The Transit Antenna Crew has been very busy since our bitter sweet departure from the Emile Community Farm in Houston. The time spent on the farm led to chance encounters with wonderful people from the neighborhood and surrounding community that certainly made a mark. But the time always comes when we must say goodbye and travel on to the next adventure. Which for us was San Antonio where we met Amy’s family, and then on to their ranch in the hill country of Comfort for some remodeling on Walter. After a nail biting speedy decent down a hill, over a creek bridge, and across a cattle guard (damaging several of our fiberglass side panels in the process), Bob parked Walter on the flattest ground we could find for renovations and Joe parked the Pace Arrow for good. Having very limited internet and cell phone service (but 600 channels of satalite television) left nothing but time, tools, and free supplies to make room for two more bodies on the bus. During our stay on the ranch we encountered a wide variety of wildlife, including an armadillo, a western coachwhip snake, a terantula, scorpians, lots of spiders, and of course cattle and horses. Delighted with the new living space, we once again said our goodbyes and headed towards Kerrville to visit with Jamie’s Granny and check out the Kerrville Folk Festival. Visiting with Granny and Archie inspired loving thoughts of my grandparents back in Charleston. The whirlwind visit allowed for some exploration of the adjacent forest. We were shocked, when confronted by a hissing doe who was a distraction for two other deer that attacked our dog, Kentridge. He walked away unharmed, but Seth later admitted that the incident gave him nightmares of Raptor-like Deer. After only a night, we ventured into the great unwashed of the Kerrville Folk Festival donning press passes and multiple pieces of photography and video equipment. While the music was not for all of us and the average age of a Kervillian was 40, the weekend did evoke conversation on the opportunity for selling artwork at other festivals in the future. As for the music, I personally enjoyed the tunes of Anthony de Costa, Twilight Hotel, and a few of the new up and coming folk musicians. After sweating buckets through the weekend we forged on northward through Fredericksburg to spend an exhilarating Memorial Day holiday climbing Enchanted Rock. The Texas hill country extends miles of densely wooded rolling hills with the exception of Enchanted Rock, comprising several large domes of pinkish granite rising 450 feet above the surrounding plateau. The grand view from the summit leaves you as speechless as the steep hike up leaves you breathless. As we continued on the route north we made a pit stop in San Angelo to seek out vegetable oil and give Walter a little TLC. After hitting the veggie jackpot at the Jacksonville, FL Wing Street, we convinced ourselves it was just a lucky fluke not to be expected in the future. But alas, San Angelo would prove us wrong as we commenced to pump about 40 gallons from the back of a Wing Street (with permission of course). We also discovered the Olive Garden to be a clean source of fuel.
We spent Tuesday (May 27th) and Wednesday (May 28th) alternating between the Walmart and Home Depot parking lots while making some mechanical improvements to the bus including fixing a headlight problem that left us in the dark on highway 190 a few days ago. We needed to resolve the issue of our hot water heat exchanger blowout as well as reevaluate our oil processing turkey fryer method. The former we fixed by installing a solar hot water system consisting of 50 ft. of black garden hose coiled and strapped to the roof. The latter took a little bit longer to resolve by installing an engine coolant line coil into the secondary (raw) oil tank similar to the one in our primary tank.
With headlights blazing, hot water flowing, and veggie oil cooking we’ve had two days of moving on two lane blacktop edged with wind farms, oil pumps, or sink holes. With the flat lands of the wild west, we are easily captivated by the beautiful glowing sunset of tangled shades of oranges and purples as we drift toward the Carlsbad Caverns of New Mexico.