Sunday, May 22, 2011

Time to Catch Up!

Ok, I guess I'd better catch up everyone.

We left Oklahoma City last Monday and stayed in a cute little state park NE of Tulsa. Bernice State Park.

It's on Grand Lake, which after we got there found out it really is Grand (Large). We spent most of our time in the park. The first night, there were two other RV's in the park and one group of tenters. They all left Tuesday morning and we were left alone until we left on Wednesday. We walked a very nice trail, biked around the park a couple of times, walked the water's edge with the dogs and had our very first campfire since we've been on the road.  Also did some bird watching...had a Baltimore Oriole in the tree across from us that kept us company.


Great Blue Heron



It was a very nice couple of days, very relaxing. We took a little drive to “Monkey Island”. VERY monkeys. I couldn't find anyone that knew WHY it was called Monkey Island. It's mostly a resort community with lots of very large houses and a golf course. They were building a new golf course and that was kind of interesting to see how they do it. The sand traps and some of the greens were in place....sand and grass and everything, but no fairways and no tee boxes. Hmmmmm

We got up and got going for an early start, as we wanted to stop in Springfield MO to pick up some window awnings we had ordered. We made it there about 11:30, picked up our order, looked around a bit and then went down the street to Mickey D's for lunch.

We got on our way once more and headed out to Fort Leonard Wood Lake Ozark Recreation Area
We had camped (in a tent) here with our kids years ago and really enjoyed it. Beautiful area and the military has really done a good job with this recreation area.

Out the desk window

We are trying to stay at military family campgrounds (FamCamp) whenever we can. Not only because they are usually very nice, but we can get full hookups relatively cheap. $15 to $20 per night. Some also have weekly rates as the one at Tinker AFB did.

We had decided we would stay here at the FLW LORA until the next Tuesday and then head onto Hermitage and Dave's cousin Tim's house. In looking at the weather over the next 3 to 4 days, we may head over earlier on Monday and try to miss driving in any bad weather. Otherwise we might have to wait until Thursday or Friday for the window.

Yesterday, we drove over to Osage Beach and a little beyond to the Bagnel Dam.  This is the dam that is responsible for the creation of the Lake of the Ozarks. This dam was built by a private company and by contract is required to keep the lake at a level of between 650 and 660. As of yesterday it was at 659.442 and all 5 of it's gates were open. We also toured the lodge that was built to hold the offices of the engineers.

The nice volunteer lady at the lodge suggested we take a ride down highway 42 and take the turn off for the Swinging Bridges Road.  A gravel road that takes you over two old suspension bridges.
As we arrived at the first bridge, Dave needed a “break”

The sign on the bridge says “limit 15 tons”, but we were both skeptical about crossing...we did cross after watching a few cars go over

.....very noisy. This bridge is kind of short, only about 100 or so feet. The floor of the bridge is metal and kind of ridged.

The next bridge has just had the roadway refinished and was a LOT longer, the weight limit smaller at 5 tons. It was probably about 100 yards or more long. (think football field length) We were not brave enough to go over this one. But Dave had to have a picture to appear that we did.

We wished later after we got home that we had gone over as that bridge is only 3 miles from where we are camped and to go back the way we went was probably at least 20 miles. Oh well!

When we arrived home, we discovered we had more neighbors and less quiet. :)

We had a very nice campfire last night and sat outside until about 10:30, listening to the other campers and watching the cars drive by on their way to the cabins.

It is now Sunday. We are taking just a hanging out at home day. Had breakfast late, watching some TV, some laundry getting done. FREE washers and dryers!!! Watching the weekenders go home. I think we will probably head over to Hermitage tomorrow, but we'll wait and see what the weather is doing first, I think. The weather says to expect storms this afternoon and evening. We have planned to cook outside, so hopefully we don't get any or have a break at dinner time to cook. In any case, I have my “hiding out” plan ready to go. Lawn chair, phone, nook and a drink. All to take over to the shower house and “hang out”.

Here's a few more pictures...just because:
Construction Guy

at Ozark State Park

SHOUTOUT: to Jessica over at “Planning for RV Days”! It so exciting to be planning for the road. Hope to see you out here soon!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tears and Cheers

Sunday we went to the Oklahoma City National Memorial for Victums of the Murrah Federal Building Bombing.  If you are ever in OKC this is a MUST SEE. 

