Friday, August 31, 2007

8/30/07 Today is Bob's Birthday!

Today is Bob's birthday, as today's entry title says. We didn't do anything special to celebrate the day other than have his choice for dinner.

It was another workday and a slow one at that. For me anyway, Bob has lots of projects he can work on.

Really nothing to tell you, just a normal day.

Happy Birthday honey!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

8/29/07 Welcome to the Campground, SPORT!

Another warm one today as we head back to work for what is our next to the last week. One more Wednesday to go.

It was quiet all day and Barb and I spent the day puttering around the office/camp store. I bagged ice, we read, we played games on the computer and for this I get paid!

By late afternoon over nighters had started coming in and one in particular stands out, hence the title of this entry. Let me explain the SPORT part of it. A while ago Barb and Dan explained to me that when I heard them use the word sport, they don't use it often, that they were really saying something else. The term SPORT is usually reserved for the floaters when they ask something totally stupid, when they don't listen to instructions or something like that.

S. P. O. R. T. Stupid People On River Trips.

"Have a good time on the river today, Sport."

Well, we've expanded that acronym to include Stupid People on Rv Trips or Stupid People on Road Trips. Either one will work.

Well, in comes Mr. IOnlyNeed30Amps. Barb questioned him several times about the electrical service he needed but he insisted a 30 amp site would do him just fine. This guy had a pretty big rig and we couldn't see the roof of it from the office to see if he had two A/C's or not, a telltale sign of the need for a 50 amp site.

Not too much time had passed and he was standing before us in the office dripping with sweat. He was complaining that there was something wrong with the electric service as it kept tripping his breaker every time he turned his A/C on. I spoke up and asked if he was also running the fridge and water heater on electric. Had they turned the TV on? Was there an electric clock plugged in? He answered yes but said that shouldn't matter because he plugged in at home all the time with no problem. Yeah, well we plugged in at home all the time too but we weren't heating water or running the A/C as most people don't. We plug in to re-charge the batteries. At least that is why I think we plugged in, this, after all, IS Bob's department. Anyway, he asked for the maintenance man to come to his site with his "ampameter" to see if he was pulling 30 amps or not. This would determine if he had a problem or the electrical service was the problem, in his mind. We assured him that someone was in the site last night with no problems but that Bob would come over and see what the matter was.

Now Bob was already off the clock and when I went to our place he was getting ready to walk out the door for a beer and Pepsi run. I explained to him what was going on and he said that there was nothing he could do and that he didn't have an "ampameter" only a voltage meter and he couldn't tell the guy how many amps he was pulling but only whether he was getting electricity or not.

OK, now I have to go to site # 13 and talk to the guy. When I got there the guy was sweating even more as he said it was 95 degrees in his trailer. I tried to explain to him that he was expecting too much at once that he should turn his water heater off, put the fridge on propane supply and then try the A/C. He did not want to hear it! After all, when he plugs in at home he has no problem. Yeah, well I bet he isn't heating cold water or running his fridge!

I told him the maintenance man didn't have an "ampameter" and he just lost his cool! "Well, then he's not a maintenance man! The owners are wasting their money paying this guy anything if he doesn't have a simple $10 tool that you can get any hardware store!" Hmmm....fella, I think you are talking about a voltage meter, a completely different animal in the tool world.

"Well, is he coming to help me?" the man asked. I told him, "No, he isn't, he can't tell you what you want to know and he knows there isn't anything wrong with your electric pedestal." Once again, I tried to explain to him to turn his fridge and water....
and he didn't want to hear it! I walked away.

Shortly thereafter the man sees Bob outside and comes over and asks him if he has problems with his electric. Bob replied, "No, my electric is fine." The man goes on to explain what problems he's having and that the "maintenance man" doesn't have simple tools to tell him how many amps he's pulling, yada, yada, yada. Bob looked at him and said, "I'm the maintenance man", and told the guy he would come down and see what he could find out.

Bob explained "Electricity 101" to the guy and he finally turned his water heater off, the fridge over to propane and the A/C ran fine. Imagine that! Welcome to the campground SPORT!

After a dinner of leftovers we watched the hummingbirds outside our window for awhile. We've had as many eight trying to feed off two "flowers" at one time.

Nine, count em' NINE days of work left.

I'm now on day three in a row of taking my meds,,,,hear that Elaine?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

8/28/07 Invasion of the Hummingbirds!

It was a little after eleven and we were out the door.

First stop was the doctor's office to pick up copies of blood test results so that our medical records are up to date. The staff took the time to go over our test results once again and to explain the new medications to us. We appreciated the time the staff spent with us as we won't be back to this doctor's office again and they know that.

Next stop was Cracker Barrel for a late breakfast. We took turns playing the little wooden peg game that is on each table while waiting for our food to arrive. I'm sure you've seen these games, ten little holes drilled into a piece of wood cut into the shape of a triangle and nine holes hold a golf tee leaving one open so that moves can be made. Neither one of us mastered this aggravating game of trying to leave only one golf tee on the playing board. We were glad when our breakfast arrived.

We decided to go for a ride and ended up in the Meramec State Park. We came across this one place that had a sign showing there was a photo op up ahead. We stopped and made our way to the vantage point where photo's were to be taken. We're sure this would be a beautiful area to take pictures of in the fall with the colors but at this time of year it was just so-so in our opinion.

We spent about an hour exploring the park taking notice that it was all but empty. We saw at most a half dozen campers. We did take notice that the local squirrels have no fear of humans or motor vehicles. We came upon this one sitting in the middle of the road and it wouldn't move! It seemed to dare us to come any closer. We did. It moved.

For the lack of any idea of what else to do by mid-afternoon we made our way back home. We found we had a new next door neighbor move in while we were gone. Within minutes Larry came out of his trailer to meet us. Him and his wife are new fulltimers and hail from Tennessee.

We sat at the picnic table talking and watching the hummingbirds. These little winged creatures were out in full force this afternoon chasing each other away from the feeders. We counted eight at one time. Bob did some reading up on these tiny birds and found that this is the time of year they really start feeding to prepare themselves for their migration to South America for the winter. This must be true because we're filling our feeders every other day now.

