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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Coffee Creek RV Resort, Mineral Wells and Natty Flats

The first week of October, we and three other couples from our RV group descended on the Coffee Creek RV Resort, located just north of I-20 on US 281. This is roughly 20 miles west of Weatherford and about 12 miles south of Mineral Wells.
Coffee Creek RV Resort is relatively new and has a well thought out design. The RV sites are laid out in a manner so that your door opens to the west. This allows you to put out the awning and have an enjoyable evening sitting outside watching the sun set.
The roads and pads are oil rock and give a firm surface, but not a hard surface. It would have been wise to have put pads underneath the jacks, as we did leave a little indentation in our pad. The Park has a pretty well stocked store and they have incredibly nice people. They also have cabins, so those in your party without an RV can stay at the same place.
If you need major shopping, you are not far from Mineral Wells, and within an easy 30 minute drive to Weatherford.

One of the things I look forward to on these outings is playing golf with Larry. This was no exception. We drove about 20 miles to SugarTree Golf Club at Lipan, TX.  This is a very beautiful, well maintained course. You will get the idea in this series of pictures.

Green Fees and cart rental are reasonable, but, bring a lot of golf balls. Between the water hazards and the rough, it becomes an expensive course. After the third hole, we quit keeping score.

We made a trip to Strawn, TX while we were in the area to visit Mary's Cafe and have the best chicken fried steak in Texas (according to us and the viewers of Texas Country Reporter). If you go, order the small, or the medium if you are really hungry. Order the large if you want to take some home or you want to share it.

A visit to Mineral Wells was also part of our trip. It is a quick trip from Coffee Creek RV Resort, just 12 miles. Mineral Wells is a historic town with lots of little shops and the Famous Water Company, also known as Crazy Water Company. Probably more historic for the town is the Old Baker Hotel, built under the guidance of T.B Baker a legendary hotel operator. From the website Baker Hotel " The Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells, opened it's doors November 9, 1929 and it's grand opening was November 22, 1929 just two weeks after the great stock market crash. Even though this was a dark time in history the hotel opened with great fanfare with Tal Henry and his North Carolina's-Victor Recording Orchestra, cabaret acts, a big dinner and dancing in the ballroom. The hotel continued to do well throughout the great depression bringing cattlemen to regain their health and widows to marry them. The Baker Hotel cost $1.2 million to build and employed a good deal of the population of Mineral Wells."

Sadly, the Baker hotel closed it doors the first time in 1963, it reopened in 1965 and finally closed for good in 1972. Today it stands abandon and deteriorating. A once grand Texas hotel awaiting it's final death. There of course are numerous ghost stories attached to the hotel. If you are interested in the history of this hotel and other great hotels also constructed by T.B. Baker, follow the link above. it is very interesting.

Of course the other thing that plays into the history of the Baker Hotel is the Crazy Water (Famous Water) company. Also from the Baker Hotel web site " In 1877 James A. Lynch and his family settle in a Valley 48 miles west of Fort Worth. Tired of hauling water from the nearby Brazos River, Mr. Lynch had a well dug on his property. The water had a funny taste and at first was believed to be poison. Mrs. Lynch continued to drink the water and found it did not harm her, in fact, the water seemed to cure her rheumatism. The word spread and many came to see if they could also receive a cure.
The third well dug was made famous from the fact that a woman who suffered epilepsy drank the water daily. Legend says that after she drank the water she was cured and they named the well the Crazy Woman Well, later just the Crazy Well.
The town was originally named Ednaville but after the waters began to draw people, the town was renamed Mineral Wells. Many pavillions and hotels were built so that the thousands who came there had a place to stay. The Damion, Fairfield Inn, the Hexagon, the Oxford, the Period, and the Piedmont Hotel are just to name a few.
The Crazy Water Hotel was built where the Crazy Well is. After the first hotel burnt down, the Collins brothers from Fort Worth, Texas rebuilt the Crazy Hotel and planned to market the water."
The water is still bottled in Mineral Wells.

I liken the water to that from a mineral well at the Government Mineral Springs campground in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington State. I knew a lot of peole that used to drink the water, but most people, like my family used it to make Kool-Aid and pancakes.

Of course a trip to this part of Texas would not be complete with out a trip to the Natty Flat Smokehouse for some great smokehouse barbeque.

As you pull into the parking lot, you see the other famous attraction in the area - the World's Largest Cedar Rocking Chair.

This chair comes complete with the seal of the Guinness Book of World Records.

For more information, you can visit here - Texas Twisted. You also need to go into the Texas Hill Country Furniture and Mercantile and check out everything made from wood. Including this bathtub.

Don't you just love that "claw foot" design.

Of course no trip is complete with out seeing some wildlife. Like this big buck we saw around Lake Possum Kingdom.

Friday, January 18, 2013

A thump in the evening

September 25, 2012 (Catching up)

Sitting at home about 7:30 PM watching television in the Family Room, when I caught movement out of the corner of my eye, and then there was a loud thud against the window of the patio door. I glanced to the window and did not see anything. Now our patio has a cover over it (see posts from months ago) so I did not think it was flying debris, so I looked out the window of the door, did not see anything until I looked down. There was the cause of the noise, an Owl had tried to fly through the window. Where it thought it was going, I don't know.

Was it dead? Should I open the door? I knew that I needed to put the Dog Door cover on so that Annie would not run through it on her way out side. After putting the Dog Door cover on, I heard a rustling sound, looked out side and the little Owl had gotten up and was standing by the patio furniture.

How long he stayed there I don't know. But, he was gone a couple hours later.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Amarillo - Another Trip

August 2012. Deb and I traveled to Amarillo to attend a WIT (Winnebago\Itasca Travelers) meeting. The meeting was an attempt to revitalize the WIT Chapter in the Amarillo area. The president of the Lubbock Chapter, whom we had never met, was also in attendance, along with 3 or 4 other couples. Lots of discussion, but there did not seem to be an interest by those attending to make a commitment, your truly included, to get it started again. after this meeting, Deb and I ended up joining the Lubbock Chapter, though we have only been to a couple of meetings and no outings. We had been members of WIT National for several years. Wanted to keep our membership alive, as in retirement we will probably become more involved. We did find out that the State Chapter of WIT will be holding its annual rally in the Palo Duro Canyon area in 2014. We will probably attend that event.
So, while we were in Amarillo, we decide to see some things that we have not seen before - like the Biti Pie Company.

This company makes little four (4) inch pies of various flavors, including pecan and coconut cream, both our favorites. They have a very limited distribution area and the cream pies you can only purchase at the Company headquarters. Other flavors are available at local convenience stores.

One of the other attractions in Amarillo that we had not seen before is the RV Museum.

The Museum was started by Jack Sizemore, the owner of Jack Sizemore RV. Sizemore is one of the oldest Winnebago dealers around and competes with Billy Sims Trailer Town in Lubbock. The Museum is free of charge and has a number of fasinating displays. Of course this was one of those times when all did not work well, and the battery in my camera died, so the bulk of the photos you will see are taken with my Smartphone.
Here is a quilt that you won't see everywhere - variuos models of RV's
Recognize this? Think Jeff Daniels, Robin Williams - this is the 1948 Flexible that was used in the movie "RV." Flexible was a bus that was remodeled most often to create motor homes.
The interior of the Gornicke Family Bus.
Look familiar?

This is very similar to our first trailer.
No RV museum can be complete unless it has the VW Van
 If you get to Amarillo, this Museum is worth the price of admission times 100 (free). It is located behind Jack Sizemore Traveland showroom/shop. Just ask inside and they will gladly take you to it. The museum is increasing in size and they have many RVs that are undergoing restoration that they plan to include.

Course no trip to Amarillo is complete without a stop at the Coyote Bluff Cafe. You can read about it in a previous post about Amarillo.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

It has been quite a year. Not much posting done, last one is back in September 2012 about a trip in July of the same year. Well, hopefully that will change this year - We did have a short trip in both October and November that I need to post about - I mean where else might you find pictures of the largest cedar rocking chair? OK, maybe on Texas Country Reporter, Good ole Bob Phillips beat me to it.
We have a few trips planned for this new year. I have a trip to California coming up - work related, but I am sure there will be a picture or two, a trip to Galveston, this one for pleasure and a trip to North Carolina and a jaunt up to spend a few days with my brother and his wife. Then I am sure we will have a few other trips sprinkled throughout the year.
I'll leave with a picture of a little fellow we met in Grapevine, Texas a few years ago - stumbled onto this one and thought you all might like to see it. Happy Travels!
Waiting for a handout