Monday, June 11, 2018

Chickasaw Cultural Center

Four days and four museums.  I'm really going to have to plan this better next time.  I wouldn't have wanted to miss any of them, but I'm thinking a day of rest in between might have been wiser.

The Cultural Center was only 10 minutes from The Point, so Saturday morning we drove over.  They open at 10:00 every day except Sunday (12:00) and we didn't want to rush our visit.

We started our tour at the Traditional Village area where we could explore the Council House, Winter House, demonstrations of jewelry making and explanation of tanning hides and a Stomp Dance.  The Chickasaw Nation is considered part of the Southeastern group along with Seminoles.  They did not come out on the Trail of Tears, but came later when they could be better prepared.  The songs and dances are similar in the Southeastern group, but each Nation has their own individual style.  When the Four Corners Dance was introduced, they asked for volunteers to join them.  Gene was one of several who did so.

We ate lunch at the Cultural Cafe, then toured the Exhibit Center.  There was a beautiful pottery display and we had a delightful conversation with the docent, Marcia, who is Chickasaw.  We explored the Removal Corridor, The Stomp Dance Gallery, and many displays of the culture.
After a tour of the Art Gallery, we visited the Gift Shop for some souvenirs and then back to the campground. 

Sunday we drove to Gordonville, TX to the Thousand Trails Lake Texoma.  This was where we had joined Thousand Trails in 2007 when we started traveling.  It is in good shape (unlike some of the other campgrounds in the system) and we enjoyed our brief stay.

This morning Gene wanted an early start, so we left at 7:30 while somewhat cooler.  We are now  settled in North Point RV Park in Longview, TX.  It has excellent wifi and I've been able to catch up on my emails and blog.  Tomorrow we head into Louisiana and our last week on the road.

Until my next post, Safe Travels and God'a blessings to all our family and friends.

Chisolm Trail Heritage Center

Friday we headed to Duncan, OK to the Chisolm Trail Heritage Center.  Before we left Ocala, Gene went to the AAA office for a tour book and I meticulously picked out places I thought we'd enjoy.  So far Gene has enjoyed them all, so I'm batting 1000. 

As their brochure states, this is not your "Average Rusty, Dusty Museum.  They have an interactive 4-D theater, The Trail Experience, that depicts a cattle drive to Abilene.  The wind blows,  the floor and seats shake when they have a stampede and you feel the rain during the storm.  The cowboys that undertook this endeavor earned $100 for 100 days on the trail.  The Trail Boss was in charge and second in command was the cook.  The fare was usually bacon, beans, biscuits and strong coffee. The other theater had an animatronic Jesse Chisolm who explained he never drove cattle on the Trail.  He was transporting trade goods from Texas to Council Grove, KS and later trail bosses just followed his wagon wheel tracks. 

Gene tried his hand at roping a steer (stationary).  He looked quite the part with his black hat.  Again I enjoyed the paintings and sculptures in the Garis Gallery of the American West.  It was another delightful look into the history of the West. 

We then traveled to Sulphur, OK to the Corps of Engineer campground, The Point at Chickasaw National Recreation Area.  This was another secluded area with lots of woods surrounding the site.  There were a lot of tent campers and I was most appreciative of my RV and air conditioning.

Pictures of Chisholm Trail and then on to my last post for this part of the trip.

Oklahoma Rt 66 Museum

More travel back in time, but not quite as far back.  We left Guthrie in a wind and rain storm, but it soon cleared up and we traveled safely to Clinton, OK to the Route 66 Museum.  It covered from the time Route 66 was established, the Dust Bowl and migration to California, gas stations, World War 2 and my favorite - the diner.  When we finished our tour and bought our bumper stickers, we went to Taco Bell to try a Mexican pizza.  I had bought several books by Christian comedian author Janetta
Fudge-Messmer at the Escapade and Gene has been reading them.  She mentioned Mexican pizza and Gene wanted to try one.  It's really tasty.  There's a taco layered with hamburger and refried beans, then another taco with pizza sauce, cheese and chopped tomatoes on top. 