Hummingbird pictures.....taken from inside.

Can you see all three of them?

After dinner we settled in for another night of TV. I went outside for a few minutes and couldn't help but notice the full moon. It was huge orange ball in the night sky. I took a picture but without a telescopic lens, well, this picture just doesn't do what I saw justice.

Tomorrow we start our next to last week of work. It won't be long and we'll be singing "On the Road Again"....

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

8/27/07 All Alone in the Campground

Woke this morning to bright, sunny skies and it was actually the morning.

By mid morning the tenters were gone as was the couple who stayed over from the group that was here. We are the only ones here, that hasn't happened for quite awhile now.
We're off today with no set plans. I spent the late morning cleaning out a cupboard in the bedroom and the big closet. I took out quite a few clothes that I know we aren't going to wear anymore to give to the local mission. Bob puttered around doing small jobs that he needed to get caught up on around the house.

I called the doctor we went to see week before last to get the test results of our blood work. I will be joining the ranks of those who line up their medicines every morning . I knew my cholesterol was high as I have a prescription for Lipitor already. Do I take it? No, I don't. I don't care to take pills, I forget to take them, my list of excuses could go on and on. Now I've got two more pills to take in addition to the Lipitor. The nurse was quite frank on the phone with me and I guess it was my wake up call. My cholesterol, triglycerides and creatine were through the roof so if I want to continue this journey then I better get my act together and get these things under control. So TOMORROW I will start taking my Lipitor and will pick up the other meds at Walmart in the afternoon. I'll take my meds, I'll take my meds, I'll take my meds. :-) Bob had another pill added to his list too but he takes his like clockwork and never misses a day.

By mid afternoon we had had enough with inside work and decided to go for a drive. We drove to St. Clair, just up the road a piece. St Clair is a little town, population 4,390. We drove up and down the streets and finally parked to have an early dinner. We had heard a lot about Lewis Cafe and decided to eat there. This is a family owned restaurant that has been open since 1938 and passed down from generation to generation. They advertise that they raise their own Angus beef so we both ordered steaks. Hmm, Hmm, Good!
A view from the street...
A view of the inside....
A view of the other end of the street. This IS small town America.

After our early dinner we continued on with our ride and passed the Ralph Russo VFW Lodge. This lodge has boasting rights of being the only lodge in the country that has erected a replica of the Guard House like those used in Viet Nam to guard Prisoners of War.

By mid afternoon the temperature had reached the mid-90's and we took notice of these cows and how they cooled off.

There were quite a few of these cows in the water but I couldn't get them all in the same picture due to the trees. Personally, I don't care how hot I was, I wouldn't stand in the green, scummy water!

When we finally made our way home we didn't know what to do with ourselves since there was no dinner to make. We sat outside for a short while until the flies chased us indoors. We don't know whats going on around here but the flies have been terrible! They swarm and BITE!

So there we are, another day in our full timing life as RV'ers. Nothing is planned for tomorrow so we'll have to see what comes our way and what we can get into.

8/27/07 Who will be reader.....

9,000 ? ? ?
If it's you, leave a comment please, let us know who it is.
We didn't get an email or comment saying "It's ME, It's ME" so we don't know who the 9000th reader was. We did get a comment from Skip in South Carolina but he didn't say he was the reader in question. Glad you are enjoying our adventure Skip, just wait till you see what's coming!

Monday, August 27, 2007

8/26/07 A Very Quiet Day In Our Neighborhood

By mid-morning the campground had cleared with the exception of one couple from the Eagle Fleet group we had in for the weekend. They are staying over because they have an appointment for their rig at their dealership which is located halfway between here and their home. They didn't think it made much sense to go all the way home on Sunday to drive halfway back on Monday. Makes sense to me. So it was us and them in the campground.

I took our laundry to work with me so that I could do it at my leisure during the day. My day consisted of answering the phone a few times, making a couple of reservations and playing lots of computer games. I really didn't have all that much to do and it does make for a long day.

Bob did smaller jobs around the campground today. He re-hung a hose reel on the wall, he installed Miss Kitty's cat door to the barn so she'll have shelter this winter, he fixed another pipe under a sink and several other small jobs of this nature.

Dan had a little mishap this afternoon. While bringing back some floaters from the river the raft they had used slid off the trailer it was on. Dan didn't notice it happen and when he backtracked to find it he saw it in the back of a pick up headed in the other direction. He turned around to follow but couldn't catch up with the truck. He called into the office to give a description of the pickup and Barb called the sheriff's department for help. At the end of my shift it still hadn't been located. I hope they find it because these rafts aren't cheap to replace.

By late afternoon we still hadn't had anyone come in for the night. This is the first time this has happened since we've been here. Finally, two motorcyclists came in with their tent. They are making a cross country run.

We went out for dinner to the American Bison Restaurant. I had the fixin's for meatloaf but Bob didn't feel like putting it all together and he suggested dinner out. As you can imagine he didn't have to twist my arm.

When we returned to this oh so quiet campground we settled in the for evening with TV for entertainment.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

8/25/07 A Turtle, A Horse & The Jello Shot Girls

We started this day under cloudy skies that looked like they could pour down rain any minute. The forecast was calling for scattered showers. By mid morning it was looking better and by afternoon the sun was out and the sky was blue.

I had been hearing about this day since we arrived in May. Today "The Jello Shot" Girls" float. This group, all women, have been doing this float for the last twelve years. These women all work for the same company and plan this "girls day out" every summer. The group has changed participants over the years due to some of them leaving the company, moving away or just losing interest. There have been as many as 50 floating but this year there was only twenty four. There were supposed to be more but at the last minute a few had to change plans. Two of the participants even flew in from Denver for this day on the river. They are from the home office and managed to arrange a business trip to coincide with this weekend. What a good way to get the company to pay for it!

They were to float this morning at 8:30 and I was really glad that I had to be in at eight so I could see them. You see, they "dress" for this occasion. In years past they all dressed as police women or cowgirls to name a few. This year they were queens.

