Friday, April 29, 2011

Garden Prarie, IL

We finally got here yesterday about 1pm. Rough day driving as the wind was blowing very strong from the west mostly and we were heading north mostly.
Other than that it was another boring day of driving the interstate highways.
Our friends Dave and Sharon were already here and we spent the afternoon catching up.
We went to dinner at Red Robin and when we got back to the campground Jeff Lorie. Jamie and Jordan we waiting for us! What a suprise that was....we did not expect them until tonight. After lots of hugs and kisses we got caught up on the latest. Jeff went back home about 9:30 and Lorie went back to their trailer and the boys spent the night with us.
It is supposed to be in the high 60's and sunny today.
Have a great day, we love ya
Jim and Linda

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tunica MS to Benton, IL

Last night when I left the casino about 10pm, a guy was coming into the casino, he said “it’s coming, winds 50-70mph”

I had to walk about 200 yards to the rv, and by the time I got there it was starting to rain. I told Linda lets put the slides in as the winds are supposed to be very strong…..we did, and it was….within 5 minutes the rain was coming down in buckets…..blowing sideways….I kid you not. We stayed up and monitored the weather radio for about an hour and by than the worst was over and we went to bed.

This morning is was wonderful, bright sunny day and we had a tail wind after we got onto I-55….folk’s it don’t get much better than that. That lasted until about 11am, and than it got overcast. A great day for driving even if it was 275 miles.

From the time we left Hollywood casino we saw lots of flooding. I will show you a few of them, and the rest are at this link.

Tunica, north 003this is a cotton field near Tunica

Tunica, north 005flooding near Memphis, TNTunica, north 007

It was lots of water from Memphis into Southern Illinois. Here is the approach ramp from I-55 to I-57in Missouri

Tunica, north 009Tunica, north 011Off to the side this looks like a lake, but is a farm field!!!!

Tunica, north 015This is crossing the Mississippi river, it is flooded back to the levies on both sides of the river.Tunica, north 017

When we got to our campground which is another COE park in Benton, Il. there was wind damage everywhere. This is the tree right across from our campsite. This happened two nights ago.!!

Tunica, north 024Tunica, north 027

We are sorry for the picture quality, Linda was using the point and shoot and not the Nikon.

Only about 180 miles tomorrow to Rantoul, Il to stay at a city park for the night.  Than on to Garden Prairie on Thursday.

A boring day on the Interstates, and a lot of the road was pretty shitty. One bridge construction area in Illinois it was down to one lane with barricades on both sides and BIG potholes in the bridge surface….had to slow way way down.

Have a great day tomorrow, and we will see some of you on Thursday and the weekend.

Love to all of ya

Jim and Linda

Monday, April 25, 2011

holy crap!!

We left Little Rock under severe thunderstorm warnings and managed to keep ahead of it until we turned south and east to go over the Mississippi river. When we started heading north on US61 towards Tunica the strong winds caught up with us.

As you can see by the header picture, we ran into the advancing storm……talk about rain,,,,and wind. We slowed down to about 35 mph with the 4 ways flashing. The wipers could not keep up. It was probably about 200 foot visibility.

But, by the time we got to the casino turnoff, it was over. We pulled into Hollywood casino campground, paid and got set up. Lots of water on the ground.

I went in and test my luck for about an hour and came out almost even. Will go back after supper.

Tomorrow a longer day, about 275 miles. That will put us into Illinois.

Looks like lots more rain over the next 3 days, but it will clear up before we get to the campground on Thursday.

See ya’

love to all you bumbs

Jim and Linda

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Little Rock area scenic drive

Monday we took our 190 mile drive. It was nice to get out and around for a few hours and we enjoyed the drive. The nicest place was Hot Springs, AR. Lots of history here and some very old and unique architecture. We drove around the town and took a drive up to the lookout tower, but did not pay the $6 each to either ride or walk up to the top.

Here is a link to the pictures.

Hope that you enjoy them.

Love to ya

Jim and Linda

Will it ever end?

Yesterday afternoon it started. The emergency weather radio going off, that is. It kept going of until about 11 pm when we finally got an all clear for the area. Severe thunderstorm warnings, Tornado watch, tornado warning.....strong wind just went on and on.

And, it just started again. We heard the tornado warning horns going off and turned on the weather radio. Severe thunderstorm and wind warnings again. Looking at the radar it is still a ways off. But it look like a small front this time.
Yes Iknow most of you have been thru the same thing. But it is a little different when your home is not anchored down and there is no basement to go hide in. The trailer rocks and rolls in strong winds and the severe rain sounds like rocks when it hits the roof vents and skylight.
We keep our bail out box close. A small portable strong box with important papers, pass ports and some cash. If it gets too bad we will take it, the dogs and get in the truck.
Have a wonderful day, and lets hope all of this bad weather goes away soon
love to ya
Jim and Linda

