Summer 2012 Travels travel blog

Ch 46 at Carlyle Lake in southern IL

Playing the washer game

Dry cornfields

Construction around St. Louis

I like the way they name the cross streets - you really...

SUNDAY: We didn't get on the road super early but pulled out of the gate of the campground at 9:00. We stopped in Bushnell for gas and then headed down the road. Drove thru lots of corn fields and soybean fields as we traveled the red roads. We were on I-55 for a little while and stopped at a rest area and made sandwiches for lunch.

Pulled into the COE park at Lake Carlyle around 2 and found a great site. (Of course, we didn't realize those nice shady trees were also dropping nuts so it was like being at Stronghold again.) Sat and talked with Chapter members and then went back to the rig to cook some dinner. We called it an early night and slept well.

MONDAY: It was fun watching the people come in. We ended up with 13 rigs and 26 people attending. Monday was a lazy day so after doing a bit of paperwork, we headed to town and picked up some needed groceries at Wally world. I also made a bread pudding for the pot luck dinner that night.

After everyone gathered, we enjoyed a grilled brat pot luck. There was so much food left over that we pulled it out for lunch the next day.

TUESDAY: Ron was up early for coffee the next morning, but I prefer breakfast in the rig. That way I'm not tempted with the donuts, etc. as I know we will be eating enough sweets during the day that I don't want to start that way.

After the left over pot luck lunch we participated in a road rally. Our partners were the VCRs in training, Steve and Genneal. The road rally was a lot of work for the Rally host to set up but it sure was fun.

We followed the clues to know which roads to turn on and then answered the questions to prove we were observant. How many grain bins were at such and such address? Sometimes we had to find wordage on signs along the road. Or identify crops, or count objects. Anyway – our team won. Pretty good for some California city dwellers and South Dakota farm kids. We made a good team.

The road rally ended at a local cafe for a great chicken dinner. I was bushed when we got home and went to bed, but Ron spent some time at the fire with the group.

WEDNESDAY: After morning coffee, we attended the Board Meeting of the Chapter. This is where the VCRs try to help if there are any problems. Then at the Membership Meeting we give our report. We had also brought a $20 gift certificate from the South Moon BBQ place we like so well. The chapter raffled that off and made $32 for CARE. The total amount collected for CARE was $166.

We also did an installation of officers and presented a Certificate of Appreciation to the outgoing President.

We joined some of the gang for dinner in town and then stopped to pick up some milk. Again, Ron joined them at the fire while I did some things in the rig and hit the hay early.

THURSDAY: Up and get ready for the road again. Hugs and “We'll see you down the road” and we headed toward Sedalia and the Escapade.

The trip was pretty uneventful except for quite a bit of construction in the spaghetti pile called Interstates thru St. Louis. But with my careful attention to the GPS and reading signs we got thru with not much trouble. Can't say it was pleasant, but do-able. If I could have found another way that wasn't a lot of miles, we would have avoided St. Louis all together.

My plans when I charted the trip were to stay in Columbia for the night which was only 95 miles from Sedalia. But, Ron had other plans. He said he wasn't tired and therefore drove all the way to Sedalia. If I would have known he wanted to make it in one day – we could have come in the day we were supposed to. But I had received permission to come in on Friday so we parked at the Moose so we would come in on Friday.

We did take a reconnaissance ride to the Fairgrounds to make sure we knew where to come in. Then we had dinner at Applebee's ( not very good) and went to bed early.

FRIDAY: Since we only had 1.1 miles to go today – we were in no hurry to get moving. We puttered around in the RV, had breakfast and even went to Wally world.

I brought 2 pair of jeans with me and the rest shorts. Well, I have 2 pair of good slacks, but they have no pockets. So with the cool weather expected this week, I needed more long pants. The first two pair I tried on were VERY disappointing. You know when you can hardly get them above your knees? So asked the salesperson where they kept the Tent and Awning sizes. I found two pair that fit and even have decent pockets. My main complaint about women's sizes is that they have tiny pockets. Since I haven't carried a purse since we retired – I need some pockets to carry my wallet and phone.

The way to the Fairgrounds was short and only included a few turns, so I drove. We seemed to get there in just a few minutes and were welcomed by the Awesome Parking Crew. Since we were a day late coming in, we had to pull over until they could find someone to escort us to our site. But it was a pull thru so I just went ahead and pulled thru.

We got the electric hooked up and went over to the office for our hugs and our staff packet so we would know where to be and when. Then came back to eat lunch and finish setting up. Then it was time to go stuff the Welcome Bags.

As each RV registers they are given a Welcome Bag that has fliers from local and national businesses. Somehow they have to get stuffed. So all the material is laid out on however many tables it takes to hold it and we walk around and around picking up the fliers and putting them in bags. Since they are expecting between 600 and 700 rigs – that’s how many bags we stuffed. In the past, we used to do 1000 but attendance is down at all the National Rallies.

It was so good to see people!! Some we hadn't seen since a year ago June in Gillette, some since we left North Ranch this year and one special couple, Don and CeCe, we hadn't seen in 4 years!! It was a blast and the bags were soon filled.

We all adjourned to tables for the Staff Meeting and more Hello!, where have you been? It is good to see you!, type conversations. We checked and our mail wasn't here yet and then moved into the Happy Hour part of the day. More table hopping, hugs and greetings. Then it was time for dinner so we walked to another building for the staff dinner. We sat with more old friends and caught up on their summer working in Yellowstone.

Then home to bed to check out what was in the Welcome Bag and to mark the seminars we wanted to attend. Our job will be Seminar Hosts so we will be monitoring seminars all week.

SATURDAY: Ron went over for coffee and donuts while I had breakfast in the rig. After I got my day started, he came back and we both went over to the office to meet with the Assistant Director to sign up for the Seminars for the week. We visited with a lot more people and had a great time.

After we came back to the rig, I just didn't feel right. I was cold and achy and just blaw. So I took a nap under my warm blanket. When I got up, my throat was scratchy, I was coughing and my chest felt tight. I think I am coming down with my once-every-other-year-down-in-bed-sick-cold.

I sent Ron to the store for Vicks & OJ. Have Vit. C which I usually take but will double up. Have cough drops. What else do I need to do?? I have all kinds of responsibilities starting tomorrow at 1 pm. I need to nip this in the bud.

He also brought back some chicken soup. So I ate, greased up with Vicks and took some Vit. C and aspirin with OJ and went to bed. I will see how I feel in the morning after a good nights sleep.

(Just so you won't be in suspense all week – it is now Sunday morning and I'm feeling better. I'm still coughing but I'm not going to get as sick as I thought.)

Anyway that is the way our lives have been going. Hope you and yours are well and happy. ENJOY!!

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