RV weekend- Route 66 KOA Eureka, MO. June 23-25 '17

Well Grandpa (me) kind of messed up this weekend. I had booked the KOA close to our home so the grand kids could come and spend the day and night with us. The KOA on Route 66 has lots for kids to do. However I only found out that no one was coming after we had arrived. Oh well, another weekend to lay around and relax. June has been for relaxing on the weekends and we still have two more weekends booked in a row to go. 

 We got the RV set up around 5 pm on Friday night at the campground
The KOA is located on the historic Route 66 hwy so they had lots of memorabilia in the campground along with the caboose, they had an old gold panning sluice that kids could actually pan for gold! 

 I have been on the Isagenix 30 day weight reduction plan this whole month, so tonight I made Vicky eat what I was eating, which was a turkey burger and salad. LOL! it didn't last all weekend for her as Saturday night I fixed her a filet mignon with baked potato

 This weekend had absolutely fabulous weather, even a bit chilly at night. Temperatures in the high 60's with a breeze to keep any bugs off
The next day Vicky actually had to go and babysit for a while and that left me to clean and scrub the inside of the RV. I polished all the cabinets and just tried to make myself useful.

There is plenty for the kids to do. (above) they have a train that pulls the kids around the campground and a huge bounce house (below) that they can play in all day.

The pool is actually heated so it is great for the kids and adults 

you can rent all different types of bikes to peddle around the campground 
While walking around we spotted this tear drop trailer from Florida with a fantastic paint skeem

When it got a little later they had hay rides pulled by the tractor. Friday night they had movie night (Zootopia) in the open air pavilion. They also had other activities all day. There was tie-dying t-shirts, and model rocket painting and launching. 

 Saturday night was ice cream social followed by Bingo. Guess who needed a couple of scoops!

 Sunday morning was more of the same for me. Enjoying the perfect morning with some tea and my TGOC mug before getting everything ready to return home
We will reschedule another weekend when everyone can come! 

Found this in the gift shop this weekend. Perfect expression of our RV and hammock trips

RV Weekend, Father's Day '17 Bass Resort, Missouri

Took my mom and dad out in the RV for Father's day weekend. I don't think anyone else but me had been to Bass Resort so we headed down. We thought my daughter and grandkids might come as well for Saturday night, but they had other plans at Grant's Farm.
Got down on Friday night and set up.

Once set up this became the normal routine for the weekend. Lots of sitting and resting

Bass resort is a huge complex for camping and RV's. It is used mostly by people floating the Courtois River, (pronounced CODE-A-WAY), which flows right through the property. But I choose a spot in the family section at the back that looks away to a near by farm field. I like this view.
The ridge line in the distance is the Ozark Trail, which also runs right through the resort here.
We stealth camped here a few years ago on one of our hikes of the Ozark Trail - here

The deep evening sky Friday night was very nice. Although it did storm overnight

 Saturday Vicky and I went for our usual walk around the RV park and we set Dad up fishing and Mom went along to read her book

The resort also offers horseback rides and they come right next to the field on their loop around the woods. 

A lot of time was spent watching the cows move back and forth in the field in front of us- yes it was that kind of weekend. The weather was rather miserable with it being hot and humid in the day and storming at night

 Saturday evening relaxing (from what I am not sure) and waiting for dusk to light the fire

Campfire tradition

It stormed heavily on Saturday night as well and gave some of the tenters a real experience, but we were nice and cozy in the RV. Below my Mom and Vicky earn their breakfast by moving a picnic table out of the way so I can turn the RV around to head home.

We didn't float or get in the water as Vicky was still recovering from surgery, but it was a very nice relaxing weekend, before heading home for Father's Day Sunday
our RV spot is marked with the red circle below

Happy Father's Day Dad

Long Trails Mastering the Art of the Thru-Hike- by Liz Thomas

I don't generally do reviews anymore, as so many people have so many opinions what one person finds useful another disagrees. Hiking and backpacking are very personal pursuits, what works for one, will not for another. We all can walk, but we seem to all walk differently.
I can tell you that if you are interested in understanding more about how to hike and backpack successfully look no further than his book. If you have questions or just want to know what the currently "correct" thinking on a vast majority of backpacking topics you will find it here.

