Rojo does it different

This Blog is gonna be different.I am an independent thinker and many of my ideas are not shared by the Pretty people, so be it. You are going to meet some interesting people, see some interesting places and with a bit of luck I will be able to bring a smile to your face ever now and then. Rojo

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


After a good nights sleep, it was time to get serious. I cant see color with less than 2 cups of coffee. While Jeanie's bottle was warming up and building air pressure I checked all the tires and we were off to find a parts store for some new spark plugs for the generator.

We had gone a few blocks when we spotted a Napa parts store with a huge parking lot. With in ten minutes The plugs were changed and the generator running.  Yep it was time for my morning chat with Juan Valdez, life is good.

After coffee and Breakfast on the Napa parking lot we hooked em for Montrose,CO. There we turned south on U.S. 550 to Ridgeway,CO, where we turned West  on CO State Highway 62 to Placerville. At Placerville  we turned South on on Colorado State highway 145. What a great  ride that was. only 4 miles to Sawpit,CO a beautiful little town, then  Telluride, Lizard head pass and Rico. Rico is just to neat for words.Stoner and then Dolores, We had a wonderful day, my neck was sore from Rubber necking. I loved Jeanie Bottle so much. No worry about over heating on long pulls or hot brakes going down the other side. Not worrying about being  under powered and having Jeanie along with me just made it super special. Ole winnie had served me well but I would have never dared travel this country with her.

We rolled in to the Cortez,CO gun club in the late afternoon and set up.  We had wonderful view out our back window.It changed constantly as the day progressed.
 In full sun
Late in the day.
Almost dark and getting cool in the high desert
As I have said before, once you have seen one gun Club you have seen them all. About the only thing that ever changed with the view out our front window, was when shooters on the trap fields came to visit this yellow monument. I think it must have been some kind of sacred place, only one shooter at a time could go in and others lined up outside to wait. I heard many  shout Jesus  Christ, man and OMG I hope he hurries :-))
The shoot was a good shoot and we were happy to hear, that on Saturday night they were going to do a big Bratwurst  supper. When I closed the shop, I went by to check on the Bratwurst. They were boiling them with cabbage. I really didn't think that was something I wanted, so Jeanie and I ate grilled chicken from our grill.

Jeanie and I were having a great time since we left Texas and had seen some Incredible sights.The big thing was  that I was developing an attitude, to say the least. As I have said before I don't like guns and I was only here for the money. I had already canceled  1/2 of my shoots for the year, so I thought I could live with that for the rest of the year.

My next shoot was at Raton, New Mexico, at the N.R.A. facility. If there is any one organization in America that I think is more despicable than the KKK, Skin Heads and militias it is the National Rifle Association. That probably was not helping a lot with the attitude situation.

 I was  packed up and ready to roll by 4 PM on Sunday. After everyone left the club I hooked up to the trailer, and check everything that need to be check and got ready for a early start. that would be 8-8:30 after coffee and we would have breakfast on the road somewhere.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


As we  leave the beautiful Garden of the Gods and start out on our trek to Cortez, Colo,  in the South West corner of the state.We are on U.S. 24 west bound giggling our silly heads off. Did We really do that???

OMG... I'll bet someone post us on the Internet tonight. What a picture that will be. Some bearded ole geezer with a cute gal setting beside him in a truck named Jeanie's bottle, coming in the entrance to Garden of the Gods with about 1/2 inch on either side to spare. People were scrambling off the rock like crazy and thankfully the people who owned the car that needed to be moved for us to continue our entry was near by. People were either taking pictures of 72 foot of  truck conversion and trailer  coming in the entrance or freaking out.

I had not been there since I was about 12-13  and everyone at the gun club said I just had to take Jeanie to see it. They just forgot to mention the narrow entrance. Once we got in, the only place we could park was at the tourist trap store where the tour buses park. Those buses were only about 45 foot long and could pull over for scenic spots. We were to long for the turn out and blocked the narrow road when we tried.  We will go back when we can take the van and really enjoy the day in Garden of the Gods.

We passed beautiful little Lake George,  We were just beginning to think that this might be a great area to hang out in during the summer.We marked it down as a point to check out later ,but it appeared to be all  RV Parks and we didn't much care for that Idea.  We will check it out.

As we started the pull to the 9507 foot Wilkerson pass, Jeanie's bottle was just scooting right along. we were enjoying the beautiful scenery so much and Jeanie loved the Aspen trees. When we got to a turnout with Aspens right beside it, I pull over really close to the trees and stopped. I opened the lift access door . and deployed the lift. Jeanie  rolled right out after a warning of "Don't look down"  I pulled a Aspen branch down and let her touch the leaves. She wanted one for a keepsake, when she found the one she liked I snipped it off for her.  We stowed the lift and closed the doors, I pulled up a little more so she could get out and walk around( read as drive her wheelchair). we both loved  the cool fresh mountain air. I put Jeanie's keepsake leaves between wax paper and put them in a book at the bottom of a stack of books to press them. 
Jeanie on her lift, with her leaves, It must have been 300-400 feet straight down below her.

 Walking around the scenic pull out enjoying the fresh air on Wilkerson Pass

Over  Wilkerson pass and just flip on the Jake brake and ride and glide. It is so good to have the power to get up the passes and the Jake to take us down the other side. I never had to touch the  air brakes on Jeanie's Bottle one time.We stayed on U.S. 24 until we got to the junction of U.S. 285 at Johnsonville,CO. We then went south on U.S. 285 to Mayville,CO and the junction of U.S.50. We took U.S.50 west toward  the great divide.This was the second time, of many, that we would cross the Continental Divide in this years trip. I had in mind spending the night at the top of Monarch Pass at 11,312 feet.

It was almost dark by the time we got  done taking pictures and gawking at Mother Nature,s handiwork  I started the Generator but I had a tough time getting it to run right because of the thin air at  11,300 plus feet. I adjusted the carburetor a couple of times but it still wasn't right. I got supper fixed and then the Generator quit on me. I thought I knew exactly what the problem was, and I was right. The plugs had fouled,. I changed the plugs and it was back to running.

It was already pretty cool and I knew we were going to need heat before morning. We didn't have a motor home to go camping in. It was a motor HOME and we intended to be comfortable.. so we relied on electric heat. I had not installed the propane furnace yet.
 We decided we better get the heck off the mountain. We set sail for Gunnison at  7700 feet. I knew the generator would run there. The only problem was in all the getting ready to get to getting. I forgot to turn the generator off and the plugs fouled again. Not a big chance of buying plugs in Gunnison Colorado at 11 PM so we plugged Jeanie's C-Pap in to the 12 volt and called it a night, and a very comfortable night it was.
Rojo on Monarch Pass at dusk.
What a gorgeous place to spend the night at the top of Monarch pass.

Tomorrow: Hello Cortez, Colorado Gun Club

I plan to have a great day, I hope you will join me
Thanks for coming by to check on us


Monday, March 29, 2010


 We went Back to the old Home place and parked Jeanie's bottle on the  Cleache driveway. Until about '58 or '59 the roads had all been dirt.When the rain came it could get to be a real mess.The county put Cleache on the roads to make them all weather road and we did the same for our drive way. 

 I enjoyed watching the sunset behind the wind brake one more time. It had been about 42 years since I last saw it. We walked around a bit, I showed Jeanie the concrete slab that had been the bottom of our water tank for the livestock and told her about the big gold fish we had in the tank and a couple of catfish.

It was a very peaceful night no Vehicles went down the road that night. The coyotes did their thing and the cool breeze was so calming. At about 7 AM we were awaken to the sound of my cousin starting his spray plane. He kept it parked, at night just, across the road and down about a 1/4 mile at the T in the road.  He used the road for his runway.

Jeanie and I had a leisurely coffee and breakfast, took one more long breath of the fresh morning air and said good bye to the farm.  We went about 1/4 Mile East to where my cousin parked his spray plane and turned north for the mile to the paved road. About a 1/2 mile down the road I heard a familiar noise, We were buzzed by my cousin about 5 feet above the RV. He tipped the planes wings back and forth saying good bye as he made a sharp right bank and went back to land and reload with spray.

We rambled around the back roads of the Texas Panhandle to Stratford, Texas.  When we got to Stratford we stopped to say a quick hello to and old friend. From Stratford We took U.S. 287 north to Boise City,OK, where  We decided it was time for a  snack on the truck stop parking lot.

As we were getting ready to pull out I ask Jeanie if she would like to get high in OK. With one of those ok here goes the leg pulling again,  look in her eyes she said " might as well say yes, because we are going to anyway". We drove over to Black Mesa, right  on the NM state line and the highest point in OK. Jeanie and I both enjoy the prairie very much. On the back roads going back to U.S. 287, just before we got to the Comanche Nation Grassland,  Sunflowers were in bloom everywhere and another plant that we were not familiar with. Jeanie thought they were so pretty, she ask me If I would cut her some.  I stopped Jeanie's bottle right on the road, not much chance of a traffic jam here. As we were gathering flowers, I say to myself, "Self what are we gong to put these in?". I had not been in the habit of carrying flower vases around with me. As we got back in Jeanie's Bottle with the flowers, There was my answer. My high dollar exotic imported Wal-Mart insulated drinking mug.

