This is primarily a travel blog in which I write about traveling in our motorhome. Our travels have

Nacogdoches, TX, United States
I began this blog as a vehicle for reporting on a 47-day trip made by my wife and me in our motorhome down to the Yucatan Peninsula and back. I continued writing about our post-Yucatan travels and gradually began including non-travel related topics. I often rant about things that piss me off, such as gun violence, fracking, healthcare, education, and anything else that pushes my button. I have a photography gallery on my Smugmug site (

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Branson Ramblings

The last couple of days were unusually warm with daytime temperatures in the 70’s with 60’s at night.  We are in Branson, MO, it is almost noon on Veterans’ Day, and I am still in bed because I have run out of my “night meds” and didn’t get any quality sleep until after 4:30 AM.  I’ll have to resort to Benadryl tonight, which will help me sleep but leave me with an “antihistamine hangover” in the morning.  Hopefully my "day meds" will get me through it.  Getting old is hell!

The forecasted high temperature has already been reached and is now dropping sharply.  Dark clouds are moving rapidly across the sky, and I can smell the rain that should begin falling at any minute.   The front has arrived.   There is a 100% chance of rain today with up to 3/4 of an inch forecast.  The low tonight is predicted to be 28 degrees with a 60% chance of rain or a mixture of rain and snow (no accumulation expected).  We are supposed to leave Branson tomorrow and the forecast is for sunshine and a high in the 50’s.  I can now hear the sound of rain on the motorhome’s roof and the temperature has dropped from 68 to 57 degrees in the past 20 minutes.  I’ll have to close all of the windows and turn on the heat very soon.

We were late leaving Eureka Springs yesterday because the full-wall slide on Jim and Joy’s coach refused to retract.  After slightly more than 2 hours of trying a multitude of shade-tree mechanic suggestions an RV technician was summoned.  He quickly discovered a loose wire in a fuse box and the slide was retracted.  We all felt at least a little foolish, if not inadequate.

Instead of our planned lunch at Lambert’s (country cooking and celebrated as the “Home of the Throwed Rolls”), 30 miles north of Branson, we had leftovers before leaving Eureka Springs and arrived in Branson a little before 3 PM.  We are now planning on driving up to Lambert’s this afternoon for an early supper in order to be back in Branson for the 8PM “Legends of Rock” show.  Two days in Branson and this will be the only show that Carol Ann and I attend.  The shows in which I was most interested have no performances scheduled for today.  It’s a shame because some shows are offering free tickets to veterans today and tomorrow (it's hard to believe that it has been 42 years and 2 months since I returned from Vietnam).  If we ever return to Branson we will plan ahead, stay a little longer, and order tickets in advance for the shows we wish to attend.  

The other 4 couples will be staying until Wednesday or Thursday to see other shows.  As mentioned in a prior post, we are leaving tomorrow for Searcy, AR because we have a Tuesday appointment with  “The Fog Doctor” to have our double-pane windows defogged and the gaskets replaced.  After that we will jump on I-40 and head down through Little Rock to Texarkana and US 59 south to Nacogdoches.  It's only 340 miles, two-thirds of which is on I-40 and would normally be a fairly easy one-day drive.  However, we won’t be able to leave Searcy before sometime Tuesday afternoon but should be home Wednesday afternoon.

When we get back home I have to get my "flu shot" if I want to do anymore call-in work in the hospital pharmacy.  I also have to get a "shingles shot"or my supplemental health insurance won't cover me if the virus ever results in my having a case of shingles.  Almost all of us are already hosting the herpes zoster virus, especially if we ever had chicken pox.  All it takes is for the dormant virus to become activated and a very painful course of shingles will result.  Like I said, getting old is hell (but it beats the alternative)!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Art in the Ozarks

This morning we made the 34-mile drive up the very crooked and steep US 62 to Bentonville, the home of Walmart.  The road made me wish I were driving one of the Porsches so prevalent in Eureka Springs (Porsche Club of America Escape Weekend).  We had lunch at the Atlanta Bread Company and then went to the Crystal Bridges Museum of Contemporary Art, which was founded in 2005 by Alice Walton.  The museum’s architecture is a very unique work of art itself.  It was designed by Moshe Sadfie and incorporates a bridges theme with water, glass, steel, and concrete nestled in a hardwood forest with several miles of walking trails around it.  Admission to the museum is free (sponsored by Walmart).  While walking through the museum we "ran into" Sen. John McCain who was being shown around by Alice Walton herself.  The Senator was in town to participate in a Veterans' Day event.

