Monday, July 28, 2014

Day 28 - Tulsa, OK

Dateline:  July 14, 2014; Tulsa, OK

We had a long day at Red Oak II on Monday.  FMC's kept leaving and we would stop and say good-bye (in person or by phone).  We got some work done on the FMC.  We installed a new toilet (and by we, I mean Greg!).  It's close quarters in the FMC and some jobs just can't be done by more than one person.


The new throne, in all its glory! 

When we were ready to leave, we said good-bye to Jim Woestman and thanked him for his outstanding hospitality and hit the road.  It was late afternoon but we decided to do some driving in the evening when it was cooler.  

We drove across the rest of Missouri, cut through a corner of Kansas, and into Oklahoma -- all on Route 66.  






Your trip through Kansas on Route 66 is very brief!

We're not in Kansas anymore!


We ended up in Tulsa.  We found a Cracker Barrel restaurant and stopped for dinner.  Well, Greg had dinner.  The rest of us had breakfast!  :)  Then we found a little campground - Tulsa Warrior RV Park and tucked in for the night.

Note:  To read about the next day, click the "Newer Post" link below. 

Day 27 - Carthage, MO

Dateline:  July 13, 2014; Carthage, MO

Red Oak, MO was a thriving town when artist, Lowell Davis, grew up there.  As the years wore on, the town started to die and Lowell decided to save the past.  On his Foxfire Farm, he started moving and restoring buildings from Red Oak.  He added in his original artwork in the form of paintings and metal sculptures and the beautiful gardens that he and his wife, Rose, create and you have an amazing place.  Here are a few pictures from the tour Lowell gave us:




Lowell telling tales about Red Oak II. 

Yes, there's a cemetery.  Headstones only, we're told!

"The Plumber's Nightmare," a moving, dripping sculpture


Jim W and Greg in front of the General Store.

Lowell and Rose's house

The motel that was moved in with FMC's in front.  

More pictures can be seen on Flickr -  Red Oak II

After the tour, we went to Jim and Bill's FMC (see the coach farthest to the left in the above picture).  They made a fantastic dinner with yummy chicken, puff pastry, and corn.  Gourmet fare, to be sure.  We had a wonderful evening talking about trips we've taken and people we've known.  I felt like I was cutting the evening short when I had to plead weariness and was shocked to realize it was nearly 11pm.  Time flies when you are with great company!  I can't wait until we get to park near Jim and Bill again!  Good people!

Note:  To read about the next day, click the "Newer Post" link below. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Day 26 - Carthage, MO

Dateline:  July 12, 2014; Carthage, MO

When we are on one of our trips, our daughter, Ruth, always has her birthday in some strange locale.  This year, she had her celebration fall during our Rally.  There were no presents to open - she's asked for a new reading chair for her bedroom at home (that's my girl!).  Still, she got to go out to lunch at Lucky J's.  The whole FMC Rally went and took the place over.  Turns out this is Jim W.'s PLACE!  We had great lunches and got to watch some of the actual show events which was fun.

Warm ups before the event started. 


Greg and I saw this abandoned grain elevator on the drive home.  Isn't it gorgeous? 

Happy birthday, Ruth! 
(Please ignore the Dr Pepper can, it was next to the cake, not on it!)

At the end of the day, we had a big pot luck dinner with hot dogs roasting on the fire and leftover pork from the night before.  It was a delicious meal, as always, with tons of good food.  Of course, sharing it with good people makes all the difference!  
Full Missouri Moon above Jim's house at Red Oak II.
Photo by Greg Miller. 

Note:  To read about the next day, click the "Newer Post" link below. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Day 25 - Carthage, MO

Dateline:  July 11, 2014; Carthage, MO

We had a lazy start to the day on Friday but at about 10:30, we all piled into cars and drove into Carthage.  Our friend, Jim W, used to be the mayor of Carthage . . . now he's the mayor of Red Oak II. Anyway, Jim has a beautiful old building in the downtown that he calls Sam Hill.  Now I know the answer to the question, "What in Sam Hill?"  What in Sam Hill . . . Jim's toys!  Turns out the Sam Hill Building is the ultimate Man Cave . . . well, I didn't see any huge leather recliners nor a big screen tv but it had plenty of other man toys!

Sam Hill Building, Carthage, MO.  This building used to be a car dealership.  

I've been hearing about this beautiful car for YEARS.  To see it in person.  Wow!  Love Jaguars! 

An old travel trailer that Lowell and Jim have fixed up.  It was out at Red Oak II but was deteriorating so they moved it inside and are working on restoring it again.  

Riding the car elevator to the 2nd floor! 

More toys! Trains, this time. 

Train sets are really fun! 

Jim at the controls. 

All the train buffs (and grown up boys) were loving this experience.  


After all the fun of admiring Jim's cars, playing with the trains, and exploring Jim's Man Cave, we were released into downtown Carthage.  We had an hour to explore and have lunch.  Carthage has a beautiful town square which is dominated by the impressive county court house.  Made of Carthage stone, it is truly a sight to see!  


Surrounding the courthouse are a bunch of downtown shops -- mostly really cool antique shops.  We had lunch at The Carthage Deli, a cute little deli/ice cream shop.  Great food and a fun atmosphere! Then we went exploring the antique stores.  Saw some amazingly fun things.  The best part though was the Carthage Hardware store.  Small town hardware stores are awesome, however.  This one takes the cake.  It had furniture (really nice stuff) and an amazing selection of grandfather clocks.  One of which was irresistible to our friends, Jim and Bill, who arranged to have it shipped home!  


We did our own shopping, too.  Greg stopped in at the local pawn shop and bought two watches (one for good and one for wearing when he's being too rough like working on the motorhome or playing the drums).  The kids bought a video, Conair, staring the amazing Nick Cage.  (Don't ask . . . they are obsessed with Nick Cage.)  

We all met back at the Sam Hill Building where Jim had one more surprise for us.  His newest toy.  

Jim's Morgan

Yea, pretty much all the boys want to be Jim when they grow up.  


After that, we did a driving tour of the homes of Carthage.  We were lucky enough to have Jim W. ride with us so we got to hear a lot about the history of Carthage and know which houses were important to him.  

The house where Jim was raised (I think!)




The house where Jim raised his family.

For more Carthage homes, visit Flickr.

Then we headed back to Red Oak II to rest up before the evening's food and entertainment.  Jim had an old-fashioned pig roast for us.  Wow.  The guys had quite a set up.  Liza was too busy enjoying herself to record the moment but trust us, the food was fabulous!  Jim knows how to treat people RIGHT! He invited some of his friends from the area so it was a big party!  


Radar, one of the dogs that calls Red Oak II home.  We're pretty sure there's some corgi in there which his huge ears and short, squat legs!  Total sweetie! 

Full moon over Red Oak II.  Good night, y'all.

Note:  To read about the next day, click the "Newer Post" link below. 

Day 24 - Carthage, MO

Dateline:  July 10, 2014; Carthage, MO

We got up early and headed for Carthage, MO.  Route 66 on this leg was charming.  Many buildings had been "rocked" - covered with field stone.  It is an interesting local look.

Sometimes the stone was rough as above but sometimes it was flat as below.  









Our FMC Rally was held at Red Oak II, a community created to restore a sense of the past, specifically the past that artist, Lowell Davis, enjoyed as a boy in a small Missouri town called Red Oak.  Our friend, and host for this rally, Jim Woestman has been coming to rallies on the west coast for years and telling us about Red Oak II.  We were really excited to get our first glimpses of it.  Evidently, Lowell Davis had bought up old, abandoned buildings from his home town (which had become a virtual ghost town) and moved them, restored them, and created this amazing place out of a cornfield near Carthage.  


Here are some of the buildings on one of the roads into Red Oak II.  All of these were moved here and restored.  There are only a couple of buildings that were built from the ground up; the vast majority were moved here.  


You can see some FMC's at Jim's place down there.  We got settled into our spot - with full hookups!   We set up our site and set out to reconnect with old friends.  The afternoon was spent sipping drinks, catching up, and enjoying (?) the humid Missouri afternoon!  

At dinner, Greg and I went out to see what we could find to eat in Carthage.  We ended up at a placed called Lucky J's Arena and Steakhouse, which offers great food and entertainment in the form of a horse arena.  We sat at a bar that looked out over the horse arena.  There was a show that weekend (it was a Thursday night) and people were warming up their horses and getting them ready for the show and used to the arena.  Barney started up a conversation with a group at the table behind us and Jim ended up taking us out to see his champion halter class quarter horse, Di (her registered name is Golden Maserati).  She was beautiful!  Loved walking out through the barns to see her and then going in to eat our dinners!  

Jim and Di

The view from our table, watching the horses get ready for the show tomorrow. 


When we got back to Red Oak II, everyone was hanging out talking.  There was a rowdy kid table playing card games.  There were groups of grownups talking and sipping wine.  The air was rich and full of the sound of frogs and cicadas.  Truly a magical place. 


Jim's white guest house (under construction still) was moved in from Carthage and is being restored.   Our spot was behind it.  There were lots of other FMC's set up around it.  as well.  The roofline in the background was an old motel that was moved to the site and restored as well.  People who didn't have FMCs with them (they don't always make the journey, folks!) could stay in the motel.  Jim was nice enough to let Gage and Ruth have a room each.  After a month on the road with the folks, they were thrilled to have their own air conditioned spaces to be ALONE!  They did still come out and socialize . . . some.  


Good times!  Ignore the shine on everyone's skin.  Humidity is a good thing, right?  

Note:  To read about the next day, click the "Newer Post" link below.