Thursday, November 09, 2017

In hibernation

Took advantage of today's nice temperatures and made the camper ready for winter.  That included clearing everything out that might freeze, draining all waterlines and fresh water tank by opening the low point drains, and emptying the water heater.  Then had to go to town to buy some RV antifreeze some times just called "the pink stuff" which is pumped through all of the plumbing and it will remain there until spring when we get ready to travel again.  The pink stuff will not expand down to a -50 degrees.  It firms up but doesn't expand and burst the piping.  Then it was just close up all slide outs and lock the door.  Here it is all ready for winter.

I had already set it on my support system when it was unloaded from the truck yesterday.  Last winter it sat all winter just on the camper jacks and that worked except that this spring when I jacked it back up for loading the jacks acted like they were bound up somehow.  I figured that  one or more of the camper jacks had crept a little due to the extended time under load putting the system in a bit of a bind.  This time I constructed a support system under both the front and back with a couple of jack stands and a 4x4 across the top.  This system is capable of carrying the full camper load and then I lowered the camper jacks to just when they begun to carry a bit of weight.  The camper jacks will make it more stable under any winds.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

beautiful sunlit day

Made the trip back to the Manor after lunch.  As posted earlier the skies were blue with much sunshine so where the trees were showing their fall colors it was great.  Most of Mother Natures planted trees are past brilliant coloration and mostly brown but when near landscaped lawns there is still some bright reds, golds, and purples.

The drive north from Alley Spring was along highway 19 which is a very scenic drive through some of the best Missouri Ozarks country vistas.  In my last years at MoDOT I tried to have this route designated as a National Scenic Byway but that required local public approval which didn't happen. It is still in my opinion one of the most scenic drives in Missouri.  Along the way we saw turkey, deer, and a red tailed hawk with very light traffic.

After a stop at a local campground to empty our waste holding tanks we parked the camper in the Martin Manor RV spot for it's winter hibernation.  Now I need to get it winterized to prevent any freezing problems until our next outing which at this time is planned for March of 2018.

See you then 😎

Blue Skies

At least partially blue skies as opposed to what we have had for several days as totally dense overcast skies.  The past two mornings have been coolish with the high today forecast to be in the mid 50s.  Looking at the forecast over the next several days has caused us to make a slight change in our trip plans.  We now plan to load up after lunch today and head toward the Martin Manor instead of waiting until tomorrow.

The forecast for Friday morning is to be in the low 20s and then below freezing again on Saturday morning.  If we wait to leave until tomorrow that doesn't give me much time to get the camper prepared for those hard freezing temperatures.  By heading toward the house today we will have all day tomorrow to get the camper prepared for it's winter hibernation.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017


I just made a correction to this mornings post.  I found a map showing the location of Not, Missouri instead of my posting of Knot, Missouri.  Same story as told but just a different spelling.  Here is a clipping of the map showing the town site's location.  In the picture you can also see the location of Thomasville, Missouri where Jo went to school.  She lived just north of Thomasville near where Rte T and Rte 99 meet.

Alley Spring

This is a very large campground of I believe around 160+ campsites and I also believe that we are the only folks here at this time.  We are in the only loop with electric hookups but can see into other loops.  As we were checking in (in the rain) there was a ranger driving around but that is the only other vehicle or person that we have seen.

This park along the Jacks Fork River is quite popular in the summer season with people splashing into the shallow waters from the gravel bars and from tubeing, canoeing, and kayaking activities.  In that season a reservation would have been necessary for a spot in the campground.  The campground is about a half mile from the spring and mill which wouldn't be a bad hike in better weather.  We have visited the mill and spring on several other occasions so probably not make the jaunt this time.  Instead of me taking pictures to post here I will give you a connection to some great views of this area.  The spring rises from a large round sink just behind the mill.

Alley Spring Pictures

There are several similar to the first image taken from downstream below the mill with the red mill as the focus.  I have taken that same picture and it is on the wall of our dining room at home.  That picture is framed in a hand made frame that one of Jo's uncles made from "barn wood siding" taken from the Not, Missouri post office that used to be located near the Shannon - Oregon county line near where she grew up.  Story is that there originally was a large Oak tree with a big knot hole where mail was left for locals to pick up.

Also in the above group of pictures is a map of this campground and we are located in the 600s loop.

Monday, November 06, 2017

bad GWF

Our GWF (Good Weather Fairy) failed us this afternoon.  Today's drive was totally under heavy overcast skies and then about an hour before we arrived at our campground they opened up and rained enough that it was necessary to get out the yellow rain suit. 😞

Most of the day was good with some great fall tree colors that would have been better lit up by the sun but still quite a few oohs and aahs.

