The Adventures of Me & My Shadow #18 in VA,NC,SC,GA,AL,MS,LA & TX 7/15/98
From Corpus Christi, TX., Hi Everyone! This trip started in late evening on 7/10/89 my son Dave's birthday. The sun would soon be down out of my eyes and it would cool down. I was glad it was not yet down as there was a lot of construction in Norfolk, Portsmouth, & Suffolk in the first few miles of the trip and it was good to have the daylight to follow the detours. I cussed Gus for giving me bum dope but had to apologize because he was doing the best that he could do with out of date maps. The errors on the maps for this area are very bad. I don't know who is responsible in Virginia for updating the Census Bureau data base that is used to make these electronic maps. California maps are very accurate, Most states have some errors, Virginia ranks with the worst.
I see they are using tricks to control the speeding on US 58 in VA, I saw two patrol cars setting on the side of the road with the lights flashing. When I go by them (not over the speed limit) I see no one in or around them. It works pretty good as most traffic was not more than 5 miles over the 55 limit. The weather in VA, NC & GA was very good, got a little rain in AL where I stopped to visit my niece Sue & her children Lisa & Marshal. This was the first time to visit them in some time, The children had sure grown. Had a nice visit & good chow. Then headed west after the weekend 7/13/89.
In Mississippi I was cruising along in the rain on I 20/59 and failed to hear Gus tell me to stay on I 20 when 59 split to the south. At night I use a filter to dim the computer display so I failed to see that I was no longer on the highlighted road till I see the distance to my destination increasing instead of decreasing. I was seeing parts of MS that I was not supposed to see. I pulled off and told Gus to get us back up to I 20, he found some back roads and I saw parts of MS that not many see. I was looking for someone to take part of the blame for my blunder and come up with my son Jeff & Alexis for giving me a package of 8 CDs of big band music that I was listening to when I missed Gus's command.
When I got into Louisiana I noticed my brakes were not acting right. It took me awhile of thinking to figure out what was wrong. I had a very hard peddle and the brakes were slow to come on, they were OK once they come on but I had to leave a longer distance between me and the car in front of me. I finally figured it out and went to the GM dealer in Monroe to get a hydraulic accumulator for the Power Master brake booster I have installed on my coach. It was not in stock but they could have it the next day. I headed west without it and as I was going south from Shreveport, LA I came to another GM dealer in Mansfield and was told they could have one by 11:00 the next day. I ordered it knowing I was only 17 miles from Bob & Betty Moore's my next stop and I could come up and get it. Gus did me wrong again and could not find Bob's place, he was 5 miles to far south. Again it was not his fault, the highway numbers had been changed and the map was out of date. After a phone call and Betty coming out to look for me I made it. Bob is an Iron Angel and they will be going to the Iron Angel Navy reunion in Corpus Christi. The Iron Angels were Fighter Squadrons in the Navy, VF 14 in WW2, in the 1950s when I was an Iron Angel it was VF 141 and the last squadron to be Iron Angels was VF 53, there are a lot of Iron Angels. Bob is now a Captain in the Sheriff's Office, it always helps to know a few of those. Had a nice visit and good chow, got the part for my brakes, installed it and they again work good. After spending two nights there I headed west to my cousin Rod & Roseann Kinkaid. Rod is that famous Texas county commissioner that claims to have designed the inverted speed bump to control traffic speed, at this it is very good, it also tests your suspension and it will find rattles you never knew you had. Most people know these speed bumps as chuck holes and washboard roads and usually have some adjective in front of the name.
I told Gus to go the fastest way to get there and Bob pointed out that this was taking me a long way around so I told Gus to take me the shortest way, this looked better but I should have remembered the time I told him to take me the shortest way to Niagara Falls, NY from Coleridge, NE. The shortest way is not always the best way. He took me through down town Chicago as that was the shortest way. This time the shortest way was on those famous Texas roads with the inverted speed bumps. They post a 35 MPH speed limit knowing full well, that you can never get up to that speed on these roads. I would also like to know, with all the area in Texas, Why are the roads so narrow? On some of them I have to drive with the left wheels on the center line to keep the right wheels on the pavement. On some of them they leave the center line off to make you think you are on a nice wide lane, until you meet someone coming the other direction! I got a good chuckle out of some of the road signs on these Texas roads. Like the one that said "WATCH FOR MUD ON THE ROADWAY". Now, it's been so long since it's rained in Texas, that the average Texan wouldn't know what it was if he found it. And they didn't tell him what to do with it if he finds it. Another one said "WATCH FOR ICE ON THE ROADWAY". Now, as you know the temps. have been over 100 for several days, and again they didn't say what to do with it if you find it. I can see it now, a long time ago a Texas Co. commissioner was driving in the winter and hit a spot of ice and spun in. He did his duty and had a sign erected to warn others of the hazard. Just think of how littered the highways would be up north if they posted signs like these.
I finally made it to the Kinkaid ranch near Terrell, TX where my cousin Rod, the famous Co. Commissioner & his wife Roseann live, and low and behold! The road passed his ranch is now paved, he should have gone out of state for a contractor though, as it is still narrow and has those famous Texas inverted speed bumps in it. Now that he has his road paved he is not going to run again. Now there can be another Co. Commissioner and one more paved road in Texas. Had a nice visit and enjoyed some good chow before heading up to Plano, TX where my nephew Rod & Laura and Nathan live I enjoyed a short visit and learned that he is designing bridges for these famous Texas roads. Then headed to Corpus Christi, this time I told Gus to take the fastest way and he took me through Austin & San Antonio, way out of the way but I was on good roads. I did see some more of those Texas road signs on a stretch of new blacktop telling me there was no center stripe. Only a blind man would not know that there was no center stripe and putting up a sign to tell him would do no good. There were hundreds of those signs, If they didn't waste money on stupid signs they would have enough money to make better roads. Another sign was posted at a rest area on the interstate that read "WATCH FOR SNAKES". Now this is something my daughter Jenny does very well, ever since she was surprised by a big black snake while looking for ancestors in a cemetery in Virginia. I was over a little way and came running in time to see the tale-end of this big snake going down a hole into a grave. After she screamed I think the snake was more scared than she was. It could have been one of her ancestors (on her mothers side, coming up to look her over)
Got to Corpus in good shape and drove by the Ramada Hotel where the Iron Angels will be having the big blowout and could see no place to park the motorhome. I drove out to the Naval Air Station and parked in the on base RV Park for $8.00 per day and will rent a car or ride the city bus to town for 25 cents senior citizen fare. I walked around the base and see nothing that was here in 1953/54 when I was last here.
7/21/98 Till next time, Dallas or Dad if it fits.

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