Rodents in the RV is a problem. Someone sent the picture above to our Boyde today talking about their RV and a problem they had. Like many RVers, they parked their trailer or motor home next to their garage or barn out in the country or at a storage facility. Of course, we all go into our units at least once a month, clean the floor, start the engines, check the batteries, but none of us really check out the compartments. These critters must have been having a party for months. It made me think that we all do need to take time to check the compartments, refrigerator, water heater, LP systems and all the storage compartments.
Amazingly, critters can and do get into the smallest crevice. Think of it this way: If the hole is small enough to fit their head through, they’ll figure a way to get the rest of themselves in too.
Of course, I have heard all kinds of preventative measures…
- Steel wool tucked into every pipe crevice under the sink
- Moth balls or moth ball flakes in the compartment (if it doesn’t scare off the rodents it is still guaranteed to make your RV smell like your grandmothers closet)
- Tucking Bounce fabric softener sheets in every drawer, cupboard and closet tends to keep them away
- Putting a dog flea color in the refrigerator and water heater compartments tends to repel pests and rodents
- Even sprinkling fox urine inside of compartments
All good hints. Except for that last one. That one I think I’ll pass on for now. Of course the best way to stay rodent and pest free is to routinely check ALL of your compartments and look for any signs of activity: Food, Footprints or Feces…the 3 Big “F’s”
What is your helpful hint? I’d love to hear how you keep your RV pest free! Please share them with us.
Jon Lebkowsky, Flickr Creative Commons
I love fall. I mean, I really love fall. When fall arrives here in Texas, it’s the surest sign I know that the heat wave is over. Although…Texas has pulled a fast one from time to time where we’ve gotten those gorgeous colors on the trees, and it jumped back into the 90’s. That’s just so wrong, on so many levels. But the fortunate thing about us folks in this RV lifestyle is that we are mobile. I remember a trip once where we decided that our destination was 65. Folks would ask us, “65? Where’s that?” I’d smile and say, “65 F. And it’s probably around 7000′ elevation!” But I digress. Fall is coming and all the Norman Rockwell colors that go with it, so today let’s talk locations where fall is on best display here in Texas.
Lost Maples State Natural Area
This little park gets kind of busy on the weekend during the fall foliage season, so play your trip accordingly. Weekdays during business hours are quieter, and the trails uncrowded. Located on FM 187 in Vanderpool, TX Lost Maples is a kaleidoscope of natural beauty. And their website even has a Fall Foliage Report (click on it) from October through to November so you can play your trip accordingly.
Garner State Park
This is another of those breath taking natural areas in the Texas Hill Country. Located on Hwy 83 in between Leakey (pronounced Lake-ee, thank you) and Uvalde, this beautiful spot has the Frio River running straight through it. Fall colors are on their best violently bright behavior during our cruelly short Fall, so get out and enjoy them while you can! This park doesn’t have a fall foliage report but it’s fairly close (in Texas miles) to Lost Maples to at least get a hint or two off of the Lost Maples Foliage report.
And remember, before you hit that trail this fall be sure an hit our website for all your parts and accessories!
Now you may not think that “New Mexico” and “BBQ” would be a natural fit. When one thinks of New Mexico and food, you naturally think of chiles and spicy, flavorful, and….different…Mexican Food. Well if there’s one thing you’ll find a bunch of in New Mexico, it’s ex-pats from Texas! And since Texans like their BBQ and since New Mexico has a long, storied history with cattle dating all the way back to the Spaniards, you can be assured that the BBQ in their fine state is Top Notch. So if you’re headed through NM on I-10 or I-40 on that Great Winter Migration, I have a couple suggestions for you.
