Saturday, September 15, 2012

September 14, 2012

Jim and I took the Casita to my mom’s house and left it there.  Our trip is over and I will miss all the traveling.  Jim went home with the Silverado and I took mom’s clothes back to her.  I stopped at Jack in the Box and got her some tacos and onion rings for lunch.  I did a few errands for her and then went back to the Casita and spread a bag of fire ant granules around the Casita on the ground.  It is now stored in the country instead of on cement at a storage lot and I don’t want to take a chance of ants taking up residence in our little trailer.

Some statistics for our trip:

Days traveled                                                    113

Miles traveled                                               11,635

Brewpubs/brewpubs visited                                 68

Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives visited                            4

States Visited                                                   13

National Historic Sites/Parks visited                    25

Postcards mailed to mom                                  76

Pictures taken                                              8,947

Average Campground cost per night             $13.56

Total $ spent on gasoline                        $2,930.64

Average miles per gallon                                 14.2

5 presidential sites visited:

     Truman   - library, museum and grave

     Hoover   - library, museum and grave

     Ford        - library, museum and grave

     Lincoln   - library, museum and grave

     Clinton   - library and museum


September 13, 2012

Jim fixed pancakes for Elton and me this morning and I fixed some bacon to eat with them.  Jim and I went to mom’s house and moved a lot of flat stepping stones to the front of the barn so we would be able to park the Casita on it when we take it there to store it.  We went back to my brother’s house and got cleaned up and then went to get mom for her doctors appointment.  She will be going into the hospital after her Monday doctors appointment to try and get the sore on her leg healed.  She has been dealing with it for about two months.  They will debride the sore and then stitch it up.  They will also shave part of her ankle bone off -- they think the infection might be in the bone around the wound also.  We took her back to the nursing home and played bingo.  Jim and Elton went back to my brother’s house and I cleaned and straightened up my mother’s dresser drawers.  I fixed supper for us while Elton and Jim watched the football game and I washed three loads of mom’s clothes.

September 12, 2012

We read the paper and drank coffee with my brother this morning.  I cleaned the floors and bathroom in the Casita and then washed the sheets and put them back on.  I helped Jim replace some rivets on the Casita.   After lunch and showers, Elton, Jim and I went to see mom.  Her sister Ina and Ina’s daughter Jan came to see mother today.  They live in Scurry, Texas, not far from Rice and very close to Canton. We had coffee in the dining room at the nursing home and then we all walked to Baytown Seafood and had supper.  On the way over we walked through a parking lot by a grocery store and found a geocache.  We went back to my brother’s house and Jim and I cleaned off the lovebugs again from the front of the Silverado.  Elton had taped three episodes of DDD and I watched them.

September 11, 2012

The camp host is back -- he had a problem with his trailer and went to get it fixed.  We got ready and cleaned out the gray and black water tanks really good and then washed the black love bugs off the front of the Silverado.  We left Louisiana and got to mom’s in Liberty, Texas at 2:00 PM.  My brother Elton, Jim and I walked across the street to have a consultation with her doctor about the operation that is to be done on mother’s ankle.  We took the Casita to Elton’s house and then set it up there.  Martha was going to Porter to finish cleaning out her mother’s trailer and she came by Elton’s for a while and talked.  Allen came by after he got off work and then Jim went with him back to mom’s house to get our Toyota Avalon.  When Jim got back he grilled a couple of steaks and some chicken for Elton and us to eat for dinner.  We will be at my brother’s house at least until Friday and maybe Saturday.

September 10, 2012

I fixed breakfast and we sat outside at the picnic table.  It is finally cool enough to be able to eat outside.  The camp host in our loop left this morning but the other host came by and introduced himself.  We drove into Alexandria and went to Walgreens to fill a prescription for me.  On the way to town we passed a lot of cotton fields. Then we drove to Silver Dollar Pawn Shop that is featured on Cajun Pawn Stars on the History Channel.  We looked around but didn’t buy anything.  They were filming by the gun cases today and I saw Jimmy (the owner of the shop) behind the counter.

We had lunch and then found three geocaches.  In one of them we picked up a Smoothie King punch card that was full of punches and had enough for a free smoothie.  We will use it when we get back home.  We drove downtown to a bar and had an Abita Brewing beer then went to the local American Legion and talked to people there.  The commander of the VFW bought us a beer.  (The VFW is closed on Monday.)  We drove back to Walgreens and picked up my medicine and then headed back to camp.  We stopped for supper a few miles before the turn off to camp at Tunk’s Cypress Inn.  Jim had all you can eat fried catfish and I had the senior grilled chicken with shrimp fettuccini.  I wanted their bread pudding with rum sauce but I was too full.  We will be going to my brother’s house in Dayton tomorrow.  Mom is having some problems with a sore by her ankle that won’t heal and they may have to do a little surgery.  She has two more doctor’s appointments on Thursday and on Monday to decide what to do.


