Chris' Genty

Chris' Genty

Friday, April 29, 2011

Crawfish at Happy Hour

This morning we said good by to Marvin, who left for the Black HIlls in South Dakota. Then I had a brunch with a nice steak and salad. In the afternoon three more RVs joined the party at Betty's. At the Happy Hour Betty took orders for the promised Crawfish Dinner. She ordered them from a local take away crawfish place. At 5.30h we got 3-5 pounds of crawfish each. They were wonderful and we enjoyed them a lot. As a matter of fact, they were the best I had so far. As one can even see on the pictures, these crawfish can even be used to play with.

Some more photos can be seen here.

29.95295N 92.14324W 45 ft

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Repair Comfort Hot

Nothing special to report today. I did some cleaning, some work on the computer and then I fixed an old problem. The "Comfort Hot" alternative heating system (in addition to the Hurricane Diesel Heater) began to get loose. Before I drop the entire thing to the ground, I decided to fix it properly. I bought two 5" bolts and nuts and washers. Then I drilled two holes through the 4" wall and fixed the heater with these two bolts. They can hardly been seen from the outside. Problem fixed.

29.95295N 92.14324W 45 ft

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rain in Abbeville

I had a very bad night. I did not sleep well. I don't know why. In the second half of the night it started raining. The rain got stronger and stronger and in the morning the RV Park looked like a swamp for a few hours, but the water seeped away  quickly. The Vermilion Tour was cancelled however and we all stayed at home. The weather got a little better, but a strong wind came up again.

There is not much other to report from today other that the group got together at Happy Hour as usual. Today was the first day here, that I left the party early.

From now on I am perpetuated in Betty website

No photos today

29.95295N 92.14324W 45 ft

Monday, April 25, 2011

Slowing down

Today I had to slow down. The last few days were so busy, I spent a lot of time in Betty's patio and had a ball, but nothing got done at home. I had to fix some website problems, clean lots of dishes, clean all the internal mirrors, get some laundry done, etc.

For dinner we were planning to get craw fish at Betty's and Rocky (our fisherman) promised to bring a vegetable boil. We found out that the craw fish place was closed today but Rocky brought his boil anyway. He just added some fish to the boil and we had a nice dinner with some Cole slow salad and my fruit salad. Then we had to finish a couple of bottles of booze. I went to Lafayette for more shot cups and we used them. A new bottle of Don Pedro Mexican Brandy also had to be opened to satisfy the demand (LOL).

Tomorrow will be another busy day, but with photos (hopefully).

29.95295N 92.14324W 45 ft

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

I was busy this morning preparing fruit salad for the Easter Pot Luck at Betty's RV Park. While I was doing this, Rocky the fisherman came by and invited me for a catfish spaghetti. But I told him about the pot luck and invited him to come there instead. There was enough food anyway. He then stayed a couple of hours in the Genty and used my computer to check his e-mail and show me some of his photos. Then he wanted to see some of my poker movies and he liked the final table of the PPT at Foxwoods 2004.

At 2pm about 20 people met at Betty's patio for the Easter Pot Luck. There was plenty of wonderful food including a turkey, ham, many dressings and sides and various deserts. I had made way too much fruit salad. Everybody liked it and I gave away some of it to take home. I also had an orange liquor from Mexico to add to the fruit salad and after the meal we did some shots with it and jokes and stories were told. Rocky was the "head story teller". We had a ball and stayed right into Happy Hour and trough it.

AT dusk Christine brought over a set of poker cards and chips and asked for a free lesson, what I gave to six of them. We stayed until after 9pm.

Unfortunately I did not have the camera with me all day.


29.95295N 92.14324W 45 ft

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fishing in Vermilion Bay, LA

At noon Dale and I left with his truck to Rocky Rousos home in Abbeville to pick up Rocky and his trailer and boat. We went south to the Intracoastal Waterway where we used the public boat ramp to water his boat. It was very windy and the water was a little rough. We went about a couple of miles on the Intracoastal Waterway. In a tranquil area with some sort of reed Rocky fished for some bait. After he got a dozen smaller and larger fish, we went back to the Waterway to go check his lines he baited the day before.

