Branson vacation

Branson vacation
Branson Vacation

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Piney Grove COE, Moved North to IL and time with RV friends

We left Gunter Hill COE in AL and moved up to Piney Grove COE near Booneville, MS for a couple of days on our way north to get back to Central IL with family and meet our RV friends Faye N Dave(The Wandering Camels). When we left Gunter Hill they had problems with the sewer lines so we decided not to dump there and took our stuff with us to Piney Grove. Not what we really wanted to do but no choice. After we got checked in at Piney Grove we went straight to the dump station and then got to our site. Coming to a campground on a Sunday afternoon is nice since there are few other campers and we had the loop to our selves. It was another nice lakefront site. I was able to get the satellite TV locked on even with the tall trees around our site.



We found the laundry room and did a load of towels to keep caught up. OF course we took a walk and bike ride around the park and took some photos of the lake.




The lake area is just a side tributary to the Tombigbee Waterway. We even found the beach and noticed a barge in the distance navigating the channel as it headed to it's destination.

We stayed one full day and left on Tuesday and had a long travel day to Rend Lake in Southern IL. We had reservations at South Marcum campground which is also a COE. We had full hook ups for $12 per night with our Senior Pass for the National Parks. We stopped in Benton, IL and took a much needed bathroom break and a late lunch. We stopped at the gate to the campground and the attendant told us about a few sites that were open. (We didn't make a reservation this time) So we drove through the loops and picked a great back in site that used to be for camp hosts. I think they don't have one there now due to budget cuts. So we took it. It was a level cement pad near the bathhouse and nice open sky for the satellite.

 

 
We took a bike ride after getting set up which was around dusk and we knew there were lots of deer in the area. We went around a couple of loops and immediately there were deer. One even did a nice pose for me. They seemed somewhat tame. We had no problem getting good photos of them. As we rode over to the dam the sun was getting close to setting which really provided a nice photo op. 
 
 

 
 
We got up the next morning and stopped at the Wal Mart in Benton, IL and picked up some groceries in anticipation of our meeting up with our RV friends Faye and Dave . We got in some more bike riding the next afternoon and prepared for our short trip on Thursday to Forrest "Bo" Wood COE near Sullivan, IL. Faye had contacted the Army Corp staff and were informed to get there early on Thursday since it was the opening weekend and there were a limited number of sites available due to construction of new full hook up sites in different parts of the park. So we got on the road for the 2 1/2 hour trip abut 9:15 and arrived at noon. Faye N Dave had been there at 10am and got a great site and we were there early enough to snag a site near them. The campground filled up vey quickly. Glad we got there when we did. Faye has family in the area so they did some visiting while they were there and they invited us to their site on Friday for a cookout with her family. Dave had hamburgers and also brought out some of their Gulf Shrimp and fish. Dave is the cook and made up a batter to fry the shrimp and fish in. His recipe makes the batter very light and extremely tasty. I got the job of grilling up the burgers, which I must say, turned out great too. Of course, the meat was very high quality so it made my job easy. Everyone had plenty to eat and some great conversation.
 
Our site #99

Faye and Glenda(the Queens)

Dave N Faye


Paul(Faye's Dad), Dennis(her cousin), Pat(Faye's Mom)and Nancy(Dennis's wife)
 
It was fun getting to know them and I know they think we're crazy living this lifestyle but we wouldn't have it any other way right now. Once we were totally full Faye brought out some strawberries with shortcake and whip cream. That finally did us in. :-)  Delicious
 
We had a campfire at Faye N Dave's the first night and then I got some wood and we invited them over for a nice campfire.
 

 
Dave gave us a great cooking lesson the night before we went our separate ways. He had us buy a large pork loin and he and Glenda made a marinade brine. We put the pork loin in the brine over night and then grilled it the next evening. Dave had me do 1/4 turns on low heat for over an hour and cooked the pork loin until it reached an internal temp of  150 degrees. We played some Spades while the meat cooked and of course, the guys prevailed. We made a glaze of Dijon mustard and maple syrup and applied for the last 30 minutes to caramelize. We then took it and let it rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving with a rice and mushroom side dish that Faye N Dave made. I can't begin to describe the flavor, juiciness and tenderness of the meat and how well the side dish went with the meal. It was so wonderful to learn a new dish that we can prepare for family and friends in the future. We can't thank them enough. This just goes along with all the other great tips that they have given us as we have started our full time RV life. I kept kidding Faye that I wanted to be like her. :-)  I hope if didn't make Dave too jealous. ha-ha.
 
They had a long trip to IN on Monday so we made a short night of it with hugs(no handshakes). We are looking forward to seeing them again next winter as they will be workamping in an RV resort near ours in the Mesa/Phoenix, AZ area. Who knows we may see them on the road as we travel back. We plan to keep in touch through our blogs and email.
 
We left Bo Wood around 10:30 am Monday and traveled about 90 miles to our current campground  north of Bloomington/Normal, IL. We reserved a 2 week stay at Comlara County Park to visit family and friends and appts. Of course the weather is cold( highs 50's and lows 30's), windy and mix of clouds and sun. Really not used to this and not enjoying it so far. That's why I retired and left IL However it has been good to visit with my Dad and brother and we will be having dinner on Friday with our friends Richard and Brenda. Over the weekend we plan to drive to Osceola, IN to see our son in law's son, Mason, graduate from college in Grand Rapids, MI. It will be so good to see the grandkids and hang out with our son in laws family.
 
We also have plans the following weekend to visit our daughter, Heather, son in law, Paul, and youngest grandson AIDEN. Caught up again. It better warm up soon. 

 



 

2 comments:

  1. That pork sounds so yummy! I'll bet it's great to see your dad again and the kids and grandkids! Hey Glenda, I think there's something fishy about those cards ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. We had a great time with you guys too, yeah folks think we're crazy for living this life style but I think they're just jealous. Looking forward to seeing you both in the fall, then I will be saying I want to be like you ;).

    ReplyDelete