RVing at it's best!

Roy's Trips

We've gone out and purchased a membership to Lake Paradise Camp Resort in Oak Grove, Missouri.  We're also joining RPI so that we can take advantage of the national array of campgrounds available.  With this and the Coast to Coast membership we should be fixed up properly with camping arrangements.

KC Coachmen had their meeting at the Sound.net offices.  There was lots of effort to do some crafts for sale at upcoming events.  A club meeting was held, and there was preparation for the RV Show coming up.  We cooked shrimp and crab legs and everyone enjoyed the food.  Desert was enjoyed at Greaser's.  We're ready to help with the RV Show at Bartle Hall coming up February 3-7, 1999.

Bartle Hall - RV Show Participation.  Coachmen 191 will participate in the annual RV show in Kansas City.  Each day at the show the club was represented and we shook hands and met with many a potential RVer and others that were already RVing but were interested in new units.  All of the members were at the show at one time or another.

We're going to miss the March Coachmen 191 campout.  Leaving for London on the 8th for a week or so over there.  Going to do some heavy duty tourist stuff and have fun!   This really wasn't RVing of course, but in our defense we did make it a point to 'check out' the RVs in England and Scotland where we visited.  They seem to call them a 'caravan' over there but the principal is the same.  Camp out and have a good time!  Since the London trip was enough to cover a page in itself I've decided to do just that and let you choose this link for "London".

We missed the Coachmen 191 club campout at Crowder State Park in Trenton, Missouri while we were in London.  Upon returning we learned that pretty much everyone was sick and that the outing had been moved to a member's home due to weather and illness.  Sounds a lot like 'sick call' to me. <grin>

Headed for Disney World in Orlando w/daughter Staci, son-in-law Joe, granddaughters Amanda and Madison.  Enough for a whole page so here's the link to this particular adventure! (Florida)

We missed the Coachmen 191 campout at Pony Express in Osborn, MO since we were still in Florida.  I'm sure a good time was had by all.

Fairground Park in Higginsville, Mo was the site for the MO State Coachmen Rally planning session we attended.  The weather was wet and the ground had good drainage was about all we could say.  There was a Rotary auction in the public building right next to where we parked in the area.  A bad spot for me... had to go in and see what was there.  Bought a Brinkman smoker.  Bid on a couple of other things. 

As a bit of humor... my 8 year old granddaughter hadn't had auctions explained to her and when the auctioneer held up a little silver vase for a single flower, she wanted it.   She started waving her arms in the air that she'd take it, not realizing it was being bid on.  There apparently was no interest and the auctioneer said to let the little girl waving her arms have it.  I had turned my head to talk to another individual and when I turned back this was taking place and she's running up to get her treasure.  I realized what had happened and held up my number so that they could put the item on it.  The auctioneer apparently was going to just put the $1 on his bill and forget it.  That was nice of him.  It's a good thing it wasn't a new car or something else big. <grin>

We had dinner at Willis and Jeanne's place in town and they had all the shrimp you can eat on Saturday nights.  What a nice bit of timing since that's one of my favorites.   We went back to the community building and everyone sang, played cards and visited.   We had to leave early Sunday to get back to KC.

Montrose, Missouri has a man-made lake from a hydroelectric project.  The lake isn't much over 25' deep at any one point but it is a nice size for small boats and fishing.   There are no camping hookups provided and everything being primitive it is pretty much a 'land where you want' deal.  The group parked on a hill (good drainage) overlooking the lake and the boat landing.  My site was level and this was one of the times that a fully equipped RV is nice.  There are several of the group that go down every year for two weeks and fish.  Then Saturday night is the fish fry.  The catfish was excellent along with fries, onion rings, beans, macaroni & cheese, slaw, etc.  Bread pudding for desert, among other things.  Woke up Sunday to a pouring rain that wasn't letting up.  Another reason to enjoy the motorhome being self-contained.  Raise the stabilizers and have at it.

