Friday, April 25, 2008

On The Way Home

On Tuesday we left Livingston. We had plans to do the Natchez Trace, but had to change plans because of the flooding there. We have made our way to Knoxville, Tennessee. Quite be accident we found the Escapees' park in Raccoon Valley. We were about to get off the exit for another campground when we saw a sign. Folks here are just as friendly as at other SKP parks. We went to happy hour yesterday afternoon, and to the jam session last night. We were treated to some great music by some of the regulars, and some folks just passing through. One great banjo player named Dave, who comes by most Thursdays, and a little old fellow who is about 84 who plays the steel guitar. He also knows the words to any song anyone plays. They even had a dulcimer played by a lady just staying the night. We really enjoyed the music, which lasted 2 whole hours. We have decided to stay here for a few days to rest up a bit before the last haul toward home.

Today is our anniversary. Where did that 38 years go? We went out to dinner at a place called The Golden Girls' restaurant. Tom had beef tips over rice, and I had the fried catfish fillet. It was good, but nothing really special. The folks were very nice, and the building is a log house recycled. I'm thinking I should have had the ribs. Oh well, maybe next time. Tomorrow morning is the park weekly breakfast. One of my favorites-biscuits and sausage gravy. Most SKP parks have a breakfast during the week. We just happen to hit this one just right. We will miss the ice cream social hour on Sunday. We surely do love our ice cream. We'll be in Kentucky on Sunday. Connor has asked us if we would go through Kentucky on the way home. I said yes, and I would call him when we get there and buy him something that says Kentucky. Before we left he was into the United States, and loved to say Kentucky. I guess he is remembering. We also have to stop for some groceries and such. We are shooting for May 1st to be home. Not much longer now. It will be good to get hugs and kisses.
We have had some trouble with our computer. The screen has gone, and we have a TV hooked up to it. Tom seems to think there are other problems, too. We will have to get our desk top at home up and running to make sure we don't lose what we have in this one. It will give Tom fits till we are home. It doesn't seem to bother things I do, but you never know with these computer buddies of ours. We'll check back in with you all when we get home. Oh, by the way, I'm on another mission. I really want a dog. I have missed having one. It's been a few years now, and George, Robin's dog, doesn't travel with us. She won't part with him for that long. We'll let you all know how the hunt progresses.
It's been a beautiful day. We hope it is springtime at home, too.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Visiting with friends and The Opry at Liberty

We got tickets to the Opry. When the owner, Bruce, called back, he offered to seat us with the folks from CARE. It was so nice of him to ask. Not only did we get to sit with them, they had 2 seats in the van empty, so we also got to ride with them. We stopped at Ann's Seafood, and had a great meal. Tom had a steak, and I had a seafood platter. I brought some of mine home.
The theme for the night at the Opry was Ladies of Country Music. Everyone who sang was as usual, terrific. We had bought our pie before the show, and at intermission we enjoyed it. I had coconut cream, and Tom had lemon meringue. Wonderful. I know that this might sound familiar to those who read the blog , but it is worth repeating. At $20.00 for tickets and $4.50 for home-made pie, you get a great night of entertainment and delicious refreshments. Then add the company of friends, who could ask for more. It just happened to be my birthday, and it couldn't have been better if I had planned it out in detail.
We had dinner at CARE on Tuesday, and will go again tomorrow. Then on Friday they have that big breakfast that we are looking forward to. For $3.00 you can have bacon, sausage, eggs any way, oatmeal, biscuits and gravy, toast, jelly, coffee, tea, and juice. Sometimes they add ham. If you go away hungry, it your own fault. Can't wait.
Tom and I have been watching how much we eat, we are trying to lose what we gained while here in November and December. Now they are feeding us again. It's a good thing we don't eat there everyday.
We will be here for a few more days. We would like to take the Natchez Trace on the way home. With all of the flooding of the Mississippi River, we hope we still have the opportunity to do so. We will have to keep an eye on the weather. Hopefully, it won't rain that much more.
Oh, by the way, I made a beautiful piece of jewelry in craft class the other day. I was so thrilled with the way it came out. Maybe a picture will be added.
We love it here in Livingston. We are very comfortable here, and happy. What a great group the Escapees are.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Back at the CARE Center

