Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Our 2013 Summer Adventure Begins


We got going on Wednesday April 24. There  is always many details to attend to when closing the house for an extended period. We pull out of the yard at 10:30 but had to fuel,  get a bite of brunch and connect up the CR-V before leaving Okeechobee at 11:30.

The ride through Yeehaw Junction to get on the Florida Turnpike was thought provoking, “What did we forget?”. The Willie Nelson song On The Rode Again always runs through my mind as we start an adventure in the motor home.

We crossed the Florida/Georgia border looking for a place to stay. As we had vouchers to stay at KOAs on our way to California to work as  KOA workampers, we stayed at Valdosta Lake Park KOA. It turned out to be a very worthwhile stay.

Lou struck up a conversation with a dog owner about his look like a Dane dog. Steve was a certified RV technician. He ended up solving a several problems we had and showed me a number of things that I was unaware of about RVs.

The next night we reached into Tennessee and Raccoon Mountain Campground. It was nestled in the hills and we heard no noise from the rest of the world, peaceful.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights we were parked in Lois Wagner's driveway in the suburbs of St. Louis. The weather was cold and rainy but we had a very nice visit with Lois and toured some of the very many highlights of the area. (Lois is a member of our church in Okeechobee. Over breakfast at the Masonic Lodge one morning she invited us to stop. We did !)

Friday morning started at the Soular Farm Market. Like the Westside Market in Cleveland only larger. They even had live turkeys and other fowl in cages for sale. Lou was busy taking in the sights and taking pictures with her new smart phone camera. (Clicking photos give enlargement, back arrow to return.)

Tom in Mrkt

On the way to the next stop, Lou spotted the Oyster Bar with patio eating.

Oyster Bar

The next stop was, of course…



We toured and tasted their wares. Interesting but too hurried. The guides spoke so fast that I missed some of the info. I do recall that one of the large tanks, and there are over 300, holds enough beer you could drink a six pack a day for 130 years. That is a lot of suds. (The tanks did not photograph well.

Lou was busy with her camera phone again and almost got left behind.

Lou running

We really came to see the Clydesdales. There were four housed at the factory. The others were at Grant’s Farm. It was property of Ulysses S Grant. We made that tour the next day while the weather started to clear.

Leaving the parking lot we crossed a small creek. There were animals from all over the world running free as we road a tram through the grounds. The eagles had been injured and could not fly. They are beautiful large birds.

Grants Farm CreekBison

EagleLou with AB Wagon

The attraction was sponsored by the Busch family. At least one of the family live in the mansion on the property. There are many influences of the family’s money throughout St. Louis. They are very generous.

Our next and last adventure on this stop was to visit the Arch. The Gateway Arch is the nation’s tallest monument at 630 feet. The Gateway Arch commemorates Thomas Jefferson and St. Louis’ role in the westward expansion of the United States. This photo is from the Internet.

After passing through airport style security you enter an underground area housing three movie viewing rooms and and large museum. The Museum of Westward Expansion has an awesome set of murals covering the walls as well as artifacts and life size dioramas of the period.

This wall covering carving shows the relative height of the Arch.

Under Ground Arch

In the Arch

View 1View 2

The right hand picture includes the stadium and a St. Louis Cardinal’s baseball game underway. (I never did find out who won. We passed next to the south gate as fans were leaving. They did not seem over joyed. The team has a very large fan base. Cardinals’ red was visible everywhere.)

The mighty Mississippi was flooding and still rising. Attractions like the chopper rides and ferry trips were cancelled as the bases of operation were far from dry land. The River Walk was under water as well.

Chopper baseFerry boats

Looking down you could see ants milling about. (I bet there even a few uncles in the crowd.)


As Porky Pig would say “Tttttthat’s all Folks.”

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you are making the most of your trip west. Good for you. I forgot to tell Lou about the wonderful yarn store on Main St in Weaverville. The lady has "sit and knits" one evening a week. Lou should go as I learned a lot about the area from the ladies in this group.