Heading back up north for the summer.
April, 2004 
Left Rio Hondo, TX for points north. Stopped at Livingston, TX The home of Escapees. Had to replace the alternator in the car so spent a few days there. We took my car down with us so we would not have to put miles on the Duramax truck. Next stopped at Hot Springs, AK for two days and toured the National park. Next on to Branson, MO for trout fishing below the dam. When getting ready to leave found a bulge on a trailer tire and had to call the road service to get it changed. Then off to Springfield to get a new tire. NO chagre for the new tire. Then off to Bennett Springs State Park   for more trout fishing. It is a state park dedicated to trout fishing. A destination park. MO knows how to do it.
Another day in Bennett Springs State Park. A few more fish, and a chance to explore the area. Had a chance yesterday to check out the fly shop at the park store, Today I went to the fly shops just outside the park, picked up a few misc tying materials and kept my ears open, who was catching fish and on what. I also caught a few fish. 
- posted by Terry @ 12:28 PM
Caught 6 fish today, all nice Rainbow trout in the 18" range. When I stopped for the day I had attracked some atention to my self as very few fishers were catching anything. Its always nice to be the center of attention. 
- posted by Terry @ 12:30 PM 
Wednesday, April 14, 2004 
The crowds are building. Today it is slightly crowded on the stream, did not fish today. 

Went into Lebanon today, picked up a few groceries, explored the town and area around Lebanon. We then went out east of town on hwy 32. Drove though parts of the Mark Twain Natl Forest. The road was allright if your not pulling anything, but would not be very much fun with the trailer behind you. The trees are not really leafed out yet and the various shades green at times give an autumn feel to the area. The drive was semi senic with only a few abandoned "manfactured homes" to detract from the scenery. 

Ended up at Montauk State Park to chek out the trout stream there. If I had known how few people were fishing there I would have brought the fly rods along to try the stream, but we were expecting crowds similar to Bennett Springs. 

Got home about 5:30 from our excursion, did not think it was such a long ways over and back. 

Sat out at the picnic table for some time tonight. The cars, campers, pickup trucks and motor homes just keep rolling in. At times the line to check in stretched out to the road, and they kept coming in, and coming in and coming in. There are over 400 sites here and I think they will fill all of them up. Many of the tent campers will be setting up in the dark. Was fun to laugh at them coming in so lte, but we have been there and done that too, makes one appreciate their situation. 
- posted by Terry @ 12:33 PM 
Thursday, April 15, 2004 
Did not even try to fish today. I thought that the crowds were bad on Friday, but they are nothing in copmarsion to today. When I went up to pick up a newspaper this morning the fisher people were lined up shoulder to shoulder in the bait section of the spring creek. was only slightly less crowded in the flies only section. Now i know why all the locals use a roll cast on the stream, there is no way one could back cast without risking serious injury to the neighbors. 

Was fun to watch to "casting" styles of the many beginning fly anglers. Most tended to move the rod way to far back and forward. the others tended to flay the water like they were whipping a $5.00 mule, water flying all directions, the fly only being on the water for only the briefest moments. If a fish had wanted to take their fly they would have to be quick about it. 

Dug out the fly tying kit, and have been having a good time the past few days tying a few flies every night, mostly to replace the lost and wore out flies from that days fishing. Tonight I got into tying bead head nymphs, I have had the beads, but never quite got into bead heads. Tonight I tied up a number of hares ear, and pheasant tail nymphs in size 14. I got into this mood after tying a few copper johns the other night, and then noticing that my fly box was low on the std patterns of hares ear and pheasant tail nymph. Before I leave here hope to check out my "new patterns". 