Tom and I have finally returned to CARE. We spent the last few days in Wichita Falls, Tx. The reason we stayed so long was the weather. For three days severe thunderstorms with hail and possible tornados were in the area. We didn't dare move once we set up in the park. We went into Wal-Mart as soon as we got settled, and bought a weather radio. As soon as Tom got it up and running, it started to beep. Well, beep isn't the right word. Screech is more like it. Very bad storm cells were all around us. We packed a bag with all of the important things, and set it by the door. In our sights was a Holiday Inn hotel, and that was our place to run to. Luckily we didn't have to go there. Yesterday we woke up and the sun was shining bright, so off we went.
Last night we spent at a nice little campground in Tyler, Tx. It's only about 160 miles from Livingston. We arrived this afternoon, and it was so good to be back. Tonight we went over to a program at the CARE center, and saw some of our friends. Tomorrow we may go to the Opry in Liberty. Last December we enjoyed the show there with Ed and Hazel. We plan to go the Ann's to have supper before the show.
What is really neat, is that the CARE Center is having a bus trip there tomorrow, too. Of course they are going to Ann's to eat also. It will be so nice to get tickets and go with them. We called, but no one was there. We'll give another try tomorrow. First , we are having the pancake breakfast that they have the second Saturday of every month. If we get up and move in the morning. Then we have to do the wash. What a great way to spend a few hours of a Saturday. In the laundry. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it.
We'll be here for a week or more before we head on up north. It's time to sit and relax for a bit. We have had a hectic few weeks. We are just so blessed to have the chance to this. What a good time we are having.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Grand Canyon

As we traveled from Boulder City to Williams, we crossed over the Hoover Dam. That was really something. It can be a challenge sometimes due to the construction of the new bridge that you see in the pictures. Soon you will be able to by-pass the dam. Then we started to climb. Emily did good going up through the mountains. We saw snow in some of the gullies beside the road that don't get the sun. The scenery again was amazing.
Williams is a small town on old Route 66. It has many hotels and motels just for the tourists going to the Grand Canyon. At this time of year it isn't crowded. Gas was more expensive, I suppose because of being the only town around. We had a nice campground that overlooked a field with a small creek flowing through. There was a family of prairie dogs that lived in the banks of the creek and in the field. We really enjoyed watching them. They were so busy and playful. At one time we saw a hawk come in. Of course the prairie dog look-out was doing his job and they all took cover. We tried to get a picture of the hawk, but he was too far away.
The Grand Canyon was everything you hear people say. I think Tom took over 200 pictures. We walked quite a bit, then took the shuttles from stop to stop. The one route was to be closed the next day to start construction of the new road. It really needs to be replaced. If only for safety reasons. We were lucky that we got to see that part of the canyon. It's hard to find words to describe the beauty. It's just awesome.
After going through the town checking out the stores, we decided to leave the next day. After a bout with a frozen hose, and some really cold nights that we weren't used to, it was time to go get somewhere in lower elevations.
It was on to the one of my favorite places on our trip. The GC was awesome, yes, but Monument Valley was God's Country. I just fell in love with the place. So many old westerns were filled there. Where ever you go , you can buy John Wayne stuff. You can get toilet paper with his picture on it. It says on the outside, "It's rough, it's tough, and doesn't take crap from anyone". We laughed at that one. They have those life-sized cardboard cut-outs of the Duke all over the place. I hope the pictures we took give you an idea of the beauty there. We paid $10 to drive through the Valley. The road was pretty rough, but well worth the time and the money. It is a 17 mile drive, and takes as long as you want it to. We stopped and had the lunch we took with us. The Navajo Nation evidently doesn't allow cell phone towers. we had no service while we were in the campground or the Valley. For about 3 days we were out of touch. The campground was fabulous. We were surrounded by huge red rock cliffs, and could look out our windows at the monuments, or just sit outside with that gorgeous view. We will return to that wonderful place. It truly is God's Country. That's the only explanation I'll accept for a place such as this.
Enough for this post. I know I have to catch up. Being without service and traveling for 3 days, I'm behind a little. We have done a lot in the past 2 weeks. What a good time we are having being tourists.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Hoover Dam at Lake Meade

