Home Again

It has been over 12 weeks and 6,200 miles but we have made it back home.  Everything was fine.  We have great neighbors that look after the house when we are out of town! 

Our last stop was Arkansas.  We had intended to go back to Ouachita National Forest but instead we stopped at the Queen Wilhelmina State Park in Arkansas.  It was in a very beautiful part of the state but the campground was kind of small and crowded.  It ended up not really being a big deal since we got rained in for two days.  We did explore the Park our last day and celebrated the end of our trip with a big fire and too many smores. 

Funny thing is that when we got home, we couldn’t find the remote control for the TV in the kitchen.  Alan said I probably put it some where which turned out to be true, but I didn’t actually “put” it somewhere I “left” it somewhere – in my bedside table.  I have no idea how this happened.  I can only speculate that I was carrying it around by accident as we were packing and put it down in the bedroom.  Later, I thought it was the remote for the bedroom TV and put it away in the drawer.  That is my story or maybe it was gremlins! 

I’m planning on posting some pictures that never got loaded from our trip, so I’m not yet calling this Trip Blog closed.  Check back here later . . .

Working the Mississippi

Today, we didn’t have any plans to eat more BBQ so we have been hanging out trying to stay cool.

There has been a decent amount of barge traffic moving up the Mississippi River. This is a picture of one of the biggest. It has several covered comparments but also a significant amount of what looks like scrap metal. I guess this is a good sign for the economy.

The purple martins have also been putting on quite a show and a hummingbird showed up at our feeder for awhile.

Tomorrow, we are going to tour the Gibson guitar factory. On Tuesday, we will head into Oklahoma for our last stop before home. In case it wasn’t obvious, we decided to skip Nashville. It would of meant some backtracking and we didn’t find anything really compelling in the AAA Guide. So, we will be home about a week early. That will make this trip (now officially known as A Lap Around the Lake) just over twelve weeks. It feels a lot longer than the 9 weeks we spent in Arizona & New Mexico.

Back to Memphis

We’ve made it back to Memphis and it hasn’t even been a year yet. Last August we were on our Arkansas Trip (better known by it’s official name: An iPhone Goes to Arkansas). We didn’t officially come to Memphis then. We stayed in West Memphis and just drove over the bridge for BBQ.

Well, we are back for BBQ again. We are staying at the same campground in West Memphis. It is right on the Mississippi River and we can watch the barges go by.

Last night we went to Interstate for BBQ. I had the BBQ spaghetti and Al had the ribs and beef sausage. One of the other famous BBQ joints is Cozy Corner. They are only open Tues-Sat, so we had to come today.

Alan ordered the whole slab of ribs. I had a terrific sliced pork sandwich that came with coleslaw on it. While I’ve been typing this, Alan finished off the whole slab and claimed “I could eat another slab. That is the thing with ribs – there isn’t much meat. It looks like you are eating more than you are.”

You can decide for yourself whether it really was a lot. Here is a picture before he started:

The corn was mine.

Around the Lake(s)

We had a short visit in Indianapolis but we got to see the Speedway and have the best Pastrami sandwich ever at Shapiro’s Deli.

Today, we are driving to the Land Between the Lakes in Tennessee. It is a large National Recreation Area in Western Kentucky. It is a wooded peninsula between the Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. Our drive today will also complete the circling of Lake Michigan.

We have five nights booked into this Park. We will go to Paducah for at least one day. For any readers who don’t already know – Paducah is known as Quilt City USA. They have a big quilt museum and a lot of quilt shops. I hope to get to the largest – Hancock’s of Paducah. If any of you in Texas need something, be sure to give me a call. No charge for shipping, but it will take three weeks!

Planning

We now have a tentative plan that gets us home by the end of August. That would put us on the road for three months. It has been a good trip, but unless we were to be full-timing, I would say maybe four months would be the max we could go with as many stops as we have had on this trip. Many full-timers spend weeks at the same place. We haven’t spent more than six nights at one campground.

We had a nice day today. We drove out to the RV museum, north of Elkhart near the Michigan border. They had some great old RVs, including a 22′ 1953 Airstream Flying Cloud. Funny thing was it had a practically identical floor plan to our Safari (which they have now renamed a Flying Cloud!)

After we got home, we went for a great mountain bike ride. The trail was perfect – slightly difficult, but I never felt like I was going to die. I wish we had ridden it earlier in our stay so we could go back and do it again.

We are heading out tomorrow for Indianapolis. Our itinerary looks like this:

Indianopolis
Paducah
Nashville
Memphis
Oklahoma
Home

That will put us in Texas before the first of September. Hopefully, our house is still there!

Disappearing Nine Patch

I worked on my disappearing nine-patch our first day at Potato Creek Campground. I realized today looking at the photo of the center that I got a couple of blocks turned around. I think I may leave them but then again I lost the repetitive pattern that Pat helped me with last week.

Tuesday we headed into Shipshewana for a big flea market. There is a large Amish and Mennonite community in the area. That of course meant quilt shop! I went to the largest one (Loder’s) while Alan headed into the Hardware Store.

I bought a lot of fabric. It wasn’t totally cheap but they had a nice selection with prices about 20% lower. I did get borders for my disappearing nine-patch and fabric for at least two other quilts.

What do you think? Should I rip out the crooked blocks or just go with it?

Potato Creek Campground

We’ve made it to our next destination – Potato Creek Campground in Indiana. We thought it would be interesting to drive through Chicago – this was a big mistake. (We thought Sunday would mean the highways were empty.) We spent an hour or more in traffic and spent almost $20 in tolls. We should have taken the rural route detour.

We are committed to staying here through Friday. It is a large campground but it is laid out like the parks in Texas with a lot of space between the sites. Plus, we have the added benefit of only spending about $18 a night (way better than the parking lot which was $33.)

I spent the afternoon working on my “disappearing nine-patch” quilt. Pat helped me out big time with the layout. I thought I was going to have to rework the whole thing but she had a great idea for organizing the stepping stones by color on the diagonal. I think it is coming together quite nicely though I don’t have the optimal layout. Working without a design wall is tough. I should have spent more time sewing than talking at Pat’s – no, then again I would much rather visit with a good friend than sew any day!

Camping in a Parking Lot

We had a great time visitng with our friends in Milwaukee. I will have some pictures to post of my friend Pat as soon as I get a decent Internet connection.

Just so y’all could see that we really were camping in a parking lot, I took these shots this morning. The campground was starting to get crowded with the State Fair starting later this week.

Now, we are on the road to Indiana. We are headed to a state park in the northern part of the state, southwest of South Bend. But, we don’t have any reservations so I can’t say for sure where we will be staying. Check this space later for updates (assuming we have cell service.)