Thursday, March 22, 2018

Day 230, Thursday, March 22, 2018 - Bolding Mill COE Campground, Gainesville, GA

Site 73

Thursday, March 22, 2018 - Bolding Mill COE Campground, Gainesville, GA, - 66.9 Miles, 6,626.9 Towing Miles For the Trip

Another cool night, getting down to 35°F overnight. I got off to a slow start since I was only planning on a short hop today. I stopped at a Kroger's on the way for some groceries, and a Target looking for a stainless steel pie pan - not even an aluminum one! I did stop at a restaurant supply on the way, but while there were a bunch of vehicles parked outside, believe it or not, I couldn't find a door into the place! If I drive into Gainesville, I'll look for one there.

I picked out the Bolding Mill Corps of Engineer's Campground after reading reviews on RV Park Reviews (actually, finding the park with AllStays Camp & RV app, then linking to the RV Park Reviews). I checked on the availability of sites last night, and there were only three available for a three day stay. That always makes me a bit nervous - When the campground is 90% full, why are these sites left? Usually they are the sites that the locals know are hard to get into, unlevel, or otherwise undesirable. Still, the photo looked good, so I booked it on line. I'm in site 73, a water & electric site for $16.00 per night with the Senior Pass discount. As my site photo shows, a very nice site overlooking the lake.

A check of AT&T shows a -105dBm signal without an amp, providing 1Mbps down & 2.3Mbps up, fast enough for reading blogs and non graphic web pages. A bit slow for heavy graphics pages or video streaming. My Verizon Jetpack shows a -96dBm 4G LTE connection without an amp that is a bit faster at 2.5Mbps up & 2.9Mbps down.

As long as I'm doing campground reports, I might as well do the showers. Excellent layout, with a good showerhead, hot water, bench, lots of hooks, a dry floor in the drying area & 2 shower curtains. The only bad is no room heat (or if there is, it is sneaking through a grill near the ceiling that doesn't reach the shower area). 50°F makes for fast drying!

I spent much of the afternoon looking up waterfall locations & punching them into my GPS. If the weather looks good, that is the plan for tomorrow.

Dinner was a grilled turkey Bubba burger & coleslaw.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Day 229, Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - McKinney COE Campground, Allatoona Lake, GA, Day 3

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - McKinney COE Campground, Allatoona Lake, GA, Day 3 - 0 Miles, 6,560 Towing Miles For the Trip

A cold day! 50°F was the high, with 40°F overnight. No rain, even breaks of sun, but still pretty cold. Somehow I acclimated myself to the comparatively warm Arizona winter, and finding 50 degree days cold!

I did go for my usual walk around the campground. The turkeys are far enough into the woods that I couldn't get a usable photo, but the walk was OK. A few new trailers have moved into the campground, but there is still lots of empty sites.

I thought about where to go for the next couple of weeks until the Townsend rally. One part of me (my chilly bones) wants to head to the coast, hoping for warmth, but I've been there many times, and haven't spent much time in the Georgia/Tennessee hills, so I'll wander around the area. Sooner or later, it is going to warm up. The weather people are reporting the 4th Northeaster in a month. While they are calling it nothing special, I can't remember ever having that many in March. So far they are to the north & east, so I haven't seen snow. Matter of fact, other than mountaintops, I haven't seen snow in 3 years!

Most of the day was spent in the trailer reading both my Kindle & the computer. The little electric cube heater is keeping the trailer in the high 60's, so I'm staying in.

Dinner was a couple of grilled cheese (and peanut butter) sandwiches, along with chips & a peach fruit cup.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Day 228, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - McKinney COE Campground, Allatoona Lake, GA, Day 2

A Campground Turkey
Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - McKinney COE Campground, Allatoona Lake, GA, Day 2 - 0 Miles, 6,560 Towing Miles For the Trip

After posting yesterday's journal I headed for the showers. I'd have to rate them excellent, at least the handicapped one. The standard shower has a high pressure shower head and no hooks, but it appears that it doesn't get used much - a dry floor, while the handicapped shower looks well used, and no one is parked in any of the nearby handicapped sites. A door, bench, hook, drying room that has a dry floor, even after showering, a shower curtain that goes to the floor, and a hand held shower head that still has the hardware to hang it on the wall. Even the alternate shower head, although too low for a standing 6 footer, is a standard, not high pressure head. Lots of hot water, and a room heater aimed at the showers. Little to complain about!

Back at the trailer, I watched the second wave of the thunderstorms go by. Scary at the start because the worst of it was aimed at my location, at least while the storm was in Alabama. Towards 10:00 it split, with the worst of it 30 miles south hitting Atlanta, and just heavy rain here. The radio reported tornados to the west & south, softball sized hail, and wind damage all over the area. Parts of Atlanta are still without electricity. I guess it was my lucky night!

I slept late this morning, probably due to not quite adjusting to the time zone change. It was still dark during my 7:00AM eye drops. Eventually, I crawled out of bed, went for a walk, had breakfast, then hung out in the trailer. A dreary day, with little sun, and much cooler, in the 50's this morning, and only getting into the low 60's during the day. I did go for a second walk and took a few photos of the turkey flock that hangs out around the campground. I couldn't get the tom to display for me; maybe next time. I'm also adding a photo I remember taking but never downloading back in Quartzsite. I don't know if it is the other side of the Goodyear blimp, or a different one, but it was heading towards California. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages post.

