Monday, March 31, 2014

Birthday Celebration at the BIG TEXAN

After almost two days of constant 35 MPH winds with gust of 45+ MPH buffeting the RV things settled down a bit today. The high reached 76 and we were treated to a bright and sunny day.

To celebrate Judy’s birthday we went to The Big Texan restaurant just up the road from the RV Park. I spared no expense on making the event special by taking Judy in the Free Limo, complete with Texas Longhorn horns as hood ornaments. Judy was very impressed with that detail. The restaurant has been featured on TV a number of times. Judy sure seemed to enjoy the prime rib.

Picked up at the RV!                                        Judy doesn’t look a day older

Big TX limo 1         Big TX Limo 2


big tx judy 2

You can’t miss The Big Texan on I40 W in Amarillo

Big TX front 1         big TX sign

That is all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.

Next Blog: Wed


Note: Jim, the Cattleman’s near El Paso is way better!!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Travel Log: Little Rock & Amarillo

Tue we left Memphis on the one hundred and thirty mile drive to Little Rock, Arkansas.  A stop that was not on our carefully planned travel itinerary. People who travel know that “stuff happens” on the road that requires a change in plans. I knew there was a problem with the RV liquid propane sys., one of the tanks would not feed LP. I thought it was the LP regulator. I took it to Camping World in Macon, GA during our week stay with my sister to be corrected. After forking out $190.00 and being told they had checked the entire LP system there was no problem with the LP system, I soon found that not to be true. The next AM at Blanton Creek, Judy discovered that the burner on the stove would not operate, I went out and shifted to the LP tank we had not had problems with and it worked fine. The LP system still had the same problem it had when I took it into Camping World.
I checked on-line to locate a Cardinal fifth wheel RV dealership located on or near our travel route. I located one in Little Rock, AR just off I40. That is what prompted the change in our travel plans. I used a new app ( All stays) I purchased for $9.99 to find a place to stay the night before we took the RV into River City RV dealership. We booked a one night stay at Camp Robinson located only five miles from the repair facility. The base is the HQ of the Arkansas National Guard. Seventeen new pull-throughs with full services had recently been completed in addition to seventeen older outdated sites. It is a “work in progress” but it met our needs. When checking in I explained the reason for our short stay. The manager, who was very helpful and friendly explained that if we needed a room we could book one for $24.00 per night. As it turned out we ended up staying there two nights waiting for the repairs to the RV.
New Pull-through Camp Robinson   Camp Robinson RV1
The fix to the RV turned out to be more than just replacing the LP regulator.  During the diagnostic testing the LP system failed the pressure test indicating LP leaks in addition to confirming the failed regulator. The hard part is locating the leaks. The techs had to trace out and check all of the LP fittings from the tanks to the hot water heater, frig, furnace and stove. This takes time and means $$$. Two leaks were found quickly-the hoses fittings from the tanks. The hoses were replaced along with the regulator. It took a long time and a lot of hard work to find the final leak because every fitting had to be checked. The final leak was in the end of the manifold that feeds the stove’s three burners. Almost two full days of work. I would like to acknowledge Eric (service writer) and Mark (senior tech) for staying with a tough job and seeing it through. The total cost of the repair was around $2000.00. My extended warranty covered $1300.00 leaving me $700.00. I will be filing a dispute with my credit card company if CW does not refund a significant portion of the $190.00 I paid them for pretty much nothing.
Eric & Mark
RV Cty RV eric mark       RV Cty RV
Friday after settling up with River City RV Judy and I headed west for 600 miles to Amarillo, TX. We arrived there at 10:30 PM and pulled into the Texas tourist information center rest area and slept in the RV for the rest of the night.
Saturday morning we checked into the Amarillo Ranch RV Park. After looking at the extended weather for Madras, OR we decided to stay here for a week in the warmer temps. We plan to visit Palo Duro Canyon, where we camped in the back of our 1974 Ford van when we were traveling to Port Hueneme, CA back in 1976. We also have plans that include a limo ride one evening.
Amarillo Ranch 1   Amarillo Ranch RV Park
That is all for now. Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Wed