You start outside overlooking the field of empty chairs and the reflection pond.

Then we moved around to the side street and large monolith gates

If you click on the picture you can increase the size and see the saying.  On the inside the inscription on the inside of the East monolith is 9:01 to denote the ordinariness of the morning.  The inside inscription on the West monolith is 9:03 to denote the time when "our world changed forever".

As you walk through the monolith into the area of the field of chairs and reflection pool, you are struck by how peaceful it is. 

There ARE other visitors there, but no one is talking loud and children are not running around screaming.  Seems you can't but help being respectful.  As you walk along the rows of chairs and notice the small ones for the children, you feel even more sober.

This was written on the wall facing the bombed building by a rescue worker.

We walked through over to the Museum just past the Children's Area

The cost to enter is $10 and WELL worth the price.
We took NO pictures while we were inside.  You can, but the whole exhibit is just so involving of your emotions that we just didn't.  Out of respect or because the whole thing is more feeling than seeing. I just don't know. No pictures we could have taken inside would have done it justice.  And I certainly can't do it justice by description.
The stock description is that the exhibit winds through old office space in the building that was across the street from Murrah Federal Building and was also damaged in the blast.  It starts with the history of downtown and the federal building and the rather ordinary day it started out to be.  From there you go in timed order through all the rooms.  Starting with about 3 minutes before the bomb and ending with a memorial room with pictures of all the victims.

Each room and passageway is full of pictures and artifacts that were dug from the rubble or donated by survivors and family members.  They have TV screens throughout with survivors, rescuers and family members telling stories of that day.

By the time you get to the memorial room you are already choked up.  The room is a half circle and each victims picture is mounted on the wall inside a 12 X 12 plexiglass box with mementos found in the rubble or donated by family members.  Each box has their name and where they were in the building. 

One third of the way around the room I was too overcome with emotion to continue through it.  The children's boxes were the worst.  I left the room and waited for Dave.  He too had to leave without seeing all the mementos and victims. 

To tour a museum dedicated to a horrible event that happened so recently and so closely to where we lived is way beyond going to any other memorial of any type I have ever been to.

I will just have to go back to the beginning.....If you are ever in OKC this is a MUST SEE. 

As we left the museum and drove around the city, it struck me that no matter where we went downtown, it was a VERY clean city.  I then noticed signs that designated groups that had adopted each block.  Like highway adoptions for picking up trash.  Great idea!

We went on back to the House and just hung out until dinner time.  We found a restaurant where we could go to celebrate Dave's birthday....Logan's Roadhouse.  It was ok, but since it was nothing to write home about.........  "Cheers" to Dave's birthday!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Storms and Work

Damn!  I wrote this earlier in the week and I guess I forgot to publish it, sooooo, with a few adjustments, here it is.

Well, here we are back in Tornado Alley!   Damn!  Thought I wouldn't be back here for awhile, but here we are.

We are at the FamCamp at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma City and will be here until tomorrow (Monday May 16th).  At least that is when we paid to, so we'll see.

Our spot

This is the view out our desk window

 And from our front door looking towards the street

Very green and pretty here.  No trees in the actual spots you park, but it is fairly newly remodeled and they have planted trees.  The hosts and our neighbors are all very nice.  Their is a storm shelter here, so I'm OK for now.

We are in Oklahoma City for a week because the company we work for has a big ticket promotion for one of our customers and it's "all hands on deck".  We are working on the computer answering emails yesterday and today and will probably be on phones tomorrow as that is when the ticket sales for the general public go on sale.

I don't think I really ever said what it is we do for work.  We work for a company that does  ticketing software/hardware for mostly outdoor music festivals.  We travel from festival to festival helping setup equipment, training the festival staff how to use the scanning equipment, customer service, and help tear down the equipment after the festival.

We have 7 festivals we will be working at this year and in between them we work on our computers answering emails and answering the phone at elevate.  Our first festival was the Country Thunder in Florence AZ.  The Elevate office is in Phoenix, so we were able to visit there and receive our initial training and meet most of the staff.  They are all very nice and easy to get along with...we love working with them!

