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Places Visited:

Texas: Whitesboro, Hagerman Wildlife Refuge, Muenster, Lindsay, Gainesville

Lake Texoma, TX
Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Time to hit the road again and spend some days at Thousand Trails Preserve at Lake Texoma. We left Wednesday around noon and arrived at the Preserve by 2:30. We selected a campsite in the general area where we have stayed in the past. We like the site because it is in an open and backs up to a wooded area with various types of hardwoods and cedars, a good place for bird habitat.

We set up the motor home and walked around the Preserve exploring and recalled the major disaster of the day was when Peg open the refrigerator while we were traveling and a half a dozen eggs fell out and broke on the floor. She was quite distraught after she cleaned up the mess, then opened a box of Crispy Thins and proceeded to devour them. It took a while for her to gain her composure, but the Crispy Thins helped.

The weather was clear and cool and the long shadows of evening were starting to set in and it was time to set up our chairs, have a glass of wine and watch the sunset. Very quiet and peaceful, no highway sounds, a few distant barks from dogs, it was good to be here.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

Sun was shinning this morning as it came through the window, so knew it was time to get up and start the day. After our juice we got dressed with our winter coats, headed out for a long walk. We took the road down to the boat ramp and fishing pier. The wind was very strong this morning and the whitecaps were breaking on the water, gust of 20 to 30 mph, not a good day for fishing.

We returned and drove over into Oklahoma to Slay's for breakfast. We talked with one of the Thousand Trail employees and she had a sister that worked there and said the food was good. It was good and hardy. We drove through the back roads and found Cedar Mill Creek Resort and Marina.

Back to the MH to clean up and go exploring. Later we drove over to the Hagerman Wildlife Refuge. The migratory waterfowl have started to arrive and we saw many varieties of ducks and a large colony of White Pelicans standing on a peninsula very close together and not moving. At a distant, when we first noticed them, they looked like blocks of white Styrofoam washed up on the bank. We drove out on roads into the estuaries, made by the oil companies, which brought us close to the waterfowl and pump jacks. We were watching some birds very intently with the windows rolled down just as a pump jack started up and it liked to put us both through the roof of the car, scared us to death.

We left the Refuge and drove back through Sadler, picked up US 82 and over to Whitesboro for gas and eggs. We drove through town and looked at the square and some old homes. Returned to the MH for the evening, wind was still blowing but had shifted to the North as a front was starting to come through, the weather would be colder now and the heater would be on for the night.

Friday, November 15, 2002

We had a leisurely morning since it was cold outside, waiting for the sun to come up to warm up the day. Our plan for the day was to drive through Gainesville, TX to Muenster, TX for lunch. I have heard about the wonderful German food in Muenster forever, so now was the day. The preparation is more rewarding than actually getting to your destination. The same thing holds true for Muenster's German food. The restaurant we choose, (there were only two} had three different types of German sausage. Only one was made on the premises and the other two were made up the street at Fischer's Meat Market. I choose the House Special sausage with hot German potato salad and fresh sauerkraut and Peg had a hot Reuben sandwich with sauerkraut. She only ate half of the sandwich because she was saving room for their apple strudel. She was so disappointed when the waitress said they were out of it. Well, that didn't slow us down; we were off to the other restaurant down the street for coffee and apple strudel. Not so fast, we ask the owner before we even sat down if she had any strudel and she did not. Next question to her, was there anyplace in town that had strudel? She told us to try Bayer's Bakery at the Exxon service station; they make all the strudels that are sold in the restaurants. Of coarse the next stop was Bayer's and not only did they have a large varieties of strudels including apples, they also had fresh cinnamon twist and rolls which were a must for the next morning. Just by chance they had some chocolate covered Macaroons that we split for the road. The apple strudel we bought was like 24 inches long on a piece of long narrow card board and covered with powder sugar, it looked wonderful and Peg could hardly wait to get back to the MH so she could jump into the middle of that strudel.

