Posted by: Beemer Bob | December 4, 2014

Homeless on the Ridge – Part 1


HOMELESS ON THE RIDGE
The last episode of the “Homeless Trio”, had us returning to Texas. We needed to return because I needed to have hernia surgery.

For the past few years it seems as though I spend half my time recovering from some surgery or injury. If it’s not a motorcycle injury, it’s falling down stars or just this old body needing repairs.

In the past I at least got to recover in a house in a real bed. This time my recovery was in a small trailer while residing in an RV park near our old home in New Beaunfels.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
You may notice an extra hand. Well, space is limited so visitors may get folded up in a couch.

I knew of the need for the surgery before our Colorado trip but I purposely postponed it so we could escape the Texas heat. The Colorado trip was great, but the delay was pushing things and the surgeon said this had become a larger than normal hernia and I was feeling significant discomfort. Recovery was less than fun for the first few days. After a few days, we got to make a trip to the emergency room to take care of some issues.

Thee Saint said I was just wanting a morphine drip.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Morphine drips are nice.

I was pretty much bed ridden for a few weeks and I whined a lot. Thee Saint was a trouper and took good care of me and put up with all my whimpering and whining.

The park we stayed at did not have wifi, cell coverage or TV reception so my days were spent reading ebooks on my iphone
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
After a few weeks recovery, I finally was able to walk (although not fully upright ).

We were able to go to one of my favorite restaurants in New Braunfels – McAdoo’s Seafood Company. The food is good and they have an awesome Bloody Mary Bar. Because it was difficult for me to move, Thee Saint even made the drink for me.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
A few days later, a TWT friend, WhiskeySmith. (Aka Carl) came to visit. When we had a house here and he would visit, he always wanted to go to Granny D’s, a nearby country style restaurant. So, off we went and did our obligatory photo op with the TWT banner.

After lunch, Carl helped place the stickers from our Colorado trip.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
The pain meds I was on, while killing the pain, had some undesirable side effects. Carl brought me a natural wholesome alternative to hydrocodone.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Some more time passes and I feel well enough to travel. I still hurt a little bit, but it’s more of a discomfort than actual pain and I feel that I can handle driving the truck ok. So, it’s time to hit the road.

For years Thee Saint has dreamed of seeing the fall colors in the North Carolina area and had dreamed of seeing the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. So off we go. The plan is to go to the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and work our way down the parkway until we arrive in Asheville. I studied the route planning to be in the peak time for the Fall colors.

We hooked up the trailer and headed north. We stopped for a few days at Lago Vista outside of Austin. My eldest son lives there and his married daughter and her husband had gone on a cruise so he was babysitting his grandson for the week. By the way, that makes this kid my Great Grandson. Damn, I’m getting old.

I’ve done children. I’ve done grandchildren but this great grandson tops them all. He is the funniest kid alive that lives life to the fullest. Every moment with him is a kick. The only thing worse than someone boring you with pictures of their grandchildren is someone boring you with pictures of their GREAT grandchildren.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugPhoto & Video Sharing by SmugMugPhoto & Video Sharing by SmugMugPhoto & Video Sharing by SmugMugPhoto & Video Sharing by SmugMug
With that done, the trip begins …
October 3, 2015

After visits with the great one (great grandson), it’s time to head north.

Our first stop is Gainsville, TX. The purpose of this stop was because there was a Lavender Festival going on that the Saint wanted to attend. What ever the Saint wants…

At the farm entrance.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
I quickly lost interest in the lavender shindig so I parked the trailer next to an oil well and indulged in a glass of wine.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
From here we head to Thackerville, OK
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
We stayed at a small uneventful RV park there for the night.

The only thing going on in Thackerville is the WinStar Casino. This is the largest Casino in Oklahoma. So after parking the trailer, we unloaded the Goose and off we went
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Saint has also always wanted to go to London. What ever Saint wants, Saint gets …
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Inside
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
If we registered to get a “player’s card”, they would give you a big chocolate candy bar. That is more than enough motivation for us! .
We ate at an English style pub in the London section and then played the penny slots for a bit.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Not being gamblers, we couldn’t figure out the games. Long gone are the conventional one armed bandits with a simple line of symbols. All we could figure out was if we pushed enough buttons, lights would flash and then it would take our pennies.

We invested $2.00 on the penny slots with visions of great wealth. We ended up losing $1.99. We were devastated, our life savings near gone. We had the restraint to save some back for our golden years.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Saddened with our losses, we head back to our trailer. Once there, we ate the candy bars the casino gave us, threw away the player’s card but kept the nifty lanyard they gave us. With chocolate in our bellies, All is right with the world.
October 4, 2014

We recovered from our gambling spree and headed out in the morning.

Today the homeless trio is heading to Queen Willamena State Park in Arkansas.

For lunch we stopped at the Tribal Services Center in Hugo, OK for lunch. No we didn’t have lunch with the Indians. The center was closed but had a pretty setting for us to stop and make lunch.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugPhoto & Video Sharing by SmugMug
We continue onward and pass into Arkansas.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
We arrive at Queen Willamena State Park around 5ish. I have never been to this park before but I knew it to be a favorite destination for TWT and other motorcyclists wanting to ride the twisty roads in the Ozarks. As far as a destination for someone pulling a long trailer, not so much.

I had a lot of trouble maneuvering the trailer into their small spots, but finally got it. Thee Saint says I need to not Panic. But Ponder, Prepare and have Patience. My new three Ps

By time we got set up and made dinner it was time to call the day at end.

October 5 , 2014

Queen Willamena was just a one night stand and our next destination was not that far, so we took our sweet time getting on the road.

This is a very small park and while not that easy to maneuver a trailer, it is very pretty. This park sits on top of Rich Mountain and the views are fantastic.

A bit of history concerning the odd name of this park. It seems that when the railroads were being built in the area, the rail developers were having difficulty in obtaining financing. Finally they were able to get financing from some investors in Holland. Either to show appreciation or as part of the deal, the railroad developers built an Inn where the park now exists.This Inn was named after the queen of Holland. Queen Willamena. Now you know.

I claimed the park as TWT territory.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
The park has a nice lodge, but it is closed for renovations. It is supposed to be open spring of 2015.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Walking around the lodge we treat ourselves to some of the scenery.
.

.

After a while, we load up and head out. Today’s destination is Mt. Magazine State Park, also in Arkansas.

We stopped for lunch at a nice roadside park outside of Boonville.

We arrive midafternoon, check in and get set up at our campsite. I did much better at parking the trailer this time and Tree (AKA: Saint) did a much better job of guiding me. We stopped and surveyed what we needed to do to get into the spot. I Pondered, Prepared and exercised Patience. We got all snug in the camping site and we were quite proud of our success. Then we realized that we forgot to unload the Goose and had to pull out to unload and do it all over again. But we succeeded again. But I need to add something else to my checklist to remember to unload the damn Ural.

We spent the rest of the afternoon with some organization tasks. I grilled some pork ribs while Saint sautéed some veggies. We stayed by the campsite this evening enjoying the pleasant weather and surroundings.

We are scheduled to stay here two nights but of what we have seen so far, this park is beautiful and Saint is talking about staying longer. We will see. We are unemployed and homeless so I guess we can stay wherever we want as long as we want.

Tomorrow we will explore the park and area on the goose.
October 6, 2014

Well rested, we go see what mount magazine state park has to offer.

Our picturesque campsite
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
We tour some of the overlook areas. One can see several miles from these vistas

This park has a very elegant lodge that we went to tour.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugPhoto & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Waterfalls at entrance
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Decorated for fall
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Great views from the back
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugPhoto & Video Sharing by SmugMug
The lodge has a very nice restaurant that looks over the cove lake valley. The lunch was good, but desert was fabulous.

Possum Pie
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
I don’t know how many possums were sacrificed in the making, but it was good good. Made me smile like a possum.

That afternoon, the lodge was having a weaving workshop. Tree wanted to attend, I declined.

So while the Saint is weaving, Hunter and I went exploring.

The closest town, Paris, is about 20 miles away, so we head in that direction.

We tour Cove Lake
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Continuing towards Paris I noticed a side road that I thought may be interesting.

Looks to be a nice wide well maintained gravel road. What could possible go wrong?

I travel on for a while and noticed this interesting little side road.

