Thursday, October 27, 2011

mean while back at the ol' Martin Manor

Got home this afternoon a little after 2:00 and now the laundry begins.  This was a super relaxing trip but now it is time to put the trailer to bed for the winter and start planning for next years outings.  To be truthful I've already started but there is more work and refinements yet to be done.

Getting the trailer ready for winter is taking everything out that could freeze and store it in the basement.  Then I have to drain all the plumbing and pump some non-toxic antifreeze throughout the whole system.  I need to wash the trailer and get all the bugs off the front and then wax the front in preparation for next years travels.  There isn't any hard freeze forecast in the next 10 days and probably for awhile after that so I don't have to be in any big rush but might as well take advantage of these better days here at the first of November.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

long day

We had to have the trailer in front of the shop door at 7:00 this morning so that meant an earlier than usual breakfast.  After they listed all the items that we felt needed attention we were off on our own for the day.

We started with a visit to Wall-Mart where I picked up a new Sudoku book to help pass the time then we drove into a nearby city park and watched the ducks swim around on the lake.  This city park includes the campground that we are staying in and it was quiet.  Mid morning we drove into town to the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari museum.  Martin & Osa were pioneers in the art of wildlife documentaries filming their trips to the cannibal tribes in the South Pacific and later many safaris in Africa sponsored by the New York museum of Natural History and Eastman Kodak.  Most of their films were before talkies.  Martin Johnson was the photographer and Osa was a crack shot and native tribe negotiator.  Martin was born in Independence, KS and Osa was from Chanute so that is why the museum is here.  There were many African and aborigine artifacts and a very interesting History Channel film that we viewed.

After a nice lunch in town we went back to the park and more Sudoku until abound 3:30 when they called from the shop that our trailer was finished.  There were about 11 items on our list and they had taken care of them all above and beyond the expected results and all covered under the trailer warranty.  We have had great experiences with this company on both the purchase and our service needs.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Strong winds

The trip today from Shell Knob to Chanute, Kansas was with clear skies again allowing the sun to brighten up many patches of Mother Nature's tree painting.  We traveled north from Shell Knob to I-44 and then west to Joplin/Carthage and then continued westward into Kansas.  We had very strong winds out of the south all the way.  The last 20 miles into Chanute was straight north and I believe that I could have turned off the engine and the wind would have taken us the rest of the way.

Our campground here is a city park that is just a half mile from the NuWa factory and the first two nights are free.  Should there be a need to stay more than two nights the fee then is only $10 and this includes electricity and water and a dump station that we can use on our way out toward the Martin Manor.

Tomorrow we have an appointment for some maintenance to help preserve our investment and a few warranty items that the factory technicians will take care of.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Yea! we finally found some good fall color

Today the three of us drove to Springfield for a visit with Lola and then we took Wilma to her house.  It's been fun having her with us these past few days and I believe that she really enjoyed her visit also.  I've even enjoyed being the referee between the two Ledgerwood sisters. ;-)

Jo and I have been a bit disappointed in the lack of good fall color in the trees so far on this trip. Today's drive was different and we have had many oohs and aahs which has been great.  Since Lola lives in the SE corner of Springfield and Wilma's house is in the NW corner I chose my path across town to visit some known areas where there has been a good color showing in the past.  I drove through Phelps Grove Park and took these two pictures.  The first one is from the parking lot looking toward the pavilion

Then we drove down E. Loren where the whole street was bright with color.  It was a shame that the big maple in front of 606 is gone.  Then we drove by Maple Lawn Cemetery which has always been a great color splash this time of year.  Then we crossed town on Grant Ave. and was surprised to see that the old Holsum Bread bakery is now a brewery, I guess they found a new use for the grain.

On the way back to the campground we took 160/13 south through Nixa.  That sleepy little town now boasts over 12,000 population on the city limit sign, my how it has grown.  Then it was down 13 to Reed Springs and west on 76 through Cape Fair to Shell Knob.  This picture is from an overlook with Shell Knob in the background on the right.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Roaring River SP and Eureka Springs, AR

Today's outing started with a drive to Roaring River State Park.  The drive from our campsite near Shell Knob was a very curvy, slow, and beautiful trip through the Ozark hills.  It was still a bit chilly around the spring but it warmed up for a gorgeous remainder of the morning.

After our visit to the spring we then traveled to Eureka Springs, AR and drove through town a couple of different ways.  This is a quaint little touristy town with streets so narrow that I had to pull the truck's side mirrors in for clearance.  Jo and I have been here a few times (in fact the second night of our honeymoon was in Eureka Springs) so no pictures were taken in town.  After a very nice birthday lunch buffet we stopped by the Thorncrown Chapel to show Wilma this unique glass church in the woods.

