Unfortunate Events

Good morning. Wow! What a gorgeous day it is going to be. A clear bright sunshiny day with a high of 80º. You can’t get much better than that.

Day 144. We took our time leaving the Walmart parking lot in Seymour, Indiana because we knew we only had about a 3 hour drive to reach our daughter Karen’s. We didn’t want to arrive too early, as she works nights and we wanted to let her get some sleep. It was about 10 am after we filled up with gas at the Murphy’s next door and we were on the road.

We stopped at the Midway rest area off I-64 around noon for lunch. It was crowded with truckers who had the same idea. When we arrived at the Berea, Kentucky exit we stopped to fill up the motorhome with propane at the Old Kentucky Campground which is right off the exit. With that accomplished our next stop was Walmart right down the road. They have a nice big parking lot for us to unhook the toad. It is much easier to do it there than it would be in front of our daughter Karen’s house, as she lives on a fairly busy narrow road. Our campground for the next couple weeks is her driveway.

Unfortunately everything did not go smoothly when trying to unhook the toad. Clyde had problems getting the pins out that keep the car hooked up to the motorhome and it was taking him a lot longer than it normally does. He also was not thinking clearly. Why, I have no idea. But, anyway, he didn’t follow through the unhooking procedure in the order he was supposed and missed a very important step. He forgot to put the car in park after removing the braking system from inside the car and before he unhooked the car from the motorhome. I think you can see where this is going. He needs to make himself a check list and refer to it each time he unhooks or something so this never happens again. The car, still in neutral, started to roll. Clyde tried to jump in and stop it but was knocked down by the open door of the car. The car then ran over his left foot. The car didn’t go very far and stopped at a curb.

The car sustained a few scrapes but otherwise is fine. Clyde on the other hand has a large bruise on his thigh from the car door when it knocked him to the ground. He stayed on the ground for quite a while accessing his injuries. He told the crowd forming that he was ok and didn’t need the police or ambulance. We kept telling him the car ran over his foot but he didn’t believe us. He didn’t remember that happening. When he got up off the pavement he seemed to be ok. He was walking with only a slight limp.

By then, our daughter Karen and her husband Rob had arrived. Karen rode with her dad in the motorhome. I followed behind in the car and we proceeded to Karen and Rob’s where we would be parked for the next couple of weeks.

Later that evening, after setting up, visiting with the family and enjoying dinner together, Clyde realized his foot was starting to swell and it was beginning to hurt. We had him elevate it and put ice on it.

I think today we will take the stubborn old guy to the ER for an x-ray like he should have done yesterday. I will let you all know what happens. And just yesterday I mentioned how it wasn’t a very exciting day and how that can be good sometimes.

Still loving our lifestyle. Have a great day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

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Seymour, Indiana

Good morning. Today is the final leg of our journey to visit our daughter Karen and her family in Berea, Kentucky. As we traveled more than 1/2 way yesterday, that leaves us only about 165 miles to go, about 4 hours give or take.

The weather is finally nice once again. I just hope it stays that way for a while. With temperatures around 75º today and 80º Friday, who can complain.

Day 143. On travel days we like to be on the road by around 9 am. We dumped our tanks and had the toad hooked up ready to leave the park on time. Then we had a little hick-up, which delayed us a short bit. No biggy. We are retired remember. We do things on our time. Besides, by 10 am we were gassed up and on our way.

We took our time, had lunch at the Farmland rest area in Illinois just before we hit the Indiana border. PB&J for us now. No more eating out all the time. We are back to the basics, home cooking, which isn’t all that bad.

I was able to do a little beading while we were on the road. At times it becomes a little challenging to thread a bead with the condition of some of these roads. We were bouncing all around. No matter, I still enjoyed myself.

We stopped for the night a little before 5 pm having traveled a total of 291 miles to the Seymour, Indiana Walmart. 5 pm isn’t a bad time. It gives us plenty of time to heat up our leftovers and eat our dinner. Then we like to go into the Walmart to do a little shopping. As I’ve said before, it is nice for us because we can get a few things we need before arriving at our next destination and it is a way for us to show Walmart our appreciation for allowing us to spend the night in their parking lot.

This is a busy Walmart with many truckers coming and going. There is another motorhome here also. It is an easy in and out also. That is always a big plus.

If you wanted to eat out you could walk to Steak ‘n Shake. We watched a few of the truckers do just that. There is also Applebee’s across the street.

Not a very exciting day I’m afraid, but sometimes that’s a good thing. Loving our lifestyle. Have a great day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

Goodbye Peoria

Good morning. Today is a travel day. Our destination is Berea, Kentucky to see our daughter Karen and her family. Berea is about 455 miles from here, which is too far for us to travel in one day. We would like to go at least halfway or maybe a little further today. How far we travel in a day is always dependent upon the weather and the traffic. We plan on spending the night in a Walmart parking lot. We can usually find a Walmart that is conveniently located right off the expressway and has plenty of parking space. That way we do not have to unhitch the toad and we are able to get a little shopping in before we settle down at our next destination spot. I like to locate 2 or 3 different Walmart stores ahead of time to give us options.

