The Adventures of Me & My Shadow #42 in TX, NM & AZ 1/23/00
1622 miles this trip, odometer now 55,414 total miles this year 2464.
From , The Melody ranch near Sonoita, AZ Hi Everyone!
I want to fill in some more adventures that I wanted to put in the last letter but I ran out of room. I'll start with the lunch that my brother-in-law took us out to. I had asked him to take me to Sam's Club, when we got there he led us over to the sample dispensers. It was about lunch time and he informed us of that fact and we started down the line sampling every thing. There was a good variety of food but the portions were quite small, (a good way to hold my weight down) and the price was right, we even got desert. I'll have to remember to plan my next trip to Sam's Club at lunch time.
Next I want to let you know that Gus again took me on that awful Texas road that looks like something from the 1930s. It was worse than the last time I was on it, there were small hardwood trees at the edge of the road and they are spreading out into the road. I found out how hard they were when I had to veer right to avoid a deep hole and a small branch took out the mirror on that side, it sounded like it took out the whole side of the coach. If there are any good lawyers out there who are not yet 12 feet down, get in touch with me and we'll try to collect some damages.
The Comish took us over to Fort Worth to have lunch with another cousin, Don Van Slyke & his wife Patty. Their daughter Pam showed up and we had a nice visit, I again ate too much. It is sure nice to be back where the drivers are civilized and use their turn signals and are smiling when they go by but I do miss the good roads back east. Too bad we can't have both good roads and good drivers at the same time. After several days at the feed trough, and several good meals I thought the food supply was about gone and my mail had arrived so I bid Rod & Roseann good by and headed west to check in with Billy Massey, my friend and web page editor.
After I left the Comish's district I found some better roads and I want to let you eastern drivers know that it does work. I'm talking about using the turn signals to make you feel better. I had not seen this since I was up in Canada. It happens when another vehicle is overtaking you in a no passing area on a two lane road. Instead of speeding up or making the other driver slow down just turn the right turn signal on and get over on the shoulder and let the other driver go by. Two things happen, it makes the other driver very happy, and believe me, you will feel real good when the other driver waves and gives you a big smile as he or she goes by. It happened several times to me going to Brownwood and again on the way to Houston. Some times I was the giver and sometime I was the receiver, either way it made me feel good.
Another thing that made me feel good was the temperature here in Houston on the 18th and 19th of Jan. It was over 80 degrees, I heard Texans complaining about the heat but it sure felt good to me. I even run the air conditioner in the motorhome just to make sure it will run if it really gets hot. I really felt good when I saw the weather map on TV with a lot of snow from Nebraska east. Too bad you all can't be down here with me, but then some of you would probably complain about the heat.
I have had another of those "if it sounds to good to be true, it probably isn't" adventures. It started the last time I changed oil in the old GMC. I have been concerned about the amount of oil it goes through since I had the engine rebuilt. I have about 60,000 miles on it now and I have to add oil about every 500 miles. I wondered if it would be better if I went to a heavier oil, I had been using 10W40 oil and I decided to go to 20W50 and see if it would do better. I have installed one of those vacuum systems to check the oil level, I can check the oil level while I'm driving. It has always worked well and I like it. Every time I checked the oil after putting the 20W50 oil in, it showed green, it will show red if it is a quart low. I kept driving and checking and I thought "boy that heavy oil sure has cut the oil consumption". I kept driving and checking and after 1,500 miles I thought "how can this be, it's still not a quart low". The oil pressure and temperature were always normal. I had also switched that old car of Jenny's (240,000 miles on it) to 20W50 and it showed a reduction in oil consumption but this old GMC was unbelievable. When I got to Houston I had some time to kill waiting for a prescription refill I had ordered so I started checking things out. I opened up the engine compartment and pulled the vacuum tube up out of the crankcase and the damn indicator still told me it was not a quart low. After I fixed the indicator and reinstalled it I put 4 quarts of oil in before it told me the crankcase was full. The heavy oil may have helped a little but not as much as I first thought.
My friends Bill & Jean Haws here in Houston have taken good care of me, my mail that Jenny forwarded to me has arrived, the prescription refill I ordered has arrived, a cold front is to arrive tomorrow so it's time for me to move on. Headed west and my fist stop was in the Texas hill country at the Circle T Ranch about 6 miles out of Fredericksburg, TX to visit my friends Ken & Ruby Thoma. I expected to see some livestock on a ranch and I did, 2 cats on the porch and 2 deer in the brush. Ken said he had been raising goats but because it had been so dry for so long there was no feed for them. Found out that Ruby and I both share February 10th as a birth date so we will have to get together sometime for a big celebration. Had a nice visit and then again headed west and you should know that there is a whole lot of nothing in west Texas and way out in the middle of it I saw this stalled Chevy pickup with a horse trailer behind it on the shoulder with a banner saying "NEED HELP, CALL POLICE". After I had passed it, I thought "maybe I could get him going" so I pulled over and backed up, got out and I approached the guy standing by the pickup facing the oncoming traffic thinking he was all alone. When I asked him what his problem was he jumped about a foot. I scared the living hell out of him. I'll bet if I had grabbed him he would have passed out. After we got done laughing, he informed me that he was from Seattle, WA and had brought some horses to Texas and was headed home but his engine had given up and he needed a tow truck. After listening to it I agreed with him and told him we could try my Cell phone, it had no signal, we tried the CB radio to no avail. He then informed me that some Canadians had stopped before I did and told him they would call the Police when the got to the next town. I wished him luck and headed west, the road went strait as a bullet to the horizon. I got to thinking about Texas roads, there are narrow ones, wide ones, smooth ones, rough ones and some are as crooked as an Arkansas lawyer running for public office. When I looked at my fuel gage I see I had burned half of my fuel and I thought, I sure would hate to run out of fuel out here. About that time I came to a little dumpy looking filling station, the price for unleaded was $1.49, I figured that any thing would be better than running out of fuel so I put in 25 gallons. The gal behind the counter had a nice Texas smile on her face, I don't like anyone who smiles when they are ripping me off. Went down the road another 40 miles and saw unleaded for $1.29. It happened again when I pulled into El Paso, I figured the price would be higher in NM so I filled up at a $1.29, went about 10 miles and right at the border at a Flying J station it was $1.23 and I have a Flying J card that gives me another penny a gallon off. Flying J always have good chow besides a low price for fuel so I pulled in, ate chow, made some phone calls and slept till the sun came up.
Headed to the Melody Ranch near Sonoita, AZ.
Till next time, Dallas or Dad if it fits.

Me & My Shadow, with Gertrude, Gus & Keith on the road.

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