Sunshine Girl AZ, Flickr Creative Commons
Sparky’s BBQ, Hatch NM
Sparky’s. Man there just isn’t any place like it. Hatch is a quick jaunt north of I-10 on I-27 north of Las Cruces and Sparky’s is well worth the side trip! The entire place is a trip for that matter. I have no idea what is on top of the building now but statues of roosters, dinosaurs, Uncle Sam, a Kip’s Big Boy, a Bull from Sizzler’s have all graced the roof at one point or another. The place has such an eclectic collection of…just…stuff, that it features regularly on the Discovery Channel, the Travel Channel, or the Food Network. The food is fantastic as well. The brisket is to die for. And the Sliced beef sandwiches. And the green chile cheeseburgers. And the chopped beef.
Steve Terrell, Flickr Creative Commons
Mr Powdrell’s BBQ House, Albuquerque NM
Now up on the north side, there in Albuquerque on I-40 is Mr Powdrell’s. Mr Powdrell’s isn’t as flamboyant as Sparky’s, but is a top notch feed. Founded by Pete Powdrell (a displaced Texan), this place boasts the most tender brisket I have ever eaten outside Texas. Holy Mackerel this place is good!
So you see, no matter how you travel through NM you’re covered in good BBQ!
Sometimes I need to be drug kicking and screaming into the 21st century, and other times I’ll gladly jump in all by myself and this is one of those products that makes me fully appreciate the technological advances that are popping up all the time. Y’all, this thing is amazing and I’m so glad somebody thought to do this. Late last year King introduced a combination awning/porch light with included Bluetooth speakers!
Needless to say, if you’ve read this blog with any kind of regularity, you’d know how much I enjoy music and being at Matagorda with the awning out enjoying an evening. Now I can have a sip outside, enjoy the sunset, listen to some Eagles, then not trip over anything when I’m ready to go inside. How cool would it be to be able to have your music with you as you enjoy being outside with your friends and family?
The light fixture is a simple replacement of your existing exterior light, and utilizes LEDs which are the 21 Century’s “longer lasting lightbulb” aren’t they? The speakers are weatherproof, and can be controlled via Bluetooth from a downloadable app on your smartphone. You can even control the light dimmer from your phone or tablet! Even better, the speaker and light hard wire into the RV with just two wires so you don’t have to worry about charging it up like a regular Bluetooth speaker, or even worse, pulling it down off the wall to change those batteries because you forgot to turn it off. And they come in stunning white, or black.
If you’re interested in learning more, please click HERE to be redirected to our website. We have them on sale until September 17th. They are a truly remarkable and useful accessory that will indeed make your next trip just that little bit more enjoyable!
A lot of kiddos here in Texas head back to school next week, so now is your opportunity to hit the road with them one more time before it turns into “only on the weekends” during the school year. Fortunately we don’t have the flooding our neighbors in Louisiana are experiencing right now, although we are a bit soggy in parts. Might be a great time to head to one of the lakes or state parks we’re blessed with, or maybe head to the coast for one last blast on the beach. Tell you what, let’s head to the coast!
Andy Mitchell, Flickr Creative Commons
One of my favorite spots! And easy to get to as well…just make your way to FM 2031 and stop when you get to the water! The town of Matagorda is right by the mouth of the Colorado River and was founded by Stephen F Austin back in 1827 making it Texas’ 3rd oldest town. But the beach y’all, the beach is definitely not ranked 3rd. In my book the beach at Matagorda is just superb. Grassy dunes, great surf, awesome fishing if you want that…what a great spot.
Terry Ross, Flickr Creative Commons
Padre Island National Seashore
Now this is not the Spring Break Padre you have heard so much about. No, this is a protected and undeveloped portion of the island that is a natural beauty. Padre Island National Seashore is managed by the US National Park Service and the best spot for a family getaway is probably Malaquite Beach which has bathrooms! The rest of the park is fairly primitive yet enchanting. There are the seas turtles, hundreds of species of birds, camping, hiking, and of course all the aquatic activities. A family trip here will feature something for every member of your group.