I discussed it with Hunter and he said “what could possible go wrong?” So down the road we went.
The road narrows a bit
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
And a bit more

This is still a road, right?

Oops. Time to engage 2 wheel drive.

A moment of pause. I used to carry a SPOT device with me on my travels so that I could request help If needed. A few years ago I had an incident and I discovered that the usefulness of SPOT was very limited. I canceled SPOT and purchased a satellite phone instead. This way I could have two way communication to be able to explain my exact needs and condition and know the status of my rescue. Seemed like a good plan, but the only problem was that I left the satellite phone in the trailer so if I got stuck in the mud out here, I was screwed because I could not call anyone for help. Anyway, I go through this and many more mud holes with ease. The Goose is now proudly covered in mud. I paused to take a picture of this little hill before I climbed it.

I did not realize but right around the corner was very steep incline of loose rock. I was unable to take a picture because I was too busy goosing the goose up the incline and if I would have stopped to take a picture, I would have slid back down. I continue onward on the trail.
And then…
And then…
Nothing. 🙂
The trail then connected back to the gravel road and from there I made it back to the highway leading to the park

I had a ball. It’s been a long time since I have done any off road of any challenge. This is also the first time that I have ever used the 2 wheel drive with thus Ural. By time I get back to the campsite, I am grinning ear to ear. back at our campsite, Tree tells me she had fun with her weaving workshop but now wants to go to Walmart to get some weaving supplies. So we take the Goose down the mountain to Paris and after an uneventful meal at KFC we return to the park. It is now dusk, so we go in search of sunset views at some of the outlooks in the park.

End of a great day.
October 7. 2014
We really like this park and have decided to extend our stay another day. More specifically, the Saint wants to stay another day and whatever thee Saint wants …
The fall colors are just starting here, so we tour around a bit looking at the foliage

And we claim the park for TWT

We had a late breakfast at the lodge. The view from out table was such that we did not want to leave.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugPhoto & Video Sharing by SmugMug
We enjoyed some of the views around the lodge
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugPhoto & Video Sharing by SmugMugPhoto & Video Sharing by SmugMugPhoto & Video Sharing by SmugMug
The lodge has a nice lobby as well as many nice chairs outside for sitting and reading and Saint decides that’s what she wants to do. So as she spends the day enjoying the lodge, hunter and I go off on an adventure.
Today we head in the opposite direction to the town of Havana. Perhaps we can get some cigars.
Before we get to the bottom of the mountain, I notice an interesting road leading nowhere
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
So off we go

A little mud

And then the road just ends! In the middle of nowhere, there is a clearing and then no more road.

Hunter and I take a break to let the engine cool and eat our packed lunches.

Stay tuned for the next episode of “lost in the Ozarks” or “How Beemer lost his off road privileges”
Let me tell you how Beemer lost his off-road privileges.
Our last little trail has dead ended so I just turned around and got back on the highway.
Hunter and I then continued onward to Havana in search of a good cigar.
Downtown Havana
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Close, but no cigar. 🙂
Aimlessly riding some of the gravel roads in the area, I saw a small sign pointing to some lake (I don’t remember the name). I guess I missed a turn somewhere because I never found a lake.

I don’t know where I’m at but I’m apparently in some kind of forest service land.

I encounter some guy on an ATV and he gives me some directions on how to get back to the highway to the state park.
He told me to head down this road and when I could turn right then when I got to the old liberty church turn left. No problem, so off I go.

And I reach this

It is not, however, a church, it’s an old school

I claim the school for the great state of Texas.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Nearby is an old graveyard. Some of the grave sites were new, but most were dated in the mid to late 1800’s. Some of the markers were nothing more than shards of stone sticking out of the ground
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Some of these shards, however, through research I presume, had some identification added.

Enough of this place, it’s time to head back to the parks. Let’s see, did that guy on the ATV say turn left or turn right? Umm

I have a GPS but because I am not on a real road that the GPS map knows of, it just shown me as in the middle of nowhere. Best I can do is zoom out ant try to head in the general direction of the highway leading to the park.

I no longer stopped to take pictures because it is getting late in the day and needed to hurry back to our campsite.

