Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Sometimes it is irreverently called “big nasty”, by rail workers and rail fans. Most of us have seen those large letters on trains as they pass by. They actually stand for Burlington Northern and Santa Fe railroad.

Tonight we are parked near the rail yard with a view. Here is a look.


Being somewhat of a rail fan, I just couldn’t resist. I swung off of the interstate, and down into the industrial park where their yard is located.


Away from the highway noise and somewhat away from the rail noise, I think we may overnight here !


In the cool of the evening as the sunsets, the colors in the sky become almost magical. It’s time to drag the lawn chairs out and watch the show !

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Have you ever thought that you might like to try campground hosting ? Here is a link you might look into.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


Each year just before departing on our seven months out on the road in America’s Heartland, we sort our plunder. PLUNDER: That stuff that you truck from place to place thinking that you might need it at some point during the journey. Everything comes out of the truck bed and is re-assessed as to it’s likely hood of being needed. Here is a look at some heavy tools that we won’t be paying the fuel cost to haul along with us.


Here is the truck bed before the last few things are loaded.


Here is a couple of things that still need to be loaded.


The fifthwheel tripod and the satellite dish take up a lot of room in the truck bed.


As do the pile of wood blocks and the gas can for the generator. The gas can is carried empty and weigh’s little, but those blocks weight is significant. So why carry those heavy blocks, you might ask ? Because every campground we have ever managed we find small brightly colored pieces of plastic from where  those light weight plastic blocks have been crushed by a RV’s weight.  

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Each year as we make our circle around America’s Heartland, it takes us right at seven months. Last year during that time I began to notice that even though I was being careful about checking the level, it just didn’t seem quite right, when we setup. The front door would be a bit “sticky” and would have to shut hard, then Betty would tell me that her sink wasn’t draining like she liked for it to.


I began to suspect the level that is permanently mounted on the 5er’s hitch. Note the mounting screw on the right of the photo. Sure enough, something had, somewhere along the way, knocked it off, just what, I Dunno’.

It was time to recalibrate it using the bubble level that I found on the beach, on Padre Island in the Winter  of  2009.


Bringing the doorway to level with it, and resetting the hitch level solved the problem.

Aaaahhh, now there,   .  .  .  .   all is square with the World !

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Each year as we  make preparations to hit the road for seven months, we carefully cull through our stuff. Our general rule of thumb is that if we have carried it for a year without using it, it is history. We will give it away, store it, yard sale it or throw it away. Now, understand that this isn’t etched in stone.  For example we will be working in a different area of Colorado this year, so, our load out will be a bit different. Here is a look.


Grandma’s kindling hatchet stays this year, as does Grandpa’s machete.


A wonderful Springtime shower caught us in the midst of sorting through the tool box.


The spare 30 pound propane tank has the old style fill valve.


And it has quite a bit of rust damage. It didn’t make the cut this year, we culled it.


Here is the new style propane tank, filled and loaded. You might note that it is covered with a burlap sack to keep it from direct sunlight exposure.

Four days and counting until it’s up anchor time !

Saturday, May 18, 2013


No, not the movie, but instead, the kind that lubricates the fifthwheel hitch in the bed of the Kawabunga truck. Today is the day that, during our preparations for seven months out on the road, that the fifthwheel hitch is lubed.


In this photo the hitch is unpinned, and upside down so that I can grease stuff.


Here is a look at that.


I know that it is somewhat overkill, but I like to grease the top of the hitch pin’s plate and all of the bushings.


Greased bushings, just before pinning the fifthwheel on.



Fifthwheel plate greased,


and covered so that dust and grit can’t turn the grease into a grinding compound.

Ready to roll ? Not quite, but we’re a’ getting’ there !

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Any time we have a family get together, Betty and I are on the lookout for those special and most memorable moments. If we are not careful, we can miss a very cool chance to document a cool “memory moment”. Our last fish fry was one of those times. It was the wonderful way that Great Nephew Braxton, thanked and made Payment to Betty for her wonderful meal.


