Blog

Corpus

Oct 14th

Stopped last night near Corpus Christi at the Sea Breeze campground.  We can see the Gulf out our dining room window, but the ‘breeze’ is a little off.  Red Tide has killed a lot of fish and the odor is pretty strong.  Went in to Corpus for dinner but the smell made us eat and leave.  Going back today to be tourists – USS Lexington, Science Museum, etc.

Brookshire (Houston), Texas

Oct 6th

We traveled to Brookshire, Texas, and settled in to the Houston West RV Park.  We are here for a week and going to take it easy for the rest of the day.

Oct 7th – 13th

Spent a quick week seeing everyone: Aaron brought Riley, Tommie, Tyler and Charlotte to the campground for swimming and lunch.  This was the first time Tom got to meet Aaron’s 3 daughters.  Fun time, like trying to catch 3 tornados.

Back Row - Grandpa, Tommie, Riley, Aaron. Front Charlotte, Tyler

Took the truck to John’s house in Waller for service.  He has a complete auto repair shop and did a great job.  Talked awhile with Dana, Hailey and Brandon.  They will be at the RV park Saturday for the cookout.

Brandon & John
Brandon & John
Haley in uniform
Haley in uniform
John and Dana
John & Dana

Drove in to Katy to Allison’s house and got to have pizza dinner with Alyssa while Mary and Allison were out.  John (Allison’s hubby) was working.

Allison & Alyssa
Allison & Alyssa

Saturday afternoon had hamburger/hotdog cookout with everyone but Aaron, since he had to work.  Really nice time and great to be able to sit and talk to everybody.

Sunday brunch at Allison’s and we met with Ashley (John’s daughter), her husband Adam and their new daughter Leylah.

Ashley
Ashley
Grandpa Tom and Leylah
Grandpa Tom and Leylah

Monday we had a going away lunch with Allison, and then Tuesday we packed up and headed south.  Enjoyable week, great to see everybody, and now we are anxious to get to our winter home!

College Station

Oct 4 & 5th

Today we toured the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library on the campus of Texas A&M.  The library was well done and the campus is not only huge but lovely.  The stadium alone, Home of The Aggies puts the “Big House” to shame.  It is hot and sunny here with temps in the low 90’s tomorrow.

George H.W. Bush Library
George H.W. Bush Library

We are off to Houston tomorrow to spend a week with the kids and grandkids.

Today we also have entered the 10th state on our trip to our winter destination.  Enjoying it all.

OKC

Oct. 2nd

We drove the 250 miles to Oklahoma City – a bright sunny day.  We traded the many wind turbine fields of Kansas for the gas & oil fields of Oklahoma.

Our campground was not what we expected.  Reason being they were hit by a tornado May 7th and are in the process of trying to get it all put back together.  The campground was full that day when the tornado first hit Moore Ok. once again and headed for the 28 years old Road Runner RV Park.  RV’s were tossed around like matchsticks, all destroyed.  Whereas there were no fatalities, 12 people were hospitalized with injuries.  The photos of the storms aftermath were pretty scary stuff.

Oct. 3rd

Today we toured the Oklahoma Memorial Museum, Reflecting Pool, and Field of Chairs. This is the site of the Murrah Federal Building bombing by Timothy McVeigh April 19th, 1995.  Needless to say this was a very sad, emotion packed tour that was well documented and extremely well done.

Memorial grounds where Murrah building used to stand Remembrance Wall

Downtown Oklahoma City is well appointed with many eateries, a minor league stadium for the LA Dodgers farm team, botanical gardens, art museums and much more. All in all it was an enjoyable day.

Tomorrow we are off to West, Texas, and South of Dallas / Fort Worth.  Our ultimate destination is College Station and the George Bush Presidential Library.

Abilene, KS

Oct. 1st

Today we had a great experience touring the Eisenhower Museum and Library along with the home he and his six brothers and parents grew up in.  Talk about tight quarters. We also visited the chapel where the Eisenhower’ are interred.

