Travels with Bentley

Travels with Bentley
Bentley - our Heartland Bighorn

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sunday, May 1 to Friday, May 6, 2016 - Coachlight RV Campground in Carthage, MO

Sunday, May 1, 2016

The KOA park here in Branson serves free pancakes to all of their guests each Sunday morning in the rally hall.  You can purchase other items, such as sausage, biscuits and gravy, rolls, etc. plus juice or coffee.  Dean had pancakes and a couple of other items and I chose to have the free pancakes.  I thought this was a really nice touch and a great way to end our spectacular week here with our Heartland friends before moving on to Carthage.

It was close to 9:30 when we left Branson and headed to Carthage, MO for the Escapees District Rally at the Coachlight RV Campground.  It was an easy 2 hour drive as we pulled into Coachlight about 12:30.

There was a Montana fifth wheel parked in front of the office/rally hall when we arrived.  I asked Dean if it might be Phil & Janelle's.  I knew they were supposed to arrive today as well.  Sure enough, they walked out of the office a short time later.  The office manager stopped by in his golf cart and asked us to go on in and fill out the form left laying on the desk and he would be right back after he showed Phil where his site was located.  In no time he was back and had us registered.  He was such a nice man.  I think we will enjoy our time here.  They gave us a nice packet of information on Carthage and the surrounding area.  That was a nice touch.

We were soon led to Site #31, our spot for the week.  We are near the rally hall, and across the street from Phil and Janelle.  We were soon set up and then eating lunch.  Dean likes to eat as close to noon as possible and by now it was well after 1:00.  We noticed Phil and Janelle leaving, so we'll visit with them later this afternoon.  It was a beautiful sunny, but cool 62 degrees when we arrived.  This park is gorgeous.  It is full of beautiful trees, extremely well manicured, and very, very clean.  There are park swings, birdhouses, and flowers all over.  I noticed there are also signs reminding campers to clean up after their pets, along with bags for clean-up if they are needed.  I have to say most of the camps we have been in have been good about requiring campers to clean up after their pets and to keep them on leashes.
The park is beautiful with all of the trees.  
Our Bentley is beyond the white truck.  
This park has full hook-ups and a very nice rally hall.  It has a full kitchen area with lots of supplies for cooking.  This makes it much easy for us during rallies as we have a different wagonmaster every evening.  A wagonmaster plans the days activities and the main meal (can be morning, noon or evening).  Dean and I will be filling this role on Thursday.

After lunch, we made sure everything was set up in side Bentley and then we moved outside with our chairs to watch as others pulled into the park.

It was a great start to the Spring District Rally and look forward to seeing more of our friends tomorrow.


Monday, May 2, 2016

This morning we ate breakfast and then headed to Oswego.  Dean wanted to get the mail and mow the lawn at our house and Misti's if needed.  It was nice to drive into Oswego.  Logan or Misti had mowed our lawn but it still needed to have the weedeater used to spruce it up a bit.  We drove by Misti's and it needed mowing, so he went there to mow first.  Once he got back we met Misti and Logan at Pizza Hut for lunch, and then he came back and weedeated here at our house.  I did a couple of loads of laundry while he was mowing.  It was nice to see Misti and Haleigh before we took off again.

We headed back to Carthage about 3:00 or so.  We could tell many more of our group had shown up today.  We found out not too long after we arrived that plans were to head up the road to El Charro for dinner later.  Don & Lynda from Topeka, KS rode with us.  They have a motorhome and did not have a tow vehicle with them on this trip.  We visited at the restaurant about their plans to go full-time in their motorhome. They found they were spending less and less time in their sticks and bricks home and it just made sense not to continue paying all of the extra costs associated with their home. It's something we have discussed as well, but its alot to think about before making that step.

Our dinner was wonderful and I hate to admit it was the start of a lot of great meals - too many meals - and too many things I would be better off staying away from - you know the kind - that add all the pounds to your torso!  But it's so hard for me to say no to food!  Fortunately, three weeks of rallies in a row is not typical for us.

After returning from dinner several of us went up to the rally hall to play the card game "Hand and Foot".  I was introduced to this game last April in Grove and I love to play it.  I believe we ended up with 8 people to play, so we had two tables of 4 going.  Lots of laughter and good times.

I realized after I returned to Bentley that I missed watching Dancing with the Stars, but fortunately it is being recorded at home, so I'll be sure to watch it before the next episode is shown once we get home.



Tuesday, May 3, 2016

This morning our Vice President Alvin had the club house open about 8 or 8:30 for coffee and toast. Most of the guys and a few of the women go up in the morning.  I like to have time to not only get myself ready, but to straighten things up in the RV before I head out - such as making the bed, doing any dishes, and just general pickup.  I have found you need to take time each day to do this in such a small space or in no time, you can't find anything you need.  Not only that it just really bothers me when things aren't in their place.