 Jeanie was happy with her flowers and I was happy that Jeanie was happy. She is so easy to please and asks for so little.
Jeanie was fascinated by the Prairie Dogs. We stopped several times to watch then scurry around and pop in and out of their borrows. We enjoyed the natural prairie scenery as we made our way into Colorado and across the Comanche Nation Grasslands to Campo, Colo.We had a short visit with DR. Gene Schroder, a local vet and hay farmer, for him to meet Jeanie. Gene  and I had been friends for many years.

After the visit with Gene , we headed on North on U.S.287 to Springfield. We were going to try to find some of those beautiful emerald green wheat fields, with the ocean waves, between there and Kit Carson.We would turn West  just past Kit Carson to Colorado Springs and our next shoot.

Just a few miles north of Springfield we found this Beautiful   rest area and said, " This is our camp for tonight.
This is our kind of place. quite natural and Beautiful. no clubhouse, pool, or social gatherings.
.I wonder how million years it took Mother nature to build these Beautiful formations and how long it will take before some scumbag with a can of spray paint thinks he can make an improvement on them. I am glad we got there first.
Back in these days we were still taking pictures with  35MM cameras. We have several packs of pictures that we have misplaced, of this part of the trip. We shot up at least 2 rolls of film on prairie Dogs alone and probably at least 2 rolls each on pike's peak, Pike's peak gun club and the garden of the Gods.Sooooo when we start with pictures in the next post, it will be On U.S. 24 west of Clolrado springs. 

The story at the Gun club is short and sweet. We unloaded and loaded the rolling benches in 3-4 inches of gravel but the fed us like kings.

Tomorrow: Dang , did we really do that

I planed to have a great day, I hope you will Join me.

Thanks for coming by to check on us


Sunday, March 28, 2010

The old home Place and Elementary school.

SODA FOUNWe had a great time In Stinnett. I showed Jeanie where the social hot spot for the teenagers of my day was. It was a Drive Inn with sometime carhops. It was owned then By My friend J,B, Snodgrass. J.B. let me use  His Garage to repaint my Harley that I had bought from the Chief of police, Doug Boone. Wonder what ever happen to J.B and Doug.?

We went by the corner where the old Drug store had been . The bus taking the football players home after practice , would stop there every day so we could get a fountain drink with plain water and a package of peanut butter crackers. The small hexagon ceramic floor tiles were the school colors. maroon, gray and white. I found  one of each for a keepsake. I showed her Bill's Barber shop where the football Players got a Flat top hair cut on the same day each week, It was tradition.

 We went by for a short visit with one of my cousins and I showed Jeanie where a lot of old friends had lived. Then I showed her the County Courthouse and told her the story about a lawyer  who lost a very important case  in Spring of '58. He was instantly very Depressed and went to the top of the  Courthouse and jumped off. Jeanie said that's a sad story. I said no, he wasn't hurt he had on his new SPRING suit... he just bounced around a tad.  Jeanie smiled and said you just did it again :-)))   Yep I did.
 Here Are the pictures of the drugstore.
The Barber shop.
The courthouse
And the little house made out of concrete.
that I cant find, sorry you would have enjoyed them.

After that tad of leg pulling, we headed out North to go visit the old home place. My Great Granddad homesteaded 16 sections (10,240 acres) in Hutchinson County Texas in 18??. Over the years it had been split up between the  heirs. Mother owned 480 acres and  her and Dad leased another 320 acres from my Uncle. We also leased  1280 acres from a Bank in Chicago.

Dad owned farms in central Texas, Meador Grove, when He and Mom married. They lived there until ,for health reasons, they moved to mothers farms in the panhandle in 1948. There were no improvements on mother's farms. While they were getting the house built, well drilled, barns built along with all the things it takes to make a farm a home, we lived in the house on the land they leased from Mom's brother.

