Our Travel House

Our Travel House

Friday, December 27, 2013

ho ho ho...and yippie ! End of the year 2013

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year !!

Finally recovered from Christmas dinner and now in training for New Years Eve fun. We had a tasty Christmas dinner and were joined by several people in the RV park. Nice background music and everyone had a great gab session. We were all together last week out on the dock to watch the Boat Parade. Definitely something we wouldn't do back in Michigan. It's nice to see all the decorated boats with festive lighting slowly cruise by and everyone was singing Christmas carols. It was fun watching us all trying to remember all the words of "12 days of Christmas".
  The plan for New Years Eve  is to hang out at the Olde Fish House and enjoy the entertainment. Those folks always have  musical entertainment and great food.
   Our weather on Matlacha Island has been about the best in the USA. Most days have been in the 70's and sunny. Reading and hearing the weather reports around the country make us glad about our decision to return here. We've even had some 80's bless us.
  Holy Mackeral did we get a bunch of Mackeral!
Our friend Bruce gave us a big bucket full after his successful fishing day! Took about an hour to fillet them and ended up with 3 gallon freezer bags full of 'em. We froze them and are stocking up for a fish fry. If we get 1 more batch like that we'll pick a date. I like the fact that they fillet as easy as a walleye and have a lot of meat on them.
  We hope ya'll have a  HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Charlie & Heather

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Better off than most bloggers I follow.

  I originally got the idea to blog about our travels by reading some blogs that I found out from a site called http://hitchitch.com . After seeing how this would make an easy way to log something about our travels and adventures and a way for some friends & family to keep abreast of our whereabouts I decided a few years ago to try it. I used to keep a logbook at our hunting trailer and on my boat and I still lug them around with us and enjoy taking a peek at them once in awhile.Lots of great memories. Some of the kids that wrote tidbits in them are parents and a few are becoming grandparents. I'm able to keep up with them via facebook and e-mail. Amazing how fast time flies. That's one of the reasons I end our blog as I do each and every time. 
   I follow OFM (Old Fat Man) & Billy Bob's Travels and other blogs as I enjoy their travel stories. Of course the bloggers that are sponsored via"hitchitch" are many and sometimes I just use the "auto" feature to introduce a new and different blogger to my collection.
   I think all of us in  SW Florida are the only travelers not being bothered with cold/cooler weather. Some travelers are putting up with some damn serious cold weather. Enough to keep them holed up inside their rigs for days on end. Doesn't sound like any fun to me! Of course it's expensive to be running a furnace all the time and electric heaters are only effective to take a chill out of the air in our RV's.
   I hope you and yours are as comfortable as a "bug in a rug" and that mother nature is kind to your area
   Charlie & Heather

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Ho Ho Ho From The Island- The ship came in !!

  Special day here on the Island ! Our ship came in !!  Captain Mike's trawler docked tonight after 5 days of fishing. We saw  him coming up the channel about 5PM so we wandered over to his dock to see how the shrimping  had gone. Loaded up with some prongs and chit chatted a bit with him. By the time we all walked back to our park it was dark. Our friend, Paul, decided we needed to sample some shrimp so we sat on his deck and drank some beers while he cooked some up. It was well worth the wait...fresh shrimp--YUMMY !!
   As I follow the weather around the country, on the news and via blogs,  I am really glad to be here in SW Florida ! Seems everyone is putting up with chilly temperatures while we are turning our AC on by 11 AM. It was near 80F today by noon.
   Is it only me that reads the news and am flabbergasted by the stories about all the rude shoppers? Makes me glad we stopped that madness years ago. I'd rather cook meals for my friends instead of giving them useless junk!
   I hope none of you experience any of the bad luck or insanity I've been reading about.
   Charlie &Heather  