Here's a picture of some of them.

Left to right: Queen of the Fairies, Queen for a Day, Becky the Carpet Queen, Queen of the Nile, Casino Queen and Queen Bee. Now I didn't understand the "Becky, the Carpet Queen" until it was explained to me that "Becky" actually owns a carpet store in St. Louis and in the TV commercials she is in a long flowing dress and rides a magic carpet. Take note of the piece of carpet she is holding with the pink raft. (This isn't the real Becky)

So why are they called Jello Shot Girls? Because they bring coolers filled with Jello Shots! When the group totaled around 50 they brought 400 Jello Shots but this year they only brought 200. When they returned in the late afternoon there was no doubt that some of them made sure those little frozen treats didn't go to waste!

A close up of the Queen Bee.

The Casino Queen and the Queen of the Nile

Checking in:

A group picture....

They finally got loaded on the bus and were off to the river. I would have loved to see the other floaters reactions to this crew!

Later in the day I walked out back of the office and heard a little girl yelling, "Mommy, a turtle, a turtle". Sure enough, one of the turtles that inhabit the campground came up out of the woods for a visit.

Doesn't it look like its smiling in this picture?

Barb took him back to the woods to make sure he stayed out from under motor home wheels!

Later in the afternoon a fella came in to get a drink and Barb noticed he had spurs on his boots. She asked him if he a had horse waiting outside and I was surprised to hear he did.

After talking to him for a while he watched him ride into the sunset. Well, at least in the direction where the sun will set in a few hours.

Bob spent his day doing this and that. At one point he was fixing some drains in the bathrooms and other than that he kept busy in other parts of the campground. I didn't see a whole lot of him today.

The Jello Shot Girls came back in late afternoon, some of them feeling no pain. Some had to leave right away and the rest stayed for dinner the cafe. They serenaded us with Mr. Sandman while they waited for their dinner. I told you they were feeling no pain!

After work Bob and I went for a ride to get Powerball tickets. Three hundred million dollars is what its worth and we sure would like the opportunity to try and spend that!

An interesting day to say the least.

Twelve workdays left!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

8/24/07 ....and The Rest Arrive

The rest of the large group we have here this weekend continued arriving today. What a great bunch of people they are. All day long the ones who arrived yesterday came in to talk to us as they browsed the camp store. There are 18 rigs in all so in the campground there is this group, the Eagle Fleet, and us. Oh, there is one tenting couple here but we rarely see them as they leave to go sightseeing in the early hours of the day and don't return until late. They have the whole campground to themselves so they are really "happy campers".

As soon as Bob finished up the Kabin roof and headed for home the skies opened up and we had a pretty good rain. It was truly needed! Maybe we'll get to see some green grass again before we leave.

We were finally able to turn the air conditioner off! Since it has run for the last three weeks non-stop it is getting a much needed rest. It was nice to sleep with the windows open once again.

After our dinner of ribs in the crock pot we settled in for an evening of TV and a few Yahtzee games on the computer for me.

A quiet day to be sure but one that was welcomed.

Friday, August 24, 2007

8/23/07 Start of a Busy Weekend

Our weekend started early this week. We have a large group coming in and about 8 rigs pulled in today. They are just the friendliest people. As each came in they took the time to talk to us rather than getting their site number and heading out the door. Certainly does make for a pleasant work experience.

Bob spent his workday on the roof. Again. One more after this one and he can't wait. Not only will it get him out of the hot sun but it means only one more week of work after that. Oh yeah, we're counting down big time now.

It was another hot one today but it looks like we have rain the forecast. I hate to see it happen over a weekend but we need it so badly.

Other than the campground starting to fill up for the coming weekend it was pretty quiet around here. Not much else to tell you.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

8/22/07 Back in the Soup Again!

We should have known it wouldn't last. We knew the temperatures wouldn't stay in the 90's but would somehow creep back up into the triple digits. And they did. You just know its gonna be a hot one when you get up at six and its already eighty four outside.

Bob started back on the Kabin roof today. Matt, his usual helper, has started back to school so it was up to Dan to pitch in and give him a hand. All was going well until Dan missed the nail and really whacked his thumb with the hammer. Ouch!

It was very quiet in the campground office/store today. Most of the day we read or played computer games. The campground is all but empty right now so the highlight of my work day was filling the cooler with the new delivery of Pepsi's. By late afternoon we did get about six over-nighter's in. Surprisingly, the day went pretty fast.

I think it has been decided that we'll be in Apache Junction when we get to Arizona. It seems to be centrally located for the part of the state where we want to be. Of course this is only August, things could change by the time we finally get there in November or December.

14 workdays left!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

8/21/07 Tomatoes, Loose Wires and Hummingbirds

We went out this morning to see what the day is going to be like and noticed that we had tomatoes for the picking. About 50 to 60 cherry and grape tomatoes made their way into the colander and I couldn't wait to get them washed so I could start eating. Taking the time to really look at the tomato plants I couldn't help but notice that they don't look as healthy as they once did. The bottom leaves are turning yellow/brown and dying off. We had a few tomatoes with blossom end rot due to too much water I guess so I picked them off and discarded them. I did pick these two pretty ones and will have a half dozen or so more in a few days.

We figured out what was causing our bedroom TV problems, it was nothing more than a loose wire. An easy fix.

While Bob was sitting at the computer today he shot these two pictures of hummingbirds through our day shade.

We made it to the high 90's today but it was more humid than it has been. In this heat we just didn't have the energy to do too much, but that didn't stop us from watching Dan work. Here he is on the tractor leveling out the sites.

All in all it was a pretty much do nothing day. We did venture out for a short drive to the Goodyear Tire store to get a price for two tires for the truck. This is something we have to do before we leave here.

After a dinner of stuffed peppers we settled in for night of TV.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

8/20/07 Weekend is Here!

That last week sure went fast! I was afraid that time would start dragging now that we are getting to be "short-timers".

