The whatchamacallit wouldn’t send a spark through to the gizmo that was attached to that thingy in the battery, ultimately causing chaos. Yeah…the generator wouldn’t start.
Our trip home was a case of cause and effect…cause we kept trying to figure out different ways to correct the problem without arriving at any effective solutions…even after talking with someone at Cummins/Onan.
This is the part of RVing that makes you scratch your head, furiously dig through your papers on the RV and come away frustrated because, in our case, there wasn’t even a schematic for our battery system that might show where the battery to the generator was located.
Just a few days before leaving Angel Fire the Pilot had started the generator and it was running smoothly. All systems were go for our 968 mile trip home. We would overnight at Cracker Barrels so that we could arrive home with minimum fuss.
This was all good until the morning of departure…just two days later. Nada, nothing, zip! The generator wouldn’t turn over. The Pilot checked, rechecked, tinkered, listened to advice and still nothing.
We went ahead and started our journey while discussing every possible option of why the generation wouldn’t start. We knew that we’d need to overnight in an RV park in Amarillo, our first stop, so that we’d have electricity for the refrigerator.
We felt our first piece of good luck when we found a pull through space at the Amarillo RV Ranch. Great clean site with a nice amount of space between RVs. The food was saved that day. All was good.
The next day was hell. The Pilot spent most of the day on the phone talking with a Cummins/Onan dealer in Ft. Worth which was our next overnight stop. They made a couple of suggestions on what the problem might be. We pulled into several rest areas so that we could test the theories being given to us. Alas, nothing worked.
We then told the Cummins/Onan rep that we would stop by the next morning if they could they work us in. Nada, nothing, zip…again. They were filled, but might be able to take us in a couple of days. Thanks, but no thanks.. And, it didn’t help that the Onan dealer couldn’t offer any knowledge including whether the generator had its own dedicated battery (they thought it did…but turned out it didn’t). This was our second exposure to Onan’s unimpressive service.
We pulled into the Ft. Worth Cracker Barrel to discuss our options over dinner. It was getting late and I didn’t want us trying to find an RV park in the dark. Every RV park that I had called earlier in the day was filled. Of course they were…it was Friday!
Between bites of fish we decided we would stay at the Baymont Inn behind Cracker Barrel. We knew the food was lost but at least we’d be able to keep an eye on the RV from the room. The Pilot quickly guessed my ulterior motive…being able to soak in a bathtub. Hey, I deserved it after our frustrating two days!
After being rebuffed by Onan, we decided that once home we would call Doug, an RV repair guy that we’ve used in the past. Our trip from Ft. Worth to home was uneventful and we soaked in the Texas landscape and counted miles until we were finally home.
Doug came over on Tuesday and poked and prodded all the nooks and crannies of the RV. His diagnosis: the generator starter was powered by the house batteries which were not sufficiently charged to start the generator due to an isolation switch that was broken in the disconnected position. Did you get that? Bottom line is…Doug’s ordering a part for us that should fix the problem. We hope so!
This past week home has been filled with tons of things that you do when returning from a trip. But, most importantly was seeing the family. Stephanie had painted her kitchen cabinets a beautiful brown wood grain. She’s our mail keeper and we took a load of it off her hands, grateful that we had someone we could trust. Eric and his wife had bought a new home and I volunteered the Pilot and myself to help pack. Well, actually I packed and the Pilot inspected their pool and repaired items.
Tired and worn out, we ended our week grabbing some BBQ from Yo Mamma’s here in Montgomery, whose slogan is…Don’t Need No Teeth To Eat My Beef!” I’ll close this week’s blog with that heady quote.
Stay strong and steady with the wind always blowing at your back
as you travel down the road to your next adventure.
Until next week…keep creating Sentimental Journeyz in your RV.
Seriously, Let me know if you could stay out of a western front store that boldly declares they are “Purveyors of All Things Fine and Funky”. I couldn’t and it was the best thing I’ve never denied myself.
You’ve heard me talk about The Rancher’s Daughter in other blogs. And, I may have mentioned them a time or dozen on Facebook. They’re my new latest vice since I’m trying to cut back on unhealthy foods.
As you may have gathered in several of my blogs over the last couple of months, we are huge fans of Historic Montgomery…right here in Texas ♥♥♥
The first time I went to The Rancher’s Daughter to shop for some Christmas gifts, I met the owner, Rendy Kerr, a petite vivacious woman. She offered me a sample of the mulled Christmas wine that she was featuring. She heated it and handed it to me…a perfect panacea for the cool weather outside. It made me feel warm and cozy…and ready to shop.