Monday, December 2, 2013

Camp#75- For the winter months

11-19-13..Decided this morning to move over to our winter "home". So by 1200 were recamped on Matlacha Island. The sight of the drawbridge and our RV Park put a smile on our faces .
No sooner than us backing into our site we had hugs and handshakes and smilin' faces all around. The wonderful smell of salty air and a warm breeze was a sure sign of peacefulness.
  We spent a good part of the afternoon gabbing with everyone and getting caught up on "Island Times". After 8000+ mls over the last several months it feels good to be parked for awhile. There are still a few more families to arrive, probably after the Holidays. Of course we all had to go down the street to  The Olde Fish House as they had some good music going on and we had to see if the beer was cold. I'm glad to report that it was !!
   First order of business was to get our live bait box up and running. Our pump was all gummed up and wasn't running so used the warranty and replaced it. It's doing its thing now and the shrimp bait is happy. Fishing gear is all set up and a new Florida Fishing License has been procured. Thanx to our friend Paul
, we are again able to have a bait source.
   I think I'm gonna figure out some kinda fire pit so we can have bonfires.
   Thanksgiving Day we all got together and had a feast. As usual it was delicious. A special thanx to Carl for his culinary skills and all that donated food.  "Hooter Brown" even got in the holiday mood.

   I setup my sound system and had traditional holiday music going all day. Glad to know it survived months in storage. We were going to do a karaoke show in the evening but it cooled off about 6PM and the wind picked up so we decided to call it a night. There's always next week.
   I needed a new drill but didn't want to experience the shopping madness over the Holiday weekend. On Monday we ventured out and did some shopping and made a stop at Lowes. Found a nice cordless drill set on sale. I'll be glad to retire the old set as I've had it for years and the batteries are done.
    Heather and I are getting our winter routine tuned up, she's been able to sit out in the sun and work on her crafts. Watching the weather up North and saying we're glad we're not putting up with the cold. Seems that winter has arrived early up there. A couple of the cold fronts have even gotten into upper Florida. We've had a few cooler nights but nothing below 47F.
   Seems that December has arrived rather quickly. It feels like we were just in Montana few weeks ago!
Hope everyone had a good turkey day.

Friday, November 22, 2013

11-18 Camp#74..Arrived at, our friend, Daniel's house about 1400 in Fort Meyers, Fl... I-75 traffic was not too bad but as we approached our exit it definitely got heavier. I hate city drivers. Since we stopped and did all our shopping and gas fill up enrt we didn't have to fight traffic for that in the city. After handshakes and hugs we ordered pizzas and gabbed til about 2200 and even set up karaoke and had a good time singing. Daniel had a nice level yard to park in. Only stayed 1 night as we needed to get planted on Matlacha Island and get some FHU's.

11-19 Camp#75..Yahooo!! Finally at our winter  camp!! On Matlacha Island about 1200. Nice to see  the new drawbridge work is completed and the island approach is an easy drive without all the construction barrels to dodge like last year.
  Greated with hugs and handshakes, so very nice to return to our "winter home". Carl, our friend and park manager, was all grins and helped us get backed into our spot. Only took a short  amount of time to get all hooked up and start enjoying "Island Time". Had a lot of park residents stop over and welcome us back. Went to our favorite watering hole, The Old Fish House and had happy hour and musical entertainment for a couple hours.
 The nice thing about setting up for winter is the decompression we go thru knowing we can settle in and relax completely for a few months. As most bloggers do, I'll probably only blog on a limited basis. It's easier when we travel, to blog, because of  new adventures.
  Got the live bait box going the next morning and loaded it with shrimp. Got some fishing to do, ya know!
  Oh-Oh !! The bait box pump quit the next morning!! BUT....Had a warranty :) !! Off to Northern tools for a no questions asked warranty exchange..Had the new pump working quickly and reloaded some shrimp bait by noon!
11-22  Been puttering with setting up a BBQ grill and making plans for Thanksgiving. Me thinks a smoked turkey and ham are in order. Gonna print out invites and start telling everyone the party is on!!  Went out tonight to see Mulletville, our old stomping ground. The original owner just got it back. Great munchies and cold beer, again, as it used to be! Then we all went across the street to the Olde Fish House and enjoyed some great music!
   Charlie & Heather

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Travelling week. Lots of short stops. SB Florida Camps#70,71,72,73

