Tuesday, May 22, 2018

US Hwy 50 day four

Today's trip brought us back to the Martin Manor RV park where we will rest up for a couple of weeks, restock the pantry and closets.  On June 8 we will resume the Hwy 50 trek and head west which will take us 6 more days to reach the Pacific Ocean.  This is day 4 and at the end of day 10 we will be taking pictures of the Pacific.  Hwy 50 stops somewhere around Sacramento but we will continue to the waters edge.

This project has been quite interesting as except for the route through Missouri we are totally unfamiliar of this route and never know what to expect around the next curve or over the next hill.  Today through the Illinois farming communities we encountered several farm implements on the roadway traveling at 15-20 mph and long stretches of no-passing zones.

Going through St. Louis was interesting and not where I thought Rte 50 would be marked.  I had to turn off Ms Navi and follow MoDOT signing.  It was a bit confusing for awhile but then it all came together and we were on our way.

We have now completed 1098 miles of the total 3121 miles.

This is our day four route

and this is the combined days 1-4

Monday, May 21, 2018


We have picked up a hitchhiker.  Yesterday we had a tree frog chirping somewhere close to our camper.  Apparently he/she has bummed a ride as we now have the same chirping right along with us.  There is the space between the truck cab and the camper where we store some bins and bag-chairs.  I believe that he/she is in that area.  Right now we are having some light showers and our passenger is talking to us.  Not a problem as it is quite nice to have mother nature along with us.  He/she will find a new home in Missouri when we get back and unload.

US Hwy 50 day three

It was a very nice drive today, no showers until right after we got setup in our campground for the night and that was brief.

We got into the Cincinnati area a little before 10 which must have been a good time as we had very little traffic.  Here is our route through that metropolitan area right along the Ohio River.

Then it was continuing our drive westward into and across Indiana.  We are tonight right across the Wabash River from Illinois in the eastern time zone and we will gain an hour as soon as we cross the Wabash.

We have now completed 819 miles of the total 3121 miles.

This is our day three route
and this is the combined days 1-3

Sunday, May 20, 2018

day of rest

No driving today, just resting.  It's also a very nice day of sunshine without showers.  The current forecast is at 15% chance of precipitation between now and noon time tomorrow, I'll take the 85% chance of none.  Also by noontime we will be past Cincinnati and into Indiana.  Our destination tomorrow is near Vincennes, IN and the campground is the Ouabache Trails.  Ouabache is an old spelling of Wabash as that river is right there forming the border between Indiana and Illinois.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

US Hwy 50 day two

Left Romney, WV around 8:30 this morning and continued our trek following US-50.  Our GWF was doing all she could and held the rain to only a sprinkle while we were getting ready to travel.  Off and on all day we drove through showers and an occasional downpour.  We also had a few hours of driving on dry pavement with the sun shining.

West Virginia Rte 50 today was mostly two lane, rural, mountain roadways.  Lots of 15 mph to 30 mph switchbacks and not a lot of straight roadways.  There were a lot of up over mountains with steep downgrades including those switchbacks which required the Beast's decent assist to keep the brakes cool.

We crossed into Ohio a little after noon and not as many mountain roadways but instead a few four lane divided roadways.  Arrived at our campground, Paint Creek State Park, around 3:30 this afternoon.  Because it is a weekend they required a two night reservation so we will have a day of rest tomorrow before resuming out trek on Monday.

We now have completed 558 miles of the total 3121 miles.

This is today's (day two) route
believe me it wasn't as straight as it looks
 and this is the combined day one plus day two

Friday, May 18, 2018

US Hwy 50 day one

Today was a long day, hours that is not miles.  We left Ocean City, MD at the east end of US-50 about 8:30 am and 260 miles later it was 4:30 when we checked into the campground.  There was heavy traffic through DC (DUH) and a lot of stopped backups at lights. There were a few small cars tried to run over us and a taxi or two that believed that they owned the street.  With our LARGE vehicle I was able to make one cab driver back up to give me some room to make my turn.

Our GWF was with us all day.  She did her best this morning after a full night of heavy rain it slacked off to just a sprinkle while I was getting the camper ready to roll.  Then when we stopped for lunch again it was just a sprinkle.  When we arrived at our campsite for tonight again there wasn't even a sprinkle.  However during the drive there were several areas of heavy downpour requiring the wipers to be on fast speed.

As for the first day of our US-50 trek we now have completed 260 miles of the total sea-to-sea length of 3121 miles.  Here is the first sign in downtown Ocean City, MD.
And our path through downtown Washington DC alongside the Washington Mall
almost from the Capital Bldg to Lincoln's memorial as seen in this picture.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Sea to shining Sea

Tomorrow begins our trek to cross the continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific following US Hwy 50.  If there was a belt put around the waist of the lower 48 States it would look like this.

The East end of Hwy 50 is in the center of Ocean City, MD at the X, just a few yards from the beach

and tomorrows route will look like this.

Good afternoon

We got out at noon time and went for a fresh seafood lunch, very good.  Then we drove through some more of this island seashore park looking for some of the horses.  We only saw two or three at one spot, off to the side where there were several cars parked on the shoulder of the road to watch them.  There was no place for us to stop but I believe that at least two of them were the same ones that I took pictures of this morning.

I took a walk this morning to try and get a picture of some of the ponies and here is what I found.

When we got back to our campground I stopped at the office and found a site in the electric loop that we could swap for and so tonight we have electric hookups and don't have to worry about the capacity of our batteries or the fact that clouds and fog don't let our solar panel work it's magic.

Tomorrow morning we have an early departure to begin our US Hwy 50 trek.

Good Morning

Our GWF (good weather fairy) was on the job yesterday as we were packing up and stopped the rain long enough for us to load the camper and dump our tanks before it started up again.  Then when we arrived at the beach she cleared up long enough to get all set up at our site.  Maybe she could have had the fog to go away but perhaps that's asking too much.  This morning the skies are cloudy but the fog has lifted and I went our for a few pictures.  Haven't seen any ponies yet but their tracks are all around in the sand.

 a brave paddle boarder out riding the waves

 from atop the dune between us and d'ocean

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

down at d'ocean

Left our campground near Phyllis a little before noon this morning.  Had to load the camper on the truck and then dump our holding tanks and then headed southeast toward Assateague Island State Park.  We have two nights here before beginning our trek west on US 50.

This afternoon there is a heavy fog over the campground so not good for taking pictures.  Hopefully tomorrow will clear up and we can take a few.  Also need to get a picture or two of the wild ponies.  Our campsite is just behind a sand dune from the Atlantic beach.  At this campground we do not have electric hookups so no AC or microwave, otherwise everything else works off of our batteries including our TV which has a bunch of channels and only one of them is a network channel, ABC.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Game 4

I suggested that we stop at game 3 where each of us has a win so we all had bragging rights.  I told Jo and Phyllis that if we played another game someone would be able to brag and the others would feel bad.  They twisted my arm and got out the cards so we did play game number 4 this afternoon.  Now "I" have full bragging rights to this weekends games as champion, winner of games 1 and 4.  😃

Playing cards has always been a pastime enjoyed by our whole family.  Win or lose it passes time and as parents neither Jo nor I ever purposefully let the kids win and they always enjoyed whenever they could beat us, which happens quite often.

Sadly this visit with Phyllis has come to an end and Jo & I head out in the morning for the Atlantic coast.  Our campground tomorrow night is the Assateague State Park just south of Ocean City, MD right on the beach.  There is a herd of wild ponies that roam the island so should get a picture or two.

Monday, May 14, 2018

game three results

Phyllis worked until lunch time today and has the same schedule tomorrow.  This afternoon we completed game three of our card game challenge.  This time Phyllis was the winner so now the score is one game each and we may just let it go like that and not unbalance the wins this trip.

Coming back to the camper right at sundown this evening we were in a thunder storm and we both got our shirts wet running from the truck to the camper.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day to all

It's been a good day here with Phyllis.  It stormed during the night last night but today has just been light sprinkles occasionally.  The forecast for the next several days here includes a 40% - 60% chance of rain so we might as well get used to it.

