Monday, March 30, 2020

How Are You Doing??

I've been slow to get an update on here...and I am so sorry! But with all the CoViD-19 activity it has put a sobering cloud over activities. And, when I am parked for an extended amount of time, there is not always much of interest to "impart" to you!  πŸΈπŸ˜‰




 I'm setup at the family home place...and as my little video shows, you can often find your own little piece of "the woods" no matter where you happen to be! Which is one of the things I want folks to learn. Always look around wherever you happen to be...there are "woods" available almost anywhere!












As for the act of  "Social Distancing" I am sitting almost in the middle of 3.27 acres of buffer land!!  If it weren't for the traffic it almost feels like being in the middle of the woods!!


 

I spent the weekend at a friend's place up on the mountain here. It was a great weekend. It is so nice to be able to take a couple of days and visit with a good friend that you haven't seen for almost a year!

He had been working on straightening up his basement and rearranging when he found something that I ended up with! 








It's a "Caloric Cub" camp oven! It is only, probably, 55+ years old...and I believe still in perfect working condition! A little of the vinyl trim is gone, but other wise seems to be perfect! The company also made kitchen stove/ovens. It is really neat. It cooks by "infrared"...and uses a 1lb propane bottle. I'll be testing it in the near future.





From what I've been able to find out, the company was started in the late 1800's. Over the years they were swallowed up by larger companies that bought it for it's "technology".









 I watch NHK World quite a lot. It is the Japan National Broadcasting company. Sorta like BBC, but Japan. The main difference is that it has really superb coverage on Japan/International/US news, weather and also Japanese Heritage & Culture. I have enjoyed watching it for years! Their news coverage is very good and very balanced. And from what I see, at least in my opinion, they are about the most balanced coverage I've seen in years. And if you spend some time watching the programs that deal with heritage & culture it becomes very deeply interesting very quickly! If interested, here's the link...







Like I always say...everywhere you can go there are sunsets & sunrises that are beautiful! You just have to slow down and take the time to soak them in!



I'm looking forward to getting back on the road in a couple of months and sharing the sights and sounds. And I do so hope that you will have a chance to take the time to get out and see this beautiful country!




And always keep in mind our acronym...

AYNTSI

America, You Need To See It!


Hope to c'ya soon!!  

Frog, Abbie & Snickers
🐸🐹🐱

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Made it!! Alabama for a while!


Got to Alabama this past Saturday (2/29). Was a pretty good run! Even the one "negative" on the trip has had a "positive" outcome!

I headed out on 2/22 from the DFW Metro. Had a going way breakfast time with my buddies, won't get to have breakfast with them for a few months. Was a good visit to start out the trip on!

Drove a bit further than I usually do for a day's drive. Spent the first night at the Louisiana Welcome Center. It's a really goo
d stop because it is quite new. Lots of "Truck/RV" parking. Very nice facilities and very clean! And, ""I must admit", it was nice to fall to sleep listening to diesel engines idling!  LOL!  Too many years on the road trucking! It really is amazing how we humans can find "comfort" in what to many are strange situations!

Sunday morning (2/23) went in and got the current Louisiana road map. When I got to looking at the map I realized that it has NO mileages between points! And I mean NONE! I've never had a map that didn't have mileages on it. Strange!!

Stopped at Kroger in Shreveport and topped of gas. It was misty and overcast, almost stayed there. But after a break it quite misting & started to see some blue in the sky, so headed east on I-20.  



Stopped in Gibsland, LA and visited the "Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum"! Quite a little museum. A lot of trivia about that day. A lot of information about Bonnie & Clyde's lives, their families, etc. There were more artifacts, authenticated even, than I expected. Pictures all over the walls. 



Actual newspapers, reprints, posters, displays of
period items, a video of the incident (runs about 14-16 minutes)...a really decent little stop. It is the one thing in Gibsland...the museum! And the entrance is through the gift shop. $7 to go thru the museum, kids 5 & under free. I bought my usual sticker & magnet for Europa.

Drove a bit further than normal, again!  LOL!  Topped off gas in Rustin, LA and ended up spending the night (2/23) at WallyWorld RV (heheheh) in Ruston, LA.