Don’t forget to swing by the website and say hello before you hit the road, we’re standing by to help with any parts or accessories you’ll need to make your trip a success!
theturquoisetable/Flickr Creative Commons
Hatch Green Chiles are all the rage these days, and justifiably so…they’re darn tasty! A friend of mine just returned from a trip to Hatch, NM and brought me some Hatch Green Chiles straight from the source. He’d had a Green Chile Cheeseburger at Sparky’s BBQ there in Hatch and was so enthusiastic about them I thought I’d try and cook up a more Tex Mex version, so here’s the four steps you need to take: make green salsa, make cheeseburger, combine, consume!
Hatch Green Chile Salsa
- 7 tomatillos
- 3 Hatch Green Chiles
- 1/2 white onion
- pod of garlic
- half bunch of cilantro
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
Husk the tomatillos and place them in a pot. Add enough water until the tomatillos are covered, and bring to a boil. Once the water is actively boiling, reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Chop all the other ingredients and throw them into a blender. Add the tomatillos after they’ve cooled a bit and puree for 6-7 seconds. THAT, my friends, is good salsa. Bee sure and save a dollop or two for your cheeseburger.
Now on to the cheeseburgers. Today we’re cooking burgers in the skillet, so add some butter to the skillet and set it to medium. Make your patties however you like them in terms of weight and diameter and style of ground beef…whether it’s ground chuck, sirloin, or just regular ground beef. Be sure to work the patties as little as possible to get them to shape, but add some black pepper while you’re shaping them. Once the patties are made throw the buns into the skillet for a minute or so to toast them and set aside. Toss the patties into the skillet and cook to you preferred level of “done-ness” and add a slice of you r favorite cheese on top. Once the cheese has begun to melt onto the patty, pop the patties out and onto the buns and add a scoop of your Hatch Green Chile Salsa. Enjoy responsibly.
Flickr Creative Commons/John Flannery
There is something fantastic I love seeing every year in Texas, and that’s the remarkable migration of the Monarch butterflies. However in the Rio Grande Valley, their numbers are in steady decline because their natural habitat is disappearing due to the economic growth of the area, increased corporate farming and the use of pesticides and defoliants like Roundup. However, there is one RV park in the Rio Grande Valley that has done something to help promote and stimulate the success of these winged beauties. Oleander Acres RV Park, with the help of funding support from the Rio Grande Valley Garden Club and the Native Plant Society of Texas has planted 200 milkweed plants of 7 different varieties during the past 6 months.
Monarchs will actual drink nectar from almost all flowering plants that produce nectar, so why is milkweed important? Because milkweed is actually the only plant that Monarchs will lay their eggs on. Even though they don’t really provide a direct commercial value like honey bees do, seeing clouds of of migrating butterflies every year is worth quite a bit in human experience. It was Oleander Acres RV Park that decided that they would be able to provide a great spot for them to rest on their long journey.
Visitors are welcome to come out to Oleander Acres to see the butterfly gardens which in turn will help the butterfly population in Texas just in time for the next Butterfly Festival. For more information, check out Oleander Acres website and plan a trip out to the Rio Grande Valley for a really unique an beautiful experience.
There are many causes and foundations that I hold dear to my heart and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation is one such organization. It’s no secret that I am absolutely in love with the great state of Texas and it takes a massive amount of mobilization to help provide support to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. That is exactly what this non-profit does. By helping to provide key resources aid the TPWD manage and conserve natural and cultural resources of Texas. Because of member’s donations to the this fantastic foundation, the TPWD is able to provide better hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation opportunities for all residents and visitors and not to mention the generations to come. Below you’ll find an excerpt from the foundation’s website that further explains the importance of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF), our nonprofit funding partner, supports enhancing park experiences for Texans all year long. From the spectacular acquisition of Powderhorn Ranch on the coast to providing equipment for introducing families to camping, TPWF treasures the state parks of Texas.
TPWF leverages public funds with private philanthropy to provide quality parks for all. We invite you to consider supporting TPWF’s efforts by becoming a member today.
