Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Day 177, Tuesday, April 25, 2017, Hungry Mother State Park, VA, Day 2

A Mastodon
Tuesday, April 25, 2017, Hungry Mother State Park, VA, Day 2, 0 miles, 7,765.9 Miles For the Trip

Just a little rain at the start of the evening (the mist just got a bit thicker) and a pretty much rain free day. It was still cloudy & damp outside, so after a bit of reading both on the internet (the campground has WiFi service that is fairly fast most of the time) and a bit of my current book, Peter James' Dead Man's Footsteps, I decided to revisit the Museum of the Middle Appalachians, in Saltville, VA, about 25 miles from the campground. Not many changes from the last visit, but I started a page that includes photos from each.

After that it was back to the campground. I did sit outside for about an hour, but without the sun and a light breeze, it was cool enough to get uncomfortable. I headed for the showers, which are individual rooms, clean, but, at this time of year, seem to be unheated. There is an electric heater high on the wall, but it never came on. Because the bathrooms are in a block building, it was cooler than the outside air. Other than that, nice showers with lots of room even in the drying area, a bench & hooks.

Dinner was a salad.

Until tomorrow -

Monday, April 24, 2017

Day 176, Monday, April 24, 2017, Hungry Mother State Park, VA

The Spillway & Stream
Monday, April 24, 2017, Hungry Mother State Park, VA, 166.8 miles, 7,765.9 Miles For the Trip

The rain stopped overnight and stayed dry throughout the morning (other than a few drops the light wind knocked off the leaves). I said some good byes to a few of the other hangers on, then headed out of the park around 10:00. I thought about backtracking to Maryville to get to I40 rather than going through Pigeon Forge, which can sometimes have severe traffic problems, but decided since it was a late Monday morning, it should be OK. It was, and I continued on to I 81 to Marion, VA and the Hungry Mother State Park. I stayed here at the beginning of the trip for a mini rally in site 35.

Many of the rivers along the way were in flood stage, in fact there were a couple of "Road Closed" signs due to flooding. There is a dam with a spillway above the campground. The last time I was here the spillway was empty with the lake a couple of feet below it. Today it is full of muddy water. The stream next to the campground isn't over its banks, but just about as close as it can get. I picked a site uphill from the stream! I'm in site 39 for two nights, a water & electric site for $39.36 per night, which includes out of state pricing & a $5.00 reservation fee (even though I didn't make a reservation). The site photo is at today's lakeshoreImages page.

While it isn't raining, it also isn't dry & sunny. There is a heavy mist in the air that makes it feel even cooler than it actually is - currently 56°F, but I watched a couple going by wearing winter coats & gloves!

After setting up I headed to the campground office to pay for the site, then into Marion & the Food Lion for a couple of items. Since it is only 3 miles from the campground, I decided a frozen pizza would make a great dinner. Since the freezer isn't big enough to fit a 12" pizza, I have to cook them as soon as I get them home. So, dinner was a pepperoni pizza a bit early at 4:30. After pizza I headed to the campground laundry. Two loads at $1.50 to wash & $1.50 to dry. Nice clean machines & a folding table in the room. I met a woman from Rhode Island heading home, that has been traveling in the south since December.

Until tomorrow -

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Day 175 Sunday, April 23, 2017, Townsend KOA, Day 5

Sunday, April 23, 2017, Townsend KOA, Day 5, 0 miles, 7,599.1 Miles For the Trip

Another rainy night. This has been the wettest "non-Oregon Spring" rally I've attended. We still all had fun, but there wasn't much sitting outside the trailers for Saturday evening or for those that stayed Sunday. I hope the roads will be OK for the start of the drive to home tomorrow - there are flood warnings for the area. The rain continued into the day, mostly light, with short periods of heavy downpours.

I was going to do laundry, but the laundry room is small, and no place to fold, etc. With the rain, I decided to wait until I got to Hungry Mother State Park tomorrow. I spent most of the day sitting in the trailer reading the Syracuse Sunday paper, blogs & forums & my book. During a short break in the rain I did go out and put away the hummingbird feeder (no hummers showed up) and put the ground cloth on the picnic table to rinse. Felt like tent camping days - putting away a wet ground cloth instead of a tent!

I received email from Escape that my available pick up date for my new Escape 21 has moved up from September 20th to August 16th! That will give me time to see some of the northwest before I head to Arizona for the winter.

The initial plan for dinner was to head to the Riverside Restaurant next door to the campground for a Chicken Fried Steak dinner (which I've had before & liked), but after changing into sweats to take a shower (I guess I could have just stood outside) I was too lazy to get dressed again to head for the restaurant. Instead, I microwaved an Amy's Chinese Noodles & Vegetables dinner.

Until tomorrow -

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Day 174, Saturday, April 22, 2017, Townsend KOA, Day 4

The Group Photo
Saturday, April 22, 2017, Townsend KOA, Day 4, 0 miles, 7,599.1 Miles For the Trip

It rained off & on overnight, but did hold off long enough for me to cook my enchilada dinner. By morning it stopped, and I walked around the campground for a round of photos. After that it was time to make the second blueberry pie. There were a few drops of light rain, but no wind, so cooking under the awning went OK. A few more photos, and it was time for the pot luck dinner. One good thing about site 70 - it is only a few steps to the pavilion. Makes carrying two pies, my tray eating utensils, drink & camera a bit easier!

As usual, plenty to eat with lots of variety. I even got a piece of one of my pies!

After most finished eating we took a couple of group photos. If you want a full size version, check the rally page. A few minutes after the group photo the rain came down.

Dinner was, of course, the pot luck. Right now (at 7:00) I'm listening to Prairie Home Companion & a fairly constant rain on the roof.

Until tomorrow -

Day 173, Friday, April 21, 2017, Townsend KOA,Day 3

Around the Campground
Friday, April 21, 2017, Townsend KOA,Day 3, 0 miles, 7,599.1 Miles For the Trip

A very warm night - it was in the 70's for most of it, but no rain. After breakfast I wandered around, stopping to talk to oth
er fiberglass owners, then decided to go to Maryville for the pie makings. On the way I stopped at the Bronco rally, something that seems to happen at the same time as the fiberglass rally. Lots of Ford Broncos in all kinds of shape, some are amazing for 50 year old vehicles. I took a few photos of some of the trucks, all the photos I did for the day.

I did stop by the office to make reservations for next year. Assuming that I'll be returning from Arizona or Texas around the same time, the rally makes a good stop along the way. Evidently, many others had the same idea. I wanted one of the more "polished" sites that have patios, etc and there were only 3 left. I'll be in site 55, a full hookup site for the same price as my water & electric site (they give a special price for the rally).

Today is the first "official" day of the rally, so I'll take some photos & add them to the page, as well as start a separate rally page. I didn't get everyone - it is raining, so I only made a quick round.

After getting back from the Maryville Walmart I started the first blueberry pie. I set up the toaster oven outside on the picnic table - too hot to cook inside. It looks like rain, so after cooling the pie outside for an hour I moved it inside. I hope the rain holds off long enough to cook dinner. I plan to use the toaster oven to bake a Amy's enchilada dinner on the picnic table. It is under the awning, but if the wind kicks up I will need to take in the awning, and an electric toaster oven doesn't do well in the rain!

Until tomorrow -

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Day 172, Thursday, April 20, 2017, Townsend KOA,Day 2, & The Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Little River Cascade
Thursday, April 20, 2017, Townsend KOA,Day 2, & The Great Smoky Mountain National Park, 0 miles, 7,599.1 Miles For the Trip

More rain overnight, but it stopped during the morning. I headed into the Great Smoky Mountain National Park & The Cades Cove loop for some photos. I added a page to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, page 1 I keep in the National & State Parks links. Since I did the same thing in 2015, some of the photos on page 3 are duplicates.  As usual, there are a few more photos at today's LakeshoreImages page, or, you can start at the beginning of the Great Smoky Mountain National Parks page, or go to today's additions.  So many choices!

I was tempted to hike to Abram Falls, but there were thunderclouds on the horizon & it was described as a 3-4 hour hike, so I skipped it. I did take a photo of the stream at the trailhead. Of course, it never rained...

After that it was back to the campsite. I talked with a new neighbor with an Escape 19, then headed inside to put the Great Smoky Mountain National Park page 3 & today's journal post together. Next is a shower, then dinner, which will be leftovers - a chicken thigh, rice & pinto beans, and asparagus.

