A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Monday, May 31, 2021

The Distraction


I said how I got distracted while yelling at Billy during our visit.  This cute little Siamese cat came out to check me over.  “Oh you have a cat!” I exclaim.  Billy tells me how someone dumped her off here last year when she was only a kitten.  “I was going to take her in to the shelter nearby but never got around to it and she’s just kind of made herself at home.  She catches mice and rats so that’s good.”  The cat wasn’t too sure about me at first but once I was able to scratch behind her ears her motor fired up and she was all rubbing up against my legs.  The poor thing was starving for attention.  “She won’t let me hold her though” Billy says.  I reached down, picked her up and held her.  BIG MISTAKE!  I fell in love with her.  When will I ever learn to NOT pick up cats?  Billy said he feeds her and she seemed healthy.  Worn out from visiting Billy plus needing to get away from the cat I said goodbye and walked away.  The cat followed me.  Damn!

I was able to slip away from her and made it back across to our home.  I never went to visit Billy again.  I couldn’t deal with the cat.  I want to steal the cat.  Beans would probably enjoy a playmate.

Boles Field Campground proved to be just about perfect for getting through the Memorial Day holiday weekend.  Only an old couple with what appeared to be their grand daughter came for one afternoon and night.  They were gone in the morning.  We had the place all to ourselves.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

My Theory, at Least I Can Sleep Better


The sun was out and I went for a walk across the road.  I wanted to see the group picnic area.

Oh seriously?

Oh yeah, we’re on Federal land now, not Texas land.

I walked on through the brush to check out some lights I could see the first night here thinking it was someone’s home.  It was the restrooms!  I thought this place had restrooms WITH showers but began to think I had it confused with another camp I was considering.  The doors were locked.  Curses.  
I really would like to use the showers.

That’s is when I continued on and saw Billy outside giving Lucy a bath.  I asked why the restrooms were locked thinking it was some COVIDiocy decree from the government.  “Oh they are broke” says Billy.  “They keep saying they will come out and fix it.”  I tell him how I was looking forward to using the showers.  “Oh I just go around in back of the trailer and hose myself down” he informs me.  And this later is when I figure how Billy deals with his nonexistent sewer connection for his trailer.  He must have keys to the “broke” restroom and goes there to poop.  To walk all the way over there to pee would be too much trouble for him so he must have a favorite tree out behind the trailer.  
I just hope I didn’t walk through it.

All during the week here I notice Billy drives his truck over to the group picnic area at least once a day.  There is no reason for him to go there other than to use the “broke” restroom.

That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Billy - part two - The Trailer

Later that day after visiting Billy I see him leave in his truck.  Now is my chance to go over there and check about the sewer connection.  It was bothering me. 

As I took the above photo I noticed behind me a scorched patch of ground.  Gee, he must have been burning something or the bar-b-que got away from him.

I continued on around the back side of the trailer.

Off to the left as I took the above photo I see this, a burned up bedspring mattress!  Good grief!  What did he do, fall asleep with a cigarette burning?  Good thing nothing can burn here for the humidity is so awful all the time that things just smolder.  So he drug out his smoldering mattress and that is what created that brunt square of earth?  I look at what was draped over the grill again - a carpet.  It caught fire too?

Okay, back to my mission.  I locate the sewer outlet on the trailer and...oh my!  It is draining right out onto the ground!!  I stand there hoping it is only grey water (from the sinks) and not black water (the toilet).  I have a theory which will be in the next post.

I take once last good look at the condition of this trailer, the rust, mold, mildew, dirt and water stains.  I cannot begin to imagine what the inside must look like or smell like.  No way do I want to know.
Just the short time I have been here everything in my home has been constantly damp, sticky.
Including its owner and his cat.

