We finally officially left the Southwest by going east in New Mexico all of 16 miles to Texas & Central Time, ending up at Roaring Springs Camping Club (a private golf & camping club in the Coast to Coast network), somewhere east of Plainview TX. There were six or seven different camping areas, some up on a butte, some along a stream, some in a canyon, & some next to the golf course clubhouse (which is where we parked). I could pick up a screaming fast wifi from the clubhouse, but had to walk up near it to make a phone call (standing in one spot, facing a specific direction). There was lots & lots of green grass (Kira loved that) & lots of mesquite trees & blooming redbud trees, while still allowing for a satellite signal. Really nice campground . . .except for that no cell phone signal.
While hanging out in the golf course, we drove north an hour or so to visit Caprock State Park, the southern end of the same geologic feature that created Palo Duro Canyon to the north (which we stopped to visit last spring on our eastern migration). It has some spectacular red cliffs & rocks for Texas, but once you’ve seen southern UT, it takes a lot to beat those big red rocks. The park also has a huge herd of bison.
We got a phone call on the day we left from a chiropractor’s office which the VA in Branson referred Jeff to. Great, fantastic — except they wanted to see him Monday. . .4 days before we were planning on getting back to Branson. So, we stirred the jello & traveled for three days straight (something we’ve learned gets real uncomfortable) instead of hanging out for several days of recuperation.
We stopped for the night at the campground in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge near Lawton OK & Ft Sill. And there really were mountains there in the OK plains. It must be really pretty when all the trees get leafed out. The refuge has a large herd of bison, plus wild turkeys & longhorn cattle.
The next we morning, we hustled off to another Coast to Coast campground near Eufaula Lake OK, also a private campground connected to C2C. A huge storm area was heading toward us, so we actually pulled out of camp at 5:37am the next morning so we could stay ahead of the rain. Every time we stopped that morning, sprinkles caught up to us. Once we got to Ft Smith AR tho, the rain continued east & we headed north. We pulled into Compton Ridge Campground in Branson at 11am — nicely ahead of the rain that arrived early evening. Yeah — we’re home!!
That was 3 weeks ago & since then Jeff’s had several chiropractic treatments that are helpful & Kira had surgery to remove the worry wart from her side (a fatty cyst diagnosed last summer). That place annoyed her all winter & she was continually chewing it raw. Turns out it had become cancerous, & since dogs can smell cancer, she knew it didn’t belong on her side. She handled the surgery, stitches, huge area shaved on her side, & the cone around her neck extremely well for two weeks. I continue to be so in awe of how well animals cope with unexpected events — mainly since they don’t have the kind of expectations that we humans have. However, that first evening, she was definitely working on giving us poor puppy-dog eyes.
The only significant thing to happen besides Jeff’s chiropractic treatments & Kira’s surgery since returning to Branson is that I finally decided to replace my Windows 7 heavy, hot, bulky laptop that has a new keyboard that has once again developed keys that don’t work. Makes for very difficult typing. And as much as I LOVE my Samsung Galaxy S5 smart phone, typing, viewing, & editing photos on it just doesn’t work well for me. After much research & sleeping on it, I finally selected an Asus Aspire Switch 10, a 10” screen 2-&-1 Windows 8.1 computer that has a decent enough keyboard with a detachable screen making it a handy little tablet. Besides the learning curve getting used to Win8.1, I’m really happy with this inexpensive, not terribly fast or powerful but lightweight, versatile, & runs cool computer. I can once again create blog posts using Windows Live & view/edit photos using Picasa (the main things I want a Windows computer for). Haven’t gotten back to spreadsheets yet, but they are my original passion on computers. I still prefer reading email & playing solitaire & Sudoku on my phone, but using an external USB 500G hard drive attached to the keyboard, I can back up every & anything & keep the zip-drive-style 64G hard drive in my computer’s screen from filling up. And I really, really like the touch screen even when the keyboard is attached.
Seems April has been cooler, cloudier, & windier than usual, but that’s what jackets are for. I’m just hoping we can escape the hot, humid muggies of summer in the Ozarks by going somewhere cool & dry (north and/or up in elevation).