These lines are fix installations of a thick line with hooks every 25 feet. Rocky stopped the boat and manually went from hook to hook. From the first hooks, the bait was taken by the crabs. The first three catfish he ad on the hooks were saltwater catfish. They are not good to eat, so Rocky released them immediately back in the water. Then he had some larger catfish on the hooks. On the four lines he still has out there, we collected 6 nice catfish of over 30 pounds. The will produce about 15 pounds of fillets.

The catfish went in the cooler and Rocky showed us some other areas including some camps and an oil rig drilling for natural gas.

On the way home, we bought some ice to keep the catfish cool for the next day. Rocky will fillet them tomorrow.

After four hours we were back at Betty's RV Park, just in time for the Happy Hour, where we could show a couple of pictures. All together an interesting day - Thank you Rocky.

Photos from the fishing trip can be found here:

29.95295N    92.14324W    45 ft

Farmers Market in Abbeville, LA

Today was Farmers Market at the square in Abbeville. At the Farmers Market you would expect lots of produce but here there were more art and handcraft stuff for sale plus a variety of food. Some of my friends from Betty's RV Park were selling hand painted cypress wood plates and jewelery. And then I was told, that a women from Switzerland was selling bread and Sunday bread (Zopf). I went there and met Betsi who is married here in Abbeville with Paul, but originates from Stetten Switzerland, about 3 miles away from Fislisbach, my hometown in Switzerland. Small world isn't it ! She had several pieces of handmade brad for sale and one only loaf of "Zopf" left. I decided to buy that, but Betsi gave it for me for free. Thank you Betsi, very nice of you. She even invited me for dinner sometimes next week.

After the visit to the market I went to Walmart for some groceries shopping. I will make a fruit salad fro tomorrows Easter Pot Luck at Betty's RV Park.

Some photos from the Farmers Market are available here.

29.95295N    92.14324W    45 ft

Friday, April 22, 2011

Catfish Fry

This morning my neighbors Dave + Mary came back from a fishing trip with Rocky. They had a cooler full of catfish which they offered for a catfish fry. Betty welcomed this and a few of us cut the catfish, peeled and cut some potatoes and set up the fry. At the Happy Hour George, Betty and others prepared the catfish fry. The cooker was really slow, but finally we each got a nice plate of fried catfish with potatoes, corn on the knob and various other sides brought in from other RVers.

Rocky was telling fishing stories. He is one hell of a story teller and the group enjoyed his stories. The party lasted until about 9pm - a little longer than the usual Happy Hour. I enjoyed the event a lot.

Betty's RV Park is almost full for the Easter weekend.

Some photos can be seen here.

29.95295N    92.14324W    45 ft

Monday, April 18, 2011

Friends leaving

Betty's RV park is not very busy any more. Most full timers who stayed here for the winter have already left. The last ones were Mary-Beth and Tony who left today heading north to Michigan, where they have a spot for the summer.

Although there are only a few rigs left, the Happy Hour is still going strong every day for a couple of hours. We also have new guests for coming in for a few days here and there. And

29.95295N 92.14324W 45 ft

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Crawfish dinner

At todays Happy Hour the group was really small. Most people have left the park and more will leave soon. The five of us shared three plates of different apetizers (most people bring an apetizer to the Happy Hour and everybody brings his own beverage). It got quite windy today and some needed to get jackets.

At the Happy Hour the five of us decided to go out for dinner and we chose Big Johns Seafood Patio in the neighbouring town Erath. Everybody ordered a different dish. Mary-Beth and I had crawfish. They were good, but not as good as last week at the same place. But this time we got a few pictures. A few of them can be seen here.

29.95295N    92.14324W    45 ft

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Jam Session at Touche's 2 J's, Maurice, LA

Shortly after 1pm some of us from Betty's RV Park left for a Jam Session played at Touche's 2J's in Maurice, LA. We enjoyed several hours of good Cajun music. About 20 musicians played in intervals and various combinations together. Several musicians played various instruments.

While the locals danced and drunk beers (in good quantities), the RVers just listened and drunk in way lesser quantities. But we all had fun and enjoyed a nice Saturday afternoon.

Some photos can be seen here.

