Think about this ... "be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle"

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

is it a weather rodeo or is it rodeo weather?

So yup, I'm back from Massachusetts and New Hampster, trying to play "catch up" and getting ready to leave Platte City, MO in an hour and a half or so (I guess perhaps that's why Sir got me up at 6:30 this morning, in order for me to get my butt moving early for a change)

It was such a bittersweet trip north.  Great to see my Muffin Princess and all the family I saw, but it was so so sad for me.  I was chatting with Rick yesterday about why I took this death so hard - I think because of the nasty illness but not certain.  Anyway, thankfully that is behind me now and we all move on and remember all the fun Auntie Gert provided us for many many years, we were so fortunate to have had such a special aunt, who could always be counted on for entertainment and silliness!

Not certain what my last blog post was and, frankly, I'm too lazy to look it up so here we go ....

Before we came to this very nice campground in Platte City, MO (just outside Kansas City) we were at the Boone County Fairgrounds in Columbia, MO for a couple nights.  Well it just so happened that the MO High School Rodeo was happening at the same time we were there.  

Maureen you would have LOVED it for sure - all those cowboys, with their hats and boots and some with chaps - oh girl you'd have been out of your mind!

Even some roping tutorials ... This girl was fun to watch practicing, then this gentleman came along to show her the ropes (I am so punny aren't I)

And this young man was headed out to practice his roping skills as well!

So much activity all around the fairgrounds, including horses getting cooled off and apparently thoroughly enjoying it ~ heck it was never below 95 degrees and like a sauna the entire time we were there (and here in Platte City as well).  I can't imagine how uncomfortable these people were wearing long heavy pants and for those competing long sleeved shirts as well!  UGH ~ not for this cowgirl for sure!

Our "site" was right across from the farrier ~ actually, he was the horseshoeing school (who knew!)  It was so interesting to watch.

Then the weather in these parts ~ it can be clear blue skies one minute and five minutes later this is what it looks like - moves fast, very fast, with very strong winds and tornado warnings.  Day after day after day ..... I really don't remember ever encountering weather like this continuously for so long.  It was so nasty hot and gross here before I headed north that I didn't go out of the house much other than to walk Sir Arlo.  Consequently, I never saw any of Kansas City (well I did see the airport twice, but that's hardly seeing a city!!).  

Rick did a bit of riding while I was gone, including the Harley plant tour (which just happens to have been the plant where my bike was born).  I'd love to come back and explore the area, but it would be in October or March or April I think, never again in June!

So today we are off to Gretna, NE, just outside Omaha.  I was in Omaha a couple years ago with my baby sister and thoroughly enjoyed it and think Rick would as well, so we will be there for three nights then head "home" to Sioux Falls for a week or two! 

Ahh, back on the road.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

It's all about flying

So seriously, I did load these photos about a week and a half ago - when we were in Springfield, OH (just outside Dayton).  Yup, I just checked the book that I list where we've stayed and how we felt about the campground and we were in Springfield June 10 - 20.

Anyway, this post is about flying ~ how better to start it with a photo of a PIG flying, not just any pig mind you it is my pig Babe, that Rick gave me for Christmas many years ago.  I decided that Wendy was a bit odoriferous so they (aka "the kids") got gently put in the washer and dryer, but also hung to dry a bit!  Poor Wendy was certain she was being brutalized and traumatized - I'm certain that my friend Maureen (aka "Moelicious") heard Wendy carrying on all the way back in Whitman, MA.  For those of you who know us well, you know the history and pranks of Pig and Wendy over the years.  Oh the places they've traveled and the antics they've pulled (lead by Wendy, sometimes known as Wendell, depending on her/his whim on any given day.  Oh how Maureen loved the travails of Pig and Wendy over the years.  Maureen was certain that I should have written children's books about their antics.  Great idea, but often times the stunts they pulled were not appropriate for children's books!  So Moelicious, I took the photo above with YOU in mind, and I will, if I remember, bring you an autographed (by the kids of course) 4x 6 glossy when I travel to MA on Wednesday.