One of the things on our "to do list" today is to go into a town called Washington about 15 mile from here. We have to find a small television. I did a computer search for Target and they have one that might fit the space we have. This is a new store that just opened six weeks ago in this area and the first time we've ever been in a Target store. They had one that is one inch deeper than our space allows comfortably but Bob says he'll make it fit. We got the TV on sale for $99.99 and when the cashier said that will be $162 and change I was dumbfounded. When I asked her how much the tax was and she said $10.32 I knew right away there was a mistake somewhere. The wrong price was listed in the computer and I was hoping that it would be treated like items in a grocery store that have the wrong price in the computer, they are usually free if that happens. That was not the case in this Target store. Darn it.

Bob did get the TV into the space available and it doesn't fit as nicely as our now dead one did,,,,but it works. Since this is a TV/DVD player combo this TV is taller than the old one by an inch or two so the satellite receiver doesn't fit nicely on top of it but it does fit on the side if we put the receiver on its side. As long as I have TV I don't care how it fits in there. I'm sure I'll sleep well tonight.

We made an early evening run for groceries and to pick up Chinese food for dinner, a first for us since we left Delaware.

Time to watch the new TV. Oh no, it doesn't work! I don't know what happened but all we can on it is a blue screen. We know its not the TV because it was working before we went to the grocery store. We both played with it but couldn't get a picture. I'll have to call Direct TV tomorrow and have them come out, it has to be the receiver. At bedtime I got the radio out again and did find a talk show this time. They were discussing Senator Biden, the senator from our home state, Delaware. It couldn't have been that interesting because I fell off to sleep in no time.

8/16 - 8/19/07 It's Quiet in our Neighborhood

Not a whole lot going on around here. Just a handful of RV'ers coming in and by morning they are gone again.

Thursday we were still in the 100 range for temps but on Friday we got relief. The high on Friday was 98! It didn't make a whole lot of difference.

Miss Kitty, the campground had to make an emergency run to the vet's. Barb noticed one of her front legs was twice the size it should have been but we couldn't see what was wrong. We thought maybe she got stung by a wasp. Off to the vet they went and when they returned Miss Kitty's paw was shaved part way. The vet had found not one, but two puncture holes. She either got stung twice or was bitten by a snake. I'm hoping it was the wasps.

Saturday brought a relatively quiet day on the river in that we only ran one bus versus the two we have had running and for the last run of the day Dan only needed the van to transport floaters to the river. Yep, things are sure quieter around here.

By mid morning the campground was cleared out leaving us and one other camper who is here for two more weeks. We were supposed to have another camper for another day or two but they had an emergency and had to leave early. I was on my way to the Kamper Kottages when I took notice of the license plate on his towed vehicle. It was a Maryland plate. I stopped as he was outside and told him we were from Delaware and asked what part of Maryland he was from. Imagine my surprise when he replied, "Elkton". Just 10 miles down the road from where we lived. Further conversation brought out that he worked at Chrysler and I'm betting that if we had the time we could have found people we knew in common.

Sunday evening the television in the bedroom died. This is about the worst thing that could have happened because Bob and I don't like the same TV shows and that's where I watch. Not to mention that I go to sleep with the TV on and I can't go to sleep without it,,,,well, not very easily. At 8:30 pm we made a trip to Walmart to get a new TV. They didn't have any that would fit in the space we have. I got the radio out thinking I would be able to find a talk show, I don't care what they are talking about I just need the voices, the noise. I couldn't find a talk show anywhere on the dial. I finally settled on a re-run of this morning's Catholic Mass. Again, I didn't care what was being talked about, I just needed the noise. It didn't take me long to fall off to sleep, that's for sure.

Last but not least we have a birthday greeting to send out. Saturday is our friend Dianne's birthday. We hope your birthday was as wonderful as you are my friend!

Fifteen more work days!

8/15/07 Back to the Grind

Another weekend down.

Kids around here were supposed to start school today but it was called off due to the heat. Not because the schools are air conditioned, they are, but because the kids have to spend so much time on the buses and they aren't.

Bob would have normally worked on replacing one of the Kabin roofs today but once again that was put on the back burner because of the excessive heat. We're in the 100's again.

We didn't have many come in this afternoon, not like we usually do. Dan said that after last weekend things would slow down and he was right. I think there might be a half dozen spaces filled with over-nighters.

With so few in the park there really isn't much for us to do in the office so we spent the afternoon playing computer games and reading.

Nineteen work days to go!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

8/1407 105 vs contest!

This is just getting ridiculous now, its been in triple digits for a week and half now. Our poor air conditioner isn't getting a break at all, it runs constantly. Bob is so worried its going to burn itself out from overuse. Even with the three fans we have going all the time to keep the air moving it just seems to never shut off.

We've decided that we can't spend another day off cooped up in the house, we have to get out and do something but when it is over 100 degrees what do you do? We threw ideas out to each other but all seemed too HOT!

We finally decided that we had to do something that would cool us off, give us something interesting to do and is relatively close by because it was already after noon. There was only one thing we could think of fit that criteria. We would go to a cave!

We packed up a small cooler and set out heading west on I-44.

With more than 5,000 known caves, there's little wonder Missouri boasts so many commercial show caves with colorful histories like Fantastic Caverns near Springfield, Marvel Cave in Silver Dollar City and Meramec Caverns near Stanton.

Another former show cave is now the centerpiece of a state park. Onondaga Cave, first toured by the public in 1897, became the property of cave showman Lester Dill who also owned Meramec Caverns. Dill wanted to see the Cave preserved and in 1982, two years after his death, Onondaga Cave State Park was dedicated.

On the way to the cave we noticed that even the horses were trying to stay out of the heat of the sun.

It didn't take us long before we reached the Onondaga State Park and we were both looking forward to getting inside that cave. Not for its natural beauty or the history of it but because of the constant 57 degree temperature!

In the 1920s two different land owners claimed different parts of the cave and even blocked cave passages with barbed-wire fences. Their lawsuit went to the state's highest court which ruled that property lines actually extend below ground.