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Visit to the King’s Home

Sunday Judy and I left Tupelo, MS for Memphis. The ride up US 78 (Future I22 Corridor) only took a couple of hours to cover.  We had two day reservations at the Tom Sawyer RV Park on the banks of the Mississippi River. It is actually located in West Memphis, Arkansas just across the river from Memphis. The whole point of the two day stay was to be able to go to Graceland. Judy and I both voted for this stop.
Monday we had a slow morning start and got to Graceland about 11:30.  The tour operation went very smoothly. Three different packages are offered. We took the mid priced one, $37.00 X 2.  It included; audio-guided tour of Graceland Mansion and grounds, tour of Elvis’ two airplanes, Automobile Museum, Elvis’ Live from Las Vegas, Elvis’ Tupelo, Elvis’ Hawaii and 68 Special Exhibit. 
I think you must keep things in perspective as you tour the Graceland Mansion. When Elvis purchased it in 1957 at 22 years old for $100,000.00 it was situated on. 13 acres on the outskirts of Memphis. Not surrounded by urban sprawl as it is now.  It could even be considered small by todays standards. Many people will find fault with the interior decorations because they are dated, but for the 50/60s they are pretty much right on. Not to mention entertainers taste are often “different”. So, what did I think of Graceland – it was much like I expected. It is certainly a historical landmark worth seeing, after all, “The King of Rock and Roll” lived there.  Heck, it is worth visiting just for the musical history alone. The Mansion Tour does not include the second floor, Elvis’ private quarters.
Click on photo to ENLARGE
graceland web
Living Room and Music Room                      Dinning Room
graceland meeting rm      Gracelanddiningrm1
Elvis’ Mom's Bedroom                                 Pool Table
Graceland BR1            Graceland pool room
Jungle Room – Elvis’ Man Cave
Graceland pool room1
The “Meditation Gardens”   (Burial site of Elvis, Mom, Dad, and Grandmother)  
Graceland meditation garden                graceland grave1
A few pictures from other exhibits
Graceland contract1       graceland contract2
Graceland Car       Graceland costumes1
graceland mercyrs         graceland plane web
I found these tour links on youtube; ( A must view for fans and well worth the time for others)
Graceland Tour part 1                Graceland Tour Part 2
Graceland Tour Part 3                 Graceland Tour Part 4
Graceland Tour Part 5                  Graceland Tour Part 6
Graceland Tour Part 7
That is all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Thurs
Note: If you liked the tour of Graceland, leave a comment

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Two Day Stop–Tupelo, MS.

It was a 296 mile drive from Blanton Creek Park to Tombigbee State Park. The park is located Just outside Tupelo, MS. It has 20 RV sites and the usual SP amenities and sewer. Judy and I wanted to stop in Tupelo so we could visit the home where Elvis spent his early years. We will visit “Graceland” during our two day stop in Memphis.

Friday evening( remember the 3 hr time difference) we received a call from PGE HR informing us  they had received the results from the drug/physical screening we had completed in Columbus. It was no surprise to us that we were found to be drug free and in good medical condition! So she told us she would shortly (minutes) emailed the official “offer” paper work and a couple of other disclosure forms. Judy and I printed the forms, filled them out, scanned them and emailed the completed forms back shortly. Isn’t technology grand!

Elvis’ birth place and home until thirteen

 Elvis house     HistMKR 1

The church Elvis attended and sang gospels (the church was moved to the museum site)


Judy and I took advantage of the disk golf course.


That is all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.

Next Blog: Tue

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Blanton Creek Update–3/20/14

Judy and I have been enjoying our visit here at the park as “just campers” since our arrival Friday evening. The rainy weather kept us inside the RV most of the weekend. We did spend some time back at the office visiting with Char and Ed and teaching them the card games we picked up at Adelaide Shores RV Park.

The rainy weather prompted the four campers in the park to pack up and clear out by 8:00 AM on Sunday. One camper packed up and pulled out Sat. evening because he did not want to be packing up in the predicted heavy rain forecast for Sunday AM. He was the smart one. The ones that left early Sunday did in fact have to pack-up in the heavy down pour. We have been the only campers in the park since.


Judy and I drove into Columbus to Acute Care Express, the facility we had been instructed to have our employment physicals for our employment with Portland General Electric. It included a drug test, vision exam, hearing check, respiratory exam and the usual basic vitals check-up. It seemed to be a bit much for a campground job. Judy really liked the audio portion in the tiny sound proof booth. (Not!!!!!!!)


Wednesday morning we sat outside in the warm sun and visited with our friends Keith and Merle.  They come to the park daily to walk their Yorkie, Suzie. While we were talking, I spotted a bird flying across the lake in our direction and when it turned I could tell it was a Bald Eagle. It  landed in a tree just across from us. Judy suggested that I get the camera and take some pics. 

Eagle BC 2        Eagle at BC1

We had planned to leave the park on Wed but we had a mail shipment sent out Monday and it did not get here so we decided to wait on it. We will most likely leave Friday AM now because the mail isn’t delivered until after Noon and we do not want to leave that late.

Judy and I went to the office Wed evening to talk with Donna and Bob, our replacements. We first met them last year before the park closed.  They expressed an interest in applying for our position for this season. They have been volunteering at nearby FDR State Park. We recommended them to our boss Mike, and he met with them and hired them.We know they are going to be  great additions to the park team. 

261 Bob and Donna 1


Judy and I had no plans except to hang out and wait and see if we received our mail.  We checked at the office at 12:30 and we were happy to find out it did come in. So, we are planning to leave out early Friday morning.

Judy delivered some freshly made brownies to Bob and Donna and also a batch to the land management office.  She used the new recipe she got from Toni (Adelaide Shores RV Resort). Everyone indicated they were yummy.

Early in the morning I walked over to talk with two men fishing near us. I must have brought them good luck because while I was talking to them, one of their rods was almost pulled off the dock.  A nice size striper hit it.

261 striper

That is all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.

Next blog: Tue.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Back at Blanton Creek Park

Fortson, GA

We said good-bye to family Friday and traveled the 150 miles to Blanton Creek Park with a short stop at Camping World. It was 5:30 PM when I drove through the gates of the park. We “closed” the gates here last Sept. 29th after finishing our workamper stint.

