Monday, January 1, 2018

Where We Have Been

Another year is in the books so it is time to update the logbook of where we have been since we began this lifestyle in 2009.


December -- FTTA Rally at St Augustine, FL.
** Compass RV Park, St Augustine, FL

September & October -- Leg 04 -- Travel east and south to return home.
** Walmart, Washington, PA. Dry camped overnight.
** Quakerwoods Campground, Quakertown, PA
** Joint Base Andrews FamCamp, Camp Springs, MD
** Cozy Acres Campground, Powhatan, VA
** Fort Eustis Recreation Area, Fort Eustis, VA
** Ocean Waves Campground, Waves, NC
** Skidaway Island State Park, Savannah, GA

August & September -- Leg 03 -- Travel east and south to Wright Patterson AFB.
** Northland Camping & RV Park, South Range, WI
** Vagabond Resort and Campground, Rapid River, MI
** Tiki RV Park & Campground, St. Ignace, MI
** Traverse City KOA, Buckley, MI
** Oak Grove Campground/Resort, Holland, MI
** Wright-Patterson AFB Fam Camp, Dayton, OH

Great River Road Trip -- Venice, LA to Lake Itasca, MN

May to August -- Leg 02 -- Travel north following the Mississippi River from end to beginning.
** Natchez State Park, Natchez, MS
** Merrisach Lake (USACE), Tichnor, AR
** Hernando Point (USACE), Hrenando, MS
** Hurricane Creek (USACE), Barklay Lock & Dam, Eddyville, KY
** Coles Creek Campground (USACE), Carlyle Lake, Carlyle, IL
** Ray Behrens Campground (USACE), Mark Twain Lake, Perry, MO
** Fisherman's Corner (USACE), Hampton, IL
** Wyalusing State Park, Bagley, WI
** St Croix Bluffs Regional Park, Hastings, MN
** Leech Lake Rec Area (USACE), Federal Dam, MN

May -- Leg 01 -- Travel to New Orleans, LA to begin our "Great River Road" trip.
** Osprey Cove RV Park, US Naval Station, Mayport, FL
** Eastbank Campground (USACE), Lake Seminole, Bainbridge, GA
** Big Lagoon State Park, 12301 Gulf Beach Hwy, Pensacola, FL
** Bayou Segnette State Park, Westwego, LA

April -- FTTA Rally at Lion Country Safari, West Palm Beach, FL.
** West Palm Beach/Lion Country Safari KOA, West Palm Beach, FL


Alas, no travel in 2016


October -- Travel east then south heading home.
** Boondockers Welcome, Jim & Christy Funk, Prior Lake, MN
** Lowell & Maureen Youngs Home, Whitewater, WI
** RV/MH Hall of Fame, Elkhart, IN. Harvest Host. Dry camped two nights.
** Ohio NG Camp Perry Family Campground, Port Clinton, OH
** Walmart Parking Lot, Du Bois, PA. Dry camped overnight
** Yogi's Jellystone Park at Shangri-La, Milton, PA
** Wycombe Vineyards, Furlong, PA. Harvest Host – Dry camped overnight
** Camp Meade RV Park, Fort Meade, MD
** Walmart Parking Lot, Emporia, VA
** Holbrook Pond Recreation Area, Ft Stewart, GA (just outside Savannah).
** The Great Outdoors Golf and RV Resort, Titusville, FL

September -- Travel north to Hillsboro, ND for the Sugar Beet Harvest.
** Buffalo Bill Ranch SRA RV Park, North Platte, NE
** Pioneer Village, Minden, NE
** Offutt AFB Family Campground, Belleview, NE
** Stone State Park, Sioux City IA
** Ingalls Homestead, De Smet, SD
** Hyde-A-Way Bay Resort, Hackensack, MN
** Hillsboro Campground, Hillsboro, ND

July -- Travel north to Adam's house in Denver, CO.
** Summerlan RV Park, Raton, NM

May -- Travel to Chloride, NM.
** Golden Acres Ranch, Monticello, FL. Harvest Host – Dry camped overnight.
** Gulf Coast Gator Ranch, Moss Point, MS. Harvest Host – Dry camped overnight.
** Braunig Lake RV Resort, Elmendorf, TX
** Parkview RV Park, Ft Stockton, TX
** La Vina Winery, Anthony, NM. Harvest Host – Dry camped overnight.
** Apache Kid RV Park, Pioneer Store Museum, Chloride, NM


