Sunday, April 11, 2021


 This morning, Saturday the 10th, I woke up kind of late to the sound of rain on the roof.  Welcome to Illinois in the Spring😂

Calling for showers and winds all day, so didn't waste anytime getting ready to leave the Homestead rest area just north of St Louis on I-55.  Left at 9:45.  Only one hour to Springfield and one hour to home.  Had no real problems the entire two hours.
Started raining harder as we closed in on Bloomington, Illinois.  Nice to get a free wash to get all that southwestern dirt and dust off before getting home.
Yuma got all excited when we turned onto our county road toward home.  He remembers and I think he is excited to be home.  He was jumping up and down from the dash and whining😍
Pulled into home at 12:30 and our southwest journey for this season is over.

Today is my son Steve's birthday so rested up and talked with Dolly for the afternoon and then at 6:30 we went over to his house to meet the family for his birthday party.

It was great to see nearly the whole family the first night home and to be here to celebrate Steve's birthday.  Perfect ending to a successful southwest trip.  Hopefully, there will be another trip in my future.  I appreciate those that read my blog and those that left comments. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Heading home - Day 5

This morning my plan is to make one last long day to be close to home.  It was just gorgeous all last night and this morning.  Almost too warm over night with lows in the low 50s.  We got up at 7:30 and again we were on the road by 8:15 with no breakfast.  Got a stop to make.  Perfect day for traveling.

When I stepped outside with Yuma to go take a walk near the woods behind the rest area someone fired off a gun and that was it for Yuma.  He turned around and ran back to the White Lion and hid in the bathroom.  What luck!😝

About 20 miles down the road in Carthage, Missouri is an RV Parts store that carries lots of Safari Serengeti used parts.  I want to stop by and get a light cover I tore off my first time going into my driveway last year.  And several other little things I've broken over the year.

The name of the place is COLAW RV Parts at exit 22 on I-40.  They had my light cover and after meeting the gang working there I really like them.  They had a huge manual of items they sell and I can call and have them deliver parts in the future.  If I don't see it, just send a picture of the item I want and details and they will check for it.

Spent about an hour and we were off towards St. Louis.  I hate going anywhere near that traffic😡  We took our breakfast break at my favorite rest area in Missouri around 11 o'clock.  It is the Conway Rest Area just east of Springfield.  Lots of Route 66 buildings.

Then my thought turned to St. Louis.  Whether to go straight through or take the 270 by-pass.  Maps girl said to go straight through but I was too afraid to do it so I took the by-pass.  It was bad enough.  

This whole city is on the highway from the looks of the crowds of vehicles racing by me.  I found that the White Lion runs better going fast so we did the speed limit of 70 most of today.  It ran up and down the Missouri hills much better at speed.

Drove right past Fort Leonard Wood where I did my Army Basic Training in 1967.  Stopped just outside St. Louis to refill for the last time and they also had a dump station so got that potential problem done also.

Finally, we crossed the Mississippi River into Illinois

and shortly after at 4:30 we pulled into our rest area for the night.  Only 2 hours to home from here so tomorrow will be an easy day and I will arrive home rested.  Supposed to turn much cooler with rain tonight and tomorrow, so glad my day will be short.

First thing I did was to set up my Dish for tonight's Gold shows.  Dave Turin and Freddy Dodge.  Then we rested for awhile and then I fixed a yummy pork chop and potato.  For some reason driving makes me hungry.  Finished up with a salad and pudding dessert.

Almost 9 o'clock now and as soon as the shows are over we'll be resting for tomorrow.  Last night on the road😀

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Heading home - Day 4

 There was a crowd at the Oklahoma Information Center rest area this morning when I first walked outside around 7:30.  I didn't know it during the night because it was so quiet

As you can tell it is a bright new day without a cloud in the sky.  Temperature was around 50 and it felt brisk but nice.  Calling for winds down the road this afternoon again, but still from the northwest.

