Cuivre River State Park

On May 18th we left Arrow Rock State Historical Site and drove to Cuivre River State Park in Troy MO. Ran into some heavy rain on the way there. The drive back to the campground is a long but beautiful drive but I had been told to skip the main entrance and take the next road followed by additional instructions that we somehow messed up. We actually came on the secondary campground entrance from the wrong direction. I tried to pull but there were two problems. 1) There was sign that said not to use that entrance plus since I was turning right from the right lane I could not make the turn. I was towing the Jeep so I was not able to back up. We had to disconnect the Jeep (which was blocking the right lane). I was than able to back up and we started on the road again trying to figure out how to get in. I put it into the GPS and followed the instructions which then took me down a road that turned into a stone and gravel road. It was basically a deadend. I did manage to turn around and set the GPS to take me back to Troy so that I could start over. The road I took actually teed (is this spelled right?) into the main road through the park (but I didn’t know it was the main road) so I turned left instead of right and ended up back at the main entrance. Beth drove across and asked at a gas station and got directions. I turned around and took the main road and simply followed the signs. What was supposed to be a shortcut turned out to cost us about 45 minutes. But we go there. Set up was a bit of pain in the butt because as stated earlier it had rained and there was standing water. But we did get set up. That evening the group drove into Moscow Mills to a place called Chubby’s. They had a buffet with a wide variety of food but the food was just okay.

On Saturday morning, May 19, we drove back to Saint Peters to pick up the Focus that was in the shop for a check engine light. We took the Jeep home and drove back to the campground with the Focus. That evening we had a pitch-in (pot luck) at one of the member’s campers. Fortunately the weather was good. The pitch-in was followed by a quick business meeting and than by a campfire.

Sunday morning we got up, said our goodbyes, and drove to Lost Valley Lake where we planned to spend the next three weeks. But that will come on the next posting.


Mid May – Camping at Arrow Rock MO

May 14th started out with a trip to the chiropractor and then to our financial planner. Beth and I both closed out our 401K accounts and moved them into an IRA account at the bank. I had to sign some papers for mine. As soon as we were done we loaded up the camper, hooked up the car and headed to a Slow Travelers campout at Arrow Rock State Historic Site. This is a campground and museum that is close to the village of Arrow Rock MO. The entire village has been designated a National Historic Landmark recognizing its association with western expansion, the Santa Fe Trail and an artist named George Caleb Bingham. On the drive we ran into a rather severe storm. Beth wanted me to pull off at a rest area but I knew we were only about 5 miles from our exit and wanted to continue. About a mile before our exit a gust of wind blew the motor home into the left hand lane of I-70. It happened so quickly I could not even begin to counteract. I immediately pulled over to the shoulder and waited for the storm to pass. Only had to sit there about 5 minutes and the wind and rain almost stopped so we headed on to the campground. The weather cleared up about a mile after we left the interstate and we had clear skies all the way to Arrow Rock. That evening the entire group went to Bloomfield’s Family Restaurant in Marshall MO for dinner. The food was very good and the service was excellent. I would go there again if we are ever in the vicinity.

On Tuesday, May 15th we walked to the Arrow Rock Sate Historic Site museum. It was quite interesting. There are many historic items in the museum. We finished the time at the museum with a film about Arrow Rock and it’s association with westward expansion. It was important because it was on the Missouri River and the Santa Fe Trail. At one point the town had a population of over 7,000 people but now has less than 400. After spending about 1 1/2 hours in the museum we walked into the village. Most of the building were closed since we were there on a weekday but there were a few stores open. We did get to see the inside of the old courthouse and also the old jail.

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Old courthouse in Arrow Rock MO

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Old jail in Arrow Rock MO. Could not get too close because of a bee hive in the building.

Tuesday evening we had a potluck (pitch-in) dinner. This one was a bit different with the request that each family bring a dish that begins with the first letter of mother’s maiden name. This helped to ensure a wider variety of foods.

Wednesday, May 16 started with a chapter meeting that included voting on a proposed change to the chapter constitution as well as several other discussions. After dinner we had games as a vacant site. Ladder golf (sometimes known as hillbilly golf) and washer toss were played. Everyone had a good time but the games didn’t last as long as we might have liked because of very warm temperatures. For our evening meal we had hamburgers and brats that were furnished by the host family.

Thursday, May 17th got off to a good start with breakfast provided by the chapter. Eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy. All of it was very delicious. We then headed into Marshall MO to see the “Jim, The Wonder Dog Museum” and Memorial Garden. Although I remain a skeptic, the story is quite interesting and many of the group are firm believers that all the stories told about this dog are factual.

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Mural of Jim The Wonder Dog. Notice that I am patting his head.

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Statue in the Memorial Garden

Beth did make a quick trip to a stone monument along the side of the road. This was marking a part of the location of the Santa Fe Trail.

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Santa Fe Trail marker not far from campground

The rest of the day was spent relaxing and visiting with friends.

Friday, May 18th we departed Arrow Rock and headed to our next destination – Cuivre River State Park. I’ll post on that soon.

Fort Wayne Trip

Wednesday – May 9 – Left for Fort Wayne after an appointment at the bank with our financial advisor. We are working on getting our 401k moved to an IRA. Dive to FWA was uneventful. Ate at Mr. Coney that evening.

Thursday – May 10 – Went to school with Kelly, Kelsey, Austin and Katie for Muffins with Mom. I felt odd to be the only male there but Kelly insisted that it was fine. We spent the day with Kelly. Had lunch at Casa. Thursday evening we went to Big-Eyed Fish restaurant. The fish is very much like the old Fish of Stroh.

Friday – May 11 – Went to an antique store. Went to several garage sales. We had taken our Uno Attack game along and taught the kids how to play. They really enjoyed it. We also went to Tickets and Tokens. The kids had a blast. Friday night we went to Country Heritage winery. They have a large area that kids can go in. The wine was good so we bought a bottle.

Saturday – May 12 – Saturday morning we went to Auburn Pancake House. The food was good but there was way too much food. When we got back to the house the kids taught us how to play a card game called Trash. Beth and I have played it several times since. Kelly and Beth got a pedicure.

Sunday – May 13 – After breakfast we played cards with the kids some more. We learned another game called Four of a Kind. It is a fast paced game that the keeps the kids occupied. We left just before noon and drove home. Relaxed some and also spent some time getting ready for the trip to our Slow Travelers campout. More on that in the next post.

Slow Travlers and MSCA

On Tuesday, April 24, we left LVL and drove to Columbia MO to a campground called Cottonwoods RV Park. This was a chapter campout for the Missouri Slow Travelers (a retiree group.) This was the first chapter campout that we had attended although we already knew all of the attendees. The evening meal was provided and was called Walking Tacos. It was basically crushed taco chips in a bowl with meat put on top and then fixings would be added to suit. They were quite good.  After the meal we played a dice game called Left Center Right. We played two games with 6 nickels for each game. If you rolled a C die would put a nickel in the center, for an L you pass a nickel to the person on your left and for an R you pass a nickel to the person on your right. The last person with a nickel would win the pot. We had never played it before but enjoyed it a great deal.

Wednesday, April 25, was another laid back day. We played bean bag baseball. Again, it was a great deal of fun. After the first game some players sat out and others moved in to play. There was a new FCRV member that came in on Wednesday. He was having some problems with his RV. Typical of FCRV he got a lot of help. We were able to resolve his issues quickly. The meal that evening was a pitch-in. We were instructed to bring a dish that began with the first letter of our last name. Beth prepared spaghetti. There was a lot of food. Way too much food. 

Thursday, April 26, the group went to a BBQ place called Como Smoke and Fire. The food was okay. Wish I could give it a better review but when I go to a BBQ place I expect good BBQ sauce and this was just okay. However, the meat itself was good and the company was great. After we ate we went to the Camping World just east of Columbia. It was a large Camping World but we didn’t buy anything. Just looking. When we got back we discovered that some of the MSCA (Missouri State Campers Association) members had started to show up for the state campout that was set to begin on Friday. The Slow Travelers often tie their chapter campout to a state campout. Thursday evening the owner of the campground built a campfire in a very large fire pit and many enjoyed the campfire, snacks and a beverage or two. It was great to catch up with some old friends.

Friday, April 27, Beth and I went with another couple to the Bass Pro Shop that was very close to the campground. Beth bought some fishing equipment and I looked at dutch oven stuff. We ate lunch at Cracker Barrel and then headed back to the campground. The evening meal was a pitch-in followed by card bingo. There are quite a few varieties of card bingo but the way we play it each group of four people have a deck of cards so each person gets 13 cards. The “caller” has a deck and will call draw a card and call it out. If you have that card you put it in the pile. The first person to get rid of all their cards hollers BINGO and they get a prize.

Saturday, April 28, began with a breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and sausage provided by the Slow Travelers. This was followed by the MSCA business meeting. Beth participated in a craft project mid-afternoon. It was a decoupage picture frame. The evening meal was pulled pork and hot dogs along with a pitch-in by members. This was followed by a trivia game and the normal Chinese auction.

