Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Last Day of Rally.....

It has been a great week here in Texas, but like all good things, it comes to a end.
Meeting lots of new folks.. Being with our "old" friends... It made the time go by so fast,
and here we are on our last day.
As usual, Howard and Linda close it all out with a BIG BANG.  This year the GOOD BYE DINNER theme was Hollywood Oscars. 
Our catered dinner, as usual, was something else.  Jim always looks forward to this.
You won't believe it, so the following picture shows why Jim is awed by their cooking.  see why?

Our good buddy, Denny, came in costume....

Our "wagon master", Howard, stopped by our table for a bit of conversation before the dinner.
Thank goodness, there was no dances for us this rally.  (Private joke from last rally)

Jim just HAD to take a picture of this gas pump outside of the barn.  Enlarge it, and you will see why.  Oh, those good ol' days, huh?

Howard and his wife, Linda, showed up after the dinner in full costume.  As always, they blew the place apart.   Ah, Brad and Elizabeth, you have nothing on this couple...

Our buddy, JC, stopped by to say "howdy, ma'am" to Pat before heading out the runway.

We had a wonderful time, as usual, with this group of great people.  It was our 6th rally..
Guess we are the only ones that have made it to each and everyone of the rallies.  We want
to thank Linda and Howard for all their work, and how we all appreciate them. 

Our trip home was not much to write about, other than I have never seen so much rain!!  It is always
so wonderful getting back home.  Our flowers and friends were all waiting for our return.  Isn't that
wonderful ?
That is about all for this trip.  Hoping to go up to the mountains in the Blue Ridge this summer, so
will be back then to tell you all about it when we go.  Till then, take care now... safe travels to the
full-timer friends out there on the road...
And.. as always, friends....WALK SOFTLY....

The Thomas'
Jim, Pat and Thor

Saturday, April 28, 2012

RV Dreams rally #6

We finally arrived at Buck Horn in Texas for our 6th rally with the RV Dreams.  It was so exciting..  lots and lots of new folks to meet, along with our "old" fellow Dreamers that we have met along the way with former rallies. 
Going through the gates to the park, found us looking forward to the week ahead...

We were assigned to a great spot.. right on the "putting green".  This is about the same spot that we
occupied the last time we were here for a rally.  Feels kind of funny... being all surrounded by these
big and beautiful coaches and mobile homes.  Feel kind of like the "kid".  But, Thor held his head up high, and scooted right in there like he was Big Stuff.  They all welcomed us, which made us feel as we were just like them.  We felt right at home.  It is a wonderful park to stay in.  Nice level, paved lots, Internet provided, along with cable TV.  All services, and all together a beautiful place to stay.

The evening we arrived, before the rally began, Howard and Linda gather everyone, who have arrived, to join them in a "campfire circle".  Of course, no fire, but you get the drift.  Gives everyone a chance to meet and greet.  Linda constantly amazes us all how she goes around the circle, announcing each of us by name.  Some of who she has only met once, herself.  This time Howard showed us he can do as well as his wife in remembering each one.  We all look forward to this each rally, thinking maybe this time she will not be able to complete them all.  But she came through again this year!

Our circle kept growing as the evening went on.  This is the other side .

Bringing laughter and joy to our group was our good friends, Char and Denny.  This was their 5th rally with us.  We always have such a good time with this great couple.

Our first evening of the rally was a get together and meet dinner which was catered by the great folks at at Buck Horn.  Food, as always, was great.  Brisket and Chicken BBQ.  Linda got everyone in the mood for a great time with her "Our Gang"..  This is a tradition, which never fails to get everyone up on their feet. 

Our table enjoyed it all...  as usual...

Within an hour, we were meeting our friends from former rallies, and catching up on news since we saw them last.  The first were our friends.. Lauren and George.  Did not take long before Lauren and I had lost our voices!!!

We know it will be a great week, and needless to say, we are SO looking forward to it.  Will try to be sure and send along more pictures while here.  Thanks for dropping by to share it all with us
Till then..  take care, and as always..   Walk softly....

The Thomas'
Pat, Jim and, of course, Thor...

Friday, April 20, 2012


Our travels seem to be a lesson in patience.  But....  we are moving along.
While in Sommerville, Texas, our next experience was with our truck.  We were traveling down the road, when we started hearing a weird sound.  Jim was hoping that we had just run over a piece of plastic.  We hopped out right away, and by the time we got out, our tire was deflated about 90%.  We could not believe that a tire could go flat... so fast.  What made it even more strange was what made it go flat.  See the following pictures.  We not only had a puncture, the whole needle-nose pliers was inside the tire, with just the tip being seen.  The man replacing our tire said he had never seen such a thing.  Needless to say, our tire could not be repaired, but had to be replaced .  Jim would consider nothing else than another Michelin.  These are very expensive, ours was only a year old!  ...  and the tires are a extra heavy duty, needed since we pulled a RV weighing thousands of pounds.  Thank goodness, nothing else was harmed, and we were safe too.

