Thursday, August 23, 2018

Safari RV Rally - 30th Anniversary

We've attended many Safari rallies because our first RV was a Safari. We presented our seminars at their 20th anniversary in Amana Colonies in 2008. Now it was their 30th Anniversary and the rally was in Shawnee Oklahoma at a location called the Heart of Oklahoma conference center. What a fitting way to kick off the rally - a blood drive!

Safari RVs are known for their wonderful murals custom-painted on the back of the RVs.

We presented a few seminars and scheduled private smartphone helpdesk sessions. It was a good rally.



We did have an odd experience with our Verizon signal that I want to remember - When we first got there, we tested the speed on our phones and were quite happy with the 10-20Mbps speed. Once we were parked and settled, we were using our phones as hotspots and the Internet came to a crawl. We considered moving to another section, we took our phones up there and tested and it was nice and fast. That was really weird. I tested it again back at our site, but outside rather than inside the rig. Very weird indeed. The speed outside was 10-20, inside was less than 1. So we rigged up a way to put the phone outside and plugged into power, then put it into a cooler with some ice in a ziplock (because it was hot outside) We could then use our computers inside, connecting to the phone's hotspot outside and all worked fine. We still have no idea what the interference was. That's a first!


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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

On American Soil, by an American Veteran

We've driven thru the Oklahoma City area in the past but didn't stop, even though friends have told us that the memorial to the 1995 bombing there was a must-see. Well we couldn't drive past it again - this time we stopped. They were right - it was very well done - and gut-wrenching.

The memorial leads you thru the event - you start in a meeting room listening to a recording of a meeting that took place on the morning of the bombing. A normal meeting, the time is recorded and the names of the people talking. Then, BAM - you hear the explosion. Next you are led to another room, where you witness the chaos that ensued.


On 19 April 1995, a disaffected veteran named Timothy McVeigh drove a Ryder truck stuffed with explosives into downtown Oklahoma City and destroyed a federal office building, killing 168 people, including 19 children, and maiming hundreds of others. That much we know. Learn more at the memorial's website.

It was a very moving experience




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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Harvest Hosts - Stafford Air and Space Museum

Travel planning is a real art. Where do you want to go? What do you want to see? What resources to use to discover places to see and places to stay.
We've been using RoadTrippers.com a lot this summer because it is so good at revealing cool things to see. After leaving Texas, we looked along our route using RoadTrippers and noticed an Air and Space museum called Stafford. Jim is a huge fan of the space program and we've stopped at several other space museums across the country. One of them, in Indiana, was Grissom Air Museum a HarvestHosts.com location - meaning we stayed there overnight. So, I thought - I wonder if Stafford museum is a Harvest Host location?
Yep!
It was a really nice museum, but my favorite part was the photo opps with our camper and the space stuff.





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Monday, August 20, 2018

The Mother Road

Over our years of RVing, we've driven on or near route 66 many times. I think my favorite stop was Bagdad Cafe in 2004. Last year, 2017, we broke down and had to stay several days in Seligman, AZ - the inspiration for Cars, an animated movie about Radiator Springs abandoned when route 66 died. But, this year as it happens we seem to be doing nearly half the route. We picked it up in Texas, followed it thru Oklahoma, Missouri and much of Illinois.
By Fredddie - USA map(GIS data), roads (GIS data), maps to help locate the route in GIS data, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12499286
Route 66 from Santa Monica, CA to Chicago, IL
And, here's my favorite rendition of Get your Kicks on Route 66. Amarillo, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Joplin Missouri, all places we visited this time around.


We noticed a Route 66 museum right on our way - had to stop.



We even stayed a night in Joplin, Missouri - a town I only know by hearing its name in the song!



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Sunday, August 19, 2018

Texas! The Outdoor Musical in Palo Duro Canyon

We've passed thru Amarillo many times and friends have told us we must go to Palo Duro Canyon but we never made it. So when it popped up on our Roadtrippers program this time, we noticed. On closer inspection, it told us about Texas! the outdoor musical, and it just so happened that tonight was the last performance of the season.
Well, OK - let's go.
I made a phone call and purchased tickets for about $40 each. I didn't bother with finding a campsite. That is what is SO nice about this little camper van! No worries. We can park anywhere, and we can keep on driving too. If there was a campsite available when we got there, fine. If not, we'll figure something out.
At the gate, all they did is ask if we were here to see the show. When we said yes, they waived us thru. I did notice a sign that said campgrounds full.

What a COOL stage! Even the cliffs in the background were part of the set. During the show there were horses on top of that ridge, and on paths at the bottom. Horses, goats, trains, and of course lots of dancing and singing people were on that stage. Even the stars were part of the set of Texas!

Satellite view of the stage from Google Maps


The literature says that the show goes on rain or shine. We had beautiful weather until the end. It was almost as if even the thunder, lightning and rain were part of the production since the major theme of the play was drought. The leading man was sick in bed, perhaps dying, when the drought ended and he revived. Just about then, you heard the thunder - I did think it was part of the musical until the wind also started to blow. Nope - this was a rainstorm for real.

You weren't allowed to take photos until the finale - that's when it started to rain in earnest! Much of the audience left, but the cast was still singing and dancing in the rain!

I didn't relish the thought of driving out of there, up the steep switchbacks leading out of the canyon, in the dark and the rain, with hundreds of other cars.
So we didn't. We just stayed in the parking lot and slept there.


The next morning, we took a drive through the canyon. We had it all to ourselves. Even the campgrounds did not look very full to me. Maybe they put up those signs the previous day just so they wouldn't be bothered with campers?! Anyway, we slept fine.



Make sure to check out our August photo album for even more photos and a few videos.

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