 I was not in school yet so I went with Dad everyday while he was planting trees for a wind Brake and building the well house out of cement blocks, for the water tank to set on.
This is the  wind brake that I helped Dad plant in 1948. We didn't have a well drilled yet so we hauled water for the little trees a couple of times a week.   The USDA soil conservation service gave the trees to anyone who wanted to plant them.
If you look close on the right at the horizon ,you will see the trees at My uncle and aunt's farm 1 1/2 miles away. we were surrounded by relatives.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Over all things were going pretty well. Jeanie was still having one  or two seizures every month but it had been that way for years. She was  in her words having " The time of her life". The shoots  were going about like normal. I was doing less work because of my shorten hours. Some of the shooters were grumbling about that, they had been as the saying goes " spoiled rotten". Before Jeanie, I spent many many hours a day in the shop and I seldom turned down a job. I had a lot more going for me now, Jeanie was just really fun to be with 24/7

We were just really getting started for the year. After this shoot we would be heading north to cooler country for the rest of the summer. I was anxious for Jeanie to meet my Daughter and her family. This was home country and I had so much I wanted to show Jeanie,and gun clubs are like Bars once you have seen one you have just about seen them all.
Jeanie, Great Granddaughter  with me at ,Guess where

My daughter, Granddaughter and Great Granddaughter
Jeanie and I with a Happy Great Granddaughter.

 We had a fun time with Sandy and her family,  We showed Jeanie the sights of Amarillo. 
The next stop after the shoot was My hometown, if a country boy has a hometown. Stinnett,Texas home of the Mighty Stinnett Rattlers.Between Amarillo and the old home place 65 miles to the north is where about 1/3 of my stories  come from. Those were much softer, gentler days for the most part.  I had some good times in " The Panhandle" but the one that ended the best for me is about Sandy and we will get to that another time. 

 The Rattler heritage center 
Standing next to some lockers out of the old High School with my Football letter jacket hanging on the open door. I donated the Jacket to the center about 10 years ago
State semi finalist trophy for the 1960 season.My last season.
Jeanie  In front of the trophy's. The 1956 team got the big one

Tomorrow: The old home Place and Elementary school.

 Thank for coming by to check on us.

Friday, March 26, 2010


 The rest of  the story for Friday 3-26
  After a couple of  meals at Bush's Chicken,a local Texas Chain chicken restaurant, and a bit of  snooping around town looking for something interesting to do. We checked on the trailer, it was almost ready,I was hopeful that the cam lock latches would come in while we were were there. That didn't happen so I told them we would just pick them up in the fall.

We headed to Ft. worth with our newly repaired trailer. It was getting late in the afternoon when we got to the Ft. Worth club.This was our lucky day all the shooters were parked on the East side of the club house and we need to be on the west side. I backed in and unhook the trailer. While Jeanie was exploring the club from the sidewalk, to avoid Fire Ants, I set up the Igloo.

 I started to unload the first bench/cabinet. As I got it started down the ramp I almost had a runaway. I was not ready for that!!! Junior and his friends had loaded them at Waco, I had no Idea how heavy these suckers  were. The next one was worse and the last one was about the same as the first.

Remember a few post back I said that I had made a decision that would prove to be dumber than a rock? This was my first indication of that. I began to think ,you could have designed the Texas on/off ramps. What was I thinking when I came up with that brilliant idea?  I decided to see how hard it was going to be to get them back up the ramp into the trailer. They roll around easy enough on the asphalt. I line one up and start up the ramp. The first 1/2 goes easy enough but the last half wants to come back down the ramp. It was all I could do to keep it from rolling backwards.

I had learned after the first bench. Don't pull it off , push it off, unless you are really into pain. I pushed  the bench off again, and called it good for the night.

 When Jeanie Got back from socializing, I told her I thought I had made a slight miscalculation. I had been doing shoots for years, some on asphalt lots, some on grass, some on dirt, some on gravel. Shoots usually dont stop for rain, lighting yes  rain no. I could see some potential problems ahead.  

The shoot was going pretty good. A lot of the guys and gals came by to see the new trailer and Jeanie's Bottle. We were having an above average shoot and it was much easier to handle the accessories sales out of the new vendor trailer.

On  Sunday night evening when the shoot was over, it was much easier to get things cleaned up and the only packing to do was the Igloo and the benches. It was tough getting the Benches up the ramp, in fact it was almost all I could do to get them in the trailer. This is not how I had envisioned the set up working.

 Shortly after I got packed up, the club Manger came over and said that we had a severe thunder storm on the way and we were under a tornado watch. RUT-ROW, The Thunderstorm at San Antonio scared Jeanie pretty bad and had resulted in a seizure. We turned on the  TV and watched the storm approach. The  Weather reporter with the radar gave a great description of where the storm was , where the tornado were touching down right down to the block.

So far we were going to be ok, then the storm shifted and It was  time to get ready to get in a trap house. Trap houses are where the clay target is launched from and for the most part under ground. I got some warmer clothes on both Jeanie and I and some bottle water in the pockets along with her meds and a flashlight. We watched as the storm got closer, we were just about ready to go out the door, when the storm broke up.Jeanie handled it like a champ, her only question was how were you going to get me in the trap house. My answer was "carry you",she was satisfied with that.

