Travel Day 17 – We Have Landed!

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Whew!  I am tired and so is Dave.  It has been a looooong day.  We traveled just under 62 miles from the park in Texarkana to the KOA in Mount Pleasant, arriving between noon and 1 PM.  It took us more time than usual to set up, as we were doing so with a view to being in place for a prolonged period again.  We also now have a king pin stabilizer, new tire covers and a “real” water filter, so these were additions to the setup routine.  Our site is #4, which is right at the front of the park across from the office.  In fact, I can see the office parking lot from the side slide window in the living room.  It’s not a bad site and the logical one for managers.  We’re as bang on level as it gets, and I can tell the difference with the stabilizer on the front.  Nice.

Dave set up both our chairs in front; the photo was taken before he got the second one in place.  He hung some pictures back on the walls while I got his laptop online.

We have so much to do in setting up house again after traveling for over two weeks.  As mentioned before,  I will eventually have to figure out a better arrangement for a lot of things, including our laptops and printer.  Right now I’m at the dining table and Dave is using his laptop in his . . . lap.  Ah well, these things will come.

There has been so much rain here . . . I was told they have received 21 inches of rain so far this year here. 

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Our site is across the street to the left of the office

We have cable. Yay!  We have Turner Classic Movies!  Yay-yay!

Not that I’ll have a lot of time to watch TV in the near future.  We start work tomorrow at 8 AM,  which is the same time we opened the office up in New Jersey.  It will be a period of learning and getting familiar with the park and the area for a while. 

With that in mind, I’m outta here for tonight.  Did I mention I’m tired? 

“If we could have spared more, we would have given more . . .”

– Canassatego, Onondaga

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Travel Day 16 – One More Sleep

This is our last night here in Texarkana; we move over to Mount Pleasant tomorrow.  I know I’ve said it before, but we really have enjoyed our stay at this park.   This has been the perfect environment for us to take care of what needed to be done on returning to Texas and to have time to rest a bit.  We have done both.  In fact, I nodded off in my recliner for a few minutes this afternoon.  Yay me!

The cool front did come through overnight, but we were fortunate that it wasn’t violent weather.  We awoke to steady rain which continued until the midafternoon, and the wind did pick up a bit.  Even so, we managed to get to Albertson’s and pick up a few things. 

Mr. Sun finally made a very welcome appearance later, so Dave loaded the bed of the truck in preparation for tomorrow’s departure. 

Judy, thanks for visiting our KOA Facebook page!  I have not populated details to the page such as rate ranges, but you can visit the official KOA page to find that information.  The FB page and web site are works in progress and, while high on my list, I bet I’ll be pretty darn busy the next few days learning the ropes of running the office and the campground in general.

This evening we are really just chilling out a bit, watching some PBS via our batwing (there’s no cable TV here) and putzing around. 

We’ll enjoy one more day of no alarm clocks, even though we wake reasonably early.  We’ll pack up, hitch up and roll down the road a wee ways to our new landing spot!

“Neither anger nor fear shall find lodging in your mind.”

– Dekanawidah, Iroquois, c. 1300

365 Days of Walking the Red Road

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The above bracelet is a Toby and Max design

Travel Day 15 – And Yet More Done

First off, my apologies to Randy for accidentally deleting your comments.  I hit the “Delete” button instead of the “Publish.”  Oops!  I do thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment.  The truck inspection was no big deal and, you guessed it, we are really enjoying ourselves at this park. Good luck with your Class B inspection!

We are making the most of our time and the (so far) lovely weather here in Texarkana at Shady Pines RV Park.  More little things were accomplished inside and out with regards to our rig. 

One of those was changing out a regular 110 bulb in a drop light over our kitchen counter for an LED bulb.  We picked up one of these at the Camping World in Anniston, AL and I just now got around to changing it out.   Dave did a couple of things outside and then went for a nice bike ride, clocking another 40 miles here in Texas.  Today I:

  • Cooked chicken, rice and chili con queso
  • Had my meal of the day of the above!
  • Vacuumed
  • Took out trash
  • Walked Maggie a few times
  • Washed the dishes from the first item
  • Changed out said light bulb
  • Set up our KOA campground Facebook page (there is still a lot more to be done); feel free to visit it and give it a “Like” and thank you for doing so!
  • Established a WordPress site for our KOA (again, it’s just out there and that’s it for now)
  • Started the morning with a load of laundry
  • Spent time this afternoon working my virtual assistant job
  • Put the plants back in their box inside the truck in preparation for Friday’s move

Dave saw his first real shooting star last night!  Yay!  I missed it, but he said it was really awesome – large with a long tail.  I’m so glad he has experienced that at last.  We were treated to Northern Lights while living in Minnesota, but he had never seen a honest-to-goodness shooting star.

