Saturday, April 21, 2018

Torture Bath

Hot Springs, Arkansas
Lake Catherine State Park

Bill and I rode into town to visit the Hot Springs Tower and the National Hot Springs Park Visitor Center.  Needless to say, traffic was terrible.  There is a Corvette show in town which added to the traffic.

Bill drove the loop road up to the tower.  The last time we were here, the park ranger showed us a path up to it.  The views of the town were great.  We could even see Lake Catherine, which is a river, at the top.

I know lot's of former Marines and can't believe anyone like John Kohl, Dennis Hill, George Morey, or Josh Mamula would deface a National Park.

We climbed up the road to the tower and were happy to find out they have an elevator.  

The observation floor was so windy that Bill had to hold onto his hat. Here he is advertising Mor/ryd again.

There were some interesting signs around the lower floor of the tower museum.  I believe this was a rip roaring town in it's hey-day.

There was a very small display about Bill Clinton graduating from high school in Hot Springs.

The free parking garage was packed but we were able to find a space.  The visitor center was across the street and when we talked with the park ranger we found out if we waited an hour we could have a guided tour.  No problem for us to wait as there were some interesting shops to occupy our time.

Bill and I stopped in Kilwin's ice cream shop.  It was a difficult decision to pick out the flavor of ice cream I wanted but after one taste, I was happy with my choice.

Bill enjoys chatting with the gangsters on the street.

We were so lucky to have a very knowledgeable guide for the bath tour.

The tour started in the women's baths.  You would have had to be very rich to use these facilities.

The water could be as hot as 145 degrees.  

After soaking in the baths you would come into this room to start your cool down and get a massage.

This next room had a bath that they electrified, a sitz bath that they used mercury to "cure" syphilis and a hose that they used the mineral water to clean out your insides (if you know what I'm talking about.)

This was the men's bath room.  Notice how much more elaborate it is than the women's.

We were told that this stained glass skylight had over 8,000 pieces.  The park ranger said there were two frogs in it, but I couldn't find them.  Yes, men were definitely treated more favorably than the women as evidenced by the bath rooms.

I failed to take any photos yesterday but I really needed one of George because he installed the back up camera for Bill.  Thanks again, George.  

While he was doing that Cindy Walker came over and asked me for help with her blog.  Can you believe someone asked me for help?  I'm probably the worst person about blogger.  I still can't figure out why when I view the blog, it looks different when published.  I also can't seem to download photos off of picasso anymore.  I did feel good though that I could give her a few pointers.  

We also talked about Winter Blast.  They have signed up for next February's event.  There are 10 signed up so far.

Turtle Safely......

Thursday, April 19, 2018

World Famous for Novaculite

Hot Springs, Arkansas
Lake Catherine State Park

Bill and I kidnapped Bo this morning and took her for a walk.  Maybe I should say Bo took Bill for a walk.  

L. C. is giving Bill some hints on road conditions.

We took a tour of  Dan's Whetstone Company this afternoon.  I really didn't know what to expect.

Dan started the company 42 years ago.  Here's a photo of Dan with our rally host--Kathy Adams.

Dan owns over 500 acres and has several quarries in the Garland County region where he mines a rare natural resource, Novaculite.  

I must say I didn't know anything about Novaculite.  Some of the products that use novaculite are knife sharpeners, surgical tools, wood working tools, dental tools, jewelers tools, gunsmithing, goldsmiths, die makers and veterinary tools.

We were divided up into three groups and toured the factory.

They only use about 20% of all the rocks they quarry.  The by products are used for gravel on the roads.  

We were told that it takes a person 2 to 3 years to learn the industry.

There are four different grades of Novaculite.

This 54 inch blade cuts the stones down to smaller sizes to fit into the other cutting machines.

I can see why they cut these rocks down to a smaller size.

Here's Dan's son, Sterling, hand inspecting and grading every product.

This black piece is used as a flint for a flintlock gun.  

John Walker is taking photos for the Montana Rover's Rally.

There were cookies and drinks provided for the group.  In our rally packets each person received a whetstone and coasters from Dan Whetstone.  

After the tour the whole group went to Rocky Mountain Grill for dinner.  

The restaurant had reserved a room for the group.  Tables were set up in two long rows.  

Harry, Carlena, George, Linda and I were completely finished with our meals and desserts and Bill was still waiting for his.  He finally told the waitress to cancel the salad he ordered.  It was a pretty room, but it had a tin ceiling and it was so noisy you couldn't hear anyone.  It also didn't help that the ac vent was blowing cold air right on us. 

Turtle Safely..........

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Every Thing Went Smoothly Today

Hot Springs, AR
Lake Catherine State Park

Today was a good day.  

Harry went fishing this morning while we waited on a call from the garage about our truck.  He caught a half dozen fish in a few minutes.

