I just noticed that my last post was January 19. A lot has happened since then, but to try to catch up in one post would cause too many insomniacs to be cured. Since our routine for the next several months will involve frequent moves, I have decided to try to post daily or at least every other day as we move along the road to who knows where. From time to time I will try to get it together well enough to at least hit the highlights of our winter in Mission, TX.
I will start with our departure from Mission and get you caught up on the current week.
We left Mission Monday, March 16. As is our habit we traveled the relatively short distance of 141 miles to Laredo. We spent two nights at Casa Blanca International State Park on the east side of the city. The park was surprisingly busy with day users (families and lots of children) given it was a Monday and school was in session. The park offers three campground loops all capable of handling bigger rigs such as ours. We found that each loop had its advantages and disadvantages. I would guess that the park was probably 30% occupied during our two night stay.
There are a couple of places in the Laredo area where the birds seem to gather. One of those places is the lake at Casa Blanca International State Park. That said, on Tuesday morning we drove around to the other side of the lake to the “spot”. We had a productive morning, but we didn’t see any birds we hadn’t seen other places around the Rio Grande Valley. The morning was beautiful and we had a lot of fun. We decided to go downtown to the river’s edge and another hot spot in Laredo for the afternoon, The Las Palmas Trail. I would like to give you some great details about the trail, but we only spent about forty-five minutes there.
We would have loved to been able to spend much more time there, but I got a phone call that caused us to head back to the motorhome to make additional calls. Connie and I are honest law abiding citizens. However, in our last mail delivery prior to leaving Mission we got one of those letters from the Internal Revenue Service that no one ever wants to get. The letter was some 15 pages long and made us sound like we either don’t know how to file our income tax or we are trying to put one past the government. As I waded through the letter I realized that all the issues seemed to be non-income that for some reason the IRS thought was income. Knowing that I had reported everything that had been reported to me by our financial institutions and the US Government, I felt we had a big problem. So, I called our financial advisor and asked that he look into it from the company’s side. That call was made on the Friday before we left Mission. I had to call him on his cell phone as he had taken the afternoon off. I was scared and didn’t care, because I needed help.
Trying to be of help and not get too paniced, we put together some background information and copies of appropriate tax forms and overnighted them to our advisor.
The call on Tuesday was a mix of news and left me feeling less than satisfied that all was well. So, I called the head office, but was not able to immediately connect with the person I felt I needed to talk to. So, my next call was to the IRS. I was really surprised at what happened next. Following a rather long list of identifying questions I was asked what my issue was. So, I told the guy that we had gotten the letter and that I didn’t agree with it and that I felt that there had been a mistake. He asked if he could put me on hold while he corrected the record. I agreed and a few minutes later he came back to tell me that he had corrected the record and that we owed nothing and we could just disregard the letter as another letter would be on the way stating the same. I was so shocked I could hardly speak. I did make sure I got his name and identification number so I would have someone to blame if he was wrong.
By the time all the phone calling and roller coaster emotions had ended we were both too exhausted to do anything but find a place to eat.
Wednesday we moved on to Del Rio, TX and Laughlin Air Force Base. That was another not too long a drive, but it put us in position to shop at the Commissary and save a few dollars. We planned two nights at Laughlin, but got there early enough to take care of the shopping in the afternoon. So, this morning we headed out to the Lost Alaskan RV Park in Alpine, TX. Today’s drive was just over 200 miles and it was a pretty neat ride. We drove US 90 with a posted speed limit of 70 to 75 MPH. I was able to put the cruise control on 55 MPH and we did not hold up traffic. It was a great ride. Making it even nicer was buying fuel in Del Rio for $1.929 per gallon. A year ago we were trying to avoid $4.50 per gallon stops. Of even more significance is that we have not bought diesel since the middle of January and we only needed some forty gallons when we filled up today. Yes, living in a motorhome is economical. We just look like fuel guzzlers. When I looked at what we spent for fuel last year, the worst year for fuel prices since we started this lifestyle, I was amazed at how low the number was. We averaged less than $200 per month for diesel.
Now, this year could be different. We have travel plans that would cause us to move on average once or twice each week. The next few weeks will see more days per week on the road than that. So, even with lower prices we could spend more on fuel this year than last. I want the plan to be revealed one step at a time to keep you all in suspence as to what we are up to.
Alpine was just the next wide spot on the road following five hours on the road. We had no planned activities for this stop. Therefore we are on the road tomorrow morning enroute for FT Bliss in El Paso, TX. We plan to be in El Paso for several days, therefore I may have more to write before we leave there.
Til next time, get your map out and try to figure out where we are going and how we will get there.