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Texas: Blanco

2004 Travelogue # 10 Blanco, TX
Potters Creek Campground COE
Canyon Lake, TX

5/18 It was haircut day for Bob…always a surprise! Outside the Park, on FM 306 was a mobile home with a barber-pole out front. The place had a name; it was called Jim's. Peg, still a little schizoid from her trim job with barber Darlene, decided to pass on Jim's barbershop but I decided to give ole Jim a twirl.

Entering Jim's shop was like going into a meat locker; the window air conditioner, in the cut out wall of the mobile home, was going full blast. There was only one barber chair and across the room was a gate-leg table displaying two large models of a cabin cruiser and a Piper Cub airplane. The cruiser, a 1950's boat, was a beautiful Cris-Craft with shellacked teakwood decking and white overlapping wood on the hull. The other airplane model, Jim found in a kit that was 50-years-old and he was in the process of putting it together.

Now it was time to talk about hair, I told him how I wanted it cut and he said he understood (just like Darlene had done). The next thing I knew, out came the clippers and up the side of my head it went...he did leave the top long like I had asked. I could have been Lyle Lovett's double! Oh well, just another whack job on the road!

5/19 Today looked like a good day for a drive through the countryside, returning to Blanco to check out the Bowling Alley Café. These are rolling hills with white shell and limestone rock, sparsely covered with junipers, mountain cedars and mesquite trees.

Upon arriving in Blanco, we made a beeline to the Bowling Alley Café. Every table in the front dining room was filled so; we threaded our way to the dining area in back, found a table for five and had a seat. Looking around, I realized we were sitting in the bar area, in front of the 9 bowling lanes. A curtain hid the lanes, but not the lockers on either side of the room where the balls and shoes were stored. Our waitress gave us a menu, then pointed to the daily specials on the blackboard…Um…roasted turkey, cornbread dressing, candied yams, green beans, salad, banana pudding, and ice tea, or a pot roast dinner. The small plate lunch was $4.95 and the large $6. Peg chose the turkey; I had the pot roast, and yes, both were the ample small servings.

In keeping with their home cooking reputation and 6-inch meringue pies, I chose the coconut, with melt in your mouth tender pastry, coconut cream filling, and that lighter-than-air white meringue with flakes of toasted coconut sprinkled on top…outstanding! Peg had her usual slice of pecan pie, which was classified as the best she had ever eaten. That's how most of them rate for her, since there's a long gap between slices.

After eating, we walked up the street to the pottery shop, and revisited Jan Brieger, the shop's owner. We liked the pottery she and her husband, Jon, created and wanted a piece for our new home. Being involved in community events, she invited us to a fund raising project for a local charity. Several photographers from National Geographic had agreed to exhibit and sell their pictures in her shop this weekend with the proceeds going to the charity.

5/21 While we were in the New Braunfels area we wanted my niece to come for a visit. Today Cindy, her husband, Troop Jenkins, and son, Matthew, arrived around 3:30. After the motorhome tour, 5-year-old Matthew, told his mom and dad that he wants them to "get a camper like Uncle Bob and Aunt Peg", because he wanted to go camping.

We spent the afternoon visiting, walking the Canyon Lake campground, and wadding in the water at the swimming beach. The water was just right and, while Peg and Troop watched, Matthew, Cindy, and I waded at the waters edge. Even at 63, there's still some kid in me.

Returning to the motorhome, I fired up the propane gas grill, put the wieners on, and Peggy brought out the "fixins" for hot dogs. Shortly afterwards we were enjoying gourmet hot dogs and potato chips, topped off with lemon cream cake, strawberries, and Blue Bell vanilla ice cream.

After dinner, Matthew investigated the inside and outside of the motorhome. He pretended to be a repairman and came prepared in a little blue hardhat, safety goggles and small plastic tools hanging from his tool-belt plus he carried a small toolbox with even more plastic tools. He checked screws and bolts, measured some of the windows on the inside and decided, since they didn't open, they needed to be "waxed". It was good to have a young person's assessment of the conditions of our windows.

Later that evening, after our company left, Peggy was outside when our neighbor across the street, Yvonne Brooks, hurried over saying she needed help. Her husband, Dom, was lying on the floor in their RV in terrible pain. He was trying to pass a kidney stone and needed an ambulance. I took off in the car for the Ranger Station to call an ambulance. On the way to the Station I passed a Sheriff Patrol car, blinked my lights, and waved him down. Explaining the circumstances, he immediately radioed the dispatcher, requesting an ambulance.

The Canyon Lake Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue unit is located on FM 306, close to the Park entrance. However, the Rescue unit had taken a dinner break and driven to Sattler, 15 miles away, when the call came in so; it took the medics 30 minutes to get to our neighbor. In the meantime, the Deputy Sheriff had pulled in front of their campsite, with his red and blue flashing lights. I went inside to check on Dom, who was suffering terribly. I called to Yvonne to get blankets, since he was going into shock; and while holding his hand; I continually reassured him that help was indeed, on the way. There was a steady stream of lookers checking on the commotion and the flashing lights. Once the ambulance arrived with its flashing lights, there were two Corps of Engineer patrol cars, and 3 Sheriff cars…all with flashing lights. Most of the sedate campers probably thought there was a major drug-bust taking place.

The medics inserted an I-V to help with the pain. They managed to get him on his feet long enough to make it out the door and onto the gurney. By 10:15 they were on the way to the hospital in New Braunfels and good medical care.

5/25 We planned an early getaway this morning and pulled the coach out of the gate at Potter's Creek by 8:15 on our way to Lake Tawakoni. This will be our home base for a few days while doing the doctor thing in Dallas and Rockwall.

Arriving at the Thousand Trails Park a little after 3 pm, we checked in at the Ranger Station but before we could unhook the toad, we spotted our friend Wendell Rehm, driving up fast in his golf cart. He said he saw the coach come through the gate and just knew it was the Woodall's in their new coach. We talked a few minutes, while I unhooked the car, and then said we'd come to visit him and his wife, Linda, later that evening.

5/27 What a nice morning…we took our coffee to the picnic table, set up our lawn chairs to overlook the lake, and enjoyed the birds. We have an abundance of Morning doves, Titmouse, Robins, Red Wing Blackbirds, Mockingbirds, and our old friends the Carolina Wrens. They were all in concert this morning.

We were invited to our first fried catfish potluck lunch at Tall Man Reach, which was the original Thousand Trails Park, here at Tawakoni. Our friends, Clarence and Glenda, invited us and they are one of the primary cat fishing couples at the Preserve. They are full-timers who live permanently at Tall Man Reach. Our contribution was a tub of cold slaw.

By bedtime, we were under a flash flood warning and a little after 10 pm the thunderstorms started rolling in. Suddenly, there was a flash of lightening followed by a deafening clap of thunder, which brought us straight out of bed. I thought the bolt hit next door. Jumping out of bed, I checked the voltmeter in the coach to see if we still had electricity and we did. I thought this was too close and tomorrow I'd see just how close!

5/28 On our morning walk, we saw where that bolt of lighting hit last night. It was about a 100 yards up the road from us. The bolt hit a tree and absolutely blasted and stripped off the bark. I have never seen a once live tree denuded of its bark. I have seen trees scraped by a buck when removing the velvet from its horns, leaving a brown area where the bark had been but not an entire tree. I'm not talking about a small shrub; I'm talking about a full-size oak tree with its skin removed. Mother Nature was moving and grooving last night.

5/31 The Park is full this weekend with Memorial Day vacationers. Today is a special day to remember those individuals who gave their lives so we can have freedom. We are all so blessed to live where we do.

Bob & Peggy Woodall


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