Friday, May 30, 2008

Starting to get CRANKY

TOO MUCH going on this summer already - Starting to get cranky at the lack of camping. I'm easy to please, even a trip to Manawa or Louisville which are VERY close would get my spirit lifted...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Trip 5 - Ponca State Park

Ponca State Park has changed a bit since the last time we were there. They've added roads, buildings, dug out a man made lake, built a pool and waterfall and changed the whole entrance area around. A lot of hard work has greatly improved this park, not that it was lacking in the first place but they've really worked hard at turning it into a great park.

Friday afternoon we picked up Alyssa right after school and headed out. We took HWY 75 up through Blair, Tekamah and the Reservations. We could have taken I-29 to Sioux City and over for a quicker route but we cut about 25 miles off our route by taking the more direct route. Part of the fun of RVing is the journey getting there too. There are a LOT of breathtaking views along 75 once you get north of Decatur and up into the bluffs and it was a nice drive. Not to be negative or anything but driving through the Omaha and Winnebago reservations can tend to help you keep life in perspective. (Enough said about that :-) )

One WHOOOPS occurred on Friday as we were pulling through the park. Alyssa go to the point where she had to go to the bathroom urgently and we pulled off on a side road just inside the park and she went back to use the bathroom, I got out and stretched my legs and unlock the camper so she could do her duty. She was done and got back into the truck and so did I, "absent mindedly" I forgot to do a walk around the camper and I had left the door locked open and the steps down and started tooling through the park to find our spot. A mile or so up the road I realized my mistake and calmly pulled off and rectified the situation (I believe I was calmer than the other two in my car). Not a big deal this time but if I had taken off back down the highway it may have been a different story. LESSON LEARNED...

Friday night was very nice, we pulled in and got set up, put the awning out and built a nice campfire and everything, we were there and ready to relax.

Saturday - We (all three of us) had originally thought about bringing our golf clubs along on this trip since PONCA has one of the NICEST 9 hole courses I've ever played. Once we realized that Saturday wasn't going to be a great day to golf we decided to leave them behind. SURE enough 6:00AM on Saturday the rain came. Not really any torrential down pours but just enough of a steady rain to make things interesting on Saturday. (I'd say maybe an inch to an inch and a half throughout the day Saturday) We brought some movies anticipating a less than ideal day on Saturday and throughout the weekend watched the first 12 episodes of HERO's, one of our favorite shows from last year. We did get out and have some fun on Saturday as we toured the park in the rain and checked out the new Missouri National Recreational River Resource and Education Center (wow that's a mouthful - hit this link for more details ) It was very informative and they have a very nice set up there. We also made it a point no to let the the weather get us down and geared up and actually walked some of the trails for about an hour out in the rain, it was a little muddy but it was just like being a KID again...

Saturday late afternoon the wind picked up and we had to put the awning up and, up to that point we had been doing alright with our "big umbrella" keeping everything outside pretty dry. We had to get most things packed away late in the day and we managed to survive the wind and rain on Saturday.

Sunday morning we pulled the awning and hung up the rugs and set out everything that was damp to dry and Sunday ended up being a nice sunny calm day. Valerie made some great breakfast and we enjoyed our time together on Sunday until about noon when we started packing up for the trip home. Fortunately everything had pretty much dried out and that always helps. Still having an issue getting ONE of my stabilizer jacks back up so I wired it again but other than that Sunday was pretty uneventful other than paying $3.69 a gallon to fill back up in Ponca. Oh well, it is what it is and its really not that big of a deal considering all the quality time we get to spend together while we are camping.

Kind of bummed a bit now because I am not sure when we are going to be able to get back out, schedule is filling up quite quickly for the rest of the summer but rest assured we'll take every opportunity we can to get out.

Until next time...


(More pics of our Ponca Trip)

Dogs get more attention when its rainy.
Max Air II Vents in Action

Exercise when its rainy outside

Education Center

View of Campsite
Dancing Lessons (Who's teaching who here)

Rain Rain, GO AWAY...

Alyssa's Water Conservation Plan :-)

Springtime at Ponca State Park

Thanks - Bc

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tongue Jack, Max Air and other fun stuff

We'll, thanks to Matt's willingness to get on the roof of the camper the Max AIR II vents are on and should prove to be a big help with ventilation in the camper. I think I could probably get on the roof of my camper but it kind of worried me so I opted for someone much lighter (THANKS SO MUCH)... :-) Wile Matt was doing that I continued mounting my new Electric Tongue jack and WOW, what a great invention that is. It works like a SNAP and I think they should just come standard on campers as it has to be the number ONE thing anybody would do to upgrade their TT. ALSO fixed the two driver's side stabilizer jacks so they work like a charm now. The plastic KEYs that hold the bolt from coming out of the JACK had come out and I have them working again now. I used wire as opposed to another plastic key and will replace with a metal "cotter key" when I find one that will fit. The last change I made was to turn my closet into more of a dresser. Works great and who takes clothes camping that need to be hung up anyhow. I'll post some pictures sometime. I plan to do this to Valerie and Alyssa's closets too if they so desire but wanted to see how it would work on mine first.

We also organized the storage and cleaned the entire TT inside and out and Val and Alyssa worked their butts off helping with that too, needless to say it was a long day Sunday...

That's it for now, we're off to Ponca next weekend to celebrate 16 years of wedded bliss...