Nov 17 07 OKC

Hi there, all you arm-chair travelers!

Actually that should be office-chair travelers, unless you print this out and take it to your arm-chair. Well. Go ahead. Put on a cup of tea and hit the print button. I’ll wait for you. . . . OK. All nice and cozy now? Here we go ….

We found a campground that was open in November in Iowa City, Iowa. Most of them close in October in the north. It was a nice little campground, well off of the interstate. They were rearranging the landscape out back in preparation of putting in a housing development. The heavy equipment operators started at sunup and worked until sundown, so it was a little noisy at times. But they were far enough away that it wasn’t too irritating. The weather was pretty good, considering it was November in Iowa. Overnight lows around freezing and highs in the 50s to 70s. But no freezing rain or snow, so we were happy. We even had quite a bit of sunshine and lots of ladybugs and box elder bugs.

(If you don’t know what they are http://www.royalalbertamuseum.ca/natural/insects/bugsfaq/boxeld.htm will tell you more than you wanted to know, and they have a very pretty picture of one. It’s a Canadian website though, so don’t be surprised if you feel like you need a translator, eh?)

We got to watch the farmer across the road harvest his corn all one day and late into the night. And another day we drove out to the Amana Colonies to check out the hand crafted goodies. http://www.amanacolonies.org/ Most of the shops were full of the same souvenirs made in China that you find at any touristy place. Kind of disappointing. But we did find some locally made Rhubarb wine for Dad.

On Sunday we drove up to the Winnebago factory at Forest City. It was kind of misty and overcast, but the sun came out when we arrived and it was actually rather balmy. Monday morning we talked to the service technician and then abandoned our house and drove the jeep up to Mom & Dad’s in Dodge Center, Minnesota. It’s about a 2 hour drive from Forest City. Sister-in-law Dawn and her girls came down from the Twin Cities on Tuesday and we had a early Christmas, complete with ham. We had a real good visit with all of them. Wednesday we drove in to Rochester and got the Jeep’s windshield replaced. It had taken a hit from a flying rock some time back and the cold weather caused the little star to send out nice long cracks. On our way over to Rochester, we got snowed on. Little gritty tiny pellets of snow that didn’t stick around. And in the morning when Richard stepped out on the porch for a smoke, he got flakes on his hat and his shirt. Granted it wasn’t much, but it was snow. All the snow we care to see.

Thursday the motorhome was all fixed and ready for us. We now have a new awning, a new control board on the fridge, and a new sensor on the LP tank. They couldn’t get the slideout to leak, but they did touch up some of the sealant, and checked to make sure there wasn’t any mold inside. We got the motorhome back about 1:30. We had to gas up, and fill the propane tank and get the jeep hitched up, so it was about 2 before we got out of Forest City. We spent the night at a campground in Story City, Iowa. They had the campground water turned off, and no one in the office, but we self registered and hooked up to the electric.

Friday we drove in the sunshine across Iowa, Missouri and northeastern Kansas. Some ladybugs that had hitched a ride with us crawled out of their hiding places and tried to escape out the windshield. I helped them find other avenues of escape. The low sun lit the translucent leaves of the autumn trees and they glowed bright yellow, orange and red.

GiGi, our fearless Garmin GPS, guided us through Kansas City on a route neither of us had ever tried and we were pleased with the light traffic. Richard said it was darned near painless. Friday night’s stop was at Emporia, Kansas.

Today was another sunny day and we drove across the scenic Flint Hills of Kansas on I-35. They are softly rolling hills with hardly a tree to be seen. Just grass. It came in a dozen shades of brown, from soft golden tan and pale greenish-yellow to rich russet. Occasionally we saw cattle grazing or drinking at a stock tank filled by a windmill. As we crossed a ridge we could see the highway strung out in front of us, winding across the landscape clear to the horizon. It was very serene. The Flint Hills are unique. For over 30 miles you drive and see no buildings, no mountains, no trees, no rivers, no people, no roads, no nothing. Just grass. It looks very much as it has for eons. All that was missing was a herd of several thousand buffalo.

http://kansasflinthills.travel/ and http://www.byways.org/explore/byways/2095/index.html

We arrived in OKC around 1:30. We are camped at Council Road RV Park and will stay here a week. The weather is gorgeous here! I called Jenni and she brought Shane over and they kept me company while I did laundry. Shane is so adorable. Cute and giggly and utterly self assured, as well he should be. He hopped up and down and picked up rocks in the driveway and played with leaves. Pictures will be forthcoming in a day or two.

All for now,
mj

Advertisements