  Why is it that I'm always surprised with how fast time flies when we're mobile? Last blog was the 11th and look at the date now!
   Most of our check out times are around 1000 and arrivals by 1400. Don't want to overdue it ! Of course ya gotta celebrate every "landing", if'n ya know what I mean !! :) 
  11-12  Camp#70 Chiefland, Fl. @ Chiefland RV for 2 days. $35 for 2 days.
  11-14 Camp#71 Homosassa, Fl. at Homosassa RV for 1 day $22. Couldn't get into our favorite RV Park but ended up across the street and so we walked over to enjoy the pub.
  When we left Homosassa we made a stop in Spring Hill, Fl. at our favorite repair depot, Harolds . Got oil & lube done and had a new carburator installed that I ordered from National Carburator a month ago. WOW, what a difference in performance and gas mileage!
  11-15  Camp#72 Suncoast RV in Port Richie, Fl. 2 nites $48. nice park, we'd go back again. Pool was 85F but the rain dissuaded us. They had a recreation center with a pool table so I let Heather beat me up!!
   That brings us to today. 11-17 Camp#73 @ Sun Lake RV in Ruskin, Fl. for 1 day. Nice smaller park with a pool. $23..cbl is lousy.
  The plan is to head to Fort Meyers and moochcamp at our friend, Daniel's, place for a few days. Then we will head to "ISLAND TIME" for most of the winter.
  Sure do enjoy having our own Wi-Fi with us. This Verizon Mi-Fi has really been so consistently reliable that we hardly ever use any RV park's Wi-Fi. It's faster even when we're parked next to a park antenna. For $50 per month for 5 Gigs it's a great deal!
  Still lovin' the full time lifestyle and meeting so many nice folks and seeing so many interesting areas of our good old USA!
  Hope everyone is having as good a life as we are.
Charlie & Heather.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Pulled out of Magic River CG in Long Beach, Ms. about 1030 and drove 150mls to Fort Pickens in Florida. Oh-Oh, all filled up! Found an RV park in Gulf Shores. Since it was dusk we bit the bullet and did a one nighter for $65. (ouch, highest price this year) Nice park but wayyyy overpriced. Outa there next morning and headed South to Mexico City, Fl., Rustic Sands RV Resort (PA park $20). Re camped by 1500hrs. They have entertainment tonite with $1 beers!! Hmmm..better stay 2 days!!  LOL . Fun park.Heated pool too.
   Short post today. Got get in a geezer nap before the fun begins.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Another week at Magic River CG

  Another week has flown by since last blog. We're into week 3 of 4 at Magic River CG in Long Beach, Ms. and it's been very relaxing.
Had a bonfire every day til we ran out of wood. Waiting for the park crew to replenish, patiently. I don't think that's ever happened here!

  Our Michigan friends, Jerry & Kathy, were here for a week and our Texas friends Bonnie & Clyde(aka Garnet) are here for a month or more. We've really enjoyed the time spent together. It's amazing how easily the hours slip away just gabbin'.
  Clyde (aka) smoked a large brisket last week and it's the best I've ever had. I'm darned good at smokin' meats and I was very impressed.

   I do believe we've hit a plateau on preplanning. We've only found it necessary to run into stores, laundries, etc, about once every 8 days.
   We joined our buddies down on the beach today. Nice sunny, 75 degree weather made 3 hours fly by.
We all went to a nearby Waffle House to get a bite to eat. One thing we have found out is that Waffle House is consistently good and priced right.
   Every evening, as soon as the sun goes below the tree line, the temps drop about 20 degrees. The shorts disappear and the long pants and shirts and jackets go on. We've had a few nights in the mid 40's and our little heater gets a workout. Had to kick on the furnace, for a few minutes, first thing in the morning to take the chill out. We  watch the weather back in Michigan and are glad we're not there. Our winter destination down by Fort Meyers Florida has been about 10 to 15 degrees warmer. Heading down there in another week.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Enjoying Long Beach, Ms.

