Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Lake Texhoma, Oklahoma

Another day another 200 miles down the road! The idea of full timing is not to travel every day but to park at a nice spot and enjoy the view,(although traveling is fun, just tiring). So we left Calumet and headed east and south, stopping at the Home Depot and the Camping World to buy needed supplies, barbecue grill, sewer hose support, and odds and ends, and then drove though Oklahoma City.

I didn't want to drive though the city it just happened, so I took it easy and it was fine. We went east and the and south at Shawnee and ended up at Lake Texoma Resort and State Park, oh my! What a pretty place! The internet is slow so I couldn't upload a picture yet, but this is why we are traveling.

We are on Catfish Bay, across from the Marina at spot 541. not the best spot here as it is in the middle but it's the biggest and We fit with lots of room. I actually measured several other spots after we parked and we could have fit there also. Anyway the place is called Ben's Campground and it's full of fisherman and retiree's. What a place. Listened to one guy who was complaining he couldn't catch anything while we saw another cleaning a big mess of fish.

Had a nice walk, although the dog got stickers again so we spent time cleaning her fur. Her and me both need haircuts, maybe today? Grill worked fine and I made pork chops and filet migon so we would have left overs. I also heated up soup and didn't cover it so this morning I will clean the microwave.

Think we will stay another day and run into town for groceries, maybe take the bikes out and go for a ride.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Oklahoma Journey

We left Dodge City, kansas, and headed south toward Oklahoma. Expecting more of the same, grasslands, we were both surprised as we found a beautiful state with trees, and signs promoting the local rock roses,(barite roses)!

Drove to Hinton which is just outside of Oklahoma City and spent the night at a KOA. Now I normally don't like KOA's but this was really nice. I mean we parked in a parking lot but they have trees with a little lake.

Walked up to the restaurant for desert and visited a souvenir shop. They had mounted giant western diamondback rattlesnakes, so of course that's what I dreamt about! Haven't dreamed about snakes since I quit drinking:)

All in all pretty scenery and traveled 240 more miles toward Florida. Renita drove over 100 miles as the conditions were nice with no wind! She did a good job! We ended up on Interstate 40, from Clinton as we came down 83, and talk about trucks. Don't want to travel much on this road!

Camping World today, so we should be finished up with outfitting our new home. Maybe we can actually live on the budget now!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Dodge City Kansas and Boothill

Dodge City, Kansas. Boothill and the Long Branch Saloon,Gunsmoke,Wyap Earp, and Bat Masterson. I had to go there, not just to see what it was like, but as a tribute to my dad and Renita's dad who were both western buffs. Remembering our childhood and the cowboy mystic we grew up with. Fiction and fact, what a fun day.

We traveled for only 160 miles from Colby,Kansas to Garden City and Dodge City. The first 100 miles was some of the flattest country I have ever seen, the classic image of Kansas. As we traveled you simply can not believe the harvest taking place and the unbelievable piles of grain at every elevator.

Got to Dodge City, found our campground and disconected from the fifth wheel for the first time! If this seems suprising, we had problems disconecting once before and broke a cotter pin and anyway we disconected correctly!

Tried to take a nap but I couldn't sleep as I was too excited about Boothill! Went there paid our seven bucks and realy had a nice time viewing their museum, the remnants of the cemetary, the locomotive, and the period antiques. I would recommend this! It, as always makes a place special once you see it and can relate it to books you have read. How I love traveling.

A fun day but I am tired, and watching the Rockies lose so time for bed.

Camping at Colby, Kansas

Drove in horrible winds again today, actually worse then day one, as a front moved through. Got a late start, because of Cabelas, and ended up 240 miles down the road so ok for a day,(our goal each day is to drive at least 160 miles to reach Florida on the 5th of November).

We passed near the battle site of Beecher's Island, named for Lt Beecher who was killed there by Roman Nose. Didn't stop as I couldn't find the spot,(the area of the Arikee river is covered with big cottonwood trees from the flood of the 30's. I doubt the trees were there for the battle), and it was too far off the road to search, so no bullets, bones, or buttons for Mike.(I had to laugh as my brother who at age 12 in 1958 collected a piece of Wild Bill Hickock's headstone, which has been replaced and is now protected).

Got on the interstate and drove to Colby, Kansas where we are spending the night. Another private campground but it is right next to a Walmart so we feel at home!

We will drive to Dodge City, if all works out.

On another note it is so nice to be retired from teaching. I am somewhat amazed at how I don't miss it at all. I heard a bunch of my friends are retiring. I am sure they are nervous, but they shouldn't be.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Journey Has Begun

Well we are finally heading to Florida and the journey has begun. We finished moving our last stuff from Gillette and spent a miserable and cold night in the Walmart parking lot. Drove to Rock Springs in scary and icy roads on Sunday and spent three days there finishing our packing and celebrating Matt's birthday before starting for Florida,( I am sooooo glad that packing is over and done and all the planning has worked and now it is time to relax).

Speaking of relaxing, we drove on 80 and had horrible winds along the way at Elk Mountian. Matt had warned us about the possibility and he was right. The truck handled the winds and the pass fine but I sure don't lke driving in those conditions. I was white knucking it for a while.

Ate lunch and took a break at Cheyenne and decided to drive to Sidney Nebraska and Cabelas for the night. While they do have free camping we stayed at their campground, for 24.08 and watched the Rockies get beat again:(.

