Sunday, August 31, 2014

Well, we left eastern Arkansas and headed to the north western corner on Thursday, the 28th of August. It was a relatively short trip, but it covered some pretty good mountain roads. Lots of tight turns a few good inclines. Some of the towns we went through had populations as small as 110. That was Big Flat. Going through Big Flat was like going back in time about 50 years or more! I noticed that the fire department building didn't seem to be much bigger than a standard size garage! If it was easier to turn around 65 feet and 26,000 pounds of truck and trailer, I would have gone back for pictures! However, I found some online! What a quaint and quiet town!

We saw other nice little towns along the way. We arrived at the KOA campground in Eureka Springs in mid afternoon and got set up.

A couple of hours later, Jami, Ed and Amy were at our RV visiting! They live about 16 miles away in Berryville. Since our arrival here, we have been busy, busy, busy! And, that is why I'm a few days late with this update.
Yesterday, we went to Ed's Mom and Dad's house which is located in the middle of nowhere! They are definitely out in the sticks! If you searched for the definition of "sticks" on Google, it would probably say 'see the Wallace place'!
Dan and Lucy Wallace bought a two room house on the mountain and added and added to it. They have a great place with lots of room and multiple work shops.

Later that night, Amy decided she wanted to spend the night with us. Jami had a bit of trouble dealing with that, but reluctantly agreed to let her go! Amy is a little chatter box and talked the entire 16 miles from her house to our RV! We played, watched TV and finally slept. Well, most of us slept. Amy wasn't so sure about sleeping on the convertible couch in the living room while we were in the bedroom and asked if she could sleep with us. Dodie decided she would sleep with Amy and left Maggie and I in the bedroom. It seems that Amy is a bit of a wiggle worm when she sleeps. The truth is she is a thrasher! So, Dodie didn't sleep too well! This morning, we had French Toast and Bacon for breakfast. After breakfast, I was going to take Amy to the playground just as Jami and Ed arrived. So, the 4 of us went to play and had a great time.
Since this is a holiday weekend, we are laying low and waiting for the crowds to go away, We'll then do our sight seeing. We'll be here for a few weeks, so there will be more posts from Arkansas!
Here is the link to our pics: Clicky thang  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mountain View, Arkansas

We left Savannah, Tennessee on the morning of 8/25/14 and drove to Mountain View, Arkansas. We saw a ton of farm land! Seems like we could never run out of food with as many crops and farms as we saw.
I think we were spoiled by the last couple of RV parks because this one just doesn't measure up. Like they say in home sales, curb appeal is everything. Our first view of this park was the entrance and office area where the weeds and grass probably haven't been cut in months. I think the fact that it is so stinkin' hot here and we are pretty much stuck in the RV doesn't help. We need cooler weather! The park is small, but it's not bad. Just 100 feet from our site is a road down the hill to the "lower level." Smaller campers can camp down there and be right on the beach. The creek that is there is part of the White River and is controlled by the Army Corp of Engineers so the water level varies as they see fit. I thought about putting my yak in the river and trying some fishing, but it is too stinking hot! See above reference to "stinkin' hot"!!!
Tuesday, we went to a nice little restaurant called the Wing Shack and Cheeseburger Grill. I hereby testify that they have great cheeseburgers!
Yesterday, we did a bit of sight seeing and drove some of the mountain roads through the Ozark Forest.
Maggie seems to like going down to the creek. She always seems to run and do #2 when we go down there! In all fairness, this is an OK campground and the countryside is beautiful.
Here are some pics! Clicky thingy
Tomorrow, we headed to Eureka Springs!  

