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Travel Lodge(ing)

Do you remember the old Travel Lodges billboards with cute sleep walking bear?

For the best rest –  East or West

I’m looking for that right now. Just a little rest. 😀

Our company let us know on Sunday that the gate guards we were subbing for would be back Monday instead of Wednesday. This wasn’t a big deal except Heidi had already called all of the  RV parks within 60 miles and everyone was full.

The gate guard lot in Gonzales was full (unlike when we were there 2 months ago).

And the gate guard lot in Whitsett was full and overflowing.  We had already contacted Hidden Valley RV park in Von Ormy (just south of San Antonio) and Teri had room for us but not until Tuesday. She said that if it didn’t rain we could boondock in her field for $10. 😀

Scott  (our FS) said to be ready to leave at 9:30, so of course the new gate guards were there at 8 a.m. and Scott was there at 8:45. We were sure glad we’d gotten the hitching up over with the night before. You know how it is when you already feel a little awkward or unsure and then you add an audience. We left Westhoff/Lindenau at 9 and headed north by northwest.

Teri was gracious and accommodating. We parked at the far end of the RV park in the open field.

This is a lovely side shot of $7000 worth of damage I inflicted on the new RV when I tangled with the tiny palm tree – repairs next month – hopefully.

Unlike many of our gate guarding friends, we aren’t really boondockers at heart. In 4 years of full-time RVing, we used the generator in the Motorhome once. When we bought the 5th Wheel, we didn’t want to spend the extra $5000 for a generator (we also didn’t want that much more weight and opted for storage instead).

Monday, if we’d had one, we would have used it. It was about 80 degrees by the time we got parked. No electricity. Our phones soon ran down. We had just enough battery life, in the laptop and in us, to change all of our passwords since Zappos had been hacked that morning and that’s where we order our shoes. 😀

We really didn’t mind boondocking. We were thankful for a quiet field. We took Henry VIII for several walks along the river and listened to cardinals and woodpeckers and mockingbirds.

We played cards. Actually, Heidi played cards and I was more of an out-of-body participant. By the time we were finishing, I’d been up for 28 hours. You night-shift folks know how the transition can be when you’re switching from nights to days. This was my 5th switch in 2 months. I didn’t care if we went east or west, I just wanted some rest. I think I was unconscious by 5:30.  Heidi made her way around in the dark with a Coleman lantern and a flashlight.

The only time boondocking was at all inconvenient was the next morning when my caffeine craving body woke up at 4 a.m. screaming: You’ve got to be kiddingNo biggie I thought and I boldly boiled coffee on the stove. I’ve haven’t done that for a while. There must be a trick to it that I’ve forgotten. There’s nothing more surprising when you’re happily drinking hot coffee in the dark and suddenly your mouth fills up with grounds. Actually even that’s still a little better than the live things I’ve swallowed in Texas like beetles and fluttering moths; or the time I looked at my bowl of Grape-nuts and saw one half of a spider trying to swim in the milk (don’t ask, I have no idea).

My Kindle cover has a book light, I had coffee and Henry had a lap so all was well with the world. I enjoyed the early morning view as I watched the sun rise. The view out my window was a little different from what I’m used to after 13 months on a gate. 😉

The folks at Hidden Valley were very nice. The rate for Passport America members is $16 a night with full hookup which you’d be hard pressed to beat anywhere.

We were supposed to move near Three Rivers saying a spot just opened up there and to head on down.  So, once again, we hit the road. It was an hour and a half drive which only took us 2 hours because the GPS led us to a sheet metal building in Whitsett and proudly announced that we had arrived at our destination.


Dropping the RV Unhooking went as smoothly as hitching up. No job yet, but hopefully soon.

Today we went a callin’ on our friends Jill and Rob. We’ve only met though Fork, never in person, but they’ve become dear friends. They’re in Tilden, of all places! Tilden, no kidding!

Tilden is where we got our start, 13 months ago. We couldn’t wait to take Jill to lunch at Max’s Cafe and Motel. I think I scared her with all the animal  head photos so she hadn’t been there yet!

Rob and Jill were even more delightful in person! Thank you for your kind hospitality. How fun to finally meet! It’s was like reuniting with an old friend and picking up where you left off, except we’d never started. 😀 Rob was kind enough to watch their very busy gate and we rewarded him by bringing back half of Jill’s leftover Max’s Special Nachos.

Since I likely won’t be on a gate for a bit, I may tell some stories about the wild guys from Lantern 16 or write about our amazing encounters with the Nutria and the Alligator in the bayou tomorrow.

Life is good! However, the rumor that the lots are full is true – today. You never know about tomorrow in this business. For the best rest –  East or West, I think  you have to be willing to just kick back and enjoy the ride!

13 thoughts on “Travel Lodge(ing)

  1. Hi,
    I saw your post on boondocking and had to offer some info not many people know about. RV generators are expensive! – well most people know that 🙂 But here is a tough ol generator that works well and is at least 3,000 less than big brand generators. Last time I looked this generator was around $999 and then a delivery fee. On doing some research, there is good feedback on the generator and they are tough and reliable. Thought you might like to know that considering you are out in the wild most of the time 🙂
    Here is a link.

    • Andrew, that is SO cool! I had no idea we could get one for that price or that SIZE! I’ll be looking into it. Thank you so much!
      And if you’re my yellow tape friend – it works like a charm every time. I can’t imagine how far off I’d be without it!
      Thanks again!

  2. Hi Luke!
    Henry is actually ready to get back to work. There are about a half a dozen feral cats that eat out of the dumpster about 20 feet from our door. They’re making him pace in circles! 😀 We’re really thankful to have such a nice, comfortable, FREE place to wait! 😉
    Sure do appreciate you kind words and your prayers!

  3. Kick back lady! Wow, 28 hours is a lot of awake time. I hope you guys find a “gate” soon to guard. And internet of course. xoxo melis

    • hey melis – We’ve pretty well completed every project we can think of. We have some serious weather headed our way tomorrow (24th) so we’ll just tuck in and enjoy the show.

  4. There are 3 of us waiting for gates here in the Carrizo Springs yard, I believe there is still a spot here too. This will be our first gate, hopefully we get one soon! Love your blog!!

  5. We so enjoyed your visit yesterday!! The time went way too fast. Mr. A says he gets to go to lunch with the two of you next time. In fact he is now in Pleasanton right now looking for new lawn chairs anticipating your next visit!! Thank you for all the goodies. Andy is in seventh heaven!! Perhaps you will get a gate in our beautiful city of Tilden!! The two of you remind us that our world is truly filled with wonderful people!!

    • Aww Jill, thanks my friend! It was so great to finally meet you guys! We have lawn chairs… somewhere (Heidi knows where – she can find anything!)
      Sounds like we may be headed your was soon. Of course, you know how quickly things change… I’ll keep you posted!

  6. We sure hope there is some openings soon. Last week we sent in our apps, waiting for approval. We will be leaving Quartzsite, AZ on Monday heading for Whitsett. We camphost in Colorado during the summer, so going to Whitsett is going out of our way for two months of work. Oh, well, we’ll come and see how it goes. Hope to be able to meet you sometime, as reading your blog has been very informative and I enjoy your positive attitude and sense of humor.


    • Hi Bobbie!
      You may see me real soon as we’re still in Whitsett waiting for a gate! 😀
      Safe travels!
      You’ll recognize us when you get here – it’s the only RV that’s Tangoed with a palm tree!
      ~ Debbie

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