I had noticed that Autumn’s Son Braxton seemed occupied with some crystal rocks that he was cleaning and carrying around. But, I didn’t see him thank Betty for the meal and give her the special stones.

Betty carefully labeled them and put them up in a safe place.

A special family moment indeed !


A lot of preparation happens before most meals. A fish fry for Family and friends is much the same. Here is a look.


The cast iron pot and cooker.


Betty shows the fish fillets and prepares to put them in the meal mixture in a shaker.


Betty checks the heat and adjust the burner on the cooker.


After testing the oil temperature by cooking a thin sliced home fry, Betty gets a fillet ready for a test.


The first fillet rises to the surface.


Soon the others get done enough to also rise.

Just a little bit browner  .  .  .  .


Then dip them up !


Lawn chairs setup in the deep shade of a tree, and the 5er’s awning. The crowd has gathered and are visiting at about the speed of light before the meal.


Dicey sets up a table covered with goodies !


Florine smiles in anticipation of those golden fillets ! Note those Mother’s Day corsages !

It’s official, let the Summer time begin !

Sunday, May 12, 2013


The burner under the old cast iron pot is making a gentle roaring sound as the heat waves begin to shimmer up off of the surface of the deep frying oil. Our tradition has been to have several fish fry’s out on the lake while we are jug fishing each Spring. The weather cycle this year just didn’t work out for the weekends. However as soon as we leave the lake, we have a nice sunny weekend where a good number of friends and family can make it. We will miss those that are tied up at work or other stuff.


Betty has had me running errands and dragging chairs most of the morning !

Fish, we’re fixin’ ta’ fry em’ !

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Last evenings twilight gently faded into dark as we sat quietly in lawn chairs around the campfire. The fire was dwindling down to nearly nothing, yet, we didn’t put on another stick of firewood. It was our last evening at the lake. We were enjoying the still of the evening, and would make sure that the fire was dead out.


The evening visit to the grassy area near our campsite revealed that the resident geese’s brood had dwindled down to three from six.

A disturbance during the night, by the adult geese woke us briefly. Then the early first hint of light revealed to us that indeed the brood count was down to two juvenile geese.

Before the sun was ready to pop over the horizon, and was showing just the faintest halo of light at the far side of the lake, we heard it in the distance. Louder and louder it came rapidly towards our campsite.

The glassy lake’s surface reflected light like a mirror. As last nights serenade by loon’s calling in the distance, faded into history. The morning quiet was shattered by the scream, of a bass boat, passing within fifty yards of camp at one point five times the speed of light ! Every day at the lake is a good day.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


It has been several years since we fished Lake Ouachita’s North river fork. Things have changed quite a bit. The hydrilla is gone. That really changes things up for our style of fishing. In particular, the bait fish catch. Changes for the bait fish also mean changes for the game fish.

We are trying to adjust to the changes, and we are trying out some gear that we have never used before. Here is a look.


An Alabama style umbrella lure that we can use different jigs on.


Most people cast a jig with a grub of some type on it, one at a time. However, with the Umbrella rig it is five baits at a time.


We’re going to try these, like this.


Click on photo for a better look.

It should look like a small school of bait fish with one straggler. We hope. I wonder if this crazy looking thing can catch fish half of a limit at a time !

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


It has been a habit of ours to keep a book rat holed away somewhere for a rainy day’s read. It is nice to be in the 5er with the absolutely quiet catalytic heater keeping it warm and cheery inside as the rain pelts the window panes. Here is a look at my latest borrowed read, SERVICE,  by Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell.


His first book, a best seller titled LONE SURVIVOR, was a quality read wherein his down to earth heartland of America values shone through.

Today may be cool, cloudy and drizzly as we look out the picture window,


But, still it will be a good day at the lake,

besides we got’ fish in the freezer !