January 20 to February 14, 2014 NOMADS Project, Mercedes, MS

February 15 (Approximately) to June - Gate Guarding, TX or LA.

June, 2014 - Up to Alaska!

September - NOMADS Annual Meeting, Branson, MO

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Duke and The Bridges

Camp Fontanelle, Fontanelle, NE

Two weeks down and one to go on this NOMADS project.  Still having to go to Camp Lodge to use their wifi.   WAYYYYY   behind on reading blogs.

Having Friday off, we did a bit of touring yesterday.  We drove over 100 miles each way to Winterset, Iowa.   Winterset has two claims to fame (actually I found out it has three).

One claim I did not know about is that the Delicious Apple was first developed and named there.   A big one,and the reason we got up early for a long drive, is that it is the birthplace of John Wayne.

To those who know Leonard, you have to know he is quite a fan of John Wayne.  In fact today, Encore Westerns DirecTV is celebrating the 105th birthday of the Duke by running 19 of his movies.  Len is planted in front of the TV.

Marion Morrison (John Wayne) was born in this house and lived in it for about 4 years, before moving into another home in the area and then moving to California when he was 7 due to health issues of his father.

Visitors are led by a tour guide to only 4 rooms of this small house.  As it holds family pictures, they ask that no pictures be taken.   There are some items the family had donated to the museum, including the eye patch he wore in True Grit.

On the grounds is a bronze statute his children donated to the town in honor of Wayne's 100th birthday.

A small house next to the museum has been converted to the gift shop.  It sells all things Wayne.

Len left with an addition to his toy collection of trucks, dozers, construction equipment, etc with a Peterbilt semi replica with John Wayne stuff written on the side.    He's a happy man today.

Each year the town celebrates Wayne's birthday over Memorial Day weekend.  We could see various activity going on in town in preparation.   They pick one of his movies to highlight.  This year it is Leonard's very favorite - The Quiet Man.   He has many, many of Wayne movies on DVD, but not this one.  And there were none to be found in the gift shop.  I guess this gives me a clue for Christmas gifting.

Winterset is in Madison County, Iowa.    Yup, THAT Madison County - home of the famed covered bridges.  The movie The Bridges of Madison County was made on location.

At one time the county had 20 covered bridges.  Today 6 are left.   We checked out three of them.

Roseman (1883)

Holliwell (1880)

Cutler-Donahoe  (1870)

On the way back to camp, we drove through DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge which is partly in Iowa and partly in Nebraska.

We spent a little time in the visitor center before driving around looking for wildlife.   The Missouri River runs through the refuge.   DeSoto is a stopover for migrating ducks and geese.   We saw lots of White Pelicans, turkeys and this flock of egrets.

But the biggest thrill was watching a Bald Eagle fly directly over our heads.

Gotta love those Wildlife Refuges!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A week without Internet connection and other stuff.

Camp Fontanelle,  Fontanelle,  NE

We've been here one week now.   My Sprint mobile Wifi is just not getting a good signal, even with my Williams Booster.   It goes in and out.  So here I am at the Camps Lodge on their wifi.

To say this is a small town would be stretching it.   For example, their town hall.

The camp has lots of needs giving us lots to do during our 3 weeks work here.  This is the first time NOMADS have volunteered at this site.   They put in full hook ups for us.  There are 5 sites and all have 50 amp.  We love our site as this is the view from our door.

The first three days Leonard and I laid tile and grouted.  

On Thursday our team leader took pity on us and allowed us to give our old knees a rest.  We worked  in a bathroom securing down toilets, fixing some leaks and installing new light fixtures.

Tomorrow it's back to tiling and grouting.  Will I ever have clean fingernails again?

NOMADS work Monday to Thursday.   On Friday we took the truck to the local Ford Dealer to have a recall issue fixed. The camp director was so nice to offer the use of his spare car on Friday allowing us to go to a local laundromat and catch up on our laundry while the truck was at the dealers.

Yesterday we drove the 50 or so miles over to Omaha and visited:

What an impressive facility this is.   We spent time in the Hall of History Museum that details Boys Town's past, present and future.

We visited the Dowd Chapel:

We went into

The well recognized symbol of Boys Town are the "Two Brothers".  There are four identical statutes on the grounds.

The homes that house the boys and girls living at Boys Town are certainly beautiful.   Each home has a resident "house family" along with 6 or 8 students.  Each house is different and each is beautifully maintained.

We did not realize that there are other Boys Town facilities throughout the country.

Our next stop was over the state line to Council Bluffs, Iowa where we went to Camping World.  We needed a new flag pole that we attach to the back ladder and raise our Williams Booster on.  Hopefully we will always remember to lower this flagpole or never again drive under lower tree branches.

We then visited the Western Historic Trails Center.

This center is located on the banks of the Missouri River.  It traces the steps of four historic trails that converged here during the 1800s:  Lewis and Clark Trail, Oregon Trail, Mormon Pioneer Trail and California Trail.

Now, can someone please explain the sculptures that are on the bridge that crossed over I80 in Council Buffs?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Camp Fontanelle,  Nickerson,  NE

We have arrived for our next NOMADS project here in northeast Nebraska.   Work starts on Monday. Ideal site, right next to the horse corral.   Loving it.

What we don't love is Internet reception.  Even with our booster, connection is going in and  out.   So this is a short post with no pictures.

On the up side, we did get Satellite set up back at our last location and it came in well here.  At least Leonard is happy - he has DirecTV.   Me, not so much -  I NEED MY INTERNET.

