Friday, June 24, 2016

back again

Back again, literally, backed into the Martin Manor RV park.  This has been a super trip starting with a good visit with darling daughter and then some nice restful days in some very nice campgrounds.  Except for the extreme heat and humidity the past couple of days our GWF has really taken care of us.

The last few miles of this trip, the part from St Louis to home, will be added to our next venture as we follow the Missouri River to it's origin in Montana. That trip will begin on August 9 so tune in again for more adventures of fredandjo-onthego.

Thursday, June 23, 2016


Today's schedule was to stop at a rest area near Metropolis, IL for lunch.  This rest area has a large statue of Superman at the restroom building and we had planned to have lunch with Superman.  When we got there it had signs stating that the rest area was closed so we had to use a ramp shoulder for our lunch break, without Superman.

It looks like our GWF is helping us slip in behind the storm that caused some tornadoes in northern IL and IN last night.  We do wish that she would bring some cooler temps as it is 97° outside right now with very high humidity.  Both ACs are working full time to keep us comfortable.  Our shower flower is riding very well.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Phyllis' yard

Phyllis has done some very nice work in her yard to keep it attractive.  She sent us these pictures the other day to show how proud she was of her accomplishments in landscaping.  All of the rock bed liners and mulching is her handiwork.  She keeps it mowed herself with her battery electric mower.
her beautiful crepe myrtle
to the right side of her door
to the left side of her door
she wants someday to extend the front porch under the bay window to the left side of the house
on her back patio
 along the west side of her house
JoAnn liked this plant so ....
... she bought one like it to take back to Missouri.  Here it is in its traveling position.

Summer Solstice

I hope that everyone had a good day yesterday because you had more hours of daylight to enjoy it than any other day this year.  Yesterday was the longest day of the year as the sun was at it's most northern position, summer solstice.

We had a nice day of leisure mostly.  I did get out for a nice long walk to get the pictures that I posted yesterday.  Tomorrow we start the two day trip back to the Martin Manor RV park.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

nice relaxing campground

Yesterday we drove to Smithville, TN for some grocery and hardware needs at the Wally Mart it was 10 miles as the crow flies but 13 miles by the crooked ridge road that took us there.

Today we are just relaxing and enjoying the quiet and beautiful surroundings.  Here are a few pictures of the dam and Caney creek below the dam.

This is a hydro electric dam and a few times a day they blow a loud horn at the dam to warn people below that the gates are going to open and the flow will be rapid.
This is a before and after view of the rise in the creek.
Then when all is calm again folks can enjoy.

Monday, June 20, 2016

good morning

Here are a few pictures of our campsite.
our front yard
 our side yard
Caney creek outflow below the dam, full of trout

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all our brothers, cousins, nephews, and friends.  We hope everyone had a super day, I did.

It's good to be back in Tulsa time.  Each time we travel either East or West and leave our comfort zone for daily timing, I'm always glad to get back and always think of the Don Williams song "Tulsa Time"

Livin' on Tulsa time
Livin' on Tulsa time
Well, you'll know I been through it
When I set my watch back to it
Livin' on Tulsa Time.

We are now sitting in a nice COE campground near Long Branch Lake close to Laurel Hill, TN.  We will be here for the next four nights and hope to enjoy some quiet time.  Last night's campground had some DJ playing music in a pavilion and the volume was so loud that we couldn't concentrate on our reading.  What we heard was mostly the beat of the base drum or stroke of a base guitar.  Here I hope to hear hoot owls and whippoorwills.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Kingsport, TN

It was a short drive today with only about 200 miles but it is what works for us.  Our GWF is really working for us as this was another very pleasant day with mild temperatures.

The only down side of the day was when we stopped for fuel a little before noon there wasn't anyplace to park for lunch so we headed back on the road for the first rest area.  When we arrived at the rest area all of the parking spaces were full so we couldn't stop.  We just pulled out a protein bar (that we keep in the console for just such a time) and had our lunch on the road.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Natural Bridge

We are now in the Natural Bridge, VA KOA for the night.  We were here on our first big trip in November of 1999 on our way to Thanksgiving with Phyllis.  We were not in this campground for that trip but did stop long enough for a trip to the landmark natural bridge site.  This trip we will not unhook our truck from the trailer as we are traveling again tomorrow.

I found this picture on the net to show what a great natural wonder this rock arch is.  There is a two lane roadway that crosses the top.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

a quiet day

Our day was one of rest and enjoying the pleasant weather.  We had a brief shower during the night last night and again mid afternoon.  There are showers forecast for tomorrow morning but hope they aren't heavy.

We travel tomorrow but don't have an early departure time as the first several miles are right through the downtown rush for Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Hampton, VA.  Tomorrow evening we will be in Natural Bridge, VA.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

nice day at the beach

This morning we drove to the beach of Virginia Beach, VA.  Such a beautiful day with rain forecast for tomorrow so we decided to take a little drive from the campground to the downtown area.  This beach is very long north to south with a concrete (boardwalk) full of vendors and shops.  There are lifeguard stations along and beach umbrella rentals.

We stopped into a local restaurant for lunch and the crab cake sandwich was very nice.

Looking south
 looking north

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

good news, bad news

First the bad news:  Took our truck into the local dealer with a 1:00 pm appointment. At check in, they said it would take a few days probably to find a short in the electric system that is causing the fuse to blow with a minimum of $119 for the analysis.  I thought I would take the chance of them finding and fixing the problem while we were here in Virginia Beach so left it with them and rented a car from the Enterprise office within the dealership.  Needed a few items from the grocery store so picked them up and made it back to the campground.  Just as I was arriving at the campground the dealership called me to say that from their analysis they wouldn't have time to make the proper repair in the days that we are here so they suggested that we just pick it up and take it to our local dealership for final repair.  I turned around after dropping off my grocerys at the trailer, took the rental back, and picked up our truck.

Now the good news:  They handed by my keys and said no charge, WHAT!!!  I said thank you.

It cost us one day's car rental fee for a trip to the grocery store but overall I'm happy.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Virginia Beach, VA

Today we have relocated from the Baltimore area to the Virginia Beach KOA.  The campground is right across the street (almost) from the Naval Air Station and we have fighter jets overhead off and on.  That might do combat with my snoring, although we don't know yet if they fly at night.

We're here for four nights so will have to see what mischief we can get into. We still have beautiful weather although the temperatures are climbing a little more each day.  Our GWF is looking out for us nicely.

I have an appointment at the local Ford dealership to have the electric door locks on our truck fixed.  The fuse went out in April of last year and after replacing that fuse it worked okay until April of this year when I had to replace the fuse again.  Now only a few weeks later it has blown again so hopefully they will be able to find out why this keeps happening.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

another nice day

Another good visit with Phyllis with lots of talk and another card game.  We went out for lunch and afterward said our good byes and let her pack for her business trip later this afternoon.

Our grandkits were still loners today but at least we knew where the little one was hiding today.
 Ouisa's hiding place today was a wiggling bed cover
Rosie's comfortable spot

Tomorrow we head for Virginia Beach

nice visit

We got our daughter hugs Friday afternoon and then went out for supper.  After dining we were all tired (her from a day of work and us from a day of driving, the longest of the three day journey) so we left her to her cats while Jo and I came back to the trailer for the evening.

Yesterday morning we went back to her house where Jo put together a nice chicken and vegetable soup for lunch, Phyllis doesn't cook.  It was a big batch so she will have leftovers for quite a while.  She eats out all the time and since most restaurants serve large portions she always has a to-go box to take home for another meal at another time.  The soup was very good and then we just visited and played some cards to spend the afternoon.

Our grandcats are not happy to see grandma and grandpa as they don't like strangers.  The oldest one, Rosie, at least just stays away but doesn't hide.  The young little black one stayed hid all day and even Phyllis couldn't find her hiding place.  As soon as we left she came out of hiding and Phyllis sent us a picture to prove that she was still alive.

Today we are going in to share lunch with Phyllis and get a goodbye hug.  Then early afternoon we will come back to the trailer because Phyllis has to travel down to the DC area for a business meeting tomorrow morning.  She will stay in a motel for the night to avoid the rush traffic on Monday morning, smart daughter.

Friday, June 10, 2016

another great day, weather wise

More of the same as the past couple of days but perhaps a few degrees warmer.  The drive through the mountains of West Virginia and western Maryland is so pretty and scenic.

Once we enter Maryland on I-68 we are in the Mountains of Maryland.  As we traveled eastward we first crossed Negro Mtn, then Meadow Mtn. and the Eastern Continental Divide.  From there the highway has 30 miles of 6% downgrade which is difficult to hold speed with 15,000 pounds behind pushing.  Our truck does a great job with gearing down and saving the brakes.  The problem with this downgrade is that at the bottom is the town of Cumberland, MD with a speed limit of 40 mph.  After we get through Cumberland we then have Martin Mtn, Polish Mtn. and Sideling hill before we meet up with I-70 for the remainder of the drive to our campsite.

It was these mountain grades back in 1999 that convinced me the gas truck we had at that time needed to be traded for a diesel, no regrets.

Thursday, June 09, 2016


Another great day weather wise and as the title says it was a carbon copy of yesterday's weather forecast.  Today even included a deer sighting.  Both days were totally calm as when we passed flag poles the flags were hanging limp.  There is a 20% chance for a shower tonight and for tomorrow but that doesn't scare us much.

Tomorrows drive is the longest of these three days but it is another day of beautiful scenery especially through the West Virginia mountains.  The shortest route from our house to Phyllis' house is just to stay on I-70 from Kingdom City, MO to Baltimore and that is the way we took for the first few visits.  The truck traffic is severe on I-70 for the full length and the travel around/through Indianapolis and Columbus are hectic so we sought a different alternative.  We found I-64 from St Louis to Charleston, WV through Louisville, KY and then up to Morgan Town, WV and east to Baltimore.  This is a much calmer traffic route and the scenery is great the whole way.  The I-70 route is only 38 miles shorter and sure seems longer because of the stress factor.

Tomorrow we get our daughter hugs. ;-)

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Here we go again

Headed out this morning on our way for a visit with Phyllis a bit and then wend our way homeward with a few stops along the way.  The day today was a perfect late spring day with clear, cloudless skies, temperatures in the mid to upper 70s, and low humidity.  Traffic wasn't too bad, even through St. Louis.

We are now in Lynnville Park which is a city park in Lynnville, IN.  We have made this trip so many times we don't even need a road map or GPS and have the rest stops and fuel stops memorized.  In fact this is the 17th time we have spent a night in this campground.