Sunday, December 28, 2014

Time to move further south

We have spent the last 9 days in Russellville, AR. We had a great time visiting our son Michael, his wife Audrey, and their two boys Connor 4 and Cameron 10 months. I am so proud of my son and his wonderful wife. They have a great family.


Michael and I worked hard on his motorcycle and finally got it working correctly. I just hope he has time to ride it and have fun. 

We had a great Christmas. We enjoyed our Christmas last year on the beach in Florida, but it is better spending time with family. We spent some great time with the kids. Connor loves to wrestle. He is all boy. 


We did get to a bowling alley. Connor loves to go bowling. 




We also loved spending time with Cameron. We both felt that we were able to gain a connection to him and hope that he will remember us the next time we get to see him. Here are a couple of good shots:




We did not spend a bunch of time in the RV park, but we really like it here. We will stay here whenever we come to visit Michael and Audrey. There are deer walking through on a regular basis.


We also see barges cruising by. They are really cool to watch. If you time it right, you can watch them come through the locks.


Here is a shot of the locks:



The best part was the bird watching. We saw flocks of White Pelicans, but I really enjoyed seeing Bald Eagles. I could not get a a good picture of one, but I saw one each day when I walked. They are so majestic to watch fly. I saw both adults and some juveniles. Here is the best I got. You will have to take my word for it.


The time has come to move further south. We are heading out tomorrow and will get down to around the Texas border. I hope we can find some warmer weather. Have a great day.



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Arkansas for Christmas

We are on the road again. We are in Arkansas, camped along the Arkansas River. We get to see some beautiful birds including White Pelicans and many varieties of duck. We have not seen any barge traffic, but we have not spent much time in t he campground during the day. We spend most of our time at Michael and Audrey's. Check out this video of Cameron. He was born the last time we were visiting. He is getting sooo big. We heard some noise in the train room and I went in and caught him on video.

video

We left Mansfield in a thick fog. I took this one shot at the gas station in town:


The good news is that the diesel was under $3.00 per gallon. We have seen regular unleaded at under $2.00 per gallon. The prices are back up down here in Arkansas to around $3.20, but that is still much better than this summer in Colorado.


I have been working on Michael's motorcycle. I thought I had it fixed, but I had to start over yesterday and split the cases again. I ordered some more parts and tools and hopefully we will have it ready to ride this coming weekend. 

I will let you know that I am going to be posting some other stuff in my blog for some of my motorcycle racer friends in the coming days. You can disregard those posts. I am writing some helpful stuff to educate some of the more serious racers on how to develop income from social media for continuing their racing careers. 

We are not sure when we will leave Arkansas and head to Oklahoma. It will depend on how the motorcycle repair goes and what the weather is doing. In the meantime we are really enjoying some time with the grandkids.  

Monday, December 15, 2014

Time to go.

It has been over a month since my last entry in this blog. So much has happened. It is difficult to remember when I don't write every few days, but I need a break from the blog and I don't feel that much of it would be of interest to all of my readers.

The big thing going on was the Ozark 100 Miler. That is an off-road motorcycle race that was held at the ranch where we stay. This year was big for all of the people involved because we went out and attracted some top national riders. We had a writer come to the event from a national motorcycle publication. You can see the story here: http://www.cyclenews.com/619/27317/Racing-Article/Steward-Baylor-Tops-Seventh-Annual-Kenda-Ozark-100.aspx

I spent the weeks leading up to the event riding around on a tractor, mowing:


This was the main pit area for the event. We had over 500 people through the gate.


The weekend before the event, 2012 National Enduro Champion, Steward Baylor came in to do a riding school. You can see his trailer and then mine in the background of this photo. It was great hanging out with the champ and hearing the inside scoop on all that I have read about. He is a really nice guy and only 20 years old. 

One of the coolest things about this event is that the last 25 miles are run over extremely difficult terrain at night. The guys have lights on their bikes, but some sections are lit up to allow the spectators to see better. Here is one of those areas:


Here is the final podium for the winners. The guy standing in front is the promoter, my friend Spud. This is the guy that my son Scott works for. Scott was also very involved in putting this event on.


