Travels with Bentley

Travels with Bentley
Bentley - our Heartland Bighorn

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Thursday, July 9, 2020 - It's Raining!!!! Breakfast Out Cancelled; Inside Work; Another Afternoon Drive and Dairy Queen

Thursday, July 9, 2020 - It's Raining!!!!  Breakfast Out Cancelled; Inside Work; Another Afternoon Drive and Dairy Queen

It was late when we went to bed last night.  It was after 6:30 before I woke up this morning.  That doesn't happen often!  I immediately started working on yesterday's blog post to add pictures and proof it before I posted it an hour or so later.

The skies had turned dark and we were getting a sprinkle here or there.  We decided we would go out for breakfast this morning, but our minds were changed by the time we were ready to leave.  They sky opened and it poured.  

Taken out of our window during the heavy rain.

We need the rain so we are glad to see it.  Not wanting to get out in it though, Cheri's Kitchen produced some yummy breakfast burritos for Dean. I chose to only have the filling and skip the tortilla.

For those of you who have been following our blog for awhile, you might remember we changed our mailing address from UPS in Pittsburg, KS to Escapees Mail Service in Livingston, TX.  We are utilizing it as a mail service only, so that our mail can be forwarded to us by Escapees.  This is important to ensure we recieve medicaton, important mail, etc. while we are traveling.  However, our physical address is in Oswego, KS.  Our truck and RV are registered in Labette County, KS, our insurance is with an agent in Oswego, KS, our doctors are near us (while some are in Joplin - it is only about 35 miles away), we vote in Labette County, and we have Kansas driver's licenses, etc. etc. etc.  For some reason even though we have explained over and over to various groups/organizations/entites, etc. that we do not live in Texas, that we only use Escapees Mail Service to forward our mail to us because we travel full-time.  Most places get it, but as of today we have three places we are trying to get this straightened out with.  Two have decided to quit withholding Kansas taxes from income we have because our mailing address is Texas, even though we have explained WE DO NOT LIVE IN TEXAS.  Today I finally made a call to the Escapees Office to see if I could talk to someone about how to handle this.  We surely are not the only person to have dealt with this issue.  They referred me to their attorney.  When I asked the cost they advised I would not be charged for this consultation.  They are going to call me tomorrow afternoon to discuss it with us.  I'm anxious to hear what they have to say and how they might help us resolve this situation.  

After hanging up, I made sandwiches for our lunch.  Since it was expected to rain off and on today, we decided this would be a good day to take a ride around the lake - and that is exactly what we did.  We left the park at 2:30 and we didn't return until 5:30.  We visited many of our favorite places reminiscing as we went.  It rained on us off and on as we drove, but never too bad.

The rain had mostly quit by early afternoon, before we left.

Entrance Sign as we were leaving the park, right at 2:30.

Notice the temperature in the upper left hand of the picture!  PATSY - I hope this weather reaches you and Bill soon!!

Going over Bernice Bridge - looking north to Honey Creek, where we had a travel trailer parked on a lot there for several years.

A mayfly hitched a ride.
We drove toward Woodland Shores, where we enjoyed watching this little guy.  He ran in front of us on the road.  Fortunately he stopped and I was able to get a couple of pictures.

Our wildlife for the day - a young fox.

Cove at Woodland Shores - if you enlarge this picture you can see the whitecaps on the water.  As we drove into the park, we noticed some lightening in the background.

Entrance sign, that we caught on the way out.  It was beautifully done!
 We made a stop here to use the restroom facilities at Kahoots.  I had a latte and Dean bought some crackers.
Kahoots convenience store, gas station, and dining area.

Ketchum, OK Water Tower on the right.
 As we left Ketchum, we traveled on to Disney where we crossed the Pensacola Dam.  
Entering the road over the Pensacola Dam.  There is a walkway to the left side.

Spillway below the dam.  Water from here flows to Hudson Lake at Salina, OK.

Grand Lake to the left.

Water is released here during flooding.  It is an amazing site to see water being released here.  To the right is a golf course.

Michelle or Joyce - I hope you see this.  I remember going here to get ice cream when you worked here Michelle.  That's been a year or two ago!

The road curves around to provide two more releases during flooding from Grand Lake.  When water is released here it hits the water near the dam.  It really is something to see.

You can see how the water has cut through the rocks in the area.

Just a beautiful sky over a pretty green field
 We drove through Jay, OK - their water town is in the background.

The sign over the highway as we entered Jay, OK from the south.

I love these old water towers - they make me think of the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz!

Entrance sign to Jay, OK as you enter from the north.

Skies with rain northwest of us - near our campground.

Dean insisted we stop for blizzards at Dairy Queen.  He had to twist my arm!!  Lol!

Just before we reached the park it started to rain again.
It didn't last long.  We arrived back at the park at 5:30.

It was a great day taking in the sights of the area.  It's now 6:50.  I'm sure Dean is going to be hungry soon, so I'll stop here.  I hope we can walk this evening and maybe catch a sunset to add before I close this out for tonight.

Neither of us were very hungry, so shortly after 7, we walked down the road to the boat ramp.  Here's a few pictures I took while we were there.

Looking toward Bernice Bridge - the sun was still too high for a sunset picture.

We walked to the end of the boat ramp.

There is a heron in this picture - in the middle by the water.  I was disappointed it was not a better picture.

Walking back to our campsite.
From here we walked about half of the nature trail, then returned to the RV.  Dean ate the cheezits he bought earlier today, then we finished the blackberry cobbler.  There wasn't too much left.  After we returned I walkd down to the water to take this final picture of the night.

Shortly after 8, I walked down to the water near us to take this shot of the sunset.

Goodnight all!

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 - Jaxson Turns 8; Trip to Oswego/Altamont; Lunch at MJ's; Back to Bernice; Trip to Northeast Side of the Lake; Taco Salad Dinner; Enjoying the Outside & Visit with our Neighbor

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 - Jaxson Turns 8; Trip to Oswego/Altamont; Lunch at MJ's; Back to Bernice; Trip to East Side of the Lake; Taco Salad Dinner; Enjoying the Outside & Visit with our Neighbor

I was awake at 5:30.  Since I posted last night I took time to catch up on blog posts.  I enjoy reading each and everyone of them, and I do appreciate those who take the time to read mine as well.

About 7:00 I pulled the blackberries out of the refrigerator and gathered the ingredients to make a blackberry cobbler.  I prefer cobbler that is a pie crust type versus a cake like batter.  I was short about 1/2 cup of having 4 cups of blackberries, what the recipe called for, so I cut back on the sugar and flour.  The cobbler tasted great, except the blackberries didn't get as juicy as I would have liked.  Even though I "stirred" them after I added the sugar and flour mixture, quite a bit of "the dry ingredients" settled on the bottom.  There wasn't enough juice to cook all of that together.  It was still very good, but I was a bit disappointed.  I wish I would have added 1/3 to 1/2 cup water and I think it would have been just fine.  Overall I was pleased and will make them again.  After all, it is my favorite dessert!

All week I've had in my head Jaxson's birthday was this Thursday, but when I looked at the calendar this morning - I realized today was the 8th - today is his birthday!!  Since we had nothing special planned for today, it meant we would drive to Oswego to check on the lot to see if Dean needed to mow (what we had planned to do tomorrow), and we would then drive to Altamont to wish Jaxson a Happy Birthday and give him his birthday present.  

At the lot it was very apparent the grass did not need to be rain here lately!  Two of my little trees Peggy gave me are doing very well - and the third one (dogwood) was drooping.  We watered all three, and Dean sprayed around several areas where small trees were starting to come up.  From there we headed to Altamont. 

I told Dean I needed to find a restroom before we drove to Altamont.  First thought was City Hall, but there was a sign NO PUBLIC RESTROOMS.  Oh no!  So I called Cindy to let her know I was coming by - Thank you sister!  Her best and longtime friend Paula was there visiting.  We visited for a few minutes before leaving for our next stop.

After arriving in Altamont, we drove to Marc & Jen's.  We walked to the back door, since that is where we often find Jaxson.  I stepped in the house and called Jaxson....he came running out to see who it was......

You don't normally get a picture of this smile on his have to catch him with it.  I'm glad we did.

....he was very surprised to see us!  He loved his presents - a nerf gun and a shark/boat lego set.  I'm glad I realized today was his brithday, and not later.  8 on the 8th!!  

He was happy with his gifts.

He wanted to show me one of the gifts mom and dad got him...he loves trains, planes, and ships.  While they were at Oswego a week or two ago when his dad had set up a booth at Black Crow Trading, he went in to Black Crow with his mom.  He found this little train.  Marc or Jen went back and bought it for him for his birthday.  He was so excited to show it to us.

Kamron hiding under the covers.  Papa was trying hard to get her picture but she was having nothing of it.

It was nearly 11:30 when we left Marc's (after we peeked in to see what project he was working on).  He had just finished some chairs.  I really loved them, and most of all they had casters.  My Aunt Lil had a table with 6 caster chairs.  They were so comfortable to set in.  It was great not having to scoot your chair to get up to the table or away from it.  I've wanted some ever since then!  Someday....!

We drove by MJ's Burger House on the highway going through Altamont.  I asked Dean if he wanted to eat there now, or wait until we get back to Bentley.  No, he didn't want to wait!  Lol! The special today was their regular hamburgers at only $2.00, and slightly higher with cheese, which is what we chose.  We also shared an order of their home cut fries - some of the best we've ever found.  We were glad we stopped.

MJ's Burger House - we were the only ones there.

We left Altamont and headed south on Ness Road to KS Hwy 166, where we turned east to Chetopa, and continued on to Bernice State Park.  On the way back we were talking about different places we've been or stayed on the lake.  We decided to take the road that leads to Leisure Shores north of Bernice.  We drove through the area where I took a few pictures of this garden.  I doubt I would ever have anything this big, as I'm not  much of a gardener, but I can see planting some things that would not require too much care in a similar pattern.  

After making a quick stop to use the restroom at Bentley we headed out on a tour around the northeast part of the lake.  We drove through Lakewood Village, where we formerly owned a mobile home.  Several of the homes and boat docks were damaged by either a tornado or very strong winds a year or so ago.  Much of the debris and damaged mobile homes have since been removed, and new boat docks have been installed.  At least five mobile homes had been removed - all in the same area.  

The neighbors we had next to us still own their property.  We were going to stop if they were home.  Unfortunately, they were not there today.  The people who own the property we owned, have added a roof over the large deck we built on the front of it, along with a storage shed and carport behind it.  It looks very nice.  They have added numerous RV sites on the hill, and several more mobile homes.  From there, we drove a back road north of the Grove area to Blue Bluff Resort, Lee's Grand Resort and some of the housing additions beyond their entrance road.  It was just fun seeing the places we used to visit, and the lake....areas where we used to park the boat and swim.  It brought back many good memories.

When we returned to Bentley, I made each of us a taco salad, one of our favorite meals.  After the dishes were done, we went outside to sit.  It was a beautiful evening to be outside. While I worked on the blog; Dean was trying to figure out what happened to some of the contacts that disappeared from his phone.  He knows they were there on Monday, and just noticed they were gone this evening. Sometimes new phones can be a real pain.  His text messages are there, so he's gone back to them, written down the numbers and put them back his contacts.  Technology - you love it when it works, and are frustrated when it doesn't.

It is 6:33.  It has been a really nice day, warm, with a nice breeze.....fortunately without the humidity from last night.  Yesterday was just a miserable day being outside, for me at least.  

The lake water since we have been here has been very calm - perfect for water skiing, although we haven't seen anyone doing that.  Today there is just enough breeze to cause light waves in the water.  There have been many families down at the beach swimming "or cooling off in the water" since we've arrived.  We've talked about going but haven't yet.  

Our neighbors' son and grandson came down to spend the night with them today.  They set up their tent and then Dad, son and grandson went out fishing for the evening.  I noticed grandma was sitting outside.  I had information on our club for her, so I stepped inside to get it, then we walked over.  We visited for quite awhile, before Dean went inside.  I continued visiting for another 30-45 minutes.  I really enjoyed visiting with her, so I hope they join our Escapees camping club.

We still have another four days to enjoy our time here.  We are meeting some friends from our camping club on Friday.  We are looking forward to that.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Tuesday, July 7, 2020 - Busy Morning; Cleaning Out the Refrigerator; NO WATER!!!; Enjoying Our Water View---For Awhile!; Pizza on the Grill

Tuesday, July 7, 2020 - Busy Morning; Cleaning Out the Refrigerator; NO WATER!!!; Enjoying Our Water View---For Awhile!; Pizza on the Grill

I was awake shortly after 5:30 after a really good night sleep.  Dean wasn't far behind, he came downstairs just as the coffee was ready to pour!  We enjoyed our coffee and I spent a good part of the morning working on the blog post for yesterday. 

At 7:30 or so, we went for an early morning walk on the nature trail here at Bernice State Park.  It is a mile if you walk to the end of the trail and back to the start again, plus there are additional steps to and from the start of the trail to our site.  

I took quite a few pictures so be prepared:

The geese - all in a row!

Start of the trail

We walked up to the lookout area.

This is what we saw!

Another bridge over a small waterway 

We noticed several birdhouses throughout the nature trail

Another area you can climb - we passed on it.

On our way back to our campsite

So pretty!

Bernice bridge 

When we returned we had our shakes.  After doing the dishes, I suggested we go to Walmart to get a few groceries.  We quickly gathered the things we needed and headed back to our campsite.

I had another list of things I wanted to take care of this morning so we can enjoy the rest of our time here.  I needed an appointment for a hair cut, so that was done.  We'll get back on the 17th of July, and I'll go in that afternoon.  Jaxson's birthday is Thursday and we needed to get him a present, so Walmart helped us out there.  Fortunately I was able to find a couple of things he likes.  Next was making some camping reservations.  When we leave here we are making some stops around Kansas, three different locations, in fact.  We now have reservations for all of those.  

By the time I had finished all of that it was time for lunch.  We cleaned the refrigerator out today - I had leftovers from a couple nights ago, Dean had a sandwich, deviled eggs, baked beans, strawberries and canteloupe.  The refrigerator looks empty now.   I washed all of the containers up after lunch and it's a good thing I did it right away.  

Later, Dean went up to work on the stool - the valve has been sticking - and that is when he discovered we do not have any water.  Remember I told you it was leaking when we arrived and they were going to fix it when this site is empty?  Well, that didn't happen - they fixed it today.  Dean said when one of the park employees showed up, they said, just have them move!  Uh, I don't think so.  The people in this site yesterday left in the morning, according to the park host, and we didn't get set up in the spot until around 4:00 - plenty of time to fix it.  Fortunately, the park host told the employe, "They can't move - every site is booked this week."  Whew!!!!  It probably took them about an hour to repair it the proper way.  I'm thankful they were able to repair it and there was not an option for us to move.  What a nuisance that would be.  Besides no telling where we might have been moved to, while here, we have one of the most shaded spots in the park.  Much of the park has full sun or limited shade a good part of the day.

We noticed earlier this morning, a few rows over from us, a guy had cut the reflective material to go on the outside of his slide - both sides and the roof.  They had full sun on the slide, so I can only imagine how warm it must have been.

Later in the afternoon we went outside to sit.  Before we went back inside our view from our big window inside was blocked not by 1, but 3 different RV's that moved in south of us.  There is only a bit of an area where we can see the water now from inside.  Thankfully, we were able to enjoy it for awhile!!  We can move our chairs to the back of Bentley and still have a nice view.  It was really hot outside later this afternoon and evening.  We retreated back to the AC.  Yes, we are wimps!

I started today's blog when we came inside.  We had talked about going somewhere to eat when we didn't know how long it would take to fix the water leak, but since they finished it much quicker than we expected I decided to make a sausage pizza in our cast iron skillet on the grill.  It's our favorite way to have pizza.  It takes no time to put it together, then we let the grill do its magic for about 15 minutes.  Simple, easy and delicious meal.

After dinner we went back outside to sit for awhile, but it was just too hot.  We should have waited until a little later and the sun had set more - not that it was hitting us, but the air cools down quicker by the water.  After we came inside, neither of us wanted to go back out.

I want to get a blackberry cobbler made tomorrow.  My blackberries are still holding up, but they need to be used.  I forgot to get a pie crust at Walmart.  There is a Dollar General just a mile or so down the road, but their freezers were practically empty.  They are bringing in new groceries according to the signs.  Dean reminded me of the little store at the intersecton just east of DG, so we headed there next.  They had just what I wanted.  I will make it early tomorrow morning.  I can't wait!  

It's been a great day and I hope each of you have as well!  Just a reminder, I love hearing from you, if you would like to leave a comment.