05.27.15 On our way to Oklahoma City with a stop along the way!

1774c1e604817d12570703aa7b78b4b2Wednesday, May 27, 2015 – We pulled out of Terra Starr RV Park in Checotah, Oklahoma at 9am this morning headed west to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  We’re making a stop along the way to have lunch with my long time friend from church Susan Randels Ward in Shawnee, OK about 90 minutes west of Tulsa.  We have not seen each other in at least 30 years, probably more.

Here’s Susan and I today!   20150527_125026 Susan took us into the old downtown part of Shawnee for lunch at an old local restaurant, Hamburger King.   You order on the phone that is in your booth.  I got to experience ordering that way and it was cool!  The burgers were quite delicious and it was really neat to enjoy some of their local charm.  We both really appreciate Susan taking us there!

20150527_12441320150527_12493820150527_125012On our way there we drove through Oklahoma Baptist University where Susan graduated from.  Her dad, my childhood pastor, and her mom (Bro. and Mrs. Randels as I knew them) went there also!  Beautiful old campus that has grown considerably since Susan graduated.

20150527_123013churchWe had a wonderful visit, catching up on everyone in each other’s lives.  We have so many common childhood and youth memories and couldn’t possibly touch on each of them during a short visit, but we tried hard too!

On Tuesday (yesterday) we went into Tulsa, OK and looked around.  It’s a spread out beautiful city.  We made a 262086_10151243592759706_1637841295_nstop at Sam’s Club and ate for the first time ever at a Whataburger.  Very good food!  We wanted to see a movie but of the 10 showing there wasn’t one we wanted to see.

On our way back to the RV Park we stopped at Matt and Alanna’s again.  Matt was outside working hard cutting the grass and we sat inside in the cool with Alanna and the girls.  We played and visited.  When we were here on Saturday none of the pictures we took were of Alanna or I so we corrected that and got a couple today!

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Hope, Alanna and Karstyn
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Rosalyn and Alanna

Until I knew exactly when we were leaving the Tulsa area, I couldn’t make reservations for travels past the park we were in.  That’s usually not a problem.  However yesterday afternoon and evening when I called multiple parks in and around Oklahoma City they were all full.  Seems the flooding and tornadoes have misplaced a lot of people into parks and brought insurance adjusters into the area. I tried RV parks, state parks, city parks, casinos and nothing.  If it was available it was well out of what we heartwant to pay. Because of that, we’ll be staying a couple of nights in a Walmart parking lot in Shawnee and one in Oklahoma City.  We don’t mind the Walmart set up, but we’ve never done it two nights in a row.

expomapTo show you how quickly RV life changes, we now have reservations for two nights at the Shawnee Exposition Center in Shawnee.  A friend (fellow RVer) who is from Oklahoma mentioned it, we called and they have plenty of openings!  We are now here parked under some nice shade trees enjoying the Oklahoma sunshine.  It’s rained so many days that I want to acknowledge the goodness of God’s beautiful sunshine!!!  We are about 35 miles from Oklahoma City and will spend all day tomorrow in the city trying to see and do all we can fit into one day!

Our recent plans were to stay in the OKC area a week and then head west to Amarillo, TX, Albuquerque, NM and up to Colorado.  Seems most of those places are having weather issues also, so we’re changing course again and going to head up toward Wichita, KS after leaving Shawnee and stay for a week at a Coast to Coast park there.  From there we’ll go west to Colorado and hope to stay at least a month in that state!

That about sums up all that’s going on and is planned.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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05.25.15 Happy Memorial Day, Oklahoma Renaissance Festival

memorial day 2Monday, May 25, 2015 – Happy Memorial Day!  My friend M’Lou Thompson put the following statement on Facebook this morning.  She said it so eloquently that I want to share here:

On this Memorial Day, as I enjoy and appreciate seeing the pictures of husbands, fathers, uncles, etc., posted of handsome young men in uniforms, it occurs to me that we always see these soldiers smiling and looking directly into cameras, and we forget for the moment, or even dismiss, that those cameras show us nothing of their actual sacrifice–the physical and emotional pain, the scars that never heal, and of course for some, the loss of a precious life. We owe them so much!

