"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"-MARK TWAIN

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How about a little Big League Softball, and other things?

Had a wonderful weekend in Monroe, visiting friends and watching some softball.
Sad to say, I didn't get any pictures of our great campground.  We were surprised when we arrived to see another Casita had checked in.  Patti, from Morgan City, had come up for a visit. We had a gatherin' going on.  Add to that friends from Memphis showing up, and it was a great weekend of  visiting and softball.
Our campground hostess was the best ever.  She put on a shrimp boil that was second to none. Didn't get any pictures of that, either.  Too busy eating.  Thanks GJ.

The tournament was the Southwest Regional for Big League Softball.  There were 2 teams from Texas, 1 from Arkansas, and 2 from Louisiana. The winner goes on to Kalamazoo, MI to play in the Big League Softball World Series.

Our girls started out Friday night defeating Arkansas.  From there they went on to play an amazing Texas team on Saturday night.  Unfortunately, they lost that one and found themselves playing Arkansas again Sunday afternoon.

  They once again defeated Arkansas, and were to play again later Sunday evening, but were rained out.  They finally finished playing today(Tuesday) and were eliminated from the tourney.  Final game this evening, but my money is on the Texas team that defeated them Saturday to be packing for Michigan.

As there was rain in the forcast for all of Monday, we loaded up and headed home.  Stopped for gasoline approximately 30 miles from home and noticed this.

Luckily we knew someone nearby where we could park the trailer. The Casita received all new running gear last Fall and has been approximately ten thousand miles since. Not sure what caused the bearing to fail, but luckily I caught it before the tire ran off. Thankfully, it didn't fail while we were out West.
Went back this morning and was able to get everything off without too much trouble.

I was able to get some new bearings locally. Put everything back together and brought it on home.  Will probably order all new hubs, bearings, and brakes for both sides. Next trip is scheduled for first of September.  Gotta get rollin'..................jc   

Thursday, July 21, 2011


It has been really hot here in the Deep South.  If possible, you get out early and do what work you have to.  Then it's back inside, under the air conditioning until late afternoon.  Those that don't have that option just have to tough it out.  I can remember the days when I didn't have a choice.  Climbing poles, stringing wire, placing cable, all in the Summer heat.  Our trucks didn't even have air conditioning.  I just don't remember how hot it had to be.  Maybe it had something to do with youth.

No, that's not the wife and I in our earlier years.  I do wish I had that hair, though!
It's that with the heat and all, sitting in the house trying to keep cool, your mind wanders. You start to think of places you have visited, and the things you have seen. You remember cool rivers, ice cold lakes, and even breezy ice fields.

You remember good times with great friends.

You remember the places that leave a lump in your throat, and you wish you had millions of dollars to share.

But best of all, you remember the good times, and tend to forget the bad. You remember the smiles and laughter of family and friends.  You remember that something, or someone, was way more awesome than you thought.

  There's something to be said for hot Summer days, after all..........jc 

Sunday, July 17, 2011


O K! So it's not loading up and heading out for a month or more.  It is getting back out on the road for a few days.  The grand daughter is playing softball in Monroe, Louisiana next weekend.

  We met this lady on the Utah Tour last year.  She had just started traveling with her Casita, and we became really good friends because of a cup of coffee.  I'll tell that story one day.

She has since traveled all over this Country.  She went from someone that didn't know anything about pulling a trailer, to one that is very comfortable hooking up and hitting the road to most anywhere.

You're probably asking yourself what this has to do with a softball tournament.  Well, you see, she lives in Monroe and has a spot for us to park the Casita.

So, the wheels will be turning again Friday.  We'll watch a little softball, eat some good food, and do a lot of what we Southern'ers do best.  JUST VISITIN' !!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

WOW!! Made it onto HitchItch.

Can't believe our blog has been added to the HitchItch website.  I am honored beyond words.  Not really, but to think I'm there with the Bayfield Bunch,  Diana's Life on the Open RoadMike&Pat, Brian's Going RV Boondocking, and so many more is an honor.  There are so many fantastic writers on the site, and I spend a number of hours each week reading their posts.

I had started to name todays post "I've been thinking".  
These are the three words that always strike fear in my wife's heart. As soon as I say those words she rolls her eyes, leans her head back and says “what now”?

She knows that I am about to start planning another journey(s).

It's not that she is against these trips. It's that she can never plan for just one.
I'll start out with one and while working on the plans for it, discover something that might be more interesting if we go another direction. There are just so many fascinating places, and things to see, in our wonderful country.  It is so hard to pass them by.

About the time she has her schedule arranged of when and where, that's when I tend to drop the bombshell.

  Thankfully, after a few questions about why this and why that, she gets on board and away we go. That's when she might again, hear; Ive been thinkin'!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


One of our stops along the Northern California coast was at Camp Klamath RV park on the Klamath River. We were there on a Saturday night when they put on a salmon feast. More details were posted “here” .  The local Indian tribe has special fishing rights and they sell some of their catch. The fish we ate on Saturday were swimming the day before. This was, without a doubt, the best salmon we had ever eaten.

As we were departing on the Monday afterward, I asked if I could purchase some salmon like they had prepared for us. The answer was yes. As we have a small freezer in the Casita, I purchased only two packages. One was consumed a few days later, but the other package made it all the way back home.