 After our whirlwind summer of travel it's rather nice to be settled in for this month here in Long Beach, Ms. This will be year #4 visiting this area.
   Our friends, Bonnie & Clyde, from Texas, pulled in on Tues the 8th. We all met last year and have kept in touch all summer. You know how when you meet someone it seems like you've known each other forever? That's what happened between us all and their company is fun & relaxing and our conversations flow freely.
   Some back home buddies, Jerry & Kathy, pulled in yesterday, Wed. the 16th, with their new to them 5th wheel. They've been working their way South for about a month, staying mainly in COE parks til they were forced out by the government shutdown. 
   Speaking of the shutdown, we've met a few folks that were affected or asked to leave. Damn shame. I see in the news this morning that the government madness is temporarily fixed til January then we get to see all this madness again. One of the articles I read stated it cost the government $24 "BILLION". 
   The bonfire pit has been fired up for over a week now and a big dent was put in the wood supplied by the park. Evening happy hours everyday except the couple rainy ones. 
   Last weekend the area around Gulfport was packed with every imaginable antique and hot rod and restored old car you could imagine for the annual "Cruisin' the Coast" extravaganza. We went down to the oceanfront for breakfast and had front window seats. The parade of cars was great! I think I even saw a few of the cars I've had in my lifetime. Great memories! It's nice to see a car that brings your mind back to days past like when in the service or reminds you of a special girl or when your children learned to drive. 
   The weather, for the most part, has been hovering in the high 70's to low 80's. We've had a  few sprinkles and 1 heavy rain. That's one of the nice things about this area at this time of year. Been reading a few other blogs about freezing water lines. My son's area in Montana got a lot of snow last week. I sure like our plan for chasing 75F.     
   Well, I guess I'd better go and get the day started. We've all got plans on smokin' a brisket. We may even set up our karaoke gig tonite if the weather lets us.
     Charlie & Heather

Friday, October 11, 2013

Camp #66 10-01-13 Long drive to Long Beach, Ms.via CRS

  10.01.13 We've all heard of CRS haven't we? I usually am up on my game 110% but...if their's one thing I hate to admit to it's the creeping, crawling introduction to CRS ! Heather just offhandidly asked me where I put our Wi-Fi Verizon device while travelling down the road. I immediately realized I'd left it outside on the trailer roof. (see last blog) OH-OH !!!  Of course it was history. Called Verizon and ordered a new one to the tune of $200. (Oh no, I didn't need insurance!!)Took a couple days but now we're back in business.
  Tues morning, Oct 1st, on the road at our usual 1000hrs, stopped in town for a few supplies and Southbound to Hattiesburg, Ms.
Traffic was light, even thru Jackson, so we hit Hattiesburg by 1330hrs. Still felt like driving and Heather said she was okay with that so we continued til we got to Long Beach, Ms. at Magic River Resort, one of our favorites.  Had to drive thru a little downpour for a 1/2 hr but then it dried up.
  As we pulled into the park about 1600 we noticed the bonfire wood pile was stacked high. I really like the fact that here they provide the wood.
We also saw some bass jumping in the ponds as we pulled in.
   Seems nice to have FHU's after a series of COE's. Haven't had that for a month or so. I certainly won't miss the "dump" routine every couple of days. Drizzled most of the night and the sun poked out about 1000. I wonder if the wood will be dry enough ?
   Been noticing the flocking geese thruout Mississippi. Makes me wonder if winter is far away. Some color in the trees in North Ms but not so much here in the south end.
   Met some neighbors here that we've seen before. Happy hour commenced again this afternoon and we've got a nice bonfire going. Debating about what bait we'll need to catch some of these bass.
10.04.13  Decided we'd go North 90 mls to Hattiesburg, Ms to avoid Hurricane Karen. Be gone for at least 4 days. We really don't want to get stuck on the roads if evacuation becomes mandatory.
10.08.13  Spent 4 days at Okatoma park in Hattiesburg and luckily the hurricane fizzled out. Back at Long Beach.
   Our friends, Bonnie & Clyde, from Texas, are meeting up with us Tues night.
   Weather reports for the week look very good. Back to normal!
When things settle down a bit I'll take some time and post some pictures. The fish are floppin' in the pond so I gotta go! Later.
Charlie & Heather


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Camp #65 Where is my Mississippi Internet??