Since we had our "Mother's Day dinner" Friday evening we have just taken it easy today with no need to fight others for a reservation to dine with Mother.  I stopped at Popeye's on our way in to her house and took a sack of chicken and sides in for lunch time, it was good.  Phyllis said that she had tried them occasionally but this was our first time trying their version of chicken, will definitely do it again.

For our card game this afternoon Phyllis and I let her Mother win, it was her day.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Our campsite

Here are a couple of pictures of our campsite here in Patapsco Valley State Park in Ellicott City, MD.

dogwood trees in the undergrowth from our front door
 Our campsite in the Maryland woods

This is the same campsite that we were in last year for that visit with Daughter.
A rare forested find among the populated urban area.

Change of plans

Original plans were for us to stay here near Phyllis for 3 nights (with electric hookup) and then on the beach near Ocean City for four nights (without electric hookup).  We now are going to stay here for 5 nights and only 2 at the beach.  This will give us a bit more time with our daughter and still give us a day at the beach before beginning our trek west on US-50 hwy.

Had a very nice day today.  Helped Phyllis hang a couple of pictures on her walls, had a very nice lunch, and then I gave the ladies a lesson in how to win at cards.  With Phyllis we enjoy a card game called "hand and foot."  It plays well with three players and sometimes is a bit challenging when cards don't play as you might wish.

Friday, May 11, 2018

in Ellicott City

Now in the Patapsco Valley State Park in Ellicott City, MD.  We are only a few miles from Phyllis' house so much closer than the Ramblin Pines campground that we use to use with the trailers.  That was about a 20+ miles drive in to visit and now only a few minutes.

After getting the camper settled in the campground we went in to visit with Phyllis and Tammy (her best friend and our claimed second daughter),  In the past several years we have visited here in the month of June because of Phyllis' birthday.  In those past years, June is when Tammy would take some of her vacation time and we didn't get to visit with her.  Now since it is May we have enjoyed our time with both ladies.  This evening the ladies took us to a nice local seafood restaurant for a Mother's Day celebration.  We know that Sunday will be almost impossible to get into a restaurant because of that special day.

Another advantage in a May visit to this area is that the spring flowers are simply gorgeous, especially the azaleas and dogwood.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Day two

Through Kentucky and into West Virginia, tonight we are in Flatwoods, WV.  We stopped here last year on our trip to visit Phyllis and then to travel down the Blue Ridge Parkway.  On that trip we stayed at a COE campground on a lake near here but the road from the highway to the campground was twisty and hilly and about 15-20 minutes out of the way which then had to be retraced the next morning.  It was a nice campground but we decided that this trip we would take the much closer KOA campground which is good for a one night stop.  No picture tonight because if you have seen one commercial campground you have seen what most look like.

Today's drive was only 36 miles longer than yesterday but it seemed much, much longer.  We had a long stretch of road construction that had us stopped for a bit and then slow and easy for several miles.  For the past several years in traveling this route we had to drive through Louisville, KY which was a bit hectic, not difficult, just a few confusing lane changes.  They have built a new bridge over the Ohio River on a north-side bypass and that is now our route.  They did make it a toll bridge without toll booths.  Last November when we passed through they took a picture of our license plate and sent us a bill.  I have since purchased an ez-pass transponder which will work for us most anywhere east of the Mississippi.

We always grin when we pass through Hurricane, WV there is a billboard advertising a shop named "Quilts by Phyllis."

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

TV in the woods

Fortunately we have a very good internet connection in this campground.  This evening we have been able to watch our local news and Dish Network programming.  With our satellite connection at home we also have "dish on demand" and can watch any of our local programming or any programmed and recorded shows.  We also have an AT&T internet connection with unlimited data feed which only works when we are in an AT&T coverage area.  Tonight was very good.

Good night all!!!!

Day one for our May outing

One third of the way toward Baltimore sitting back into the Hoosier National Forest.