It would seem that camping this weekend wasn't to be.  My lovely children decided that for my 50th birthday they would invite some 60 people to a 'surprise' party.  I had kind of figured that they'd all get together and do something but I had not counted on such a big party.  One of my old schoolmates actually was up from when she now lives in Conway, AR.  Several other school mates and business associates were there along with family and friends.  It was quite a bash.  And they're sending me to see Elton John when he comes to town on the 4th of June.  Very expensive tickets compared to when I was a youngster!  I kept telling my wife that we could go camping after I had lunch with my daughter Nikki but she just wouldn't let me go. <grin>

Taking friend Daryl and his wife Connie we went to Pershing State Park just southeast of Laclede, MO for a campout.  We got in late Thursday (just before dark) and set up in an open space so the satellite would have access.  There were also a lot of tree covered spots available.  Several of the Pak-N-Go group were already there. 
Friday we went sight-seeing and saw the Locust Creek Covered Bridge just east of Meadville (almost to Laclede).  It is one of four covered bridges still in existence in the state of Missouri.  There were as many as 30 from 1820 to the end of the century.   Next stop was the boyhood home of General John J. Pershing in Laclede.  We toured the home, and a school that he taught at next door, and the Wall of Honor.   The Wall of Honor is a memorial to war veterans and lists them on granite tablets.   We then went to Marceline, MO and the wives 'toured' three local antique shops.   Anything for a thrill I guess.  Then the next stop was Shoemaker's RV sales and campground in Bevier, MO.  Coachmen 121 were scheduled to be there for the weekend.  Only two units were there when we got there but more were on the way.   We decided to come back Saturday night and have dinner with them.
Saturday I had to return home to attend a piano recital for my granddaughter Amanda.   She agreed to come back to the campground with me after the recital.  She did well with her part of the recital.  When we got back we picked up Daryl and the wives and went on to Bevier.  The Pear Tree restaurant was no less than fantastic.   Located in an old skinny building in Bevier, MO (I'd never even heard of it) the restaurant sure looks different on the inside than it does on the outside.  The service was great and the food was magnificent!  There were about 30 of us that ate dinner.
On Sunday we 'hiked' the boardwalk in Pershing Park.  It is a mile and a half long nature walk along a boardwalk through the swamp area of the park.  The walk was educational and beautiful.  The water was high and quite intimidating.  After the walk it was time to go home.

05/28-05/31/99    Branson, Missouri
Memorial Day weekend seemed like a good time to get away.  Carol had been in Branson from Monday on, and I went to meet her and stay the rest of the weekend at Treasure Lakes, making use of our membership there.  Funny weekend, in that there was much less traffic, congestion, visitors, etc. than one would expect on a Memorial Day weekend.   I drove to Branson via US 71 Highway to I-44, then M-39, US60, M-265, M-13 and then M-76 on into Branson.  M-13 and M-76 are about as narrow as you can get short of a one-laner.  Nothing like a wide-body motorhome to make it exciting.  I did the return trip that way also.  The scenery is beautiful.  I had an excellent choice of sites at Treasure Lakes since the numbers were down for Memorial Day visitors.
An inexpensive breakfast was offered by the volunteers at Treasure Lakes  so we ate there both Saturday and Sunday morning.  There is also a Frisbee golf course, miniature golf, an indoor pool, and an outdoor pool.  Entertainment was provided by 'The Chosen Ones', a gospel group that was touring and had come to Treasure Lakes.
Carol had been going to shows there all week and I'm not that excited about shows so we did some shopping and visiting.  Met some really nice folks at the campground.   The neatest place we found to eat was right there next to Treasure Lakes in McFarlain's.  A 'home cooking' kind of place it was great!  It is located inside the Imax Theater complex.  Even the Golden Corral was priced high.  Nothing like taking advantage of the tourist trade I'd say.
Saturday we drove over to Shell Knob and had lunch at Carole's.  We also went to the Big M campground to see some friends.  The Big M is a US Corps of Engineer's campground.  A commercial listing of such US Corps of Engineers campgrounds is available from Howrey Publishing.  Carol's brother and sister-in-law spent the night with us Saturday night and we had a nice time.  They also have a membership at Treasure Lakes and live just north of Springfield in Fair Grove, so the drive down for dinner was no problem.  
Sunday Carol wanted to shop after her brother left.  The outlet malls were a joke at best.  Prices were sky high.  Not the place to shop.  One employee at a store actually told me they were the only shop like it in town so they set their prices where they wanted to.  We spent a minimum of money and that was at a place away from such 'malls'.  Tanger Outlet Mall was one of the malls.  Apparently they are a 'chain' of outlet malls.  Not my place to shop.  Branson malls are listed here here.  The Victorian Mall had a nice jewelry store and Carol got a pair of earrings that matched a necklace I had gotten her in Mesa Verde last year.  There was a really neat circus store if one could afford it.  And a nice lamp store, again, if one could afford it.
Monday we did a brief bit of shopping and drove home uneventfully.  Noted that traffic was light and there were a minimal amount of other RVs on the road and motorcycles, something that we always watch for carefully since I ride one.

