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A Sea of Mud, Cabin Fever and Diversions to Maintain Sanity

What do you get if it rains 10 inches in 10 days? NO PAYCHECK 🙂 . Well one thing is for sure, if you are working outside in the dirt, you certainly are not going to get much done if the dirt changes to mud. The first few days are pretty nice!

Man oh man!  Check out those legs!

Man oh man! Check out those legs!

Sleep in a little, stay up later, extend Happy Hour, catch up on email and the blog, cook instead of just slamming something in the microwave, watch some great movies on TCM, clean up the old girl and look for more stuff to do in the dry.

But then it starts to wear a little thin.  Just when it is starting to dry up, you get another 2″ of rain and it is wetter than ever!  One thing about it;  you can’t do anything about the weather so you might as well make the most of it.

One of the wonderful things about moving all over the state and staying in one location for several weeks to several months is that I get to immerse myself in the local community.   I get to know all the gals at the local beer store, the Postmaster since I do General Delivery and interesting places in the local area.  Texas has more different climate and geographical areas than any other state in the United States.  You can go from the Post Oak Savannah of North Texas out to the high Plains of the Panhandle, down toward the arid desert of West Texas, the Hill Country in Central Texas, the Redneck Riviera down on the Coast around Galveston and Corpus and lastly the rolling forests of the East Texas Piney Woods.

One of the ways I acquaint myself with the local area is geocaching.

Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.

I go to the geocaching website and do a radius search of the area, pick out the ones that look interesting, copy down the coordinates and head out for an afternoon of exploring. Sometimes I hunt the cache and sometimes I don’t even bother.  For me, it is the exploration that is the thing.  I usually pick historical locations that are related to the area.  Old cemeteries, churches and places of interest are available for discovery with just a little searching.  All of the geocache sites are rated as far as difficulty in accessing the site.  Some of them would be difficult in a car and some of them may even require some hiking.

Some sites are adjacent to highways that maybe you would just normally go whizzing by without even a second glance. The ones I enjoy the most are the ones you would never find if you did not know where to look. They are out on the backside of nowhere, at the end of steadily worsening roads which sometimes just turn into a two wheel track.  Just this past week,  I was out at an old church that was established in the late 1880’s and it was 9 miles off the hard top road. From the historical marker and other info it appears they only have services there once per month.  I was needing to answer a nature call and discovered a restroom behind the church building that was unlocked, clean and as modern as anything you would find in a big city!  Who would have ever imagined that?

Or how about an artesian well underneath the neatest little gazebo roof that was tapped in 1923?  Or a Confederate Soldier cemetery?   Or the fresh dirt on a young man’s grave that had a Bud Light  on each side — one opened and empty; the other still sealed and full?  A final offering to a friend, perhaps he stood there and drank the one beer before placing it firmly in the fresh dirt.  I can speculate and muse about the circumstances but I will never know for sure.  Maybe it is better that way.

The favorite find this last week was a family cemetery that was literally at the very, very end of a long, winding

On the top of a hill, deep in the Piney Woods of Deep East Texas

On the top of a hill, deep in the Piney Woods of Deep East Texas

gravel road.  The cemetery dates back to the 1880’s and the last interment here was back in the 1920’s.

Yet someone has kept the area reasonably clear of brush and undergrowth.  I just cannot help but imagine what it must have been like in this area post Civil War.

Most certainly it was a wild and woolly place to live and raise a family.

Wouldn't you like to know the history on this one?

Wouldn't you like to know the history on this one?

I stand there and try to go back in time to think about life and love way back in the day.  Certainly these folks never imagined a total stranger would be looking at their headstone 12o years later, aided in his search by satellites high in the heavens. Then I think about who took the time to keep this area clear and for what reason?  Was it a descendant?  Was it for a Dedication Day/ Commemoration at the local church several miles back up the road?  Was it a logger who just had a few extra minutes?  The whole breadth and scope of the history is what fascinates me.

Just think about it folks!  I am sitting here on a bright and sunny Saturday morning in mid October 2009 in a boondock location.  It was 49 degrees this morning and yet I am comfortable and warm in the Old Girl.  I am posting this blog entry using an extreme internet access setup while the Texas/OU game is beaming back at me on Sat 110 from Fairpark in Dallas.  A scant two miles down the road is a cemetery full of Confederate soldiers.   An appreciation and enjoyment of your surroundings is SO important if you are going to enjoy the fulltiming RV lifestyle and boondocking in particular!

‘Till next time…..

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