Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Camping with Southern Oklahoma Sams (SOS) - March 2012

In an effort to get to know the members of another Oklahoma Southeast Region Good Sam chapter before the upcoming Spring Samboree, Susan and I joined the "Southern Oklahoma Sams" (SOS), for their March campout at WinStar World Casino and RV Park. 

The RV park is first class with concrete pull-thru pads and and full utility hookups.  Although the WinStar has a very nice rally room for the use of RV clubs, it has no kitchen.  But the park manager informed us that plans are being prepared for the construction of a kitchen once the swimming pool is completed. 

The casino is considered the largest in Oklahoma, and boasts several different themes from various regions of the world.  My complaint, as with most tribal casinos, is that the selection of slots is repetitive throughout the casino with little variation. 

But the casino was secondary to our visit.  We came to meet another bunch of fun folks, and we weren't disappointed!  Suz and I arrived a day early to avoid the stormy forecast, but most members pulled in the following morning.  We received a warm welcome from all members and were quickly integrated into the weekend agenda. 

This chapter takes pride in their membership by displaying their individual yard signs . . . .

While we were there, Susan and I assisted in taking group photos to be used in brochures to market chapter membership. 

As is the case with most chapters, food preparation is a priority.  Don Franks, chapter president, treated us to gourmet hamburgers with blue cheese mixed in the patties.  And like me, Don only grills over charcoal - no propane used here!

Don Franks (right) turns the burgers while Charlie Adams supervises.

A drawing was held for an RV supply basket and two Camping World gift cards . . . .

Rowdy Yates proudly presents his Camping World gift card!

Linda Franks shows off her gift card!

Addie Petersen displays the grand prize, a basket filled with RV supplies.
A friendly game of Skip-Bo helped to finish the evening . . . .

The next evening, the group caravaned across the Red River to Gainsville, Texas, for dinner at Catfish Louie's.

After walking Maynard and letting him socialize with the other dogs, the chapter congregated outside Joe, Linda, and Rowdy Yates' trailer to do what RVers do best, sit and talk.

Susan and I had a wonderful time with this bunch, and we sure do appreciate them sharing their campout with us.  We still need to visit one more chapter to make it complete, but at least we'll recognize familiar faces and many new friends at next month's Samboree! 

Oh, I did take advantage of the time spent inside the coach because of rain to accomplish a much needed task.  For some unknown reason (likely money), Heartland Manufacturing failed to install proper lighting in the living area of our Landmark coach.  The only lighting above the sofa is direct spot lights, which are nice for reading under direct, bright light.  But, when soft, indirect lighting is needed, while watching television, for example, a more appropriate fixture would be a sconce.  Thus, two hours and $110.00 later . . . .

two sconces adorn each side of the sofa adding soft mood lighting at the end of a long day on the road.

Watch for the next segment, as Suz and I will be joining our own chapter, The Modern Wagoneers, as we travel to Southwest Oklahoma and Quartz Mountain. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Camping with Texoma Sams - March 2012

Susan and I shared our first official campout as members of the Oklahoma Good Sam Club state staff with the Texoma Sams.  The Texoma Sams are an Oklahoma Good Sam chapter based in Durant, Oklahoma.  They are the largest chapter in the Southeast Region of Oklahoma and have membership of 20 rigs.  The chapter had an excellent turn-out, which was held at the Checotah KOA near Lake Eufaula.

We receive no monetary compensation for our participation at the state level of the Good Sam Club, but the warmth and kindness bestowed upon us by the Texoma Sams made us quickly realize the great value of the positions we hold. Chapter president, David Crouch, greeted us at the door of our coach shortly after our arrival, and every chapter member accepted us as a part of the group.

Like our own chapter, the Texoma Sams enjoy dominoes and card games. And these folks take their games seriously! Below, Charles Allen, Wayne Walthall, and Larry Snider (Left to Right), participate in a group picture with their tournament trophies for "42" and "9-Hole Golf" (dominoes and cards). 

They also know how to plan and prepare large meals. Thanks again to Larry and June Snider, and Wayne and Elizabeth Walthall, for hosting the campout; and our compliments to all the chefs for the wonderful food!


