January 10 and 11, 2014 – Grapevine, TX – Dave & Betty Baxley – Charlie Chitwood

Saturday – January 11th – We began our day with a walk around the park with another couple and a member of the park’s staff. 

PARKIn most campgrounds, there are posted speed limits (5 MPH, 5½ MPH, 7½ MH, 9½ MH, 10 MPH, etc).  However, here it is …

17 MPHWhy?  Well, as many campers at campgrounds have golf carts.  So, the park’s management measured the maximum speed all of the golf carts in the campground with a police radar gun.  The fastest was 17 MPH … ergo, that became the campground’s speed limit.

Then we decided to wash out coach which had gotten absolutely filthy during our ride in the rain from Abilene yesterday.  

Meanwhile Edward from Chip Away Auto Glass arrived on schedule to try to repair the damage done to our windshield, one ”ding”, is beginning to send expand into a crack running up from the bottom of the windshield. 

Around noon, Charlie Chitwood, who is now the president and chief executive officer of Smart Bug Corp, a company my late cousin Jack Kelly and I founded in 2003, was in the Grapevine area stopped by to see us at our campground.  Interestingly while I have spoken to Charlie hundreds of times, today was the first time we’ve met face-to-face.

2014-01-11 - Dick, Charlie Chitwood and Debbie, The Vineyards RV Park, Grapevine, TXDallas-raised, he took us on a brief tour of the city, including a brief drive-by of the JFK assassination site in Dealey Plaza.  We enjoyed a long Mexican food lunch atMi Cocina Rstaurant, Dallas, TX - 2014-01-11Charlie also left us with an interesting tidbit … that, apparently, according to the terms under which Texas entered the Union, it’s state flag can fly at the same height as the American Flag unless on the same flag pole.

American and Texas Flags,  Grapevine, TX - 2014-01-12*********************

Friday- January 10th – Today was a rare day in that it rained off and on during our drive from Abilene.  Again, we passed by some dying towns.

I-20 Abandoned Buildings (b) I-20 Abandoned Buildings (a)On Interstates most of the way, we made excellent time until we hit the construction on I-820 north of Fort Worth where we encountered one of the most complex matrix of overpasses and  exit ramps we’ve seen in a long time.

Maze of Bridges, I-820 and Route 121, Ft Worth, TX - 2014-01-11Exacerbating the lane limitations and drizzle, were several accidents

Accident 2which had the traffic backed-up for several miles.

TrafficOnce off the highways, the drive was short and we found our campground, actually a park,The Vineyards Stone Sign, The Vineyards RV Park,  Grapevine, TX - 2014-01-12which sits across from a large marina (with a surprisingly large percentage of sailboats) on a bay of the 8,000 acre Grapevine Lake.

Oak Grove Park Marina from Vineyard RV Park, Grapevine, TX - 2014-01-12This evening, we got together with David and Betty Baxley

It was David’s company, AdventureTrek that hosted our unforgettable Alaska RV caravan in 2011

It was David’s company, AdventureTrek that hosted our unforgettable Alaska RV caravan in 2011

for a delicious dinner at Uncle Buck’s Steakhouse and Microbrewery.

Uncle Bucks (a),  Grapevine, TX - 2014-01-12 Uncle Bucks (b),  Grapevine, TX - 2014-01-12In the upstairs bar, several humorous signs adorned the walls.

Uncle Bucks Bar Sign (d),  Grapevine, TX - 2014-01-12 Uncle Bucks Bar Sign (c),  Grapevine, TX - 2014-01-12 Uncle Bucks Bar Sign (b),  Grapevine, TX - 2014-01-12 Uncle Bucks Bar Sign (a),  Grapevine, TX - 2014-01-12The restaurant is attached to one of the larger Bass Pro Shops … this one having the World Famous Corley Collection of North American Big Game … the most varied collection of trophy animals we’ve seen anywhere.  Don Corley completed his dubious “Grand Slam” of bagging all 30 species of the “North American  30(which include Polar Bear, Alaskan Brown Bear, Grizzly Bear, Black Bear,  Dall Sheep, Stone Sheep, Big Horn Sheep, Desert Sheep, Alaska-Yukon Moose, Canadian Moos, Shiars Moose, Barren Ground Caribou, Mountain Caribou, Central  Canadian-Barren Ground Caribou, Woodland Caribou, Whitetail Deer, Couse Deer, Mule Deer, Columbia Blacktail Deer, Sitka Blacktail Deer, Rocky Mountain Elk, Roosevelt Elk, Rocky Mountain Goat, Bison, Pronghorn, Cougar, Jaguar, Pacific Walrus and Musk Ox).

While I would love to photograph each of these magnificent animals in the wild, as opposed to them as trophies,

Alaskan Brown Bear and Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep

Alaskan Brown Bear and Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep

Musk Ox

Musk Ox

Pacific Walrus and Polar Bear

Pacific Walrus and Polar Bear

Alaskan Caribou and Arctic Grizzly Bear

Alaskan Caribou and Arctic Grizzly Bear

 I simply don’t understand why people feel the need to kill them for sport!

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