That was it for the day.

Dinner was a bowl of frozen chicken stew (well it wasn't frozen after 5 minutes in the microwave!)

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, March 19, 2018

Day 227, Monday, March 19, 2018 - McKinney COE Campground, Allatoona Lake, GA

Site 71
Monday, March 19, 2018 - McKinney COE Campground, Allatoona Lake, GA, - 200.9 Miles, 6,560 Towing Miles For the Trip

Most of the drive was on I 85, although I took the Atlanta bypass ( I 285) which was 5 lanes of packed traffic at 2:00 in the afternoon. Speaking of time, I'm back in the Eastern Time Zone, which means my east coast internet radio stations will be playing at the real time. Actually, while in Arizona, I got used to listening to a couple of my favorite "late night" programs earlier in the evening.

I'm in site 71, a water & electric site at the McKinney Corps of Engineer's campground on Allatoona Lake for the next 3 days. $14 per night with the Senior Pass. Good AT&T coverage with a -105dBm signal without an amp & fairly fast data transfers. My iPad shows 3 bars of Verizon, again, without an amplifier, and acceptable data speed.

There was some very light rain on the drive, so little that the wipers never got off the slowest intermittent setting, but the weather reports are scary, at least for a northerner. Thunderstorms, tornados, tennis ball sized hail, etc. The Atlanta NPR station says it is coming, but my radar app shows a somewhat clear slot over the campground. Right now it is showing a small round purple spot (a possible tornado indicator) heading for Carrollton, a town southeast of the campground. Not much I can do about it since I have to stop somewhere. I'll keep an eye on the radar app & head for the cement block bathrooms if it looks bad. I did leave the trailer connected to the truck to give it a bit more weight if it gets windy!

With the time zone change, I finished setting up around 3:00, so other than a quick look at the bathroom building, I haven't seen much of the campground. Lots of empty sites, although there are a few trailers in the nearby sites.

Dinner was a Marie Callender's Creamy Mushroom Chicken Pot Pie.

Until Tomorrow -

Day 226, Sunday, March 19, 2018 - Gunter Hill Campground, Montgomery, AL, Day 8

Sunday, March 19, 2018 - Gunter Hill Campground, Montgomery, AL, Day 8 - 0 Miles, 6,359.1 Towing Miles For the Trip

Just a short update for today, in fact, so boring I almost forgot to do one. Nothing much happening, other than the campground emptying out of fiberglass & a bunch of "stickies" moving in. I did hook up the trailer before the rain started. It rained most of the afternoon & early evening, and the weather report calls for rain all day tomorrow, so getting some of the packing up done ahead of time will save putting wet stuff in the truck & trailer, and getting wet myself. At least it is still warm - in the mid 60's at 11:00PM.

Dinner was an Amy's Enchilada dinner.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Day 225, Saturday, March 17, 2018 - Gunter Hill Campground, Montgomery, AL, Day 7

The Group Photo
Saturday, March 17, 2018 - Gunter Hill Campground, Montgomery, AL, Day 7 - 0 Miles, 6,359.1 Towing Miles For the Trip

I started the day by making the second blueberry pie. While it browned better (I'm still getting used to the controls on the oven) it boiled over because the frozen blueberries thawed enough that they were too juicy. Still tasted better than the other one which was a bit underdone.

We did a group photo at 11:30. I don't think everyone came, but it was packed! If you want to see a larger version, check the Rally Photos, Page 3.

I lost one of my stainless steel pie pans at the rally. Someone probably picked it up by mistake. I'll have to find a real restaurant supply to get one for the Townsend Rally - aluminum pie pans don't cook the same as the stainless steel ones & I'm used to them.

The pot luck was delicious, as usual, and while I was lucky to get an early place in line & got a piece of my pie, there was plenty of stuff for all.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, March 16, 2018

Day 224, Friday, March 16, 2018 - Gunter Hill Campground, Montgomery, AL, Day 6

A Rare Photo That Includes Me!
Friday, March 16, 2018 - Gunter Hill Campground, Montgomery, AL, Day 6 - 0 Miles, 6,359.1 Towing Miles For the Trip

A busy morning. I made & baked my first blueberry pie for the pot luck; I'll do another one tomorrow morning. There were trailer tours for our section of the campground between 11:00 & 3:00, so I spent most of that time showing off the trailer. I headed for the showers in the large building after the tours ended. Nice & warm, both the room & water, a shower curtain, standard shower head, and a bench in the drying area. The only thing missing was a hook in the drying area, although there were plenty of them just outside the drying room through a second shower curtain.

Back at the trailer, I folded down the solar panel that I had tilted for the trailer show & tell, then grabbed a bowl & spoon, and headed to the Gumbo dinner. Excellent gumbo! I took a bunch of photos that are on today's rally page. A light rain started towards the end of the meal. Unfortunately, rain is predicted for tomorrow, the day of the group photo & the pot luck dinner. While I've done them in the rain, they are more fun when it is dry!

Dinner was gumbo.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Day 223, Thursday, March 15, 2018 - Gunter Hill Campground, Montgomery, AL, Day 5

Chili Night!
Thursday, March 15, 2018 - Gunter Hill Campground, Montgomery, AL, Day 5 - 0 Miles, 6,359.1 Towing Miles For the Trip

The coldest night so far at Gunter Hill - down to 38°F by morning. I made a short walk around this end of the campground, than microwaved a Jimmy Dean Bisket, Egg & Bacon for breakfast. Not the best in the way of a healthy breakfast, but quick & easy, and not too bad!

After reading my usual blogs & forums, I headed over to the Antioch section of the campground. They have 2 days of "Trailer Parades" where the viewers do the marching & the trailers stay in their sites. Thursday was the Antioch section's day, while our section (the Catoma campground) will be tomorrow. I took lots of photos of people & trailers, then headed back to my trailer to add them as page 2 of the rally page, & my 3:00 eye drops. After that it was off to the Prattville Winn-Dixie for pie supplies. Since I liked their fried chicken, I also got a couple of legs & thighs for dinner.

After my chicken, I headed over to the pavilion to take photos of the chili dinner.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Day 222, Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - Gunter Hill Campground, Montgomery, AL, Day 4

First Day of Green Eggs & Ham
Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - Gunter Hill Campground, Montgomery, AL, Day 4 - 0 Miles, 6,359.1 Towing Miles For the Trip

Not a bad morning, although I woke up with a headache. A couple of Tylenol, and my morning walk helped. I took the camera to start the usual rally webpage, but it is cold enough that most of the early photos are of trailers, not people. I did a couple more loops during the day, and as it warmed up, more people crawled out of their trailers. Lots more (about 40) photos at the first day page of the Green Eggs & Ham Rally.

I did a couple of loads of laundry at the large bathroom building. There are two washers & two dryers, but when I got there the first machine was half full of water & stuck in the fill cycle with no water flowing & pushing the different buttons didn't do anything. We had a power outage yesterday, and I thing that killed the cycles on the machine. I tried unplugging it, and the fill light went out, but it didn't start back into normal operation. Since it was only a buck to wash ($.75 in the second machine), I put some quarters in the slots and it ran through the cycles. By the time it finished, I had already done my second load in the other machine, but at least it worked for the next person. The washing machine I used didn't have all that active a spin dry, and it took two runs of the dryers to get the clothes dry. So, the laundry is done. I skipped a shower, but may give it a shot tomorrow.

Another loop of the campground for more photos, and back tp the trailer. I tilted one of the solar panels. I don't need them since the site has full hookups, but a couple of people have asked how I did it, so it is easier to show than just tell. I also left the double fold ladder out so visitors can see it as well. The official trailer tours for our loop are Friday, but I've already shown the trailer a couple of times.

By then it was dinner time, which was a microwaved Devour Chicken Enchiladas dinner. I've never had the brand before, and found it OK. Not wonderful, but good for a 5 minute meal. I also cracked my last bottle of Kendall-Jackson Pinot Noir. I can still buy it here in Alabama, but at $27.00 per bottle (it was around $12.00 in Arizona), I may have to pass. Some day I'd like to try a $100.00 bottle of wine just to see if I can tell the difference, but paying twice the price for the same wine rubs me the wrong way!

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Day 221, Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - Gunter Hill Campground, Montgomery, AL, Day 3

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - Gunter Hill Campground, Montgomery, AL, Day 3 - 0 Miles, 6,359.1 Towing Miles For the Trip

A cool morning, but I didn't see much of it, at least here at Gunter Hill. I had an 8:00 appointment with a Montgomery dentist to fix my "Flipper", so no walk. Quite a bit of traffic, at least for an upstate New Yorker like me, but Matilda, my "Lady of the GPS" found Steineker & Dillon Family & Cosmetic Dentistry without a problem, and by 7:45AM. Nice people, both the staff & dentists, although more expensive than the Lake Havasu people. I opted to have the old flipper fixed rather than have a new one made at almost twice the price, and even then it was $176.00, vs $100.00 for the original.  A new one was quoted at $350.00. I have to admit, the repaired flipper fits better than the original. It was ready by 4:00, so I ended up making the trip between them & the campground twice.

Meanwhile, my appointments for the day were spread out enough that I would only be able to hang out in the campground for an hour of so between them. I put over 200 miles on the Tacoma just going back & forth over the last two days. I did get the Tacoma in for its 35,000 mile service (and washed) and made a stop at a Walmart Super Center for a new Timex watch. The one that is dying is many years old, but they had one that was similar, so I bought it. I prefer an expansion watchband, but this one has a strap type that looks to be difficult to exchange with my old expansion band. Almost all the digital watches seem to have these integrated plastic watchbands. I may have to stick with the band the watch came with.

So, I'm finally back the final time at the trailer at 5:00. I took a short walk & met a bunch of Green Eggs & Hamers, then headed to the trailer for dinner.

I got some email from a Canadian that follows my blog to let me know that yesterday's photos didn't load to the website, so I fixed the problem. They also let me know that there are better showers elsewhere in the campground. I discovered them during my walk yesterday. A heated building, showers with a standard shower head & dual faucets so you can choose the temperature & don't have to keep hitting the button! A bit further than I want to walk in flip flops, but the building also has a laundry, and my Escape laundry bag is full, so I might combine the shower with laundry & drive over tomorrow.

