Saturday, October 29, 2011

Where does the time go?

We posted some pictures of last weekend’s motorcycle event here in Camp Galilee, and since then we’ve learned that the local newspaper ran a nice article about the event.  Details can be seen at  The event sponsor also has a website, and you can see results at 

The author of the article from a local newspaper came back here this week to learn more about us traveling old folks who are volunteering here for three weeks.
          Who are we?
          What are we doing?
If we learn that her visit turns into an article, we will put a link here later.

This week has flown by so quickly.  Our crew has been busy painting, and there is still plenty of work left for next week. 

Friday was our normal day off, so we did some paperwork related to replacing a lost driver’s license.  Paperwork always seems to take too much time.

Then we went for a road trip to see what all the activity in Joplin was about.  We have heard that most tornadoes are F2 (on a scale of 0-5) and most last for 2-3 minutes.  Last May, Joplin was hit with an F5 that stayed on the ground for about 20 minutes.  More specific details are at  Over 7,000 homes were either damaged or totally destroyed and more than 160 people lost their lives.  One of the hospitals is still operating out of tents (like a MASH unit) and the high school is being run out of a shopping center.  We saw complete devastation over a very wide area.  It looks like something out of a movie with nothing left: no trees, no buildings.  Only some driveways, basements, and a few fireplaces are left.  There were only a few damaged buildings left standing.

Photos can’t show it all.  But we also saw lots of re-building going on.  It was a sobering trip, and made us thankful for what we have.

We returned to the camp in time to see some of the decorating going up for a wedding and reception planned here for tomorrow. 

It was a beautiful day for a ride.  The leaves here are at their peak.  We ended the day with a beautiful site of the lake here as we drove in.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Motocross Weekend

It's Sunday night and we are all rested for our next 4 days of the project.  We had a good 3 days off.

On Friday we did laundry and went to Nevada, MO for a Walmart run.  Since the weather was so nice, we went for a motorcycle ride in the later afternoon and stopped at a good barbecue restaurant that was recommended.  The ride was curvy and hilly and the weather was perfect.

Saturday was spent in the campground as there was a motocross event being held at the camp.  The kids and amateurs rode on Saturday and the pros rode on Sunday.  It was fun to watch the smallest riders on 50cc machines (with Mom or Dad running along to help), and the pre-teens on 80s and 125s showed a lot of on-the-job training.  This was the first time anyone had ridden this course; it was hilly, rocky, and heavily treed.  Seems like everyone had a good time, including those of us who were spectating.

Saturday was also a nice day to just kick back and get some stuff done around here.  We volunteered to make lasagna for a group dinner this Wednesday so we got that made and in the freezer then.

On Sunday, we went to a local church as a group, and later in the afternoon we all went to Chicken Annie's.  This is right next to Chicken Mary's out in the country, about an hour away to the SW.  These 2 restaurants were featured on the Food Channel on a show which takes 2 restaurants on in a competition.  Apparently Chicken Mary won.  Originally there was one restaurant owned by sisters.  There was a disagreement about the recipe and this resulted in the 2 restaurants.  Here is a picture of our group:

This morning when we opened the curtain on the front window, this is the sight we had:

Yesterday morning there were 8 deer out in the field in front of us.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Experienced Decorators

We have finished our first week on this project.  Paige and another NOMAD have learned the hard way just how many different styles of Christmas lights there are.  They have been inspecting used strings, replacing dead bulbs (when possible), and staging the good strings for a crew of installers.  They've rejuvenated 4 deer so that they have all their lights and motion controls working again.  Here is Elizabeth with a completed deer.

Bob has been part of the electrical crew: installing switched outlets on many of the buildings around the grounds.  The south half of the grounds are almost done.  They have done a couple of special projects, like re-wiring the building which will be used as a concession stand this weekend.

We do more than work together - we have also had some meals and snacks together as a group - here on site, as well as at a couple of local restaurants.  It's a great group of 5 couples to work with!

The property is at the very edge of town, and heavily wooded.  Here is a picture of one of our "visitors" (notice the ears):
The weather has been pretty good early in the week, but turned downright frosty the past few mornings.  Today, Friday, the temps got back into the 60's, and it is supposed to be even warmer into the first part of the coming week.  We took advantage of the weather and got in a nice motorcycle ride.  Very pretty today with the leaves turning color and all the curvy and hilly roads.  Nice to take some time to enjoy this area!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Back to Work

Take a look at this website: and use the arrow marked  “Come On In”.  This will show you where we are for the next 3 weeks.  Four couples showed up here on Saturday, plus another couple on Sunday, to work together at this church camp.  None of us knew any of the others.  Sunday evening we had a dinner together and learned something about what we will be doing.

Like a lot of places these days, funding is tight so some costs are being cut out altogether  (like the stables) and new ways of fundraising are being tried.  A large local family held a reunion at this facility on Saturday night, complete with their own bluegrass group.  This coming weekend there will be a motocross competition through the woods and ravines here.  Bob rode part of one trail on his mountain bike and knows how rough this might be.  Later this month it will quiet down with a wedding reception or two.  It is a large enough place that we have the 5 RVs parked together, out of the way of everything else.

