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!"

Thursday, September 29, 2022

US 36 IL to KS What a Nice Ride

 September 15-23, 202
Thursday morning jacks up and we’re heading west to CO. This year we are following US 36 across MO and KS. Our first day was an uneventful 200 miles to Ray Behrens COE on Mark Twain Lake near Monroe City MO. We were here in 2018 with our friends Curt and Glenda, at that time we had a wooded site with quite the grade. This time we had a full hookup site with an open shot for our satellite service and Verizon was great, we could see a cell tower from our site. Ray Behrens is a beautiful campground with sites to fit everyone’s needs. Definitely, a place we’d come back to again.
Site 1A full hookups
The next day we headed into Hannibal MO to the Mark Twain Cave. While it’s a dry cave and has only a few very tiny formations the storytelling was interesting. The cave has many signatures from the 1800s to mid-1900s, one notable signature that they just recently found was Samuel Clemens, also known as Mark Twain. All along the tour, the guide was telling the story of when Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher were lost for 3 days in the cave. We enjoyed the tour and were glad to add another cave tour to our long list of visited caves.

Afterward, we had hoped to go to the Mark Twain Brewery that we enjoyed back in 2018, alas the building has been sold and they have yet to open up somewhere else.
Saturday we headed down the road to Wallace State Park in Cameron MO, 170 miles and we arrives safely. Our site was a 30amp water-only site, which is fine for a night or two. Looking at the forecasted 100* weather coming we decided to make some changes to our plans. Instead of 2 nights we only stayed overnight. Wallace SP is a nice small park, family-friendly and busy on Saturday.
Site 70 water and electric (30amp)
Sunday we got up and on the road as we had 250 miles to travel. Our original plan had been to visit Rock Creek Station State Historical Park to see some friends nearby. Ends up they weren’t going to be in the area by then, since it was a 30amp site we wouldn’t be able to run both ACs to combat the high temps. Instead, we headed to Glen Elder State Park in Glen Elder Kansas on Waconda Lake. Another uneventful drive day, I’m enjoying not being on the interstate and taking red roads. We booked a 50amp with water site for 4 nights and 4 bars of Verizon signal. It’s in the middle of nowhere so bring what you need. They offer extended stays here, we saw lots of RVs that appeared to be more seasonal guests, but the majority of them had no utilities.

Nearby is Cawkers City, home of the largest ball of twine. Of course, we had to go check it out and of course, there’s always a geocache to be found near these types of places. Across the street from the twine was an old gas station that had been fixed up as lodging.

About 30 miles away is the Geographic Center of the Continuous United States, of course, we had to make the drive to see it.

We enjoyed morning walks around the campground, unfortunately, they were under a fire ban so no campfires. Definitely, a place we’d stay at again if in the area.

A short 110-mile ride found us arriving at Prairie Dog State Park in Norton KS for a two-night stay.
Site 2 water and electric (50 amp)

When I made our reservation I realized we would be near some of our Gulf Waters family, Francy, and Dale. Another 35 miles down US 36 was their town of Oberlin KS, where we enjoyed lunch and the grand tour of the town.

Francy's Bargain Box, a very nice thrift store
This is as far west on US 36 as we will go this year. What a pleasure it has been riding on this “red” road. We picked up US 36 in Springfield IL where it is part of I72 until the MO/IL border. I can see us driving this way to CO again.
In the morning we head into Colorado Springs where we have visits planned with our son and friends from AZ.
Until next time....

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Summer of 2022 Highlights

 May 1-September 14, 2022

Yep, I took the summer off from blogging and following blogs. For the most part, the laptop was only opened to use Quicken.

On May 1st we celebrated 9 years of full timing in an RV. We still love the lifestyle and have no desire to change. In June we celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary and Dave turned 62.

We certainly have enjoyed our new site this summer, privacy with some shade and satellite service. 

My brother and his wife stopped in for a few days, nice to see them, we’ll see them later this year in TX. Our son Tom and his life partner Kanik came for a quick visit, we'll see them soon in CO.

Andy & Kati

Mom, Dad, Kanik, and Tom

We enjoyed our visits with family. 

Mom and Dad

Faye with cousin Don

Cousins Dennis and Nancy

Cousins Rhonda, Tom, and Dylan
Friends have stopped by, and we weren’t good about getting pictures. Joe and Brenda stopped by on their way east, and Susan and Buster dropped in for a couple of nights but previous obligations got in the way of visiting. Dave’s fishing buddy Pat stopped in overnight as he was passing through, we’ll see him in TX this winter. Rick and Gail, who we last saw in Yuma last winter stopped in for a few days, we enjoyed catching up and we introduced them to Casey-Small Town Big Things.
Gail and Rick
Unfortunately, a few visits didn’t materialize, we are sorry we couldn’t catch up with our friends Curt and Glenda, and friends DuWayne and Jackie. 

Our friends Vic and Phyllis are gate attendants here so we get together as much as possible for afternoons of cards. We enjoyed dog-sitting Snoop a couple of times this summer but sadly he recently passed over the Rainbow Bridge. 

Some scenes from our volunteer days here at Lake Shelbyville. 

This summer we spent some time in Saint Louis so my mom could have surgery on both eyes. Each surgery required a pre-surgery visit with the doctor, for surgery an overnight visit was required since she had a follow-up visit with the doctor the morning after. Dave and I spent our waiting time exploring Forest Park right next door to the hospital. 

On one of our visits to Forest Park, we went to the St Louis Zoo, where we found animals and flowers. Admission to most things is free, what a beautiful place to spend time, lots of people walking, running and biking, there are pickleball and tennis courts and soccer fields and that's just what we saw. The place is huge with parking all over the park. 

I did get out and pick strawberries this year.

Dave enjoyed many a BLT this summer thanks to Wayne and Charlie who dropped off numerous tomatoes and other summer produce. 

Fun at the Hunan Restaurant with Vic and Phyllis.

Dave with owner Mae

We found a great butcher in the local Amish community. 

Beef short ribs

Our favorite pizza from Monical's. 

We also visited our favorite Italian and Mexican restaurants but alas no pictures from them.

This summer we did a thing, we brought recreational property on the Tennessee River. Friends recently bought there and it’s an area we’ve talked about checking out for years. When our friends said the last land sale in the area would be happening we decided to go for it. We now own a 1/2 acre alongside the river, and we have 60’ of river frontage and road frontage, about 270’ deep. RV’s only, no permanent enclosed structures. Power, water, and Wi-Fi are at the road, we will have to put in a septic system. By March the hope is to have all the utilities in, the shoreline rocked, and a temporary pad. Long term we will have a large concrete pad with hookups for 2 RVs, and an open pole barn covering it. We are near Clifton, 1/2 hour away is Savannah TN, we’re an hour south of I40 about 1/2 way between Memphis and Nashville. Rolling hills and a small community both remind us of VT.

from the road, survey stakes circled

our river frontage

our road frontage

we'll build something very similar 

us with Anne and Gary
It's been a good summer but it's time for us to head west, on the 25th we should arrive in Colorado Springs. We plan to check out a few of the CO state parks so we'll be in the state for almost a month. 

Until next time...