Monday, May 27, 2013

Home again

Backed in around noon today after a very nice and enjoyable trip.  We really enjoyed the area around Taos, New Mexico and except for the tornado scare in Oklahoma the trip was uneventful.  We had a relaxing few days in the Springfield area for a couple of nice visits with our sisters.

Now it's regroup, repack, and get ready for our June trip which starts on June 7.  This next trip is to the northeast and a visit with Phyllis along with a tee shirt hunt for Jo.  She need just a few more to have her 50 state tee shirts that she intends to turn into a quilt.

See you in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

nice visit with Vena

Sister Vena flew into Springfield this morning and came out to our trailer.  We just got back from dinner out and will visit until bedtime.  Tomorrow she is meeting an old friend for lunch and then headed toward West Plains and a visit with Neva.  We will also pull out of here in the morning and head toward the ol' Martin Manor RV park.

This will be a short stay at Martin Manor as on June 7 we head eastward for our June trip and visit with Phyllis.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

just loafing

It is nice to have a day once in awhile without plans so we can just loaf or do whatever.  This morning we did drive to the local Camping World for some shopping.  Camping World is the RV owners shopping mart with everything you could think of or need for this life style.

This OLD man drove off from our campsite in Oklahoma City and left our water pressure regulator and water filter out by the hydrant and when we arrived in Alma, AR had to go to an RV dealership to try and replace them.  What I found there was enough to get us by in Arkansas.  Since Camping World is close to here I was able, with the help of Lowe's, to get our system back where I had it before the memory loss.  It was after lunch when I went to Lowe's and Jo did some housekeeping (vacuuming) while I was gone.  Now it's just rest and relax time.

Friday, May 24, 2013


Yesterday afternoon and this morning we have had a very nice visit with Wilma.  Yesterday was her 73rd birthday so we took her out for a dinner.  This morning we picked her up and took her with us to Humansville for our visit to Mom and Dad's cemetery.  Then back to Springfield to visit Greenlawn cemetery where Jo's Mom and Dad are along with Wilma's husband, Ira.  After taking Wilma back to her house we are now back in the trailer for lunch and an afternoon siesta.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Back in Missouri

It was a nice drive this morning from Alma, AR to Ozark, MO.  We arrived a little after noon and after getting setup had a bite of lunch.

Today is Wilma's birthday and we will try to see her sometime this afternoon.  We called her a little bit ago and she was out so will have to try again later.  We will be here until Monday when we will head for the ol' Martin Manor.  While here we will visit cemeteries in Springfield and in Humansville.

On Sunday my sister Vena arrives from Idaho and we will get a good visit with her until Monday morning.  Later in the week she plans to drive up to central MO and we will get to visit some more before she heads back to ID.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


The most direct route from Oklahoma City to Springfield would be I-44 all the way.  That trip is longer than we like to make in one day so we decided to make it a two day trip and by driving I-40 to Fort Smith we avoided the Oklahoma turnpikes between Oklahoma City and Joplin.  It was a short drive today to Fort Smith (actually Alma which is just a few miles East) and then tomorrow isn't a long drive either.  Short days of driving is what we like while pulling the trailer.  Since we are making it a two day trip a few more miles doesn't matter.

After the last couple of days of storms and rain it was clear blue skies today with pleasant temperatures.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tornado in Moore, Oklahoma

After getting all set up in our campground yesterday afternoon we were watching local television and they were on severe storm watch mode watching a strong cell to the southwest.  They had storm chasers tracking the storm and from their cameras we actually watched the funnel form and touch the ground near Bridge Creek, OK.  The projected path was heading toward our campground and the sighting was probably 18-20 miles away traveling at about 25 mph.  The town of Moore where the greatest damage occurred is about 13 miles WSW of our campground and the storms path was in an ENE direction.

We closed up the trailer and jumped into the truck for a quick drive directly South in order to avoid it's path.  We found a parking lot at a safe distance where we parked with our radio on listening to the description of the storms movements while tracking the storm on Oklahoma maps.  Where the tornado finally lifted it was only about 6 miles away from our trailer.  When we drove back to the trailer there had only been some leaves knocked off the trees but no major limb damage and utilities still in operation.

