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.