Sunday, July 29, 2012

Summer Update – Part II

On July 5, we headed south to Acorn Acres RV Park & Villas in Branson West. It was a very hot day, like all of them seem to be, and we were sure glad when the set-up process was finished. Here’s what our home-away-from-home looks like.


On the drive down there, we noticed a noise in the front end of the coach. It seemed to go away at times, but it was a nagging issue. In the next couple of days, Julian did a number of things to try to diagnose it, and decided it must be a belt – something that had to be fixed prior to driving any further distances.

We scheduled a 9:00am appointment with a local repair shop. So that morning, we packed up the coach and were ready to head out by 8:40. The engine would not start – not even turn over. He tried the bypass switch to let the starter use the house batteries. Still nothing. After calling the insurance people, a tow truck came out to try to get it started. Again, nothing. That tow truck wasn’t big enough to pull us, so we waited another half hour or so till a heavy duty tow truck could come in. He got us hooked up and very skillfully pulled us out of the park, down to the repair shop.

After a morning of diagnosis, we were told that 1) the starter was bad and 2) the clutch on the dash air conditioner was out, the cause of the noise we heard. The starter was found locally (thankfully) and was installed the same day. The clutch had to be ordered and wouldn’t be available for several days!

We had hoped to get that installed on our way out of town, but the 3rd party warranty company wouldn’t leave the ticket open that long. So, again, we broke camp and headed to the repair shop. The job was expected to take 3 to 4 hours. We found things to do and then returned after lunch to learn that the old clutch was frozen to the compressor. They had ruined several tools in their efforts to get it off. Oh, no!

They cleared it with the warranty people and ordered a compressor to be installed when we are ready to leave this campground. So hopefully we’ll get it completely handled at our next appointment on August 10. Cross your fingers, please. It’s been a crazy summer for mechanical issues.

Aside from all that, the heat here (everywhere) has been unbelievable. It’s been about 3 weeks of triple digit temps, which makes it tough to find things to do. It’s just too hot!

We have done a little fishing and may be on to something, finally. We went to Table Rock Lake and looked at a couple places where we could get down to the water, outside of Kimberling City. We fished the first of those two and got a couple of bites. The problem was the large rocks everywhere, making it difficult to get around. The rocks extended into the lake and we lost more than one hook while there.


We went to the second location the same day. It was gravel, not rock and much easier to deal with. We even had a couple bites. When we ran out of worms, we had to leave. We returned a few days later and had a really good time. We didn’t bring anything home, but we caught 2 catfish, 2 sunfish, 1 bluegill and a small turtle (oops). All swam away, back into their home.



We also went to Lake Taneycomo, on the south side of Branson. We found a public access area and attempted to catch some trout. It didn’t work out, but we did find a great campground next door. We’ve decided to spend 4 nights there, right on the lake, before leaving the area. Fishing every day! Well, for one of us anyway.


Stay tuned. My next update will include some of the fun things we’ve done in addition to fishing and coach repairs. Honest, we have had some fun and had some great meals out, too.

Happy trails!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Summer Update – Part 1

Yes, I know – it’s long overdue. I haven’t been motivated, primarily because we haven’t done a lot that was news-worthy. We aren’t traveling around like some other summers, nor are we doing a great deal of sight-seeing. We do have some pictures to share and I’ll try to get you caught up on at least part of the last month and a half.

One thing we hoped to do a lot of this summer was fishing. We’ve been around a lot of water, but it wasn’t easy to get to in a lot of cases.

One place we did get to, was the Osage River, just below the dam which creates the Lake of the Ozarks. Here’s Julian, hard at work trying to catch something. You can see the dam in the background.


We didn’t catch any fish that day. We returned to the same spot one other morning. We didn’t catch anything then, either, but we did have an experience. We heard the horns blow, but didn’t really know what it meant. Others there told us it meant that they were going to be releasing water from the dam. Being less than a mile from the dam meant we needed to get our stuff and move to higher ground. No fooling! By the time we got the gear into the car, the water level had risen quite a bit. Julian’s pole was now in the water! We got everything picked up and headed out. Our campground was less than 2 miles downstream, on  the same river, and by the time we got home we could see that the water had risen several feet. It didn’t last, but it was an interesting thing to experience.

There is a pond behind our campsite that reported had fish in it. Julian fished it without success, until one night when he left the baited hook in the water overnight. The next morning there was a catfish on the line. He didn’t keep it, thinking there would be more to come.

The campground had a dock right on the river, complete with a cleaning station. Julian went down there early one morning. He caught this awesome sunrise, but didn’t bring home any fish.


My very best friend, Judy, stopped in to spend a night with us shortly after we got to the Ozarks. She had been to Louisiana for a class reunion and stopped here on her way home to Colorado. It was so great to see her. We talked and talked and had a great time.

Our neighbors from Florida joined us at the campground for a full week. On July 2, the four of us rented a pontoon and went out on the Lake of the Ozarks. We had a blast. We did get a few bites, but no fish that we could keep, unfortunately. It was a totally fun day in spite of the lack of fish.


The weather has been super dry and very hot. When we arrived at Riverview Campground, there was green grass. We even had one day of rain. But by the time we left on July 5, the grass was pretty well burned to a crisp. It was sad to see it happen.

While in the Lake of the Ozarks area, we found some great food (as usual). So many places on the lake to choose from! We mostly ate out for lunches and often split a meal. (That’s better for our waist-lines.) I don’t think we got around to going to all the places that we thought looked really good. So many restaurants, so little time.

One day we drove north to Boonville, MO. They were having a celebration, complete with craft and food booths and a parade. It didn’t take long to get through the booths and the parade was primarily slow moving fire trucks. So we headed to the casino. (Yes, that was in the plan anyway.) We didn’t do very well, but we did have a good time.

Due to a number of factors unforeseen at the beginning of our trip, we decided NOT to spend the originally planned two months there. So we took a couple of days to find someplace we’d rather stay. We put a lot of miles on the car. It took some real work, but we finally found Acorn Acres in Branson West. That would be our next stop.

More to come in the near future. Till then: Happy Trails!