Day 143. Our last day with Scott and Tina was bitter-sweet. We sure enjoyed our time with them and we hate to say goodbye. We didn’t get to see Scott’s wife Melissa, as she works late, so our goodbyes with her were made on Sunday.

We went over to Tina’s house in the morning, while she was at work, to take showers and do a couple of loads of laundry. With the state park not having the water turned on for the season just yet, we’ve needed to impose on Tina (she doesn’t mind a bit). We are also able to use her washer and dryer. As we had just washed our clothes on Sunday, this day we only needed to wash our sheets and rugs. The rugs seem to get dirty faster when you live in a motorhome even if we try to take our shoes off at the door. I also wash Patty Pepper’s blankets with the rugs. Because she is a pug, and pugs are notorious for shedding, her blankets get disgustingly dirty very quickly.

While we were waiting for the laundry to finish drying, Scott came over to see us. It was lunchtime and we were all hungry so we did what we do best-went out to eat. Scott took us to a little diner close by called Lucky Dog’s Pub and Eatery. It’s a burger joint with good food and a very nice wait staff.

Later for dinner we met up again with Scott, Tina, Jo and her 2 boys for dinner. For our last meal together they decided to go all out and took us to Osaka Hibachi & Sushi Bar. It was a fun place to go with our large group. We all enjoyed watching our food be prepared in front of us and the comical performance the chef put on while doing it.

Saying goodbye was hard. It never seems like we have enough time together. The only thing that makes it any easier for me is knowing that in a few months time we will be back again for another visit.

On our drive home (back to the campground) I was pleasantly surprised to spot the same owl I had seen the other day and I was able to get a picture of him before he flew off. It was as if he was posing for me.

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How cool is that! I just love spotting wildlife and being able to capture the moment with my camera (this time it was only my phone camera).

I best get my move on. I’ve got a few things to do before we head off. Loving our lifestyle. Have a great day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

 

 

200 Days as Full-Time RV’ers

Good morning. It is hard to believe that we have been living full-time in our motorhome for 200 days now. That is a little more than 6 months of living in a home that is smaller than most studio apartments.

As with any new adventure, we wondered if we were making the right decision. I wondered if we would both enjoy the new lifestyle, would we be able to get along in such a small space 24/7, would we be able to find a place to stay every night.

So far, I can say I do not regret our decision to sell our home and purchase a motorhome. I believe we found the perfect motorhome for us. I love the interior layout, color scheme and wood cabinets. We have adequate storage space and seating. The motorhome is not too big or too small.

As many of you know, we tossed around different ideas as to what type of RV would be best for us. I love the layout and space in a 5th wheel, but you need a very large truck to pull one. A travel trailer was another option, but again you need a truck which we did not own. Purchasing a truck and an RV was an option we quickly vetoed.

We decided on a motorhome for a number of reasons. The main reason is the ease of setting up and tearing down. As we are getting older, that is very important to us. We are also self-sufficient. We have a generator, inverter, 50 amp, propane tank and so much more. We can stop at any time and not have to do anything if we choose.

Once we decided a motorhome would be the best option for us we started looking at them. We told a friend, who is also a motorhome salesman, what we were looking for. It wasn’t too long after that our motorhome became available. Because nice used motorhomes go very quickly we didn’t hesitate after we walked through it. I knew it was “the one” right away. It was exactly what I was looking for.

We have had some issues we’ve needed to have taken care of, but then when you own a home you also have maintenance and repairs constantly also. Owning a motorhome has certainly been a learning experience for both of us. And, we are still learning. It was really overwhelming in the beginning. I think we are both feeling more relaxed and comfortable now that we are becoming accustomed to how everything works.

Living in our small space isn’t as hard as one might think. I love my kitchen. Even though I don’t have as much counter space as I would like, I make do. Sometimes it’s a pain to find the right pot or pan or bowl. I have to empty the cabinet to find what I am looking for. I thought I might miss not having an oven, but the combo convection/microwave oven works just fine.

Moving around and seeing new places has been good for us.  Each place has had something different for us to see or do. We have stayed in State Parks, Corps of Engineering parks, private campgrounds, Walmart parking lots. We have been asked where and what we have enjoyed the most so far. That is a difficult question. We can’t say. We have enjoyed every place we have been for different reasons. That is the excitement and joy of our adventures.

Sometimes we are by ourselves. Sometimes we have been with friends or family. But, all the time we have the same bed to sleep in at night. It is our home. No regrets. I love our new lifestyle. And, yes, I would do it all over again.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

Wakonda State Park

Good morning. We enjoyed another very quiet night. We are in Wakonda State Park, which is located in northeastern Missouri. Again, we are the only campers in the park. This park, like Lake Wappapello State Park, also utilizes the honor system when paying for your campsite. We chose a very large site on the water with 50 amps, water and sewer hookups, picnic table, charcoal grill, fire pit and a nice level pad. The water is turned off for the winter, but a sign says potable water is available at the rangers station.

