Friday, May 25, 2018

Excitement is Building

Sedalia, Missouri
Missouri State Fairgrounds

The Escapade isn't officially open yet, but there are a lot more RV's here.  It rained until around 9 am and then the rigs started rolling in.  

Bill and I went over to set up the Volunteer Booth this morning.  The banners were found and the tables had to be moved around so that 6 people would be able to work.  

Jim Tidball worked hard to make sure the banners were visible.  It was difficult as there weren't many places to hang them from.

I was pleased with the way the banners looked when Jim was finished.  The support pole really got in the way.

I like our location right by the entrance door.  It was great seeing friends we haven't seen for awhile.  Here's Frank King, Larry Forbes, Gloria King and Marilyn Forbes.

Here's Sharon and Roger Hime who we haven't seen since we last saw them in Alaska.  We enjoyed lunch with them and are still laughing about the awful meal we had in Palmer, AK.

After lunch we stopped to meet Chloe who wasn't invited to go to lunch.  She's beautiful and all puppy.

There was the staff meeting where all staff members were introduced.  Here's the parking team, who worked in the rain this morning.

Look who else arrived!  It's John and Karen Knoll.  They live in Green Valley, AZ and we still don't see much of them.  We're anxious to see their new to them motorhome.

Sharon and Roger came over bearing some sweets.  Sharon is the best baker.  The first day we met them many years ago she brought some homemade bread.  

 Looking forward to seeing more friends tomorrow.  

Turtle Safely.......

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Escapade Arrival

Sedalia, Missouri
Missouri State Fairgrounds

Parking for the 58th Escapade staff began today at 8 am.  We were about 20  miles away so there was no need to get up and rush.  Of course, I looked at the clock and started packing up.  I forgot we had gained an hour so we were probably one of the first nine due in today.

Michele greeted us at the gate and called on the radio to say that I was driving and didn't back well.  Lloyd was waiting for me, when I came around the corner.  I pulled right through and was happy to see that our site sloped towards the road.  

Our site number is C-27 and we aren't far from the shower house that is alongside the roadway.  We are in the staff section but the boot camp attendees are also in this area.

I don't know why my newest turtle addition that Shay bought me didn't show up in the above photo.  It has a solar light.  Thanks again, Shay.  Shay also bought me the turtle with bobbing head that rides on the dash a few years ago.

If you are stopping by to visit, you can find our coach by the whirling turtle outside.  I don't usually put it out, but the ground is very soft here.

Some rigs are parked very close as on our other side, but the awning side has plenty of room.  

Back in 2009 we were here for an Escapade and it rained everyday.  This beautiful lush green grass turned into the deepest mud I've ever seen.  The mud was so bad that Jim Dixon got stuck in his truck even with 4 wheel drive.  Bill pulled him out but not before I took a photo.  We got stuck another day and Jim pulled us out.  When the rally was over, there were so many tow trucks it could have been a tow truck convention.  

Anne and Briggs are parked next to us.  They were members of the Loosey Goosey group that went to Alaska too.  

We spent a little time gathering our supplies for the information and volunteer booth.  It looks like instead of being next to registration we'll be next to the coffee.

Bill and I came back to the camping area and decided to go to Steak and Shake for lunch.  Sherry and Dave went with us.  I knew Bill wanted to get the oil changed so stopped to check on it.  I also asked about getting a front end alignment done on the truck.  They could take us right away so we drove Sherry and Dave back to their rig.  Dave was going to pick us up so we didn't have to wait.

When we returned, the guy told us that he couldn't do an alignment with his equipment as we have a long bed truck.  I tried to call and tell Dave we didn't need a ride, but he arrived shortly after I called.  The oil change didn't take long and they also checked the brakes free of charge.  I was happy to hear that they looked fine. 

Donna and Lloyd came by to see how Bill was doing.  It was so good to see them.  It seems like Bill wasn't the only person to have some health issues.  Hopefully, we'll have some time to visit again with them.

At 3 pm we went back across the street to help pack the welcome packets.  Brenda has a system that works well.  Bill was the official counter.  Jim Tidball and I held the bags so they could be zip tied together in groups of 25.  It was amazing how quickly it went this year.

Pizza was served to everyone who helped.  Bill walked a couple of rows in the camping area after the pizza before he tired.  He's really come a long way since Friday.  

It doesn't look like it's crowded now, but this will look different soon.

I'll try and take a photo tomorrow in this spot to show you the difference once more than 500 RV's arrive.

It looked like we might get some rain as heavy storms were occurring in Kansas City.

Looking forward to seeing all of our friends who are arriving tomorrow.  

Turtle Safely.......

