This is the old jail house in Kent County Texas. Inside is common cell with 2 other smaller cells off to one side and a jailers/sheriffs office on the other side. Ceiling is almost 2 stories high for getting rid of some of the heat. The red sandstone is about 16 inches deep and of course there is no glass in the windows. The cells are flat strap steel about 2 inches in width and space about 1 1/2 in apart. With a steel rivet at each crossing.
I do not think they were worried about repeat customers.
April 11, 2003 Clear, breezy, hot, Low 45 High 88
When spring comes to Texas it really comes on. Almost like mountain weather with cool nights and hot days. Our neighbor Chuck Richards is so sick with the affects of chemo for fighting lung cancer that it bothers us to watch. His wife Del is doing a superb job of nursing him with just a little bit of “lift” help from volunteers in the park.
Most of the “Winter Texan’s” have left Lonesome Dove now and are headed towards their homes all over the US. There are a lot of vacant lots and it seems quite strange.
Today we got the truck back from the transmission shop and it hasn’t run so well in a long time. Also it was $200.00 cheaper than the estimate and for that we are truly thankful.
This afternoon we got a distressing phone call from Marsha Mullinex of Eddyville, KY. Her husband Chuck had just been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. We ask you add him to your Prayer lists. Chuck is the same man that took me “jug” fishing for catfish a couple of years ago and also lived in Hesperia many years ago.
We’re anticipating leaving here the first of the week and going up towards Matador, TX to see Gordy and Linda Ruhl. My friend, the bearded wonder, is a cancer survivor and a former driver for Herin Bros. of Hesperia, MI. Each year we’ve been able to see them and laugh and cry over some of our troubles past & present. As only truck drivers and their wives can do.
Tuesday, April 15th, 2003 Low 65 High 76 Cloudy wind out of the South about 25 MPH.
This morning we help get chuck loaded in the car for his weekly trip to San Antonio. He is so weak and we see him and his wife Del off with tears and the fervent hope that Chuck can beat this cancer.
I can’t believe it. We’re going North and WE’VE GOT A TAIL WIND. We almost always are going into the wind and this is really a pleasant surprise.
We make it to Sweetwater, TX and pull into a RV Park for the evening. There are all kinds of storm & tornado warnings out and we can’t tell a darn thing by listening to the FM radio. So about 4 PM we’re all set up and watching the radar on TV. The major storms are just 30 miles ahead of us so it looks like we made a good choice on stopping.
Wednesday, April 16, 2003 Low 48, High 77
Windy, very windy, a lot like Texas, right out of the West Northwest probably at about 30 miles per hour. It is a good test for the transmission and it seems to be ok.
At a wide spot in the road in Kent County, TX where the town of Claremont used to be and we stop and take a picture of the old jail that we told you about before.
Friday, April 25, 2003 Sunny Low 45, High 80’s
We’ve been busy doing a little sightseeing and visiting with Gordy and Linda Ruhl who have a daughter (called) junior, and 3 grandchildren they are staying with them until October when her husband gets back from Kuwait. To me it is quite amazing that 2 women can live under the same roof with out committing a heinous crime of some kind or another. We wish them luck through the coming HOT summer.
We’ve had about 3 ½ days of rain and the cotton farmers are really happy. Each time it rained at least one inch, which comes to something well over 3 inches in the last 10 days. The bad part about it is that when it rains down here it rains horizontally not vertical. A lot of run off and erosion is rampant in the far off non-tillable fields. The rancher pickups and trailers are all a dull red from the red clay Last
Saturday we thought we’d go to a rodeo in Paducah, TX. It was to start at 2 PM. So we out to check out a Wildlife Management Area. 28,000 acres set aside for the care of deer, turkey, quail and other types of wildlife. They have a place to check in when you go in and you’re welcome to drive around and see the sights, which we did. A trip of any kind must have a down side and ours was getting stuck in the sand back in the far corner of the area. I called a wrecker and he wouldn’t come out because he was afraid he’d get lost. So Linda & I started walking back towards the entrance. After 1-½ hours we met a park ranger whom the wrecker driver had called and told of our plight. The first thing he told us was that we still had about 12 miles to walk towards the phone and the second thing he said was “he thought he could pull us out”, which he did. Probably the nicest guy I’ve ever met in Texas when I’ve been stuck.
By the time we got back to Paducah it was almost 5 PM. What a surprise when we pulled up to the 4 corners and had to wait for the kid’s parade which was supposed to start at 1 PM. The parade lasted about ½ hour and of course had a lot of horses. We went to a local restaurant to quench our thirst before we headed home. Later we found out the rodeo hadn’t even started at 5:30 and it was supposed to start at 2 PM, such is the life in Texas.
One thing, which I’ve remembered while here, is that Gordy loves Dominos. He can win so fast it makes your head spin. Also his wife Linda is no slouch either.
This weekend in the town of Turkey, TX is Bob Wills Day’s. You all have heard his rendition of San Antonio Rose which was his signature piece of music also he was in some Tex Ritter and other western movies of that era. A town of probably 300 will end up having over 10,000 people for the 2 days of Bob Wills style of music. Campers, trailers, motor home and a few tents are parked wherever there is room. It is quite a sight to see and not unlike “Prairieville” in Michigan where they celebrate traditional country music every Labor Day Weekend.
Tomorrow (Sat) is the parade at 10 AM and then Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys for the for the rest of the day. Of Course Bob Wills has passed away but many of the Playboys will be there to play his style of Western Swing Music.
This is the time of the year when the ranches are rounding up their cows & calves for the dehorning, castration, shots & etc Then loading them up and trucking them off to greener pastures. Literally 75 to 100 semi loads are hauled off each day from this area
Sunday, April 27, 2003 Low 70’s High 80’s and WINDY
We don‘t want anybody to think that this part of the state is overpopulated but Motley County has population of 1267 and 600 live in Matador. Loving County. has a population of only 44 and the others around here are just as thinly populated. I believe there are more tractors in each county than there are humans. Also there appears to be a very large population of wild turkey, deer both white tail & mule deer, quail, dove and of course the ever present “Wild Hog”. These are feral, in other words domestic hogs that have gone wild over the last hundred years. They are considered vermin and the season is open year around. I didn’t go after any hogs this year because of apathy and we didn’t get here until the opening of turkey season. There is no way you’re going to get permission to go after hogs during turkey season. Also Texas is a hard state to get permission to hunt. Everybody wants to charge you at least $100.00 a day to walk on their land and if you get a trophy that is extra.
Tomorrow we’ll be leaving Gordy & Linda and continue on westerly bound and then north towards Idaho. If you get out your road atlas you’ll be able to see our projected routes towards Ririe, Id. It’ll be interesting to see how close we follow our itinerary.
From Matador we’ll take Texas 70 west towards Clovis, New Mexico US 60 all the way across the state to route US 180 at Eager, Arizona toward Flagstaff, AZ then west on I-40 to US 93 north through Las Vegas up into our adopted state of Idaho and Tex Creek WMA. Once we get there we’ll set up housekeeping for the next 6 months.
Monday, April 28th, 2003 Sunny NOT TOO WINDY Low 60’s Hi 88
We finally get around to leaving about 10 AM after telling Gordy good-by, forgetting to get our mail, which is why we’re so late on the get go and head westerly bound towards New Mexico. About 3 PM we pull into a small RV Park in Fort Sumner, NM. I believe their only claim to fame is the burial plot for Billy The Kid. A desperado of the 1800’s. We do the customary museum tour and are really disappointed in what we see. We did meet a very interesting black family out of NY City on their first trip to New Mexico.
Back at our RV I’m finishing up the water and sewer hook-up’s when a young compactly built and muscular man from next-door came over and introduced himself. He told me he was an evangelist. His wife sang and they were at the United Methodist Church just 2 blocks down the road for this week. (Allison House (wife) and we used one of her songs at Sally'sMemorial called EVERYTHING)
Needless to say we went and found out that this man is/was a cowboy and had a very interesting message and an astounding way of presenting it. His wife is an accomplished singer and they also have a message to tell about the 22 month old boy who was supposed to be born with cerebral palsy but is a typical boy.
Tuesday, April 29, 2003 Low 62 Hi 73.