Day 124. This was another travel day and again, we weren’t able to get as early of a start as we would have liked. This laid back lifestyle is spoiling us. After dumping and filling the potable water tank we were ready to make the long scary ride up and down the hills (which seemed like mountains to us). We decided not to hook up the toad until we were back on the main highway. That worked out great. There was a nice long stretch of highway with an extra wide shoulder where we felt save enough to hook up. It was a little after 10 am when we were finally on our way.

 

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Leaving Lake Wappapello State Park

The drive itself went smoothly, with only occasional rain and very little construction or traffic. We made the usual stops for gas, lunch and then again in Hannibal, Missouri at Walmart for a few groceries before arriving at our destination. It was a long day; 7 hours on the road and 274 miles traveled. The good thing was it was still daylight and the weather was cool but nice.

 

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Wakonda State Park – Campsite #103

 

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View from our campsite

 

 

We have not decided how long we will be staying here. We would like to check out the area before heading out, but the weatherman is predicting rain for the next couple of days. The problem is, he isn’t predicting anything nicer for our next stop in Peoria, Illinois. They could get all rain or snow or both. Ugh. I guess we left the sunny warm weather in Texas a little too soon. Yes, Steve. You did say that.

Still loving our lifestyle. Have a great day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

Missouri Wildlife

Good morning. Today we are heading a little further north to another Missouri state park. We have explored and seen all that there is here during this time of year. It’s time to move on and explore another area.

Day 123. As Clyde was taking Patty Pepper out for her first thing in morning walk he noticed three deer right in our backyard. He quietly called me on my phone to alert me to his findings and I was able to get a few pictures of them from our motorhome window. They weren’t very big and seemed as curious about us as we were about them.

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Later in the day I was able to get a couple of pictures of the two birds I had seen yesterday.

We have enjoyed our stay here, in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains.

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Loving our lifestyle. Have a great day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

 

 

Lake Wappapello State Park

Good morning. What a quiet night. Not even an owl hooting. The only sound we heard was the furnace turning on and off. It looks like we have only a slight chance of rain this morning and then cloudy sky’s with a high of only 49. Tomorrow sunny and a high of 53 if we decide to stay one more day.

Day 121. We had decided before we left the Walmart in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas that we would like to find a campground not too far into Missouri, which would be around lunchtime. We were hoping to get into the Corps of Engineering Campground in Greenville, but we could not get anyone to answer the phone so we did not know if they were open or if they had any available sites. We knew there were State Parks in the area also, but again we didn’t know if they were open. We decided to do what we do best and just wing it.

I was having a hard time finding the exact location for the Corps of Engineering Campground. Our Corps book gave vague directions and google maps was not cooperating either. Usually I have no problem getting directions. As we drove we saw a sign for a State Park and decided to go for it. We had no idea what we were in for. The road to the park was “white knuckle” the entire way. We went up very steep inclines, down the same “hills”, no shoulders, straight down drop offs, and the road wound in and out and all around. We were going deeper and deeper into the woods. It seemed like it took forever to find the park. Our favorite type of driving-not.

When we finally arrived and saw cars and people we took a sigh of relief. We just sat there for a few minutes to let our stomachs settle before going in to see if we could get a site. I know I teased Clyde for not wanting to go into the mountains, but if we were both this nervous driving in the hills of Missouri, I don’t think I’m cut out for going through the mountains in our motorhome either.

The park ranger was very nice. She told us yes they were open and to just go find a site and set up. They use the honor system to pay. After you set up you fill out an envelope, add your cash or check and drop it in the box. We were happily surprised to find out it was only $8 a night with 30 amp electric for us, as senior citizens. They have a dump station and a place to fill up with potable water if we need it.

We got back in our motorhome and took another deep breath. We had to go up another very steep hill to get to the campsite. I think we were holding our breath, hoping we would make it all the way up. Like The Little Engine that Could, “I think I can, I think I can”.

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Road to Campsites

There was only one other camper and they were leaving as we were coming in. We had our choice of any site. The problem was all the sites seemed to be next to a cliff, not easy to get into or very level. A couple of sites were pull-through. We decided one of those would work best for us, as we knew they were long enough for us to fit into. We had just gotten set up and leveled out when it started to rain. Boy did we time that good. We only drove about a hundred miles, but some of them were very stressful. We were glad to be set up and have a place to relax for a couple of days.DSC_0022DSC_0025DSC_0026

The park itself is deep in the forest on Lake Wappapello. So far we haven’t seen much wildlife. It is so tranquil here. A perfect place to be one with nature. And, Patty Pepper won’t have anyone to bark at. Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn