Saturday 8 April 2006

Our Last Day In Branson

The Neon Lights of Branson

The Titanic

More Branson Neon Lights

Dicks 5 & 10 Downtown Branson

We had another slow morning and after lunch and a movie I was watching we went into downtown Branson and went to Dicks 5 & 10 store. What a flashback! They had kaleidoscopes, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys & Bobbsey Twins books, horehound, imagine! I haven’t had horehound since Grandma Whitteker died 40 years ago! Very interesting store but packed with stuff and people and very narrow aisles. After that I walked around the shops on the main street while David took some photos.

Then we drove out to the glitzy area and I went into a Craft Mall much like the one in Bells Corners. Didn’t see anything I needed or wanted so we came back to the RV and started to get things ready to go for tomorrow.

When I got back I called my younger sister as I hadn’t heard from her in a while. There is lots of news at her house but because some people don’t know yet, I can’t publish anything.

We had decided earlier in the day that we would go into Branson to Taco Bell for dinner and then take some photos of the neon of Branson so we left around 7:00 p.m., had dinner and then took a bunch of photos of the neon lights. We got back about 9:00 p.m. so now it’s time to get things organized and get some sleep. Tomorrow’s a long day!

Our plans are to get as far as Mulberry Grove, IL so we will make it to Ohio by Tuesday.

If I don’t publish my blog tomorrow night it’s because we decided since we’re just overnighting, we wouldn’t hook up the internet satellite. We’ll see!

Friday 7 April 2006

Trip into Arkansas

Scene along US65 on the way back from Harrison, Arkansas

Sign for Dogpatch, Arkansas

Scene at Buffalo National River, Arkansas

Our site at America's Best Campground, Branson, MO taken at sunrise

We weren’t moving too fast this morning. Last night was rather scary waiting to see if the tornado was going to hit but it didn’t, thank goodness. One went south of us and most of them went north east. Gordon slept in his chair until about 1:30 a.m. and I was on the couch, still dressed just in case we had to make a hasty exit for the clubhouse building.

I finally took a photo of our site this morning just as the sun was coming up and it is shown above. I was out early for our walks as I had a nap yesterday afternoon and then slept all night.

After lunch we headed out for a drive and wound up driving into Arkansas. We stopped at a Tourist Bureau at Harrison and was told to go to the Buffalo National River that the scenery there was very pretty, so we drove there and took a few pictures. On our way there and back we drove through Dogpatch. I took a photo of the sign for fun. Then we drove back on US Route 65 and took some photos along the way. We bypassed Branson coming back and stopped for a few groceries before heading home.

It was 86F and sunny today but tonight it has clouded over and gotten cooler. There is apparently a cold front coming through.

Thursday 6 April 2006

Chandler, OK to Branson, MO in a rainstorm!

We decided to head east today as the weather forecast said 20% chance of rain and tomorrow would be worse so we were on the road by 9:00 a.m. heading east on I-44. We no sooner got onto the freeway than it started to rain. It rained all the way to Tulsa, poured through Tulsa, then stopped for a bit until we were heading east on US Route 65, then it started pouring again.

We arrived at America’s Best Campground just outside of Branson, Missouri a little before 3:00 p.m. The rain let up long enough for us to set up the RV. They have free wifi here so thankfully we didn’t have to set up the internet satellite because it started to pour again.

When we checked into the campground we were given places to go for safety as there has been tornado warnings here all day. So far so good and it appears that the tornadoes are going east and north of us. Let’s hope it stays that way. Gordon doesn’t think that tornadoes can form in the mountains and we are in the Ozarks here. Sure hope he’s right!

Around 6:00 p.m. after the rain had stopped we got in the truck and toured around Branson. It’s a glitzy showy sort of town with all kinds of shows and gimmicks but does have a lot of nice scenery around too. Regis and Joy Philbin are supposed to be here. Doubt we’ll go to see any shows, it’s just not our thing.

No photos today – too much rain!