Stu Baylor won, he is from South Carolina, Ian Blythe was second, he is from Colorado. And Nick Farranger was third, he is from Ohio. It was really a dream come true to have this event at our ranch.

Just before the race, we tried to have Thanksgiving at the lodge. It got kind of crazy and I don't think it worked out very well. We will have to rethink that in the future. We did get some good pictures. This is Kim's mom with three great grand kids. (Connor, William and Cameron)


Here is 4 generations:


Here are Connor and William. They are going to be great buddies for many years.


We made a trip to Silver Dollar City this past Saturday. It was very crowded but we still had a good time. Here is a shot of William and Isabella.

We are just about ready to head south. We have been having good weather and we have had a number of things to do before we left. It looks like we will spend Christmas in Arkansas with my son, Michael and his wife Audrey. I could use some more grandpa time with Connor and Cameron. Cameron is getting so big. 

I will start posting more often. We are headed to Texas, but that is about as specific as we are at this point. 


Thursday, November 13, 2014

It is too cold for us.

I know I have not posted in a while. Our lives are not very interesting while we are at the ranch in Missouri and I don't take many pictures. Blogs are not interesting without pictures. This entry is not interesting.

We have spent the last week hanging out with our 5 grand kids. Our Daughter and new husband went on a honeymoon cruise and we stayed at their place and made sure the kids got to all of their activities. I equate that experience to jumping on a very fast moving merry go round. We hung on for 7 days. We could not wait to jump off when they got back. We love the time with the kids, but we do not have the energy to sustain that for long.

I ended the week by taking William to a off road motorcycle race. We had a good time and I did a little riding also. Here I am coming out of a rocky creek



You will see in this next photo, that carnage follows me everywhere I go. 


I did not knock him down, really I didn't. 

Special thanks to my good friend Bob for watching William, while I was riding. William keeps talking about Bob.

As for most of us, it has turned very cold this week. the bad news is that it will stay cold for another week...at least. I have been asked, how do you keep the trailer from freezing up in cold weather? Well we have a procedure that we follow in those situations. Here is our plan:

1. Go South as quickly as possible. 

2. If #1 is not possible, disconnect the water hose and fill the tank. 

3. Our rig was built in Canada and was designed to handle the cold. We have a heated underbelly and tanks. We turn on the heat and run the fan full time to keep the warm air circulating in the basement and in the tanks. We seem to be able to handle it down to at least 10 degrees. We will get tested this weekend, we are expecting lows in the teens. \

4. Refer back to #1 and get moving. 

We are hoping that the temps return to normal soon. That would be 60 in the day and 40 at night. We are now thinking that we will leave some time in December and head to Texas. That is about as far as the plan has gone at this point, but as you know, planning is not our forte. 

I will try to remember to take more pictures and post more. Have a great week and stay warm.



Saturday, October 25, 2014

Knob Noster SP and back to Hardwood Hills Ranch

I am a bit late posting this. When we get back to HHR, I lose interest in this blog because we don't have much to report. I don't take many pictures because I rarely take the camera with me when I am out and about. We left Big Lake State Park on Sunday October 19. We drove about 150 miles through Kansas City to Knob Noster SP, which is just outside the gate of Whiteman Air Force Base. This is the base that is the home to the B-2 bomber. I have seen them flying before, but we did not see any this time. We only stayed one night and did not do much while we were there. We were really ready to make it on back to the Springfield area and see the kids and grand kids. Here is a picture of our site at Knob Noster:


We drove from Knob Noster down to Clinton and checked our Sparrow foot campground .It was not very nice, but would be a decent stop on our way back to Springfield on future trips. 

We arrived back at HHR and got set up and began the process of getting the ranch back the way we like to see it. On Tuesday evening we went over to Brian and Shannon's place and had a nice visit with all 5 kids. Scott came by also. The only down side of making long trips is missing the kids and grand kids. The kids grow up so fast. 

