Saturday, September 13, 2008

First Day on the Road with the EX

And we are still speaking to each other! So far he’s a pretty good traveling companion but still has a lot of “the ropes” to learn. It helps that he has been around me and knows when to “get out of my hair”.

I had hoped to leave home around 10-10:30 a.m. but due to a technical glitch - the ball latch wouldn’t latch around the neck of the ball on the truck’s receiver hitch. So it was play around with that for awhile, say a few cuss words in between and finally it worked. I thought what am I going to do, if it won’t work - well, one thing we wouldn’t be leaving today.

We stopped in Hays to get Jim’s prescription, load up on a couple bags of ice for the ice chest (which is where I keep the pop and juices) and then we headed south on US 183. On the pretext of needing gas, we turned off US 183 at Greensburg to see what it looks like now after the F5 tornado that went through there in May of ‘06. There are new buildings going up along main street and a new Dillon’s (a Kansas Kroger grocery store) is being built, plus several banks and other businesses. You can still see a lot of the damage that was done to buildings.

We left with clouds, dark gray clouds over head and only saw a glimmer of sun a couple of times. After leaving Greensburg, I did get gas in the little town of Coldwater and saw the most interesting little electric car (looks like a golf cart but enclosed) used by an elderly gentleman. It has heat and AC and is street legal. As we proceeded towards the Oklahoma state line, the clouds got a little more ominous and every now and then a few drops would fall - a sign of what our night was going to be like.

The landscape, south of the state line, is of sand hills/mounds that have been stabilized, over the years, by brush/grass growth as well as some trees. I know there is an area east of here where a lot of folks like to go with their dune buggies/4-wheelers and ride around the dunes.

We are tonight, and tomorrow night, at COE’s Fort Supply Campground, near the little town of Fort Supply. Natch, it’s located on a lake and we are a hefty stone’s throw to the water’s edge. Jim watched a Large Blue Heron on a little jetty across the road from us while I fixed a spaghetti dinner. I pulled the awning out as it was sprinkling a little, even through the tree I had parked the trailer under.

When we were registering for our stay, the Camp Hostess told us about all the critters we could see - turkeys, mama raccoon and her 5 babies, deer and maybe even a skunk or two. She also told us the flies are bad (we already knew that) and that the campground is inundated with mayflies. They have life span of one day. They are born, reproduce and die in one day. Hence with a life span like that they have no mouth, since they don’t need to eat. She also mentioned about several places we might like to see on our trip, so I noted those in my notebook.

After dinner, (or rather during) it started raining , not hard but a nice gentle downpour. Jim and I decided to try the showers out. I have never encountered a shower where you have to keep pushing the button to keep the water coming. The water would stay on for almost a minute. It was hard to get a decent rinse. True “military style shower” - just like I take in the trailer. The bad thing was I didn’t know my clean clothes were getting wet while I was showering! I had one sleeve and the back of my top was dry and up around the waist band on my pants was dry - the rest was wet (including my underwear!) I almost felt like running out to the truck naked since it was raining and my clothes were wet, what difference did it make. Oh, ya my ex was with me and there was a camper across the road from the shower rooms. (To left: Drying out the clothes)

Good night.

SECOND DAY WITH EX. . . . . Or My new Weather Radio Works. Yea. . .Not

It rained ALL night, I mean ALL night! I slept good only waking when Jim would change positions on his bed - simply because I am not use to someone shaking the little trailer other than me. He didn’t sleep as good - new bed, harder than his at home, the sound of the rain on the roof. Ahhhh, the sound of rain on the roof - owners of fiberglass trailers know what I mean.

It stayed pretty warm throughout the night and no breeze even, so the rain came straight down. The only bad thing that woke us up with a start - twice - was my new weather radio blaring out at 11:30 p.m. and again around 2:30 a.m. that there is a flash flood warning for our area. Give me a break, I wanna go back to sleep. Most of the Flash Flood area was a little bit to the east of us, so we didn’t worry. But, that first one was certainly a startling wake up. Second time i shut the dang thing off and now only turn it on when I want to check the weather conditions.

We were going to explore Fort Supply but with the uncertainty of the rain showers, we decided not to. Instead we have been sitting under the awning, watching the rain come down, the Blue Heron do it’s thing, people driving by and waving. After lunch, it was nap time. After nap, we drove into the little village of Fort Supply for some ice and just drove around the area. There is a State Correctional facility to the east of town plus a facility for the severely disabled. The road to the Fort was closed.

Fort Supply was just that, a supply fort General Sheridan’s campaign against the Plains Indians, especially the Cheyennes and Arapahos, back in 1868. General Custer and the Seventh Calvary marched south from Fort Supply in 1868, to the Washita River when they met Cheyennes and allied tribes there followed the Battle of Washita. Following in 1874 to 1893, millions of cattle and horses were driven northward from Texas to railheads in Kansas, over the Western Cattle Trail. Following the opening of the Cherokee Strip in 1893, the need for a fort declined and the US gave the old military fort to the Territory of Oklahoma. It has been undergoing extensive renovation over the years.

There have been some pretty heavy reports of rainfalls east of us, primarily in Grant and Alfalfa counties up near the Kansas state line - as much as 12 inches in the last 24 hours! Thank heavens they were east of us. We only got around 2 inches.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, we will hitch up and head southward. I would like to drive down either US 183 or US 283 towards Vernon TX and the Copper Breaks State Park southeast of Vernon for a couple of nights. There is some pretty country in southwest Oklahoma.

Tonight I’ll grill some hamburgers since it’s quite raining and the breezes have died down. The towels and clothes are finally dried out.

We changed dinner plans and went into Fort Supply and had some really great hamburgers at TK’s Diner. Jim had a regular hamburger and I had a jalapeno cheese hamburger with cheese fries! The burgers are very big and the cheese on the home style cut fries was REAL cheese melted on top. They were juicy and very tasty. Then I topped it off with apple pie and ice cream. Okay, tomorrow it’s back to traveling diet.

Back tomorrow.

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