Until tomorrow -

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Day 171, Wednesday, April 19, 2017, Townsend KOA

Site 70
Wednesday, April 19, 2017, Townsend KOA, 107 miles, 7,599.1 Miles For the Trip

Another damp night, although the rain held off while I packed up the trailer & for most of the drive to Townsend. Most of the drive was on TN 68 & US 411. I stopped at a Walmart & picked up some stuff, then crossed into the Eastern time zone, reaching the Townsend KOA around 1:00. I set up in site 70, a water & electric site for $42.46 per night (No one ever said KOA's are cheap!)

I sat under the awning in a light rain and read for a bit, then made a run to the local IGA to see what they had in the way of blueberry pie supplies. No specials on blueberries, so it will probably be frozen ones. I hope they have enough for two pies, otherwise I'll need to go out of Townsend to get them. The last time I drove to Pigeon Forge, it took a couple of hours. It isn't that far, but the traffic is horrendous. I'll worry about that on Friday.

Back at the trailer I wandered around saying hello to a bunch of other early arrivals, then fired up the grill to make dinner.

Dinner was a grilled chicken thigh, pinto beans & rice, and asparagus. A thunderstorm passed through while I was cooking dinner, but the wind wasn't bad enough that I had to take in the awning.

Until tomorrow -

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Day 170, Tuesday, April 18, 2017, Cumberland Mountain State Park, TN, Day 3

Ozone Falls
Tuesday, April 18, 2017, Cumberland Mountain State Park, TN, Day 3, 0 Miles, 7,492.1 Miles For the Trip

Rain off & on all night & morning. Mostly light, but it didn't go away until around 11:00AM. Even then, it only got down to a light mist. I decided to head to Ozone Falls. Only about 15 miles from the campground on Deep Draw Road & US 70 / TN 1. The closer I got to the falls, the harder the rain fell. A good AT&T signal at the parking area, so I checked my weather radar app & it showed the rain throughout the area, with no break in sight, so since it wouldn't help to wait, I decided to give it a try anyway.

A short, flat hike to the top of the falls, where I met a family exploring. I too a few photos, then headed for the trail to the bottom. Very rocky, steep, and the rain was still falling. I was soaked & muddy from slipping and sliding into a puddle on the way, so I passed it up. I'll have to visit these two waterfalls during dry weather!  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Of course, as soon as I got back to the campground, the rain stopped. I sat outside & read for awhile. It started to rain, so rather than cooking inside, I headed to the campground restaurant for dinner. The buffet was better than the one at David Crockett (which, I'm afraid, isn't saying much). The sides & salad were OK, but the pork chops were dry & tough.

Until tomorrow -

Monday, April 17, 2017

Day 169, Monday, April 17, 2017, Cumberland Mountain State Park, TN, Day 2

The Bridge/Dam
Monday, April 17, 2017, Cumberland Mountain State Park, TN, Day 2, 0 Miles, 7,492.1 Miles For the Trip

A much cooler night, although not enough that I needed the cube heater or furnace. It rained off & on, so I didn't go for my morning walk. After breakfast I read some journals & forums on the internet - I'm using my Verizon Jetpack with excellent results. The park does have TengoInternet, a pay service that I've used with mixed results at other parks. I probably should have asked at the office since they ofter give a couple hundred MB of access for free, but I generally use more that that per day so I didn't bother.

After lunch, the rain let up, so I decided to check out one of the nearby waterfalls. On the way I stopped to take a couple of photos of the bridge/dam built be the CCC when the built the park. According to the park handout, it is "The largest steel free structure ever built during the Works Projects Administration of the Civilian Conservation Corps." A pretty structure. I also took a photo of a nearby building & the restaurant. More photos at toady's LakeshoreImages page.

After that I headed out for Piney Falls. I tried putting the Google Maps coordinates for the falls into the Garmin GPS, but that ended up on the wrong side of the gorge & suggesting that I go "Off Road" down someone's driveway. I drove back out to TN 68 and followed the instructions to head right on Fire Tower Road. The tower & a cell tower is at the end of the road & a small, unmarked parking area is a few 100 yards back from the end.

I met a family asking me if this was the parking area for the falls, I we both decided to wait until the rain let up before trying the trail near the parking area. We eventually headed out in a very light rain that, of course, got heavier after reaching the falls. It was raining hard enough that I didn't take the additional section of the trail that went to the bottom of the falls. It would have made pretty pictures, but a steady stream of water was running down the fairly steep path. I was soaked by the time I got back to the truck, but at least it was a warm rain!

After that it was back to the trailer. I ate the leftover Food City fried chicken for lunch, then sat outside for a bit. When the sun went behind heavy clouds, it got cool enough to move inside. I headed for the showers around 5:00. It appears that the host has added his own showerhead to one of the stalls. There is the typical low volume head in one stall, and a multi spray, including massage in the other. You can guess which one I used!

Dinner was cheese & crackers; I'm still stuffed from lunch.

Until tomorrow -

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Day 168, Sunday, April 16, 2017, Cumberland Mountain State Park, TN

Site 24
Sunday, April 16, 2017, Cumberland Mountain State Park, TN, 75 Miles, 7,492.1 Miles For the Trip

Happy Easter! We had a bit of light rain overnight and during the morning. Since I didn't have far to go to the next stop, I decided to wait it out, and it stopped around 10:00. The rain brought down a bunch of pretty flowers from a tree over the sidewalk to the bathrooms. I don't know what kind of tree it is, and couldn't ID the flower with a Google image search, but I picked one up for a photo. Check today's LakeshoreImages page for the photo.

I dumped the tanks at the dump station, and stopped at the office to drop off my garbage at the dumpsters. I was also suppose to pick up a sock that the campground host let me know I had left in the laundry room (She was pretty sure I was the only one that did male socks yesterday). Only problem is I got talking with someone about fiberglass trailers & forgot. Actually, not a problem since I'm sure I have at least one sock with a hole in the toe so I can just toss it to keep pairs!

A pleasant drive on US 70 to Cumberland Mountain State Park. I think I'm still in Central Time, although the change to Eastern happens before I get out of Tennessee. I had checked with Reserve America, and there were lots of open sites, so I didn't make a reservation for the three days I need to wait until my reservation for the Townsend rally.

The directions in the park to get to the office were a bit confusing & I ended up driving through the dump station. That wouldn't have been a problem, but someone in a class A decided to stop at the gate after the dump station, blocking the road. After a 5 minute wait, I decided I'd walk to the office & get a site while I waited (there was no one in the driver's seat). I was assigned site 25, a water & electric site for $27.39 per night (with a 25% senior discount). When I got to the site there was someone in it even though it was an hour after check out time. No one around, including the host site, so I called the office & they moved me to site 24. While it is a full hookup site, they didn't charge extra (and, I didn't connect to the sewer). Anyhow, I'm moved in.

Cloudy, and much cooler, although still in the 80's. No rain during the afternoon, and a light breeze made it nice to sit outside. I walked around the different loops (there are 5 of them) and checked out the bathrooms - typical older state park bathrooms with a couple of shower stalls.

Around dinner time I thought about going to the restaurant, but drove across the dam on the lake & found the parking lot completely filled with Easter diners. Rather than fight the crowd, I decided to head to Food City for some ice cream (I've been out for almost a week) and picked up some fried chicken & deviled egg potato salad for dinner.

Until tomorrow -

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Day 167, Saturday, April 15, 2017, Edgar Evins State Park, TN, Day 7

Saturday, April 15, 2017, Edgar Evins State Park, TN, Day 7, 0 Miles, 7,417.1 Miles For the Trip

Another warm day. I did some walking in the morning while it was still cool, then chased the shade sitting outside reading. I discovered that there is a Wilber Smith fan here at the campground. They have a shelf of books at the office, and almost half of them are by Wilber Smith. I like his work as well, and traded in 8 - 10 books.

While the campground isn't full, it is fairly packed. Even the walk in primitive camping area has 4 tents. They may be cooler than the developed sites; they are tucked in the trees with lots of shade. It is a good thing I don't have photos today - the internet connection on Verizon still shows 4G LTE, but it is too slow to read many of the forums, and, I suspect, too slow to post photos.

