Vacation 2009 - Part 14

May 22-24, 2009

This is part 14 of my 2009 vacation. On Friday, May 22 I left Las Cruces, NM and drove 560 miles to the Texas Hoodlums Spring Thing near Llano, TX.

I left Las Cruces and drove about 40 miles to El Paso, TX. At one point I could see into Juarez, Mexico and what passes as housing there. I was moved by it. Once you get out of El Paso, the speed limit on I-10 is 80mph. There's a whole lot of nothing down there. I think the starkness is very beautiful and I enjoyed every mile of the drive. Good thing, because I did 477 miles on I-10 in Texas! At one point I saw a sign for the Fort Lancaster Loop, so I got off the freeway for the loop, which parallels the freeway. I stopped at the Fort Lancaster State Historic Site. [06]

This is the visitor center. Admission $2 if I recall correctly. There is a decent museum inside. [05]

After checking out the museum, I went out to the fort. It is all in ruins. There really isn't much left, but what's left is interesting. This is the parade grounds. I was surprised by how large the parade grounds would be at a fort on the frontier. [01]

I am always amazed at how long adobe holds up to the elements. [02]

Adobe walls and stone fireplace. [03]

Adobe walls and stone fireplace. [04]

I arrived at the Spring Thing at Oxford Ranch campground early Friday evening. Here's Misanthrope, Eric (Dreamer) and RCWalla. [07]

rcwalla and Mighty Mouse. [08]

Brumbie, Mr. and Mrs. Shotgunner with child, Mr. and Mrs. Swede. [09]

Thatmckenzie. [10]

Dissimulator and Ghost wolf. [11]

Mrs. Bladetx. [12]

Bladetx. [13]

Good morning, Hoodlums. [14]

Brumbie. [15]

Jktepe, Almark, and rcwalla. [16]

Txbilly and family. [17]

Oxford Ranch store and patio, the scene of much debauchery. [18]

Scrapiron, Lisa, and Swede. [19]

90North and his wife. Swede gives "J Lo" a scratch. Question: Why "J Lo"? Answer: Nice ass. [20]

Drthumbs and his son. [21]

Boondocker. [22]

Drthumbs and his wife Christine. [23]

Mako, Swede, Stew22. [24]

Snob hill. [25]

Even a guy from Illinois is welcome here. (But I am, afterall, an honorary Texan, and I have the paper to prove it.) [26]

Splitting wood for the BBQ. Not a simple task with this twisted oak! [27]

Boondocker. [28]

Thatmckenzie. [29]

Blast and Thatmckenzie. Both are chemists. This can't be good...! (That's Livealone in the background.) [30]

Bladetx. How's it perkin? [31]

Old Salt. You just know right away that this is a good man. Sorry we didn't get a chance to talk more. [32]

Mr. and Mrs. Bladetx. This man found his soulmate! [35]

Blast and his wife. [36]

Thatmckenzie and Txbilly. [37]

Bladetx taught knapping. [38]

Video Pirate and his wife. (From my view, a lot of integrity shown.) [39]

Shotgunner and his wife. [40]

Fishbait is an exceptional craftsman and shows me his ditty bag. [41]

Brumbie's M6 got a lot of attention. [34]

Bladetx likes Brumbie's M6. [33]

M6 stock has a kydex sheath made by stew22. [42]

Kydex sheath houses a Swenson blade. [43]

Ron eyes a blade. [44]

Lisa and Charlie Wolf. Two of Texas' finest. [45]

Oxford Ranch scenery. [46]

Lisa pulled out the Maxpedition gear and the vultures descended. [47]

Txbilly's and Blast's wives make bread with instruction from drthumbs. [48]

Mrs. Bladetx taught how to make paracord bracelets. That's Video Pirate's wife next to her. [49]

Two strands - one on top - one on bottom - the top one stays on top - the bottom one stays on bottom - cross the top one over the top to the other side. [50]

Bottom one goes over the top one - crosses to the other side in the back - goes out the side of the loop formed by the top one from the bottom. [51]