The wind was really strong in Clinton.  It was a task to stay upright between the RV and entrance to both the museum and Taco Bell.  After a few miles on I-40 E, Gene was tired of fighting the steering wheel to stay in his lane. I got out the trusty map and found the next exit that took us through small towns to our destination of Chickasha, OK - Time Out RV Park.  We have a 25th edition of the Passport America book which listed the GPS coordinates erroneously for the Park.  After a couple phone calls and turning around more than once, we arrived at the Park.  Stacy was kind enough to give us the most recent 27th edition.  This should make life easier.  I asked if it was always this windy.  her reply was if there was no wind , it was 110.  Yep, wind would be preferable.  We settled in for the night to be rested for the next leg of the journey.  That's in my next post.

Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve

Wednesday, June 6th we left Riverside RV Park in Bartlesville and traveled about 12 miles south to Woolaroc.  Frank Phillips (Phillips 66) established this in 1925 as a haven from the hustle and bustle of New York City, where he was building his business.  He brought in bison, elk, deer, longhorn cattle and ostrich for the preserve.  He established a museum to showcase Western art and artifacts; Native American pottery, baskets and cultural art;  historical displays depicting the settling of the West and an extensive Colt firearms collection.  Our first stop was at the Mountain Man Camp where re-enactors Wes and daughter, Ember,  shared about the life of a trapper/trader.  Wes loaded a musket for Gene and he took a shot at the target.  Then he showed him how to throw a tomahawk and he sunk it into the log like a pro.  Wes regaled us with stories of elk hunting, coyote trapping, tanning hides, and Mountain Man rendezvous that are held mainly in the West.  .  They had rescued a newborn fawn a couple of days before and it liked our fingers (for the salt I imagine). 

We ventured on toward the museum and stopped along the way for Gene to take pictures of longhorn cattle, water buffalo and ostrich.  A beautiful black and white ostrich came to the fence, sat on his haunches, spread his wings and swung his head from side to side in a beautiful "dance".  Most impressive!

The museum offered room after room of displays.  It would have taken the rest of the day for me to see everything., so I limited myself to the Native American and pioneer display rooms and art gallery.

On our way to the next campground, we passed through Barnsdale, OK - the home of Anita Bryant and Clark Gable.   Just some of the interesting things you learn on the back roads.  We passed through Ponca City where they have a huge Phillips 66 refinery, and we've seen pump jacks (we call them "praying mantis") and the large three bladed windmills.  Now those are things you don't see in Florida.

We spent the night in Guthrie, OK at Cedar Valley RV Park.  Guthrie was the first capitol of OK.  This will continue in my next blog.


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

We've Been Busy!

We left Cherokee Landing in TN on Friday the 25th.  Even though Gene said he had slept well, he was still tired and asked me to drive.  I took over east of Colliersville, TN, drove through Memphis, over the Mississippi River and into AR - about an hour and a half.  Thanks to the GPS (which was working fine), I made all the proper turns into the proper lanes.  I was really proud of myself!

Gene took over driving again and we went to West Plains, MO to meet with a dear friend, Rose, her daughter Maggie and her husband Austin.  Their baby is due in July.  Doesn't she look adorable?  We had a wonderful, though way too brief visit, and we were on our way again.                                          We drove to Mansfield, MO and stayed at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Campground,right across from Laura and Almanzo's home.  Gene walked over to take pictures, while I relaxed.