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Still in Little Rock

Yep, we are still here at the COE park. Had to move Friday as the site we were on was reserved for the weekend. Move to another site away from the river, and moved again this morning as we wanted to be back close to the river again. We are not backed up to the river but can see it out of all of our side windows. Will be on this site until we leave next Monday. Went out to lunch today at T.G.I.Fridays. Linda was having salad withdrawl and we both were getting cabin fever. Tomorrow we are taking a loop drive of about 200 miles. The country here is very pretty with very rolling hills and lots of water and greenery. Will let you know how that goes. We have been using a folding wooden chair with a straight back for the last couple of years in our "office" area and it is getting kind of rickety, plus it was really uncomfortable. We both like to play games on the computer and I do some research for travel so we spend a lot of time up here. Yesterday we went to Office Depot and bought a office style chair. Roll around fake leather covering, swivel, tilt back thingy. Much more comfy. Now I have to get a tie down for it, for when we travel. The big storm that came thru the other day had lots of wind and left us with a couple of cold days and nights, but today we are back up to high 70's again. We leave here next Monday and will start heading back to Illinois. Will spend one night at the Hollywood casino in Tunica, MS, one in Benton IL at a COE park, one in Rantoul, Il at a city park and be in Garden Prarie IL. on Thursday to spend the weekend with our old camping club. About 780 miles in all. Have a wonderful week and as usual we will do the traveling for you. Love to ya Jim and Linda

Monday, April 11, 2011

Staying at the Corp of Engineers Parks

For the last several weeks we have been staying at Corp of Engineer (COE) parks. They honor the Golden Age Passport which you can get when you turn 62. With the card we stay at half price in any national park, forest, COE park, and get free admission to any national park, monument. It has saved us a ton of money over the years and we have stayed at some very nice parks. They are all on water and mostly in the eastern US.

We left a park just south of Texarkana, Texas Sunday morning and drove here to the park on the Arkansas river west of Little Rock, Arkansas. Here are a couple of pictures from the Texas park.

COE texarkana and little rock 001COE texarkana and little rock 002

Like everyone else associated with the government, the COE parks were scheduled to close down Sunday if they did not reach a budget agreement. We were told we had to be out of the campground by 8pm Sunday. We were doing a lot of research looking for someplace cheap to stay for a while and not having a lot of luck. But luckily that disaster was averted. We decided to move anyway as the cell phone and internet service was very, very bad. The campground is down in a hole.

The park here is called Murray lock and dam, Maumelle camp ground. We were lucky to get a 50 amp site backed up to the river. But we can only have it for five days as it is reserved for the weekend. So we will have to move on Friday. We will move to another site here in the park.

Bet you do not have a view like this out of your back window…..

COE texarkana and little rock 004COE texarkana and little rock 006COE texarkana and little rock 007

We even have barge traffic moving up and down the river. I think they actually call them “tows”, even though they are pushed up and down the river.

COE texarkana and little rock 008COE texarkana and little rock 009

It is kind of nice to be near a big city for a while. We have been in small towns for so long without all of the great shopping and restaurants the big cities have…….of course there is also the traffic and congestion.

Had a big storm come thru very early this morning……what a light and sound show, with lots of rain to go with it. Hopefully our new roof kept all of the water out. It should, I went up  on the roof to take a look around and it looks really good…they calked everything with plenty of sealant.

We full timer like to say that our plans are cast in jello, because they are always changing. Plan was to be back in Woodstock, IL. around May 1st  and park in our son’s driveway for a couple of weeks. Plans changed. Now we will be back In Garden Prairie, IL. which is about 40 miles west of Woodstock on the 29th of April. Our old camping club’s first outing of the year is that weekend and our kids are co wagon masters. So we will meet them there and get to visit with lots of old, dear friends.

Take care y’all

we love ya

Jim and Linda

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Roof repair done

Hi Y'all It took them a day longer than they said, but it is done. We are back home again after four days in a motel......horrors of it all!!!! It turns out that even though I was against replacing the entire rubber roof, it turned out to be a very good thing. As they were tearing (and that is the best way to describe it) off the rubber they discovered two spots where the water had been coming in. Both spots are where the fiberglass front and rear cap meet the rubber roof. Apparently the factory did not use enough sealant on these seams and over time a leak developed. We would not have noticed a problem until the water had worked its way thru 10 layers of wood, styrene, vapor barrier, insulation and the vinyl inside ceiling and by than it would have been really bad. Under the rubber is a thin layer of plywood and it was wet in about a 3 x 3 foot area in both spots. The water had not soaked thru the plywood and they were able to dry it out. It had to be dry in order for the adhesive to work properly. Under the plywood is a layer of Styrofoam and Danny pulled up the plywood and checked to make sure that it was dry underneath. They worked very hard and late into the night two nights to get us done today, and it was about 1:30 when we pulled the trailer out of the garage. Both the mechanic Danny and his wife, the office manager, Samantha were very knowledgeable and very helpful. They put us ahead of other jobs that they have in their shop and allowed us free access to the shop at any time. This is unheard of in this day and age. Usually you see signs saying no one allowed in the shop area. I was up on the ladder several times looking and talking to the two guys. We are now at another COE park on the same lake(Sam Rayborn) as we were before. We will be here a week to make sure everything is working ok. From here we will move on to Texarkana Texas to another COE park for a while. It is still to early to be back in northern Illinois even though we are both anxious to get back. It sure is nice to be back home again back to the comfort of our own place. Take care Y'all we love ya Jim and Linda