Ed & Marilyn 'The Happy Wanderers' travel blog

McDonalds built over the Oklahoma Turnpike

Our rig parked at McDonalds

Traffic passing under our table

Ice storm result near Springfield, MO

Ed carefully walks to the entrance

Ice encrusted campground

Welcome to Hannibal

Feb 12th, 2008. A Day we will always remember.

Yesterday we were rested up, having stayed an extra day in Colbert, Oklahoma. It was easy for us to arise early and have our morning coffee before moving on down the road.

We left the Colbert KOA at a couple of minutes after 7:00 AM, heading northeast on Hwy 69. We made good time and I checked off the towns as we passed through them.

We had phone calls from Jeff in Hannibal, MO, Dennis in Monroe City, MO, Ralph in Wichita, KS, Jack in Casa Grande, AZ, and Jennifer in Palmyra, MO.

Most of the phone calls were to advise us of the weather conditions back in Missouri. Ralph said it was 22 degrees and snowing in Wichita. Jack had questions about a generator we have and Jennifer just wanted to talk.

The temperature outside began at 36 degrees in Colbert and continually dropped as we moved north. When we reached the border of Missouri at 12:48 PM the thermometer read 22 degrees. Unfortunately we began to see a lot of ice on everything, although the road was clear. Tree branches were broken and the ice became even thicker as we approached Springfield, MO, which was our planned stop for the day. We saw several cars in the ditch and a few abandoned on the side of the road. We knew then, that we had made a good decision to stay an extra day in Colbert, OK.

By the time we reached exit 70, where the Springfield KOA was located, the temperature was 19 degrees, it was snowing, and everything was ice covered except the interstate highway.

We knew immediately that we weren’t happy with the KOA, when we discovered that it was buried in about one inch of ice and the office had a sign on the door which said they would return at 3:00 PM. The time was 2:00 PM, so we would have to wait for one hour.

We were back on the interstate highway within 15 minutes and continued eastbound toward Springfield. The fuel gauge told us that we had to find fuel within 87 miles.

When we pulled into a truck stop to fuel up, we had to walk very carefully to avoid a fall on the ice.

We asked how far we needed to go to get out of the ice conditions and a trucker advised us to continue to Lebanon, MO and take Hwy 5 to Camdenton and the Lake of the Ozarks.

One of the difficult things to do when you are moving in an RV is to find campgrounds open in the winter. That is why we chose not to be in cold weather, ever again! Well, we hadn’t figured on our first grandchild arriving in the middle of the winter. If we knew an exact date for the birth we would stay in warm weather and simply fly home for a week or so, but when the date of birth is not an exact science, well, it is better to live here for awhile.

To make a long story short, we drove for 12 and one half hours yesterday, arriving at Mark Twain Cave Campground at 7:30 PM.

The campground is closed but a call to Jeff assured me that the gate would be open and we should come on in. The ground was snow covered and the temperature was 14 degrees as we parked in our site and began to connect the basics, in the dark of night.

The site we are in is pretty much level so I left the truck connected and hooked up the electric so that we could turn the furnace on and begin to get some heat in the RV. The temperature inside was a few degrees below freezing. No Fun!!

We ran the slides out, put some water in our fresh water tank, turned on the water pump and the water heater, turned on our two electric heaters, one in the basement to protect our water lines and the other in our living room to help warm the place up.

Jennifer called us when she got off work, just as we arrived at the campground. She was shocked to hear that we had arrived. She decided to go purchase some sandwiches and come on out to see us. By the time she arrived, the temperature inside was up to 45 degrees, so we all sat around in our coats eating and visiting.

When Jen left, Marilyn and I decided to turn in. We were beat from the long day of travel, the cold weather and setting up in the dark, so we climbed into extremely cold beds, cuddled together and went to sleep.

You know I usually end my journal entries with the phrase, “I just can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.” Well, in this case I could have waited. 

However, today is a new day, we are warm again, with the temperature inside being a nice 73 degrees, in spite of the single digit cold outdoors.

We have much to do today, getting everything in order again. We are in a beautiful campground, in a beautiful site, with a new grandson on the way. We have many family members and lots of friends to see in the next few months. Warm weather will be here one of those days, and Life is Good!!

I’ll be posting these entries soon, along with pictures for you to enjoy.

Time to get busy. I just can’t wait to see what this day has in store…..

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