Sunday, May 31, 2009

Back to our Birth Place

Marcia and I were born here in the small town of Middlesboro, we were born on the same day, in the same hospital, and in the same room. (a few years apart) and today we rolled the rig back to where we started breathing air.

Our plans to spend a couple days around Lexington changed where we got there, I thought we were so close and it had been so long since we had seen family that I didn't want to wait a few more days.

Where we got off I-75 in Corbin we started calling, by the time we got to Middlesboro it was all planned to have home made biscuits and gravy at dad's. Jenelle drover over from Knoxville, Corey, Jennifer, and Jaelynn came from Cumberland Gap, and dad Scott and Cindy were there. Little Scott and his wife were there also.

After hugs Marcia and I started cooking, (Corey had to be at work by 7) I made three big pans of home made buttermilk biscuits, and Marcia made a big pan of gravy, eggs, and sausage. When I see people eating biscuits and gravy in restaurants I just think about what they are missing by not having the real home made stuff we make.

After filling up, and cleaning up we sat around enjoying the grand daughter, and all the other family until the mosquitoes took over, then it was time to say :we'll see you later".

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Homeward Bound

Well at least where home used to be.

We drove across IL and IN today, I made a mental note that I want to spend some time in Southern IN one day. (during the summer) Hoosier National Forest looked like an interesting place.

We are in a Wal-Mart parking lot eating B L T's without the L. I never have been big on rabbit food.

It was an interesting day with plenty of stops, we stopped in Nashville IL at the first Kroger Store Charlene showed us. Now that we are in KY we don't have to buy every case a store has.

Tomorrow we see some special friends in Georgetown KY before heading on to Middlesboro to see family.....

Friday, May 29, 2009

Departing Sedalia

We watched the tow trucks this morning pulling rigs out right and left. Around 9:30 several of us met at McDonnalds for a going away breakfast. We met two other couples that went FT in 07 also.

We watched Jay get their rig stuck, Greg pulled out without any problems a couple hours later. About 1:30 we had everything packed up and a crowd had gathered to cheer us on as we attempted to deprive the tow trucks of yet another pull.

We pulled out with out any problems, someone said I did spin the right rear wheels some, but I didn't stop to look back. We hooked the tracker up on the other side of the fairgrounds, and headed east.

Now we are about 20 miles from St Louis at a Cracker Barrel. We will spend the night here and decide which route to take tomorrow morning before we head out....

Marcia took a lot of pictures so "maybe" she will post them on her blog.....

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Escapade Ends

Today we had the closing ceremony here at the Escapade. Speeches were made, thank yous were passed out, and prizes were given away. We didn't know any of the prize winners, but they were SKPS.

I spent some of the day watching the tow trucks rack up by towing these big rigs out of the soft ground. It is starting to dry out some, and the predicted sunshine will help tomorrow. I just hope the sun dries the ground around our rig before we try to pull out sometime after noon.

This is just a sample of what everyone at Escapade has had to deal with since the rain that started Tuesday.

Her is a picture of two rigs waiting for the wrecker. They tried but didn't get too far before they sunk up in the soft ground. The wrecker had already pulled several out already, and was pulling another one as I took this picture.

Later 24 of us gathered at Kings Chef Buffet for one last meal together. I think we all ate way too much, but it was pretty good, and they gave us all a 10% discount because we were leaving town and wouldn't be able to use the coupons we would get after we paid for our meals.

Marcia and I drove through the CG before we headed over to play cards with the "gang" and saw a guy in a medium duty truck stuck in the mud. I offered to pull him out with the tracker. We borrowed a tow strap and hooked up to the MDT, the 4 wheel drive didn't lock in at first so I put it in 4 wheel high and pulled him out.

It was priceless hearing the guy say he never dreamed the tracker would pull the 12,500 lb truck out of the mud holes he was in. I was just worried about the strap breaking. The little tracker really does do a good job pulling.