Sunday, August 24, 2014

This is our last day in Tennessee. Tomorrow, we leave for Mountain View Arkansas.
Yesterday, we did a self guided windshield tour of the battlefield at Shiloh. Here's some pics:  Pictures from Shiloh Battlefield
It was very interesting and allowed us to spend most of the time in the cool truck. I jumped out to take pictures.
Today, we are going to the Sheriff Buford Pusser home and museum. Click here: Museum

Friday, August 22, 2014

On the 18th of August, we traveled to Monte Sano RV Park in Huntsville, AL. We arrived in the rain which might have been welcomed, considering how hot it has been, but the lightning was not so welcome! So, whenever it seemed like it was letting up, I got out of the truck to do some of the set up. Of course, now the auto leveler would decide to act up! More lightning, so back to the truck and thinking about the leveler. I seem to recall reading that holding two buttons in would do a reset. Back out and held in the LEFT and RIGHT buttons. Turned the unit off and back on and it worked! Finally, after a couple more trips to the truck to wait out the lightning, I got the camper powered up, AC running, slides out and awning out. Dodie and Maggie came inside and we did some of the setup items that get done inside while waiting out the storm.
This park is on the mountain and in the woods. No WIFI, no cell phone service, no satellite TV. This is primitive camping! LOL!
That is why you haven't heard from us since the 17th. The park is nice and the trees helped the air conditioners. However, it has been hot as heck!
We did take a day to go to the Space Center in Huntsville. If we had not spent two days at the Kennedy Space Center, this would have been great. However, it was basically a "mini-me" of Kennedy.

The rest of the time was spent puttering around and finishing up some projects. Although it has been too hot for bikes, I noticed one of Dodie's trike tires was flat. I put air in it before we left Macon. So, I again aired it up to see if I could tell where it was leaking. Those tires hold 60 to 80 PSI, so it was right at 60 when there was a loud kaboom! Dodie came out to see what happened and the guy in the next camper came over. It sounded like a gun shot and my ears were ringing since my head was only inches from the tire! Evidently, the tire had been rubbing on the fender or something and was worn on the inside sidewall. There was one spot where there was a hole and perhaps the tube pushed out from there? I don't know. I do know the tube exploded at that spot and I do know there are no 24 inch by 1.5 inch bike tires in all of Huntsville!
Yesterday, 8/21/14, we left Huntsville and arrived in Savannah, TN in a place called Green Acres RV Resort. Thinking about the heat and how hard the air conditioners are going to have to work, we asked for a shady spot. When we made the reservations, the lady on the phone was really nice and did say we got a spot with a tree!

Yup. There is a tree, but it won't be helping the air conditioners! However, this is a nice park and it would be a good cooler weather stopping over point. The folks here are really nice and the park is meticulously clean. Last night was Karaoke night and there were about 10 of us there. No, we did not sing! There were only 3 of the folks that did sing. Now that we are back in civilization, I'll try to keep up with the blog! We plan to be here until Monday, 8/25/2014. We haven't decided where we will stop next, but we need a place about halfway between here and Berryville, AR. Any suggestions?          

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Well, it seems like we just got here and we are leaving tomorrow for Huntsville, Alabama. It was really too hot to enjoy Macon. The things to see are mostly outdoors and that would have been miserable. If it wasn't so hot, I might have popped a kayak in the lake and tried some fishing. However, the few folks I saw fishing were coming up empty handed.
This beautiful painted RV is really not suited for life in the south. The air conditioners are working hard to keep it cool. I used my laser thermometer a while ago to measure the temperature of the RV exterior and it was anywhere between 111 and 132 degrees. A white exterior is not as pretty, but would be more efficient from a cooling aspect.
Here are some pics from Lake Tobesofkee Arrowhead Park:

You can see all of our pics at: Click here

Friday, August 15, 2014

Started our adventure!

For a while, it seemed like we would never get started on our new adventure. We had a couple of unexpected stops to make before we could leave and we had a lot of stuff to store and make ready for the trip. Ordinarily, when we had been camping previously, we would put away unnecessary items the day before or even sooner. Since we were still working on upgrades to the RV and had many visits from friends and family, we were not prepared. I like to keep my cargo area organized, but I ended up throwing everything in there. I was thinking too, I'll have to be careful when opening the door because I could have stuff falling out.
The drive was uneventful and we only made one stop for Maggie to do her thing.

Another reason for the late start was because I wanted to weigh our rig. The weigh receipts are out in the truck, so I don't have the exact readings. Basically, we are fat! I only glanced at the receipt and mad a quick mental calculation, but we are about 1000 pounds overweight. The camper axles are under weight and the truck capacity is enormous, so we are under weight there. However, the total weight of camper is over. And, I really don't see any way to get it in line. I hope the frame is over engineered!

