Posted on March 21, 2017
This is the last of three installments chronicling our 2016-2017 travels. Once again we returned to Puerto Penasco, Mexico, in mid-February where we spent 10 warm, sunny days with old and new friends.
This trip was not without it’s problems, that essentially started as we were departing Mexico. One of our slides got stuck open (for the 2nd time in 7 months), delaying us for about an hour while we did temporary repairs to get it back in, with the help of a bunch of good friends who were their with knowledge and tools. We got back across the border into the US with no problems or issues – it was a very easy crossing, despite what we had garnered from others who preceded us. (Since Trump took office, ICE has become very aggressive at the border. Things have changed for US citizens travelling in and out of Mexico…and not necessarily for the better. But, once we were in Mexico, it was all good. The Mexican people are friendly, tolerant and welcoming. It’s a wonderful country.)
The 2nd night back in the US, at Newberry Springs, CA, another slide failed, but we managed to nurse that one in. For the remaining 6 days of our trip back north, we only had one functioning slide. The coach was livable, but cramped. Several months previously we made an appointment at the Winnebago West Coast Repair Facility in Junction City, Oregon, so we were able to take the coach directly to them on the way home (they are located about 4 hours south of us.)
So, as I write this, our RV is almost completed; it has been there for over 3 weeks. We went back down there about a week ago to inspect what they had done so far and it all looked great…just one or two other minor repairs to be completed. I am headed back down in a few days (March 24th) to pick it up. Because of all the issues we have experienced over the past year, Winnebago has agreed to give us another year on the factory warranty, as well as having the Plant Manager and the West Coast Sales Manager present when we pick it up. They have been very cooperative (albeit after a bit of ‘nudging’ from us), so we are generally pleased with them.
That’s it for now. We are home for a bit, but have several small trips planned over the next months. Then, probably in October sometime, we are off again for another extended (4-5 month) trip, probably to south Texas, New Orleans (again), Mississippi and the Florida Pan Handle, near our favorite place in Carrabelle.
Category: 2016-2017 Travels Tagged: Bakersfield, Beach, Beer, Cactus, Charlie, Cholla, Death Valley, Dylan, El Capitan, Frenchy's, Furnace Creek, Gauvreau, Harley Davidson, jj's cantina, Junction City, Landscape, Las Vegas, Lukeville, Mexico, Modesto, Modesto Junior College, Newberry Springs, Ocean, oranges, Photographs, Photography, Puerto Penasco, Saguaro, Siskiyous, Sonoyta, Waves, Winnebago, Yreka
Posted on March 11, 2017
So, I bet you are all wondering, “What the hell happened to that Gauvreau blog thing?” Good question. Let’s just say that the intensity of posting most of last year got to me and I needed a vacation.
Anyhow, for what ever reason for being gone, it’s back again. Big yip, huh?
So, we are starting off by going w-a-y back to last September, when we began our next big adventure, heading off to South Dakota and the goal of seeing Mt. Rushmore. So, here we go…
The way home was not as enjoyable as the trip out. The end of good fall weather was upon us, and winter was rapidly setting in. We encountered nothing but wind and rain all the way back home. Many visitor places, such as RV parks and other campgrounds were closing down or were already closed, on the route home (South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Washington.)
But we made it just fine, and our RV managed to survive the trip with no major problems or breakdowns. (We did have it service by a Freightliner dealer in Rapid City, South Dakota, while we were there.) We arrived home about mid-October, got unpacked, did some work around the place, and then took off again about 10 days later, headed for a 3-month gig as campground hosts at Death Valley National Park, and then some travels in Nevada and Arizona, capped by 10 days in delightful Puerto Penasco, Mexico.
But that’s the next installment of the Blog…stay tuned…
Category: 2016-2017 Travels Tagged: Badlands National Park, Beer, Billings, Butte, Charlie, Crayzy Horse, Death Valley, Devils Tower, Dylan, Freightliner, gallows, Gauvreau, Harley, Harley Davidson, Hill City, KOA, Landscape, Marshall Dylan, mines, Modesto, Montana, Mt. Rushmore, Nevada, open pit mine, Oregon, Photographs, Photography, Rapid City, RV, South Dakota, Spokane, Sturgis, Townsend, tunnel, Wall Drug, Walla Walla, Wyoming
Posted on January 18, 2015
Sunday, January, 18, 2015
Good day to y’all from New Orleans, Louisiana.
Our last installment ended as we were departing Galveston, Texas, headed for Lafayette, Louisiana. As we were leaving, the weather seemed to be breaking – we had actually seen the sun peek through on occasion. Not much, but it gave us some degree of hope…
Almost all of the roads we travelled in Texas were pretty good. (Certainly better than the I-5 through California, Oregon and Washington, which, in many places, is in dire need of maintenance.) However, once you cross over into Louisiana, the freeways, at least the I-10, deteriorated somewhat. It seemed that truck traffic, for whatever reason, increased markedly, and the lanes and shoulders were narrower. You have to be on your toes all the time when driving. Also, the pavement was generally poured concrete slabs, so you got this constant ‘wumpa-wumpa-wumpa’ feeling. When you get off the freeway, the roads really turn to crap. Skinny, with lots of potholes and uneven pavement…and almost no shoulders.
But, we survived and ended up at this place called ‘Bayou Wilderness RV Park,’ about 10 miles or so off the freeway, and it really was in bayou country. When we checked in we asked about alligators. They said there were none there (at least that they knew of), except for one, about 4 feet long, that mysteriously appeared in the swamp there several years previously…but he has since departed. Anyhow, this place was OK; a bit pricey for what you got, and it looked a little tired and worn out. But, it was quiet and the folks there were friendly. So, no real complaints.
