Cave Dwellings: April 2008
Cave Dwellings

Buckhorn Creek, Lake O' The Pines, Jefferson, TX

Monday, April 14, 2008

Our Last Blog This Trip

I had to post one more last blog before we leave here Wednesday morning.. We took a couple more flood pictures...This one is the road we had to back the RV up and turn it around because the road was flooded...We drove all the way to where that fenced in building that is now underwater...that is how much the water has come up in 5 days.

Here is the same building ..I zoomed in on it.

We walked down by the marina today and the walkway to get to it is WAY pictured.

This is the road that goes down to the lake...this sign is normally about 1 city block ahead of the lake...not anymore!!

Just up the road, on one of our walks, we discovered a subdivision they are building out here, with one log home finished. I wanted to walk through it, but Den said we shouldn't..we would be trespassing..whatever! So I was forced to slip through the trees and take this photo. I love the home...loved the woods and setting, but it is too remote out here for me...I need civilization a little closer than this!!
We have had a friend, a little red fox (not the comedian) who we have seen 3 times in the past 3 days..Saturday he walked right through our spot in front of Dennis at the campfire, Sunday he walked right down the road in front of our camper with a rabbit or squirrel in his mouth, and today he crossed the road in front of us on our walk...Loved it!!
This is surely the last time I will bore you with my travel blog...We will be dismantling our Hughesnet dish and go offline tomorrow night..and be offline until Thursday evening when we get home....This has been my first blog and great fun..I hope you enjoyed traveling with us this winter...If we go anywhere exciting again, I will let you know...Thanks for reading!! Den and Donna

Friday, April 11, 2008

Our Last Week on The Road

This is our last week long stop on the road heading North... and home. Again, we are a trillion miles from nowhere....the nearest town is Cassville, Missouri, 30 miles of up and down, round and round...winding wooded roads. We are one of two campers in the park..It is an Army Corps campground called Big M, as in Missouri (or as in miles from anywhere). We got set up Wednesday after driving most of the day in a light mist of rain...not fun. When we finally found our campground, there was no one at the main gate, which I have pictured at the end of a long hill.

There was a camper next to the gatehouse with a "Pay Here" sign, and after seeing nobody outside, I ran up to the door and knocked..A lady answered and told me "we are closed today, go find your spot and come back tomorrow". Now,we knew we had reserved site #53, but she offered no map of the campgrounds, so we struck out on our own to find it...This place is a maze of roads. We ended up going down a road which ended in Table Rock Lake...flooded..So, Den had to back our rig up the hill and into a drive to turn around..not a good start. We finally found our site, got set up and settled in.

The good news is that we have cell phone service here. The bad news is that we had thunder, lightening, and pouring rain all night long..
Yesterday we got a weather alert on our radio saying the Army Corps was going to raise the level of Table Rock Lake 3 to 4 feet...Today when we took our walk toward the lake, we saw how absolutely flooded it is here..What you see sticking out of the lake is the ROOF of the shower house down by the lake..Luckily we are up high in the woods and very dry.

This next photo is Den the road disappears into the lake.

We followed the dry part of the road and ended up just outside the main gate, where they are putting in a subdivision of new homes...this picture is the office. This is a lovely spot for a home, but a little too secluded for me..I need at least a KFC within 20 miles just to survive!
We are about 60 miles from Branson, but that is of no interest to us..Unless they have an Alan Jackson theater, which I know they don't..they DO have a Gatlin Brothers theater...but, somehow, it isn't quite the same. We are considering driving the 30 miles into Cassville for a few groceries..and....the WalMart here has beer, wine and even liquor..more than I could ever hope for!!! I may...or may not more before we head out..this depends upon what interesting items I have to post. Considering trees interesting gets old..In the words of Grandma Kate, "If you've seen one tree, you've seen them all"..ya just had to love her!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Beautiful Walk In The Woods

Yesterday was soooo pretty..We took a trail through the woods right by our camper and ended up at the Cottatot Dam. We took a few photos on the trail
I was watching closely for snakes. When we first arrived here, I was throwing some coffee out over our fence rail and almost had a heart attack when I spotted a snake...I should have noticed he was "belly up" and lying in the same position with his tongue out and made out of rubber...Some deranged little kid's toy snake...Put the defibrillators away, Den.
You could walk right up to the big outlet tile that lets the water out of the lake. They sound a siren once to lower the river level and twice to raise the river level. This gives a warning to people who are boating on the river that the water level will rapidly change..or the sirens can also be used as a scare tactic for ignorant Illinois people in fear of a tornado.(like us)
The river is running high again today and they just sounded the siren twice, so it will rise again. Every tree is popping with little leaf buds and it is getting very green. Since the wind picked up and dried things out, Dennis has noticed the pollen in his contacts again.
The Eagle "Scout" was back again today, briefly. I really want to get his picture with the sun out on him. When I got up this morning just after we raised our shades, I noticed the two Eagles up in the tree sitting close together. Of course, by the time I got on my slippers, camera and sweater on and got outside, they flew off. I am determined to get a better shot...Maybe tonight.
Our weather was cloudy this morning but the sun is suppose to come out this afternoon. Yesterday afternoon, after I did my sunbathing routine, we took a bike ride around the two loops of the campground..Keep in mind we are down in a ravine like area and it is up one hill...down one hill...up another hill..down another....good cardiovascular, so Den tells me. He who has the mountain bike with gears...I wanted to kill him.
Tomorrow we make our trek into DeQueen, (as opposed to Da King),to do our laundry and get groceries and fuel..We will also use this opportunity to make a few phone calls, since we are in cell phone Hell where we camp. I can hardly wait to see what characters the laundromat has in store for us...Our diesel fuel is running about $3.88 at WalMart. I am sure it will be more in Illinois.

