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March 29, 2009

No Comment--Sunshine Acres?--Iowa

No Where to Hide















Whats This










































March 24, 2009

Lake Ozark Visit

Kathleen and her Aunt Berl (Betsy)















     We spent a delightful day and a half in the Lake Ozark area specifically to have a visit with Kathleen's Aunt Beryl (Betsy) and her friend Jerry.  Both Betsy and Jerry lost their life long partners a number of years ago and now have the comfort of each others company as life marches on.  I was so impressed as they both talked freely about their earlier life experiences and partners, but yet care deeply for each other and seem extremely content with life at the moment.  How wonderful it is that they have each other.

     Earlier today they came to see us at the Riverview RV Park and we had a chance to show them our "tininthewind" home and after visiting for awhile they suggested a great spot for lunch and more conversation.  This evening we were treated to a fabulous home cooked meal as both Jerry and Berl are excellent cooks. 




Betsy and Jerry 














Jerry and Betsy at home















     We will be heading further North tomorrow trying to dodge the stormy weather and especially the cold but from the long range forecast it appears we will loose the battle with the cold.  It could well snow on us Friday or Saturday when we arrive at the "Sunshine Acres".

March 23, 2009

Bass Pro Shop Stop----then Lake Ozark, MO

My favorite Store Stop
















 I don't need it, but will look anyway














something bigger than me















     It was only a 40 minute drive from Branson to Springfield, Missouri and our stop at the 'mother ship' Bass Pro Shop.   It seemed that some remodeling and updating had taken place since our last visit in 1992 and it was again fun to wander throughout the complex.  Being retired and having little extra space in our current house our purchases are kept to a minimum but looking and dreaming are allowed.

     We spent a good two hours wandering the store before having lunch on the 4th floor at their exclusive restaurant, Hemingway's.

     By mid afternoon we were set up at the Riverview RV Park along the Osage River at Lake Ozark, Missouri.  It didn't take me long after getting the 'tininthewind' set up to grab a couple of fishing poles and dropping over the bank behind the coach to try my hand at catching one of those huge white bass that roam the waters below the dam.  This area has a one month window of a snagging season for Spoon Bill's and there were a number of boats with fishermen dragging snagging gear on the bottom.  They didn't seem to be doing very well and I didn't either, but just getting to cast a lure made my day complete.

     We will hang out here in this nice park for a couple of days as we visit with Kathleen's Aunt who lives in the area.  It is far to cold and the weather remains questionable in the Iowa/Wisconsin area which is our ultimate destination. 




pleasant afternoon















we find water when we can

















March 22, 2009

Arkansas to Branson Missouri

In Route Rest Stop















     We really enjoyed our stay and the trip down Memory Lane but it was time to move on and our destination was a 5 star Coast to Coast RV Resort in Branson Missouri.  When researching the route we could take there was a through the back woods route on secondary roads that was pretty close to the way the 'crow fly's' at about 144 miles or the way our GPS (Charlotte) wanted us to go on Primary Highways and about 210 miles.  We opted to head off over 'hill and dale' and were we ever glad we did.  The scenery was spectacular as most of it was through the Ouachita Mountain Range and the Ozark National Forrest.  The road was slow going because of the curves and hills but the surface was smooth as a 'baby's bottom'.  We took our time and stopped from time to time to check the 'tow car' and enjoy the overlooks.




5 star Resort in Branson, MO















     We are at Treasure Lake RV Resort (click on link to see), right in the heart of Branson.  Our second night here we went to see the Micky Gilley show at the Micky Gilley Theater and thoroughly enjoyed a fast moving two hour show.  No doubt many of our readers will not even know who Micky Gilley is but through our life time we enjoyed all of his 17 number one hits and many of his other songs that never quite made it to the top of the charts.  Micky had a great deal to do with the movie Urban Cowboy that John Travolta stared in a few years back.  As an interesting side note, Micky had a couple famous cousins too, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Jimmy Swaggart.  Last night we went to see the group Pace Arrow at their theater and enjoyed another two hours of music and comedy.  We are in to the Nascar Race today so probably will not take in a show tonight, and then tomorrow we are headed up the road to Lake Ozark and a couple day stay as we pay a visit to one of Kathleen's Aunts who lives in the area.  We will of course have a short stop at the Bass Pro Store in Springfield, MO. on our way North.




Micky Gilley













March 18, 2009

Arkansas River--and Memories

Ah, the memories.  We are currently parked along the Arkansas River at a Corp of Engineer Park between Dardanelle and Russellville Arkansas and I have pictures and want to talk about the park, but first, the memories.



What Memories















It was in the Spring of 1992 that I last saw and spent time on the Arkansas River.  I had qualified fishing Bass Tournaments throughout the year of 1991 to finish and be ranked as one of the top 43 Bass Fisherman in the U.S.A., who would then meet and compete In the "All American Bass Tournament" to be held on the Arkansas River  out of Muskogee Oklahoma in June of 1992.  Throughout 1991 as a competitor I was on fire, loosing the regional to a Southern Fellow by only 2.7 lbs fishing in horrendous weather on the Mississippi River out of St. Louis, Missouri.  There were 189 competitors, in that year end final regional tournament, and I lost what would have been my 5th fish and final keeper while swinging it in the boat only moments before I had to make the run back to the weigh-in.  Would it have been large enough to have won?  We will never know.  My check for $5,000.00 for finishing second, paled in comparison, to the first place prize of a Chevy truck pulling a fully rigged bass boat worth over $35,000.00.  It was this tournament and my second place finish that sealed the qualification for me to go on and compete in the aforementioned "All American"

To make a long story short and not loose my readers, I did not win the $100,000.00 first place prize in Muskogee, Oklahoma but I did place 17th overall and win a fully equipped Ranger Bass Boat and trailer all with an overall value of around $25,000.  You can go to the following Link to read the details and press releases that lead up too, and detailed what I have talked about above.  When you get to the site, simply put your pointer over the article and when a magnifying glass appears, click it to magnify for your reading comfort.  Here is the link:


                                                "1992 All American Tournament"


Now camped in the "tininthewind" along this mighty Arkansas River it is easy to let the memories flow and I believe I will place my easy chair in a position that I can just look out over the water and enjoy a ride back in time.  It was for sure another 'time gone by' chapter in my life that was mega exciting but I won't dwell on it too long as what Kathleen and I have going now with our life style, and travels in the "tininthewind", well, its exciting too.

Here are some pictures of our site and setting along the river.  Enjoy!



Corp of Engineers Park Russellville AR















Arkansas River Behind Us















Smelling a pine wood campfire at the moment















I'm on Memorie Lane















We will depart here after a few days, heading for Branson, Missouri which is a short days drive up the road and along that route we will pass within a stones throw of "Flippin Arkansas" a town I visited on ocassion as I was sponsored throughout my career by "Ranger Bass Boats", built in Flippin.  The one you see in the picture above is the one they build specifically for me to match my black and gold Chevy Suburban.

Ah, the Memories!








March 17, 2009

Leaving Texas and Arkansas is Next

     We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Colorado River Thousand Trails park outside of Columbus Texas and it was really a very short drive to the Escapee Rainbow's End (Corporate Headquarter) Park in Livingston, Texas.  We stayed two nights and left on the third day for points further North.

     We are now at a Coast to Coast Park on the shores of Millwood Lake, located just North of Texarkana, Arkansas.  We are still far enough South to be in bayou country like the heart of Louisiana with Cyprus tree's in the shallow areas of swamp and water.  On a drive along the lake this morning we stopped to photograph things of interest and will include a few photo's below.  Remember to place your pointer over the picture so as to read the caption.  We will be leaving here tomorrow and continue our trek North with our next stop planned for a Corp of Engineer's Park along another large lake near Russellville, Arkansas.  We are really looking forward to this drive as it will wind us through some really back woods, Ozark mountain type terrain, before reaching our destination.



Geese are feeling frisky















Hows the Fishing ? 














sign says it all















camping season in full swing here
















Cyprus Tree's standing in the water















Surveying the Dam area















                                                   Slide Show



March 13, 2009

On the road Cuts

     I call them cuts, Kathleen calls them Styles, and we, like even those living in fixed places need to get our hair cut/styled from time to time. We have for the most part been pretty lucky with it all and usually come away from the ordeal none the worse for wear.  Just recently we both had ours cut/styled in Lo De Marcos, Mexico for 40 pesos, which at the time was about $2.74 not counting the tip.  Both jobs were as good as any we have ever had.

