Saturday 12 April 2008

Leg 6 - April 12th - Joplin, MO to Eureka (St. Louis), MO

We decided last night that we would probably be staying mostly at KOA's on our way back as they are open (some RV parks don't open till May1) so this morning we stopped at the office and got the KOA card which gives you a 10% discount and collects points as well.

We left Joplin KOA at 8:45 a.m. under mostly cloudy skies and a temperature of 41F. Along the way we had a few very brief period of what seemed to be sneet (a mixture of snow and sleet) but they were fleeting and there was no accumulation. We had a crosswind most of the way so our mileage ended up at 12.7 mpg.

Here are some photos I took along the way. Definitely not as much green today, the grass is more yellowish brown as we were heading basically northeast and there's lots of water in the fields.

We didn't stop.

This guy has a thing about gas stations.

Branson advertising.

I had a question last night as to whether we use the truck calculation or calculate it manually and the answer is we go by what the computer in the truck tells us.

At 1:00 p.m. we arrived at the St. Louis West KOA and got checked in. I was astounded to find out that the cost for this site is $44.00/night. With our discount we wound up paying $42.80. They take the discount off the original price for the site then add the tax. It's a nice campground but it's not wonderful and certainly not worth $44.00/night in my opinion. We were led to our site and the gentleman took our empty propane tank back on the golf cart, filled it and brought it back. We were set up on site by 1:30 p.m. so I walked up to the office to pay for the propane - $25.78! That's what we pay in Canada or at least what we paid last year. The temperature inside the RV was 44F (7C ) so I got the furnace and the electric heater going very quickly.

Most KOA's have wifi at no extra charge but it's not nearly as good as the wifi at Council Road RV Park in Oklahoma City and the daily charge for the site was a lot less!

Here are some photos I took around the campground on my way to and from paying for the propane.

Our site.

Kamping Kabins at KOA.

The train, we're in the background.

RV sites.

I was tired when I woke up this morning and tired all day so when I got back to the RV I lay down with my book but couldn't go to sleep. Go figure!

After a shower we went out to Walmart again to get a few more things and found out why this KOA is so expensive. It's right around the corner from Six Flags Amusement Park!

Today put us over the halfway point on our trip home. It seems like we've traveled farther than that and that we're almost home but we still have a long ways to go!

Our high today on the road was 43F (6C) and it's supposed to go down to freezing tonight. I hate this time of the year!

For Gordon's day in review, click here.

Friday 11 April 2008

Leg 5 - April 11th - Oklahoma City, OK to Joplin, MO

Before I start on today I just want to comment on what a nice park Council Road RV Park is. The wifi is great and fast! One of the owners, Sam, who directed us into our campsite yesterday came over to say goodbye and chat for a while. He is really into customer satisfaction! I would highly recommend this park!

On to today. We left a little later today as the RV park has no stop light at the street which gets you onto the freeway so we waited until rush hour was over and left at about 9:10 a.m. It was 54F and sunny. I even had time for a brief walk this morning and a bit of a run. We had a brief traffic back up in Tulsa where they narrowed three lanes down to one lane for a bit but we weren't stopped for long, thank goodness.

After two on the road breaks we arrived at Joplin, Missouri KOA at about 1:00 p.m. We stayed here on our way west in the Fall. They have redone most of the sites with new gravel over the winter and unfortunately where the gravel meets the grass there's a bit of a lip so of course I turned over on my foot that had been feeling a lot better lately so hopefully I didn't do too much damage to it AGAIN!

Here are some 'around the park' photos.

This is our RV with the slides in.

Here are a few photos that I took along the route today.

Did we make a wrong turn and wind up in Kentucky?

Lots of green along the way (for Jenny).

After we got set up, again it took only about 1/2 hour as they have free wifi (no satellite setup) at all sites here as well, we stopped at the local Walmart to pick up a few items then back home to get warm! It's quite windy here and we picked up cloudy skies as we were leaving Tulsa, OK. It looks like we might be traveling in some rain tomorrow.

There is quite a bit of flooding in the low lying areas around here but it's not all over the place the way the news would have you believe. The photo on the left was taken along I-44 and the one on the right, here in Joplin.

Our tail wind wasn't as good today so we only got 12.7 mpg for today's trip but that isn't half bad. In fact we had cross winds for a lot of the way.

Thursday 10 April 2008

Leg 4- April 10th - Amarillo, TX to Oklahoma City. OK

We left Amarillo this morning at about 8:30 a.m. under sunny skies and VERY HIGH WINDS (gusts up to 42 mph)! Luckily they were tail winds until about 30 miles west of Oklahoma City when they turned into cross winds. Because of the tail winds we managed about 15.2 mpg on the trip.

I-40 was very busy, lots of trucks. The first part of our return through the remainder of the Texas panhandle was boring, just flat land and much of the same for the first part of Oklahoma.

Pretty pastoral scene.

We saw a few of these wind farms along the way. This one was at Weatherdon, OK.

I took this photo wondering why the deer and antelope weren't playing here? (And yes, I need to send my camera to Sony when I get home and get the lens cleaned. It's been bugging me!)

The soil in Oklahoma is very red and the rivers and creeks run red because of it. It looks very pretty with the green grass.

The road wasn't very good in spots and when I opened the refrigerator the top had worked its way off the cheese whiz - never had that happen before! But the cupboards were okay, thank goodness.

We arrived at Council Road RV Park at about 12:45 p.m. and were set up by about 1:30 p.m. since we're not setting up any satellite dishes. They have free, fast wifi at your site and lots of TV channels just with the aerial. We were checked in by a really nice African American gentleman who guided us to our site and into our site as well. He did a really good job. There are very few people who have the knack to be able to do that. Another person who is really good at getting you placed properly in your site is Raoul at Rideau Heights Campground in Ottawa.

