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2010 May
View entire year's route With Google Earth 588K
View year's Camps With Google Earth 106K
Route 101K     Galleries
Saturday, May 1 Todays route using Google Earth
Chattanooga North, Cleveland KOA   Cleveland, TN Locate this campground with Google Earth $36.27 per night
We decided last night to change our initial destination. We had mapped out a route toward Bentonville Arkansas which will still remain on our route to Oklahoma City, but we will take some time and head north to Mammoth Cave National park in Kentucky. The last time we were there Frank had just had his heart attack and didn't feel like taking any tours. Today we traveled back roads and saw some great mountain scenery but we had light rain on and off most of the way. We may stay here a couple of days since the area is supposed to have heavy rains tomorrow. There are numerous tornados reported west and north of where we are camped. We watched the 136th Kentucky Derby which was run on a very wet track today.

Sunday, May 2
We decided to remain in this campground because the areas we would be travelling through are having torrential rains. Some of the areas in mid-Tennessee have had 14 inches of rain in two days. There is a lot of flooding. Today Frank worked on computer issues and put 2 new cowboy music albums on the cowboy music page. Tom did laundry and some computer work himself. We defrosted the freezer. We might get some rain and thunderstorms this evening. We also did some local shopping and went to a 5 Guys hamburger place for dinner. It is raining heavily and there is some thunder nearby.

Monday, May 3 Todays route using Google Earth
Bean Pot Campground   Crossville, TN Locate this campground with Google Earth $27.89 per night
It is the day after all the rains. We continue to move north. This is where Frank initially went to the hospital when he had his heart attack 2 years ago. He was then taken to Cookersville, about 30 miles west of here where they had a better heart facility. The weather is nice but quite warm. We drove through some beautiful mountains during the day. We are trying to use back roads rather than Interstates, they are generally more interesting and usually have less traffic.  About 10 miles back a car passed us then stopped in the middle of the road. The driver got out and told us we were dragging our sewer hose on the road. Sure enough, one of the doors on the trailer bumper had come loose and the hose was dragging. It was ruined, Our runed sewer hose   so after setting up camp we went to a small RV dealer who dug through his pile of stuff and found a 20 foot hose and connectors for us. We then went to Wall Mart for groceries and other stuff. We have also moved into Central time.
Tuesday, May 4 Todays route using Google Earth
Cave Country RV Campground   Cave City, KY Locate this campground with Google Earth $31.70 per night
Frank shot a few photos of the beautiful countryside as we drove along today.  We stayed in this campground just after Frank had his heart attack in 2008. Very nice campground, extremely clean and neat. Only drawback is it is so new there are no full size trees yet.

Wednesday, May 5
We visited Mammoth Cave National Park today and took the Broadway tour. The tour was a bit shorter than normal due to the fact the lower caves are flooded from all the rain last week. It was still very interesting and we had a good tour ranger.  

Thursday, May 6
We decided to stay another day and take another tour. This time we went into the "New Entrance" which had some 500 steps to descend. This tour goes through the only known part of Mammoth Cave that contains a large section of active cave formations due to water. You will have to forgive the color problems with these photos. The cave is now lit with a mixture of florescent and LED lights of varying colors. My camera was going crazy trying to balance all those odd wave lengths. You may also notice some of the images appear to be very grainy. I was pushing the camera's ISO settings to an incredible 25,600.   Yesterday and again this afternoon, Frank spent some time with Jeff, the owner of this campground teaching him some HTML and graphics programs so he can manage his website. Frank loves to teach and any new student prospective better look out as their brains tend to turn to mush before Frank is finished with them.

Friday, May 7 Todays route using Google Earth
Bowling Green KOA   Bowling Green, KY Locate this campground with Google Earth $39.01 per night
After saying good by to Jeff we left Cave City and headed west on Interstate 65. We only traveled about 35 miles today but we needed to find a Camping World store to replace our sewer hose that was messed up several days ago. So far none of the campgrounds had the type of hose we wanted. As we approached tonight's campground, we saw the road was flooded from the recent rains. The campground sent out an ATV you wouldn't believe, to guide us through a neighbor's corn field to get into the campground.   After setting up camp we drove to Camping World and got a new hose and some toilet paper. By the next morning, as can be seen in the last picture, the water over the road was down to about 4 inches and traffic was traveling again.
Saturday, May 8 Todays route using Google Earth
Kentucky Dam State Resort Park   Gilbertsville, KY Locate this campground with Google Earth $19.80 per night
A longer drive today but all on Interstates. We are in a beautiful state park with very few other campers. We went to the nearby town of Paducah Kentucky for groceries. Frank stopped at a Lowe's and bought a small exterior flood light. This evening he converted it to a weather proof webcam housing which will be mounted on the roof of the trailer tomorrow. This is an experiment so we will see how it fairs the weather.  