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Almost There

Marshall Junction, Missouri
Marshall Junction RV Park

I pulled out of Hinton RV Park in Sikeston, MO around 8:30 this morning.  We weren't sure how far we'd go today as it was 300 miles to the meet up place in Marshall Junction.  Our reservation was for tomorrow.

The weather was perfect once again.  I decided to do the interstate today--taking I 55 north, to I 270 around St. Louis, and then I 64 which put us on I 70.  Traffic was bad, but I'm sure it could have been worse. 

We pulled into the RV park around noon.  I forgot we gained another hour today.

While we were unhitching, Joe and Alice Knox pulled in.  Of course, they pulled into the site that we first picked.  The electric pedestal had an open ground so at least they hadn't started setting up.  They moved next to us.

I guess it must have been around 1 pm when we heard an explosion and saw lots of black smoke.  Shortly after that we heard a lot of sirens.  Traffic on I 70 stopped.

The news said that an 18 wheeler caught on fire about a mile from us on I 70.  

It's about 8 hours later and traffic is at a snail's pace going eastbound.  Here's a view from the RV park.

Thursday we will move down to the Sedalia Fairgrounds for the 58th Escapade.   I just downloaded my Escapade app for my phone.  

A motorhome pulled into the park and the fellow came over to ask if we had water.  He said they were new to RVing.  I told him about the Escapade and how it's about teaching you all about the RV lifestyle.  He didn't seem interested.  I did show him how to turn the water faucet on.  He said they didn't have that kind of handle in Florida.  

Turtle Safely........

Monday, May 21, 2018

Savannah Wedding

Hinton RV Park
Sikeston, Missouri

Jenna's wedding was as beautiful as she looked.  The setting was perfect with all the beautiful trees and fountain.

   Bill was very tired after having to walk a few blocks from our parking space so we didn't go to the reception.  (FYI--the truck was parallel parked perfectly on a side street.)............... By me! 

The following morning we were ready to leave Savannah early.  I know we are among the few, but its not a place we like.  Ants, sand, bugs, and humidity are not something we love.  

I had decided that we'd head to Columbus, GA which would make us heading west and also detour Atlanta.  I told Bill that way, if he decided it was too much, we'd head to Casa Grande.   He said he was doing fine, and to head to Sedalia.  I thought we'd stay somewhere near Columbus but I kept driving.  I took US hwy 280 to Birmingham.  The traffic was horrendous in Birmingham and the rain came down.  Once we were out of Birmingham we tried finding a RV park along I 22.  We ended up driving into Mississippi and stayed at a COE park in Fulton.  I ended up driving 502 miles.  By the time I got the coach parked, I was really tired.  We drove back to town and fueled up the truck and our stomachs. 

We got back to the rig just as a big storm blew through.  The power went out but we were so tired, we just went to bed.  

Here's some trees that blew down or got hit by lightning last night in the park.
There were many more down when we left the park.  

It was cloudy today but cleared up later.  

Bill did a happy dance when we crossed the Mississippi River.  He always feels like he's back in the west when he crosses that river.

Our plan was to stop at Lambert's Throwed Rolls in Sikeston for lunch.  Well when we pulled into Sikeston, we just decided to park the coach and then go for lunch.  
Turtle Safely........

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Hospitals Adventure

Savannah, Georgia
Savannah Oaks RV Resort

Bill was released yesterday but it's still a blur about this past week.

Bill has had some shortness of breathe but it's been much worse the past two weeks.  I've suggested getting it checked out, but he said he was fine.  When we were at the submarine museum, I noticed he was severely fatigued and having trouble standing and walking.  The following morning, I said "you're going to be checked out."  I drove to the nearest hospital in St. Marys, Georgia.  They took him back, ran some tests for a heart attack and said they were admitting him for observation.  As soon as he was admitted they said he needed to be transferred to Jacksonville, Florida.  

That was on Monday the 14th.  They called to arrange for a bed in Jacksonville, and had to wait until they had a bed empty in the CCU.  During that waiting time, they thought he might be having a stroke.  You've seen all the TV shows about the code blue, well this was the same thing only they rolled him out and he didn't come back for almost two very very long hours.  

When they did bring him back into the room, they determined that if he had a stroke, it was very mild.  It was a very long night and we were still waiting to be transferred to Jacksonville.  

I forgot to mention that he hadn't had anything to eat since Sunday evening.  I knew they weren't feeding him in case he needed some surgery or tests when transferred.  One nurse came in and offered him a turkey sandwich, she said he probably wasn't going to be transferred until the following day.

The following day, I watched him sleep most of the time.  Still nothing to eat because he could be transferred any minute.  Around 4 pm, I decided to leave him and go to the coach and get a change of clothes for me and let the RV park know we were staying longer.