I did get a chance to talk with my son Kyle, Don & Anne, and my daughter Karin using FaceTime because AT&T kept going in & out.  FaceTime uses the Verizon WiFi to make a connection, even to a phone that is on a phone network. After that it was more reading, then dinner, which was the rest of a jar of beets, and a couple of El Monterey Chicken Empanadas. I set up the toaster oven on the picnic table - too hot to cook inside. This is one of those days that I won't want to use the real built in oven in the new Escape 21, so I will still carry the toaster oven.

Until tomorrow -

Friday, April 14, 2017

Day 166, Friday, April 14, 2017, Edgar Evins State Park, TN, Day 6

Friday, April 14, 2017, Edgar Evins State Park, TN, Day 6, 0 Miles, 7,417.1 Miles For the Trip

Maybe a little too warm today - the thermometer in the propane tank cover reached 92F. Around 10:00 I decided to do a load of laundry, as well as dump my garbage & recyclables next door to the laundry room. Both machines were in use, but one became available about 1/2 hour after I got there. I got out one of my chairs & sat in the shade of the campground office building.

While waiting for the washer and a turn at the dryers, I met a couple from Canada that had a scary story. As they pulled into the campground their truck died. They managed to pull into a boat storage area with the trailer, and called for a tow truck to haul the truck to the nearest garage. The tow truck driver got the truck on the flatbed & headed out of the campground. He missed a shift, and as he started rolling back down (Remember this campground is carved into the side of a very steep hill) his brakes failed. He managed to stay on the road for about 150', then both trucks ended up in a gully 50' below the road. While the driver didn't get hurt, they still haven't managed to pull either truck out of the gully, it looks like both are totaled.

So, here they are in a different country with no way to haul their trailer home. They are in the midst of sorting out both their & the tow truck's insurance, police reports, and figuring out what to do with the trailer. The campground host towed them to a campsite with the longest break before it is reserved, but that is only until the 24th. If they need a new truck, buying one in the US would be difficult, both because of problem of importing it, and because of the current exchange rate (the Canadian dollar is about 75% of the US dollar at the moment). I wish them luck & wish I could do something to help. Their current plan, once they have a decision of the truck, is to rent a vehicle, drive to Canada & buy a replacement truck, then come back for the trailer. The campground will let them park it in the boat trailer storage area after the 24th.

I did finish my laundry, got it all folded & made the bed, then sat in the shade of the trailer and read - currently Jonathan Kellerman's Over the Edge.

Dinner was P. F. Chang's Orange Chicken. This is one of the meals I only make when there is a campground dish washing sink. The sauce takes lots of scrubbing of a large frying pan which uses lots of water & doesn't fin well in my tiny sink. I wish they made single servings - the standard package is for two, and while I usually eat a bit more than half, there is no was I'd do the whole thing. It doesn't reheat well.

Until tomorrow -

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Day 165, Thursday, April 13, 2017, Edgar Evins State Park, TN, Day 5

A Crow
Thursday, April 13, 2017, Edgar Evins State Park, TN, Day 5, 0 Miles, 7,417.1 Miles For the Trip

Another beautiful day. I hope I'm not using all of them up before the fiberglass trailer rally next week. In any case, I spent lots of time sitting outside. I decided I had to take some photographs of something, so I put on my 80 - 400 zoom lens & waited for wildlife. Before I got out the camera, nuthatches, blue jays, crows & a squirrel were hanging around, but the second the camera came out they went away. I finally went for a walk and took a few photos of the marina & some fisherman.

Back at the campsite, I sat out & read, keeping the camera on the picnic table. I did get a few lousy photos of a bumblebee & a couple of crows, but nothing I'd post if I had anything else. I did do some repair on one of my chairs, but that was about all I accomplished for the day.

Dinner was a sandwich made with left over tuna fish, and a salad.

Until tomorrow -

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Day 164, Wednesday, April 12, 2017, Edgar Evins State Park, TN, Day 4

Wednesday, April 12, 2017, Edgar Evins State Park, TN, Day 4, 0 Miles, 7,417.1 Miles For the Trip

Another day without pictures. The weather couldn't be better - temperatures in the 70's and clear skies. I took my garbage to the dumpsters. While not that long a walk, you gain a couple hundred feet of altitude on the way. It is also the location of the laundry - $1.50 to wash & $1.00 to dry. I don't have enough for a load, although I might by the time I leave on Sunday.

After lunch I drove to Smithville to do some shopping & get a tank of propane. The propane was at Tractor Supply; at $2.59 per gallon, some of the least expensive of the trip. I couldn't find a large grocery store, so I stopped at the Walmart Supercenter. Of course I ended up buying more than I really needed. I replaced a very worn 2 quart saucepan, my remote meat thermometer I use to tell the temperature in my Dutch oven, and enough frozen stuff that I had to eat half a pint of Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream just to make room.

That was about it for the day. I finished Martin Cruz Smith's Havana Bay, and started a P. D. James mystery - Cover Her Face. I asked one of the rangers why is seems all the Tennessee parks have WiFi, but no internet. He said the same company installed the system over the last 4 years in all the parks, but didn't do the outside connections. They are currently installing a 1Gig fiber run to the campground, but it isn't finished.

Dinner (besides the ice cream) was cheese & crackers - I had a big lunch. I thought about going to the park's restaurant for dinner some night. It is a long drive, but only a mile hike on a trail between it & the campground. Glad I checked since it is closed for the season!

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Day 163, Tuesday, April 11, 2017, Edgar Evins State Park, TN, Day 3

Tuesday, April 11, 2017, Edgar Evins State Park, TN, Day 3, 0 Miles, 7,417.1 Miles For the Trip

Another warm night & a nice day. There were more clouds, but they keep the temperatures in the 70's rather than the 80's of the last couple of days. Lots of sitting around reading blogs, forums & my current book - J. A. Jance's Down Fall. I finished it and started Martin Cruz Smith's Havana Bay, a 1999 copyright, but one of his that I haven't read.

I did take a break from doing nothing, and walked around the campground. Discovered a Casita 17 parked in the row below mine. They later stopped by & we chatted for a bit.

Dinner was a couple of tuna fish sandwiches & Cape Cod potato chips.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, April 10, 2017

Day 162, Monday, April 10, 2017, Edgar Evins State Park, TN, Day 2

Another View of My Site
Monday, April 10, 2017, Edgar Evins State Park, TN, Day 2, 0 Miles, 7,417.1 Miles For the Trip

I did find a couple of FM NPR stations, all somewhat weak, but listenable. At least one has classical music at night, so I'm set. Speaking of the airwaves, this park, like most of the other Tennessee State Parks has good WiFi coverage. The problem is it appears that the state hasn't paid its ISP bill - all the parks I've been in have strong WiFi, but no internet. Luckily, there is a good -92dBm (with the Sleek amplifier) 4G LTE Verizon signal. AT&T comes & goes. Last night it was good enough that I could listen to WXXI's 10:00 broadcast of "Hearts of Space", a favorite of mine that isn't on too many NPR stations. The music was first described to me as Yanni meets Philip Glass. In any case, my iPhone pulled the Rochester station over the internet without any drop outs. I also managed to talk to my brother and Facetime with the Guidos yesterday. Today all I get is "No Service".

I did my usual walk around the campground, took a couple of photos including one of the prettiest new greenery - poison ivy, another view of the site platform, and the definitely not ADA compliant sidewalk to the bathroom & showers. Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I spent most of the day goofing off. As long as I could find shade, the weather was very nice & I sat around outside reading all afternoon. After a quick shower, I made dinner, which was a couple of turkey hot dogs & half a package of freeze dried Mexicali Rose Green Chile Homestyle Refried Beans. I like these much better than canned refried beans, but if I can find them again, I'm going to switch to the non green Chile version. These are pretty hot!

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Day 161, Sunday, April 9, 2017, Edgar Evins State Park, TN

Site 33
Sunday, April 9, 2017, Edgar Evins State Park, TN, 144.2 Miles, 7,417.1 Miles For the Trip

I was a little slow getting out of the campground, and hit the road around 10:00AM. Since it was a short drive, most on 4 lane roads, including Interstates 840 & 40, I arrived at Edgar Evins around 1:00. Check in is at 4:00, but my site was empty, so I moved in.

An interesting campground. The sites are all on the side of a hill overlooking the Center Hill Reservoir (which, on the park map is spelled Reservior). My spell checker insists on Reservoir, so that's what I'm going with. Because it is a large body of water, distances are deceiving. My GPS shows the nearest large grocery store (a Super Walmart) is only 9 miles away. Punch in directions, and it is a 22 mile drive taking 35 minutes. Evidently, that 22 miles is to the closest town - Smithville, TN.

