Sunday, November 1, 2009

Newspaper article at the Balloon Festival...and more..

A week or so ago we promised to put in the newspaper article that was done while we were attending the balloon festival. Has taken awhile to get it to you, but here it is...
(to enlarge the pictures click on them)

On the way back home, we visited a few places that were of historical importance, and we found very interesting. The Texas Ranger Museum was of special interest to Jim. Men seem to be very interested in law enforcement of years ago. The guns that they had on display was very well put together. Jim even got to handle one, and was astounded how much they weigh! The art work through out was beautiful. I found especially interesting the display they had on Bonnie and Clyde. It included the guns that were used at the time of arrest and pictures, that were somewhat gruesome, I felt. Outside of the building was a awesome statute of a Texas Ranger on his horse. The whole showing of the Rangers was done is such good taste, and very interesting, that I would highly recommend anyone passing by that way to stop in and see it.
In case you would like to look into visiting, it can be found in Waco, Texas

Our last stop, while heading back home, was Vicksburg Military Park in Mississippi. Even though we had visited the park before, we still found it interesting enough to want to go back again. The park is a drive through, and a cassette can be obtained, telling one about each stop along the way.
After its surrender, Vicksburg became an occupied city for the rest of the war. In Feb. 1864, Maj. Wm. Sherman marched across the state from Vicksburg to Meridian in the first manifestation of his concept of total war that would later "make Georgia howl' during the March to the Sea.
The drive though the park is 16 miles long. For history buffs, this is a absolutely must to see.
At the end of the drive, is the Union ironclad gunboat, U.S.S. Cairo.

On December 12, 1862, while steaming up the Kazoo River, it was destroyed by two explosions, tearing gaping holes in the boats bottom. Within minutes, it sunk. It was the first vessel in history to be sunk by an electrically detonated torpedo, which is today called a mine.

In the 1960's, it was brought up and preserved, where it can now be seen by the public. It is now on display at the a U.S.S. Cairo Museum adjacent to the Vicksburg National Cemetery.

So.. it was finally time for us to head on back home. Even Thor said he was tired!!! The last day was not the best of days.. It rained all night and kept up raining the whole trip back to Conyers.

Those who travel in RV's know what a nasty job it is, breaking down and traveling in storms.. But we made it home.. for which we were very thankful. It is always so great, coming home too..

Hope you enjoyed our vacation with us... it was nice having you along...

Till we get itchy feet (and tires) again... everyone take care... God bless...

Smile... enjoy life... and as always... Walk Softly.....

The Thomas'

Jim, Pat and Thor

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

RV Dreamers rally...

wow...... what a wonderful time we had!! It was four days packed with good food, wonderful fellowship and meeting lots and lots of new folks.
We arrived a day early, so we were able to see all the rigs come in and meet the new kids on the block early. It was neat!
Howard and Linda really outdid themselves this year. I don't know how they will top this one.
The campground the rally was held at is Buckhorn Lake RV resort. It is such a nice camp. The pads we parked our rigs on were cement, and level!! wow. It was so easy Full hookups, which meant I could have WiFi for my Face Book!! double wow, with sugar on it.. cable TV too. We even had a small place behind our camper so folks could putt for their golf practice. It was well kept and clean.
Such a nice place to stay for the week. As we drove in the camp, we were greeted with this huge
windmill. It was beautiful. Of course, at night it was all lit up, which was right outside of our rig!
This is a picture of the entrance with the windmill.. isn't it pretty?

During the rally, we had two catered dinners, which were delicious! These folks in Texas sure can cook!! One night was a chili cookout. I brought my "Plain Jane Chili". It was not as fancy and spicy as a lot.. but people seemed to like it too. I know the judges had a difficult time choosing the winner. There were 15 entrances to be judged. People could not seem to find just one they liked, so they were all walking around with plates with 6 or so little bowls all on their plates!! Maalox, here we come!!!!

During the rally, there were many seminars given. We did not attend all of them, due to the reason, mainly, that they were geared toward people wanting information about going "full-time". We are just "part-timers", and not selling our home and everything, like these folks are doing. But, we were very grateful that we were able to give some of the new timers some of
our advise that we had learned over the years. They were all such a great bunch of "newbies".

Our "next door neighbors", Jim and Linda, were folks that we met at one of the campgrounds on the way to the rally. They have the sweetest little dog that I have ever seen. His name is "Boo".
This is short for something that I cannot remember tho. I absolutely fell in love with him.
I am determined to find a way to find a way to own one just like him. As you can tell by the
picture, he is my buddy...

Our last day here was a barn burner!!! In the afternoon, a lot of the folks had a "open house" with their rigs. It is a favorite with the RV Dreamers rally attendees We had a few couples here that have not be able to decide what kind of rig they wanted to full time, so this helped them a lot, Of course it was a wonderful excuse to just sit and "jaw". It was enjoyed by all..

The evening was a hoot. It was a "Western Ho Down", with a catered dinner (with the most tender, HUGE pork chops any of us had ever seen!) After the dinner, it was time to work off all that huge dinner.... so it was time to line dance. There were a lot that danced, but a lot of us that just got a kick watching them all!

Our sponsors for the rally, Howard and Linda Payne got right out there on the floor and really hoofed it up. They stayed on the floor all night, even after the others dropped off and out..

This is a picture of them line dancing... and showing them all how to do it!!

The caller told everyone that it was just starting.. and that the Cotton Eye Joe was next. Groans...

But, they all got a cool drink and went to it. Even Speedy and his lovely wife, Sherrie got on the floor for this one... We all loved watching them.. but after one dance, he declared he was "too old for this". But, he gave it a good try..

Most everyone was in western garb, and I was even a able to get Jim in a western shirt!!!

I grabbed by cowgirl hat on the way out, and we were ready for the night...

Our good friends, which we met at last rally sat at our table, and we had such a good time! They are full timers now, but are from Iowa, right across the river from us when we lived in Illinois.

Jim and Denny spent hours comparing floods, work, and talk about music. Char, his wife, is such a wonderful gal.. and we both just love her to death..

She LOVES to line dance too.. even when it wears her absolutely out. She got off the floor, but we caught her dancing to the music on the side ground.

Denny is a absolutely wonderful singer, and he brought along his guitar, and sang to us between sets. Both Jim and I and everyone would have loved to have him sing the whole evening!! Lots of
pictures were taken of him while he was singing, so thought we would add ours too so you could see him. (Can you guess... he loves Johnny Cash songs?) We are looking forward to seeing him and Char next rally, if not before..

The next morning everyone met at the big red barn for a breakfast, good by. It was a teary, sad time for lots... everyone asked, how can we get so close to a group in just a week? Easy.. we all are "family". Speaches and lots of tears later, with lots of hugs, we were all on our way to our next destinations, with promises to meet again next year.

Our next stop was at a COE park in Texas. Only traveled about a hundred miles, but it is a great park. Time to just relax and unwind after a week of excitement and fun. We are sitting on a lake, with lots of trees around and lots and lots of deers around our rig!! The man across the way is feeding the deers, so when they hear him they all come running!!! Such a beautiful site to see!! Here is a picture of one that was taken out our back window..

Guess that is about all for now. We are on our way now to see a Army buddy of Jim's and visit with them a bit, and see their new house. We have been out on the road for a month now, but it sure does not seem possible. We have had a ball....

Take care now, all. and we will be back in a few days.

Don't forget... enjoy life.. and as always... Walk Softly.....

Pat, Jim and Thor.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Little green people and balloons

Wow.. it has been a busy last few days for Jim, Pat and Thor...
We started out visiting Roswell, New Mexico. If you have never visited Roswell, it is kind of a shock to your senses. The complete town is little green men crazy. Everything, stores, buildings, and all are painted with their ideas of how the "incident" came about.. To prove my comment, here is a picture of the local Wal-Mart...

We stayed at a cute little RV park in Roswell. It was very small, but it was super clean, and the owner was the sweetest young lady, who just wanted to talk, and talk about.. yes... those little green men. She told us about all the spots to visit.. and learn!

After visiting the UFO museum, which was very interesting, we HAD to visit the gift shop. Of course... how could I leave Roswell without key chains, coffee cups, pens, etc, all this little green men on them? then too.. we wanted to pick up little green men car antenna tops, for friends that we had promised.
A real kick was the street lights.. they were little people that covered the lights on the streets.
In case you would like to see them.. a picture follows. It was taken in front of the UFO museum, so guess it is appropriate.

Next was a trip out to the Bottomless Lakes State Park. We had been told that this was a rather interesting place to see, which it was. The Bottomless Lakes are a chain of eight lakes that are actually sinkholes that range from 17 to 90 feet deep. They were formed when circulating water dissolved salt and gypsum deposits to form subterranean caverns. Eventually, the roofs of the caverns collapsed from their own weight. Sinkholes resulted and soon filled with water and formed existing lakes. The park has a lovely RV camping area, along with swimming and places to picnic. One drives though the park, and are able to view the lakes and camping area along the way. The drive consists of a time period of close to 45 minutes. We were able to get out and take pictures, as well as just stay in our truck and enjoy.

One of the high points to our vacation was to be able to attend a event we had been wanting to see for years. It was the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. To say it was a awesome event would be putting it mildly. We were able to camp right on the field that the balloons were launched. No walking long distance, or having to have a shuttle take us to the field for us. Of course, we were packed in like little fish, but hey, who cares. We were in the second row! able to see the balloons from our camper, if we so wished... but that was not for us!! We were awakened at 5:30 in the morning!!! can you picture that? with sounds like you can not imagine.. what is that? Sounds like planes... no, it was the balloons being lighted up with these HUGE flames! Good gosh, it is still dark!! We had to forgo our coffee, grabbed our heavy jackets (it was COLD out there), and headed over to the field. Jim wanted to get pictures of daylight taking off. The pictures are a photographers dream. Over 600 balloons, from 16 countries are entered in the event. The launch field, where you are able to walk among the balloons all being inflated, and taking off, is over 80 acres. ( a lot of walking!!). Jim took pictures and pictures and pictures before the day was over. We, along with lots of other folks were so excited about seeing this awesome event. We will put in some of the pictures we took during the day.. hope you can enjoy them as much as we did.

