Dear Jesus, We Made It!

September 27, 2012

Day 5

These time changes do not work in my favor.  Yesterday we crossed another time zone.  We are in the Central time zone, which is, of course, 2 hours ahead of dear Oregon.  I’m tired.  We got a later start than any of us wanted.  Oh well.

Our route on Interstate 180, took us through Lincoln and past Memorial Stadium, the home of the mighty Cornhuskers.  It is huge, and gave me the chills driving by it.  I am sure that it is my high school experience, which makes team loyalty a wonderful thing and a force to be reckoned with.  Lincoln looks like a pretty town.  I would love to come back some day and check it out.

The drive to Paola was a meander through the countryside, past farms and more farms.  Dad was in heaven, checking out the crops and farm machinery.  He so enjoys looking and is so knowledgeable about the roads, harvesting, and the country way of life.  He is our tour-guide and we are truly enjoying it.

As we left Nebraska and entered Kansas, the sky darkened.  It looked like thunderstorms, or rain, or some really inclement weather.  We have had windshield wiper issues the entire trip; the wiper blades mostly don’t really touch the windshield.  The driver’s side was okay, but as the Kansas rain began to fall, both blades failed to squeegee the window.  Craig got out and fiddled with the blades, got back in, and we continued on.  Then the “real” rain came, basically in the form of a monsoon.  The wipers still didn’t do their thing.  Then…..Craig announced that the driver’s side wiper was about to go flying, and he turned off the wipers.  The next 20+ miles were driven without wipers, in the pouring rain, at 50mph.  The “Aquapel” worked somewhat.  Craig is a Californian, and this is the way it’s done.

Soon after this nail-biting part of the journey, the rain stopped, and we closed in on Paola.  Dad was reading the map; Craig was reading the GPS.  The two methods didn’t agree.  We went with Dad’s directions and meandered through the countryside, turning off the paved road, for a 2-mile drive on a gravel road.  Again, as I have suggested in the past, I mentioned calling for directions, as it seemed like this might be one of those times that the GPS had failed us.  I was told that we didn’t need to do that, we would follow the GPS to wherever it was taking us, and then we could call.  It was a beautiful countryside, and I didn’t get the “Deliverance” vibe, so Wiley and I moved to the back to make sure the espresso machine didn’t fall off the counter.  (it was bumpy – really bumpy)

Eventually, we came to a very inconspicuous building with a small sign on the front that said, “Happy Valley Ranch.”  We pulled into the driveway, and were greeted by Jim and Dave, who were expecting us.  We went into the office, and Dad met Ray, the owner.

Dad, Ray, and the American Harvester

(I took a lot of pictures.)  Dad bought the “American Harvester” with a MOTOR! and some other accessory pieces.  Bob put the grinder together as it was a special one to go with the motor. They packaged everything and helped us load it into the bottom of the motorhome.

The Apple Press, Dad, and the Happy Valley crew

Making everything fit

Bob even helped Craig fix the windshield wiper.

They had printed out directions to a local campground, gave us additional driving instructions, and sent us on our way.  We stayed at Lake Minola, in Paola, KS.  In honor of reaching our destination, we had steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, fresh (organic) tomatoes from the farm, and I made an apple pie, from our own apples.


Maybe a little “too brown” on the top crust, but still good!

(I have stashed our homegrown produce in various places in the motorhome.)  It was a great meal that produced about an hours worth of dishes.

A mess

This extraordinary amount of dishes is nothing new for me.

Today’s mileage:  367 miles

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