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!"

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Fall 2023-Spring 2024

 September 15, 2023-March 25, 2024
Long post, our travels were to places we've visited before and though I started this post months ago I figured I should get it up before we head back to IL. 
When we left our summer campground we headed west, instead of dealing with St Louis MO traffic we headed towards I72/US 36, eventually heading south on US 63 to I70. After 383 miles we pulled into Owl Creek RV Park, in Odessa MO, we have been here before but it has a new owner. It served the purpose of an overnight.
In the morning we hoped to get up and on the road, all was going well until we found a flat tire on the truck. Thankfully they opened at 8am and got us right in. By 8:30 we were back to the RV and hooking up. It seems every time we come here we have an issue, next time we'll not stop in Odessa. Side note: while fixing the flat they messed up the tire pressure monitor, it started acting flaky and eventually quit altogether. We purchased one from Amazon, Tire Discount installed it but we couldn’t get it to work. We took it to the dealership we bought the truck from, and they got the truck, and monitor talking to each other.
163 miles later we were pulling into Tuttle Creek Cove COE campground. Going through Kansas City and Topeka was no problem when we went through.
Site 27 w/e

We picked this park because of its proximity to our friends Annette and Mike. We became friends because we both have Grand Design RVs, in 2018 they stopped in at Lake Coralville, where we were volunteering, for a few hours. Since then we haven’t had the opportunity to stop as we went west. Manhattan KS is a nearby college town so on our first night in we met up at a local brewery. After a couple of hours of talking and laughing, we called it a night with plans to meet up the next day.
The next afternoon we headed to their property where they are living in their Momentum while they build themselves a Bandominium. Great food and better company made for a wonderful day. Thanks, Annette and Mike for the hospitality!!


Up and out the next day, we had 292 miles to go. Our next stop was Lake Scott State Park in Scott City KS. This area has been on our radar for a while, there are nearby natural monuments we have wanted to check out.
Site 110 w/e

Nearby Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park was a wonderful place to get a good walk in and see what KS Badlands looked like.




Afterward, we headed over to Monument Rocks Chalk Pyramids, another example of Mother Nature at work.




Our next stop was Cheyenne Mountain State Park in Colorado Spring CO, a place we’ve been to many times. This year we tried a new to us approach to Colorado Springs, instead of I70 and US 24 we headed west on KS/CO 96 to US 287 to US 40, so far the roads had been fine. We then turned west on CO 94 and the roads turned terrible. Who knows how we’ll go in next time. 

This time we had site 56, a pull-through with full hookups, it’s in The Meadows and while the views aren’t as vast as some of the other areas there isn’t as much wind in this area. 

While in COS our focus is on spending time with our son Tom and his fianc√© Kanik, we spent most of their days off with them. Catching up, and learning a new game, the Merchants of Venice. By the time we left, we had a good handle on the game but by the time we see them again, we’ll probably forget.

This year while in COS we finally took the Cog Railway up Pikes Peak. It gave us a different perspective of the mountain, while we probably won’t ever do it again we’re glad we finally did get the ride in. The views at the top of the mountain are spectacular and there’s a new Visitor Center.










Visitor Center and views from the area. 










We did a few scenic rides, Cripple Creek and Weston Pass areas are always favorites of ours.

Weston Pass, the colors weren't quite there yet but a nice ride anyway.



Hoosier Pass and Alma CO area.


Montgomery Reservoir 


Cripple Creek area, it was a beautiful day when we started, by the time we got to the visitor center in Cripple Creek the rains had started. 






Grand Design friends Laureen and Terry were staying in Cheyenne Mountain State Park too, we met them last summer in IL. We caught up a few times with them and enjoyed lunch one afternoon. We’ll see them again at Rend Lake as we all will be there for the eclipse in April.

Before too long it was time to head south. A short 130-mile ride found us once again at Trinidad State Park where we had the same sight as last year, it's a full hook-up site and has lots of space. Since we were so sick while here last year we wanted to check it out again. 
Site 6
One of the things we wanted to do, since we didn't last year, was the Scenic Highway of Legends, CO Highway 12. The loop it makes is 82 miles, we started out clockwise from our campground. When we reached the Cuchara Pass we then took the dirt road County Road 46, the Mountain Pass Spur. A great ride through the higher peaks, good thing there weren't lots of people on this road as it was tight in a few places. The county road brought us to Aguilar where we took I25 north to Walsenburg where we met up with Highway 12 again and started back to the campground going counterclockwise. We passed Lathrop State Park,  where we took a quick ride through, we like Trinidad much more. Unfortunately, something happened to our pictures as Dave downloaded them and the only ones we have are a few from the Mountain Pass Spur. Maybe one day we'll have to do it again. 



Apishapa was built by the CCC in 1933-34


Our friends Steve and Cathy, whom we first met on our Alaska Caravan, were passing through on their way back to AZ. They stopped over for a few nights and we had a great time catching up with them. 
Cathy wasn't feeling well one of the days so we met Steve at the Trinidad Visitor Center and took a walk around town. 





