Sunday, April 13, 2008

First ‘Club’ Outing of the Season

Hi, this is Cindy, on ‘blog’ duty again now that we are back in to camping season and Ken is driving while I’m blogging.

This was our first weekend to be with the Archway Coachmen Club since last summer and we were really looking forward to it. We began to have second thoughts as we headed toward Mid-Missouri with Ken battling 40 mph wind gusts.

Ken took it slow, and we took a break in Laddonia to get 46 gallons of diesel at $3.99 per gallon, no cheap break!

We pulled in to LazyDays Campground, in Danville, Mo, at 5pm.

Kim, the owner, had us a spot reserved between the other two Sportscoaches in the club.

The weather was really cold and ugly, so after setting up and walking the dogs we were thrilled to get to the club festivities in the warm and cozy club room. Kim told us that she does close to 50 RV club events a year. She has two different buildings of different sizes to accommodate indoor activities for groups.

We had about 10 rigs so the smaller club room was perfect for our group. The grounds are decorated with lots of flower beds scattered with unique old fashioned treasures/junk

With a full kitchen and clean heated shower/restrooms right across the road, it makes for a really good gathering spot. Friday night was wine-tasting and snacks. Since we are the only members from Illinois we brought Illinois wines. One was a Cynthiana. I figured anything with that name from Illinois had to be great, right! It was actually very good, although you have to like dry reds like Ken and I do to like a wine from Cynthiana grapes. The other was a Vignoles that we’d picked up on the Illinois Wine Trail on our last outing during the football playoffs at Southern Illinois University. It’s a sweet dessert wine.

It was great having full hookups since I was able to exercise and then take long showers, Friday night and Saturday morning.

The club officers treated us to a breakfast of sausage and French toast followed by a club meeting. This group has been together 11 years. They plan monthly RV outings April through October and then have restaurant outings monthly during the winter months. We really don’t get to spend lots of time with them since their May outing is on Mother’s Day and September and October are football season. Since the group is St.Louis based we don’t do the winter outings since 4 hours is a lot of driving to go out to eat!

Bob and Cindy Byrne had arrived a day earlier and suggested that if Ken and I were simply looking to do a little local sightseeing for a few hours, we should head down to the next exit and visit Williamsburg, Mo. This turned out to be excellent advice.

Williamsburg is home to Crane’s General Store. This store has been in business at this location and run by the same Crane family since the 1800’s.

They also have a Museum and restaurant where we were able to get excellent home-cooked lunch as well as fresh blackberry cobbler and ice cream for dessert. Restaurant patrons had free admission to the museum area full of lots of great antiques such as

These old gas pumps

Or this armadillo purse

On the way back, we drove through Graham Cave State Park, across Interstate-70 from the LazyDays Campground.

This state park, like all we’ve seen in Missouri appears well maintained with windy, scenic drives. Unfortunately their didn’t appear to be many long level campsites and while their were a surprising number of campers, the only motorhome there belong to the campground hosts who had the only large level full hookup site we saw.

If we come down here on better weather we’ll consider bringing a picnic lunch over here and explore the gave which appears to be only a short walk from the parking area.

The winds were still whipping and the temperature hovering just above 40 degrees when we arrive back at the RV mid-afternoon. After a brisk dog walk, we decided it was naptime.

Sox insisted that with our ceramic heater keeping the bedroom especially toasty, the bedroom should be the ‘girls’ nap room, while Ken and Ditka sacked out on the coach and watched a bit of golf on TV—with their eyes closed.

Saturday evening was Hawaiian Luau night. The potlucks with this group are fabulous, with know lack of awesome Rv cooks among the group. The club provided the meat. We can highy recommend based on that both the spiral cooked ham from Aldi’s and the pre-cooked beef brisket from Sam’s Club. These turned out to be really perfect selections for this kind of get together.

We finished off the evening with some silly games, like turning your spouse into a highway warning cone and then trying to get a ringer or better yet…

A game called butthead, where your spouse put on this strange swimcap looking cap with Velcro strips and you get points by throwing balls and trying to get them to stick to their head.

Sunday morning was still spitting snow when we did the first morning walk with the dogs. We joined the group in the club room for coffee and donuts. Then went back to backup and unhook.

There was enough leftovers from the Luau that we got together again for lunch before pulling out.

Ken had Kim fill us up with propane since she had a very convenient spot for us to do that. We paid $3.00 for propane including tax and were surprised we only needed 19 gallons considering the amount of time we’ve had to run the heating since last fillup.

It was at the propane station we encountered our screw-up for the weekend. The rear slide did not appear to be totally in. Ken brought it the rest of the way in but then realized that the culprit was one of the ski’s from my Nordic Track. Before we could remedy the situation, the tension of the ski got to be too much.

It sounded like a gun going off as the ski snapped in two. Now Ken has something to fix before our outing next weekend. Of course, I can’t use this as an excuse for not exercising since he was good enough to get me a second ski machine at home.

As we crossed the Mississippi River at Hannibal, the sun broke through the clouds for the first time all weekend.

It was a wonderful weekend, with wonderful people. Hopefully our adventure to Charleston next weekend will be the same, but with wonderful weather as well!

Hugs, C


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