I go back across the road to my home shaking my head.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Billy - part one


We pulled into the campground and I selected a spot I thought would do.  Next I had to let Beans out for her exploratory walk.  A few minutes later a white pickup barreled in from the highway and stopped.  No doubt, the camp host I thought.  Beans and I are about fifty feet away and the guy walks up to the RV.  “Hello” he says.  “Over here” I reply.  Negative contact.  He knocks.  “Over here!”  Nothing.  He walks back to his truck and toots the horn.  I yell for all I am worth.  Still he doesn’t respond.  Good grief!  I drag Beans back to the RV.  The guy climbs in his truck confused as to where the owner of this RV could possibly be.  He looks out the windshield.  Now he finally sees me.  I walk over to the driver’s door.  “You deaf?  I’ve been yelling at you from over there.”  “Yep, I don’t hear too well.”  No surprise there.  “Can you hear me know?” as I stand next to his truck.  “Yeah, I watch your lips.”  “It must be hell for you talking to someone wearing a mask.”  He doesn’t get it.  He just wants me to be sure to pay or the Forest Service could come by and fine me $100.  All the while I am yelling and he is watching my lips as we visit all I can focus on is the brown patch of nicotine stain on his grey mustache/ beard.  I can’t help myself.

The next day I go to pay for two more days and Billy is outside so I wander over.  I know what I am up against now so am better prepared.  Billy is giving his dog Lucy a bath.  He got her when she was six months old and is now fourteen.  The dog doesn’t pay me any attention.  No barking.  Good dog and I focus on its inch long toenails that curl around that so badly needs clipping.  I don’t mention it.  So I talk loud which is a difficult thing for me to do.  I make sure Billy is looking at me when I speak.  I find out he has been a camp host here for five years.  He does have a house nearby which he lets a lady stay at for free.  She just pays for utilities, and he has an RV in another town nearby.  He gets free water and electricity.  I didn’t check about a sewage connection.  There must be one but he has so much junk strewn around his trailer it is difficult to see.  The campsites do not have sewer connects.  The Forest Service pays him $200 month which he says he doesn’t need because of his pension.  I would have asked more but it was too exhausting and I was distracted anyways (an upcoming post).  But he is here all year long and this past February when all that snow happened in Texas (a record) he got over a foot here which broke his awning.  He removed it and tossed it in amongst all his other junk lying about.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Boles Field Campground

Sabine National Forest
Shelbyville, Texas

This place might do.  There is nothing to see or do here.  Why would anyone want to come for a holiday weekend?  That is the camp host back in there.  His name is Billy.  More about him later.
Otherwise no one else is here.

 There are twenty sites here each with electricity and water and for only six dollars a day, 
half that if you are an old person such as myself.

This fellow was here to welcome us so I took his suggestion and pulled into number ten.

The only drawback to this Forest Service campground is the highway cuts right through the middle of it.  That is us back in the trees.  Billy is on the other side of the road.  But traffic is very little to almost nothing so it isn’t a bother. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Looking For a Safe Haven


After an exciting afternoon and evening in Nacogdoches, Texas we left in the morning to seek refuge from the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend.  Holiday weekends are just one of the very few not-so-good points about this lifestyle.  We don’t want to be where all the merrymakers will flock too.

We pulled off onto a “scenic” overlook along the way.  This was about the extent of it.  Behind me were heavily vandalized and graffitied picnic tables and bar-b-ques which I didn’t think you would want to see.

So here is a dew-laden spider web instead.
Much nicer.

Beans didn’t like it there so we moved on in our search.
I think we might have found something.


Tuesday, May 25, 2021

David Crockett Spring


Crockett, Texas

The site where Davy and the boys quenched their thirst on the way to the Alamo.

I have seen so many of these sites where they say so and so did such and such long long ago.
I have become skeptical on some of these claims.  How do they know?  There were no witnesses, no written documentation and of course no photographic evidence.  I think a lot is pure speculation. 
Still in this case, this was the road to San Antonio, Texas and everyone who traveled through here must have stopped to drink and rest so why not the Tennessee boys?
Notice Texas trying to claim David Crockett was a Texan.

