Sunday, September 30, 2012

Flying High and Falling Hard

Three rallies in a row where we were scheduled most all day every day, and we delivered new seminars and classes in that mix.  We had a fabulous time all month last month.  I can’t imagine a better high than to be able to do your thing – in our case teach – in front of hundreds of people.  After the dust settled from all 3 rallies, we’d added over 400 new newsletter subscribers and 124 new or renewed members! 

The last rally, Escapade, was over on Thursday, but we pushed it and scheduled a hands-on smartphone class on Friday as well.  Jim woke up on Friday morning, coughing and sniffling.  He rolled over and was out for the count.  It was OK – I felt fine and this was a small group, 6 people for a class that I was comfortable teaching myself.

By the end of the day though, I also succumbed, and and we both pulled the covers over our heads for another day.  It was clearly just a cold, nothing to worry about, but we were sure glad the rallies were all over, cuz we just couldn’t get out of bed for nuthin!

We felt much better by Sunday, and pulled stakes to drive down the highway on Monday.  Today is now the following Sunday, and we still have a lingering cough.   I think maybe two rallies in a row should be our max!  Either that, or we need to get much better at taking care that our diet and exercise promotes more stamina.

Anyway, all is well.  We knew we had a few weeks with no ‘gigs’ so we could catch up with website work, and maybe even enjoy the road a bit.  Just south of Sedalia, we noticed a sign for a Fish Hatchery!  Oh Boy – visiting a Fish Hatchery is a clear indication that we’re in vacation mode!  Jim pulled off the highway and followed the signs only to see the final sign that the visitor center was closed.  Sad smile Déjà vu!

Driving thru the Ozarks
Driving thru the Ozarks

 

But, we saw another sign for Truman Dam Visitor Center … OK, that’ll do.

A scenic stop just south of Branson
A scenic stop just south of Branson
Who should be there to greet us than Dennis and Carol Hill - along with Suzy and Denny Orr.
Carol and Dennis at home amongst the fossils!
Carol and Dennis at home amongst the fossils!

Awesome views from the Visitor Center.

Lakes created by dams in the Ozarks
Lakes created by dams in the Ozarks

We decided to stay at the Escapees RV park in Branson.  It was a nice, comfortable place.  Instead of one or two nights, we ended up staying 4.  We thought we might take in a show or two, but, as it turned out the only show we watched was a Service guy steam cleaning our carpet – I actually enjoyed that!  It’s something that’s been on my list for a while. 

Getting our carpets cleaned
Getting our carpets cleaned

We also did a couple of Google+ Hangouts while we were there.  Here’s Jim being two people on a Google+ Hangout – one with a laptop and one with an iPad focused on his smartphone.  We’re practicing for some remote seminars we have booked where some computer clubs want us to teach Android smartphones.

Practicing Google hangouts to demonstrate smartphone
Practicing Google hangouts to demonstrate smartphone

When we left Branson and continued south, we noticed Buffalo National River on the map and, when we saw a sign for a Visitor Center, we pulled off. 

This vehicle makes scenic stops.
This vehicle makes scenic stops.

Pretty place … SO quiet.  We stayed long enough to watch the video on the history of the place – it was the first protected river in the National Park System -  and have a little lunch.

Small bear in the woods
Small bear in the woods

Purple berries ... I should know what they are?
Purple berries ... I should know what they are?

Notice the darkened edges of the picture above?  That’s a Picasa feature called Vignette.  I thought it really improved this picture, and that inspired me to write my latest Picasa Tip on Vignettes.

I used it on this picture as well.  Lots of rock walls in this part of the country.  We’ve passed some major quarries here in the Ozarks.

Ozark stone wall
Ozark stone wall

Our goal was to make it into Tennessee and the Thousand Trails park called Cherokee Landing – but we were just moving too slow.  So, we used our Allstays Camp and RV app on our Droids and found the nearest I-40 Rest Area when it started to get dark.  Our generator worked well, and we had Verizon 4G Internet – we were perfectly happy staying there.

The next day, we did make it into Tennessee.  Here we are crossing the Mississippi at Memphis.

Crossing the Mississippi at Memphis
Crossing the Mississippi at Memphis

Here at Cherokee Landing, we’ve finally run out of our good luck with Verizon.  Thousand Trails are known for being ‘in the middle of nowhere’ so we expect to have pretty poor Internet … this time we’re not disappointed!  Our phones are getting a couple bars of 1X signal.  Surprisingly, that does allow us to turn on our FoxFi hotspot and use the Internet, but it is unbearably slow.  We parked as close to the clubhouse as we could get with the idea that we could take our laptops there and use the Park’s Wi-Fi.  But Jim put up his WiFiRanger and outdoor antenna, and we can use the Wi-Fi right here in our RV.  It too is deathly slow.

Getting our newsletter out and catching up with all our website work will be a bit of a challenge.  But it sure is a pretty place!

Our site at Cherokee Landings, just east of Memphis
Our site at Cherokee Landings, just east of Memphis
View from the Cherokee Landings Clubhouse
View from the Cherokee Landings Clubhouse

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Small bear in the woods" That made me laugh.
Nice photos,I like the Vignette look. Thanks for posting them.
I hope you are all feeling better soon.

Chris in Indian

James said...

Hi,
Will you please post a link to your Blog at The RV Living Community? Our members will love it.
Members include: Full-Time RVers, RV Living Enthusiasts and Experts, Etc.
It's easy to do, just cut and paste the link and it automatically links back to your website. You can also add Articles, News, Photos, and Videos if you like.
Email me if you need any help or would like me to do it for you.
Please feel free to share as often and as much as you like.
I hope you consider sharing with us.
The RV Living Community: http://www.vorts.com/rv-living/
Thank you,
James Kaufman, Editor

pamela said...

Getting some help in cleaning your carpet is definitely a bright idea. It's save you much time and effort from doing the chore on your own, particularly if the carpet covers a large area in the home.