Yes, we’re back under the big skies of Texas. 

In the row across from us, there is a horse trailer that has been converted (or perhaps it came that way) to an RV.  I can’t tell from looking at it if it is entirely living space or if there is still a section in the back for horses.  It actually looks like all of it is living area.  Saw the gentleman getting out of his truck and going in this afternoon, dressed in his cowboy hat, jeans and boots. 

What I have always loved about small Texas towns is that when you see someone dressed like that, it’s not for show.  It’s the real deal.

Right now Dave is watching some TV and I’m listening to Enya on earbuds while I compose this.

I’m keeping an eye on the weather overnight, as a front is expected to blow through here; the same one that has dropped tornadoes on Oklahoma today.  The NOAA says we have a 70% chance of severe thunderstorms after 1 AM; looking at the radar at this point, it looks like we  might be just on the southern tip of this system.

I might toss some things in our bug-out bag . . . just in case. 

Tomorrow is looking like it will clear up after 1 PM; that’s a good thing, as we’ll be starting preparations to make our move Friday over to the KOA.  We’ll  also go to Albertson’s and restock a few essentials.

While tomorrow is  our last day here and we’ll be getting into travel mode, I still intend to milk every moment out of this precious down time, this trip from South Carolina we have also considered a vacation.  It will be a while before we see this much time off again.

That being said, I am looking forward to starting our new job, and have begun to organize my thoughts in that direction.

Well, not too much . .  . there’s still another day here!

Yay us!

“While living I want to live well. I know I have to die sometime,but even if the heavens were to fall on me,  I want to do what is right. I think I am a good man . . . There is one God looking down on us all.  We are all children of he one God.  God is listening to me.  The sun,the darkness, the winds, are all listening to what we now say.”

– Goyathlay (Geronimo), Apache medicine man and war chief, to General George Crook during a peace conference,  March 25, 1886

365 Days of Walking the Red Road

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The above bracelet is a Toby and Max design

 

Travel Day 14 – More Things Accomplished

I know it may seem like we are spending quite a bit of time here in Texarkana and perhaps you’re right, but we do have some personal business items to take care of now that we’re back in Texas.  We ticked off another one today in getting our truck inspected.  Instead of a sticker, we now get a “certificate,” or piece of paper.  We will need to present that when we renew our registration later this year.  Not sure how it’s going to work with us, since our registration and inspection months are out of sync.  Oh well, I guess we’ll find out when registration renewal time comes along.  At any rate, we’re street legal again.

While Dave got in 32 miles on a bike ride this afternoon, I went next door to the RV center and made a couple of purchases.  We needed a new set of tire covers, so two boxes of those puppies went on the counter.  A while back, we had a support under our kingpin and it did help stabilize the rig a bit.  I liked the idea of having  wee bit of support under the kingpin because we are stationary for such long periods of time.  We had been using the tripod from our long-gone Internet satellite setup; however, that tripod bit the dust back in 2012.  I walked out of the RV center with a new one, a heavy-duty model with a cup for the kingpin.  The prices weren’t outrageous, actually; in fact, I figured I did better on both purchasing locally instead of online for a couple of reasons.  There was no shipping involved and, if for some reason there was an issue with any of the purchases, we were right here and exchange would be simplistic versus returning something that involved shipping.  Besides, we supported a local business.

Once back, I assembled the stabilizer and set it up just to make sure it fit and was okay.  Yep.  Thumbs up on that.  I dismantled it and stowed it away; we’ll set it up for good once we get to our campground.  Same thing with the tire covers.  Just wanted to make sure everything was there and that they indeed fit our tires.  We were good on that, too, so they are snugged up in the box again.