I just hope the drinking fountain worked when Davy tried it because it didn’t work for me.

Here is a swamp cat tromping through water two to three inches deep.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Mixed Feelings and TX Burger


It was with mixed feelings we left Lake Limestone.

We liked it three years ago and we like it still.

We have been here one week.  Time to move on.

I stopped at a TX Burger for lunch, knowing nothing about it.

I couldn’t understand the girl at the counter because of the infernal mask she was wearing.  I had to make her repeat everything.  Another girl delivered my order.  She too wore a mask but I heard her just fine.  It was the girl, not the mask.  She was a low talker (a Seinfeld episode).

The burger wasn’t anything to write about (wait...I am writing about it!)  I think it had been cooked hours earlier.  But the fries were very nicely done as well as my vanilla shake.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Fish, Ants, Flowers and a Cat


A victim of the lightning?

I looked it up and when lightning strikes water (and there were dozens of strikes on the lake during that storm) the discharge spreads out over the surface of the water in a circular form and will electrocute fish near the surface.

These are most interestingly shaped ant hills.  They are only an inch or so high and a couple inches in diameter.  The ants themselves are very tiny, just a mere speck, yet they created this overnight right next to the front tire.  I’ve seen the mockingbirds stand by them pecking ant by ant.  Hardly worth the effort it seems to me.  There are four ants in the photo.

Purple poppy-mallow

In unrelated to the flower I was curious as to how many different sizes of Walmarts there are for I see a difference all the time.  It seems there are six different sizes.  What amazed me when I was reading that Walmart earns an average profit of around $1.8 million per hour!
Think about that for a moment.

Near us is a covered picnic area with four large tables for group activity.  After one particular heavy rain Beans picked out the only wet table and laid on it.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Mowers and Mushrooms


Eight o’clock in the morning I awoke to the sound of lawnmowers.  I never expected that!

I love mushrooms and there are some wonderful examples here.

The mushrooms in the top photo succumbed to the ravages of the lawn mower but he did make an effort to avoid all the rest.  I have to give him credit for that.

The other mower guy shut the blade off when he passed by us on the other side of the chainlink fence next to us so as to not sling grass, dirt and rocks onto the RV and then caught that strip on his return pass shooting everything away from us. That was considerate.

Even more so was that Beans was out sitting on the picnic table when he got near.  The guy shut everything down so as too allow Beans to pull me back into the RV and not scare her anymore than she was already.  Nice guy.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Swimming With Snakes

Lake Limestone, Texas

 I was sitting on the edge of the dock with my legs in the water when a snake swam by.  Oh, that’s just lovely.  And I have been going in there.  I have seen several more since then, just sticking their head above the surface of the water looking at me.  I have also seen a couple real big heads too further out which were probably turtles.

Three years ago when here before I nearly walked on a huge black snake thicker than my arm lying among these rocks at the boat ramp.  Scared me for all I could think of was Water Moccasin!  I looked into it later and learned there are only harmless water snakes in the lake.

The rocks dumped at each end of the jetty are filled with sea shell fossils.  
No idea where they were trucked in from.

I am still going in the water.  The snakes are more afraid of me than I them.

Here, this will make up for the scary snake stuff.

Isn’t that just the cutest?

Thursday, May 20, 2021

The Grave of Hollie Tatnell

Hearne, Texas

Those of you who have been with me for awhile may recall back in the days when Sinbad traveled along we criss-crossed the country looking for these oddities.  I plan to do that once again now but probably to a lesser degree than Sinbad and I did.

Rather than I tell the history behind this I’ll let the sign do so

Wondering where Marlin, Texas was I looked it up and found it is only thrity-four miles northwest of Hearne.  There was a photo of Doctor Hunter.  I added it to the bottom.

We were a bit tired by this point and the only real option in Hearne to overnight was a Loves truck stop.  Truck stops are not all that good for a restful night so we drove thirty miles more to Lake Limestone.