Oct & Nov -- Travel to Florida. The Cougar pulled by the Dodge Ram 1500.
** Parking Lot, Southeast Georgia Health System -- Brunswick Campus, Brunswick, GA. Michelle dry camped while I was hospitalized.
** The Great Outdoors Golf and RV Resort, Titusville, FL

May -- Travel to Milton, PA. The Cougar pulled by the Dodge Ram 1500.
** Sam's Club #4847, Greensburg, PA. Dry camped overnight
** Yogi at Shangri-La Family Campground, Milton, PA

April -- Travel to Jamestown, OH. The Cougar pulled by the Dodge Ram 1500.
** Walmart Supercenter #635, Savannah, GA. Dry camped overnight
** Tamarack Tourist Center, Beckley, WV. Dry camped overnight


October -- Travel to Florida by way of Arkansas. The Cougar pulled by the Dodge Ram 1500.
** Walmart Parking Lot, Nashville, TN. Dry camped overnight
** Wagon Circle RV Park, Heber Springs, AR
** Walmart Parking Lot, Alabaster, AL. Dry camped overnight
** Walmart Parking Lot, Macclenny, FL. Dry camped overnight
** The Great Outdoors Golf and RV Resort, Titusville, FL

June to August -- Travel to the Maritime Provinces of Canada. The Cougar pulled by the Dodge Ram 1500.
** Flying J Travel Plaza #707, Brookville, PA. Dry camped overnight
** Round Pond Recreation Area, US Military Academy, West Point, NY
** Kittery Trading Post Parking Lot, Kittery, ME. Dry camped overnight
** Timberland Acres RV Park, Trenton (Bar Harbor), ME
** Century Farm Family Campground, St Martins, New Brunswick, CA
** KOA Cornwall-Charlottetown, Cornwall (Charlottetown), Prince Edward Island, CA
** Crystal Beach Campground, New Anan (Summerside), Prince Edward Island, CA
** Woodhaven RV Park, Hammond Plains (Halifax), Nova Scotia, CA
** The Cove Oceanfront Campground, Parker's Cove (Annapolis Royal), Nova Scotia, CA
** Harbour Light Campground, Pictou, Nova Scotia, CA
** Cape Breton Highlands National Park Campground, Cheticamp, Nova Scotia, CA
** Bras D'Or Lakes Campground, Baddeck, Nova Scotia, CA
** Point of View Campground, Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, CA
** Grand Codroy RV Park, Doyles, Newfoundland, CA
** Gros Morne/Norris Point KOA, Rocky Harbor, Newfoundland, CA
** Peyton's Woods RV Park & Campground, Twillingate, Newfoundland, CA
** Paradise Farm Trailer Park, Bonavista, Newfoundland, CA
** Pippy Park, St John's, Newfoundland, CA
** Beothuck Family Campground, Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland, CA
** Arm of Gold Campground, Little Bras d'Or, Nova Scotia, CA
** Hidden Hilltop Campground, Glenholme, Nova Scotia, CA
** Bouctouche Baie Chalets, Saint-Edouard-De-Kent, New Brunswick, CA
** Kiwanis Oceanfront Campground, St Andrews, New Brunswick, CA
** Walmart Parking Lot, Agusta Marketplace Shopping Center, Augusta, ME. Dry camped overnight
** Long Island Bridge Campground, Moultonboro, NH
** Walmart Parking Lot, Utica, NY. Dry camped overnight
** Presque Isle Downs & Casino, Erie, PA. Dry camped overnight

January -- Travel to San Diego, CA (Poway). The Cougar pulled by the Dodge Ram 1500.
** KOA Los Angeles/Pomona/Fairplex
** All Seasons RV Park, Escondido, CA


December -- Travel to Irwindale, CA. The Cougar pulled by the Dodge Ram 1500.
** Fiesta Floats, Inc Parking lot, Irwindale, CA
** KOA Los Angeles/Pomona/Fairplex

September -- Travel to Black Rock Canyon Campground in Joshua Tree National Park. The Cougar pulled by the Dodge Ram 1500.
** Flying J Travel Plaza #763, Rawlins, WY. Dry camped overnight
** Salt Lake City, UT KOA
** Casa Blanca Casino, Mesquite, NV. Dry camped overnight
** Marine Corps Station, Twentynine Palms, CA. Dry camped overnight
** Black Rock Canyon Campground, Joshua Tree National Park, Yucca Valley, CA