No lake view for tonight.  There are two campgrounds here in this park and the other one is along the banks of Celina Lake.  That campground doesn't have electric hookups so that is why we opted for electricity over views. 😁

What time is it?  It is totally confusing, my smart(alec) phone automatically adjusts for the time zones as we travel.  Here in the campground we must be right on the line as my phone bounces back and forth between central and eastern.  The only constant in this whole matter is the wall clock that we always leave on Missouri time.  I'm confused!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

a correction for post dated 3/22/2018

Just found these in my cell phone gallery.  On our way out of our campsite that morning on our way back to the Manor we saw this pair of turkeys.  The tom was trying to impress his lady friend.

 She doesn't appear too impressed

Sunday, April 22, 2018

In the boonies with the hoot owls

Our campground last night was without cell phone service, Internet connection, and television.  It was in Alley Spring Campground which is a federal CG within the Ozark National Scenic Riverways  in south Missouri. We did have hoot owls to keep us company.  Now a brief description of the past two days.

Saturday we moved away from Greers Ferry Lake and headed for Alley Spring campground in SE Missouri, our drive was quite something else.  As we entered into Mountain View, AR our route was to take us through the main street and as we approached it was obvious something was happening.  There was about to be a parade and the main street was blocked off.  We took a couple of blocks detour and with a police officer direction traffic thought we could get through ahead of the parade but not going to happen as he chose that time to close that intersection.  We did a multi point u-turn in the middle of the street, not an easy task with our large vehicle, and took some back streets down as far as we could and finally was able to get on our way.

Then from Mountain View to Melbourne, AR the road, about 22 miles of route 9, was marked as 55 MPH but we barely could get up to 40 mph between the 20 mph curves.  This is a sure fire, Arkansas, Ozark mountain, highway with steep grades and hairpin curves, but extremely scenic.  The dogwood through this stretch was at it's peak, show off, season so between the yoo-hoo curves it was OOHs and AAHs for the clouds of white throughout the timber.

From there our route was through Thayer, MO and Alton, MO where we had lunch.  During lunch we decided to make a small detour from our planned route and drive through Thomasville, MO where Jo went to High School and then drive by Hilltop Farm where she grew up.  She left the farm in 1956 to go to SMS in Springfield. Her folks sold the farm in 1962 so it has been 56 years since the Ledgerwoods lived there and as you can guess it was barely standing up but did have someone living in the house, however, not working the farm.  I won't post the picture we took as it is a bit depressing.

Our drive today was only 140 miles so we weren't in any hurry to get away.  We got home a little past noon time and I suggested we stop first at Pizza Hut and have a pizza for lunch before heading on to the Martin Manor.

Settled in now and the washing machine has the laundry under way.

Stay tuned, our next outing begins May 9, 2018.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Yea! we do have Cell and WiFi signals

Now checked into our campsite for the next two nights near Clinton and Choctaw, Arkansas on the banks of Greers Ferry Lake.  As we drove in my telephone didn't show any signal but at the campsite on the lake we do have 2-3 bars and the WiFi signal is also strong enough to connect to the internet, Yea!

With four days driving to get back home we decided to have a day of rest in the middle and this is it.  We are in the Choctaw Recreation Area managed by the COE.  This campground with over 170 campsites at this time of year is first come first served, none reserved.  During the peak season between Memorial day and Labor day they can be reserved and probably fill up easy.  By arriving early after lunch we were able to land a prime site down by the lake as you can see in our pictures below.

First here are a couple of pictures of our campsite last night.  The first one is looking out our camper door to the Little River.

Here are pictures from our current site.  No. 1 is the beautiful lake view from our doorway.

Back in Arkansas

Crossed back into Arkansas a little past lunch time yesterday.  Our campsite is on the banks of Little River as it feeds into Millwood Lake.  This is a different campground than the one originally reserved as that one has been flooded and our reservation there canceled.  That original campsite was below the dam and this one is above the lake.

I took a couple of pictures of this campsite yesterday afternoon but the internet connection wasn't strong enough to make a post.  It is working well this morning but my camera is in the truck so I will post those pictures this afternoon if my internet connection is strong.  It should be better than here as tonight's campsite is close to Clinton, AR and not far off US 65 so hopefully the signal will be better.