I'm in site 33, a water & electric site for $21.37 per night. Most of the sites are on wooden decks with concrete & steel structure and 6"X6" decking. Each site has exact size measurements - mine is 24' wide by 31' deep. With leaving room to open my rear carrier, the trailer fits fine, but I have to park my truck across the street. The water faucet is in a strange location, requiring my longer hose running across the deck, but the view from the back is nice. I do have a neighbor that likes loud country music, but he turned it down after cooking dinner.

I walked around the campground, at least part of it. There is a restaurant here in the park, but it on another part of the reservoir. I'm not sure it is in walking distance; in fact, the campground map shows no road or parking going to it. That might be possible. There is a large marina completely off shore across from the campground. No land connection...

I spent the rest of the day sitting outside reading, talking to Don & Anne in Binghamton - Don is doing well recovering from his heart attack & quadruple bypass surgery, and my brother on Nantucket who is dealing with high blood pressure. With just my painful wrist, I feel like I'm healthy!

Dinner was a Bubba Burger & beets.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Day 160, Saturday, April 8, 2017, David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN, Day 6

Barn Owls
Saturday, April 8, 2017, David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN, Day 6, 0 Miles, 7,272.9 Miles For the Trip

Down to 38°F overnight, but nice & toasty in the trailer. I did sleep in a bit longer than usual to avoid going outside in the cold! It warmed up quickly; clear skies & in the high 70's for much of the day.

I walked around the campground, did some reading of forums, blogs & my book until 1:00, then headed to the David Crockett Museum. They have birds of prey in cages out in front of the museum, and a few displays inside. I also stopped again at the waterfall for some filtered photos, but it was crowded; tough to get the waterfall without people. Many more photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After that it was back to the campground and more sitting outside enjoying the nice weather.

I talked to some friends in Colorado then started a pot pie for dinner.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, April 7, 2017

Day 159, Friday, April 7, 2017, David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN, Day 5

David Crockett Monument
Friday, April 7, 2017, David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN, Day 5, 0 Miles, 7,272.9 Miles For the Trip

Another cool night, but it did warm up more than yesterday during the afternoon. I sat outside & read, checked the Syracuse Post Standard newspaper on my iPad, and read a few blogs & forums on the computer. After lunch I drove to town to find the David Crockett monument.

On the way back to the campground I made a quick stop at the local Walmart, dropped off the purchases, then headed to the restaurant for dinner. The had a $12.95 buffet which was just barely OK, but easier than deciding what to cook myself. After dinner I sat outside and talked with some of my neighbors. The park is filling up. While there are still more empty sites than filled, most of the nicer sites have RVs in them. I met a couple from Nova Scotia who are heading home after spending the winter in Alamo, TX, one of the towns in the part of Texas referred to as the Rio Grande Valley. They had a very warm March, but the rest of the winter was pleasant.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Day 158, Thursday, April 6, 2017, David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN, Day 4

Thursday, April 6, 2017, David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN, Day 4, 0 Miles, 7,272.9 Miles For the Trip

Boy did it cool off! Down to 43°F at 6:00AM, and it only barely got up to 59°F by late afternoon. I'm glad I fired up the cube heater overnight. Sorry for not photos, but it was a dreary day for them.

Around 4:00 a 5th wheel moved in next door, so I don't feel quite so alone in this end of the campground. There are also about 5 RVs in the upper area, some that are here for the weekend. For both our sakes, I hope it warms up.

I spent most of the morning inside reading, then decided since it was too cold to be comfortable outside, I'd do laundry. Nothing here in the campground, so I headed into Lawrenceburg & the Wishy Washy Laundromat. Not too busy with no wait on washing machines or dryers. Good size folding tables, plenty of carts to move your stuff around, and comfortable (but worn) booths with benches to sit at while you wait.

After putting away the laundry & making the bed, I spent more time reading inside, went for a shower, then made dinner.

Dinner was simple, a couple of turkey hot dogs & the left over rice & broccoli from the other day. Speaking of turkey, there are wild ones here in the park. I can hear them each day, but haven's seen them in the campground. I did see a small flock in a field when heading to the laundromat, but there wasn't anywhere to pull off the narrow road to take a photo.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Day 157, Wednesday, April 5, 2017, David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN, Day 3

Wednesday, April 5, 2017, David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN, Day 3, 0 Miles, 7,272.9 Miles For the Trip

A nice, quiet night. Lots of severe thunderstorm & tornado warnings on the radio this morning with many schools closed in Alabama to the south. I checked the weather radar app and the storms are to the east & south of Lawrenceburg. I did keep a local station on the radio to hear alerts, and while there were lots of them, we appear to be on the western edge of the storms. More predicted overnight; lets hope they are somewhere else. I really don't want to be in the trailer with quarter sized hail. In fact, while I have been through a dime sized hail storm on a previous trip, I doubt the trailer would deal well with a combination of quarter size hail & 60MPH winds! I'm used to the wind - most winters we have a couple of storms off Lake Ontario that have 60+ MPH winds, but large hail I can do without.

All we had here was lots of wind. It was in the 80's, so I tried sitting outside reading. The prediction is for 40°F tonight, so I may dig out the electric heater.

I didn't feel like cooking, so dinner was a salad.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Day 156, Tuesday, April 4, 2017, David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN, Day 2

David Crockett Falls
Tuesday, April 4, 2017, David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN, Day 2, 0 Miles, 7,272.9 Miles For the Trip

Just a little light rain overnight that stopped by midnight.

After breakfast I went for a walk around the campground loops, waved goodbye to the only other campers besides the host & a Sunrader Class C in the upper section. I sat around reading, checking forums & websites, called my friends Don & Anne (Don is recovering from a heart attack & quadruple bypass surgery). I also reserved three days at the end of April at Greenbelt National Park in Maryland (just outside Washington, DC) so I can visit with my daughter, her husband & the granddaughters.

After lunch, I drove to the covered bridge & the David Crockett Waterfall. I didn't have my neutral density filter with me so the image isn't as soft as my usual waterfall pictures, but it is what you get! The picture of the bridge is at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After that I headed to town to find a grocery store. I had an urge for a couple of hard rolls to make sandwiches. Unfortunately, although the Krogers had a bakery, they didn't have any rolls. Of course, I picked up some other stuff, most of which I didn't really need, The freezer is officially full!

Once everything was packed away, I sat outside in the shade and continued to read my latest book - Orphan X, by Gregg Hurwitz. An interesting read in the style of Lee Child. He has written lots of other books; this is the first time I've read him. Looks like I'll be doing some Amazon used book orders!

Dinner was an Amy's Thai Pad Thai dinner, A Vegan Thai/Vietnamese stir fry frozen meal. The first time for her version, but so far I've liked all the different frozen dinners from the company.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, April 3, 2017

Day 155, Monday, April 3, 2017, David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN

Site 94
Monday, April 3, 2017, David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN, 98.6 Miles, 7,272.9 Miles For the Trip

It rained off & on, mostly on, all night, including lightning & thunder, stopping just in time for me to pack up the trailer & head out. A relaxing drive on TN 100, US 412, and US 43 to Lawrenceburg. I crossed the Natchez Trace and pulled into David Crockett State Park around noon.

I asked for a site until Sunday, and while they had many for the week, few that included the weekend. I'm in site 94, a back in with water & electric and a distant picnic table for $20.66 per night with the Senior discount Tennessee gives to those over 62, even if they are from out of state. Thanks! A pretty site, although it looks like lots of sand has flowed across the site's pavement with yesterday's rain. I did manage to put down my plastic ground mat so I won't be tracking too much into the trailer.

Right now the campground is mostly empty. A couple on their way back to Quebec from wintering in the Rio Grand Valley of Texas moved in a few spaces below mine, but that is all in this loop. A few more in the upper area. The bathrooms, as well as the campground can be classified as "rustic", although in better shape than Chickasaw.

While I was sitting outside a bunch of cars & trucks pulled up to the bathrooms. They are closing down the campground for the better part of a year starting in September to rebuilt the bathrooms & some of the sites. I suggested that they consider showers that didn't spray into the dressing room, and they thought that was a good idea. The problem is there is already a design for all Tennessee showers that may result in the problem even with new showers. The newest Tennessee campground I've been in was Tim Ford, and that had all kinds of shower problems.