We ended up in Lafayette on the advice of our primary care doc back home in Toledo, Washington, who was from there (Lafayette). She told us that if we wanted some of the best Cajun food in Louisiana, then Lafayette is the place to go. And she was spot on! It seems the whole area is nothing by eateries, with the main fare being boudin (pronounced ‘bo-deen’) and cracklins – fried pork rinds. Boudin comes in two forms: primary is a pork and rice sausage. In Southeast Louisiana, folks take boudin, remove it from its casing, and form it into balls that are then breaded and deep-fried. Both are excellent, but are an acquired taste.
We ate at a couple of places that were highly recommended by the locals: Prejeans (pronounced ‘prey-johns’) and Don’s (pronounced ‘don’s’) Meats. Twice we had fried green tomatoes smothered in a shrimp sauce, also fried catfish (the best I have ever had!), also covered in the same shrimp sauce, boudin balls, and shrimp wraps. Gads…the food was soooo good. And, if you ate out a couple of times a week, for a week, you most likely would suffer from cardiac arrest: everything seemed to be fried and covered with some sort of shrimp sauce. Oh well, you only live once…and then that’s it for y’all.
We stopped in at Cajun Harley Davidson in Scott, not too far from Lafayette. Bought some over-price clothing and also talked with a really cool biker salesman, Sean, who turned us on to the best eateries in the area. We also talked a lot about Harley Trikes. This is the largest Harley Dealership we have ever been in…they must have had 100+ new bikes on the floor, and who knows how many more were in their warehouse. “Get’n stocked for tax season,’ Sean told us.
On a whim, we took off down to Avery Island (about 25 miles south of Lafayette) and visited the Tobasco manufacturing facility. They do a pretty good tour: you learn the history of Avery Island (which sits atop a mountain of 97.5% pure salt that is purportedly as deep as Mt. Everest is tall.) The Tobasco brand is wholly owned by the McIlhenny family; the creation and manufacturing facility is huge, and still uses several of the original buildings. Anyhow, once you finish the tour (they give you several mini-bottles of their sauce), you can visit their on-site store which features lots and lots of free samples. Basically, you take a pretzel stick and dip it into your sauce of choice (no ‘double-dipping’…remember George in a Seinfeld episode?) and take a taste. The first one I tried was called ‘Family Reserve’; it was being re-released in limited quantities. I put ONE drop (ONE!) on the end of the pretzel. Two seconds later they had to call the paramedics and sew up the whole it burned in my tongue. (OK, I exaggerate slightly, but not much.) It was incredibly HOT. Dee Dee was most attracted to the tobacsco/cherry and jalapeño ice creams.
Our last day in the Lafayette area we partook of more of the local cuisine and then sought out a place to have the tires on the truck rotated. The first place we checked wanted $15 PER TIRE. We passed on him and found this commercial tire place that told us (over the phone) that they charged $20 for the whole job (pretty much a normal price.) We headed on over and, yes, it was really a commercial tire place. I think the smallest tire we saw in their yard was about 5 feet tall (see attached picture of Dee Dee to illustrate this.) They got us right in; the guy in the office turned us over to a couple of good ol’ boys out in the shop who really know their stuff, and also how to have a good time. As they were removing and moving the tires around, one of them found this GIANT thorn we had picked up (probably in Corpus Christi, Texas) on the edge of a sidewall. He told us that technically it was right on the edge of (legally) being repaired, and he was not supposed to fix it (it had poked all the way through), but he went ahead and did it anyway. These guys were so good and so happy. I slipped him a ten spot for his courtesy. When I went back into the office to pay, the manager told me not to worry about it and just be on my way. So, our already high opinion of the friendly people in the South was elevated another notch or two! And it was not just these folks…EVERYONE met and talked with was so polite and gracious.
On our way back to the park where we were staying, I managed to miss the last turn, about a mile away from our destination. ‘No problem,’ says I. ‘We can keep going strait and still get there.’ (Dee Dee jast sat there and shook here head…she had ‘been here’ before with me.) Wahl….about 30 minutes later we were still not there, actually about 25 miles away (go figure)…and it took us another 40 minutes to find our way back (using the GPS Guy.) It was not a totally wasted trip, however, as we got to see a lot of the bayou country surrounding us. It seems as if most of the newer houses we saw were built of brick. We surmised that brick houses are harder to blow down in hurricanes and that brick must be cheap in this part of the country.
We departed Lafayette on Saturday morning (January 17) and headed off to New Orleans, where we are now. The roads continue to suck, and once you hit New Orleans they REALLY, REALLY suck. Most of the drive here from Lafayette was on causeways through more bayou country swamps. Despite the roads, it was beautiful drive.
So here we are, in exciting and historic New Orleans, Louisiana. Oh, and one more little thing…THE SEAHAWKS ARE GOING TO THE SUPERBOWL!!
Stay tuned for the next installment – NEW ORLEANS.
Category: Photographic Adventures, Travelling To Florida Tagged: Avery Island, Bayou Wilderness RV Resort, boudin, boudin balls, Cajun, catfish, Charlie, cracklins, cypress, Dylan, Harley Davidson, hot sauce, Lafayette, Lake Ponshartrain, Landscape, Louisiana, McIlhenney, moss, New Orleans, Photographs, Photography, sausage, Scott, Seahawks, Seattle, shrimp sauce, swamp, Tobasco