Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Cloud cover predicted, did we or didn't we?

Let the show begin!

Eric, Alexa, and Clara from the Houston area and Chris from Iowa joined us this weekend at Freedom Lives Ranch RV Resort, located near the town of Buchanan Dam, TX. We were dead center in the middle of the eclipse path with 4 1/2 minutes of totality as long as the clouds didn't get in the way. Clouds were projected for all day with severe weather late afternoon on Monday. Positive vibes paid off and the clouds parted in just the right spot at just the right time of day. What a great view! It was amazing!! Also, clouds after, but no storms or even rain.

Toni, Emma and Lilah were in Houston and saw the partial. Josh, Zia, Cyrus, and Samira stayed on the east coast where the weather was predicted to be best. They drove about 4 hours north for a great viewing and it took about 9 hours of heavy traffic to get back home. Eric and the girls headed back to Houston right after the eclipse and had some traffic, which added a couple of extra hours to their travel. We left Tues. morning for Dallas where we will spend the night and Chris flew back to Iowa. No sun on Tues. just clouds and very heavy rain. Probably means we'll have water inside somewhere.😞 P.S. We did.

Everyone at our small park was hopeful Sunday. Some had multiple telescopes,  binoculars and cameras set up the day before. We all were excited for and impressed by the eclipse!

I can't thank Machelle from Freedom Lives enough! We made reservations a year prior.  They were so accommodating through the whole process and went to a lot of trouble to make this weekend special for all of us at the resort!

This is one of Eric's pictures which shows some solar flares.

Eric sacrificed his head to keep the camera cool. Pat did offer him another hat.

When totality passed and it started to get light again I heard a rooster crowing.

Pat and I left San Antonio Friday. It seemed like we spent a good portion of our time just going through San Antonio. It was a beautiful drive after. Bluebonnets, the Texas state flower, were in full bloom along with Indian Paintbrush and other spring flowers and they lined the roads as well as filled many fields. Burnet, TX, about 15 miles from Freedom Lives, hosts their Bluebonnet Festival next weekend. 35,000 people attend this annual festival in a small town with a population of 6,000. It's on my list of to-do's!

Dam on Buchanan Lake

Freedom Lives (there's history behind its name) is a small, peaceful park. They probably had 60 hook-up sites and then a field for dry-camping. In between the two was a path that took you past the donkeys, very sociable horses, and barn.

Cisco would trot over to the fence whenever people walked by. 

...and Patches. 

The church next door was going to offer horse rides but the person doing it got sick. Of course the girls were anxious to ride amd disappointed. Machelle really went above and beyond on this. Thank you to Lisa who boards Cisco and Patches at the ranch for making two girls very happy!

A belated birthday celebration for Eric with 'Shirley Gorsuch's Brownies." The RV must not have been quite level so one side of the pan was like Brownie jerky Pat said (not burnt though). The other side was a little dry too. It's the thought that counts, right?

Cross and Spurs Cowboy Church

A cowbell started church services and can you see the baptismal font (trough) on the right on the platform.

The girls were captivated with the 6-week old kittens in the barn. I think they each had a favorite. Hopefully none got stashed in their suitcase!

Lisa said Patches is a gentle old horse but she rode him first to get any 'wiggles' out.

Lisa explained everything to a captive audience as she put the saddle on Patches.

Alexa getting ready to go. This was not the little ride around the arena I expected. They got a full horseback riding lesson today from an excellent instructor. It was fun watching them hold on to the saddle horn for dear life when they mounted and by the end both were holding just the reins and guiding the horse by themselves with confidence.

Sunday night we went to Kingsland, TX for dinner.

And fun!

Sunday night entertainment at the park.

Concluded the night with Mario Kart. ♥️ 
Where are the Piepers now? Alvarado, TX


  1. We passed you earlier near Emporia in our campervan. We’re on our way back to Iowa after wintering in Texas and New Mexico. We too were able to enjoy the amazing eclipse north of Austin. -Tony


    1. Glad you were able to see the eclipse too! We are full time and headed back to KC area for yearly stuff. Where in Iowa? We both grew up in Ottumwa and will be heading up there to visit family.