Of course, when I went into the park office, I left my phone on the front seat.  When I came out I heard one ring.  It was Bill saying they had a room in Jacksonville.  I turned the truck around, and headed back to the hospital.

I noticed an ambulance as I ran upstairs to his room.  The nurses printed out an address of the hospital.  The EMT's were wonderful and I told them I'd be following in the red truck.  I jumped into the truck waiting for them to come out of the emergency entrance around the corner.  Here comes the red ambulance and I'm ready to follow.  The only problem was there was also a white one.  I pulled in behind both of them.  Further down the street, one went left and one went right.  I picked the white one to follow.  

I kept thinking of Don and Sharon Del Rosario as I followed the ambulance in the rain.  A few years ago we were following Don and Sharon and their lights on the back at the roof line weren't working well. The lights on the ambulance weren't working either.  In the pouring rain, it's easier to see them than the lower lights.  

As soon as the ambulance got on I 95, I felt better knowing I had to be following the right one. The ambulance was traveling at 75 mph.  The rains came down and the traffic was unreal.  The closer we got to Jacksonville, the worse the rush hour traffic.  I stuck on the tail of the ambulance and there was no way anyone was getting between us.  

Once he was into his room, it got very busy.  I've never seen so many doctors in one room.  While the room in St Marys hospital looked like a suite, this room had so much equipment it felt closet size.  Sometime after midnight, I decided to drive back the 40 miles and get some sleep.  The rain poured down as soon as I got into the truck.  I'm not much of a nighttime driver but add rain to it, and I wouldn't have wanted to be the person following me.  

I started back to the hospital about 5 am hoping to beat the rush hour traffic and the rain.  I didn't beat either.

Doctors came in and out and they all agreed that he  needed a catherization because they thought he had some blockage or a stent was leaking from his previous cabbage. 

The doctor arranged to have a cot brought into the room for me so I could stay the night.  The procedure did not have a time as they said any emergencies would come ahead of him.  The nurse came in and said he was next as they put Bill ahead of someone else.  They took him back and he was done in an hour.

A little while later, Bill had a visitor, daughter Shay and Doug.  It was so good to see them.  They drove from northern West Virginia and were headed to Jenna's wedding in Savannah when they made a detour to Jacksonville.

The doctor came in and said "we'd like to keep him overnight to make sure the artery doesn't bleed."  We all thought it was for the best.  

The following day, the doctor wanted him to get out of bed before she'd release him.  Bill got out of bed and beeping noises went off.  His blood pressure dropped dangerously low.  The doctors all came back in and said they'd like him to stay another day.  Back to the bed with only one step taken.

The cute Italian lady doctor said "she'd like to make a better cocktail for him."  Bill has unusually low pressure but lately his heart rate has been high.  In order to bring the heart rate down, this also brings down the blood pressure.  They decided to give him a half dose of one medication.  She wanted him to stay another night and said they'd release him Friday morning if his blood pressure didn't drop.

Shay and Doug stayed with me in the coach and I drove back to the hospital about 5:30 in the morning.  Bill looked so much better and the doctor came in and said she'd release him.  They sent a prescription into Wal Mart and I called Shay and told her where Bill's wallet was and asked her to pick it up.  The doctor said it was expensive but not as much as the Pradaxa he takes.  Bill ate breakfast and walked around the unit.  Shay called a little later and said the pharmacist said the medication was $411.  She wanted to verify that we wanted to have it filled.  I said "yes".  The doctor said we could leave as soon as we had a CD disc of Bill's records.  While we were waiting, I suggested that Bill take advantage of the shower since it had a seat.  He hadn't had a shower the whole five days he was there.  

I walked into the bathroom to hand Bill his shirt and immediately went and got the nurse.  She went to get the doctor.  It seems like he broke out in a rash all over his back. 

The doctor looked at it and determined that the  $411 medication must have given him a reaction.  He said not to fill the prescription.  I told him that our daughter had just filled it.  I called Shay to see if she could see if she could return the medicine.  She said, they were still filling it.  She picked up the other two and also got some benadryl spray for the itchy rash.  

Bill walked out of the hospital and all the way to the parking area that the truck was in.  The drive up I 95 was dry and no traffic.  When we arrived back at the RV park, Doug had already put the sewer hose away.  I showed him how to reel up the power cord.  I put the slides in and ready to hitch on.  As soon as I had the coach hitched we were out the road.   Bill is not allowed to use his left wrist or drive for a week.   Savannah was 100 miles away.

I can't believe how tired I was when we arrived.  Shay and I were both hungry so Doug took us to a wonderful seafood restaurant while Bill slept.  It was nice to finally relax.  My shrimp was delicious and there was plenty to take back to Bill.  Thanks, Shay and Doug.  