Rendy has devoted one wall of the store to feature, and showcase, wines made exclusively in Texas. She has a list of almost all the wineries here. She will be the first one to tell you that she didn’t know Chardonnay from Cabernet. Now she carries, and knows, all types of wine, including Kick Butt Cab pictured above.
Let me start at the beginning. Rendy, and her husband Harry, bought this building and opened the business in December 2009. In a previous life it was a girly-girly boutique painted pink and zebra. From those colors they’ve turned it into a one of a kind shopping experience.
They expanded from their original 10×10 spot a block away into this breath of fresh air…and ideas…that now beckons people in. Rendy’s idea from the beginning was to always feature all things Texas. This is why I love it so.
Rendy is a rancher’s daughter and her daughter, Taylor, is also a rancher’s daughter because…well, their Daddy’s raised cattle. Hence, the name of the store. It was a perfect fit.
You can find a lot of things that are one of a kind and done by Texas artists. Taylor is also an artist and has some of her work featured as well.
Your eyes flit all over the place when you walk in this wildly innovative emporium. You begin smiling immediately because the store is so much fun. I couldn’t pass up this wall “accessory” in the above photo. I still smile every time I pass by it in the RV. It’s the first thing you see when you walk in our door.
Side Note: This matches our other “accessories”. Don’t Mess With Texas!!!
Rancher’s Daughter has many wonderful handmade chandeliers…
for almost any room in the house. Yes, those are spoons. They’re big believers in recycling!
I asked Rendy what was the most unusual item she ever sold. She said it was a sculptured duck made from forks and spoons with a lot of detail and dimensional work. She wishes she had it back and is talking to the sculptor about creating another one for her.
Rendy’s favorite part of the store is the long wooden bar that they built. People can shop while sipping on a glass of wine…or sit back and relax while thinking about what else they need. She also has wine tasting available. The ambiance is nothing like you’ve ever experienced. It’s almost like going to visit family.
They rent out the store in the evenings for people who want to have events such as bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, open houses, women’s clubs…almost any event you can imagine. Because of the great items that are displayed and sold, decorating isn’t necessary for these parties.
The long wall of wines are all from Texas and it’s fun reading the labels. Rendy plans to eventually bring in Texas beer to feature along with the wine. They are currently building a 1,000 square foot outdoor patio.
Oh, before I forget…yes, they do carry Texas boots…
to wear with your Texas clothes…
hats, jewelry and saddles.
I can’t begin to do this store justice. It is just plain and simple Texas chic and elegance…with lots of fun thrown in. You might just want to put this on your bucket list the next time you roll through Texas. It’s worth the trip.
Disclaimer: The opinions and review above are my own. I was not compensated to write this article.
“It was never my intention to have a sanctuary for wolves and wolf dogs. However, my experience is that there are no accidents, and even coincidences may be best described as situations in which God chooses to remain anonymous.”
This quote is from Jean Le Fevre, also known as “The Wolf Lady”, and sits at the top of the website for the Saint Francis Wolf Sanctuary that she started and continues to run. The sanctuary was named after Saint Francis, patron saint of animals.
It’s always a pleasant surprise when you find pockets of interest in areas where you are staying. ..within mere miles of where you are staying…here in Montgomery, Texas.
This was the case when we found the sanctuary. After driving about 3 miles past scenic peaceful landscapes, we turned onto St. Beulah’s road. Spaced at intervals along the road were ranches and a church retreat center. One final curve in the road led us to the sanctuary.
We were met by Jean in the driveway, welcoming us in her soft, but very distinct, English accent. She suggested that we walk around the side of the house towards the enclosures and said she’d meet us there.
We were serenaded by Mwitu in a soprano howl as we walked around the side of the house towards the enclosures. Mwitu, along with Shy-Shy, gracefully pranced along the fenced yard in a dance that seemed to welcome us to their territory. While Mwitu is a wolf, Shy-Shy is a Shiloh Shepherd and they are house wolves living with Jean.
If you’ve never heard a wolf howl, you are in for a treat…and a myriad of emotions as you listen to them talk. According to Jean, wolves have approximately 50 different sounds that comprise their language.
Jean met us at the enclosures and began telling us how these wolves came to be living with her. Their histories will jerk at your heart since several of them were abused and subsequently rescued by the sanctuary.
