Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Trip Home

We left Los Angeles at 3:00 PM on Monday with plans to make get as close to Arizona as possible with a planned stop at Banning, CA to have dinner with friends, We would not have intentionally chosen to leave LA during rush hour but had no choice. We wanted to make it down the road. With the fuel tanks (two 65 gallon tanks) at a little over a half full of diesel we hoped to make it to AZ where fuel was cheaper before refueling.

We made it to Banning, CA and went to eat with good friends Harold and Karen Gonser. We had a pleasant meal and visit before heading down the road towards the Arizona border.


We stopped for the night in Indio, CA at a very nice Best Western Motel, It was so nice there we wished we could have spent several days, but we needed to head home.



On our way down to breakfast on Tuesday morning we saw bees swarming around the flowers on the over ten foot tall cactus just outside the window by the stairs. With regret we left this oasis at Indio, CA and headed east. When we got to Quartzite, AZ we pulled off the Interstate and drove through the area to see what it looked like. We have always wanted to go there in January and February to experience the big RV gathering that attracts RVers from all over. Without the hundreds of RVs it didn’t look like much.

We stopped at Eloy, AZ northwest of Tucson to refuel and have dinner with our good friends and former pastor, John and Donna Guillott, They are currently working in the Tucson area as directors of the association of Baptist churches in that area. It was so good to see these friends and hear about the work that they are doing in that area. We spent the night in Tucson after another long day on the road.


On Wednesday morning we headed for New Mexico. We made it to Las Cruces, NM at lunch time and ate at La Posta de Mesilla Restaurant in historic Messilla.


After a hearty and filling Mexican meal it was back on the road again. We hit El Paso, TX at rush hour and spent over an hour in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Despite this slow down we made it to Fredricksburg, TX to spend the night.We will have to come back to this area and explore the Texas hill country.



Thursday morning we headed to the Lyndon B. Johnson Ranch. It was easy to see why LBJ spent so much time on his ranch. Anyone would enjoy relaxing in this tranquil setting.





The family cemetery where LBJ was laid to rest is shaded by large oaks.


LBJ’s Air Force One is sheltered near his Texas White House where he carried out much of his Presidential duties and entertained world leaders.


The LBJ ranch house is large and inviting. We wished we had more time to explore the ranch but needed to head east and north if we were to get back to our daughter’s house in Corrigan, TX to pick up our car and head home on Friday.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Quick Trip to Los Angeles

They always say to “Strike while the iron is hot” and “Good deals don’t last long”. Barb had found two Ford F650 SuperCrewzers online, a high priced red 2002 in IL and a reasonably priced white 2001 in AZ. When we were about to go to AZ, Barb found an even better deal on a red 2003 in CA. We knew it wouldn’t last long if it was as good as it sounded. Things really fell into place as we found a buyer for our 2008 GMC crew cab dually. We purchased tickets to Los Angeles for Easter morning with credit card air miles. We drove to Corrigan, TX the Thursday before Easter to show the prospective buyer our faithful 2008 GMC. The deal went smoothly as the buyer liked what he saw.

Easter Sunday we flew out of Houston International Airport at 6:00 AM full of excitement. In five hours we were landing at LAX. We knew that if the deal worked out we would spend five days to retrace our steps back to Texas to pick up our car and then head home to Louisiana. The opportunity to visit family in L A was lagniappe, as Cajuns here say, a little something extra. It was great to see Aunt Ester and her four daughters, Terry, Joni, Brenda, and Vickie and some of their family members.

We spent Easter night at a motel near the airport for a quick trip the next morning to Compton to check out the truck. With eager anticipation we headed to Compton the next morning in the rental car. We were only mildly disappointed in the truck. It looked great outside but the interior needed serious cleaning. All we needed now was to await the transfer of funds from our home bank to pay for it.


Our “new to us” truck had been used to transport cars to auto shows in the western region and also classic cars and hot rods to local shows. The company that currently owned it had a private showroom of 31 cars and with more being restored and customized.





Finally at 3:00 PM (5:00 PM Central time) the funds were transferred and we could leave with our new RV hauler. With over half a tank of diesel we were determined to get out of CA with its nearly$5.00 diesel and into AZ before buying fuel.