Thursday, May 26, 2016

Thursday May 25, 2016-Ozark RV Park

Our friends, Doug and Judy came by to invite us to go to the Ozark Folk Center on Wednesday night to watch Doug square dance during the musical performances there. We picked up Dave and Nancy and drove over to the concert hall a bit early to get good seats. The Folk Center is right beside our RV Park and can be accessed through a gate, but it has been raining extensively, so the path is very muddy and uphill and we didn't feel like navigating it.

We enjoyed watching Doug and the other dancers as they did some square dancing and later did some other folk dances before and during the musical performances. It was a nice time, listening to the music and watching some amazing performers. The hall was pretty dark and flash photos were forbidden because it would interfere with the performers, so no pictures. Sorry.

Today Doug and Judy came by and picked us up to go eat at a place called Brookfalls Restaurant, just outside of Calico Rock AR. The food was very good and we were glad they had told us about this place. There was little signage on the building, but it is a hidden gem. Next time you're in the area, be sure to look it up and be prepared for a treat.

Doug took us back to Mountain View by a different route, through the countryside. I don't think there is a straight road in the mountains of Arkansas! Curves abound, and up and down the hills we went. It was a pretty drive and I was glad for Doug to be doing the driving so I could just look at the scenery. It was interesting to see many old log cabins and barns. a photographer could spend a lot of time up here taking pictures!

Doug took us by hhis house that he bought after he sold his Landmark. The house is very nice on about 4 acres, with a couple of outbuildings and a fenced-in garden in the back yard. A very nice place to settle down after they spent a few years living in the trailer. Maybe they'll reconsider and buy another trailer. Who knows what the future will bring.

So long.

Tuesday May 23, 2016-Ozark RV Park

Here are the pictures that I took at the scenic overlook the other day. It was a cloudy overcast day but I think the new camera did a good job for my first time out with it. It still has some features that I haven't used yet, but I will.

The beautiful White river.

Sally and Stella pointing out points of interest.

A group of boaters on the river, going past us.

The rocks are a strange looking. They appear to be flat but they are of varying heights and appear to have been eroded, sometimes in a swirling pattern. I'm sure that a geologist could tell me why the patterns are this way but I can only guess. 

So long.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sunday May 22, 2016-Ozark RV Park

Today, being Sunday, turned out to be an all day church attendance for us. We went to the in-park service at 9:30 ad followed that with a delicious lunch at The Skillet restaurant located on the grounds of the Folk Center State Park. The church service is run by a retired pastor, Brother Bob, and was a typical Baptist type of service with singing followed by a short sermon. The singing was led by Andy, owner of the RV park and we all enjoyed the service. We followed Billy and several others from the park that had been at church to The Skillet and we all enjoyed our meal.

We came back home and later Stella and I made a run to Wal Mart to pick up one of my prescriptions and a few other items there. While Stella shopped, I did something that I haven't done in a long time, captured Munzees. It was fun to get back out and cap some again!

We returned home and decided to hook up with Dave and Nancy and go down to the town square to listen to music this afternoon. There were lots of chairs being set up in front of the courthouse and I learned that there would be music there around 6, so we went back to Wal Mart for Dave and Nancy. We returned to the courthouse right about on time and soon learned that the music would provided by a church service of the Faith Tabernacle Apostolic church. David and Susan also came over to listen.

When I was a teenager, I went to visit one of my cousins in east Texas whose family attended a Pentecostal church and I remember how strange their services were compared to the Baptist church services where I went. They haven't changed! There was a guest Evangelist from Louisiana that played guitar and danced around the pulpit as he sang and he put on quite a show. I'm just not used to rock and roll guitar being played to religious music. It wasn't bad, just different. And it was the first time in a looooong time that I went to two church services in one day.

We left before the preaching started and before they got too "wrought up in the music". There was a group of church-goers that began dancing and whooping and hollering, so before it went too far, we left.

We enjoyed some of the music but wish there had been folk music being played tonight. We'll return in the next few days and enjoy more of the music we came to see and hear.

So long.

Saturday May 21, 2016-Ozark RV Park

We have been having a great time up here in the Arkansas mountains. We have been out to eat several times, been stood up by our entertainment at the rally and have seen some amazing free entertainment both here in the park and in town on the square. The music is the primary attraction of Mountain View Arkansas. We listened to music in the office of the RV park, done by the owner of the park and various other guests of the park that also played and sang.

We went to the pizza buffet at the Pizza Inn restaurant because we were all hungry for pizza and this was a good way to satisfy this hunger. We went to the Anglers White River Resort restaurant, which is rated as the best restaurant in town and we all agreed that it is indeed good, we haven't been to all the restaurants in town so we can't quite say it is the best. Dave, Mike and I tried to find a scenic overlook that was rated very highly but we took a couple of wrong turns and gave it up. We had a nice day for a drive out in the country, so it wasn't a busted trip. We took a lot of kidding and ridicule from our wives but we enjoyed ourselves. Our friends Roy and Sally knew where it was and took us to the overlook. I will share my photos as soon as I can download them. (remember that I recently bought a new camera and haven't figured out how to download from it yet)

When we went for the drive with Roy and Sally, we went to nearby Calico Rock, a tiny city in Arkansas. Legend says the town was named when an early explorer of the White River valley saw the beautiful limestone bluffs and called it "the Calico Rocks" because it resembled the calico fabric used to make women's dresses. While driving through, we decided to stop for  quick lunch at the Printing Press Cafe on Main St. where we had a delicious meal, enjoying the quaint buildings in town.

The club furnished breakfast on Saturday morning which was a lot of fun. Several rally attendees prepared some of the dishes while Chapter Leaders Billy and Janice fixed the biscuits and gravy, and everyone had a grand breakfast. After breakfast, we took a ride with David and Susan, following Dave and Nancy along with Sally, to a local strawberry farm where we picked up some very nice fresh-picked strawberries and some other items. This place doesn't miss a beat, selling fresh fruits, melons, veggies and various jams and jellies that are either grown on the farm or locally produced.

We were scheduled to have a local group of young people come to entertain us Saturday afternoon but somehow the signals got crossed and they didn't show up at the appointed time. We later went down to the town square to listen to several groups performing under a series of gazebos built by the city. In fact, one of the groups that we heard used the mayor of Mountain View as one of the performers. He played a pretty mean harmonica and was actually the best player in the group.

Then to top off our week of eating out, we found a gem of a Mexican restaurant right here in Mountain View and directly across the street from the street musicians. The restaurant, Mi Pueblita, had excellent Mexican food and great service. We will return here before continuing on our journey.
More to come.

So long.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Saturday May 14, 2016-Ozark RV Park

We decided to take a ride over the road that had been suggested by the GPS as the route between Clinton AR and here, Arkansas Hwy. 9. Our friend and Arkansas Chapter Leader, Billy, had cautioned us about taking this route but we wanted to drive it and check for ourselves. 

The first clue to tell us that this would not be a good road to travel while pulling a long trailer was a sign found just after leaving Mountain View, warning of a 17 mile stretch of "Crooked and Steep" roads, which we learned was exactly right! Then there were two more signs, with similar warnings before we got to Clinton. Billy and his wife Janice rode with us in our truck and Dave and Nancy drove theirs and I'm pretty sure that Nancy had some choice words about the road, as she doesn't like heights or winding roads. We got to Clinton and found the Western Sizzlin' Steakhouse and had a good meal. 

After eating, we returned home and Dave and Nancy went to check out a golf course in Clinton. Dave is a huge golf fan and loves to play. I've never seen him actually play golf but I have seen him strike the ball in practice and he is very, very good. 

We returned home for some rest and relaxation and after a while, noticed an ambulance and several vehicles with flashing lights entering the park. Nosey me, I went over to see what was going on and learned that a 17 year old young man had become dehydrated after playing outside all day and needed medical attention. Several volunteer firemen had responded to the ambulance call and they had him removed to a hospital in short order. Just a little excitement for the day.

I have been working slowly on my new camera and should have the new bells and whistles figured out soon and will publish some pictures with it as soon as I do.

So long.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Thursday May 12, 2016-Moving Day-Choctaw Casino KOA to Ozark RV Park, Mountain View Arkansas

We have been in Durant long enough to put up with very heavy rains and tornado warnings and it's time to move along. We have enjoyed our time here and will return again.

Stella bought me a new camera yesterday. My old one finally bit the dust and wouldn't turn on any more, so we went to Best Buy and bought me a new one. Now to read up on how to operate it...

We were up early this morning because we have a long drive to Mountain View AR. We planned to leave at 8:30 and actually pulled out at 8:35, not too bad, huh!