Sunday, May 9
We signed up for 2 nights here. Lovely park. Today was productive and relaxing. Tom did several loads of laundry in the park. The facility is directly across the drive from our trailer so it was very convenient. Frank finished the webcam project, mounting the camera on the back of the trailer instead of the roof.   Frank then prepared a web page describing the project. After dinner we hooked up the trailer and moved it about 200 feet to the dump station then backed it back into the site which was very difficult in the dark.

Monday, May 10
It was raining today so we decided to stay another day. We went to Walmart and purchased another toilet seat. We didn't like the last one we got a few weeks ago. In the evening we had dinner at the park's Inn which was fairly nice.

Tuesday, May 11 Todays route using Google Earth
Redman Creek Campground (COE)   Wappapello, MO Locate this campground with Google Earth $10.00 per night
A nice Corps of Engineers campground on a small lake with a large dam. After setting up we drove to a nearby village for fuel. We stopped by the dam to look at the scenery.   The COE website for this lake desperately needs work.
Wednesday, May 12 Todays route using Google Earth
Springfield/Route 66 KOA   Springfield, MO Locate this campground with Google Earth $39.47 per night
We came to Springfield so Frank could get meds. He had called a Walgreen's on Monday and had them order what he needed. After setting up camp we headed out to the drugstore. There we found that one of the meds had not come in. They checked the computer and found their distributor didn't have any, but they didn't give us any options. They just looked at us and said sorry we can't get it. Well this was one of Frank's HIV drugs and he runs out tomorrow. Essentially they gave us the feeling they didn't care. We went to the other side of town to a CVS and they took the time and effort to find out if their supplier had any, something the Walgreen's didn't bother with. CVS's supplier had 2 bottles and said they would ship it out for delivery tomorrow providing someone else didn't have a call for it already. This drug is not very common so we believe there will be no problem. So, we arranged to stay a second night here in Springfield. We stayed in this same campground in May of 1991. Back then our log entry said the campground is next to an Interstate, abuts a very busy railroad, and is under the flight path of the regional airport. The only thing that has changed is the trees are much bigger now so the highway wasn't noticeable.

Thursday, May 13
We were awakened around 7:30 this morning by the local tornado warning sirens. That had us a bit worried for awhile. While no actual tornados developed near us we were none the less worried. In the afternoon we went back to CVS and sure enough they had Frank's meds. This store was huge and we found out it is the largest CVS store in the US. It is in what looks like an old home center or garden center building. Locate with Google Earth

Friday, May 14 Todays route using Google Earth
Shenanigans RV Park   Branson, MO Locate this campground with Google Earth $ 33.00 per night
Today we moved south in rain to Branson, Missouri. We found Branson to be extremely hilly. Even this campground has rolling hills. While unhooking the trailer, Frank noticed the rear tire on the truck to be deflating. But once the trailer weight was lifted off of the truck the tire stopped deflating, but appeared to be low on air. So after lunch we took the truck to a tire dealer in town to check out the tire. They found a roofer's nail in the tire, which they removed and gave to us and then patched the tire.   While we were in the campground office paying for our stay, the owner showed us a large sheet with all the shows and schedules in Branson. Tom noticed a show starting in just a few hours by The Sons of the Pioneers. Neither of us had realized that group was here in Branson. Yes this is the original group organized in 1933, (one of which was Roy Rogers), but with current musicians. Check out their website. Turned out this was another chuck wagon style show with good food and a couple of hours of great cowboy music.   We had a ball, but apparently the dessert had artificial coloring and Frank was up for 3 hours walking through the night.

Saturday, May 15
Rain continues. We started off the day with a terrific presentation at the IMAX theater on the Hubble Telescope. An excellent show, with beautiful scenes. We returned to the trailer and worked on computers until late afternoon where we went to see Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede. This is a dinner and show, featuring 32 horses and dozens of performers. The show was great and the food was plentiful and good. Sorry no photos were allowed, so no gallery.