We left the CG and went to the main building where they had music playing and people dancing. We took up several tables and started playing hand and foot with the skip-bo cards. We had three games going, Jay and myself beat Jean and Fay, Greg and Bob beat Molly and Marcia, and Paul and John was beating Connie and Mary-Nan when we left for the night.

Tomorrow we want to get out of here and start back to KY, but it will depend a lot on how much the ground dries tomorrow morning. I really don't want to call our roadside service, but I will if I can't make it out by 2 PM. Maybe I will have to pull the rig out again with the tracker. Time will tell.....

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Another WET Day

Today was another wet day in Sedalia MO. The fairgrounds are saturated with water, and it doesn't look like we will be getting any sunshine until Friday. I guess we will be calling our wrecker service Friday to pull us out of the mud onto the blacktop.

The wrecker service here is making a killing, $200 a pull, and they are pulling rigs, and trucks, right and left. I have pulled 4 trucks out with the tracker, and today there was a guy in a big truck pulling people out too.

The Escapade is going on in full force, classes all day for just about anything pertaining to RV's. The vendors are running out of stock and ordering more to keep everyone happy. I will be waiting until we get to Knoxville before I start spending my money. (because I look for the bargains.)

There was 16 of us gathered at one of the local Mexican restaurants tonight. The food was OK but nothing to write home about, but the company was outstanding. I got knocked out of my chair when I told Marcia the waitress looked almost like my third wife. Oh well, that is how it goes.

John and Mary won a metal detector at the prize give-a-ways tonight. That makes one couple from the class of 07 that has won something every night. Maybe tomorrow will be our turn....

Potato Bake

Tuesday evening the class gathered to share yet another meal. Hey we all eat, it is something we all do everyday so when several class mates are together they share this daily task trying to make it as pleasant as possible. Last night the girls made it really enjoyable, and easy. Everyone brought a baked potato, and a topping for a baked potato. (some even brought deserts)

We had the use of this nice pavilion to keep us dry.

The MARGARATOR made an appearance.

The girls did a great job of setting things up and providing lots of toppings for us.

Now I will show you all the terrific people that shared a meal and great fellowship tonight.

Tom and Paula of the class of 2007.

Paul and Connie of the class of 2007.

John and Susan of the class of 2007.

Jay and Fay of the class of 2007.

Hank and Patti of the class of 2007.

Greg and Jean of the class of 2007.

John and Mary of the class of 2007.

Bob and Molly of the class of 2007.

Joe and Marcia of the class of 2007.

These next three couples have been adopted by the class because we have have found them to be such a pleasure to be around, and because we keep running into them all across the USA.

Rich and Mary

Keith and Donna

Mac and Netters

Here is a picture of Marcia and Molly pinning on the "you have been adopted by the class of 07" pins in a very informal ceremony after we finished eating the potatoes.

Tuesday at Escapade

The Escapees have set up for vans to shuttle people from the CG area to the classes area, all you have to do is flag down one of the marked vans with their flashing lights and the driver will stop and let you in. They will take you anywhere you want to go on the fairgrounds.

Our own Jay Carter volunteered to be one of the van drivers.

I got up way too early Tuesday morning so I thought I would walk around and try to get a few pictures to share.

I climbed to the top of the grandstands to get as high as I could to try to get a picture of the mass of rv's that are here and the size of this fairgrounds.
This picture shows the area of the fairgrounds where the Escapade Staff are parked.

The attendees are parked across the street in the distance of this next photo.
The weather is not cooperating today, but hey we are in MO in May.

With all the rain some people had trouble with these large pickup trucks getting stuck in the mud. I used the tracker to pull several trucks back onto the road so the roadside services wouldn't be overwhelmed. We may need them Friday to pull all the rigs out of the mud, but maybe it will dry out in the next couple days.

There has been so much rain in this area this spring that the 2+ inches we got last night caused things to be very soggy.