We made the long drive and only had to stop three times for Stella's convenience. Actually, two of the stops were planned, so only one stop for her. We pulled in here at the Ozark RV Park about 4 and it didn't take long to get set up. There are lots of trees around here and I had a bit of a problem with TV reception. I moved the antenna about five times and decided to change the location of the antenna. While walking from the back to the front of the trailer, I got my feet all tangled up and fell, planting my face in the plastic dome of the dish antenna. I hit so hard that I pushed the plastic in so far that it deformed to the point that the antenna wouldn't rotate to find the satellites, but I fixed it. All is well and I wasn't hurt very badly, only a bruised chest and some scrapes. At least I get perfect TV signals now!

So long.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tuesday May 10, 2016-Choctaw Casino KOA RV Park

There were about 7 rigs that stayed over until Monday or later to leave. We woke to very heavy rains, but overnight had seen very high winds and lots of rain. Stella had stayed up but I slept right through it! She said that the winds felt as if they were moving the trailer and I learned from Mike and Peg that they had become so concerned about the winds that they pulled their slides in. 

My friends David and Susan had pulled out before 7, because that is when I got out of bed and they were gone. They are planning to go all the way home to New Iberia LA, or about 700 miles. I hope they stop somewhere and take another day to get home. I went out during a lull in the rain about 7:30 but didn't see any signs of anyone packing up, so I figured that they would either put off leaving or just simply stay for another day here, but about 11, Ed and Susan came over to say goodbye and I noticed that everyone but Mike and Peg was already gone. I wish them well in the weather!

It continued to rain all morning but cleared some in the afternoon. About 5:30 we saw a big storm coming our way with some ominous looking clouds and we turned on the TV to a local channel and heard a warning for Durant residents to seek shelter, then heard the tornado sirens go off, so we all went to the rally hall/laundry/office to see what would happen. We got a little rain and some small hail but the storm passed right by and didn't do anything. Lucky us! We heard later that 7 tornadoes touched down near us but we had nothing. That was all for the rest of the night.

This morning (Tuesday), Dave drove us into Denison so see the birthplace of President Dwight Eisenhower and a small museum on the grounds. There wasn't much to see here; the house was a rental that the family lived in at the time of DDE's birth, with none of the family furniture or keepsakes there. The museum was better, documenting his military career with posters, maps etc. It was much more interesting and I learned that his Presidential Museum and Library is in Abilene Kansas, so another trip is in store.

We had a delicious lunch at the Cheddar's Restaurant  in Sherman before doing some shopping at a nearby Kroger store. We later went to the Wal Mart in Durant for a last shopping spree.

After all the rain and bad weather yesterday, today was just downright hot. It's getting to be summer time!

So long.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Sunday May 8, 2016-Choctaw Casino KOA RV Park

We all had a good time at this rally, which is over now. Everything worked out very well, with the group going out to eat at the Roadhouse restaurant in downtown Durant on Friday evening. We have eaten here before at other rallies and the food is always good and reasonable. We took up the entire back room of the restaurant and the only complaint that I heard was from the loud room. It has a hardwood floor, walls and ceiling, so there is nothing to absorb sounds, and there is a bad echo in the room, but we all overcame this problem, and it quieted down very well after the food was delivered.

Saturday night we went to another familiar place, BG's Catfish on Lake Texoma in nearby Kingston. This is a catfish and shrimp buffet with several sides at a very reasonable price. It is served buffet style, with throwaway dinnerware and Styrofoam cups, all to keep costs down, and they do a good job. The restaurant is only open Thursday-Sunday from 4-9PM and the place fills up as soon as the doors open. Of course, with 50 or so Heartlanders coming in, the place was really packed. They take no reservations but as far as I could tell, everyone that came in was served.

We had coffee and pastries every morning and I didn't have to make it! The park has a complete kitchen including a coffee maker available which makes it nice to have a rally in. 

The rally went very well but we missed Rex and Stacey. They will be back and we will be looking forward to their next rally.

So long.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Thursday May 5, 2016-Choctaw Casino KOA

For a rally with no chapter leader in attendance, it is going very well. Rex and Stacey had a family emergency and had to go to Michigan at the last minute, so many of us were coming over from the Branson rally and Rex asked Orville, one of the founding members of the chapter, to stand in for him.

