Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Juror number nine

Back at the ol' Martin Manor and all is well.  Our night blooming cerius did bloom sometime in the past few days and we don't see any more buds at this time.  We have lots of pictures of those blooms from previous years so just have to hope we will be here the next time it opens up.

In the mail we did get Jo's jury notice for the two weeks in mid August as we were told earlier.  Her Juror number is 0009 so now we will just have to call in each week of that time to find out if she has to report to the court house.

We also had a check in the mail for the rest of our roof replacement from our insurance company.  Now we will need the final bill from the roofer and then we should be good for another 30+ years.

Now I have a full month to finalize plans for our September outing.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Almost in Missouri

We are set up for the night in Nebraska City, NE which is only about 12 miles from our entrance into MO.  We used to stop in Rock Port, MO in a KOA but that campground went downhill and lost their KOA association and I don't know if there is even a campground there any more.  We found this one in Nebraska City that is very nice.  It's a Good Sam park and not a KOA but it still make for a good stop on our way home with tomorrows drive only 300 miles which is about a 5 +/- hour drive.

Yesterday was a quiet day and we only got out in the evening to fuel up the truck, find some BBQ for supper, and stop at the grocery store for a few essentials.  In the past few years we have found a few "Famous Dave's" BBQ restaurants and found the food to be very good.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Falls of the Sioux River

This morning we drove to the Falls Park in downtown Sioux Falls.  We visited this park 12 years ago and I'm sure if we pull out our photo album from that trip we will find many of the same pictures as today.  It is a great park with the granite boulders adding color to the green lawns and falling waters.

Falls Park Pictures

Friday, July 26, 2013


Once we turned south on I-29 we had a tail wind that sure helped with the fuel economy.

Tonight we are back in the Sioux Falls, SD KOA.  We were here 12 years ago tomorrow on our way back to Springfield because Mom was in the hospital.  The morning we planned to leave one of our slide-outs wouldn't pull in so I went next door to an RV service shop for help.  They weren't open on Saturday so we had to stay put for the weekend but we were able to get some help on Monday and were on our way.  We are here for three nights this trip so plan to revisit some of the local attractions that we enjoyed on that forced stay.

At the beginning of this trip I found a problem with our hitch in the truck that forced me to manually alter the hitching process.  While in MN I searched the net for a dealer for my brand of hitch and found one here in Sioux Falls.  I called them and ordered the necessary part so it would be here today.  I just now picked it up and replaced the broken part so now we are as good as new in the hitch department and ready for continued travels.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

ahoy mate

This morning I let Jo paddle me around this small lake by the campground.  They have three paddle boats for campers use and we took the one that everyone told us was the easiest to peddle, not the one in my picture.

The lake shore line is covered in lily pads and reed grass and the hard part of the peddling was just to get through that out to the open water.

This is looking back toward the dock.

This is a beaver lodge in one corner of the lake.  The small black dot on the left edge is a loon that was one of a pair we saw as we approached this spot.  We can listen to the loons from our campsite in the evenings.

The lily pads all over the lake are covered with these large snails.  I told Jo that we could pick up a bucket full and she could fix them for lunch.  She didn't think that was too good of an idea so we left them alone.

It was a fun short ride with some good leg exercising.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Game, Set, & Match

Okay! State t-shirt number 50 of 50 has been bagged.  This morning we drove to Fargo, ND and found the last State t-shirt of Jo's collection.  Now we will not have to stop on Friday as we travel south and homeward bound.  Friday's journey will take us to Sioux Falls, SD for a couple of days before we continue toward MO.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mississippi Headwaters

This morning we took a drive to the town of Bemidji, MN which claims to be the first city on the Mississippi River.  While there we visited with Paul Bunyan and Babe his blue ox and had a nice lunch before we took a short drive to the headwaters of the Mississippi River which flows out of Lake Itasca.  There are rocks that sure footed folks can walk on to cross but for us older folks there is a nice log bridge.  Some folks just chose to wade across.

today's Pictures

Monday, July 22, 2013

Nice drive

Today we moved across the State of Minnesota to the western side near Detroit Lakes, MN.  This campground is on the banks of a large lake and away from any major highway so it should be very quiet.  We are here for four nights and will just have to see what we might do or explore.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


It's in the lower 50s temperature wise here in upper MN right now (7:00 am) and that requires the heat pump to be on for a change, nice.

We really enjoyed the music show last evening.  It was 2 1/2 hours of good entertainment with a house band composed of lead guitar, drums, bass guitar, and steel guitar.  The traveling performers for the evening were Roger Tibbs and Naomi Bristow who did two sets each.  Roger Tibbs is from New Zealand and has a real good voice and an outstanding yodeler.  Naomi is 15 years old, from Canada, and calls herself the yodelin' cowgirl.  She has a strong, good voice and does a great job with the yodelin'.  They both did a good variety of country songs that showed off the range of their talents.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

St Croix River boat tour

This morning we drove to Taylor Falls, MN and took a river boar tour down the St Croix river.  It was fun and the weather was great.  I did get a few photos as can be found in the link below but I missed the biggest landmark picture.  Just a short way down river from the dock the captain told about a formation in the rock walls of the dalles (river canyon formed by glacier) that looked like a very large cross.  I could see the image in the stone but was on the wrong side of the boat to get a picture.  It is this landmark that gave the St Croix river it's name.

St Croix River boat tour

If you zoom in to picture #5 you can see rock climbers on this rock face.

Tonight we have tickets to the Midwest Country music show in Sandstone, MN which is just a few miles north of our campground.

Friday, July 19, 2013

day of rest

After two days on the road we made it a quiet day of rest.  I did spend most of the morning on the phone finding a part for our hitch that is broken.  The hitch does work and is secure but the broken part requires an extra manual force applied when hitching up.  I was able to find an RV service in Sioux Falls, SD where we will be staying next weekend that could order the part and have it there for us then.

We have plans for tomorrow to take a boat ride and then tomorrow evening we will attend the Midwest Country Show.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Bagged one of two so now we only need a ND t-shirt for our goal.  We had a little bit of fun on our way through Saint Paul.  We were northbound on I-35E and there were signs that told us that loads over 9,000 lbs were not permitted ahead of us.  I assumed they would have an overweight detour but that wasn't the case and we finally came to an exit that said all loads over 9,000 lbs must exit.  Since we are about 24,000 lbs I did exit and ended up on some city streets.  Ms Navi tried to help us and found a route that connected back to I-35E northbound a few miles further ahead so I thought we would be fine.  When we got to the on-ramp there was a sign that said no loads over 9K so that was not an option.  We resorted to paper maps and found a numbered state route over to the outer, outer loop which allowed us to get back on track with only a little delay.

We are settled now for four nights and will find something to do to enjoy this area, hopefully with some cooler temperatures.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The final hunt is on

We're on our way northbound in search of the final two t-shirts to complete Jo's 50 State Quilt.  She will then be able to wrap herself up in her 50 State quilt while drinking coffee from her 50 State coffee mugs.

Tonight we are in Story City, IA which is just a few miles north of Ames, the home of Iowa State University.  Ames is also where the Iowa DOT headquarters is located and I have been there many times in the past for business reasons as we always worked very close with our northern neighbor.