While here in Texas, we found the cactus blooming with the prettiest yellow flowers.  Naturally, we had to take some pictures..  I had to take some with my new little camera too... 

At our campsite here in Potter Lake is full of the sweetest little deer.  They are curious, and do not seem at all scared of us.  This little one comes by to see us early in the morning and at dusk in the evenings.
The people across the way feed them corn, but so far, we have not bought any.

Before going out shopping this morning and doing some site seeing, I took a picture of Jim in front
of our camper.  The COE parks are our favorites.  Notice the lovely lake behind us.

Monday we will be on our way again, to Kerrville for the rally. 

Take care now.... and as always...  walk softly....

The Thomas'
Jim, Pat..  (and Thor)..

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Our vacation starts with a BIG BANG......

Hi friends... Well, you have heard of the TV program called The Big Bang?... the Thomas' started out their vacation with their own...
We were just on the road three hours, tooling along with our favorite Elvis songs playing, enjoying the beautiful day and BOOM.  We looked at each other, saying at the same time "oh geeze".  We both knew what it was.  No mystery with that kind of sound.  Jim pulled over, immediately, jumped out, and confirmed our worry.  Yep, flat as a pancake.  But, as always, we knew how worse it could have been , if not for our Father's hand upon us.  Nothing was tore up under the camper, and we hit nothing else before coming to a stop. A call to On Star, and our insurance, and within a hour, we had not one, but two trucks there to change the tire, and we were on our way!  Whew what a way to start our vacation, isn't it?

We are in Mississippi this evening.  Lovely campground, and lots to see and visit tomorrow.  We both enjoy visiting historical places, and there are lot of that here in Vicksburg.  Will send along pictures in our next blog.  It seems to be more and more difficult to find camping places that have Internet services , so at these times we pack up our computers and head off to the library.  We enjoy visiting all the diff rent libraries in the towns we visit.  Loving books as we do, it is usually a day long experience.

Till then ..  take care now.. and our usual message  "Walk softly"....

The Thomas'
Pat, Jim and Thor...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Better Late than Never....

I know.... I am TERRIBLY late in the next posting... just getting old.. and slow, I guess.....

We had such a great time in Goshen, sight seeing, mixed in with the rally.  The time just flew by.  We were very apprehensive about the large crowds, especially after going to the balloon festival in New Mexico, but this was a world of difference.  Having full hook ups made so much difference.  

One of our sight seeing trips took us to the RV/MH House of fame.  For those of you who are not up on RV traveling, this was for  RV and Mobile Home travelers.  It was very interesting, and we were told that this was a new place for them.  The building was beautiful, and spacious.  We especially liked the "Little Prince".  this was a prototype for the Bambi in 1958.  Only one was made  I loved it!!  Isn't she sweet?

We were able to go up to a higher floor, and look down on the groups of RV's from above.  That was interesting too.  Looking at all the campers, and how they progressed through the years was quite a lesson.  I would advise any traveler, when in the area to make a trip over there to enjoy this place

A few days later, we found time, between the seminars and doings at the Escapade to go and visit the Amish.  There was a whole car trip, mapping out all the Amish homes and places of businesses.  We never had realized that so many Amish and Mennonites were in this area.  Due to their religious beliefs, which we were aware of and did not want to offend, we did not take as many pictures as I would have liked.
One of the Amish homes we were allowed to go in, and see and visit, we took some pictures. 
The first one is of a Amish kitchen, and how it is set up, and used.

The second was how they keep their clothes..  they are hung on hooks, not in closets like most of us keep our wardrobes,  It made me wonder, how do they keep them from getting all wrinkled?

In one of the surrounding towns, we went to a place called the Amish Acres.  We both found this very informative.  Sometimes, quite disturbing, but then, history is often quite disturbing.    The Amish that were there answered our questions (which, I had many, I am afraid).  The lady, who we took a distant picture of, is making apple butter.  She informed us that this took ALL DAY to cook.  It smelled so good!!  sure wish I was not diabetic, I would have bought some right then and there!!!!

While driving around the area of Goshen, there was one place I just had to see!!  They say it is one of the largest old time Dime Stores!  It was like walking back into time.  Hundreds and hundreds of jelly beans, and all the "old timey" candy, in glass bends.  Soda pop in the old ice chests, packed in ice.  I don't know if any of ya are old enough to remember these Coca Cola ice chests, but it sure brought back memories for us.  And all that candy... wow... my sugar level went up, just being in there!!  Old wood floors, that creaked when you walked across them...  It was neat!!

