Well, One More Catch-Up Post

Current Location: Fort Toulouse Campground, Wetumpka, Alabama

We got busy and had fun traveling and visiting folks and let our blogging lapse once again. We’re sure it won’t be the last time. So, what have we been up to since we left our friends in Burleson, Texas?

From there, we headed back down to Lake Conroe and stayed at the Lake Conroe KOA for an evening. From there, we headed back down to the Houston area then across I-10, stopping in Scott, Louisiana for two nights.

While in Scott, we had dinner out with our friends Nick and Sheila. We dropped by their place and give them some anniversary gifts that we had found through the year while traveling. The next day we drove down to meet Nick and Sheila for lunch near Nick’s office. From there, we headed down to New Iberia and the Conrad Rice Company to pick up some rice and other items. We went to Nick and Sheila’s for dinner before heading back to the trailer to get ready to head out early in the morning.

On Thursday, we were on the road by 7:00 am. We drove the entire 446 miles from Scott, Louisiana to Wetumpka, Alabama, arriving around 4:00 pm. We would have been close to an hour earlier except for a couple of long backups on the interstate.

Our plan was to stay here in Alabama through tonight and head out tomorrow morning towards Clarksville, Indiana to our trailer’s selling dealer. We were scheduled for a wheel bearing and brake check as part of the (free) “Warranty Forever” program included with our trailer. We had also purchased another aftermarket extended warranty when we purchased the trailer, as well.

When Malcolm called our dealer today to verify that we had an appointment on Thursday and that they would be able to get us in and out in a day, he didn’t get any warm fuzzy feelings from the service person on the phone, who indicated they’d “do their best” but he couldn’t guarantee anything since they only had two technicians scheduled to work that day and that they were pretty backed up.

We made the decision to forgo the “free” warranty by not having the service done at the dealer. After looking at the costs to drive up to Clarksville and back, along with campground costs and the cost of the service, we would be out about $700-800. Definitely not a free warranty at that cost. So, we’re staying here in Wetumpka probably until mid-November. Malcolm will do the brake and bearing service on the trailer himself.

So, now that we’re here for a while, we’ll be settling down so that Malcolm can work more or less full-time for most of the rest of the year. We will probably only travel from here to see David around Thanksgiving, then back here for the remainder of the year.


Catch-Up Post – Texas Campout

Current Location: North Texas Jellystone, Burleson, Texas

We’ve been so busy having fun and traveling, and Malcolm has been busy working in-between, so our blog has not gotten a lot of attention lately. This should be the third and last of a few posts to catch up.

We left Chattanooga on Sunday, September 25th and headed down to Wetumpka, Alabama to our old stand-by, the Fort Toulouse campground. We were stopping in to town to go to a baby shower for the daughter of some of our good friends in the area. We had a nice time at the shower, then headed back to the trailer for the evening.

On Monday, we left Wetumpka and headed south, stopping at another old stand-by, Cajun RV Park in Biloxi, Mississippi. On Tuesday we headed west and stopped in Westlake, Louisiana (near Lake Charles) and visited with our good friends Andy and Joanna Grimes. We went out to dinner with them and with another Heartland Owners Club member – Marti Camp.

On Wednesday, we moved from Westlake to the KOA near Conroe, Texas. After getting checked in there, we drove over to Livingston, Texas to get our mail, then returned back to the trailer. On Thursday, we left Conroe and headed to Lake Brownwood State Park near Brownwood, Texas. We were meeting up with three other couples from the Heartland Owners Club for a campout for the weekend.


The group photo

We had a great time getting to know each other, sharing meals and campfire stories, checking out each others’ rigs and the modifications we’ve done and generally just having a relaxing weekend. There was no set agenda except for lunch out on Saturday at Underwood’s BBQ and Cafeteria.


Underwood’s BBQ

The campground at Lake Brownwood was really nice. It was great being out so remote. The sky was just full of stars each evening. The Milky Way was also very visible out there every night. Malcolm took advantage of it and grabbed some photos one night.