   You would just crack up if you saw the antics I had to go thru to get our Verizon MIFI to work here in the Mississippi River valley!! I've relocated our device several times to see where it would work best. Under the wipers, up on the roof, on the picnic table, finally on the rear of the trailer roof!! Ya, it works there!! Betcha the neighbors thought they had a weirdo camping here!1 ha ha ha ha !!   Did you know that the Mississippi River runs in it's own valley?? Makes getting an internet or phone signal challenging. 
   The Southbound Great River Road Trip has been very interesting. Lots of history and beautiful roads. It winds thru many old towns and we've been able to poke along without too many pushy vehicles. Been staying at a lot of COE (Corps of Engineers) campgrounds. So nice to be able to use my senior discount at an average $9 per night. ( as you may have noted from past blogs, our nightly average up North had been running about $25/nite most of the summer)
   Does anyone else have a hard time using the COE net site? It's www.recreation.gov and like everything else in the government it's definitely not user friendly. I have found a trick to it though! In your search just type a State Name, USA ..It seems to simplify the search. Now, if they'd just put a real addresses on the parks it would help in locating them.
   We're now in Hernando, Ms. at a COE park. Found this one via Park Reviews.com . The COE map we acquired doesn't show any parks South of Kentucky, even though we know there are more. Hope to stop in at a COE main office in Oxford, Ms. to see if we can score any more useable maps. Our campsite here is right on the river.
Really pretty CG. Lots of shade and spotty WIFI & cell, but tolerable. We'll be here 4 days and move to another COE a few miles South as we slowly work our way towards Long Beach, Ms..
   Now that we have our new AC installed, of course the temps got down to normal. After 3 weeks of 90+ we now have 75F. Go figure!!

   Bonfires and cookouts & happy hours
 are the rule of the day along with some leisurely walks and meeting nice neighbors.  Of course, Heather has been bird watching too.

   We've noticed that the leaves are starting to change colors and some trees are starting to shed too! Hmmm!! Can winter be far away.
   Charlie & Heather


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Camp#64 Columbus,Ky State Park

 We left Metropolis, Ill on Friday the 13th at 1100 and poked South along The Great River Road about 60 miles. Did a little shopping enrt and recamped in Columbus, Ky at The Columbus-Belmont State Park at 1400. First impression upon pulling into park was WOW ! Overlooking the mighty Mississippi River and very manicured.
  Once we got hooked up the camp host stopped in, got us registered and oriented. At this park, the host delivers firewood and ice ! He explained the park layout and recommended things to see while here. The park has washers and dryers and spotless bathrooms. That's rare in a state park. The weekend had almost 100% occupancy but was empty by 6PM Sunday night.
  Our new AC that we installed in Ill. has been working perfectly but wouldn't ya know the temps went to 75F and there hasn't been much use for it!
   Verizon signal for our phones and Mi-fi has been weak so I won't try posting any pictures this time and I'll keep this blog short.
   We were going to stay for 2 days but because it's such a nice spot we extended 2 days and found out that Ky. Parks are having a 2 for 1 special  during weekdays which makes our pullout date Wed the 18th.
  Next move should put us in Mississippi cause we're gonna drive right on thru Tennessee.
   Charlie& Heather

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Camps 60, 61, 62 & 63 WHEW!!

   Been moving along at a leisurely pace. Doesn't seem like we've been thru 4 campsites since the last blog. Since we've been averaging about 2 nights at each camp it's given us some time to hike around the areas and we've been carefully choosing our sites so we're in the shade as much as possible. (Broken AC, remember?) 
   Camp 60 was Pere Marquette SP in Grafton Ill.

   Camp 61 was Fort Kaskaskia SP in Ellis Grove, Ill.
   Camp 62 was Victory RV Park in Paducha, Ky.
   Camp 63 is Fort Massac SP in Metropolis, Ill. 

