The day we saw the Border Wall

One winter day when we were living at an RV resort in Harlingen, Texas, Sher and I decided to head out and see if we could see the border wall between Mexico and the United States. We also wanted to see the Rio Grande River, which is of course the actual US/Mexico border.

We started our trek on US Highway 281 south of Pharr, Texas. We headed east on 281, which for this stretch towards Brownsville is also the route of the Military Highway, another historic route in the Lone Star State.

Border fence seen across a farm field

Closer to Hwy 281, with graffiti

 

 

 

 

 

We spotted some of the border wall sections that were pretty far from the road. We were closer to the fence between Los Indios and La Paloma. The vertical metal slats were mounted in a large concrete foundation.

What we didn’t get, however, was why the wall/fence stopped out in the middle of nowhere. It seemed odd that it seemed to be random as to where the fences had been constructed and where there were none.

We continued our drive into downtown Brownsville into the historic commercial part of town. What a treat to see all the colorful store fronts and signage in Spanish. Different for a couple from Indiana. I spoke with a Border Patrol Agent who kindly directed us to a small city park where we could see the Rio Grande river. It too had a high fence, complete with coils of razor wire on the Mexico side.

Mexico on left, Border Patrol watching the river

Looking across the river at Matamoros Mexico

Parked at the Alice Wilson Hope Park

 

 

 

 

 

All in all we had a very nice day. It was most interesting seeing the thousands of acres of irrigated crop ground. There were some workers in the fields, but mostly it seemed that new crops were just starting to grow, and other fields had been recently tilled in preparation for new crop plantings. Early in the year compared to our crop seasons back in the Midwest.

 

Texas Hill Country’s Jester King Brewery

This is a post that Sher wrote back in February, 2020 just before we cut short our time as Winter Texans and headed back to Indiana before COVID struck. We just found this and somehow it never got published. So…Here it is.

It was a special treat for us to visit Jester King Brewery while we were in Austin, TX because our last name is Jester.  So, of course we had to buy some beer with our name in it!

Enjoying our beer under one of the heaters

It is located at a beautiful 165 acre ranch in the Texas Hill Country.  It is so welcoming and a fun place for all ages.  Since we are retired we were able to visit when it opened at 4pm, so they weren’t super busy.  We had had a late lunch, so we weren’t hungry but their pizza looked delicious and by the looks of people ordering it I think it was a favorite.  We were there on Maj’s birthday and  we already had reservations in town with our family in Austin, or I would have suggested we have dinner there.

The kitchen/food bar

The spacious and comfortable seating area

 

 

 

 

 

They had many choices of beer, but it was easy for us to choose one we wanted try, the Jester-King one!  We, also, bought a bottle to bring home.  How we could we turn down a beer with our name on it?

Had to have it!

We had fun and it is on our recommended places to visit.  The bartenders were exceptionally nice and so friendly and helpful in answering our questions.  They have an outdoor covered area for seating with heaters, and a bonfire outside when we were there.

This is a favorite place and we’ll definitely  be going back the next time we are in Austin.  And, getting pizza!

Embarrassing and humorous situation…

This is a funny/embarrassing thing that happened a while back while we were heading south to warm weather.

It was time to head to Arizona for some warm weather. Sher and I hit the road a few days before New Year’s Day. Fast forward a couple of days and we stopped at a casino in Mississippi south of Memphis.

As the weather was above freezing it was time to “de-winterize” the RV. You know the drill: put some water in the fresh water tank and run the water through until all that pink anti-freeze is flushed out of the lines.

I turned the hot water heater on but we could only get a bit of luke warm water. Rats! That’s all we needed, a problem with the hot water heater. Electric or LP neither provided anything but lukewarm at best water temperature.

By the time we got to Tucson Sher and I were both getting a little tired of luke warm water. A couple of days after we settled in at the Whispering Palms RV Park we went to an RV service center to see about the hot water heater. The service manager opened the access door on the outside. He then came inside and took the access panel off revealing the lines and valves.

He looked up at me and then glanced at Sher with a big grin on his face. He then reached down and opened the valve that allows the hot water to flow. Yep, I had the valve closed. He was polite and did not laugh out loud. Sher, however, did. I deserved it.

At least I could wash the egg off my face with hot water.

Remembering Yellowstone National Park

Seems so long ago, but our memories of our 2014 trip across country are still clear in our thoughts.