29.95295N    92.14324W    45 ft

Friday, April 15, 2011

Betty's RV Park in Abbeville, LA

Not too much to report today. I did some cleaning and some laundry. At 4.30 there was again the usual Happy Hour, today with a little jam session.

Here is a photo of my site in the park.

A few photos of the park are stored here.

29.95295N    92.14324W    45 ft

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lake Martin

Today we went on a swamp tour on Lake Martin. Five of us from Betty's RV Park went by car to Lake Martin, where a tour was organized. About a dozen people were on the boat. The tour around the bayou and the lake was interesting. We saw many birds and a few alligators.

On the way back I had my first Po Boy which is a piece of French bread filled with salad, mayo and grilled shrimps - pretty good.

Fotos of today can be found here.

29.95295N    92.14324W    45 ft

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Abbeville, LA

After a bad night in the parking lot of the Isle of Capri Casino (very noisy and bright), I drove the last 90 miles to Abbeville, where I made camp for at least a week at Betty's RV Park.

After setting up and a long phone call with my son Roman it was time for the Happy Hour. It is a tradition at this RV park, that everybody meets for the Happy Hour. Although the park is not very well booked at this time, there were still at least a dozen people together. There were also some snacks and the folks from Halifax even brought a bottle of booze.

Later I checked out "Big Johns Seafood Patio" and had 3 lb of boiled crawfish. The crawfish were very good. It's been almost two years since I had the last ones, also in this area.

Some of the folks from the Happy Hour will go to a swamp tour tomorrow morning and have invited me to join them. More about this tour in tomorrows blog.

29.95295N    92.14324W    45 ft

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Entering Louisiana

Another 172 miles on I-10 brought me to Louisiana. The ride was busy and especially the part around and straight through Houston with lots of traffic and some confusing signs. In Bayton, I lined up at the big truck wash and had Genty and the Jeep enjoying a body wash.

Right after the state border was a visitors center, where I collected some brochures. The workers there were not very helpful, since they did not seem to have much of a clue. All they knew were the names of a few hotels and restaurants, but what can you expect today.

Tomorrow I will drive the last 100 miles to Abbeville.

No photos today.

30.23654N 93.2493W 37 ft

Monday, April 11, 2011

Back on the road again

The job lasted a little longer than expected but after a test drive by the manager/owner Shane, at 4.15h I was finally on the road again. I still made another 150 miles including a refuel. I ended up at Walmart in Katy in the suburbs of Houston. Two more days and I will reach my next destination. I have already made a reservation at Betty's RV Park in Abbeville, LA, where I will stay for a week and enjoy Cajun food - mhhh.

29.78307N 95.80258W 142 ft

"Houston - we'v got a problem"

We are not in Houston yet, but we sure got a problem.

Last night, after I parked at Wal-Mart, I discovered that in the front right wheel case there is a large black spot all around. I checked and found that this must be from a leak and this needs to be fixed. I checked online and found two potential truck shops. Early in the morning I called them both and the second one (Womack Diesel) accepted me right away.

This looks like a family business and they took care of it right away and found, that there was a leak. This thing is leaking pretty good, he said and within an hour or so they started working on it. Taking everything apart, they found that the seal was just worn out pretty good and a replacement was at hand.

Within a few hours I will be on the way again.

Here are some photos.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

more I-10 in Texas

I drove from Sonora to Seguin on I-10 today. A total of 225 miles. It was warm today but still windy (not as much as the days before though) and the temps went up to 95F. The scenery changed quite a bit. From desert to bushland to forests to more populated areas with cities and farmland and then San Antonio. Lots of traffic, but no problem. You just have to hold the lane. Shortly after San Antionio I stopped at Walmart in Seguin where I bought groceries and will stay for the night.  It's still warm and windy again. Looks like another warm night.

No photos today.

