“Sometimes, the road less traveled…is less traveled for a reason.” Jerry Seinfeld
Carol writes: It had never been our plan at the outset of this life on the road to spend the summer in the southern part of the country known for scorching deserts in the southwest and high heat and humidity in the east, but that’s exactly where we had been living the last three months of our new lifestyle. We had left Colorado at the end of April to spend some time with our daughter in Clovis, New Mexico. After that visit, we had planned to reverse course and head to Oregon and Washington State for the summer. However, news of our daughter’s knee surgery, which was now scheduled to take place in San Antonio at Brooke Army Medical Center in early August, necessitated a change of direction. We were told she would require a “responsible adult” immediately after surgery and then for a period of several weeks to help her with daily activities while she was in a rigid knee brace that would allow no weight bearing whatsoever on the affected knee.
Hmmm…In a matter of weeks we had sold our home of 25 years, we had just embarked on a nomadic life-on-the-road in an RV, and we had willingly left the comfort zone of our life in Colorado. In spite of all that, we firmly insisted we would still qualify as the “responsible adults.”
So, there we were--heading to San Antonio, with a tentative arrival date in early August at a campground within sight of Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston. We had enjoyed our days in Fredericksburg, had met very interesting fellow campers, and took plenty advantage of what there was to see and do. We especially enjoyed one of our rare opportunities to take a hike to the top of a massive granite dome at Enchanted Rock State Park, with its bountiful desert landscape of prickly pear cactus that we loved so much.
At sunset we watched a fascinating emergence of over a million Mexican free-tailed bats as they left their daytime home in an old railway tunnel and headed out for a night of feeding.
In spite of the midsummer heat, we got in a day trip to a farm that cultivates wildflower seeds.
Only a few fields were in bloom this late in the summer, but they were lovely.
And finally…we couldn’t leave Texas Hill Country without sampling a little of the local wine at Grape Creek Vineyards. The opportunity to experience a winery tour that ended up in the tasting room where we could pick six tasting selections was the selling point for our choice of Grape Creek.
For us, the oppressive summer heat of Texas had proved to be a challenge for any outdoor activities, but thus far our motorhome’s three rooftop air conditioners had kept us cool and comfortable indoors…until the day toward the end of our stay in Fredericksburg when, out of nowhere, we suddenly heard a loud, worrisome banging sound coming from the roof at the back of the coach in the bedroom and bathroom area. After a quick check, Al concluded that we were no longer getting cool air out of any “zone 3” (rear air conditioner) vents. Uh-oh!
After a conversation with Entegra Technical Support, we decided it would be best to skip the week we had planned to spend in Austin and head directly to San Antonio, where there was an RV repair service that could do on-site repairs at the campground.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
Skipping a visit to Austin meant that we would be at our San Antonio rendezvous with daughter Megan a week early--and that was no big deal--until suddenly the date of surgery was postponed for two weeks. Time to “make lemonade out of lemons” and take advantage of seeing more of San Antonio than we thought we could…
Over the next several days, we watched as the temps hit the triple digit mark, and then some!
Thankfully, we had a nice campsite with one precious tree for shade.
As promised, a week later a new air conditioner arrived and was installed on site. We were once again totally cool and comfy. When the cover was removed from the damaged unit, we discovered that two of the bolts holding the fan/motor unit had loosened and one had sheared off, sending the fan unit cartwheeling inside the cover, thus causing the pounding sound we had heard. Thinking back to a horribly bumpy stretch on I-10 sort of led us to an understanding of how events had probably played out…
There are a lot of things to see and do in San Antonio!
with remnants of an ancient aquifer system on the grounds.
Those who are really into tubing know to tie the group’s tubes together and add an extra tube in the middle for lunch and “cold drinks.”
Dinner at the San Antonio River Walk
Note to self for next time: Don’t do the River Walk until the sun has set. The river is below street level, resulting in no breeze to speak of, and it is sweltering at this time of year. Notice the pained smiles you see on our faces in the pic above.
To date, we are very pleased with the convenient location of our campground on the grounds of historic Fort Sam Houston. The hospital looms large on the south side of our campground. Termed BAM-C for short, this medical facility has a long tradition of treating our country’s most severely wounded warriors. Some consider it to be the crown jewel of military treatment facilities.
Slowly, but surely, the weeks were passing by as we waited for the day of surgery. Besides playing tourist, we kept busy with workouts at the gym on ‘Fort Sam’, took advantage of the pool on super-hot days, and Al even got in a couple of rounds of golf. On his last round Al scored his best game ever since his postgraduate days in Monterey. Best to savor that game for a while…
History fans that we are, for our next blog post I have saved what we think is the best of San Antonio .
“Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.” Henry J. Kaiser