Our campsite is perfect..sits high overlooking the Cottastot River, with a railing (which I have been known to hang over looking for birds). The bare dead tree just across from us makes a great Bald Eagle hang out...Den spends alot of time at rail just watching..We have our binoculars and camera with us outside most of the time.
We move again on Wednesday..going up to Table Rock Lake for 1 week. We have never been there and I am anxious to see it..

Well, it was about 11:30AM when I finished the upper part of this blog post. At that time Den stuck his head inside the door and said, "Let's walk up to the outlet tile and see how much water is coming out of it. I should have known better. He has taken me on several unintended marathon walks before...So, I threw on my sweater and we walked up to the spot where tons of water was surging out of the pipe. Now Dennis says,"Let's see where this road goes...maybe up on top of the dam.." OK, let's, but it is now getting quite warm and I am dressed for cool morning weather, not sunny warm almost noon weather...We walked ...and walked.....and kept walking..up BIG hills, down and up again..about 2 miles later we got to the top of the dam...and an outhouse, which I badly needed!!!
We took a few neat photos and then turned around for the 2 miles back to our camper..It was now VERY warm..I shed the sweater earlier..I had on my OLD walking shoes, thinking we were only going on a "little" walk in the woods, hence a blister ..We arrived back at the camper at 1PM..Will I never learn???
I put on shorts and reclined in my sunning chair for the rest of the afternoon.

There was one treat left for the afternoon,though. My Eagle Scout came around and landed in his favorite the sunlight...and Den got some GREAT shots!!

Well, I am going to attempt to end this one more time....If Den suggests a walk..I, for one have had enough!!! More later

Friday, April 4, 2008

Character Building Evening

Last night was a bit of a character builder. I hate storms after dark, especially if you are living in an RV, which could make Dorothy's house in The Wizard of Oz look like it was standing still in the tornado. We were awake until 1AM, watching our radar on the computer and listening to the weather radio. It didn't help that we heard sirens sounding twice. ALMOST ran to the shower house! We found out this morning from some other more knowledgable campers that they sound sirens when they raise or lower the water from the dam into the river..and we are very close to the dam...So, after some wind, small hail and TONS of rain we went to bed..and it proceeded to pour all night much for Burt showing up in this downpour! My heart was broken.

This is just a short blog..I wanted to show off my photos of the Great Blue Heron who resides on this river..I have been possessed to get a good shot(as in camera, not gun,) of him, and today he posed on the little island right in front of us. As I usually do with any wildlife, I named him.."Clive"..very regal. He reminds me of an old British guy with a bad comb over.. I think he will want 8" X 10" glossies for himself. He stayed in one spot for about half an hour and I was thrilled! I AM easily entertained, obviously. Give me food, drink, and a few great birds and I am literally a happy camper! Here are the results of my hanging over the railing and risking life and limb for Mr. Clive Heron.

More tomorrow..the sun is suppose to shine!!Yea!! It has been about a week!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

"Deliverance" Revisited

Well,Wednesday morning we drove the 80 miles from Texarkana to Gilham Lake Arkansas...the last 10 miles in a deluge so bad you couldn't hardly see to drive...but we finally made it. We are about 8 miles from the town of Gilham, population 133...and absolutely NO cell phone service for another 10 miles..So our only communication is, thank God,our email and internet.
As we drove down into the campground I felt a sense of the movie "Deliverance"..and totally expected Burt Reynolds to appear from behind a tree, dressed in his sleeveless shirt and carrying a rifle.. There are only about 5 other campers here with us and they are down on the other end of our loop. I love the people down laid back..We saw a political sign on the way..."Johnny Bob Simmons for Sheriff" I need to say he had on a cowboy hat??
One other major problem here....DRY county...A problem for one who is almost out of Rum and Wine...Oh, they have a WalMart about 25 miles from here, except one problem with that...ANOTHER DRY COUNTY!!!! We drove in there today for birdseed and hamburger buns and Den asked a guy where you can buy liquor around here..He told Den to drive about another 20 miles West, into Broken Bow, Oklahoma, where there is a liquor store..So, since we were halfway there, we did. All in all, we drove 90 miles round trip for 1.75 liter of Rum and a box of wine for.... guess who??.
The campground we are at is right on the river here, waaaaaaay down in a beautiful wooded ravine. Our spot sits up above the river,( which is now out of it's banks.) There are not as many pine trees, so hardly any pollen. The spot of the river we are on is very narrow and the water is rushing past us..sounds like the wind is blowing, but it is really just the sound of the water.
We have a special "scout" just across the river from us..He is a gorgeous Bald Eagle who sits high in the top of a dead tree above the river and watches...Now I know why I felt we were being watched when we set up our camper...WE WERE! He is there almost all of the time....and once there were two of them. I took a couple photos with our zoom lens..they aren't great but you get the idea.
We are all settled in now, with booze, beer, wine, food for us (and food for the birds) AND a Tornado Watch until 5AM tomorrow. I wonder how fast we can run to the cement shower house with our drinks in hand if our weather radio sounds??
Well, if you want to talk to us...use the email..we are hanging out with our trusted Eagle "scout" whom I have named "Tonto", and, of course, Burt Reynolds. Life is good, but only if we don't blow away tonight. I will take a few more pictures when the sun shines!