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Senior Correspondent

A satisfying retirement greeting from Fort Stockton, Texas. Our first extended RV trip is well underway and we are still alive, speaking to each other, seeing new sights, and meeting new friends. Bailey has made the transition to RV dog without a hitch, except for early morning potty needs and an occasional barking fit for no particular reason.

We left home a day early because we could and the forecast was for very high winds along our route. Our first two nights were spent at the Butterfield RV Park in Benson, AZ.

In addition to the normal pool, spa, fitness room, laundry and shower facilities, computer room, and library, there is working observatory, the only one in the world that is part of an RV park.

Betty and I thoroughly enjoyed an hour long program presented by a local astronomer. Using the resort's 16" telescope we had the unique opportunity of seeing other galaxies, blue novas, and dust clouds millions of light years away. Butterfield also has a working ham radio station that allowed me to talk to fellow amateurs as far away as Atlanta. For some reason I never take the time to do this at home. Silly, I know.

The next night was spent in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Again we fought very high winds all day, with gusts approaching 60 mph, causing dangerous driving conditions and low visibility from blowing dust. Luckily, that evening the winds finally died down though overnight lows were in the upper 30's…much colder than we had planned for.

Hacienda RV Resort was not really much more than a typical RV park. Since a pool, spa, WiFi, and clean showers are becoming quite standard I didn't see anything that would put it in the "resort" category.
There was a long dog run area for Bailey, so she might feel differently. It was clean and just fine for the night. 

The last two nights have been spent in Fort Stockton, 300 miles east of El Paso on I-10. The park is about 4 miles east of town but has its own café that serves breakfast and dinner. As a special treat Betty and I took a break from what is in the frig in the RV and enjoyed two meals where someone else did the cleanup and cooking.

As this trip is teaching us, ask about a park's WiFi service before committing to a reservation. The Fort Stockton park had workable service only in the dining room which was only open a few hours a day. Service at our site, less than 75 feet from the office was non-existent.

As you read this we have packed up and are heading for Fredricksburg, in the heart of Texas hill country. We are looking forward to exploring countless lakes, rivers, canyons, and parks. Because we will be here for six nights I have rented a car so we can leave R.T. hooked up and really explore the area. Betty would really like to revisit the River Walk in San Antonio so we'll clear one day for that. It is a beautiful site and only an hour away, so why not.

This trip is turning into everything I hoped it would be. We are learning some of the things to do, and importantly not to do that I'll share in future posts. Have a great weekend — I know Betty, Bailey, and I are planning to!

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