Naturally, I had to make a stop at the local Wal Mart, to check it out...  Around the back was the "parking" for the Amish...  yes, not for cars... for their horses.... 

One of our last classes while at the Escapade was with our friends, Jim and Chris, the Computer Geeks.  We just love going to their classes!!  They are ALWAYS packed.  But, no matter how many we go to, there is always something we come away with, saying "I did not know that"!!

Well, after the end of our "first" Escapade, we were all tired out!!  Time to head off for home.  (Which I have to admit, I was more than ready for).  Ah... home....  I love it!!  Guess I would never make a "full timer", but they all tell me, that is ok... not everyone is made for that life.  I was already looking forward to that Looooong, nice hot shower, and my big kitchen, to cook in, again,  Of course, not looking forward to all that washing that had to be done.. lol.    Next few days, a rainbow hovered over our house, from all the washing being done...  oh well....
Coming back home, meant that Thor had to be all winterized for the next few months, and his coat put on him (which is a MAJOR job... kind of like putting a coat and boots on a elephant)...  but, thankfully, he is all ready for winter now....

So, friends, thanks for traveling along with us on our trip to Goshen.  Hope you enjoyed it.  We will be uncovering Thor and getting ready again in April... for our trip to Tennessee and seeing all our Dreamer friends again for the Rally.....  Guess we will be all rested up by then..... 
Till then... ya'all take care and as always....   Walk Softly......

As Always.....
The Thomas'
Jim, Pat and Thor.........

Monday, September 13, 2010

ESCAPADE at Goshen, IN

We have been planning on attending a Escapees Escapade for years, and this was the year we finally made it!!  It is being held in Goshen, Indiana, so beside attending the Escapade, we are looking forward to seeing lots of things we have read about.  There is a large community of Amish who live in this area, and there are  quite a few places to visit that they live, work, that explain their way of life. 

 Our choice of campgrounds usually run in the Mom and Pop variety, not the larger chains such as KOA and the larger camps.  Our choice in Kentucky led us to a small, family owned camp, which we enjoyed so much.  It had ponds, complete with five ducks, which seemed to run the place.  We loved watching them, walk all over the campground, always in a line.  One cat (#1 cat), who took care of unwanted rodents, and such, completed the group.  At the end was a lovely farm, which I found to be so peaceful, we had to take a picture   If you notice, that is tobacco drying in the barn.
(click on pictures to enlarge)

 While traveling through Bowling Green Kentucky, we stopped and visited a train Museum.  It was very interesting, and we found ourselves staying hours.  When first going in, there was a HUGE train set, that took up the whole room.  Hand made buildings, and numerous trains ran on tracks around the set.  Short people, such as myself, had little stools that we could stand on to be high enough to look down upon the set, and see it all.  After looking at this, we were taken by a tour guide out to the trains, that we were able to go through, and learn all about there functions, those many years ago.  He was a very entertaining guide, which we learned later, about his being a actor.  That boy sure did love to talk!!!  After this, we walked through the rooms with all kinds of memorabilia of the time of the trains.  One thing I found interesting was the china that was used in the dinner cars.. Real china, with white table cloths and silver wear ... all served by a waiter, wearing all white.  Wow... it must have been something.  I can see why it was a very special occasion to travel in this time.  We saw how women all dressed in their best, and the children were dressed in the same fashion.  This is a picture of the china sets that were used....

Of course, Pat had to try out the caboose.   These have not been used since the 1980's... such a shame.... we all remember these little red cars, I am sure...

Finally, we arrived in Goshen....wouldn't you know it.... it was raining!!  the roads going into the fair grounds where the Escapade was to be held were seas of mud!!  But, we finally got into our place, all dirty and muddy, but we were here.  Setting up is no fun in the rain, but when you do any camping at all, you find that it is something we all have to do now and then.  Got something fixed to eat, and fell into bed, exhausted....
Still dark out side, sleeping soundly (even the trains did not bother us), and a knocking came at our door!!  Geeze, who can that be? Ignore it... no... better not.  A man at our door, telling us we had better move our truck.  What? Why?  We were told water was bubbling up under the truck!!  Looking out, my gosh, we was right!!  Yes, Murphy's Law.. what can happen, will.   A water main break.. under our truck!!  A thousand campers here, and ours were the one that had a break.  Go figure.  And this is a Sunday.  But surprisingly, they were here in a hour or so, working.  They worked all day, it was loud, dusty, but it had to be done.  Of course, we had no water during this time, and it took all day to be fixed, trucks, back hoes and all kinds of trucks filled our street.  One thing, it gave a lot of people a lot of entertainment.  This is one of the pieces of equipment working on the break...