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Maggie being silly this afternoon, spying on me from under the comforter

Maggie seems to be enjoying this park as much as us.  She has a superb vantage point on the daybed pillows for watching any goings-on outside.  While this is by no means a bustling park, there is just enough activity to hold her interest.  She, Dave and I had a nice walkabout just a bit ago. 

We (Dave and I) also went down the Highway 67 a bit to the Redwater Diner in Redwater, TX.  Dave spotted this on a ride the other day, so we tried it.  We both ordered burgers and shared an order of tater tots.  The burger was okay, but we both prefer the ones I do at home.  I have never been a fan of tater tots, but what the heck.  I bet, though, that some of the dinner plates are pretty good.  Can’t complain at all about the prices, and I would return to check out a regular dinner.  That’s what I had in mind when we decided to eat there; however, it was just too plain hot today for me to consider a heavy meal.

There are still a few minor maintenance things, both inside and out, we are hoping to accomplish during our stay here before departing Friday.  Nothing major by any means; we’re just taking this opportunity to do some things now that we are no longer working night shift and have some time before starting to work again.  We know that once we hit Mt. Pleasant on Friday, we’ll be busy learning the ropes and settling in. 

Since 2010, our jobs have included an office, so we had the luxury of spreading out a bit.  That’s come to a screeching halt with this new gig.  I’ll have to figure out a work/desk area for myself and Dave.  Not sure what the heck is gonna happen there.  There’s some rearranging that needs to be done and assuredly some more things will go out the door.

Since I began this post, we have spent some time sitting outside and have had two walks around the park.  Dave counted 45 sites on one of those strolls.  Yep, it’s a small park.

Rain is in the forecast again starting tomorrow into overnight and Thursday, a cool front swinging through the area.  That’s okay.  Dave has had a couple of nice rides here and we have accomplished the major items on our list, excepting the professional wash/wax. 

The next two days are for anything else we can get done indoors and out, weather permitting, and for simply recharging our batteries.  We had 5.5 months of night shift with no days off, and that was sort of tough in a variety of ways.  We have also traveled from South Carolina to here in extremely rainy weather and sloppy conditions, and that was a hassle. 

We’re going to manage to get in some chillin’ time over the next two days before going back to work!

“Misfortunes do not flourish particularly in our path.  They grow everywhere.”

– Black Elk, Oglala Sioux, 1863-1950

365 Days of Walking the Red Road

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The above bracelet is a Toby and Max design

 

Travel Day 13 – What a Productive Day!

In contrast to yesterday, today was a highly productive day.  Here’s what we accomplished between us with an assist from the folks at Shady Pines RV Center:

  • A mountain of laundry done
  • Porch light on our RV home replaced
  • Some minor touch up of our RV home roof
  • A/C units checked in our RV home
  • A/C filters and grills cleaned
  • Gray tank emptied
  • Vacuuming
  • Dave had a 30-mile bike ride
  • Got two black ink cartridges for the printer
  • Made some phone calls related to personal business
  • Picked up a couple of items from the grocery

Alrighty, then!

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The catch-and-release lake here at Shady Pines RV Park.  The RVs to the right are part of the inventory at Shady Pines RV Center next door.

As you can see from the photo above taken this evening, today has been absolutely gorgeous.  Finally!  We reached a high around 83F here, but it did not feel very humid and was actually rather pleasant.

While we were next door at the RV center to pick up some items, we ducked into a couple of new models . . . neither was a Montana like ours, but still nice.  We came out commenting how it might be nice to trade in/up, but . . . gee, we’d have to go through all the new-rig breaking in and troubleshooting and besides . . . ours is home.  It is reliable and solid and serves us very well.  Seems like most of the new rigs have residential-style refrigerators; this contributes to making the RVs prohibitively heavy for our truck.  Besides, I like having the option to run on propane if necessary.  We seem to get by quite well with our smaller fridge and supplement that with a dorm-sized unit.  If we were sitting someplace permanently, that would indeed be practical. 

So, no, we did not come away with “new rig fever.”  We can always change out furniture when our recliners need to be retired and change up the look and feel of our interior.  Yes, they are pretty.  Yes, I would enjoy the bathroom layouts in many of them, specifically the tub-sized shower. 

But.

This is home.  It’s cozy.  It’s sturdy.  We went through a lot to get this.  We have a bond with it her.