After setting up, including a hummingbird feeder, I spend most of the day sitting outside reading. It started to rain around 4:30, and has been raining off & on since. Not too heavy, but too much to sit outside.

I read for a bit in the trailer, than fired up the toaster oven to heat up a frozen Boston Market Chicken Parmesan dinner. They make a bunch of dinners, but that is the only one I like.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Day 154, Sunday, April 2, 2017, Chickasaw State Park, Chickasaw, TN

Site 20
Sunday, April 2, 2017, Chickasaw State Park, Chickasaw, TN, 132.7 Miles, 7,174.3 Miles For the Trip

A quiet night; even the dog next door didn't do a lot of barking. This morning the owner mentioned that he was bit of a problem and nipped at his own kids. Just the kind of animal you let run loose in a campground!

After breakfast I packed up the trailer & headed to Tennessee. I stopped at one of the Memphis Rite Aids to pick up my prescriptions. They were able to fill all of them even though one still had 11 days before it was scheduled for filling. One of the most pleasant Rite Aids I've been to.

After that it was east on US 64 & TN 100 to Chickasaw State Park. There are probably better campgrounds on the way to Townsend, but this one is a short jog off the route, and I know what to expect - a somewhat run down (probably better to say "rustic") state park. I did get a better site than last year - I wouldn't have been able to get the trailer into last year's site with the truck. That was one big advantage of the RAV4. The short wheelbase, combined with the short distance between the hitch & rear wheels made the combination very maneuverable. I'm in site 20, a water & electric site for $20.48. I'm only staying one night - it is suppose to rain tomorrow & it looks like water runs through the site during a storm. It is hot & muggy, 89°F this afternoon. The campground, at least the lower section is almost empty - just me & the host. Actually, the rain isn't waiting until tomorrow; it just started around 7:15PM.  I don't have a lot of packing up the trailer to leave in the morning - I already unhooked the water, the truck is still hooked to the trailer & the site is level enough that I don't have any blocks or the Anderson Leveler out.  All I have to do is disconnect the electric, close the front window protector, run up the tongue jack,  & crank up the rear jacks.

I did some reading, both a book & the internet. There is WiFi here, but it doesn't currently have an internet connection. I have a good 4 bar Verizon 4G LTE signal, and one bar to none AT&T.

Dinner was a couple of grilled chicken thighs & a Knorr Rice & Broccoli side.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Day 153, Saturday, April 1, 2017, Village Creek State Park, Wynne, AR, Day 2

Saturday, April 1, 2017, Village Creek State Park, Wynne, AR, Day 2, 0 Miles, 7,041.6 Miles For the Trip

Not much going on today. The campground has filled with only a few empty sites. About 1/2 RVs, the rest tents. My next door neighbors, along with many others in the campground don't appear to believe in the dog leash rules. Their Greman Sheapard mix came visiting, growling & barking - their answer was he is only 1 year old. They finally chased him back to their site with a broom. I don't know what it is with me and dogs, but most of them don't like me! I did do a bit of housework - I defrosted the refrigerator.

I had a late brunch of bacon & scrambled eggs, then spent the day either walking around the campground or sitting outside reading. I finished my first Lyn Hamilton book; liked it alot, and ordered a couple more at Amazon. I won't get them until I'm home, but I still have quite a few books in the bin to read on the rest of the trip.

Dinner will be a BLT and a salad.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, March 31, 2017

Day 152, Friday, March 31, 2017, Village Creek State Park, Wynne, AR

Wildflower at my Site

Friday, March 31, 2017, Village Creek State Park, Wynne, AR, 131.5 Miles, 7,041.6 Miles For the Trip

Much of today's drive was on US 67/167, a four lane, limited access road much like an interstate, but with narrower lanes. There were a couple of miles with Jersey Barriers even with the white line on the outside edge of the lane. It got tight when trucks passed!

I stopped at a post office in Beebe to mail Zoe's (my granddaughter) birthday card, and again in Searcy for gas & a Walmart. I pulled into Village Creek State Park around 1:30. I'm in site 4, a fairly level (I didn't have to unhook the truck) water & electric site for $22.10 per night.

There is a small creek behind my site and some pretty wildflowers just behind the trailer. Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I hope this will post. I have no AT&T coverage, and a weak -100dBm Verizon signal that switches back & forth between 1X & 3G. The 3G is pretty solid - I'm able to read forums & websites so maybe it will be OK.

Dinner was a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches & a Del Monte Natural Peach Chunk Cup.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Day 151, Thursday, March 30, 2017, Maumelle Corps of Engineers Campground, Little Rock, AR, Day 2

Thursday, March 30, 2017, Maumelle Corps of Engineers Campground, Little Rock, AR, Day 2, 0 Miles, 6,910.1 Miles For the Trip

A little bit of rain, distant lightning & thunder, but none of the severe thunderstorms predicted for the area. I watched them go by both west & east of us on the weather radar app on my iPhone, but we only got about 15 minutes of light rain. It did cool down. It was still 80°F when I went to bed, got down to 61°F overnight, and is only up to 62°F now at 1:30PM.

I didn't do much besides read forums & blogs, and some of my current book - Death Takes Passage, by Sue Henry. She writes mysteries taking place in Alaska. A little slow, but it is interesting to read about the area. This one takes place on a boat ride down the Inside Passage, part of Alaska my parents did, but I haven't.

Dinner was an El Monterey Chicken Empanada, and the rest of the Bush Beans.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Day 150, Wednesday, March 29, 2017, Maumelle Corps of Engineers Campground, Little Rock, AR

Site A5
Wednesday, March 29, 2017, Maumelle Corps of Engineers Campground, Little Rock, AR, 129.6 Miles, 6,910.1 Miles For the Trip

While only 129 miles, it was a long drive on a bunch of AR state roads. It looked like there were better roads, but Matilda, my GPS choose those, and I wasn't in a hurry. I had made reservations for the Maumelle COE campground, but after arriving, discovered there was no need; lots of empty sites. I'm in A5, next door to where I stayed last year. A level site with water & electric for $12.00 per night. The campground is interesting - they have a number of full hookup sites that are reserved as long term medical sites for a local hospital. There is also a large marina at one end of the campground. This part of the Arkansas River is big enough for large boats, including barge strings.

After setting up I walked around the campground, then sat out at my picnic table & read.

Dinner was a grilled chicken patty and Bush Brown Sugar & Bourbon beans.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Day 148, Tuesday, March 28, 2017, Aux ARC Campground, Ozark, AR, Day 3

Many Black Vultures Over the Campground
Tuesday, March 28, 2017, Aux ARC Campground, Ozark, AR, Day 3, 0 Miles, 6,780.5 Miles For the Trip

Another lazy day. I did lots of reading, took a walk along the campground, and a shower.

There are hundreds of vultures that arrive every evening. Unlike the turkey vultures out west, they are a little smaller, and have white tipped wings. I looked them up in my iBirds app and it appears they are Black Vultures. They must overnight in the trees across the river, and circle over the campground & river at different heights. It reminds you of the movie "The Birds" although I never got a photo of a large group. A couple more photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

That is about it for the day. Because we are expecting thunderstorms in the AM, I started packing up the outside stuff so I'll spend less time in the rain. Of course that probably will result in it not raining!

Dinner was mostly leftovers - the rest of the ravioli, spaghetti sauce, but with meatballs & sausage rather than shrimp.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, March 27, 2017

Day 148, Monday, March 27, 2017, Aux ARC Campground, Ozark, AR,Day 2

Monday, March 27, 2017, Aux ARC Campground, Ozark, AR,Day 2, 0 Miles, 6,780.5 Miles For the Trip

The trains on the other side of the river are loud enough to be annoying. I don't mind the engine & track noise, but could do without the horns. They end around 2:00AM, and start again at 6:00AM, although there are fewer during the late hours.

I climbed out of bed at 9:00AM, took a walk around the campground - is is over a mile from one end to the other, then made breakfast. After reading some forums & blogs, I packed up my dirty clothes, and headed for the Maytag Laundromat. Not the most modern one I've been to, but they did have front loading machines & plenty of dryers.

The rest of the day was spent sitting outside in the mixed sun & clouds reading.

