Travels with Bentley

Travels with Bentley
Bentley - our Heartland Bighorn

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Friday, April 22 - Tuesday, April 26, 2016 - Treasure Lakes Resort @ Branson, Missouri

Friday, April 22, 2016

I woke up really early this morning.  We didn't walk for the first time all week, but I guess we were both ready to move back to Branson for a few days. We pulled out about 8:45 and we pulled into our campsite at Treasure Lake at 12:15.  It was a nice easy drive with more beautiful scenery.

On the way to Natural Springs State Park I noticed a woodcarving shop.  Out front by the road was a large wood sculpture of morel mushrooms.  My son Marc and his wife Jen love morels, so on the way back I managed to snap a picture of it.
Enlarge this picture to see the morel wood sculpture.
Since we purchased our membership to Treasure Lake Resort we have been here 3 times, last fall, a week or so ago, and this trip.  We have stayed in sites 188, 189 and now 190.  Each of these have been better than the previous.  We drove around looking for a different site this time, and we actually pulled in to 350 and unhooked.  Dean went to hook up the water and it was tied down with orange plastic and the sewer hookup was packed with leaves and debris, so we hooked back up and moved to site #190.

We got settled in pretty quick and I went in to put out the slides and set up things inside.  When I came outside Dean was standing at the side of the road talking to someone in a small green colored jeep.  As I walked out I could not believe it - it was my Uncle Richard and his wife Joyce.  They were parked 2 sites down from us.  If we had not moved from the first site we parked in we might never have known they were even here.  Isn't it funny how God works?

After we got things done, we walked over to visit with them for awhile.  Joyce's sister is getting married tomorrow night and Uncle Richard will be doing the ceremony.

Tonight they are having a tribute to Merle Haggard at the Clubhouse here at Treasure Lake Resort so Dean and I are going.  Cody Dooley and Michael T. will be performing.  Michael T played with Mickey Gilley's band.  He plays steel guitar, banjo, fiddle and various other guitars.  This was a great show and we had a good time.  The Clubhouse has a diner and they serve ice cream desserts.  Dean went back to get us something and brought me a chocolate sundae with whipped cream and nuts.  He had a caramel sundae.  They were delicious.

After the music event we came back to Bentley to watch a little TV before heading to bed.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

We normally have breakfast out on Friday morning.  I asked Dean if he wanted to go out this morning since we missed out yesterday due to our drive to Branson.  Of course, he was in agreement.  We drove a short distance, across Highway 248 to a side road and into Cracker Barrel parking lot.  We really like their breakfast selections and always enjoying stopping here no matter where the location.

We did walk this morning before breakfast, and after we returned from breakfast I went up to the laundromat to do some laundry. There is a sign asking that campers respect others and not use more than 3 washers or dryers at a time.  I walked in and 5 of the 7 washers were full - with only one couple's laundry.  Needless to say, I did 2 loads and brought some of my laundry back to be done another day.  Oh well.  I got all the important things done.

Later in the day a fifth wheel pulled in between us and Uncle Richard.  Jim was trying to get his Dish working and  not having much luck.  He was asking Dean about ours and they talked about that a bit. He told us that he and his wife live in Claremore, OK and we shared we lived in Oswego, Kansas, and he remarked that his wife was originally from Parsons, KS.  Later his wife walked over and knocked on the door.  She said they were going to move to a different site because they were unable to get their Dish to work here.  She said she would like to visit with me before we left as she has family in Oswego.  I told her we would be sure to catch up with them later.

After lunch we decided to drive down to a Corps of Engineers Park near Lampe, MO - south of Branson on old 86 Highway.  The May Escapees casual camp-out will be held there.  We thought we'd see if there were any sites left and if so, if they would accommodate Bentley.  There was lots of traffic and we finally realized it was due to the PGA Tournament they are having at Top of the Rock Golf Course owned by Bass Pro.  There were a lot of people attending the event.  You could see a number of fields full of cars and shuttle buses to take them back and forth.