Once I had my work done I walked up to join Dean and the others.  Registration for the rally was scheduled for 9, with a Chapter officers meeting following at 10.  While I am not an officer, I am the editor of the newsletter for the chapter so I stayed for the meeting.  Our President Dennis recently had shoulder surgery and is recuperating near family in northern Kansas.  We will miss him and his wife Pam but we'll see them at our fall rally in October.

Following the meeting, Dean and I had some lunch and then returned to the rally hall at 2:30 for the rally opening ceremony.  This is our time to review the schedule of events for the week and discuss any potential changes.  We have a social hour at 3:00 and our wagonmasters for today (Alvin & Linda and Olen & Kathey) taught us a new game called Jokers Bingo.  I've never heard of this before but it was alot of fun.  A deck of cards is provided for each table of four.  The cards are divided evenly between the four people and laid face up in front of you.  This is done at as many tables as needed.  Alvin then called cards from a full deck he had until the first person with no cards left calls "Bingo".  We played two games.  I think this is something my grandkids might enjoy.

Tonight we are having a potluck dinner.  Yes, you get the picture - more food - and lots of really good food at that!  I have a feeling I will not lose any weight this month, no matter how much I have walked.

Dean set our chairs outside toward the back of Bentley and almost every night many of the guys came over to visit, and sometimes in the afternoon while I was busy with my card games.

Once dinner was over, we cleaned up and several of us stayed to play "Hand and Foot".



Wednesday, May 4, 2016

One of the things we talked about yesterday at our Opening Ceremony was whether we would have a ladies and men's lunch?  The plan originally was to go to the Undercliff Bar & Grill south of Joplin, MO, however it has closed.  It was decided we would go to the Sirloin Stockade in Carthage instead and we would just all go together.  So after a nice relaxing morning we caravanned into Carthage. I have to admit the food here was quite good, much better than I anticipated, and while their bread pudding didn't quite compare to Golden Corral, I did like it but held myself back from eating too much of it.  After all we have another big meal tonight!

Kathey - lady on the right of the two women sitting on the far side of the table was celebrating her birthday today and we serenaded her with "Happy Birthday"!

More Escapee friends.

These were our visitors to the rally.  They have not yet joined the National Escpaees but we hope they do and will return to join our local chapter in the very near future.

We had our daily social hour at 3 where we played another round of Hand and Foot.  This game involves four sets and it takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to play.  It's a great way to visit with folks and get to know them more and often enjoy some pretty good laughs as well.

Tonight our wagonmaster is Gary & Connie from Springfield, Mo.  This is another couple getting ready to go full-time.  They are in the process of listing their home and selling their possessions.

They made chili and cornbread.  The chili was delicious.  They put it on and let it cook for several hours.  It was hard for me to not go back for a big old second helping.  There were cookies and a chocolate sheet cake for dessert.  YUMM!!!!!!!

Afterwards I bet you can't guess what several of us did here in the clubhouse - yes, more Hand and Foot.  I'm addicted!



Thursday, May 5, 2016

Well today we are wagonmasters.  I did a little prep work after I got back to Bentley last night and made two pans of brownies, one plain and one with pecans.  This morning I made a third pan with pecans and chocolate icing with pecans sprinkled on top.  These will be our desserts for tonight.

This morning at 10:30 was our Chapter Business Meeting.  It lasted about an hour.  Our fall rally will be back in Grove the first week of October.  Lunch was on our own today so after we had some leftovers from Monday evening (lasagne), we headed up to the rally hall to mix up our taco soup that we are making for dinner tonight.  With the soup, we'll have fixings of cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, onions; along with fritoes and crackers.  Once we had everything mixed together in a big roaster we just let it cook for the afternoon.  At 3:00 we played beanbag baseball.  You might remember me talking about this after we played a couple of years ago at our first Heartland Rally in Oklahoma.  We like the game so well, Dean came home and made the board and my sister made the bean bags for us.
We had quite a few people participate and we had lots of fun and many laughs.  I have a few pictures to share.


Top two pictures shows Team B (except for yours truly who took the pictures)

Team A - The Winners
Carolyn did a great job and made it to base for our team, but we soon had three outs.

Next up, Team A.  Jan had a good arm on her.  

Notice Janice hiding behind the trash can lid - she needed a catcher's helmet to protect her!

Sharon was another gal with a good arm.

Our teammate Don who kept us laughing!


At 5:30 we served our taco soup, leftover chili from last night with all the fixings and brownies for dessert.  Everyone seemed to like it.  It's such an easy dish to make and it is really filling.

Following the meal, and after we cleaned things up, we had our brown bag exchange.  This was a really fun time.  Everyone brings a brown bag with an item worth approximately $5.  The bags are all placed together.  Instructions are you cannot touch, move or lift any of the bags before you pick one. You then return to your seat and open the bag.  You then must lay it in front of you because there is a chance someone might steal your gift.  If that happens you have the opportunity to choose another gift from the remaining brown bags, or you can steal from someone else, however you cannot steal the gift that was stolen from you.  Once a gift has been stolen twice, it cannot be stolen again.  There were some really hot items - such as wine, chocolate and a big container of caramel corn as well as many other items.  I won a box of original moon pies----they are sooooooo good!