Monday, September 10, 2012

September 9, 2012

After breakfast and showers we hooked up and left this nice campsite on the Arkansas River.  We drove to Gardner, Louisiana near Alexandria to the Kistachie National Forest – Kincaid Lake Campground.  We have stayed here before and always in site #25.  This is one of only a couple that has a view of the lake.  There are only three other campers here in this loop and the camp host. The other loop only has a camp host in it and no campers.  After setting up Jim paid a bill and I sat outside.  We had leftovers for supper and then took a walk.  We watched the Broncos and Steelers on TV.  

Saturday, September 8, 2012

September 8, 2012

Last night around 9:45 pm we had a very big windstorm.  It was coming from the west and it had already produced 80-100 mile an hour wind gusts with some damage.  Lots of people in northwest Arkansas were without electricity.  By the time it got to us the winds had died down some but it was still blowing hard.  At 10:30 pm it started to rain and when I checked the rain gauge this morning it had 1 inch in it.  It is also much cooler today, finally.  Around noon we drove to Dumas about 10 miles away and got some groceries and went to the Dollar General.  We also had lunch at Subway.  We went back to camp and I got some wood from a campsite next to us.  We watched the tugs on the river.  I cleaned the bathroom and kitchen while Jim surfed the internet.  After supper we had a nice fire.  There is no one around us and it was nice to sit outside and look at the stars and listen to the owls, crickets and coyotes.  There was no noise from people, music or dogs.  It was a very nice relaxing day.

Friday, September 7, 2012

September 7, 2012

After breakfast we walked down the river trail along the Arkansas River on the North Little Rock side.  We crossed the river at another pedestrian bridge.  On the bridge we found a geocache.  The last couple of people couldn’t find it -- one guy had over 2,000 finds.  I found it.  We walked along the river on the Little Rock side and crossed again on the Clinton Presidential Bridge.  In the park in front of the Clinton Library there was another geocache.  Jim found it.

We hooked up and drove to Pendleton, Arkansas and got a site at an Army Corps of Engineers park on the Arkansas River.  Jim splurged for one of the three premium spots on top of the levee and we have a great view of the river. The river is not visible from all the other sites in the park.  We sat around camp a while and then drove to the Arkansas Post National Memorial.  This was a trading post established in 1686 by the French (before the founding of New Orleans).  It was the seat of the Arkansas Territory’s government until it was moved to Little Rock in 1821.  The Union won a battle was here in 1863 which helped them control the nearby Mississippi River.  After the Civil War the town declined and today there are no structures left other than a water cistern.  The old Confederate fort site is now underwater due to erosion from the Arkansas River.

There are a lot of rice fields around camp and the road into the park has a rice hopper where the large trucks bring rice from the fields.  Then it is loaded onto barges and floated down the Arkansas River.   There is hardly anyone in this park camping.  The park host says it get full during hunting season.

September 6, 2012

We got the coffee made and then walked over the Clinton Presidential Bridge.  There is a geocache in the middle above the Arkansas River.  We found it and forgot to bring a pen.  We went back to the Casita, had breakfast and then walked back across the bridge to the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum.  We signed the geocache on the way over.  The lady in the museum said she thought Clinton was going to be there tomorrow.  There were a lot of people running around today getting things ready for him.  He has an apartment on the top of the library.  We went through the museum.  Jim said he noticed that there was no mention of Clinton’s dalliance with Monica Lewinsky in the White House.  He said there were a few paragraphs about Clinton's impeachment, portraying it as a rabid right wing witch hunt, but that nothing was said about why he was impeached (lying to congress).  Jim thought this was  a whitewash of history.

After going through the museum we walked back across the bridge to the Casita and had lunch.  We then went to the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site.  This is where there was a school integration crisis in 1957. Nine black students were to be admitted to the school by order of the Little Rock School Board in accordance with the Supreme Court’s Brown vs. the Board of Education decision ending segregation in public schools.  Arkansas’ governor Faubus ordered the Arkansas National Guard to prevent the black students from entering the school in order to prevent violence from breaking out among the protesting segregationists.  President Eisenhower ordered in elements of the Army’s 101st Airborne to enforce the students’ admission.  He also federalized the Arkansas National Guard.  The historic site also included a restored Magnolia gas station.  This place was a hangout for all the reporters who covered the crisis.  It had a pay phone they used to call in their stories.

