As we were leaving this morning I wanted to take a picture of the fairground campsite for the blog. If you read yesterday's post where I posted that picture you will notice a man in the picture. He started to move to the left of me and I asked him if he wanted to be in the picture. He laughed and said no, we just wanted to visit with you a moment. He and his wife had friends coming in and wanted to ask about the campsite we were vacating. We had a nice visit and he offered to take our picture beside our rig. Here it is.
I wasn't really prepared for a picture but I'm posting it anyway since we do not have one of us with Bentley.
We visited with Leonard and his wife Brenda for a little while. Leonard told us they are not full-time RVer's but most-timers. They live in Norman and stay here in the spring and fall but head north or south with the comfortable weather temperatures, or as Jimmy Buffett says - "where the weather suits my clothes." Sounds like a great idea to me! As I mentioned earlier, they have friends coming in and the campsite they have stayed in when visiting Norman before has closed so they were checking out the fairgrounds as an alternate site for them. I hope it works out as well for them as it did for us. It was great visiting with them - as it has been with all other RVer's we have met on our travels.
We left about 9:55 this morning and pointed the big blue truck and Bentley east down Highway 9. We had a nice ride until we hit those darn concrete highways. I always thought concrete was a great material for highways, but while pulling our rig it is not. You feel this slightly jerky movement when we are on it, especially the older concrete. Fortunately most highways are pretty smooth although we did notice Oklahoma roads were rougher than the other states we passed through this trip.
We soon turned north on 69 and passed through Checotah, OK, home of Carrie Underwood. The first year I watched American Idol, Carrie won and I've been hooked on the show ever since. She has been and still is one of my favorite country artists.
Before we knew it we were near the last leg of our trip just south of Pryor in Choteau when we passed the Dutch Pantry restaurant. I mentioned to Dean this was an Amish restaurant that my dad used to love to visit. He told me he thought that is where we should go for dinner tonight. I'm not one for arguing if it means I do not have to cook dinner, especially after a 4 hour drive.
Just a short time later we were pulling into the Snowdale Area RV Park. The park is actually on Lake Hudson, not Grand Lake as the name indicates but it is all under the same lake administration. We drove through the park once - a nice big loop - to check out the campsite before settling on site #3.
The sites are fairly close. Each site has a large and pretty level paved pad with 50 amp electric, water hook-ups and a picnic table. There is a dump station on site as well as a bathhouse. We noticed several of the campsites had reserved signs on them. There was no one at the office and a check of notices at the bathhouse did not provide any information on who to pay, current fees or where to make payment. I had checked their website earlier in the week and it indicated it would be $18 per night for Senior Citizens (Dean meets that). I called the number that was listed on their website. There was no answer, it did not provide any information on what to do about paying and there was no answering machine to leave a message. If we do not see anyone before we leave I guess I'll just stick a check in the door of the office and hope for the best.
As I mentioned in my post yesterday I have family in the area. My cousin and his wife live here in Salina but they were on a trip with my cousin/his brother and wife to Charleston, SC. I'm sure they are having a great time and hope the weather is perfect for them. Their sister is staying here in Salina at my cousins' house to dog sit. I called her to see if she might be free, but her grandson is playing soccer tonight. I have another cousin that lives a few miles away and I checked to see if she and her husband might be free, but her husband had a commitment for tonight. I should know better than not calling sooner. I then called my Great-Aunt, mother of the first three cousins I mentioned, who lives in Pryor. Dean and I will go by and visit with her after dinner. We decided to head to Choteau (south of Pryor) for dinner at the Amish restaurant about 4:00.
The food here was very good. It is a buffet, which we normally try to stay away from. There were numerous salads to choose from. These were wonderful and I probably could have just filled up on them, but the entrees were calling us. Roast beef, chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, creamed corn, navy beans/ham, sliced ham and hot rolls. This was all very good too. After that we even made room for dessert. I chose small portions of both blackberry cobbler (my favorite) and pecan pie. Dean chose peach cobbler and ice cream. It was definitely worth the trip.
My great-aunt Naomi (Blackledge) Wade is my paternal grandfather's younger sister. She just turned 91 this past March. I've always enjoyed visiting with her and it was the same this evening. We stayed for about an hour and a half. Aunt Naomi is the last living sibling of my grandfather's brothers and sisters (8 total). She is sharp as a tack and always fun and interesting to talk with. She told me she is looking forward to making the trip to our family reunion in a few weeks.
My sisters and I host a family reunion the first Saturday in June for the Blackledge family in our hometown of Oswego each year. We started celebrating our dad's birthday (June 3rd) each year with a picnic at his house many years ago after we started families of our own. He loved having family around and over time he started inviting more and more family members until it grew so big we had to move it to a different location. For years we held this birthday/reunion in Oswego's Riverside Park. When Daddy's health kept him from enjoying the outdoors as much once the weather started warming up, we moved it inside to the Oswego Community Center. My cousin (I have many cousins) Steve, always brings catfish that he has caught and then he fries it at the reunion. I think everyone comes as much for this as they do for the visiting with family members. It's always great to see everyone and I look forward to this one coming up in a few weeks.
Shortly after returning home I thought I heard something. When I looked out, a camp ranger was parked along the road at our site. I walked out to meet him, and told him I was glad he had stopped by as I was not sure what to do about paying. He told us he is the only ranger for all of the parks on Grand and Hudson Lakes right now - so I know he has a lot of ground to cover each day. WOW! It's quite a drive from Salina to Bernice, OK the farthest north park he visits from this, the farthest park to the south. Bernice is the area we spend our time at when we visit Grand Lake. He told me they are looking for a camp host for this park. The camp host who has worked here the past several years will not be able to return due to health issues his wife is having. So if you know any RV'er who might be interested in a part-time job at minimum wage and a free camping spot for the season, have them check GRDA (Grand River Dam Authority)'s website for information. He indicated the work included mowing and maintaining the restrooms. I do not know what other duties, if any, might be involved. The ranger also told us that this park only has a couple of sites that were not reserved for this weekend and while we were gone for dinner the one next to us was taken as well, so by tomorrow when we leave all spots except the one we leave will be taken. You can tell it's lake season!
Well, after the 100 miles we will make to reach home tomorrow, this will be the end of our maiden RV voyage and Travels with Bentley. We expect to have many more. I do not intend to post daily while we are at home but I will periodically post news that involves future travel plans and of course, once we are on the road with Bentley again whether it is a shorter 2-3 day trip or another adventure similar to this one. So stay tuned and thanks so much for joining us on our first adventure. We've had a great time. I appreciate all of the comments and emails we've received. The positive response to the blog has made it fun to write each new post. Love you all!