Thursday, April 28, 2011

Arkansas

We left Mississippi on Sunday and headed to Heber Springs Arkansas for the workamper rendezvous. All was going smoothly until we were stopped at a stop light and heard an explosion behind us, it was a tire on the 5er blowing out.
Here we are on Easter Sunday and who knows where with a flat. I called AAA & Camping World, AAA said sorry you don't have coverage on the 5er and Camping World said see ya in 3 hours. Within 20 minutes a local tire repair guy happened to drive by, stopped and within 1/2 hour we were good to go. How lucky were we? We could not find a new tire so we drove off to Heber Springs with our fingers crossed.
We found a site deep in the woods on Greers Ferry Lake.

The rendezvous did not start until Tuesday so we took it easy and did some shopping. While at WalMart I decided that we needed a weather radio, since there was a call for severe storms starting Monday afternoon. We were so glad we bought that radio, both Monday and Tuesday night we listened to the radio and watched the radar on the Internet as the storms moved toward Heber Springs. Monday night two tornadoes passed within 15 miles of us and seven people were killed about 40 miles south of Heber Springs. Tuesday night was just as nuts and we came very close to heading over to the concrete bathroom building. Two trees fell in the campground and one rig was glanced and had its roof ripped. Everything with us is okay and today was gorgeous sunshine. The sunrise was beautiful this morning. The lake is up about 6 feet since we arrived and it has rained over 10 inches since Sunday.
The rendezvous has been great, we have learned a lot that we will use daily while RVing. The event was in the new Heber Springs Community Center. Last night we had a group barbecue on the water. Unfortunately the wind was blowing and it was 50 deg., still almost all of the 160 attendees showed up. We ate fast and left early; you can see why when you looking at the picture of Sherri.
The rendezvous ended this evening with a dinner at the Catfish Barn. We begin the drive back to Albuquerque tomorrow and should be in to the Central KOA by Saturday evening. Saturday May 7 it is off to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon for 5 months.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Piney Grove

We left Nashville on Thursday and headed down the Natchez Trace to the northeast part of Mississippi. We are staying at a beautiful state park, Piney Grove. Sherri and I are not used to so much water and trees. The pictures are from our door toward the water and a picture of the rig from water's edge.
Yesterday was a busy day. We took a short drive to Tishomingo State Park and went on a great day hike. The hike started over a precarious swinging bridge and off into the woods.
The hike went up into limestone outcroppings and down along the river. We saw no other hikers and the weather was perfect. Today is hot and muggy and we are feeling lazy this afternoon after a busy day yesterday. Oh, after hiking we drove over to Boonville and did some shopping at WalMart and then we had a fun dinner at Catfish Country. The food was good and the locals were extremely friendly. The staff had not met anyone from New Mexico-we placed a push pin on the big map- and they all wanted to chat. Tomorrow we head to Heber Springs Arkansas.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nashville

We had a nice trip from Sevierville to Nashville on Monday; Tuesday morning we toured the Gaylord Hotel which is by the Grand Ole Opry. It is an amazing complex with beautiful gardens, a convention center and many restaurants. All of it is indoors. This is the Waterfront Restaurant.
Tuesday night we went to a show at the Grand Ole Opry. Neither Sherri or I are big country music fans, but we had a great time and the music was wonderful. The biggest names were Rodney Atkins, Jason Michael Carroll, Bill Anderson and Craig Morgan plus a few others.
Here I am with "Minnie Pearl" Howdeeeeeeeee.
Last night, early this morning we had a tornado watch. Fortunately no tornado, but we did have a severe thunderstorm come through with 60 mph winds. A couple of trees in the park were toppled, one landed on a motorhome and another on a camping cabin. No major damage and no one was hurt but it was pretty crazy for an hour or so. The 5er hasn't been rocking like that since....
Today is cool and cloudy. We took a self guided walking tour of downtown Nashville. There are a lot of saloons and many very cool buildings. Lunch was great. We ate at an old historic 1 + 3 (one main and three sides) hole in the wall.
Here is Sherri in the world famous Wild Horse Saloon. I don't know why she would want to hang out with these guys, she already spends all her time with an ass:-)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Rally Over