Our next planned stop was 2 weeks away,in Amarillo. About an hour after the storm, the Manager from the Ok Trapshooters Association called and ask if we could come to a shoot there the next weekend. He said the only Vendor for the shoot had just called and canceled and he needed a vendor. They had been very good to me when I was the new kid on the block, so I told him we would be there.

On  U.S. 77 near the Arbuckle  Mountains in OK. on the way to El Reno OK.

The most memorable part of this shoot was how much Jeanie enjoyed watching the wind blow in the 1000's of acres of knee high wheat.

When the wind blew across the emerald green wheat fields it looked like ocean waves, It was absolute beautiful. I grew up  in wheat fields in the Texas panhandle and  had been at this club dozens of times butI had never seen it before. It is not that it wasn't there,it was that I just had not seen it.  That was the beginning of me realizing that Jeanie was teaching me more about life and living life than I had learned in last 6o years. It still continues 6 years later in 2010, for that I am very grateful. When I walked  down those stairs at the airport to meet this lady for the first time, there is no way I could have imagined what a positive influence she was going to have on my life.

 I learned from the Ft. Worth shoot to hire some of the kids that helped out at the shoots to load the benches.  we had a great time running old  Route 66 back to Amarillo.

A.D.A.S. Another Day Another Shoot but at this one I have a Daughter and Granddaughter and a Great granddaughter.
 Tomorrow:  Amarillo, fun with the family and moving on up.

I plan to have a great day, I hope you will join me



The Blog for today is going to to be a little late, like probably late afternoon or early evening. I just couldn't. find my Round-tuit.

I plan to have a great day, I hope you will Join me.

Thanks for coming by to check on us


Thursday, March 25, 2010


Here is the story I promised you a few days ago Katie.

We woke up early and had a great Breakfast. Jeanie set on the bed with her folding hospital tray in front of her, playing  Pop -it on Pogo to go and instructed me in the fine art of Garvey making. We had sausage,Biscuits and gravy for breakfast.

Junior and the guys were finishing the last of loading up. We got  hooked up to the new trailer just a tad after noon, said good bye to  the Waco Gun club and Junior and company. We made a short hop to Ed's Truck stop for another chicken fried steak with fried okra and sweet  tea. Next a Stop at the Little Czech Bakery  for more Kolaches before getting serious about the drive to Ft. Worth gun  club

Life was good, We were off with our long awaited new trailer,full tummies and a bag full of Kolaches..  We had just pasted the Abbott exit on Infernal State 35, home of Willie Nelson, and were discussing Willie. I completely missed the Abbott Truck wash, where I had intended to get the RV and trailer washed.

I was in the middle lane running about 65 when I felt a sharp jerk. I looked in my left Mirror.... HOLY CRAP... the trailer was at about a 30 degree angle to Jeanie's Bottle in the left lane. I hit the Jake brake, and  Jeanie went OHHHHH, there was another jerk and the trailer was in the right lane Jeanie went OHHHHH and another jerk and Jeanie went OHHHHHH.  Every time the trailer changed lanes and Jerked Jeanie went OHHHHH looking from right to left and left to right. It's funny now but at that particular moment I didn't have time for it to be funny.

I had the Jake on and working the brake and accelerator trying to get this pending disaster under control. Every time it jerked I accelerated a little to pull it back in line then break to slow down just a tad. After what felt like hours I felt a steady pull on Jeanie's Bottle but the trailer was still swapping side to side just not as much. I knew when I felt the steady pull that the brake away switched had kicked in. I continued to gear down and brake and accelerate until I could get on the shoulder. The tongue jack dug in to the asphalt and then the bottom of the tongue dug in.Things were pretty steady at this point.

It had taken about 2 miles and a unknown amounts of OHHHHH's before we were stopped on the shoulder. I looked in my Mirror and the closest car in sight on the North bound Infernal State was at least 1/2 mile behind me. One guy in a pickup truck went by and honked and gave me a thumbs up.

My spring was still wound tighter than an 8 day clock. That's kinda how I am, I can handle just about any kind of emergency and stay calm and cool but later I shake like a leaf on a tree. I unlocked Jeanie's  wheelchair lock down, told her everything was ok and went to see how bad I had just lied to her.

 I was shocked as I walked around the trailer and didn't see any damage except to the Tongue  and rock guard. I expected to see the Texas Troopers pull up at any second or someone with a smashed car. I started the generator and got Jeanie's computer going so she could play  Pogo and calm her nerves. I told her I didn't know how long this was going to take but just call if you need me.
The pictures below were not taken on the side of the road. I was to darn busy to think about pictures right about then.
This was the  culprit, a defective coupler.

 The problem as I saw it right off, was I had a trailer with the coupler flat on the asphalt and a tongue jack with a 90 degree bend in it.I needed to get the coupler 19 inches off the ground to get it back on the ball and get the heck off the Infernal State. 
These saved the day. That small hole where the hook connects to the chain is where the safety latch was before the coupler came off the ball. if these safety chains had come off, the trailer would have been history.

I always carried  3 different size bottle jacks. I blocked the wheels and put the smallest bottle jack under the right frame rail. The smallest jack is about a 1 1/2 ton jack. It was moaning and groaning to lift the trailer. I finally got it up enough, to get the 10 ton medium size jack under the frame rail. I was on a roll now. Once I got the  10 ton jack under the frame rail, the trailer came on up until I could get the 30 ton big jack under the front frame rail. The 30 ton jack wouldn't raise the coupler to 19 inches.
The totally demolished break away switch.  The break away switch is a safety device to lock the brakes on the trailer if  the trailer becomes unhooked from the tow vehicle.

I got 2 wooden 4x4 blocks out of the trailer. I put one block under the 10 ton jack and extended it all the way up. Then I let the 30 ton jack down, until the trailer front frame rail rested on the 10 ton jack. I put a 4x4 wooden block under the 30 ton jack and extended it all the way up. Still a no go and I didn't have any more blocks. What now Coach????

Jeanie called and said she need something to drink, that sounded good to me. I hadn't notice but I was soaking wet with sweat. I went in and got Jeanie a bottle of water and 2 for me. I gave Jeanie a progress report and chugged a bottle of water. On the way back out it hit me, Just take a tire off the trailer and put the 4x4 wooden block on the wheel laying flat on the ground. I jacked up the front tire on the trailer, took the tire and wheel off and used it under the block. It worked, the trailer coupler was now high enough to clear the ball.

The inside of the coupler was packed with asphalt. I took a screwdriver and hammer and made short work of getting that stuff out. Now comes the tricky part. I have to back the RV up until it is a  perfect  fit for the coupler to go over the ball. No second chances at this one, if I back up to far and hit the coupler I am back to square one with the trailer on the ground. 

I am in a bit off a hurry to get this done before a State Trooper shows up and I have to explain the 50 foot long gouge in the asphalt on the shoulder. It took 3 shoots because I was very cautious.I got the coupler on the ball and used a short piece of chain to secure it around the hitch. I thought it would be just long enough for the coupler to be able to turn but not enough to let it come off the ball, we would see shortly.

Time to move the 10 ton jack and let the 30 ton down. I put the tire and wheel back on the trailer, loaded up the jacks and tools and hooked it.  In this case hooking it was at about 25 MPH  for about a mile to the next exit. For those of you who haven't experienced the Texas on/off ramps, They appear to think you should almost stop before you get on or off. Those ramps are almost 90 degree turns. Once us ole Texans see how the California boys did it we wonder, what was them ole boys thinking when they built these. 

At any rate I stopped when I was at almost 90 degrees on the exit road and frontage road. The chain on the coupler could stand to be a couple of links tighter. No traffic in sight on either road so I took up a couple of links. With that taken care of , I reconnected the trailer lights and brake wires.
Mangled trailer light and brake wires

We set sail for three more miles at a pretty good clip just to test the rigging out. I didn't put the lock pin in because It didn't work the first time and I was somewhat sure It wouldn't work this time. When we got to the next exit, we took  state 22 east for 28 miles to the Manufacturer.  I wanted to be setting at their gate when they opened.
 Right corner of the rock guard
Rock guard rolled under at the bottom all the way across the front

 The C & M Factor has struck again. For My New readers who are wondering what the C& M factor is. It is the Clinton & Mc Cain  factor.... you know the best laid plans yada yada yada

 We had a two day wait for the trailer to be repaired. We just kicked back and enjoyed ourselves and joked about  the OHHHH,OHHHHH,OHHHHH  every time the trailer swapped lanes.I told Jeanie if had not been so busy with the happenings at the time I might have thought she was having a sexual experience. :-))

Tomorrow on to Ft. Worth then OKC, Amarillo and COOL  Colorado

I plan to have a great day, I hope you will join me

Thanks for stopping by to check on us

Tuesday, March 23, 2010



 Another shoot completed without to much hassle about my new hours of operation, a good nights sleep. Now it was time to get started with  moving the tools and equipment to the new trailer. I got Junior to round up a couple of his friends and we all got started. I was mostly pointing and instructing, With Jeanie's approval of course.