Sunday, April 29, started with devotion. Most of the group left Sunday morning. However, Beth and I stayed until Monday morning.

It was a great week. We made some new friends. One of the couples that we met were FCRV members from Illinois. The other couple was from Georgia and are heading out west on a long motor home trip. You can see a blog of their adventures here. The link will take you to a post of the time they spent at Cottonwoods. They were invited to participate with us in many of the activities. My only wish is that both of these couples lived closer to Missouri so that we could see them more often.


Easter and beyond

After we got home from the Retiree rally we spent just over a week at home. Beth sang at two services on Good Friday followed by the choir singing at two services on Easter Sunday. We drove to Eureka MO (Byerly RV) on Saturday, April 7. Byerly was having an open house with free food so we drove over. It wasn’t just the free food since there were a couple of items we wanted to get. After we left we drove to LVL and visited with a couple of our camping friends. While we were there we made reservations for camping beginning April 9. However, later that day I received an email that said the recliners I had ordered for the MH would be in on April 10 so we called and cancelled. The recliners arrived on April 10 and we began the task of taking out the old sofa bed and putting in the new recliners. We managed to get the old sofa out. It was more work than we anticipated. A neighbor helped me get it to the garage. He also helped us get the new recliners into the MH. The recliners were in six pieces but a couple of the pieces were bulky so it was nice to have help. Scott came over and helped with a couple of items. We had the recliners in and assembled by the end of the Tuesday but did not have them fastened down yet. On Wednesday we drove over to the storage lot and fastened the recliners down. At that point we called LVL and made reservations beginning April 12. We spent the rest of Wednesday getting ready.

New recliners

On Thursday, April 12, we brought the MH over to the house and finished loading it up. We drove down to LVL and got set up. It was nice to be able to take our time loading the MH and driving down to LVL at a time when the traffic was light. We got set up and de-winterized a second time. Several of our camping friends were already at LVL and we spent some time catching up with their winter activities. On Sunday, April 15, we drove over to Kline’s Restaurant. It is about 12 miles from LVL. Great food. We spent more time in the MH over the next week than we really wanted to since the weather was rather cold. We drove back home on April 18 since both Beth and I had a chiropractor appointment. On Friday Beth went fishing with some friends. She did manage to catch about a 2# catfish. They caught 8 catfish total. Saturday night we did have fire for while. But it got a bit too cool and the wind picked up so we put it out and went to bed. Sunday morning we got up and went to St. John’s Lutheran Church – Drake. It is a small country church that still uses The Lutheran Hymnal. After church we went to Kline’s for breakfast. We have two more nights at LVL and than we head for a retiree campout (Slow Travelers) in Columbia MO followed by a state campout next weekend at the same campground. But for now, that’s about it.

Florida FCRV Retiree Rally

March 8, 2018

Left the house at 8:10 and finally pulled the camper and towed the Focus out of the storage unit at 8:52 – Be With Us Lord!  No big problems with traffic.  Stopped around 12:30 for lunch at the Kentucky state line.  Saw one of the huge white crosses along the interstate.  Traffic got worse.  Bumper-to-bumper in Nashville.  And temperature was cooler.  It got to a low of 27 degrees.  We arrived at the KOA Nashville East around 4:45.  Saw Bradford Pear trees and Magnolias blooming. 

March 9, 2018

9:47 AM – BWUL!  Sunny!  Hooray!!  Noticed some trees starting to green up. Daffodils and Red Bud trees blooming and we can see the Smokies!  We arrived at Soaring Eagle campground at 1:30 (Now Eastern time – we learned Tennessee and Kentucky are cut in half by the time zones.  

Made it to Dennis and Shirley’s with little trouble.  I turned the GPS off just about a block too soon.  They live in a subdivision where all the streets have the same name, just different street designations like Avenue, Court, Run, etc. and ended up going around the block.  We went out to dinner at Aubrey’s and enjoyed good ribs and steak. 

March 10, 2018

Dennis drove us around showing us the area and the took the time to explain about how this is where the Trail of Tears started and that all the neighborhoods are named after different tribes.   We went to the Lost Sea Cave.  An interesting place with an underground lake full of huge fish (trout) they are required to keep fed. The fish were put in as an experiment but after the experiment failed they had to continue to feed the fish. We saw evidence of previous inhabitants of the cave including some Civil War soldiers who left their marks.   The nose piece broke from my glasses and we tried, unsuccessfully, to get them fixed that day.  Ate a wonderful dinner at TENASI of just half-priced appetizers.  As we parted, Shirley gave me a start of their grandfather’s Christmas Cactus.  I hope I can keep it alive. 

