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Over the River and Through the Woods to ...

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We are now in Warrenton, Missouri, parked in my mother's driveway. We had a nice visit with my sister and her family in Kansas City last weekend. My sister is recovering from knee replacement, a familial weakness that will likely catch up with me some time in the future. She is hobbling around on a crutch but is healing and will soon be out dancing again. While in the Kansas City area we enjoyed staying at the Smith's Fork Campground. It is located just below the dam at Smithville Lake, a Corps of Engineers flood control lake. The campground is run by the Smithville Parks Department. They have 30- and 50-amp electric with full hookups at very reasonable rates. With a senior discount the 50-amp electric cost just $23 a night! They have almost 80 spaces, some pull-through sites and the whole park is beautiful. A 14-day stay limit keeps turnover high. They don't take reservations but they take gate reservations. I don't know exactly what that means, but if you are interested, call ahead as this is a popular fishing and family campground.

Leaving Smithville, we decided to drive smaller roads directly east rather than heading south on I-435 to I-70. The traffic on the smaller roads was light and local. We seldom were holding up traffic and if they couldn't get around us they usually turned off at the next town. We enjoyed seeing some towns we had only heard of before and a few we had never heard of before. We were surprised to find a very nice looking large resort in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. The Elm's Resort was designed by Kansas City architects, Jackson and McIlvain. The grounds are beautiful. The road through town is torturous for a motor home but we navigated it without a problem. It is very rugged terrain and the road turns every block or two as you go up and down hills. Not the place to zip through in a hurry but definitely worth a stop. I am really enjoying traveling the backroads rather than the interstate highways. The pace is much more relaxing and the scenery is so much more interesting. Even if we don't stop, we get to see so much more of America once we are off the interstates.

We found a nice roadside picnic area to stop at for lunch just before we reached U.S. 65 north of Marshall, Missouri. The whole area of this drive we saw beautifully cared for farms and homes. The area had a prosperous look even in this economy. South of Marshall we hit I-70 and zipped across the rest of Missouri to Warrenton, Missouri where my mother lives just a half mile from where my grandparents lived during my childhood. Crossing the Missouri River near Columbia, Missouri we did see that the river is bank full to slightly above. North of our crossing the flood plain was covered with water, evidence of the storms that passed through in the last few days coupled with snow melt from the northern Rockies.

At Mom's house we have 50-amp electric that I installed several years ago. There is water and sewer available about 75 feet from our rig. The macerator I installed several years ago comes in handy here. We shower and wash dishes in moms house but if need be, we can empty the waste tanks without moving. Mom has a list for me, her to do's. This time the list is small; replace a porch light, trim some shrubs, glue this, fix that, all minor things that help her stay in her home a little longer. Along with her list, I have my own. A drawer railing rear support gave out when we got here. Too many bumps and cheap supports. I replaced those last night. I've replaced most of these cheap adjustable plastic supports for the rear of the drawer railings with a sturdier support I found at Lowe's. The replacements aren't adjustable and are a heavier plastic. I haven't had to replace one of them yet so they seem to be doing the job. Checking the roof when we got here, I see I have a big cleaning job to do. We were parked under a really nasty tree in Denver at The Prospect RV Park. Sappy buds rained down on us as the tree leafed out this spring. I haven't found a good way to remove the sap yet. :lol:

While on the roof I also noticed that the anemometer that automatically retracts our awning has been broken once again. I put a protective frame over it to keep tree branches from getting it but this is the second time that hail has gotten it. I guess it needs an umbrella to protect it from the hail. I have a replacement ordered thanks to the help of Freedom RV in Wentzville. Unlike the other RV place in Wentzville, Freedom RV called me back! And they could get the part I needed. I can do the install on this, I watched the first time it was replaced and replaced it myself the next time. This will be the third replacement. I'd just remove it but it is so handy to have the awning automatically retract when the wind picks up.

This morning we make a run to St. Louis to visit our doctors. We scheduled two doctor appointments for each of us, our GP for exams and renewing prescriptions and an annual check with our dermatologist. Next week we'll visit our optometrist with the dentist to follow. We are tied to our home physicians for routine care by the medical insurance from our school districts. It is how we manage most of our medical care as full time RV'ers.

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