Another good thing about the COE campgrounds is the price.  Last night in this campground the cost was $7.50 with water and electric hookups, tonight's rate will be $10.  The very best $10 I ever spent was in the year 2000 when we made out first trailer trip to the Southwest.  The first National Park that we visited offered us a Golden Age Passport for $10 that was good for my lifetime and provide free entrance into all National Parks and 1/2 price for all federal campgrounds.  Today the name of that pass has changed as well as the price which is now $80 but even that is a real bargain.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


This afternoon I was able to capture this picture of our "pet" mockingbird who has kept us serenaded daily while here.  It is sitting on our fire ring which has been lifted for cleaning and we have not put it down for a campfire.

A great day in Texas - 2

Today has been like yesterday temperature wise but with stronger winds.  Yesterday the lake was almost like a mirror but today there are many large whitecaps.  At least the wind is from the south so nice and warm.

Tomorrow we must head back northerly and just hope these two weeks have allowed mid Missouri to be a bit more like spring instead of the winter that we left behind.

This has been a great campsite that is well kept with nice space and of course lake views.  This is a similar experience we have had at all Corps of Engineers campgrounds and why I have spent time putting the lat/long coordinates of all COE campgrounds into my route planning software.  They are our campground of choice if one is available near a stopping point on our routes.

Unfortunately they aren't everywhere but all we have been in have been super nice.

Monday, April 16, 2018

A great day in Texas

A bit cool this morning but when the sun came out with no clouds and only a gentle breeze it warmed up nicely.  The past several days with heavy winds the lake has been very choppy with lots of whitecaps but today it's been calm and when the boats run by they are riding smooth not bouncing up and down over the waves.  Not as much boat activity on the lake today as over the weekend and the campground has almost emptied out but still a few campers around us mostly with fishing boats parked along side.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a carbon copy of today, weather wise, so that will be good to enjoy for our last day before we head back in a northerly direction on Wednesday.  We try not to backtrack on our routing so tomorrow we branch off of the track made coming south and cut a path northeasterly across Arkansas.  We will visit another two lakes in Arkansas before our last night in Missouri at Alley Springs near Eminence.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Bad news last evening

Arrived at the Catfish Hut with mouth watering for catfish but wait, oh no, it has gone out of business.  The last rating on the web-site I had checked was last March 2017.  We were already an hour from camp and hungry so we trudged on toward Jasper Texas to try and find another option.  There we found a nice looking restaurant with a parking lot full of cars, the Cedar Tree.  They were having a seafood buffet that was drawing the crowd.  The price on the buffet was a bit high and we just didn't want to eat that much so ordered from the menu.  The first thing I saw was "southern fried catfish" which is just what I had planned for and just what we ordered.  It was three pieces of fish with coleslaw, hush puppies, french fries, and an onion ring.  It was all very yummy!

Overnight temperatures dropped into the low 40s so it is still cool today only expected into to the upper 50s with wind still from the NW, but at least the sun is out with clear skies which looks good.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Cool down a tad

We have had rain showers throughout the night plus off and on all morning but should be clearing out soon.  The winds have shifted, yesterday it was from the south, and now from the northwest and have brought a cooling shift in the temperatures as today's high is only to be upper 50s with mid to upper 40s on tap for in the morning. 😢

Weekend fishing is causing a lot more boat activity on the lake even in the rain showers.

Planning on going out for dinner this evening to the Catfish Hut which is highly rated in this area.  On the map a straight line would be 7 miles to the restaurant but by the road it is an hours drive.  Too bad we didn't bring our boat???

Friday, April 13, 2018

Friday the Thirteenth --- Good luck / Bad luck

Friday the 13th on Lake Rayburn.  The Good luck is that it is still warm at 82 degrees but the Bad luck is that scattered thunder storms are forecast for the remainder of the afternoon and evening.  We had a brief shower a little bit ago but right now the wind off of the lake is strong.  I tried sitting out in a lounge chair for awhile but had to come in, the wind was just too uncomfortable.

