Saturday, March 30, 2019

Storm warnings, another view of the falls.....

Our Location:  Natural Falls State Park, Colcord, OK

A nice morning that Riley and I took advantage of to get a little walk in before the predicted rain. It did rain eventually but we were inside by then. Only a couple of miles on an extended walk of the Pine Ridge Trail. This is a trail meant for wheel chairs, older folks with bad balance and young people with strollers and little kids on bicycles. It’s less than a mile long and is all hard top. No big hills, some gentle slopes and easy walking. 

The Pine Ridge Trail goes along here. This is also the bathhouse/storm shelter.
Riley stopped after a round but I kept going and entered the Bear Paw Trail, doing only a small portion. It’s a rough, humpy, bumpy trail, similar to Fox Den meaning the footing isn’t the greatest and if not careful one could slip. The path is not smooth and in some places is steep. I took a left turn instead of continuing along the trail to the bottom of the ravine and instead came out at the falls once again. I think if Riley is going to do this trail we will start there instead of at the sign indicating the trail beginning.
For any Lord of the Ring fans, I believe this would make a great party tree.
A dreary day but a good visit with friends in the late afternoon around a campfire. The Camp Host came by to tell us all of the impending possible bad weather. Hail, high winds, rain, and severe thunderstorms. It would of course happen over night. Riley and I packed a bag just in case we had to go to the storm shelter/bath house. We didn’t use it. The storm ended up being only rain or at least we didn’t hear anything other than rain. I see no downed branches or damage of any kind when I look out the windows. We heard no wind, thunder or hail. The rain came in waves but the storm must have gone around us or at least we didn’t hear it. I heard rain around 3 am and again around 5 am. The temperatures are cooler though. The sky is overcast so we may get more rain today.
First set of steps the upper falls.

 A call from SIL(sister in law) Janet at bed time had me hearing the news of Dennis’ emergency knee surgery. He developed an infection in his replacement knee. The knee is 10 years old and the infection came on pretty suddenly. They operated, cleaning all of the ‘gunk’ out of the knee, replaced all of the plastic parts and he’s up and about once  again. He’ll be on antibiotics for a long time, 6 weeks of infusion antibiotics every day, and then at least a year of oral. Ironically the infusion drugs are finished the day before they catch a plane to fly home to Buttercup Ridge in Roseneath, Ontario. He’s a tough guy though and he’ll be back playing golf before long.

A much longer set of steps leading down to the lower observation deck.
So that was our day, not terribly exciting but good for us. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your visit. 

Off to the left of the main falls, there are lots of little water drips.
Until next time….. take care, be safe,
The upper falls, so many little water falls.

Friday, March 29, 2019

A quiet day, solo hike...

Our Location:  Natural Falls State Park, Colcord, OK

A nice day, started off warm but cooled off due to winds. A walk solo along the Fox Den Trail netted me today’s photos. It’s marked as difficult in the guide and I would say it is definitely difficult. It is very steep in most places, and not well signed but very doable if you take your time and rest if need be. There are no major obstacles only the steepness of the trail. 

A lovely park, this is the tent camping area.
We spent the day doing our own thing until later in the evening when Riley & I popped over to spend some time with our friends. The lovely Miss Sharon bought us a Cacti Wind Chime. How very sweet of her. Thank you Miss Sharon. We were a bit later than normal getting home and so this blog post wasn’t posted yesterday. I hope you enjoy the photos. 
Playground equipment here in the tent section.

At the bottom of the ravine is this pretty little falls.

Water has gouged under this ravine in various places. 
The Fox Den Trail. I started at the sign, passed that interesting tree and followed along the bottom right photo. The bottom left photo is the path I followed coming back.

It is much steeper than it appears.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you had a fantastic day.
It can be reached from another path as well.
Until next time… take care, be safe,


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Meeting more old friends again....

