service and service department staff were excellent and extremely helpful. It sure made us feel fortunate that we own a Winnebago!

On our way south to Goliad, Texas, from Forest City, we passed through Bastrop, Texas, and were saddened to see all the destruction caused by the terrible wildfire of September. We spent five months at Buescher and Bastrop State Parks from December through April last year and really enjoyed the beauty of the area. It will take a long time for Bastrop State Park to recover to its natural state.

Fortunately, all the major buildings built by the CCC in the Bastrop Park were saved from the wildfire. It was lucky that Buescher State Park escaped the fire and the Loblolly Pines there were saved. Hopefully the Bastrop area will get some much-needed rain which will help the area start to recover.

I hope all is well with everyone as we head for the holiday season. We wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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It sounds like you're enjoying the full time life as much as we are. We were in Maine in Sept. Went to Acadia National Park & some of the surrounding areas. Maybe some year we will try the volunteer route. You seem to get a lot of enjoyment out of it. We'll still be heading to punta Cana, Dominican Republic in Jan., leaving the RV in TX in storage. Next spring we'll head to the west coast. We're planning to head to Alaska in 2013. Looking for some traveling partners if you have any interest. Meanwhile you might want to check out our blog www.karenandcollins.blogspot.com to see what we've been up to this year. I enjoy keeping up with you guys since we started about the same time & we were all newbies. We sure have learned a lot over the past year & a half. Karen & Collins Friedel

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Hi Karen & Collins, Wow! You all were in Maine at the same time we were as we left Maine on the 15th of September. In fact we were north of Acadia the 1st week of Sept my visiting my brother and his wife who live in Millbridge which is about an hour north of Ellsworth. Acadia is really beautiful in the fall especially during the fall color season. We really enjoy volunteering at state parks as there is always something interesting to learn and do. We are usually volunteer interpretive staff which can be really rewarding and fun. Alaska sounds like fun, but not sure what we will be doing that far in advance, however, we will keep it in mind for sure. We head to Bentson State Park in January and February which is a big birding area in the Rio Grande Valley right adjacent to the river. Looking forward to seeing some new and interesting bird species. After Bentson we head to AZ to Kartchner Carvens just south of Tucson and be there right thru the end of April. We are looking at some fun and interesting adventures there for sure. You all sound like you have been doing some interesting travel as well. Will check out your blog for sure which I haven't done for a while. Take Care and Happy Travels!!

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