Thursday, July 07, 2011

The Anderson sisters Amazing Adventure of 2011

Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people. (part of ‘a prayer for old age’ attributed to a Seventeenth Century Nun) From the book She Who Laughs, Lasts! a compilation of stories from Women of Faith.

Day 1 – drive from Rio Rancho to Tucumcari, New Mexico.

Mountain Road RV Park, Tucumcari, NM – was an OK place to spend the night. Good electricity and clean restrooms, temps in low 100s. Thank goodness for air conditioning. The park was just off I-40 on Hwy 54 and across from a busy truck stop. Next time I stop in that area I’ll stay at the park where I was last year – A-OK RV Park in downtown Tucumcari.

I did learn that Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari offers a two-year AA-degree program in wind technology, turbine maintenance, tower safety and wind economics. Their on-campus classroom wind turbine is 350-feet tall.

We left early the next morning with Oklahoma as our destination.

Supply Lake Corps of Engineers Park, Ft. Supply, OK. We spent two nights here, July 3 and 4, and it is lovely. Along our drive to get here – in the middle of nothing – we came upon a road construction area – not a soul in sight, just a “stop/go light” that was red. I dutifully stopped and after what seemed a long time, the light changed to green.

We listened to a country/western radio station and enjoyed the song with lyrics that said: “Toes in the water, ass on the sand – no worries at all!” While we won’t be at lake parks each night of this trip, we will be traveling with a flexible schedule and no worries at all. It’s nice having a live navigator! Linda has kept me on the right roads so far.

Picked up an interesting Oklahoma Fishing Guide publication. Found out we could take up to six turtles a day at state lakes - as long as none of them are a western chicken turtle, map turtle, painted and razorback musk turtle and/or alligator snapping turtle. And we can take up to 15 bullfrogs per day with hook and line, gig spear, bow and arrow or other methods, except firearms, if I have a fishing license. Sadly, I am not allowed to sell or ship any bullfrogs to you.

The campground we were in was full of RVs in spacious campsites with tents nearby, Jeremiah was parked just a row back from the lake, giving us great views of the lake and the hundreds of Canada Geese.

My biggest frustration was that our site was nowhere near being level. It took much gnashing of teeth, patience and a variety of boards to get fairly level. Linda was a great help with the boards. As you can tell from the photo below, the skies dumped rain shortly after we leveled, plugged in and got the slides out. Cooled things off nicely.

Oologah Lake Corps of Engineers Park, Oologah, OK. Locals say it is pronounced “oo’ – la – gah” – all short vowels (remember your English class?) We did manage to flunk our attempt to stay on right roads as we were driving through Ponca City, OK. We were engrossed in looking at the huge Conoco/Phillips Petroleum buildings and missed a sign. A quick stop at a convenience store and we were back on track.

We stayed in Hawthorn Bluff campground amidst tall trees. We had plenty of campsites to choose from but did find it a challenge to find one that was fairly level and long enough. It was HOT and MUGGY – felt like a sauna; not one breeze. Assuming (incorrectly) that this campground had water at each campsite and failing to fill the potable tank at Supply Lake, combined with the stifling heat, we decided to stay just one night.

In the early morning – before the sun was up – we took a nice walk around the campground and down the steps to the fishing dock.

Before leaving the area, Linda directed me to Will Rogers’ Ranch. She had been there a few years ago. The restored house (moved from its original location before it would be flooded by the lake formed by the Corps dam that was being built) was a huge step back in time. Besides the two story home, the barn. chicken coop, a shed for cattle and outhouse are on the property. We enjoyed the barn animals – a few cattle in a nearby pen, three horses, two burros, two goats, and chickens roaming around the property. Here are a couple photos we took – me by the outhouse (Anderson’s called these ‘ozzie-cozzie’) and Linda on the front step.

Spring Lake RV Resort, Halstead, Kansas (just north of Wichita) While we were at Oogolah, Linda decided that our next stop must have a swimming pool. I was also eager to be back in Verizon phone and Internet service. Northern Oklahoma is basically Sprint country; Verizon is either roaming or extended service for phones and global (expensive) access for Internet.

So we re-routed ourselves, backtracking west about 50 miles with this park as destination (instead of a park near Kansas City). I had been here last year and enjoyed it a lot. This became another two-nighter so we could get laundry done.

Again, leveling was a challenge that I failed this time – even with patience and teeth gnashing along with plenty of boards that kept sliding. I gave up and called the office for help. The nice lady gave us a different site and still had no luck leveling. That was when they sent park volunteer Mr. SOS Wayne to my rescue. He taught me a new way to use my boards and voila! we were level enough.

At this park, I’ve seen another “first”! A tent with an air conditioning unit where a window flap would normally be. This is ‘home’ to two construction workers from Colorado; they are working on a hotel nearby. (The AC in the white-ish part of the tent, between the upright pole and the backside of the tent.)

It rained last night, making this morning a cool 79 degrees! The drought has affected this area also; several of the park’s eight ponds have dried up and the creek that runs through is low. Photos: last year and below that the same location this year.

It was laundry day and Linda became laundry lady. At the laundry room, she was surprised to meet Pat; she and her husband Bill are volunteers at Maricopa County’s Usery Park (McDowell Mountain park where I volunteer in the winter is also in the same park system).

As Linda and I walked around the park, she spotted a turtle in the ‘mostly dried up creek” And I took ‘before and after’ photos of one of the ponds

Also on our walk we saw this sign by a trailer parked near the creek: Note, the bottom of the sign, which is partly obliterated by the grass says, "please send photo of boat and motor."

Any takers? This is where some 'good woman' would be living.

And lastly for this posting

The reason I didn’t help with the laundry is because I was busy with a surprise project! I got an email asking for information about my first husband Rick Pray and the two businesses we owned simultaneously in the late 1960s through early 1980, Associated Tennis Suppliers and the United States Racquet Stringers’ Association. He will be featured in Racquet Sports Industry Magazine for one of their Pioneers in Tennis series features.

So today I’ve been busy traveling down memory lane to be able to provide information when I have a telephone interview with the magazine editor next week. FYI, both businesses continue to flourish under two new owners. After Rick passed away in 1979; I continued the USRSA for several months and the supply business for several years.

Tomorrow’s drive will take us to our cousin’s home in Olathe, Kansas.

Here's your thought to ponder this week. Contentment

In our world, contentment is a strange street vendor, roaming . . . slowly from house to house . . . offering his wares: an hour of peace, a smile of acceptance, a sigh of relief . . .

When I asked him why so few welcomed him into their homes, his answer left me convicted. “I charge a high price, you know . . . I ask people to trade in their schedules, frustrations, and anxieties . . . You’d think I’d have more buyers . . . but people seem strangely proud of their ulcers and headaches.” – Pastor Max Lucado