The sites here are quite nice with a concrete pad for your picnic table. They aren't overly wide (like at Doc Justin's in Tucson) but they will do and they are long enough for us to remain hooked but we always unhitch as Gordon doesn't like to refuel while towing.

I've had a request from Dee on rv-dreams chat to take some more photos of the campgrounds. So here are some photos of the Council Road RV Park. The office, washrooms and laundry area are in this green building and there's a picnic area that's also painted green.

In the Oklahoma City area they got 4 inches of rain yesterday so there is lots of water lying around. Our RV site is the photo on the right.

Gordon is trying to stay upright and keep his hat on in the wind. the photo on the right is the view from our back window if we had the blind open.

So we're here safely and it's still really windy but it's not raining and the sun is shining so I'm happy!

Wednesday 9 April 2008

More Sittin' and Waitin'

We decided this morning to stay put. The rain started just as I got ready to go for my walk so I just walked over to the booth to get a new envelope to pay for today. Then I sat down at the computer and listened to the rain and the thunder.

I didn't get a lot accomplished this morning but I did start going through our receipts to get them ready for the border crossing. It's a tedious, dull job but it has to be done.

Here in Amarillo they have a restaurant called The Big Texan Steak Ranch. This restaurant promises a free 72 oz steak to anyone who can eat all of it within an hour. Since 1960 over 40000 people have attempted to do this and over 7000 have succeeded! They also claim to be one of the top ten steak houses in America.

Our high today was only about 46F (8C) so I tried out the new electric throw that I bought at Walgreen's back in Tucson and it works really well. It's nice and cosy. Just as a comparison it was 52F (11C) in Ottawa today!

This afternoon we went out to get fueled up and also to buy a couple of microwave bulbs as ours had burned out. After that it was dumping the tanks and getting ready to get on the road tomorrow!

I spent a lot of the afternoon researching the remainder of our trip home and locating campgrounds along the way. Lots of people enjoy this. I don't. I don't mind looking up a campground for our next stop but because we might not have internet I've been trying to find them all along the remainder of our route. So for now, I have them lined up. Hopefully, they'll work out!

Not much to photograph today, just a rainy, cloudy Texas day which makes me appreciate all the sun we had in Arizona this winter much more!

Tuesday 8 April 2008

Just a Sittin' in Amarillo

It was cold and windy this morning! It's been a long time since I've put my splash pants on over my slacks, two coats and a toque for my morning walk but I did today! The wind made it really chilly! There's not much place to walk here so by the time I'd walked around the park about eight times, I decided to go inside.

Here are the overnighters in the park this morning.

I-40 Westbound in Amarillo.

After breakfast we went to the Dodge dealer and got the service done on the truck, then stopped at Walmart to pick up a few things. We also stopped to take a few photos that probably will have significance only to Jim of Just Travelin.

Trees in blossom.

And here's our first sighting this year of Canada geese.

The rest of the day we spent just hangin' out at the RV checking on the weather that lies ahead in our travels. I also put a roast of beef in the crockpot. Since it looks like severe thunderstorms and tornadoes for the Oklahoma City area tomorrow, if it still looks that way in the morning, we might stay here an extra day. We'll decide in the morning.

Monday 7 April 2008

Leg 3 – Tijeras, NM to Amarillo, TX

We left Tijeras, NM at about 8:10 this morning. It was 46F but nice and sunny. The trip from Tijeras to Amarillo is pretty boring, mostly flat land with prairie grass and some trees that look like junipers here and there.

About 40 miles past Tijeras you come to Cline’s Corners which is apparently the highest point on today’s drive so it’s pretty much downhill all the way to Amarillo. We also had a good tail wind (19 mpg with gusts up to 38 mph) so we averaged around 15mpg on this trip. We’ve had higher but this trip is right up there.

As we crossed the Texas state line we changed to clocks to Central Time.

We arrived at AOK RV Park around 2:00 p.m. This park is exactly as advertised. It’s nothing much but they have full hook ups, long pull thrus and 30 amp service but that’s ok for $11/night on the Passport America rate.

There are some permanent or semi-permanent trailers across the way from us that don’t look very nice but as it’s east of Amarillo it’s good for us getting out of town when we leave on Wednesday morning. Tomorrow we’ll hopefully be able to get the truck in for service and then we’re on the road again.

The campground is located on the approach to the airport so the planes are flying quite low over our RV but we've been here nearly three hours now and it hasn't been too bad.

For Gordon's update for today, click here.

Sunday 6 April 2008

Leg 2 – Deming, NM to Tijeras, NM

We were on the road this morning at 8:35 a.m. Our truck thermometer said 48F (9C) when we started but quickly changed to 55F (13C ).

We took S.R. 26 from Deming over to Hatch which is on I-25 and north from there to Albuquerque then east about 20 miles to Tijeras which is what I would call a suburb of Albuquerque. S.R. 26 is kind of cute in that it has a ‘town’ called Nutt and the road ends at Hatch so it is the Nutthatch Road? The town of Nutt appears to have one building.


Here's some artwork along the road in Deming.

Green fields along the way. It's been a long time since we've seen green fields.

After you get on I-25 there are two towns called Derry and Arrey so I took a photo of the sign – also cute! Each town gets first place on a sign!

We crossed the Rio Grande at least twice.

Interesting mountain just before you get to Albuquerque.

We arrived at Hidden Valley RV Resort at about 1:15 p.m., got checked in and were set up well before 2:00 p.m. since we didn’t set up the internet satellite.

Then off to the showers before it got any colder – it was 63F (17C ) here this afternoon.

So here we are with Leg 2 under our belts. Sure hope things keep going well!

For Gordon's web page for today, click here.