Day 109 – Sunday, August 11 – We woke and took our time getting ready to leave and head toward Texas. We drove through some of the hardest rain we’d seen in months. Jacin planned a quick sidetrip to Avery Island, home of Tabasco Hot Sauce. We watched a short informative film and had a short tour of the facilities, then enjoyed some time in the country store, where we got to sample jalapeno ice cream and browse through all things Tabasco. We even got free mini bottles of 4 different flavors of Tabasco each, free with the tour. Upon leaving, we stopped for fuel, and Jacin noticed that the generator was literally hanging out from under the RV. Praise God it had not fallen out completely and done major damage to the RV and the pickup! Being the ingenious handyman he is, he used a few of his ratchet straps to get it back into place until we can get the right parts to fix it correctly. We stopped at the visitors center at the TX border hoping to see gators in their viewing area, but no luck. We had decided to stay in Martin Dies Jr State Park near Jasper, TX, in order to gague whether we could live there as camp hosts. It is a gorgeous park with thickly pine-forested areas interspersed with swamps. We fed the kiddos and headed to bed.
Day 110 – I worked for a few hours while Jacin worked on an insurance fraud class in preparation for his upcoming work. We took a quick driving tour of the park (so very pretty, and really big – it’s no wonder they need more help), then headed into Jasper to get groceries and hit a few places to find various parts for various repair projects. (Jasper, TX, has a story that made the news in the recent past – Google it if you are not aware of the tragedy). It took 4 different stores for Jacin to round up everything he needed, then a long (crowded) trip to Wal-mart to wrap things up. It was 3:00 before we ate lunch! Jacin then worked on repairing what he could (unfortunately the generator problem will require something different), and he and Nation rented a canoe for the evening. We all went out in search of gators, but I must confess that thinking about doing so and ACTUALLY doing so result in two very different sets of emotions. While we’d like to see them in the wild, thinking about coming across one in the water was a bit unsettling for me and the kids. It turned out to be a short canoe ride. We made a camp fire and had our first s’mores of the year. It is very strange being near a campfire in 85 degree, humid weather. It just doesn’t cool off at night like we are used to in Custer State Park. But we tried to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible before bedtime. Because, here it is, Monday night, and we are headed to Dallas tomorrow, where we will be city-locked for several months. It will be very strange not being a complete family 24/7 as we have for nearly the last year. But, we are looking forward to consistency and a schedule, as well as getting plugged in to a church and a homeschool community, at least for a while. Thanks again to everyone for keeping us lifted up. This amazing journey would not be possible without the support of family and friends, and we are so thankful to God for allowing us this adventure, even through all the ups and downs. Blessings on your night, and we’ll be posting again soon.