We signed up for a tour as soon as we arrived but we had about a twenty minute wait. We used that time to go through the gift shop and look at displays about days gone by.

Soon it was time to join our group for a short movie about the history of the cave. While the movie was interesting the room we were in was warm and we were all getting antsy to get the show on the road. At the conclusion of the movie we were led to a small room which they called the airlock room. Once we were all in there the outer door was closed and finally we were allowed to enter the cave. As soon as that inner door opened we could feel the cool air that was ours to enjoy for the next hour or so. And enjoy it we did! Fifty seven cool degrees.

After a short walk we were led into a huge room in the cave. This room measures 80 feet high, 125 feet wide and 425 feet in length. There was a stalagtite hanging from the ceiling and the tour guide asked us to guess how long it was. We heard answers from 2 feet to 3 and a half feet. Our guesses were right in line with the others. We were surprised to find out that it was actually 7 feet long. The guide did this little excercise to show us that things can be deceiving when the ceiling of the room you are in is 80 feet rather than the standard 8. When she told us the width vs length measurements, we again were all surprised. Especially when she referenced that a football field wasn't as big as this room. That really put it in perspective.

The formations in the following pictures took millions of years to form. (same formations, just different shots of them)

This formation is 14 feet tall.

I think we both expected this cave to be much like the Meramec Caverns that we visited. It isn't, this is a living cave which means that it is still growing.

The lighting isn't as good as it was in the Meramec Caverns although the pathways are all paved and for the most part dry. There is a stream that runs through it also.

More shots of the interior.
The soil under the cave is clay and many years ago during a flood the clay compacted even more and the formations "broke" apart. Take notice of the center section of the following picture, you can see the "break".

Another great formation....This next picture is one of "flowstone". Don't ask,,,,,I don't remember.

In 1904 the World's Fair was held in St. Louis and trains brought visitors to the then un-named cave as a side trip. A contest was held to "Name the Cave". Lots of entries were handed in and it was soon narrowed down to three, Onondaga being one of them. The name was chosen by Myrtle Land, the eleven year old daughter of a local judge. She picked this one because she "liked the sound of it".

We finally made our way into the Lily Pad room. How these lily pads form is too complicated for me to explain here, even if I could!

All too soon our time was up in this delightfully cool haven and we had to once again face the soaring temperatures outside, it was 105 degrees according to the bank sign. It was the strangest feeling when we went outside, our skin was cool to the touch (for a very short time, believe me) and yet we were sweating at the same time. I had never had that sensation before and knowing what I have to go through to get it its one I can do without.

Here's a picture of the flowers outside the building entrance to the cave. They are feeling the heat too!

The poor things were drooping badly from lack of water and the searing heat. We haven't had rain in weeks now.

On our way home I took this picture of a field to show how brown everything is.

So this is how we spent our afternoon.

We got home to the ever running A/C and stayed put, just watching TV, reading and spending time on our computers. Too hot to do anything else.

8/13/07 Too Hot To Do Anything

Another scorcher today!

We pretty much stayed in today with the exception of a run to Walmart for groceries. The temps are still in triple digits with no end in sight. We had hoped to get to the St. Louis Zoo or the Botanical Gardens on this day off but that is simply out of the question with this heat.

Needless to say, Bob isn't doing any roof replacement this week either. He has been spending his days replacing light fixtures and wiring in the main building. Much cooler for him being in the air conditioning.

Once again we spent hours on the computer checking out campgrounds and RV resorts in Arizona. We have it narrowed to a few that we really like and are affordable. I don't know if we'll make reservations before we even leave here or if we'll get to Arizona, stay at the local base and check them out in person before making a final decision. Pictures on the Internet can be deceiving we've learned.

"Hitch itch" is really setting in now. Of course with that comes a lot of work. Before we pull out of here we'll have to go through every nook and cranny looking for things we can get rid of to lighten the load. Since we still have way too many clothes with us I'm sure we can lose some pounds there. Neither one of us have had a pair of dress slacks on since we left home. They have to go since we're not wearing them. We'll keep the bare minimum.

Since we left home......nine months as fulltimers as of today. Wow, that time went fast!

Temps today reached 104 degrees. Thankfully the humidity level is low as it is in the 40% range. To hear the locals talk you would think it was in the 90% range. They don't know humidity!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

8/12/07 Shooting Stars.....NOT!

It wasn't too long after we all got up this morning that it reached 100 degrees. Little did we know that it would just keep climbing. By mid-afternoon we topped out at 107 degrees! Can you say....damn hot!

When I went in at 11 I was dreading the workday ahead of me. Today is the day that everyone leaves and it is up to us to bring the campground back to the clean and orderly condition it is usually in. I wondered what five particular cabins were going to look like even though the outsides of them were cleared of all trash. ;-)

Thankfully, Barb stepped up to the plate and did half the work since it was so incredibly hot today. She took four of "those" cabins and I took the cottage. Sure enough, there was trash left inside and dishes left in the sink of the cottage. (The cabins were clean.) In addition to having to take care of dish washing, taking the trash out and putting the furniture back where it belonged I discovered that the pots and pans were missing! Why am I not surprised? Needless to say these people are not welcome back to this campground! Notes have already been put in the computer should they call again.

It was a quiet afternoon and Barb and I decided that we would go swimming tonight to try to cool off. Now this is the first time I've been in the pool even though it is directly across the street from our house. Of course its Barb's first time this year too! I went over at 8:30 and walked right into the pool. It was so warm. In fact, it was too warm! I really couldn't tell much difference from the now 103 degree air temperature and the water. It wasn't refreshing at all. The pool usually closes at nine but it stayed open a little longer this evening since we were swimming too. Well, since we were standing in the water too is probably a better description. We did take notice of all the stars out tonight and remembered that this is the night that the meteor showers were to be in full force, around one in the morning. I had made up my mind that I would be out to see the shooting stars. The night was so clear that I was sure it was going to be a spectacular show, one that wouldn't be seen like this again by anyone who is now living, at least that's what it said on the computer where they gave the particulars on where to look and at what time.

Bob isn't one for swimming in a pool or in a river, lake or ocean for that matter, so he stayed cool inside tonight.

Around eleven I started to get tired and had serious doubts about being up to see the meteor show. Sure enough I fell off to sleep but for some reason did wake at 2 a.m.. I remembered what is going on outside in the sky and jumped out of bed. Bob was up watching TV in the living room and said that a storm was in the area. Sure enough I went outside and the sky was cloud covered! No shooting stars for me on this night.

8/11/07 This Site Needs to be Cleaned!

Traffic on the Meramec River today was extremely busy. All of the surrounding outfits that do "floats" were sold out as we were. We ran two buses today and kept them busy running back and forth taking floaters to the river and the bringing them back.

Our first float is at 8:30am and we started out with two buses even at that early hour. The Gateway Winnies were on one bus along with some smaller groups and the Pritchards had the other bus. I didn't think we'd get the latter group out as they were insisting that each of the 30 + members of the group pay individually. That would have been a nightmare as some were in canoes and the rest in rafts. Barb suggested that one person be responsible for gathering the $700 + they owed but somehow they weren't hearing that. They kept coming up and trying to pay for half a canoe or one sixth of a raft. I had finally had enough and made the announcement that this was not going to work and we weren't going to do it that way. Once we had their attention, Barb again told them to pick someone as their leader and give the money to them. They finally understood. It took awhile but the money was finally paid and they were on their way.

We repeated this process of getting everyone to the river three more times before the day was over.

I had reason to ride through the campground in the golf cart and took notice of the sites that the Pritchard's had. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! TRASH....EVERYWHERE! Empty cans and bottles, empty ice bags and beer cases, empty potato chip bags, garbage just everywhere you looked. I got back to the office and went to work on writing up a notice that I placed at each cabin they rented, along with trash bags, telling them that the site was to be cleaned up immediately! I knew they wouldn't be back for quite a while so I just sat back and waited. I knew the fireworks were coming. Sure enough in late afternoon Papa Pritchard made his way to the office, note in hand. He stopped on my side of the counter but was looking at Barb. She was busy checking a camper in so I told him I left that note at his site. Then he went off! "I'm paying $60.00 a night and I don't appreciate this note one bit!" Take my word for it, what I WANTED to say and I what I did say are two different things. I calmly told him that the trash all over the place was not acceptable and that it was to be cleaned up and there was nothing more to say about it. He threw the note at me and stormed out. Shortly afterward I took another ride and everything was bagged up. Mark one up for Snookie! In hindsight I wish I had taken pictures of the sites to post here.

On top of being extremely busy with floaters today we had a dinner to cater for the Winnebago owners in the clubhouse. Dan and Barb were busy in the kitchen taking care of that so I had the desk and store sales to cover. It seemed like all I was selling was ice since we were in the triple digits on the thermometer.

Finally it was seven and time for me to be done for the day. I hurried home, ate dinner and made my way back to the office for the entertainment. We had "Papa T" in the cafe tonite to sing for us.

I didn't know his music as he sang songs he wrote but he was very good and boy could he play that guitar! He also had music playing in the background so it sounded like there was a whole band there. The audience wasn't all that large even though notices were put at each campsite to come join us. I think people were just too hot to stay indoors and that the majority of the campers were in the pool.

I'm sure we all wondered what this night would bring considering one group (grin) had spent their day drinking.

These temps have to break soon, we can't take too many more 100 + days.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

8/10//07 A Day from Hell

Its still in the 100's here and the forecast doesn't show us getting out of triple digits anytime soon.

We have two rather large groups staying with us and they are as different as night and day. The first group, the Gateway Winnies, a group of retired Winnebago owners, have come to spend the weekend as one of their monthly camping trips. In addition to camping together these retirees are scheduled for a float down the Meramec and then Saturday evening a catered dinner for them will be held in the campground clubhouse from our own Cricket Cafe. For the most part getting them all checked in went well. I say for the most part because there was a slight problem and at the last minute we had to move a couple of them from their assigned campsites to others. It seems the ones who waited to come in on Friday all came in pretty much one after the other in addition to those campers who were coming in for the weekend that weren't affiliated with this group. Well, we have temps in the 100's (still!) and as they all turned on their air conditioners it was quite a strain on the electric system. It seems everyone in this group had a voltage meter which I guess in the long run was a good thing. It wasn't long before they were coming to the office to let us know that they were only drawing 102 volts instead of the minimum 108 that they should have. In their position we too would have been in the office I guess but when they come as a group its rather overwhelming because there wasn't anything we could do other than move them to other sites which feed off of different circuits (?). (I'm not an electrician so I'm not sure if I'm using the right terminology here) This means they aren't all camping "together" but hey, its small campground how far away could they really be? Once they all had A/C the grumbling seemed to stop as they were cool Happy Campers.

The other group we have is the Pritchards. Ah, the Pritchards. This is one group we won't soon forget. They rented four cabins and a cottage for their stay. They have five in each cabin that sleeps four and a tent set up on each site to house the overflow. There is 30-some in this group and they are here to PARTY in this "family" campground. I just knew there was going to be trouble and they didn't disappoint me.
This group is for the most part family, from Illinois, with boyfriends/girlfriends and a couple of cousins thrown in for good measure. For whatever reason the younger guys (older teens/younger 20-somethings) in this group decided to give themselves mohawks just before they came here. Now I'm not a fan of this particular hairstyle but it was all I could do not to laugh out loud at some of them. Have you ever seen a mohawk that was off center? Trust me, you would have laughed too.

The office/store was kept busy all afternoon and early evening. Bags of ice were flying out the door as fast as I could fill them it seemed.

On top of all this, this as Kampertainment weekend! Friday and Saturday nights we have entertainment in the cafe. Tonite it was singer, Joe Taylor. I wish I could tell you if he was good or not but I can't because as soon as the clock struck seven I was outta there!

