Friday, October 19, 2012

Hello from Lexington, NE

Hello from Lexington, NE

Friday evening   October 19, 2012   (Sixth travelogue of this trip).

We got a late start today.  It was really cold and windy.  Of course, it was mostly a head wind out of the north west.  Given the conditions, we resigned ourselves to taking three days to get home.  However, the weather cleared up a bit and we were able to travel a bit over 300 miles.

We are at the Wal Mart in Lexington, NE (map).  We are a bit short of half way, but we should be able to get an earlier start tomorrow and get home on Saturday, as planned.

In an earlier blog, I had mentioned our amazing fortune of finding the Dickison Cemetery (a bit north and east of Nevada, MO).  As I noted, the cemetery is on private property.  With permission, we traveled across a farm field and found the somewhat overgrown cemetery.  We quickly found Pat's grandfather's grandparent's marker (in good condition, considering the stone was over 142 years old).  Below is a picture of the cemetery.

Dickison Cemetery

I also mentioned the wonderful color in Iowa.  Shown below is a tree at Bill and Jeanne's house.  Shortly after the picture was taken, the storms moved in and the tree lost most of the leaves.

Beautiful Tree In Prescott, IA

That is all for now.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hello from Prescott, IA

Hello from Prescott, IA

Thursday evening   October 18, 2012   (Fifth travelogue of this trip).

Our trip to Prescott was pretty mundane. It was about 250 miles – a drive that we have made several times.

Since we arrived here, we have been on the go most of the time.  Pat has many relatives here and it is always fun to get to see them.  On Sunday we went to the auction at her Uncle's auction facility.  Their whole family participates in the auction and it is always a fun event with a huge variety of items.  This time they even sold two semi-trailers.

We always stay with Bill and Jeanne at their farm.  It is so relaxing and friendly.  Bill has been able to get most of the harvesting done.  In spite of the terrible predictions of the harvest due to the severe drought, Bill has had some fields that had reasonable yield.  To be sure, the crop was damaged, but at least it was not a total loss.

The weather here has been pretty cool and rainy.  At our location, we got over 2 inches in a two day period (nice, slow rain), plus several periods of short storms.  In Branson the weather was a bit better, but there was still very cool nights and some rain.  We had packed mostly warm weather clothes and both of us have had to layer to stay warm.  As I write this, it is in the low 40s with 30 MPH winds and a drizzle – bone chilling cold!

The trees in Missouri were just starting to turn, but here in Iowa, the colors are beautiful.  I will include a photo in the next blog.

Tomorrow we start home.  We take two days to make the trip – about 650 miles.

That is all for now.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hello from Nevada, MO

Hello from Nevada, MO

Friday morning   October 12, 2012   (Fourth travelogue of this trip).

Our trip here was fairly short – about 150 miles.  Part of the trip was on Missouri 96 which overlays part of the route 66 highway.  We saw several old buildings that were obviously support businesses for the historic route.

Wednesday, I went to an great IHC museum about 5 miles from here.  It is a private collection, but Dan Agee enthusiastically showed me his vast collection of everything IHC including a catalog of all the products they sold many years ago.

When I returned to the bus, we decided to visit a cemetery here in Nevada.  We found the gravestone of Pat's great uncle and his family.

Yesterday, we drove over 200 miles visiting several cemeteries where Pat's ancestors were buried.  The most amazing “find” was the Dickison Cemetery where Pat's grandfather's grandparents were buried.  In preparation for the trip we tried several searches to try to locate the cemetery.  We finally ended up at the Bates county seat (Butler).  Several ladies were very helpful and one found a very old county plat map which showed the cemetery.  We drove out to the area, but could not find it.  We stopped at a farm house and the lady was very helpful.  It should be noted that she has lived in the area 20 years and did not know about the cemetery, in spite of the fact she lived less than a mile from the lo.  She made a couple of calls and found that the location was on private property owned by a 94 year old lady.  Babe Morris gave us permission to drive out in the field and tour the cemetery.  It was very small.  We quickly found the gravestone.  We were absolutely blown away that we found the grave site! 

Now for another amazing story.  We are parked at the Wal Mart in Nevada (map).  In the mid west, Wal Mart has gasoline stations.  Indeed, there is one about 100 feet from our bus.  At the rally, several folks mentioned that Wal Mart fuel prices were lower than any other stations and if you buy a gift card, for the amount of fuel you think you need, you get an additional 10 cents off.  The stations are generally intended for “normal” vehicles and vehicles our size are very difficult to maneuver into and out of the station.  In the early evening I scoped out the situation and developed a plan to get the bus in and out pretty easily.  We waited for the traffic to slow down, unhooked the dolly (car was already off the dolly), and made a run for it.  Now for the amazing part, the posted price was $3.89, while every other station we saw was at least $4.19.  So we got over 90 gallons at $3.79 and that was a savings of at least $.40 per gallon!  But wait, the story gets better!  We looked out the windshield the next morning and noticed that Wal Mart had raised the diesel price to $4.09 over night!  We never get in on that kind of bargain!!!

We had not planned to spend two nights in Nevada, but we decided to take advantage of the opportunity to visit several historical cemeteries.  In a few minutes we will head to Prescott, IA

That is all for now.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hello from Branson, MO (part two)

Hello from Branson, MO (part two)

Tuesday evening   October 9, 2012   (Third travelogue of this trip).

As noted last time, our Eagle Rally is in Branson.  To be specific, we are in the Branson Lakeside RV Park (map).  We have an Eagle rally at this location every two years.  This rally was extended to seven days this time and that has been great.  It gives us time to relax, and time to do tourist things.

As you could probably tell, the last post was a bit rushed.  I wanted to get some details documented, but we were rushing out the door to see the Gatlin Brothers.  We got half price tickets and the show was good. 

One of the details that I left out of the last post was a mention of the great catered barbeque dinner we had Wednesday evening.  It was a great way to start the rally.

Friday the men went to Springfield to tour a diesel engine rebuilding facility, have lunch in a very unique diner (Caspers), shopped around at the Grizzly tool store (fabulous) and then went to Byron Pigg's wonderful shop that has all kinds of bus memorabilia and projects.  The women went to a tea room in Ozark.  Some of the ladies then went to do some shopping at an antique mall.  That evening we had a hamburger cookout.  Just a quick note on Caspers.  It is a small quonset hut building that serves great greasy hamburgers and bowls of chili.

Saturday evening we went to a wonderful dinner at the College of the Ozarks.  The school is very unique.  The student pay their way through school by working.  They have a huge dining room that serves wonderful gourmet food.  The meal is prepared and served by the students.

Sunday we had our potluck dinner – always a great feast!

During the days, we relaxed, talked buses and went to restaurants.  I led a couple of roundtables and Pat had a stamping class.

There are 31 coaches at the rally – 26 were Eagles.  The coaches came from 18 states.  As usual, there were some really fabulous Eagles that just make your mouth water.  Given the cost of fuel (over $4 per gallon), that is a great turnout

The weather has not been too bad.  We had a couple of days of rain, but it did not dampen the fun.  It has been quite cool at night.  At least one night got down to 32 degrees!  Fortunately, we are cozy in our bus.

Now, for the highlight of the trip so far:  last night we went to see Mickey Gilley.  It was a wonderful show!!!  He had a terrible fall in 2009 and was paralyzed.   He has recovered quite a bit of his mobility.  His voice remains strong, but his hands are quite deformed and he is no longer able to play the piano.   He puts on a very unique show.  He is talks about his career with lots of humor intermixed with wonderful singing.  He has to do part of the show in a chair, but you really don't notice it.  We had seats in the fourth row (center) and could see his wonderful expressions.  He seems to really enjoy entertaining the audience.  He made sure that he sang all of his 17 number one hits. 

The Mickey Gilley Show

Tomorrow we will say goodby to the group and head to Nevada, MO for some genealogy activity and I will get to see what is supposed to be a wonderful IHC truck collection.

That is all for now.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hello from Branson, MO

Hello from Branson, MO

Thursday afternoon   October 4, 2012   (Second travelogue of this trip).

Monday we drove a  bit under 400 miles and stayed at a Wal Mart in Iola, KS  Our route took us to Salina, KS and then south on I 135 to just north of Wichita where we turned east and took US 54.  US 54 is a nice road and took us through some rolling hills and great farm land.  In spite of the drought this year, the grass and hay was green.  We could see that the crops had suffered.

On the drive, we hit several small rain storms.  Not a lot of rain – just enough to mess up the bus and car.

Our drive from Iola took us through the towns of Nevada and El Dorado Springs, MO.  Those towns are significant in that they are locations where some of Pat's relatives (several generations removed) are buried.  We will return to the area after the rally and before we head to Iowa.

Tuesday, we arrived in Branson in the early afternoon.  I gave the bus and car a quick wash and we got settled in.  The rally started yesterday and will go for seven days.

That is all of now