Saturday, October 27, 2012

El Dorado SP

I am backtracking one more time.  This is a photo of our site at El Dorado SP in Kansas.  We only stayed one night.  There were a lot of RVs but most of them were empty so it was very, very quiet.  We were happy to leave before the weekend when all the people returned.

Mountain View Thunderstorm

We had quite a storm a few weeks ago and one particular crack of thunder in the wee hours of the morning nearly knocked all of us out of bed!  Turns out lightning had hit this tree in the RV park and did serious damage to the RVs on either side of our friend's RV which was totally unscathed.

Mullinville, KS

More backtracking.  These photos were taken in Mullinville, KS, a town we went to shortly before we stopped in Greensburg.  The owner of the Coffee Bean told us the guy who made all these things has a welder and an attitude.  LOL!  It was a fun place to stop and I think we could stop a number of times before we really saw all the metal sculptures.  There were a LOT of them!

Greensburg, KS

We are backtracking a bit because I just came across some photos I didn't get posted in a timely manner.  We came through Greensburg, KS on the way to Mountain View late last August.  Greensburg is the town that was flattened by a tornado and has rebuilt into a very interesting and pretty place with a reminders of the tornado here and there.  We had originally planned to just stop for fuel but were so impressed with how downtown looked and I spotted the Green Bean Coffee Shop so we stayed for lunch and walked around town.

Unfortunately, we didn't have time to go down into the Big Well, but did talk to a very nice lady in the gift shop about it.  Maybe next time.

This is what the downtown looked like after the tornado.  Pretty scary!


The last weekend in October is Beanfest weekend - the weekend thousand of people come to town for free beans, outhouse races, and music, music, and more music.  The cool temp today didn't seem to deter the crowds.  This is one of the 38 pots of beans.  The pots are set up the day before.  Cooking starts at 7AM.  Beans and cornbread are served at noon.

This photo was taken just minutes before noon when hungry folks are crowded around the bean pots for their free beans and cornbread.

At 1PM there is a parade of outhouses and the outhouse races begin at 1:30.  One person sits inside and steers the outhouse and two young, strong guys push it up the hill.  It is a silly but fun event.

Leslie, AR

Friday we drove Rt. 66 to Leslie, AR to go to leaf peep some more and go to the bakeries.  We bought small round loaves of walnut raisin bread at the Serenity Farm Bakery.  The bread is expensive but worth it.  It is naturally leavened without bakers yeast and contains no sweeteners or preservatives.  You can check them out at

The drive to Leslie was even prettier than the drive to Fifty Six.

Note:  This road is lovely, unless you are driving an RV.  There is a two mile hill with an 11% grade and sharp curves that starts at the edge of town.

Blanchard Caverns SP

My sister, Kathy, and her husband, Fred are here for a second visit to Mountain View and we have been having fun showing them the sights.
After lunch at Cody's in Fifty Six, AR, we went to Blanchard Caverns and drove around the park.

We didn't go in the caverns this trip.  Galen and I have been before and the caverns are very much worth seeing.

Mirror Lake is formed by the dam in the photo above.  It was a beautiful day for a drive.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Total Knee Replacement

Shortly after arriving in Mountain View I checked into the hospital to get a new right knee.  The surgery started at 9AM, lasted an hour and fifteen minutes, and I was in my room enjoying lunch at noon.  Galen took this photo of me with my iPod (for listening to podcasts), my Kindle (for reading books), and my iPad (for games and other stuff).  He brought the laptop just long enough for me to answer email.  I spent four hours a day in a CPM (continuous passive motion machine) in the hospital and for three weeks at home so needed my toys to keep me entertained.
I had the surgery on Tuesday morning and here I am ready to go home Friday morning.  My physical therapist said I recovered more quickly than all his other patients but one.  I went for walks using a walker after I got home but soon graduated to a cane.  Two weeks out I was walker, crutches and cane free.  (I needed crutches to get up and down the stairs inside the RV.)

This x-ray was taken four weeks out and my doctor said everything looks great.  I have done amazingly well and the pain was not as bad as I expected it to be.  I am seriously considering a new left knee in the spring and will have it done here.  Dr. Varela is very good, nurses and physical therapists treated me very well, and the hospital has a very low infection rate.


We stopped in Kansas to visit Shep and his mom and dad and got to see the drum set he got for Christmas.  Shep has always been very musical.  He is in school now.  How did he get to be 5 already?!

Amelia escapes again

Look who we saw when we looked out our kitchen window this morning?

Jen trying to lure Amelia with fresh apples back to where she was supposed to be.  Amelia has hundreds of acres to wander but likes to be by people, the only "herd" she's ever known.   What Amelia does not like is missing meals and it was time for breakfast so when Jen got the hay out, Amelia followed her through the gate.

Sunset - WOW!

I looked out the window of our RV and saw the house had turned RED.

Grabbed the camera and went to check out the mountain behind the house.  It was red, too.

Checked the view of the valley in front of the house.  This is the sunset responsible for all the gorgeous color.

Favorite photos

I quickly learned to never go anywhere without a camera because I didn't want to miss a shot like this!  No Photoshop special effects required.

I loved the look of this little building but never got a shot of it until shortly before we left Colorado.

It is a perfect shot for playing with Photoshop special effects.

I couldn't decide on a favorite.  Do you have one?

Tilling the soil

Our land is not fit to grow anything so Galen is tilling in straw, manure, and a fertilizer containing sulfur to build it up.  Winter rye will be planted later and next summer we'll put in a small straw garden.

We forgot how quickly you can get a sunburn at over 7000' and Galen got burned.


The horses Jen and Ken took care of out in the front pasture.  They were moved to a new home in October and I'll miss seeing them next summer when we return to Colorado.  The house is in the trees at the base of the mountain.

Aug 23 - Storm

Late afternoon storms were the norm but today we had a STORM.

The creeks flooded.

So did the road.