renaissance2We spent our Memorial Day enjoying the Oklahoma Renaissance Festival at Muskogee, Oklahoma about 40 minutes north of our RV park.  Since 1996, the festival features over 90 artisans and merchants, you can dine on renaissance fare, and interact with scores of dashing nobles, peasants, and regal knights. From the village to the king’s royal castle to the magical depths of the Enchanted Forest, there are dozens of locations throughout the Castle’s Kingdom for visitors to explore and enjoy. The festival is held on weekends in May and Memorial Day.

castle mapA very well constructed and planned event.  Around every corner were small structures with all manner of craft demonstrated and sold, resting places, entertainment from olden times, and renaissance related food.  Since it rained continually for the last few days the walking areas were damp but the sun shone the whole time we were there (an amazing thing right there) and the thousands of people attending the festival all seemed to have a great time.

It’s surprising to see the large percentage of visitors wearing renaissance period clothing.  Several of the small structures sold men’s and women’s clothing, corsets (!!), hats, chains and anything you’d need to dress like they did.   This was their 20th annual event and it clearly has grown into a well oiled production.  They even had people just sitting throughout talking in the old way of talking and visiting with whomever would talk to them.  One man had Roy and I individually sit with him while he made up a song using our name!

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When we stopped for lunch I ordered a Rat on a Stick and Roy got a sandwich with an odd name.  The Rat on a Stick was polish sausage hand wrapped in garlic fry bread.  Yum!  I saw folks walking around with fried turkey legs and lots of old time beer steins all around!

20150525_133944I’d highly recommend this festival to anyone in the area in the month of May each year.  It’s on N Fern Mountain Road in Muskogee, OK.  Here’s several pictures of what all we saw today.  A wonderful family event for families of all ages.

20150525_125814 20150525_130535    20150525_140508 20150525_140546 20150525_141509   20150525_144419 20150525_150517 20150525_150604  20150525_150801 20150525_151728Well that was our Memorial Day adventure!  We are hoping for a good weather day tomorrow as we are going into Tulsa to see what’s there!!! Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!!

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05.24.15 Rising waters AGAIN – Really??? and Pretty little Oklahoma girls!

11112503_1068530689885286_5861828055761562663_nSunday, May 24, 2015 – Good thing we love being in our RV because we’re doing a lot of that!!!!  After watching the waters rise in the river in Arkansas we hoped that would be the last we’d see of rising waters.  But noooooo, Lake Eufaula (Oklahoma) has risen well over its banks before we even arrived and is still growing! We are parked several hundred feet from the edge of the water.

Yes we do things other than watch water rise but at the present time that seems to be the only thing to do while it continues to pour down. The pictures below start on Thursday and go through today Sunday.  From what the locals say the water is a good 100 feet past Lake Eufaula’s banks and has been that way for about a week.

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See the four foot tall grey RV electric pedestal near center left. Several sites past that are underwater.
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Most already moved their RVs to higher ground.
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The actual lake is way beyond this.
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Roy looking at a different area. There are rows of RVs on both sides of four different roads leading down to the lake. If they didn’t move they are underwater.
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This is how it normally is
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Even if it is a mess and out of sorts now I think I’d really like this one if it was dry!!

wpid-20150523_111359.jpg1 4Today’s pictures really don’t show much more water coming on shore except in one picture.  I’ll point that out.  With the way my Severe Weather watch on my phone kept going off last night about Flash Flooding I’d have thought it was outside our RVs front door.  I’m thankful it was not.

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The square wooden platform with planter on top was on very dry ground originally as was the picnic table next to it.

