Sunday, October 21, 2018

Back to Rocky Top


Our trip felt like it had come to an end when we crossed the state line into Tennessee. The problem with that thought process is the fact that we can’t move into our condo for two more weeks. Because of  that reality we spent the weekend at Bledsoe Creek State Park, outside of Nashville, to spend time with kids and grandkids. This is a beautiful park and I couldn’t help recalling what a woman asked when we were camping in Iowa and she found out we were from Tennessee. “Don’t you have lakes, rivers and mountains in Tennessee?” she questioned. We do indeed, and it’s always good to be reminded to appreciate “home” and family.


Four reasons to come home 

Daughters and offspring 

Friday, October 19, 2018

Land of Lincoln


As our latest trip winds to a close, we found ourselves passing through southern Illinois again and decided to try a different park called Ferne Clyffe State Park. We weren’t disappointed. This is a tranquil park with wonderful hiking trails and spacious campsites. As the name suggests, this area has beautiful rocks and “cliffs” and an abundance of interesting vegetation including lush “ferns”.  The Shawnee National Forest and Garden of the Gods area is only about 48 miles away. We were also thankful to see blue sky again with no rain our entire stay!



Monday, October 15, 2018

The Show Me State


The sun seemed to be promising better weather, with this beautiful sunrise, our last morning in Kansas, but Missouri must not have been paying attention, because The Show Me State showed us the same weather pattern we’d hoped to leave behind. When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Mark’s version of that was buying a stockpile of wood and with every break in the rain building a big fire. Lake of the Ozarks State Park is a beautiful place but we were really limited by what we could do here. We did some “rain hikes” and were thankful for a washer/dryer, in the park, to wash our muddy clothes, but a big chunk of our time was spent in coffee shops in nearby Osage Beach. This is definitely a park we would enjoy revisiting in better weather.




Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Last Sticker of this Trip


Nebraska and Kansas were the last two “new” states to add to our map, for this trip, and sadly, our week in these states, will probably be my least favorite week of this adventure. Not because the parks we’ve stayed  haven’t been beautiful (they have been) but because of the weather pattern we’ve been stuck in for most of our stay. We had one beautiful day, at Lake McChonaughy Recreation Area, in Nebraska, which is the largest lake in the state, but rain moved in and didn’t let up the entire weekend. Not only was the rain a challenge but we also had high temps in the 40’s and lows near freezing every night. We were hopeful that things would be better at Scott Lake State Park, in Kansas, but we found ourselves dealing with the worst flooding this area has dealt with in more than a decade. It was strange leaving western states, dealing with drought and fire bans, and then being forced to check local weather for road closures due to flooding. All part of life on the road, I guess!

No need for reservations during flood watch 

Day 6 and finally no rain! 
Kansas prairie dog

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Rewind part 2


Because we are big John Wayne fans, we decided to do a walking tour, in Ridgway, that highlights the different buildings and areas, in town, used to film the movie True Grit. My favorite thing about the tour; our guide shared  that during the first of six weeks of filming, the Duke had dinner with the local sheriff who was in charge of crowd control. When the sheriff’s teenage son got home that evening, he couldn’t believe who was sitting at the dinner table. John Wayne told the young man that on the days he filmed, he would have lunch with the boy and one of his friends, but it had to be a different friend each time. I’m sure it wasn’t always easy being the sheriffs son, but in the fall of 1968  I’d say he was one of the most popular kids in town!




Rewind


This blog is more of a scrapbook than a blog. I realized, after looking through pictures, that there are a couple things I overlooked I’d like a record of. So, even though we are in Wyoming, for the week, I wanted to post about the last place we stayed in Colorado (Stagecoach State Park) and a post about a memorable day, before that, in Ridgeway, CO. Stagecoach is a park we loved and would have stayed longer had they not turned the water off and closed the showers. We loved our campsite, the terrific bike trail and beautiful hikes. We also loved the town of Steamboat Springs and the natural hot springs there called Strawberry Park.





Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The Cowboy State


We arrived in Wyoming, October 1st, which was opening day of elk season around the National Forests where we are staying, at Curt Gowdy State Park. I guess the mule deer know they are next, on the hunting roster, because there are so many around our campsite. They must sense the state park is off limits for hunting. I loved this picture, Mark captured, on our first morning here. We are finding that many parks shut off their water and close restrooms, this time of the year, so we were glad to discover this park’s visitor center (complete with showers/restrooms) doesn’t shut down and is open 24/7. We are also excited that southeastern Wyoming has beautiful fall colors too. It has been interesting, as we continue homeward, to find “popular parks” almost deserted because of the colder temps and oncoming winter.




Another cool thing about Curt Gowdy State Park is the fact that it lies exactly between the cities of Laramie and Cheyenne. Twenty-four miles west - Laramie; Twenty-four miles east - Cheyenne. We’ve loved exploring both of these western towns.