     Today, in Columbus, Texas I decided I needed a cut and after dropping Kathleen off at Walmart to do a little shopping I headed out to find a barber.  Lucky for me, (well, maybe not) a short distance down the road was a rather large building with lettering to proclaim it as a barber college. 

     I'm one to support the up and coming so it was OK by me to give it a try.  Upon entry I was greeted by a young man sitting in one of 15 barber chairs reading a book.  The place was empty except for him and me.  I told him I was in need of a trim.  He asked me to sign in (guest type book) and beckoned me to come sit in the chair he was near.  In small talk, I asked him how far along he was with the barber school and he informed me that the school no longer existed but he had indeed graduated from it but was now working on his own.  That should have been gratifying, but for some reason I just didn't feel right about it all.

     I got a little concerned when he kept referring to the fact that I was 8 teeth on the left, 10 teeth on the right, and only 4 teeth on top.  I thought for a minute I was in a dentist chair rather than a barber chair until I looked in the mirror and noticed that he was holding up a tuft of my hair and measuring it against how many teeth it covered as he held the comb vertical from my head.  This is a technique that I have never encountered.  After all of this, he asked how much I wanted removed and suggested 1/2 inch.  How one equates 1/2 inch to 8 teeth, 10 teeth, or 4 teeth is a mystery to me but I told him, that would be good.

     Well, the long and the short of it, (no pun intended) is that I have just had one of those cuts that is almost enough to make me want to fly back to Mexico and get it straightened out.  It is about as uneven as you can imagine.  I honestly believe he forgot to take 1/2 inch off the 10 tooth side, took an inch off the 8 tooth side, and somehow managed a buzz cut where the 4 tooth area was.

     "Hey, Kathleen, dig out my baseball hat collection."  I will be going under cover for awhile. 

     I probably should have confronted the young man about the results, but I was a little afraid I would get something like, "Well, I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night."


March 12, 2009

Bay view and Beyond

Bayview Coast to Coast RV Park, Fulton, TX
















Gulf of Mexico at Rockport, TX















Texas Cattle Baron's Mansion, Fulton Texas















Coastal Oak Tree's, all shaped by the wind













     Always, on our site, pause your pointer over the picture for a description!




     The Trip up the Coastal Hi way from Brownsville to our next destination at the Bay view Coast to Coast RV Park between Rockport and Fulton Texas was uneventful and wouldn't you know it, we missed the oyster festival at Fulton Texas by one day.  They were tearing down the tents as we arrived.  Apparently it is a huge affair with various entrants all trying to outdo each other with their preparation of the oysters which are very plentiful in and around the gulf.  We did have dinner at Charlotte Plummers water side restaurant, which overlooks a huge harbor full of oyster and shrimp boats, and I did try a plate of their deep fried oysters----yummy.

     We continue to be impressed with the Texas Rio Grand Valley and now the Gulf Coast areas of Texas.  We had three great weather days as we toured around the area of Corpus Christi, Aransas, Rockport, and Fulton Texas.  We did a great deal of touring the area by car and were in awe of how prosperous and active the whole area seems to be.  The boats were constantly coming and going from the harbors and we rarely were seated without waiting in a line at the restaurants in the area.  There also was a lot of fishing activity both from the banks but also by many pleasure boats seen in the backwater areas off the Gulf itself.  My kind of area.

     So much for the good warm weather.  We broke camp this a.m. to turn North and head inland from the Gulf with our destination being a Thousand Trails Park, called the Colorado River Preserve just outside of Columbus, Texas.  No, this is not the Colorado River, but rather Texas's Colorado River.  It was jacket weather, with temps in the low 50's and a slight drizzle as we prepared to leave and the further inland we got the cooler it became and the drizzle turned to a steady rain.  The rain is much needed in this area of Texas as they have been having a rather severe drought.

     We are set up in the TT park here in Columbus, Texas and it reminds us so much of Goose Island just south of La Crosse near our old "home town" that it would be easy to get home sick, but the cool temperatures will have us putting the skids on our Northern Trek as we will watch the weather and let things moderate a bit before heading too far North.  This is a beautiful park with lots of room between sites and deer feeding on the lush green grass all over the place.