Not RVing but fun anyway... wife and I went to see Elton John in his solo performance at Kemper arena here in Kansas City.  A good time was had and the music was enjoyable as ever.

A brief trip to Lake Paradise with two of our granddaughters and a friend/employee and his family.  They brought their camper and were our guests at Lake Paradise.  The kids swam in the pool area and we did some bicycle riding around the facility.  The girls cooked dinner over the campfire and after dinner we roasted marshmallows and visited 'til 11.  Time for bed and a wake up to a nice rainstorm.  So much for camping fun. <grin>

We attended the Coachmen Missouri State Rally at Higginsville, MO.  In an odd turn of events there were actually more Iowa Coachmen than there were Missouri Coachmen at the rally.  It would appear that there are actually more active members of Iowa chapters and they always make an excellent showing at the Missouri rally.  The folks from Missouri also go to the Iowa rally and the Illinois rally to give our support.  On Friday night a quick dinner was held as folks were still coming into the rally and a formal dinner would have been a bit much.  Friday night entertainment was a folk singing group from Cameron, MO, held around the campfire.  Root beer or coke floats were available after the signing.  Saturday was spent with a full round of games for adults and kids alike.  Horseshoes, washer toss, bocce ball, etc. were all available.   Saturday night was BBQ for all and dessert of ice cream and cake.   Entertainment was provided by Jessica (11 year old country singer) and Alonzo (Jessica's father and humorist) with a band for support.  A singing and dancing good time was had by all.  There was also some local baseball activity available right next door with the Higginsville team playing.

Carol and I left the Coachmen State Rally and headed home to reload.  We dropped off some things and picked up others.  Then went to Olathe, KS and picked up Carol's mom and dad... headed for Colorado.  The plan was to meet up with our oldest daughter and her family for a week in Colorado.  Stayed the first night in Ellis, KS at the city campground.  As expected the stay was quiet and the town of Ellis is still a good place to visit.  Stayed the second night at a Coast to Coast site - Colorado Heights (exit 161), just north of the Air Force Academy.  Lots of trees... you had to be a real good driver to get through them to the site and then some of the oddest parking sites I've seen.  We pulled in head first to get the hookup on the correct side.  We were right next to the toilets/showers/amphitheatre.  Paid for two nights... stayed one.  We went on to Colorado Springs the third day and had lunch, then heading on to the Royal Gorge.  Stayed at the Yogi Bear Jellystone Park RV park just west of the Royal Gorge.  The folks there were wonderful as usual and we enjoyed seeing the Royal Gorge again.  Went across in the tram, down to the bottom in the inclined train.   Stayed two nights and then went on to Estes Park. 
Spent two nights in the Spruce Lake RV Park off of Highway 36 and Mary's Lake Rd.  I had always wanted to stay there but my parents couldn't afford it when we were growing up.   After staying there a couple of nights I'm not sure I can afford it very much.   They were on the high end... since, I suspect, that they are right at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park and have a very short season.  We went up to Bear Lake and noted that the day we were there the Alpine Hot Shots had to bring down 6 overzealous hikers, one dead.  We were cautious and restrained.  Saturday morning there was a parade of 150 some odd pieces of fire apparatus in Estes Park.
We left right after the parade and headed east.  We took US 34 to I-76 and up to I-80.  Then on to Minden, NE which is about 12 miles south of I-80 at exit 279.   The campground was full and we stayed in the overflow.  No matter with a motohome like ours. <grin>  The stop was made primarily so that Carol's father, Lester, could see the old cars and other artifacts in the Pioneer Village Museum.