Last night was the first that any heating source was not necessary.  Our electric heater was turned on but the inside temps didn't drop below it's thermostat setting.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Beautiful day

Sitting outside just watching the white caps across the lake and an occasional fishing boat heading off to their favorite spot.

Of course when in Texas drink Texas beer.  Brewed in Shiner, Texas I do like this beer and it is my "beer of choice" even back home.

Sitting in the shade alongside JoAnn as she reads her Kindle e-book, our camper in the background.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Among the bluebonnets

Entered Texas mid morning and now on the banks of Lake Sam Rayburn in a very nice COE campground.  Yesterday evening's campground near De Queen Lake in Arkansas was without cell phone or Wi-fi connection signals so no way to post to this blog.

We are here for the next week so I will be able to post but there aren't many activities planned other than R&R.  Our goal for this trip was to find some warmer weather and this is it.  Current temperature is 78 so we have the windows open and the exhaust fan drawing some cooler air in from the shade side.  There is some rain in the forecast for the weekend but it should be a nice week to just loaf.

our front yard
across the lake and then some would be Jasper, TX - 15 miles away as the crow flies but 46 miles by roadway
 the view to the left
 and to the right

Monday, April 09, 2018

Back in Arkansas

Put our daughter on the airplane at 4:00 am this morning after her brief weekend visit.  Back to the house I had to scrape snow and frost off the windshield of the truck which is a very good reason to head much further south for some more warmer weather.  After loading the last minute items from the fridge we drove out of the driveway around 8:00 am.

We are now near Rogers, AR on the banks of Beaver Lake in a nice COE campground.  Three years ago we stayed here on this lake at a different COE campground.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

A little fresh this morning

Temperature this morning was 31 degrees, however very little wind so not to bad getting ready to travel.  With the sun shining it didn't take long to rise into the 40s.

Made it back to the Martin Manor a little past 1:00 and now all necessities are unloaded from the camper but we will leave the power hooked up so some things in the fridge can stay until our next venture

That trip is planned to begin on April 9 heading down to Lake Sam Rayburn in eastern Texas.  Check back then for more adventures of fredandjo.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Gun Creek campground

Our final night on this trip on the banks of Rend Lake at the Gun Creek COE campground near Whittington, IL.

Out the windshield of our truck as we parked
 Same view outside the truck
 From across the street

Our reserved campsite is across the street and we would have had a great view out the back window of out camper but the driveway slopped so much we would have needed an elevator to get into our door.  The site we are now in is level enough that we don't need adjustments but now our only view of the lake is out our dining room window.

Current temperature is a chilly 47 with a northerly wind and low tonight predicted to be 29.  I ask again why did we move from the pleasant climate of the Gulf?  Because Jo has a doctors appointment Friday that's why.

Happy Vernal Equinox

Quite chilly this morning but supposed to warm up into the upper 40s on today's drive.  The sun is shining but not too far east of here it is snowing.  Why did we come back north when it was so nice and warm on the Gulf?

Vernal Equinox is where the days have lengthened to the point where there is equal hours of daylight and night.  Now between here and June 21 days will continue to become longer, Yea!  At least with full tanks of LP our furnace kept us nice and comfortable last night.  One more night and we will be back in the Martin Manor RV park.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Big time oops!!!!

Still a nice drive up the Trace to the Meriwether Lewis Memorial campground.  Took this picture of the memorial on our way into the campground.
In the background you can see a replica of the Log Inn (or Station as they were called in 1809).

The campground was very nice, primitive with no hookups. We sat up in a quiet level site and settled in for the evening.  We arrived shortly after noon so enjoyed lunch after setting up.  Temperatures had been dropping all day as we moved north and at noon it was around 35 degrees.  Without electricity we will just use our furnace and keep nice and warm all evening.

Mid afternoon I decided that since we have a generator to use for the microwave at supper time why not just run it a bit this afternoon to get our e-books and game computers charged up.  All worked great for awhile with the furnace keeping us nice and warm ---- that is up until the furnace quit working while it was 62 degrees inside and then the generator shut down.  Now what is going on???  A quick check out side let me know that we were out of propane.  We have two 30 lb tanks and I had thought, as we left home, that would be fine for the whole trip, not knowing just how much the generator would use plus the furnace.  Sure didn't expect such low temperatures this late in the month.