The museum mostly tells the stories of World War I & II and Eisenhower’ involvement, loads of artifacts and photos along with biographies of all world leaders involved.  It was a scary huge – huge war very well documented by the museum.

What did we come away with? This world never seems to learn from our past experiences.

Tomorrow we are off to Oklahoma City, OK.

Nebraska & Kansas

Sept.26th

We are in “Cornhuskers” territory, big game today and all you see is “red” shirts everywhere. How big is it? Most of the stores in the little town of York were closed – so much for our taking in the local scene. So we went to a movie instead. Nice relaxing day.

Sept 27th

We did not do much today – we watched the Fed-X Cup and were delighted to see Jordan win.  Tomorrow we are off to Salina/Abilene Kansas to see the Eisenhower Library.  We are really looking forward to this stop.

Sept. 28th

Well, so much for our trip to Abilene.  We experienced issues with our truck in Concordia, KS around 10:00 this morning and had to be towed to a Ford dealership that works on diesel engines.  We have been here all day and looks like we will spend the night as they are having trouble finding the problem.

The positive side is there are things to do here.  The welcome center has the “longest sculpted brick mural in USA”.  The bricks came from the Cloud Ceramic plant right here in Concordia.

20150929_103425 20150929_103505

The town is also famous for taking part in the Orphans Train Movement that relocated abandoned children from across the US from 1854 to 1929. We are going to tour these sites tomorrow. If you wish to learn more, go to museum@cloudcountyks.org. Hopefully, we are on our way in a timely manner tomorrow.

Sept. 29th

We again spent the day in Concordia while our truck was being worked on.  The problem was the oil pump blew a fitting.  They say we will be ready to go tomorrow at which time we will head for Abilene to finally take in the Eisenhower Library.  The folks in Concordia have been very warm and accommodating as we spent the day learning about this part of Kansas’ history.  If we had to breakdown, we did it in a good place.

Sept.30th

We finally got our repaired truck back at 2:00, said goodbye to the new friends we met and took off for Abilene taking a less major road to enjoy more of the farmland scenery. Milo, is a major sorghum crop along with corn & soy grown here in Kansas. I have traveled Kansas many times on my way to Denver east to west but find this trip north to south more scenic. It also helps to get off the major highways. The little villages are quaint and picturesque.

We arrived in Abilene around 4:00 set up camp and met our neighbors who have been full time campers for 28 years.  They have been everywhere and were a great source of information for us.

Leaving So. Dakota for Nebraska

Sept. 24th

It poured all last night and well into today and yet again tonight – enough already.  The flies are everywhere including our RV.  According to history books, Lewis & Clark coated themselves with mud to ward off the flies. Let’s hope tomorrow is a better day.

Sept 25th

Today we are off to Nebraska.  We have decided to postpone our trip to Mt. Rushmore and do it at a later date.  We had a nice day of travel down US 81 and the lovely farmland.

We crossed Missouri River in Yankton NB. This is the Missouri River Valley in the background. The Missouri River is the longest river on the continent.
We crossed Missouri River in Yankton NB. This is the Missouri River Valley in the background. The Missouri River is the longest river on the continent.

Our destination is Waco, Nebraska, at the Double Nickel Campground where we will spend the weekend.

We are also contemplating going to Oconto/Broken Bow about 150 miles away where my father’s family is from, to do some family tree research.

 

It is hard to believe we have only been gone from Michigan a week ago today.  After covering now over 1200 miles and seven states, it sure seems longer.

1,000 Miles

Sept. 23rd

We got a later start this morning than we planned – plus we got lost a few times trying to find access to interstate 90 without having to go through a major construction zone on Wisconsin/Minnesota border.

Tom is driving so I will take this opportunity to work on blog.

All in all, the scenery in Wisconsin on the Mississippi going out of town was awesome.  Minnesota has plenty of farmland but not as scenic.  There are however many, many turbine “farms” scattered all along I-90.

One of many turbine farms in Minnesota

The weather has been good up until midafternoon and we had rain but now cleared up a 4:00.  We are trying to make it to Salem SD for the night another 151 miles – a little farther than we like to travel in a day but we are trying to make up some lost time.

It is 7:30 pm and we made it safely to our destination in Salem, S.D., approx. 40 miles from Sioux Falls. Nice spacious campground and it has WiFi!  Tomorrow we head for Sioux Falls to obtain our driver’s licenses, making us official SD residents.

We have traveled 6 states, starting out in Michigan 9/18, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota 9/23 – covering a little over 1000 miles.

Our Journey Begins

Sorry for the delay in uploading blog but we have been away from Wi-Fi.

We spent 3 weeks at the Clearwater campground in Ortonville, MI, as a sort of ‘Maiden Voyage’ in our new home.  Everything seemed to go just fine and we learned a lot about RV living – hooking and unhooking the truck, emptying holding tanks, etc.  We also learned that most everyone we meet are friendly.

Clearwater #1
Passenger side view of home.
Driver side view of our home
Driver side view of our home
View of front cap and truck.
View of front cap and truck.

Sept. 18 &19th 

We left Michigan on the 18th headed for Volo Illinois to say our goodbyes to Mary’s niece and her family.

As usual, we dreaded the Chicago tollway traffic especially hauling an 8-ton 5th wheel.  We made it safe and sound without Mary needing any tranquilizers, to the Fish Lake Campgrounds and experienced some first time set up issues but these were quickly remedied.  It rained all night but Sat. dawned with plenty of sunshine and warm weather.   All in all we had a nice visit with Kismet & her family.

Sept. 20th

Sunday dawned a bright sunny day for traveling.  Our destination was La Crosse, Wis. and the Pettibone Resort on the Mississippi.  We took a route that would afford us many miles of traveling along the Mississippi and it was a lovely trip.

Pettibone Campsite B
Chairs, campfire and the Mississippi River
Pettibone Campsite
View from living room window (through the shade)
Pettibone Campsite A
Would you believe that Tom backed this in and it’s still in one piece?

Campfire and pizza, looking at the river and a couple adult beverages, ended the day and an early lights out as we were both pooped.

Sept. 21st

Another bright sunny day and we are off to my home town of Eau Claire about 2 hours away, to visit my parents’ grave, pay my respects, and take a trip down memory lane.  Needless to say, 51 years away from someplace yielded a lot of change. The hilly scenic farmland topography was spectacular.   We have decided to stay here at Pettibone another day and hopefully play some golf and get out on the Mississippi for an excursion.

Our only serious issue so far is the mosquitos. Mary and Tom’s feet and legs look as though we were goalies for a dart team.  We are trying everything we can think of to ease the itching and avoid more bites, but so far with very limited results. Stay tuned…..

Sept. 22nd

Another great day here in La Crosse.  We played a lovely golf course today that has some unique features.  First of all the 123 year old Forest Hills golf course,  is situated at the foot of Grandad Bluff and surrounded by foothills.  The most unique feature is the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway that runs smack dab right through the course.  We only played nine holes and a total of 6 lengthy trains passed through during our hour and a half round.

Tom with train in background Train approaching at golf course Train traffic at 8th hole

After our round, we made the trek to the top of Grandad Bluff.  What a panoramic view!  Photo’s attached.  Interesting facts, during the last ice age 30,000 years ago, the western part of Wisconsin was left untouched by the receding glacier leaving places like Grandad Bluff and the rocky and mountain-like features along the Mississippi.

Observation deck Grandad Bluff Grandad Bluff from Forest Hills GC Golf course, La Crosse and Mississippi from Grandad Bluff UW La Crosse from Grandad Bluff

 

Tomorrow we are on our way to South Dakota traveling most of the day across Minnesota.

Seem to have the mosquito problem solved!