29.56665N 97.94343W 521 ft

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Fort Lancaster

First thing this morning I went to Ft. Stockton to get Diesel, although there was a diesel pump at the RV Park, but they charged $4.14 - too much for Texas. I planned to go to the first pump for less than $4 and with easy access. Off the highway, I did not have to look long. They all had the same price $3.99 (!). After filling up, I did the long overdue air pressure check on all tires and then - surprise surprise - one of the rear tires had only 25 psi, where 120 would  have been OK. Something must have gone wrong. I tried to pump it up, but I could not get more than 90 psi out of this compressor. There were two possibilities, either I had lost the air on a recent leak and could not pump it up because it was still leaking a lot, or the air went out slowly over time and I did not check often enough (which would be the better case -still).
This I-10 exit is a real truck stop and luckily also had a truck tire shop. I went there and the mech pumped all tires up and the air held. He did not even charge for that. I gave him a Swiss army pocket knife and he was happy and so was I. (I checked again tonight after another 150 miles and the pressure is still good - lucky me).

At the exit for Sheffield I saw a sign for "Fort Lancaster Historical Site". I thought - why not and took that short 24 mile detour. There was a small Visitors Center, a large field with a few rock ruins and a small museum. Not really worth it, but it was a nice walk in the heat (low 90s) and I was the only visitor.

Back on I-10 I continued to one of the many Rest Areas. In Texas, RVs and trucks are allowed to stay overnight (parking, not camping - got the difference ? No slid outs, no chairs and barbecues etc. The guys in the Fiver right behind me do just that, but they probably don't know better, they are from British Columbia.

It is still 85 (after sunset) and I might enjoy a warm night.

There are a few pictures from the fort and the sunset at the "park" so see here.

30.61467N 100.7468W 2280 ft

Friday, April 8, 2011

Crossing Texas

After three days at this beautiful RV Park in the Guadalupe Mountains, I left and headed south to Van Horn first. In Van Horn I hit the I-10 which will bring me all the way across Texas over the next few days. The first stop on this trip is at the Saddleback Mountains RV Park in Balmorhea. This park has nice long Pull Throughs and they take Passport America. So I can stay for $10 for one night.

After dinner I left for a walk on the Nature Trail in the RV park, but my neighbour Rod (also a datastorm user) pointed me to a rattlesnake that just killed a bird. His tow vehicle also had a dead battery and I got my jumper cables and helped him starting the engine.

30.99211N    103.6647W    3030 ft

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

It was stormy all night and it still is very windy today. Nonetheless I checked out the Visitors Center today. Then I walked the Pinery Trail behind the Visitors Center which goes to "The Pinery Butterfield Stage Station Ruins". Nice cacti and plants, but the ruins are nothing special.

Then I hiked a little on the Tejas Trail. When the trail began to get steeper it was time to return. Still a nice hike in a pretty area.

A few photos of the day can be seen here.

31.89654N 104.828W 5843 ft

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM

From Guadalupe Mountains NP in Texas I drove the 40+ miles eastwards (can you believe that ?) to the world famous Carlsbad Cavern NP in New Mexico through the Chihuahuan Desert. From White City, not a city, but a few motels, RV parks and shops, takes you a winding road through a desert canyon to the top of the former reef.

At the visitors center I got the necessary information and booked a 2pm guided tour to Kings Palace. During the previous two hours I toured the Big Room. I went down the 750' by elevator (1 min). Down there, i realized, that there is no chance to get reasonable photos without the tripod, so I went back up and picked up the tripod as well as a light jacket. The temperature in the caverns is a constant 56F with high humidity.

I returned from the big room just in time to go on the guided Kings Palace Tour. About 50 people, with all kind of cameras were on this tour. The four guys with tripods had been asked to form the tail of the tour to not obstruct the others with our tripods, which was fine.

Both tours were very interesting. Interested readers find a lot of technical information about the geology and history of the caverns here. Taking pictures was not easy, since there was very little light and one could not bring any light and flash lights are definitely not the right thing to do.

Whatever I got out of my equipment can be seen here.

31.89654N 104.828W 5843 ft

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

From El Paso to Pine Springs, TX

Todays drive brought me through El Paso to TX-180 (& TX-62) to the Guadalupe Mountains.. A few miles outside of El Paso there was only desert and little traffic for over 100 miles through the El Paso valley in the most western part of Texas.

The plan was to go to Carlsbad and visit the Carlsbad Taverns. However I discovered Guadalupe Mountains National Park. I have never heard of this park, so off to the Visitors Center, where I found out that they have a small campground with 8 sites for larger RVs. OK, I said, why not. There were only three really large RV sites (40' long), all the others are much smaller and some are occupied by smaller class C and class B RVs. There was just one long site vacant, and I took it and registered for three nights. (Only $4/night with NP Seniors Pass). This NP has no roads, just hiking trails. Maybe I will go hiking a little.


There are a few photos here.

31.89654N 104.828W 5843 ft

Monday, April 4, 2011

El Paso, TX

I left Pancho Villa State Park early afternoon and drove on AZ-9 along the Mexican Border to El Paso. The wind was all gone and it was a nice day, much cooler though compared to the weekend. There was very little traffic, only the Border Patrol cars were everywhere.
I needed groceries and a place to stay overnight. There are several Wal-Marts in El Paso. I picked the first one en route (Mesa Street), went shopping and made my camp.

No photos today.

31.83804N 106.5654W 3872 ft

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Two Museums in Columbus

It's Sunday, it's "Meet the Press" and then some phone calls with friend and family and some Sunday papers online - the usual Sunday procedures.

The wind is blowing very hard and my Genty is rocking quite a bit. But still, in the afternoon, I had to go out. There is not much to see and do in Columbus, but there are two small museums. The one is right in the state park, the other is across the street.

The Columbus Historic Museum is actually three museums in one. There are three rooms (!), each of them with a different topic. The 1916 Pancho Villa raid to Columbus is covered in the first room. The other two rooms are a train depot museum and a general historical museum. All three are nicely equipped with lots of stuff by volunteers.

The museum in the Pancho Villa State Park is a new professionally made museum also about the Pancho Villa raid and the revenge by the US army under General Purshing, including a copy of the first US military aircraft.

A few other photos can be seen here.

31.82505N 107.6413W 4066 ft

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Palomas, Mexico

Not much happened today. Checked out the grocery store and bought some fruit. This is a really poor community. Not much to do and nothing to see besides the park and the museum (and they are on the program for Sunday afternoon).

It's getting warmer now. Low 90s during the days but still in the high 50s at night to cool everything off. But the AC kicked in in the afternoon, although set at only 88.

Late afternoon I made a short trip across the border to Palomas, Mexico. This is not a typical tourist border town like Los Algodones. There are a few liquor stores, pharmacies, dentists and optometrists, but nothing comes close to Algodones. I had to see the famous Pink Store though. A huge store (for small Mexican village standards) with art, folk art and gifts from all over Mexico and a restaurant. The restaurant was almost empty, but I still enjoyed some shrimps al Ajo with rice and salad and a couple of Margaritas.

Re-entering the USA was easy, no lines at all.

I added today's photos to yesterdays album.

31.82505N 107.6413W 4066 ft

Friday, April 1, 2011

Trip to Columbus, NM

Rustys RV Ranch is really nice, but there is one disadvantage. I have no service for my AT&T cell phone and must make all phone calls through Skype. When the WiFi is up and running, Skype works very well for calls to Switzerland. You know, I have a subscription for unlimited calls from Skype to landlines in Switzerland for less than $10/month.
However, I still prefer to use the phone with (almost) no interruptions. So today I moved to another location with cell phone reception. I decided to move on Highway 9 to the east, rather than taking I-10 further north of here. There was absolutely no traffic along this route. In Animas I experienced an adventurous way of fueling up. There was no way to access to get along the pump since there were posts, etc. in the way. So, I turned around the building and basically "came from behind" at a 90° angle to the pump. It worked. I tanked up my first fuel for over $4 for almost three years.

Along the AZ-9 there was bush desert on both sides and 50% of all the vehicles on the road were Border Patrol cars/trucks. This road almost touches the US/Mexican border at some places. Along the road is also an old railway track of the El Paso and Southwestern Railroad which was built in 1902 to haul copper from Bisbee to El Paso. Now, not even the rails are there anymore.

After a couple of hours drive I arrived at Columbus, NM and settled at the beautiful Pancho Villa State Park. I have a nice Pull Through site with water and electricity for $14. I will check out the park, the museum and the area over the weekend. Maybe including another trip to Mexico and maybe the famous Pink Store. Will see.

A few photos can be seen here.

31.82505N 107.6413W 4066 ft