Around midnight the trouble started. It seems as though the drinking got out of hand with the younger Pritchards and the foul language started. Now they had been warned repeatedly that the ten o'clock quiet time was strictly enforced but I guess they didn't think this rule applied to them. One young man, who we thought was about 20, really got out of hand as he was just plain drunk. Dan and Barb had had enough and called the sheriff. It was soon found out that this fella was a boyfriend to one of the Pritchard daughters and was only 16 years old! The police took him away to juvenile hall and his parents were called to come get him, from several hours away in Illinois! I bet that went over well.

After this incident things quieted down for the night. What will tomorrow bring?

Friday, August 10, 2007

8/8 & 8/9/07 Two In One

This post will cover the two days listed above as not enough happened in either to warrant its own page.

Its still hot as H- E - double hockey sticks! We did have a breeze today, oh heck, let's tell it like it is, it was a hot wind. It is so dusty here because we haven't had rain in ages. I almost hate to see a rig come in because as they make their way to their camp site they kick up all kinds of dust. There's a coating of dust on everything.

An update on the baby swallows: They are gone! I don't think Miss Kitty got them as Barb said they could fly although she wasn't sure about the smallest, weakest one. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it found the strength and is alive and well with its siblings.

Thursday we had a group of Winnabago's come in. These RV'ers are the early birds for the Gateway Winnie's that will be our guests this weekend. This group "camps" together once a month and the rest of them will arrive on Friday.

We're having entertainment in the campground this weekend, both Friday and Saturday nights. I really don't know anything about the singers that will be here so I'll have to tell you about them after they perform.

The weather man is still predicting temperatures in the triple digits for us for the next week. Will it ever end?

The Meramec River will be packed with floaters this weekend. We have all but one raft rented so far and we're putting dozens of canoes in the water. We're only one of four float companies that put in and take out at the same designated spots so the river will be jumping,,,,,and our guys will be tired! The canoes weigh 90 pounds a piece and they have to carry them downhill to the river and climb back uphill to get another one and make the trip again. Time after time after time until the canoes are all in our area at the waters edge, waiting for the floaters to come and take one. Then at the end of the day they have to take the canoes up a hill at the takeout point to load them on the trailers to bring them back to the campground. You should see the muscles these young guys have!

We had dinner at Burger King tonight. Its close by, its fast, its cheap and above all, its easy.

We relaxed the latter part of the evening, gearing up for a busy weekend.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

8/7/07 Major Decision Made Today

Another hot one here today, and probably where you are too. This heat has zapped our energy so much that we don't have enough to get out of our way.

The five little swallows that I told you about yesterday are now four little swallows and they are out of the nest. On the way back from my grocery run yesterday I pulled up in front of the office to take a picture of all five of them. When I looked up at the nest I saw one hanging. It seems the little bird had gotten some kind of grass or something wrapped around its neck and when it flew or jumped it must have tightened and hung the poor little thing. I didn't take notice of the other four huddled all together on the ground right under the nest. That is, not until I started being dive bombed by the adult swallows. When I stepped back I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and then saw them all huddled. My first thought was, "Oh no, Miss Kitty (the campground cat) will get these poor babies." Shortly after, the floaters returned and the adult swallows just went nuts because the people had their cars parked in same area where their offspring were. You never heard such noise with these adults birds chirping or seen such airborne acrobatics as they tried to get the unsuspecting floaters away from the area. I felt sorry for them, they were doing everything they could to protect their surviving babies. I had to leave, I couldn't watch anymore and won't know until tomorrow if Miss Kitty found these little birds. They are out of the nest but are unable to fly as yet.

When I got back from my grocery store trip I found that Bob had put our new clock on the wall that we bought at KMart yesterday. Isn't it pretty?

We spent most of our computer time today looking at campgrounds in Arizona. We have to get an idea of where we want to go when we make our way there in November. We can go where ever we want as we have made an important decision today. We have decided that we won't be workamping anymore. Bob is working much harder than he has in years for a mere fraction of the wages that he used to make. He just doesn't have to do that anymore. Yes, we knew we wouldn't make the wages we were used to but we didn't expect him to be doing new or major construction or roofing for that matter. That's hard work! Much too hard, especially in this heat. Bob had this thought that campground maintenance would be just that, maintenance. The grass cutting, the weedwhacking, painting, unclogging drains and the such. He didn't think he would be tasked with replacing roofs or renovating bathrooms/showers like he was in Florida but this sure isn't something he signed on for. So rather than be put in this position again we have decided that we won't be looking for work in the future, at least not in campgrounds. Thankfully, we have the means so that we are able to do this.

Bob isn't one to just sit around so when we settle in for the winter, somewhere in the warmer climes of Arizona, he'll let it be known that he has knowledge and skills and work will undoubtedly come his way. There will be rig owners that will want a shelf put up or need something repaired. At least he can decide when he'll work and what jobs he'll take on. I was talking to a fulltiming friend of ours the other day and she mentioned that her husband had built a set of wooden steps for the entrance of their rig and before he knew it people were knocking on the door wanting him to build them some. That would be perfect for Bob. The ball will definitely be in his court.

We may look into volunteering as camphosts in federal or state parks in the future but for now we'll live our dream this way.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

8/6/07 In Search of KMart

Today the most strenuous thing we did was go to KMart in Rolla about 30 miles away. It was time to get one of Bob's prescriptions refilled. We hadn't been to this town before so had to stop to ask directions. The town is good sized and seemed to have everything you could want.

It is incredibly hot here. We hit 100 today with a heat index of 106. Everything is so dry. We have to water the tomato plants daily because they wilt so much and now the lower branches are starting to turn yellow. We're getting quite a few tomatoes and lots of grape tomatoes and the cherry are coming along very nicely. Nothing like fresh tomatoes in the dinner salad or thick slices on toast with mayo, salt and lots of pepper.

Remember the picture of the baby swallows that was posted a couple of days ago, it showed 3 babies in a nest. Well, come to find out there are five of them in that small nest. They are teetering on the edge of the nest so they won't be in there long. I hope when they go they go fast because Miss Kitty the campground cat spends some of her time in the area where the nest is. When she does walk in the area the swallows dive bomb her until she leaves. Its something to see. I don't know if the poor cat knows the nest is up in the eaves or not. If not, she probably is wondering what she did to deserve this treatment from the birds.