After our lunch we stopped at Scared Heart Catholic church just at 2 pm as the carillon bells started chiming. They say that these bells can be heard for miles and I believe it. The next stop was back at Fischer's Market where they have the only Glockenspiel (for those that don't know what a Glockenspiel is, it's like a big coo-koo clock) in the state of Texas and one of only four known in the US. It stands 40 ft tall and is designed with seven figures, including a sausage man, milkmaid, cow, fraulein dancer, frau dancer, bear and king, and we caught it in motion as it was chiming out 2 pm.

Our next stop was down the road at Lindsay, TX. Here we found one of the most unique Catholic churches, that we have ever seen, St. Peter's established in this little town in 1891 for the early German Catholic settlers.

Your eyes gravitate to the main alter and flowed out from there. Around the main alter there were large statues of St.Peter and St. Paul with the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the center. Artwork and paintings were all around, in back of the alter and on the ceilings, known as the beuronese style, popular in the late 1800's and early 1900's in Rhineland. Rev. Bernard Zell, pastor, and his father Dr. Matthias Zell, did many of the paintings. Hanging high above the alter was a crucifix carved by Bavarian wood carvers with such fine detail. Going down each side of the church were paintings for the Stations of the Cross as well as stained glass windows.

St. Peter's was a wonderful find in the little town of Lindsey. We met a couple that were cleaning the church and offered to turn on all the lights behind the alter so that we could see all the artwork. They said that they had been doing this for 25 years. On our way out, at the shrine to the Sorrowful Mother their were candles to be lit with special intentions and Peg stopped and lit a candle for Julie and offered up a prayer for her healing.

Next stop was the Gainesville Factory Outlet mall for Peg. Time to do some shopping, look at every window and even venture into a few stores. We needed some Christmas cards for Peg, which we found. Spent a hour and half here and time to head back to the MH before it got dark.

Saturday, November 16, 2002

Slept late this morning, not getting up until 7:45, even Peg was up before me. Cannot remember this ever happening on any of our motor home trips? It is a beautiful sunny morning and we decided to take the Nature Trail that goes all around the Preserve. It was a good walk, out in the crisp air, but we were hopping to see some birds or wildlife but nothing. I did find some tracks in a draw that looked different, a large paw with usually long nail markings. Didn't think any more about it until I attended the Manager's meeting and found that there was a cougar that prowls the surrounding area. That's when I realized that was the track that I saw.

We returned and prepared sausage, eggs, apple strudel, and cinnamon twist and rolls for breakfast. That should last us the day. Peg stayed at the MH and did some house cleaning and washed her hair while I attended the Managers meeting. After the meeting I returned to the MH, picked up my computer and went back to download my mail. There I met Ron and Libby S, who we met yesterday on our walk, Libby was doing their wash and Ron was working on a crossword puzzle. We visited a while and then invited them to go to Catfish Haven for dinner tonight. They accepted the invitation. I downloaded my mail and told them we would pick them up around 5:30. Went back and worked on the computer outside while Peg made it over to the Family Center for root beer and ice cream float. She came back eating ice cream. It didn't take long for her to get cold and head into the motor home. It wasn't too much longer before I headed in myself because I was getting cold. Peg worked on Christmas cards and I worked on my notes.

The evening was spent with our new friends Ron and Libby S. from Redmond, Oregon at Catfish Haven for dinner. They are on a six-month, no hurried trip south. They had spent the last two weeks at Lake Tawakoni Preserve, here at Texoma for two weeks, then down to Whitney, Colorado River, Lake Conroe, and points south. Eventually arriving in Tucson, AZ sometime in February. After dinner we came back to the MH had coffee and visited until 10 pm then I drove them back to their MH. We enjoyed the fellowship and conversation.

Sunday, November 17, 2002
Another morning of waking up late, like 8 am, my body must know it's Sunday morning. The temperature was the coldest last night getting down to freezing. We both were up and going this morning, me working on my notes and Peg into the apple strudel. It's a beautiful sun shinny morning outside.