The local television stations have been on air since then with continuous coverage of the recovery work.  At the location of the elementary school where there are known students and teachers missing they continue to dig through the rubble as well as searching house to house hoping to help anyone in a storm shelter that might have been covered with debris.

While we were too close to this storm for comfort yesterday we sure hope that all our friends and family are safe from the remainder of this years storms.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Choctaw, Oklahoma

The address for our campground for the next two nights is Choctaw, OK which is just on the southeast corner of Oklahoma City along I-40.  We are in a severe storm watch for this evening and currently there is a cell southwest of here and scheduled to pass by this area in a couple of hours.  They are saying that the storms have weakened from the past couple of days but we will keep our eyes and ears pealed as they say.

We are here for two nights with thunder storms in the forecast also for tomorrow.  Nothing planned except for a day of rest from rolling down the road.  We probably will get out and search for a grocery store.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


I corrected Friday's posting because I had noted the wrong Texas City (that begins with an A) for tonight's stop.  Now we are back in the Central Time Zone which is always nice after trying to adjust our tv viewing schedules and sleep times.

It was a pretty drive south from Taos to Santa Fe through the Rio Grande Gorge and valley.  Once we turned eastward on I-40 south of Santa Fe we had a 20-30 mph tail wind which was quite noticeable on the fuel economy meter.  Where normally we get 9 to 10 mpg, at times with the wind pushing from behind we were getting 25 to 30 mpg.  Even up slight hill grades we were getting 10 to 15 mpg.

Tomorrow we continue eastward to OK City and hopefully the storm system that has hit this area the last couple of days has moved on out.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Kit Carson

At lunchtime today we went into town for a nice (different) experience for lunch.  The brother to our balloon pilot has a brew-pub in town so we tried it out.  There was a large group of Harley riders there watching a hockey game that cheered at any goal but it really wasn't any problem just a lot of fun.  The beer and the food was very good with quite a different atmosphere in a typical adobe house.

Then we toured the Kit Carson house and museum.  Christopher "Kit" Carson was born in Kentucky but his family moved to Missouri near Boonville (Franklin, MO just across the river north) where he grew up.  At around 16 his mother apprenticed him to a saddle maker but he ran away and joined a wagon train headed west on the Santa Fe trail.  From then on his life was as a hunter, trapper, guide and army officer.  He spoke English, Spanish, French, and several Indian dialects plus sign language.  He knew all the country from California to Montana and all points from Taos westward.  His first two wives were Indian, the first died from childbirth of his second child.  The second wife couldn't stand his being away on excursions in the mountains so she divorced him Indian style and left with her tribe.  His third wife was the daughter of a trader from southeast Colorado and she was the one that lived in this house with him for several years and they had several children.  The museum showed a History Channel video of his life and the person that played the part of Kit Carson was actually one of his great great grandsons.

Friday, May 17, 2013

much better

After her treatment attempts and a good nights sleep last night Jo is feeling much better this morning.  Jo has an appointment for a haircut this afternoon so we are just letting her back get a bit more rest this morning.  She felt like she needed a haircut before we got back home so she ask the lady that was taking pictures at our Monday morning balloon ride for a recommendation.  She told Jo about a shop that was right across the street from our campground so Jo called and made this appointment.

We have sure been spoiled by the temperatures these past several days with morning lows in the low 40s and afternoon highs in the mid to upper 70s.  I just checked the extended forecast for our trip back toward Missouri next week and see that we will probably be using both AC units Sunday afternoon in Amarillo, TX because an afternoon high of 100° is predicted.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

just resting

Jo woke up this morning with a hitch in her get-a-long so we have just taken it easy.  She put a heat pad on her back for a little while and took a couple of pills so hope she will be feeling better in the morning.  I did get out to the store for a few essentials and then after lunch warmed up the ol' mandolin for a little bit of practice, I need lots of that.

About the only other local thing that we have talked about visiting is the Kit Carson home and museum here in downtown Taos but we have the next two days to see about that.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

the Enchanted Circle Drive

The Enchanted Circle Drive circles Wheeler Peak, the highest mountain in New Mexico.

