Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kerrville, TX Delivery

We had surprisingly good roads with only scattered patches of snow/ice sticking to the surface or drifting across as we traveled North to Forest City to pick up a View to deliver to Kerrville, Texas. Sunny, blue sky with a few scattered clouds, 9 degrees with a northwest wind to blow us south!
It was a fast hook-up. Strange to see the lot nearly full of motor homes waiting for drivers to deliver. This unit is identical to one we delivered earlier. A small units with a diesel engine, 12 mpg, sticker price of $100,000,one slide-out on the side, not a lot of bells & whistles but compact with everything necessary.

View from the Windshield:

Interesting snow sculptures made by the wind on the drifts in the ditches. Tracks in the median were evidence of “off road” driving the last two days of ground blizzard conditions. We counted 49 cars “parked” in various positions in the median and ditches mainly on either side of the Hwy 20 interchange. We encountered some slippery lanes in that area, too!

The time seems to pass faster as we listen to the audio book,”John Adams” by David McCullough, one of favorite history writers.

Snow cover was nearly all gone in the Kansas City area.

We had the privilege of watching a magnificent sun rise over the snow covered Iowa landscape and an equally beautiful sunset over the brown silhouettes of the Flint Hills in Kansas.
Good Job God!

I'm a "happy camper"--found peanut butter cup flavored cappuccino at our coffee stop!

Texas countryside after leaving the Interstate

  • West from Georgetown is a large golf course with estates for sale (prices advertised from $600,000 to #2 million!)
  • This is called "hill" country. Very narrow, shallow ditch even along this 4 lane road. Short trees with multi-trunks and green leaves. Green grass. Cactus and yucca growing wild. Many ranch entrances with elaborate, stone walls. Most of the entrances have a long, curving, gravel drive back through the trees hiding the buildings from the road.
  • Pastures with flocks of sheep and goats, emus, deer, horses and cattle.
  • Supper at a local restaurant in Johnson City serving a great fried chicken to rival KFC! Breakfast at a local restaurant in Stonewall (named for Gen. Stonewall Jackson)serving delicious sausage. Fun to listen to local conversations.
  • Approximately 40 percent of all Texas peaches are grown in this area. Orchards and fruit stands line the road.
  • This area is also noted for its vineyards. Called the Tuscan Valley of Texas! Signs for BBQ and wineries are interspersed with the fruit stands selling peaches.
  • Former President Lyndon Johnson's ranch and National Historical park are located in this area, too.
  • Kerrville, our destination, is believed to have the most ideal climate in the nation! We found it cool & damp, with 58 degrees and clouds. One employee stated that she was from Indiana and had felt colder in Texas than she felt back home! But there was no snow and we did not have to wear our winter coat, gloves & ear muffs.

, Texas

Information learned at Admiral Nimitz State Historic Site:
  • The Nimitz family immigrated to Texas in 1842 from Germany because of the cheap land available.
  • The family built a hotel as a way-station to land that was further west, later it served as a stop for stage lines and included a bar and theater. A one-story building had a second and third story added in such a way to give it the appearance of a steam boat.
  • Chester W. Nimitz was born in 1885 after his father died. His mother moved into the hotel with his Grandfather after he was born and later married is uncle.
  • While in Annapolis when "off duty" he shared "Texas Tall Tales" he learned from his Grandfather.
  • He first served on the battle ship, USS Ohio. Then he was assigned to the 1st Submarine Flotilla in Groton, Connecticut. This experience convinced him of the dangerous fire threat and inefficiency of the gasoline powered engines. The Navy sent him to Germany to study diesel engines. (probably at Damiler/Benz!) While giving demonstrations of the new engine his ring finger was caught, but the ring saved his hand. His career in navy was saved by this ring!
  • He supervised the building of the port and fleet at Peal Harbor, but declined the offer of Admiral because he knew there were others with more rank.
  • He did take over the fleet after Pearl Harbor was attacked and served in the Pacific during WWII.

National Museum of the Pacific War:

We consider ourselves "museum experts" after all that we have toured over the years, but this one was way more than we could handle in a day! Your admission ticket is good for 48 hours for a reason! They advertise that it is set up to be confusing because war is confusing! We learned names of islands in the Pacific that we had never heard of!

We suggest that you go to the tour of the Pacific Combat Zone before the George Bush Gallery. This display will give you a "feel" for what the battles were like and for the weapons used.

Bits & pieces of Information from Museum:

A capsule of world history on the wall of the gallery, simply written with pictures.It was interesting to see that WWII started with the seeds of conflict between China/Japan/US in the 1800's.

A special room with sound & pictures give you the feel of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Personal experiences of those put in the Japanese Interment Camps during the war.

A PT-09, one of 3 Packard V-12 engines used to power the PT-09 , an Avenger plane set on the deck of a mock-up aircraft carrier,and a quonset building used as a hospital on a base.

Before the stock-market crash in 1929 Henry Ford stated: "It is well that American people do not know about our banking system. If they did there would be a revolution."

There are audio clips from the soldiers who fought telling their experiences.

We watched the movie, "The Bridge over the River Kwai", but learned that the real River Kwai had 2 bridges. One was metal and easily destroyed and the other a wooden one that took longer to hit!

On the home front Victory Gardens were planted to supply the foods that were not available.

There were road signs stating: Victory Speed 35 miles. This was to conserve gasoline.

Because everything was needed for taking care of the armed forces people at home were allowed a ration of gas, tires, sugar, etc. This controlled inflation as well as consumption by limiting a demand for products. All manufacturers made items for the armed forces instead of appliances, cars, etc.

The gas was rationed because of a shortage of tires. If you did not have gas you could not wear out your tires! Rubber was imported from SE Asia, which was under the control of Japan. Synthetic rubber was invented as a result.

Headed back to Iowa:

A two-thumbs up for the restaurant, Mamicita's, in Fredericksburg. Excellent, authentic Mexican food. Fun to watch the little white balls of dough go through the machine and end up warm, tasty tortillas!

Days Inn in Wichita,Kansas gets special mention for their super breakfast, too.

We knew that we would have to drive in some snow somewhere along the way home. It started in Emporia, Kansas and extended to south of Des Moines, Iowa. Very little traffic made it an easier drive. When we reached the Iowa border we were making our plans on how to get to one of our daughters for an over-night stay, then we drove out of the snow/slush/ice and on to dry road.

A fast 5 day delivery adventure!

Thanks for traveling with us,

Prairie Schooners.

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