After leaving Quachita Lake in Arkansas, we spent a week parked in my girlfriend’s driveway in Springfield while Jeff visited the VA Clinic in Branson & an MRI was scheduled in Fayetteville in a couple of weeks to see what’s going on with his knee. In Branson, we also went out to eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant (Tequillas) with my cousin & her husband. We visited our storage unit & discovered we’d actually left our Casita manual a bag. I nearly tore up the trailer looking for that manual this winter! We also looked for but couldn’t unearth the little folding Coleman camp oven. . .so we went to the Coleman Outlet store in Branson to get another one. Sheesh — with so few material stuff, how can I misplace anything??
Since we had a couple of weeks until Jeff’s MRI on his knee, we decided to head north a few hours to finally visit my parents even tho it meant driving back south to Fayetteville for his appointment. So we spent a week parked at Crabtree Cove Campground, with electricity, on the east side of Stockton Lake while visiting my parents daily. It’s a really nice Corps of Engineer campground (like all COE campgrounds we’ve ever been to). Jeff even managed to do some fishing along the nearby shore, but didn’t have much luck (again).
The weather is normally iffy during the Spring in the Midwest — but this year has just been more bizarre than usual. As someone wrote in a blog, “We’ve had a very hard winter THIS SPRING!” Nevertheless, I love watching the leaves & blooms come out. And seeing gorgeous green fields — from horizon to horizon can’t be beat. It’d be the perfect summer place if it wasn’t for all the humidity, bugs, & tornado risks.
We reluctantly left my hometown & parents after a week to camp at Cape Fair COE, west of Branson, across from a marina on Tablerock Lake — killing time waiting for his MRI. Summer seemed like it was blasting past Spring there for a couple of days with 80+ temps. I finally had to turn on the A/C for a couple of days. Even tho it cooled down nicely at night (not like in the desert tho), parked right next to the Lake had a lot of nighttime humidity. Since we neither one slept well after the first hot day, we left the A/C on the 2nd night.
This time spent near Branson, Jeff got a permanent liner put in his upper dentures from last summer finally so hopefully he’ll get used to them & be able to eat things like lettuce & nuts again. He also actually caught three fish (a nice bass, a sunfish & a perch). We visited with my cousin & husband again, ate at Joe’s Crabshack, & got caught up on our laundry. My cousin’s husband has early onset dementia but has been taking 2 teaspoons of coconut oil daily (looks like lard, cooks like butter). Wow, after only a week, he is more alert & steadier on his feet. Who’d have thought it! Also learned that eating pineapple regularly helps prevent osteoporosis.
This got me motivated to finally make (bake) soft granola bars for travel mornings or whenever we don’t want to fix breakfast. I like this recipe because it doesn’t use flour or sugar & turned out to be easy, versatile, & very good.
Preheat oven to 350° & bake for 20-25 min until edges or golden brown. Or microwave on high in 2-5 min intervals for 20-22 min until firm. I used a round silicone baking pan in the microwave & stored the cut wedges in a baggy. It’s a little crumbly but includes many of our favorite items — & is good for us.
1 C of old fashioned oats
1 C dried cranberries or other fruit
½ C chopped salted nuts (mixed or single choice)
½ C coconut
1 t vanilla
½ t cinnamon
Add & stir:
2 mashed ripe bananas
½ C peanut butter
¼ C crushed pineapple or applesauce
I may make a batch sometime using dried blueberries or raisins, & possibly include coconut oil.
The morning that we left Cape Fair to head a couple of hours south to Fayetteville, IT SNOWED! OMG, and Arkansas has NEVER had snow in May before this. Even delaying returning to MO for nearly a month, it’s STILL snowing!!! The ONLY good thing I can say about it (well maybe two things) is that it’s too cold for a torndao, & the inch or so of snow we had melted fairly quickly. Amazing — we had all four seasons of weather in this one spot during a single week.
Thankfully, the roads were wet but good as we traveled to Fayetteville, & we camped east of Springdale (just north of Fayetteville) at yet another COE campground (Hickory Creek).
It drizzled all evening & was spitting snow the next morning. UGH! The roads were just wet thankfully although the wind made the mid 40’s temps quite uncomfortable. I had to dig out my sweat pants, boots, & winter coat again!
Jeff’s MRI went quickly & we were out of town, headed north up Hwy 71 (I-49) to Kansas City by 10 am. We won’t know the results until his doctor call in a week or two. Finally got out of the drizzle south of KC, but the day stayed cool & gloomy. Made it to my girlfriend’s driveway & got settled in. Sunday, we spent all afternoon at Jeff’s daughter’s house & really enjoyed seeing how much his (our?) 4½ yo grandson has grown. We’ll do little shopping today, visit with Jeff’s daughter again tonight, & head north again tomorrow for a girlfriend’s house in Sioux City IA. Love catching up with previous good friends whenever we’re in their neighborhood.
We’ll get to Sioux Falls SD Wednesday morning to pick up mail, renew truck/trailer licenses, & look for a hand gun. Yes, we’ve decided it might come in handy in certain locations & situations. As long as we hung out in AZ waiting for the snow to stop in MO, the rattlesnakes were out of hibernation. I don’t know that Kira has ever even seen (or smelled) a snake, but it just seems that somewhere down the road, having a hand gun available while boondocking in the wild might be a good thing. We found out in AZ that apparently you can only buy a handgun in the state that issued you a picture ID — so we’ll shop for one while in SD. I need to read up on the various state laws for traveling with a hand gun although it’ll probably just live in the trailer.
And then. . .AND THEN — FINALLY, we’ll head toward our summer job west of Ft Collins CO up Poudre River Canyon. Looks like we’ll be traveling in a lot of rain later this week, but at least our route shouldn’t include much risk of tornadoes. Hopefully I’ll have some interesting photos of our travels thru SD & NE. As much as we love catching up with friends & family, this marathon of socializing is physically draining tho. And traveling more than one day at a time really poops us out too. Geez, are we becoming hermits or recluses — or just OLD? However, I just can’t get enough of all the Spring blooms, lush green grass, tall trees filled out with new green leaves, & ponds, creeks, & lakes full of clear fresh water. Well. . .until a tornado is threatening. I’ve had enough of that!