Bob and Molly are in charge of the "Costumer Relations" here at Escapade, they have to deal with all kinds of problems. They also are in charge of several golf carts used to shuttle people around the fairgrounds. They have a lot of volunteers, and several from the class of 07 have volunteered to help them out by riding around in these golf carts.

Here is Marcia in her golf cart, as you can tell she is doing what she does very well, talking! Tom and Paula visit with Marcia for a few after she had dropped off a couple passengers.

Greg is a another class member to help out driving golf carts around assisting Escapade attendees with the task of getting from one place to the other.

At Escapade you can participate as much or as little as you want. There are always volunteer positions open for almost anything you want to do, there are classes going on all day, there are escapees waiting around to talk to you about their areas of the USA, and you can always browse the market area for the RV "stuff" you have been looking for. So you can sit in your rig, or you can enjoy the Escapade.

Later I will report on the potato bake we had Tuesday night, I'll even post pictures of everyone there.....

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Original CLASS of 2007 LOGO stickers

This was the original logo we chose for the class back when we were talking about selling everything and meeting up in Quartzsite AZ. What fun we would have and all the new friends and classmates we would meet.

While we were in Livingston we were able to spend a lot of time with the TOO CRAZY LADIES and they made a few of these stickers for me. I am giving the ones I have to any of the class mates we run into until I run out.

If you want one all you need to do is see me, or contact the Too Crazy Ladies. Their web site is

If you happen to be at the Escapade and I haven't given you one please ask me about them. I'm giving the ones I have to any class mate I see. ( I'm sure the crazy ladies will charge you for them ) but they aren't expensive...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Rainy Monday

Today being Memorial Day I want to thank each and every vet, and the families that deal with having loved ones that have served, will serve, or are serving. Without the Armed Forces where would this country be? We will never forget the sacrifice many young men and women have made serving this country, the ones that gave all, the ones that have been scared forever, and the ones that served without injuries.


Back to the Escapade, it started raining around 5 AM, and has rained almost all day. The forecast calls for more rain tomorrow and Wednesday. I just hope it drains well and dries out enough by Friday for all these rigs to get out of here without having to get the tow trucks out.

Sorry no pictures today, it was a busy day and the rain discouraged me from even getting the camera out. They have lots of classes for almost any subject you want. Marcia and I went to a "Honey lets clean the RV" class today. The instructor was selling micro cloths, and she was emphasizing on NOT using soap to wash the rig.

I guess the micro fiber cloth does what the soap does. I had to leave the class early because the rain has done something to my sinuses, and I am having a hard time breathing. I have tried several decongestants but nothing seems to be helping. I have one more thing to try tonight and I hope it helps, if not I will suffer through until the weather changes.

Tomorrow I will try to have some more pictures to post, (they may be wet pictures).

Sunday, May 24, 2009

ESCAPADE # 49 May 2009

We are parked on the main road where all the rigs pass by to register, so we can see them all as they come in. Today we watched several come in before we walked over to "check" things out.

Our first stop was the Hospitality House where they serve free coffee every morning. You can get donuts for a "minimum donation", suggested .50 cents, and hot chocolate for .25 cents. I think they discriminate against us non coffee drinkers, but hey that is just the way it is.

Then there is the inside market where most of the vendors are set up. You can find almost anything in there for an RV unless your looking for an antenna. I was really hoping the 3-G Store, or the other guy was set up, I was wanting to buy a few antennas, one for the digital TV's, one for the Verizon Air Card, and a CB antenna. I think we need the CB antenna to find out information about traffic, and it comes in handy if two or more rigs are following each other.

Then there was "the row" where each chapter had a display, each co-op had a booth, and the certified BOF's had a booth. They have a bingo game going where you need to go to each place and get your card stamped. Once the card is full you turn it in and they have daily drawings for prizes.

Out side our good friends Red and Beth, or better known as "The Too Crazy Ladies" are set up.

And then there is the FAMOUS NICK RUSSELL set up next to the road. I like Nick's better half Terry,a whole lot more than Nick, but I guess I have to deal with Nick to get close to Terry. They have the Gypsy Journal News Paper, and hold rallies each year. One rally in the fall in Celina Ohio, and one in the spring in Yuma AZ.