All in all it's been a very nice birthday for me. ;-)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Showboat Branson Belle

Yesterday we made reservations for today's lunch tour and show on the Showboat Branson Belle.  Jo and I have been wanting to take this excursion for some time and since Wilma was with us we thought she would have a good time, and she did.  This is a two hour boat ride and dinner/lunch show on Table Rock Lake with the house band keeping the action going during the meal.  After the excellent menu selections had been consumed there was a time to walk around the boat before the main show started.  Today's main attraction was an above average stand-up comedian who was also an outstanding fiddle player.

Friday, October 21, 2011

frosty morning

There definitely must have been frost on the pumpkin this morning however we didn't see any of the orange gourds.  There was plenty of frost on the meadows and roof tops as we drove out this morning.  It was a pleasant drive to Springfield as US Rte-60 has been much improved to a divided four lane all the way.  In Springfield we picked up Wilma, Jo's sister, and then made our way to our campground on Table Rock Lake.

We were in this campground 50+/- years ago with our pickup camper and had our canary "Rex" with us.  We had left Kenneth and Phyllis in Springfield with G'ma & G'pa Ledgerwood for that first night while Jo and I came down to set up a campsite and the Ledgerwoods were planning on coming down the next day for the weekend camp-out with us.  That night as we were enjoying our campfire we heard a rustling in the leaves around our picnic table where Rex was parked in his cage.  It turned out to be a large copperhead snake that I eventually managed to plant a large stone on it's head and we watched our steps the rest of our stay that weekend.

The wish today is for no repeat of that experience and we will just have to see what we can find to spend the next couple of days here with Wilma.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

sunshine but breezy

Clear skies today but cool and a bit windy.  The forecast for tonight is a low near the freezing mark so tomorrow mornings hook-up for the drive toward Table Rock Lake will be heavy jacket time.  This morning we made a trip into Poplar Bluff for some shopping at Wally-World, the RVer's friend.

Our campsite

 The view from our front door.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Southeast Missouri

Today we took a drive up to Marble Hill, MO to visit with John and Louise but since they weren't home we drove on over to the Burfordville covered bridge at Bollinger Mill.  The weather was/is very cool again today but at least it wasn't raining, only a few occasional sprinkles.

After our visit to the mill we drove to the Sam A. Baker State park which would be a very nice place to just relax away from a lot of crowded activities.  We drove through the campgrounds and they would be okay with electric hookups at most sites.  There were no reasons to take pictures here so then we headed back to our trailer with a stop for lunch along the way.  After lunch we stopped at a couple of lake access areas for some pictures of Lake Wappapello, one of the older lakes in the state.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

rained in

Outdoor sporting events have times when they are "rained out" but our day today has been "rained in".  It started during the night and so far today has been a steady drizzle with outdoor temperatures holding between 49 and 50 degrees so were are staying "in".  The low temperature forecast for tonight is in the upper 30s so we will just have to see what tomorrow brings before we make plans for any outings.  We do have a very nice campsite that is fairly isolated from  the rest of the campground but not in as much timber as our site at Mark Twain.  We were able to get satellite television last night with a weak signal but today with the rain clouds overhead that signal is gone.  We did find three over-the-air stations so we do have some television if we want.

We just had a nice bowl of soup for lunch and then have been enjoying some great pictures from Vena.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Today was a travel day as we left the Mark Twain Lake and motored south to Wappapello Lake.  Inside the campground as we were leaving this morning we saw three deer taking their time crossing the campground road.  The forecast for tonight and tomorrow is a good chance of rain but today's drive was very nice.  US rte 67 south of St. Louis to Poplar Bluff is a very good four lane divided highway.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Along the Mighty Mississippi

Today we took a nice drive from Louisiana, MO up to Hannibal along Rte 79 which is designated as part of the Great River Road.  One of the programs in my unit before retirement at MoDOT was the Scenic Byways program and one of the first sections in Missouri that we were able to get designated was this portion of Missouri Rte 79.  It mostly follows the bluffs along the Mississippi River and since becoming designated as a scenic byway there have been several pull out scenic view points developed.  We stopped at several of those view points to take a few pictures of this beautiful area in our State.  There was a street fair of some kind going on in downtown Hannibal but we were able to find a nice lunch without getting involved with that crowd and then headed back to the trailer.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

More from the area

This morning we drove to the Union Covered Bridge which is just a few miles west of Paris, MO.  This is one of the four remaining covered bridges in Missouri.  Several years ago, late 1960s, it was totally restored when all of the remaining covered bridges at that time came into the state park system as State Historic Monuments.  In 1988 during a huge flood that threatened to destroy the bridge they pulled some of the siding off to allow the stream to flow through and not push the bridge off of it's supports.  This saved the bridge but now they are waiting for funds to refinish that damage.