Oh, least I forget during all this with Bill, we have a new Great Granddaughter, Violet Victoria Gray.  

Today Jenna and Garret are getting married.  

Turtle Safely......

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Up periscope

Woodbine, Georgia
Walkabout Camp & RV Park

Rain was forecast for today, but it was only cloudy when we awoke this morning.  We hitched up earlier than usual hoping we'd miss the rain.  As it turned out the clouds cleared, the sun came out, and it turned out to be a beautiful day without a drop of rain.  

It was about 11:30 when we pulled into this park.  What a pleasant surprise.  It's a Passport America park for $20 per day which includes 50 amp full hook ups and all the sites are pull thrus.  They have a new bath house and laundry.  The pool is very clean and the park is located about a half mile from the interstate.  

Since  St. Marys Submarine Museum is nearby and not open on Mondays we decided to go today.  It wasn't much of a museum and I guess I was expecting a lot more.  At least the admission wasn't bad and they reduced it in half to $2.00 because they still have some damage from the hurricane.

Bill tested out the controls and decided he wouldn't want to be on a submarine.

According to the brochure I picked up at the welcome center--"More than 99% of all WWII War Patrol Reports are housed here, and files on nearly every submarine the United States has or has had in service are part of the collection."

I suppose if you were deployed on a submarine, it would have been interesting but someone that doesn't have any idea about life on a submarine wouldn't find it that interesting.  We visited a submarine museum in North Little Rock and were taken inside the sub with a docent who explained about life on the boat.  Comparing the two museums, the one in Arkansas was much more interesting to me.

The Cumberland Island National Seashore visitor center was across the street.

I thought these sidewalk markers were cute.

Turtle Safely........

Friday, May 11, 2018

The Mafia Twice Today

Mims, Florida
Crystal Lake RV Park

We needed to pick up prescriptions at Walmart so thought we'd visit the American Police Hall of Fame and Museum in Titusville.  I knew the museum would mention criminals and mafia, but I didn't know Walmart would.

When I went to pay for our medication which is usually under $400, this time it rang up as $443.  I asked the pharmacy manager why it was higher and he said "you're at the mercy of the mafia."

As we began the museum we were told it went around in a circle with the memorial wall in the center.  I really thought the museum would be a collection of items to memorialize fallen law enforcement, but was I ever wrong.

It was very impressive.

Florida lost another officer this week.

  Bill and I were looking for a specific officer's name who was loved by everyone in Casa Grande.  

I found a directory which led us to wall number 109 and found Sgt. Tate Lynch, of Casa Grande, Arizona listed.

We expected to see many police vehicles.

This was the prop car used in the 1982 movie Blade Runner which starred Harrison Ford.

I had to have a photo of Bill in the back of the police car but he wouldn't let me shut the door.

Part of the World Trade Center from the 911 attack where used with the names of those who lost their life in a separate memorial.  

Here's the McAllister Hotel phone that Al Capone used to give orders on whom to kill.

The first uniformed police officer was employed in 1693 in New York.

There was the story of Ma Barker. Can you imagine a four hour gun battle.  Ma's son Herman was killed with 14 gun shot wounds and Ma died of a self inflicted head shot.

The movies had the story of Bonnie and Clyde all wrong. Yes they did kill 13 people, but did you know Clyde Barrow was a homosexual?  How about Bonnie Parker was a nymphomaniac and there new partner Ray Hamilton slept with both of them?

Al Capone said Baby Face Nelson was unreliable so  George Nelson joined Dillinger's gang for awhile.  When spotted by the FBI near Barrington, IL he was hit 17 times but still managed to kill two FBI agents.  

"At that time the media made a folk hero out of the incident describing the body of Nelson as a man smiling.  That upset John Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI, whose agents, Growley and Hollis, had died so valiantly, and whose bullets ended the mad dog killers life of crime.

Yet, even today, it appears that criminals like this are often pictured as heroic, while the law enforcement officers who are their victims, are given very little thanks for their dangerous jobs."

I've never seen a guillotine up close before. 

Here's the back side.  Looks like the basket makes clean up easier.

Naturally, Bill had to sit in the electric chair.

We noticed that Fisher was still on the 10 most wanted list.  He killed his family in Scottsdale many years ago.

There was a forensic exhibit that was interesting.

I liked that the museum also had an area of interest for children.

Let's hope these numbers will improve.  

There were so many other interesting things in this museum I highly recommend visiting it.  Oh yes, admission was $2.00 for Bill and $6.50 for me.

Oh yes, I almost forgot.  We did see the Falcon 9 launch today.  Sorry I got so excited I didn't think to take photos.

Turtle Safely........