After leaving the museum we drove back to Eureka Springs in time to take a photo walk through the historic section before sundown.  Eureka Springs is really a neat town.  Inside the city limits are over 60 natural springs, three lakes, and over 1800 acres of city parks.  It is also home to the Eastern Collard Lizard, the only place in Arkansas.  I’m not sure what a Collared Lizard is.   At first I thought they must be lizards that are found in collard greens, but I did a little research and learned I was a little off base.  It is actually a lizard that has coloring around the neck that resembles a collar.  Also seen around Eureka Springs are white squirrels.  They are not albinos, but genetic color variants of the gray squirrel species.

Tomorrow we leave Eureka Springs and make the short hop up to Branson, MO.  The only show I really want to see is and Eagles tribute.  The Eagles are one of my favorite groups so I hope the cover band does them justice.

I’ve added a new photo page entitled Crystal Bridges and Eureka Springs.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


We went into town today for lunch at an Italian restaurant, DeVito's.  It was good, but not great.  We did have trouble finding a parking place and ended up walking further than anticipated.  The streets in the old historic section of Eureka Springs were laid out as dictated by the very hilly, almost mountainous, terrain on which the city was built.  They are not straight and the blocks are not rectangular, which makes it somewhat difficult to navigate the first time you visit Eureka Springs.  The buildings are very 1880's, mostly constructed of stone or brick with many being of the Victorian style.  The town is composed mostly of "cutesy" shops, boutiques, and eating establishments.  It's a shoppers' paradise, but I am not a shopper.  However, I am looking forward to walking around town with my camera tomorrow.

There was quite a nice sunset this evening and I am including a photo of it in this post.

A Eureka Springs Sunset

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Ozarks

The best part of the drive to Eureka Springs was after we entered the Ozark Mountains. Hardwoods seem to be the trees of choice in the Ozarks as there are very few pine trees to be seen.  Unfortunately, we just missed the brilliant red, yellow, and orange fall colors but the scenery is still quite spectacular.  Of course, viewing this mountain scenery comes with a cost – mountain roads.  The last 30 miles or so into Eureka Springs was on some very curvy and steep uphill and downhill grades.  But it was worth it.   

We arrived about 2 PM.  One of the other couples was already here but the other three were late arriving due to an unfortunate flat tire on one of the cars being towed.  Once everyone was here we went out to dinner at Myrtie Mae’s, a recommended restaurant in the Best Western Inn of the Ozarks.

Eureka Springs is currently hosting the PCA’s (Porsche Club of America) 2012 “Escape to the Ozarks” in which over 300 Porsches from around the country are participating.  A lot of the attendees seem to be staying at the Best Western, as the parking lot was running over with Porsches.  As we walked into the restaurant I really wanted to say, loud enough for those in the restaurant to hear, “Did you see that Porsche get hit in the parking lot?” just to see how many of the diners would jump up and race out of the restaurant.  I really wish I had done it.  Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Off Again

Home barely a week and tomorrow we hit the road again!  Just a short trip this time.  We are leaving tomorrow morning (Election day but we voted early) and meeting four other couples in Eureka Springs, AR, where we will spend a few days before visiting Branson, MO.   

We will be going to some shows in Branson, however, after checking the schedule of shows it seems that many of them have a Christmas theme, being that time of year I suppose.  I really don't care to attend several shows in which a lot of the music will be repeated.  How many times do I want to pay to hear White Christmas performed? 

Some of the shows I am interested in are a Patsy Cline tribute show, a George Jones show (the actual George Jones himself), a Hank Williams tribute show, a Mickey Gilley (himself) show, a Motown show, a Neil Diamond tribute show, the Oak Ridge Boys (themselves), and an Eagles tribute show.  I'll have to narrow the list down as each show costs around $40 a ticket, so that's $80 a show.

After Branson, Carol Ann and I will be going home the long way, through Searcy, AR.  We are going to Searcy to see the "Fog Doctor" and have the windows in our motorhome defogged.  They are double pane windows and after a few years it isn't unusual for the gaskets to leak and the insides of the windows to become "fogged".  The "Fog Doctor" removes the windows, takes them apart, cleans them, rebuilds them with a new gasket, and re-installs them in the motorhome - usually in one day.  We will arrive in Searcy and park at the Fog Doctor's place (full hook ups) the evening before our appointment.

Once back home in Nacogdoches for a week, we will take off again for a rally in Johnson City, TX.  After that we plan on staying home until February when we go to a rally in Lafayette, LA for the five days of Mardi Gras.  Lafayette's Mardi Gras celebration is second only to that of New Orleans.   Should be fun.