   This moving around sure is enjoyable. So many things to see, so little time.
   The amount of history we've been exposed to during this trip down the Great River Road is phenominal!  Way too much to explain in a blog. We do highly recommend that if you ever get a chance to drive this route to do it. There are lots of overlooks and sights you'll never see anywhere else. Most of this road wanders back & forth across the Mississippi River. The river runs in an endless valley with Railroad tracks and little towns all along the way. Some of the towns probably haven't changed much in a hundred years while others have grown around their old downtown districts. Another nice thing about this route is the slow speeds thru much of it. My kinda travelling.
  Another quirky thing we did was a tour of the Superman Museum in Metropolis, Ill.. I never knew there was so much trivia and toys,etc. dedicated and sold regarding the man of steel, Look, up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane--it's Superman!!! I'll bet a lot of us grew up with this good guy!!
As you can see, the boys are supporters of Superman!

   We also got to go to the museum with Heather's sons, Jon & Josh & wife Angela.  
Haven't seen them in awhile and we got to chat for a few hours too.
  Got a lead on an AC unit that sounds reasonable so tomorrow AM Josh will drive me to the place in Paducha. Hope it works out. Should only take an hour to install. More on that later.
   Next move is just SW of Paducha. Real quick drive in a day or two.
   Hope everyone is enjoying the last few months of good weather.
Charlie  Heather.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Camp#60 Pere Marquette State Park Grafton, Ill.

    9-4-13, 2 nite stay Wed. & Thurs., at Pere Marquette State Park near Grafton, Ill. Camp # 60 !!
   Very nicely laid out park, we have walking trails and very modern, clean facilities. Site and tree spacing is perfect! The road into this park is a great drive "in" the Mississippi River valley. Very calm drive and no pushy trucks. Gathered up some firewood and had a few fires. Had to give some pesky bugs their "hour" at sunset as usual, but once the sun was good & gone the night was ours. 
   Pulled out at our standard 1000 enrt to ??? Didn't have any plan as there was no internet or phone service to research with...OH WELL !! Southbound somewhere for a few hours. 
  Did I ever tell ya  our " automatic" levelers are great ?? I always worry, like other campers do, about them "sticking" and having to have a service call. But we've figured out a sure way around that headache. All it takes is some careful planning.

Charlie & Heather

Camp#61..Fort Kaskaskia State Historical Site.

  After a 2 1/2 hour drive and some internet research enrt we were recamped at Fort Kaskaskia State Historical CG near Ellis Grove, Ill. by 3PM.  Damn, Illinois is soooo long !! At least we're in the far South of it. Nice little park and well cared for, so we decided to stay for 2 days. Only basics here (elect) so we'll be headed to a FHU park next move. Gotta get some laundry done soon.
 The River views today were great.
   Took a few walks and collected firewood and got a feel about the layout of the park. We're on top of a large hill and there are some scenic overlooks. ( after all the mountains we were in this summer I'll always refer to high spots this far East as "hills" !!)
   Got a weekend starting so it's probably wise to standfast Fri & Sat. This park is already filling up fast at 6PM.
   Our phones and internet have good signals and we have sky access for the dish too. Supposed to be in the 90's for a few days and we found a site with good tree shade for the rig. Since our AC is busted it's gonna get clammy, at least the night temps are near the 60's so sleeping is comfortable.  The camp host has been here for years and made us feel very welcome.
   We might head to Metropolis from here..you know what's there, don't ya?? Standby for that story!!! (Look, up in the sky....) 

Charlie & Heather

Camp#59 Nauvoo State Park, Illinois

   9-3-13, 1 night stay in Nauvoo, Ill. State Park. This park in smack dab in the middle of town. Very tight roads and in need of some TLC. I'm really glad we aren't in a longer rig as the roads in the park musta been made for a Model T !! Hada GFI on the 30 amp circuit and it was weak, tripped a few times. on the road in the AM after a great breakfast in town. They make their own sausage and it's probably the best I've ever eaten! Coulda made 2 meals out of the serving.
   South again down the Great River Road at 10AM on Wed 9-4-13.