GP Blanton Creek Prk entrance      260 BC Office

Char and Judy Catching UP.    260 BC Char Judy

Ed and Char our co-host for the two seasons we worked here were the on duty host. We took a few minutes to “catch-up” a little and then went to site 15, a waterfront site to set up for our stay. Ed already had steaks on the grill and invited us up for dinner. How nice was that?  It took us about 40 min to get settled in on our site, and then it was back up to the office for a delicious dinner and a full briefing on all the new improvements to the park. It was great seeing Ed and Char.  I know the new co-host are going to enjoy working with them as much as we did.

260 BC CS 2      The comfort stations were painted inside and out and the sinks got a nice make-over.

I am going to really enjoy staying down in the park and not being in a working position! We are on one of the best waterfront sites and only a few campers are in the park. We even were able to get a SAT TV signal.

Site 15!   260 site 15 b

That is all for now. Thanks for stopping by.

Next Blog: Wed.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Tying Up Lots of Loose Ends

Judy and I have been very busy taking care of lots of necessary things as we prepare for our extended travel out west. We are thinking this journey may take us away from the south east for two years.

Before leaving Florida last week I had the truck and fifth wheel maintenance services completed. The tires were inspected on the truck, CRV, and trailer.  I know “stuff can still happen” but I like to try to minimize the severity of problems if possible.

Today we closed three different bank accounts and shifted those accounts to a single national bank. We decided to consolidate to a single bank to make things simpler. We chose to go with the bank our son uses to make it easy on him if something should happen to Judy and I at the same time as we travel. It also helps that Judy retired from it and has many former employee perks!

We also had our scheduled eye check up today. We both received a good report on our visual health. Only two more appointments for me this week while Judy has three to go.  We also still have to have a drug test, a basic physical and hearing (audio) test for our workamper job. Judy spoke to Portland General Electric HR this morning and suggested they be arranged next week when we will be at Blanton Creek Park near Columbus, Ga. We received a call later in the day informing us of the facility that would perform the services. We know exactly where it is located.

Before leaving Florida, Judy and I decided that we would sell the CRV because she did not want to drive it across country. I placed an ad on CL Friday and sold quickly. So, Judy will resume her navigator duties in the truck with me. It should be a lot easier since I mostly use GPS
We will continue visiting with family and friends until we leave for Blanton Creek Park this Friday. I think we will enjoy just being campers there. We did enjoy our time as gate attendants/host for the past two summers though.

That is all for now. Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Sunday

Thursday, March 6, 2014

On the Move

Even though Judy and I planned to leave Adelaide Shores RV Resort in Avon Park, FL on Thursday we decided to leave one day early.  After playing the morning round of shuffleboard and discussing the weather forecast for Thurs. we decided to go ahead and leave a day early in good weather. We had said our good-byes to our many friends throughout the last few days. We will sure miss everyone. Lots of folks drove by or walked over as we put the final touches on our travel preps for one more round of good-byes. A special thank you to Toni for the delicious gourmet brownies. She and David have decided to return next year after giving the park a one month try out! We will be returning again after our foray out west.

Judy and I headed north after a later than planned departure for the 452 mile first leg of our westward trek. We will be in Milledgeville GA for a week of scheduled doctor appointments. We arrived at my sister Faye’s and her husband, Billy Thurs. AM. We dropped the fiver off at a local CG for a weeks storage while we stay with them.

Barb, Judy and Marvin just before we pulled out (yes I closed the doors)

Leaving AS 3 5 14

We caught a few ZZZs in a busy rest area leaving Rest A


Scenic MTN Storage  In storage for the next 8 days ($12.00)

The weather is cold, windy and rainy, I already miss Florida!

That is all for now. Thanks for stopping by.

Next Blog: Sunday

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Weekly Update: 03-03-14

Our final week here at Adelaide Shores RV Resort has arrived, pulling out Thursday for the 3500 mile pull to Oregon. But, we aren’t gone yet and we plan to enjoy the remaining few days with friends here until we pull out!  We have been busy this past week.

Sunday: We went to Frost Proof (yep, that is the name) Florida just up the road from us for cool treats with some of our cards group friends. (Remember to “click” to enlarge photos)

Frost proof Ice Cream4     Frost Proof ice cream 2

Monday: Marvin and I played in another shuffleboard tournament, our stay was short lived! (No Pics)

Wednesday: Judy and I went to the Atlanta Braves spring training opening game against Detroit.

Braves 1        Braves 2

Judy used the washer/drier combo for the first time! Thanks to Toni and David for the tutorial.

Friday: Our park hosted a shuffleboard match with another local park, we soundly defeated them.

SB Reflections

George and Laurie visited us and Dee & Jim.  We had a great Chinese Lunch. Really enjoyed catching up with them since our last visit in Myrtle Beach last Nov.

George Lauri Dee Jim

Saturday: Went with our friends and rv neighbors Gary and Barb to the local country club for a vey good afternoon dinner and delightful conversation.

That is all for now thanks for stopping by.

Next Blog: Saturday week