We prepared that package last night. Though the temperature was in the low nineties, and there weren't any redwoods or rolling river nearby, it was still great. We did have black bears in the woods, along with a grizzly in the front yard, and they added some ambiance.

Klamath River salmon, Oregon beer, and Mississippi heat. A pretty good combination, overall.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Status Report

It has been a week since we returned home.  Finally getting accustomed to the heat and humidity, again.
Have most of the grass cut and all the fallen limbs picked up.  We have approximately 50 pine trees in our front yard and they can create quite a mess over time.  They are constantly shedding dead limbs, especially after a rain.
We've also had some severe thunderstorms the last few afternoons. Lightening struck a pine tree just across our fence on the neighbors property.  Too close for comfort. 
Since arriving home, we have been asked numerous times what the favorite memory was of our journey.  It is too hard to pick one.  Hopefully, all future trips will be as good.

The Casita has been cleaned up both inside and out, and all the linens, dry goods, etc, have been restocked and put back in place. Time to start thinking about the next trip. Sue and Moe of The Moho began their journey to Alaska yesterday, and I'll be following their blog very closely. Though it is in the very early planning stage, Alaska is the tentative destination for Summer, 2012.  As for the rest of this year, The Northeast is an option for September, maybe.
We know we will be on the go all the month of October.  The Pine Knot Rally in Texas, the Natchez Balloon Race's, and the Arkansas Balloon Weekend take care of that month's planning.
Bottom line is that the Egg has to roll pretty often.  Can't let those tires get a flat spot on them from sitting too long.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Final Tally

Have spent the last few days getting things back to normal around the house.  It has been really hot and humid since we got home, so the outside chores must be done either early or late.  The middle of each day has been spent inside under the AC. Did manage to smoke a couple of pork butts today for the neighborhood 4th of July get together.
Also got around to finalizing our expenses from the trip.  We spent 47 nights in 27 different campsites.  All were either National/State Parks, NFS/BLM/COE, or commercial parks.  The lowest fee we paid was $5.00 for a NFS campground in Wyoming, and the highest was $42.00 at a commercial park in Long Beach, Washington.  We spent a total of $926.00 on campsites for the trip.  I'm sure we could have spent a lot less by moving inland away from the coast through Northern California, Oregon, and Washington, but we wanted to drive and stay along the coast, and that's what we did.
As for gasoline, we spent $2,128.00 for a journey of 8102 miles.  I averaged a little over 14.3 mpg for the entire trip.  I didn't try and keep up with the difference between when we were towing the Casita, and just riding around.  Too much trouble to try and keep separate, as far as I'm concerned.  The highest price we paid for gasoline was in Klamath, CA at $4.29 a gallon.  The lowest we paid was last Thursday morning in Olive Branch, MS at $3.35 a gallon.
I won't include what we spent on groceries, souvenirs, eating out, etc; because every one's will be different.
Ever since we purchased our trailer nearly 5 years ago, I have plugged in place marks on Goggle Earth at the place's we have camped.  After putting in the ones from this journey, I counted them up.  From August, 2006 until now, we have camped in 105 different locations in the US and Canada. Quite a number of them, more than once.  My goal is to expand that to at least 250 in the next five years.

Friday, July 1, 2011


  Arrived home yesterday afternoon about 2PM.  Wow, did the heat and humidity hit with a vengeance.  We started the job of unloading the Casita and truck.  Finished with that around 4 and crashed.  One of our neighbors had seen us drive in and provided us with some fresh homegrown tomatoes.  Wanda fried up a little bacon and we forgot about the heat for a little while.
  A fresh loaf of bread, some Blue Plate mayonaise, salt, pepper, fresh tomatoes, and bacon.  It doesn't get any better than that. Especially, the first bacon/tomato sandwich of the year.
 Had breakfast with friends in town this morning and then tackled the Casita again.  Got it all washed up and and ready to go back under the shed for a few weeks.  Next planned outing is middle of September, but I don't know if I can make it that long without a short trip somewhere.
 I have friends and acquaintance's ask; why do I like to travel so much?  Or, why don't you just enjoy staying home?  I don't have a definitive answer.  I think it has something to do with "getting away".
I get tired of the news, the politics, the problems, both local and national, that we are hammered with daily at home.
  I'm not so naive as to think that other parts of the country don't experience the same things.  It is just that when you travel, you are mostly going places that are tourist related.  You experience the best a place has to offer, and don't often hear about, or have to deal with, the more negative things.    The people you interact with seem to enjoy the fact that you are there.  The grocery, fast food place, fine dining restaurant, campground or rv park, whatever; they all seem happy to see you.
 Though we carry a TV with us, we watch it very little, and we don't read newspapers.  We do pick up bits of news on the internet and such, but we're mostly in the dark about what's going on, and we like it that way.
  I guess you could say we find our "perfect world" while traveling.  In out latest journey, we had not one bad experience.  From a young lady in an Oregon State Park who went out of her way to find us the perfect campsite, to walking in a McDonalds in Green River, WY and see nothing but teenagers behind the counter like the old days,  it is as close to what we would like the world to be, as we will ever find.
 Working out our expenses for the trip.  Will post those next time.......................jc