Dinner was cheese ravioli with shrimp in spaghetti sauce.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Day 147, Sunday, March 26, 2017, ACE Campground, Ozark, AR

Site D19
Sunday, March 26, 2017, Aux ARC Campground, Ozark, AR, 149.8 Miles, 6,780.5 Miles For the Trip

Not too long a drive today, some on I 40, but most on US 64, a two lane highway that parallels I 40, and is far more fun to drive (although, I have to admit, a bit slower). I stopped at a Walmart along the way for some supplies, then stopped for the day at an ARC campground on the Arkansas River across the bridge from Ozark, AR. I'm in site D19, a water & electric site for $9.00 per night (with the Senior Pass discount) for three nights. A pretty site overlooking the river not too far from the bathrooms. A minor problem is the railroad across the river & a crossing that requires tooting the horn. Pretty loud when sitting outside, but not too bad in the trailer.

There is one NPR news station, and good Verizon & AT&T 4G cell coverage.

I spent most of the afternoon sitting outside reading. I did take a shower around 5:00 - push buttons with a 10 second run, very hot water with the first blast, then it settles down to a good temperature. No shower curtain & the shower head aims at the drying area, but it is a standard shower head, so it can be aimed so it doesn't get the drying area too wet.

There is a prediction for severe thunderstorms in the morning, but right now it is pleasant out with a light breeze.

Dinner was a salad.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Day 146, Saturday, March 25, 2017, Dripping Springs State Park / Okmulgee City Park, Okmulgee, OK, Day 2

Saturday, March 25, 2017, Dripping Springs State Park / Okmulgee City Park, Okmulgee, OK, Day 2, 0 Miles, 6,630.7 Miles For the Trip

Not much happening today. We did have a thunderstorm last night with a bit of rain, and it has cooled considerably. Right now, at 2:40 it is only 53°F, the high for the day. While I didn't use it last night, I dug out the cube heater & have it going on low to keep the trailer at 67°F.

I took a break from doing nothing & walked around the campground. About 1/2 through the walk, another Escape 17 pulled by. Dave, a fellow Escape owner from Buffalo, NY saw my blog last night, realized he was driving by the park & stopped by to say hello. He is on his way west. After a brief chat, he headed on & continued my walk around the campground. I stopped by the bathrooms at the other end of the campground. Much newer, nicer, and separate showers, but they have the high pressure shower heads, and cost $1.00 for 6 minutes; mine are free. It does appear to have heat, which would be nice today.

Back at the trailer I snacked, wrote a couple of postcards for the grandchildren, & read most of the afternoon.

Dinner was a Chicken Pot Pie baked in the trailer to use the extra heat from the toaster oven.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Day 145, Friday, March 24, 2017, Dripping Springs State Park / Okmulgee City Park, Okmulgee, OK

Site 20
Friday, March 24, 2017, Dripping Springs State Park / Okmulgee City Park, Okmulgee, OK, 198.2 Miles, 6,630.7 Miles For the Trip

The wind died down around midnight, but picked up again around 7:00AM, although not the 60 MPH gusts of yesterday. Speaking of yesterday, a couple of interesting "finds". First, don't ever depend on Local Store.net to find something, at least drug stores. It is time to do my "grand refill" on my prescriptions - over the last year I choose my refill dates so all of them would come due at the same time to make it easier while traveling. Last year the problem was using my favorite local (ie Oswego) pharmacy. They don't have many stores outside NY state, so I had to get prescriptions filled at other pharmacies, which always meant canceled refills.

So. the solution was to leave my favorite pharmacy and go to a national one. The only one in my home town is Rite Aid, which does have stores in many states. Unfortunately, they don't have any in Arizona, New Mexico or northern Texas. I did a search on Local Store.net & they showed 5 Rite Aids in Oklahoma City. I called the one closest to my route to phone in the refills, and the phone answered CVS Pharmacy. Huh - well, maybe they changed stores. Called each of the others and they all answered CVS pharmacy! Seems there are no Rite Aids in Oklahoma. I don't think much of a store finding service that gives the wrong store! So, I will have to wait until I reach Tennessee to get my refills. I think I have enough...

The other interesting "find" last night was a wasp on the screen of my window around dusk. A close look showed I was viewing its back, meaning it was inside. I don't like wasps, so I got out the fly swatter & hit it. Now usually, when I use the fly swatter on a stinging insect, it either misses, or just "wings" it, letting it disappear into the trailer. This time I did get it, but then noticed another one between the screen & sliding window. I squashed that one, then wondered how many got inside and are hiding, waiting to nail me in the middle of the night! I didn't find any more, however this (today) afternoon I ran the window shade up all the way & discovered another wasp between the screen & window that rode all the way here. I'm not sure how the first got through the screen, but I'm glad the other two stayed outside, and hope not to find another one!

Anyway, now to today. Most of the drive was on I 40 with enough side winds to make it a 2 hands on the steering wheel drive. Only 11.9 MPG for the day. I'm at Dripping Springs State Park, which seems to have become Okmulgee City Park. The campground map says it is a state park, but the campground host brought back my check that I had made out to Oklahoma State Parks, and asked if I could make it out to the city - the city took over the park last year. In any case, it is a large park with three campgrounds. I'm in site 20 in the Red Oak Campground, a water & Electric site for $18.00 per night, including a $2.00 senior discount. I'm here for tonight & Saturday. Like the last park, this one is mostly empty. There are two trailers other than me & the host in a campground with 60 sites.

It is my kind of campsite with lots of space between sites, a picnic table, and plenty of shade (at least once the red oaks leave out). The bathrooms are a bit primitive, but acceptable. One of the showers doesn't, but the other has a good shower head, a pushbutton that runs long enough & provides hot water, a bench, but no hooks for clothes, or any place for your soap or shampoo in the shower. No shower curtain, but not too much water ends up in the drying area.

It looks like the bathhouse on the other end of the campground is newer, with individual showers, but this one works. Acceptable AT&T without an amplifier, and while only one bar of Verizon 4G LTE without the amp, with it 3 bars & acceptable speed.

I didn't do much other than read a few blogs & forums, and my latest book. It is warm out - in the high 70's, but still a little windy.

Dinner was a Bubba Turkey Burger & steamed snap peas.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Day 144, Thursday, March 23, 2017, Cedar Point Campground, Foss State Park, OK

Site 13, Cedar Point Campground, Foss State Park
Thursday, March 23, 2017, Cedar Point Campground, Foss State Park, OK, 197.1 Miles, 6,432.5 Miles For the Trip

I got an acceptably early start for the day, leaving the campground at 8:00AM. A very windy drive. Unfortunately, side winds, not a tailwind for most of the trip. I only averaged 11 MPG for the day, and getting a good shake at underpasses. There were a number of trailers on I40, and most of them were jumping around more than the Escape, so I didn't feel too bad.

I looked for a state park not too far from I 40, and selected Foss Lake. They have a bunch of campgrounds, 2 of which have electric & water. I tried to call to see if there were sites available, but only got a recorded message that told me to use the "Iron Ranger" to book any non reserved site. Of course that didn't tell me if any were available, but there was a KOA 10 miles away, so I went for it.

The first stop was the Cottonwood Campground with around 30 sites, all empty, with no reservations. It looked lonely, so I drove on to the Cedar Point campground, which is on the lake. 4 RVs at Cedar Point, so I parked in Site 13. I had to ask one of the park maintenance drivers for the location of the Iron Ranger - it was next to my site (but I have to say is didn't look like any Iron Ranger I've seen before.) It is a very nice site; even has a stack of firewood at the fire ring, but it is far too windy to use it or even sit around outside. I hope it calms down by evening. There is excellent Verizon & AT&T coverage here at the campground.

The wind has not let up - in must be a steady 30MPH with stronger gusts. Even with the trailer still connected to the truck & all 4 stabilizers down, it is rocking in the wind. It is even rattling the trailer step!

It is a long walk (and into the wind) to the bathrooms. A strange location for them - the bathrooms with showers are in the picnic area, not near the RV section. Pay showers ($1.00 for 6 minutes) with low flow/high velocity showerheads. They also have a laundry at $1.50 per load. Tempting, but I don't have quite enough for a load. I'll have to decide if I want to brave the wind for a shower later.

Dinner was soup & a sandwich - no way I was going to grill outside.