We took this very scenic drive this morning ending back in Taos for a nice lunch before coming back to the trailer.  The local tourism bureau call this drive the Enchanted Circle which begins in Taos then to Questa, NM, across through Red River, NM to Eagle Nest, NM.  We extended the recommended drive at this point to head back eastward through the Cimarron canyon that we saw on our way to Taos last Sunday.  It was such a pretty drive but we couldn't stop for any pictures with the trailer in tow.  This morning we did make several stops to get some pictures of the Cimarron river and the bluff side walls of the canyon.  After the drive out through the canyon and back to Eagle Nest it was then a completion of the circle to Taos.

Our pictures for today

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

a calm day

After the excitement of yesterday we didn't get in any hurry to get around this morning.  We did go into town and walked/shopped through a few of the quaint shops.  We had a nice lunch in town and then back to the trailer for a calm afternoon.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Our big day aloft

I usually don't set an alarm clock as I'm awake and up by 6:00 am every day, due to my internal clock.  This morning was different as we had an appointment across town at 5:20 so I set an alarm for 4:00 am.  That appointment was with our hot air balloon ride pilot.  The lift off was scheduled right at sun rise and we needed to get the rig to the take off point and get it set up.  The temperature was 34° at the start and near 70 at the finish so therefore the shedding of our coats.

There was one other couple going on this ride with us that was celebrating their 1st wedding anniversary.  We told them they only had 54 more years to go to catch up with us.  There were two men and one lady on the ground crew but they recruited me and the other man in our party to assist in filling the balloon.  Jo and I took several pictures plus the lady with the crew was taking pictures and she will provide us with a CD of those pictures that we should get tomorrow.  Below I have posted our pictures from today and when I get that CD I will post a bunch more.  It was a super enjoyable experience as we lifted off on the rim of the Rio Grande Gorge and then flew down the rift and lowered to the river following the prevailing wind currents through the gorge.  Our pilot told us the intention was to drop down to the river and just touch the basket to the water before rising and traveling between the walls.  The wind currents didn't cooperate so we didn't get to experience the touch down on the water.  We did see a deer along the way and at the landing there were two big horn sheep and our photographer did get a picture of one that should be on our CD.  The touch down was exciting as we bounced along dragging across the sage brush for a bit.  Then all hands, their crew plus all four passengers, assisted in folding up the balloon envelope to get it back in its storage bag.

Following a long time hot air balloon tradition we had a champagne toast and a nice brunch that was set up on a table at our landing site.  This tradition goes back to Paris France and the very first mans flight in a balloon.  We also got certificates of our adventure and Jo found a very pretty set of balloon ear-rings to commemorate the occasion.

After the great ride we drove to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge and took a few pictures there.

Click on the text below the image to go to our album for today.  When you get to the album just click on the first picture to then step through all or go to slideshow.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Santa Fe Trail

Most of today's route was following the Santa Fe Trail with most of it along desolated two lane roadway with many miles of nothing but a couple of prairie dog villages and several antelope.  There was hardly any traffic and miles between houses/ranches.  The last stretch was simply beautiful between Cimarron, NM and Eagles Nest, NM through the Cimarron river canyon.  This route was twisty with 20-30 mph curves and a climb of around 3000 feet.

Tonight we are in a very nice campground in Taos, New Mexico and looking forward to a week of adventures.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Finally left Kansas a little after lunch today and now settled in the panhandle of Oklahoma.  Our campground is the Coral Drive-In RV park in Guymon, OK which is one of the last in the country, outdoor drive-in movie theater.  We are near the screen and could just sit outside under our awning and watch the show.  Except for the bypass around Wichita this morning our route was again all on Rte 54, these past two days it has been hard to get lost.  In the morning we get off of 54 and take out westward from here in new territory for us.

Friday, May 10, 2013

On the road again

We're back in the RV and headed toward northern New Mexico.  Our first day's drive was all US highway 54 and tomorrow will be another day of the same.  We have traveled this route on our way westward a couple of times in the past and it is a good easy drive, mostly good two lane instead of four lane divided like the interstates.

There was one time this morning that we just barely avoided a catastrophe.  Not far in front of us there was a skunk ambling across the road from left to right.  I don't think they can run but just kind of wobble.  I had to slow down and since there wasn't any oncoming traffic I was able to swerve into that lane and just barely saw the white stripe clear our truck tires and had to hope that it cleared the trailer tires.  When we got out for lunch we sniffed around our trailer tires and no lingering odor so that is a good thing.

Our campground for tonight is just east of Wichita near El Dorado, KS.