(Formally "Plan V: A Van Dwelling Blog", when I lived in a 1978 Dodge Xplorer 228 Class B motorhome van)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pecos, TX - West of the Pecos Museum

A museum I visited on Oct 31. $5 admission and go at your own pace. It features a hotel and saloon during the final days of the wild west in Texas around the turn of the 20th century. The saloon has bullet holes in the walls from gun fights even.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Andrews, TX

Nothing really to post about. I have been staying at the Andrews, TX Chamber of Commerce free RV park with full hookups and WIFI. Three nights max per 14 days. They have a privately funded veterans memorial next do it.

This just goes to show how small my motorhome is compared to a large 5th wheel trailer and a large Class A motorhome (poking out on both ends of the 5th wheel).

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Seagraves, TX

I left Brownfield yesterday and moved on to Seagraves, TX. Thankfully the small, free city owned RV park had several available spaces available. The library is a short 2 block walk. There is a free museum on Main St for local area history, photos, etc. I was told they have a sister museum in Seminole, TX so I will have to check that out as well once I get there in a few days.

I went into the local museum but I didn't take many photos. I think I will go back tomorrow and take more since it's free admission. I'll post the museum photos tomorrow.

In the meantime, here are some photos I took today.
The RV park I am staying in.

This is my favorite old building (or what's left of it anyway). The window on the right says "Mrs. Allen's Boarding House". The left side window says "Hot meals and hot baths". It's upper floor(s) are long gone and the bottom floor is just wreckage of what was above it pretty much. Many buildings have their windows painted to look rounded like this one so I wonder if it was really a boarding house or simply painted that way to spruce up the downtown area.

A September 11, 2001 mural memorial. It totally distracted me from the following this...

A miniature Statue of Liberty light post! I managed to go around it by entering the area with the mural. I went walking down that way again a while later and found it. Pretty cool!

The old Santa Fe train station for both passengers and freight.

The yard outside of the old train station with a Santa Fe caboose, a windmill, a couple of wooden shacks (including an outhouse just outside of the shot) and the freight ramp.

An old, leaning, inoperable neon sign for the "Dixie Dog" diner (former drive-in) that is still in business today.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Oct. 20, 2013 update - Brownfield, TX

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. The debt ceiling bullshit in Congress stressed me out during last week and into this week, until it was patched for a few months. Being on Social Security Disability, there was the real possibility my check was going to stop.

Once I left the Dallas Fort Worth area, I started heading up toward Amarillo in case I needed to cancel my grand travel plans and head straight for Seattle on what bit of money I have in savings and what money I had left this month. I would have had enough to pay for gas to get up there and have a bit left to eat on until I could figure out a way to make some money.

But since that's not an issue for now, I got back on track and went down to Lubbock, TX from Vernon TX on the 16th when the news broke that the debt ceiling was going to be raised for now. I had considered staying in Lubbock several days but decided not to. Nor did I see any sights there.

While at the library in Lubbock, I found out about an awesome website, FreeCampsites.net which lets you map search free (and cheap) campgrounds and RV parks.

I promptly went down to Coleman Park in Brownfield, TX on the 17th and have already spent 3 nights here, having discovered the free RV park the city provides. I have 30A electrical service and water hookup for free. They also provide a single dump station.

They have a box for donations at the dump station which I may contribute a bit to, since it has saved me money for sure staying here and given me a good place to park for several days and allowed me to dump my tanks, work on the van a bit and shower (in the van) since there is no anytime fitness around here.

(More below photos)

Tonight will be my 4th and last night here. Then I will be moving on to another free RV park either in Seagraves, TX or Seminole, TX. The one in Seagraves is very small and has train tracks next to it so I might not want to bother staying there, assuming I can even get a spot. They don't have a limit you can stay, so long as you pay $5/night after 3 nights so some people live there full time.

Vernon, TX

Just a couple photos I took in downtown Vernon TX back on Oct. 15th. I had a bit of peach cobbler and coffee at an antique mall that has a cafe in it as well. I spoke with the owner a bit about how I am traveling and such. I didn't think to take any photos of that building, though. I was stressing out over the debt ceiling crap, which I will be discussing in another post after I get some late lunch.

Battery cables replaced

A week and a half ago, I found that I needed to replace my negative battery cable as it was giving 'dead battery' symptoms on my brand new battery. It turned out to be god awful shape down below where I couldn't see.

Today I ended up replacing the positive cable too since the repair terminal decided to break when I was putting the battery back in, after adjusting the steering gear box (which will hopefully fix the loose steering problem I have still had).

The positive cable was in a LOT better shape than the negative for sure. Negative had major cracks and holes in the insulation.

I'm not to happy with the new black insulation 'positive' cable that AutoZone had, but that's all I could find in this small town (Brownfield, TX). At least it came with labels so you could mark which cable it was. I had to do some minor wiring for the extra cables that feed from the hot terminal. The splice is soldered, taped over and has heat shrink tubing over it.

Now I should be good to go for a long time on battery cables.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

American National Bank - Wichita Falls, TX

I was in awe over this building when I saw it. It is the former American National Bank building in downtown Wichita Falls, TX. It it amazing to see a two tone blue building of this size against the neutral tones of the many old brick buildings around it. One block over is a small branch of the bank that is much newer and is in operation today. The old building has some weird church in the ground floor and I think a lawyers office in thee someplace. I suspect most of the building is vacant, sadly.

Old bank flea market - Wichita Falls, TX

I wandered into an "indoor flea market" in downtown Wichita Falls, TX and found myself in an old bank, complete with the basement vault still mostly intact (the inside was a bit messed up) with the door and all! Very cool!

A small in-wall safe nearby:

Wichita Theater - Wichita Falls, TX

I moved on to Wichita Falls, TX this morning and went to a local flea market. After poking around there a while and not buying anything, I moved on to downtown to check out the thrift and antique shops around there, as well as go to the library. I parked van near an old movie theater that is in use today for older films.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Bowie, TX

I arrived in Bowie, TX a few hours ago and went downtown. I decided to treat myself to dining out for lunch. After parking the van, I took to walking back to take some photos of an old sign I saw driving past and to find myself a local restaurant of some kind. I was in the mood for Mexican food and it just so happens, the place with the old sign I went back to take a photo of is a Mexican restaurant! So I took my photo and went on in to "Spicy Mexico".

I ordered a $5.95 lunch special, 1 cheese enchilada plate. I had a salad substituted for the rice and beans. I also had a couple glasses of good ice tea ($1.49). Of course, free chips and salsa as well. The total was under $9 including a $1 tip. Not too badly priced and food was very good. They were a little slow on my drink refill but they were very busy in the noon hour rush.

Outside of "Spicy Mexico" with old "Travel-In" motel and restaurant signage still up. I think the motel may actually still be operation. The motel office looked occupied as I walked past, but I didn't stop and look in.


It is amazing how alive the city keeps their downtown area. Almost all of the old buildings are in use. Some are being renovated inside for new stores as I type this. There are a lot of antique stores as well as a nice, large charity thrift store. I spent $17 on some stuff for myself and for reselling on ebay.

Here are some photos I took downtown.

Old "Heard's" department store (building vacant)

A row of stores, all in use including the diner.

Old "Frank Green Carpet" store. (vacant)

A lonely old ally.

Unknown vacant building.

This seems excessive. It is illegal to ride a bicycle around downtown Bowie, TX.
Good thing I didn't unload mine as I was considering!