Coachmen 191 campout was cancelled for this weekend so Carol and I went up to Jamesport, MO on Thursday to spend the weekend in this Amish Community.  We took Amanda and Kristina... two of our granddaughters.  We stayed in Countryside RV Park, right in Jamesport.   Coachmen 121 club came up on Friday and spent the weekend.  When we arrived we were in the midst of a Good Sam group of campers who pretty much filled the campground.  They were leaving the next morning for the Coachmen to come into the campground.  Countryside had 16 slots with full hookups.   The camp wasn't much more than someone's large back yard with eight (8) side-by-side campsites facing eight (8) more of the same.  Each had 30 amp service, and sewer.  Water was shared, with one spigot for each two sites.  Have I mentioned the need for a 'Y' connector in your extra equipment?  There was a clean shower/toilet facility.  The city park was right across the street with the usual swings, play area for the kids available.  The electricity was of concern and with all the A/C units going the voltage dropped to 104 volts.  103 and I'm outt'a here!  (The electricity was repaired by the local Power & Light by adding another transformer.  No more low voltage.)   I did move the refrigerator from 'auto' to 'gas'.  No need to chance burning up the refrigerator.  As the weather cooled and the A/C units came off the power went right back up to a steady 122 volts.  Can you say 'brownout'?  If you don't have a power meter, here's a fine example of a need for one!  The weekend was very nice and cooler than usual.  No more power problems.
We spent Friday in downtown Jamesport, which focused on the antique stores and flea market type sales.  This was not what we wanted to see.  Sales of Beanie Babies is not my idea of a trip to an Amish community.  It turned out that the Amish have their stores out at their farm locations.  There were a couple of places to eat in town, although the Country Cupboard out on the north end of town seemed to be the 'the place' to eat.  We did so twice and the food was great both times.  We did buy the grandkids a couple of Beanie Babies, as they were quite reasonable at $3-5 apiece. <grin>
Friday night we drove to Trenton and picked up a couple of pizzas for the girls.   They wanted something simple and we were tired and agreed.  Picked up a couple of things from the Hy-Vee in Trenton for Saturday's dinner.
Saturday I had to drive back to KC for business, and then Saturday afternoon when I returned to Jamesport we all went on a tour of the Amish community.  There is a tour starting at 'Miss Irene's' which is a 1 1/2 hour drive through the Amish community.  The driver narrates the whole time we're moving.  She was very good and there was much to be seen and much to be learned.  The cost of the tour was $6 each.  Well worth the money I might add.  The tour made three stops at Amish stores and Carol made notes for our next trip.  She's ready to visit again! "Click Here" for additional information. One thing for sure... don't come to visit on Thursday or Sunday as these are the Amish days off.  We had hit it just right being there Friday and Saturday.
Saturday night we had a pot luck dinner at the RV Park with the Coachmen group.   Hamburgers and hot dogs, with home made ice cream.  Depending on your first letter of your last name you were asked to bring salads, veggies, dessert, etc.  A good time was had by all and we visited around the campground until after 10 PM.   Cooked marshmallows and made a mess.  Those things are sticky... especially on kids!
Sunday morning we got up, attended the Coachmen 121 meeting, took some pictures, and headed for Edgerton, KS.  It was Kristina's birthday party we had to get to or face the wrath of our daughter...

