Wow – a nine pound turkey fits in our Advantium microwave/oven!
We have been so busy with coach repairs, a family visit, Thanksgiving and trying to buy the ranch, the travel diary has suffered from inattention.
We had two more issues with the coach – the second set of batteries (we have five batteries in total) wouldn’t charge from the engine alternator and the vinyl material that unrolls from the coach roof to the slide top when we operate the slide-out (the room extension) was torn on one end, most likely from all of the gale force winds we have been camping in while in the western US, Canada and Alaska. Unfortunately for us, there only a few Winnebago dealers in Texas and the handy dealership located between Austin and San Antonio (Crestview RV) we chose for service work has serious service department work process issues. It is our opinion that department is fairly dysfunctional and we believe the root causes of this are a lack of training and a lack of management oversight resulting in gross inefficiencies, poor work quality and then customer dissatisfaction.
We have now resigned ourselves to making an occasional trip to the Winnebago factory to get all of our little problems dealt with. Please keep in mind that we are extremely happy with our Winnebago product; our coach consists of hundreds of parts and many components supplied by many vendors that are bouncing up and down for hours at a time. Things are going to break – that’s a given. The salient issue is where to get the coach serviced; we have had excellent luck at the factory (certainly excellent but not without its quality problems occasionally) so we will just make the trip up Interstate 35 when necessary.
We got tired of waiting on parts for the coach at Crestview and were anxious to see Jane’s brother and sister-in-law, so we took the coach to their house in the hills of west Austin. Poor Bosun the cat got sick going and coming because of the twisty and up and down roads. There must be some 10-12 per cent grades back in the sub division – the coach was in second gear (out of six!) climbing some of them. While in Austin, Bill (Jane’s brother) took John feral hog hunting at a friend’s 500 acre ranch near Llano. It was a great time of male bonding for John, Bill and Jerry (Bill’s other hunting companion.) Feral hogs are extremely destructive and are universally disdained by wildlife managers and land owners so harvesting them is a great civic duty and after all, it is a guy thing! More about the hunt later.
Several have asked us about the status of the little ranch we are trying to buy. It certainly appears that the good Lord has opened up all of the doors for purchase because as of this moment, there are no issues that would keep us from closing on the property next Thursday, November 30. The pest report was okay, the well report was nominal for the area (Edwards Aquifer), and the attorney found no problems with the mineral rights (we will have 100% rights which we understand is unusual) or title documents. John will need to shop for some cowboy boots and a western shirt shortly! We will be driving the Jeep to Florida in a week or two to load up a few things and bring them back to the ranch. We have a 10’ utility trailer that Jane will pull with the Jeep and John will drive his big Ford F-250 pickup back with the Kubota tractor and equipment trailer in tow – the caravan back to Texas should be interesting along the extremely busy and torn-up Interstate 10. Every ranch needs a tractor, so this is one of John’s top priorities. We are excited at the prospect of living in a new area – it seems that every ten years, we are ready to move on and try something different. This will be our sixth (and smallest) house. It was certainly fun and rewarding remodeling (and owning) our house in DeLand, but at almost 3,000 sq ft it was too large for us and it was expensive to heat and cool.
We have kept you waiting long enough the hog hunting results! After waiting until dusk at a popular deer feeder in one corner of the ranch, two medium size hogs approach from the tree line headed to the feeder to snort up some deer corn. Bill is at the front of the pickup truck; John is in the bed of the pickup truck. The hogs are about 100 yards away when Bill whispers to John, “Let’s shoot on my count of three.” We already had prearranged which hog to shoot, so the only task was to locate the hog in the rifle scope and pull the trigger. That morning we sighted in the rifle John was using at the rifle range, so if he can get the target in the cross hairs of the scope, the hog was on his way to piggy heaven. While John is still trying to find his hog in the scope Bill shoots and drops his pig. Poor old inexperienced hunter John still had his zoom telescopic rifle scope set on a magnification of 15 instead of three or four making it extremely unlikely to find a moving target. John had a great time anyway and is now rifle shopping not being content to borrow Bill’s.
Thanks for keeping up with us and God Bless!