Dinner was a couple of chicken Empanadas, and half a bunch of asparagus.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, March 12, 2018

Day 220, Monday, March 12, 2018 - Gunter Hill Campground, Montgomery, AL, Day 2

The Gun Island Chute (Lake Next to the Campground)
Monday, March 12, 2018 - Gunter Hill Campground, Montgomery, AL, Day 2 - 0 Miles, 6,359.1 Towing Miles For the Trip

Just a little light rain overnight, but much cooler this morning. 45°F when I climbed out of bed and went for a morning walk. I met some more Green Eggs & Ham attendees, then headed back to the trailer for breakfast. I looked up the local Toyota dealer, and a electronics supply, called oddly enough "Electronics Supply", put both into the GPS and headed out. No luck at the Toyota service center - they were fully booked, but I got an appointment for 1:00 tomorrow. On to the Electronics Supply, and while they had all kinds of stuff, no single pole, double throw switches. They gave me a couple of suggestions, and eventually I found a supplier that had full sized double pole, double throw toggle switches. A bit larger than the one I already have installed, but they look like they will work.

On the way back to the campground I stopped at a barber shop & got my haircut & beard trimmed. He did a good job, although I don't think buzzing the top with a #3 cutter head & the beard with a #4 can be all that difficult. Back when I had longer, curly hair, it was tough to cut so that it looked good, but now they just zip it off.

Back at the trailer I had lunch, and went for another walk, meeting more rally attendees. When I got back to the trailer, I broke my flipper! For those that don't remember, or never read my Lake Havasu City Dentist story, my "Flipper" is a temporary tooth held in by a palate piece & wire hooks to fill in the hole left by the start of an implant to replace a broken tooth. The "flipper" tooth snapped from the palate. While not really necessary, since I have to remove it to eat, I could just wait until I get back to Oswego & a real tooth (well, implant) put in. Still, I look pretty ugly with my upper front tooth missing, and not having something in the space make my speech "interesting". So, I called a couple of dentists, and have an 8:00 appointment to either fix it or get a new one. The joys of old teeth!

I took a couple photos of the lake Called a chute) next to the campground last night. I was hoping for some nice color in the sunset. A little, but nothing special. It was dead calm, so the reflections from the lake are neat.

They are issuing freeze warnings for Montgomery, so it will probably be another cool night. At least the rain has stopped & the next rain isn't predicted until the weekend.

Dinner was a salad.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Day 219, Sunday, March 11, 2018 - Gunter Hill Campground, Montgomery, AL

Site 47
Sunday, March 11, 2018 - Gunter Hill Campground, Montgomery, AL - 135.3 Miles, 6,359.1 Towing Miles For the Trip

Lots of rain overnight. It never stopped until morning, but went from light to downpour. My site was partially flooded by morning - I had to wade to unhook the water connection. While I've had a few cases where I needed the 4 wheel drive capability of the RAV4 when towing the 17, this was the first time it was necessary with the 21. Without the front wheels engaged, I wasn't getting the trailer out of the site.

I was in no rush to leave since I planned to stop at one of the few remaining Radio Shacks in the country at Marion, AL. I hit the road at 9:00 (Daylight Savings Time remembered), but since it was a Sunday, the Radio Shack was closed. I'm looking for a couple of single pole, double throw switches to let me built a three way switch for my radio. I'm tired of crawling across the bed to turn the radio off after breakfast. The current single pole switch is near the head of the bed, making it easy to turn it off at night when I go to sleep. I'll look for a supplier here in Montgomery.

Somehow, I managed to put the wrong coordinates into my GPS for the Gunter Hill campground. I should have realized it when it told me it was 240 miles from Moundville, but I just thought "that is more than I expected", and shrugged. Once I hit Montgomery & it still told me I had 115 miles to go I knew something was wrong. I reentered the coordinates, and found it was 15 miles away, of course, back the way I came. Anyhow, I made it. I wonder where I would have ended up if I kept going? Even then, the GPS didn't know how to get into the campground. I had to follow the signs rather than Matilda! Even after saving the location of my site, the GPS can't find it.

It rained most of the way to the campground, and is still dribbling a bit at 4:30. I'm in site 47 for the entire week, including next Sunday. It is a full hookup site with a almost level concrete pad for $13.00 per night (with the 1/2 off using the Senior Pass since it is an Army Corps of Engineer's campground). The bathrooms are 3 sites away, and I'm almost at the end of the Catoma Campground. There is both AT&T & Verizon service. AT&T is -109dBm without the amp, and -99dBm with. Verizon is interesting - 103 dBm without the amplifier, but when the Jetpack is placed in the amplifier, the entire connection goes away, and a "Roaming" notification pops up on the Jetpack. A bit strange, but since my AT&T is unlimited, I'll use that unless there are speed problems.

After setting up the trailer I headed to the nearest large grocery store, a Winn -Dixie in Prattville. I thought I'd be paying full non sale prices since I don't have a Winn-Dixie card, but discovered that for some reason, my Oswego Rite Aid card works for Winn-Dixie. Of course I went with a list for 5 items, and bought a full cart load, including some good fried chicken legs and thighs as well as some greens for dinner. The "Big Find" for the visit was Entenmann's Crumb Cake Little Bites. They make a bunch of varieties, but the crumb cake version is the only one I like. For some reason, once I crosses the Mississippi heading west, the crumb cake version disappeared. This was the first place I found them, and to top it off, they were buy one, get one free.