Harry and Carlena had a slow leak in a tire on their truck, so we rode to the tire shop with them. Our truck was in the shop next door to the tire store.  I was happy when I saw the hood up on the truck.  

Harry and Carlena had the valve stem repaired and the owner said "no charge".

The last time we had the ac repaired on the truck, the charge for the freon alone was $245.00.  I was trying to calculate what the bill was going to be.  They finished up around 11:30.  The total for parts, labor and freon was $187 and with tax was $211.  We were very pleased with the price and that they took care of it immediately.  

We stopped to get diesel and the pumps were very slow.  Bill finally stopped pumping at 15 gallons.  We felt like we were holding George, Linda, Carlena and Harry up so we hurried back to the RV park.  

By the way, I think I failed to mention that the Gator Den RV Park was $20 for 50 amp full hook ups.  The sites were huge, level and were around a beautiful lake.  Very nice owner, who comes around to collect the fee in the evening.

It was a beautiful two hour ride over to Hot Springs.  We have a very nice wooded site.  It was a blind side back in (for those who own a fifth wheel you'll understand.)  Can you believe in all those trees, we have satellite TV.

Susie and Bud texted us that the beer was cold at their site.

George and Linda Morey and John and Cindy Walker were also there.  Zoey was happy to see us and I was glad I'd brought a treat.

We enjoyed visiting with everyone.  As we were walking back up to our site.  We stopped for hugs from John and Shirley Kohl.  

It's a beautiful park.  The catered dinner sponsored by Montana was great.  They also supplied beer, and wine for the meet and greet.

I've been to a lot of rallies, but never had such a huge registration bag.  There was
everything from whetstones, makeup, laundry products, soup mixes, beef sticks, glass cleaner, cookies, wash and wax, and spices to name a few.

Most of the items were marked with this sticker.

Montana had a short presentation on the new models and also on the awards they've won.  The 100,000 Montana made rolled out the factory last summer.  

Here's some photos of people attending the meet and greet.

Here's a photo of Kathy who is the wagonmaster.

More happy faces.....

After the dinner door prizes were given out.  Everyone received a prize.  Numbers were drawn and the winners picked a black zippered insulated bags with a prize inside.

That's a five pound container!

After everyone won a prize, the drew again for 10 Montana sweatshirts. Bud and Susie won one.  Harry and Carlena also won one.  Now all they need is a Montana to go with it.

Turtle Safely..........

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Trucks in the Shop

El Dorado, Arkansas
Gator Den RV Park

Hugs, and more hugs.  How many times have you left a RV park and everyone came over to say "see ya"?  This was around 8 am.  

Even the dogs came by.  Betty gave hugs last night as we told her we were leaving early.  

It remarkable that all three couples are ready to roll at the same time every road day.  We all rolled out right at 8:30 am.  It's been great traveling with the Schoolcraft's and Morey's.  

George is a great leader.  He pulls into a rest place about every 90 minutes.  Bill always says it's because Bo needs a potty break, but secretly, I think we all do.

This was growing behind Harry and Bill in the rest area.  Couldn't find a plaque that told us what it is.  Anyone out there know what it is?

When we were 100 miles away, we made another stop in a truck stop.  When we pulled out I turned on the AC.  No cold air.  Oh no, we had it replaced last year in Sheridan, and the year before that in Indiana and Ohio, and the year before that in Yuma.  What's wrong with this picture?

As soon as we pulled into Gator Den, we set up and I gave Carlena our payment for the site.  The office is the owner's truck and he said he'd stop by later.  

We drove into town and found a tire pro dealer.  Tire Pro did it last year, and there is a warranty.  The tire shop said they are no longer a Tire Pro dealer.  They couldn't work on the truck for two weeks.  A man in the waiting room said they knew a repair shop and they called for us.  Two weeks before he could get to it.  A girl called a friend and got a number to call.  She called and they said 10 days before they could look at it.  She did give me the name of a barbecue place though.

About this time we're starting to get frustrated.  An older man came out said to try the place next door.  We walked over and told the guy we had no AC.  He said pull it into the yard.  Bill got the truck and two men looked at it.  They determined that it was leaking.  They found some metal tube that had a hole in it.  They were going to take it off, and have it soldered or welded or something like that.  

I called Harry and Carlena and they came in their truck, followed by George and Linda.  We all headed to JJ's for barbecue.  

Hopefully, it will be finished tomorrow.  We're thinking they could drop us off at the "shop" and they could head to Hot Springs and we'll catch up later.

We came back and just enjoyed the beautiful evening sitting out.  There's a lake here that is stocked, but Harry didn't fish.

Here's the park we are in.  Nice large back ins facing the lake.  There are lots of ducks here, so you have to watch where you step.

I think all of us are still on a high, from our week at Betty's.  She's the reason we came and we made a lot of memories there.

I thought about flying my kite, but not energetic enough to get it out.  

Turtle Safely.........