So as I mentioned in my previous post I needed Rick to help me with this post ~ and now you see why!  When we were in OH Rick went to the National Museum of the United States Air Force.  As you may know, Rick loves all things that fly ... he has done many air museums in our two and a half years on the road.  He said, however, that this one in Dayton was by far the best he'd been to.  He loved it, he raved for days about how well it was done and the great things he saw.  Unfortunately, I don't share his love of aeronautics - I don't detest it, but I have little interest, so I don't join him on these museum trips.  He took the camera thankfully this time, rather than relying on his phone camera.  Now if I can remember about these photos I've loaded ~ I just can't put off this post any longer and clearly, Rick and I don't seem to be able to sit down together and create this post together!

One of the things that really did impress me about this Museum was about the Berlin Airlift Dog and his parachute.  Below is copied from the Museum's website about this dog (Vittles) and his parachute, as well as his "handler" ....

This parachute was specially made for "Vittles," a dog that flew 131 missions with his owner, 1Lt. Russ Steber, during the Berlin Airlift. Gen. Curtis LeMay named the dog and ordered the parachute made for him. Vittles, a boxer, accumulated around 2,000 flying hours, but never had to use the parachute. His owner, Lt. Steber, did have to bail out of a C-47 over the Soviet zone on one occasion, but Vittles was not with him on that trip. Steber was captured and returned to the West a few days later.

The photo above is the Hanoi Taxi (referenced below). 

Below is the "other" side of the Hanoi Taxi.  I hope you will be able to enlarge the photo above explaining about the Hanoi Taxi - it is well worth the effort.

Below ~ an atom bomb ....

and the Bockscar B~29 that dropped the "Fat Man" atom bomb on Nagasaki

Below are ICBMs (Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles ... nope, I didn't even have to look it up!!)

Below, a mobile ICBM launcher - which launched ICBMs called the "Midget Man", which were smaller versions of those in the photo above.

The next two shots are of the inside of the Museum ... an "overview"

The photo below is (if I have this straight, and it just doesn't work in my head) a control tower from WW11 that was brought to the Museum from England!

And NO you are not imagining what you are seeing below ... a German WW11 plane that was donated to the Museum from Spain.  Isn't it so strange to know that you are seeing something in a National United States Museum but it has a flippin' swastika on it!  Too weird for me I think.

So we will now leave the National Museum of the United States Air Force and travel on to Terre Haute Indiana ~ well we were in the coach on the way to Terre Haute when we were skirting around Indianapolis and I see ahead of us airplanes and pilots seemingly having fun way up high where the birdies fly!  It was a weirdism for me as I'd loaded the Museum photos and knew I was going to be doing a post about flying and flying machines ....  hmmmm

This was the Indianapolis Air Show.  Apparently there were cancellations one day of the show because of the continuing horrific weather here in the "midwest" ~ as I think I mentioned before I don't recall ever seeing such horrific weather, tornado warnings and all .... if it's not pouring with horrible winds and/or hail it is in the mid 90's and so damned humid that I don't step outside!

Okay, enough whining for one post I guess.  

We are now settled into Platte City, MO (don't know the correct pronunciation though!) for ten days.  I will be in NH and MA for five of those days, but we are at what seems to be a very nice campground.  It is further, much further than I'd hoped, outside Kansas City so I have a funny feeling Rick may be very bored while I'm gone.  There is a very nice pool here if he can't bear the thought of putting on riding attire and getting on his bike in this heat!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuesday June 15

I will, seriously, do a "decent" post soon.  In fact I have the photos uploaded for it, but I need Rick's help/input/descriptions of the photos to do them justice.

Trying to remember where we were when I did the last post (brain fart, brain cramp, brain freeze ... call it whatever you want, but I did just open a new tab and go to the blog to find out!!!)  We were in paradise ~ aka Rippling Waters Church of God Campground in Romance (don't ya love it), WV - oh what a place OH WHAT A PLACE .. we left there on  um .... let me check "the" book got it now , we left on the 10th .. and went to Springfield, Ohio ~ just a bit north and east of Dayton (where King Richard took himself on a field trip ... with my blessings, oh please King, go do something that interests you immensely and bores me to no end, I'd be delighted to stay here and sew and read and play with Sir Arlo ... and so off he went on said field trip - hence I need his input, descriptions of previously mentioned uploaded photos!

