This is departure day to head back home. At the Colonia del Rey RV Park, where we were staying, a large tree towered over Homer and, during our stay, it had shed hundreds of large leaves on our rig. This wasn't a problem for Homer's roof, as the leaves would obviously blow away once we started moving. However, I knew that many leaves had fallen on the flat top of the slideout, and I also knew these had to be removed before retracting the slide for departure. Leaving the leaves there would cause them to be wadded up between the slide flange and the surrounding frame of the trailer. This would cause a displacement of the rubber seal around the opening, allowing water to leak in. Homer wasn't manufactured with a roof ladder, so I had to go to Lowe's and buy a folding ladder. This worked nicely after a nearby camper saw me struggling with it and came over to help me figure out how to unfold and extend it. I am still amazed and impressed at the friendliness of RVers; I really like that about the RV experience. I carry the ladder in the Hornet's bed now, secured by a metal cable lanyard and a lock.
We finally chugged away at noon, headed for an overnight stop near San Antonio. I decided to detour through Robstown again and give Joe Cotton's one more chance at my patronage. I phoned first this time, to ensure I would not be fooled again, and a friendly voice answered that they were, indeed, open for lunch. Cotton's is a large non-descript wooden building with a metal roof, surrounded by a spacious concrete parking lot—just right for parking our rig at the far west edge. Since the décor inside was very rustic, with exposed wood and checkered tablecloths, along with country music blaring, we were a bit startled to see all the waiters in livery—black pants and white shirts and ties with maroon cutoff jackets, as you would expect to see in the Mansion on Turtle Creek. This incongruity faded, however, when we were served ribs, brisket and sausage on butcher paper, along with beans, potato salad, pickles, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers and sliced white bread. The meat was very tasty, and we went away totally unhungry.
The trek back up I-37 toward San Antonio was uneventful and boring, as the coastal plains are not exactly picturesque. Sandy was able to sleep, mercifully, and I began to be aware of the large number of RVs that were headed in the opposite direction, toward Corpus Christi. I suppose I met more than a hundred during the trip, which took about three hours, with a stop or two. The snowbirds who remained up north through Christmas were obviously now in full migration.
We arrived at the Canyon Trail RV park north of New Braunfels just before dark. This is a relatively non-descript park with no shade, skimpy cable TV and too much noise from nearby I-35. It's okay for a transient park, but we probably won't stay here again. We had dinner in Homer—nachos and homemade guacamole. Yum!