Ron had a campfire tonight. It was his first campfire since last summer when we were in Wisconsin. He enjoys the campfires so much, but in our travles down to Tx and our stay there te opportunity had not presented itself. i took a walk up to the spring creek, took a few pictures, and watched the fishers. Will now have to figure out how to fget the pictures online. 
- posted by Terry @ 1:08 PM 
Friday, April 16, 2004 
Looks like opening day at the trout stream this morning. The bait fishermen were shoulder to shoulder on the lower section of the spring this morning, its not much better in the fly only waters. Looks like I'll wait till late this afternoon when they have all packed up and gone home before fishing. 
Picked up a Paper at the park store and had a relaxed breakfast. 
Ron and i went for a short drive this afternoon to check out the RV parts store and campground located between the two entrances to Bennett Springs. Wasn't to impressed with place, an older building and a basic assortment of parts, very basic. 
Started fishing about 4:00 this afternoon. still very crowded, but will be my last chance to fish for a while. Was very windy and not very good for casting. Tried a pair of nymphs below a float indicator, like every other day and caught two nice sized rainbows. 
- posted by terry @ 7:29 PM 
Saturday, April 17, 2004 

On the road again today. Was a late start, getting out of the campground after 9:00. Headed north through Osage Beach, Jefferson City, Columbia and Moberly, MO. ending the day in Iowa, first time in the state in 6 months. Went to Lake Wapelo State Park for the evening. The park is very nice, and the DNR is installing a new floodway in the dam. The campground could use a little updating though. there were lots of electric sites. but few water hydrants. the campground was also a little confined, the roads narrow and twisting and the sites a little short for a fifth wheel camper. 

Didn't know that there was such a large Amish population in the Bloomfield area. Saw quite a few buggies, and a few out in the fields. On the road to the park there were a number of amish childern walking on the shoulder of the road on thier wa home from school. 

- posted by Terry @ 8:09 PM 
Sunday, April 18, 2004 
Couldn't get moving this morning, Kept hearing the rain on the roof and it was enough to lull us back to sleep. I finally roused myself about 9:00, whle Ron continued to sleep in. Got the kitchen packed back up, and ready to go, checked e-mail and the weather and waited for Ron to wake up. Finally pulled out and hit the road about 12:30pm. 

Our route today took us up hwy 63 to Ottumwa where we got on hwy 149 north and east bound through Hedrick. Martinsburg, Sigourney, West Chester and Kalona. Took a break at Kalona to go to the String Town Grocery north of town, but they were closed for the day. 

After our break we headed to Iowa City where we got gas and diesel fuel then headed to Cedar Rapids. After a quick stop at wally-mart we drove the few miles to Pleaseant Creek St Park at Palo IA. 

Drove through rain most of the day. some times heavy rains. Found out after setting up the camper and turning on the tv that southern IA the area we just drove through was now under sever thunderstorm warnings, and Des Moines had a tornado warning. Looks like we are just norht of the watch area, so we should be ok tonight. 

We were suprised when we got to Pleasant Creek. After dumping the grey tanks and wanting to rinse the hose out we found out there is no water. Went to the campground and no water there, the showers and rest rooms are loked also. We are running short of water but will have to carry it in. dig out the 5 gal jug and bring it from my folks tomrrow. 

Called mom and let here know we made it, and let her know that tomrrow I will change out her ceiling tile. Called my sister Kathy to let her know where we are and when to expect us at her camp site, later this week. 

- posted by Terry @ 8:25 PM 
Monday, April 19, 2004 

We are now back in Iowa at Pleasant Creek state park. Terry is helping his folks redo their kitchen. So we will be here for the weekend and then move on to Ankeny,IA to his sister's place where we built a pad with septic system, electric and water. We will stay there for a couple of months this summer. His sister wants her kitchen remodeled. 
From there who knows.... Maybe out west or up north to WI and then later back south for the winter. I want to spend some time in AZ. But Terrry has more work planned in south TX. 
posted by Ron
Sat. April 24, 2004

Pleasant Creek State Park Palo, IA

May and June 2004
We are spending a few months in Slater, IA at Terry's sisters. I am sort of workcamping by keeping the lawn mowed. Terry is working, contracting out, with his home restoration woodworking skills. We will be traveling again when it gets too hot here in Aug. Then down to KS to get some work done on the 5 er and then to AZ (Yuma and Quartzsite) and later back to south TX.

Terry hit the big 50 in June.   It sez "I Demand A Recount".
Having ribs he cooked in his homemade smoker.
See the two barrels hooked together in the next two pics.

Hope the grasshoppers don't eat up all the garden.
Terry's sister Kathy and family... Andrew (10) and Mark
They had a bunch of paving blocks so we built a small patio.

Terry working on Mark's John Deere tractor. 
 Aug. 2004  Went to the Iowa State Fair
They had record crowds and cool weather.
Made for a great time.


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