Phyllis’ Journal


Phyllis’ Journal 2005-A

This is a chronicle of 4 Morgans:  Larry, Phyllis,
Roscoe (male miniature Schnauzer), and Harpo (female miniature poodle)

This page covers January to June of our  first full year on the road.
Areas visited include: Texas  Coastal Bend, Natchez Trace, Niagara Falls, South Dakota Badlands

Page Last Updated: Jan. 28, 2008

We left Rockport Sunday morning, March 20.  We had an appointment with Camping World in New Brunfels, TX to have solar panels installed Monday morning. We were able to spend the night in the Camping World parking lot.  We even had an electric hookup.  The solar panels are to keep our batteries charged when not plugged in to an outlet. We are hoping to do some boondocking in our travels.

From New Brunfels we went to San Marcos, TX, just south of Austin. Felicity, our daughter, was getting married May 7; so I needed to find a dress plus accessories for the wedding. San Marcos has several major outlet malls and I thought this would take care of the shopping needs--no such luck. Fortunately I had the choice of two cities to shop in (San Antonio or Austin).  Austin was closer and luckily I found a dress, shoes, and earrings.

While in San Marcos we were able to meet and have dinner with a friend we met in Indiana.  Steve lives in San Antonio and visits his sister in Indiana in the summers. We stayed in San Marcos a week and then started our trek back to Indiana to visit our kids before Felicity's wedding.

On our way back to Indiana, we decided to pick up a portion of the Natchez Trace;  so we headed toward Mississippi across Louisiana at Shreveport going to Vicksburg. Arriving at Vicksburg, we went to the information center.  We met a knowledgeable young lady who helped us lay out a path starting from Jackson, Miss. going to Tupelo. After leaving the info center we found a campground for the night, did laundry and headed out the next morning.

The Trace is gorgeous.  It runs from Nashville, TN to Natchez, Miss.  There is no commercial traffic on the Trace.  The scenery is beautiful with plenty of places to get out and walk and enjoy.  There are RV places to park for the night; even a place to fuel up and get something to eat.  We spent one night on the Trace.

On leaving the Tupelo area, Larry took US 45 north to Jackson, TN.  There is a great shoe store there.  Though it wasn't Christmas, I waited for my present until we could get here.  The store specializes in European shoes.  I have had good success with Birkenstock.  This trip the saleslady introduced me to Finns.  They are like going barefoot.

From Jackson we headed to Clarksville, TN and spent three nights.  We restocked at Sam's Club. After leaving Clarksville, we made a brief stop at a Camping World in Bowling Green, KY.  Then we went Shepherdsville, KY.  There is a terrific KOA there. The four of us really enjoy the Indian Cave dwelling trail.

Larry and I do not like taking I65 through Louisville, KY;  so we went on the west side and picked up I64 to cross the Ohio River.  I called my sister-in-law and we had a wonderful lunch and visit before heading north to Indianapolis.

We continued on to Greenfield, IN where we stayed for the next three and one half weeks (April 6-May 2).   This is where our son Paul has his home.  Our daughter, Felicity, lives on the southwest side of Indianapolis.

Heading Back to Indiana — March 2005

This was an incredibly busy time.  We had doctors’ appointments, some more shopping for Felicity's wedding, visiting with our children and friends. 

During this time, Paul had an incident with his car--it caught on fire.  We spent quite a bit of time car shopping.

Roscoe and Harpo and Paul's kitten Hathor had some interesting times.  Also, Roscoe renewed his "friendship" with Felicity's cat Orca.  Her new kitten Thor was a bit uncertain of these barking critters. 


Back in Indiana, Getting Ready to Move On — April 2005

We are currently in Rockport, TX at the Raintree RV Park.  We are just north of Corpus Christi in the Coastal Bend of Texas. We have a small site, but for the most part our fellow campers are friendly and inclusive. Roscoe and Harpo have a lot of new friends.

January 3, we went exploring with the dogs.  We found the big tree of Lamar (35 1/2feet in circumference, 1000-2000 years old, coastal live oak). Roscoe got very excited.  We couldn't figure out what had his interest.