Back at the campground, I put everything away, ate an early dinner, and started to put today's page together. On the way back the Tacoma informed me that it needed it's 35000 mile service, so I have projects for tomorrow. Along with the Tacoma, I need a haircut, and the switches for the radio.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Day 218, Saturday, March 10, 2018 - Moundville Archaeological Park, Moundsville, AL, Day 2

Duck Vessel
Saturday, March 10, 2018 - Moundville Archaeological Park, Moundsville, AL, Day 2 - 0 Miles, 6,223.8 Towing Miles For the Trip

Not too bad a night as far as trains. There were a few, including a couple in the "wee" hours, but they didn't seem to be as loud. I don't know if I slept through some of them, but probably not.

After breakfast, coffee, and reading my usual blogs & forums, I headed over to the museum. They have an amazing number of pots & vessels & other artifacts on display. I particularly liked the duck vessel carved from stone. The entire display area of the museum is very dark - I had to push the ISO on the camera & still had some overly dark images. Still, here are a few to give you an idea of what is here.

On the way out I bought a couple of postcards for the grandkids, and a present for an upcoming birthday.

I've seen Indian Tacos on menus at a couple of roadside stands, and since they were selling them here, I went for one for lunch. A piece of fried bread topped with the usual taco items. Not bad, although far more than I'm used to eating for lunch. probably won't need much in the way of dinner!

The 60% prediction for rain hasn't happened yet, although there are bouts of sun & heavy clouds. I decided it was warm enough to take a campground shower, so, the usual report:  The good - lots of water from a low volume, but regular pressure showerhead, a bench in the drying room and a shower curtain at the entrance.  The bad, only lukewarm water, only one hook, no shelves in the shower area, and no shower curtain between the shower & drying area, resulting in a very wet floor (but not the 1" of water back at Roosevelt State Park).

As expected, dinner was just some cheese & crackers. Still filled from lunch.

Until tomorrow -

Friday, March 9, 2018

Day 217, Friday, March 9, 2018 - Moundville Archaeological Park, Moundsville, AL

Friday, March 9, 2018 - Moundville Archaeological Park, Moundsville, AL - 163.4 Miles, 6,223.8 Towing Miles For the Trip

I got an extremely early start for me, and left Roosevelt State Park by 8:00. The plan was to get to the Moundville Archaeological Park as early as possible, hoping for a site. I arrived just before noon, and was told they did have a few open sites. I paid for the site for two days & a ticket for the museum & Knapping exhibit. Total - $16.00. Hard to believe. I got a senior discount on the museum & knapping ticket of $6.00, and the campsite was $5.00 per night. A water & electric site for $5.00! The receipt showed a normal price of $20.00 per night, so I'm not sure where the discount came in, but I'm not complaining.

The better sites were taken by the knappers, but I found one that I could fit the trailer, although a pretty weird orientation. All the sites in the "second" loop are really designed for small motorized RVs, ie the utilities are on the right side of the site, and towards the front. There is gravel on part of the site, the rest grass. I sorta twisted the trailer into a position where I was close to level & within the length of my power cord to the electrical hookup. No problem with the water since I have 40' of hose. Not an ideal site, but it is hard to argue with the price. The "prime" sites the knappers are in are mostly pull through with utilities in the right place for trailers, and form a loop round the bathrooms.

There is a good 4G LTE AT&T signal that is fast. I didn't check the Verizon speed, but my Jetpack shows 3 bars of 4G LTE service. 4 NPR stations, at least one of which is classical music oriented. One caveat - if you don't like the sound of train horns, head somewhere else!  There is a crossing at the entrance to the park, as well as many additional crossings within audible distance - lots of tooting!

After setting up I headed over to the knapping demonstrations. Some stuff for sale, and a group of about 5-6 knappers making spear & arrow heads. Along with the demonstrations, some offered to teach anyone interested in learning how to form points from stone. I took a bunch of photos, but didn't try my hand at it.

The park is named for the large number of mounds it contains. Built 1000 years ago, they were used to elevate important buildings. At one time, this was the site of the largest village north of Mexico, with around 10,000 inhabitants. I'll probably have more information about them after visiting the museum tomorrow.

After a visit to the knapping exhibits, I sat in the sun reading. Eventually, it was time for dinner, which was a Bubba Burger & A Knorr's Rice & Broccoli side spiked with fresh broccoli.

Until tomorrow -

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Day 216, Thursday, March 8, 2018 - Roosevelt State Park, Morton, MS, Day 3

Thursday, March 8, 2018 - Roosevelt State Park, Morton, MS, Day 3 - 0 Miles, 6,060.4 Towing Miles For the Trip

A little cooler overnight, down to 40°F, and a bit warmer today, up to 57°F. I'm feeling a bit guilty - not much in the way of hiking lately, so I took a long walk around the campground looking for the dumpsters, and to get some exercise. Evidently, there aren't dumpsters. I talked to a couple of guys repairing one of the underground electrical feeds to a site, and they didn't know for sure if there were any since they weren't from the area, but they noticed that people were putting their bags of garbage at the end of the site driveway. I tried it, and it worked - the bag disappeared.