March 11, 2018

9:55 AM – BWUL – on the road again.   Purchased gas.  Saw a third one of those huge crosses by the interstate.  Got into Georgia around 12:30 and only stopped for snacks on the road around 1 PM.  Pulled into the Ponderosa campground at almost 5:30 PM.  Went to visit Tom and Joy and also got to see Michael and Andrea and meet their lovely children.  

March 12, 2018

Happy Birthday, Tom!  We spent the day with Tom & Joy.  We got my glasses fixed at the local Walmart and then went to the Warner Robins Museum.   At lunch at a place called, “Your Pie” where you choose your dough, and then toppings and they make it for you.  Was very good.  Later we went to Lane’s and purchased some peach cider.  Wow.  Gotta get more of that!  Unfortunately, when the boys went back, they were closed. We saw Joy’s amazing quilting set up.  Visited until early evening and then went home to camper.

March 13, 2018

Tom and Joy dropped off a gallon of peach cider before we left!  Hooray!!!   Good thing, because somehow the water running through the Brita filter was HORRIBLE!  We think it got some antifreeze in it somehow.  Yuck!  Started out again around 10 AM and around 11:15 we saw our first palm tree near Warwick, Georgia.  Also, Paul saw an eagle on the highway.  Hit the Florida state line 1:30 and 20 minutes later reached Triple C campground and had lunch.   

Paul spent time pumping up the tires (the indicators said a couple were low).  Thermometer says 69 but Siri says 57 but it’s sunny and feels great.  Purchased new Brita filter.  Dal and Barb Dodson and Pat and Dave Crow were at this campground so we sat with them for a while.  Then spent a quiet evening with ME TV.  

March 14, 2018

Pi Day.  Steven Hawking dies.  Sorry he didn’t believe in God.  I found it ironic that a man who’s entire life was math and science should die on 3.14.   Drove around with Pat & Dave and ended up at The Whip on Lake Tarquinius.  Cool/cold evenings.   Ran out of propane.

March 15, 2018

Visited the US Arsenal at Chattahoochee.  What a cool building.  A little close to the prison, but hey, whatever.  Drove to the Torrey State park on the advice of the docent from the Arsenal and found that the historic house there (Gregory House) only gives 1 tour a day at it was hours past that.  Saw the endangered Torreya tree.   It was sunny and 72.  Shared a bratwurst dinner with Pat & Dave and had a fire.  

March 16, 2016

7:50 AM  – BWUL – Left Chattahoochee and arrived at the Tallahassee fairgrounds about 9:15. There was LOTS of cussing (not really) and discussing (yeah, really) on where to park us.  Finally landed.  We are CLOSE together.  Couldn’t get the camper level so we learned how to do it manually since it couldn’t do it automatically.  Spent the rest of the day just chilling.  

March 17, 2016

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!   Wearing our green.  Went into St. Marks on the recommendation and company of friends and saw replicas of the Nina and the Pinta.  Totally cool.  At at the Riverside Cafe.  Don’t ever go there.  90 minutes to get our food.  Yes, we were warned but others came in after us and had already been served and were leaving before we got our average food.  AND they charged us a 20% gratuity which some of the people disagreed with but were more or less “forced” to pay.  We were going to go the St Marks lighthouse 30 miles away, but someone warned us that you couldn’t get to it due to construction so we just went back to the campers and sat around under a pop-up and talked.  

March 18, 2016

8:35 AM – BWUL – Traveled to Jacksonville to see John.  Saw a sign on the I-10 about 60 miles west of Jacksonville that indicated there were bears for the next 30 miles.  Found out later they do have black bears in the area.  3 hours to Jax.  Visited with John.  Was surprised to see Jason!   Took John to lunch at Denny’s.  Went back to his trailer and visited for about another 30 minutes and then took off as we wanted to see Christina, too, and she was in a nearby hospital as Drs try to figure out why she’s in so much pain from her sleeve surgery.  They have been successful in finding a pain killer that will work, but even semi-solid food hurts her.  I took her Mom’s pink rosary and a pink hanging pot that Dad had made.  I brought her a couple of pink glass flamingos but the pink and purple glass bird and bird bath didn’t make the trip so well.  She’s going to try to glue it.  Bummer.  Drove back to camper.  Picked up ice at Walmart and it was raining when we came out.  Rained all evening.  

