A New Phase

So much has happened since I last wrote in this journal. On May 24, 2021 I had my left knee replaced by Dr. Derek Johnson in Parker, CO, followed by 6 weeks of PT. Now I am wrapping up 10 weeks post-op and wondering how I am going to motivate myself to lose 150 pounds and build up my strength and stamina. I don’t want to live my life in pain and unable to do the things I love, like enjoy travel and LIFE! John’s 85 year old cousin can run circles around me, and lets not even think about keeping up with John. Today was the final events of the Las Vegas CMSA, and what a winning family!

Anyway, back to motivation. I have from August 2021 to January 2022 to get in shape for our Caribbean cruise. We had to Fallbrook, CA tomorrow, and I hope to swim, do water aerobics, golf, walk, and maybe even bicycle there with Melitza Plautz and John for a week. It’s a start!

2020

Not a good year, and it is not yet over. I may try to remember the events that have occured since the year began, but for now I will just journal our latest RV travels, which began Friday, June 26, 2020. We have a cruise booked for March 2021, and pray Covid-19 won’t cancel our plans, as it did cancel our flights to visit Baxter and Nadine Evans in Newfoundland in June, and our extension trip to Iceland. We quarantined as long as we could stand it, and wrapped up wild horse commitments – more on that later. We had a fast-tracked schedule to make De Soto, MO for a 4th of July family reunion with my step-sisters Lisa & Cindy. I texted Lisa as we rolled down Highway 50 to let her know we were on our way. She immediately called to say the family reunion was Covid-cancelled, but we were more than welcome to come on and stay at her place. She would try to get Cindy to come visit. Works for us! Now we have time to stop and see friends in the Denver area!

Friday, June 26, 2020 Our 1st stop was Park City, UT, where we boondocked at the Bell Truck stop. We bypassed seeing Palomino at the Chilly-Pepper/Miracle Mustang rescue in Golconda, NV, and if memory serves, she was off rescuing wild horses somewhere anyway.

Saturday, June 27, 2020 in Rawlins, WY where we boondocked at the Pilot Travel Center. We are trying to have our 11 grand cruise paid off before we leave on that journey, so boondocking whenever we can.

Sunday, June 28, 2020 We stayed at an old favorite in Cheyenne, WY – Little America. When we lived in Broomfield, CO this little weekend retreat and golf course was always a delight.
Monday, June 29, 2020 Cheyenne, WY we enjoyed our favorite executive golf course, or at least one of my favorites. As per normal, John played and I drove the cart.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020 we arrived in Denver and found that Rocky Flats was not going to work out as a boondocking stop. Rumor has it motorhomes CAN overnight there for free, but damned if John and I could find an entrance large enough for Towanda. We are not thrilled to leave our rolling home any place unsafe or unauthorized, so I called my old friend and frequent lifesaver Jesus Alvarez. He hooked us up at his friend Mario’s in Fort Lupton, CO. Mario bought property with a former diesel mechanic’s garage and an old house, plus plenty of property to build a new home. Mario actually had a nice level concrete pad, as well as water and a 20 amp circuit. However, our primary concerns when searching for our next stop is always an open shot to the Southern sky for our DISH satellite. We can make do with our solar panels and generator (providing the landlords allow generators to be run). John prefered a spot further out on the property with fewer trees. It was perfect!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020 Denver – John & I visited with our good friend Diane Lawrence in Superior. Other than a quick hug, we wore masks and/or sat 6 feet apart. Another good friend, Michelle Wallace, was isolating in preparation for a total knee replacement, so no visiting with her. We also visited with Laurie & Doug Draper, sort of a veggie plate and beer fest, with no masks. John & I had dinner with Jesus and Brenda at El Paraiso Mexican Restaurant in Wheat Ridge with Gael, their 3 year old son. Jacqueline was sleeping over at friends. We wore masks and sat on the outdoor patio.

Thursday, July 2, 2020 Denver – Diane and I had lunch at PJ’s Diner in Superior, CO, and a wonderful visit. They too have outside seating, and all wore masks. I miss Diane! John & I had dinner with Loren and Wendy and Autumn Joy at Wholly Stromboli in Fort Lupton. AJ is a precious young lady, and our visit with the Dowhaniuk’s was delightful! We ate inside at a round booth, wore masks, but hugged anyway.

Friday, July 3, 2020 Jesus and Brenda invited us to join them and their friends at McConaughy Lake, NE. This was definitely not a Covid-19 safe experience. No masks, no 6 feet, lots of hugs. Nobody got sick!! Beautiful lake!

Saturday, July 4, 2020 McConaughy Lake, NE – our 33rd wedding anniversary was celebrated with a Mexican soup dish for lunch and fireworks that night!

Sunday, July 5, 2020 Beloit, KS Beloit City Park Chautauqua was a lovely FREE RV space, perfectly delightful, and we stumbled upon it after we took a wrong turn in Kansas.

