This winter trip came about unexpectedly following Tom's hospitalization and stint insertion, and Ella's clean bill of health after an ultrasound and CT scan. It was motivated by wanting to see Tom's sister Becky in Texas who had been fighting cancer for 18 months. Weather predictions appeared to give us enough of a weather window to take the Silvermine rather than stay in motels!
We left home February 4th on a Thursday and drove 8 miles . . . and came back! Tom had forgotten to take his morning medicine. Having enough packed medicine was an issue from the beginning of the trip (refills were not available yet) and he did not want to snatch from his packed stash; so we returned home for his daily dose. So, this trip began at 6:30 a.m. and again at 6:45 a.m.
Our route took us through Indianapolis then south on I70 to Effingham for a lunch stop. Traveling with us were Scout and Charlie Button, and even with short stops for them we made good time. Making good time (with a time change in our favor) I think we missed an opportunity when Tom drove right by the signs for Boomland! From the looks of all the signs leading up to the turn off, it must be a great tourist trap!
7:15 pm found us in Little Rock, Arkansas after logging in 740 miles. We unhooked at a KOA and went for dinner at the Cock of the Walk Catfish restaurant. Skillet tossed cornbread was entertaining, but ours hit the floor. Not to worry, because you get to step out on the veranda and feed the giant catfish! By 9:00 we were back at the KOA where we hooked up the Silvermine for an early start.
A nine hour trip found us in Bay City, Texa, where it was 59 degrees! Our campground was newly built to serve up the work population that was building the new nuclear plant. It was 3 miles away from Becky and Jim's house where we would be visiting.
For three days we visited Becky and were happy to find her alert and able to enjoy conversations. On Sunday night we watched the first half of the Super Bowl with her, and then said our final goodbyes. A week later she passed away.
Our first day's drive toward home brought us back to Hot Springs, AK where we detoured off the road for an overnight stay in our favorite Hot Springs National Park -- Gulpha Gorge Campground. We walked bathhouse row and ate supper and found that the little town of Hot Springs is not very active in February.
Tuesday we were on the road by 6:30, but slowed down by snow squalls we kept passing in and out of. When we reached the point that we were more "in" than "out" of the snow, we stopped for the night just 4 hours shot of home. We got a hotel room! Wednesday morning we drove those four hours and ended up home by lunchtime.
This trip was not the fun kind of camping trip to record in pictures, but I did want to add it to my blog. We are so glad we got to visit with Becky when she was comfortable, alert, and in good spirits.
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown