Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Colder Weather.

____ Day 12: A calm misty morning gave the prospect of a bicycle ride into Port Lavaca to replenish supplies but by the time breakfast had finished; the wind was whipping-up white-caps on Magnolia Bay. A low pressure weather system was sweeping snow into Northern Texas and headed our way. Magnolia Beach is north-facing and unusual for the Gulf Coast; with a north wind it reminded me of bitterly cold expeditions to the North Norfolk Coast and childhood memories of Brancaster and Wells-next-to-Sea. The town of Magnolia Beach stirred up ghosts-past from Jaywick-on-Sea; where the dilapidated and ramshackle holiday homes were the pride and joy of so many. Another day of relentless pegging on the crib board and the generator powering the fan-heater.

____ Day 13: First casualty of the motor-home’s infrastructure is when the shower pump seizes solid. It was exactly the same model as the sink-water supply’s pump but always twice as noisy. Stripping it down; it was a wonder that it ever worked at all, with the pump bearing jammed in at an alarming angle. It was a day to re-stock with food and water; so we packed everything on board and swung by the Tractor Supply Company after a tour of Walmart and a free Wi-fi breakfast at McDonalds. TSC had the correct 2 gallon per minute sprayer pump but at a price that had before included 15 gallon tank. But the new pump proudly boasts “Made in the USA.” The old one had “Made in China” stamped on the bottom.

____ Day 14: I have suffered a lot of uncomfortable hours while living in a truck over the years but was determined to keep discomfort at bay for my time in the Mack. A tank full of fuel for the generator cost $10 and it ran for over nine hours; powering the fan heater, the fluorescent lights and charging the house batteries at the same time. Another cold day with a biting northerly wind and not what we came here for.

____ Day 15: At last! Sunshine, a chance get on the bikes and go for a ride to Alamo Beach. It sounds like it should be on the list of D-Day destinations but is just along the coast from Magnolia Beach; a better class of coastal properties and nowhere to park an RV for free. Then back to the Mack and sit in the Sun; chatting to everyone walking their dogs and a bloke from Bournemouth and his Texan girlfriend. Everybody is very friendly and waves when they pass, even the council workmen; who have been repairing pot-holes in the beach. I am not joking. A proper road runs parallel to the beach, less than 50 yards away, but most traffic uses the beach; just to see what’s going on.

Pelicans and rough sea of Magnolia Bay

Alamo Beach, looking towards Port Lavaca.

Watching ships pass by while supervising the solar power intake.

Indianola Cemetery; no Arbons interred.

Sunsets come too early.

_____ Volvos

____ Day 16:  Two big Volvo rigs arrived within a few hours of each other, coincidence as they did not know each other. Both fully loaded with all the toys, bells and whistles. Kings of the beach and any other place they cared to park with RVs. We might see them again as they are heading to Arizona for the Winter. Size is not everything but most people go big if they are wintering in the South. Long travel trailers and 5th wheelers pulled by big pick-up trucks are the most common. Followed by big motor-homes; the motor-coach variety and those based on extended-chassis pick-ups. There is a smattering of all other shapes and sizes including slide-in campers and van conversions plus the stealth-campers; panel vans that don’t appear to be live-aboard vehicles.

____ Day 17: Neighbours come and go; there is a general shuffling of the pack every day. Some big motor-homes have a small car in tow; the pick-ups can drop what they are pulling and go for supplies. But we have to pack-up and go into town every so often. Today’s trip is for laundry with a chance to stock-up on food also. Seventeen days between the washing of our clothes seems about right. In the afternoon we cycle to the village of Powderhorn, on the Powderhorn Bayou; calling in at the Indianola Cemetery on the way back. Burial site of both Union and Confederate soldiers from the Civil War as they battled for control of the Intracoastal Waterway. 1867 seemed a particularly bad year for infant deaths as cholera and yellow fever took a heavy toll.

____ Day 18: As we are now settled in at Magnolia Beach; there is plenty of time to catch up on all those little jobs that need doing on the truck. Squeaky doors and cupboards that are now more noticeable and irritating. Bathroom door oiled, rubbish chute door re-aligned; all other door and locks oiled and cleaned. Someone could now come in while we slept; take a dump in the bathroom, steal our garbage and we would not hear a thing. But after three days of good weather; the wind picks up on Sunday afternoon and rain comes in across the white-capped Magnolia Bay.

Watching coasters.

Both big rigs had small wheelers with them; a Smart Car and a Jeep.

The Smart Car could be alternated with a pair of Can-Am Spyders.

The Mack is a distant third.

First impressions of Magnolia Beach are not good.

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