Again, we had no breakfast before heading out at 8:15 to drive for awhile and then stop for breakfast.  About 45 minutes west of Oklahoma City at 9:45, we stopped and had breakfast and rested for awhile.  

Then it was time to take on Oklahoma City.  Actually went fairly well,  I followed the signs to Tulsa but my Maps girl wanted me to stay on I-40 through town.  Found out too late why.   I turned her off to shut her up😀  There was construction on the first part of I-44 and Maps girl wanted me to bypass that before getting on I-44.  Wasn't a really long delay, but I probably lost a half hour.  I was just happy to be out of the madding crowds.

All went smoothly till I hit Tulsa.  Never had any problems going through there till today so Maps girl was not turned back on.  I misread an overhead sign post on the way out of Tulsa and thought I turned in the wrong direction.  Turned off at the next exit and stopped to turn Maps girl back on and told her I was sorry for being mean and I needed help.  This time I will listen.

After going through a neighborhood and then back to the road I was on originally, I discovered I had been on the right road all along.  Another half hour down the tubes, but whose counting.

Looking at the maps last night I thought it would be neat to stay overnight at the Oasis Rest Area on the I-44 toll road but when I got there it was already crowded with trucks at 2:30.  Every parking lane was full.  Must be a popular place, so I continued on down the road for another 45 miles to the Missouri Information Center rest area just outside Joplin, Missouri.

This rest area is great.  They have parking areas for cars and another for RVs and buses and a third area for trucks.

As you can see from the flags, the wind has picked up again in the afternoon, but it was a pushing wind from the west so didn't bother me much.  It was 3:30 and after 7 hours on the road, I am tired.  Drove a whopping 365 miles today!  I remember when I was young, I would drive 500 miles a day.  What happened?

Got a message from Deb Celebrating the Dance she wrote this morning.  They had been staying in a small town a short distance from where I stayed last night.  Quite a coincidence.  They are going at a full-timers pace so tonight I'm many miles ahead of them.😁

It is a very nice afternoon with temperatures in the mid 70s but quite windy.  Yuma and I took several walks and rested quite a bit till dinner time.  Again, I forgot to pull a steak out of the freezer yesterday, so it's two hotdogs again.😟  This time with a salad.  It's already 8 o'clock as I finish my post so going to have a quick dessert and hit the sack.  Another long day tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Heading home - Day 2 and 3

Day 2

I published Day 1 earlier this evening, so be sure to back and read that one too.  Sorry for all this confusion, but now I'm caught up.

This morning we left at 9:30 our new Mountain Time, so it was early for us.  Our view of the mountains east of Las Cruces as we headed out.

Out of Las Cruces, we followed hwy 70 North and almost made a big mistake by not turning onto hwy 54.  I would have taken the mountainous road through the Capitan Mountains and I'm not sure if the White Lion is up to going up mountains with the Jeep behind it.

Made a big U-turn and got back to hwy 54 which is longer but stays on flat land.  Don't mind the smears😁

Love these small towns in the west.
We skirted every mountain on hwy 54.  Not a bad road and not very much traffic.  Also had lots of passing lanes.

Didn't know what this building was in Vaughn, New Mexico, but it looked neat.  
All I can say is the road is flat which is good for the White Lion.
Finally, we came to I-40 at Santa Rosa and headed east for a short distance to the first rest area, Pajarito Rest Area, and called it a day.  It was 4 o'clock and I was dead tired for some reason.   It turned windy in the afternoon, but luckily, we were going with it for the most part.

Had dinner and I finished up my post for the Sugarloaf Mountain hike on Sunday and I was too tired to do anymore.  Even though we are right next to the interstate I slept like a log.

Day 3
Finally today and I'm all caught up.  I didn't wake up till 9 o'clock, but I felt well rested.  The traffic slowed during the night and was not a bother and neither were the trucks parked nearby.