We went to the Clinton Museum Store and got a postcard to send to mom.  Then we went to Vino’s brewpub, had a beer and talked to the brewer.  He showed us his brewery and gave us a new beer not for sale yet.  We gave him a Southern Star beer from Conroe.  In the parking lot across from Vino’s we found a geocache.  It was rush hour so we drove a couple of miles down the road to a VFW and sat for a while and had another beer.  We found a geocache a block away and then went back to the Casita and I fixed supper.  We sat out by the Arkansas River after supper on a park bench and had a glass of wine as the sun was going down.  We talked to some people in the park for the Razorback game on Saturday.  They said they knew Bill Clinton.


September 5, 2012

We left the Ozark National Scenic Riverway today and drove to North Little Rock, Arkansas.  On the way we stopped at Mammoth Springs and found a geocache in the park.  There are lots of springs in this part of the country.  They sure are a pretty aqua blue.  We got a site at the city RV park on the Arkansas River in North Little Rock.  The park is by a bridge that leads you over the Arkansas River to the Clinton Library, downtown Little Rock, and the Market District.  Next to us is the Verizon Arena.  All are within walking distance.  (The park is only $11.50 if you belong to Passport America).  It was too hot too walk, though, so we drove across the river.  It was 101 degrees today.  After getting to the RV park at 3:00 PM we just stayed inside the Casita until around 6:45 PM.  It took a while for the Casita to cool down.  We went to Boscos Brewpub and then to the Flying Saucer and watched the first half of the Cowboy game.  We went back to the Casita and called Allen about the mail and finished watching the Cowboy game.  At 9:00 PM it’s still 92 degrees.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

September 4, 2012

There were only four of us camping in the park’s 123 spaces last night.  After breakfast and showers we hooked up and drove to Alley Spring Campground in the Ozark National Scenic Riverway.  After picking out a campsite and setting up we had lunch and then went to see this part of the park.  We drove to where the Jacks Fork River and the Current River merge.  Then we drove to Rocky Falls and Blue Spring.  Blue Spring is so deep that the Statue of Liberty could stand in it and not poke above the water.  It was 94 degrees today and very humid.  We stopped at Margie’s Place in Eminence and had a beer and watched some TV to see the local weather forecast.  Near camp is Alley Mill and Alley Spring.  We visited these before returning to camp.  Jim grilled turkey burgers and we had baked beans and mac and cheese with them.  There are 168 campsites in this campground and there are only three of us camping here.

September 3, 2012

Jim made pancakes for breakfast this morning.  He always does a good job.  Everybody is getting ready to leave camp today.  It should be really quiet tonight.  We drove to Big Spring where the water just gushes out of an underground cave.  This is one of the largest springs by volume in the world – its average flow is 288 million gallons per day.  Then we stopped at the historic CCC cabins and dining hall.  We went back to the visitor’s center and got some information on the other campgrounds and then looked at the Current River.  

On the way back to the Casita Jim drove us on Skyline Drive.  At camp we got our swimsuits and ebooks, chairs and cooler of beer.  Then we went back to the dining hall to have lunch.  Jim had a chicken sandwich with fries and I had a grilled cheese, onion and tomato sandwich with fries.  Jim got pecan cobbler ala mode and I got blackberry cobbler. After lunch we went to swim in the Current River. The water was cold and fast but it felt good to get wet and then sit in our chairs and read and watch boats, jet skis, canoes, and rafters in the river.  We went back to camp and fixed supper and watched a movie on the DVR.

September 2, 2012

We got two inches of rain last night.  After breakfast this morning we decided to go ahead and leave today and try to get a camping site at Ozark National Scenic Riverway in Missouri.  We hooked up, dumped and left.  On the way we stopped at Bollinger Mill State Historic Site.  There is an old mill here and a covered bridge.  They were in the process of restoring the bridge.  We continued on and stopped at the visitor’s center for the national park and picked up a map and some information on the nearby campground.  There are six loops in the campground and only loop 2 has electricity.  All of the sites were occupied or reserved.  Three sites were reserved from 8-31 until 9-3 but were empty.  We drove to check out the boondocking sites and a guy followed us.  He told us his brother left this morning and had the last site in loop two reserved until tomorrow.  We got his brother’s site.  We don’t have any TV here so we will watch recorded shows on the DVR tonight.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

September 1, 2012

We only got ¼ inch of rain last night.  We stayed around camp until around noon and then found a geocache in the park by the dam at the lake.  Then we found another one on the way to the town of Golconda.  It was in the woods, in a small container, hanging 6 feet in a tree.  We went to some antique stores in Golconda and saw the Ohio River.  We had a beer at a bar and watched some TV and then we found a geocache in a small park by a basketball court.  A boy was shooting hoops by himself and asked if we were geocaching.  He knew where the one we just found was. Then we looked for four more geocaches in this town and didn’t find any of them.  One was supposed to be at the base of a really large maple tree in a cemetery but we couldn’t even find that one.  We rarely fail in finding geocaches.  Jim thinks someone found them and got rid of them.  We did find another terrapin, though.