Friday, August 30, 2013


  Being that we're camped for a week at Buffalo Shores CG (a county run CG), we've got time to meet neighbors and do a lot of people watching. It's fun to see other folk's style of camping, especially the folks that only get a few days per year to get away. Most of 'em have kids with them and most have their pets.Totally different crowd than we meet in the "off" season. Most of the pets, dogs, are not socialized to the RV lifestyle, so we listen to a lot of barking. Oh, Joy, what fun!! Of course they all have their "toys" with them or they run home and make 4 trips to get them all here. Jet skis, boats, surfboards, tubes, bikes, etc..WOW...a lot of effort! We've been watching all the manuvers to guarentee a spot for the holidays weekend. Get set up and planted by Thursday afternoon and stake your claim. Of course they all arrive with "tribe" in tow on Friday and it's an immediate Happy Hour and by 7PM the fun is done. They get the kids in bed by 8PM and finally the park is quieting down. PHEWWW!!
 Of course, the working crowd will be up by 0700 and will be starting their diesel trucks, radios blaring, so they can go out to breakfast. Real Camping, ehh?
  Since we're only 50' from the Mississippi River

we've been able to watch a lot of barge traffic traversing upbound and downbound. It's amazing how slowly they move. Gotta be a good job to have. Our CG has a nice beach and from what we hear, it'll be packed this weekend.

   We've decided to replace our AC with a new one but we'll wait til we settle down in Mississippi at Magic River CG about a month from now. The temps are supposed to go down next week and so far it's been tollerable with the fans on full speed. Of course we have other means of putting up with the heat. Cold showers and standing under a spray from the hose and dunking in the river is actually rather fun. Remember when we were kids?? Noticed the neighbors laughing while watching us. I keep inviteing them to join us but they're too old for such nonsense---AWWW!!
Hope ya'll have as great a weekend as we will.

Charlie & Heather

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Buffalo Shores CG Camp #57 Labor Day week

  Our last CG ( Shady Creek) was booked solid for the weekend. Found a County Park just a few miles East called Buffalo Shores.
We went shopping in Muscatine, Ia about a 15 minute drive West, it's a bigger city and has most any store you'd need. Refilled propane and a Wally stop. Bumped into a AC repairman when gassing the rig so I asked him if he had any motor capacitors and he had just what we needed for $13 !! Now thats a lot better price than the $92 quote from the RV suppliers!! Got set up by 1100 and we'll stay here thru the holiday weekend. When we pulled in there on Wednesday there were lots of empty sites but by 1800 they were filling fast. Nice clean park on the Miss. River with a beach. We can see a lot of barges being pushed along the river.

   Update on the AC repairs--Found a motor capacitor. As luck might have it..when LP refilling, a refrigeration repairman from
the area pulled in to the station so I asked him if he had a 7.5mf, 370v motor cap...HE DID !!! $13 ! (how come the RV places get $92???) It's an exact match and very common! He also gave me some advice and hints as to what to look for. Gotta Love Iowa pleasantries. I changed it out in the heat of the afternoon, 95F, and it was really hot up on 'da roof! I turned it on and YAHOO..it works..B U T --short lived celebration! Died again in about 10 minutes. NOW...a motor search is on!! BOOO!!
   It was so hot in the afternoon & evening we hooked up a hose to the spigot and just cooled off under it!! AHHHH!! Felt like a kid in a sprinkler..HA HA HA. I even sprayed the MH roof to cool it down. Oh well.  Happy Hour fixes everything..
  I bet ya we don't do a lot of cooking in this heat..planning on a lot of sandwiches the next few day. That too reminds us of being kids!!  I'm not "kidding" you !! Glad we have this shady spot we're camped in.
  Hope you all have a happy and safe Labor Day ! Use a lot of sunscreen.