June - July -- Travel to Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary with stops at the Presidential Museums of Abraham Lincoln, Harry Truman, and Dwight Eisenhower. The Cougar pulled by the Dodge Ram 1500.
** Kickapoo State Park, Oakwood, IL
** Sangchris Lake State Recreation Area, Rochester (Springfield), IL
** Ameristar Casino, Kansas City, MO. Dry camped overnight.
** Harrah's Casino, Kansas City, MO. Dry camped overnight
** West Rolling Hills Campground (COE), Junction City, KS

** KOA-Goodland, Goodland, KS.
** Lake Minatare State Recreation Area, Scottsbluff, NE
** Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, Hot Springs, SD

April -- Travel back to Ohio. The Cougar pulled by the Dodge Ram 1500
** Holbrook Pond Recreation Area, Ft Stewart, GA (just outside Savannah). Dry camped overnight
** Tamarack Tourist Center, Beckley, WV. Dry camped overnight


Aug to Dec -- Winter in Florida. The Cougar pulled by the Dodge Ram 1500.
** The Narrows (COE), Glasgow, KY
** Burchfield Branch Park (COE), Birmingham/Tuscaloosa, AL
** Panhandle Pioneer Settlement, Blountstown, FL
** The Great Outdoors Golf and RV Resort, Titusville, FL

July -- A long weekend to Indiana Amish country. The Cougar pulled by the Dodge Ram 1500.
** Shipshewana Campground -- South, Shipshewana, IN

June -- Ava's Birthday trip. Shakedown trip for the Cougar pulled by the Dodge Ram 1500 to Myrtle Beach, SC.
** Bandit's Roost Campground (COE), Wilkesboro, NC
** Myrtle Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach, SC
** Lake Powhatan - Pisgah NF, Ashville, NC


July to Sep -- Our 80 day adventure. The popup pulled by the Dodge Ram 1500.
** Jellystone Park, Estes Park, CO
** Silverado Motel and RV Park, Eureka, MT
** Island View Trailer Resort, Sandpoint, ID
** Torrey's RV Park, Stanley, ID
** Wagon Wheel RV Campground, West Yellowstone, MT
** Mystery Mountain RV Park, Rapid City, SD
** Camp Holiday Resort and RV Park, Baxter, MN

June -- Ava's Birthday trip. The popup pulled by the Pontiac Montana to Myrtle Beach, SC.
** Myrtle Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach, SC


Aug -- Michelle's Family Reunion at Lake Winnipesaukee, NH. The popup pulled by the Pontiac Montana.
** Pope Haven Campground, Randolph, NY
** Arrowhead Marina and Campground, Schenectady, NY
** Long Island Bridge Campground, Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
** Great Bay Camping, Newfields, NH
** Mount Pocono Campground, Mt Pocono, PA
** Western Village RV Park, Carlisle, PA
** Pine Cove Beach Club and RV Park, Washington, PA

June -- A shakedown trip for the popup pulled by the Pontiac Montana to Myrtle Beach, SC.
** Myrtle Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach, SC

We have a map and a list. I got into a discussion with Nelson Hommel about keeping score of our camping locations. Should we include every place we lay our heads to sleep on the road or just places we stay for some period of time for a purpose but stay in the Cougar. Since it is my map and my list, I get to make the rules. Here is what I decided.

The LIST will include every place we lay our heads to sleep IN THE COUGAR. For example, an overnight stop at a Walmart parking lot or a Flying J Travel Center gets included on the list. A stop of any duration where we do not stay in the Cougar does not get included on the list. The most obvious examples are visits with Tricia in North Carolina and with Adam in Colorado.

The MAP will include places we camp and places we stop overnight IN THE COUGAR FOR A PURPOSE. Thus, if we spend two nights dry camping in a Walmart parking lot for the purpose of visiting a museum, that goes on the map. A stop of any duration where we do not stay in the Cougar does not get included on the map. The most obvious examples are visits with Tricia in North Carolina and with Adam in Colorado. Places on the map are shown in italics on the list.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Ya Got Trouble

Titusville, FL

“… that game with the fifteen numbered balls is the devil’s tool..”

Today, the Mad Hatters, a social group Michelle belongs to, sponsored an afternoon at the theater. After a lunch at Portifino’s, we went to the Titusville Playhouse for a performance of Meredith Wilson’s Music Man.
Mad Hatters at Portifino’s

One might wonder what kind of playhouse could a rinky-dink town like Titusville muster up. Well, Titusville isn’t so rinky-dink. True, the end of the Space Shuttle Program put the city through some tough economic times. But now the Kennedy Space Center is bustling again with the construction of the first commercial spaceport and Titusville is on the way back up. The Titusville Playhouse is a worthy part of that growth.
The Titusville Playhouse

If you’re old (really old like me), while you’re recalling the original space program — Mercury and Gemini — you might recall the original Music Man. The stage play in 1957 starring Robert Preston and Barbara Cook was followed in 1962 by the movie starring Robert Preston and Shirley Jones. I think I remember that as the first time the lead actor from the stage production was also the lead in the film. Much later, in 2003, Music Man was presented as a TV Special with Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth heading the cast.

Here is a recap from Wikipedia:

”The Music Man is a musical with book, music, and lyrics by Meredith Willson, based on a story by Willson and Franklin Lacey. The plot concerns con man Harold Hill, who poses as a boys' band organizer and leader and sells band instruments and uniforms to naive Iowa townsfolk, promising to train the members of the new band. Harold is no musician, however, and plans to skip town without giving any music lessons. Prim librarian and piano teacher Marian sees through him, but when Harold helps her younger brother overcome his lisp and social awkwardness, Marian begins to fall in love. Harold risks being caught to win her.

In 1957, the show became a hit on Broadway, winning five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and running for 1,375 performances. The cast album won the first Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album and spent 245 weeks on the Billboard charts. The show's success led to revivals, including a long-running 2000 Broadway revival, a popular 1962 film adaptation, and a 2003 television adaptation. It is frequently produced by both professional and amateur theater companies.”

Original Cast Album of the Music Man

I had this album and I wore it out. I sang those songs until I memorized every word. Then I sang them some more while my kids were growing up. We had great fun with those lyrics which I still think are an incredibly masterful use of the English language. Sitting through today’s performance, I surprised myself by still remembering almost every word.

I was a fan of the theater back then – especially musicals. Names like Rogers & Hammerstein and Lerner & Lowe were household names. Everyone knew them. But Meredith Wilson stood alone. For The Music Man, he wrote the book and the music and the lyrics.

Robert Meredith Willson (May 18, 1902 – June 15, 1984) was an American composer and playwright, best known for The Music Man. He wrote three other Broadway musicals, composed symphonies and popular songs, and his film scores were twice nominated for Academy Awards.

Wilson was a native of the Hawkeye State. He played with John Philip Sousa's band and with the New York Philharmonic before he went to Hollywood to work in radio.

Wilson wrote some great popular tunes. "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas", which will make it’s seasonal appearance soon, was written by him. He also wrote the musical “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”. We learned more about the real Molly Brown during our stop this summer in Hannibal, MO. Unsinkable comes from the fact that she was a Titanic survivor. But his story of the con-man-turned-good-guy by an Iowa librarian was the classic that hooked me.

Here is the complete story on Meredith Wilson

“No photography during the performance” means I have no pictures from this show. So I grabbed a few from the public domain to include here.
Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man

I think I’ll use Amazon dot com to buy a copy of the film for my grandkids. Maybe I can infect them with its magic when I see them this Christmas.

I’m pleased to report that as my memory fails, while I may forget some trivial things like my name, I have not forgotten the lyrics to The Music Man.

Thanks to Wikipedia for filling in some of the forgotten factual information

trouble ... trouble ... trouble ... trouble ... trouble ... trouble ... trouble ... trouble ... trouble ... trouble ... trouble ... trouble


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Let's End At The Beginning

Lake Itasca, MN

Where Does the Mississippi River Begin?

I have many posts yet to write about this Great River Road trip. I'll be posting them all winter. But this one is special and I want it to be posted in real time. Today we went to Itasca State Park, MN and stood in the water at the beginning of the Mississippi River.

Mississippi Headwaters, Lake Itasca, MN
Northern Terminus of The Great River Road
GPS:47.239874o, -95.207691o
2:22PM, 06 Aug 2017

The Beginning and The End

Venice, LA
Southern Terminus of The Great River Road
GPS: 29.271952o, -89.353220o
2:22PM, 15 May 2017

Let's Begin At The End

We did go in the water

Our thanks to Katie, Branko, and Lily for taking our special picture


Leech Lake Rec Area (USACE)
01217 Federal Dam Dr NE
Federal Dam, MN 56641
GPS: 47.24560o, -94.22697o
Elevation: 1,349 ft


Monday, July 3, 2017

The Fourth of July

United States of America

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.

God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home

Watch, Listen, Remember