Our friends, Jim and Chris Guld, who we have seen and attended  their computer classes and boot camps at other rallies were here too.  There booth was set up at the market hall and had to be visited.. naturally....
We will be attending their seminars while here at the Escapade, so I am sure we will be seeing them quite a bit.  No sign of Odie (the perfect poodle) today...  guess he must have been kept back at their camper.

The fairgrounds a quite nicely kept up, with gardens and flowers all around.  Across our street is a bush, and naturally, we had to stop and look at it. 

To take a photo of all the rigs attending the Escapade would be a impossible task, but we thought we would try.  Walking around, we found bleachers, so climbing to the top, we took this picture over the grounds.  They say there is about a thousand rigs here, I would not doubt it.  To find your friends in a crowd such as this is a task that is rather daunting.  But, we have accomplished finding quite a few.  Hugs and laughs are abundant...

To end the day, we were treated to a musical program by a young man, named Johnny Counterfit, and his group.  It was a extremely entertaining program.  The hall was packed, and everyone seemed to enjoy the show with great gusto.  We are looking forward to the rest of the week, with its seminars and meetings and being with our camping friends. 

Thanks for stopping by and enjoying our travels with us....
Take care now... and as always...... walk softly.......

The Thomas'
Jim, Pat and Thor

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Greetings from Jim, Pat and Thor

We are back on the road again…. on our second leg of our vacation.  This year it is kind of taken in increments.  The first few nights out, we met up with our good friends, Char and Denny.  We just love being able to see them again, and catching up with all our news and travels.  They are full timers now.. and enjoying it to the fullest.  Always look forward to meeting up with this wonderful couple…



While in Galena, Illinois, we drove over to see President Grants home.  While we were not able to see the inside, it was nice to see the home. 







Our travels took us on up North, and into Wisconsin.  As you know, this is cheese country…. and you know what that means, right?  Yes….  mice…   Everyone out there knows how Jim loves them.   So, when we were passing by this fella, we naturally had to stop and take a picture with Jim and his friend…Igor. 



We drove on up  the route along the Mississippi.  It was quite a pretty drive, and we enjoyed it. 

While driving through Wisconsin, we saw quite a bit of Amish farms.  The horses that they have are awesome, and beautiful.  We came upon this mother and baby, which we thought was precious.  The Mother was not interested in us at all, but the little one was somewhat curious about us, and why we were taking pictures..




While in the area of Sparta, Wisconsin, we found these tunnels fascinating.  They are very interesting, in their history.  Trains ran through the  tunnels.  They are now used for many of the bike trails here.  The rails have been removed in the early 1990’s.  If you notice the big gates, there was another set on the other side.  They were opened up for the trains passing through by a railroad man, and closed again when the train passed through.  He had a guard house on one end, and his job was to open and close the gates upon the arrival and passing of each train.  We walked into the tunnel, and the temperature was at least 20 degrees cooler than the outside.  Soot from the trains covered the  roof of the tunnel.  I  can only imagine the noise when the train was passing through. 



From the inside of the tunnel, looking out, this   was the  view.  The fog gave it a somewhat eerie appearance…




Sparta is not flat land, like other parts of Wisconsin, and even somewhat mountainous, as you

see, from the lookout of Wildcat Mt. State park.  Even with  the rain, it was a beautiful  view.



Our campsite, while visiting Sparta, was at Fort McCoy.  It was a very pleasant place to stay, and

we enjoyed it.  Each campsite was very wooded, and back away from the next camp.  I  enjoyed

it very much… even with the reveille and retreat being played out on loud speakers over the whole

base.  It was too much memories of the Army for poor Jim.  I think he had fears that they were

going to keep him.  All and all, it was a very interesting experience.



Sparta is the bike riding capital, and there are bike paths all over the town.  We had to take a

picture of this guy… “ Ben Biking”.. isn’t he cute?  Everyone in town seems to know who he is,

and knows he is the biking mascot.  The paths run for miles, and every one who bikes seems to

come here.  For such a small town, I found it quite impressive how they have make such a nice

and beautiful place for all the biking community.




The biking paths run over beautiful bridges such as this one.


We will be on our way again tomorrow, to South Dakota, so we will be back, telling you all the news. 

It has been so nice and cool up this  way , and with all the news we have been hearing about the

heat Georgia has been having, we are most thankful, and enjoying it.

Till we see you again… take care…. and… as always….  WALK SOFTLY….


Jim, Pat and Thor