As the weather began to improve we debated – Livingston to Goose Island State Park to Austin or Goose Island SP to Livingston to Austin. Don’t bother looking at a map. Goose Island is almost to Corpus Christi, way out of the way to end up in Austin, but that is what we were facing. We are in Goose Island State Park just outside of Rockport TX as I write this so you can imagine that Livingston will come next, unless it doesn’t. What about those three states? We woke up on Sunday in Alabama, east of Mobile and by the time the light was gone from the sky we were parked in the Texas Welcome Center at mile mark 880 on I 10 (that is 880 miles to the other side of Texas past El Paso). We had crossed Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana into Texas. That was a long day. And we still had 5 hours to get to Goose Island.
Sleeping in the truck parking section of a Welcome Center not more than a lane and a half removed from the highway itself requires an act of discipline to convert the road noise to a background lullaby. It would have been better if we hadn’t been 15 feet from a speed bump in the parking area. We slept, sort of, mostly, kinda. By 6 we were up and about and by 7:30 we were rolling down the highway. Went through the heart of Houston on I 10 to US 59 between 9:00 and 9:40, and never had to slow for traffic. A miracle.
None of our drives would be worth writing about without something untoward happening. This time it was the loss of a nut and lock washer less than an eighth inch across that caught my attention. As we were rolling down the road my eye was caught by a screw drifting out of place on the driver side windshield wiper. The weather was fine or this could have been a show stopper. The screw is the pivot screw that holds the wiper blade to the arm. Fleetwood, in its nightmares, engineered a unique wiper blade mount on many of its coaches. The parts are only available, to the best of my knowledge, from the factory. I was about to loose a significant part, the screw, with no means of replacing it quickly and easily. I warned Carol and eased off onto the shoulder praying the screw would not drop out before I got stopped. It didn’t! Now how to fix it in place without the nut. First a twist tie went where the nut would have gone. Next some grey tape (I have no idea how to spell it) went in place to hold everything together for the short term. Today, a day later, I took off most of the grey tape and used rescue tape to make a long term repair.
If you haven’t used it, this is funny stuff. It only sticks to itself and once stuck to itself for 60 seconds it will not separate. I took two wraps of this stuff to secure the blade to the arm and the screw in place. Done!
Now we are settled in to Goose Island SP for a week. We will visit the Whooping Cranes and the Sand Hill Cranes and we will see many other interesting birds here. To be sure we get some good guidance we are set up across the street from the Birding Host who we hope to get to know. Since arriving we have done a more complete setup than usual including awnings and lights and outdoor seating. Oh yes it is pleasant to sit out in the sun or shade with the temperature in the high 70’s.
Finished a day later, Tuesday, sitting on a picnic bench outside the office to et wireless connection.