Next we have CHEF BOB, a guy selling pots and pans. We met chef Bob in Dec 2007 out in the middle of the desert when we camped two weeks with the Escapee Boondockers. Chef Bob does some really good cooking, and hanging around the boondockers you learn so much helpful stuff. I think they are great bunch of people and I really enjoy hanging around with them.

Today they did the opening ceremonies, and tonight they will be giving away door prizes. We really like door prizes, mainly because they are free....

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I've got CRS so the DR says.

Yep it is official, I have CRS. CRS is a disease we all almost always get as we get older, and I have to admit I have it now. We did a lot of walking today checking out the events scheduled for the Escapade, and meeting up with friends we haven't seen in a long time.

Chef Bob is here and has a new coach since we saw him last in Feb 08 at the Gypsy Journal Rally in AZ. He is still selling the pots and pans, cooking some delicious meals, and plane old being Chef Bob.

Nick and Terry have a place set up selling their news paper and CD's, and Terry is as pleasant as always. We did get to visit with them for a few between customers this afternoon.

We looked around at all the vendors, and the things they are selling, and as most "shows" the prices are MSRP. I don't think there will be many "bargains" if any, but if I need something and it is offered here I would rather buy it here than order it on-line. (unless I can save a lot of $$)

Tonight Keith and Donna hosted a social hour, I guess there were 12-20 people gathered at their rig socializing and eating all the snacks. This is where I accepted the fact that I have CRS. (oh yea CRS is can't remember sh**) I tried to recall all the names of everyone that was there but I feel lucky I counted between 12-20 people.

After the social hour I had to put all our lottery numbers on the big eraser board so everyone could check their own numbers. 7 couples pitched in $10 each to buy lottery tickets, the power ball is up to $192 million. I bought the tickets today and tonight I put all the numbers on the eraser board and put the board on the front of our rig so everyone can check the numbers themselves.

Jean fixed an Indian meal for us tonight, it was the first real Indian food I think I have ever eaten. It was better than I expected even though it has rice in it. I'm not a big fan of rice. She also slaved really hard making a desert for us, four different kinds of cheese cake, and yes I ate WAY too much desert, but it was really good. Thanks Jean.

OK I have to go check the numbers to see if I am a millionaire....

Friday, May 22, 2009

Pre Escapade

Today we rolled our rigs from the public camping area of the MO State Fairground to the Escapade area. We had talked to Paul (he and Connie are on the parking crew) and things were going smooth, the 8AM rush was over and there wasn't anyone waiting to get parked.

As we drove in we I saw a 5er clip a power meter, and I knew I didn't want that guy parking me. I drove on down where Connie instructed me where to drive to, (not where to go) and then follow the instructions back around to where we would be parked. The guy guiding me in got me a little too close to the rig on my right for my comfort, but I followed the instructions.

Jay and Greg got parked right behind us, and we all started setting up for the week that we will enjoy here at the MO State Fairgrounds. It is ESCAPADE, our first. After setting things up it was off to eat and a trip to Waly-World to buy some sewer hose. I am about 20' short. Who ever laid out the sewer, water, and electric for the CG needs to be fired.

After we returned and the parking crew had quit for the day Marcia and I unhooked the rig and moved it over a couple feet. Now we can have our awning out, and I'm not too concerned about hitting the slide of the rig next to us. I don't think I would do well in a CG where they pack you in like sardines, I like some space between the rigs.

Later we are meeting for a pot luck dinner with the class of 07 and a few more friends we and others have made in our two years of living in the rig.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Good Friends and Bad News

Today was a very mixed day, it started out with me having a bad night last night. Tossing and turning, getting up too many times, but by 7 AM I was out taking advantage of no wind. Yes I was out flying my plane before 7 AM, I had a good flight and ran the battery almost completely down.