Monday, July 6, 2020 Pawnee, OK Pawnee Lake to visit my old friend and “Sista” Martha Chapman. Beautiful lake and we finally got to meet the mysterious Troy Chapman. Sam & I had lunch with Erik one day, and visited with her cousin’s wife Fran. Justin came to visit, but Paul & Sam had a bit of a falling out, and she had not seen Gerry for quite a while, so no visits there.
Tuesday, July 7, 2020 Pawnee, OK Pawnee Lake
Wednesday, July 8, 2020 Pawnee, OK
Thursday, July 9, 2020 Pawnee, OK
Friday, July 10, 2020 Pawnee, OK
Saturday, July 11, 2020 Pawnee, OK
Sunday, July 12, 2020 Pawnee, OK
Monday, July 13, 2020 Pawnee, OK Enid, OK
Tuesday, July 14, 2020 Pawnee, OK
Wednesday, July 15, 2020 Pawnee, OK
Thursday, July 16, 2020 Pawnee, OK

Friday, July 17, 2020 Quapaw, OK Downstream Casino Resort – our 2nd stop at this Indian casino, which straddles the Oklahoma/Kansas border. We stayed on the casino/OK side this time, and had BISON to watch! Last time we stayed on the Kansas side in the RV park.
Saturday, July 18, 2020 Quapaw, OK

Sunday, July 19, 2020 Merriam, KS Walnut Grove RV – John had a colonoscopy & Upper GI, plus got to see Dr. Jody. John pssed all tests with flying colors.
Monday, July 20, 2020 Merriam, KS Walnut Grove RV
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 Merriam, KS Walnut Grove RV
Wednesday, July 22, 2020 Merriam, KS Walnut Grove RV
Thursday, July 23, 2020 Merriam, KS Walnut Grove RV
Friday, July 24, 2020 Merriam, KS Walnut Grove RV
Saturday, July 25, 2020 Merriam, KS Walnut Grove RV
Sunday, July 26, 2020 Merriam, KS Walnut Grove RV

Monday, July 27, 2020 Clinton, MO Truman Reservoir – this was a great lake to visit
Tuesday, July 28, 2020 Clinton, MO Truman Reservoir
Wednesday, July 29, 2020 Clinton, MO Truman Reservoir
Thursday, July 30, 2020 Clinton, MO Truman Reservoir

Friday, July 31, 2020 Boonville, MO Isle of Capri – Another repeat, killing time before seeing Ron
Saturday, August 1, 2020 Boonville, MO Isle of Capri
Sunday, August 2, 2020 Columbia, MO Cottonwood RV – love this park, and got some pool time in, but too expensive!
Monday, August 3, 2020 Columbia, MO Cottonwood RV
Tuesday, August 4, 2020 Columbia, MO Cottonwood RV
Wednesday, August 5, 2020 Columbia, MO Cottonwood RV
Thursday, August 6, 2020 Columbia, MO Cottonwood RV

Friday, August 7, 2020 Desoto, MO – Lisa & Randy Ellison’s house. It was so wonderful to finally spend time with Lisa. Randy had a golf tournament outside St. Louis, and he is not too keen on visitors.
Saturday, August 8, 2020 Desoto, MO
Sunday, August 9, 2020 Desoto, MO St. Francois State Park – very nice park
Monday, August 10, 2020 Desoto, MO St. Francois State Park – Visited with Cindy and Richard Wessling and their daughter Alysha Crosby, plus grandbabies Cheyenne and Aidan.
Tuesday, August 11, 2020 Desoto, MO St. Francois State Park

Wednesday, August 12, 2020 Had to return to Columbia, MO to have PCS Electronics install the new inverter. They let us stay there overnight and took care of it early.

Thursday, August 13, 2020 Buffalo. MO Leaky Roof Meadery – our 1st Harvest Hosts camping experience, and how sweet it was! 50 amp electric, concrete pad, and wonderful mead flavors!

Friday, August 14, 2020 Bull Shoals, AR Dam Site RV Park – really nice and relaxing campsite. Got some boating in as well.
Saturday, August 15, 2020 Bull Shoals, AR Dam Site RV Park
Sunday, August 16, 2020 Bull Shoals, AR Dam Site RV Park
Monday, August 17, 2020 Bull Shoals, AR Dam Site RV Park
Tuesday, August 18, 2020 Bull Shoals, AR Dam Site RV Park
Wednesday, August 19, 2020 Bull Shoals, AR Dam Site RV Park
Thursday, August 20, 2020 Bull Shoals, AR Dam Site RV Park
Friday, August 21, 2020 Bull Shoals, AR Dam Site RV Park
Saturday, August 22, 2020 Bull Shoals, AR Dam Site RV Park
Sunday, August 23, 2020 Bull Shoals, AR Dam Site RV Park

Monday, August 24, 2020 Little Rock, Arkansas Maumelle – This stop was to visit with my oldest brother Dan McLemore and his family. Ellen and Dan came over for burgers and hot dogs.
Tuesday, August 25, 2020 Little Rock, Arkansas Maumelle – Bridget McLemore had us over for dinner to see her new house and meet her fiance Michael Hoge. We decided cut our visit short to head Northwest rather than South tomorrow because of Hurricane Laura. At first we thought Texarkana, but that was also in Laura’s path.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020 Russellville, AR – We wanted to get ahead of Hurricane Laura’s high winds, so we boondocked at the Flyin J and picked up the replacement Sprint Inseego MiFi, as well as refilled John’s Spironolactone at WalMart.

Thursday, August 27, 2020 Eufaula, OK Belle Starr had one handicapped site, and turned out to be a good satellite spot. Laura decimated Lake Charles, LA.
Friday, August 28, 2020 Eufaula, OK Brooken Cove #62 – Perfect spot right on the water! Lots of boating in between rain storms.
Saturday, August 29, 2020 Eufaula, OK Brooken Cove #62
Sunday, August 30, 2020 Eufaula, OK Brooken Cove #62
Monday, August 31, 2020 Eufaula, OK Brooken Cove #62
Tuesday, September 1, 2020 Eufaula, OK Brooken Cove #62
Wednesday, September 2, 2020 Eufaula, OK Brooken Cove #62
Thursday, September 3, 2020 Eufaula, OK Brooken Cove #62
Friday, September 4, 2020 Checotah, OK Last Stop Store
Saturday, September 5, 2020 Atkins, AR 72823 Paw Paw’s Pecans
Sunday, September 6, 2020 Memphis, TN