Friday, December 31, 2010

Cajun Country

The weather isn't much. Expected to rain all day today & tomorrow. We drove to Beaux Bridge and had a nice lunch at the Corner Bar,Cafe & Art Gallery. Quite a unique place. Carol had an oyster Po Boy; I had The Jake; a hamburger steak with grilled onions, Swiss & American cheese, bacon, jalapenos, fries, onion rings, red beans & rice and french bread!!. Delicious. After that we went to the Acadiana Park Campground in Lafayette. A City park. $13/night. Waiting out the rain. The plan tomorrow is to take the back roads to the Gulf Coast then to Texas.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Another driving day

We left the campground about 8:30 continuing west on I-10. Got gas in Alabama for $2.89/gal.; a bargain by todays standards. Stopped at the Fairview-Riverside State Park in Madisonville, LA about 3:30pm. Fairly convenient to I-12. $22/night. We had thought about going into New Orleans for the day to visit the French Market. NOLA is crowded on a typical day but tomorrow is New Years Eve plus the Sugar Bowl is Tuesday plus it's supposed to rain. Perhaps on the way home?
Today was another long driving day. Once we make it through Texas, we'll get back to our 2 to 3 hour max. drive per day. Unfortunately, TX is a long three day drive from where we are tonight. Bla!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

We're off once again.

We had the most wonderful Christmas. Alex, Britta, Finn & Teagan plus Jennifer & Karen were here for the last five days. They left on Tuesday. Carol & I spent Tuesday putting the house in order and packing for the trip. We left this morning at 5:27am. The Lazy Daze has 48,908 miles on it. The weather is cold. It didn't get above freezing until after noon time. The Turnpike was loaded with RV's heading south. Mostly it was just us going north. It's supposed to start warming up some.
We stayed at the Falling Waters State Park off I-10 near Chipley. A very convenient overnight stopping place. With the Florida Senior discount, it only cost us $9. Carol is sitting in the back watching a TV show she downloaded on her iPad. :-)

The general plan is to head to the Lazy Daze factory in Montclair, Ca., to have assorted things repaired then just drift around the CA, AZ & NM until we feel like heading home. This really beats hanging around Fort Pierce. There is not much we enjoy more then traveling.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ready to get going again

It's December 13th. We've been home long enough. The camper is ready, the house is ready. Jennifer, Alex and families will be here from the 23rd to the 27th. We head out on the 28th for the Southwest. Ginny is in charge of Mom while we're gone.
First stop the Lazy Daze factory to get the broken solar panel replaced and a few odds & ends dealt with. Then to the Tire Man for the valve stem extenders & new rear tires. Then to Quartzsite for the rest of January. After that? Just drift around here & there. Our type of trip. No plans, no schedule.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Lazy Daze GTG, Charleston

We arrived in Charleston on Monday for the get together. There were 17 rigs there. We both enjoyed catching up with our old friends. There were two new couples there as well. We went out to dinner on Wednesday night and had the Pot Luck supper on Thursday.
On Friday, we headed home at about 8:00am.Drove straight through and arrived home about 5:30 that evening.
Nice to be home. We left on this trip on April 14. Our longest trip ever.
We both agree, it's probably the best trip ever.
In a few weeks I'll be caught up on everything and we'll be antsy to get going once again.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Heading to Charleston,SC

After leaving Suzanne's house on Sunday, we stopped in Ellis,KS for the night. On Monday we drove to KC and spent the night with John & Marge. Had a wonderful time just catching up with the news. Marge made lasagna & meatballs. What a treat to have a great dinner that I didn't have to cook.
On Tuesday we continued on. Carol wanted to go back to the great bakery in Herman, MO so off we went. We spent the night at the city campground in Herman then went to the bakery on Wednesday morning. We vote this bakery as the best ever.
On Wednesday we drove to Johnston City, IL and stopped at the Arrowhead Lake city campground. A very nice campground for only $7/night!! On the way in we had a bar-b-que dinner in Benton, IL. Fair at best. Beans from a can, frozen french fries, etc.
On Thursday we continued on. Another 3 hour plus driving day. We stopped at a real bar-b-que place in Nashville; Jack's. Carol had the pork shoulder (pulled pork), and I had the brisket. Apples, green beans, cole slaw and baked beans for sides. Excellent!!
About 3:00 we got to our campground. Floating Mill Campground at the COE Center Hill Lake. We have a great site right on the lake. $12/night with water & electric. We're staying here until Saturday.
On Saturday we headed towards Knoxville,TN with no special destination in mind. We stopped by a TVA campground on Douglas Lake but it wasn't much so we continued north. Saw a Bar-b-que joint so we pulled in and bought a 1/2# of pulled pork and onion rings. Very good. I asked a guy in the joint, if there was any pplace we could get to the lake for a picnic. He directed me to a nearby access road. We parked right along side the lake. It was so nice, we decided to stay there overnight. This is Gophers type of campground; no leash required.
On Sunday we decided to drive to NC through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park rather then use the Interstate. The stretch of road from Sevierville,TN , the birthplace of Dolly Pardon (Dollyville), through Gatlinburg, is one solid tourist trap. Every conceivable hotel, restaurant, amusement attraction, etc., you could ever imagine is there. We have never seen anything quite like it before. In the late 1970's we took the children in the RV, from Cherokee, NC to Gatlinburg. It was a tourist trap then, but nothing like this. This was our second, and last, trip in this area.
On the other hand, once you get into the National Park, it's just beautiful. It was a cool & rainy day, but the drive was still enjoyable. Much better then the Interstate.
We had no particular destination in mind but wanted to cut Mondays drive to Charleston to about three hours. We wound up spending the night in the Walmart parking lot in Spartanburg, SC. Quite a contrast between the beautiful lakeside sites of the last few nights.
Had Walmart fried chicken for dinner.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Suzanne & Family

We arrived in Longmont on Wednesday the 22nd. "camping" in the street in front of their house. On Thursday, Carol went shopping with Suzanne & Oliver. There is a birthday party planned for Friday.
On Friday night there was a birthday party for Izzy, Oliver & me. Suzanne got an excellent ice cream care from a store that makes their own ice cream. The Stomp Rocket was the hit of the birthday gifts.
On Saturday we all went to a soccer game and watched Izzy play a great game.
After breakfast on Sunday, we headed to Kansas City to visit with Johnny & family. We stopped at the city campground in Ellis, KS for the night.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Beartooth Highway

The more & more we thought about driving the Interstate Hwys, the less we liked the idea. Instead, we decided to go south from Columbus and take the Beartooth Highway. Years ago, Charles Kurault wrote i his book Travels With Charlie, that he thought the Beartooth Hwy was the most beautiful drive in America. He'd get no disagreement from us. The road, Hwy 212, is narrow & full of sharp turns but what a view. The elevation at the summit of the road was 10,947'. The temperature at the summit was 44* with a very strong wind. Next time we're out this way we're going to drive it again. This time, stopping at the FS campgrounds in the area.
After the Beartooth, we drove the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway to Cody, WY. Another amazing drive. A lot of the road followed the Clark's Fork River.
It was almost 80* when we finally stopped for the night near Thermopolis,WY. We're camping in a WY Fishing Access Area.
We have about 8 more driving hours to Suzanne's house.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Southern MT on the way home, September,2010

We drove the scenic route, Hwy 89, all the way south to I-90 near Livingston.
We stopped in Choteau for the night. There was a sign announcing the Teton Antique Steam & Gas Threshing Association 27th Annual show. In the morning I walked over. Very interesting. I talked to a local farmer who showed me a tractor like he drove as a kid during WW-2. All the men were off to the war. He drove the tractor even though he could barely see over the steering wheel. The women & kids ran the farms.
In the morning we continued on. Stopped in Fairfield, the Malted Barley capitol of the US. We had lunch in Great Falls at a very good bar-b-que place then continued south on 89. Stayed the night at a very nice National Forest campground; Jumping Creek. Had the place to ourself. Just us, the deer and a small creek. There was a very informative sign about the difficulty of getting timber from this area to the mills in Great Falls.
On Sunday, we drove south to Interstate-90 near Livingston. We're back on the boring Interstates for the majority of the trip home.
In Columbus, Mt we stayed at the Itch Ke Pe City Park. It's free camping right on the Yellowstone River.
Today is the first warm day we've had in quite some time; it's 71*. In the picture of Carol in bed, she has on a long sleeved shirt, sweat pants, a heavy sweat shirt, a sheet and then three blankets doubled over!! That's like sleeping under six blankets. It does get cold inside the camper at night. The outside temp. in the morning has been from 39* to 45*. Inside it's in the mid-50's by morning. When I get up, I turn on the propane heater to warm it up for Carol.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Glacier National Park to Choteau,MT