I did purchase a bathroom scale the other day, and I haven't gained any weight on the trip or, for that matter, in the last 10 years, but it is one of those new fangled ones that reads your body fat, hydration, etc and at 5' 11" & 173 lbs, it told me I was fat! Of course I could forget that over the last couple of years I lost a inch of height, and tell the scale I'm still 6' tall like I was for most of my life & I'd just be OK, at least according to the book that came with it. So, if I'm going to pay attention to it, I just need to get taller. I certainly don't want to go to the trouble of loosing weight!

The main reason for the new scale is I use a bathroom scale to measure the tongue weight of the trailer, and the one I have at home only goes up to 400 pounds. That was fine for the Escape 17, which usually went around 350 pounds of tongue weight.  Since the new 21 runs closer to 460 pounds, I've been looking for a replacement, and found one at the last Walmart that went to 500 pounds, enough for the new trailer.

I have to say that was about all I did for the day. I did unhook the sewer connection during the late afternoon so I wouldn't have to do it in the morning. I can't hook up the truck since the trailer tongue is much lower than the trailer ball, so that will have to wait until morning. Cold WDH bars!

I did call what I hope will be my next stop, the Moundville Archaeological Park to see how busy they were. All sites are first come, and they have a Knap-In Event over the weekend which sounds interesting, but has already filled over half the sites. They have 5-6 left, so I'll give it a try tomorrow. If that doesn't work out, I'll try the Corps of Engineer campgrounds south of Moundville. While there are no sites available at the closest park to US 80 (Foscue Creek), it appears that here are quite a few at Forkland Park. Both ACE parks are actually closer to my route to the Green Eggs & Ham rally, but the Archaeological Park sounds interesting, so it will be my first try.

Dinner was the second batch of the chicken stew/soup. One more batch went in the freezer.

Until tomorrow -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Day 215, Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - Roosevelt State Park, Morton, MS, Day 2

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - Roosevelt State Park, Morton, MS, Day 2 - 0 Miles, 6,060.4 Towing Miles For the Trip

It didn't get as cold as predicted, but I'm still glad for the electric Ceramic Disk heater. It kept the trailer at 68°F with outside temperatures going down to 43°F. I suspect it will get colder tonight - it only hit 54°F today and is already on the way down.

I checked out the bathroom, and the heater was still on, making it toasty inside. I walked back to the trailer & started dinner, which, since I remarked yesterday that I preferred chicken stew/soup to beef stew, was from scratch chicken stew. Again, no recipe for it, but I did try Anasazi dried beans as part of the mix rather than my usual choice of canned beans. The bag stated they were sweeter than other beans & cooked more quickly. I had to leave one of my favorite's out - I forgot to buy mushrooms. After browning the chicken & vegetables, I added the beans & a couple cups of chicken stock, put it on simmer, put on my sweat pants & headed for the shower.

The good - lots of hot water, both a high pressure showerhead I didn't use & a hand sprayer, which I did use. A shower curtain, and a bench for stuff. The bad - only one hook, and the drain was clogged, resulting it the water running across the bathroom floor until it hit the drain near the sinks at the other end of the room. While I could deal with showering in an inch of water, finding a place in the bathroom to get dressed was difficult. The driest part of the entire bathroom eventually ended up the shower! For an hour or two, you are going to need boots to use the toilets! Still, nice to have a long, hot shower.

A little cool heading back to the trailer with the bottoms of the sweats soaked from dragging on the floor, but the trailer was nice & warm from the stove cooking the stew/soup.

The beans (and, of course, the rest of the ingredients) were ready in about 2 hours, definitely less time than most of the other dried beans I've cooked with. They were sweet, tasted great, as did the rest of stew, which, along with one of my few remaining Alaskan Amber beers, was dinner. I do wish I had purchased a couple of bags of the Anasazi Beans since I've never seen them in the East.

Until tomorrow -

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Day 214, Tuesday, March 6, 2018 - Roosevelt State Park, Morton, MS

Site 25
Tuesday, March 6, 2018 - Roosevelt State Park, Morton, MS - 239.9 Miles, 6,060.4 Towing Miles For the Trip

More boring driving east on I 20. I stopped for the next three days at Roosevelt State Park in Morton, MS. I'm in site 25 in the "Old" campground, a full hookup site for $17.12 per night (includes a Senior Discount of $8.00 per night). A concrrete pad that is close to level side to side once you backed all the way in, although I still had to unhook to get the tongue low enough to be level front to back. The bathroom is a couple of sites away, with a single, high pressure shower (but lots of heat!) That will probably be useful since the predictions is for much cooler weather, going into the low 30's overnight & only into the 50's during the next couple of days.

A strong Verizon 4G LTE signal & usable 2-3 bars of AT&T. 4 NPR radio stations, although I suspect they are all relays of the same MS Public Radio Service.

I took a few photos on a short walk around the campground that are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Since I made a stop at a Walmart, as well as two gas stations, I didn't finish setting up until a little after 3:00. Didn't do much else for the rest of the day.

Dinner was the last batch of frozen beef stew I put away at the beginning of the trip. I like the chicken version much better!

Until tomorrow -

Monday, March 5, 2018

Day 213, Monday, March 5, 2018 - Lake Bistineau State Park, Doyline, LA, Day 2

Monday, March 5, 2018 - Lake Bistineau State Park, Doyline, LA, Day 2 - 0 Miles, 5,820.5 Towing Miles For the Trip

Only minor events today. I took a shower in the campground bathroom after lunch. Not bad for state park showers - a bench, a couple of hooks & plenty of hot water, although a low volume, low pressure showerhead. A minor gripe - the temperature adjustment is very sensitive, and even a slight bump while rinsing will give you a blast of hot or cold water.

