Hastings, MN. Early May, 2021

Heading North

When it is time to leave we know it. We watch the weather, not much we can do about that other than adjust timing. The weather looked good on the way home for the coming weekend but more stormy later in the week. Time to go.

There are lots of ways to go from here to there, where ever those places may be. Sometimes a leisurely pace is wonderful. Sometimes we want to avoid traffic or construction. Sometimes safety is a concern. Sometimes just getting there is the goal.

We left on a Sunday which we like to do, somehow it seems there is less traffic that day and headed north on US and TX highways to I20 west of the Fort Worth area and then east to pickup the highway that goes around the NW Fort Worth metro area to I35W going north. I35 splits south of Dallas and Forth Worth like it does for Minneapolis and Saint Paul and comes back together well to the north. There was come construction as we went through all of this about 2 in the afternoon but overall it was OK. I would really not have wanted to do this on a weekday.

Lots of truck traffic going north, way more than last year coming home. There were times last year going the same way when we could see no traffic ahead or behind in either direction. Not so this year.

WinStar Casino

We got just a short way into Oklahoma and stopped at an immense Casino that had an RV campground. We had made a reservation just to be sure of having a spot. Good thing we did as it was mostly full. When we checked in the front desk person asked if we had a WinStar Casino Card. I said no and she said if I signed up for one the camping was free. The card was free so I got a card and free camping. All of the other benefits at the Casino went unused since we didn’t want to unhook and drive over to the casino and the shuttle service was not running.

Nice spot in a flat open windy part of Oklahoma with a nearly full moon.

We did see another Foretravel in the park, a classic early 90s model. No one home, their car was gone, likely at the casino.

The next morning we were heading further into Oklahoma where it is almost always windy. We have had the both awnings blow open in strong cross winds in Oklahoma and Nebraska once each so we have added a way to make the awning more secure. We put on the suspenders just to be safe. Checking the winds it looked more like the winds were mostly from the south for the next couple days so not much to be concerned about, easier than driving in crosswinds and a nice tail wind is always helpful.

This web site is helpful for winds and more

https://www.ventusky.com/

Our goal for the day was as far as we got. We managed to get on the road early (by 9 ish) and traffic was OK and the weather was overcast and dry. We swapped drivers a couple times, stopped for a short lunch break, and watched the green of the trees and grasses we had seen in TX slowly turn browner as we went north. Leaves became buds. It was like going back in time.

We made it to Kansas where the Interstate becomes a toll road. That just means you have to pay to drive on a road that is no better than most with very limited on/off opportunities and the only services are the service plazas. $20 for the privilege.

A Corp of Engineers Park, in Kansas, Really

Last year we stayed at a small RV park south of Kansas City owned by a young couple. They were just getting going then so we thought we would help out again this year. We called, they were full. Good for them and for us too actually. It made us start looking for other choices and we found a Corp of Engineers Park near Lebo, KS not far off the path. As most of them are, it was connected to a dam and a lake. It had several campgrounds on Melvern Lake and one on a small lake below the dam. We stayed at the Outlet Lake Campground. It was almost full. The volunteer check-in person said they were full most of the time especially on the weekends.

Nice sites, full hookups and only $15 a night with our National Parks Geezer Pass. It was hot so a couple hours of air conditioning was nice. As the sun went down it started cooling off but it only got down into the 60s.

Our site was right on the lake.

And the moon was still close to full.

This is a nice place to know about. We will likely be back.

The next day we got going by 8:30 or so. That put us in the Kansas City area about 10 AM. We went cross the south side of the metro area (Kansas City, Kansas) into Missouri (Kansas City, Missouri) and then north which avoids the downtown areas there were less turns but still a lot of traffic and construction.

And then north through Missouri. It was getting hot, into the upper 80s, windy, still a tail wind that looked like it would change in northern Iowa. By the time we got to Des Moines the winds had helped add more than 15% to our miles per gallon. shortly thereafter the wind direction turned 180 degrees now out of the north. MPG suffers.

Home

We had thought of stopping at Albert Lea, a nice WalMart and fuel stop there but it was starting to rain just as we were leaving Iowa and more rain expected overnight and in the morning. We thought stopping there would get us home by noon the next day. It was about 5 and only a couple hours to go. So we decided to head for home after a stop for fuel. We belong to a fuel discount program that lets us use our card at truck stops. No need to go inside, much faster fill ups and we save about 50¢ or more per gallon.

It rained (heavy mist to light rain) most of the way. The temperature dropped more than 30 degrees. The rain stopped shortly before Hastings. We drove home and pulled straight into the driveway, went into the house, turned up thermostats, turned on the water heater, turned on the water pump and went back to the coach where it was warm, made supper, watched the local news and went to bed.

The next day the house and water were warm. We moved from one house to the other and did loads of laundry. We disconnected the Jeep and maneuvered the coach into the barn and went grocery shopping. We were home.

The grass is green, trees are leafing out quickly. More trimming and clean up in the woods. Buckthorn bushes to eradicate, the grass needs fertilizer and cutting, the sprinklers need to be started up. We have to finish, file, and pay taxes. I signed up for Habitat work days. Susan went to the ortho Doc, all is well, and got signed up for more PT. There are doctors and dentists to see. And lots of projects waiting. There is lots to do.

Spring has sprung. Good to be home.

More Later, Much Love

Roger and Susan

2 thoughts on “Hastings, MN. Early May, 2021”

  1. Good to hear that you made it home safely! Love COE parks, but hard to get into, especially in Florida. We are enjoying our long stay here in Yellowstone and will be leaving here on the 4th of November. Heading south from here! Welcome home and yes, there is always something to do! Have fun!

    Like

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