Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Maiden Voyage of the Ursula 2

Hooray! The Ursula 2 has launched and nothing broke so far! It's a miracle!

Last Friday, on Lee's first official day retired from Apple, I came home as early as I could, having already stocked up on food products from Costco, ready to head to Hermit's Rest Ranch. I hadn't been there in a while, so I was really looking forward to it. It would be a short trip, but at least some nature bonding for me.

Lee had been to the ranch more recently, because he and Ruben, our contractor/partner had installed the electrical box, only to find that the wires weren't actually hooked up. He got the Electrical Co-op to come out and fix that, but they made Ralph (ranch neighbor) irritated because they didn't know how to get into the property, having lost the combination to the lock. Anyway, we're sorry. But we are glad to have electricity!

The drive out to the ranch was not bad at all, and pulling the Ursula 2 is not hard on the truck, just on the gas mileage. We got to Cameron before dark, which made it much easier to set up. Also, a great help was the fact that Ralph had mowed us a path and a nice circle in the beautiful, tall green grass in the pasture (what a lovely sight!). So he can't be too mad at us.

Ursula 2 parked in the hay pasture

We ate salads and spent the rest of the evening organizing the stuff Lee’d quickly put in the cabinets while he was moving out of Ursula 1. There is a lot of storage, but it’s different, so I am still not quite good with how the kitchen is set up. We also made lists of all the things we needed to get to finish outfitting her, like towel racks, a toothbrush holder, and trash cans. Little things that the old RV had already had, since she was used.
And of course, we opened the ceremonial first bottle of wine and drank out of the nice new wine glasses I’d gotten at Costco. We only had stemless ones in the old RV, but Ursula 2 has a wine glass holder, so we had to have ones with stems!
Ceremonial first wine! Nice step stool, huh

We were wondering how the king sized bed with the Donald Trump Deluxe Pillow Top Mattress would sleep. (I like to say the whole thing.) And it was pretty good! I slept very well, though we hadn’t turned the propane on, so it got chilly in the night. I’m relieved to report the propane works just fine.
The awnings do, too. They have nice coordinating stripes on them. Snazzy. Also there are two settings, low and high. That’s nice, because on the low setting you can’t see much out the windows. But it would block morning or evening sun.
Stripey awnings
Saturday was, to put it simply, a very nice and restful day, with nothing earth-shattering happening. We need more of those! In the morning we goofed off and drank coffee. At one point I took off for a walk to see how the other side of the property was doing. I got to use my new stile to cross over into the woods. I felt special.
A stile with style!
We also have a nice new gate to get from Wild Type Ranch to ours. It’s quite handy for moving those cattle, I’m sure.
I wandered through the woods, which looked almost as pretty as Palmetto State Park in some places, then I sat and looked at the pond for a while. That was fun because as I approached I scared what appeared to be tiny frogs. As they jumped into the water, each one of them said, “Eep!” really loudly. It was so sweet!
There were a lot of turtles in the pond (and tadpoles for them to eat), including one very large one. It swam off very quickly, so I couldn’t tell if it was just a big regular turtle or a snapping turtle. I still can’t figure out how they all get into the ponds anyway.
My very own green, pretty woods. I am lucky.
Where are the frogs and turtles?
Scenic 5th wheel and willow--spring area is near the tree
I wandered off to see if the marshy area had water, and hooray, it did! The spring seems to be working again, and there was a reasonable amount of water flowing from it. Well, not flowing, more like seeping, but still that was nice, because there was no water in the creek on our side that I could see (Lee says there is water further back). I enjoyed looking at lots of flowers and weeds, and taking pictures of the Ursula 2 from scenic angles.
Evidence the spring has water
But, it was time to go buy supplies for the new 5th wheel in the bustling metropolis of Temple, Texas, a mere 40 minutes away. It’s the same place we always go, but I am trying to make it interesting. We had a passable lunch at a Taco Cabana, then got all the wonderful things we needed at Target and Home Depot. We had all the stuff we needed for the Ursula 2—towel racks and everything!
Most important, from Lee’s point of view, was mounting brackets for the gigantic new sound bar he’d bought, because the sound system the Ursula 2 came with was just not good enough for him. Heck, you can’t have an RV with no holes in the giant television now, can we?
He did get it all finished, while I wandered around and took pictures of wildflowers, and even me in flowers. See, fun day, yes!
Lovely bluebonnets and vetch
Me in the flowers. That's what you do when there's no one to take the traditional Texas bluebonnet photo.
Eventually we ate more Costco delicacies, and then Sara came by to see the 5th wheel in all its fanciness. She also came to chat, which was pleasant, since the last couple of times I’d seen her had not been chatting opportunities.
It was early to bed, because I had to sing at church in the morning…so that was it for the visit. Lee is back at the ole ranch today, with plans to perhaps make a trench for installing WATER for the trailer! Electricity AND water! Wow! We are moving right along in the ranch department!
We do have plans to head back at the end of the month…then we will head out to the big 90th birthday celebration for Lee’s dad.  Then who knows what the summer will bring? Maybe a slightly more exciting trip, or more ranch improvements?

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