Before the battery recharged the wind had started so I went back to bed to try for a couple more hours of lost sleep. Jay and Fay arrived while I was sleeping and got all set up. Later Greg and Jean arrived while Fay and Marcia was making a Wal-Mart run. It was really good to see everyone here with us again, and I knew good times were on the way.

A phone call from dad put a damper on the whole day, my brother Scott had wrecked his motorcycle AGAIN. He was being flown to Knoxville with a broken leg. Later we found out he broke the femur in his left leg above the knee. (last time it was below the knee) He was in surgery until about 9PM, they fixed his leg, but he also broke his pelvic and hip, they will work on them tomorrow.

With the bad news I was glad we had friends coming over to eat supper later. Jay, Fay, Greg, Jean, Beth, and Red were all coming. The Too Crazy Ladies had also arrived at the fairgrounds. Marcia made a chicken salad that we had while visiting Roger and Brenda down in Rock Island OK.

We all ate good, and if anyone left hungry it was their fault. Marcia did a great job with the receipt Brenda had given her. Paul and Connie stopped by to visit with everyone, and just after they left, (they were beat from working on the parking crew today) Bob and Molly stopped by and they had Keith and Donna with them. They had met Keith and Donna somewhere and had visited them last month. Now we got the pleasure of meet them.

Everyone had an enjoyable evening and Greg and Jay helped me put things away before we turned in for the night so we can get an early start tomorrow when we move from the fairgrounds area for public camping to the area where the Escapade will be going on.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I bit the bullet today.

Today we drove from Windsor MO where we spent last night at the city park with the Carters. It was really nice except Verizon doesn't have a tower close enough for us to get cell service. IT was only $12 a night but we talked them down to $10.

This afternoon we drove to Sedalia where we had planned on getting new rubber put on the RV tomorrow. Well we arrived early enough that they put the tires on today. New Michelin's all the way around, and they cost more than our daughters car did.

Yesterday we crossed into MO on hwy 2, and I wouldn't recommend that road to anyone. We did a lot of bouncing around on that road, and the sights weren't impressive at all. Once you have seen a harvested corn field, the others all look the same.

Tonight we did hook up with Paul and Connie, and Bob and Molly for a burger at Goody's Steakhouse. It was hamburger steak not the strips or rib eyes. It was pretty good and the price wasn't too bad either, but most of all it was GR8 to be with our friends again. Later the guys put a whooping on the girls in hand and foot.

Tomorrow will be another day, and we expect the Carters, and Greg and Jean to show up. It will be another fun filled day with GOOD FRIENDS...

Monday, May 18, 2009

NUWA Factory Tour

Today we drove to Chanute KS to tour the Nuwa factory, well it turned out to be almost a wasted trip. Nuwa is no longer in production, they stopped production back in Dec. but they do plan on re-starting production in June of 2009.

We were able to walk through the factory, and they had several 5th wheels on display and we were able to walk through them. (Big deal: we have no interest in a 5th wheel)
They also had a parts store that we were able to browse through and looked at several tables. Jay and Fay for some laminate they might be able to use on their TV frame, and if it does work that will make the trip worth while.

We came back to the rigs and I took a short nap after lunch. Later we went to the Burlington Museum. That was interesting seeing all the old things related to Burlington. They had an old fire truck, lots of guns, an old school building, and an old church house.

Now we are planning our departure from Burlington, we have had a terrific time here, and wouldn't mind returning someday, just not in the spring.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Absolutly a Goegeous Day

Today was a Gorgeous day here in Burlington. It was a little on the cool side when we crawled out of bed this AM, but there was NO WIND, and plenty of SUNSHINE. I put on an extra sweatshirt and took the little plane out for a fly. I didn't have one crash so I guess I getting better, but then without the wind blowing it around it was easy to control.

By 9AM there was a breeze and that ruled out flying, so I re-wired the plugs for the lights on the tracker. I had broken a wire when we left Keystone and replaced that plug, but when I hooked it up to the old plug one of the wires came out of the old plug. Now I have a new plug on both sides because I bought one of the ones that mount to the car so there is no chance of breaking the wires.