Our Location:  Natural Falls State Park, Colcord, OK

We slept well and woke to coolish temperatures but the sun warmed everything up. Coffee and breakfast to start the day followed by a quick visit with Ron & Sharon to set our plans for the day. 
That is us over there in the trees.
Riley and I went for a walk to see the falls and then followed the signs for the Ghost Coon Trail. It was a couple of miles around the trail, a bit up and down but scenic. It followed along the bluff for a while and we could look down into the ravine for about half the trail. 
The path to the Falls.
 Back home we rested for a bit before Ron came by to tell us that friends Billy & Sharlene were near by. We had made plans yesterday to meet today for lunch. Ron & Sharon, Riley and I climbed into Ron’ s truck heading into Siloam Springs to meet our other friends. 

The top of the falls.
We meet up with Billy & Sharlene at the Rib Cage. We haven’t seen them for a couple of years as well. Sharlene has been going through a very rough time as she’s finally finished her chemo for breast cancer, and will be taking radiation soon. She has suffered a stroke as well in the last number of months. Billy has had the same knee replaced about 4 times but is doing a bit better now. Although both are walking with canes, they seem able to get around pretty well.
The Falls.
After lunch we came back to the park and sat around for a couple of hours chatting and catching up, telling some stories and just doing what friends do. It was such a wonderful visit and we were both very happy to see Billy & Sharlene. 

Standing on the overlook at the Falls.
 Riley and I spent another half hour or so with Ron & Sharon after Billy & Sharlene left  before coming home for the rest of the day. The sunlight and fresh air seemed to play a trick on us and we’ve  been finding ourselves very tired today. So a quiet night for us at home. 
A log maintenance shed.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you had a fantastic day. 
Sharon (left) and Sharlene (right).
Billy (left) and Ron(right).
Until next time… take care, be safe,


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

We've met up with our friends....

Our Location:  Natural Falls State Park, Colcord, OK

A nice quiet night at Wagoner Walmart and we both slept well. It was a bit on the coolish side this morning but nothing too bad. No frost just some damp windows. The sun peeked over the building in the east and stayed with us for the whole day.
Long rolling hills for most of our travel today.
I unhooked the Dogsled, moved a few hundred feet to fill up with diesel and back to hook up to the Igloo within 10 minutes. A quick saunter into Walmart to get a couple of things we’d forgotten and before long we were on the road again. 
Locus Grove, Oklahoma on OK412 E, Scenic Highway.

 Pulling out of Walmart we headed north on US 69 again for a few miles, before we turned right onto OK 412 E, scenic highway. It divides a bit further into the ‘Turkey Turnpike’ (a local woman called it that) and we stayed to the left taking the scenic route.

Some windy roads too.

We passed through the little towns of Locust Grove, Kansas and a couple of others that escape my mind right  now. A very nice hilly, windy country road with some interesting sights to see. We travelled it for less than 30 minutes until we found signs directing us to Natural Falls State Park. It’s a beautiful, inviting park on the right side of the road and we pulled in a bit early. 
Some interesting country side.
The lady in the office was super nice and told us it was no problem, no one was in our site anyway. So by 11 am Riley and I were parked in site #26, a very nice pull through with cement pad, water and electric hook ups, a nice cement picnic table and a bbq grill, as well as a fire pit. The empty #27 beside us was waiting for our friends Ron & Sharon.
A nice creek running through the country side.
We both had showers and I started preparing some lunch (early for us but we were ready anyway) after I chatted with my dad to let him know we had arrived safely. By the time we had finished our sausage quesadilla we could see Newmar coming our way and sure enough Ron & Sharon along with their cat Magic were pulling in beside us. 
Can you say spring? Daffs are out here.
A quick chat with hugs all around and then we moved back home to let them set up and settle in. Sharon came over to sit and chat with us while Ron did his stuff and then he came over as well. We sat around chattering and catching up for a couple of hours and before we knew it the afternoon was gone. They headed home for dinner while Riley and I sat outside for a bit doing our own thing.
Pretty scenic in my opinion.
A nice evening in store as we’ll go over for a visit and then tomorrow Ron & I will go find some firewood for a camp fire. We all enjoy those from our time at Magic River in Long Beach, MS.
Leaves and blossoms are coming out here.
So today’s drive was less than 2 hours, roads were okay but not great. However it seems Oklahoma roads are all the same. I've heard the toll roads are worse but since we didn't take them, I can't say for sure. 

I will check out more of the campground tomorrow complete with photos and a bit more about the place. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you had a wonderful day.

Until next time… take care, be safe,


Monday, March 25, 2019

Wagoner, Oklahoma....

Our Location:  Walmart, Wagoner, Oklahoma

We both slept well after we fell asleep and didn’t wake up until after 7 am. Rare for me but I needed the rest I guess. We did a few little chores, which included me unhooking to fuel up the Dogsled. It’s easier to do it this way sometimes and the gas bar was tight quarters so I was an extra 10 minutes hooking and unhooking before we started off. Tomorrow we’ll do the same thing. 

The green is showing, I think spring might be coming soon.
We headed off on I-40 East once again and enjoyed our drive today. We actually enjoyed the slightly overcast skies and then some brief sunshine which was once again swallowed up by the clouds. We had no rain and a slight wind but nothing much and it was a nice quiet uneventful travel day. We all like those kinds of travel days.

We stopped a couple of times to stretch and check things over but all was good. We found that I-40 EAST in the stretch we travelled today doesn’t have a lot of rest areas, we stopped at the only two we saw. We may have missed one but I don’t think so. 
We passed through Oklahoma City this morning on our travels. 
Today we travelled about 250 miles/ 402 KM, most of it on I-40 E. The road was okay but rough in some places, humpy, bumpy and down right ugly in a few others. The roads in Oklahoma leave a lot to be desired.

We passed through numerous Indian reservations including Creek, Kickapoo, Cherokee and a number of others. They all seem to have a small casino in their midst. None were big splashy buildings just small dark structures that one could spend a great deal of time and money in if they so desired.
We passed by Tinker AFB and this is one of the many planes on display. 
At exit 264B near the town of Checotah, OK we hung a right on to US 69 North and headed toward Muskogee. We changed our minds about stopping there for the night and headed past to Wagoner, which is where we are now. It wasn’t too much past Muskogee and we’re closer to our destination tomorrow. We are both happy about that. I will say that US 69 N is rough in some places, grooved and not the best travelling but the towns are the worst. The rest of road seems to be no worse than others we’ve travelled but not great. However we aren’t doing it for long or far, so it’s not a big deal. 
We pulled in at the Walmart around 2 pm local time and parked near the end of the lot. We visited The Dollar Tree, an ATM, and Walmart just to pass some time and get a bit of walking as well. A call to my dad to let him know we are safe and off the road for the night. He was happy to hear from us. 

Near Tinker AFB. Not sure what the hat is on the yellow one.
Tomorrow we move on to our destination and meet up with our good friends. We are excited about that and are looking forward to it. We have less than 80 miles/ 129 km to go. 
Blossoms along the way today.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your visit. 

Don't ya love the name of this road? Haha. It was Lake Eufaula.
Until next time… take care, be safe,


Sunday, March 24, 2019

Another state today.....

Our Location:  Walmart, Elk City, Oklahoma

We woke to sunny skies in Hereford this morning, but frosty temps for certain, close to the freezing mark. A quick breakfast, we were packed up and finished dumping our tanks, saying our goodbyes to Alison & Ellie around 8:30 am. We were out of Hereford before 9 AM, motoring along on US 60 East once again. 

US 60 East in Texas.
It was an uneventful day, we ventured through a number of towns before we passed through Amarillo, Texas and connected to I-40 East which we will travel for the next couple of days. The sky was filled with white fluffy clouds and a bit of sun here and there but the temperatures were warming up and we managed to reach about 60F/ 15.5 C this afternoon when we stopped for the night.
We noticed this bird covered big Texan along the roadway.
We passed into Oklahoma right around the noon hour and pulled in at the Welcome Center not long afterwards. The nice lady there was helpful when I mentioned I was looking for the park in Elk City. With a map in hand and a few written directions we headed on down the interstate to the park. We found it easily enough but all the spots were taken and with no where else to park we fell back to our trusty Walmart stops. Inside to ask if it was okay to park, assured it was and so we headed back to the Dogsled. However the lot wasn’t very level and this lovely new Hobby Lobby is right beside the Walmart, it has a wonderfully flat area away from the store and not really in their main parking lot and so we pulled in here for the night and will be on our way tomorrow morning. 
So green as we look out over the vast flat lands in the Texas Panhandle.
A walk or two around Walmart and we were home for the rest of the day. Not too exciting but it worked for us. A call to my dad after we arrived just to let him know we were off the road and after that it was a reading kind of day. I know it wasn’t a long day’s drive but it was enough for me and I didn’t want to go anywhere after we arrived even through we are close to a few interesting things. We have plenty of time stop and sight see when we get to Natural Falls in a couple of days. Now I just want to be off the road and getting ready for another day’s travel.
Still leaning....

So there you have it folks. I think it might be a bit noisy here as we are pretty close to the interstate and Walmart is open 24 hours, but that’s okay, it’s one night and we’ll be moving on tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you all had a wonderful day.
We will be in this state for a while now.
Take care, be safe, 

Out our door tonight.


Saturday, March 23, 2019

Hail, thunder, rain, and lightning...a flat tire too....

Our Location:  Hereford Aquatic Center, Hereford, Texas

No blog yesterday so I’ll do one big one tonight. Friday was a sort of quiet day, we did a fuel run (forgot to take the camera so no photos of that), a few groceries and found a First National Bank with an international ATM. Back home we enjoyed the rest of the afternoon just puttering around and doing a few little things. 
It was dark over there, the water was a dark green colour.
Well that is until I noticed one of the trailer tires looked a bit slack. Sure enough down to 40 pounds. Looking around I noticed a nail head sticking out of the tread. I was not impressed. Alison offered to remove the tire for me (she had also taken a nail out of one of her tires here the day we arrived) for me on Saturday (the next morning). 
A bright spot among the darkness.

Looking at the sky and checking the weather we were in the path of a severe line of thunderstorms moving at about 50 miles an hour through the area. We found a place here we could take refuge if necessary, pulled in the big slide and hooked up the truck due to the extreme winds that we were expecting. Soon the hail came, started off small, like the eraser on the end of a pencil, ending up about the size of a marble. It went on and on and on and on and on. Eventually it turned to rain and eventually stopped but for a couple of hours it was an ugly night here. A fair bit of lightning and some thunder but not the big winds they were expecting.
It was very dark to the north of us and we thought at first it miss us.
A few small dents on the truck but nothing major, and I haven’t yet climbed up the ladder to look at the panels on the roof. I will when we park in Natural Falls State Park. Still this morning there was a great deal of water laying around everywhere but I didn’t see any damage. Lark (a lady from Wisconsin and a friend of Alison’s) had both of her vent covers broken by the hail but other than that we couldn’t really find any thing except a couple of small dents on the vehicles. I think we were fortunate. At one point the hail covered the grass and the pavement, like snow. 

But then this rolled right over us.

This morning dawned with bright blue skies and warmer temperatures. After coffee, Lark left, heading toward Oklahoma City for the  night before heading on home. Alison came by to take the tire off and lucky thing she did because only two of the bolts were what one would consider is tight, the rest were snug but not as tight as they should have been. With the tire off, we headed to Walmart to get it patched. They assured me it was patched and plugged but I’m not so certain.
It was clear then to the north.
Back home Alison and I put the tire back on and went around to check all of the wheels, just the one with the nail was questionable, the others were all fine, very tight. So I’m not sure why that would be but I’m going to keep an eye on it for certain. 

After things settled down, it started to clear up.
After that I helped Alison with a couple little things, we chatted for a couple of hours discussing many things. Finally we parted ways and I came home to have some lunch, Riley and I spent the rest of the day doing a few puttering things. 

Blurry but you get the idea.
I chatted with my buddy Ron, we’ll be meeting up with him and his lovely wife Sharon on Tuesday. We are looking forward to that, it’s been a couple of years since we’ve seen them. 

Still raining but you can see the hail stones washed into piles. That isn't white stones, it's hail.
So the day is winding down and tomorrow we are off to Elk City, OK. One step closer to our week long destination. Hopefully we get no more bad weather. So that’s it, our last couple of days. 
The water has heaped the hail in piles.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your visit.  
That's water running down the sidewalk into the pond. A accumulating in puddles in the parking lot. I didn't do any enhancing of any kind to this photo. This is how it came from the camera. If you look at the first photo in this post you can see how dry the parking lot is before the storm.
Until next time… take care, be safe,