We are at Lake Tobesofkee Recreational Area in Bibb County, Georgia in the city of Macon. This is a beautiful park, but it is more suited to smaller rigs. Because I had to turn sharply to get into the site and because my truck toolbox is too big, I had trouble maneuvering. So, I had to stop in the road and remove some of the stuff in the bed of the truck to allow me to use the sliding hitch mechanism. That allows the pivot point to move back a foot or so. So, after getting the camper into the site, I activated the automatic levelers. Well, the front of the camper ended up nearly on the ground and the aft levelers were hanging in the air!
I had to do some manual manipulation of the system and place wood blocks under the rear levelers. When I then pushed the auto level button, the system was able to make it happen.
The site is nice overall.

There is a picnic table that is steel and PVC coated, so you know it is a very expensive table. However, it is covered in black mold, fungus, whatever! They also have a grill and a fire pit on each site. We are not lakeside, but we can see the lake from the site. 

Last night we took a walk after supper. The park is hilly and beautiful. However, the beauty is spoiled by litter. Every where you look, you see litter. There are cigarette butts and wrappers on our site and other trash elsewhere. At the KOA that we left yesterday, someone was continually picking up trash. Maybe they need a work camper here!

This morning, I woke about 0530, cranked up the coffee pot and took Maggie outside. It is a beautiful feeling 64 degrees. There is an eerie looking fog floating over the lake. Unfortunately, that wonderful 64 degree start to the day will be ruined by a predicted high of 93 degrees! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Today is our last day in Camden County, for now! We will be back! We are scheduled to leave for Macon, GA tomorrow. I have to tell you, I'm not ready. No, I don't have problems with leaving, there is just sooo much to do! . I've been busier since I retired than I was before retirement! Sooo many projects! The wine cooler mount is finished and I can strap it down for storage, but I haven't run the electrical circuit yet. Several other things are either not started or are only half finished. I guess that gives me something to look forward to! LOL!
I think when we leave here, we will feel like we have finally started our new life. As long as we were here, it felt more like home.
In the last couple of weeks we got to spend time with family and friends and it has been really nice. We will miss you all, but we won't be gone for long. We'll be back for the holidays.
Tonight, we had a visit from our granddaughter, Amber and our daughter, Becky.  Here are some pics! 
Pics from tonight
It's been so good to see family and friends before we leave. Although it is sad to be leaving family and friends, we are going to see other family and friends that we haven't seen in a long time. We are sooo looking forward to this part of our lives and seeing family, friends and this beautiful country of ours.   

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Finally retired!

Thursday, 7/31/2014, I retired! This is one more step in our full-timing process. I've only worked about 50 years! Wow! I guess it is time to stop! I had a great day on Thursday. So many people came by to say goodby and wish me well. My "guys" gave me a Camping World gift card that I'll use for a back up camera. I'll miss them all. There are so many talented, friendly and caring folks at Lockheed Martin. I'm proud of my nearly 29 year career there. Although I'll miss everyone at LM, I'm anxious to start the next phase of my life. That is, start traveling! The heat and humidity here in SE Georgia is a huge contributing factor to the anxiety. If I wasn't receiving some Chiropractic procedures for a pinched nerve condition, I'd hook up the truck and pull our little home on wheels out of here and head for a cooler climate! Although I am feeling much better and tempted to cancel the rest of my treatments in order to hit the road, I should probably complete them. So, that will put us on schedule, which is to leave on August 14th and slowly meander towards Berryville, AR.
Besides, I have chores to do and a few friends to visit before pulling up stakes. I need to build a cabinet to house all of Maggie's food, leashes and other paraphernalia. Yesterday, I started a project to secure the skirt of the RV. The factory simply ran screws through the thin sheet metal and wind and vibration can rip the metal loose. So I'm putting in more screws and using large fender washers on them. I'm also going to install a wine cooler. Hey! It only hold 18 bottles, so that still qualifies as primitive camping, right? :-) I also need to buy and install some good mud flaps on the truck. Dirt and rocks thrown up from the tires can make a mess and damage the front of the RV. So, even though I no longer live in a S&B (Sticks & Bricks) home, I still have "home" projects to work!