This interstate is in a STATE!

Our stop over in Vinton really was just that, a stop over; we’d chosen the stop not for it’s aesthetic beauty as the accompanying photos show, but for the fact that the site was convenient…just of I – 10 and it had free wi–fi. It really was a strange town, the main street looked like it had been forgotten, the residents long gone, the residential streets were home to sheds, shacks with accompanying rubbish and one or two more conventional homes. It’s hard to think that people live this way, but along the gulf coast we’ve seen many similar settlements, it makes you feel humble. We did venture into Orange, which is actually over the state line in Texas. Here we happened upon a magnificent house, quite incongruent with its surroundings, with the most fascinating collection of ceramics and the most enviable cut glass. (Hazel you’d have loved it!). Amassed by the mistress of the house in the late 19th century, it gives a taste of what life must have been like for the rich at that time. Amazingly the house survived being left empty for nearly 40 years before being restored by members of the original family. www.whstarkhouse.org

Monday saw us make a bright early start; after removing the frost from toad, we were on the road heading west. Crossing into Texas the change in scenery was imperceptible at first. Though the roads were just as bad, the thought of 300 miles of that, was worse than daunting. Yes Houston you do have a problem…50% of the roads were virtually undrivable and the other 50% are being repaired. Add to that the maize of underpasses, overpasses, 6 lanes plus two hard shoulders and it was little wonder that by the time we arrived at our destination we both had splitting headaches! Having left the interstate highway, we travelled through a changing countryside. More undulating, though barely hilly, we registered the increasing number of cattle and wide-open fields. Small settlements straddled the road, but still a mix of a few “nice” houses and many poorer homes, characterized by the amount of abandoned cars/trailers and general rubbish on their lots. However, within a couple of hours we’d filled the propane tank (for the first time ever on this trip and for the princely sum of $25), taken a walk alongside the San Marcos river, made some interesting new friends who have just started full time rving, and had a dip in the indoor pool at this camp site among the pecan trees…sanity returns. www.pecanpark.com

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