Milky Way

We even had some great sunsets.


Lake sunset

This morning we all said our goodbyes and headed our separate ways. We headed east to Burleson, Texas, just south of Fort Worth, to meet some friends that Val had gotten to know through an online bible study. We had started sending their boys postcards some time back and it was fun to get to meet them in person. We all went out to Olive Garden for dinner, then they followed us over to the campground to see our trailer and how we travel around.

Tomorrow we head back down south the way we came from and will end up back in Alabama by the weekend.


Catch-up Post – Chattanooga

We’ve been so busy having fun and traveling, and Malcolm has been busy working in-between, so our blog has not gotten a lot of attention lately. This is the second of a few posts to catch up.

Location: Holiday Travel Park, Rossville, Georgia

After we left Lexington on Monday (Sept. 19), we headed to Chattanooga, Tennessee for a Heartland Owners Club rally. We were there from Monday, September 19 through Sunday, September 26. We were joined throughout the week by around 30 rigs at the venue. We had a great time catching up with Heartland friends while there.

We did a little sightseeing while in the area. On Tuesday, we went to the Chattanooga Aquarium. As part of a package deal, we rode on their boat up river to view the gorge area. It was a fun and interesting ride. We’ve been through the aquarium before, but it was a nice visit to go back again with friends.


Our site at the Tennessee rally

Malcolm worked during the daytime hours and we attended the various evening functions related to the rally. On Thursday evening, the club sponsored a cookout with hamburgers and hotdogs. On Friday, the first official day of the rally, we had a pitch-in get-together with finger foods and desserts.

On Saturday evening, we enjoyed a freshly cooked catered meal. Prizes were given away and many were auctioned off in a silent auction. Proceeds from the auction and other giveaways during the weekend went to a local charity that helps homeless women get back on their feet.

On Saturday, we did some other sightseeing with our neighbors, the Funderbergs. The four of us  headed up to Rock City to visit and to eat lunch at their restaurant overlooking the Chattanooga valley, below. We drove back down the mountain and rode the incline railway up and back down, as well.


Overlook view from Rock City

On Sunday morning, we got everything all hitched up and headed to the rally breakfast to grab some food and coffee and to say our goodbyes. We headed down to Alabama since we had been invited to a baby shower on Sunday evening.


Catch-up Post – Kentucky

We’ve been so busy having fun and traveling, and Malcolm has been busy working in-between, so our blog has not gotten a lot of attention lately. This is the first of a few posts to catch up.

We were in Kentucky from Thursday, September 15th through Monday the 18th. On Friday we headed over to the Horse Park to visit and to go horseback riding. We picked the first horseback ride of the day (11:00) since it was supposed to be pretty hot in the afternoon.


Let’s go horseback riding!


Val is saddled up and ready.


A group of horses watches us ride by.


It may be “nose to tail”, but still fun.


Still back there?

Before and after the ride, we wandered around the Horse Park. It’s not an uncommon sight to see folks (typically volunteers) sitting or riding around the park on horses.


A couple of costumed riders outside the main building.

We wandered through a couple of indoor exhibits since it was pretty hot outside and there weren’t many horses outside.


Full-size diorama in the history of horse museum.


Exhibit in the Arabian Horse exhibit

On Saturday, we headed to Paris, Kentucky to take in the annual Secretariat Festival. The festival celebrates the famed racehorse, Secretariat. A good friend of ours – Patrick the Miniature Horse – is the official mascot. We hung around with he and his owner, Sarah, and her mother.


Patrick, Sarah and her mother talking to Val.

Each year, they usually have a few people show up to sign autographs. This year, Secretariat’s jockey, Ron Turcotte, and his exercise rider, Charlie Davis, were in attendance. Last year, Secretariat’s owner, Penny Chenery, was also there. She didn’t make it this year.


Charlie David, Secretariat’s warmup rider, gives Patrick the Mini Horse a peppermint.