They informed us that there were over 70,000 here today. I can believe it... What we can't believe is ... we were picked out by a reporter, Charles D. Brunt a Staff writer for the Albuquerque Journal newspaper and his photographer!!
He asked us all about our being at the festival, where we were from, and all. He says it will be in the paper tomorrow.. we will see.. :-) In case you don't believe me, here is a picture of me and the reporter...
The next day we picked up the paper, and lo and behold, there we were! The photographer did a fine job, and the article that was written was very nice too. When we get back home Jim will scan the picture and article and we will put it out so that you can read it too.

Tonight is the fire works. That will probably be a blast too. Guess Jim will have to get out the tripod for his camera for that.

our next adventure will be the RV Rally in Kerrville, Texas. Wow... I can't wait for that too...

Guess we will have to go home to get rested up from all our vacation.. :-) but we are really enjoying ourselves, and feel so thankful the good Lord has given us all this joy ...

Till our next post.. take care, all.... and not to forget.......Walk Softly.....

Pat, Jim and Thor

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Indian Nation and tornado alley

Wow... if you like wind, the place for you to visit is Oklahoma!

I have seen windy conditions before, but Oklahoma has everyone beat... hands down. That, and the worse roads you can not imagine Our poor little Thor has been shaken, tossed, and generally just abused from one end of this state to the other. Mr. Jim is going to have to tighten down every bolt in Thor. To make things worse, we took our new bikes along for this trip, and they took a terrible beating too. The other day we had to stop at a bike store, to purchase a new bike rack that would be stronger, and hold the bikes more secure. That emptied our pockets about $300.00!! But, thankfully, the owner liked our "old" one, an bought it from us for $100.00. I say "old", when it was only used a couple of times, which was a difficult pill to swallow. But.. it had to be. The new one holds two bikes individually, not bundled together like the original one. It does not seem to shake and shudder as much as the original one did. Oh well, all in the things you just deal with while on the road.

We stayed at a nice park in Oklahoma, called Terra Star RV Park. When driving in, we noticed a bunker.. yes... a bunker. I told you it was not called "tornado alley" for nothing. But, bless their hearts, they wanted it to look pretty if it HAD to be there. So, it is painted with such pretty pictures. We walked over there, just to look it over, and a couple of men were on the grounds working, and told us "go on in.. it's open. So, me being a curious soul, I drug poor Jim in with me.

Hard to describe, kind of like a long, dark cave. But it had fans, and a long table, where they all played cards while havoc is being played out side. Odd, huh? I asked one of the men, when the last time it was used. He just laughed and said "the other night". Oh dear. I knew the storms were bad down the way, where we were, but guess it must have been worse here. Even the entrance door is painted.. isn't it cute?

With all the rain we have had, we were both starting to feel rather wrinkled. We were just wanting to see SUNSHINE again!! One night it rained and rained... so hard, with winds whipping everything around, and suddenly.. it just stopped! Jim looked out the window, and when I turned around, he was out the door.... with his camera. When looking out, I saw what he was wanting to capture. It was the Largest rainbow!!! we called it a "sherbert rainbow". The colors
were brilliant... and "sherbert" colored!! We wish we could have gotten a better picture.. this just does not capture the size and blinding brilliant color, fully, but it does somewhat. We both
agreed that our Lord really outdid himself with this beautiful display..

Finally... we made it through Oklahoma, and it was on to Texas. It is windy here too!! an HOT.

I am asking myself, why, oh why, did I bring along all these fall clothes? We have been over to the mall a few times, just to get short sleeve shirts, and shorts already. I just can't win!

Today we went to see a "must see" here in Amarillo. It is the famous Cadillac Ranch. It has even been on television. I had to admit.. it is truly "odd". The Cadillacs average 1500 visitors a day. Inspired by Stanley Marsh, a Amarillo legend, famous for his fanciful creations. The Ranch consists of 10 Eldorado Cadillacs, buried nose first in a farm field. It is one of those things you just have to see to believe.

We will be here, in a place called the Oasis RV Park for a few days, and it will be on the road again for Thor, Pat and Jim again. Our next stop will be in Roswell, NM. Have to pick up a few little aliens for car antennas for a family we promised. It is kind of a kinky, weird place... but it has wonderful photo opportunities. Just so odd, you find yourself kind of wondering... do you kind of question.. was there something to this place? Stayed tuned, and we will be writing about it, and sending along some pictures... to make you "kind of wonder" too... ::-)

Till then.. take care .... and as always.... Walk Softly

Jim, Pat and Thor