"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

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Day of Lasts.


Yesterday morning, Wanda drove up to near Jackson and picked up her mom.  Brought her back home to spend a few days with us.

Remember these?

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Our wild Montana huckleberries!  A few made it back home with us. We had our last huckleberry pancakes this morning.  I told the mother in law she doesn’t know how lucky she was.  There’s very few folks down in Mississippi that have had the privilege to eat anything that good.

And then there’s this.  While we were in Colombia Falls, MT a couple of years ago we discovered a local meat market.  Named Perfect Cuts, they are known throughout Western Montana for their prime meats, especially the flat iron steaks.  Before we departed Colombia Falls back in July, we cleared out our small freezer in the Casita and purchased 5 vacuum sealed, flash frozen flat iron steaks for the road. Over the next six weeks we grilled four of them with just a little salt and pepper, along with some garlic and onion powder. They made some wonderful meals for us along the way.

Tonight we prepared the last one.  One of the ways we prepare steak at home is called tipsy steak.  You take a little Jim Beam or Jack Daniels, some soy sauce, brown sugar, and Dijon mustard, along with a dash of salt and Worchester, and mix well. Marinate the steak in it for a few hours in the refrigerator and its ready to put on the grill.

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Some really hot coals in the grill.

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Sear it quick on both sides to seal the juices.

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Then cook it a few more minutes on each side till it’s medium rare.  Take it off the fire and let it rest.

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Slice it thin, add a baked potato and some leftover butter peas.  It'll even make the everyday china look good.  A green salad on the side made for a wonderful evening meal.

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The mother in law may never go home if we had more of these.  In one way, I guess I should be thankful this was the last one……..jc

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fall is here,


though you wouldn’t know it from our heat and humidity the last few days.  Sure makes us miss those cool days and nights of a few weeks ago while out West.  We’ve been spending time with friends here at home, catching up on all the news and gossip we missed the two months we were gone..  That’s one thing we miss about being on the road.  The friends back home.

As the first cool days and nights of Fall come our way, our thoughts turn to our second most favorite thing to do.  It’s time for a little hot air ballooning.


We have friends bringing their balloon to town this weekend to help with a fundraiser for a local church.  They will be doing tether rides at a local park for a few hours.  That’s a lot of hard work for the pilot and crew, but it’s for a great cause.

The middle of October brings The Great Mississippi River Balloon Races.  Taking place from the bluffs of Natchez, overlooking the Mississippi river, it is one of the most difficult places to fly a balloon to a target, anywhere.



From there, we’ll be heading up to Arkansas for a little more fun and flying.  As the next few weeks unfold, opportunities abound for lots of good food, fun, and fellowship.


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Yep, you’ve probably seen it before, but last years shirts pretty much say it all……….jc

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

8400 miles


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That’s how many miles we traveled in the two months we were on the road.  Thinking about driving that distance while on vacation would be a depressing thought if you were to just think about the miles.  How far we traveled or where we would go was never part of the planning for our last journey.

A couple of friends have asked what kind of mileage I got with my truck.  I haven’t a clue. Somewhere more than 10, probably a lot less than 20.  It wasn’t part of the equation when planning our trip.  When the gauge read a quarter tank, it was time to fill up.

We had one destination and time frame when we left home.  It happened to be the Kansas Eggstravaganza the last week on our trip.  That left us free to travel where we wanted, when we wanted, without having to be under the gun to be somewhere at a specific time.  Because of that we were free to discover places like the Dennis Weaver Park near Ridgeway, CO.  Dedicated to the actor who had a home in the area, it was a beautiful park with an eagle sculpture carrying a 20’ wingspan that was beyond description.

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Wanda and I are truly blessed to see some of our dreams become reality.  I’m a firm believer in seizing the moment which is now.  A person can spend their entire life saying “one day, I’m gonna do ??????”  If you don’t fly with your eagle when the opportunity presents itself, you may one day find your eagle has become an albatross.

Things are looking up around the home place.  The limbs have been stacked and burned, and all the grass cutting and weed eating is done.  Plans are to wash and wax the Casita within the next couple of days.  By then it may be time to start planning another short trip…...jc

Friday, September 14, 2012

Cleaning Up



Since arriving home on Wednesday, we’ve been busy cleaning up the mess left behind by Isaac.  Though we were very lucky to have no property damage to speak of, we have a yard full of small limbs, dead branch’s, lots of pine straw, and leaves.  Add to that about 20 bushels of pine cones that have to be picked up before the grass can be cut.

Adding misery to all that work are the mosquitoes.  They are horrible.  I’ve never seen them anywhere near this bad in the seven years we’ve lived here.  You walk outside, even in the middle of the day, and they descend on you in clouds.  I even had them in my shop this morning, making sharpening mower blades a real pain in the rear.  Add the risk of West Nile Virus into the mix and it makes you want to hook up the trailer and head back to where it’s cool and dry.  I know, just wishful thinking for now.  Hopefully a few more days of dry weather, along with cooler temperatures will put an end to the little buggers.

As I’d mentioned in a earlier post, we were lucky to meet up with two other bloggers at the Kansas rally.  I had followed Emily for a number of years, through her workamping days and on to the present time.  It was good to finally meet her face to face.  Quite a talented lady with the arts and crafts, as well as one who isn’t afraid to hit the road when it suits her.