We spent a couple of evenings playing Dave's game and just catching up, it'll be a while before we see them again as they now live in Green Valley AZ. Thanks for stopping it was great to see y'all. 
We really like Trinidad and could see ourselves spending more time there, maybe one day.
Before too long our week was up and we headed south. A 244-mile ride took us to Amarillo TX where we stayed at Oasis RV Resort. We've stayed there a few times and all the sites are the same, long pull- thru with FHU, didn't take a picture. 
We then headed south, and a 321-mile ride found us at San Angelo State Park for 4 nights. We've been here before and enjoyed the area. We had originally planned on a 3-night stay but added a day in the beginning so after our first night in site 13 we moved to site 12. 
Site 13
Site 12


We spent our days walking trails around the park. It's been years since there was much water in the lake, so much so you can't even get down the boat ramps anymore. There's no boating on the lake anymore. 


Old picnic areas 

There's a bison herd that resides in the park. 


With the annular eclipse happening we decided San Angelo would be a good place to watch it. Of course, we had the correct eyewear for the event.








Our next stop was a new-to-us park, Choke Canyon State Park, only 303 miles down the road. This time we decided to try going through the center of San Antonio, at 10am it was no big deal. Choke Canyon Reservoir is one of the reservoirs that supply our water in Port Aransas. 

site 129



We enjoyed walking the trails and roads at Choke Canyon.





Wildlife coming through the campground. 





After 2 nights it was time to head to our site in Gulf Waters Beachfront RV Park in Port Aransas TX. After 116 miles we pulled into Gulf Waters where we'll be till March 25, 2024. 


So what have we been up to since we arrived at Gulf Waters Beachfront RV Resort in Port Aransas TX.

We’ve done a bit of work on our little slice of Texas paradise. The shed needed to be painted, since we had the paint out we also painted the top of one of our tables and benches. We really like the new colors.


We purchased some new flowers and added some more potted plants which also necessitated some work on the irrigation system. 
We had a cold snap in February, which is becoming an annual occurrence, so a couple of weeks later we replaced more plants.
                                                                                            Before



                                                                                             After :(




Hibiscus just the day before we head north. 




We added some Oleanders to the back of the lot, these should grow at least 10’ which will give us some privacy.
We hope this becomes a nice privacy screen

We added a few trellises and bought a couple of Jasmine Star vines which should make for some privacy in that area. They didn’t grow much until March when all of a sudden they took off. Hopefully, they won’t get too out of control while we’re gone.
Our new trellis decked with Christmas lights 


Dave has been busy fishing anytime he can, finally in March the fish started biting.





Steal A Fish





Our Tuesday dinners with my brother and sister-in-law have once again been lots of fun. We taught them the game Pegs and Jokers this year, it's been fun playing with them and we look forward to more of it when they visit my parents this summer. On one Tuesday instead game playing, we did a day trip to Goose Island State Park and Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.
Cold day on the fishing pier at Goose Island SP








Not blood related

Blood related

We got out to the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center once, and we saw some Rosetta Spoonbills. 



My niece Maggie graduated from Texas A&M in December, and I had the privilege of attending the graduation ceremony. She is now teaching PreK in Rockport TX, and she seems to be enjoying it.


My niece Meredith works at the Botanical Gardens in Corpus Christi, she works with birds and reptiles.  They do a holiday light display so we spent an evening walking through the displays. 


The tree is made of recycled soda bottles


We also enjoyed spending the holidays with all of the family, though we never took any pictures.

Our friends Paul and Cindy were in Port Aransas for a couple of months, dinners and game playing were a common occurrence while they were here. Hopefully, they'll be back in the area next winter. 


We have enjoyed happy hours with the neighbors, and while we don't go to all of them when we do we enjoy the company of good friends. 
Our friend Joyce is once again our neighbor, her husband Denny passed away last summer from cancer. All of us neighbors have rallied around her, Dave is her to go to fixing stuff guy. As soon as she arrived we started taking her dog Ellie on walks thrice daily, we've become known as Ellie's walkers.  

While Dave has enjoyed the fishing I've been enjoying water aerobics three times a week, great exercise for the arm I broke last summer. The neighborhood ladies have been doing Wednesday lunches around the local area. 

Dave has stocked the freezer with fish, and we've got some shrimp to take with us. Since he uses the shrimp heads for fish bait it's a a win for both of us. 


Sunrises on the beach never get old. 




And moonrise can be just as amazing.



In the morning we start our trek back to IL, we will be staying at places we've stayed before, not sure when I'll post again but the plan is to be back in Forrest W Bo Woods in Sullivan IL on April 9th. We're once again volunteering for Lake Shelbyville USACE for the summer. Looking forward to catching up with family and friends there. 
Until next time...

12 comments:

  1. We really enjoy your blog

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  2. Drive safe. Hope to see you down the road!

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  3. That was quite the catch-up post! We have yet to get up to Pike's Peak, but you sure did it at the right time of the year. The aspens in that area in the fall are incredible! Happy moving day today, hope you have safe travels.

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    1. Thanks, just lost the motivation to blog, started it back in November but just wasn't it the mood to finish until it was almost time to leave. Love to see fall in CO, so different than fall in VT.

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  4. Nice places in CO. A couple we still have not been to. Nice eclipse shots and the last few were amazing. You had a busy time in TX. I’m sure your time at Bo Woods will be great too.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed Dave's pictures, CO state parks are great.

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  5. Great to hear from you Faye. A post of 3 full seasons, I don't know how you do it. But what is a bandominium or did you mean a barndominium? Love seeing your various campsites and the moon pictures are spectacular especially the last one.

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    1. I did mean barndominium. I actually started the post way back in November but never finished it, finally decided to just do a big recap.

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  6. Thanks for sharing your adventures Faye!

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