The other event was 1/4" long red ants. I'm not sure how I picked them up, but it was probably on the way back from the shower. All of a sudden, my right foot started burning. Many red ants crawling all over it. I smashed as many as I could, then checked the trailer floor & rugs, finding many more. I'm pretty sure they came in on my foot, but I'll keep checking for them since there are very few entry points in Escapes with the detachable power cord. I checked the stabilizers, cords, and tires, but didn't see any signs of them.

Later, I found the source - just behind the truck is an ant hill that I must have stood in when I put my towel on the back of the truck topper to dry. Right now I only seem to have psychological ants - I keep checking every itch for one of the little buggers, but none so far. While they could be some variety of fire ants since my foot is still burning, they are not as bad as the ones I "met" in Alabama a couple of years ago. I haven't had much experience with them, so who knows. Now I have to try to avoid them when I pack up the truck & trailer in the morning. I have to say that one advantage of the Arizona desert is the lack of bugs!

I took a photo of them, although they blend in well with the road, and are hard to see. I also photographed some snowdrops and some of the other signs of Spring.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

While it looked like rain all day, so far it has held off. heavy clouds with brief glimpses of sunshine. Time to get back to reading the latest Lee Child Jack Reacher novel - The Midnight Line on my Kindle.

The rain hit around 3:00. Not too hard, mixed with a bit of thunder & radio warnings of a tornado. Of course, the warning was by parish (Louisiana's county designations) and I have no idea what parish I'm in, but my radar app showed a line of thunderstorms with little activity over my location.

Dinner was the rest of yesterday's orange chicken.

Until tomorrow -

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Day 212, Sunday, March 4, 2018 - Lake Bistineau State Park, Doyline, LA

Site 59
Sunday, March 4, 2018 - Lake Bistineau State Park, Doyline, LA - 238.7 Miles, 5,820.5 Towing Miles For the Trip

I was packed up & out of Joe Pool Lake by 9:00 this morning. Most of the drive was on I 20 across eastern Texas & western Louisiana, with two stops for gas. A wide range of prices, but Texas was less expensive.

Along the drive I saw lots of overflowing streams & ponds; my radar app shows flood watches for many of the Louisiana streams. The lake at Lake Bistineau is definitely full, with water almost up to the road in a couple of areas. Hopefully, it won't get much deeper or getting out of the campground might be a problem. There was a short bit of light rain after I set up, but now the sun is shining. Rain is predicted (80%) for tomorrow.

Speaking of the campground, it isn't very busy, just 4-5 RVs in the park. While about 20 miles from I20, the park had good reviews at RV Park Reviews, and is very quiet. I did have to wait at a railroad crossing for a long freight train to go by, but the tracks are far enough away that I don't believe there will be much in the way of train noise.

No one at the entrance station. I met the campground host while backing into a site. He called the ranger, who was at lunch, to make sure the site I picked wasn't reserved, and after setting up it was back to the entrance station to meet the ranger & register. I'm in site 59, a water & electric site a short walk from the bathrooms & laundry, for two nights at $24.60 per night. Some of the sites have wooden decks, but they are considered "Deluxe" sites & cost more. Mine is paved, no deck, has a fire ring, charcoal grill & picnic table. Level side to side, but required unhooking the trailer to level front to back.

Two bars of both Verizon & AT&T coverage without an amplifier; I didn't check the Verizon speed, but the AT&T is fast. There is WiFi at the campground office, but not at the sites. One additional perk that I haven't seen before - the laundry washers & dryers are free! While I didn't have a lot to do, I did have my flannel sheets, which almost make a full load in a standard washing machine, so I managed to find enough to fill both washers (and, dryers).

Dinner was Orange Chicken & rice.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Day 211, Saturday, March 3, 2018 - Joe Pool Lake Campground, Grand Prairie, TX, Day 3

Saturday, March 3, 2018 - Joe Pool Lake Campground, Grand Prairie, TX, Day 3 - 0 Miles, 5,581.8 Towing Miles For the Trip

Another quiet day (I do seem to be having a lot of them!) There was a little noise in the campground, both last night & during the day - a troop of cub scouts are down at the corner below my site, and make noisy trips to the bathroom. Since i didn't hear too many screams, I'll bet they didn't try the shower!

I did my usual forum & journal reading, then sat outside in the sun reading my current book - Stephan J. Cannell's The Plan. It is interesting in that it was written in 1999, but has scary parallels to the most recent presidential campaign (Well, I hope, not the mob part, but the process & describing the mood of the populous). The weather has been great. Mid 50's at night and low 70's during the day, with lots of sun. Clouds & rain are predicted for tomorrow, but maybe I'll drive out of it heading into Louisiana.

I did call both my son in Oswego, where they just had 12" of heavy, wet snow, and my friends Guido & Anne to wish her an early happy birthday (no telling what one) since I don't know if I'll have cell service tomorrow.

Late afternoon I headed for MY shower. While it is a pain to wipe down the bathroom after a shower (the Escape 21, like all Escape models, has a wet bath that becomes completely soaked during a shower) it is nice to have room, both in the bathroom & the gray tank, for an on board shower. I rarely used the shower in the 17, but the 21 works well.