Later I watched Jay wash his rig while the girls did some laundry. Then when all the nasty stuff was finished we all enjoyed a steak with all the trimmings. Life is so good....

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Parks and a scenic drive

Today Lulu, Jay, Fay, Marcia and myself took a very scenic drive through the eastern part of Kansas. Our first stop was Burlington City Fishing lake, where we saw a nuclear power house across the lake. The lady at the guard shack had to see everyone's photo ID before we could even enter what we found to be a boat launch for the lake. We could see several trucks with empty boat trailers, and across the lake we could see the nuke.

After we left there we went to John Redmond Reservoir where we got the honor of seeing a guy land a carp about 10 lbs. It was interesting to see how they got it up the 25 foot wall we were standing on. They dropped a net down that was tied to a rope, and while the guy with the fish on his line wrestled the fish to the wall the other guy maneuvered the net under the fish and then pulled it out of the water with the fish trapped inside.

It wasn't a good catch for him because carp is considered a trash fish, and very few people eat them, and he had snagged it through the belly so it was like hauling in a log. They had caught a few white bass, or stripers as we call them back in KY.

On the upper side of the dam we found things to be flooded out.

we left there and drove around aimlessly, we ran into several roads that wound up being dead ends due to the high water.
One little town we saw a very interesting street sign, it gave instructions.

we found this sign hanging on a wall next to the door of a fabulous eating establishment.

The food was terrific and the information we received was priceless. The waitress told us about the log jam and the local hardware store when we ask about a flea market. This hardware store had almost anything you could ask for in it. The elderly lady running it told us stories about the local jail, and about her friend that was advised to leave KY on a visit there.

If you look closely you can see the logs, sticks, and branches backed up for as far as we could see against this bridge. She said it made the front page of the news paper.

This was really used years ago as the jail for Hartford KS.

OK so the title says something about parks, every town we have seen in Kansas has at least one park, Burlington has at least 7 parks, and a rec center that has almost anything. We saw three parks today that held the name "Jones Park". Now they were in different towns, and Jay says that Jones guy really got around. Maybe I will ask some of the locals more about the Jones Parks....
This one was in Gridley KS

This one was in Hartford KS (I think)

This one is in Burlington KS

A nice day between the storms

This AM storms were coming through, but we didn't let that stop us from exploring some. We drove north on 75 looking at the small towns, and beautiful country. If it wasn't for all the bad weather here in Kansas it could be the perfect place. I had heard so many bad things about Kansas, why Kansas there is nothing there, it is all flat, and once you seen one part you have seen it all.

I'm here to tell you Kansas has a lot to offer, hills, lakes, trees, (not real tall, but trees) small towns, and CHEAP, or FREE camping. Boondocking on a beautiful lake for $2 a night,($6 with electricity), free full hookups for 2 nights, $4 a night for water and electric and dump station, and there are many more places, these are just to ones we know about.

The Carters made their way to Burlington today, and we were happy to see them. We enjoyed one of the local Tex- Mex joints tonight, a nice NY Strip for $8.99. Later we sat out watching the clouds roll by, and listened to the weather band radio tell about the severe thunderstorms, and tornado watches. And then the rain started so we sat in the Carters' rig and talked about everything we could think of.

Life is good....

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Burlington Kansas

We are here in Burlington Kansas at Kelley Park. It is on the southern side of Burlington and the cost is $4-$6 a night, and when you pay for 6 you get 7.

Here are some pictures of the park.

Notice the CLEAR BLUE SKIES, we really like clear blue skies, and the temperatures are pretty darn good too. All I can say is it is about time we enjoyed blue skies here in the Midwest. We are very thankful to have this terrific weather to enjoy.

Tomorrow will be a trip to a larger city to get some supplies, so until the next time, know we are enjoying what ever the good lord dishes out to us. (even though I do complain a lot about the weather).