Wednesday, October 30, 2013

some of the tree color

I just now took a walk around this campground with my camera.

a funny thing happened on the way to our campsite

When we arrived at the campground and stopped at the check in station there wasn't anyone there.  We have seen that before at COE campgrounds but usually they have a sign posting the time that someone will be there and we go ahead to our site and return later to register.  I had made a reservation, which I usually do, but hadn't written down the site number and needed the host to tell me what site we had.  I usually have a printout of our reservations and don't know why I hadn't done that for this trip, note to self be sure to have a print of reservation locations.

There wasn't any time posted or listing of reserved sites so I walked over to the host RV site and knocked on the door but no one was home.  I knew that I had our reservations saved in our email on the computer but without an internet connection that wasn't available.  Lucky for us another camper was driving out of the park and stopped to ask if they could help.  They told me that the host always took Tuesdays and Wednesdays off so was not available.  I told them our plight and they said that they thought they probably knew where there was a reserved site like I told them we were supposed to be in.  They took us into the park and we found our site that was reserved with an orange traffic cone.  After getting set up and able to get our computer connected I confirmed that we were in the correct site and all is well.  As it turns out, that very helpful couple were the only other campers in the campground.  Later as we drove out of the park to find a few groceries we saw that the host RV was GONE so not only did they take the two days off they got an early departure because the campground shuts down after Thursday.  Later I realized that I could have read our saved emails on my smart-phone but didn't think of that when I needed it.

As we drove out to the grocery store we saw a small herd of deer, 4 or 5, just grazing beside the road.
  After the grocery store, we stopped at Fred's Fish House (they didn't honor my owners discount) for a very nice catfish dinner.  We were seated by a window at the back of the restaurant and looking out at the field we saw 3-4 deer also grazing near the edge of the woods.  This has been a great wildlife viewing trip.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

almost a very beautiful drive

I say almost because it would have been wonderful if the sun had been out to show the full value of the tree colors that were plentiful.  The first half of this mornings drive was through dense fog and the only scenery that we could see were the painted lines on the highway a few yards in front of us.  Then the fog cleared and the rain started.  We could still see the color in the trees but not as bright as if it were in bright daylight.  We had a few miles with sunlight but the majority of the drive was overcast with clouds.  Our GWF was with us at arrival in the campground and held the rain at bay during setup.

We are now in a COE campground on the banks of Norfork Lake near Henderson, AR.  I remember years ago when driving across this lake you had to use a ferry but now there are bridges.  We are here until Friday when we will head toward the ol' Martin Manor RV park for the winter. ;-(  On the happy side of things here is a picture of our current site and the view from our dining room window.

Monday, October 28, 2013

a quiet restful day

We have enjoyed a nice quiet day watching the geese in the lake and the squirrels around our trailer.

Tomorrow we move  over to Lake Norfork (I just found out that I have  been misspelling this lake name) for three nights before heading back to the Martin Manor.  The weather forecast the rest of this week is for a good chance of rain but that will not be a problem once we get set up.

Then it will be winterize the trailer and put it to rest for the winter. ;-(

This has been a good year of traveling so next month I will start planning for 2014, stay tuned.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

nice visit

We had a very nice visit with Matt and Sara last evening.  They now live in Little Rock but we met them in Conway (in between our campground and LR) where they used to live.  It was a nice local restaurant apparently very popular as the tables were full with folks waiting the whole time we were there.

We made it back to the trailer around the middle of the third quarter of the MU Tigers football game against South Carolina.  At that time it was looking good with MU up by 14-0 which soon became 17-0.  Then the fourth quarter happened and we lost in the second overtime by a missed field goal.  The good news is that the Cardinals won in the ninth with an unusual refs call of obstruction.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

a weekend at a popular campground

Here are a couple of pictures of our campsite.  One is the view from our front door and the other is a look back at our site.

We are not as isolated as we were in the last weeks campground but still this park is well maintained and clean.  That is the way we have found all the COE campgrounds that we have stayed in so far.  This Lake Dardanelle is on the Arkansas River and apparently a good fishing lake as we have watched several boats launch just across the road from our site.

We have plans this evening to meet Matt and Sara for dinner in Conway and are looking forward to that visit.

Friday, October 25, 2013

beautiful drive

Today's trip through the Boston Mountains in North West Arkansas was very nice with many splashes of color in the timber.  This mornings temperatures were only in the upper 30s and not the deep freeze that was predicted.  There was a lot of frost on the meadows along the way.

We are now settled in our campsite at Lake Dardanelle and it is another beautiful area.  We are not quite as isolated from others as we were at Beaver Lake but still the COE campgrounds are some of the best for relaxed camping.  I'll have a few pictures before we leave this site.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

on our way back toward Arkansas

The trip from Chanute to Lake Dardanelle, a bit west of Little Rock, is more of a drive than we usually like to make so since our service was finished at 10:00 this morning we then headed to Joplin where we will be a couple of hours closer to our destination for tomorrow.

Our GWF (Good Weather Fairy) is a little afraid to show her face this evening as the low temperature for tomorrow morning is supposed to be around 30° so I made sure that our LP tanks were full.  Our heat pump works great down to around 40° but below that we have to use the propane furnace.  I didn't connect the water hose for tonight and we will use from our on board fresh water tank and not have to worry about a frozen hose in the morning.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Out of the woods for a couple of days

Our original plans for this trip were to spend a few days at three lakes in Arkansas and then take the trailer to Chanute, KS for some factory maintenance before heading home for the winter.  Because of doctor appointments and the government shutdown we had to delay the start of this trip so moved two of the lake area campgrounds to after Chanute and before our trip back to Martin Manor.  We moved today from Beaver Lake in Arkansas to the free (for two nights) Chanute city campground near the NuWa factory.  Tomorrow we have an appointment for our annual maintenance and then will head back to Arkansas for the two other lake areas arriving home on November 1.