Sunday, May 16 Todays route using Google Earth
Prairie Creek Rec Area (COE)   Rodgers, AR Locate this campground with Google Earth $10.00 per night
We awoke to a thunder storm all around us. Lots of lightning and heavy rain. It eventually eased up and we were able to get underway. A good part of today's drive was on Missouri State route 76, a very windy and hilly highway. That made for a slow drive but at least it wasn't raining and the road was smooth and wide enough to be safe. As we drove into tonight's campground the bottom dropped out of the rain clouds and we had to wait in the truck for it to ease up before we could see to back the trailer into our site. Later the clouds parted, the sun came out and it was a beautiful late afternoon. After setting up camp, we drove to nearby Bentonville and visited the Walmart Museum which is in the original 5 & 10 cent store Sam Walton opened in 1951. (The first store by the name of Walmart was opened in 1962 in nearby Rogers AR)   You can read about the history of Walmart and see more about the museum on their website. Check the links under History.

"The Boss"

"There is only one boss, and whether a person shines shoes for a living or heads up the biggest corporation in the world, the boss remains the same, It's the customer! The customer is the person who pays everyone's salary and who decides whether a business is going to succeed or fail. In fact the customer can fire everyone in the company from the chairman, on down, and he can do it simply by spending his money somewhere else."

Sam Walton

After we got back we took a short drive to the marina right down the drive from the campground.  
Monday, May 17 Todays route using Google Earth
Checotah KOA   Checotah, OK Locate this campground with Google Earth $32.35 per night
We are moving along toward Oklahoma City. When we first called the campground in Oklahoma City a few weeks ago we were told there would be no problem. However, last week's tornados changed the situation. We called again yesterday and they told us they were holding one site for us, the rest were full with storm insurance appraisers and roofing contractors and they are booked up for at least a month. We stopped at an Oklahoma rest area for lunch and got a couple of photos of some beautiful clouds and some unusual picnic tables.   This campground has the cleanest and best restrooms of any campground we have ever seen.  
Tuesday, May 18 Todays route using Google Earth
Council Road RV Park   Oklahoma City, OK Locate this campground with Google Earth $23.57 per night (weekly rate)
We are back in Oklahoma City to do more work on the trailer. Will be getting the rear stabilizer jacks fixed or replaced and have some other minor stuff done. Then we will also see the rodeo coming up weekend after next.

Wednesday, May 19
We took the trailer to Motley's to have a few items checked out. They determined that the motor for our rear stabilizer jack was indeed burned out. They ordered a different brand which should be in tomorrow. They then looked at an air conditioner problem. Turns out some baffling had separated allowing air to circulate inside the unit which was causing it to freeze up and not cool the trailer properly. That was fixed then they took a look at our holding tank area. We had problems last winter with the tanks freezing, even though the holding tank area was supposed to be heated. They found there were no heater ducts feeding the holding tank area, so with a lot of work they added some flexible ducting. We will need to bring the trailer back again tomorrow to have the jacks installed. Later in the evening the area was under severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings. A number of very large tornados came up north of the city and continued into the evening. Frank shot some photos of the thunderstorm clouds which were beautiful.  

Thursday, May 20
A final trip to Motley RV repair and they put on our new rear stabilizer jacks.   These are a totally different kind than we have had before and look like they are going to be much better. However, the screw rod sticks out a bit too far and someone could run into them, so we need to study that and see if there is something we can do to make them safer. Allen also looked at our kitchen fan which was not working properly and which needed a new lifter arm. We went to Hometown Buffet for dinner.

Friday, May 21
This afternoon we went to see the Oklahoma State Firefighters Museum. Locate with Google Earth   The facility is also the home of the Oklahoma State Firefighters Association and the Fallen & Living Firefighters Memorial. Interesting facility with lots of old fire fighting equipment. Frank also found patches from the two stations he volunteered at in the late 1970's, McLean and Navy Vale (now called Fair Oaks), however the patches they had on display are apparently from the time after Frank was a volunteer as they don't match the patches he has at home. (see photos)  

Saturday, May 22
Tom spent the day doing laundry. Today was hot and muggy. The last time we were here Tom also spent the day doing laundry but that was late spring and the weather was cold with two inches of snow on the ground. Frank spent the day working on web pages, principally, Turn the Mill Around's web site. We returned to Hometown Buffet for dinner.

Sunday, May 23
Frank again worked on web sites and completed the project he was working on. Tom again did laundry, but sheets this time. He dislikes doing sheets with normal laundry, as that is just too many washer loads. Tom also washed the windows of the trailer. Dinner was in the trailer and was BBQ chicken and steak.

