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.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Time to leave the mountains

We spent about 2 months in the Colorado Rockies. It was more than awesome. We had a great time and made some new friends. the weather is near perfect for us and the scenery is off the chart. It would be easy to spend much of our future summers in Colorado, but there is so much more that we want to see and discover. On Monday, September 29 we left Bogan Flats and drove all the way to the Denver area. It was only a 200 mile drive, but that was a long day. We started at about 7800 feet and drove down to about 5000 feet elevation in Glenwood Springs. Then we climbed to around 11,000 twice at Vail Pass and the Eisenhower tunnel portal and then dropped to Denver at around 5300. The truck did well and I can say that I am getting better at mountain passes. I can honestly say, I am looking forward to the flatlands of Nebraska. I am sure the truck would agree.

We had dinner on Sunday with our new friends Dave and Kay at the BBQ restaurant in Marble.

We got up and it was cloudy and cool. The clouds were interesting.

The drive up through Glenwood Canyon was slow because of road construction, but still beautiful.

We stopped in Edwards at the rest area because Dave had told me that they have a free dump station. That was an excellent tip. We were totally empty for the pull over the mountains. 

The colors were still beautiful around Vail.

The top of Vail pass with some fresh snow on the mountains in the background.

Here is Copper Mountain. It won't be long and those slopes will be covered with snow and skiers.

A cool shot of Lake Dillon and the threatening sky:

Here we are approaching the tunnel with the snow just above. The temp was about 50 degrees.

We had road construction three different times and we were totally stopped in Downeyville, so we stopped and had lunch. We then drove on to Chatfield SP. We will have issues with staying as long as we want, so we will have to make other plans. I miss the mountains already.