We left Springfield on the 13th (Sunday I believe) and headed west, at a quicker than usual, for us, pace as I am flying out of Kansas City on the 23rd to attend the memorial service for my dear "Auntie Gert" who passed away last Friday night.  

We were in Terre Haute, Indiana for two nights and arrived here in Granite City, IL (just a whisker east of St. Louis (Louie) at the Elks Lodge that we stayed at last fall on our southern journey.  We will be here for two or three nights then on to Columbia, MO for a night or two before I get us settled into the KC area prior to me flying out.

So seriously, what is with this "midwest" weather?  We've had so many days with rain (hate to "beat a dead horse" with this, but it's been more than three weeks) at some point.  The last couple days have included tornado warnings - seriously, tornado warnings.  I have issues with weather extremes - as in lightening sends me under cover, and preferably under the bed, but in our case under the bed is a 330 Cat engine so there isn't much room for an ever expanding Tracey there do you think!   

We stopped for fuel today and the skies just flipping opened - lightening I swear not even 1/32 of a mile away ~ I didn't "freak" at that point - what the heck I had six new beautiful tires under Sir and I - and was hoping King Richard would just take his sweet time coming out of the "store" where you hand over your credit card and "rewards" (yeah!!) card ... slowly Rick, slowly .... no hurry to get out to this fuel pump!  

Yeah it all worked out.  We got to the Lodge, the weather "held off" for us to connect the electric and water, then the damned tornado warnings for the county we are in - another day of tornado warnings .... why does my stomach hurt, why am I so "uptight" .... I love this life we are living, but tornado warnings????  Ummmmm not so much.

Okay, hopefully I can sit King Richard down at some point tomorrow (we are on central time now ...) and have him work with me (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) on the pending post!

G'night all .......   oh yes, 


Monday, June 14, 2010

Monday June 14

Flag Day

(top photo taken by Chad Lovett)

Friday, June 11, 2010

to WV

This photo was taken as we were headed north on I-77 leaving Mt. Airy, NC (aka Mayberry) looking at the Blue Ridge Mountains ahead.

Above and below around the same place the first photo was taken, looking back at the Mt. Airy area as we were chug chug chugging along up one of the many mountain passes along the way.  I know they aren't great photos ~ reflection in the window out of which I was taking the photos, but they do give a decent view of our height at that point (I thought)

Not sure what is with all these funny town names - South Gap, Fancy Gap and Flat Top but they just added to the "charm" of this entire area as far as I'm concerned.

Also, Flat Top was the highest elevation we conquered on our travel Tuesday, even as we conquered the Appalachian Mountain range to get into West Virginia.

We do see some "interesting" sights along the way don't we.  We do, of course, travel with our own bathroom, we just don't strap it to the back of the coach or the trailer!

A couple decent  views along the way ~ without reflections!  Above is coming into Wytheville, NC and below is a shot as we approach the  Appalachians in Virginia.

Yup, truck escapes are a necessity to say the least.  Hopefully it never becomes a coach/trailer/RBU escape.

Made me think of Vermont quite often.

Now, as I mentioned earlier, we conquered the Appalachians, it was easy - they put tunnels through them so we don't have to go over the mountains!  I can't begin to imagine what a construction project that must have been!  We went through two of them.

Just some photos along the way ~ below some for those of you (who shall remain nameless) who think to drive 150 miles a day is whimpy - even while maneuvering these SSSSS curved roads and mountains guiding 68' ....

More poor shots with window reflections, below are barges of coal being pushed up what I believe is the Kanawha River.

And piles of coal along the river - I guess waiting to be loaded.

And finally the Capital building in Charleston, West Virginia ...

We are now in Springfield, Ohio for a few days.  Rick is at the National Air Force Museum today and Sir and I are hanging out getting "caught up" with posting park reviews on rv park reviews, tracking our travels on our map and reading .... not to mention sitting outside enjoying a gorgeous day between thunder storms and thoroughly enjoying the neighbors lovely gardens specifically designed to attract hummingbirds.  I'd love to post a few photos, but alas, I'm not quick enough to capture the beauties in a photo!  We were originally booked to stay here two nights, we've decided to stay three and perhaps four!