Two things we have noticed since being back in RV parks.

Lots of folks do not chock the wheels of their RV.  We always do, even if just overnighting and still hooked up to the truck.  We also put down our front landing gear just to take off some of the weight from the truck and to steady the RV. 

Quite a few folks leave their RV door open, including the screen.  Eeek!  Bugs!  I guess I just don’t get that. 

Sorry if I offended anyone; it’s just a couple of observations.

When we returned from our trip to Albertson’s this  afternoon, there was a new neighbor down the road . . .

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A 1923 1-ton Model T RV

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These folks were away from the park, but another neighbor told us this gem appears at festivals and rolls along in parades throughout the country.  See that separate “building” in the rear?  That’s an outhouse!

Not sure if anyone is actually staying in it overnight, but . . . possibly, I guess.  We just haven’t seen anyone around it yet.  Perhaps they park it and lodge elsewhere.  Pretty cool, eh?

We still have two errands of personal biz to achieve while we’re here, but no more alarm clocks are needed this week, at least through Friday.  I  had mine set (for the first time in months) for 6:30 AM in order to hook up with the service department next door as early in the day as possible.

I have not  heard from the mobile wash company, so it looks like that’s a no-go at this point.  Oh well, at least we accomplished the important maintenance/repair tasks, so I’m good.  Yes, we are still here three more days, but rain is slated to return Wednesday/Thursday.  At least Friday looks good so far for traveling over to Mount Pleasant.

Hope you’ve had a bright and sunny Monday!

“We do not take up the warpath without a just cause and honest purpose.”

– Pushmataha, Choctaw tribal leader, 1764-1824

365 Days of Walking the Red Road

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Travel Day 12 – Totally Unproductive Day

I guess that’s okay, actually, as we said we would play this weekend before getting started on things we need and would like to accomplish here in Texarkana this week.

I did some online research and have hopefully found a place that does vehicle inspections, as our truck needs to have that done now that we’re back in Texas.

We are hoping to have the RV professionally washed and waxed; I have numbers for a couple of mobile services.  Scheduling will be the thing.  We are supposed to have good weather tomorrow and Tuesday, with rain returning Wednesday and Thursday.  We depart on Friday.  Of course, it was supposed to clear up by 1 PM today, but the unrelenting mist just won’t go away. 

A little bit ago I attempted to print a document I need in order to take care of some personal business while we’re here.  It took me a bit to get the printer communicating with the WiFi, but I finally did and found I could print the document from my iPhone.

I love Air Print!

Well, that came to a screeching halt because lo and behold the printer needs a new black cartridge.  Spare tri-color cartridges?  Check.  Two of ‘em, in fact.  Spare black cartridge? 

~~ sigh ~~

So I’ll have to get out tomorrow or the next day and find one somewhere in town.

The good news is that we’re on concrete, the streets are concrete and we have our awning out.  We have not been able to deploy our awning in months due to our surroundings and weather, and it also needs a good cleaning.

But it’s raining.

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Dave has set up his “bike shop” under the front cap of our home & is cleaning the road gunk off his fixed-gear bike.

About 30 minutes later . . .

Mr. Sun appeared (!), so Dave took time off from his endeavors and we took a walk around the park.

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Our truck and home are on the right.  Rigs are pulling in now and then, so the empty sites are being taken.

By the time we walked the park, Mr. Sun had gone into hiding again and the mist/rain resumed.  The wind has become a bit gusty, so we’ve brought in the awning.  I have yet to get photos of the lake here, but hope to do so if/when the weather improves.

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Our new states traveled map.  It’s affixed inside to the window with suction cups.  Looks like we need to get out West, eh?

So far our new states traveled map is (literally) hanging in there on one of our living room windows.  Not sure how well it is viewable from the outside with the window tint and it is very overcast today.  At any rate, it’s up!  Being fixed with suction cups, it can be moved to a different location.  We’ll see how it does in the window for now.  We have been to several more states together, but sans RV.  Those will have to await a return visit before taking their place on the map.

Maggie and I had a good walk earlier, but it’s been short out and back in excursions since then due to the rain.  She’s quite content to snuggle up on the daybed or sit looking out the windows when there is activity outside.