We went to breakfast at the casino this morning because they had a buy one-get one free meal deal. The food was good but the wait staff was overwhelmed. Apparently they are short-handed today and there were lots of problems with delivery of our food. They even brought the chef out to deliver orders! 

After breakfast, Stella and I went over to Sherman TX to the Best Buy store to buy a new all-in-one printer. Our old one is about 8 years old and doesn't work too well any more. The scan function won't work at all and it doesn't print everything in a document, so it's time to get a replacement. We soon found a very nice HP that was on sale, and we were on our way home with a new tool. 

The Meet and Greet for the rally was this afternoon and everyone turned out for it. Orville did well with his first time running a rally. We only had cookies and drinks this afternoon, and will have a hot dog supper tonight.

Everybody loves a hot dog! We had a great time visiting with our friends, although we knew everyone there this afternoon. It's unusual that a rally has no new members, but this one is different. In fact, most of the folks that are here came from the Branson rally!

It's good to be with such good friends!

So long.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tuesday May 3, 216-Moving Day-Branson KOA to Choctaw Casino, Durant Oklahoma

We were up early this morning and had done a good bit last night. Stella got a bit behind because she had to stop frequently for bathroom breaks, so the medicine is still working! We were ready to go about 8:30 (neither if us checked the time) and before we knew it, we were heading toward Springfield. We had changed the route last night at the urging of Nancy, who HATED the twisty-turny roads we had come up here on. And beside that, it would be easier to stop along the road in case Stella had an emergency. 

We traveled with Dave and Nancy, our normal traveling companions and David and Susan G. our friends from Louisiana. This was our first time with them and we enjoyed the trip.

We made pretty good time, but the new route was about 40 miles further, making out total mileage today 375, or an all day drive after making three pit stops. We pulled in at the casino about 4:30 and were soon set up and ready to relax. We had no issues on the trip but were tired from driving all day.

There has been a change to the rally here in Durant. The Chapter Leaders, Rex and Stacey had to leave unexpectedly for a family emergency, so they passed the information about the rally to one of their members, who will carry out the rally. Of course, we will be there to help if needed. We're sure that everything will work out well.

So long.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Saturday April 30, 2016-Branson KOA

Well, the Region Rally is over and it was a great time if I do say so myself. As you know, we arrived last Saturday. We took a rest day on Sunday and hit the ground running on Monday. Actually, running is out of the question up here in the hills of Missouri, but you get the idea.

I didn't have time to take any photos but if you're on Facebook or the Heartland Owners Forum, Texas Bobcat took lots of pictures and they are there for your viewing pleasure!

We only ate out a couple of times on our own, at Shorty Small's Restaurant with our good friends Dave and Nancy and Jim and Nancy took us out - along with Dave and Nancy and Dave and Julie - to the Outback Steakhouse and Oyster Bar. Both places are very good and we all enjoyed both the company and the food. 

The big eating-out extravaganza was at the Lambert's Throwed Rolls in nearby Ozark MO. Over 50 of our Heartland friends made the drive over to eat with us. Thanks go to Kelly B. for handling the arrangements for this. I had my hands full with rally planning and she stepped up and took it over and it went off without any problems. With so many people in so many trucks, it was a logistical nightmare but she pulled it off. 

The rally itself went off without issue. We had a meet and greet on Thursday with snacky foods furnished by our guests and as usual, all the food was delicious. Larry and Gayle gathered lots of show tickets and we gave them out today so that the winners can take advantage while we are here. Friday evening we had a potluck dinner, which was wonderful, as usual.  Domino games were played every night after the meals and everyone loves to play games. Saturday morning we -along with several helpers- prepared a breakfast for all, and it was a big hit. The food came out very well and we thank all of our assistants in both cook and cleaning up afterwards. Saturday night was our big night, with a catered meal, with servers for the food, china plates and real silverware which is a treat for RV'ers, who often eat off paper plates with plastic ware. Then came the biggest hit of the rally, John Sager. He is a great singer and interacts with the crowd, flirting with the girls and making fun of the guys. It was a great time for all and everyone loved John. 

This was my largest rally that I have every hosted and I believe it was the best. I was heartened by the compliments and congratulations that we received, but it couldn't have happened without my team of helpers.

We are making plans for another Region Rally here but not until 2018. Stella and I will probably be recovered by then...

So long.