March 19, 2016

Went with part of our group to the Tallahassee Car Museum.  Some people hoard, others organize it and charge you $30 to see their stuff.  He had a LOT of cars, and pianos, and phones, and knives, and other stuff.  But a nice place.  Had to get some Clariton for what appears to be some kind of allergy.  I don’t normally have seasonal allergies but do here. It worked great.  Was a quiet day the rest of the day and had root beer floats in the evening.

March 20, 2018

Did some housekeeping at the camper.  Dishes, trash, emptied the grey tank.  Discovered the hitch doesn’t fit into the receiver by about 1/8 inch! GRRRR.  We rigged something to work for this time, but ended up at Lowes to get something better than tape to hold it into place.  Will have to be fixed when we get home.  We went to the “Flamingo Races” which actually turned out to be “Frog Races”.  You’d have to see it to understand how they have these flat, wooden figures with a hole in the top that a rope goes through.  You anchor one end of the rope and sit about 12 feet away with the other end of the rope.  By a series of lifting the figure up and having it fall forward, it makes progress.  And of course, the first one over the finish line, wins. 

Entertainment for the evening was Liverpool Live, a Beatles-type band and they were good.  Someone blew up beach balls and tossed them through the crowd.

March 21, 2018

Both North and South Carolina hosted hospitalities.  Probably because they were the only 2 states that had couples in the running for King and Queen.  At a hospitality, you get a snack and visit with other campers.  Sometimes you get a trinket such as a can coozie or key chain or pen.

The entertainment this night was Ron and Kay Rivoli Review. Excellent entertainment. After the entertainment they started giving away door prizes and we won some TP and a TP holder which we will use at home.

March 22, 2018

Had to go grocery shopping at the Piggly Wiggly.  Attended a seminar on full-time camping.  Even if we don’t ever full-time, they had lots of good tips for travel in general. Things like, get more than one credit card with different numbers for him and her.  Connect to a hot spot but NEVER bank on someone else’s WiFi.  Never use a debit card.  Wells Fargo offers a cardless cash at their ATMs.  Insurance will cover a place to stay if your rolling home gets damaged.  Budget in maintenance and reparis, tires, etc.  Addendums should be on your insurance for full replacement PLUS contents.  Ask what is premium adjustment cost.   For personal protection, use wasp spray.   Paul went to the Hard Hat Lunch and he said it was good.   Dinner was provided that night as well and they handled the serving lines wonderfully.  Entertainment for the evening was the FCRV Retiree Variety Show. Beth sang two patriotic songs and then led the group in singing “God Bless America” at the end. The show was, for the most part quite enjoyable.

March 23, 2018

Beth attended the ladies Red Hat Luncheon.  Entertainment went for 90 minutes and was not all that great (Hawaiian dance instruction – if any of you have ever watched Friends, it was presented by Janice).  Pasty rice, dry teriyaki chicken, bread (but no butter), somewhat frozen fruit and good pineapple upside down cupcakes.  The afternoon had beach party games of volleyball, frisbee toss, a wet t-shirt contest (not what you think it is), funny photo, mini cups of ice cream.  Entertainment for the evening was Tommy, Jo & the Kids. It was mediocre at best because the sound system was either too loud or non-existent.  We won a second door prize:  MORE TP!  Are they trying to tell us something?

March 24, 2018

Flea market was held by the campers.  If you have a hobby, craft, etc you want to try to sell, this is the time and place to do it.  I am researching quick and easy ideas to participate next year.  We played bean-bag baseball and even though Paul scored a home run, our team still lost.  The King and Queen were elected from North Carolina. 

March 25, 2018

There was a religious service and Beth sang in the choir.  Louisiana hosted a hospitality to drum up more attendance at the Houma, Louisiana event next year which we will probably attend.  They had a closing ceremony by state or group and we all dressed in red shirts and had noise makers.  

March 26, 2018 

Left the campground/fair grounds at 7:56 and went to Tanner Alabama.   We got into Alabama at 8:53, made Alabama by 9:46 and hit a time change so I don’t have any idea what time it is.  We stopped at a rest area for lunch at 1:00 (I think) and unplanned, several others of our group did as well.  At 3:30 we arrived at the campground – wet and rainy day/evening.  This was a new state for us to camp in.

March 27, 2018

8:00 Beth started out the day driving.  at 8:30 we made Tennessee.  by 10:35 we were in Kentucky.  At 12:30 we were in Illinois with more rain.  At 1:45 we pulled into Whittington Woods Campground near Rend Lake.  

March 28, 2018

Since we hadn’t unhooked the car, it was easy to sleep in and quickly headed for home about 8:50.  By 10:20 we hit the Missouri line and pulled up to the driveway about 11 AM.

Link to pictures coming soon. Have to be home to upload them.