We did spend some dry time going to church with a young couple we know.  Matt and Alanna Traylor and their girls Hope and Karstyn now live in Oklahoma about an hour from where we are staying.  Ours sons, grew up at Trinity (our home church) with Matt.  Alanna was my student worker at Southeastern for a few years including being together on September 11, 2001.  One thing I remember about that day was Alanna printing out a scripture with Phillipians 4:6-7 and stuck it to the file cabinet next to her.  That paper stayed on that file cabinet for many years. 20150523_183846 The scripture is in the picture below.  Man did I need that scripture that day.

phil 4 6 7We went to their church, LifeChurch.tv.  They have several churches in seven US states including 17 in Oklahoma. The one in Broken Arrow has 8 services on Saturday evening and Sunday  They are also accessible globally online at lifechurch.tv.  20150523_185931I’ve never been to such a mega mega church.  I believe the sermon is broadcast to all of the churches preached by either the Senior Pastor or one of the staff.  Being from a traditional Southern Baptist church this was big different!  They told us before we went it that the music was very loud and there were ear plugs which Roy took advantage of.  This generations church is very different from ours but as long as we are all praising our Lord, I believe God is satisfied. A biblical sermon was preached from Phillipians and it was really neat to be in church with our wonderful young friends.

We went over to their house which is near the church 20150523_191210and had a great visit getting to catch up on each others lives.  The girls were a joy to be with especially since we’ve been Madisyn deprived for a few weeks.  They danced, played the violin, had a pillow fight with us and were just delightful.

Their family moved to Oklahoma so that their youngest daughter, the little violinist, could get intensive treatment for  her extremely severe allergies.  I admire them so much for not only the Christian couple they are but for being willing to uproot their lives in Florida and go to where their daughter could get the best care.

oklahoma-tornado-warning-sign-6380040I did promise Roy that I would share with ya’ll that I wouldn’t leave their home in time for us to get home before dark.  I was having to much fun talking.  But anyway, since we left much later and stopped at Walmart we wound up driving home in the pouring rain during a tornado watch.  With no roadside lights for miles and miles, lots of wind and pouring rain it was a scary experience.  Okay, honey I told everyone I threatened our very existence because I like to talk!

We are hunkered down in our RV today while I do my RVillage work and we watch television.  Tomorrow should be better and we plan to get out to do some sightseeing.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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05.22.15 – Our first storm shelter!

oklahomaMay 21, 2015 – Here we are in the beautiful state of Oklahoma!!!  The first picture below is me looking rather ratty as we arrived in Oklahoma at their Visitors Center.  This really nice lady loaded me up with books and magazines of everything to see in and around Tulsa and Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma sign on a nearby tower looked so cool that I had to take a picture.

wpid-20150521_141012.jpg wpid-20150521_141519.jpgWe (Roy, not I) drove a little over 250 miles today to reach Checotah, Oklahoma where we are staying at Terra Starr RV Park.  This is a Coast to Coast Resort but since we stayed the last two weeks in a Coast to Coast resort we have to be out for one week before staying in one again.  Terra Starr also accepts Passport America so that’s what we’re using to give us a discounted rate of $12 per night plus $1 for 50 amp service.

wpid-20150521_173221.jpg wpid-20150521_173433.jpgThis is a good size park with very clean buildings and grounds  Their pool is sparkling so I’m hoping we have a little warmer weather while we’re here so we can enjoy a dip.  I am always looking for cooler weather and this is perfect for general living, just not swimming.  It is cool with a slight breeze right now and we’re sitting out under the trees next to us enjoying some relaxing after the long drive.

1891054_10152192782495999_1434863462_nRoy made it through a very stressful first part of our trip driving through all the winding curves of the Arkansas mountains.  That flatland Louisiana boy is not use to that!  The second half was in mostly flat Oklahoma land.

I worked for about an hour for RVillage which is kind of fun to do on the road while the RV is traveling 60 miles per hour!  I learned some new stuff I’ll be doing this 1390626_461713077276289_1339535502_nweekend and on Memorial Day.

One thing I’ve never seen before, which they have at this park, is a storm shelter.  First thing I saw upon checking in was a notice of bad weather coming over the weekend.  The check in lady told me where the shelter is and that it will always be open.

What a blessing to pull up at our spot and find out we are right across the street from the storm shelter.  It’s decoratively painted on the outside,  I guess so it doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb.  We went over to look in and took a couple of pictures.  This is a novelty to me that I hope I never have to be in during bad weather. This is inside:   wpid-20150521_173628.jpgwpid-20150521_173636.jpgThis is outside:

wpid-20150521_172858.jpg wpid-20150521_172926.jpg wpid-20150521_172915.jpg I am quite thankful it’s across the street from us and that the clubhouse is next door where they serve Ice Cream in the evenings for the guests!!!!  The swimming pool is right next door with volleyball, tennis and basketball courts nearby. wpid-20150521_172952.jpg

The park is on Lake Eufaula which has risen over its banks as it seems much of the rivers in northern Arkansas and this part of Oklahoma has done over the last several days.  We’re far enough away from the lake that I hope it will not come visit us!  We just came back from taking a walk down there and what a sight!!!  I’ll write about that and share pictures tomorrow.

We’re both looking forward to the next few days of resting, sightseeing and visiting with friends.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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05.20.15 Bits and pieces

1654376_826105987457633_4996957998919480494_nWednesday, May 20, 2015 – Today is our getting ready to travel day.  We’ll be leaving here at day break tomorrow if Roy has his way.  Since he’s the driver he’ll probably have his way!

Here’s an update on some bits and pieces of our RV life!

Since the Memorial Day weekend is coming up there is a lot of activity going on at the park we’re in, Angler’s Holiday Mountain Resort in Mountain View, Arkansas.  Grass cutting, untying and putting in place all the picnic tables that were secured during the flooding.  The swimming pool is finally open after days of cleaning and prepping.  It’s too cool today for us to take advantage of that.

We have more than enjoyed our stay here.  The serenity and quiet during the time we were the only RV here was quite welcome.  People have been arriving each day and it’s still a wonderful place to stay.  It is one of the Coast to Coast parks that is also open to the public so if your travels take you near here I’d highly recommend staying here.

Our granddaughter Madisyn graduated from Kindergarten last week and has been accepted in the accelerated madisyn k gradprogram at the elementary school she will attend next year!  Here’s her precious graduation picture.  We love this little girl sooooo much!

Since I shared the amazing marriage proposal between my son and his girlfriend I think I need to tell you that they are no longer engaged.  I won’t elaborate, just leave it at that.

There was another flash flood advisory here this week.  The river rose quite a bit covering the rocks and almost covering the bridge.  Still not nearly as high as it did last week, whew!!!

We’ve been without Verizon service since we’ve been here as we are down in a 1610767_772414849471661_6821691071225407594_nvalley.  I’ve been told that ATT doesn’t have service here either.  We can only talk when we are in town which has posed an interesting challenge but we’ve gotten through it.  Roy looked into Hangout on our phones which may be the answer when we’re in situations like this.  If any of ya’ll use Hangout please let us know about it and how it works for you.

One of the calls I needed to make in town was to return a call from Dr. Greiner’s office (eye doctor) to get the results of the OCT test I took before leaving Hammond.  My optical nerve is in good condition!!!!  Yay!

We encountered a first in our travels when I heard from the next RV park that we’re going to that they don’t take reservations.  They have a first come, first serve policy.  It’s Terra 1901663_10152793302612556_8002597669606840967_nStarr Park in Checotah, Oklahoma.  I’ve never heard of that before.  They said they have plenty of open spots so we should be okay.  I sure hope so!

I think that’s all I need to update on and this will be our last post from Arkansas. As always I hope that more and more of you will join us on this unbelievable ride living in an RV full time!

Our next post should come from the wonderful state of Oklahoma!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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05.19.15 Blanchard Springs Caverns and Recreation Area

11188423_1439095226405371_4762796609265941417_nTuesday, May 19, 2015 – On Monday we went to Blanchard Springs Caverns in the Ozark National Forest.  The forest covers 1.2 million acres, mostly in the Ozark mountains of northern Arkansas. You’ll find the tallest mountain in the State, Mount Magazine, and Blanchard Springs Caverns, an incredible, living underground cave with a constant 58 degree temperature!  My kind of place!!

This is a “living” cave where glistening formations like stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and flowstones are still changing.  These crystalline formations are the result of minerals deposited by dripping water.

We went on the Dripstone Tour which takes you through two huge 11262011_10155526479280035_7414516686294206177_nrooms filled with an incredible variety and number of crystalline formations – sparkling flowstone, towering columns, delicate soda straws. This shorter, easier trail takes you almost half a mile one-way through the Caverns.

The other tour available at this time of year is the Wild Cave Tour which involves climbing very steep slopes, crawling on hands and knees, and passing under low ceilings and you must be in good physical shape.  We chose the easier Dripstone Tour for obvious reasons!!!

Here’s some pictures from our tour.  The last picture is from their website because it shows a much bigger area of the caverns than my camera does!

20150518_145411 20150518_145920 20150518_151225  20150518_152051 20150518_154045 20150518_154644   blanchard cavernsIn the recreation area outside around the cavern you can stroll on the paved trail to where Blanchard Springs gushes as a waterfall from the hillside, see the picturesque rock bluffs and enjoy the crystal clear streams. You can also trout fish in nearby Mirror Lake.  They may be on our list of things to do on our next visit to this beautiful area.

This is the waterfall from Mirror Lake.

20150518_16305020150518_163104FlowersPinkSpinsDividerOver the weekend we went back to hear more mountain music in the park.  The musicians change day to day and what we heard over the weekend was different than what we heard during the week.  Here’s a picture of one of the groups playing.  We sat in the Donnie Smith bench, which is just beautiful by the way, and tapped our feet happily.  Didn’t hurt that we had these giant ice cream cones from across the street to enjoy during the music.

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05.18.15 – Our Oklahoma Plans!

 

 

.rv graphic from rvillageMonday, May 18, 2015 – Today my mom, Josie Mae Blum Traylor would have been 95 years old.  If you’ve been reading our blog for a while you know how very much we loved her.  She’s with God in Heaven and I know is looking down on us with love.  Happy Birthday mama!curley dividersNow that I know for sure (or as sure as RVing goes) where we’ll be going in Oklahoma and when, I want to share so you’ll know what will be coming up in our adventures in just a bit. We have two more full days of Arkansas exploring and then we’ll be taking on Oklahoma later this week!

We have to be out of our Coast to Coast resort system for a week before we stay at another one for free, so the two1497562_10152224551210337_2033273789_n  parks we’re staying at in Oklahoma are Passport America Parks.

Terra Starr Park in Checota, OK – near Tulsa, OK

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma to see Matt and Alanna Traylor and their girls!  Alanna was my student worker at Southeastern and her husband Matt grew up with our boys at our home church.

Oklahoma Renaissance Festival  in Muskogee, OK near Tulsa

1503328_10151987866081704_458978760_nWoolaroc Museum and Wildlife Refuge in Bartlesville, OK north of Tulsa

Blue Bell was on the list and hopefully they will re-open by the time we get there.

Braum’s Family Farms – Ice Cream tours of dairy processing plant in Tuttle OK near Tulsa.

curley dividersOn to AAA Adult RV Park in New Castle, OK near Oklahoma City

Visit with Susan Randels, my childhood pastor’s daughter, who was my dear friend throughout my childhood and my youth!

Myriad Gardens OK City–One of Oklahoma City’s  public spaces, offering its visitors a 15 acre natural escape in the 1508080_259556820881303_4045262253006040313_nvery heart of the metro known as downtown Oklahoma City. May also go to the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory within the Gardens grounds.

Oklahoma City Memorial Museum and outside symbolic Memorial – Museum and memorial dedicated to the victims of the bombing in Oklahoma City of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

10450134_1105820779444195_2351487549162570804_nThese were all recommended by friends so thanks you guys!  The recommended places in Boise, OK are too far away from our travel route but you never know when our route may take us there in the future!

I have a couple of back up things to do in case some of these don’t work out.  Then again this might be too much for us so we’ll cut back or add as needed.

As always, our RV life is constantly changing so any or all of the above could get changed at a moment’s notice!

I hope you guys will continue following our adventures as Dora and the Explorers take on Oklahoma!!!!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!!

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