After digging out from under a foot of snow for the last two years in order to start our journey south, we decided to move up our departure date this year but we were almost caught again. Thinking there was really no big hurry to leave we decided on November 7th or 8th, but then “the forecast” came. Apparently the creators of the snowmaggedon storms heard about our lack of weather worries and started to brew up a good one for us. The TV forecasters were suddenly dancing with delight, flailing their arms across the pixilated weather map and squealing with anticipation as they pointed out the most likely impact point for umpteen inches of snow and pipe-freezing lows in the negative numbers.
So, after raking up a mountain of leaves and watching the Vikings lose yet another game, we went into our own two-minute drill, packing, buying groceries, more packing, oh and don’t forget a quick trip to the liquor store, cram everything in the motorhome, hook up the tow-dolly, load the car and wave good-bye to Gail’s dad as we tore down the driveway on the 6th. A bit of a pain in the ass, yes, but as we watched winter’s first storm come to fruition in our rear view mirrors, we had no regrets, and did actually escape this year without snow melting from the roof all the way through Kansas. The first night found us in southern Iowa and running the furnace to keep the cold out. As we passed through Kansas we heard folks on the radio asking for donations for the local animal shelter to buy extra fuel to keep the residents feet from freezing to the floor, and boosted the speed of the Big Lebowski up just a bit. The exhaust flange on the muffler rusted/broke off in Oklahoma leaving the tail pipe hanging so we took just enough time to hay-wire it back in place before continuing our charge south.
We pulled into Cedar Breaks, Core Of Engineers Park near Georgetown, Texas on the 10th only to find that their website had transposed the information for our site with that of another. Our beautiful, long, wide and flat site had turned into one that was short, narrow and steep enough that it would qualify for hill climbing events in some states. There were no other sites available, but the hosts helped us score what turned out to be an even better site at another COE park, Jim Hogg RV Park, on the other side of the Lake Georgetown reservoir.
We basked in one day of summery weather before the cold of the northern storm caught up with us, blowing in overnight lows in the 20′s. We are plugged into the grid though and implemented our now-routine drill to keep pipes unfroze and ourselves nice and toasty. So all is good — we have a beautiful view with lots of trees and wildlife, and after two weeks of tundraesque wind chills, we are back to t-shirt weather again. Warm enough to replace the muffler, even work up a sweat in the process, and watch some sailors prepare to launch a boat on what remains of the reservoir. After receiving 3” of rain yesterday the locals were happy that it is back up to 34% full!
“The plan” is to slow down for the rest of the trip, enjoying the areas surrounding Austin for the next month or so. We hope it’s warm and boring.