Saturday, May 25, 2013

Darn Wind & Hail!

We left late Wednesday afternoon for the lake lot to take new golf cart batteries for installation in “Red Fred,” i.e., the name we give our golf carts.  We enjoyed a simple replacement of the batteries, followed by a fine steak dinner, golf cart ride, and view of a distant neighbor’s campfire. 

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After a good night’s rest, all hell broke lose about 8:00 a.m. the following morning.  Scattered showers were expected in the Murray County area until about noon, but no mention of strong winds and hail.  We’ve ridden out severe thunderstorms in the coach before, but this was frightening. 

Susan, Maynard, and myself huddled in the hall away from windows while hail pounded the top and side of the coach.  The large awning (we have two on the door-side of the coach) was closed, but not secured due to a malfunction the previous evening.  So, it appears an accumulation of rain coupled with high winds broke it lose and mangled it.  Several large tree branches also fell near the coach.



The coach also received numerous small hail dents along the door-side, which will require repair.  It appears the truck was spared.

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Could have been much worse.  We’re just grateful to be here and our hearts go out to those who lost much, much, more during the previous days! 

Below, pictures of the devastation from the May 20, 2013, tornado near Newcastle, Oklahoma . . . .

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Local Campout with SOS!

Our good friends with the Southern Oklahoma Sams (SOS) invited us to join theirDSCN3925 Oklahoma City campout at Rockwell RV Park. They held a midweek campout beginning on Tuesday and ending on Friday.  DSCN3926




Five couples participated in the event, which was hosted by Don and Addie Petersen.  We experienced typical Oklahoma spring weather with partly cloudy skies and scattered showers.  But, the temperatures were mild and made for a comfortable setting for outdoor meals and short excursions. 







While the girls went basket shopping, the guys (and Susan) visited “The 45th Infantry Division Museum.” 


According to General George S. Patton, Jr., “The 45th is one of the best if not actually the best division in the history of American arms.”  The museum is said to be “Oklahoma’s only state operated museum dedicated to military history . . . , and collects, preserves and exhibits objects and equipment relevant to the history of Oklahoma’s military heritage from the Spanish exploration to the present day.”   
















Among other things, the museum houses the “Reaves Military Weapons Collection,” which is an extensive collection of firearms dating back to the Revolutionary War.


As do most Oklahoma Good Sam chapters, SOS folks like to eat.  DSCN3935 We took in the buffet at “Golden Corral,” and I especially enjoyed the chocolate-dipped marshmallows!  In addition to a pancake and egg breakfast, Don and Addie prepared the next evening’s meal,  a “Low Country Boil,” which contained shrimp, potatoes, corn cobbettes, kielbasa, onions and seasoning.  Wow, was that good! 


We thank our SOS friends for thinking of us when they planned this campout, and we look forward to seeing them again at the Southeast Area Friendship Rally, July 17-20, at the Citizen Pottawatomi Campground in Shawnee.

Maynard loves to RV, but hopes he’ll be able to participate more next time . . . .


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Checotah – Where’s Carrie Underwood?

Our local travel club, “The Modern Wagoneers,” visited the Checotah KOA for our April campout.  Checotah, a little-known Lake Eufaula community until 2005, is the home of “American Idol” winner, Carrie Underwood.     photo10

Carrie and Kellie Pickler are my two favorite American Idol celebrities, and I expected to find Carrie cruising the local Sonic or crooning to a crowd on Main Street.  Such was not the case, however; and as a group of retired RVers must often do, we made for our own entertainment.

Our arrival at the Checotah KOA was met with clear skies and mild temperatures.  But that didn’t last long as an unseasonal late April cold front moved in bringing cloudy skies and cold temperatures. 

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Several couples arrived early on Wednesday, so Susan offered to cook up a spaghetti dinner for lunch.  Our Heartland 5th wheel has four slides that expand the overall width to about 12-feet, which provides abundant room for entertaining a small group. photo15


We opted to drive into Eufaula for dinner at “JM’s Restaurant.”  They serve good home-cooked meals and it’s one of our favorites in the area. 


The main event for the weekend turned out to be great food, fellowship, and a shopping outing for the women.  We attempted to tour “The Katy Depot,” but it was closed for renovation.




The Katy Depot and the town of Checotah share common early beginnings.  In 1882 and in honor of the Chief of the Creek Nation, Samuel Checote, the M-K-T Railroad called the local railhead “Checote Switch.”  Chief Checote, who also served with distinction as a lieutenant colonel in the Civil War, was born in Alabama in 1819 and died 1882.  He was educated in Methodist missionary academies and licensed to preach in 1852.  According to the Checotah Landmark Preservation Society, a mapmaker’s error changed the spelling of the town’s name to “Checotah.” 

Jonathan Bonanno and Bob Samples prepare ten racks of ribs for smoking . . . .

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The smoked rib and pot-lock dinner was followed by lively games including 9-Hole Golf, Chicken Foot, and Bunco!

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A “pioneer woman” with her two dogs was camped behind us for the night . . . .


And, they were large dogs! Must have been a very tight fit. 

Below, our new LED lights lit up the campground . . . .


We’ll be staying local next trip as we camp and tour Oklahoma City sites with “Southern Oklahoma Sams” (SOS)!