Saturday, August 27, 2016

What We Haven't Seen On Our Trip!

Thanks Bob & Catherine...great images!
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Talk about traffic stoppers!


THE GERMAN ARTISTS ARE AT IT AGAIN .

Here  are 7 pictures of European trucks whose trailers are decorated to look like the sides are missing and the products they are hauling  are painted on the sides and back.

The first one is  of a  bottle of beer and looks so real, like it is coming out the  side  of the trailer..
 
 
The  second is of canvas tote bag.
 
The third is of Pepsi cases and they are all stacked on the ceiling, and the bottom of the trailer is empty..

 
 The fourth is of another truck with the windshield facing the back and there has been a driver painted in the driver's seat looking back  over his shoulder to appear like he is driving backwards. (Now this one is just plain scary, even when the German reads  'On the  wrong way?')

 
The  fifth one is of an aquarium with fish swimming in it.  

 
The sixth one is of a bookshelf with books lined up in it and a post-it-note with an advertisement on it, probably for the  company  that sells the books.

 
The  last one is for Pringles-Hot & Spicy. The 'inside' of the trailer has the appearance of having been through a fire.
 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

2016-2017 Sandpipers Bicycle Ride Schedule

Here is our proposed schedule for bicycle rides for 2016-2017.  If you have questions or something looks incorrect, please contact us via e-mail or phone.
FYI:  Louise and I are going to be on the Bare Necessities Cruise in Tahiti and the Society Islands, April 1 – 15, 2017.  We plan to leave about two weeks in advance of that cruise so the bicycle rides scheduled March 21 through April 11 are tentative depending upon a volunteer to lead those rides.
Tom & Louise Butler
314-374-5889
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Sandpipers Bicycle Ride Schedule 2016-2017
General Information: Line up on Main Street (on the N side of the street by the office, pavilion and bath house)
 ready to depart the gate at 9:00 a.m. 
 
  We ride at a relaxed pace stopping occasionally to point out items of interest, sip some water and catch our breath. We travel with tools for minor repairs. Bring a camera, binoculars, sun screen, insect repellant, emergency medications, whatever applies to your situation. Dress for the weather, layers allow adjusting for temperature changes during the ride.
 
  We sometimes have pick-up trucks or other vehicles with additional room for bicycles if you don’t have a way to haul your own. Contact Tom & Louise, Lot 44, if you have space available or if you need someone to haul your bicycle.
Our Schedule: We are scheduling a ride on Tuesday, every other week. If a ride is canceled due to adverse weather conditions, we will use the following Tuesday as a weather make-up day. Strong winds, cold temperatures and rain may result in cancelation. Decision time is 9:00 a.m. on the day of the ride. If we are there, we ride, if we are not, we’ll go next week. I’ll start an e-mail list for those who would like an e-mail notice of cancellation. This will be done on short notice most of the time. Only a truly ominous forecast will bring cancellation the night before a ride.
Lunch following a bike ride has been a tradition. We will continue this tradition but it is by no means required that you lunch with us. Occasionally we have a ride that requires bringing a bag lunch. For some rides we stop mid-ride for lunch so a bicycle lock to secure your bicycle while we are in the restaurant is needed.
Bike rides are led by Tom and Louise Butler, Lot 44, 2tmb@earthlink.net, 314-374-5889
 
2016
 
November 1Bentsen State Park & World Birding Center
Description: Bentsen State Park near Mission has water features, scrub forest and grasslands. The Hawk Tower is handicap accessible and gives us a nice overview of the area near the Rio Grande and Mexico. There are bird feeders with blinds for observers which make bird watching extraordinary. We will ride about 8 miles on level paved park roads with a short walk to the Hawk Tower. There is a $5 per person entrance fee for those who do not have a Texas State Park Pass. We will eat lunch at BJ’s Brewhaus near the McAllen Convention Center. Bring water, sunscreen, insect repellant, bicycle helmet, binoculars and/or camera as you desire.

November 8 – Make-up date for Bentsen State Park – If November 1st is cancelled for weather we will do that ride today.
November 15South Padre Island and Isla Blanca Park are featured on this ride. The ride is on level, paved city streets. We ride about 12 miles from the Convention Center to the southern tip of SPI in Isla Blanca County Park and return. On the return we will stop for lunch at Blackbeards Restaurant, bring a bicycle lock to secure your bicycle during lunch. There are no admission charges on this ride. Bring water, sunscreen, insect repellant, bicycle helmet, binoculars and/or camera as you desire.

