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 14, 2023

Summer 2023 Recap

 April 6-September 14, 2023

So here we are at the end of our stay here in IL this summer, I had every intention of blogging earlier but circumstances prevented that from happening. So here’s a semi-brief recap of our summer here in IL.

We arrived safely at Forrest Bo Woods here in Sullivan IL, before too long we were set up and settled in for the summer.

A day or two after arriving our new Wilderness Montana hybrid super queen bed arrived. What a difference it has made in our sleeping.

A few weeks after arriving our RV fridge decided to die without warning. We found an off-brand residential fridge at the local Menards. With the help of our friends Vic and Phyllis, we were able to get it that same day. It sat outside on the patio for a few days while Dave modified its space in the RV. We’ve enjoyed the room and having the ice cream the new fridge affords us.

                                                                        Out with the old

                                                                            In with the new!

By mid-summer, the plants were all in bloom.

On May 1st we celebrated our 10th year of full-time RV living. We have made so many great friends over the years and made lots of wonderful memories. 

In early May our friends Guy and Kelly stopped in for a week. We know them from our time in VT, Dave and Guy worked together for many years. They have been full-timers for a few years and are on their way back to VT from spending a winter in WA where they worked at a ski resort. We’ve seen them a few times over the last couple of years at various places around the country, and we look forward to the next time our trails cross.

Of course, when friends come for a visit for the first time a trip to Casey IL is in order, have to see what new big things they’ve built since the year before.

Of course, there's always the double outhouse to visit. 

They are headed back to VT to help out with family. We wish them good luck in their first workamper experience.

My brother came for a visit as he and Kati headed to WI, no pictures as I had planned to get one on their return trip back south, but fate had other ideas in store.

On our twice-a-week drives around Lake Shelbyville, as we check the loaner life jackets and pick up supply requests, we come across an area that is abundant with wild blackberry bushes that, when in season, are loaded with berries. 


On Mother’s Day, my brother was due back in for an overnight stay. Dave and I planned and prepped a lasagna dinner we were to cook at my folks' house. As we were getting things loaded in the truck I took a bad fall down our interior steps, bounced off the center island, and ended up on the floor. Dave finally heard me calling him, with being nauseous and getting sick we realized I needed to go get my arm checked out. A short time after arriving at the local ER I had x-rays taken and my right arm was broken, near the shoulder so no cast was possible. In a few days, the inside of my right arm had changed to purple from my elbow across the front of the shoulder, with a clear line where I had made contact with the island. 6 weeks of keeping it still then 6 weeks of PT, along with keeping the dental appointments I had for a root canal and crown. Not a fun way to $pend 3 months of the summer. In the end, my gum aches are gone, and I have lost some range of motion in my shoulder.

Meanwhile, our friends Joe and Brenda stopped in for a few days on their way east. We enjoyed a few dinners out with them and hope they enjoyed their eastern trek. Of course, we forgot to get a picture.

It’s been a crazy summer of trying to celebrate occasions. After my Mother’s Day mishap, on Father’s Day, my dad had Covid so that celebration was postponed. My folks' 65th anniversary celebration had to be postponed due to the excessive heat. We then planned it for 8/30 which is also both of their birthdays, which we then had to postpone because Dave through his back out. We finally got out a week later.  

The hummingbirds have kept us entertained once again this summer. So fun to watch them flying about.

We enjoyed a few meals with our friends Frank and Pat, always lots of laughter when we get together. 

Thanks to some wonderful campers, and my folks' neighbors, Dave has once again enjoyed just a few BLTs this summer. 

Basket Tomato

We’ve enjoyed many an afternoon eating and game playing with our friends Vic and Phyllis who are gate attendants here at our campground.  We never got any pictures besides this one of Vic and Dave fixing a meal for Phyllis and I. 

In the morning we’ll be heading west to CO to visit with our son Tom. We’re trying a different site again at Cheyenne Mountain State Park. We’ll be there for 2 weeks before heading to Trinidad Lake State Park for a week where we hope to see some of the places we wanted to see last year when we were so sick. Then we’ll wander on down to our place in Port Aransas TX where we’ll spend the winter on the beach with our Gulf Waters family,

Until next time...

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

TN-Finally & Headed to IL

March 10th -April 5, 2023

Up and out of the worst COE park we've ever been in. While dumping the tanks the individual site sewer tank overflowed. We'll never stay in this project again. 

174 miles down the road and we pulled into Paradise Landing in Clifton TN, home of our new property. We headed to our lot but our contractor was still working on it, the electric meter still had not been installed and they could give no date when it would be. Seems the recent storms had hit this area and folks still needed electricity. Our friends Anne and Gary graciously offered their site to us for the next 4-5 nights, we of course took them up on it and settled in under their pole barn for a bit. While there we got a feel for how big it was and what we wanted in ours one day. 

Roads were flooded when we got here

Glad we don't own in this area

Early the following week we moved on down to our site, we did have to use our generator for a few nights but the electricity was turned on just before a cold snap. 

We enjoyed our 3 weeks on our property and look forward to the day we can build the pole barn. Sale calls on our TX property have slowed down, so we've done all the work, besides the rip rap on the shoreline, we're going to do. 

Sunrises and birds, Dave's camera will 
get a workout

Most days were spent walking the roads in our area, we could easily get up to 6-mile walks. We met a few other owners, and we spent a couple of evenings teaching Anne and Gary Dave's game. Lots of barges use our part of the river, fishing boats and a few pleasure craft were always going by. We look forward to many years of enjoying the river life. 

We rode out one tornado warning, one came down in the nearby town of Clifton, and we spent some time in our truck, the safest place around. High winds and quarter-size hail, a late night but finally about 12:30am, I, felt comfortable going back in the RV. 

One riverside fire on a beautiful evening.

Our go-to town is Savannah TN, where we can find almost anything we need. A new laundry mat, a nice Walmart, a small Kroger's, and a Piggly Wiggly. There is even a crawfish truck that comes through Friday-Sunday afternoons, Tri-State Crawfish where Dave enjoyed a few meals of mudbugs. 

One day we visited Pickwick Landing State Park less than an hour away.

Remnants of the old CCC cabins used here
when the dam was built

Many people have asked where the property is, the easiest way to find our place is to do a search on Google Earth, Google Maps has us in the wrong place, if you search for Camp Wandering Camel (soon to be changed to Camels) it will take you to where we are. Of course, the picture is a few years old and shows the area as a farm field. Driving the roads to our place you'd question yourself about where you were going, 

In order to miss driving in rainy weather we left Paradise Landing on 4/2 and headed to Rend Lake COE near Whittington AL, just 116 miles from our summer location. We were last here in early 2015, and we ended up picking the same site. Our site is electric only but we are next to the fill hydrant. 

Tomorrow we head to Forrest W Bo Wood in Sullivan IL where we'll once again spend the summer.

Until next time...