Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Could Life Get Any Better Than This?

We have a sky filled with blue and gauzy wisps of clouds.  It’s close to 80 degrees and a gentle breeze touching the air.  Autumn has started dressing the trees here with color.  Barges and yachts cruise up and down the Tombigbee River. Squirrels chatter as they chase each other up and down the trees and along the wooden pole fence. No, I don’t think it could get any better than this! Today is Wednesday… was it only 5  days ago on Friday that our axle broke?  Whew….   well let’s go back to Saturday after we left DeQueen Arkansas, we dropped down and did a short 2 1/2 hour trip to Columbia Lake, near Magnolia!
The skies drizzled on us all day!
Gas 001
When was the last time you saw a gas station with gas posted for 91.9 cents a gallon?  We were stopped for a dog walk and bathroom break and I had to take a photo. Grandkids will never believe that gas was so cheap!
An hour or so later we ended up at Lake Columbia!lake Columbia 5
All the colors here helped a gloomy day look better!
Lake Columbia 006
Predictions for 60% rain for Sunday helped us decide we were going to stay over one more day. We were still a bit nervous about our new rebuilt axle. Losing an axle is a scary thing!
lake columbia 012Lake Columbia is a beautiful campground near Magnolia Arkansas. We had the place to ourselves on Sunday. $16.00 per nights for W/E.
lake columbia 010 This wooded road was next to The MotherShip, you can see a few autumn colors trying to show through at the top of the photograph.  We walked about as far down as you can see in the picture when I was literally attacked by a swarm of mosquitoes! YIKES! We (me and the dogs) ran back to the MotherShip as fast as our ample butts could get us there!
Monday we travelled to Louisiana to Chemin-A-Haute State Park just a bit north of Bastrop LA. We had spent a night here on our last trip from Florida to NM 3 years ago. We remembered it as being a nice clean park.  3 years and we cannot say the same thing now! DIRTY!The restrooms/showers were nasty and the park looked abandoned! I didn’t even bother with photos it was that sad!
So Tuesday finds us on the road for 7.5 hours and over 300 miles! That for us was amazing. We crossed the Mississippi River at Natchez and it was a breeze at 1 pm!  No traffic to make me feel rushed or pushed or nervous UNTIL we hit the Natchez side. Holey Moley! Just as I was getting ready to celebrate making across THE BRIDGE one more time, all heck broke loose on the highways! Where did all this traffic come from? I had a hard time keeping up with Chuck and not getting stuck at traffic lights for about 10 minutes until we finally turned off on highway 84 and as fast as all the traffic had surrounded us, it was gone! Highway 84 across Mississippi is 4 lanes of almost non-existent traffic! Very few gas stations and we only saw 2 signs for campgrounds the whole way!
Finally we crossed the Alabama state line and in about 20 miles we located the C.O.E.
tombigbee 030
Campground on the Tombigbee River. Just a small, simple sign out on the highway that just says “Service Park”. Easy to miss unless you know where it is. Just a bit west of Coffeeville Alabama.
Campsites are right next to the river! We have been sitting around all day watching the yachts and barges go up and down the river.
tombigbee 031
Yep, this is as good as it gets!
tombigbee 032
We get to camp next to the river with a great table and fire ring and scenery!
tombigbee 035
AND Golden Orb Spiders! This beauty was almost palm sized! In case you are not familiar with the Golden Orb, they weave a web that looks like spun gold!One of my favorite spiders!
tombigbee 044
One of the several barges that were headed up the river today.
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tombigbee 049
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The campsites are very large and roomy! There is one campsite between us and the RV  you see in the background. Plenty of room leftover for the truck, The MotherShip and my TrailBlazer in our site!  As I type this another tug just went downriver pushing 3 barges loaded with coal!  So glad we decided to stay 2 nights. The cost for 2 nights was $22!  Life really doesn’t get any better than this! This park is most definately on our top 5 list!

P.S,  Woke up this morning to a "trick or treat" bag full of candy on our doorstep!  Now was that nice or what?  This is just one of the many things that make this park so special!

Headed to Florida tomorrow! YaY! So will sign off for now from the crew of The MotherShip  Chuck, Geri, DoogieBowser and Radar! Thanks for coming along!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Down and Out in DeQueen Arkansas !

