DeWayne and Joy

DeWayne and Joy

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Northward Bound

We left the Red Barn RV park close to Joplin yesterday morning around noon and in no hurry, since we planned to spend the night in a Wal-Mart parking lot and wanted to arrive late enough that hopefully the heat would have dissipated enough to be comfortable without A/C for the night. 

We had spent two nights at the “Red Barn” and the heat was sweltering.  Our A/C barely keeps up during the heat of the day, so DeWayne did what cooking needed to be done outside.  The rest was micro waved or just not prepared at all. We were ready to hit the road and head north, getting to cooler temperatures.

The drive toward St. Louis was pretty uneventful.  It was all familiar territory to us since we had just traveled this very road in June on our way to Delaware, so I pretty much left the camera alone.  However, I just had to give you all an idea of what DeWayne eats for lunch as he is driving:
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Colorful, isn’t it?  I don’t know how he does it.  I’d starve to death on that, especially since I don’t care for fruit (oranges) mixed with pickles, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese.  But he loves it, so that’s what counts.  I just think it’s pretty.

One thing we decided on our way back from Delaware was to stock up on snack products such as peanuts, cheese crackers, pastries (for me) at Sam’s or Wal-Mart to have on hand for the days we are traveling.  Plus, we bought us each a coffee thermos and make our coffee before we hit the road.  This way, every time we have to stop for diesel or a potty break, we aren’t handing some cashier an extra six or seven dollars for coffee and snack material.  Making our lunches and keeping them in the cooler with the soft drinks saves us lots too.

After a while, DeWayne got sleepy, so it was my turn to drive and allow him to get a power nap.  When he woke up, he decided to play with the camera for a while, so I was his first target.
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Then he took four more pictures of the scenery before he tired of the photography business.
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Within minutes, he was ready to drive again, so I reluctantly gave up the captain’s chair and took over the navigator’s position once again.

The terrain became more and more hilly as we made our way northeast and gorgeous, of course
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We decided to eat at Cracker Barrel just outside St. Louis.  I always order Mama’s Pancake breakfast that comes with three pancakes.  DeWayne eats one with sugar free syrup, I eat one with regular syrup and one always goes to waste, but it works for us.  I asked for a take out box and left with my bacon and DeWayne’s biscuits for my breakfast this morning.  Yummmy!

It was getting dark as we left Cracker Barrel and drove through St. Louis and 35 miles on toward Lincoln, IL for our stay in Wal-Mart parking lot.  We found a good spot, parked and opened up the RV which was like an oven!  We opened windows and turned on exhaust fans, hoping to cool things off enough to sleep.  DeWayne took a cool shower and headed off to bed while I played a little while on the computer to unwind.  The chair was hot, the computer was hot, I was hot and sweating and it just wasn’t getting any cooler in the RV. 

After half an hour or so, I began to hear thunder in the distance that was getting closer, so I pulled up the radar and sure enough, we had some heavy stuff coming our way.  So I quickly made my way toward the shower and discovered DeWayne still awake and complaining about how hot it was in the bedroom.  I took a quick and cool shower before the lightning could start and as soon as I emerged, it started raining hard, which meant that we would have to close the exhaust fans to keep the rain from coming in.  NOT GOOD! 

That meant no air flow at all and it was just too stifling to stay in the RV, so we closed it up, put on clothes and headed for the truck.  DeWayne started it up and ahhhhhh, that air conditioned air was heavenly, but it was close to midnight by this time and I was ready for a comfortable bed a  good night’s sleep. 

DeWayne leaned his seat back and fell asleep while I played on the computer some more and watched the radar for about an hour until the rain finally let up enough that we could return to the RV and try it again.  I guess the rain on the RV helped to bring the temperature down just enough that when we re-opened the exhaust fan in the bedroom and opened the windows by the bed, it was finally cool enough to be comfortable on top of the covers to get to sleep….finally!

I woke up this morning when DeWayne left for his “after breakfast” walk around the parking lot, and it was pretty warm in the RV already, so I hit the floor running, making coffee for the thermos’, packing the snack sack, washing dishes, getting dressed, pulling in the slides and closing up the RV so that we could hit the road as soon as he was done with his walk. 