Its been a lazy day for us, but only because of the heat. We'll see what tomorrow brings our way.

8/3 - 8/5/07 Three Words.....

OK, OK, I can do more than three words but THAT word is on every one's lips around here I hope to tell ya!
We have temps in the high 90's with the heat index at 105 degrees or higher. We haven't had a decent rain in weeks and everything that once was green is now a dead brown color. What we wouldn't do for a few nights of a slow steady rain. (Take notice that I want it to rain during the night.)
We talked to friends of ours recently who are in rain soaked Texas and they have had rain for 34 out of the past 38 days. I guess if we had to choose between our weather and theirs I would take what we have, at least we can get into air conditioning.
Its been one busy weekend here in the campground. Almost all spaces are taken and the pool has been very busy as is the float business.
It was decided this weekend that with the weather forecast for the next week (temps at 100, heat index even higher than that) that Bob won't be replacing a Kamper Kabin roof, at least not this week. The humidity still isn't bad its just the heat that kills ya!
We had a camper come in to register on Thursday and after talking with him for just a few minutes he asked where on the east coast I was from. I was surprised he asked me that and he said my accent gave me away. I didn't know I had an accent! I talk just like everybody else in Delaware!
Turns out he was from Pennsylvania years ago.
I spent some time with this camper, Joe, and his wife, Rhonda and their family one evening. I've heard it a hundred times and I've said it myself, you meet the nicest people camping. They may get another weekend here before we leave and I'm hoping they do.
Our air conditioner is really getting a workout, it seems to run continuously without a break. We make sure we turn it up to 78 degrees during out workday and only turn it down to 75 when we're home. In addition we're running three fans just to keep the air moving.
We're off Monday and Tuesday but I don't know what we'll get into or where we'll go, its too hot to do much of anything. We'd like to see the Botanical Gardens and the St. Louis Zoo but that "ain't gonna happen" in this heat! Can you imagine what the monkey house smells like in 100 plus degree heat? We don't want to find out.
We've been busy in the camp store selling ice! It seems every time I turn around I have to re-fill the ice freezer. Bob has been kept busy with electrical problems. Well, its not that the electric is the problem its the campers who come in and turn on everything at once in addition to trying to cool down hot rigs and breakers start tripping. They automatically think the problem is the power pedestal instead of looking at what they are expecting from 30 amps.
25 work days to go!

Friday, August 3, 2007

8/2/07 Temperatures are SOARING!

I just checked the extended forecast and the next 10 days we'll be in the mid-90's or higher and at night we're not getting away from the mid-70's. Our air conditioner is constantly running and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight.

I honestly don't know how Bob is doing it. He's on a roof pulling off cedar shake shingles, replacing plywood, laying the felt and then nailing the new shingles on. Granted he starts at six in the morning so they don't have to work in the worst heat of the day but even by nine we're hitting the 80's already. I worry about him. Matt, his helper on most days comes into the store often for drinks and I'm always asking him if Bob is drinking enough, is he ok? Matt assures me he is but I can see the toll this is taking. Bob's exhausted.

We have another birthday wish to send out today. Today is my uncle Kenny's birthday. We just found out that he'll be coming to see us in about two weeks and Bob is already planning a fishing trip for rainbow trout!

Twenty seven work days to go!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

08/01/07 August Already

The first day of August and the last full month of summer begins today. This summer is going fast isn't it?

The countdown for getting on the road really begins now. NEXT MONTH we hit the road again. Not that we are so anxious to leave Dan and Barb, that isn't the case at all. We just want to travel and see more sights. So we have 28 more work days to go. It doesn't seem nearly so long when you don't count the days you are off.

We've got some new campground residents though I don't think they'll hang around long.

These are three baby swallows that we took notice of last week. Every time I go to look at them they have their mouths open, they sure are hungry little things.

Things were quiet in the campground today, not many people here at all, but then again it is the middle of the week. I'm sure it will be very busy this weekend once again. Dan and Barb say that the next two weekends will be big then the season is pretty much over. Even though it will be only mid-August at that point, the season will "end" because school will be back in session. That's right, the schools here start on August 15th. Barb told me there was a study done here several years ago that says Missouri loses an astronomical amount of tourism dollars due to the early start of the school year. I guess that fell on deaf ears because school starts in two weeks.

Once again, another short entry, just not that much to tell.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

7/31/07 Too Tired To Move

We don't know if its the heat or if its the busy workdays but suddenly we're too tired to get out of our own way. I would guess its a combination of both.

We had good intentions to get out and do something today but we both slept in later than usual and neither one of us had any get up and go once we did manage to get out of bed. So today we puttered around the house, had computer time, reading time, and TV time. A relaxing day to say the least. By late afternoon I finally found the energy to go to Walmart for groceries.

I think the heat has a lot to do with it. The mid-west is in a heatwave, as is the rest of the country it seems, and it is just plain HOT! We're in the high 90's for the rest of the week at least. I know Bob isn't looking forward to this work week as he's still on the roof of a Kamper Kabin and this next one is in full sun again.

A couple of weeks ago Bob made contact with a buddy of his that we hadn't talked to in a couple of years. When it was my turn to talk with him he asked how we got his number, he asked if we googled his name? Actually, I found his number through A few days later this conversation popped into my head and I did
Google his name. Since he is being quoted in the newspaper often and has his own business I wasn't surprised at the search results. I then wondered what would come up, if anything, if I googled my own name, after all, I had written a few letters to the editor of our hometown newspaper over the years. So I googled Snookie Quinn and much to my surprise "I" was at the top of the list that came up. Go ahead, Google my name and then Google your own to see what comes up for you.

We had breakfast for dinner again tonight. Its an easy meal for me as all I do is the fried potatoes and Bob does the rest. I just never mastered keeping the yellow intact when cooking eggs and Bob gets it right every time.

So there it is, another day in these full timers lives. It will get more interesting once we get on the road again, I promise.