Charlie gives Patrick a kiss.

After the downtown festivities, we followed Patrick, Sarah and her mother out to the fairground where Patrick was giving a demonstration of his jumping abilities. It ended up starting to rain just as his turn came. He did his best, though.

We said our goodbyes to Patrick, Sarah and her mother and headed on back to the trailer where we entertained Val’s sister Anne and our niece, Jasmine, for dinner. We visited for a while until they had to leave.

Sunday morning we drove down to Nicholasville and attended church with Malcolm’s Aunt Margaret and Uncle Jerry. After church, we went to Margaret and Jerry’s house for lunch. We were joined by cousins Lary and Dale. We visited most of the afternoon.

When we left Nicholasville, we headed to Columbia’s Steak House in Lexington to have dinner with some friends, then back to the trailer to start packing up for our move on Monday.

On Monday, we packed up, hitched up and headed down to Chattanooga, Tennessee for a Heartland Owners Club rally. We’ll cover that in the next catch-up post.


And We’re Here

Current Location: Kentucky Horse Park Campground, Lexington, Kentucky

“Here” would be Lexington, Kentucky, where we were heading after leaving Washington state 9 days ago. We’ll be here at the Horse Park campground in our favorite spot for a few days. Here’s a rundown of the rest of our trip here:

Once we left Sioux Falls, South Dakota, we decided to just drive as far as we felt like and stop for the night. As we were heading south on I-29 we decided to stop just after crossing into Missouri. Malcolm found a nice sounding campground (Rock Port Riversedge Campground) on our Allstays app and we just drove in. It was fairly full, but the super nice couple that run the campground found one open spot for us – perfect.


Parked next to the cornfield in Rock Port, Missouri

It was sunny when we arrived in Rock Port, but it was rainy the next morning. We drove on south on I-29 to Kansas City, then turned east on I-70. That’s about when we ran out of rain and the skies turned sunny.

We realized in the last couple of days that we were going to have more days than miles, so we changed our Kentucky reservation to arrive on Thursday instead of Friday. Given that, we divided the drive from Rock Port, Missouri to Lexington into three fairly even increments. For Tuesday night, we ended up at another nice campground find – the Lazy Day Campground in Danville, Missouri. It was a really nice campground and had the bonus of giving a 15% discount to Escapees members (like us).


Lazy Day Campground site.

We left Lazy Day on Wednesday with the intent of staying the night in Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park campground in western Kentucky. We entered the campground mid-afternoon to find the office closed but instructions to grab an envelope, find a site that isn’t reserved, drop money in and deposit the envelope.

We drove around the campground and found that the only empty 50 amp sites had the power post located 50 or more feet away from the site. Our power cord wouldn’t reach that far. We then decided to drive around and look at the 30 amp sites. About the time we found one that looked suitable, a gentleman in a plumbing company van stopped to tell us that there was a water leak in the park and that most of the park water was going to be off overnight. We decided to look elsewhere since all the sites were fairly unlevel, under low hanging branches or other issues.

We ended up Wednesday night in the nearby Paducah / I-24 / Kentucky Lake KOA, run by a very nice older couple. Given the For Sale sign outside of the campground and their age, we figured they were ready to fully retire. We left the truck hooked up to the trailer for the night and headed out in the morning. The gentleman that owned the place stopped us and thanked us for stopping through.


Our KOA site

Today we headed up the road to our final destination here at the Horse Park. We had reserved our favorite site based on previous experience with the site. The nice thing is that it is the last site on the row with our door facing the large expanse of grass between our site and the main road. Plus, it is in the back part of the park, so less traffic going by.


Most of our front yard here at the Horse Park

Plans for the long weekend are to visit the Horse Park, head over to Paris, Kentucky for the Secretariat Festival, visit with Malcolm’s aunt and uncle, have dinner with some friends of ours that live in the area and visit with Val’s sister and family.

Monday morning we head down the road to Chattanooga for several days at a Heartland Owners Club rally being held there.