Jo tells me that last night was full of heavy thunderstorms.  I went to bed early just because I felt like it and once I get to sleep it's all over until morning.  She said there was much thunder, lightning, and wind most of the night but this morning it was mild temperatures and no rain.  I went to the campground office a little after 9:00 to pay for our stay and they weren't open.  There was a man that I spoke to that took me around to the back door so that I could take care of business.  They said that they didn't open until 10:00 am and that is hard to understand as they are also a marina office for boat rentals.

We are tonight in Jo's early years territory.  This park is at Alley Spring where there is a working mill (for demonstration) that has been fun to visit many times in the past.  This is now a National park, part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.  We are only a few miles from where she was born and raised on a farm just south of the Shannon - Oregon county line.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

heading West

Last night's show was Super Good, we both truly enjoyed it all.  Rhonda is a very good entertainer and all of her band members are great musicians.  She had a daughter as back up singer to harmonize with her.  Two of the band members are son-in-laws but they each contributed to the show.  Rhonda has a tremendous voice and obviously enjoys what she does as she is on the road for 11 months out of every year staying home in Kirksville, MO for December.

Today's drive was Beautiful with a capital "B".  occasionally the sun would break through the cloud cover and the tree colors would just brighten up for many OOHs and AAHs.  With it's mountains, rivers, and variety of trees, Kentucky is a beautiful State.

As I said earlier we didn't have reservations for any of this trip which has worked well up to tonight.  Our planned campground was a COE Recreation Area on the banks of Lake Barkley in Western KY.  When we arrived at the campground there was a gate across the road.  I knew that it was past their posted season but assumed that it would be self pay and probably no water connection.  Within a couple of miles there is a KOA on the banks of the same lake so we headed there.  Their season is listed as mid Nov. closing so all should be good, Not!  When we arrived the office which also was the marina office was closed with a couple of telephone numbers to call.  I called the one that said it was for Sunday operations and the call went to voice mail.  So we just found an empty site, parked and setup for the night, and will try to find someone in the morning before we head back toward Missouri.  Here are a couple of pictures of our site tonight.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Half Time

It's half time in the MU - FLA football game so I went out to take a couple of pictures of our campsite near the music venue.  I'm happy because the Tigers have been doing good at least for this first half and we just hope that momentum continues.  A win in this game will go a long way to boost the teams confidence in their winning abilities.

Now here are those two pictures our site is nice and level so that is good
 Looking back the other direction we see the music barn just across the parking lot.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Rockcastle County, KY

We are now located in the Renfro Valley  creekside campground.  Our camp site is just a short walk across their parking lot to the new music hall.

They have two music halls and the old one has their Friday night local talent hoedown while the new hall has traveling talent shows programed throughout the year.  We have been here for a couple of other shows and are looking forward to tomorrow nights show with Rhonda Vincent.  She grew up in north-central Missouri near the Iowa border.  She grew up in a family of musicians that had a show they called the Sally Mountain Show playing country and bluegrass music.  I don't know where that name came from as northern Missouri is like Iowa and you would have to hunt for something to call a mountain.  Rhonda plays a super fine mandolin and has a bluegrass festival every year near her home town as well as travels throughout the country with her band "The Rage."

This trip so far has been full of fall tree coloration.  It would just be so much better if the sun would only shine.  Both days have been overcast and this afternoon we drove through several light showers.  With a full sun there would have been many  more oohs and aahs.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Lynnville, Indiana

Tonight we are in the Lynnville Park, a city owned campground and fishing lake park.  We found this park in Sept. 2007 and it has been a regular stop on our eastbound trips.  This is the 18th time we have stopped here since then.  The site we are in tonight is in the water/electric section and that is where we have been most of our stops @ $18 now and was $15 when we first came here. The other full hookup section we have used a few times is $22.  It is an easy off and on from I-64 but is over a slight hill so absolutely no highway noise.  Tonight the full hookup section has several units but we are alone in the W/E section.

This whole trip is without any reservations.  Most of our trips are fully reserved before we leave home.  We just like to know there will be a spot when we arrive.  This trip is late in the year so I didn't expect any problems especially since school is now in session and except for weekends there shouldn't be any problem.  This weekend, Friday and Saturday, we will be in the campground for the Renfro Valley music venue and it is very large.  We stayed there once before for another show and the campground wasn't near full.