With no way to heat the camper and keep warm we had to do something fast.  I searched for the nearest full hookup campground and found a KOA within 30 miles (as the crow flies) so I called them to see if they could fill our LP tanks and provide a site for the night.  They were about to close their office but told us to come ahead and just call when we arrive as they live on the property.  It took us an hour of driving but still arrived before sundown and they were gracious to accommodate our needs after hours.

We are now in a comfortable camper with two full tanks of propane, the furnace set on 69 degrees, a good internet connection, and good cell phone service.  Tomorrow we will continue our travels toward the Manor without driving the last 60 miles of the Trace.

Meriwether Lewis

Tonight's campground is on the grounds of the Meriwether Lewis National Monument.  After he and his pal Clark made their trek up the Missouri River, across the mountains to the Pacific coast, and back President Jefferson then appointed him Governor of the Louisiana Territory where he made his home in the St. Louis area.  Facing near bankruptcy he headed to Washington DC to claim reimbursement of monies that were owed to him for expenses he paid out of pocket. He started down the Mississippi on a steam boat and planned to sail from New Orleans to Washington but instead he got off at Natchez and began to take the overland route up the Natchez Trace to Nashville and then East.  While stopped at an Inn along the way he was robbed and killed near this monument in October of 1809.  You can read more at this Wikipedia page. wiki/Meriwether_Lewis

Not sure we will be able to post tonight because of the remote location.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Day two along the Trace

We entered the South end of the Natchez Trace near Natchez, MS around 2:00 pm yesterday.  Then it was up the trace for about an hour to our first campground on the Trace, Rocky Springs Campground.  It is a part of the National Park and is a free, first come first served, no hookups campsite.  There was a restroom near the entrance from the Trace for use by both the campground and travelers along the Trace.

Our site was fairly level with just a minimum of blocking necessary.  I was surprised at how full the campground was by evening time.  Because it is time for the snowbird migration from the southern clime back north toward home, this Natchez Trace is a preferred avenue for that migration.  We stopped at a picnic area today for lunch and another camper pulled in behind us.  They were from Ontario Canada and have used the Trace for several years.  They had been in the same campground last night as us and are now in the same campground we are for tonight plus they plan to be in the same campground that we will use tomorrow night.

Here are a few pics from last nights campsite.

first picture of some dogwood before I wiped the mist from the lens
 after clearing the lens but sky is cloudy so still not very bright
Our site
 Another shot of dogwood near our site
This is tonight's front yard, Davis Lake
Our site for tonight was up hill then leveled off just right for our setup to be good

Last night was without any cell signal for either phone or internet, also no television.  So it was a quiet night of reading and puzzle games with an early bedtime.  Without any electric connection we had to rely on our battery system in the camper and was so glad that we had that taken care of a few days ago.  With that system working correctly we had those few days to get our batteries fully charged and now they functioned properly.  We did fire up the generator to run our microwave at supper time.

Tonight we have both electric and water hookups and can relax while the electric hookup puts our batteries back to full charge.  Tomorrow night we have another no hookup campground and know we will be able to manage.

Driving the Trace is a pleasure.  It is a 50 mph speed limit with no commercial vehicles, no billboards, no stop lights, no Walmart stores, no gas stations, nothing but mother nature's beauty.  With the cruise control set on 50, the truck in 6th gear mostly just idling along, it is relaxing and should produce much better fuel economy.  Tonight we are a little past half way of the 444 mile length of the Trace.  The first half was full of lots of dogwood blooms along the right-of-way plus back in the undergrowth, beautiful.  About the halfway mark we began to see some red buds starting to bloom and as we progressed further north they became more plentiful while the dogwood began to not be quite as open.  We also began seeing wisteria climbing the trees and in some areas a mass of lavender to the tops.  Tomorrow's trip will continue up the Trace and our campground tomorrow will be close to the north end.