While we were at Lake Meade in Nevada, we visited Hoover Dam. From our campground it only took a few minutes. They needed 7 bucks to park, but it was in a parking garage under cover of the hot sun. We got the senior discount (thanks to the white hair), and paid $9 each for the tour. You get to see a 15 minute movie about the building of the dam, and a tour to see the turbines. When you start the tour, an elevator takes the group down into the ground, like going into the mines in Pa. Tom took some great pictures, and we hope you can get an idea of how huge the dam really is. In one of the pictures you can see 2 pick-ups down below. They look like match box cars.It was an amazing thing to see. Back at home, we sat out and watched the airplanes come into Vegas. We were right under the landing pattern.
The next day we spent sometime in Boulder City. They have some nice shops to browse in. Here in the western states we have visited, they have reverse osmosis machines to get water. Most times a gallon costs 25 cents. Just fill up your container. We filled up and went on back to the park. I had promised Jim Mullay, our friend from Vegas, that I would make him some halushki when we came to visit. I cooked it outside. I was very successful. It was pretty good.
Saturday we went to Jimmy's. He had fixed us a lite lunch, and took us on a tour of Lake Las Vegas. This was a dream of the developer. He wanted a little piece of Italy in Nevada. Let me just tell you...he did it. It was a beautiful place. Jim treated us to Italian ice cream. It has a special name, but I can't remember. It was delicious. On the way back to his house for supper, we stopped at a store that sells all organic. It was called Whole Foods. He picked up a cake for dessert, and we left for his house. He fixed a terrific brisket, and his special chipolte mashed potatoes. Some asparagus was added, and then the chocolate cake. He's a great cook. His Mom was with us, along with his friend Kurt and his Mom's friend. We enjoyed the time we spent there. It is always good to see Jimmy. He was in our wedding back in 1970. He and Tom were childhood buddies. We said good-bye, and left with some leftovers and hugs. The next day we left for Williams, Arizona. Because we were going to the Grand Canyon, we drove over the dam. What a ride. That's another days' post. We are on extended network here, and I have to make it short. Tom will add the pictures when we are sure we won't lose them because of a bad connection. We are on our way east. I guess folks think it's time we were home. We'll get there when we get there.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

On The Road Again

To begin with I have to explain why there have been no posts lately. When we moved from Pahrump, we went to Lake Meade. We dry camped for 5 days. For those of you who don't know, that is having no hook-ups. We had a very limited time for the computer, and only ran the generator for about an hour at night. We left there 0n Sunday morning. Now I can start the posts again.
I had called Clark and Marie, and asked them to come over for supper on Monday night. I surprised them by fixing some kielbasa from home (it was given to us by our friend Jimmy who lives in Henderson-another post maybe tomorrow). We all enjoyed the hamburgers and hot dogs that we grilled. They said good-bye around 8, and off they went home. They enjoy so much having friends come to visit.
On Wednesday we left for Boulder City. We stayed at the Lake Meade National Recreation Area. What a beautiful area. Our campsite was overlooking the lake, and the wonderful mountain scenery. What was really something to see, was how low the lake is. We have heard about the low snow levels and the amount of water Las Vegas is now using has really brought the lake down. As you look at the pictures you can see where the water levels should be. As of yet, the snow in the upper Rockies has not melted. Because of the snow this year, there is hope the levels will rise higher than last year. Many folks have taken upon themselves to replace their grass lawns with desert landscaping, and the golf courses have sprinklers only on the greens. This alone has saved tons of water. Let's hope the good folks keep conserving. It would be a shame if something as gorgeous as Lake Meade disappeared.
We had our mail sent to Boulder City, and went off in search of the post office. With the help of Nelly(our GPS) we found it with no problem. We also went around the town to visit all the little shops. Lot's of the little towns around the West have neat shops. We have been to so many in the last few weeks. We don't buy much, we don't have room to carry stuff. We just love to look.
Of course the casinos called us. Wait, I mean me. Tom doesn't like to go, but bless his heart, he goes because I like to. We played for a while and didn't lose anything, so I guess we should be happy with that.
I'll save the rest of our time there for tomorrow. Wait till you see Hoover Dam.