Thursday, April 24, 2014

Home, is sometimes where you are!


The wheel, Space Shot & the newest ride (going up)
When we drove up and I saw the Ferris wheel & the Space Shot ride from the distance I had the feeling of 'home'. If nothing else after 6 months here last year it was familiar.

 There is more than one type of familiar
pancakes cooking
Not all familiar things come across as 'home', but some do come close.

I'm sitting here looking out the window. I can see trees without leaves, green grass, predominantly white RVs (most are 5th wheels), the casino/horse track, the Ferris wheel, the entrance to the amusement park & Burger King.


Burger King before the leaves

Entrance to the park

Prairie Meadows Casino

The neighborhood


Within a month spring will be here, the trees will have leaves and this view will be gone for the most part.


The RV's will still be here, actually a lot more RVs will be showing up. During busy weeks the park does fill up

Seems like home.

We started out to travel & look around, we've ended up spending more time in RV parks working than traveling.

A different experience than I was  expecting, if this is like last year I'm a professional "tee" shirt watcher!


Next year!.... (I sound like a SeaHawk fan did ... for all those other years!)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Heading North

It is April, the Adventureland RV park in Altoona Iowa is open for the workcampers.
We made the drive from a pleasant winter on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico in Texas back to the Mid-west. The park opens on the 26th.

So much of the country looks like other parts , with out the signs in the road it is hard to tell if you are in Texas or Oklahoma. Or Kansas even!

Texas
Oklahoma

Kansas







Coming up we went into the hills & forests of Texas, out of them into the grass, then back into the forest and out once more. Out of Canton TX we followed 19 to Hwy 69 &  all the way to Kansas City. A lot of grass & rolling hills following Hwy 69 up to Kansas City.

We spend the night at the Choctaw Casino in Durant, OK, a nice place & we had a good time. That was our first casino visit since we left Iowa last October.



We again are parked here in Iowa until October.

Just a little snow


It is sad watching the spring fade away on the trip north, from lush green grass and fully leafed out green trees to tress just staring to show a touch of green to trees that are still bare for the winter.

This year I did not see snow along the road but after about a week here a little showed up.

In some ways it's like coming home.

Friday, April 11, 2014

1st Monday Trade Days


We went to Canton Texas for the First Monday Trade Days. Think of a giant flea market.

Stuff outdoors
Stuff indoors










As I understand it, way back the circuit judge came to town the 1st Monday of every month & people showed up in town for that. They did their trading at the same time, it became a habit

A sad use for serviceable tools


The weekend before the 1st Monday is when this goes on (starting that Thurs).



Used doors & other building things


It's big, there are all types of things for sale and a large number of corn dog stands.


There are clothes of all shapes, sizes & fabrics

If you're not a fan of flea markets or you really don't like crowds or corn dogs it's probably not for you.

This building was one of 3 that were side by side



If you like to look at stuff (or you are looking for "something") and people watching is recreation for you, this is the place!

Everything everywhere



For those of you who care about such things the 1st Monday Trade Days takes place in a dry county...


It runs Thursday thru Sunday with Saturday being a busy day.

I was asked for a photo of the Horny Toad, not a problem... it was hiding. I'd have put it as a comment but I couldn't figure out how to do that.
A iron horny toad from Canton, TX



Sunday, April 6, 2014

Johnson Space Center

We made a day of it at the NASA- Johnson Space Center in Houston, it was great.

We started off with the tram ride, took 90 minutes and was worth every minute of it. We got to see the command center where the Apollo flights took place, where the moon landings were controlled. It was emotional for me, a lot happened in that room.

From the space station trainer to the prototype robots to the RV built for Mars to the building that holds a Saturn Rocket on display, it was all great! The building is a good sized building and the Saturn rocket is truly tremendous piece of hardware.

The movies, the moon rocks, the space suites ... it was a great day!

The Captsule

Inside, tight quarters

seating for 3

Mission Control
When he said "Houston", he was talking to Mission Control



They stepped off the Earth



The vault that hold the moon rocks

The exhibit where you can touch a moon rock

The moon rock is worn smooth

A rock

A good sized building

I've got to get to Washington DC!

Impressive!


This is REALLY big

In the Skylab display, this was looking 'up'
 Part of the tram tour was a walk thru the training center. They have the space station there and new things they are working on. Robots, an explorer for on Mars are a couple of them.
If you get towards the front of the tram you'll be towards the front of this part of the tour which only matters if you want hear the guide well while they talk of the new things.
A robot to the left and the Mars RV towards the back

The RV for exploring Mars

"Wow" Is all I can say about this day!


Astronaut training happens here

New space vehicles
Looking to the right


















































Looking left

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sea Shells

We've been looking for sea shells for a long time.

We lived by the beach in Pacifica California and I don't recall seeing sea shells there.  Just not a beach for shells

We lived by a beach in Hawaii (on Oahu) and there were not a lot of sea shells there. A good place to play but I don't recall shells.

Out at Ocean Shores Washington we used to find sea shells, they were mostly clams but from time to time we'd find something closer to what I'd call a 'traditional' sea shell.

Ocean Shores Washington
Not a 'clam shell' from Ocean Shores, WA











We looked when we were down in Santa Cruz Calif, not what I'd call 'traditional' sea shells. A lot of kelp. Nice beaches though!

Santa Cruz California


We were on Padre Island Texas not too long ago and it was exciting finding sea shells that were closer to traditional, heck they weren't all clam shells, it was fun! In some places there were a lot of baby shells but nothing of any size.

Padre Island Texas


Baby shells on Padre Island










We were just walking the beaches on Galveston Island (Texas) and by golly there were 'traditional' sea shells! Not complete shells but they looked like "sea shells' are supposed to look!

 
A beach on Galveston Island Texas
A couple of shells on Galveston island










 When I pulled out the shell book (we picked up when we were on Padre Is) to see what we found today I found that the shells are still small but they are looking a lot like 'traditional' sea shells.

This just shows the 'good' side of the shells but they look 'traditional'!



I watch the blog "I Love Shelling" <www.iloveshelling.com/blog/>
Someday we will make it down to the Sanibel Island (Florida) area and see what it looks like in a place where the sea shells are not only 'traditional' but there are a bunch of them!