Friday, October 21, 2016

Dalhart, TX - Bustling Across Kansas and Oklahoma

OK, we're finally on our way. But, here's our last week.

10/11 - we took the RV in for routine maintenance and found out that we had a water pump that needed to be ordered and replaced. We changed our windshield replacement from 10/12 to 10/17. We extended our stay in Altoona.

10/13 - we took the RV back for the water pump replacement. After that we went to one of Gary's aunt's visitation.

10/15 - we headed up to Fort Dodge to say our good-byes to my brother, Jack, and to work on his shower stall.

10/16 - We visited with Shirley and Jerry who will be taking off for their winter jaunt to Texas on 10/20

10/17 - we took the RV in to Kinman's for the windshield replacement. We stayed over night there to let the glue (my word, not theirs) dry.

10/18 - we took the Jeep in for routine maintenance and some other 'small' problems that Gary had noticed and found out that there were some major problems and that parts had to be ordered. We left the Jeep and drove the RV back to the campground. We extended our stay in Altoona to 10/20.

10/20 - we got the RV ready for travel, drove to Jeep service, test drove the Jeep, paid (WHOO-EEE - bigger problems than we thought), hitched up the Jeep and took off.

That first day we drove to Cassoway Service Center along Interstate 35 in Kansas. big service center in the middle of the interstate with gas, fast food restaurants, a small store and a huge dirt parking lot where we have stayed before.

Up early in the Cassoway Service Center - well, I was up much earlier than I wanted to be with the semi running continually next to us and the whoosh of the diesel every minute. The parking lot had filled almost to full over night. When we had arrived we were the first but semis started streaming in about 8:00 and 11:00. Of course, I wasn’t watching them stream in - I was in bed. But when we woke up and I looked out I found us surrounded with semis. Last year when we parked in this lot, we had about 10 others join us. 

Funny, in 2015, when we got to the toll booth in Wichita when we left the toll road, we had to pay a $10 fee for staying over night. They looked at the hours on our ticket and charged us for parking over night. $10. Not a problem. But we saw no signs anywhere near the parking lot where we stayer nor any mention on the toll ticket so we questioned it and got our money refunded. This time we knew about the $10 and went with it. When we got to the toll booth ready to pay our $10, they didn’t charge us for the over night. Hmmm. I wonder if, for safety on the toll road, they have decided not to charge anyone for staying overnight and that’s why there were so many semis in the lot this year compared to this year. 

Back to this year, we did actually get up about 6:30 so that we could get another early start for the trip across Kansas, Oklahoma and into the panhandle of Texas. Pretty unremarkable journey. We took route 54 through Kansas, through the panhandle of Oklahoma and into Texas. Flat, brushy and seemingly unoccupied for miles on end. Nope, there are fences with fancy entryways, windmills, dirt roads heading off into the hills, cattle grazing on the sparse grass and a tree every now and then.

Long trains and their whistles as they wind their way across the vast plains of America.

At one point we stopped in a town for lunch. I walked to the Loves for a soda and was talking with the clerk about the weather. I mentioned that we were heading to AZ and she asked if we were from Iowa. Huh? Do I look like I have corn cobs in my ears? No, she said, she had met a lot of people passing through to Arizona and they all seemed to come from Iowa. 

Hey, here’s another happy RV’er on the way to - wherever. 

Crops are coming in now and the grain elevators are packed to the gills. Lots of grain just piled on the land and covered with plastic. Must have been a good harvest in a time of low prices. 

Note the different colors of the grain in this pile. Looks like a giant hour glass with the different colored sand particles dropping down. But it also looks like the red rocks in the area. 

377 miles later, we had planned to stay over night in a vacant parking lot spot next to a Senior Citizens Center in Dahlert. We got to town, found the center but the parking lot was full with the new Methodist building. Huge and it must have taken the whole parking lot. OK, now where? So, we backtracked about 2 miles and here we are in the Corral RV Park. $25 for full hook-ups but we used only the electricity. Oh, yeah, we used the wi-fi and got some updates. 

First view of the mountains. Looks like we're on our way.

'The best way to break a bad habit is to drop it.' 

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