We met our neighbor this morning; Porter N. Porter and his wife have been Full timers for the past 10 years. They have been Camp Host at the National Forrest Parks and were very knowledgeable of the system. I spent some time with him picking his brain on his 5th wheel and various aspects of towing.

Out for our walk today and spent some time at the Ranger Headquarters visiting with the staff. Today was an easygoing day just enjoying the sun and relaxing, as if we have been overworked. Later in the day we drove down to the fishing dock to do some fishing. Peg took a chair out by the water, in the sun, and read one of Nola's thrillers while I thrashed the water around the bank. The afternoon brought one small Black bass about a pound and a half, but was fun to catch on light tackle. We enjoyed the afternoon around the lake as the trees were still colorful and it was crystal clear.

Monday, November 18, 2002

It was nice to wake up this morning and look out the window and see the clear skies and know that I didn't have to get dressed to go to work. I am enjoying my retirement. We waved good-bye to Porter and his wife as they headed out for the Lake Whitney, Thousand Trails Preserve, south of here 150 miles, then on to Medina Lake Preserve as they make their way south, just another snowbird heading south for the winter.

We found a new trail to walk today, down by the lake. This trail was on the north shoreline of the large cove that faced the fishing pier on the south side, where we were yesterday. The foliage was Mountain Cedar and primarily Post Oaks, with a few Red Oaks thrown in for added color. We climbed down a ravine toward the lake and found an area that at one time might have been a dump, because we found small amounts of broken glass from various types of bottles. All of the pieces were small fragments and multicolored, could have made an interesting montage of colored glass. It also looked like a quiet cove to fish for later in the afternoon.

Peg was ready for a little space for herself, so she could relax and read her book without me chattering about, so I loaded up the car with my fishing gear and headed off. I went back over to the pier to try my luck. I talked to a couple the day before that were fishing off the pier and they said that their had been some crappie caught next to the pilings. This is where I started, but nothing, so I drove back over to the area that we had found this morning and fished from the bank. Same results, nothing! It was a beautiful day and I was glad to be out in the sun.

After three hours of fishing I headed back to the MH, loaded my gear back into the bays for trip back home. Picked up Peg and my computer and went down to the Adult Center to download and upload my email. Returning back to watch the sunset and compose a "sunshine" letter to Camping World regarding one of their employees who helped me solve a problem with several orders.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Another fun week is coming to an end. While walking this morning, I thought this was the best morning we have had, crystal clear, crispy cool, and no wind. What a gorgeous day, I'm going to get Peg and we are going for one last walk while I nibbling on a fresh tangerine.

We enjoyed are walk back through the woods and met Libby S. out for her morning walk. She gave us her card, ask us to stop by their rig and see their new Schnauzer puppy. They drove to Sulpher Springs on Monday to purchase the pup. They were there last week while staying at Lake Tawakoni and the lady had them for sale in the Wal-Mart parking lot. It was a white Schnauzer and very cute pup.
It's now 10:30 am and time to start the pack up process to head home. As I was working on the toads tow bar our neighbor two rigs down stop by and starting talking. I had seen him out the other afternoon working on his 5'vers hitch. I ask him if he had a problem with the hitch and he proceeded to tell me how he was switching hitches to an air suspension hitch. Well, a friendly hello turned a long conversation with him showing me his rig. I finally left and came back to start working on our rig. Darn, if he didn't drive up in his truck with his wife and stopped. Peg came out and I introduced them, Bob and Mary H. from Phoenix, AZ and they have been Full timers since August. Well it wasn't too much longer when Ron and Libby came up walking Fritz and we all started talking out in front of my rig. We all concluded that this was the way folks knew their neighbors. Today, everyone is so busy that they don't have time for conversations. It was fun visiting but I finally told all that we had to get going, since it was now 1:30 pm. We said our goodbyes and departed.

We pulled out at 2:15pm and my gas gage was on empty and not working. I knew that I would have to stop for gas and I was sitting on a half of a tank. We stopped in Sherman and filled up and the gage never came on, but knew we had enough to make it home.

Bob & Peggy Woodall
Branson, MO


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