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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
|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, 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.|
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
Thursday, May 6
|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.|
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
Monday, May 10
|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.|
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
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
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.
|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.|
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
Thursday, May 20
Friday, May 21
Saturday, May 22
Sunday, May 23
Monday, May 24
Tuesday, May 25
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
Friday, May 28
Oklahoma State Fair Park Campground Oklahoma City, OK $0.00 per night (we got our site free because we had to moveWe 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
Sunday, May 30
|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.|