Liz Thomas’ Long Trails Mastering the Art of Thru Hiking is the proverbial, if you could only buy one book on how to hike, this would be it!  It not only address’ the question of How To, but also the more interesting question of “How Come”
There are several backpacking how to guides on the market and some have been in print for many years and are rightfully considered classics.  The Complete Walker by Colin Fletcher, The Backpackers Handbook by Chris Townsend and the Ultimate Hikers Gear Guide by Andrew Skurka, this book is their equal and then some.  Since most, if not all, guidebooks for hiking have been written by men, they start and finish with gear, an important topic to be sure, but Liz’s book doesn’t get to gear until Chapter 6 and the other guides lack the in depth emotional and psychological evaluation of hiking you get in these 328 pages.
Liz spends the first part of the book discussing the motivations, skills and trails you might consider. Then when she does get to gear, she not only gives her opinion but enlists the help of several long distance hikers to give their gear lists and comments and these aren’t all twenty somethings. They are both men and women and some might even be said to be middle aged.  Then it is off to discussing what to expect on the trail, trail etiquette, LNT and the social aspects of hiking along with some do’s and don’ts. It also is the first I know of in print to deal with the specific needs for women on the trail.
This is a guide book written by someone who has been there and done that. She didn’t start out perfect and is not afraid to tell you what mistakes she made. I found myself reading and shaking my head to the same mistakes I have made, as I am sure some of you will too, but it only makes you want to read on to see if she describes situations that might be avoided in the future. This is all written not in the style of an expert preaching, but more to try and guide you through some of the mental and physical aspects of trying a long distance hike that you might not have thought about while your dreams of hiking adrenaline are pumping.
If you are a first time hiker, or one thinking about anything longer than a weekend, you need this book. If you are an old dog and don’t feel like you can learn any new tricks, you need this book because it is a collection of all your tricks in one place. The book is well written, well-illustrated and supports someone that is doing great service for the trail community.

RV weekend- Mark Twain Lake, MO May 12-14 '17

Finally a weekend without rain and also Mother's day weekend. Everyone has their own family plans. The kids are now out of the house with their own relationships and families and we are alone. Off in the RV for the weekend. Let's go somewhere we haven't been and let's go away from the flooding in southern Missouri. Mark Twain Lake in North Central Missouri. I through a dart at the map of campsites and came up with Ray Behrens. This was a great choice. RB is actually an Army Corp of Engineers park with beautiful sites and really well maintained. it is right next to the Mark Twain Dam and Spillway so it is all part of the ACOE land.
We went up on a Friday afternoon, planning to stay until Sunday late morning when we wanted to get back home as it turns out Emily having her own family now, still wanted us to cook Mother's Day dinner at our house! somethings never change......

He got up to the campsite around 5:30 pm. Now the routine for us is to eat pretty well when we take the RV out, compared to when we just camp. So this means a trip to the meat market for fillet mignon and other goodies for at least one night. This I did and brought home everything and put it in the refrigerator in the garage to move into the RV later. And guess where all the food still is? yep in the garage refrigerator. So after setting up the grille outside I realized we had no food for the weekend.

Luckily the RV is stocked with dry goods, peanut butter, some rice sides, etc. It was certainly not what we hoped for on Friday night, but no one went hungry and I did manage to pack all the desserts! 

We spent a beautiful night lounging and watching movies. The campsite was quiet and there was a nice cool breeze coming off the lake at our site.

The next day we got up and after breakfast, which I did have we decided to take a walk around the campground to check everything out, we like to look at other RV's and also it is usually several miles of sites to wonder around so it is a good morning walk. 

We cam across a little trail- Hickory Bluff Trail and Overlook. it was a nice wide path through the woods of about 2.5 miles each way.
Hickory Bluff Trail 
I bought an app for my iphone called Pro-Cam to help the quality of the iphone. I mostly want to improve the macro photos I like to take without having to carry another camera on the trail, so I am trying it out here. Seems to work better than using the standard camera software in the iphone 6S

a little snake friend in the leaves on the overlook trail 

A really picturesque pond surrounded by Irises

Lily pads on the pond

After our morning walk, which gave Vicky more than 10,000 steps on your fitbit, so it would stop vibrating her wrist! We went the 19 miles up to Monroe City to the only grocery store in the area. We picked up some steaks and other items for dinner and then headed back to the RV
We made a trip over to the ACOE visitors center. It looks brand new and overlooks the Dam directly behind and below the building.

Mark Twain Lake Dam and Spillway

Salt River, directly below the spillway is the source of Mark Twain Lake

They also had a very lovely Vietnam Memorial at the site

A lovely weekend to spend outside
Back to the RV for relaxing. Just as it was getting dusk, I lite the fire and we just sat and relaxed for the next 5 hours! 

Sunday morning dawned, another perfect day, Breakfast, clean up and off to home to celebrate Mother's Day with Emily's family.

Mark Twain Lake just 85 miles from our house and a really great location to spend the weekend.

Ray Behrens Campsite @ Mark Twain Lake

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