BLOGGING ON THE ROAD
BLOGGING ON THE ROAD
South Dakota Here We Come!
On the morning of May 11, 2018, we said our goodbyes to the Lewis & Clark State Park campground in Onowa, Iowa, and were excited to continue our adventure. Today would be the day that the half-way point of our trip to Washington would be reached. We were headed to the state of South Dakota, north-central United States; otherwise known as the Midwestern region of the country.
Our first stop was Yankton, South Dakota. The pictures above were taken at the Gavins Point Dam / Lewis & Clark Lake located in the golden chalkstone-lined valley of the Missouri River. As you can tell by the pictures we had ventured into a climate a bit chillier than that of Middle Georgia! However, we didn't let a little cold air and rain keep us from exploring our surroundings and loving every minute of it!
We were delighted to be in yet another pivotal location along the Lewis & Clark expedition trail. We were standing at the very point where Lewis & Clark, while traveling up the Missouri River on their historic journey to the Pacific Ocean, participated in a Grand council with the Yankton Sioux Native Indians at a site located below Calumet Bluff. This was the first meeting of Lewis & Clark with a Souix tribe on their journey upstream. An amicable relationship with the Souix was of utmost importance for safe travel and success along the arduous trail that lay ahead of them.
The Lewis & Clark Visitor Center now stands on Calumet Bluff marking the 1804 Grand council meeting. The facility was closed while we were in Yankton, so we did not get to experience the historical nuggets tucked away inside those walls; however, we suggest you visit this remarkable historical location when in the area.
We decided to remain in Yankton for two nights as we had a total of 1,220 miles behind us and felt that a two-day respite was well deserved. Our layover was not all rest and relaxation. The dreaded necessity of washing clothes in a public laundry mat could no longer be postponed another day, so we reluctantly gathered our mound of dirty laundry and trekked off to said public local laundry mat.
While there we met some interesting folks and did actually survive the daunted task. With piles of clean clothes stacked in the back seat of our truck we headed to the Lewis & Clark Meat Lodge, where we proceeded to purchase two lovely steaks for the grill to reward ourselves for a task well done!
Now that we were rested, refreshed, well fed, and wearing clean clothes we were antsy to head out to our next appointed destination, The Badlands of South Dakota.
We can't say enough about The Bad Lands...we loved it! The ride included acres upon acres of wide flatland with green grasses and sparse trees. I never imagined that I could ever in my lifetime enjoy the beauty of such tree-less lands, but I did! I really did! What an eye opener it was to get out of my comfort zone and discover this great country of ours.
If I had to name an important lesson gained from this adventure, it would be learning to embrace the beauty of diversity. Nature was created with a plethora of diverse beauty, and it encompasses the entire earth for all mankind to experience in joy and jubilation. Natures breathtaking beauty and magnificence fills my spirit with awe and humility, and every ounce of my being longs to sit and converse with its Creator.
Fear and caution have their place in life; however, to be controlled by them is limiting and fruitless. Life is meant to be discovered. Have you noticed natures beauty as of late? If not, get out there and behold the gifts that await those who dare to explore.
Peace and love everybody. : )
Wow! We have been making glorious memories traveling, exploring, volunteering, visiting cousins, and just enjoying our time together. We have so much to share!
After departure from the Lewis & Clark State Park in Kansas, we made a lengthy bee-line to the Lewis & Clark State Park in Onawa, Iowa. The countryside at this point was not much different from what we were used to seeing in the southeast. As we forged ahead cross-country we listened to historical audio books of how the western United States was discovered, hard-fought, and acquired.
Inching close to the top of our list of books was an audio book called Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis Thomas Jefferson And The Opening Of The West by Stephen E. Ambrose. It took us back to 1803 when Thomas Jefferson hired his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a voyage up the Missouri River, across the Rockies, and by way of the Snake and mighty Columbia rivers down to the Pacific Ocean. Jefferson was hoping to prove that a commercial waterway passage could be found clear across the land from the east to the west.
Pictured above is a full-size replica of the Lewis & Clark Expedition keelboat that was used to laboriously navigate the rivers when possible. You can see these historic boats at the Lewis & Clark Visitor Center in Onawa, Iowa, the only center on the Lewis & Clark Trail with replicas of all the boats of the Expedition. What a treat this was to clearly visualize a part of history coming together before our eyes!
Undaunted Courage was suggested to us by a good friend and while listening to the story, we passed the hours driving through massive amounts of countryside and realized that we were on portions of the same route that Lewis & Clark had taken 215 years prior to our own journey. We found ourselves in many of the exact locations where they had been, and we were visualizing frequent scenes of a well documented account of history. It was AMAZING!
This book receives an A+ by Maynard Time, and we highly recommend everyone read and/or listen to Undaunted Courage.
The Lewis & Clark State Park and Visitors Center in Onawa, Iowa, gets an A by Maynard Time. The grounds were clean, welcoming, and the pull-through sites were a plus for RV camping. We were intrigued with the knowledge of the volunteers at the Visitors Center and seeing the full-size boat replicas was a real life-size treat for us.
We are nearing South Dakota, home of the Badlands, majestic structures, and wildlife so stay tuned. If you enjoy our Maynard Time blog, please like us and share us with your friends.
Peace and love y'all!
Welcome to Maynard Time! We do things at our own pace, and sometimes that means taking a long break in between posts. Sorry about that. We are located in a spectacular valley here at Quilcene National Fish Hatchery with tall majestic mountains on all sides of us and absolutely no television reception. We maxed out our phone data rather quickly thus posting blogs and any web use came to an abrupt stop.
The picture below gives you a bit of an idea of where we are located; however does not show that the mountains go on for miles.