After a nice lunch we stopped by the Clarence Cannon Dam visitors center before returning to our campsite.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Mark Twain

This afternoon we visited in Monroe City with a very dear friend, Art Buckwalter.  Art and Mary were a part of our square dance friends and we used to travel with them to many dances around the country including a dance in the state of California.  Their daughter, Linda, lives in the New Orleans area and has a birthday on the same day that Jo used to call hers, March 28.  Several years ago Jo and I traveled with Art and Mary to New Orleans and celebrated that day for Jo and Linda.  Mary had a battle with breast cancer that she lost a few years ago.

After our visit with Art we stopped by the Missouri State park and Museum for Mark Twain's birthplace.  Samuel Clemens was born in Florida, MO on Nov. 30, 1835 and the house has been moved and preserved within the museum building along with many items from his life.

nice cool fall morning

It was in the low 50s this morning but with a light jacket I took a little hike through the woods to catch a view of the lake.  The trails were not paved or smooth with signs warning of loose, unstable footing so it wasn't a trip for Jo even with her cane.  I did take my camera along so she was able to see what I saw which is as follows.

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Mark Twain Lake

Thursday, October 13, 2011

here we are in sunny Florida

... Florida, Missouri that is, birthplace of Mark Twain.  We are all set up and find that we are right in the middle of the woods.  It would have been nice to have a view of the lake but over the next few day we can take some walks and see what is near by.  Because we are in the woods there will be no satellite television but we do have several over-the-air stations probably from Hannibal.  We do have a minimum cell phone signal and also a computer data connection, slow but it works.

the last time we camped here in this area was right after we moved from Rolla to where we live now and believe that must have been 1971.  At that time our campsite was right on the banks of the Salt River, before the lake was built, so today it would be under several feet of water.  We were with the Ledgerwoods and our campsite was visited every night by a family of skunks walking right on by (thank goodness) toward the river.  We also had some racoons that visited our trash can.

heading out

Not in a big rush today as our route is only 90 miles long so we will have a bite of lunch and then head for Mark Twain Lake.  Hopefully we will have a cell phone signal and a computer connection, fingers crossed.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

getting ready

... for our "Mo in Oct." outing.  We leave this next Thursday but don't have to get an early start as that first days drive is only around 90 miles up to Mark Twain Lake near Hannibal.  All of our stops in Missouri for this trip will be Corps Of Engineers campgrounds and we have found them in other areas to be quite nice.  We may not do a lot of excursions or explorations from these campsites and may just spend some time loafing in the shade.  I'm sure there will be a few pictures of the lake area views but can't be sure about an internet connection in these more sparsely populated areas.  Hopefully I will be able to connect and post to this blog often.

At the end of this trip around Missouri we will wind up in Chanute, Kansas for a visit to the NuWa factory where we will have our trailer checked over by the factory service folks and a few warranty items taken care of.

Saturday, October 01, 2011


We got the trailer parked in our back yard around 2:00 this afternoon and it is always good to be home.

Brother John ask about maps for this trip so I thought I would do a brief recap of the daily travels to show our routing choices.  For the trip from home to Baltimore we have found a route that we like which is I-64 from St. Louis to Charleston, WV then I-79 up to Morgantown, WV and I-68 to I-70 to Baltimore.
When we make this drive in the car we do it in two days with a stopover around Lexington, KY.  With the trailer we like to make it in three days and have found campgrounds in the western edge of Indiana and just west of Charleston.

The following maps for this trip will start in Baltimore and our first night out was near Newburgh, NY.  The GPS wanted to take us up I-95 which would get too close to NY City so we went north to Harrisburg, PA and avoided a lot of major metropolitan traffic areas.
The second day took us to Saco, ME and the GPS did just fine getting us around Boston.
Day three we crossed into New Brunswick, Canada with our stop near Saint John where we spent a couple of days visiting the area around Saint John and the Bay of Fundy.
After our visit around Saint John, NB we drove to Halifax, Nova Scotia for another couple of days to visit the area.
Then it was on to Cavendish, Prince Edward Island where we drove from tip to tip enjoying the lighthouses, beaches, and countryside.
From PEI we headed toward Montreal, Quebec and it was a three days drive.  The first day we stopped near Fredericton, New Brunswick.
And the second night we stopped in Riviere-Du-Loup, Quebec.  Our drive was right along the edge of Maine but we stayed in Canada all the way.
Then we followed the St. Lawrence Seaway down to the south side of Montreal, QC.
We only had one day on our schedule for this stop and decided to just use it as a day of rest from traveling.  Then we headed south crossing back into the US early the next morning and stopping for a couple of nights near Chenango Bridge, NY.
After a day of visiting the town of Cnenango Bridge we completed this loop of our trip back to the Baltimore area.
Then after getting Phyllis back with her kitty, Jo and I headed back along our route toward the Martin Manor RV park.