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!"

Friday, September 21, 2018

Missouri Waters

September 13-17 , 2018

It was with great anticipation that we made the 215 mile uneventful ride to Ray Behrens COE near Monroe City MO. We were meeting up with our friends Curt & Glenda and going to be traveling together for 3 weeks as we both headed south, they to AZ and us to TX. Things went well until we went to level the 5th wheel, the front jacks went all the way down. Now that in itself isn’t a problem but it twisted the bolt on the JT Strongarm stabilizers, so much so that we had to bring the front up and remove the stabilizer bar on one side. We’ll be getting that taken care of when we get to our place in TX. Our site was really wooded, very sloped downward to the back and had a skinny drive, no satellite signal but our Verizion worked great. If we are ever back to Ray Behrens we’ll get a site in a different loop.
Site 134
Before too long Curt & Glenda pulled into their site across the street from us, let the fun times begin!! Dinner and a fire, catching up and planning for the next few weeks, before we knew it, it was getting late and the mosquitos were getting bad. 

Ray Behrens has a short 2.5 mile trail that we walked earlier in the morning before the heat and humidity got too bad. We decided this was the Mushroom and Spiderweb trail. 

Glenda suggested a boat ride on the Mississippi River so the next day we headed to Hannibal MS, home of Mark Twain.

 Along with the boat ride we spent time walking the downtown area where chocolates and cheese made their way home with us.
Of course Curt and I had to get a geocache in, thanks Glenda for reminding us.

 A stop at the Mark Twain Brewery for a late lunch rounded out a fun day in Hannibal MO.

Our next stop was in Osage Beach at Osage Beach RV Park, a short 132 miles away. By appearances it was once a KOA, the current owners have had it for a year and are making changes. We had a Big Rig site that was a backin with decent enough spacing between rv's. Full hookups and cable for $45/night a bit pricey but for a late reservation it was fine considering Bike Fest (motorcycle rides) was going on. A day to do chores and another to explore.
Site 33

Our exploration took us out on the water, we rented a pontoon boat and once again Captain Curt kept us safe while we explored Lake of the Ozarks. On a warm humid day it was a great way to keep cool, at least until we stopped for our picnic lunch. Our 4 hour cruise went off without a hitch, before we knew it we were back at the dock. Thanks to Getaway Boat Rentals for a great boat at a reasonable price.

Dave and Curt enjoy sharing beers together and trying new ones wherever we go. Dave has finally found another use for his phone. He's now using the Untapped app to rate beers, if you're on Untapped friend him to see what he's got to say about beer. 

How to keep the flies out of your beer 

While traveling the back roads of Missouri we came up behind this tractor, it certainly amused us all.
Until next time...

Friday, September 14, 2018

Friends To See, Places To Go: Time To Roll!!!

September 1-12, 2018
Our last volunteer week at the Lake Coralville Visitor Center was Labor Day week which went by quietly, with rain and kids going back to school there were few guests coming in. Wednesday afternoon we were once again free to travel. Thursday was spent getting laundry done and packing all set.

Friday morning we headed out, for the last time, from Sugar Bottom Recreation Area and headed west to Prairie Flower Recreation Area on Lake Saylorville in Ankeny IA. After an uneventful 130 mile ride we arrived and headed to site A14, electric only but we had come with water in our fresh water tank. After getting set up we took off for a walk, with the temps in the low 70’s and the humidity down it was time to get some steps in. Our walk ended up taking us by our friends Cindy & Paul’s place, we already had dinner plans but we stopped in any way since we couldn’t just walk by without saying hi. A quick visit, dinner plans firmed up and we headed home. Dinner that evening was at Watcha Smokin’ BBQ & Brew where the meal was okay and Dave really enjoyed the beer but the company was excellent. They gave us a few ideas of things to do over the next few days.
Site A14
Saturday we headed into Ankeny to check out their farmers market, picked up a few treats and of course forgot to get any pictures. We knew our friends Mark & Nancy wouldn’t be in till late afternoon so after a walk around the campground (5 miles) we headed out to check out the High Trestle Bridge Trail that Cindy and Paul had told us about. Iowa has lots of bike/walking trails and this trail follows the old railroad line. It’s a beautiful paved trail with a ½ mile bridge over the Des Moines River, with a mile walk from the parking lot to the bridge we were certainly getting our steps in.

By midafternoon Saturday our friends had arrived, dinner that evening was cooked over the fire, Wannadingers (think biscuits on a stick) made buns for brats and hot dogs.
Dave was having an issue with his Wannadinger

Mark's slightly burnt hot dog
Sunday morning we got more walking in, we then moved to site C84 (forgot to get a pic)  so we could be across the street from Mark and Nancy. We spent the rest of the day hanging around camp. About 7pm we headed back to the High Trestle Bridge Trail to see the bridge lit up at night.

Monday we spent once again around camp visiting and walking. That evening Cindy & Paul joined us all for a steak dinner followed by a fire. A great way to end our stay at Saylorville Lake. We won’t see Cindy and Paul for at least a year L, we’ve got plans in the works to see Mark & Nancy when we get back into the states after our time in Canada next summer.

Tuesday morning we were on the road about 9am for our 60 mile ride to Howell Station Recreation Area on Lake Red Rock. We didn’t like the site we’d reserved so moved to site 149 where we can get satellite tv, Verizon signal isn’t very strong but enough to do a little web surfing. We took a ride into Pella the nearby town, it’s home to Pella Windows and Vermeer Manufacturing. 

The town was settled by immigrants from Netherland and has a rich Dutch history. We took the time Wednesday to tour the Vermeer Mill and Pella Historical Village.

While walking around town we discovered the Jaarsma Bakery…oh my, good thing we’re back to walking every day. 

Surrounding the campground is the Volksweg Trail which we walked every day. The campground is below the dam so there was plenty of wildlife to see. 

 Off to MO, time to catch up with Curt & Glenda of Camp Lowry for 3 weeks of fun.
Until next time…