Our next festival is Nebraskaland Days in North Platte NE.  We have to be there by June 13th and work through the 19th.  Then on June 20th, we travel back down to Manhattan, KS to work at the Country Stampede until June 27th.

We will be in Kansas earlier than that since all our kids and grandkids are in that area and we will stay to visit after Country Stampede for a little while too..whoo hoo!

Next festival after that is Country Thunder in Twin Lakes WI on July 21st to the 24th.  After that we need to make a side trip to the DRV Mobile Suites factory in Howe Indiana to get some things fixed on "the house".  Just some minor stuff, but we have been trying to get them fixed since last year and for some reasons the dealers we went to just don't get how customer service works.  Those are stories for another time.

Anyway, after that we are headed to Country Jam in Grand Junction CO at the end of August and then the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque Oct 1st.

Friday after work, we went over to the BX and bought ourselves Bicycles!  Once we got the tires inflated properly and the seats adjusted we took a "short" ride.  There is a walking/running/bike path that goes through the RV park so we started out.  Ended up going farther than we had intended, mostly because we weren't familiar with the trail, so 45 minutes later we finally made it back to the house.  Whew!  More exercise than I've down in quite a while!  But, don't worry, we'll work our way up to going as far as we want soon.

Later that night I was sicker than a dog....I think it was something I ate, but still not sure what.  It only lasted that evening, I was fine in the morning, so I am suspecting food poisoning from a can of beefaroni I had for lunch.....That will be the last time I eat that stuff!

Today is Dave's Birthday!!  We are going sightseeing in Oklahoma City with plans to at least see the Oklahoma Bombing Memorial and then we will just wing it.  Going out to dinner, but don't know where will be Dave's choice of course!

Okay, now you know.  Not much else to report.  We are working, walking, playing and just plain sitting around.  I'm enjoying it and I think Dave is finally starting to get used to it.  So until next time......

SHOUTOUT to:  Tim and Kathy....SEE YA SOON!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Grand Canyon of Texas

A big HELLO from Texas!! We are in Canyon TX just outside of Amarillo. So named because it is just outside the Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

We drove the 10 miles to get there, paid $10 to get in and then drove down into the canyon. Drove around the park, looked at all the camping areas and picnic areas, stopped and let the dogs have a break and then headed back out. Sounds like a pretty quick drive, but we wasted a very pleasant hour driving around the park.

Here's the slide show:

We drove aimlessly towards and around Amarillo for awhile. We stopped at a couple of stores...Walmart and Albertsons...I'm looking for Lipton Brisk Raspberry Tea. can't find it anywhere and now I'm out. When and if I do find it, I'm scarfing up at least 4 boxes! I've been having trouble with my Acid Reflux getting worse, so decided to quit drinking soda altogether....probably will be good for my weight too!! Hence the looking all over town for the tea!

We haven't done much of anything else...I did some bird watching first thing this morning.  Lots of Western Kingbirds around here.  Also HEARD some Orioles but couldn't locate them.

This evening Dave is watching the race and I'm on the computer....might watch a movie soon but might just play around on the computer for awhile. Of course, I'll have to do dishes first (read now)since we are trying to leave early tomorrow for OKC. It's supposed to be quite windy tomorrow afternoon and we want to try to miss most of it.

SHOUTOUT to new followers: Jerry and Carol of "Waggin Tails" , Donna aka Froggi of "2 Taking a 5th", Jessica of "Planning for RV days" and Terry and Jo from "Ignoring the Barking Dogs". Welcome to our Adventure!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Grand Canyon and ATV Tour

The last two days were very busy spent doing the tourist thing.. First the Grand Canyon and then an ATV tour of the desert and surrounding area in Sedona.

There is absolutely no way to describe the AWESOMENESS of the Grand Canyon, nor will the pictures give you the full scope.

We know that at the observation point we are standing at about 7000 ft and looking at the bottom that is around 1100 ft. Your mind registers that this is 5900 ft down...that's alot, once again your brain knows this, BUT you can't really fully understand the depth and breadth of the Grand Canyon without actually being there!

on this picture, the farthest point you can see is 30 miles away!

When we both first walked up to the first viewing point, we both took a "whoa" step is REALLY far down there.