We had just made a left turn at Idabel Oklahoma, and our axle broke! Chuck said he never really felt anything because our truck is so big. He looked in the rearview and saw the MotherShip following at a 20% angle! We were on a 4-lane divided highway. Narrow side shoulders with some grass and then it dropped off a bit to the right down to a rain gutter. Chuck pulled over as much as he could, but the MotherShip was still a bit catawampus to the road, safely off the road… barely!  I pulled up behind and put my emergency flashers on.  This was about 2 pm Thursday. Chuck called Good Sam Roadside Assistance and after about 20 minutes they located By-Pass Diesel & Wrecker Service. They have 5 locations in Arkansas and had someone available in DeQueen to come take care of us.

Daryl showed up in 45 minutes!  He crawled under the MotherShip for over an hour and competently repaired the axle enough for travel.  We drove another 45 miles into DeQueen to the repair shop here. Daryl followed Chuck all the way and I followed Daryl in my Trailblazer.
We arrived shortly after 5 pm, or thereabouts.  We pulled in to spend the night inside the fenced property to deal with everything tomorrow. We were all exhausted! By morning Daryl realized we were not going to find an axle to replace the broken one. Our axle is a bit wide compared to the norm.  However, there is a business nearby that could rebuild it like new and have it back to us by late afternoon!
So off our axle went, on it’s way to be rebuilt about 10 am.
Chuck and Daryl spend the time doing a lot of man-talk stuff and I went to WalMart to stock up. While in WalMart I decided to buy the resident office cat, “Sunny” some treats.
By 3:30 pm the axle was back looking brand new!

As I sit here typing away, Daryl is busy under the MotherShip re-attaching the axle!
It is now 4:45 pm Friday and the axle will be finished in a few minutes.  We also had to replace 2 tires and they should be on by tonight!
Daryl was nice enough to let us run the generator so we could get online and post this to you! We found out that not only does Daryl work here, he is the boss of this location of By-Pass Diesel & Wrecker Service! A very nice man and thank God, he is very knowledgeable and competent! He really pulled us out of a not to happy situation! We are now Happy Campers for sure.
So obviously we didn’t make it to Crater of Diamonds State Park, nor will we. We will spend one more night here inside the compound and head out tomorrow for a new destination! I will fill you in later about that!
Keep your fingers crossed that the rest of this trip goes well! We would really like to be in Apalachicola FL in time for the Seafood Festival!
That’s it from the MotherShip and DeQueen Arkansas! If ya’ll are ever out this way in Arkansas and need help… Daryl at By-Pass Diesel & Wrecker Service is the man to call!
Bye for now….   Geri, Chuck, Doogie and Radar!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Chuck and I left Floydada Texas on Oct. 20th and stayed on Highway 70 for 2.5 hours arriving in Crowell Texas to stay at Longhorn RV Park and Steakhouse. It sits 15 miles west of Crowell, entrance is next to a very nice state picnic area off the highway. We cut our day short because we knew the next day we would be heading to Lake Texahoma State Park. From Floydada it would have meant a 7 hour day on the road and we just don’t do those anymore! The Longhorn was a no-frills campground $15 for Full Hook Ups but no restrooms or showers available! We ended up staying 2 nights because I just didn’t feel real good.
We left the Longhorn at 10am Monday morning and drove 4.5 hours on Highway 70 out of Texas and into Oklahoma. Highway 70 is a wonderful east/west highway through the Texas Panhandle into and across lower Oklahoma and well into Arkansas! We don’t do Interstates except in short hops because I hate driving on them! But Highway 70 is very well maintained and very low traffic! We had a great day to be on the road passing huge ranches, cotton and cornfields, horses, cows and more than a few small and unique towns.
We arrived in Lake Texahoma tired, hungry and a bit grouchy! But oh my… this is still one of our favorite stops!
Lake Texahoma SP 001
The folks across the road all line up for full hook-ups and no shade! 
Lcamp siteake Texahoma SP 016
While Chuck and I were all alone over in the Water & Electric only sites…. in the shade! That’s us on the far right!
camper Lake Texahoma SP 004
Radar and DoogieBowser get to explore off leash and we get the shade from nearby trees!  Our site was $15 and next to the restrooms/showers! The hot shower felt great! The restrooms are a bit dated and could use a few updates but I really appreciated a good hot shower.  This morning I took the dogs for a walk off leash and they got to run around and act like dogs, even chased a squirrel up a tree! They loved it.
a point Lake Texahoma SP 011
The lake is beautiful!  Of you strain your eyes a bit to the center of the picture, you can see a couple walking out to the point to fish. The lake is down a bit but it is still a great place to be. We decided to stay here 2 nights also. Guess we are showing our age, even just driving by the geezer 2-4-4 rule (200 miles, 4 hours or 4 pm) means it’s time to pull in! But we were ready to pull in after 3 hours! LOL!
CHUCK Lake Texahoma SP 003
One of the first things Chuck is going to do when we get to Florida is donate his hair to “Locks of Love”. He lost his mother to breast cancer and he wanted to grow his hair at least one time so he could offer it for wigs for the chemo ladies. “Locks of Love” will be getting one beautiful head of hair when his is donated! I would love to have hair like that, long, thick & curly!
Tomorrow we leave here and head for Crater of Diamonds State Park for a couple of nights. It is near Murfreesboro Arkansas!  We have been there once before and liked it. It will be another 4 hour drive for us. Maybe we will be lucky this time, a 14 year old girl found a big yellow diamond just last week! OUR TURN!  Smile
Signing off for now from the crew of The MotherShip , Chuck, Geri, DoogieBowser and Radar!
Am. Indian

Saturday, October 19, 2013


After travelling from Truth or Consequences NM to Fort Sumner NM on highway 60 East, we pulled into a nice but no frills campground right off the highway. $20 a night for FHU but no showers or restrooms. Valley View Campground. Nice long spaces, plenty of room for The MotherShip and my Trailblazer!
Fort Sumner RV Park
Across the road was a great restaurant, FRED’S RESTAURANT where I ate the best ever blue corn enchilada and Chuck had a smothered burrito. YUMMY! One block east of the campground is the Billy The Kid Museum!
BTK Museum ent
The museum was more than expected. So many artifacts of the old west!
Mr. Sweet is the owner of the museum and this man knows his history! His family has lived here many generations!
BTK Museum grinding stones
At the entrance, mill stones or grinding stones are displayed. I have never seen so many in one place!
                                    Chuck aka BTK
Chuck pretending to be Billy the Kid!
BTK Museum spurs
There were cases full of spurs…. who knew there were so many differently designed spurs for different purposes?
BTK Museum Guns
There were rooms lined with all kinds of guns, one of them really belonged to Billy the Kid!
BTK Museum
The museum is a lot larger than it looks! It spreads out through several rooms!

BTK Museum clay figure
This case had nothing to do with Billy, but it interested me the most. Found in a cave in Silver City…  to me it looks like a dragon with wings but the sign below says:
BTK Museum clay figure sign
Whatever it was, it was interesting!
We left the museum and headed back to The MotherShip. It was noon and we were ready to hit the road! We got back on Highway 60East headed to Clovis where we also picked up Highway 84S.
We also picked up the wind and the dark threatening clouds and the cold! It went from 60’s that morning to the 40’s within  an hour on the road! It was hell on wheels and no other words are available to describe it.  Wicked winds fighting our steering wheels the whole three 1/2 hours we were on the road!
We usually check the wind map that gives good solid information about winds on your route! We did not, but here is the link so you have it.
I keep it on my desktop ready to use, now I just have to remember to use it!
We followed 84South to Muleshoe Texas where we picked up 70 East which brought us here to Floydata and the great little city FREE campground!
Floydada st sign
From the west, you enter Floydata on Highway 70/North 2nd Street, the campground is on the right at Taft.
Floydata maintenence office
The Texas D.O.T. is right next door, just east of campground entrance. 

I apologise! Yesterday I told you that it was free here for 4 nights WRONG! It is free 2 nights and you can stay an additional 3 night for $5.00 per night!
But there is the 5 night stay rule and you must leave! No Showers, No Bathrooms. But the city of Floydata gives you water and electric and a dump station for free! It’s a cute little town and they want to show off. Folks who camp here seek out the restaurants, gas stations (there is a gas station and a propane station nearby) A good example is the family camped next to us last night, they came back with arms full of grocery bags and Dollar General bags! This nice little campground encourages the tourist dollar to stay and visit Floydada awhile! Certainly helps the local economy!