On our way out of the campground early this morning our deer herd was out to see us off.  We saw 2 or 3 singles and a group of at least 4 in another sighting.  We also got away from out campsite before the blue birds came back to redecorate our mirrors.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

like clockwork

Each evening we have seen our deer herd and each morning our flock of  blue birds are fluttering around our campsite.  Last evening with the cloud cover at sunset we only saw a silhouette of one deer moving through the campground but we're sure the others were close by.  The blue birds like our truck and seem to want to perch on our mirrors and leave their marks, dirty birds but we love them.

We had hoped that on this trip we would be able to see at least some fall tree color.  Throughout our days of driving so far we have seen some very pretty color in a few areas.  Here is a picture that I just now took out our front door and it shows a bit of color starting to show in the bluff across the lake.

Monday, October 21, 2013

rain showers

Most of the day has been showers but no strong storm or winds, just gentle rain.  The fishermen have been active outside our front door so I guess the fish have been biting.  I told Jo to go down to the bank and wave at them so they might give us some of their catch.

We have just been enjoying the semi-isolation and quiet camping site.  We did see our dear herd (misspelling intended) again last evening at dusk and our blue birds were around our site this morning again.  There are some geese in the area as we can hear their honking occasionally.

I did run into Rogers to a Wall-Mart for a few items this morning.  Ms Navi said that it was 6.0 miles away but I soon found out that was as the crow flies and not as the snake crawls which is how roads in these hills have been built.  I kind of like these roads as I know that I am an official hillbilly.  The low temperatures are forecast to be in the mid 30s tonight and tomorrow night with highs only in the lower 60s, nice.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Horseshoe Bend COE campground

We really like our campsite with no other campers anywhere near us.  We are out in the open, not in the trees, but with the current temperatures that is okay.  Just before dark yesterday we saw a herd of deer running through the park, must have been 10-12.  This morning as I was heading to Rogers, AR I saw one on the side of the road and then as I came back to the trailer I saw another one just grazing in the campground.  We also had a flock of blue birds around our picnic table a little after sunrise this morning.

I found a Firestone tire store in Rogers that was open on Sunday and had them check the tire that went low pressure on yesterday's trip.  All they found was a leek through the bead seal to the rim and was able to reseal and remount that wheel for the continuation of this trip.  The tread on our truck tires are getting close to replacement time but we will check on that when we get back home.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


We only had a 90 mile drive today but it was good to have time for a flat tire.  It was a truck tire and the dash indicated "low air" but we were on Rte 76 between Branson and Cassville so some of you know this is a narrow two lane with twisty curves and no shoulders.  When we got to an intersection of MO-76 and MO-39 there was enough of a shoulder for us to stop.  When I stopped the tire was still up but didn't read on my gauge.  I called our Emergency Road Service provider and they tried to find a service to help us.  After quite some time they were not able to find anyone to help us so I jacked up the front legs of the trailer to take that load off of the truck and then used my bottle jack to lift the tire in question.  After reading the owners manual for how to remove the spare tire I was able to make the trade with lots of huffing and puffing.  The spare tire had not been checked since new so it needed some air to put it at the 80 psi that I needed.  I connected my 12V compressor to our trailer batteries and brought it up to its required 80 psi so we could continue.

While we were sitting waiting for our emergency road service to assist us we at least were able to find a radio station with the Mizzou Tigers football game and listened to most of the first half, Yea MIZZOU.

The spare was mounted and now I will find a tire service in Rogers, Arkansas on Monday to check it out and then we will be okay for the rest of the trip.

We are so happy that the federal parks are back open and this site is beautiful these pictures are of our site and our view from our back living room window, very nice!

Friday, October 18, 2013

a nice day in Branson

We've had a very good day in Branson so far and expect the rest of the day to be great also.  We joined Larche and Marianne this morning and found the "Quilts and Quilts" store.  Marianne likes to sew as well as JoAnn and she was the one that wanted to find this store.  She had shopped at this store several times in the past but last spring a tornado ripped through its original location.  We found  that they had opened in a new location with a bigger and better store.  Aside from all the fabric and notions available to buy they had many beautiful art work quilts on display in the rafters.  Jo was the only one to find something to purchase, a book about t-shirt quilts.

After the quilt store we then drove to the Landing shops because Larche wanted to look for some new walking shoes.  After a nice lunch in the Landing it was then time for an afternoon nap.  Jo and I will go to their motel later this afternoon and we will find some dinner on our way to the theater for the Marty Stuart show.

We all can't believe the traffic along route 76.  I know it was terrible a few years ago with the music show boom but now a lot of the theaters have closed and many of the big name headliners are no longer here but still the traffic jams make it hard to get around unless you know the bypass routes.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The government is back to open, yea

Since our so called representatives in DC chose to delay the confrontation until Jan. and Feb. our Corps of Engineers parks will now be open and our trip can follow plan "A".

We had a nice short drive this morning to Branson and are resting now at our KOA campground.  Our very good friends Larche and Marianne are joining us for a country music show tomorrow evening and they have just now checked into their motel nearby.  We will join them for a nice dinner this evening and see what kind of mischief we can get into tomorrow before the show.

On Saturday Jo and I will head toward Rogers, AR and a COE campground near Beaver Lake.