August '99
Turned out to be a little different than we had initially planned.  We didn't make the Coachmen International Rally in Perry, GA nor did we make the Outfitter's Convention in Salt Lake City, UT... due to business commitments.  Missing the rally was unfortunate, but missing the Outfitter's Convention was a blessing.  I would have probably been in the tent that the unusual tornado destroyed in Salt Lake City.  What we did do was to go on the Coachmen 191 campout at Talley Bend Park between Lowry City and Osceola, MO.  There were a half dozen of our group there and the weather was pleasant and it wasn't crowded.  We had a nice dinner Saturday night at a local BBQ and shopped at the Osceola Cheese Factory Store.  We came back to the Kansas City Area and stayed the week from the 15th to 23rd at Lake Paradise Camping Club, where we have a membership.
Other friends were there and the grandkids came out and stayed with 'grammy' while 'papa' went to work in the city each day.  Lots of swimming, walking, and Amanda found the arcade.  On the weekend of August 21-23 Coachmen 121 had a reunion scheduled there for past members and of course current members.  My wife Carol, and one other member of the club, Jack Torrance, had birthdays on the 19th and I brought out a cake and a good time was had celebrating.  A big potluck dinner was held Saturday night and then a band played 'til 10 PM or so.  While we were there (all 20 or so units) the local Jayco club (40 members there) had a campout.  Both of us were on Eagle Mountain in Lake Paradise so it was quite a get-together.  A good time was had by all.
Madison (2 year old granddaughter) learned how to cook marshmallows on the open fire.   Amanda found out that not all the kids at the campground are pristine angels.   She met a couple of real butts (teens).  Their little brother was OK, they weren't.  Generally the camping experience is a good one.  Sometimes it deviates.

On the 10th we left for our 17 day trip to Scarborough, ME and back...  worth a whole page to itself so click here to read on if your interested... Maine Trip - 1999.    We had one heck of a wonderful trip with our friends Daryl and Connie.  Lots to see and not near enough time.

Went to Columbia, MO and attended a wedding for a long-time friend's daughter.  We stayed at Cottonwoods RV Park in Columbia.  The park was excellent with full facilities.  50 AMP plugs, flat and level, new trees so they weren't tall yet.  That's good when you have a satellite on the roof. <grin>  Lots of nice folks to visit with.  We attended the wedding and a reception afterward.  Went back to the RV in the fog.   Hard to see your hand in front of your face as it is said.  We went straight from there, in the morning, to the 121 fish fry.  Got into the KC area about 1 PM and missed the ball game traffic.
Coachmen 121 got together at the president's home and one heck of a fish fry was enjoyed by all.  Lots of good food and camaraderie.  Plans for next week at Carthage and a good time.  Coachmen 191 has some plans for Branson.  We've decided to go ahead and take the grandkids (Amanda, Madison), friends Daryl and Connie... and go to Precious Moments in Carthage.

Left on Thursday for Carthage, MO and the annual Maple Leaf Festival.  Coachmen 121 Club, along with the Coachmen club from Joplin met at Big Barn RV Park for the weekend.   Thursday night was routine with the grandkids Amanda and Madison staying up late as usual.  Had a nice dinner and finally got the kids to bed.  Daryl and Connie Plattner were with us.  Daryl noted that traveling with a 3 year old and a 9 year old was a 'little different'.    I think he was worn out just watching Madison <grin>.  Friday had a little fun in store.  I had ordered a cord of firewood for one of the Coachmen 121 members, Jack Torrens, to have a little fun with him.  Had it delivered to his motorhome and gave him a #1 Firebuilder Award and a copy of the Girl Scout Firestarter information.   Ended up with a really big fire and a lot of fun cooking out over it.  Jack was somewhat in question as to just what he was going to do with over a cord of firewood.

Sure is a lot of wood!

Jack w/award & Girl Scout firestarter information.

Jack with his cord of firewood.