We took everything out of the Igloo and put it in the Whale. The  Igloo was moved to the back of the new trailer for a test run. Mark one on the wall for our team that worked. 

Next Junior and one of his friends  set the 3 blue bench/cabinets in the Igloo to decide where I wanted to mount which piece of equipment. 

The other guy was helping me take the tools and equipment out of the old trailer and put it in the big tent in case it rained. Good idea, It rained off and on for about 2 days. No problem we were in the dry and so was all the tools, equipment and inventory. We moved the old trailer out of the way and called it a day.

The next morning we set all of the equipment on the benches where I thought I wanted them, then backed off and looked it over. We moved a couple of pieces and and called it good.

I left Junior and the guys drilling and bolting equipment to the benches, while Jeanie and I went to town on a special mission.

It was Jeanie's 51st Birthday. I had planned a Birthday party on the clubs covered patio. We were going  to grill steak and chicken, family  and friends were bringing baked beans, potato salad, other goodies and we were going to have cake and Ice cream.

I wanted Jeanie to pick her own cake. She found a chocoholic's  dream come true.3 layers of  triple chocolate cake with fudge chocolate icing in between and over the out side. They decorated it for us while we finished our shopping.
A happy girl, Birthdays are her favorite holiday. She was not suppose to make it to 15. Today, April 24,2004, she is 51

Some of the family and friends.
We had a fun time at her party but we called it an early night

The shotgun accessories would all be mounted on the 4 display racks, 2 on each side of the new vendor trailer.That was  a given so I could concentrate on the placement of the rest of the stuff.

The next morning I went out to check on the positioning of the equipment on the benches. The guys had done an excellent job, everything was secure. 

The next thing was to figure out how I wanted to load it all in the trailer.  I knew for sure the last thing in and the first thing out was the Igloo. The Igloo was constructed  so that it dissembled into a small space. The benches/cabinets were next to last and the rest didn't really matter.It was beginning to come together.
The display racks were in place without the white tarps behind them. The tarps would be replaced with with wood  when we returned in the Fall. The inside of the trailer would be completed with electrical wiring and lights and the back enclosed  except for an entry door.

Inside at the front would be the enclosed " dirty work"  room ,with an exhaust fan. Sanding the wooden stocks and fitting the rubber Shotgun recoil pads made a big mess. The really big offender was grinding the aluminum  adjustable  butt plate that fit the end of the stock. The air would be filled with tiny particles of aluminum dust. We just didn't have time to finish it all now before we needed to be out of central Texas.

Shell carriers, hull bags ,gloves and many other Shotgun sport" must haves" hanging in the new vendor trailer.
 Shotgun cleaning supplies, If you shoot you have to clean.
Belts, hand towels, sights, goodies and gadgets. Over all I was pleased with the way it all turned out for a temporary fix. I would much prefer to have had it all inside to start with but I could "Make do" for a few months.

Tomorrow: On the road with the new Trailer.

I plan to have a great day, I hope you will join me.

Thanks for checking on us.


For our new readers this is occurring in April 2004 just after Jeanie and my separate roads came together to be one on March 21 2004
It is time for some serious decision making. The one thing that I do know is I want to be out of central Texas ASAP. If I had any clue to what the deal with the trailer was it would help to make some of those decisions. The other thing that I know is that I have a shoot coming up at the club in 2 days so I better get my mumbling butt in gear and get the tents set up.
 Here is Jeanie in the Belly of the whale ,cheering me on. I called the big tent the whale and the small tent the igloo.
 Igloo 10x10
The Whale  10x20
I took the full 2 days to set up the tents. On the afternoon of the first day the Club Manager showed up  for the 4-H  Club weekly practice and apologized all over himself for forgetting to call me.

Junior, the homeless guy, and the welders were cousins. Their uncle had been crushed in an industrial accident and they expected to be gone about 10 days. That meant they should be back in a few more days.

 This did present a tad of a problem. I had sold my shop trailer and the guy was suppose to take possession  2 days after the end of the upcoming weekend shoot..At the end of the weekend skeet shoot everything was originally set to go in the new trailer but now it  had to go in to the tents. I decided to set up shop in the Igloo. It was a bit of an inconvenience from what I was use to but what the heck, I could live with it for  a week or two.

I made a decision right about along here that later prove to be, dumber than a rock.  I could see that we were not going to get the trailer finished as I had envisioned and be able to get on the road before the heat and humidity in central Texas became more than I cared to endure again and I certainly did not want to put Jeanie through it.