Topped off at Murphy, Ruston, LA next morning and headed east. Destination for the day was Vicksburg, MS and the Vicksburg National Military Park. Stopped at the Mississippi Welcome Center to get the current map. And I actually drove in rain for half the drive (a rare thing for me to do). Got there early enough to go through the Visitor center, take a few pics, get my sticker & magnets before closing time.


The parking lot at the Park has no gate, locals come in to walk & jog the park. Soooo...I thought I'd park there for the night. And I made it until about 2015!  LOL!  The Ranger stopped by and let me know there was no overnight parking there.  LOL!  We both got to chuckling when I said "yeah, I was wondering how long I'd make it before she had to tell me to move along!" 



 
So packed up and drove back to the WallyWorld about 4 miles away. It was actually very quiet at Wally. Woke up to heavy fog on Monday (2/24), so sat for a couple of hours before the sun burned it off.  Stopped off at Murphy, topped off gas and headed back to the Battlefield.


Drove the Battlefield (2/25), took pictures, walked up/down too many stairs/steps. but was a beautiful day for it! Then stopped at the USS Cairo museum/exhibit. It's an "ironside" battle ship from the Civil War era. It was found, what was left brought out of the river, and a reconstruction of the basic ship built, using the items & plating brought up. I was actually surprised at how much of the ship had actually survived the 100+ years under water.





There are some very nice views of the Mississippi River from the battlefield. When there you are seized by the view and you end up staring at it for longer than you planned. 


Drove to WallyWorld in Forest, MS for the night(2/25 AND 2/26). Was idling Europa to charge batts for a little while and found out I had a rather large leak in the fuel line! It rained for most of the day, so a second night in Forest. Morning 2/27 (Thursday) got under the house to see what needed. Called O'Reilly's and Johnny (store mgr) sent me 2 end pieces of hose for free & I paid for a box of small clamps. Ended up having to get a longer piece of hose. But got it on, leak stopped and on the road by 1430.

Stopped for the night (2/27) at the rest area just south of Eutaw, AL. Nice, quiet night. Got a good night's sleep. Topped off gas next morning at Pilot, Tuscaloosa, AL on the way to Pell City, AL to visit the kids there & spend the night. It was a good visit...and the g'kids are growing too fast! Or I'm just getting older too fast!!

Got into Gadsden Saturday afternoon (2/28)...8 days on the road, 780 miles...so overall ran my daily average of miles. The only downside to the trip was the fuel line. BUT...it had a bright side..real bright!  Since fixing the line, my average mpg's has gone from +/- 7.5mpg avg to 10.45mpg avg!! A few more tweaks and dualie wheels on Europa...I might actually get her to 11+mpg!!

So this brings me up to date! In Alabama for a couple of months, but I'll be making several 2-3 day trips to see some things that I never took time for when living here fulltime!

So stay tuned as we make repairs, updates and short trips over the coming weeks!!

C'ya soon out here!!

Frog, Abbie & Snickers




Another Eventful Trip!! (late post)

(First trip..1/24-2/2/2020) 

I'm a little behind on letting you know about the rest of the trip! So now is a good time to get caught up!

After my visit to the "Chairy Orchard" I headed towards Jacksboro, Tx. Destination was Ft Richardson State Park. A really nice historic spot. Well kept up & quite informative. It also has quite a nice campground area! Shaded spots with elec & water, a sanitary dump station, primitive sites for tenting, tent pads at the RV sites, nice gift shop and the whole thing has a paved road!




These three pics are from the restored "Officers Qtrs" on the grounds.  It is the last of the 5(?) houses on the fort.


 
 The above was the fort "magazine"

From the officers house, display about Tx at the time of the fort & it's commanders.


My first trip of 2020 ended up rather eventfully!  As I was doing my daily pre-trip before heading out on the road for the day I happen to notice a rather large protrusion from one of the rear tires!

Sooo, I proceeded to get bottle jack, jack stand, electric impact tool, etc out of Europa. Started to loosen lug nuts...got one done, started 2nd nut...and the impact "dies".  tried 3 times with same result...stuttered couple of times & dies!

The inverter kept showing "HiP" on display...which I decided must mean "High Pull" or possibly "High Power"...which caused me to look closely at the impact tool.

Guess what...it's pretty hard to run a tool that draws 840 watts power...when your inverter is 700 watts! LOL!