Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat! Smell My Feet!

Give me something good to eat!  I only had one trick or treater. He seemed a little big for a kid. He said he was dressed as an old, fat man and he didn't want candy, he wanted a beer! LOL!

Angela's Pumpkin


My friend Angela had a cool pumpkin on her porch and I found an old picture of me wearing Laton's traditional costume he always wore to work before he retired.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Air Conditioning Required in October?

It has been warm and muggy here in Virginia the last few days.  It rained today and the roof patch held. YES! We have been using the air conditioner to stay comfortable the last few days. 

Our mail has caught up with us so have been enjoying all our magazines and letters and cards from friends.  A mail service is great for travelers like us.  We just call when we settle for a few days and the box of mail arrives via priority mail. 

We are planning our sightseeing assault.  Mt. Vernon is on our list and is just down the road on the Jefferson Davis Highway. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mary Washington, the Mother of George!

Mary Washington Monument
 As we ran our errands today we ended up near the Mary Washington Monument in Fredericksburg, VA.  It required me to come home and look her up on the internet. 

She appears to be a very interesting woman.  Looks like George was raised by a single, working mom.  See, latchkey kids can be president. lol

It is only 40 feet high and was built near a meditation rock where Mary liked to spend time, near her daughter's home.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Come on you sons....

I loved this phrase carved in the marble of the Marine Corp Museum.  The museum was very interesting.  Laton and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It is free and well worth the time. It is amazing to think of all these men and woman giving service to our country, oftentimes at the expense of their lives.  It was humbling and I was very proud to know our son, Stephen Hammond is a Marine!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The National Museum of the Marine Corps

USMC Museum

We can't wait!

Laton and I were looking for a post office and our feisty GPS aka. Margaret took us to the Triangle, VA location.  On the way we saw the The National Museum of the Marine Corps.  We did not have time to check it out as we were meeting our friends. We took a picture to send to our son Stephen, who was in the Marines, and put it on our bucket list of things to see.

The weather here has been overcast with a light drizzle of rain. There are acorn trees all over this park and the acorns fall on the trailer and make quite a whack sound and then they roll off.  It is driving the dogs nuts (pun intended). Laton said they hurt when they hit him on the shoulder and head. Guess we need hard hats here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Twenty-One States

Our home for the next 30 days
We have covered 21 states since September 14, 2010.  We have settled in for 30 days at Aquia Pines Camp Resort. It is a very nice RV Park and we are attempting to set up our satellite dish as I type this.  Can't miss any more fall season shows! We plan on making several day trips and spend time with friends in the area.  Dragging the trailer through DC would be a nightmare, LOL! We also plan on driving up into the New England area and checking out Lancaster County (Amish area) and Hershey, PA (CHOCOLATE!!!!).  Everywhere you look in this area, there is a battlefield, or someone famous was born there or died there, or slept there.  The names on all the signs read like an American History book.  I don't know if 30 days will be enough, but if my sister and I can see Washington, DC in 6 hours, Laton and I should be able to do this.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

West Virginia

Blackwater Falls State Park Campground
 We left Canton, OH this morning, drove south and then east, crossed West Virgina and drove through the corner of Pennsylvania and back into West Virginia in about 30 minutes.  It was amazing.  Not like California, where it takes 2 days to drive the whole length of it. We are staying at Blackwater Falls State Park.  We have a great campsite with lots of room for the dogs. The fall foliage is absolutely gorgeous, bright yellows, oranges, reds and green.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Minature Golf and Football

Josiah & mom, Michelle

We had a great time watching the 3 great-nephews (they were great in a lot of ways, lol) whack a golf ball around until it was time for them to head back to Toledo with mom. 

Then we were off to Canton to watch Malone University play St. Xavier at Fawcett Stadium. Our nephew got us tickets and it was fun to see the college game but the loss was painful. It was homecoming and it was very nice to see all these wonderful, good looking kids being polite, but above all dressed appropriately! Trevor told us they get fined $15 for cussing. Glad I don't go to school there, I couldn't afford the fines. lol 

Trevor Rook
 Trevor's sister (click for pic) Kristyn Rook (blond) with her dad, Ray was crowned homecoming queen and to top it off, Del Norte High School Warriors beat their biggest rival, the Eureka Loggers.  This is the first year Ray Rook, Trevor and Kristyn's dad and my younger brother, has been the head coach.  It was a night for celebration in Crescent City, CA.

Uncle Bug! Uncle Bug!

Aunt Carrie, JoJo, Ben,
Uncle Bug and Tyler

Tyler roasting a marshmallow
The nieces and nephews have always called Laton, Uncle Bug, and today a whole new generation chorused the name.  Our niece, Michelle Ellis, drove down from Toledo, OH and stayed in a cottage here at the KOA with us.  Her three sons, Josiah, Benjamen and Tyler loved playing on the playground and roughing it.  Michelle brought us some wonderful Polish Kielbasa from a special meat market in Toledo and Uncle Bug made his famous beans and mac salad.  It was a bit chilly so we retired to the cottage and had s'mores roasted in the fireplace.  Laton showed the boys his full repertoire of magic tricks and the disappearing leg trick really was a hit.  All the boys had to try it! A fun afternoon and evening was had by all.  