I follow what I think is the correct way to go. The road begins to narrow significantly. Soon it is no longer a road but is an ATV trail. I can see on the GPS where the highway is and I try to head in that direction. But the trail keeps making turns. I come to various forks and I follow the trail that seems to head in the direction I need to go, but then that trail will turn in another direction.

At this point, I am no longer having fun. I am on trails that I have no business being on or trails I don’t want to be on. This is getting pretty hairy.

There are signs on some of the trails numbering the routes. I give up trying to navigate in the direction of the highway and decide to just stay on the same numbered trail. If I stay on the same trail, it eventually has to go somewhere doesn’t it?

But I just keep going around crisscrossing the forest. My GPS will show a blue line showing where I have been. The screen on my GPS is blank except showing little zig zag blues lines all over.

It’s dusk now and I don’t want to be here after dark. I’ve been at this for several hours and even if I attempted to backtrack the way I came, it would be very dark before I got back back to a civilized road.

At the bottom of a very nasty looking hill, I stopped and called it quits. I got out the satellite phone and called thee Saint.

“Hello honey, I’m lost”

I gave the Saint my GPS coordinates and she got in touch with a park ranger. I later spoke with the park ranger and asked if he could bring up a detailed map based on my GPS coordinates and guide me out. He told me the best thing to do was hang tight and he would come find me and lead me out.

So I wait. It’s now dark. Remember this is the park with all those warning signs about bears. It’s dark and I’m in bear country!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch. Saint is taking pictures of the sunset
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
I’m not sure how well Hunter will protect me should a bear come. I think Hunter would high tail it out of here should a bear come. I happen to carry a canister of bear spray and I now have it in hand. And I wait and wait. The ranger is no longer in cell phone range so I can no longer contact him. Is he lost too?

But at long last, he finds me. He tells me that that nasty hill that I did not want to climb was my best way out. So that’s what we do. At least if something happens, someone will be there to gather up the pieces.

As it turns out, had I kept going the way I was heading, I would have hit a nice gravel road that then lead to the highway going to the park.

I return to the park with the ranger following me.

AND THAT’S HOW I LOST MY OFF-ROAD PRIVILEGES.

Thee Saint says never again and I am never allowed to go off road by self again. For some reason, she felt that someone still
recovering from surgery should not have been there. She further says my off-road privileges have been forever revoked. I prefer to think that my off-roading has just been temporarily suspended. 🙂

Just another misadventure of Beemer(less) Bob
October 8, 2014

In the morning, I show my frustration with my off-road privileges being suspended.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
But she holds strong. So I guess I will have to behave myself for a while.
It’s time to head towards the Blue Ridge. One last shot of the views from Mt Magazine.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
We begin the long drive. Arkansas has some very nice roadside parks and we stop at one for a break and to make lunch. I forgot to take pictures.

When we went through Little Rock, AR we thought it would be neat to go downtown. Little Rock has a market area by the river that we thought would be fun for a break.

BIG MISTAKE! The streets in Little Rock are narrow and trying to maneuver our rig proved to be very difficult. I’m not sure how it happens, I think perhaps going over curb at one of the sharp turns, I got a flat on the trailer.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
On a narrow street in downtown Little Rock, I am stranded with a flat tire. I call roadside assistance and in about an hour, they came and change the flat using our spare.

While we waited we went to go see this market area and were very disappointed.

The sidewall is torn, so the tire is trash. So with the spare now mounted, we then head to Discount Tire to get a new tire. We always buy our tires at Discount Tire because of their good service and road hazard warranty. After some difficulty, I make it to the Discount Tire only to find out that this is “Discount Tire and Brake” that has no affiliation with “Discount Tire”. I’m slightly pissed but too frustrated to go find a real “Discount Tire”, so I drop $100 for a new tire.

Our original plan was to stay at a coast-to-coast resort in Tennessee but we lost several hours in Little Rock and it is getting late and we are still in Arkansas but just outside Memphis. We stop at another roadside park and make camp for the night. At the Arkansas rest areas, there is a designated area for the big 18 wheelers so we get to park in a nice quite area. I forgot to take a picture of our campsite AGAIN. Our stay at the rest stop was uneventful and I was proud of the Saint for enduring this. Our trailer has a built in generator, stored fresh water with large holding tanks for grey and black water. So we can survive pretty good for a while without hook ups.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: