Heading south for the winter. Our first year. 
November and December 2003
11-26-03 by Terry 
We spent a week going through MO, AK, LA, and Port Arkansas, TX. 
Monday Nov 10 found us putting the trash out for the last time at Halbrook lane.  After stowing the few remaining items at the house and locking up we headed out on the road at 9:00Am on a drizzly but warm Monday morning.  We headed south on Hwy 65 through Iowa and then into MO.  It continued to drizzle and lightly rain through out the day,  About 4:30 we drove out of the rain somewhere north of Springfield MO. 
We hit the Springfield, MO rush hour traffic about 5:30 and ended up in Branson, MO at the Turkey Creek campground about 7:00PM, after a minor navigational error. Spent Two days at Branson,  and not once hit any of the shows,  not even "Lawrence Welk Whatever It Is".  Ron spent the Time recovering from the stress of the long drive, while I got time to be stressed out trying to trout fish.  Spent day one learning all the little buggers habits, and finally got lucky on Wednesday.  It was especially disturbing on the first day to be not catching fish, turn around and look at my feet in the water downstream and see half a doz fish fighting for the small bits stirred up by my feet,  but try as I might they would not take my offered lure. 
Thursday Nov 13th found us on the road again, heading south on Hwy 65(still on hwy65) Drove for 6 hours on Thurs ending up at Lake Village, AK. for the night.  Friday we continued South on hwy 65  along the Mississippi.  I was a little disappointed as we could not see the river because of the levees and when driving on top of the levees for the trees. 

Broke for lunch at the Old River Complex near Simmesport, LA.  At old River there is a power plant, flood control gates and a lock and dam which allows barge passage from the Mississippi to the Red and Atchalifaya rivers. 

Continuing on Friday we then headed west across LA ending up at an Indian Casino just north of Kinder LA.  Went to the buffet that night for supper.  Was not especially impressed by the quality, but the boiled shrimp were good,  We also both tried steamed crab,  a lot of work for not much meat. 

Saturday we were on the road again, heading south to the Gulf Coast which we hit south of Lake Charles LA.  We then followed the gulf coast across the western half of LA and continued to follow the coast in TX. Taking the Port Bolivar/Galveston ferry to get to Galveston where we found a county park right on the Beach to stay for the night. 

Next Morning we continued south on the "Blue Water Hwy" on Galveston Island.  then cross country to Port Aransas TX.  Spent two nights in Port Aransas at the county park we discovered on our last trip to TX.  It sits right on the Beach next to the Ship channel for Corpus Christi. 
Ron spent the day recovering and I went fishing,  Was able to Catch my first Speckled sea trout. 

While in Port Aransas we were following the news of the flooding and storms in Houston and Galveston, and the severe thunderstorms and tornados through AK and northern LA. 

Galveston ferry

Left Port Aransas on Wed morning and after a short day got to 
our winter home site about two in the afternoon. 

Rio Hondo, TX our winter home base, several acres fenced in with full hookups.
Only two sites and the owner who takes care of the grounds. 
They treated us like family and we became close to them.

We built this tarp that we bought at a flea market.
Since then we have been settling in for the season.  One of the first Terry honey do projects was to build a picnic table.  Since then we have been flea marketing, and I (Terry) have had a couple of chances to go fishing,  We have discovered the farmers market and are now trying various new and familiar tropical fruits.  oranges, grapefruit, mangos, papayas. 
I sent this letter to the Editor of the "Texas Valley Morning Star". 
    Grapefruit can affect some medications 
There are some possibly deadly interactions between grapefruit and 
common prescription medications. The result can be significant. 
The TX grapefruit growers did not come after me.

Today we went back to the flea market and picked up parts for an awning,  fittings and tarp,  then picked the conduit up at home depot.  It is now up in the front yard with the picnic table beneath its shade. Right now we are getting ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow,  We have been invited to dinner by our hosts,  we are taking homemade dinner rolls and green bean casserole, and I have been told I will be in charge of making the turkey gravy,  can't imagine why its such a big deal.  Ron is lounging out side on the picnic table 

11-30-03 by Ron 
We are resting today Sunday reading the Sunday paper and just taking it easy. We had a good time with Thanksgiving supper with our hosts Vera and family who invited us to dine with them. We have been welcomed by wonderful people who own this location and are relaxed and happy in our new winter home. It is about 75 and light breeze. Not to bad for this time of the year.  Terry is outside picking apart pecans he will use in making sticky buns for breakfast on Monday and then we may do some laundry.  Then Terry will most likely go fishing again. I plan on getting into this sport so I can tag along and get involved. People down here are BIG on the holidays, Christmas events are planned everywhere with many parades. Family is everything here and shows with how friendly everyone is. Songs about a white Christmas are playing on the speakers in the stores. If they got snow down here they would freak, but they love the thought of the whole white Christmas thing. Fresh live trees went on sale at the H. E. B. stores Friday. Why did I leave my little Santa on a string back home with the sign that said "Just Say Bah" or something like that.  Later..... 

January, 2004 
Have been talking back and forth with our realtor and we firmed up the sale of our house back in IA.
We sold our house in Ankeny and closed on Jan 30. 
No more heating bills. Had the check sent to us and we were done. I have been a resident of SD since June. When you live on the road in an RV you can have a domicile anywhere you want. I do everything over the internet. banking, ins, etc. So we can travel and call anywhere home. Mail is fowarded by MyHomeAddressInc.com and they take care of Lic tags also. I now vote in SD. My new home state.
By the way SD has no state income taxes! And great Ins rates for the truck and 5er. SD is fulltime RVer friendly. 
February, 2004
Had a tooth crown installed (pain) and watched the cold weather up north. Terry went fishing.
And we toured Flea markets and just hung out in the nice weather. That is when the wind isn't blowing too hard. It is windy down here.  But then there is NO snow down here!!
March, 2003
Terry spent time building a horse shed for some people we met. Here are a couple of pics. 

They want him to build a 40 ft porch for them next year if we are down that way next year..
We met some very nice people and Terry could stay busy working if he wanted to. 
The wage scale down here is not like it is up north so he desn't charge as much 
as he can working in his restoration contractor business up north.
Terry did get to go fishing on the surf. Built a new pole and everything.





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