I decided I would  work my shop out of the igloo for the summer and when we got back to Texas in the fall we would have Junior finish the trailer. Have you ever looked back and said" what was I thinking" well I did several times during  that summer.

When Junior and his cousin got back, they got the welding and display grid mounted in short order.As soon as the weekend shoot was over we 3 started unloading the shop and mounting all the equipment on 3 rolling bench/cabinet like you see in the picture.
The plan was to hang all the merchandise on hooks mounted on the display grid, much like my store displays. I put a tarp backing on the grid so that you could not see side to side , much like it would be when it was finished. SO far so good.

I had an aluminum ramp to roll the Benches/cabinets out of and into the trailer,it all looks good so far. The trailer would set right behind the tent. I should be able to back in and be open in an hour. That was some change  from 2 days.I was pleased with the Temporary changes we had made.

Tomorrow: Packing the new trailer and Jeanie's Birthday Party

I plan to have a Great day, I hope you will join me.



Monday, March 22, 2010


What the heck? only the floor of the trailer was done in 2 weeks. To say the least I was a tad upset. I went over and knocked on Winnie's door but no answer.

Being very careful to bypass Fire Ant Mounds on the way back to Jeanie's Bottle, I was probably very quiet. Thoughts were spinning through my head like race cars. It took a few minutes to get a grip on the situation and realize the first thing is nothing could be done about anything tonight. 

We didn't discuss it and wonder about what if or why, we ate supper and got a good nights sleep. I must admit that several time thoughts of " what the heck" did try to invade my serenity. Each time I turned my mind to something positive and I did sleep good.

The next morning after breakfast, I went over to the Winnie again. Still no Junior. This was a tad disturbing but right about then I decided we were  going to have a great day no matter what. 

I asked Jeanie if she would like to make a day of it doing a little sight seeing. She was all for that, after all we had just completed  a pretty full schedule.
Bluebonnets everywhere.
We drove around the back roads looking at all the wild flowers, checked out the Lake Waco C.O.E camping and ended up back in West,TX... No not West TX but the City of West on Infernal State 35.  Some say it is best known for the Great train wreck stunt but for me, it is the Little Czeck Bakery Kolache. OMG they are so good. Jeanie had never had a Kolache, so we bought a couple of smoked sausage Kolache for a snack and a bag full of mixed to go.

I  had in mind an early supper at Ed's truck stop at Elm Mott. They serve a platter size chicken fried steak with white gravy and fried okra. This was another first for Jeanie, she had never had Fried okra and was not real sure she wanted to try it.

It was a tad to early for supper when we got to the truck stop so we just walked around the little town until we got ready to  eat.Jeanie has been a big city girl all of her life, she was amazed to see people with chickens, and goats in the back yard. She also thought it was pretty cool.
 It was a nice quiet little town even if it was on the Infernal State.

We walked back to the restaurant and I ordered the chicken fried steak and okra for both of us. I had not told Jeanie how big they were and I told her if she didn't like the fried okra we would get her something else. she tried it and love it.:-)) The quart size Texas Sweet Tea did not have to be refilled and as Grandma use to say there was"A plenty" in the to go box.

Next we were off the the H.E.B. grocery store, a big Texas chain, to stock up on their Spring Water. Jeanie and I agreed it was the best we had ever tasted.  As we walked in I saw a sign that said Yellow meat Watermelons. I put one in the shopping cart and when Jeanie got back from her run to the produce section I told her I had bought a Yellow meat watermelon and they were almost as sweet as honey. She just smiled and said " You can't pull my leg on this one" I just smiled  and left it at that.

 I told her I had one more unusual sight I wanted to show her, and with that we were off to pick up our mail from the mail forwarding service.  I needed to add her name to the box so she could get her mail on the road too.I had spent a good part of the day pulling her leg about something or the other so she didn't know what to expect at the Mail service.
 Is this a blind man's nightmare or what?

 We picked up the mail and headed back to the gun club. It had been a fun day and come tomorrow I would be able to get the story on the trailer when the club opened for the 4-H Club  kids to practice.
 Look at the hair, about the time we got back to the club a little thunderstorm was approaching and the wind started to blow.  We retreated to Jeanie's bottle  and I set Jeanie up for another surprise.
The watermelon.
The yellow meat watermelon, Jeanie couldn't believe it and she was amazed at how sweet it was. She had to call home and tell her family about it.Her family had never heard of such a thing, they thought I was corrupting her.

Sometimes if you pull a leg just right, you really dont have to pull at all. ;-)))

Tomorrow: Making new plans.

I plan to have a great day, I hope you will join me.