About lunch time I pulled into the Walmart at Pleasanton Texas and set everything up for Boondocking. Actually there's not that much to set up, I turn on the inverter so I will have 110 AC, I switch the refrigerator to LP, open a couple of windows, turn on the two vent fans, and that's pretty much it.
You may be wondering, but more than likely your not, why I don't set the refrigerator to automatic and let it switch to LP when I unplug the trailer from shore power ? The answer of course is, if I left it on automatic, when I turn on my inverter the refrigerator would automatically switch to AC power, which uses about 25 Amps per hour and would draw the batteries down rather quickly. So normally I set the refrigerator manually for which ever mode I want it to run in.
When I woke up this morning about 7:30 and looked out the window it was so foggy I couldn't even see the beach. Having had some bad experiences pulling a trailer through the fog I figured I would turn on the computer and check the weather. I guess I shouldn't have because it was exactly what I didn't want to see. There was a fog advisory for roads till 10 AM and a Marine advisory for boats till 3 PM. But trying to see some positives in the Padre Island weather I decided that maybe this heavy fog would completely obscure the very scary, very high, very spindly, bridge that I had to go over to reach the mainland and make going over it that much easier, after all it worked before. I guess the gods of the mist were smiling on me this morning because I couldn't see the bridge and could barely see the road, but when I got to the mainland the fog started clearing up and got better and better as I left Corpus Christi.
I'm sure glad I had some pictures left over from Padre Island because I would hate to be standing out in the parking lot taking pictures of Walmart. I think if they built Walmarts to look different in different towns it would be more interesting. But the powers that be apparently wants them to all look the same and they sure all look the same.
Since I just had four new tires put on the Arctic Fox, and had been having problems with one of the dust caps coming off, I did a lot of stopping on the way here to re-tighten the lug nuts with a torque wrench, touch my wheel hubs to see if they were getting hot, and make sure my dust caps were still on. Fortunately everything appears to be normal so far and I've got my fingers crossed that it stays that way.
I spent the day getting packed up, cleaning up, and getting ready to leave tomorrow morning. I can't believe I've been on Padre Island a month. Even though some of those cloudy, rainy, chilly, days seemed to drag on forever looking back on it they seem to have flown by. So I must of been having fun, I just didn't realize it at the time.
Seeing as how Padre Island pictures will no longer have any relevance after tomorrow, I'm just going to throw a few random snapshots into a slideshow because I won't know what to do with them after I've left here. I'll probably keep a couple because I'm planning on staying at a Walmart tomorrow night and to avoid taking pictures of the Walmart I'll post a couple of Padre Island pictures.
I've had an interesting stay at Padre Island and have filed away a lot of good memories. There's a bunch of things to do here which I never got around to doing mostly because of the weather. I think if the weather had been better this would've been a great place to be. But looking back on it I think it would be hard to stay here for a long period of time, like for instance the whole winter, and watch my stuff rust away. Right now the disc brake on my Yamaha WR 450 is rusty, the big lock that locks the motorcycle to the trailer is covered in rust, the fifth wheel hitch in the back of the truck is starting to rust on top, and I'm afraid to look at what's going on under the trailer. So it looks like my dreams of becoming a beach bum are fading away like the rusting parts of my truck. theboondork
I'm glad the Christmas rush is finally over, things got back to normal today. The roads are less crowded, parking lots aren't full, and the beach is back to having hardly anyone on it. Apparently there were a lot of visitors here who wanted to go to the beach on Christmas Day, and they sure picked a great day for it. Christmas day was the nicest day I've seen in the 28 days that I've been here on Padre Island. It was bright and sunny, 75°, and calm. It's sort of what I imagined it was going to be like before I got here.
I've been doing some work on the Arctic Fox today. On the way back from Discount Tire the other day I lost an axle dust cap on a trailer wheel. It wasn't their fault that it came off but it was my fault that I lost it. The Arctic Fox like most trailers has decorative covers over the ends of the wheel hubs that hides the dust caps. And even though they look nice and shiny I've never liked the decorative covers because they prevent me from checking my wheel bearings by walking around the trailer and touching each wheel hub and seeing if it's hot, which is something I like to do every time I stop. So I told Discount Tire to leave the decorative covers off.
So when they took off one of the wheels they found that the dust cap had fallen off the wheel hub and was rattling around inside of the decorative cover, and in fact the decorative cover had contained the dust cap and kept me from losing it. This didn't seem like a big deal at the time I just hammered the dust cap back on the hub where it belongs just like I've done dozens of times to different trailers, and headed back to Padre Island when the tire job was finished.
When I got back to my campsite I looked around the trailer And the dust cap was gone. There was no decorative cover to contain so it disappeared somewhere on the interstate. Now the question became why did that dust cap come off twice. I'm hoping its not a bearing problem or something like that, Lord knows I've had enough of those problems on other fifth wheels I've had.
I went to an O'Reilly auto parts store and bought the only dust cap in my size that they had, which was a cheap Chinese dust cap that looked like junk when I bought it. And sure enough I couldn't get it on and finally messed it up and had to throw it away. Then I went to a boat trailer place nearby and they had some decent quality dust caps which I bought and installed with no problems.
I'm not sure what's going on with that wheel but I'm going to have to keep a close eye on it on my way to Dell Rio Wednesday. Because if it falls off again there is definitely something wrong and I will have to jack up the trailer and start taking things apart.
I finally found a restaurant that serves both of my favorite dishes.