November 22 – Make-up date for South Padre Island in the event of weather cancellation on the 15th.
November 29 Estero Llano Grande State Park. Estero Llano Grande State Park is a World Birding Center site. This is a ride through the state park on park trails. With the exception of the levees this is a level ride on well-maintained gravel trails. Estero is a wildlife rich park with many water birds and if warm, butterflies also. We will ride through an abandoned RV park which has been annexed by the park and is being returned to the wild. The park is the closest to Sandpipers which has alligators. We’ll park our bikes and walk to the alligator pond to see if any are active and visible the day of the ride. Admission to the park is $5.00 per person but several of us usually have a Texas State Park Pass so we can usually get at least one person per couple in with the pass. Following the ride, we will load our bikes and drive to Fat Daddy’s Barbeque for lunch. For those interested in a trip to Progresso, Mexico, Estero Llano Grande State Park is just a few miles from the parking lot for the bridge.
December 6 – Make-up date for Estero Llano Grande State Park in the event of weather cancellation on November 29th.
December 13 - Bicentennial Boulevard Bike Trail. This is a dedicated bicycle and walking trail that parallels Bicentennial Boulevard. It is under development to the north of Nolana and we may explore some of that area. To the south the trail crosses Bicentennial several times. There are lights at the crossings. The trail is flat and is paved along its entire route. We will park at the IMAS, International Museum of Art and Science, and ride as much of the trail as the weather and time permit. This ride could be 6 to 8 miles long if weather permits. If the ride is shorter and the group wishes, we can visit the IMAS (Admission is $5 for seniors) before loading bicycles and driving to the Corner Bakery Café for lunch.
 
 
December 20 - Make-up date for Bicentennial Boulevard – IMAS in the event of weather cancellation on December 13th.
December 27Mission Bike Trail. This is a dedicated bicycle and walking trail. It is paved though rough in a few spots on our ride last spring. The trailhead has undergone significant development and I’m hoping that the trail will show the same improvement. The trail has several hills, not steep but not flat either. We will ride through the native thorn scrub and cactus and along an irrigation canal. The ride length can vary depending on weather. The short version is about 5 miles out and back on the same trail. The long version is about 4 miles longer. That extension is virtually flat. After the ride we will load our bikes and travel to McAlister’s Deli in McAllen for lunch.
 
 
2017
January 3 – Make-up date for Mission Bike Trail in the event of weather cancellation on December 27th.

January 10 – Edinburg Wetlands WBC. The Edinburg City Park and World Birding Center is just a short drive from the park. The park and adjacent lakes are popular picnic sites for the locals but are usually empty on our weekday visits. We will ride the paved bicycle/walking/fitness track around the park. Following that we will enter the World Birding Center. This has been an excellent area for viewing a variety of birds. Join us for lunch at the Willie B’s BBQ Restaurant following the ride.
 
January 17 – Make-up date for Edinburg Wetlands in the event of weather cancellation on January 10th.
January 24 – The Old Hidalgo Pump House. The Old Hidalgo Pump House pumped water from the Rio Grande to the irrigation system in the early days of agriculture in the Rio Grande Valley. Originally run by steam powered pumps, it was later converted to diesel pumps. Much of the old equipment remains and we will take a short tour the facility. The ride is along the Border Wall for a short distance, past the retention ponds, along the canal system and through the town of Hidalgo. There is an admission charge or $3 per person. The ride will be about 3 miles on paved and gravel trails and city streets in Hidalgo. There is a short climb to the top of the levee at the Pump House. Lunch will be at Republic of the Rio Grande in McAllen. Bring water, sunscreen, insect repellant, bicycle helmet, binoculars and/or camera as you desire.
January 31 – Make-up Date for Hidalgo Pump House in the event of weather cancellation on January 24th.
February 7 – La Lomita Mission and Anzulduas Park and Dam
Description: These two locations combine to make an interesting ride right along the Rio Grande River. La Lomita Mission is one of the missions begun by the Oblate Brothers. The original chapel has been restored recently. Anzulduas Park is a Hidalgo County Park adjacent to the Anzulduas Dam. We will also see the floodway which directs floodwater from the dam to Laguna Madre on the coast. We will ride about 5 miles on a little used public road and park roads. There is one hill as we leave Anzulduas Park and we will also climb the levee going to and from La Lomita Mission. There are no admission charges on this ride. We will eat lunch at Riverside Restaurant in Mission following the ride. Bring water, sunscreen, insect repellant, bicycle helmet, binoculars and/or camera as you desire.
February 14 – Make-up date for La Lomita Mission and Anzalduas Park and Dam in the event of weather cancellation on February 7th.
February 21 – Port Isabel. We will depart the gate at the regular 9:00 a.m. departure time. There will be a short rest stop at the Texas Visitors Center at US 83 and US 77 in Harlingen. We’ll arrive in Port Isabel about 10:30 a.m. for those who wish to travel independently and meet us at the parking lot just east of the lighthouse. From there we will ride through some of the neighborhoods in Port Isabel. We get some nice looks at the Laguna Madre and the homes along that coast. We’ll ride over a unique side-swing draw bridge and see the shrimp fleet in dock from a distance. Following the ride we’ll load our bicycles and drive a short distance to Dirty Al’s Seafood for lunch.
 February 28 – Make-up date for Port Isabel in the event of weather cancellation on February 21st.
March 7 – South Padre Island. South Padre Island and Isla Blanca Park are featured on this ride. The ride is on level, paved city streets. We ride about 12 miles from the Convention Center to the southern tip of SPI in Isla Blanca County Park and return. On the return we will stop for lunch at Blackbeards Restaurant, bring a bicycle lock to secure your bicycle during lunch. There are no admission charges on this ride. Bring water, sunscreen, insect repellant, bicycle helmet, binoculars and/or camera as you desire.
 