We made it to the  Old 86 campground and found a site that we felt would suit us.  We stopped at the park entrance and booked it.  On the way back we realized there was no way we could attend this rally. There were a couple of things we are doing that I did not have on my calendar.  Glad we thought of both of them.  Now I will have to call and cancel that reservation.

Tonight we went to the clubhouse to hear the Ozark Country Band.  We stayed for about an hour and then left.  It's depressing for me to watch all of those couples out there dancing while we sit.  I love to two step but Dean has not learned this yet.  Maybe someday he'll let me teach him!  :)

I started working on the blog again trying to get caught up before we move for the Heartland Rally. Once we get there I know we'll be busy.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

This morning after our walk and breakfast we went up to the Clubhouse for their Sunday morning service.  Pastor Armand gave the sermon after we sang several songs.  His sermon was really good and talked about forgiveness and Preparation for God's Purpose:  "Being in Christ".

Afterwards we drove over to Countrymart to pick up some vegetables and fruit.  But before we stopped there we decided to first visit KMart.  They had some camp chairs advertised and we wanted to see if they were anything we might be interested in.  After trying out several we decided they were not for us.  Once we returned from the grocery store I cut up cauliflower, broccoli, green pepper, carrots and some radishes for our lunch the next few days.

We walked over and visited with Uncle Richard and Joyce for awhile.  We decided we would have breakfast together in the morning at 8.  After visiting a bit we left to get ready to meet a friend of ours for dinner.   Carolyn belongs to our Escapees RV Club and lives here in Branson.  We met her at Uptown Cafe at 5:30.  The meal was quite good and then we had very yummy desserts.  I had the brownie hot fudge sundae.  Delicious!

After our dinner, we came back to Bentley so we could Skype with Matt, Megan and Josh.  Tomorrow is Josh's 2nd birthday.  He is quite a little guy and we enjoyed watching him show us some of his tricks.  We look forward to seeing them toward the end of July when we go to visit after their second child arrives - sometime around July 15.

I worked on the blog again this evening and managed to get the first part of this trip posted.  I spent quite a bit of time downloading pictures and then uploading them to the blog.  I still have a post on our casual campout to post and then getting caught up with our time here at Treasure Lake.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Breakfast at Cracker Barrel was as good as usual and we had a nice time visiting.  After we got back I loaded up the leftover laundry and headed to the laundromat.  Fortunately no one was there and I was able to get everything done.  No more laundry until we get home.  Yea!

After a quick lunch, I decided to run back to KMart.  I saw a few shirts there yesterday I thought I'd like to try on.  That was a waste of time.  I tried on at least 12 or more shirts and didn't like any of them.  Typical for me!

Once I got back, we decided to walk over to Jim and Elaine's rig - these were our neighbors before they moved in an attempt to get a better Dish signal.  On the way to their rig, another Big Horn owner, Richard stopped us to visit about our rig.  He and his wife Sandra are from Arkansas.  He is originally from Alaska but has lived in Arkansas during his adult life.  We didn't get to meet his wife but he was very nice and we enjoyed visiting with him.

We had a great time visiting with Jim and Elaine.  Come to find out Bud (Mildred) Stice from Oswego was her uncle. Her grandpa was Ralph Stice.  She attended school in Oswego when she was a young girl.  Some of her best friends (still today as well) were the Burrow's sisters.  I loved visiting with her about all of that because I know all of these people.  In fact Donnie (our company that was here in Branson with us last weekend) Allison's  Aunt Mildred was married to Bud Stice.

Somehow we got on the subject of church.  One thing led to another and she told me her sister and husband started a church in Parsons several years ago.  My uncle started a church in Hallowell around the same time.  Both had Christian schools within their churches and they used to have different events with the kids between the churches.  

Jim mentioned he used to work for Caterpillar and was assigned to work with Fuel Dynamics in Oswego.  I mentioned Gary Clower, and he asked if I knew him.  Yes, he's married to my cousin.  He remembered Gary from the days he worked with him.  What a small world it is!

I put a pork roast on in the crockpot earlier today, so we had it and a baked potato for dinner tonight.  It was pretty tasty.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

We were able to get in a 2.6 mile walk this morning.  It was a beautiful day.  After breakfast we went with Uncle Richard and Joyce to Branson Meadows Mall.  Joyce and I hit Vanity Fair and the guys went to Tool Town.  Joyce and I found a couple of things we liked and even Uncle Richard found something he needed.

Afterwards we had lunch at Danna's BBQ down around Fall Creek Road.  We've noticed this place several times and have talked about stopping but just never got around to it.  I'm glad we tried it today.  Dean and I shared a fried catfish dinner.  There were two large filets, lots of really good french fries, baked beans, cole slaw and a roll.  U Richard and Joyce had pulled pork sandwiches and theirs was very good as well.

After returning to the park, I did a few things around the RV to get ready for moving tomorrow.  Since we had a big lunch today we just snacked on some veggies, meat and cheese tonight.  Dean watched some TV while I brought the blog up to date and downloaded some more pictures.  We were keeping an eye on the weather as there were news reports of some severe storms east of us.  We went to bed about 9:30 or 10:00.  About 1:30 both of our phones' weather alerts started going off.  I went to the living area to see what they said, and before I even got to them the tornado sirens started going off.  We quickly got dressed, I grabbed my purse and we headed to the clubhouse basement.  Before we got outside we could hear security in the park announcing for people to take cover.

I called U Richard and Joyce but did not get an answer.  I wasn't sure if they went to the bathhouse or what, so I just started praying that God would keep them safe.  Fortunately a tornado did not materialize in our area and about 2:45 we left and headed back to Bentley.  Needless to say we were pretty wide awake and it took about an hour before we felt like going back to bed.

Talk about an exciting night.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

We were almost ready to start tearing things down to move when U Richard knocked on the door.  They were getting ready to leave for home.  I asked him if I woke him up when I called.  They both said they never even heard the phone.  U Richard said he heard the sirens, but he just went back to sleep and Joyce never knew anything until he told her about it this morning.  We said our goodbyes and they left.  It was so great to spend time with them.  They are very special to me and made the last few days a lot more fun.

Stay tuned for our upcoming week where we will be attending the Heartland South Central Region Rally here in Branson, MO.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday-Thursday, April 18-21, 2016 Natural Falls State Park, West Siloam Springs, OK

Monday, April 18, 2016

We are headed south today to Natural Falls State Park in West Siloam Springs, OK.  We left Branson at 10 and arrived at the park about 1:30.  It was a nice drive with wonderful scenery through some beautiful mountains.

It rained a little on the drive down but not too much or too long.

We set up in Site #28.  It was about 66 degrees and cloudy when we arrived.  Our site was pretty level and we were soon set up.  We have water and 50 amp electric at our site.  We had a good Verizon and Dish Network signal.  There is a dump station as we leave the park if we need to use it.  They are calling for rain the next day or so.  This is a beautiful park with many walking paths and trails.  We hope to do a lot of walking while we are here.

Several Escapee members were already here and once we had Bentley set up we took a walk to check out the falls and then to say hello to our fellow Escapee members.  We learned we would caravan to a diner in nearby Kansas, OK for dinner tonight.  We left about 5:00 and were soon seated at Mama's Cafe.  The food was excellent, they offered Senior plates for $5.99-$6.99 for 55 and older, so even I got in on the reduced rate.  Yea!  We had a chance to visit quite a bit by the time they served all of us. Our camping neighbors here in the park, Keith & Drena, rode with us and we enjoyed getting to know them better.  They just recently joined our club and they also have a brand new Cedar Creek 5th Wheel that they allowed us tour.  It is really beautiful.  The additional four feet would be nice to have but overall we really have all we need in Bentley.

Once we returned Vern and Dee soon had a campfire going.  We enjoyed sitting out under the stars and I was able to get a great group picture.  It's not often I set out side at night where I can enjoy the moon and stars.  It was nice.

Vern in the yellow jacket, with his neighbor Dee standing beside him.  They built our fire.  We have more campers coming in tomorrow.

We turned in about 9:30 or so.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Dean and I were up early to take advantage of the walking trails.

It seems by the time we walk, eat breakfast and then do a few things around the RV it's getting close to noon.  We had several other members come in today.  The park has a very nice meeting room and now that we have over 10 here we can use it at no charge.  There are a total of 21 of us.  Tonight we will have a potluck dinner, so after we got our chores done for the day we headed to Siloam Springs, AR to pick up a few things at Wal-Mart.  I made corn dip, Mexican chicken and apple crisp.  I saved the apple crisp for tomorrow night.  After lunch we walked some more and then rested until time to have our potluck meal.  We had LOTS of great food and desserts.
From Left to Right:  Keith, Carolyn & Raymond, Drena

L to R:  Vern & Joanne, and Yvette & Mike

L to R:  Sally & Steve, Alvin, Christine

L to R:  Dee & Shiela, Dean & Carol 

Carolyn, Connie & Gary

Me & Dean

Dessert table

Our Potluck Dinner
Afterwards, we played Hand and Foot.  There were 8 of us, with 4 at 2 tables.  We had a great time.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

We took our morning walk this morning to the spring.

Entrance to Dripping Springs

It is really dry here so very little water.

This is the upper bridge that takes you on the trail around Dripping Springs.

This is platform is ADA accessible for wheelchairs to where you can see the falls below.  The bridge leads up to the upper viewing area.

Picture taken from the lower bridge shown below.

This bridge is at the bottom.

When we returned we got around for a group breakfast at 10 am, with biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon, fruit, bagels, muffins, etc.  It was great.

We walked again today, a couple of different times.  After lunch 4 of us women went to the meeting room to play hand and foot again.  I sure enjoy that game and look forward to having the opportunity to play it.
The park has a nice meeting room with a small kitchen and restroom facilities.  We made good use of it this week.
Tonight we brought our leftovers back for dinner at the meeting room.  It was just as good the second time around as it was the night before.  I included the apple crisp at this meal.

Tonight we had another campfire and I visited with one of our members who joined last fall in Grove. She and her husband used to full-time.  While workcamping in Arkansas they found a place they liked and have now settled there.  I enjoyed visiting with her about their travels, etc.

Christine fanning the fire!

Here are some more pictures from the campfire.  Tonight we made smores.  We turned in about 9:30 or so.  It has been a lot of fun so far this week.

Carol supplied the makings for smores.  She's busy making hers.

Enjoying the final product.  They were sure good!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

After our morning walk, we had to make our own breakfast today.  :)  We had lunch and then we walked some more.  This afternoon we walked around the small lake below the springs.

This is the Dripping Springs Trail that takes you down 49 steps to the base of the falls.

Some of those STEEP steps to the base of the falls.

No steps, but downhill at the same incline.

More steps down.

Had to take a selfie at the base of the falls.

This is the trail along the small lake made by the falls.

Bridge over the small lake.

Walking alongside the lake 

Backside of the lake where it falls to a stream.
This was a DIFFICULT walk uphill.  It is worse than climbing back up the hill at the park in Oswego!

WOW!  I had to stop and rest a couple of times going up that steep hill!  After that we walked the Ghost Coon Trail.  It wasn't as bad as the one around the lake but it was still a workout.  Tonight we are going to cook hot dogs or hamburgers at our campfire.  Dean and I went back to Wal-mart to get hot dogs and a roasting stick.  When we got back I made some no-bake cookies to take as well.  The hot dogs were good and one of the ladies made an angel food cake, with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.  It was delicious.  We set around the campfire again this evening.  Our last night before we all head out.
I forgot to take pictures at tonight's campout, but here is the table decoration that Vern and Dee made for us!

We had such a great time and really enjoyed visiting with all of our Escapee friends.  We missed those who could not attend, but hope to meet up with them sometime during the year.