Day 143, Wednesday, March 22, 2017, Sagebrush Campground, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TX, Day 3

Wild Tom Turkey
Wednesday, March 22, 2017, Sagebrush Campground, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TX, Day 3, 0 Miles, 6,235.4 Miles For the Trip

A very slow day. No sun, so it is quite cool, mostly in the 50's. I did run the electric heater last night since it was down to 47°F by morning. I walked to the park store for a breakfast sandwich & coffee this morning. After that it was back to the trailer and doing some reading inside. I did get out to take some photos of a wandering flock of wild turkeys. There are a lot of them in the valley behind the campground, with groups coming out to graze on the lawn at the campsites. A couple more photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

The sun came out around 5:00, so I sat outside for a bit before dinner, which was Chicken Cordon Bleu & the last of the asparagus. I did try the other shower to see if it was any better, but it was even colder. I have to say these have been the worst showers of the trip.

Until a good internet connection -

Day 142, Tuesday, March 21, 2017, Sagebrush Campground, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TX, Day 2

The Lighthouse
Tuesday, March 21, 2017, Sagebrush Campground, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TX, Day 2, 0 Miles, 6,235.4 Miles For the Trip

The first three photos are from Rockhound. I forgot that they were in the D800 until I set it up for some night time photos here at Palo Duro. The hang glider was using the face of the mountain behind the campground to gain altitude. He would circle around the face until he was almost out of sight, then make a bunch of large circles, until he dropped enough to go back to the face & climb. He was there for over an hour.

I looked through the trail map this morning, and decided that a hike to the park's favorite formation, "The Lighthouse" was in order. Since it is an almost 3 mile hike with little shade and labeled "Moderate", I left early enough to avoid the late afternoon heat. Actually, other than long, most of the hike is easy. There is a "Fooled You" formation about a 1/2 mile into the hike that looks like it could be the lighthouse, but isn't. The last 1/8 of a mile is a steep climb up a narrow & rocky wash, much of which is on slippery sand covered rock - even more difficult coming down.

After getting back to the truck, I drove out to the Mesquite Campground, and did find it more interesting than the Sagebrush campground I'm in. It did have one empty site, but I decided not to bother asking to move. I did find a Roadrunner crossing the road (naturally) and got a couple of photos.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

On the way back to the campground, I stopped at the park store, hoping they would have quarts or 1/2 gallons of skimmed milk, but all they had were pints of whole milk, something I haven't had in years. I guess I'll have to have an Alaskan Amber with dinner! I spent the afternoon finding the right mix of sun & shade to be comfortable sitting outside. It is cooler than yesterday (82°F now at 7:00) but the sun still has a punch. There is also more wind than yesterday, so I wasn't comfortable putting out the awning.

I headed for the shower around 7:00. I'm beginning to think carrying a wrench & showerhead would be a great idea. I don't mind water saver showerheads, but some are extreme. The one in this shower shoots a very fine, high pressure spray. While it is warm (but far from hot) coming out of the showerhead, by the time it reaches you it is cold. Good for washing your hair since it is still warm (but feels line a pressure washer) but painful for washing the rest of you. While there is a shower curtain, the showerhead is aimed at it, and the spray gets under it so the drying area is very wet. On the plus side, there is a bench & plenty of hooks.

Dinner was a Chimichanga and asparagus. I'm not sure what the difference is between a Chimichanga & a Burrito, other than the Chimichanga has a more pie like crust. In any case, easy to bake in the toaster oven.

I'll try to post today's page, but the photos, even the thumbnails wouldn't upload, so if it makes it the table of images will be blank.

Until a good internet connection -

Day 141, Monday, March 20, 2017, Sagebrush Campground, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TX

Sagebrush Campground, Site 129

Monday, March 20, 2017, Sagebrush Campground, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TX, 37.8 Miles, 6,235.4 Miles For the Trip

I left the Oasis around 10:00, and made a couple of stops along the way to Palo Duro, first at a Walmart for some supplies, and at the Canyon Post Office to mail the grandkid's postcards & the build sheet confirmation to Escape.

It was still a short trip, and I arrived at the park around 12:00. It might have been better to get here a little later. I wanted to stay at the Mesquite Campground, which had been recommended by more than one, but they assigned me a spot in Sagebrush since they didn't know which sites at Mesquite had been cleared.

I'm in site 129, a water & electric site for $29.00 per night (including the $5.00 per day park entrance fee Texas parks add to all campers). I'm not too far from the bathrooms & showers, have a large grassy area next to the trailer, and a fire ring & picnic table, although the picnic table is a bit of a walk from the trailer. There is an unusual fire ban at the park - no outside fires, period, including gas stoves. While I've run into many that banned campfires & charcoal grills, this is the first park that included anything that makes a flame. I guess I'll do my cooking for the next three days in the trailer, or bake things outside in the toaster oven!

After setting up the trailer I ran out the awning & sat under it to try to find some shade. It is hot - 98°F on the outside thermometer, which, I have to admit, is in the sun under the propane tank covers. Still, in the sun it is hot! I did fire up the air conditioner. I'm beginning to understand why Texans say air conditioners are a "must have". I read for awhile, then checked the internet. While my AT&T phone shows between 1 & 2 bars, it isn't doing data. The Verizon Jetpack shows no connection without the amplifier, and switched back & forth between a 1X & a 3G connection with it, although web pages & posting from Dreamweaver isn't going to happen. I am getting chunks of email every once in awhile. It will probably be a couple of days before I post any of the pages from here.

It is still 98°F out at 4:40, so I'm going to set up my roll out table and set up the toaster oven outside. By the way, the 11,000 BTU air conditioner has no problem keeping the trailer cool (currently 75°F) set on low & the dial about 1/2 way to full. I still don't like the noise, but do appreciate the cool!

Dinner was a couple of El Monterey Chicken Empanadas. I bought a package back at the beginning of the trip, haven't been able to find them since, until today. Evidently, some RVers don't believe in the fire ban - 2 of my neighbors are cooking dinner on gas camp stoves outside their vehicles. Neither are from Texas...

At 6:15, it has cooled down to 97°F. Of course, I could be in upstate NY where it is in the 20's.

Until the next internet connection -

Well, I can't upload the large version of the campsite photo, but the thumbnail & this page got through.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Day 140, Sunday, March 19, 2017, Oasis RV Resort, Amarillo, TX

Site 39, Oasis RV Resort
Sunday, March 19, 2017, Oasis RV Resort, Amarillo, TX, 102.5 Miles, 6,197.6 Miles For the Trip

Another relatively short drive, mostly on US 60 and a little on I 40. As you cross into Texas, there are a bunch of cattle fattening farms, although I'm not sure whether they are considered farms or ranches, or businesses. Thousands of cattle in pens standing around waiting.

I crossed into central time, so I lost another hour. I'm doing the page at 6:00, and it still seems like the middle of the afternoon. I'm at the Oasis RV Resort, "Amarillo's Newest, Largest & Finest". It definitely meets the description, although it isn't exactly my cup of tea. I'm in site 39, a full hookup site for $27.00. A level concrete pad, but no picnic table and not a tree in sight. They have individual bathrooms with showers that are very clean. They also have very fast, free WiFi. I will be moving on to Palo Duro Canyon State Park tomorrow.

It is very windy today. Because of a tailwind, I was getting 18 MPG on the early part of the trip, but the average for the day was down to 14.7 MPG. After setting up I put the awning out a couple of feet to get a piece of shade for both me & the refrigerator wall. The current temperature is 91°F, so I'm running the air conditioner again.

When I get around to feeling hungry, dinner will be left over shrimp Alfredo.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Day 139, Saturday, March 18, 2017, Clovis RV Park, NM

Site 37, Clovis RV Park, Clovis, NM
Saturday, March 18, 2017, Clovis RV Park, NM, 112 Miles, 6,095.1 Miles For the Trip

I had a short drive on US 70 to Clovis. I hoped to mail the grandkid's cards and the Build Sheet letter to Escape, but all the post offices I passed on the way were closed on Saturdays. They will have to wait until Monday.

I'm in site 37, a level enough to not unhook, full hookup site (with Cable TV) for $30.00. They have paid WiFi, however I have a strong Verizon signal so I'll use my Jetpack. While the office is only open from 2:00 - 4:00, they told me to call when I got here and they would send someone over to put me in a site. Individual bathrooms with showers that are spotless. All in all, pretty good for a commercial campground.

I checked with what I hoped to be my next stop, Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Texas, but the on line reservation shows no sites available, and the office at the posted phone number is closed until Monday. I will see if they have any drive up sites available, but it not, there are many commercial sites in near by Amarillo.