The group traveled to Henryetta, Oklahoma for an evening meal at the "Pig Out Palace."  You can order "buffet" style or straight from the menu. 


After dinner, Wayne Walthall and Craig Scavo proudly display their chapter T-shirts.

In appreciation of Texoma Sams' hospitality, Susan and I held a drawing for a few gift items. 

We've probably passed the Checotah KOA numerous times, but never had occasion to camp there until now.  It offers plenty of amenities, including a swimming pool, playground, rally room, laundry, and cafe. 


Getting to the know the Texoma Sams was a very enjoyable experience for Susan and me.  And if this campout is indicative of what we can expect from our involvement with the other Southeast Region chapters, we have many good times ahead! 

I can't end this segment without sharing how delighted I am with my new truck bed from "CM."  It added 2,300 lbs. to the GVW of the Chevrolet 3500 HD, but it's still within the GM weight specifications when fully loaded.  Because the weather reports warned of heavy rain the morning of our departure, several campers prepared their rigs the night before.  A nice feature of the new bed is the halogen utility light, which provides excellent illumination when hitching the coach to the truck. 

Watch for our next segment, as we travel to the beautiful WinStar Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma, where we'll join the Southern Oklahoma Sams for their campout. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Let Travel Season Begin!

Following a mild Oklahoma winter, Susan, Maynard, and me are roaring and ready to hit the road.  Two weeks ahead of last year's initial outing, we took the truck and coach to our local RV park, Twin Fountains, to make sure all is ready for a busy upcoming travel season.  Short of another leaky hydraulic ram, all systems checked OK, and nothing else appears to be leaking or otherwise damaged from freezing temperatures.  Our dealer has ordered a new ram, but we're not going to delay any trips pending its arrival. 

Our participation in the Oklahoma Good Sam Club just became more involved.  The Oklahoma State Director, Bettye Franz, asked Susan and me to accept open positions on her staff.  Susan will assume the roll of "Indoor Game Coordinator," and manage the games during the spring and fall Samborees.  I will fill a state officer position by becoming the "Assistant State Director for the Southeast Region of Oklahoma."  The Southeast Region covers the area of the state from Interstate 40 south and Interstate 35 east, and consists of three chapters including the Kickapoo Sams (Shawnee), Southern Oklahoma Sams (Madill), and Texoma Sams (Durant).  The new appointment required me to resign my position as vice president of the Modern Wagoneers, but our good friend and travel companion, Frank Fowler, graciously agreed to succeed me. 

We also helped charter a state chapter of the "Heartland Owners Club."  Heartland is the manufacturer who built our coach.  Thanks go out to Larry and Donna Keever for stepping up and taking on the leadership role in our new Oklahoma Chapter!  Susan and I will caravan with a number of other members to Gillette, Wyoming later this year for the national rally. 

Because of our dual participation in both organizations, I asked Susan to help me design a two-sided "fun card" identifying our positions in these organizations. Because I'm fully retired and no longer engage in any form of business activity, I refrain from referring to it as a "business card," and instead choose to call it a "fun card."

The first official campout for the Modern Wagoneers was at Arbuckle RV Resort in Sulphur, Oklahoma.  Several of the chapter members wanted to revisit the new Chickasaw Cultural Center.  Suz and I toured it during our last visit, so we opted out of this trip's tour and instead spent some time at the Tribe's other establishment, i.e., Treasure Valley Casino.  I won't say whether we won or lost, but I will admit that the Tribe made a nice contribution to our diesel fund for this year's travel. 

We enjoyed pleasant weather, and as usual, plenty of good food. 

Our small charcoal grill serves a dual purpose . . . cooking and pinon wood fireplace. 

For great food in the Sulphur area, visit "Roma's Italian Restaurant."  Be sure to try the olive oil, garlic and basil with fresh dinner rolls.  I've likely written about it before, but it deserves a second mention. 

Below is a picture of Jay Thomasbeard, the "singing cowboy" at Roma's.  Oddly, he sounds just like Dean Martin.

Follow us in the next segment to beautiful Lake Eufaula as Suz and I join Texoma Sams for our first regional campout.  The forecast is calling for severe storms and falling temperatures.  This trip may prove to be interesting!