06/27/05
Well, we finally left Kansas City.  We saw family and friends, beat my Mom and
Sandy at Canasta, took the girls to the drive-in, visited our ex-chickens, got beat
by my Mom and Sandy at Canasta--twice, and got out of there.  We did lots of
things that were worth mentioning, but since we were "home," it didn't occur to
me to write any of them down or take any pictures.

On Tuesday, June 21st, we left Kansas City with Chelsea and Lexi.  We drove
down to the farm in Clinton, and played with all the cats and dogs and donkeys
and sheep.  Then we ran through the hose for a while, cleaned up, then went and
played with all the cats and dogs again.  When Sandy came home she went out
and caught one of the horses so we could have a ride.
On Wednesday afternoon we left Barbara's house and drove down to Bennett
Springs.  We got all set up, then went to play in the ice cold, spring fed river.  
Lexi got scared of a crawdad, jumped up on Grandpa, lost her flip-flops, and
Chelsea had to save the day by swimming down river after them.  Then Chelsea
sat motionless in the water for a while so she could catch a minnow.  She finally
caught a little, ¾" long fish, and named her Suzie.  Grandpa immediately started
calling her Sushi, of course.  Lexi threw in a snail and we headed back to the RV.

We had a campfire and made s'mores, and finally went to bed.  We are worn
out.  Having kids around isn't for sissies.
On Thursday, 6/23/05, we woke the girls up early (8:30, they thought it was
terribly early) and went on a hike to the fish hatchery and up to the springs.  
We made it up there just fine, then had to drag them back, whining and
pouting about how much little feet hurt.  We went back to the river and swam
for a while.  Chelsea and I tried to catch crawdads.
Now we have added to our collection.  We have a teeny tiny crawdad, and a
tadpole.  I named her Polly, that's right, Polly, Polly Wog.  We won't have any
more of those pesky tadpoles who won't grow any feet.  This one already has
back feet poking out.

Since the girls enjoyed the river so much on Thursday, Friday we decided to
go down the Niangua River in the SOAR.  We got them up at 6:30, dropped
them off at the river at 7:00 with instructions to blow up the boat while we
went and dropped off the truck down river, and finally got on the river at 7:45.
 We caught a turtle (he was a little too big to fit in the bowl, so we let him go)
and swung on vines into the river.  Lexi helped paddle, and we had a great
time.  We reached the take-out at 2:00, then we rushed back to the RV to get
showered and hitched up for the 3:00 checkout time.
The family reunion on Saturday was in a shelter house at Stockton Lake, and
was not very entertaining for the girls, so I took them over to the swimming
beach.  They swam all day, got sunburns, and Doug and Sara came to take Lexi
home and beg Chelsea to come home too, something about the lawn needing
mowed.  She declined.

6/26/05

Today, we got up, hooked up, pulled the rig with us to the family reunion, and
cut out right after lunch for our long haul to Albuquerque.  We want to get as
far as we can today, and arrive mid-afternoon tomorrow.  We're just entering
Oklahoma.    

6/27/05

Well, just as I wrote that last sentence and was opening the website to upload
everything, we heard a loud bang, and saw rubber flying.  No, this wasn't just a
flat, we shredded the damn thing.  We had to pull over on the Oklahoma
turnpike to change a tire.
There was an accident further up, so quickly after we pulled over, a Missouri
Highway Patrol pulled up behind us.  He was helping Oklahoma since all their
highway patrol were assisting with the accident.

See, the spare tire is in the tray under the RV, accessible only through the door
in the back, which is NOT accessible when the motorcycle is loaded.  We
knew this when we put the motorcycle rack on there, but it was just a risk we
had to take.  So, the Missouri Highway Patrol guy watched as we unloaded
the motorcycle on the steepest highway embankment we've ever seen.  We
then speedily changed the tire.  Richard commented on the quality of his pit
crew, and the patrolman had to admit that he was very impressed.  Then came
the hard part, getting the motorcycle back up on the rack.  This was next to
impossible.  We had three able bodies to push it up the bank, but with just
Richard and the Highway Patrol guy pushing, there was no room for me to
push.  So, they managed to push it onto the shoulder, and Richard jumped on
and I drove the RV.  The plan was to go to a welcome center that was 10
miles down the road, but due to the accident, traffic wasn't moving, and that
10 miles was going to take at least a half an hour.  Now this is at 2:30 in the
afternoon, lines of hot vehicles packed together on hot asphalt, and I was very
worried that my poor husband would overheat, so next time you're driving,
notice how after most bridges there is a wide flat spot.  I figured we might as
well pull onto the shoulder again and get the motorcycle loaded since traffic
was just creeping along anyway.  It was a great plan because as soon as we
were done with our chore, the traffic started moving and we got right through.  
However, by this time, I wasn't sure there was enough battery on the
computer to load the web page, so I figured we would just load it when we got
settled in for the night.  Wouldn't you know it, the place we stopped (Elk City,
OK) doesn't get a cell phone signal, so now we're about to head out again, and
I'll try to load this from the road.

Oh yeah, our crawdad died on Friday, the snail died on Saturday, and the trip
was too hot for the tadpole and the fish, either that or the dead snail--which
Chelsea had left in their bowl--exuded some chemical, they died yesterday.  
No more pets.