A little later, I tried a reservation search starting Monday rather than Sunday, and got a 3 day booking at the Mesquite Campground at Palo Duro Canyon. I also have a Sunday reservation at a park in Amarillo, so I should be set for most of the week.

Other than setting up, I didn't do much but sit in the shade and read for the day. No where near as hot as the last two days.

Dinner was a Knorr's Alfredo with added shrimp.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, March 17, 2017

Day 138, Friday, March 17, 2017, Trailer Village RV Park, Roswell, NM, Day 2

The Museum
Friday, March 17, 2017, Trailer Village RV Park, Roswell, NM, Day 2, 0 Miles, 5,983.1 Miles For the Trip

Well, it wasn't warm last night - down to 48°F at 6:00AM. Good for the refrigerator. It always takes time to cool back down, particularly the main section, after defrosting, It was at 32°F by morning, so the cool night did it good!

I checked my propane & one tank was empty, so the first stop was at a propane dealer. I probably should have tried the campground; AWC Propane was $17.68 for 4.7 gallons, the most expensive of the trip. overall, So far, I've used 42.3 gallons of propane for the trailer and cook stove.

After picking up the propane, I stopped at the center of town to check out the shops and "museums" dedicated to the "Roswell Incident". No "T" shirt, but I did buy a couple of post cards for the grandkids. The town certainly makes good use of a grounded weather balloon (maybe!) Anyhow, here are some photos, most from the main museum ($3.00 senior admission). They have a good collection of clippings & materials from the original incident, but the rest of the place is speculation about UFOs. The scary part is a number of the visitors appeared to believe it all!

After that I headed for the local Office Max to have them print a PDF of my "Build Sheet", the instructions & options for my new 21' Escape trailer. They moved up the expected delivery date from October 4th to September 20th, and will probably move it up again. Since I've been going over the various options for 6 months, I'm ready to settle on what I want.

Dinner was left over fried chicken & a salad.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Day 137, Thursday, March 16, 2017, Trailer Village RV Park, Roswell, NM

Site 29, Trailer Village RV Park
Thursday, March 16, 2017, Trailer Village RV Park, Roswell, NM, 260.4 Miles, 5,983.1 Miles For the Trip

Another warm night.

After breakfast I packed up the trailer & headed out. I made at least one camper happy - the park is full & there were 3 RVs waiting for a site.

A little bit of I 10 to Las Cruces, then US 70 to Ruidoso, where I planned to stay for the night. I did make a stop at the Las Cruces Toyota to get my 15,000 mile service, but there was no room to drop the trailer, and they didn't seem all that interested in doing the service. At 15,000 miles, all they do is rotate the tires & check fluids, etc. In any case, after trying to find a spot for the trailer & failing, I headed out.

I didn't have much better luck at Ruidoso. The campground I had entered into the GPS turned out to be a motel, and it there is an attached campground, it is pretty well hidden. There were a couple more listed in the AllStays Camp & RV app I use to do most of my searches, but after stopping at two of them & finding them filled with park model trailers and no one at the office (for one I couldn't even find the office), I gave up & continued on to Roswell, about 60 miles further down US 70.

I'm in site 29 at the Trailer Village RV Park, a full hookup site at the end of a row about as far from the road as you can get, for $34.00 per night. A level enough site that I didn't need to unhook, but on the way into town I passed a Toyota dealer, so I decided to stay 2 days, planning to get the Tacoma serviced tomorrow. Of course, after signing up for 2 days, and then calling the Toyota dealer, even though it was only 15 minutes until they closed, they took me in tonight. So, I'll have a day of doing nothing in Roswell. Maybe I'll go looking for aliens (the extraterrestrial kind)!

It is hot! 95°F both in & outside the trailer. I fired up the air conditioner for the first time on the trip. I ran it for about an hour to cool down the trailer. While it was running, I defrosted the refrigerator. Now, at 7:50, it has cooled down to 81°F outside, and the trailer is slowly warming up to the outside temperature.

Dinner was fried chicken & greens from Albertson's.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Day 136, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, Rockhound State Park, NM, Day 2

California Poppies
Wednesday, March 15, 2017, Rockhound State Park, NM, Day 2, 0 Miles, 5,722.7 Miles For the Trip

It stayed warm overnight - only down to 60°F by morning. I didn't get up until 9:00; still getting used to daylight savings time. After a walk around the campground, I made breakfast, coffee, and read for about an hour.

After that I decided to hit one of the trails that climbs the mountains behind the campground. A great view from about 3/4 of the way up. You are allowed to take up to 10 pounds of rock from the mountain. There are geodes, semi precious stones, etc, but I didn't find any. I did pick up a couple of pretty rocks, including one large one that will go on my TV table at home along with my other "finds" on my travels. I took lots of photos of the flowers along the way, as well as a large panorama from near the top. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After getting back to the trailer I finished a J. A. Jance novel - Desert Heat, the first Joanna Brady book. I keep thinking I've read all of her novels, but keep finding ones that are not on my list.

After that I hit the showers. Not too bad for a non adjustable, push button shower. Plenty of hooks, a bench & a shower curtain.

Dinner was a Milford Valley Chicken with Broccoli & Cheese thing and steamed asparagus. The chicken things are pretty good, but since they start with raw chicken, they must be baked so I only make them when I have hookups for the toaster oven.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Day 135, Tuesday, March 14, 2017, Rockhound State Park, NM

A Yucca Plant at Sunset
Tuesday, March 14, 2017, Rockhound State Park, NM, 149 Miles, 5,722.7 Miles For the Trip

Well, it definitely cooled off over night - 40°F at 6:00AM. I fired up the electric heater, and by 7:00 it was up to 68°F. They offered a waffle & coffee breakfast between 8:30 & 9:00, but for some reason, no one was sitting at the picnic tables in the 45°F temperatures! I had cereal, the rest of my blueberries, and made my own coffee.

Not a bad drive on I 10 to Deming. Light traffic, although most of it was trucks. I lost an hour crossing the New Mexico border by gaining daylight savings time. I arrived at Rockhound State Park around 12:30. I'm in site 26 for 2 days, a water & electric site for $14.00 per night.

Rockhound is a more "refined" park than City of Rocks where I stayed on the way out, but a bit closer to Deming. Since I have to pick up a general delivery mailing at the post office (where the parking with a trailer is limited), I decided to stay here.

There are more of the California Poppies (at least that is what I think they are) growing here than at the Lost Dutchman; some nice fields of them. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I called the post office, and my mail was in, so I headed to Deming & picked it up. I am more comfortable now that I have the registration for the truck (which would run out before I got home). Thanks Anne! While in town I stopped at Walmart & picked up some fruit & a frozen pizza for dinner.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, March 13, 2017

Dy 134, Monday, March 13, 2017,Fort Wilcox RV Park, AZ

Site 21, Fort Wilcox RV Park
Monday, March 13, 2017, Fort Wilcox RV Park, AZ, 194.4 Miles, 5,573.7 Miles For the Trip

Another 200 mile drive, mostly on US 60 & I10. I thought about stopping at Picacho State Park, but decided I wanted to make a few more miles. Last year I stopped a the Dragoon Rocks area to see the Amerind Museum, the 3:10 to Yuma movie set, and, of course, the rocks.

While there I found The Rock Saloon & Grill, an interesting place built around a huge rock that sits behind the bar. I also discovered that they had a campground, so this year I though about staying. I wandered around trying to find someone in charge, and finally met someone that could give me the prices - $50.00 per night for full hookups (in an empty campground and a closed bar & grill), but no bathrooms or showers. A bit more than I wanted to pay, plus I needed to do laundry, so I moved on.

I stopped for the night at the Fort Wilcox RV Park, a pleasant campground just off I 10 with a mix of permanent & short time campers. I'm in site 21, a full hookup site for $33.95. The laundry is next door to my site, and only $1.25 per load. Nothing special, but far enough from I 10 & the railroad to be fairly quiet.

I did take a couple of moon light photos last night, but by the time the moon rose behind the mountains it was too dark to show both the moon & the landscape. There are 2 images at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After making the bed & putting away the laundry, I sat in the shade & read. I was hoping that now that I've gained 3000' of altitude, it would be a bit cooler, but it was in the high 80's this afternoon. It is now cooling down; hope enough to make the refrigerator happy tonight.

Dinner will be a turkey Bubba Burger & the rest of the asparagus.

Until Tomorrow -