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Travelin' Texas

Highway Tales
Article Date: September, 2011


We traveled to Texas on assignment to do a number of articles this April. The morning we left Wisconsin it was 18 degrees outside. But we were headed to Texas, where it was around 80 degrees so we were glad to leave the frozen tundra behind. Saturday afternoon after I got off of work Leann and I hopped into the motorhome and hit the road. We headed to a Flying J in Illinois to spend the night and help break up the next day's travel. The following night was spent at an RV park in Sikeston, Missouri so we just had to stop at Lambert's Restaurant. For those of you who aren't familiar with Lambert's, it's worth a stop. Their claim to fame is that they are the "Home of the Throwed Roll". That's right, they'll bring your food to the table and constantly stop by to see if you want more fried okra or a ton of other fixins but when you want a roll you just stick your hand up in the air and the designated pitcher (yes, he wears a baseball cap) will lob one over to you from across the room. He has a pretty good aim too and there aren't too many rolls laying on the floor. Good food with a unique entertaining twist puts it right on your bucket list.

Texas was interesting. In this website you'll find articles on two suppliers of RV components for both OEMs as well as aftermarket installs. MCD Innovations is well known for their top quality window shades and Garnet Industries makes the excellent SeeLevel digital tank monitoring systems. I was impressed with the quality, service, and innovation that both of these companies exhibited. It makes me feel good to know that the RV industry is in good hands with made in America products that are well built and driven by the latest technology and it's nice to see that Texans have a bit of pride in what they do rather than shop for the cheapest imports.

That pride was evident in other areas as well. Barbecue was one example. In the southern Hill Country every town has a barbecue joint that is proud of "doing it the right way". Slow roaster brisket, ribs, and other cuts were laden with flavor and just melted in your mouth. It was fun to sample all of the delicacies but very hard to pick a winner because it was all very good.

This year marks the 175 anniversary of Texas' independence and the battle of the Alamo. The Alamo is revered and respected by Texans and history in general is well preserved in Texas. Everything from race cars to frontier history to the Texas Book Depository is saved in well kept museums through out the state. Texas' part in World War II is well documented by the National Pacific War Museum in Fredericksburg, the USS Texas Battleship in Houston, and the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi.

I found an analogy when walking on the hangar deck of the Lexington. Aircraft carriers are much like motorhomes. They are very self-sufficient but they are big so you can't park them just anywhere. Yet their purpose is to deliver the crew and its air wing to a destination so that the aircraft can perform their assigned task. Our motorhome is also self-sufficient. We have all of the plumbing, holding tanks, large fuel capacity, and electrical power generation needed to sustain ourselves for a while. Motorhomes are big also and can't be parked just anywhere but they carry us and our gear to our destination. Once we get there we dock it at an RV park or boondock on some federal land and use our Jeep to get around and see what we want to see or shop for restocking the Bus. We used to shout out "Wagons Ho" with our kids when we started out on the road. Maybe now it'll be "Wheels up" or "Let's get Enterprise pointed into the wind".

In this website you'll see how we upgraded an RV with new shades and sun visors. You'll also see how we installed a digital tank monitoring system. These projects can be Do It Yourself projects so you might just want to try them on your RV. The results are worth it. Plus, there's a great travel article on the Texas Hill Country. The scenery and history is great. At the very least the food should make you hungry. Just remember to duck when your neighbor waves for a roll.

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