Texas   30 August - 7 Sept 1997
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Fri 29th - MN-SD-IA-NB-KS/90°F
We left Gail's aunt Kay in Hills and spent the day driving south going through 5 states. We stopped at Emporia, Kansas to spend the night in a Best Western motel ($63.74). Walmart where I found Goofy boxers. We ate at Western Sizzlin'. Back at motel we wanted to have a soak in the spa but it wouldn't go. Had to get deskclerk who threw a circuit breaker.
August 29 Diary
Sat 30th - Plano/94°F
Doughnuts and juice for brerakfast. Drove onto the green, rolling hills of Oklahoma. We stopped at the Arbuckle Anticline overlook. Made it to near Plano when one of Roxane's instructions didn't make sense and we drove 20 minutes on the wrong road. Had it explained later to me that FM 544 means "Farm Market Road". Found the Malecek Mansion eventually. Met Rachel's friend Rachel King and her parents Kirk and Kathleen. Tour of the two story house. After supper we managed to get Steve into the pool. Rachel like a mermaid, so natural in water. (video)
August 30 Diary
Sun 31st - Plano/96°F
Mass at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. Met Josh and Diane and several others before the service. It was more like a stage production than a Mass. Filled with musical numbers and a lot of applause which was strange to us. After the Mass we met the pastor, who had given a great sermon. He had been an Air Force pilot. After lunch Steve went to work. Julie and I brought out our Goofy items. Sent Suzie brochures we picked up about Czech Festivals in Oklahoma and Texas. Phase 10 with Rox, and Julie (aka T) (its like Pass Rummy). Rachel's friend, Britany, joined us for a meal at Chili's (enthusiastic young waiter) and Putt Putt where we ran into Julie's friend, Morgan.
Scores: Rachel 68, Rox 61, Britany 55, Julie 52, Gail 48, me 47.

T - Rox - Steve - Rachel
Aug 31 Diary
Mon 1st - Plano/95°F
Went shopping with Rox and "T". Found togs and day-glo paint for me, a pen with magnifier for Gail and a birthday card for Roy G. At a grocery store I bought "Ancient Grains" cereal. We had a barbeque without Steve (preparing an Azerbaijan presentation). Had our Minnesota wine (Northern Vinyards in Stillwater), Prairie Rosé with the steaks. Went for a swim and played Phase 10 (even got Steve to join in for a few hands). Rachel had us in stitches with her version of what has gone on in her music class for the first four weeks.
Sept 1 Diary
Tues 2nd - Plano/90°F
Swam before a thunderstorm blew through at 2:30PM. Ate at Souper Salad with females (Steve not home until 9:45PM). Played "spoons" (card game - when 4 of kind happens you grab a spoon). Looked at photos.
Sept 2 Diary
Wed 3rd - Austin/87°F
Drove to Austin. Stopped in West, TX home of the Westfest (Czech Festival). Whole town features Czech this Czech that. Bought a Czech Recipe book and a bumper sticker at a Czech Gift Shoppe. The we got real kolaces at the bakery (video). Had supper at Wandersee's and then we were driven to see Tom's three liquor stores and I bought my cranberry liqueur, as I did 7 years earlier. Janet kept ragging Bob since we were doing a "scenic" tour of Austin after dark and we couldn't see anything.
Sept 3 Diary
Thurs 4th - Austin/88°F
Bob and Janet brought us to San Antonio for a walk along the Riverfront Walk (mostly cafés and upmarket shops) which was cool and shady with ups and downs. I had a margarita sorbet at our rest-stop walking to The Alamo (seems weird being surrounded by modern buildings). We had a delicious Mexican lunch at Tomatillo's. Stopped at San Marcos Factory Outlet which is sort of like an outdoor mall. Gail found me a Goofy stamp. The normal greeting seems to be: "How you (guys/all) doing today?" Called home to wish Ne a "Happy Birthday" and had a long chat with the kids.
Sept 4 Diary
Fri 5th - Austin/90°F
Visited Bette and Frank Thomas. Met their grand-niece, Jean who is living with them and Jane Basey who is Bette's younger sister and lives next door. Medicare person, Deborah, stopped in to check on Bette who cracked a vertebra in her neck when she fell in Kansas City. So Bette was a bit stiff-bodied and weak in her communicating (brain to vocal). When I gave her a hug she shrieked and I thought that I may have squeezed too hard, but it was me talking right in her ear that was too loud for her hearing aid. Can't shut Frank up - non-stop detailed memories from his busy past. We had lunch and stayed until 3:30PM when Bette had to go to bed. Frank had to get a map out and give us instructions on how to get back to Wandersees, and he got things mixed up. We stopped at a Target where I got a larger butt-bag (no my butt isn't bigger). After supper with Wandersees we went grocery shopping at H-E-B.
Sept 5 Diary
Sat 6th - Texas/80's°F
We said goodbye to Janet, who was watching Princess Di's funeral for the umpteenth time. We drove from 10AM to 6PM (saw roadrunners, running along side and across the road) arriving at a crowded Guadalupe Mountains National Park (video)and were lucky to find a site (video). Set up our tent for the first time (ground too rocky to pound stakes in). Had a weenies and beans supper, played cribbage and then explored the grounds. Every single tent was a dome like our pop-up one. Cactus critters.
home sweet home
Sept 6 Diary
Sun 7th - Guadalupe Mts/90°F
Up at 7AM and onto the Frejole Trail which is on the eastern side of the mountains about 1/3 of the way up (video). Went to Smith Spring - an oasis (video) - and then down to Manzanita Spring which is a pool of water (video). Past the Frejole Ranch and along the foothills trail back to end our 5 hour hike just as it was getting hot. We saw mule deer, quail and lizards.

El Capitan

Manzanita Spring

Smith Spring

Hikers Staircase

All Albums 1997 Trip Albums MalleyGram