Dinner was a Bistro Spinach Dijon salad. I usually purchase single serving salads since I don't usually eat one made with individual vegetables before the grow too old. I don't remember if this one came from Walmart or Krogers, but it was excellent.

Until tomorrow -

Friday, March 2, 2018

Day 210, Friday, March 2, 2018 - Joe Pool Lake Campground, Grand Prairie, TX, Day 2

Friday, March 2, 2018 - Joe Pool Lake Campground, Grand Prairie, TX, Day 2 - 0 Miles, 5,581.8 Towing Miles For the Trip

A quiet day. I changed the sheets (always a project in a small trailer) and moved outside to sit in the sun once it warmed up during the afternoon. Just after my 3:00 eye drops, I headed for the showers. I have to say the showers in bathroom #8 (the one across from my trailer) are by far the most useless of the trip. Two showers, both push button. The clean one (I discovered why) doesn't run at all. The other one with lumps of soap all over the floor shoots out a thin single stream of water. Two hooks on the wall, but useless since the spray bounces water onto anything hung on them. The side walls are too high to drape things on, no bench or shelf inside or outside the shower stall.

I decided to stand to the side of the stream & push the button a couple of times to let it warm up. Warm up it did. The water was so hot that it burned my ankles. The further up the stream, the hotter! I backed out & headed back to the trailer where I will be taking my shower, probably tomorrow.

That was about it for the day.

Dinner was the left over chicken breast. I was going to make some "from scratch" empanadas using it and a left over refrigerator pie crust and a recipe from, of all places, Walmart, but got lazy and just ate it cold, along with some cottage cheese & a container of refrigerator sliced peaches.

Until tomorrow -

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Day 209, Thursday, March 1, 2018 - Joe Pool Lake Campground, Grand Prairie, TX

Site 149
Thursday, March 1, 2018 - Joe Pool Lake Campground, Grand Prairie, TX - 247.6 Miles, 5,581.8 Towing Miles For the Trip

While the road noise was loud, it calmed down around 11:00PM. To the road & airplane noise, add trains. Not too bad except for one at around 4:00AM that decided to make lots of horn noise. Again, a usable overnight if you can deal with the noise.

I got an early start & hit the road by 8:45. I have to say while Texas is famous for oil, they have one of the largest wind fields I've ever seen along US 84. Hundreds of large multi megawatt windmills, although an entire field was feathered. Don't know if there was a problem or they were new, but with the heavy winds, it was a waste. Speaking of heavy winds, this was the first time I had to drive with both hands on the wheel to make up for the side gusts. The weather reports called for 40MPH winds, and I believe it! Things settled down when I hit I 20.

Other than the wind, a boring drive, mostly on I 20. It did get exciting when I got within 3 miles of Joe Pile Lake. Seems they are building new multi lane roads to service the large number of developments in the area northwest of the campground. My GPS was useless, and I probably annoyed a number of Texas locals wandering from lane to lane trying to find a way into the campground. The final blow was once I got through the new road mess, Matilda (the voice of my GPS) told me to turn into a dead end road 1/4 mile before the real park entrance.

I decided I'm far enough along on the drive to the Gunther Hill campground (home of the Green Eggs & Ham Rally I have reservations for starting on the 12th) that I can take a break from daily 200 mile drives to relax for the weekend. According to Matilda, I'm 794.1 miles from Gunther Hill. So, I booked my site until Sunday. Three days for $60.00. The site (149) is a back in across from the bathrooms with room for both the trailer & truck. Level side to side, but needing to unhook to level front to back, although if I didn't plan on a trip to a grocery store, I could have just used the tongue jack to level the trailer with the truck still attached. A water & electric site for $20.00 per night. Good AT&T & Verizon coverage, even without the amplifier, and there is even a NPR radio station that does a mix of news & classical music.

The bathrooms may not be appreciated by the women (or, at times, men). Stainless steel toilets with no toilet seats. Can you say COLD when sitting? Other than that, typical bathrooms for county parks. Push button showers with a couple of hooks in the drying area, but no benches or shelves. I'll let you know if the water gets hot enough. The entrance station attendant did mention to push the shower button a number of times before you get hot water.

I made a run to a Kroger's that was, according to my GPS, 4 miles from the campground. Again, I ran into the new road construction, but eventually found the grocery store & the way back to the campground. The Krogers wins points for having both Jif cashew & almond butter, the first place I've found them in months. They even had Kendall-Jackson's Pinot Noir, a wine I liked better than some of the other Pinot Noir's I've tried. I bought a couple of bottles to take along. Of course, you probably shouldn't use my judgment for making a choice - I've never been considered a wine master!

I picked up some fried chicken legs & thighs at Kroger's for dinner. I should say I TRIED to pick up legs & thighs - like many other deli sections of grocery stores, they seem to have a problem telling thighs from breasts. So, on the one hand, I saved money getting breasts at thigh prices, but on the other hand, since I prefer thighs, I lost. At least they were greasy enough that they didn't seem too dry (a sad comment to make).

Back at the trailer I ate the chicken & a small tub of mac & cheese for dinner, with fresh strawberries for dessert. Still nothing like Oswego strawberries, but OK for store bought.

Until tomorrow -