March 14 – Make-up date for South Padre Island in the event of weather cancellation on March 7th.
March 21 – National HYPERLINK "http://nationalbutterflycenter.org/"Butterfly GardenGuest leaders needed for this ride or it’s make-up ride. ($5 per person Hidalgo county residents, $10 non-residents) This is a 2 mile ride on little traveled roads. We will visit the National Butterfly Center which has undergone quite a bit of development in recent years. While the Butterfly Center is a pretty secure area, you may want to bring a bicycle lock to secure your bicycle. Lunch will be at McAlister’s Deli following the ride. The Butlers will be out of town on this date and a substitute leader is needed for this ride. Volunteers should contact Tom and Louise Butler, Lot 44.
 
March 28 – Make-up Date for National Butterfly Garden in the event of weather cancellation on March 21st.
April 4 – McAllen Bike Trail -– Guest leaders needed for this ride or it’s make-up ride. The McAllen Bike Trail is a paved level bicycle and walking trail that parallels 2nd Street, Col Rowe Boulevard. We will ride 8 to 10 miles on the trail and through neighborhoods in North McAllen. The trail is generally well landscaped with features of the irrigation system evident along the way. It crosses a number of side streets, most have lights and crosswalk signals. We can vary the length of the ride depending on the weather. We will stop at Gatti’s Pizza Buffet on the ride. Bring a bicycle lock for the lunch stop. The Butlers will be out of town on this date and a substitute leader is needed for this ride. Volunteers should contact Tom and Louise Butler, Lot 44.
April 11 – Make-up date for McAllen Bike Trail in the event of weather cancellation on April 4.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

August Birthday Potluck, Barry's address.

But first:  Barry M. is out of the hospital and into an extended care faclity to build up his immune system.  Anyone wishing to send him a note just send to Joey Noel, lot 50, and she'll make sure he gets them.
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From Maria:
Birthday potluck Wednesday, August 17 @ 11:30am in FlipFlopz!

 I will be making sloppy joes and some birthday cake!!!
Please bring a side to share! and BYOB!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Tom & Louise on the Durango/Siverton R.R.

But first...Happy Birthday to Sweet Sue!
Wait, there aren't enough candles on this cake!!!
And I suggest a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday at water volleyball tomorrow!
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From Tom & Louise:
Here are some pictures of our trip into the past.  We took the Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
near Mesa Verde in Colorado.
 
  This was a 9:30 am to 6:30 pm trip with a brief (lunch and some sight-seeing) turn around in the old mining town of Silverton.
 
 
 
The railroad goes up the canyon of the Animas River.  The word "animas" is Spanish for "souls" and the original name was the Rio de los Animas Piedras: the River of Lost Souls. 
 
 
 
We were in a car with concierge service and a full bar. 
 
I would recommend this trip to anyone who loves trains,
history or the old west. 
 
 Hugs to all my Sandpeeps.  Can't wait to get back. 
Hugs, L 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Catherine & Bob get more company!

Jerry and Heavia stopped by to visit Catherine and Bob in Peru Indiana...Center of the Universe.

 
They went for a seven-mile buggy ride along the Wabash River and Jerry drove most of the way.


 
This is Jerry's view from driver's seat of the "Road Less Traveled".  We had a quiet and peaceful Sunday afternoon jaunt.  We passed some Texas Longhorn Cattle along the way.
 

We finished off the afternoon with a trip to McClure's Apple Dumpling Inn for wine tasting and a snack including McClure's world famous apple dumplings.
 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Los Dos Caballeros

Ron Spencer came to Indiana to visit Catherine and Bob and Los Dos Caballeros decided to go horseback riding.
 
Dreamer stuck her tongue out at the photographer.
 
This is how a horse splashes water onto her rider.  She completely soaked Bob's ride side while Ron watched, laughed, and stayed perfectly dry.
 
Ron and Touchstone two hours later.
 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Short message from Maria..

For those who don't FaceBook here's a short message from Maria...
 
Just spoke to Angel. He will be bringing the junk trailer tomorrow morning (8/3) around 8ish. 
 He will be picking it up on Friday (8/5) around noonish.

 Birthday potluck will be a week from tomorrow. August 17 around say 11.30am....I (maria) still haven't decided what I'll be making...
when I do, I will let you guys know! and of course some cake! I will make it!