Better hit Publish before I lose connection again.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What a DIP!

Hanlon County COE, Republican City,  Nebraska

We left Kansas yesterday around 9:30 a.m. and arrived at this COE park near the Kansas/Nebraska border right after noon.

The view from our rig:

We have 50 amp and water with a shower and LAUNDRY facility about 500 feet away. A LAUNDRY!  This is a first for us in a COE park.  Again, can't beat the cost with the Federal Senior Pass at $10.00 a night.    We took a ride last night around the lake going over the dam.

All is not beautiful however.  On the way, here going through a small town, we hit a dip in the road.  No warnings signs and did not see it coming upon us.  Was it ever a DIP.  Glad we were going slow.

When we started opening our slides we heard a strange sound in the living room slide so stopped the process.   There on the floor wedged into the bottom of the slide was the Christmas gift daughter Amy and family had given to us.   When traveling I have been shoving it between the seat of the sofa and the back cushions.  I suppose when we hit the dip it flew out and off the sofa.   The wooden trim had pulled from the slide but we pushed it back in.  No permanent damage.

But the "family tree" is destroyed.   Three limbs broke off in the jam into little pieces.  Fortunately the five pictures of grandchildren which hung on the limbs are fine.   This is upsetting to me.  Amy told me she bought it at Michaels.  I hope to find a replacement.

After finishing getting set up I attempted to open the back window's day/night shade.

It would not stay in place.   Len looked at it and found that a screw that holds the string which holds the shades in place had come out from the wall.   He wrapped the string around a bracket and the shade works again.

A little later Len went to open the bottom drawer of our file cabinet.   At that point we found the glides had come loose from the side of the cabinet and the bottom of the drawer broke in several areas and was siting on the floor.

The file cabinet sits on the back wall next to the sofa.   This was not a cheap piece of furniture and we've only had it a few months.    It appeared to be built from substantial wood but the bottoms are flimsy plywood.   This morning we found a lumber yard and got 3/4" plywood for the repair.  Len is outside now doing the fix.  Who wants a file cabinet looking this this!

One more issue.  We can not get our Satellite system to receive a signal.   There are trees around us but we have been in sites with more trees and have received the signal.    We've put our Wine Gard carry in Dome in several places, even in some very open areas but no luck yet.   The WineGard dome travels on a rack at the rear of the rig.   Could something have jarred or broke?  I guess we will find out when we get to our next stop.

One thing for sure - all the damage was done to items in the rear of the rig.  This is one time we are really glad not to have a rear kitchen!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Have we seen Kansas!

Lake Wilson COE,  Sylvan Grove, KS

Our time in Kansas will come to an end on Monday when we head to Nebraska.    Who would have thought Kansas would be so interesting.  

Fick Fossil and History Museum - Oakley

This Mosasaur skull is the oldest documented Tylosaurus Proriger ever found anywhere in the world.

There are displays of locally found minerals, rocks and fossils as well as items from around the US and all across the world.

We did a lot of country side driving thru prairies and plains.   All over the state this is the way they post property as no trespassing or no hunting.

Ellis Kansas

After leaving Oakley we spent 6 days at Lakeside City RV Park in Ellis.  This is a small park right in town offering water and 50 amp electric.    Our view

And right down the road and across the street in the railroad museum.  At one time Ellis was a major stop of the Union Pacific RR.

While in Ellis we visited the

The man who founded Chrysler Motors grew up in this house.  His father worked for the Union Pacific as did Walter as a young man.

Walter became interested in the automobile and because of his work experience and management expertise he was offered a position with the Buick Company.   They put him in charge but did not allow him the final say.  He left and started his own company.   This is the actual 6th car that rolled off the Chrysler line.

Behind the house is a small museum chock full of all items Chrysler.    After browsing the museum, we were taken into the house.   The Chrysler's were the first in town to have  a "bathroom".  That's all it was, a room to take a bath.   Water had to be pumped outside and brought it.  When everyone was done the bathing, the water would be scooped up to be tossed outside.

Lake Wilson/Lucas Park COE

We are currently spending 6 days at this beautiful COE park.    I was lucky because as I snapped this picture entering the campground, a deer crossed the road.  You have really look to see him/her,

A view from our site:

Eisenhower Presidential Museum and Library, Abilene

Yesterday we took a 160 mile round trip drive to Abilene to see the site of the Eisenhower complex.

The house where he lived from age 2 until he went to West Point.

All the furniture in the house is the original.   There is a museum on the complex which we spent hours in.   This is the Presidential Library and Research Center.   There are limited displays and access for tourists in the library making the museum and house the main attractions.

The chapel holds the graves of President Eisenhower, Mamie and a young son.

Guess we pretty well have Eisenhower covered.  We've visited the house in which he was born in Denison, Tx, the house he grew up in and site he is buried in Abilene, Ks and the house he retired to after the presidency in Gettysburg, Pa.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

HELP! What the heck is going on.....

Lake Wilson, Sylvan Grove, KS.

What is going on!!!!!    The last few days, every time I attempt to leave a comment on a blog I get a pop up asking if I want to earn money on my blog.   I click on no and it leaves, but also my comment I am out of that persons blog and back to mine.   It happens several times a day.  I just attempted to leave a comment on Judy and Emmas blog twice and both times this thing popped up and took my comment with it.

Is anyone else having this issue.  And what can I do to make it stop.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Letter Z

Lake Wilson COE, Sylvan Grove, KS

Wrapping up the Blogging From A to Z.  What do I have to say about "Z"?