We bit the bullet and purchased an RV Dish satellite and Wally receiver in hopes of using much less phone data; therefore freeing up our Android hot spots for our internet. I found it extremely difficult to not be able to get online with my computer. I'll admit it, I am quite attached to modern technology and find myself wondering what in the world I used to do without being "plugged in."
Our drive on travel day number three took us along Interstate 70 across Missouri to Weston Bend State Park in Weston, Missouri, a 279-mile trip. I never knew that Missouri was so wide.
One sight that we were very interested in was the Mark Twain National Forest in Rolla, Missouri, where there is over 750 miles for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking as well as canoeing, kayaking, and camping. Had we not already had our destination scheduled for the night, this would have been a lovely place to stay. Perhaps we can come back some day.
Another point of interest along Interstate 70 is the Bonnie and Clyde Shootout Souvenirs in Jefferson City, Missouri. Bonnie and Clyde were hold up in a couple of cabins at Red Crown Motel when a posse caught up with them, and well, you know the rest of that story. Crime does not pay!
Fulton, Missouri, is home to the National Churchill Museum, on the campus of Westminster College. The museum remembers and commemorates the life, times, and distinguished career of Sir Winston Churchill. There is an actual chunk of the Berlin Wall on exhibit at the museum. A stop at this small college town is well worth the time to take a step back and brush up on a bit of pretty significant history.
At days end, we were happy to reach Weston Bend State Park for the night, and it is a lovely campground. Unfortunately this is the only picture we have of Weston Bend State Park. We had a lovely site with trees in between each site that provided great privacy. The sites were angled on lush rolling hills. We were put to the test on those rolling hills when we struck out for a walk after a long day in the truck.
We give this campground an A+. Great job Weston Bend State Park!
Day number two on the road began with warm sunshine and an early morning walk marveling in all the beauty of J. Percy Priest Lake in La Verne, Tennessee. We needed this walk as we were looking at 321 miles ahead of us and 4 hr 45 min driving to our next stay-over at Casino Queen RV Park in St. Louis, Illinois. This was Benny's pick; he wanted to spend the night next to the Mighty Mississippi River, and we did, albeit in a casino RV park. Hey, we are in it for the adventure, and it's all good!
Our route to St. Louis was via Interstate 24 from Tennessee through southwest Kentucky and into Illinois. The drive was easy with quite a few spots of interest to stop, stretch our legs, and of course eat. We certainly can say that we have eaten our way clear across the United States (and it is showing). I am standing in my kitchen/living room writing this blog wearing my stretchy pants and feeling like a stuffed traveler!
The pictures above are of the Mississippi River, downtown St. Louis, and the Gateway Arch. We arrived too late to safely take a walk over to the arch, so the decision was made to visit the arch first thing the next morning; however, Mother Nature had other plans. The next morning we awoke to dark clouds and rain, so the arch had to be placed on a list of sights to visit on another trip.
Casino Queen RV Park, according to B&M rating, is rated a B. It is a great place to visit if you are going to spend time in the casino. They offer a shuttle back and forth to and from the casino, the RV sites are pull-through with full hook-ups including internet, a bath house and laundry, and the park is gated with security. The minus for us was that it was a parking lot in the city, and we were country mice gone to the hustle and bustle of city outskirts.
Of note, when traveling with and without reservations, take into consideration the safety of the area where you will be camping. Crime rate statistics can easily be checked through sites like NeighborhoodScout.com, City-Data.com, and SpotCrime.com. With a little bit of online research and listening to your 'gut' you and your family can feel more secure in your surroundings.
Our next stop is Kansas City, Missouri. Like and follow us as we make our way to Washington State in our 30' travel trailer. We call it HOME!
Springtime mornings in the south are a favorite time for us. Waking to cool crisp air, the symphony of bird song melodies, unfolding shades of new greenery, and stunning spring flowers is heavenly. On the morning of May 7, 2018, we had all the southern beauty but this was different than all the other spring mornings of our lives. This was the jumping-off point of Benny & Marsha's Great Adventure!
We were really going to do it, drive clear across the United States from Brooks, Georgia to Quilcene, Washington and be a 'magnanimous' 2,782 miles away from our beloved family and friends for four months! Yikes! Apprehension, nervous excitement, fear of the unknown, eagerness, and enthusiasm were jostling around in my head, but Benny was full of eagerness and ready to get the adventure on the road. We were at the point where we felt there was no turning back or change of mind to hold us in comfortable surroundings; so we were on our way!
Our route took us clear through and around the Atlanta area, up through North Georgia, across a little stretch of Alabama, and into Tennessee. I must admit sheepishly that I was full of trepidation on the busy crowded interstates with the 18-wheeler's blowing by us and narrowing of lanes due to road construction here, there, and everywhere! Bless Benny's heart he was more than patient with me and powered through. He was calm and cool under the pressure and got us to where we needed to go with precision and safety. Thank you, Benny!
Our first overnight stop was Poole Knobs Campground, a part of J. Percy Priest Lake, in La Verne, Tennessee, just outside Nashville. After pulling into the hilly campground we found another camper in our reserved site. We scratched our heads a little bit and talked with the person occupying our site, who after realizing his mistake offered us his site. We agreed to switch sites, and the problem was easily solved. (Actually it worked out great for us because his site had a better view than ours.) We were happy campers, had dinner, enjoyed the evening, and fell asleep excited about the day ahead of us.
Poole Knobs Campground is a beautiful campground, and we give it an A for beauty, cleanliness, and safety. The area has many outdoor activities, recreation, and is in close proximity to Nashville, Tennessee. If you are going to be in the area camping, check out the US Army Corp of Engineers website for more information and reservations.
Did you enjoy this post, then will you please give us a thumbs up? Thanks! Next stop East St Louis, Illinois.