The wind very strong out of the South West at about 30 miles per hour with gusts of about who know how fast. We now know that the transmission is finally fixed right and the temperature never goes above 198 degrees even though we can’t go very fast. We make it to Snowflake, AZ and yes there is still a little snow on the top of the hills. We stop at a RV park that we can’t really recommend to anyone. Very small and narrow lots and this is a new park. Out of all of the parks we’ve been to this is probably the worst setup for size of the lots and etc
About 8:30 PM I go to the grocery store and while there I pick up a different style of rawhide for the dog to chew on. With in an hour she is at my feet whining to go out. She is in definite discomfort and I take her outside where all she does is lay down all stretched out on her belly with a whine every few seconds. I stick my finger down her throat and dislodge a small piece of rawhide, which was apparently stuck. She is somewhat better but still refuses to move. I finally tell her I see a cat and she gets right up and we go to check it out. We walk for hundred yards and she has a bowel movement and is again somewhat better. Back inside the trailer we notice she’s shaking her head, which tells us, she has something wrong with her ears. Bichon Frise’s are noted for excessive hair in their ears, as are some other breeds, this hair must be plucked out periodically or else they have problems. Eardrops seem to help her and soon I go to bed. Sally comes to bed and said it’s all wet on her side. Well come to find out the dog was sick on her side, smart dog.
So we change the bedding and soon all sleep without further problems.
Tuesday, April 30, 2003
This morning Sally is doing laundry, unplanned but necessary, in the excellent facilities at this park. Soon she is done and we are on our way again. She has called ahead and we’re going to meet John Hyatt, whose dad Orval used to own the Chevrolet dealership in Hesperia. Some of you know him and some others know his sister Adda Lee. They both graduated from Hesperia Hi-school and John is a WWII Air force veteran now living in Flagstaff, AZ and has 5 children. Soon we meet and have a very nice lunch and gab-fest at the local Cracker Barrel. We say our good-byes and are soon westerly bound on I-40 heading towards Kingman, where we pull in about 6 PM to a nice little park for the evening.
Thursday, May 1, 2003 Low 44 High 76 We leave bright and early in the morning and head north on US 93 up towards Idaho. Sally has really been on her good behavior because we are headed toward Las Vegas, NV. Just a short ride and it seems that we’re on the edge of “Sin City. I pull off omto a parking “Strip” and park at some Casino. It’s only 11 AM and I tell her she has 2 hours and then the bus is leaving at 1 PM SHARP!!!
I go in and take a nap, wake up at 12:30 and take the dog for a walk and clean the bugs off the windshield. They come off real easy because I use “AQUAPEL” ®. It works a lot like “Rain X” only better of course and the bugs don’t stick to the windshield. The only thing that wears it off is the windshield wipers and you really don’t have to use them very much. The bugs I washed off have been on the glass for the better part of 2 ½ days as a test for me and really are getting dangerously thick. They wash right off. My nephew John Pickett showed me this stuff in while we’re in Florida and I’ve been selling it while on the road to truckers, ambulance drivers and everyday people. All who have been satisfied users.
At 1:15 Sally shows up and we are heading North on 93 and up towards Hoover Dam where we’re inspected for explosives before they let us go across. By the way they’re building a by-pass and someday in the near future nobody will be able to drive across the dam. Gordy Ruhl, while we were in Matador said “you’ll like route 93” and so far he has been right. So I’ll thank him here and now for steering us this way.
Tonight we are in Picho, NV an old silver mining town and at about 6500 ft elevation and at a RV park that has 6 spots and full hookups including cable TV and phone service is even available for extended stays.
Friday, May 2, 2003 Low 44 High 69
In the morning we leave the little town of Picho and continue north on US 93 up through the beautiful ever changing scenery towards Idaho. We’re in the “Great Basin and that it is! Like a (which it is) a very wide valley and in places where you can see a river way over on one side or the other with farmers, ranchers, are using the water for irrigation and seem to be raising hay.
About 3 PM we enter the town of Jackpot, NV and it is raining and has been raining all day, so we pull into a RV park that is open and pick out a site. I’m busy hooking up water & sewer and leveling the trailer when Sally comes over and tells me they have a shuttle going to the casinos. She calls the shuttle after dinner and disappears with her nickels. About 3 hours later she returns and says she is even with the board.
Saturday, May 3, 2004 Low
In the morning we head north and in a few minutes we’re in Idaho and only 200 miles to go to Ririe. As we’re moving along we are noticing how the land is changing to the more familiar type of landscape that we have in Tex Creek. Soon we’re at the entrance to Craters of the Moon National Park and turn in to view the surrealistic landscapes created by volcanoes many eons ago. Thousands of acres of nothing but cinders and other volcanic ash. We talk to the geologist and take the drive through tour looking in stupefaction at what God is capable of doing. We continue on towards Idaho Falls into familiar country and towards Ririe. We pull into the RV Park at the north end of our “driveway” and setup in the rain/snow and commenting about how long we might have to wait before going to Tex Creek.
Sunday, May 4, 2003 Low 37 High 45
Clear, cold, windy and drying out the mud, we hope. We take a experimental drive south towards Tex Creek following Meadow Creek Rd. down the “dugway” over the cattle crossings towards the “moose” sign and make a left and right into the gate at Painted Porch Ranch. Sue Jackson comes running out, not like a woman possessed like last year but as a friend wanting to see a friend. We notice a motor home parked in the yard and soon realize the Ron and Karen Thadden whom we worked with at Holiday Park at Del Rio 2 winters ago is also there. It is nice to see Ron and Karen and Walt and Sue Jackson. We spend an enjoyable hour there when it starts to rain and we abruptly leave and make it back to our RV just before the rain really comes.
Monday, May 5, 2003 SNOW cloudy COOOOOlllld Low 40’s
Snow covers the grass and the wind is realllllllly blowing. Looking out the window I see Trent, from Tex Creek, as he slams on the brakes and starts backing up to our driveway. Soon he and Craig are inside as we happily greet each other as we talk of their families and find out that Trent has a new addition to his and Laurie’s home, a horse and a brother-in-law is headed out from Wisconsin with another one. I sure hope they board them at Tex Creek as I do like horses even though it has been a few years (30) since I’ve fooled around with them. All to soon they leave to go to work and we’re left to watch the snow flurries. Sally decides to go into Ririe for the mail and to go to the store while I stay here and catch up on my writing.
Afternoon Shane King stops by and introduces himself and leaves us the keys for the WMA. He is the new head technician and will supervise the day to day workings at Tex Creek and seems to be a pleasant enough kid but is worried about getting his
job done. Can’t spray as the rain will wash off the spray, can’t plant shrubs as it is to muddy, you all know how that goes.
At least the wind is dying down and the sun is trying to break through the clouds and the wind must be down to about 20 miles per hour.
Sunday, May 11, 2003 Mother’s Day Low 27- -High 46 Partly cloudy with occasional sprinkles.
I can’t believe that 6 days have passed since I wrote anything down. Last Wednesday we moved from the trailer into Tex Creek. It took 4 loads in the pickup and then we took the trailer into Ririe to Gateway Storage. They have a lean-to type shed where we can keep the trailer for the summer and they only charge $28.00 per month. That is cheaper than a tire or a broken spring coming back into Tex Creek and it keeps it out of the direct sunlight.
Home again! That’s just the way it feels here at the WMA, the workers, the buildings, the land, EVERYTHING feels like home. I am busy getting the water heater lit and the generator running trying to help Sally, by staying out of the way. It looks like mice have had a field day in our dwelling even though I find several traps with culprits in them. As we were moving in I was looking for bait for the traps. The only thing I found was some Hershey’s chocolate in the refrigerator so I used some. The traps they use here are the newfangled plastic traps where you never have to touch the mouse. I’ve got news for them! Chocolate syrup makes the mouse stick almost as good as Elmer’s Glue. I couldn’t help but laugh at Sally as she finally got the nerve to empty a trap and the mouse was stuck in the chocolate syrup. I almost pulled his tail off getting him out of there. Now we use peanut butter it’s not as sticky and it catches more of the little culprits. There doesn’t seem to be many “chocoholic” mice anyway. Sally has really been busy cleaning and putting away her canned goods, linens and etc.
Thurs. they brought me a truck out from Idaho Falls. It is the same vehicle that Craig used last year and I know its going to take a couple of weeks just to get rid of the dust inside of it and things arranged so I can carry my paper work and such. I’ve already made a list of missing items that I’ll need like field glasses, tool box and fencing tools and supplies. I did find a pretty nice shovel and I sharpened it up for root cutting and etc. Also I found 3 axes in the tool box so I took out 2 and sharpened the one I kept a nice single edge that only took about an hour to sharpen. The others I’ll sharpen when I don’t have anything else to do.
Friday was a pretty nice day cool but mostly dry and I went around to all of the Kiosks and filled the Information and Map Boxes. That way I got to look over most of the area and see what needs to be done this year WOW! I’m going to be busy.
The bad thing is there was very little snow this winter and water is going to be scarce. Some of the ponds and creeks are already dry and it is still spring.
This Sunday morn I wish Sally a “Happy Mother’s Day” and she wishes me a Happy Anniversary. I goofed AGAIN! Just when I think I got this remembering date thing whipped another one comes up and grabs me. I immediately come back and say in my intelligent you’ve been caught again voice “How about taking you to town for dinner”? She says can we make it out? And I say does Gerber sell baby food. Well me made it out and back in just before it starts raining again. Thank you Lord!
Monday, May 12, 2003 Low 27 High 58 windy, scattered showers/w sleet & snow.
Today the “crew” came into work and Sally was anxious to feed them lunch, if I would invite them. I did and they did. Spaghetti (good) coleslaw (better) and strawberry cake (scrumptious). All washed down with water, coffee and/or iced tea.
Tomorrow we have to go to Market Lake north of Idaho Falls for a safety meeting and renewing acquaintances from last year. We’ll go, weather permitting.
Below is a poem written by Kent Stockton who is a family physician in Riverton, Wyo. and runs longhorn cattle, packs horses hunts elk and writes cowboy poetry in his free time
I’m going to dedicate this poem to Trent who works out here it fits him to a tee.
If you like to backpack, hike, hunt, fish or love to explore the outdoors I think you’ll understand this poem called
This place don’t look to familiar
I ain’t sure just where I’m at.
They say nothing makes you feel sillier
Than being lost--but I don’t give a dam.
I’ll sit down and munch on a Snickers
And build a hand-warmin’ blaze;
Take me a small snort o’ liquor,
And try to make sense of this maze.
The compass says north is just to my right
An’ the instrument’s never wrong.
Heavy clouds hide the afternoon light--
It’s gonna be dark before long.
The map would suggest I’m maybe a mile
From the place I outta be,
An’ from the contours it looks like a trial
To get back to familiar country.
I’m supposed to be home tomorrow
But I don’t guess I’ll make that deadline.
My wife won’t be worried or sorrowed;
She knows if I’m lost I’ll be fine.
This ain’t the first time this has happened
An’ with luck it’ll happen again.
Disorientation’s a good way o’ cappin’
The best trip since way back when.
Bein’ lost is no disgrace
An’ I know I can find my way.
The very best part o’ bein’ misplaced?
It extends my trip by a day.
While the rest o’ the world struggles an’ toils
Back in civilization,
There’s nothing out here in this forest to foil
My wilderness exploration.
To some folks, “horror” is heavy woods,
Confused an’ with no one to lead em’;
But that situation to me is good--
Getting’ lost is a form of freedom.
So I’ll build a small shelter an’ stoke my fire
An rest till the morning frost.
There’s just nothing else
that makes me feel higher
Than bein’ out in the woods, good an’ lost.
by Kent Stockton
Wednesday, May 21, 2003 Weather is warming up and is supposed to be in the HIGH 80’s and/or 90’s this Memorial Weekend.
With a couple of days of sunshine the grass started to grow and I had to get the mower on the John Deere and to do that I had to move a sickle type hay mower that was in the way. I thought that wouldn’t be to hard. So I took a couple of chains and hooked to the sickle mower and moved it outside where it would be out of the way. It was so simple I just had to pat myself on the back. I proceeded to go in and hook up the rotary mower and then go out and hook-up to the sickle again. What a fiasco my chain slipped as I was going to put it in between the wall and the “Tucker” Snow Cat. Also since it is a Quonset style building and I had the sickle pointed straight up on the left side, as you’re supposed to, I didn’t have room to maneuver around and had gotten myself in a pickle. With the rotary mower mounted on behind me I couldn’t turn sharp enough to place it just right. My 30 minute job and it only took me a total of 2 ½ hours.
So the next day I went out and proceeded to mow and mow & mow some more until I finished the whole compound area. A total of 8 ¼ hours of mowing with a 45 horsepower 4 wheel drive tractor with a 54 in. mower on behind.
Saturday I spent filling all of the kiosk’s with all of the maps & info for the general public. All the while noting signs that have to be fixed, fencing to be repaired and picking up trash and cleaning the fire rings. While traveling up Cove Creek I got quite close to a yearling moose and got a pretty good picture. Sally was with me and she really enjoyed seeing the youngster who was probably just being weaned from mommy. He was wondering around looking so forlorn. We watched him until he disappeared into the willows. I think we saw 3 moose that trip.
Also one day Sally fixed spaghetti for Trent, Craig and Shane. We got to listen about the winter happenings and also to Shane, being the newcomer and the boss and also being from Texas he has a lot to say.
Also one morning Sally went out on the back porch and there was a moose right on the edge of the lawn chewing on some kind of delicious bush. Of course she didn’t have a camera but was excited just the same.