Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How to move a park model - or not!

This is a sight I never thought I would see!  An SUV pulling a park model!  This is not a regular camper it is a park model which weighs way more. We usually see them moved by heavy duty trucks.  Upon closer inspection, those of us in the crowd watching (I am not the only nosy person) discovered that they had put cinder blocks INSIDE the park model adding additional weight.  The rear of the SUV was so low it was incredible.  They were stopped to air up the tires in the park model.  We were all waiting to hear an explosion when the tires all blew, but that did not happen, at least not while they were still in the park.  Who knows what happened when they got it out on the road!  You never know what your gonna see.

This is an older park model that was sold and being moved out of the park.

Look how small those tires are on the park model!

Someone wanted to get a good look and drove their golf cart right up to it!

This was at the end of the season when most everyone had gone home already.  So, this was the highlight of our day!

Iwo Jima Memorial Museum in Harlingen, Texas

Jamie, Carol and I went to Harlingen to the Iwo Jima Memorial Museum which is on the grounds of the Marine Military Academy - a private college prep academy. Carol had been there before but wanted to go back. Jamie had not been there yet and was very interested to go as she had several family members in WWII. I also wanted to go as I didn't know much about it, sad to say. I didn't pay a lot of attention to history in high school. I sure wish I would have. As an adult, I really want to know more. This was a great place to learn more about this particular battle. Inside the very small museum you can view a 32 minute video about Iwo Jima. It was very informative and sad to see how many lives were lost in that particular battle.

"The image of Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima taken by Joe Rosenthal was later used by Felix de Weldon to sculpt the Marine Corps War Memorial which was dedicated in 1954 to all Marines who died for their country past and present, and is located adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery just outsideWashington, D.C." according to Wikipedia. What we were seeing in Harlingen was the original mold made and later used for the sculpture.

The man in the front, at the base of the flag pole is Harlon Block, after the raising of the flag, he was killed by a mortar blast there a few days later. He was from Texas and actually graduated from a high school in Weslaco in the Rio Grande Valley.  In 1995, his body was moved to this burial place on the grounds of the original mold of the Iwo Jima monument.

The pictures are not real clear if I try to make them bigger, sorry. Jamie took them using her phone and emailed them to me because I forgot to take my camera, or so I thought! When I got home and discovered I had my camera in my purse all along I was completely disgusted with myself plus a little worried that I could have forgotten that quickly that I had put it in there just that morning!

For more information on the men in the sculpture, Click here.

The original mold. Written all around the base are all of the wars and conflicts the Marines have been involved in.

Harlon Block's grave near the memorial.

What went through my mind after viewing the video was how proud we were and are of those who served in WWII and yet how poorly we treated those who served in Vietnam which includes Clark's very dear uncle who is still alive and whom we love and respect more than words can say.

So, I say now to all who have served in the armed forces, whether in a "conflict" or a war, whether in times of peace or war, thank you, thank you, thank you! Your service is greatly appreciated. And to the families who lost a loved one because of their service to our country, my deepest sympathy. May God bless you all and may God bless America.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Los Ebanos - The Only Hand Pulled Ferry in the U.S.

On our way to see the hand pulled ferry, we drove through the little town of Los Ebanos.  There isn't much in the town anymore other than homes but they did have this beautiful church there. I couldn't find any information on it, not even online.  Across the street from it is an old ball field which had goats wandering around in it.  Guess they were mowing.  We didn't get any pictures of them though, sorry!

After driving the narrow winding roads of the town, we headed down to the ferry.  You can drive onto the ferry in your vehicle or just walk on to cross over.  You car even help pull if you want to but we chose to just stay on the U.S. side and watch from above.  It was pretty windy that day but the guys pulling the ferry didn't have any trouble at all getting it to and from.  I have posted quite a few pictures of this because I found it so interesting.  Hope you do too.

This star in the concrete is in front of the door of the little church most likely representing Texas - the Lone Star State (I think it is for the Dallas Cowboys myself!)

Even though we were not crossing, we still had to pay the pedestrian fee to go down to the ferry to watch.  

Walking down to the ferry.  The cones are to keep traffic divided.  Those coming from the Mexico side do have stop at Customs.  We did not take a picture of that building though..

The guy in the the red-striped shirt is getting ready to lower the metal planks for unloading.

You can see where the planks land in the soil each time.

The unloading on the U.S. side begins.

The ferry can hold three vehicles.

After the vehicles drive off,  the pedestrians unload.

Now pedestrians get on the ferry for a return trip to Mexico.

The men on the far side of the ferry are the workers.  The pedestrians sit on those chairs along the opposite side for the ride over.

Now the vehicles begin loading.

While waiting for everyone to load, one of workers is digging a new post hole.

Notice the guy digging the post hole is looking at that truck?  There was a very pretty girl driving it!  :)

Getting ready to pull up the planks and put the chain across.

Giving a shove off and away they go.

There is a small U.S. flag on top of the ferry toward the rear.

The zoom on my camera went out, so we weren't able to get a good picture of them actually pulling on the ropes.

Landing on the Mexico side now.

Ropes and metals cables are used.

This post is firmly in the ground.

This is where he was working on the new post hole.  You can see the existing post is getting loose.

If you don't want to walk down the ramp, you can go down the stairs cut out of the side of the hill.  No concrete in these steps that we could see, just sun baked soil.

At the top of the steps.

The guys in front are pulling on the ropes for a return trip to the U.S.

A close up of the unloading process.

Look at the size of this agave!  Some call it the Century Cactus so I am not exactly sure which is correct.  They may be one in the same.  I believe there are different types of agave but I am not a plant specialist so I don't really know - just sayin'.

On the U.S. side.