I will try to post here as I have something to say over the next month or two. I don't know how long we will stay in Missouri, but when the weather turns cold, we will go south in search of perpetual fall. "Sunny and 75" continues to be our theme song. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Missouri and then back to Nebraska?

We left Hunters Cove Campground at Harlan County Lake on Friday October 17. We don't normally travel on Friday, but our destination had plenty of available sites and the weather was good. We are getting closer to Missouri and we are really looking forward to seeing the kids and grandkids, so our pace is picking up. Before we left I took a picture of the Pelican's making a pile on a small island.


Fall is coming to Nebraska, here are a couple of shots:




We stopped to check out a prairie dog town.


We went into a small town that had an interesting name.


You might think that Democrats are not welcome here, but the truth is that this city is named for the Republican river. 

We then drove through miles and miles of corn and soy bean fields. It is harvest time and we had to wait behind a number of large harvesters. This is all feed corn. Did you know that 92% of all of the corn grown in this country is not for human consumption? They would turn a field that looked like this:

Into this:


We drove to Big Lake SP that is about 5 miles into Missouri. We wanted to stay at Indian Cave SP in Nebraska, but for some reason they were full for the weekend. Big Lake is really nothing special. The park was wiped out by a flood in 2011 and just reopened. After a 230 mile driving day we stayed a couple of days. On Saturday we decided to drive back over the river to Indian Cave SP to check it out. When we arrived we found a crowd of families and a 100%+ full campground. They do a Halloween theme for the month and they really get into it with decorations in all of the campsites.


The cave was pretty cool:


They had a nice overlook of the Missouri River and some local history exhibits. 


Overall it was interesting, but not great. We ended the day by going to church in Fall River, Nebraska. I was very impressed with that small town. 

I think we will make one more stop in central Missouri and get back to the Springfield area sometime next week, but as always that is subject to change. 






Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Moving on to Nebraska

We finally left Colorado yesterday October 14. We arrived in the state on August 3. We had an awesome time. The best news is that we only saw a small portion of this beautiful state. If you add to the beauty and things to do to hanging out with family. It is clear we will be back soon. I will end Colorado pictures with on of some Pelicans taking off and then our last sunset.





We chose our travle days carefully. We look for good weather and no wind. I hate to drive the rig in wind over about 15 mph.

We left North Sterling SP about 9:30 AM. It is kind of strange how we both get motivated on moving days. When Kim asked me the night before what time I wanted to leave, I told her before 11. Our plan was to drive to McCook, NE and check out the free city park with hook ups. We pulled in and it really was not bad, but we decided that we would just eat lunch and drive another 80 or so miles to Harlan County Lake. HCL is a COE park and it looked good on the internet. We arrived about 4:30 after the time change and got set up. The site has water and electric and is $5 per night after our interagency discount. What a deal.

Here is a picture of our site:


I went for a long walk this morning and saw this boat getting ready to launch.You may ask why I took a picture of a boat. Well this is a Crestliner. I have not seen one in a while and was not sure if they are still made. My Dad had a Crestliner back in the 1960's when we lived in Washington State. This one is for you Dad:


I asked the guy if I could take a picture of his boat, that lead into a 1 hour conversation about fishing in the area. He caught a 55lb. catfish yesterday. Wow.


We are expecting to stay here for a few days. We are now trying to determine where we will go next. When we figure that out, we will let you know.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Life of a Turtle

Have I mentioned how much we love our lifestyle? Kim likes to say that we live the life of a turtle. We carry our house with us. If we want to move, we do. If we want to stay put we do that also. the last few days have been an example of letting the wind tell us what to do. Literally. We left the Denver area on Thursday, October 8. We drove about 150 miles to North Sterling State Park. It is a decent SP sitting on a lake. Here is a picture of our campsite overlooking the lake:

 
We were going to depart on Sunday and move into Nebraska, but the weather looked a bit dicey. The wind was coming up and by Saturday afternoon was blowing about 25 MPH out of the north. We decided to stick around for a couple more days and wait for better travel weather. We got news on Saturday evening that my Mom had an issue and this decision also gave me the chance to make sure all is good with her. The good news is that she will be fine, but if things were not that positive, we could move right back to Denver.

