Wednesday, January 18 – We woke-up this morning in Houston anxious to hit the road. But what do we hear....rain. Heavy, heavy, Texas style rain. Thunder and lighting! Yikes! We check the radar and there are wild splotches of yellow, red, and green. There are even tornado warning in effect for the area. Unfortunately, in Houston that rain has no where to go and that means flooding. The roads are impassable and many are even closed.
With the rain came road closures. Commutes were horrible. The rain didn’t effect the East side of Houston. You can see by the photo below how long it took commuters to arrive in Houston. When your commute is in red, that isn’t good.
We don't tow our house around in that kind of weather, so we are forced to re-evaluate our travel plans, again. The weather girl on TV tells us that the heaviest rain should pass by 7:30 and the majority of the bayou flooding should subside by 9:00. Bayou's are the huge drainage ditches around town designed to carry storm water away from the city of Houston and into the Gulf. The city authorities are asking commuters to remain home or travel to work later in the morning. We had 5’' of rain in four hours.
To add to the problems, another line of heavy thunderstorms are forecast to reach the area around noon. And this whole weather forecast is predicted to repeat itself Thursday morning. The good news is this line of storms are skirting up the Gulf Coast and not affecting areas west of San Antonio. So we decide to leave about 9:00 a.m. if the roads truly are passable by then.
By nine o'clock, the weather had improved tremendously, and the rain has even stopped. Guess those weather forecasters are better than most people think. So we pulled out of the Houston Elks Lodge hoping the roads are passable, and the weather gods smile upon us.
Signs of previous flooding are everywhere, but luckily we are traveling on back roads and avoid most of the commuters attempting to get to work. We only have to detour one time around a bridge underpass that is full of water and only hit a couple of brief rain showers. But man are the fields full of water. We don't want to be around here if they get a similar batch of thunderstorms tomorrow morning.
We decided to stay away from I-10 and drive HWY 90 the entire route. By early afternoon we reach Hondo, Texas. When reevaluating our travel plans, we decided to wait until we arrived in this area to decide if we should stop for the night or plow on to our previously planned stop in Langtry, Texas, (near Del Rio). We both felt pretty good and decide to continue on to the Judge Roy Bean Museum. Judge Roy Bean is known as the only “Law west of the Pecos,” referring to west of the Pecos River.
By dinner time, we are high and dry in the Wagon Wheel RV Park, which is across the street from the Museum. This place is certainly not something to write home about or to recommend to our RV friends, but it will do for the night. The Judge Roy Bean Museum is closed for the night so we'll visit it tomorrow morning before we continue our travels Westward.
We were up and at the Museum when the doors were open, 8:00 a.m. What a magnificent place! Texas Department of Transportation has a Visitor's Center connected to the museum providing all the great pamphlets of places to see in Texas including the local Langtry area.
We began with a very informative 15-minute video about Judge Roy Bean. It was a little funny due to the fact it was made in the 60's. Old cars, bell bottoms, and big hair. LOL There are also about a half dozen dioramas and a collection of artifacts for viewing. It was all very well done, and we walked out knowing all about the life of Judge Bean.
The Roy Bean Saloon/Courthouse, Billiard hall and Opera House is located next to the Visitor's Center/Museum. The Saloon is the original building that has been restored to its late 19th century condition.
In this billiard hall, Judge Roy Bean and his visitors played for fun and profit. The Judge died in this room on March 16, 1903. He is buried in Del Rio.
The “Roy Bean Opera House, Town Hall and Seat of Justice” was not an opera house at all but rather Judge Roy Bean’s home.
Behind the Saloon is a beautiful Cactus Garden and Interpretive Trail. All the specimens are accompanied by labels naming the plant and including Indian and pioneer lore regarding each plant. A brochure is also available describing each plant. It was so dang foggy and cold that we didn’t get to enjoy this Garden. A quick walk through was about all we could do today.
Across the street from the Museum, is the original Langtry Post Office. We talked with the Postmaster, who was a very nice gentleman. He said the Post Office serves about 30 people. No mail deliver in Langtry. Everyone must visit the Post Office to receive their mail.
We enjoyed our visit to the Museum, and wish we had more time to spend there. We will return the next time we are in the area to spend several hours learning more about Judge Roy Bean.
It was a very long travel day (much longer than we prefer to travel), but the “hitch itch” was killing us. We were glad we decided to travel. We have another long travel day planned for tomorrow that we are not looking forward to, but long days are necessary if you want to travel across Texas.
Due to the fact that we are doing tons of sightseeing, we are going to be a few days behind posting. We are now in El Paso and will tell you all about this fair city in future posts.
Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day.