     When we do leave here we plan to make our next stop in Livingston, Texas at the Rainbow Plantation Escapee Park which is the home corporate center for the Escapee RV Club.  This is an RV Club that we have belonged too since day one of our "Adventure in the Tininthewind" and it will be a fun park to spend a few days at.  You can check out their web-site at:  Escapees.com (just click the link I just created for you.)



The Tininthewind















Colorado River Thousand Trails Park, Columbus Texas















Deer Everywhere













March 08, 2009


River Bend Brownsville Texas















     Shown in the above picture is our site for three days at River Bend RV Park just southwest of Brownsville, Texas.  We crossed back in to the States at the Los Indios Free Bridge crossing less than 20 miles from here.  We chose to stay at this park for a few days because it is one of our Coast to Coast membership parks and that allows us to stay for $10.00 a day and take advantage of all the amenities that go with the park.  This park like so many we have seen and stayed at so far in Texas is huge and besides its pools and attractive surroundings the golf course and banks of the Rio Grand River (boarder between Mexico and Texas) just adds to the overall beauty.  There are literally hundreds of Winter Texans here, most owning their individual lot and having either a Motor Home, 5th wheel, or Park Model.  A drive through the Park shows license plates from far and wide with a very large contingent of Canadians.

     While enjoying our stay here we have further explored the area with the highlight being driving out to South Padre Island.  The beaches seem endless and there is the right mix of services such as restaurants, hotels, tourist attractions, etc.  The Island at the end of this week will be taken over by the spring break bunch so I am grateful we had the opportunity to visit before all that activity takes place.

     In the pictures below you will see a shot of the Rio Grand River that I took just 150 feet behind the "tininthewind".  There is a huge field just beyond the river on the Mexican side and the farmer was working the soil with his tractor getting ready to plant.  I tried to give him a wave but he had little interest in looking my way as he seemed intent on his task at hand.  The news media of late would have you think that I should probably stand behind a tree and hide or something as he would probably shoot me.  The second picture just shows the wide open spaces all around our site.



Rio Grand River
















room to breath















     We will be leaving this area of Texas tomorrow for Corpus Christi/Rockport as we have a date with another Coast to Coast park, Bay View RV Park.

March 05, 2009

Texas Sure is Big

Lazy Palms Ranch RV Park















     We have been hanging out in the Rio Grand Valley for one week now having exited Mexico last Friday.  Neither of us has ever spent any time in Texas to speak of although in my trucking days we did haul a few loads to and from Texas but during those days one hardly had any time for anything except productivity and making a buck. 

     Explaining to our friends in Mexico over this last winter that we would not be returning but would plan to look at Texas for hanging out in future winters brought mixed responses, such as, hang on to your hats, its windy in TexasYou won't be able to put out your awning cause the wind will destroy it.  It gets cold there and the weather can be miserable for extended periods over the winter.  We listened to all, and filed away all advise and comments but still felt it was worth a look.

     One week is hardly enough to cement our feelings about Texas but so far, we have had to hang on to our hats, we haven't been able to put out our awning and leave it down because while gone it could be destroyed.  We experienced 100 degree's on the day we arrived in Texas and two days later it didn't make it out of the 60's, but that only lasted one day and since it has been a respectable temp in the low 80's with nights getting down to the low 60's.  That extra blanket on the bed feels good. 

     All of the advise and comments from our friends has been accurate as mentioned above but, hold on to your hats!  We are lovin' it

     Take today as an example.  We are now staying out in the country at a very nice Coast to Coast park, Lazy Palms Ranch.  It is so quiet hear you could hear a pin drop.  Well, that is if the wind quit blowing!  We tested out the pool and hot tub early this afternoon and there was only one other couple there.  We visited with them and were told they are "winter snow birds" from Illinois and have been wintering in this park since 1990.  I worked many hours outside cleaning the road grime off the 'tininthewind' and the brisk breeze was welcomed keeping the 80 plus degree's tolerable.  It was brisk enough to blow my hat off so I just went without.  A bad hair day can be cured with a good hair cut.  Kathleen rode her bike throughout the park as all the roads were easy going, and yes when going from South to North, the wind pushed her right along!

     We love the wide open spaces, the friendly people, the great restaurants, and so far we are ok with the strong winds.  We are going to spend the next couple of weeks exploring Texas before beginning to head North and will continue to blog about what we find.  For now, we are "happy campers."



Wide open Spaces













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