Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, totally worn out, shouting "Wow...What a Ride!"

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Texas Bound

September 8-14, 2017

On Friday morning we headed west towards Colorado Springs, from where we are in IL the quick way was across I-70 is through  Missouri, Kansas into Colorado, a trip we've done many times over the last 30 years. Our plan was to overnight in Odessa MO and then somewhere in western Kansas. As is normal for us while pulling the 5th wheel we continually monitor our tire pressure. While going through St Louis MO one of the tires started to heat up, we made it to the MO welcome center on the west side of St Louis. Dave was looking under the rv and saw where the cam plate (it's an adjustment plate to align the axles) was missing including all its bolts, not a good thing. This allowed the spring to release itself on one side. We tried calling a few local dealers but no one had the part in stock so our next call was to Lippert. They said they would put it in for overnight delivery but couldn't guarantee a Saturday delivery. Dave had talked with one of the Lippert techs about his proposed temporary fix so we could get to Odessa MO.
 It took a bit but Dave got us going again and we headed to Country Gardens RV Park. A few hours later we made it, we had stopped at every rest area and closely monitored the tire pressure. Country Gardens RV Park is a nice little place along I-70, great overnight or even for a few days. Noise isn't too bad and it's an easy on and off with fuel nearby.

Saturday morning I checked my email first thing for a tracking number. I soon found out our package wouldn't be delivered until Monday sometime. A brief discussion of how we wanted to spend our unexpected time in Kansas City.  Soon we were packing a few bags and getting ready hit the road to Colorado Springs. At 8am I was at the office checking to make sure we could have the same site until Wednesday morning. Once that was out of the way Dave and I climbed into the truck and drove 630 miles, arriving mid afternoon at a LaQuinta Inn in Colorado Springs. Had never been to one, it was fine for an overnight stop and quite a bit cheaper than the Hampton Inn we used to stay in. We knew Tom was working till 6pm so we looked for a place where Dave could get a good selection of beer. BJ's Brewhouse was just what he was looking for, after a wonderful dinner we took a walk while waiting for a call from Tom. Before too long it came and we headed over to see him and Krystal, when we had seen Tom in August he said he and Krystal were back together so we were anxious to see her. 

Sunday morning we took a ride up to the Cripple Creek overlook. Trees were just starting to turn, if we'd been able to stay on schedule and come in early Oct it would have been beautiful. We drove through Mueller State Park and while it's a beautiful place the sites are close together and not sure if we'd fit in there or want to chance it on some of the tight corners there. Afterwards we headed to Red Robin where we had lunch served by our favorite waiter.
 We then headed to Mountaindale Cabins and RV Park. We were suppose to be here with our rv but instead we took their only open cabin which just happened to be the smallest cabin. As rv parks go it's one of the nicer ones, still crowded but a great option instead of being in the city. A little bit of a drive but we'd go there with the rv if we couldn't get into Cheyenne Mountain State Park.

 We had a surprise visit from our friend Janell. We met Janell and Mark when we hosted in Cave Creek AZ, they lived there in town. Earlier this year Mark retired and they moved to Salida CO. Janell happened to be in town to see her nephew and had time to stop for a way too short visit. Thanks Janell for stopping by, can't wait to spend time with you and Mark next summer.

We had hoped to have Tom & Krystal out for a fire but Tom didn't get out early so we headed to their place that evening for another visit.

Monday Tom was off from work so we met him for breakfast with our favorite waitress. Krystal waits tables at Wade's Cafe, they serve breakfast and lunch. After eating way too much we took Tom for a ride to Bishop's Castle. We were here 4 years ago, you can certainly see progress has been happening.

This was as high as I went though the boys went higher. You can see the view from the sphere in the picture left below. Below you can see where we had been.

We had to go down one level so the boys could climb the other tower. 

The view of the sphere from up above.

The very highest point you can currently reach. 

They were all the way to the top of the tower to the right. This is a crazy kind of place, not all stairs go anywhere, you find things that to you don't make sense....this is someones vision and it doesn't need to make sense to anyone but him.

 Dave and I dropped Tom off so he could get his dog to the vets, we decided to visit Garden of the Gods and try and get a walk in. We knew the next day would be all about driving back to Odessa MO and our house on wheels. The parking lots at the major spots were full so we took a walk on some lesser hiked trails, just what we needed before another travel day.
Siamese twins

Balance Rock
We still had some time before we were to meet Tom & Krystal at Saltgrass Restaurant so we headed to Manitou Springs. If you've never visited think Woodstock, we've visited here a number of times but this time things were different. Some of the stores and smells have changed but its still got some eclectic people, always fun to people watch.

It always amazes me that as our sons grow older and they develop new interests how those interest are things we'd done when we were younger. An interest of Tom's that has grown over the years is bowling, and he's gotten quite good at it. Dave and I both bowled when we were younger, we had given it up around the time Tom was born, though I did bowl one league for a few years when the kids were in middle school. After a great meal at Saltgrass, of course no pictures, we headed to Tom's bowling alley. We watched his first game, met his team mates and friends then headed back to our cabin.pu
Sunrise as we left Colorado
Tuesday morning we were up and on the road by 4:30am, with the time zone change we'd be loosing an hour once we got out of Colorado. We arrived back in Odessa MO by late afternoon. Our part was waiting there waiting for us. By the time I'd gotten our stuff unpacked from the trip Dave had the new parts an and we were ready to roll. Our plan for Wednesday's drive was when we woke up we'd leave, we didn't hitch up the night before. By 5am we were both awake, got Dave's thermos filled and we were soon ready to roll. We ended up hitching up in the dark but with the rv's lights and flashlights it was no big deal.  With our auxiliary tank we have a 700 mile range before we would need to refuel. It was around 2 when we started getting close to Ft Worth, we decided to go ahead and get around it. We ended up putting 650 miles on that day and stayed at a place called North Waco RV Park, no pictures as it wasn't worth it and if I ever need a place in the area I'll check out other places. Thursday morning we got on the road around 8am and we were Gulf Waters Beachfront RV Resort in Port Aransas TX. Friends had cleaned our rv pad so we were able to pull right in, thanks.

Our park looks good but it so sad driving through town where so much devastation has happened. That's for the next post though.

Until next time...


  1. I'm exhausted reading your itinerary. What a quick visit to the Springs but at least you got to see Tom. Love the Siamese twin trail at Garden of the Gods - a fave.

  2. Good to see that your breakdown did not slow you down and you got to CO for your visit.

    We are still planning on Texas this winter although our route will likely change due to the storm damage. Hope all is well with your area.....

  3. It has been many years since we visited Bishop's Castle. It has definitely grown. You did get a lot of miles behind you. I bet it will be good to settle in even with all of the damage.


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