Floydata campground
There were 3 of us camped here last night, and room for several more.

                   Floydada dog walk
There was frost on the ground earlier this morning, but Radar and DoogieBowser never noticed! Their noses were on the ground reading all the doggie news!
With all the wind and rocking and rolling we were doing yesterday on our drive here, we were not too surprised to find one of our cupboard doors had opened and dumped the contents out on the floor…..
INCLUDING 1/2 quart of honey that leaked out all over everything else that fell out and all over the floor!  It was cold and wickedly windy outside, everybody wanted to come in…. but I had to clean up the sticky mess as much as possible before we could let the dogs come in!
What a mess! We have decided to stay in Floydada one more night so I can finish cleaning up the sticky mess and so Chuck can fix our step on the MotherShip. The top bolt has come loose and needs to be replaced!
From here…..  still not sure what tomorrow brings…
there is a turn in the road that we are considering!

Happy Trails from The MotherShip and her crew. Chuck, pilot. Geri, co-pilot and our navigators DoogieBowser and Radar.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Leaving Truth or Consequences, NM

                      On The Road Again

T or C has been our home base since 2009. I started writing our blog in 2008. Chuck and I have visited a lot of beautiful places in our time on the road… we were not ready to give it up which made our decision to go full time living in our RV, The MotherShip!  But we could have not lived in a town that suited us better than Truth or Consequences NM.
We are down to 3 days before take off! Emily returns from Kansas Tuesday. Wednesday 10/16/2013 we sign the papers turning the mobile home over to Emily.

Wednesday has come and gone! Papers signed sealed and delivered!  Emily now has a new home near her son, Jim! Her daughter, Juno, also seemed to like T or C very much… so just maybe we will see her leaving Kansas also for the uniqueness that is Truth or Consequences NM.

  We say goodbye to Jake, general manager and imagineer for the beautiful Riverbend Hot Springs.  Our favorite soaking place!

Jake provided us with our first workamping job and once here, we fell in love with Truth or Consequences!

Thursday we got on the road headed east to Florida!  We don’t do interstate travelling very much.  You can’t see the heart of America from the interstate!  I will try to post every night and show you our camps. 
We drive by the RV Geezer 2-4- 4Rule, 200 miles, 4 hours or 4 pm.  Whichever comes first, we pull off the road. 10/17/2013 we stretched the rules  a bit.  4.5 hours, about 230 miles and we pulled in around 3:30pm. We landed in Fort Sumner NM, very close to the Texas border, near Clovis NM.  We left T or C on I-25 to Socorro and highway 60East joined I-25 for awhile the veered off the interstate and headed east. From the I-25, highway 60 meandered through ranches and desert roads until we came to Mountainair NM. A small town that looked like it would be fun to explore…  but we drove on! From there Highway 60 ran parallel to the busiest train tracks I have ever seen. Trains pulling endless miles of containers…. full containers headed east and empty containers headed west.  Some of these trains were following each other only a mile or two apart!
Highway 60 East from I-25 starts out as very good road, newly paved and wide shoulders. After Mountainaire we lost the new pavement and wide shoulders but the road was still very good and well maintained.  We encountered very little traffic and made good time, but we had to make 3 doggie rest stops along the way. No pictures, hard to drive and take photographs! I am driving my Chevy TrailBlazer loaded to the hilt leading Chuck and the MotherShip back east.
The campground in Fort Sumner is right on Highway 60 and impossible to miss. Large clean sites, nothing fancy but for one night very suitable and with Full Hook-ups $20 a night.
Today we will walk next door and visit the Billy The Kid Museum, located next to the campground . Billy is buried nearby and apparently created some history in this small town!  I will post some pictures tomorrow.
Today we are headed to Floydada Texas.  We will camp at our favorite FREE city park campground.

City provides  FREE full hook-ups for 4 nights!  They want you to visit and explore their town, eat at their restaurants, fill up your gas tanks, buy groceries and enjoy your stay in Floydada!  I will post more photos of the park later! It’s a very nice one!

I just wanted to post to let family and friends know that we are on the road and loving it!
be happy
So long from the crew of the MotherShip!  Chuck, Geri and our navigators DoogieBowser and Radar!
Happy Trails to you until we meet again!