January 5 is our first month anniversary of being on the road as full-time RVers.

January 6, we went to the beach.  We saw 6 dolphins in the jetty.  Harpo chased seagulls and other birds.   She got so coated with sand, I had to shampoo her 4 times.

January 7, Carolyn and Lucy joined us at Raintree.

January 9, we went to Aransas Wildlife Refuge.  We saw 2 adult whopping cranes and their chick.





January 11, we went to the Padre Island Seashore.  We had a lovely walk on the beach and enjoyed the surf while having lunch.

Mr. Lee, our lawyer for the auto accident, called and the other side has made an offer. We could take the offer or Larry will have to fly to Indianapolis before the end of February for a physical.

January 15, 2005, Larry and I went to a soup pitch in and became better acquainted with some of our fellow campers.

January 16, 2005, Larry hadn't had time, energy, or appropriate weather to grill out since leaving Indiana.  Today he grilled an awesome meal:  kabosa sausage, vegetable kabobs, corn-on-the-cob, sweet potatoes.  I added homemade pumpernickel bread.



January 17, 2005, we went to tour the WWII aircraft carrier Lexington.  We were able to go all over the ship.  We followed roped off hallways, up and down ladders, onto the flight deck. The flight deck had a Y added after the war (It could not go through the Panama Canal with the addition).  The Lexington was in active service until 1991.  It was fascinating. We saw aircraft on the flight deck from various wars, dental and medical facilities (also what had been added to accommodate women), admiral's quarters, captain's quarters, kitchen, sleeping bunks, emergency equipment, library, the bridge.  The Lexington was used as a Japanese ship in the Pearl Harbor film.

 Between January 23 through February 6 the weather was gray, rainy, and damp.  We did more indoor activities like internal camper repairs. During this time, we drove around Goose Island and checked out its camping facilities. We also went to the Aquarium in Corpus Christi.  Larry and I found their small displays more interesting than the rest.  The sea horses were darling.  I was fascinated by the jellyfish. One type of jellyfish, a little smaller than a quarter, had like an colored, alternating,  electric current--sort of like mini-mini Christmas lights.

February 11, 2005, we got a settlement check for Larry's accident.  The lawyer has held some of the settlement money in escrow for the insurance company that he is still negotiating with. It is a good feeling to put this behind us.

February 12, we took a lovely drive toward Bayside on Copano Bay.  Along the road, in the water, we saw rosette spoonbill birds.  They are a hot pink, wading bird. The underside of their wings are pinker than the outside. In the town, there is a wonderful small park on the bay.  Roscoe and Harpo fully enjoyed themselves. They particularly like piers, footbridges, and boardwalks.

February 14 was a terrific Valentine's Day!  We went to Mustang Island, access road 3 beach. From the beach we saw 3 breaching dolphin, pelicans, and a navy helicopter.  The helicopter circled the beach, then went to the Gulf and hovered creating a large mist.  Then the copter came back to the beachside and worked for an hour or more moving some sort of floatation marker out into the Gulf. We left the beach and checked out some off-road areas.  Then we went to a Port Aransas park by the ferry landing.  Roscoe met some friends in the form of miniature wire-haired dash hounds. One of them looked like an offspring of a miniature Schnauzer.  Harpo made up with the other rust-colored one.  This park is great for watching pelicans.

February 15 was another beautiful day in the upper 70's.  We played with the kids (Roscoe and Harpo) in the dog park in the campground.  Blaze (a brown spotted Dalmatian) came and played with Roscoe.  Harpo is too intimidated with large dogs to venture playing with them. Larry and I went to Wal-Mart. Larry grilled out on the gas grill--delicious.  He fixed burgers, skewered veggies, portabella mushrooms, and corn-on-the-cob.

February 17 we went exploring.  We drove toward a couple of towns just south of us. We are always on the lookout for different walk and play areas to take the dogs.  We found a boardwalk area in a wetlands environment.  This is attached to a water park in Port Aransas.  This is a different type of place. We will return and explore some more.