 This morning we finished up the rally with a good bye breakfast. It has been an amazing week. Everyday there have been seminars from "Packing Your Rig" to "Hooking up the Internet". We have made many new friends and learned a lot about life on the road. It's hard to believe that we have been here a week and are on our way to Nashville tomorrow. The weather has been off and on; Tuesday we were planning on hiking but got rained out and Friday night big storms came through. The river behind us rose quickly and we thought we might have to move, but the storms stopped Saturday morning and the river quit rising. Ryder has loved playing by the river; fortunately he has yet to jump in.
Friday was a free day and we drove into the Smokies and went on a very nice day hike. Here is a short video from our hike.
video
The picture is Sherri practicing her yoga Tree Pose on a bridge over the river.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Rally Stuff

Today was check in for the rally and this evening we had a buffet dinner and did some ice breaker activities. There are about 160 people here for the rally, about half are already full-timing and the rest are in various stages of planning to go full-timing. It's a good group of people and we are having a great time. The weather held out yesterday and we had two foursomes at the Gatlinburg Golf Course. Very dramatic course up and down the hills and through the ravines. I played well which always makes for a good time. While I was playing golf Sherri helped our host Linda get prepped for the rally.
Last night I played in a Texas hold-em poker tournament. Twenty of us played and I cashed by placing third. To see a story about golf and poker go the rally hosts website. http://www.rv-dreams.typepad.com/ 

Pictures are a lazy dog in front of a lazy river from our rally site, and an owner and his dog from Memphis.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

MADE IT!!!



Arrived in Sevierville yesterday afternoon. Our river site was not available so we had a temporary site and we will soon be moving. The river site is a back-in so I will be entertaining the neighbors this afternoon.
Last night we went out to an oldies show with 35 of our new friends. The show was hokey but entertaining, some of the RVers wound up being a part of the show.
After we move today we will get set up for a 9 day stay. Not having to move for a while will feel good. Tomorrow I am supposed to play golf with some of the other rally attendees. There is an 80% chance of rain, so I might be helping Sherri help Linda get ready for the rally.
The posted pictures were taken by the Tram's Jay Blackwood. The photos were taken at our "retirement party" on March 31.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Nashville

We are spending tonight at a great KOA in Nashville. We will be back here for 3 nights after the rally. Today we went from outside of Little Rock, through Memphis and into Nashville.
After crossing the Mississippi we turned off to the Tennessee visitors center just outside of downtown Memphis. We had lunch overlooking the Mississippi with the Memphis skyline as a backdrop. We had a picnic lunch in 77deg. temps and 71% humidity. Sherri is bitchin about her hair :)
We hit Nashville just in time for our first rush hour in the 5er...what fun. It took about 45 minutes to go five miles with many lane changes, look out here I come. The famous Cock of the Walk restaurant is right at the entrance to the KOA park, so I called in an order and walked over to pick it up. Great Catfish!!!.
I will post a lot of pictures soon. We will be in Sevierville tomorrow, a day a ahead of schedule.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

On the Road

After months of getting ready we have hit the road. What a change our lives have seen; from a large house in a nice neighborhood to a 5th wheel going down I 40. The hardest part of this for me is learning patience, which I don't have much of when it comes to mechanical & technical issues.
We were all set to leave early Wednesday 4/6 when our pre-trip discovered the right rear brake & turn signal was not working. After changing the bulb and still not working we drove over to Rocky Mountain RV,  the a-holes told us they could look at it in two weeks. So we called our man Jason Quinn of RV Specialties and he drove up from Los Lunas to fix a bad wire. Great guy and if you need RV mechanical help call him: 505-480-9882.
We made good time yesterday and stayed at West 40 RV Park in Shamrock TX. The place is a cow pasture, but was good for one night. Tonight we are in Morillton Ark, about 40 miles from Little Rock; not too bad of a park, lots of trees but right on I 40. We should be able to make it to Sevierville TN by Saturday and then we will be in one place for 10 days. After 4 days on the road it will be nice to settle in for a spell.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Family BBQ & Brunch

We had a great time with the Weavers and Slingerlands today. We met for brunch in Corrales at the Indigo Crow. The howling wind and blowing dust did not deter us from eating and chatting for a couple of hours. The food and company were great.Sherri and I always wish there was more time to visit with such good friends.
video
Yesterday we had family night at Laverne's. All family were present including friend Adam. I got to check out my new Flip Video Camera and drive everybody crazy. Laverne's friend Jerry cooked up plate fulls of good burgers and we had a nice time. We opened a couple of gifts and the video above was shot by Amy. I hope it's not too boring. As we get close to heading out, the reality of not seeing family is starting to set in. I'm sure we will have some home sickness, but today's technology mitigates the anxiety.