Monday, February 26, 2024

A Repair, a Dam and A Museum Day in Waco, TX

Yesterday, February 25 was a day spent on repairing a broken spare tire carrier on the VRRV.

Shortly after arrival at Long Branch, TX, I discovered that the metal bracket supporting the spare tire on the VRRV had cracked!  We were very fortunate in that it held together enough for me to find the issue after we stopped for the day!

I had originally thought to simply order a replacement from Amazon but when we got to the Lofer West COE campground, it occurred to me I could just use the remaining porting of the tire carrier's support bracket.

The spare tire rides a bit below the VRRV's bumper but still clears every thing just fine.  We'll see how long the above setup lasts. 

We checked out the nearby dam by CR-V first but I returned later with Yagi, my TW200 for a proper picture:

Wandering around the campground:

This Cardinal kept attacking his reflection in the CR-V's mirror, the glass window and even his reflection on the VRRV's front bumper!

This dogwood pic is for LoriZ

Monday, February 26

The campground pretty much emptied out over the course of Sunday, and we found ourselves with just one neighboring rig on Monday.  It was great as the campground had been pretty full over the weekend.

We drove into nearby Waco, first checking out the Texas Ranger Museum and Hall of Fame:

If you like guns, this museum should satiate your desire to see such items for quite a while:

The iconic Texas Ranger Star/Badge.  Initially, it turns out, most Rangers didn't wear a badge as their authority stemmed from a document they carried, not the badge itself.   Rangers usually had to buy a badge out of their own pocket.

Ranger weapons through the years:

The Ranger Code:

A rather surprising find by me, can't imagine it being allowed to be in use these days!

The "Hollywood" version of a Ranger:

Stephen F. Austin, Father of the Texas Rangers

The Rangers had to supply their own mounts,
but the state supplied the trailer and auto.

Engraved Guns

I wished they'd concentrated or shown more of the historic stuff, besides guns that is.  Still, pretty good museum.  The Hall of Fame had lots of photos/memorabilia and of course guns/badges belonging to famed Texas Rangers but having no real connection to said personages, I didn't "connect" as much.

After the Texas Rangers, it was a tour of the Doctor Pepper Museum.  Not bad, but we didn't find it well organized.  It was a bit of a mish mash.  I didn't take many pictures, there was a lot of plain old advertisements and collections of bottles and such that I didn't find too interesting.

The museum as it looks today

The old Artesian well that used to provide
water for the Dr. Pepper factory.

Display which produced a cacophony of voices when
more than one was enabled.  I didn't linger here long.

Some historic photos of the building, showing it from the age of Horses and Wagons, to Cars and Trucks.

Today's token moto-content.

After the Dr. Pepper museum, it was time for Martha to check out the Magnolia Silos; apparently something from a popular HGTV show.

Last, we drove to the Waco Mammoth National Monument to check out the bones of the Columbian Mammoth discovered there on what used to be farmland.

It's a guided tour since the remains are locked up in a protective building to keep them out of the elements.  

The mural is to give you an idea of the size
of one of these mammoths.  It's an artist's idea, they
really have no clue as to coloration and such.

At this point, we were museum'ed out and returned to the campsite to rest away the rest of the afternoon.  It turned out to be a sunny and hot day, with highs in the mid to high 80s!

I can't really say I'd return to any of the above destinations in Waco, TX.  They were OK but that's about it.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Camping at the Lofer West Park COE Campground

We left Long Branch, TX this morning and headed west, bypassing the Dallas/Ft Worth Metro areas to the south and setting up camp at a Corps of Engineers campground on Lake Whitney, TX.

Before we got to the campground however, we made a stop in Hillsboro, TX to check out the Roadside America Museum.  Not connected to the website which provides a directory of roadside attractions; this museum has been called a "hidden gem".  

It's basically the owner's hobby/passion of collecting what I would call "Americana" that one could find in traveling around the states back in the late 1950's and 60's.

The museum boasts the largest collection of Grapette memorabilia, apparently a favorite drink of the owner when he was a youngster.

See how many of the memorabilia awaken memories for you:

I found the hotdog a bit troubling

You could wear the Mr Peanut costume...

An old soda fountain

token moto content

Alvin and the Chipmunks

Yep, that's a real coffin...

We got to the campground and checked into our site with no issues.  We rested and relaxed the rest of the afternoon away.

Sunset was pretty good.