Monday, February 4, 2013

Superbowl Sunday Tailgate Party

Ok, it wasn't a real tail gate party, but we did have people over.  Rick and Amanda were good enough to drop by and share some food and stories before the game started.
We have been in the same Walmart parking lot for about a week now. Originally Ward and I came in off the beach on Monday because the wind was picking up. Our propane supply was diminishing, we needed milk, and quite honestly the sand was starting to get to us. It was everywhere, and with the high humidity in the air, it was sticking everywhere. Oh, and the motorcycle was in need of some attention. So, we headed into town.
It was nice to come into town to restock our supplies, and Ward had a chance to take a better look at the motorcycle. It wasn't getting gas enough to run smoothly. He pulled off the tank and had a look at the fuel filter. Not good. Then he checked the air filter. Not good. A trip to the Harley shop was definitely in his future.
While in the Walmart lot we met several RV enthusiasts. Some have been on the road for over ten years, others just a few years. We met a couple who sell kites out of the trailer they pull. As they drive through America they stop, open the trailer, and set up shop. They sell for a day or a week, then pack up and head somewhere else.
Another full timer has been on the road for 11 years now. He is currently in a smaller Class C motorhome, but has had fifth wheels, large diesel pushers, pop-up tents, you name it. He prefers the small Class C because he is not restricted in places he can go. We hear that a lot. He also has solar panels on the roof of his RV. Hes got 2 100 watt ones, and 2 75 watt panels, producing as much as 350 watts per hour. He also has a 400 watt wind generator, but has not had it installed on this RV as of yet. The wind generator, he said, is a lot more trouble to set up on a mobile unit, and for that reason he prefers the ease of use of the solar panels. They are permanently installed, and collect energy whenever the sun is out. I told him I was looking into getting a wind generator because you get a lot more wattage for the cost of the thing. But after hearing what he had to say about set-up, I will need to think on that a bit more.
Bill came in from the beach as well a few times this past week, and spent a night each time. He has been on North Beach a mile down from us  off and on over the past month. And we finally met Beau a few days ago. Bill had said he was camped on North Beach a while ago when Bill first arrived.
It turns out most of the people we met for the first time, or as known aquaintences have been spending a lot of time over at Bird Island on the Laguna Madre side of Padre Island (between the mainland and the island). Some of them have been to Mustang Island. And sometimes we share the same experiences, only days apart. Curt and Kinder ate at the same restaurant at Port A, and walked around the pier behind the restaurant to see the same pelicans perched on the dock poles. We have been meeting a lot of the same people as they come and go from location to location. It's a strange fluid community of people moving in and out of our lives.
The motorcycle finally got back to its old self. Ward picked up some new filters and installed them. Then we headed out for a trip around town. We stopped in at the local Trade Fair, a kind of flea market filled with clothing, purses, toys, tattoo artists, food vendors, and so much more. It was interesting to walk through and check out the wares, but we didn't buy anything, not even a new tattoo for Ward, much to his chagrin.
Next we headed for the Pier in Corpus Christi. There are actually three separate piers downtown along the bay with sail boats galore docked in their slips.

We went down the central pier and found a small outdoor market set up with people selling trinkets and a  musician singing and playing guitar. We stopped at a food vendor, selling Cajun food from his old school bus for some red beans and rice.

While enjoying our snack we were joined by a local couple. We exchanged stories, and were told that the valley down south around McAllen was a 'must go' destination. A lot of times these tips from folks we talk to end up guiding us through the country. Some of the best places we have gone to came from suggestions like this one, such as Palo Duro Canyon and Fort Davis.
Ward and I were only going to stay at the Walmart for a few days this last time, just until the bike was running properly and the cold front and high winds left. Well, Superbowl Sunday was quickly approaching and we don't get CBS on the beach. So we decided to stay a few more days so we could see the game. Then Ward decided to have a tailgate party. He invited the folks still remaining in the parking lot that we have been talking with these past few days. That left Rick, with his dog Sam, and Amanda from Alberta. Rick is one of the full time RVers and comes from Minnesota. He retired from conventional employment and enjoys being a camping host up in Wisconsin during the summers, coming down to Corpus Christi most winters. Amanda comes from Alberta, and is on a three month vacation from Canada before going to University. She is only 22 and has already been to Australia and New Zealand, and is now travelling on her own in a mini-van adventure through America. More power to her.
We shared food and spent the afternoon telling stories of places we have been and lives we have lived. As the sun was starting to set, we went our separate ways. Amanda was off to another town down the road. Rick took his dog back to his RV, and we headed in to watch the game. This time we got to see the Superbowl commercials on the TV instead of running to the computer to get them on youtube. Wasn't that baby Clydesdale commercial great!
Well, it's Monday. Let's see what life has in store for today.

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