One cool thing about this place is the White Pelicans. They migrate here each year to next at this lake. Here are a couple of pics:



These are fun birds to watch as they cruise around the lake fishing.

Here is a shot of the lake from behind the rig:


This entry is not a picturesque as the last couple of months of beautiful Colorado mountains, but still not bad. We will move on tomorrow to some place in Nebraska. We are not really sure where we will stay. We have a couple of options. So, in one week we have made it all of 150 miles - definitely turtlesque.

Here is one last picture of the rig and a sunset behind it.


Don't be in too much of a hurry. You never know what you are going to miss.



Sunday, October 12, 2014

Camping challenges

When we returned to the Denver area, we set up at Chatfield State Park. It is OK for a metro area State Park and is close enough to the places we want to go. I went to pay for our spot and was informed that they did not have room for us on the weekend. They were closing one of their main loops. That makes no sense. That is what drives me a bit crazy about State Parks. Most of them are not run like a real business. They seem to just follow some arbitrary rules that leave no opening for local management the ability to make logical decisions. Bear Creek Lake Park had no open sites for the weekend, so we ended up staying at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds for $30 per night. We were camped in a parking lot with Electric and water. Oh well, you have to roll with the punches in this lifestyle. After the weekend we moved over to Bear Creek for the final 4 days we were going to be in Denver.

Here is our site at Chatfield:


Here is a picture of Chatfield Reservoir:



We were really looking forward to hanging out with my brother Bob and his family. We started out by attending a Friday football game. Adilynn was playing flute in the band. I suffered through a high school football game. Here is a picture of Nelena and Daniel at the game: 


Here is Adilynn and the band:


We also went to Daniels Hockey game. I got into the game and forgot to take any pictures. Sorry Daniel.  It was great spending time with the entire family. We spent the rest of the next week hanging out with Mom and Dad and making some drives into the mountains. 

We made a drive up to Pine and stopped by the Bucksnort Bar. They were closed, but it is a cool area that is made up of solid rock walls and canyons
.




It is really great to have the time to just hang out, but they all have their busy lives.

Here is a sunset photo at Bear Creek:


Spending time with family is good, but we were ready to move on and get back into our relaxed lifestyle with no "schedule".

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Back to the Mountains

We arrived back in Denver on September 29th. We had an amazing time in the mountains, but I kind of felt bad about not spending much time with my Parents and my brother and his family. We decided to hang out in Denver for a week and a half. Mom and Dad came by for a visit while we were at Chatfield State Park.


The next day, we decided to head back up into the mountains to see more Aspens and maybe more snow. We started by going up 285 over Kenosha Pass (10,000 Feet). Then to a little town called Como. We turned up into the mountains and over Boreas Pass. It was snowing pretty good up there.




We were planning to stop in Breckenridge for lunch, but could not agree on a good place. I decided to stop at a friendly little place called 7-11. They had a wide selection on the menu and I found the food quite tasty. Some other opinions varied. 

We then took the back way around Dillon Reservoir and by Keystone. Then up to the top of Loveland Pass. The view is spectacular from up there.





The snow was deep enough to throw a snowball. It was the first I have thrown in 2 years. 


We then drove down to I 70 and went to Georgetown to mail a birthday card to Kim's Dad. 
Happy Birthday Richie!

We saw that there was more road construction on I 70 at Idaho Springs, so we decided to make it 4 passes for the day and drive over Quinella Pass. CODOT has done an amazing job fixing up the road on the way to the top and down about 5 miles of the other side. Then we ran into road construction. It will be awesome when they get it done.

This one is at the summit:






We saw this sheep on the side of the road:


I took this one during a road construction stop:


All in all it was a really fun day. Thanks to my Mom and Dad for going with us and letting us take their car. The food may have been a little suspect, but it is all part of the adventure.

Take time to enjoy the beautiful world around you.