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A Wet Driving Day to Our Next Destination
tbutler posted a blog entry in Tom and Louise on Tour in North AmericaThe next leg of our trip begins with an early wake-up. I was checking weather when it started to rain. It was a light rain but I had to unhook the utilities so I quickly went outdoors to unhook the water and sewer. The car had to be run before towing and I took care of that. I came in with a wet head and damp shirt. I dried my hair and hung the shirt to dry. Louise woke and I ate breakfast while she got ready to travel. Louise doesn't like to eat early in the morning but she does want her coffee. She had set the coffeemaker and coffee was already brewed and waiting. Once she was ready, we brought in the slides and I unhooked the electric. We were on the road at 8:00 a.m. We had stayed at the KOA at Choctaw Casino in Durant, Oklahoma, which is right on US 75/69 and we would stay on highway 69 all the way to I-44 at Big Cabin. We have traveled this route many times, it is one of the shortest routes from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area to the St. Louis area. Highway 69 is very rough in spots but the traffic is usually free flowing and it is two lane all the way. There are small towns along the way which have low speed limits and the smart driver watches those speed limits very closely. As we pulled out of the campground the rain was increasing. It rained all the way to I-44. The amazing thing was that it would change almost constantly. One of my major tasks driving was to adjust the windshield wipers to the varying rate of rainfall. The rain was mostly light but the road was always wet. Passing trucks meant a heavy shower of water. We made good time, we were at Big Cabin by 1:00 and made that our lunch stop. We pulled into the fuel stop there and parked in the trucking area. I had to adjust one of the windshield wipers while Louise fixed sandwiches for us. Leaving Big Cabin we passed through the entry toll booth to the Will Rogers Turnpike. Passing through the payment booth the clerk didn't even look at the ticket and rang up the charge for the full length of the turnpike. I asked her to look at the ticket and she corrected her mistake. I thought the tickets were programmed to ring up the proper charge but I guess not. I'll have to watch these more carefully from now on. At Joplin I pulled into the Flying J to fuel up. The rain was on again, not heavy but enough that I was wet once more. It always takes longer to fuel at the RV pumps. I put in 80 gallons to take care of the drive from San Antonio where we last filled the tank. We got 8.3 miles per gallon on this leg of the trip, right on our long term average MPG. Leaving Joplin the rain stopped and the remainder of the trip was dry. The really amazing thing was that the temperature stayed in the 70's all day long. We had been driving in searing heat in Texas and the trip in Oklahoma and Missouri didn't even require that we run the air conditioners. We made one more rest stop in Sullivan, Missouri to get dinner before the final few miles of the trip. We knew that there was a Wal-Mart near some restaurants and we were going to park there while eating at the nearby KFC. When we got to Wal-Mart they had barriers for tall vehicles at all the entrances so we drove on down the access road to another shopping area and parked there, walking a few blocks to the KFC. From Sullivan it is less than an hours drive to my daughters family home in Foristell. We helped fund a parking pad for us in the rear of their home. I helped plan the utilities and we have full hookups here. They have hosted us for stays in the area ever since. Arriving just before sunset, we parked, leveled, hooked up water and electric and put out slides. I surveyed the motor home and was pleased to find that the exterior didn't look too bad. It will need a wash but not nearly as dirty as I expected. The toad was another story. After a short visit we were in for the night. We needed a good nights rest in preparation for our grandsons first marching band performance of the year the next day. The performance was the closing event of a two week band camp which helped prepare the marching band for their fall performances. Our grandson is a freshman and this was his first performance with the band. We were impressed with all that he had learned in two weeks. It rained during the picnic before the performance but the rain stopped for the marching performance. I washed it the next morning.
Our Trip Continues
tbutler posted a blog entry in Tom and Louise on Tour in North AmericaOur first stop on our way north was in San Antonio. I had an appointment at Iron Horse RV to have a new set of house batteries installed. We've always had good service experiences with them. This time was different. The LIfeline batteries we specified weren't there, they hadn't been ordered. The person who took the order didn't realize that Lifeline batteries were not the brand they carry and hadn't said anything to the parts department. They arranged to get the batteries the next day and we had the install done a day later than planned. We planned to spend the weekend in San Antonio and visit friends that live there. Friday night we went their home and had a nice visit. The last time we saw them they were living in a motor home at a park in Phoenix. He had secured a job in San Antonio and they were planning that move. It turns out he got the job but it was temporary so he had to find another. We had an evening of laughs and memories and then made arrangements to meet them on the Riverwalk Saturday afternoon for dinner. Louise and I had a leisurely morning and then caught a city bus downtown to the Riverwalk. We spent an hour walking around before settling down at the bar to meet our friends. They arrived shortly after and we enjoyed a nice meal overlooking the Riverwalk. It was Saturday night and the place was jumping. We had a nice visit and walked a bit before they drove us back to the RV park. Sunday was devoted to getting the motor home ready to leave first thing in the morning. Monday morning we set out for Austin. Louise had a meeting there in the afternoon. We arrived at McKinney Falls State Park about 10:00 a.m. and checked in. I unhooked the car and got it ready for travel while Louise got ready for her meeting. She got away in time to have lunch with the before meeting gossip group. She returned with stories to tell that evening. She had another meeting at the State Capital on Tuesday morning. I broke camp and drove to a nearby Home Depot store where she would meet me following her meeting. Everything went according to plan at her meeting and we were on the highway by 1:00 p.m. We headed north toward Dallas. The timing and our rate of travel suggested we would reach Dallas just about 5:00 p.m. We knew the trip out of town would be slow but manageable so we continued. Traffic in Dallas was as expected but by 6:00 p.m. we were in free flowing traffic again on our way up US 75 toward Oklahoma. Our stopping spot for the night would be at the KOA at the Choctaw Casino in Durant, Oklahoma.