We went back to camp and had supper.  Part of our drive today was on the “Trail of Tears”.  This was the route of the forced relocation in the 1830s of southern U.S. Indian tribes to reservations in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma).  The sun was shining off and on all afternoon and it was hot.  After returning to the Casita there were a lot of weather advisories on TV.  Severe weather was headed straight for us from the west and when it started to rain, Jim and I got in the Silverado and headed for the brick restroom.  We sat outside in the truck and watched the radar on his Ipad.  All of a sudden our phones rang and they had a text message from Verizon --  “Extreme Alert – Tornado Warning – Take Cover Immediately”.  We got out of the truck and went into the ladies room and sat on the bench in a shower.  The shower had more walls around it and away from the windows.  We stayed inside until the warning had expired and then we drove back to the Casita.  It is still raining at 8:30 pm.  Jim is following the UT/Wyoming game on his phone.

Friday, August 31, 2012

August 31, 2012

After breakfast this morning we walked around the campground.  I found a terrapin on the road and I moved it onto the grass so it wouldn't get run over.  We noticed an empty site close to the lake.  The lake is really down because of the lack of rain.  We moved the Casita to the other site.  We hung around camp a while and then drove to Paducah, Kentucky.  On the way we stopped at Metropolis, Illinois and saw a large statue of Superman.  We found a geocache near the Superman statue.

We drove to downtown Paducah and went into a few antique stores.  We also walked to the river where the Ohio and Tennessee rivers merge. We stopped at the visitor information center and got a map of Kentucky and of Paducah.  They told us where to find the VFW and we drove there, had a beer and talked to the people.  After leaving the VFW we found three more geocaches.  One was at Grace Episcopal Church and one was at an old house’s detached kitchen which was used as a jail during the civil war.  We went to Walmart and picked up some groceries and then back to camp.  It just started raining.  The remnants of Hurricane Isaac are supposed to bring rain tonight, tomorrow and on Sunday.

August 30, 2012

Last night was just fine -- no noise and we slept well.  We didn’t unhook last night so it was easy to leave this morning.  We left and drove into Vincennes to visit Grouseland.  This house built was built in 1803 and was the house where William Henry Harrison lived when he was the Indiana Territorial Governor.  It was the first brick house in the Indiana Territory and was the site where Harrison negotiated purchases by the U.S. of huge tracts of land from the Indians.  He then went on to be our 9th president.  Harrison died of pneumonia less than one month after he was sworn in as President. He was the oldest elected president up until Ronald Reagan. John Tyler assumed the presidency when he died. The very long and informative tour lasted about two hours.  We just wanted to tour the house, not take a history course on William Henry Harrison.  We were the only ones on the tour until half way through and then another man joined us.  This made us leave rather late for the Lincoln site we wanted to see next.  No pictures were allowed in the house. 

After the tour we drove to the Lincoln Boyhood Home National Historical Park in Lincoln City, Indiana.  This is where Abraham Lincoln’s father brought the family when Abe was four years old.  Lincoln’s mother died from milk sickness and is buried here.  A cow eats the white snakeroot plant and it contains tremetol, a poison to animals and humans.  Humans drink the milk from the cow or eat its meat and it causes nausea, and vomiting, and sometimes coma and death.  Lincoln’s father married a family acquaintance a while later, a widow with three children.  She helped instill the love of reading to Lincoln.  The house is not there any more but the national park system has put up a cabin site memorial.

We needed to find a campsite for the weekend that didn’t take reservations because of the holiday weekend.  Jim found a national forest campground that has electricity and we drove there.  We passed the ranger station at 5:15 and they had closed at 5:00.  They came out and helped us anyway.  We drove to Shawnee National Forest, Lake Glendale Recreation Area, Oak Point Campground near the small town of Dixon Springs, Illinois.  We got here at 6:00. They had quite a few sites left and we got one with some land and trees surrounding us to buffer us from the other campers.  It’s also close to the restrooms and showers.  Because of the trees, we don’t get any satellite reception for TV but we do have a lot of shows recorded on the DVR.  It got to 97 degrees today.