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fun Family Weekend on the Agenda

Trevor and his Aunt Carrie
We are in Canton, Ohio. We met our nephew, Trevor Rook at Malone University and took him out to dinner.  We are so proud of him.  He is going to school here and is on the football team.  He is number 29 on the roster.  We get to see his game on Saturday.  It will be fun to hang out with him again after the game.

Tomorrow we have the pleasure of Laton's niece Michelle and her children coming from Toledo to spend some time visiting us.  It appears that these Ohio people are friendly. We are really looking forward to the visit.  It looks like a long drive on the map but Michelle claims it will only be a 2 hour drive to see us.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rain, Rain Go Away!

Snow Friends Christmas Card
Well, we had our first water test of our roof patching and it failed, sort of.  Laton had the foresight to buy a bucket and it fit perfectly in the middle of our bedroom floor under the antennae hole to catch the drips, but that appears to be the only drip. Trust me, this is a good thing.  I had a fun day working on a card swap while Laton finished up the outside repairs.  Actually, I have had a wonderful day.  I just found out I was named one of the winners in a Sketch challenge in July for the Spotted Canary with my Pink Birthday Card. I can't wait to see what my prize is. Whoo Hoo. I was so jazzed about winning with that pattern that I recreated it on my Snow Friends card.  I used light blue snowflake embossed rectangles on the card.  I love blue/brown together.  I thought the cranberry red touches helped bring the blue/brown color scheme into the holidays. PS Happy Birthday to our daughter, Lumara.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Apple Wagon Antique Mall

I would call this a funky chicken

I forgot to post this picture when we were in Indiana...We stopped at this terrific mall called the Apple Wagon Antique Mall.  It was a fun stroll through lots of antiques. Check out this chicken

Springfield, Ohio

Up on the Roof!
 We are spending a couple of days at Buck Creek State Park. We need to tweak the repairs on the roof and let it set up, then it should be good to go. We can get long term repairs done where we can spend some time and not be stuck on the road. This is where Laton has been spending the last couple of days.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Our Roof

Well, we finally talked to the insurance company.  We have decided to do a patch and get back on the road and then take care of the full repair job when we get to Virginia, where we will be spending a longer length of time.  There is rain headed this way and maybe we can outrun it. LOL! So, Ohio here we come.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Terra Haute, Indiana

We started on our maintenance this morning.  Laton got a ladder and finally got up on the roof of our trailer.  We have been a little worried about our owie from SD and looks like we were right.  The little owie has become a big owie and we now need major roof repair.  It had damaged our TV antenna which created bigger issues on the roof (wind and vibration certainly did not help) .  We have notified our insurance company and are now waiting to see how it will be repaired.  So, we did not get to go to the living history Lincoln's Farm. We hooked up and moved to a KOA in Terra Haute.  At least we have full hook-ups, wi-fi and cable while we wait for the insurance info and possible repairs.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Land of Lincoln

We have landed at Fox Ridge State Park near Charleston, Illinois.  We drove through St. Louis, MO and saw the Gateway Arch in the distance. There was a lot of road construction happening so Margaret (our GPS) took us on a detour north of St. Louis and we did not want to drag the 5th wheel through city traffic and construction.  Something we have noticed in the Midwest is the highways are narrow 2 lane roads very similar to our country roads on the west coast.  Laton said he gets a strange feeling when he looks in his side mirrors and observes one tire of the trailer on the yellow line and the other tire edging the grass. Sharing the roads with all this large (did I tell you very large?) farm equipment is somewhat nerve wracking for me.  We might stay another day because I want to see the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site.  It appears to be a living history working farm. I think it will be interesting.  And we have come enough miles that we need to change oil and do a little maintenance on the travel trailer.  So tomorrow is chore day (hope I can fit in some card making!)

Friday, October 8, 2010

"It is amazing that God allows the human race to get away with what it does when lightning is so cheap"

Carrie in front of the actual
cabin Mark Twain was born in
...We loved the above quote from our tour of the Mark Twain Birthplace State Historic Site . A new fact to us about Mark Twain: He was born premature in November and his parents were worried about him surviving the winter in the little cabin.

Clemen's cabin preserved a few
miles from where it originally stood

We decided to spend another day in this lovely park and take a rest from the road. I think the dogs enjoyed the rest also. 

