Sunday, April 29, 2012

Jury duty

Dirty clothes are washed and repacked in the trailer but now it will have to sit until mid June.  We had a trip planned to visit Kentucky and Tennessee for two weeks in mid May but my jury duty summons has me on standby for those same two weeks.  In June we plan to take the trailer to Springfield/Ozark for a Martin Family Reunion and then over to Chanute, KS where the factory will upgrade our leveling system.

Since we will not be on any extended road trips for awhile Jo went to the flower shop yesterday and got several annuals to plant in some of her planters around the house.  She just can't keep her fingers out of the dirt.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Jo's welcoming committee

These are a few examples of what she found in the yard at Martin Manor RV Park.  Now since Jury duty will cause our May trip plans to not happen she will be here to enjoy these beauties for a couple of months.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

All fixed

We had our trailer to the factory at 8:00 this morning and a little before 11:00 all was good as new.  There was a problem with something in the motor that operated that slide and they replaced it and made sure all was aligned and smooth operating.

Since we had a lot of the day left we decided to head to Springfield for a visit with Jo's mom and will then make it back to the Martin Manor tomorrow morning.  This problem has altered our original plans a little bit but not enough to keep it from being a very pleasant outing.  These bumps in the road are always a big part of this RV traveling life and we just adjust and go on.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Chanute, Kansas

We pulled in a bit after lunch time and backed into a very nice spot in this city campground.  I think I have mentioned before but this park is only a couple of city blocks away from the NuWa factory and the first two nights are free.  After the two nights then it's only ten bucks a night for 30 amp electric and water with a dump station for use on the way out.  It is mostly used by NuWa customers either stopping for service or shopping for a new one.  NuWa has only a few dealers around the US and most of their sales are through the factory sales staff.  The trade-ins that they receive are put through re-conditioning by factory trained technicians and when they go to their used RV lot they are probably better then new.

We will need to be at the factory at 8:00 in the morning and hope that our problem won't take too long to fix.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

out of Texas

We left Texas a little before noon today and are now in Oklahoma City.  Tomorrow we head to Chanute, KS and then on Tuesday we will get our slide-out problem fixed at the factory by the same folks that put it together in the first place.

The route from Abilene north to Wichita Falls was very nice, mostly four lane divided, and almost isolated but a nice smooth road.  In that two and a half hour drive I think we could have counted the other vehicles that we saw (either direction) on two maybe three hands worth of fingers.  After entering Oklahoma we began to see more bluebonnets than we had seen in TX.  Along the right-of-way there was widespread Indian paint brush and scattered bluebonnets, very pretty.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Buffalo Gap

This afternoon we visited the Buffalo Gap Historical Village.  Buffalo Gap, TX is just a few miles SW of Abilene and an easy drive.  The day is bright sunshine and temps in the upper 70s to low 80s so a good trip.  Our plans are to pig out this evening on BBQ and then fuel up for tomorrow's drive to OK City.

Friday, April 20, 2012

nice day

We had a very brief, light shower this morning and then the skies cleared up.  The wind has kept the temps down to mid 70s which is fine but the wind has been gusty.

We did get out today to the grocery store for a few necessities.  We haven't found any attraction in this area that seems to be in need of our attendance.  There are several museums and a large zoo but we think that with today's shopping we will get out tomorrow evening for some Texas BBQ and full up our fuel tank for the Sunday's trip to OK city.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Today's drive took us out of the hill country into more of a mesquite, prickly pear, and yucca landscape.  It was an easy drive and most of Texas roads that we have found have been very good.  Jo made an identification of the yellow wildflowers that have been plentiful most of the way.  Beside the few bluebonnets that we have seen there have been Indian blanket, and Indian paint brush she named the yellow ones as engelmann's daisy and greenthread.  For most of today's drive the right-of-way was filled with this colorful blanket.

Since our appointment at the factory isn't until next Tuesday we have a couple of days to explore around here, so stay tuned.  Since we are away from the gulf seafood we just might have to try some Texas BBQ.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hill Country of Texas

This evening we are in Kerrville, Texas in the heart of the area of TX known as the hill country.  Our drive today was right through the heart of both Houston and San Antonio but with only some very slow traffic in the commute into Houston.  On the way between Houston and San Antonio we did see a few patches of blue bonnets but not enough to be showy for a picture.  We didn't see any more blue bonnets until right before we pulled into our campground for the night.  There were lots of other wild flowers including Indian Paint Brush and something yellow that is widespread.  Jo couldn't identify these yellow flowers as we were passing by at 60 mph.

Driving along today I kept thinking about all the cities in Texas that have songs written about them.  I couldn't think of any other state with more cities in song.  Missouri has Kansas City and St. Louis songs but I couldn't think of any other.  In Texas Glen Campbell sang about Galveston, the Gatlin Brothers sang Houston, Marty Robbins sang of El Paso and Abilene, there is the oldie about the San Antonio Rose.  There is Big D, Amarillo, and of course Waylon Jenning's Lukenbach.  There are probably others but it was fun just to think about these few.

We enjoyed a day in this area a couple of years ago and had planned to look around some more on this trip but our plans have changed due to our need to be in Chanute, KS next Tuesday so this will be an overnight stay before we move on to Abilene.  We will have a couple of days in Abilene before the two day trip from there through Oklahoma City to Chanute.  If the factory repair of our slide out mechanism can be completed in one day then we will make it home a few days early.  Until we know the length of the repair time we can't say for sure when we will be back to Martin Manor.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge

This morning we drove to this refuge and enjoyed a bit of walking through some of their trails and a slow drive around a wildlife loop where we saw several gators and many birds.  Not too many pictures of birds as they were mostly on the move and not posing for their portraits.  With the temperature in the upper 60s I wondered if it might be a bit too cool for the gators to be out but the few we saw I believe were trying to soak up all the sun that they could find.

Monday, April 16, 2012

changed from wind to rain

Last night the wind did calm down a lot but then the rain began with loud rolls of thunder, the potato wagon turning over kind.  Here is what it looks like at this time, 10:30 am.
You will notice that to the southwest there is more on schedule to arrive as we are right in the center of this picture.  It is forecast to be clear for our departure here on Wednesday.  With the rain today and not wanting to get my two hairs wet we are staying put.

There have been some major changes in this trip from here to home.  When we were in Shreveport one of our slide-outs wasn't working right.  We have been working with it in a crippled mode since then.  This morning I called the factory in Chanute, Kansas and made an appointment for Tuesday the 24th to have it fixed.  That will modify the remainder of our trip slightly so stay tuned for more details.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

still windy

We didn't get out today as the wind was still very gusty.  With a forecast of thunder storms this evening at least the wind is supposed to lay down a bit tomorrow.  This evening we tried out the seafood restaurant that the campground host recommended and that recommendation was right on good.  We both had grilled red snapper and shrimp both fresh from the gulf and it was well prepared.  The dinner came with a salad, dirty rice, and a bowl of crayfish etouffee, yum.  We will probably make it back again before we leave this area.  The fresh seafood market wasn't open today being Sunday.

Just had a phone call to alert us that Callaway County is under a tornado watch until midnight tonight.  We are glad that we are able to transfer our home phone to our cell while we travel.  That way we don't miss important calls.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


I'm sure that the wind probably blows all the time here on the banks of the Galveston Bay.  It sure has been strong all the time we have been here.  Strong enough that when we open the door it is against the winds force and hard to hold open long enough to get in or out.

We took a drive today in a circle from our campground to Galveston Island and then across the ferry to Bolivar peninsula and up to I-10 and back to the campground after a stop at Krogers on the way back.

On the Bolivar peninsula we were driving right along the gulf coast beach line.  The gulf waters were very rough with the winds causing some major waves.  There were only a few places where people were on the beach.  At point 4 on the above map we stopped for a very nice lunch at a Cajun Restaurant and both enjoyed a dish of very good crayfish etouffee.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Happy Friday the 13th

Another pleasant drive today south from Shreveport, LA to Baytown, TX.  Our campsite is backed up to the waters of Galveston Bay.  The hex of this day did jump up to cause us a bit of a change in our route.  That is the hex of the day combined with my lack of memory.  About midway Ms Navi wanted us to exit the route we were on with a left turn.  I was sure that she was making a mistake so I turned her off and kept driving the way I thought was the way we needed to go.  When we stopped at a Flying J truck stop for a parking place to have lunch I took a look at the map to find out that I should have listened to and needed to apologize to Ms Navi because she was right and we had gone much too close to Houston for a direct route to our campground.  When I put Ms Navi back on the job after my apology she then found the most direct route to our campground and we arrived still in early afternoon and no worse for wear.

Now we need to find some mischievousness to get into while we are here for a few days.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

scenic drive

Since leaving Joplin yesterday around noontime we have been traveling Rte. 71 through Arkansas.  This mornings portion of that route particularly from Ft. Smith to Texarkana was a typical Arkansas two lane mountain road with many tight curves and grades through the Quachita Mountains and Quachita National Forest.

At Mena, AR we had memories of a trip many years ago that we took with Jo's mom and dad.  That trip was the four of us and using their pop-up tent camper we had traveled from Springfield, MO through Texas to Carlsbad Caverns and then on to the Big Bend National Park along the Rio Grande river.  Then we cut across southern Texas to Texarkana and up Rte. 71 toward home.  We stopped for the night near Mena, AR at the Queen Wilhelmena State Park which is on top of one of the tallest mountain in Arkansas.  The campground had a petting zoo and our alarm clock the next morning was the braying of a couple of donkeys.

Tonight we are in Shreveport, LA and tomorrow will get us to Galveston Bay, TX and then we will sit still for a few days and enjoy the area.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday April 11

First day out on our April venture toward the Texas gulf.  Our GWF is still with us except that she forgot to warm up the morning and it was a bit chilly out when we left.  It didn't get as cold as forecast and only down to upper30s instead of the upper 20s that had been predicted.  It did start out with clear skies and full sunshine but the further along we got the clouds began to gather.  From Joplin down it became mostly cloudy that kept the afternoon temperatures in the mid 60s.

We had a big laugh in Pineville, MO when we pulled off to a "Welcome Center" for a lunch break.  The signs kept pointing us toward the center of town and then all of a sudden there were no more signs and we were on a county road heading out of town with no place to turn around.  I finally came to a crossroad that was wide enough for a back-up turn around and we headed back the way we came.  As we passed back through the center of town we saw the Welcome Center sign on city hall but there weren't any places to park our rig.  Heading back out toward Rte. 71 we found a nearly empty strip mall parking lot where we enjoyed our lunch and then it was back on track for Alma, AR.  Alma is just a few miles East and North of Fort Smith and we had used this campground a couple of other times and it works well for us.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Here we go

With the high temperatures recently we were beginning to question if we should head further south with this trip.  Then mother nature comes along and gives us near freezing morning lows both this morning and forecast for tomorrow morning so yes, we are ready.  Most of our time will be along the Texas gulf near Galveston so at least we are hoping for some gulf breezes.  At least with this trailer we now have two air conditioners which should be a big help for those full summer days temperatures.