No breakfast.  Decided to head down the road and stop for breakfast so I could break up the drive.  Wasn't long before we were out of New Mexico and into Texas and Central Time.  The picture Yuma took of the Texas sign was too blurry to post.😌
At 10:30 we stopped for breakfast and walk around the little picnic table rest area.
It was all I-40 today.  Lots of prairie land with rolling hills.
But you did have to watch out for wind turbines crossing the highway😂
We crossed into Oklahoma around 4 o'clock and decided to call it a day at the Oklahoma Information Center rest area.  Another near miss by Yuma😁
But I got a good picture at the information Center.
Another long day of driving, but I had my Willy Nelson look going on.
Had a couple hotdogs for dinner and it is now 10:30 in my new time zone and past time for me and Yuma to be in bed.

Thanks for stopping by.

Heading home - Day 1

 This morning, Monday, April 5th is the day I've decided to start home.  Been in the southwest for over four months and the days are getting hotter and the cooler temperatures back home are looking good to me now.

Took our last walk along the road near the White Lion and told Yuma it was time to head home.  He must know what I mean, because he took off like a shot!

When I came around the corner there he was waiting for me.
Beautiful morning and it is calling for a nice day to travel, so we pulled out early around 8:30 heading back up towards I-10 on the other side of that mountain.
Yuma was a big help as my side-kick passenger.  He took most of the pictures😁
Mostly, it was an uneventful trip and my destination is the Roadrunner Rest Area overlooking Las Cruces, New Mexico.

That Yuma was slow on this picture, but he got most of it.😃

 Yuma met a couple of friends at a rest area. 

Better with this picture.

We drove about 200 mile today.  Not far in numbers but I was bushed by the time we got there.  Lost an hour so it was 7:30 when we finally arrived.  We made a number of stops.  One of them was for dinner and a long rest east of Deming and almost decided to stay the night there, but we really wanted to stay at the Roadrunner, so went an hour further after our rest.

Here's what I wanted to see!

And the beautiful evening view of Las Cruces!
And to top it off, just after I took this picture, a mourning dove cooed at me.  Nice ending for my first day on the road.

I plan to post one more time tonight covering day 2 and day 3 of my journey east.  Not much, but for documentation.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Hike to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain on Easter!

 Woke up this morning, Sunday, April 4th and made the final decision to hike to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain.  Happy Easter everyone!  Yuma and I had a fairly quick breakfast and we were on our way by 11 o'clock.  Going to be a puffy cloud day with warm temperatures and a nice breeze.  Drove straight to the trailhead and when I read the poster, I was shocked to find out No Dogs Allowed.

There were only two other vehicles in the parking lot so I made an executive decision to put Yuma on a leash and we both headed out.

Right away, I could tell this was going to be a beautiful trail to hike.  One mile up and one mile down.  Not too bad!  We are already quite high in the mountains when we start, so the canyons were steep right at the start.

Not going to do a lot of talking and just let the views do it for me.  And they are spectacular to see!

We had just started when a family of four passed by heading back down and then a young man soon did too.  He said there was no one else on the trail so we would have it all to ourselves😃

We made about a three quarter circle around the mountain as we headed up, so the incline was never too demanding.  Finally, I could see the outpost.

Once we reached the top I was pooped.  Yuma had to pull me up the last 100 feet😂
Once we got to the top, we rested and then walked around the area taking pictures.  Probably spent a good hour enjoying the serenity and solitude.

Few more pictures of the hike back down.  Yuma was very interested in the view too!

I bet the Raven has a beautiful view!

As we were nearing the parking lot, we met up with a man heading for the top.  I knew someone was coming because I saw the truck from above.  His wife was waiting in the truck for him to return.

I know it's picture overload but everything was just too fantastic!  I am so glad I made this hike.  Probably the best I've ever taken other than the Grand Canyon.

Got home around 4 o'clock and had a quick dinner of hotdogs and then Yuma and I were off to bed.  Yuma was tired and so was I.  Had cramps in my legs and my ankles hurt like the dickens, but it was worth it😀

Thanks for stopping by.