Sorry for the long delay!  We had so much rain in Texas in the month of Feb., that I reacted by getting an inner ear infection.  It took me a good month to six weeks to get over it.  By the time I was on the mend it was time to get ready to move.  During that period of time, that I was fighting an infection, Larry was busy installing a Hensley Arrow hitch on the travel trailer (This is to control any sway).  Also, Larry had cameras installed on the rear of the truck and travel trailer.  These are to help with seeing behind us.  These are great safety improvements.

We went to Padre Is. one more time before leaving Rockport.  The sand at Padre is so clean and white.  The Gulf is so alive and active that there is very little debris on the shore.

Winter of Healing— Rockport TX
 January 1-April 1, 2005

On May 2 we tried to leave Indiana.  We had electrical problems in our hookup. We thought we had the problem fixed and left.  In Ohio we saw the brakes on the camper weren't working.

We stopped at a RV sales and service business and a technician checked our truck electrical connections.  This checked out ok, so we had them make up a new extension between truck and camper.  Once this new extension was hook in we had brakes, etc.  We stopped at a KOA close by and spent two nights.

On May 4 we went through customs at the Canadian border.  The border guard wanted to know what we had in our truck and trailer.  We explained we were full time RVers and this is everything we own.  He immediately asked us how many firearms we had to check.  Fortunately we had given these to family.  That was it; he didn't ask anything else except where we were going and how long.


That was it; he didn't ask anything else except where we were going and how long.

Moving On

We left Niagara Falls Wednesday, May 11 and headed for Erie, PA to visit my nephew Jim.  We had a lovely visit with Jim and his children.  The weather was cold so we stayed only one night.

We went on to Elkhart, IN on Thursday and spent three nights.  We had always wanted to check out the surplus store there and had not had the opportunity.  Of course we also had to stop at Camping World.  Then we went to Sam's Club and Wal-Mart.

We left Elkhart on Sunday morning and went to visit Larry's Mom in Chesterton, IN.

Upon leaving IN we drove into IL and visited with a friend we met in TX.  Roscoe also got to visit with his friend Blaze ( a brown and white Dalmatian).  We had a wonderful time visiting.

We left our IL friends on Sunday morning May 22 and headed west--spending one night in Iowa; then we headed north into Minnesota and west to South Dakota.  We spent two nights in Mitchell to shop at Cabellas and Wal-Mart.

Finally we arrived in the Badlands Thursday May 26 and were here until May 31. 

Our campground had about a 270 degree view of the Badlands.  On our first night there was a storm. As storm was easing up, about 8:30pm, we took the dogs out and saw a vertical rainbow over the Badlands.

This began our WOW days.  The Badlands are so incredible, colorful, and harsh.  We have been here before, but the beauty is awe inspiring.  We took several back roads (Larry and I like the out of the way, off road places). One of these roads was an abandoned railroad.  We literally had to back out of that. 

We went on to explore some of the National Grassland areas.  We found bison, prairie dogs, and pronghorn antelope.  It was a great day.

Another of our back road experiences took us to Sheep Mountain Table.  This is incredible.  You climb up in-between large rock formations and end up on top of the world.  It is basically flat on top with 360 degree views of Badland formations.  There are valleys, narrow canyons, all with another planet look.

On Monday the girls took Larry and I to several Canadian wineries. 

On the way to the wineries we passed the giant whirlpool in the Niagara River.  It is very impressive.

Tuesday, May 10, we prepared the truck and camper for travel and did laundry.

The Badlands

Heading West — May 2005

Niagara Falls

Our Home is Where We Park It


We had chosen a delightful campground directly across from the Niagara River, seven and a half miles above the falls.  It was very quiet.  There is a great twenty mile walkway-bikeway there.  This was a wonderful walking area for the dogs.

The girls, Felicity, Mel, and Ashley, flew in on Thursday, May 5.  We picked Paul up at the Buffalo airport on May 6. 

On May 7, the wedding took place in a lovely room at the Marriott overlooking the falls.

2005-B ><2004 Dec

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