Saturday morning we were up early
to start the last leg of our journey to Sedalia, MO Fairgrounds for the Escapade.  Gene set up our 
table for our chapter on the Row while I registered.  Our friends Marty & Peggy were at registration
and we soon saw other members of our chapter.  Opening ceremony was followed by Row Rep dinner.and then back to the RV.  There were transportation golf carts and a special one designated for Handicap.  Ruth gave me her
 cell phone number and I could text her whenever I needed a ride.  What a blessing!  Sunday through Wednesday Gene & I manned the table, answering questions, giving information and signing up people who wanted to join our chapter.  I really enjoyed getting to meet all the people.  Sunday night Bil Lepp, Storyteller had us in stitches.  It was a knee slapping experience, only I was slapping Gene's knee and not mine while tears ran down my face.  I'm surprised he didn't have black and blue marks!  If you ever have the chance to see him, don't miss it.
Thursday Lynn & Becky asked us to join them for a jaunt to Steak & Shake and then to listen to Ragtime piano players on the square as part of the Scott Joplin Jazz Festival.  Closing ceremony was at 3:00 and then I was ready for a long nap.  Gene attended the Street Party and fireworks.  I looked at the beautiful pictures he took and that was good enough for me.                                                     

Friday we left Sedalia and drove to Council Grove, KS to another beautiful COE.  The sites were concrete with a shelter over the picnic table. a grill and fire pit.  Our site was on an estuary with a family of geese in residence.  We met our neighbors Lee & Pat and played Skip Bo and Fast Track.

Sunday we drove down to Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve and took the bus tour.  Evidently the grass doesn't get really tall until the fall, but we saw flowers, multiple varieties of grass and bison. We ate at the Hays House in Council Grove, started by Daniel Boone's great grandson, Seth Hays, then toured some of the sites.  It was a wonderful day.                                                                               

Monday we were on the move again to Bartlesville, OK to a nice Passport America campground, Riverside RV Resort.  I've been able to catch up on my emails and do a couple weeks worth of laundry. They have very clean laundry room and showers.  Tomorrow we head out again.  So until my next post (depending on wifi),  Safe travels and God's blessings to all our friends and family.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

We're Scratching Our "Hitch Itch"

We are on the way to Sedalia, MO to the Escapees 58th Escapade, also the 40th anniversary of the Escapees RV Club.  Gene volunteered us to be Row Reps, which means we'll be at a table with
brochures and handouts representing our state of Florida and our Escapees Chapter 57.  We're
excited about meeting up with old friends and meeting new ones.

For those who may not be acquainted with the term "hitch-itch",  it's an uncontrollable urge to pack up the RV and hit the road.  Fortunately, ours coincided with the rally.

We left home on May 18th, and met up with my sister, Faith and her husband, Len at Hopkins Eatery in Tallahassee.  I had been in contact with Florida State Parks Department about procuring brochures listing all the state parks.  We love the seclusion and natural surroundings of state parks and thought others might like to know where they're located.  Len was kind enough to go by the department and pick up a case for us. 
After a delicious lunch and catching up on news, we headed down the road to Quincey, FL to the Beaver Lake Campground.  It's not fancy, but we only needed a place to hook up to electric and water.  Since replacing our RV refrigerator with an electric only, we must have a hook up to keep everything cold.  So far it's holding the temperature very well as we travel during the day.

Saturday morning we left for Gunter Hill, a Corps of Engineer campground near Montgomery, AL.
I had made a reservation and picked a site on their site map that seemed to be overlooking the water.  It was a very nice site, but there were trees and bushes between me and the water.  The next day we took a walk around the loop and I got my "water fix".   The site that was closest to the view of the water was also far from the bathhouse, so I made the right choice after all.

We spent Saturday and Sunday there, then left on Monday to travel to Blue Bluff COE campground in Aberdeen, MS.  We have found that a day of rest after driving a day keeps us from wearing ourselves out.  My choice of a site at Blue Bluff was perfect - right on the water.  This was my view
from my chair. Onone of his walks, Gene met Mike. from MA who is starting out on traveling in his Scamp tow trailer.  We spent the afternoon sharing about places we've been and rode with him to Penny Lane Java in Aberdeen for lunch/dessert.
It's a delightful little place with good food and reasonable prices.  The proprietor, Nicole, has been the owner for 10 years and is a lifetime resident of Aberdeen.  Back to the campground and we stopped at Mike's site so I could see inside his Scamp.  I'm so jealous!  He has a shower!  and not one that you have to pull the curtain out into the aisle.  The Scamp had a lot more room than I had imagined, but since it's a tow along and we have no truck, I'd best stick with what we have.