Me making a paracord bracelet. [52]

Lisa and her daughter. [53]

Scrapiron and his lovely lady. [54]

Swede, 90North, Boondocker, and Ghostwolf. [55]

Oxford Ranch scenery. [56]

Oxford Ranch scenery. [57]

The cattle seek shade from the noon day sun. The fact that someone else has already staked out this tree for their campsite does not seem to concern them. [58]

Scrapiron cooked up brats and sausages for lunch. Thank you, my friend! [59]

Mako. [61]

Suzanne and Ron. [62]

Swede's sister Marilyn, her husband Andrew (stew22) and their son. I can't believe how much that kid has grown in one year. [63]

Ron's brass foundry. [65]

Ron's brass foundry. [64]

Boondocker. [66]

Jeremy (aka Fishbait) and his wife Mighty Mouse. Nice folks. [67]

It rained off and on Saturday afternoon. [76]

Drying off. [68]

Shane aka Dissimulator. [69]

Swede scoops up coals for the BBQ. [70]

Swede moves some coals into the BBQ. [60]

Swede made this BBQ / smoker. Just a little something he threw together...! [75]

Scrapiron continues to work through the rain. [71]

Thatmckenzie. Ponchos are for sissies. [72]

Hoodlum hooch. [73]

Hoodlum hooch. Is Mighty Mouse practicing a modified plainsman walk? [74]

Txbilly. [77]

Dog is eating out of the hubcap of shame! [78]

Jeremy aka Fishbait. [79]

Bladetx and Fishbait. I really enjoyed meeting these two. [80]

Rabbits were provided by Bladetx. [81]

Swede and Scrapiron are fine examples of Texas hospitality. [82]

Scrapiron and Swede apply more secret sauce to the meat. [83]

Thatmckenzie drying off near the fire. [84]

Mighty fine coals. [85]

Mako and Txbilly. [86]

Thatmckenzie, Fishbait and Bladetx. [87]

Txbilly is an instructor for Kick Start, a martial arts program for middle schoolers, started by Chuck Norris. [88]

This is the closest I will ever get to Chuck Norris. [90]

God bless America. God bless Texans. [91]

Slicing and dicing. [89]

Just a little something those Texans like to call dinner. [92]

Returning from the fishing pond. [93]

Fishbait's wife aka Mighty Mouse. She was wonderful, as was her tortilla soup. She is a nurse now, but she used to work with her husband in corrections. She said the inmates like her husband, but they didn't like her because she was too mean. They called her "Diablo Rojo", or red headed devil! [94]

drthumb's kid. Looking 100% Texan. [95]

Bearbait's wife. Who made the cornbread? It was awesome! [96]

Bladetx's wife. [97]

Ron and Karen Hood. [98]

Bearbait and wife. [99]

Thatmckenzie. [100]

Bladetx and wife. [101]

Wolf pup and Dissimulator. [102]

Video Pirate and TR Zimmerman. [103]

Kevin. [104]

Groundskeeper. [106]

Some of Groundskeeper's kids. [105]

Groundskeeper and his clan. [107]

Groundskeeper and his clan. Oops! I think I lost one. [108]

Gerry aka Misanthrope. [109]

Christine. [110]

Karen and Ron made donuts. Yum. Reminded me of the "Tractor" trip as shown in Woodsmaster Volume 10. Here's to Rob Simonich. [111]

Lisa eats a donut while her daughter looks on. [113]

Cobblers made under drthumbs' direction. [112]

Evening at Oxford Ranch. [114]

Evening at Oxford Ranch. [115]

I left the gathering on Sunday morning. I had been on vacation for four weeks, and it was time to get home. Here are some Texas bikers. Check out the pony tails on the biker on the right. [116]

I couldn't tell if they are fake ponytails or if she has holes in her helmet. [118]

Crossing the Red River. [117]

Copyright © 2009 by Bill Qualls. Last updated May 27, 2009.
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