We started with Mystery and Yoda, who are companions. Mysteryis the alpha female of the wolves but is quite gentle considering her history. Her foot was caught in a trap and she suffered a severe injury to it while trying to escape. She was then shot and left for dead. Enter a kind veterinarian and the sanctuary who saved her from death.
This is Mystery in a relaxed stance. You can tell by the way her tail is all the way down and, of course, the hair on her back isn’t raised. I believe that she may be the leader of the choir when the wolves all sing!
This is the proud, playful Romulus and Rafiki. Rafiki is the surrogate mother to Romulus and, until recently, his twin Remus. She teaches Romulus about how to play and get along with others.
Oh, did I tell you that Romulus loves to pose and have his picture taken? He’s quite handsome isn’t he?
This is Tala who is now the companion of Remus (twin of Romulus). He was playing shy the day we were there so we couldn’t get a picture of him. According to Jean, Tala looks like wolves did 100 years ago. She’s quite tall and very proud looking.
Tala was chosen that day to be the wolf that we could have time with one-on-one. The Pilot was a bit miffed when Tala went up to all the females and licked them hello. She was quite gentle and let the handler know when she was ready to return to her enclosure by subtle tugging on her rope as she walked towards her enclosure.
This is the view from Tala’s enclosure. Pretty peaceful isn’t it? We learned so much from Jean and the volunteers about these misunderstood animals. They aren’t supposed to be pets…they need to remain in their environment. These particular wolves will never be released to the wilds again. There’s a sign that hangs in front of the enclosures that pretty much sums up their plight:
In closing this blog, I want to show you a photo of Luke, a 10 year old wolf who reminds me very much of my grandson Luke who is 2 1/2 years old.
This Luke loves hanging out on top of his house just as our Luke loves hanging from second story railings and windows. Both are endangered species!
This is our Luke…in the window of the Disney Store…shopping! We left the sanctuary to a chorus of howls and all the wolves singing. Were they sad we were leaving? Was this their way of saying, “At last, we’re free from people staring at us?” or was it just a way to give thanks for being rescued and having a safe home?
We plan to “adopt” a wolf by donating monthly towards their food. Check out the Saint Francis Wolf Sanctuary website to get the particulars.
It’s true what they say about finding treasures in your own backyard. In this particular instance our backyard in Texas is historic Old Town Montgomery and, in particular, Fernland Historical Park.
The Pilot had returned from a visit to Jim’s Hardware, which is secretly his favorite place to browse, and said he had passed two old cabins. He had taken a back road to get to Jim’s and that’s where he found the park. It didn’t take long for us to get back in the car and go explore.
The five structures that have been moved to this walk-back-in-time park were donated to Sam Houston University by Carroll and Mae Tharp. If you care to read more about the history of these buildings and how they came to be at the park click on Fernland Historical Park.
The Arnold Simonton House, with its charming little garden on the side, was built in 1845. The one-story cottage now serves as the main entrance to the park and is where much of the history of these buildings can be found.
Just across from the Arnold Simonton House is the Hulon house, a civil war era Greek revival wood-frame plantation house.
The day we were there you could only peek into the rooms inside. They are hoping to get more volunteers so that visitors can get a closer look at life in the late 1800’s.
As you move along the path you see the Crane Cabin built in 1867 in Angelina County by a Confederate Civil War veteran. According to the description, “The walls are pine logs left rounded on the exterior and hand-adzed for a flat smooth finish on the interior walls.” Looking at the side of that cabin is like viewing art.
The view across the back porch of the cabin shows a logging wagon backdropped by peaceful rolling land. Seeing the wagon up close is another look into the past.
Just a few feet from the cabin is the blacksmith shop that displays many tools that were used in logging and blacksmithing.
This is a close up of an old saw that hangs on the front of the blacksmith shop. This is what was used to saw logs in half…lengthwise.
This is the inside of the blacksmith shop and…
just outside sat the forge.
Several feet away sits the Jardine cabin. This cabin is “one of the oldest extant log structures in Texas, is a typical single pen, story-and-a-half hand hewn log cabin with front and back porches and mud cat chimney”. In the photo above you can also see the blacksmith shop and Crane Cabin to the right.
This park is a photographer’s paradise with so many features like this…
And, in the background is the sound of running water that starts your journey into Memory Gardens.
There are benches all around this serene setting that encourages you to relax and contemplate the beauty of the past and the miracles of nature.
There are many different places around here that we’ve yet to explore…such as the Saint Francis Wolf Sanctuary and the three wineries. Sometimes it pays to go exploring in your own backyard!