We drove to Glacier National Park on Wednesday the 15th. stayed in the Apgar Campground with four other Lazy Daze couples we met at the Northwest GTG. The weather was decent so we walked to the Apgar Village/Visitor Center. There is a new, paved trail from the campground to the Village. Very nice for Carols scooter. As the day went on, the weather got worse. It turned into a rainy, cloudy, cold day. There was snow above about 5,000'. The campground was at 3,200' so we just got a cold rain. The weather forecast was for more of the same for the next two days. Rather then just sit inside looking at the rain, we decided to move on. Friday morning we headed south to Choteau, MT. The snow on the mountains was beautiful. When we got to Marias Pass, there was several inches of snow on the ground. Some cowboys were rounding up stray cattle from around the pass.
The drive from West Glacier to Choteau was beautiful. We passed through the Blackfoot Reservation around Browning,MT. When we were out here in 2006, we passed
through Browning on the way to Glacier NP, Waterton then the Canadian Rockies.
Browning is the major city in the Blackfoot Reservation. I'll never understand why, but Browning has the same look as all the other reservation towns we've been through. Doesn't seem to matter if it's in the Southwest, North Dakota, Upstate New York, or Montana. Trash is strewn everywhere, houses are unkept, guys just hanging out on the street corners. I really wonder what is the commonality between all these Native American tribes that leads to such a lack of pride in their community & person?

At Choteau, we "camped" in the parking lot for the city public works compound. Us and five other RV's. :-)
Gopher & I took a few walks around the City Park. I often just watch people, wondering what they do for a living, why they live where they do, what are they up to at this moment. A lady drove by in her old truck. Her dog Molly was running alongside. Wonder if she & Molly do this every day? Just watching life in Couteau, MT on September 17,2010. I was wondering the same about the four cowboys we saw rounding up cattle earlier today. What's their day like? Any family? What do you do after a life as a cowboy? In campgrounds, we often see people our age traveling in very truck campers or simply a collection of tents. Did they earn their living as a cowboy, or the equivalent? What do people do when they can no longer live off their hard labor? Get by as best they can, I suppose.

Today turned out to be very enjoyable. When we started this trip, we encountered snow on April 24th on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Here it is, September 17th, and once again it's snowing.

Tomorrow we continue our trek to Suzanne's.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Idaho Lazy Daze GTG

On Saturday, the 11th, we did laundry then went to the Farragut State Park, about 30 minutes from where we were staying. The Northeast Lazy Daze Club is having a Get Together(GTG) starting Sunday. There will be about 25 rigs here.
Each morning there was a breakfast. In the evening a pot luck supper. One day a fishing trip was scheduled. Only one fish was caught all day. We met the nicest people. They have a cash auction to finance the common expenses. Carol had some autographed Maxine items. They sold for $60!!. The people were just delighted. That would cover all expenses for this GTG and the next.
Our LD was the only 2008 or newer rig in attendance. Three couples who are planning to order a new LD wanted a tour. It saved them another trip to Montclair by being able to examine a newer rig in great detail. Carol & I just sat outside while the six of them went over the rig in great detail. :-)

From here, we're heading to Glacier National Park with three couples we met at this gathering. Looking forward to that.

Friday, September 03, 2010


We arrived in Lewiston, Idaho on Thursday, September 2nd. Since this coming weekend is Labor Day, we thought it best to get a campsite today. Along Hwy 12 in Lewiston was a nice linear park. We stopped for a lunch break. i picked a nice cup full of blackberries.
We continued to the McKays Bend BLM recreation area. There were four sites left, we got the best one in the campground. It's a nice pull-through site with a view of the Clearwater River. Water, electric & a sewer connection all for $9/night. We're staying through Saturday then heading north through Idaho. On our walks through the campground area and a small residential area nearby, we saw some abandoned apple trees and a plumb tree that was hanging well into the street. The fruit was very small, but tasty. Met a guy about my age from Texas. He was riding a bike. Been through Oregon and was headed to Mount Rushmore before heading back to Texas. I showed him where to pick apples & plumbs.
On Sunday, we continued north stopping at the Shadowdy River Joe FS campground near St. Maries. It was full. No surprise since it's the Labor Day weekend and a very small campground. Not far away, there was an Idaho Fishing Access Site on the St. Joe River. We stayed there for the night. Just us and one other camper. This weekend was Paul Bunyan Days in St. Maries. At night, we were treated to a great fireworks show by just looking out the back window. On Monday, we continued north on ID #3 stopping at the Killarney Lake Rec. Area campground. As expected, we had the place to ourself. The weekend campers were just about gone. By dark, it was us and one other camper. That's how it will be from now on. We have a nice site right on the lake. It's cool today. It was 43* when we got up and never got above about 65*. We talked to a lady who lived around here. Winter comes early. By October 1st it will get below freezing on most nights. This area has been a major mining area for ID; mostly silver, lead & some gold.. From the late 1880's until the late 1960's, the mining companies discharged their waste products into the rivers. As a result, the rivers, lakes and adjacent soil is contaminated with chemicals with lead being the most dangerous. There are warning signs about the contamination advising people to limit consumption of fish, don't be playing in the dirt, etc. Not a place I'd be willing to spend much time.

With that exception,this is a beautiful part of the Country. Hills, lakes & rivers, pine trees and green meadows.

On Tuesday we drove north to Sandpoint. The weather was cold & rainy so we didn't do much. Stayed at the Springy Point Recreation area, a COE campground near Sandpoint.
We went to downtown Sandpoint on Wednesday but the dampness and rain chased us away. Settled for a trip to the bakery instead. :-)
On Thursday we went to the Cocolalla Lake Sportsman's access area. There is a free campground right on the lake. It was just us. Cool & rainy once again. The high has been in the mid 60's with the low about 40*. This is a beautiful campground. I scrounged up enough firewood to have a nice, warm fire.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

On to Washington

We left the campground at Cascade Locks on Monday the 30th. Took the very scenic old Columbia River Road, Hwy 30, as much as possible. On one stretch of the road, traffic was stopped for about 15 minutes while a motorcycle commercial was being filmed.
As we drive east, the landscape changes dramatically as can be seen in the pictures. We're on the dry side of the Cascades in the high desert. Everything is so brown. We agree that we much prefer the green landscape to the brown.
We spent the night at a free C.O.E. area along the river just below the John Day Dam. Just pick a spot you like, turn off the ignition and that's your campsite. Great view of the river. We watched, and listened to, countless trains come & go, saw barges locking through the dam, saw lots & lots of windmills. A very nice site.
In the morning we continued east to Washington. Stopping in Kennewick to do laundry and grocery shopping. We stayed at a very nice C.O.E. campground near Pascoe. $5/night!! for a riverfront site with electricity. The down side was the view of the tank farm across the river. Oh well. The park itself was very nice. Green grass, huge cottonwood trees and a nice, cool breeze.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Columbia River

On Saturday, we headed north to the Columbia River. The drive took us close to Mount Hood but the clouds covered a good bit of the mountain. The Drive through the Hood River Valley was just wonderful. Fruit orchards everywhere. Primarily pears, but also peaches & apples. We stopped at a roadside stand and bought some wonderful peaches. On Saturday & Sunday we stayed at the Cascade Locks Campground. It's right on the Columbia River. Enjoyed walking around and watching the fisherman. The local Indian tribes, have special fishing rights on the river. They can use nets to catch the fish. I walked to a nearby Indian "compound" to look around and perhaps buy some fresh fish. They sold fish, but you had to buy the entire, very large, steelhead trout. I had no way to store that much fish. The compound was interesting. A collection of really junky trailers, broken down trucks, lots of trash, etc. Not unlike other Indian communities we've run across in our travels. I always wonder, why?