I was ready for some cool air, a hot cup of coffee and my breakfast as we pulled out of yet another Wal Mart parking lot.  I can’t say I enjoyed it but, as DeWayne pointed out last night as we sat through the rain in the truck, “It could be worse.  We could be in a covered wagon.”  Well, I certainly couldn’t argue with that!  :)

This morning we knew we only had 80 miles to go today since we had a reservation in Lincoln, IL., so we took it slow and easy.  I noticed the landscape had flattened quite a bit as we drove today and loved watching the corn fields and other crops pass by my window.  We’re back in territory where lawns are manicured and everything is kept neat and clean.  The corn fields are much taller than what we saw going to and coming from Delaware.
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As we neared Springfield, we spotted these huge smoke stacks connected to an equally huge factory of some kind.
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We took a detour into Springfield to get a glimpse of the Lincoln Library and possibly be able to check it out, depending on parking and such. 
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It wasn’t long before we could see the dome of the capital building in the distance. 
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I’m pretty sure this next picture is the train station.  Pretty, isn’t it?
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We wound our way toward the Capital Bldg, but never did see exactly how to get to the Lincoln Library.  That will be put on our list of things to do in the future as we pass this way again.  I got some good pictures of the Capital and the grounds as we passed by.  There certainly wasn’t any place to park a one ton truck and a 38’ RV for sure, so we had to keep moving.
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And here are some other buildings and homes that caught my eye.  I love the architecture of these old structures!
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I loved the street lights along the way!
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We started winding our way back to the interstate and DeWayne spotted this Cadillac in front of us.  It was BABY BLUE with a PINK top!
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And yes, that’s a man driving it, not a woman.  Takes all kinds, doesn’t it?  :) 

But seriously, Springfield and the surrounding area is really pretty!
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Lincoln was just a hop, skip and a jump down the road and we exited the interstate once again for our “home” spot for the next two nights.  The “Camp A While” RV park is outside town and was a little hard to find, but we eventually did. 
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I was surprised that it was so small!  I think it has 12 RV slots total and I loved it at first sight!  It’s so quaint and pretty, surrounded by corn fields, with little extra touches everywhere that make it look so pretty and welcoming. 
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It was starting to rain a little when we arrived, but we got everything opened up, slid out and set up in no time.  It was great to open the RV door and find it at a much more tolerable temperature for a change and the A/C kicked in and brought everything to a comfortable temperature in no time.  In fact, I was cooking on the stove within a few minutes of our arrival, so what a difference a day makes, right? 

After last night and the lack of adequate sleep for me, I took a nap, which I do every chance I get anyway, while DeWayne headed off to Wal Mart to buy milk.  He woke me up around 5:00 and I felt soooo much better!  I pulled the curtains back from the bedroom window and immediately headed for the camera again.  This is our view from that window.
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Notice the little flower beds nestled under the trees and the corn in the background?  I could sit there and look out all day!  I love this place and we’ll definitely come back to this quaint and friendly little RV park.

Frito pie for supper, the music is playing, DeWayne is working on his computer and I’m blogging.  So life is good!  We’re already in cooler climate and from the looks of the Racine, WI weather forecast, we will be enjoying nice weather for the next week!  I hope the heat and humidity is largely behind us.  We’re in agreement that Wal Mart parking lots are out of the question from now on if the weather is as hot as we’ve experienced until today. 

I’m looking forward to having a nice leisurely day around here tomorrow, then heading to Racine on Friday.  I can’t wait to see Basil and Sheila and spend some time with them.  We don’t have any plans set up for our time there, but I’m sure we’ll find something to get in to. 

Now that I’ve exhausted anything I can think to say, I’ll shut up and get this posted.  Tomorrow will be a nice relaxing day, so unless we do something noteworthy, I’m sure I won’t be posting again til we set out for Racine.  So until then, everybody stay cool and……..

Happy Trails!


  1. I just left Milwaukee last night, reloaded in Darien, WI, and then headed back toward New Mexico. We must have met somewhere along the way. I got into the heavy rain around Rolla, MO. and I've settled in Oklahoma City tonight. I hope you guys have a great time in Wisconsin and be safe. I wish I could travel like you do. I run about 700 miles per day. Take care Cuz, I love ya. Kenny>

  2. Wow, Kenny! We just keep passing you on the road! When will you be coming back up this way? Is it a regular run for you? If you are, give me a shout and we'll try to meet up with you. I wish you and Lori were traveling along with us too. we'd have a blast for sure. 700 miles a day would kill me, I'm afraid. I'm worn out after 300, for pete's sake! Drive careful, Cuz and Love You Too!

  3. I found you through Snookie's blog and so look forward to living the life of a full timer, until I can start my own journey, along with the two of you. I am so enjoying your pictures of clouds. Love them.