Eating

and cleaning up!

There were some great gifts

lots of discussion

and many great laughs!

Dale thought he had this big container of caramel corn in the bag - but somehow that ended up in our Bentley later that evening.  It sure was good Dale!



A few items were snatched up from others by
the guys at this table.  Brown bagging is lots of fun!
We met our new Escapee members at this rally - Bill and Mary from Leavenworth, KS.  They joined our chapter and we are sure glad they did.  They are a delightful couple.  After the brown bag exchange, clean-up and returning items to Bentley we walked over to visit with them.  Bill had a hitch for their 5th wheel that Dean wanted to take a look at.  I was hoping for a tour of their new Montana 5th wheel - and I wasn't disappointed.  It was very, very nice.  It's always fun to see what tips or tricks other RVing friends do in their rigs and often you discover some great ideas to make your own Rving life easier as well.  We intended to visit for just a bit and that turned into well over an hour, but we thoroughly enjoyed our time with them. Their refrigerator is not working properly so they were using a cooler for their perishables until they could obtain the part needed to get it operational again.  A bit of an inconvenience but they were not letting it bother them at all.  We look forward to seeing them at future rallies.



Friday, May 6, 2016

Today is our last full day of the rally.  Our wagonmasters for today were John & Christine, however on their way to Carthage their rig broke down and they had to have it towed home.  We really missed them and hope we get to see them later this year at a casual campout or the fall rally.  So the birthday girl, Kathey stepped in and handled things for the day with a few changes from the original plans. We originally planned to visit the Lucky J Steakhouse & Arena to have dinner and watch the Ozark Mountain Cutting Horse Show.  Kathey called the steakhouse to discuss our group meal and found they will have the cutting horse show at lunch too, so we gathered everyone up and drove to the steakhouse for lunch rather than dinner.  The food was excellent.  Dean and I shared a burger (1/2 pound burgers) that was topped with pulled pork along with a large order of french fries.   We were seated at a full length bar that ran most of the the width of the room.  It provided enough seating for all of us.  The room was enclosed with a window in front of the bar that allowed us to watch horses preparing for the cutting show.  Unfortunately the cutting show was in the opposite arena so we really couldn't watch that while we were eating but we enjoyed watching the horses and riders circling the pen waiting for their turn.



After lunch we moved over to the bleachers at the pen where the cutting show was taking place.  It was interesting and I think everyone really had a great time.




We headed back and soon several of us were headed back up to the rally hall for another round of "Hand and Foot".  For those who were not card players Raymond & Carolyn brought their spinning ladder ball game up and set it up outside the rally hall.  I showed a picture of this when it was played at the casual campout in Siloam Springs a couple of weeks ago if you want to look back and see what this looks like.  It's a lot of fun to play!

Tonight we had leftovers of everything else we had this week - chili, taco soup, cornbread, desserts and a new addition of ice cream bars.  It was all still delicious and the ice cream bars really hit the spot.

We had time after dinner for one last game of "Hand and Foot" before we all leave tomorrow, but not before we held our auction of any remaining food or supplies.  Kathey did a great job as auctioneer. She's much more entertaining than Vanna on Wheel of Fortune - watch out Vanna, she may be after your job!
Our last game of "Hand and Foot" for this rally.  If you click on the picture and enlarge it you can see the neat little rolling car that holds the cards that we draw plus the discard pile (in the middle).  The two boards sitting in the foreground by the cup with the purple top are slotted to hold our sets as they are made.  You might notice the ladies have crocheted pockets around their necks to hold their "Foot".  Dale and Donna play a lot in Texas and Colorado and they have all of these neat accessories.

Most everyone is leaving in the morning.  We will not be able to attend the casual campout at Old 86 south of Branson in May, and we are still undecided about the June campout near Rogers, AR at Beaver Lake.  We will be gone in July, August and part of September, so we won't see our SKP friends until either September or October.  Hope they all have safe travels until we meet again.

Here are a few more pictures of the campground.

Office and rally hall.

Swings are placed around the campgrounds for visitors use.

The campgrounds are neat, clean and well taken care of.  The roads are wonderful.

So much detail in the park manicure.

Another swing.

Most of the sites are pull-thru with full hookups.

I apologize for the late posts.  Since we've been home we have been on the go almost every single day. It has been a challenge to get these posts caught up.  We leave this Thursday afternoon with our two 14 year old granddaughters Haleigh & Dacy for a 9 day trip to Colorado.  This week will be full of things to do in preparing Bentley for this trip, cooking for all of us, and packing for the cooler weather we expect to have when we arrive in Colorado.  Watch for our blog posts.  I promise to try and do a better and keep you posted on a regular basis.

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