Freedom and Liberty

Freedom and Liberty
I travel in Freedom but sleep in the security of Liberty (not only on the road, but in this amazing country of ours)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Getting caught up (sort of) and Random Thoughts on Things

Location: Lewis and Clark State Park; Onawa, Iowa (16th - 19th)
Location: Lewis and Clark State Park; near Atchison, Kansas (19th - now)
(click pictures to enlarge)

This is a catch up blog so that is the reason for the two locations at the top. Yep, both campgrounds are called the same but are in different states. To add to the confusion, the present campground is located in Missouri but the nearest decent sized city is Atchison, Kansas.

I stopped in Onawa to receive a mail drop from my son which was delivered on time. I also wanted to visit the Lewis and Clark museum and keel-boat located right in the campground. I was disappointed on both accounts. The museum was closed and no reason was stated on the closed sign. I'm assuming they knew I wanted to see it so they just closed it down. :). The keel-boat replica was outside but was roped off from getting on board. There were no workers anywhere around the museum or the boat. Come to think of it, there weren't any workers in the campground either. It was a self-registration system to enter the campground and I don't recall seeing any workers during the 3 days I stayed there.

The campground was nice and I got a campsite right on the waters edge. The water is an oxbow lake from where the Missouri River changed its course over the years. The campgrounds name is legit since Lewis and Clark did camp within the state park boundaries during their trip up-river.
Lewis and Clark State Park

Lewis and Clark State Park

Some geese that stopped on their
way south

There is always a nice bench

The keel boat replica that I couldn't
get onboard or ask questions
because no one was there for the
3 days I stayed.
 Since there wasn't anything to see in the campground I decided to drive to Nebraska which was only about 5 miles away. I wanted to see the Missouri River and anything else that presented itself. I found a little dirt road that led to the river and it looked like an old abandoned boat ramp. No one was around but I got the sense that some people were living in the woods nearby. I didn't see anything, it was just a feeling.

The Missouri River between
Onawa Iowa
and Decatur, Nebraska 

The bridge that goes across the Missouri at that location used to be owned by a local bridge commission that charged tolls. The tolls had been in place for many decades but stopped within the last few months when the states took possession of the bridge. It is one of those bridges that make my butt pucker when I cross it. It reminds me of an old bridge across the Red River at Coushatta, Louisiana. The bridge deck is an open grate deck that rattles like a chain being dragged. I was glad to be back on the Iowa side.

This is the last time I will ever cross
this bridge

Since there wasn't much to do at the campground or the surrounding area, I mainly just took it easy. It is beginning to seem like I may be doing that at this campground too. Oh well, I needed to rest up anyhow.
Lewis and Clark State Park

Lewis and Clark State Park
Missouri. (nice shade tree)

While going around the park, I was
on the edge of a storm so I took
a picture of an angry sky

An expensive textured concrete
walkway in the park. It was built
on the 200th anniversary of
Lewis and Clark's trip.

Honoring the men in the Lewis
and Clark Corp of Discovery

A "thinking bench" overlooking
the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas.
(birth place of Amelia Earhart)

Now on to the Random Thoughts on Things:

1) Concrete Pavement should be outlawed and never built again. It is only smooth for a very short time immediately after construction. It becomes rough very quickly and stays that way for the remaining decades of its life. Unless the roadway is put down on bedrock, it is unreasonable to expect a rigid concrete pavement to stay smooth. As the ground moves below the pavement, the concrete will "bridge" it for only so long before finally permanently deforming. Once the concrete gets rough, it is very expensive to fix so most states put a Band-Aid repair on it and wait. The worst thing that can happen is to overlay it with Asphalt thereby creating a composite pavement. The composite roadway will stay smooth for only a year or so before all of the imperfections of the unlying concrete "reflects" through to the riding surface. Composite pavements should also be outlawed.

2) Putin of Russia is showing his Cold War side again. It is like he is jealous of the attention being given to ISIS, so he is doing things like "fake bombing" runs from the north, making statements of being able to take over countries, etc. And our current administration does nothing and says nothing about it. I guess we finally know what the President meant when he told Putin that he would have more flexibility in his second term. Shameful.

3) I have ate at Chinese Buffet's all during this trip. Why do most of them all taste the same? I like them, but just wondering.

4) The woman at a Long John Silver's restaurant I ate at the other day wanted to stowaway in my RV after I told her I was full timing in it around the country. There have been a couple dozen or more that have expressed the same thing. Of course, there have been some that thought I was crazy, but the crazy opinion is still in the minority.

5) The blog is averaging about 75 page views per day and from countries all over the world. I want to stress to everyone that comments or questions are welcome and encouraged. I am open to suggestions on how to make the blog more informative and interesting.  

6) I have reservations at another state park in north central Missouri for early next week. I am completely undecided on which direction to go from there. I'm considering going to St. Louis or dropping down towards Branson or even over into Illinois. I guess I'll decide whenever it comes time to decide.

Ya'll take care of each other. Cya down the road.


  1. Dad would be proud of you, his engineer son, because of your "concrete superintendent" facts about concrete! I guess u are like our Dad after all!
    Heck I don't blame any of those women wanting to be your's not every day you see a hunk looking like Grizzly Adams in an RV! If you see a smart cute one pick her up! Love u

    1. Hey Phyl,
      Yeah, I guess I picked up a few things over my life and career. Dad and I always talked about my projects after I started working for the state. I could tell he missed the work but most of all he missed being able to talk to someone familiar with the things that interested him. That is one of the great things about the type of work that he and I did. We were surrounded with people that understood what we were doing and they had just as big of an interest in it that we had. I understand that feeling much more now that I've retired.

  2. Not sure why Chinese Buffet's all taste the same..... I believe they learned to cook in China and all cook pretty much the same....

    I've really enjoyed your postings...... it's almost like we're traveling with you; can't wait to start my own trip..... planing stages right now, and I'm using lots of your info w/regard to the parks you've had good reviews of..... thanks for providing the info.....

    As far as your next stop you mentioned St Louis.... it would be a nice place to visit. Downtown area is beautiful.... the Arch is something to see....

    Thanks again for taking time to share your thoughts and journey.... and I love your sign-off......


    1. Hello Dennis,
      Thank you for the comment and suggestions. It is nice to hear from people that read the blog so I know they are real people and not just numbers on the page view counter. How long is it before ya'll start traveling?
      I'm about 99% sure I'll be stopping at St. Louis. I want to see the Arch and go up in the tram. I'm also thinking about going to see the ancient Indian mounds just across the river in Illinois. But the beauty of traveling is that you have the freedom to go in any direction. Like some other full-timers say,,,,,"travel plans are made in Jell-O, not concrete".

  3. Hi Darrell, an introduction is in order. I am Cheri and have been reading your blog since you mentioned it on the Forest River forum a couple months back. You have 75 page views daily because your travels are interesting, I don't think you need to change anything. My husband and I bought our first travel trailer and are soon to retire and head south for the winter with the trailer. We plan to stay a little longer at each of our stops but are excited about our upcoming adventure.
    Safe travels :)

    1. Hi Cheri,
      I'm glad you find the blog interesting. Congratulations on the RV ya'll bought. It is an interesting lifestyle of traveling around. I know I've been moving a little too fast, but it just seems like there is always something to see around the next curve of the road. After ya'll hit the road, if our paths cross, I'll buy the coffee....:) Cya

  4. I'm curious why, during your "Random Thoughts #4" section, no one remarked that you cannibalized some woman at a Long John Silvers? :)