Wednesday 5 April 2006

Amarillo, TX to Chandler, OK

Largest cross in the western hemisphere

Britten, TX leaning water tower

Oklahoma Countryside

Wind turbine

Our site at Oak Glen RV Park, Chandler, OK

We left Amarillo at 9:15 a.m. and headed east on I-40 under cloudy skies. Again it was cloudy for most of our trip and then the sun came out around Oklahoma City.

I forgot to mention yesterday that there is a restaurant in Amarillo that will give you a 72 oz. steak for free if you can eat it in an hour. They send a limo to pick you up and return you. We didn’t take advantage as neither of us could eat that much steak but it’s an interesting concept and I’m sure there are people that I know or once knew that could take advantage of this without a problem.

I’ve put some photos on the blog today that I took from the truck on the way along I-40. One photo is of the largest cross in the western hemisphere. Another is of a water tower that looks like the leaning Tower of Pisa.

I also saw a real cowboy on a horse checking on cattle but couldn’t get my camera ready in time to get a photo.

Another photo is of one of the wind turbines at a wind farm near Weatherford, TX.

We went through quite a bit of construction today but traffic was fairly light so it didn’t hold us up. It’s interesting to go from desert to areas with green grass and lots of trees. We saw creeks, rivers and a lot of standing water today that we haven’t seen in months.

I thought Oklahoma was in the plains, I guess from the song but along I-40 and then onto I-44 coming out of Oklahoma City there are a lot of hills and very red soil as you will see in one of the photos. It was actually quite pretty.

I-44 out of Oklahoma City is a turnpike which I hadn’t realized however it wasn’t very expensive. We paid $3.25 for 60 miles. We’ll probably be getting back on and heading toward Tulsa tomorrow if we don’t decide to stay another day. I wouldn’t mind taking another day off but we want to stay ahead of weather if at all possible. This is tornado country and they have already started.

So, if we’re on the road tomorrow, we’re heading to Branson, Mo. to stop for a few days. I’ve heard so much about this place and it’s only about 35 miles off the interstate and about 290 miles away so that makes it about perfect for a day’s drive.

Anyway, we got to the Oak Glen RV Park about 3:15 p.m., got set up and then took a short drive through Chandler which is a small town about 3 ½ miles from the campground and on into the countryside. Nothing especially interesting there. Oak Glen is a Passport America park - $9/night! Nice park, 50 amp service, level concrete pad but no cable. They are doing lots of work on it or at least have the plans to do the work. We get all kinds of stations from Oklahoma City though so we're not without TV.

86F here today!

That’s about it for today. Time to hit the hay!

Tuesday 4 April 2006

A Quiet Day in Amarillo

Robin on the swing - he has some nest building material in his beak

Horse statue - downtown Amarillo

Bib in the doggie walk area - he needs a haircut!

Today after walks and breakfast, I went up to the office and signed us up for another day here. So we spent the morning and part of this afternoon taking it easy, watching TV, computering and taking naps. I got to watch Bob Ross on PBS painting a scene. I love to watch him, he makes painting look so easy.

We have hazy sunshine here today, a stiff breeze and 75F temperatures and we’re back to some humidity. Sure didn’t miss that in the southwest this winter.

This afternoon I made a casserole with hot dogs, rice and frozen vegetables and put it in the slow cooker instead of the oven since it’s so warm. I like to have something ready when we’re traveling so we’ll have that for tomorrow night.

After that I realized I needed a few items from the grocery store and we were out of Contac so we went out and drove around Amarillo. Not a terribly exciting city. It has more truck stops per capita than any city I’ve seen. It is the only city for miles around though. It also has an inordinate number of McDonalds and not very many grocery stores or at least not very many that we could find. There is a SuperWalMart close by but they don’t carry Contac and I wanted to do one stop shopping so we found a United Supermarket with a pharmacy.

There are a lot of buildings all over the city that are empty and boarded up and a lot of banks in the downtown area. Amarillo is also head of the American Quarterhorse Association. In the downtown area there are a lot of horse statues much the same as Lakeland, FL had swans. Above is a photo of one of them.

This afternoon when we got back, I sat outside for a while. It was quite windy but warm so I read some of my book.

It’s really nice to be eating dinner and it’s still light out. It’s 10:00 p.m. and it’s still 74F!

Monday 3 April 2006

From Albaturkey to Armadillo

Texas Sunset on our way back to the RV Park

Mule Deer at Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Texas Longhorns

Our site at Overnite RV Park

Actually it’s from Albuquerque to Amarillo but I thought the play on words was kind of cute.

We left the American RV Park in Albuquerque at 9:20 a.m. and lost an hour when we entered Texas so we’re now on Central time. We arrived at the Overnite RV Park in Amarillo at 3:30 p.m. Central time, a distance of 301.5 miles. Once we got through Albuquerque the trip wasn’t too bad. We ran into about three instances of I-40 becoming one lane due to construction but traffic was fairly light. We had planned to go farther but we needed to stop for fuel so decided to stop for the night.

We had high cloud for most of the trip but by the time we got to our site and got set up the sun was shining and the temperature reached 72F! BONUS!

Overnite RV Park again isn’t all that pretty but very functional. The only real drawback we’ve seen so far is that it’s on a flight path. When we first arrived I thought a plane was going to land on top of the RV. Hopefully they have quit flying for the night.

When we arrived at the RV park, the office had brochures for a place called Palo Duro Canyon State Park. We were tired from the trip but decided to go and see this place as the brochure looked very interesting. We’re very glad we did! It’s more beautiful there than Big Bend National Park which has been our favorite up until now. Neither of us had heard of this place. The bonus is that there are several campgrounds with electric and water within the park and with beautiful views so it’s on our list to come back. The problem is Amarillo often gets snow so we will either have to make this our early destination in the Fall or on our way back to Ontario as we are doing this time. Some photos are above but check out my Yahoo photo site.

I think we’ve decided to stay another day here for a couple of reasons:
  1. We’re tired from spending all day in the truck. We didn’t get back to the RV tonight until 9:00 p.m. or so.

  2. It looks like an area we want to explore further.

So, enough said for tonight. Nite all!

Sunday 2 April 2006

Beautiful Sunny Sunday!

Today was a busy day. Not sure what we did but it seems like I haven’t stopped all day.

After walks this morning, I decided I needed to do laundry. I went to the campground Laundromat but there was no parking so I pulled into an empty spot for RVs across from the laundry. One of the maintenance guys told me I couldn’t park there so I went back to the RV, got my purse, and went out to a real Laundromat. Although it cost in fuel, it was cheaper and the equipment was better.

On my walks around the park in the morning I’m always looking at license plates to see where people are from and also on the lookout for different RVs. Pictured here are a couple that are different. The large C Class we’ve seen before. It’s fairly new and a couple of manufacturers are building them. The Peterbilt cab with the trailer on the back looks custom made. There’s no name on the trailer. Looks like it might be a toy hauler. They have a Volkswagen Beetle.

I came back from getting laundry done, had lunch, read a bit and then we went to the new Camping World which is just across I-40 from us. Gordon has been complaining about our water hose kinking all the time so we got a non-kink water hose. We’ve also been buying water for mostly everything except washing dishes and showering and since it’s so expensive to buy bottled water in Ontario, we bought an in line water filter which covers the whole RV rather than putting one under the sink. Our toilet last year turned blue around the rubber ring because of some chemical in their water so hopefully now that won’t happen. Now we just have to decide if we want to replace the ball in the toilet so we have a nice clean ball rather than one with a ring around it. We also got a package of bungee cords which was badly needed.

When we got back I colored my hair which I’ve been putting off for far too long and since we’re headed to places where people know me, I thought I’d better get it done. So that being done, got showered and now I’m sitting here relaxing.

72F today, beautiful and sunny!

Tonight is my favorite TV night again! Also need to get lots of rest. Our hopes are to get past Amarillo, TX tomorrow.

All in all it's been a good stay here except for my breathing problems (but that didn't start here, it actually started in Tucson). The park is clean and well maintained, private showers and bathrooms were clean. They even provide continental breakfast every morning although we didn't partake. It's just outside the city, right along I-40 but we're at the back of the park so the noise wasn't bad. Other than that it was close to downtown and Old Town and also to WalMart which is always a plus.

Last night we set the clocks ahead one hour. It's so nice to see the longer days coming!