April 2005               


            The George Herbert Walker Bush Presidential Library and Museum is located in College Station, TX on the campus of Texas A & M University.  We picked up Ann one morning and drove north.  It was a pleasant drive and we enjoyed the many wildflowers along the roadside.

            The museum was very interesting.  We saw exhibits covering the early married years of George and Barbara, the time as Vice President, the time spent in China as Ambassador and finally their time in the White House. 

            This museum does not contain a replica of the Bush oval office; however, it contains two replicas that we had not seen in other Presidential museums.   Replicas of the Presidential office on Air Force One and a replica of the Bush office at Camp David.  We saw a film of the President and Mrs. Bush at home talking about their family, etc.  It was very funny and they are a couple who seem to have a great time together.  

            Ann and Millie enjoyed seeing some of the gowns worn by Mrs. Bush and the very large display of gifts given to the Bushes by dignitaries from other countries. 

            Following our visit to the museum, we stopped at The Cotton Patch and enjoyed a late lunch before heading back to Richmond.

            Millie’s Sister Mary and her husband Frank became the proud owners of a new home and were in the process of moving early in the month. Millie went over one day and helped Mary gets her beautiful new kitchen organized.   The house is beautiful and we hope that they enjoy many happy years there.

            We picked up our new glasses and Millie got her new crown set.  Then we were ready to get back on the road. 

            April 15 we celebrated our 48th anniversary by heading west on I-10.  The weather was nice and we enjoyed the drive.  We have made the trip between Richmond and San Antonio many times but have only been west of there a couple of times.  We enjoyed the hill country scenery and wild flowers.  We spent the night in Junction. 

            The next night we spent in Van Horn on the banks of the Llano River.   Sunday we reached our destination in Las Cruces. Millie drove part of the way that afternoon.  It had been a while since she had towed, but got into the swing just fine.  We stopped just before Las Cruces and changed drivers as Millie was not sure she wanted to try to get us into the park. 

            We arrived at Hacienda RV Resort and Rally Park where we were greeted by our friends, Loyce and Laney Finch.  It was so good to see them.  The last time we saw them was at the Travel Supreme Rally in Goshen last October.  Loyce escorted us to our space and we were soon set up.  We discovered that friends Henry and Kay Hauff were directly across from us.  We had also last seen them in Goshen. 

            Millie met our neighbor, Sue Rheem, who kindly gave Millie a tour of their Kountry Aire 5th wheel.  It is a new rig and has a floor plan with a den in the rear.  Their Freightliner with Crew Chief conversion is painted to match the 5th wheel and in our opinion, makes the best looking rig we have seen. 

            Sunday evening we had in impromptu get together on the patio with the early bird attendees of the Freightliner RV Haulers Club.  We visited with Helen Lathrop, who we met at the RV park in Valdez, Alaska.  It had been 2 years since we had seen Helen and her husband, Ray.  They are true snowbirds, spending their winters south Texas and summers in Alaska.

            Monday we registered for the rally and Millie signed up for craft classes.  In the evening, everyone gathered on the patio for drinks and appetizers.  There was so much food that it wasn’t necessary to have dinner later.  There were 100 rigs registered for this rally.  It is so interesting to see how each Freightliner has been personalized.  No two are exactly alike.  (Pictures of some of the interesting rigs can be found in the Photo Gallery.)

            The remainder of the week was spent with activities.  Millie attended craft classes and the Red Had luncheon.  Dick attended various seminars to further educate him on this beast that we have purchased.  We also both attended a very informative seminar on RV fire safety.  Following this seminar we did purchase new foam fire extinguishers. 

            Dick was lucky and won a nice camp chair door prize on opening night.  On Thursday night we had a delicious farewell dinner and entertainment by Ron and Kay Rivoli afterwards.  That evening Millie won a door prize – a foam fire extinguisher!  So we are in good shape now on fire extinguishers.

            On Friday morning we had the truck weighed.  We wanted to get a good weight on our rig and see how we are doing since getting the Freightliner.  Some of the things in the trailer have been moved to the truck so we are hoping our weight is better now.  We had a nice evening visiting with the Finches and Hauffs following dinner.  It has been so nice here to be comfortable sitting outside in the evenings.

            Saturday we hitched up the rig after breakfast for our appointment to have our whole rig weighed.  We only received a preliminary report but it looks like we are in really good shape now. 

            Following our weigh in, we headed west on I-10.  It was sunny warm day and we enjoyed being back on the road.  We stopped for lunch at a rest area and Millie took the wheel.  As we neared Tucson, Dick offered to take over the driving, but thinking we were near our destination, Millie decided she would just continue.  Well, she had to drive through Tucson, as the park we had chosen was on the west side of the city.  She was really happy it was the weekend and no heavy traffic!  Dick was working as navigator and it looks like he needs some practice with that role but we eventually found the park. 

            Old Tucson Studios is a western town built in 1939 for the movie Tombstone.  It has been used for many movies since that time.  We spent the day there and enjoyed some informative tours of the town.  We also saw some shows in the saloon and two staged gunfights.  Dick is a big fan of John Wayne and 4 of his movies were filmed here, so Dick really enjoyed the day. 

            At the height of the cold war, there were 54 Titan Missile sites in the U. S.  Today the only one remaining intact is located in Green Valley, AZ.  The Titan Missile Museum is an opportunity to see one of these silos as it was during the cold war.  We took the one hour guided tour through the facility.  It was fascinating to see.  This site is monitored by the Soviets still to be sure that it has not been re-activated.  We enjoyed seeing this historic site.  We have always wondered what one of the sites was like.

            Our main reason for stopping in Tucson was to check out some of the RV parks here as a possible place to spend next winter.  On Thursday we went through our RV books and chose several parks that interested us.  We then visited each of those parks.  We were surprised to find the parks very receptive to letting us drive around and look at the facilities.  Everyone was very friendly at each park, both employees and folks staying there.  We have made a choice of parks but will wait until next week after we tour parks in Yuma before we make a decision.  We are finding that parks here are less expensive than parks in Florida.

            Friday evening we went out to have dinner and while waiting for a table, enjoyed a conversation with one of the employees of the restaurant.  He was originally from San Antonio and gave us a lot of good information on the Tucson area. 

            On Saturday we hitched up and were on the road by 9:30.  We stopped at the Flying J and filled our tanks, then across the road at the Beacon Truck wash to get the rig cleaned.  Most parks out this way don’t allow washing and we needed to get at least some of the dust off.  We had a one hour wait before being motioned into the bay.  It wasn’t the best job we have had, but better than it was before we got there. 

            We arrived in Yuma around 4:00 and found a space at Araby Acres RV Resort.  As most of the snowbirds have gone, the office was closed until Monday.  We got set up and spent the evening relaxing.


            See you next month when we will be back traveling.

(Lots of new photos in the gallery, take a look.  We couldn't link to all of them.)