Wednesday morning we were on the move again.  This time to Cherokee Landing near Middleton, TN.  When we found ourselves on narrow roads, we realized the GPS coordinates in the RPI book were incorrect.  Gene reprogrammed the GPS with the street address and we finally arrived.  A two hour trip turned into three.  Such are the joys of RV'ing.

Tomorrow we'll head out again for West Plains, then Mansfield, MO. 

I really am delighted to be on the road again in spite of GPS glitches.  Don't our smiling faces show it? 

So, until my next post, safe travels and God's blessings to all our friends and family.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Slowly Making Our Way Home

Mike gave us back up guidance out of the driveway and we were on our way without mishap.  We chose to drive back to Ripley to pick up I-77 as the road is not nearly as winding & hilly as the one through Chloe.  When we arrived at Mt. Airy, NC that afternoon, we drove through to familiarize ourselves with one way streets, etc. and then on to Mayberry Campground.  This is a lovely Passport America park with level sites.  A conversion bus rally was beginning and Gene saw plenty of beautiful rigs.
Tuesday we drove into Mt. Airy and browsed through the antique shops, ate lunch at Barney's CafĂ©, and bought dessert at Miss Angel's Heavenly Pies - 31 varieties - took a while to make up our minds.  They also have homemade breads, cookies and cakes.  We certainly recommend a stop there if you are in the area.
Our next stop was in Raleigh to spend a couple days at Tom & Nancy's.  Our refrigerated items were placed in her refrigerator.  They took us out to eat that evening to Leesville Tap Room.  Gene & I both had plenty of leftovers for the next day's lunch.  That evening we watched "Earth II" on their big screen & Ultra HD Blu Ray projector.  I don't comprehend how all that works, but the colors and textures were so vibrant and detailed you felt you could reach out & touch them.  They have excellent internet/wifi there so I was able to check my emails (it had been almost two weeks) and post my blog.  Nancy fixed a delicious pot roast meal Thursday evening and we watched "LaLa Land".   I enjoyed the music and the dancing, but the plot was a little slow.  We had a rain & wind storm that night and the next morning Tom discovered a small tree had fallen over, slid down the hill and came to rest by the tire of our RV.  No damage was done, thank goodness, and we were underway about 10:00.  This was the hardest driving day for Gene.  He had a sore throat & cough, we got tied up in traffic and had to detour off I-85 twice and seemed to crawl for miles a couple other times.  The day seemed to get longer & longer.  We finally arrived at Carolina Landing in Fair Play, SC about 5:30 and got settled in before the rain came.  It was an early night to bed!
Saturday was much better.  We met with Gene's classmate, Frank, in Duluth, GA at "Sweet Baby Jane's" for a bountiful buffet meal and visit and then on to my brother's for the rest of the weekend.
It was a wonderful time of reminiscing.  He had prepared corn chowder and even though he said it wasn't as good as Mom's, it was delicious.  Sunday evening he cooked chicken on the grill and both mornings fixed bacon & eggs.   As you can see, we did not lack for good food during this trip.
Monday we left for home, stopping at a produce stand he recommended for Vidalia onions.  We had been listening to Phil Robertson's book "Happy, Happy, Happy" on CD and he spoke of picking Mayhaws as a child for his Grandmother to make jelly.  They just happened to have some there, so you know we had to buy some.  We arrived home about 4:30 and started the unpacking.  Our daughter, Jen, called and said they wanted to take us out to eat and visit with our grandson who was flying out on Wednesday morning.  I'm so grateful she did, because I didn't feel much like cooking.
We now have the RV unpacked, most of the items put away, and researched and purchased a "residential" (not an RV) refrigerator which Gene will install next week. Now I'm planning a short trip to check out the new refrigerator. :)
It was a fun filled and busy trip with only a couple mishaps.  I'm looking forward to the next one.

Safe travels and God's blessings to all of you.
Picture of Andy & Barney in M
t. Airy (Mayberry)

guitar in front of Miss Angel's Heavenly Pies