Saturday, August 13, 2011

Where's Ursula Been Lately?

Ursula has not been lumbering very far from home the last couple of weeks. Last weekend we took her in to get some maintenance done. Lee had looked at the oil in her generator, and it was all clotted and icky, plus she was due a big transmission service and oil change in the engine.

We took her to Crestview, an RV place that is very near where she is stored in rural Georgetown (note that the danged website plays music and talks to you--making this former webmaster say "grr"). While we were there, I meandered through the showroom and fell in love with a 5th wheel that had real furniture, a spacious bedroom, actual dining room chairs, and a desk. Oh, and a fireplace. Not on the list for the future, however--Ursula is just fine, thanks. We did get a water filter to put in her fresh water hose, which will mean we can drink water from the taps and use it for cooking. Probably the water in most places is OK, but this is a good precaution, I think.

After that, since Lee had recently purchased Maxine, our new Black Cherry colored Maxima (see long car story below), we decided to go for a drive.

Maxine, the 4-door sports car
As I have mentioned before in this blog, we are in the middle of pretty much the worst drought ever, and certainly one of the hottest periods since they began keeping track of such things here. We visited a couple of parks on Lake Georgetown that recently re-opened, to see if they would be good camping spots. One park, Russell, had no RV camping, but nice picnic areas with shelters.
Russell Park on Lake Georgetown, I think. Or one of the others.
We checked out Cedar Breaks, where we will probably camp this fall, and Jim Hogg as well. We could not get into the camping area, since you have to have a gate pass (must have been part of their recent upgrades), but it looked OK. The lakes are very, very low.
This shows the swimming beach at Cedar Breaks Park, I think,, or what once was the beach. You can see the rope that designates where it is safe to swim, high and dry in the middle of the land.
There is still plenty of water, but is is quite low. At least boats can still use the ramps, Those must be quite good ramps.
A cove that is no longer much of a cove.
 We also drove a lot around Williamson County (where we live, but way in a corner). Many of our favorite streams and low water crossings are no longer either.
This is a branch of the San Gabriel River. Usually this is all covered. On the other side, the river is totally dry. (Sorry I didn't get a picture). A bit further down, a stream feeds back in and the water starts up.
That was all sort of depressing. You see a LOT of trees losing leaves and turning brown now. I really wish it would rain.

Today we went to pick Ursula up, and Lee reports that she shifts much better. She should, seeing as these are NOT cheap service calls. Owning an RV is quite an investment.

Ursula lumbering back to her home, along I35 on the frontage road. Note the actual clouds in the sky that did not make rain. We washed the bird poop off later, too.
We were unhappy to discover the fridge in Ursula had been turned off. There went our frozen meals and my coffee creamer. Buh. We will remember THAT for next time she gets serviced! Luckily, it wasn't too much stuff--just a dinner, some nice corn, and two little frozen dinners.We will replace them before our next trip, which is another visit to The Farm. We hope to leave on Friday early--it's the end of my job at Dell, and I may just show up, and in my badge and computer and leave early if I am finished with my work. (I start a new job the next Monday! A real job, or at least contract to hire!)

Car Story

I said earlier I would share a car story. We have had a major upheaval in the car department. When my dad died, my brother and I inherited his car and some money that was in the bank. I asked for the car, since I was worried about Kynan driving his Saab all over the place for concerts and volunteer work. So, last weekend or weekend before last, he flew to North Carolina and got the 2007 MINI that was Dad's. It's name is "Princely" since that was on its license plate. (Dad went by "Prince.") His dad was nice enough to drive with him, then flew back from Dallas.

It's considerably smaller than Gregor, the Saab, but much, much newer and safer. We turned around and gave Gregor to a UU ministerial candidate who suddenly found herself with no transportation. Her words were something to the effect of, "This is much nicer than what I had pictures when you said 'free car'!" Other than difficulty in shifting it, she will do OK. It already has a nice Unitarian Universalist symbol in the bumper sticker, alongside Kynan's liberal bumper stickers.
Gregor's new sticker.
It was a really good car and lasted him a long time--but it's clutch cable kept breaking, and at its age, I knew it was not good for long distances.

Meanwhile, Declan's Volvo, which we had only had a year, decided it had enough. The gas tank developed a leak, so he could not fill it all the way (not that he did often!). I figured that was sort of dangerous. Then it had a flat tire, and when we took it in to get new tires, they told us they could not do a wheel balancing. The entire front assembly sorta moved around at will. No wonder the tires had gone bad. Fixing those things would have been WAY more than the car was worth. We reluctantly had to send it away, donating it to the local NPR station. I felt really, really bad doing this, since he loved the car so much, and it had his valuable Dio sticker on it. But, I also didn't want him to die on the road when the front axles fell off.
The Volvo, with its cool new red stripe. In the sky you see a helicopter dropping water to put out a brush fire VERY near our house. Another story.
So, he is driving Lee's truck now, which is not at all the cool teen transportation he desires. On the other hand, it holds a lot of musical equipment, even bass amps. So, it has uses. The MINI would not have done that. Anywho, this explains why Maxine the Maxima showed up. Now we all have something to drive built in a year that starts with a 2. I hope the neighbor who seemed to think our multiple vehicles were an eyesore likes his new scenery.

Transferring all the insurances, titles and tags has been quite a feat of endurance and patience. I even am recognized at the Tax Assessor's office now. Glad to have it all taken care of, soon as we officially transfer the title to the new Saab owner (that was the ONLY one I could not locate anywhere in the house).

I do think it funny we now have a Maxima, two MINIs and an Ultra(sport). Lots of size related vehicle names. Not sure what the Sierra is named after--a land formation, I guess.

Back to travel reporting next week.

1 comment:

  1. Sierra = long, jagged mountain chain, per Google.

    Once when I lived in Wisconsin, we had The Great Car Swap. My brother and I drove to Arkansas to meet my parents halfway. My brother gave my parents his Accord, and my parents gave my brother the VW Golf, and me the Honda Civic.