Friday, April 24, 2009


4/24/09---The following info is provided by Maryann:

The Wanderers are still at it – we’re slowly making our way back south. Our time in Gillette, WY, was capped off on Sunday, 4/19, with shooting practice for us 2 McGees. We bought two 357 Magnum pistols; this is our first time shooting guns bigger than 22 caliber. We had a good time, & we’ll get better. Gotta be ready for those pirates! We also drove by a new power plant that is being built south of town and got to watch a coal train being loaded that day. We left Gillette on Monday – it was very hard leaving our family after such a nice, long visit. We decided not to travel through CO due to their recent storms, so we headed east through Nebraska instead.

On Monday night we camped in the parking lot of the Cabela’s World Headquarters in Sidney, Nebraska alongside I-80. WOW – they sure have changed from the store they used to have downtown!
I power-walked around their property the next morning, and I couldn’t even cover all of it in 45 minutes! Their huge bronze statue of fighting elk is awesome. The “guard ducks” quacked at me during my AM walk.

Later that day we passed through Gothenburg, Nebraska, and visited an original Pony Express Station they had relocated into town. A helpful docent explained that the Pony Express operated for less than 2 years, and there were stops every 10 miles for riders to change horses & gather more mail. What a colorful part of U.S. history! We would have stayed longer, but their museums do not open until May.
From there we headed to OKC to visit a family friend. Unfortunately he was out of town, so he’ll just have to visit us sometime on Dream Manor (hint, hint).
We spent last night, Wednesday, in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Altus, OK. This morning we dropped in on the crew at Turbines, Inc. north of Altus. It was great fun getting to meet folks “in person” that Keith and I had only talked with via phone or e-mail. They were gracious enough to show us around their facility and even took us to lunch. Later today we back-tracked to OKC to the State Fairgrounds where Kevin from Turbines has a booth at the Farm Show through Saturday. We had a wonderful visit with him also. Oh, Keith had me take a photo of a huge flag, so you could see that the wind was pretty strong today in this area of OK. Kevin said they go right from this into tornado season – YIKES! We’re spending tonight in one of the Wal-Mart parking lots in Fort Smith, Arkansas (they have 5 Wal-Marts here!). Tomorrow we head for northern Mississippi.


4/23/09---I made a final inspection of the boat and packed up my computer. It was 9:00 a.m. when I drove away from the marina. It took 6 hours of steady driving to reach Youngsville, LA.
My wife met me at the door and truly appeared glad to see me. Perhaps absence does make the heart grow fonder! It had been productive time on the boat, but it will be good to be home for a few days before returning to the "Dream Manor".

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


4/22/09---I recently enjoyed meeting James Suttles. He owns a house boat parked near the Dream Manor and has a couple staying on the boat (Joe & Sandy Ryhn).
His home is located just south of Demopolis. I went with Joe and Sandy to see the property and meet the horses. Sandy really enjoys riding.
Inside a very large metal building is a collection of mostly old trucks. Mr. Suttles owned his own trucking company. Through many years he has purchased and salvaged these old trucks.
One of his pleasures is to drive them to various shows. Hauling America is the upcoming event held in Huntsville, AL on May 28-30, 2009.
Joe started the 1929 Model A Ford that James Suttle purchased from Universal Studios after the last episode of the Waltons. The fine old 4 cylinder engine ran very well.
After starting the old Walton truck, Joe fired up the newest truck in the fleet. He is partial to the Peter Built which is much like the truck he used to drive in previous years of employment.


4/19-21/09---It is a little like being in slow motion when the chores are done. The most important things to do are enjoy the sunshine and watch the pilings beneath the restaurant to determine if the water is rising or falling. The reference picture shows the water is going down.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


4/18/09---The following tales & pictures are from Maryann. She and Keith are the "Happy Wanderers".
When last we checked-in, we were in St. George, Utah. After leaving there, we drove up I-15 to SLC to visit Keith’s cousin Duane. We spent a delightful day with him, stayed the night in Bountiful, UT, and headed north through Idaho.

When we passed the Budweiser silos, we thought of our good friend Scott, who works for them in St. Louis. Seeing the MT sign was fun for Maryann, as she was raised there. We arrived in Laurel, MT, (Maryann’s hometown) and visited with her parents and brother for a couple of days.

On Wednesday, April 8, daughter Stephanie and her family arrived from WY. They invited us to go to Chico Hot Springs with them, and we jumped at the chance! Grandson Max rode with Grandma and Grandpa in their new Roadtrek and got to “camp” with them in it for 2 nights at Chico. The natural hot pools at Chico are amazing, and so is the delicious food at the lodge!
While we were at Chico, we drove into Yellowstone Park one day. Todd was our chauffeur, and we drove him crazy being typical camera-happy tourists! Here are just a FEW of the photos we took of the wildlife (buffalo, mountain goats & elk), snow etc. Mammoth Hot Springs is especially beautiful in the winter.
On Saturday Max and we returned to Laurel, and Stephanie and Todd headed back to WY. We spent Easter
in Laurel, and Max discovered that the Easter Bunny can find him anywhere! After church that morning, a wonderful dinner was enjoyed by several family members at Maryann’s parents’ home.

The next day we visited a family friend in Billings before heading to Gillette, WY, Keith’s hometown.
Keith had a good time surprising his mom with his “nautical” beard, which she had not seen. She almost didn’t recognize him in the hallway of her apartment!
The next few days were spent surprising other family members and playing cards. Maryann enjoyed attending Max’s Karate class, which reminded her of when son James took it. On Thursday Grandma, Grandpa, & Great-Grandma Beth attended Max’s swim class at the Gillette Aquatic Center. They have the only indoor, heated Olympic size pool in WY, and many swim meets are held there.
The Gillette school children are fortunate that swimming is part of their school curriculum. While in Gillette, Keith re-connected with his friend Nick at Thunder Basin Ford. Nick is a good guy who sold a car to Keith’s mom. That brings us to now - Saturday, April 18th. We plan to spend one more day in Gillette and then start heading south. We’re missing Dream Manor.