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Shady Creek Iowa Camp # 56 COE CG

   Quick and short blog today.
   Pulled into another COE CG..Shady Creek near Muscatine, Io. Had planned on a week here but they're all "full up" thru the weekend. ( According to COE rules..no parking a camper without nightly occupancy...got a feeling that's not being followed..will do a night patrol..they always have drive up sights..) Got a couple days availability so it looks like we'll be doin' some cruisin' around tomorrow A.M.. need some LP gas and gonna try to find a spot for the Holiday weekend. Luckily there are quite a few CG's near here. This problem has only come up once before. Should be an easy fix. If not??? There's always a Wally World..
   Living without AC is a bit uncomfortable. ( our blog followers know what that's all about) We'll get that going again as soon as we can. I'm gonna try installing a new motor capacitor first as the fan mtr energizes but won't rotate. When deenergized it spins freely. Best price I've found far for the capacitor is $92. I think its worth a try.

PS- found a capacitor for $13..glad I didn't spend more because that didn't fix it. Next is a motor hunt..

Monday, August 26, 2013

Mississippi River museum and Camp#55 Thomson Causeway Ill.

   Pulled out of Potosi, Wis. about 1000 and headed towards Thomson, Ill. with a planned stop & tour at The Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque, Iowa. 

As you may have guessed in regard to our State changes, we're going down the The Great Mississippi River Road and since the Mississippi River is the border for a lot of the central states it a simple matter of crossing a bridge and changing states! Of course that also makes a difference in gas, grocery, etc. prices. We watch that via internet and it can mean a 20 cent per gallon difference or lower the grocery bill by a lot. The disperity between states is quite remarkable. Using my senior pass at the COE CG's has been great as we get 1/2 off and the average camp fee has been $8 to $9 per night. These camps are well kept and clean and so far all is well. ( some RR tracks have been a bit noisy. Both sides of the Mississippi River has RR tracks along it's banks).

   The museum was well worth the admission price of $28 for the 2 of us. Of course I get a discount there too! It took about 3 hours to wander around. Very informative and well laid out. A marina is part of the tour. We saw how the river contributed to the  growth of our USA and it's importance to commerce. Did you know that the rivers direction was reversed to flush out Chicago's riverfront?? It was a cesspool by Chicago due to all the crap being dumped into it many years ago.
   Hit a Wally World afterwards and restocked. We arrived at The Thomson Causeway CG in Illinois (camp# 55) at 1530 and declared a happy hour. Started a bonfire and took it easy the rest of the day. I even managed an hour nap to recharge. We'll be here for 2 days and move another 80 miles down the river.
                 Charlie & Heather 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Camp #53 Blackhawk COE & Camp#54 Grant River COE

   Been to Desoto, Wis. & Potosi, Wis. Staying at COE CG's on our way down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. Stopped at a COE lock and watch them lower a boat.They dropped the water level 14ft in 10 minutes!!

   Notice the view right behind our rig..gorgeous!!      Sure seems wierd paying the $9 to $12 fees per night after shelling out $35 to $45 almost all summer except for the Passport America parks.. I guess the Northern CG's have to charge more as their season is so short. We had noticed the higher fees when we researched this trip in the spring. Part of the price ya gotta pay to travel in the Northern latitudes. Another thing noticable is higher grocery prices and gas and etc, etc.. Good reasons to love being down South.
   So, now we're Southbound. Gonna take 6 weeks or so to get back to the Gulf region. No rush, no schedule, no appointments, just the way we like it. The "PLAN",  written in jello, is to set sight on the SW corner of Mississippi sometime in the beginning of Oct..
  We finally got a COE (Corps of Engineer) map that shows all the CG'S they operate.That'll sure simplify our plans as the net site they use absolutely sucks!! It's slow, sometimes impossible, and ya never know if it will give you enough info to find the park.(a lot of P.O. Boxes, fer instance) I'm sure Reserve America is getting rich running such a lousy site!! SSHHHHH!!!
   We're finding the Great River Trail that follows the Mississippi River very relaxing. It meanders alongside the river, crisscrosses state lines and generally is 30MPH to 55MPH, my kinda speed!!
Some of the little towns we've passed thru look like they're straight outa the "Mayberry" book. Quaint and laid back seems to be the rule of the day. We've pulled over to stop at a lot of Historical Markers as the River had always played a part in the formation of our country.
  Check back often as I'm sure there will be plenty to blog about.

PS-- The AC fan bit the dust..it's all BB's fault...ha ha ha ha !!!!