Last year they held the first annual “Lights Of Galilee”, where all of the cabins had been decorated for Christmas, while local groups participated in a variety of ways:

-   FFA club staged a live nativity
-   School choirs sang carols
-   Social groups sold hot chocolate

and so on.

This year they plan to do it all over again, but with more permanent fixtures.  The 10 of us will be doing the decorating, complete with new switched outlets (to get rid of extension cords) and lighting that will be mounted where it is better protected from the weather.  Today, Monday, was our first day of “work” since the cabin activities around Labor Day.  We are both tired this evening, but ready to go back for more tomorrow.  Once we complete the wiring on over 20 outbuildings, there is painting to be done. There is plenty of work to do, so we will fill these 3 weeks.

We are only 65 miles from Joplin Mo, which was hit so hard by an F5 tornado last spring.  One of the couples in our group is scheduled to work there this weekend (our time off) when Extreme MakeOver is organizing a project to redo 7 homes with thousands of people on hand to participate.

The weather has been very nice (80’s yesterday) but this afternoon it got windy and cooler.  Tonight it’s thundering and rainy.  We’re nice and cozy in the motorhome, however!

Friday, October 14, 2011

What a Hoot!

Wednesday and Thursday were both “Travel Days”:

            Wed  – 261 miles from northern IA into MO, all US 63
            Thurs – 200 miles across MO to the south and west, US63& US54

The fall colors are here but not as bright and distinct as in Minnesota.  The roads have been curvy and hilly; very pleasant riding.  Missouri has a lot of water from Corp of Engineers efforts which add to the scenery.

We found a Corps of Engineers facility in Hermitage MO which is a flood control project.  It turns out that they don’t offer camping here, but there is a state park nearby that they recommend.  We don’t quite have the place to ourselves, but the park is less than 10% occupied, so there is lots of space and quiet – except for the owl that hooted for a long time last night.  Thankfully, it must have captured its prey and quieted down for the night.

Today, Friday, is a day off.  We slept late, had a hot breakfast, did the laundry here in the park, washed the motorhome and took a bicycle ride (not exactly sleeping in a hammock for a day off, but pleasant).

For the next 3 weeks we will be working a church camp which is less than an hour away.  Normally the NOMADS show up on Sundays to get settled in and to meet with our co-workers, but this camp is open to us early, so many of us will pull in tomorrow.

The map to the right hasn’t been working too well lately, but it appears that Google solved whatever the problem was, so it now looks a little better.  Click on the map anywhere and you can make it bigger or smaller.  Click on any dot, and you should see the dates we were there.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Staying Put

Here is another photo of our current parking spot:

This is the same location as yesterday.  Today, too, no one else is here.  Even the geese are gone, so it is really quiet here. 

One of the advantages of our type of travel is the flexibility to stay over when we want.  We stayed nearby to help Don at the hospital for one more day.

We have decided to stay on US highways as much as possible for this week, while we head for the SW corner of Missouri.

Monday, October 10, 2011

On the Road Again

We hooked up all the vehicles and left the Twin Cities on Sunday to head south.  Our first stop was just north of Rochester MN where we pulled into a roadside bar and grill with its own RV park alongside.  It was pleasant enough for a single night, but the highway noise from US52 was a little annoying on Monday morning.  Keep in mind, we don’t have to get up early anymore.

Both Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, we took the car into Rochester to visit with Bob’s brother Don, who is hospitalized there.  He was doing much better on Monday, after getting some decent sleep on Sunday night.  We will be going back there again on Tuesday.  Meanwhile we moved the motorhome to a county park south of Rochester, where we are the only people in the place.  This should be much quieter than last night.

We went for a walk around the park about sunset, when a number of noisy geese flew over.  They should quiet down after the sun sets.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Campground in the Suburbs

For our followers:  we will begin blogging more frequently, as we hit the road again very soon.
For September, we had parked the motorhome at our cabin north of Duluth and spent half of our time there.  The other half was spent in the Minneapolis area.  We didn't buy any diesel fuel for almost 2 months, but we sure put a lot of miles on the car, and a few on the motorcycle too.
A couple of weeks ago we saw light snow when we were visiting Ely MN (N48 – W92) so we know it is time to pack up.  The snow didn’t stick around, and the temperatures are in the 80’s this week, but the wind is blowing the color off of the trees and we know what is coming.
Tomorrow is Saturday and we will have all of our granddaughters together for a final “fix” before we leave on Sunday.  On our way, we will check in with Bob’s brother, Don, who is recovering from a traffic accident.  Since many MN campgrounds have already closed for the season, we will have to be careful about where we stop, but that shouldn’t be a problem as we get into IA and MO.
By the way, here is our current campsite:
That is Brett and Jen’s house where we are parked.  While it only offers 20A, and no sewer connection for us, it does have water for our tanks and there is a Cabella’s down the road with a public dump facility.  It also has a firepit in back, and LOTS of things to keep us busy (the girls).