Saturday, September 26, 2009

I'm going to try and post some more pictures tomorrow, before we leave here, of the fish fry we had today. Ron actually got to go out on the water with Jere, before the motor got fouled by the water plants. I was telling them wouldn't it be nice if they made a giant water tractor with a cultivator or something on the back that could lift up all those plants out of the water to get rid of them, so they could see clear water again. Jere told us about ten years ago, all the water was perfectly clear. In the old days, the oil guys had come in there and had been running oil pipes out to get the oil out and were constantly pumping the water. So, ten years ago, most of the oil was gone by then, but, everything was still in place. The EPA came in and told the oil companies they had to clean up their mess and take all the oil tanks out and after they did that and cleaned the dirt about 10 feet deeper than the oil had been, then, the water hyacinths came in and took it all over and now they are extreme pests. Even though it looks pretty with all the flowers, it's getting harder and harder to get the boats out to the main channels of the lake or bayou as they call it here.

Baby is hanging on for dear life on the back

Now this next picture is of a bug that was similar to the one we posted on the bus that's called a walking stick bug, but, she is bit different in the front. The other one only had four legs, but, the bodies are similar. This one was rather fat, so we're thinking she had other babies in there, plus the one that's hanging on her. Whenever she moved, he would fall off and be dragged around as you can see...

There are a ton of dragonflies flying around the yard, along with these pretty butterflies

This is Star

this beautiful view, it would be prettier if we had an unobstructed view of the water...

Ronnie & I taking it easy, under the ceiling fans on the deck looking out at....

Looking across the yard back up at the house

The lakeside deck where the boat is tied up

Looking beyond into what looks like a meadow you can walk on...NOT, those are water hyacinths clogging the water all around

Beware, or else!

Looking at the front from the road

That brings us to where we are right now, at their fish camp on a bayou. I don't know what I was expecting, but, it certainly wasn't this, it's beautiful and peaceful around here, as you will see as you look at the pictures...

The bus is parked up next to the garage that houses a couple of his classic cars

The second day we were there, we were in the house and I'm looking out in the backyard and suddenly, I notice one of the cows is in the backyard. I asked Ronnie, is the cow supposed to be in the backyard? She said, NO! and rushed out to see if she could coax it back in where it belonged. Ron was out there trying to help and fortunately, she didn't put up much of a fuss. They have a border collie pup that they want to train to help Jere with the cows by herding them where he wants them, but, she's not trained yet, so all she did to help was bark at it. When they showed us where she jumped over, we were amazed, it was such a small, narrow space, I'm surprised her horns didn't catch on anything!
We got to our friend's house early the next afternoon after a leisurely country drive. These are bus friends Jere & Ronnie Brannon. He is the president of our club and his wife is the secretary. They've been wanting us to come for a visit so here we are. Ron might do some cabinetry work while we're here, since I think Jere has a table saw, so it would make the work easier for Ron. Here are Jere's two longhorn cows.

Our spot at the lake and the great views we had

After our marathon drive of getting down to Kansas, we decided to take our time and take two days to get to our friend's house in Linden, TX. As I told you in the post before the pics were added, we stopped at this great little campground...later that night, it just started pouring down rain on us for about two hours or so. The lightning was constant and so was the thunder, we had a major leak coming in through the upper eyebrow window and also the side window behind my chair. There were other minor leaks up in the ceiling, but, the major one was coming into the upper window, man, it was leaking like a sieve! Well, I put a bowl under it and probably in about a half hours time, the bowl was half full, so I dumped it out before going to bed and hoped for the best. Guess I should have take a picture of it, but, at the time, wasn't thinking of a photo opportunity. The leak through the side window was running down inside the wall and dropping on the floor. I just threw a towel down and again hoped for the best before going to bed. Ron told me the next morning, it wasn't that bad, but, I think that was because the rain started tapering off shortly after I went to bed.

For those of you who know it, here we are playing Up and Down the River

After we got back from our sightseeing adventures, we had dinner and played another few games of cards before saying farewell to them. Jack & Jeanne had to go back to work Monday morning bright and early, so we continued our travels south towards Texas...

After the rides, we went into the free zoo to see what there was to see...

On to the carousel to ride our trusty steeds, again only 25 cents each

I couldn't resist sliding down on these cool metal slides, the kind we played on when we were kids

This kiddie train cars that took us around the park twice for only 25 cents each

After we left the homestead, Jack & Jeanne took us over to the city park in Independence to show us some things...

This giant Webster dictionary was in the schoolhouse and looks just like the one my parents used to use to do the Sunday paper crossword puzzle

The homestead that Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family lived in after they left Wisconsin

Some of the different murals around Coffeyville, KS

These next few pictures are courtesy of Jeanne Albers, since we forgot to take our camera that day.

Jerry, Ron, Sue & I waiting for lunch to be served

Heading down the driveway to their house

Seems we have a traveler with us...looks just like a stick doesn't it?

Our parking spot at Jerry & Sue Little's house

Saturday, September 26

Hello, well, here we are at our friend's fish camp in Louisiana, about 30 or so miles from their house. Now, it sure seems like we are in the boonies, but, yet, we get broadband service on our aircard, so might as well take advantage of that and post some pics of where we've been since leaving Goshen, IN.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

September 23

Well, here we are in Linden, TX, visiting our friends. Remember I told you I was going to post a few pictures in a few days, well, you're going to have to wait awhile longer. The connection here is soooo slow, I'm not going to bog down the process with pictures. Maybe by next week we'll be in a better reception area and can download them then, but, just wanted you to know in case you were checking back to see pictures.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday, Sept 21

When I left you last, we were still in Elkhart, and on Monday morning, we moved from where we were, to the Elkhart County Fairgrounds in Goshen for a couple of more days so we could go to the Shipshewana Flea Market. We called up Jerry & Nancy to tell them we were still around and would they like to go on Tuesday to the flea market. Of course, they did, so we made plans to meet them.

You know, I don't remember that flea market being so commercial, but, then, it was back in 1993 when we were there last. Going there this time was like being at the one in Yuma, so guess it's not as interesting anymore as it once was. But, it was nice walking around with the Hurleys and we went to lunch when our feet couldn't take it anymore.

We finally left the area on Wednesday and headed towards Blue Grass, IA, which is just outside of Davenport. Our Boomer friends, Jerry & Sue Little have a house there that sits on four acres. They did a wonderful job building their house and we had a great two days visiting them. They even took us to a wonderful Mexican restaurant that had really good food.

On Friday, while they left to visit their cousins in Michigan, we left to head for Coffeyville, KS, to visit another Boomer couple, Jack & Jeanne Albers, who are working for to help them with the holiday rush. Now, I thought we were just going to take our time getting down there, but, all of a sudden, Ron is in a hurry to get there and in fact, wants to get there that day. Okay, we're in the southeastern portion of Iowa and we're looking at driving through the whole state of Missouri, plus almost the whole state of Kansas because Coffeyville is almost at the border of Kansas & Oklahoma. Would you believe we left at 7am that morning and arrived there at 8:30 after driving 555 miles!!! As you can imagine, we were dead....on top of that, it turns out that they had to work half day on Saturday because last they heard, we weren't coming until next month!! Ron hadn't even called to tell them we were coming early...oh well, since they had to work, that meant I could sleep in and then veg out until they came home.

We went out to lunch at another fine Mexican restaurant and then came back to play cards and visit. On Sunday, after Jeanne fed us a delicious brunch, we went sightseeing up near Independence, where Laura Ingalls and her family first lived after leaving Wisconsin and where the basis of her books originated. When we got there, Ron discovered that he left the camera at the rig, so had to rely on Jeanne to take the pictures. I have to wait until Wed before I get those pictures, so will post them then. After seeing the old cabin and other buildings, we went to the town of Independence and played in the park that had a 25 cent train ride, a carousel and then went to the free zoo. I even slid down some great metal slides, boy, were they hot!! It was the hottest place we'd been all summer with a humidity to boot. Finally, we headed home to veg out in their air conditioning, get dinner ready and play some more cards.

Since Jack & Jeanne had to go back to work really early this morning, we said our goodbyes last night and got on the road again headed towards Linden, TX. We have some bus friends who live there and since we're attending a bus rally in mid October, we can visit with them and another bus member couple who live in Marietta, OK. We decided after our marathon drive, we'd take our time and take two days to get there. Tonight, we find ourselves in a Corps of Engineer's park, Pine Creek Lake in the southeastern corner of Oklahoma and our site looks right onto the lake. Paying only $6.50 for the night, it is a great bargain.

Ron mentioned to me today that next year, when we again head east, we ARE going to have two air conditioners on the top of the rig. No kidding, I tried to tell him that before we headed out this year. He says he could take the heat when he was younger, but, not now. (hmmm...I never could)...but, it took him to experience the uncomfortableness for him to do something about it. I should take over driving the bus, and he can sit in my seat with nothing to put his feet on but the dash and see how long it takes him to do something about it...:).

As you can see, I haven't posted any pictures and it's only because we are on a very slow connection. In the next couple of nights, I should be in a better area, hopefully, and will post more pictures from our time in Indiana, Iowa, Kansas and here in Oklahoma. So, check back in a few days...