During our trip across country we were fortunate enough to stop for a couple of days in Yellowstone National Park. What an adventure it was for Sher and me as this was the first trip for both of us. We stayed at the only campground with hookups for RV’s. The campground was very nice, and we were warned to look out a mama bear with a couple of her cubs.

This bull bison strolled right by us on the road.

Our adventure began before we got to the campground. As we were driving on a road overlooking the Yellowstone Lake we saw traffic stopped. Thinking it might be an accident as the road was narrow with a guardrail on one side and a sheer rock cliff on the other. Well, then we saw the huge bison calmly walking down the road in the middle of the oncoming lane.

Bison in Hayden Valley

Dragon’s Mouth geothermal pool.

 

 

 

 

 

Our journey within the park took us to Hayden Valley, where we saw other bison. Here we also saw the Dragon’s Mouth and the Mud Volcano. The scenery was magnificent.

The geysers cover the walkways with steam

Geothermal hot springs pool

 

 

 

 

 

Our second day took us to West Thumb of the Yellowstone Lake. There were the famous wood boardwalks leading around the geothermal pools and geysers. Since I got my undergraduate degree in geology Sher had to put up with my going ape over the geologist’s dream that is Yellowstone. We had planned on visiting Yellowstone and the western US, but COVID came along and messed that up.

Wednesday sunset

The off and on rainfall this evening did lead however to a very beautiful sunset. We have finished our first day of selling at the US Highway 40 yard sale. We will have more pictures coming as we will be here through this coming Sunday.

Banalinga stones from India

These naturally weathered stones are found in only one riverbed in the world. That is the Narmada River in Madhya Pradesh state in central India. These stones are considered sacred, are an iconic symbol of worship and are ancient and connote divinity.

Sacred stones for sale at the 2016 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.

The shape of these stones, regardless of their size, are created naturally during the course of the flowing water and movement of the river bed sediments. It is quite the phenomena that these stones are found in only one place on Earth.

Those pesky New Year’s resolutions

“Last year’s resolution was to lose 20 pounds by Christmas. Only 30 pounds to go.“ —Anonymous

Well it is time, so they say, for the making of New Year resolutions. You know, you think of something in your life you want to alter or improve upon, and thus the list is created. Just about anything can be made into a resolution, thus requiring a change of some kind. How about you? Any resolutions for 2022 you’d like to share? We won’t check up on your results later on, we promise!

We always have a ball on the road!

We sure want to travel more this year in our RV motorhome. We do miss the comfort and enjoyment of traveling together. It is a quick trip by air for sure, but in the RV you can see so much more. With the threat of the COVID still very much in play, by using our RV we have our own on board facilities. No public restrooms for us thankfully! In addition we can cook on board if we do not feel comfortable at restaurants.

“A new year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.” —Unknown

Enjoying Harmony Winery wines

We liked the Indigo wine so much from Harmony Winery that we just had to go back for more.  It has become our new favorite.  It is so refreshing and has a hint of blueberry.

When we had a wine tasting on Thursday, we bought 2 bottles of the Indigo.  We had a wonderful time during our tasting.  Our host was the head winemaker and general manager, Kyle Condra. He was very helpful in selecting our wines to sample.  He even offered suggestions on serving it.  He was also fun to chat with.

The Harmony Winery wines are delicious.  We tried about 5 for our wine tasting.  It was hard to decide which we liked best.  Usually we find one or two we like, but rarely all 5!  We tried Copper Tiger which tastes like you’ve taken a bite of watermelon.

On Sunday as we were leaving the Highway 40 yard sale we decided we should get some more since we now have a new favorite.  This time we met the owner, Josh Adams, another delightful person to talk with.  He told us about some of the plans they are making for the winery and events they are going to have.

Turtle Bay is a fantastic pairing of the natural berry and plum flavors of White Zinfandel with a host of luscious fruits including blackberry, strawberry, passionfruit, and blackcurrant.  We bought a few bottles of this on our return trip on Sunday.

It was a nice ending to our yard sale week.  We were tired and ready to go home and relax.  It was nice taking a long shower and then having a glass of wine.
We are looking forward to returning and tasting some of the other wines.  We also want to attend some of the events they have planned.

Kyle and Josh are super nice and make your visit to the Harmony Winery a most enjoyable way to spend an afternoon in Knightstown. Knightstown is on the Historic Highway US 40 between Indianapolis and Richmond, Indiana.