I was just saying the night before that I didn't know if I really wanted to drive out is about 2 hours away, but I am soooo glad we did. It would have been worth it from 2 DAYS away! We took lots of pictures, click on the picture below and it will bring the slideshow up in full screen

Yesterday, we left about 11 to get to Sedona in plenty of time to scout out where we needed to meet and to have some lunch.
The drive DOWN to Sedona was absolutely fantastic, beautiful, twisty, drop offs, hairpin turns...Sean, you would not have liked it AT ALL. There were more than a few times I couldn't look and at least one where I was ready to jump right over to Dad's lap!! But, man, is it beautiful.

ok, here are the rest of the pictures from the drive down and the ATV Ride.

Tomorrow we travel to Albuquerque for one night and then on to Amarillo until Sun or Mon. We are going to spend a week in OKC at Tinker AFB FamCamp, so we can do some telephone work. OKC is a verizon 4g area, so we should have excellent connections.

Today on our way up to Flagstaff for groceries and gas we stopped at Fort Tuthill Luke AFB FamCamp and discovered we could have saved $20 a night if we had stayed there! Also ran into a couple in a motorhome that have been fulltiming for 10 years AND are from Eatonville Washington. Hank and Judy were so helpful. They were giving us all kinds of hints for fulltiming that we hadn't already heard about.

The biggest one is because Dave is 20% disabled from the army and receives disability pay we can get a Golden Access pass to use at all Federal parks, monuments, campgrounds. Would allow us to get in free to fee collection parks, like the $25 we paid to go to the Grand Canyon would have been free!! It would also allow us to get 50% off for camping at all federal campgrounds. We will get one at the very next federal park we come to!!

Today was also chore day. Clean the house, do the laundry, groceries and gas.
Check, check, check and check. We'll be all ready to go in the morning!

SHOUTOUT: To Hank and Judy! Thanks so much for the info and we do hope to run across you again on the road!

Good night!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A 4 hour trip that took 10 hours

Ok, so we leave Florence at about 9am and expect to be in Munds Park just south of Flagstaff about 1:00.

6 miles out of Munds Park we hear a loud bang and the truck loses's still going, just no umph in the gas pedal...Dave knew right away the turbo just blew! And we are going up hill and are already at 6000 ft.

So we pull over onto the shoulder right at an exit ramp

and Dave calls the insurance company. Yeah! We have Coach-net.

So he talks to them and they are sending a tow truck out of Sedona and it will be about an hour they say.

2 hours later, he gets there. Very nice young man and he starts hooking us up.

Just as he is lifting the truck, a hydraulic line blows at the back of his tow truck!

Well SHIT! So he can't tow us. He is very apologetic and heads back to Sedona.

Once again Dave is on the phone with Coach-Net. They are going to send a mobile mechanic because by this time Dave knows it is a blown turbo tube about 6 inches long and 3 inches wide. He has removed it and there's a BIG ol hole in it.

Another hour and a half later, the mechanic has arrived and gets to work.

Dave's helping him and getting out of breath rather quickly (6000 ft) trying to pry something off. It takes the guy about 45 minutes to get it all done.

All this time, all the cars driving past us, not one has stopped to see if we need help. Haven't seen any cops at all. But just as the mechanic is finishing a cop shows up. He says the only reason he stopped was because he saw the mechanics truck and knows the guy. Geesh!

Dave starts the truck and it's running just fine, but just in case, the mechanic follows us.

And that's our travel day! Whew! We just wanted to get setup, so Dave did that while I ran to the ONLY restaurant in town and brought us home two "specials". Steak, home fries, green beans, onion rings, baked beans and coleslaw. It was all pretty good.

Ok, end of story. Here's a picture of our camp spot and we will be here until Thursday.

ABCD "A Bloggers Centerline Day

If you read my post from on April 14th then you know there will be a lot of bloggers taking pictures of themselves on a roadway centerline.

Here is mine

I picked this centerline/road because it's got character, it's old and has lots of cracks and is well used. Very much like some people.

We are in Munds Park Arizona...a very small town about 15 miles south of Flagstaff. We will be visiting the Grand Canyon tomorrow and then an ATV tour of the canyons around Sedona!

till later.....