We left Savannah and went to Jolyn Enterprises for installation of a gas line with a quick disconnect, and purchase a catalytic heater. These heaters are very efficient especially compared to the furnaces in RV's and do not need any electricity. There is no open flame involved. The main concern when using them is oxygen depletion, so you need to have 2 windows cracked open about 3/8" each.

They have a very unique place. They live in a MH on the property, have a large metal building for working in and no electricity. John parked us in a field in the back so our generator would not bother anyone. There were others there also and we all chipped in for pizza and ate in the big building. Some of the people had work done that day and were staying to leave in the AM. Some were there for work to be done the next day.

John has a bank of batteries, runs a generator daily and has an inverter for his power tools. He and Linda are super nice people. Everybody is treated like family. And John does quality work. Sometimes that is something hard to find. If we are in that area again and happen to need some work done we will call them.

Then on to Tallahassee to visit Mary (Kay's sis) & Lee. Their dad was there also. Did the normal family get together things. Also we had been invited to a surprise 60th birthday party on Jan 18th for my brother. It was being held in Champaign, Il. We watched the weather closely but the cold & snow kept hanging around and more storms predicted so we decided not to go. Hard to find an RV park at that time of year. Once we knew we were not heading north we headed south to Old Town, Fl. I read about a new RV park there and it is close to Fanning Springs where we visited with Ron & Judy Benton. They were only there for the weekend but it was fun.

The Suwannee River Hideaway Campground was all that I had read about and more. This place is so new they aren't listed in the campground books. They have a 1500' boardwalk to the Suwannee River that ends at a deck that overlooks the river. Beautiful. The owners, Gerry & Walt are super people. For instance, there was nowhere nearby to buy my daily fix--the USA TODAY newspaper, so Walt would pick one up for me daily when he was in Gainesville. Also we needed a puter part and was scheduled to arrive on sun & mon was a holiday, so they made arrangements with the PO so we could pick it up on sun. That is going the extra mile for their guests. If you want a nice quiet place to stay I highly recommend the SUWANNEE RIVER HIDEAWAY. I mention the name again because almost every campground in the area has 'Suwannee River' in their name. Easy to get mixed up.

From there we went to Homosassa to visit Chuck & Carole Keller. I went to high school with Chuck and connected up with him again 2 years ago in Tx. Then they moved to Fl. They were so close we didn't want to miss seeing them again. We stayed at the 'Camp 'n' Water' campground. It is a 'snowbird' destination. Kinda off the beaten trail but it was a nice park. That was Super Bowl weekend and while I was setting up a guy came by with a pool for the game. I picked 5 blocks. next morning he came by again with another board and caught Kay and she got 5 blocks. We spent the day watching the game at Keller's house. Got back to the MH and the guy with the boards came by and we had won on both boards. On one we won with the score at the end of the first quarter, the other was the final score. Nice surprise. While at that park, Kay found out about a casino boat about 45 min away. Off she went--twice. No big winnings but came back ahead.

Next was Dover, FL to visit Chuck Hunt who lives in Plant City. I first met Chuck in the late 60's when we both belonged to the same Corvette Club. Kinda lost touch when we moved to Ca. but connected with him last year for an hour and vowed we would be back again this year for a longer stay. Got to Citrus Hills RV Park in Dover. They had just done an expansion and had room for us. Rest of park was full with snowbirds. We were near another bingo/casino so Kay would go there in the evenings (she won) and Chuck & I went out to eat and BS. One evening he had tickets to a big ELK's wild game feed. We went and then went to a b'day party for the dad of a guy that works for Chuck. Nice bunch of people. Oh yeah, they had a keg there also. He also took us over to Bob's (his son) house. I haven't seen him since he was a little kid. He is a nice guy & has a nice family. Good to see him again. I didn't take a pic of them and I had the camera with me. I'm getting better about that but still forget sometimes. Another day he took us to the place where his daughter boards 2 of her horses. One (Coco Puff) is a dwarf miniature & the other (Silver Ghost) is a miniature. Beautiful horses. They were in the process of shedding their winter coat but they still looked good. Coco Puff is a rare horse. Not many dwarf miniatures around. He is about as big as your average dog. After a few days it was time to hit the road again.

While internet surfing my RV BB's I read where one of them--RV.NET--was having a get together in Kerrville, Tx. which is on our way west. I got the info, signed up and we made plans (gasp--not plans!) to stop there. One of the BB members (LD) that I contacted told me about an Indian casino just north of Kinder, La that had an RV park and was nice. Naturally that was put on our route. We spent 6 days at the casino and Kay, again, did Ok. A few bucks ahead, food comped, campground comped.

Arrived at Kerrville, Tx (Buckhorn Lakes RV Park) a couple of days before most of the others. They had a wireless internet system in the park so we signed up for it---WOW it is fast!  This is a nice park but out of our normal budget. They did give the rally people a discount so it came down to the top of our range. A couple of other early birds were there also. Thur a few more arrived & fri the rest arrived. Met a lot of new people and came away with new friends. If it's like the rally we went to in Harlingen, Tx 3 years ago, we will run into some of these people again in our travels. We planned on leaving tue after our mail caught up with us on mon but didn't realize that mon was a holiday. Ended up leaving on wed.

Arrived in Midland, Tx got set up and called Wallace Graig. I met him 2 years ago at the Ia Drang banquet and we hit it off. Same sense of humor as me. We met him for eats then went over to his house and met Tres--his dog. BSed a lot and then his girlfriend Julie Bell came over. She is a very nice lady, lots of fun. Really enjoyed the evening. Getting my pics in order for this update I realized I don't have any pics of her. (On edit--I now have a pic of Julie) Next day Wallace took me to the COMMEMORATIVE AIR FORCE MUSEUM  formerly known as the CONFEDERATE AIR FORCE MUSEUM . They had to change the name to remain ‘Politically Correct’.  In my opinion that is BS. Whatever happened to tradition? We are not going to please everyone in our country or the world so why bow down to this petty stuff—a real waste of time. While I am on a rant---I WILL fly my US FLAG wherever I want in this country. If someone is offended by that----tough! GO HOME if you don’t like it. Sorry about that, I try to keep politics and that sort of stuff off this site but it has been on my mind.  

Back on track now. I thoroughly enjoyed the museum. That probably goes back to being an Air Force brat. The 3 displays that really impressed me were: a plane that had counter-rotating props, FATMAN & LITTLE BOY—the 2 atom bombs and the 'nose art'. When the planes the art came from were to be destroyed, one of the workers took an axe and chopped out the artwork and made a fence out of it. Later the museum acquired them. Wallace is an officer at the museum so he was able to give me a lot of extra info on all the planes. That helps add to the experience.

That evening we met Wallace for dinner and afterwards went over to a house where Julie was at a wine tasting. We don’t drink wine (prefer the hearty, robust flavor & zesty aroma of a brewski) but the people made us very comfortable and were a lot of fun to be around. After awhile we said our goodbyes & Wallace, Kay & I went to his house to watch a short clip on CNN that featured Joe Galloway. Then we headed to the MH.

On to Sierra Vista, Az with an overnight stop in Las Cruces, NM. Arrived at Tombstone Territories RV Park, set up and called my cousin Pete. The park is about 20 miles from his place. Met them (Pete & Carolyn) for lunch the next day and then on to their house for a visit. Next day we went to Patagonia Lakes State Park to see Bob & Donna. They have been Workcamping there for 4 months. This is a beautiful park and can see why they enjoyed working there, but they were ready to get on the road again. It was very windy during our time in the area so we didn’t get out a lot. One day it rained on & off and then a beautiful rainbow appeared. Of course Kay went to Ft. Huachuca for bingo about 4 times. We went to a middle school basketball game in which Pete & Carolyn’s grandson was playing. Really got a kick out of that. On Monday we head to Tucson to meet up with Bob & Donna and continue west. But we’ll get into that next month.