Think we will head down to Kansas, maybe towards Dodge City, but we will see where the road takes us.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Across South Dakota

Well it's three days later and we are almost in Wyoming. After leaving Red Haw we drove to North West Iowa and spent a night in CampLana near a small lake. Raining and messy but the camper worked fine. As we left Lake Okobojo we drove to Chamberlain South Dakota and stayed at Al's Oasis Campground. It rained all the way and by the time we got there I was tired and hurried and I brushed some tree branches but we were ok and parked. The campground had good showers, but it was gravel and muddy. We ended up staying for two nights as high wind warnings closed the interstate for high profile vehicles. Finally we headed west on Friday.

We drove Friday till we got to Elkridge Campground, just before Spearfish. What a nice place and the rates were only 28.19. Definetly the best campground, private, we have stayed in so far. Our first choice is always a state or national park, but if you have to camp in a private campground, this is the best one here. Today we will drive to Gillette and boondock at Walmart as there are no campgrounds available, that will fit our unit. Should be our last trip to Gillette for awhile as we will empty our storage and head to Rock Springs and finally Florida. Yeah!
Clear skies,(and low winds),

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Red Haw State Park

As we left Elkhart, never having gone to the RV Museum:), our first day of travel was uneventful. I drove for about 250 miles and then we camped at Hickory Hills campground in Illinois. The campground is a private one and pricey at 30 dollars a night. The spot was on a slope and had two trees that seemed to block my exit,(I also bottomed out pulling in). Oh well live and learn! No damage so no foul and we got past the trees with our walkie talkies and Renita talking me though it.

Enjoyed our second night and then traveled another 250 miles to Red Haw State Park. Along the way we were on the Great River Road in Illinois, and I thought of Carol's favorite place abd my promise to send her a postcard if we got there,(I sure hope she signed up for retirement). At a quandry as no postcards where we stopped, hmmmmm.......... Need to come back and travel the length of the road.

Flat, for most of the drive. We did pass through Galesburg, Carl Sandburg's birthplace, and also went through Peoria,(nice looking place), and Burlington, Iowa, a really neat river town with a beautiful suspension bridge over the Mississippi River.

Finally, we got to our destination, Red Haw State Park, in Iowa. Drove through the campground and thought the spots were too small but the campground host talked with us and helped me back into a spot that fit. What a nice couple! Eleven dollars a night with electricty.

Took a walk and saw deer, including an unforgetable sight as a fawn peeked at us around it's mom. Of course we didn't have the camera. Did take a lot of pictures after that. Also heard turkeys in the distance.

We liked it there so much we stayed an extra day to enjoy the deer, red headed woodpeckers,
and squirrels right outside the camper. Also gave us a chance to rest up before heading to Wyoming. We must get back to license the vehicle, take the last load to Rock Springs, load and head south before winter sets in,(I keep remembering the Donner party).

Clear skies,


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Elkhart Continued

Earlier, I didn't mean to be too harsh on the people here. They are nice and friendly and polite, but you don't see anyone walking or biking. Probably because there are few sidewalks and bikepaths, Gillette really is way ahead of a lot of places, (with that in mind pictured is a walkway bridge and path in South Bend, near the dam and fish ladder).

There are some pretty neat things here. The fishing alone is impressive. The flea market is supposed to be the worlds largest and it was too much for me as I went back to the truck and took a nap. Renita was able to tough it out and see it all:)

The good news is that we are getting or fifth wheel tomrrow and heading back to Gillette and Rock Springs on Saturday. Yeah! I hope I don't have to stay in a motel for a long while. I am also looking forward to healthy foods and home cooking!

Too say we are excited is an understatement!

Clear Skies


Sunday, October 7, 2007

Waiting in Elkhart.......

Well it's Sunday so another day in Elkhart, Indiana. I now can understand what it's like to live in a hotel as it's our fourth day at the Red Roof Inn and more days to come.......

We left St Paul on Wednesday morning, traveled to Rockford, Illinois, and then on to Elkhart the next day. I left our power supply,computer, in the room. Had them ship it to Matt's and spent two days looking for a replacement until we passed a Radio Shack. Why didn't I think of the before,(the reason for the panic is we do all our banking online).

On the way here we passed through Wisconsin and saw the leaves at their height! It had been a long time since I drove through Wisconsin and I forgot about all the trees and how beautiful it is.
Then we drove through Illinois on the worst roads so far. Took bypasses around Chicago and still the traffic was bad. Yuck

Got to Elkhart, checked in and then we rushed to the Heartland factory and took a tour of the plant where they built our fifth wheel. The tour was neat as we got to see the quality from the inside. They make all their fifth wheels in the same plant so we got to see Bighorn, Landmark, and Big Country on the same line.

The next day we went to Great Lakes Rv to see about our fifth wheel. Jason, our saleman, told us that it was built on the third of October and that he would do all he could to get it from the factory and get us set up, hmmmmmmm. Lots of possible excuses as to why it has not been picked up. It gives me the strong impression that he doesn't know what he is talking about or likes to say whatever to placate the buyer. Anyway he promised to call us when he heard from the factory, and guess what no call. I understand there are factors over which he has no control so I must be patient. Its only the fifth.

Went to a neat farmers market in SouthBend, heard there is a huge one in Shipseewana on Tuesday so we are going to use the time to sightsee and enjoy northern Indiana.

We are of course eating out so our diet is bad and am putting on weight. Really good resturants. The people here are really obese. Started my exercise program this morning. Pushups, crunches, and of course the morning walks, which never stopped. Sore already.

Well tme to go as we have to locate a bank and go to the local Walmart before settling in for football.

Clear skies,