That’s all for now, folks!  Hope you’re having a sunny and beautiful day wherever you are! 

“Our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch of our ancestors as we walk over this Earth.”

– Chief Seattle (Seathl), Duwamish-Suquamish, 1785-1866

365 Days of Walking the Red Road

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Travel Days 10 and 11 – Shreveport, LA to Texarkana, TX

We spent last night in Shreveport, and I really don’t have anything to say about that.  It rained.  That was travel day #10.

Today was day #11, and we were away from the Shreveport/Bossier City KOA at our usual departure time of around 11 AM.  Yes, it was raining.

Yes, we traveled in rain.  It wasn’t a heavy downpour, just a steady rain under leaden skies with no wind.  I’m grateful for that.

You know, I think that’s my first time towing in prolonged rain.  Easy peasy.

We took I-20 East to I-220 North and then connected with the new I-49 North out of Shreveport.

Man!  What a sweet highway is that I-49!  There are no amenities along the way, but the road is absolutely lovely.  The connection of that stretch of I-49 North was finalized just in November 2014.

We needed to connect with Loop 151 on crossing into Arkansas at exit 29-B, but there was no indication of it being 151.  Oh well, I knew we needed to head west into Texas, so we took the left fork.  A little ways along there was a sign by the side of the road indicating it was Loop 151.

Yay me!

We are now at Shady Pines RV Park in Texarkana, Texas.  It is associated with Shady Pines RV Center next door.  This is a really nice park with paved streets and paved, level sites.  Paved!  Level!  Hook-up pads in the middle of the site pad so our sewer reaches! 

Yay us!

It is by far the nicest park we have stayed at on this trip and the least expensive with our Good Sam discount.  I’ll try to get photos of the clubhouse and wee lake while we’re here. 

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Unhitched and settled in at Site B6.  I could stay here for a long time.  It’s a very comfortable, pleasant and small park.

We arrived midafternoon and, after setting up, scooted back into town to Albertson’s for a few groceries.  We will be here until Friday, at which time we will roll on down the highway to Mt. Pleasant and our new home at the KOA there.

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My plants fared well in the cab of the truck, nestled in a box next to Maggie’s crate.  They are enjoying their first Texas evening outside right now.

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Haven’t seen this in a store in . . . well, quite a while.  Yes, we’re back in Texas!

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Shiner Bock is in the house in honor of our return for Dave’s last vacation weekend

While here in Texarkana, we are having a minor repair done on the rig, hopefully having it professionally washed and waxed and taking care of some personal business.  I need to get our truck inspected.  These roads are true Texas roads with wide shoulders, so Dave is ready to get out there and clock some bike miles.  I have laundry to do and am looking forward to doing some cooking for a change.  Working night shift in South Carolina pretty much prohibited that on any regular basis.  We also plan to relax and rest from the road – recuperate from all the lousy, rainy weather – and thereby be refreshed and energized for heading into our job as campground managers.

We have already visited with a couple of folks here in the park when walking around this afternoon/evening.  We are looking at more rain tonight and tomorrow but . . . I don’t care!  Bwahaha!  We’re off the road, set up nicely and we’re on concrete!

I am, folks, in heaven.

We are a bit under 60 miles to our final destination.  I am so grateful that we have had a safe and uneventful journey this far.  “Thanks, Dad, for watching over us and for imparting so much knowledge – both practical and intuitive – to me throughout the years.”

1956 Plymouth and Dragin 1 in 1963 at Burkett home

The first rig I remember as a child. We lived in the house that had this backyard until the summer before I entered second grade in school.

Maggie and I  had a prolonged, enjoyable walk earlier.  This has been the best place for walking her and she certainly deserved some fun time outdoors after all the traveling and the bad weather.  She is  crashed on the bed, happy and relaxed.  She is such a great traveler and has seen quite a few states now.

Speaking of states, I hope to get our state map up on the window while we’re here.

Short hop today of 91 miles.

Okay, I need to get this posted.  In spite of a yummy cup of coffee a bit ago, I bet I’ll sleep tonight!

“The Kiowa braves have grown up from childhood, obtaining their medicine from the earth.”

– Satank, Kiowa, c, 1810-1871

365 Days of Walking the Red Road

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I am a Warrior

The above bracelet is a Toby and Max design