Monday, November 04, 2013


Over the weekend Jo and I cleared out all items that could freeze and stored them in our basement for use next summer.  Today I picked up four gallons of pink stuff (RV non-toxic antifreeze) and just now finished pumping that through all the plumbing to protect the trailer from the expected freezing temperatures that we can expect this winter.  It only takes 2-1/2 gallons but I always want to have more just in case.

Now we just look out our back windows and think about how much fun we can have next summer.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

The summer of 2013 at a glance

In the following, miles listed are those that our trailer moved and do not include our use of the truck while driving around an area where parked.

March (18 days - 2559 miles - 10.36 avg mpg - 3.903 avg $/gal)

We have some friends from mid Missouri, that we used to square dance with, who go down to the Rio Grande valley every winter and become winter Texans.  They have asked us several times to come for a visit so that was our goal for this trip.  Since Missouri weather is hard to plan for in early March when we left on March 11 we took the most direct route to get south to warmer temperatures.  That is through Memphis and straight south from there to Louisiana.  From there we turned west toward Texas and then south to the southern tip, or Rio Grande valley.  This is a popular snowbird area for RVers with many big RV resort parks.  While we enjoyed our visit with friends this isn't a place that we see ourselves spending any time in the future.

April (16 days - 1735 miles - 10.76 avg mpg - 3.779 avg $/gal)

This was another trip to go south for warmer temperatures.  We headed toward the Gulf Shores of Alabama to spend a week enjoying the sun and fresh Gulf seafood.  On the return trip northward we stopped for a few days in Montgomery, Alabama and visited the Hank Williams museum.

May (18 days - 1989 miles - 10.89 avg mpg - 3.705 avg $/gal)

This trip was to tour and visit northern New Mexico.  We had visited southern NM around Carlsbad and on several trips westward have passed through northern NM but this time we wanted to spend some time around Santa Fe.  Before we left home a friend told us about the hot air balloon rides that are available in the Taos, NM area so we changed our destination to Taos.  We did enjoy the balloon ride very much and also the area around Taos is just beautiful in a rustic southwestern kind of way.  On our way homeward we did encounter the Moore, OK tornado which was heading directly toward our campground for that night.  We left the trailer and drove out of the path while listening to the radio coverage of the damage.  The tornado lifted only a few miles before hitting our campsite and we fortunately had no damage but that was a close call.

June (20 days - 3250 miles - 12.41avg mpg - 3.833 avg $/gal)

When we first started our retirement travels Jo began collecting coffee mugs for each state and along the way she did get a few state t-shirts.  After completing her 50 coffee mug collection she then decided to complete the 50 state t-shirt collection and make them into a quilt.  There were five states in the northeast that she needed so that was the goal for this trip.  We picked up Phyllis along the way and spent most of our time in the northeast New England states to accomplish the t-shirt hunt.  We got to spend some good time with Phyllis and see some areas that we had only passed through on previous trips.

July (14 days - 1666 miles - 11.97 avg mpg - 3.729 avg $/gal)

After the June t-shirt hunt Jo only needed two more state t-shirts to complete her collection of 50.  Those needed states were North Dakota and Minnesota so that is the direction we headed.  But first we couldn't be sure that we could make any plans for this month as Jo was placed on jury duty for this the third quarter of the year, 3 months of being available for two weeks of being on call.  We contacted the court secretary and arranged for Jo's two week period to occur in the middle of August so this June trip was then back on schedule.  We enjoyed our time in the land of 10,000 lakes and did accomplish the goal of the two t-shirts.  Now this winter she has her quilt project all ready for her to begin.

August - no trip due to jury duty, and fortunately she didn't have to serve

September (17 days - 1150 miles - 12.60 avg mpg - 3.882 avg $/gal)

With our satellite television connection we have enjoyed the RFD-TV channel with several country music shows.  One of those shows is the Midwest Country show that originates from Sandstone, MN and while we were there in July we were able to visit and enjoy that show in person.  Some of the other shows that we enjoy come from or talk about the Renfro Valley music complex in eastern KY so that was the first destination for this September trip.  While in Renfro Valley we did see two country music shows and the Kentucky music hall of fame.  We also toured and tasted several bourbon distilleries that are spread around this part of KY.  On the way homeward we stopped in Nashville and enjoyed the Grand Ole Opry along with some other country music attractions.

October (16 days - 1134 miles - 10.47 avg mpg - 3.642 avg $/gal)

The goal for this trip was just to spend some leisure time around three different lakes in Arkansas with a side trip to Chanute, KS for some factory service to our traveling home.  In addition we did make another side trip up to Branson, MO for a country music show and a visit with some very good friends.  The average mpg and $/gal above will change slightly after I do a final fill of our tank in the next few days.  Today (11/5/13) I filled the truck tank as I don't like to leave it sit for any time not full to prevent condensation in the tank.  The above averages have been corrected to reflect to final numbers for this trip.

Friday, November 01, 2013

a BEAUTIFUL day for a drive through the Ozarks

This morning the sun came up and the clouds stayed away for our drive letting the bright sunlight show off all the beautiful tree color.  We had a group wish us a safe trip on our way out of the campground, 6 deer in one group and a single across the road from them.  When we got to West Plains we had a welcome to Missouri committee of one.  Our sister Neva took a little time off from the library to meet us and have a nice long coffee break with some family gossip.  The rest of the drive, there were a lot of areas of just oaks with dark brown or rusty colors and then every so often a splash of more vibrant color made this a very good fall color drive for us.

We stopped in Rolla for lunch and made it back to the ol' Martin Manor a little before 2:00 pm.  Jo  has four months to get this laundry done before we head out again. ;-)

In the next few days I plan to put together a summary of our trips for 2013 and post it here on this blog.  Then it's back to planning mode for 2014, which isn't that far away.  Time flies when you're having fun, or as the frog says "times fun when you're having flys."

check back in a few days for the summary.