Laton behind the wheel of a riverboat display

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mark Twain - Samuel Clemens

We had a wonderful breakfast at the Colony Inn in the Amana Colonies. All you can eat pancakes, fried potatoes, sausage, bacon, eggs, fruit, toast, juice and coffee. Oh, and wonderful strawberry preserves. We had to literally and figuritively roll out on the road after that meal. We have meandered down to Missouri today, through Hannibal, MO and ended up at the Mark Twain State Park on Mark Twain Lake.  It is very pretty, but has lots of insects flying around.  According to the camp host, no rattlesnakes but we do need to be careful of copperheads if we climb around on any rocks. WE won't be doing any climbing. lol We will be heading off to Illinois tomorrow.  We will be crossing the Mississippi again.  Love that river.  I think what I like best is saying in my head - M I crooked letter crooked letter I crooked letter crooked letter I humpback letter humpback letter I - I am giggling as I type this. We stopped early and took naps and had a leisurely late dinner, BBQ pork chops, YUM! Having a leisurely glass of rhubarb wine from South Dakota and then off to bed.  Obviously, the last couple of days have been all about the food.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Amana Kitchen Sink & Schnitzel's Ecke
From the Amana Colonies.  This has been a fun day.  Laton enjoyed the Cutlery Shop but was not thrilled with the Quilt Shop, the Kitchen Sink, the Book Store, the Antique Store but I rewarded him with a stop off at the Brewing Company.  We had our linner (late lunch, early dinner) at the Colony Inn.  The food was served family style and we had cottage cheese with chopped chives, sweet & sour kraut, salad with a very good buttermilk dressing, fresh rye bread, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, chicken schnitzel and fried chicken.  We were so full, all I wanted was a nap, but we were good and walked it off shopping. The architecture here is really interesting.  We were going to stay at the Amana RV park but the camp host was so rude, we left.  During linner we stumbled on a well-kept secret.  You can park behind the inn and use an electric hook up for $6. So that is where we are parked for the night.  There is a large field right outside our door so we can easily walk the dogs.  It is very quiet and peaceful in this wonderful colony/community.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


We decided to travel southwest to Iowa and will eventually drop down into Missouri and then start across Illinois in the next couple of days.  We stopped for Wisconsin cheese on our way today.  The Carr Valley Cheese Factory had the most amazing selection. We walked out with Cranberry Cheddar, Horseradish Cheddar and some Cranberry Chipotle Cheddar.  We passed on the 10-year old cheddar because we still have some excellent Tillamook Cheddar and how much cheese can 2 people eat? 

We have stopped at Maquoketa Caves State Park.  The caves are closed but the campground is open and we are the only people here.  It is beautiful and the dogs are having a great time.  Maggie played Frisbee with us and we loved every minute of it.

We are planning on visiting the Amana Colony tomorrow.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Yogi Bear & Boo Boo

We looked at that map and picked Baraboo, WI as our next stop.  We need to do laundry and dump and get new water so decided to stay at an RV Park.  Jellystone popped up on our GPS and off we go.  But Yogi and Boo Boo have already gone into hibernation and the park was closed.  I checked out our trusty GPS (alias Margaret) and we ended up at Christmas Mountain.  It has been nice to watch a little TV and get our laundry done.  Tomorrow we will be off to who knows where.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Big Island Rendezvous

Wild Goose Chase Cloggers
 We spent the morning at the Big Island Rendezvous  and it was a lot of fun. Over 1,200 "living history" re-enactors carry on their day-to-day lifestyles, as it would have been done over 200 years ago in the New World. The festival celebrates the history of the fur trade period (1650 - 1840) and early Frontier America (1750-1870) including the Civil War Era and Pioneer Settlement (1840-1865).

Big Island Rendezvouz Re-Enactment Players

Later this afternoon we traveled to Wisconsin and are staying at Perrot State Park, right on the Mississippi River. There is a lot of fall foliage and the weather report said it will be down to 36 degrees in the morning.  BURRRRRR!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Finally, Minnesota!

Laton with his trusty fire starter!

We made it to Minnesota and have settled at Myre-Big Island State Park.  Our camp site is in a grove of maple and basswood (according to the website).  All I know is it the most gorgeous fall display of colors I have seen to date.  You should see Maggie tearing through the dried leaves on the ground. Crunch! Crunch! Crunch! It is very chilly here and we have a lovely fire.  I even made a hot buttered honey whiskey, but of course, I needed a nap after that! LOL! We are thinking of staying another day here. There is a big festival in Albert Lea, the nearest town.  Might have to check it out.

Fire, Hot Buttered Honey Whiskey
and the beautiful fall colors! Love It!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Lake Vermillion, SD

Lake Vermillion, SD
We are still in South Dakota.  It is Minnesota or bust tomorrow.  This is the longest we have spent in any one state on this trip, not really by choice.  It is a lovely state but we are ready to move on.  It is chilly and windy this evening so no fire. To the Lakota Sioux, the word vermillion means “red paint”, and it is believed that Vermillion River is named for the red quartzite found along its bank. The lake is lovely and we seem to have a theme going on our camping areas, lake after lake, after reservoir, after river.

Laton is thinking about picking up a license to fish tomorrow.  The lake is supposed to have walleye, northern pike, groupie and bluegill. Guess we will see how the morning goes.