Jack gets #1 Firebuilder Award

Saturday was the parade day for the Maple Leaf Festival.  Roy, Carol, Daryl, Connie, Amanda, and of course Madison all went to the festival.  The town square was complete with the Marching Cobras, lots of crafts and other such amenities.  We watched the Cobras, went to the quilt display, ate kettle corn, and had the ham/beans lunch at the over-60 center.  Went to the custom car display in the park.  There were hundreds of cars and lots of fun.  Beats-um-all car care products were there with my good friend Doug Peavler (owner).  Hadn't planned on seeing him there.   It is indeed a small world!  Amanda really enjoyed the square and all it had to offer.  Madison was very well behaved and enjoyed the excitement of the Cobras.   It was starting to get a little cool by the evening hours.  The fire was welcome warmth.
Saturday evening was time for homemade soup, chili and a 121 planning meeting.   Things were firmed up for the 2000 camping season.  Afterward several gathered around the campfire and enjoyed a good time.
Sunday we went on the Victorian homes tour.  Several homes were available to display the distinct architecture and furnishings of the era.  Among the houses we visited... Historic Phelps House, Dexter & Donna Friesen Home, Grand Avenue - Bed And Breakfast, and The White Rose - Bed And Breakfast.  We stayed for dinner and left at 6:30 PM for Kansas City.  The grandkids were beat and Madison slept most of the way home.  I'm sure Daryl was ready for another trip with Madison!
Coachmen 191 went to Branson.  We had already made arrangements for the Carthage trip and decided to do Branson another time.

Wife and I took Amanda, Madison, and Alyssa (three of our granddaughters) out to Lake Paradise for the Halloween celebration.  Got there a little late Saturday but the kids still enjoyed the trip.  They didn't seem to miss the haunted forest at all. <grin>  Did some hiking with the little girls down by the lakes and around the campground.  Visited with Nikki (daughter) and her three girls for a bit Sunday afternoon then went to the pumpkin patch.  Spent the rest of the afternoon Sunday at the pumpkin patch on 210 Hiway just east of 291 in the Liberty, MO area.  They put on quite a show and the kids get to pick out their pumpkins.
When we got home we had decided to go ahead and winterize since the month of November wasn't looking too good for RVing.  Every weekend is taken by something.  Easy enough to run out the antifreeze and use the unit if we want to but don't want any problems with adverse weather.  It was 20oF Saturday night and we knew we were seeing the fall season in grand form!  Good time for a warm fire.  We've been keeping the unit up in shape so there is very little to do this winter to 'fix' things.  Got a couple of little things that won't take long.

Removed all food, bathroom items, and battery powered accessories (anything that might freeze).  Winterized things.  Took the batteries out, filled, and cleaned them up.  Reconnected the batteries (I leave the unit plugged into 110 all winter to keep them trickle charged).  Used the water in the unit to clean and then drained things.  Blew out the lines with compressed air.  Turned the valves that isolate the hot water heater.  Pumped in the RV antifreeze.  Poured RV antifreeze down the p-traps and into the stool/holding tank.  Poured enough down the p-traps to put a good quantity into the gray water tank.  Vacuumed everything and cleaned the filters for the A/C units and the screens for the vent fans.  Made sure that all the lights were working and that the lens were cleaned of the accumulation of bugs.  Topped off the generator gas and the coach diesel.  Put Stabil in the gas and  Power Service Arctic Express Diesel Fuel Antigel in the Diesel tank.  Ran the diesel and the generator to insure that they were mixed and that the stabilizer/antigel was in the fuel filters, carburetor, etc. as appropriate.  I've got maybe 2 hours invested in the whole winterization process.  I like to do things in detail and have them ready for next year.

Went to the Golden Ox and had dinner with Roddy's Rowdy's (Coachmen 121).  There were nearly 30 attendees.  After dinner we all went to the American Royal Rodeo.  It was the last night of the rodeo and the 100th anniversary of the Royal.  A special treat was the RCMP demonstration.  There were 32 horses and riders giving us quite a show.  Clay Walker was the music entertainment after the rodeo.  A little loud for the country music presentation but still we all had fun!

Christmas get-together with Coachmen 191 is scheduled at the Fork & Spoon in Liberty, Missouri.  A very good meal was had by all.  Prime Rib was the featured entree although not everyone had that.  Debbie had her official birthday party treat and we adjourned to Frank and Judy Parker's home.  We exchanged Christmas candy and played games.  And on to next year!

Christmas get-together with Coachmen 121 and we went out to Thelma Conrad & family's place.  Had a really nice dinner with 20 of the RVers.  The club called Jack and Dorothy down in Texas and let them know that the club was thinking of them!  It was only 55 degrees in Texas.  Real cool!  Of course we were freezing out little tails off up here in KC. <grin>  Plans were finalized for the year 2000 and the camping get-togethers.


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