As a member, you’ll receive exclusive benefits like insider information, invitations to special events and other members-only perks. And, you’ll be supporting Texas State Parks, now and in the future.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation was founded in 1991 and has raised over $100 million since its inception. This non-profit is overseen by 21 trustees, ten full-time and three part-time staff members all working very hard to support the Texas Parks and Wildlife department. The bottom line is that with your membership funds and donations all Texans can continue to enjoy, explore, and “be inspired by the incredible wild things and wild places in Texas”. Show your love for this great state and become a member, or make a donation. The importance of your participation can’t be stressed enough. Join me in keeping Texas beautiful.
Mike Fisher/Flickr Creative Commons
Some of y’all may remember a wonderful Paul Newman movie from 1972 called The Life And Times Of Judge Roy Bean. It was about this rough around the edges semi-rascal huckster named Roy Bean who left San Antonio to sell whiskey to the railroad workers who were building the Southern Pacific. Through a series of events usually involving his own hubris and willingness to never let an opportunity pass, Newman/Bean declares himself judge and “Law West Of The Pecos”. He names his town Langtry after a famous actress of the 1890’s he’d never met named Lilly Langtry. Bean also names his courthouse/saloon after the actress as well; The Jersey Lilly.
Langtry, TX today swelters in the Rio Grande border region heat. Located on Hwy 90 in Val Verde County about 50 miles upriver from Del Rio, Langtry is the site where the Silver Spike was driven completing the railroad and apparently Judge Bean was among several folks who fought to steal that spike out of the ground as soon as the railroad folks were out of sight! The Jersey Lilly still exists today, and is right next to the Judge Roy Bean Visitor’s Center, a small museum commemorating the colorful past of the region. Langtry is a virtual ghost town now with perhaps 30-40 residents in the town and immediate surroundings, so plan accordingly when it comes to fuel, food, and water.
Also the area has some spectacular views especially at dawn and dusk. There’s nothing quite like a west Texas sun at the horizon and the beautiful golden light it casts. Outside of town on 90 there is a beautiful bridge over the Pecos River, and Seminole Canyon State Historical Park over near Comstock TX. It’s a great place to go and see the petroglyphs on the canyon walls from an earlier Texas civilization. This little visited part of Texas is well worth the trip!
Nan Palmero/Flickr Creative Commons
Lordy it’s hot. It’s so darn hot the fire hydrants are praying for dogs. Which naturally leads one to the question, “How in heck do I beat this heat!?” Used to be a trip to the ol’ swimming hole was the best cure so let’s do just that! Pack up your RV with a couple towels, a watermelon or two, a cooler full of ice and everything you like to drink that’s cold, and let’s hit the road for some good ol’ fashioned Texas Swimming Holes!
Now if you’ve ever been to the San Marcos River, the Comal, or the Guadalupe why then you know what a shock it is to your posterior when it hits that chilly water. But with that said, once you realize that it ain’t cold…it’s just relaxing, then a leisurely float down one of these rivers is just what the Dr ordered for a bad case of August. All these rivers have tubes for rent, and rides from down river back upriver so don’t worry about that, just pack your sunscreen and don’t worry about getting anywhere fast. Head for San Marcos, New Braunfels, Martindale, or just about any other town these rivers pass through and enjoy your float.
Just outside of Austin is a wonderful spot, and no we’re not talking about Hamilton Pool this time…that place has just gotten too crowded. We’re talking about Krause Springs there in Spicewood, TX. Beautiful clear 65 degree water, towering cypress trees, and way less crowded than your usual Austin area water spots. Plan on about a 40 minute drive with all that traffic, but also plan on relaxing at an absolute OASIS when you arrive.
Another neat spot in Central Texas is Jacob’s Well there near Wimberly, TX. Like the others mentioned today it’s spring fed, crystal clear, and cool. You can swim right there in the artesian spring and it is one beautiful bit of nature.
As always, before you hit the road, hit us up at the website…we’ll be only to glad to help y’all out!