We also met Lynne and David from up near Chattanooga, TN.  I had connected to her blog from her comments on Tiny Camper, and found her posts from the Arizona desert last Spring to be a very compelling reason for us to make the same journey next year.   A fun couple to spend time with.  I wish I had their energy. They were always on the go.

We had coffee with friends this morning, and the conversation turned to the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee and Kentucky during the first week of November.  Wonder what the leaves might look like that late in the year?  It’s possible that we’ll go and see!

Back into the yard tomorrow.  Get a little more cleaned up.  Don’t want to get finished too soon.  If I do, I’ll start thinking again, and Wanda doesn’t like that so soon after returning home……..jc

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Looking Toward Home



Yep!  That’s Mississippi over there across that ditch they call the Father of Waters.  We are in an RV park on the West bank of the river, looking East toward the bluffs of Natchez.  We got away Milford Lake, Kansas around 8 AM on Sunday and traveled to just outside of Fort Smith, Arkansas.  There is another egg gathering at a COE park in Barling, AR starting on Wednesday, so we decided to spend Sunday and Monday night there to visit with some friends which didn’t make Kansas.  Had a good day Monday just sitting around loafing and having a good time with them.  We departed there this morning around 7 AM and arrived here at 3 PM.  The Queen was ready to ride.


The Mississippi River set a record high last year of near 63 feet on the gauge at Natchez.  Today it sits at 10 feet.  That’s 3 feet higher than it was before Isaac came through the area two weeks ago.


That sandbar you see is fifty feet below the level of the river in May of 2011.  Barge traffic is reduced to one way in some sections of the river. 


Those deteriorating sandbags in the foreground were placed there last year to keep the river from topping the levee.  Quite a contrast looking down on that sandbar today.

Anyway, we are spending the night here after visiting with our daughter and son-in-law over dinner.  A quick stop in Natchez tomorrow morning to pick up a new pair of glasses and we are headed home.  Should be there by noon. 


July 13th. to September 12th. A pretty good little road trip….jc

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Junction City, KS


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It’s been a great week here at the Kansas Eggstravaganza.   Though it was kind of warm the first few days, it has now cooled off dramatically.  Even saw a few jackets last evening at the campfire.

Junction City is home to the U S Army’s Fort Riley.  The home of the Army’s First Infantry Division, better known as the Big Red One.  It’s also the historical home of the Buffalo Soldiers. 

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The downtown area is still alive and well.  Lots of old buildings built with the local Flint Rock.

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A beautiful park holds the local Vietnam War Memorial.

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A downtown that will take you back to the fifties, if you can remember them.

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Another awesome sunset just before the rain moved in Thursday evening.

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A really good week meeting with old and new friends.  I’ve been able to put faces with the names of a couple of other bloggers.  Will include Names and links to their sites when I have better internet service.  Moving on tomorrow.  Heading toward Mississippi.  I hear it’s supposed to be cooler there, also..

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Kansas Eggstravaganza


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The Kansas Eggstravaganza is well under way this Wednesday afternoon, though it officially doesn’t start until tomorrow.  We arrived a day earlier than planned on Sunday to a packed campground enjoying their Labor Day weekend.  We were lucky and happened to get the spot of someone who had checked out early.

By midday Monday there were a number of eggs in the campground waiting for their reserved spots.  Seems departure time at this COE campground is 6PM.  The latest we’ve ever run into on our travels.  Many of those here pushed it right up to the limit before turning over their site.  Can’t really blame them, of course.  Just making the best of the last Summer holiday.

As there was a chance of rain, the first thing we did on Tuesday morning was put up an old Army tent.  It was a group effort and led to much laughter among those attempting to get the thing up.  Eventually, we succeeded.

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There has been a steady stream of folks arriving today.  It’s beginning to look like an Egg Gathering.  we have lots of Casita’s.

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A Scamp, or two or three.

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An Oliver, complete with pink flamingo.

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And also a pair of Escapes, both four wheel and fifth wheel models.

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Lots of handyworks scattered around, too.

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More later in the week. Internet is slow to none in the campground.


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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Lake Scott State Park


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The first thing to catch my eye on entering the park was this sign.  Didn’t really look or sound like Kansas to me.  It seems back in the 1600’s there were two groups of Pueblo Indians that fled what is now New Mexico and their Spanish rulers.  They made their way North and East and constructed  pueblos just like back home using sandstone from the surrounding bluffs.  They also dug irrigation ditches for their crops.  They were here for over twenty years before being forced back home by the Spaniards.

Jump to the 1890’s and a local farmer asked the University of Kansas to investigate a mound on his property that he had found artifacts in.  What they found was the remains of one of the pueblos.

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Surrounding landscape.

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Old homestead of the folks that discovered the ruins.

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Built of hand hewn stone.

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Spring where they got their water is still running today.

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Barn on a hill.

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This part of Kansas is really beautiful in an unusual way.  For those of us that live surrounded by forests and can’t see over a quarter mile, it is an awesome feeling to experience. Fields go on forever.

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Horizon to horizon, not a cloud to be seen. But you can see the grain elevators in the town 12 miles from where you are.

There’s not much to define a sunset.  Just a few fence posts on the top of a sandstone bluff.

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Moving on tomorrow……jc