Monday, May 24
Today was a mixture of shopping trips. We first went to an ACE hardware where we bought rubber caps for the jack's drive screws. Hopefully this will stop potential injury from folks running into them. Then we went to the Pharmacy to pick up meds that they ran out of on Friday. Then off to Walmart to shop for groceries. Later in the afternoon we returned to the hardware where we bought salt for water softener. Frank disposed of the older salt we had which was not the right type and replaced it with the new salt. Dinner was Tilapia and Shrimp.

Tuesday, May 25
Both of us worked on computers today. Frank spent much of the day fine tuning new coding for the webcam pages. Much of it is the process of learning new techniques in coding. While Tom was checking the mail being forwarded from Florida, he saw that there was another letter from the IRS, always an unnerving event. So Tom called Florida asked them to open the letter and scan it and we then retrieved the scanned copy. There was not more than a total of 30 minutes from seeing the letter was there until we had the letter here. Amazing. Turns out the IRS wants Tom to prove the Army retired pay system actually took out Federal taxes, which they did. So the US Government wants Tom to send then a document which the US Government sent him. Also amazing, but thankfully an easy fix. We will fax it later this week. We again went to Hometown Buffet for dinner. It is too good, and too inexpensive not too, plus no cooking and no dishes. Tomorrow we move to the campground at the Rodeo Grounds.

Wednesday, May 26 Todays route using Google Earth
Oklahoma State Fair Park Campground   Oklahoma City, OK Locate this campground with Google Earth $45.00 per night
We moved to the Fairgrounds this morning and setup camp. Later went to Camping World for a new 25 foot sewer hose as what we had wouldn't reach. Later in the evening we got very heavy rain, small hail and heavy winds for about 30 minutes. We then went to Cattleman's Cafe for dinner. While there the storm raged outside and the power went out 4 times but only for short periods.

Thursday, May 27
This morning we found a note on our windshield asking us to move to another site. Seems the other horse event this weekend had paid for most of the sites in this campground. The move turned out to be a good thing, the trailer is more level and we got a good view of the front of the barns as many of the horses were unloaded for the rodeo throughout the day. Frank spent some of the day preparing equipment for tomorrow's board meeting webcast.

Friday, May 28
Oklahoma State Fair Park Campground   Oklahoma City, OK Locate this campground with Google Earth $0.00 per night (we got our site free because we had to move
We had to move again. Found out the Fair Grounds has some pretty screwed up communications, and all the sites in that area had been rented. We had an argument with management. Bottom line is we are in the older area, much further away from the rodeo arena with no sewer. However they refunded all our money and we are staying for free. We moved less than a mile so I didn't bother with today's route. Today we had an IGRA board meeting. Tom stood in as the alternate Trustee for ASGRA and Frank did his normal thing with projections and a live web cast of the meeting. We went to Home Town Buffet for dinner and later Frank worked on some IGRA web pages and updates. He started a newsletter for IGRA which has to be approved before it can be made public. Still needs some fine tuning and more articles, but the project is now off the ground. Tomorrow is the first day of the rodeo and both of us are generally pooped by the end of the day so it may be a couple of days before we get the next post up.

Saturday, May 29
Good rodeo. Lots of great action and great people. They are in a different arena than usual and it was commented that the ground was some of the best rodeo dirt any of the contestants had ever competed on. The facility was also air conditioned so it was very comfortable.

Sunday, May 30
More rodeo. Check out the gallery.

Monday, May 31 Todays route using Google Earth
Cherokee Casino KOA   Claremore, OK Locate this campground with Google Earth $? per night
We left Oklahoma City this morning heading for a Corps of Engineers campground near a place called Shady Grove Oklahoma. The spot marked on all the maps, both Google Earth and Microsoft Streets were wrong. That area was strictly residential. After working our way through a bunch of narrow twisting roads we decided to go on through Tulsa and back to this campground where we were at last September. Tom did laundry while Frank regenerated the water softener and exercised. We had loads of problems with Internet connectivity. The campground's Internet kept dropping our IP address and our Verizon Air Card wouldn't work. The campground's Internet may have been due to the heat since it seems to be working better now that it is dark and it has cooled off some. The Air Card problem seems to be due to roaming and the local network doesn't want to share their bandwidth. Tom brought back dinner from the Casino bar, grilled chicken for Frank and a ham and cheese for Tom. Both were quite good.