Why the title?

"Pioneers take the arrows"

Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.

So, let me amend that statement.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.

Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.

In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.

Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Red Rock Canyon Vacation Day 1

April 17, 2011

As usual, our morning consisted of attending worship services in the morning. In our congregation, we participate in what are referred to as “Life Group Meetings” for what would normally be an evening worship service. The Life Groups meet in private homes in smaller groups. Also, they can meet at different times of the day instead of just in the evening.

Our group actually meets immediately after the morning worship service in the home of one of our Elders. Our group consists of 6 couples when the full complement is in attendance. Our group actually has two Elders in it, so we have a real opportunity to learn more about God’s words in the Bible. In addition, our groups are made up or couples who are over 50 years old. (And 50 might be a pretty low number for the group.)

Meeting immediately after morning services is a benefit for us. We live about 7 or 8 miles from the church building right now, but in the future we may very well live farther away, especially after we sell our house and move into the Mobile Suites full time. Then, even if we are 20 miles or more away (a real possibility), we would only have to make one trip to Mustang for worship services.

After our Life Group session, Jo and I immediately went home and finished loading the last of the “necessities” into the Mobile Suites so we could leave out today instead of tomorrow (Monday). That gives us one more day in the park. It was questionable at first because the wind was really whipping it up today. Yesterday was a nice calm day but today made up for it.

However, Jo and I did not want to delay any longer, so we went ahead and hooked up and headed for Red Rock Canyon State Park at Hinton, Oklahoma. Due to construction of a new bridge going into our neighborhood, we have to detour around about 5 miles to get what used to be about a ¾ mile distance. And, due to the condition of one of the roads, we chose to go a little different route, which took us through Tuttle, OK and over to Minco before going up north to El Reno and catching the Interstate to Hinton.

A lot of the road from Tuttle to Minco is two lanes and no paved shoulder, so it made the drive a bit interesting. Being mindful of having a “high profile” vehicle I was watching pretty close to the vertical “tip factor” and also watching the “tail swing” factor. In order to keep from running the curb side coach wheels off the shoulder, I needed to hug pretty close to the center line with the road side wheels. The tail of the trailer was a good foot and a half to the right of the front of the trailer.

Once we turned north towards El Reno, it got just plumb easy to drive it because I had a tail wind. In all of this, Jo followed behind me in the Mercury Mariner. We plan to make at least one little excursion while we are on vacation, so we decided to bring the Mercury to make that less expensive. Had we been going further than we were, I might have very well waited to make the trip. But, since it isn’t that far for us, it wasn’t too bad overall.

Getting down into the canyon is a bit tricky as there is a steep winding road going in and out. At one or two points, one almost needs to be taking two lanes with that long of a trailer. Going in wasn’t so bad, but going back out, Jo will probably need to go to the top of the road and block any traffic wanting to enter the canyon. That way, I can have both lanes of the road on the climb out.

We got in about 3:00pm and picked a 50 Amp site towards the South end of the canyon. That site gave me an easy way in to get parked. One of two of the others that are 50 Amp sites have sharper turns going in and out. Those are fine if one has something shorter than 38 feet. We don’t have sewer hook-ups, but the electric and water connections are “RIGHT THERE,” making it really easy to get hooked up.

This is only our second excursion with the Mobile Suites and the only one in a campground as opposed to an RV park. As soon as we got set up, I took some pictures of our unit in amongst the trees. It is good to be in a campground instead of an RV park. They are just more natural with more trees. While there is a swimming pool in the park, we won’t be taking advantage of that since it won’t open until probably after Memorial Day.

We will get in some walking up and down the roads and there are a couple of nature trails in the canyon. There are also some “branch” canyons off of the main one that offers some other scenic venues. With the red walls and the green trees, I think there is a good possibility of some good pictures to be taken. There is a live stream right next to our campsite, but with the drought we’ve been having, it is pretty slow-flowing and not very deep.

Six nights is costing us about $108 after a “senior discount.” For 50 Amp and water, I don’t think that is too bad. When we came in, there were quite a few people here, but not that many that are campers. There was what looked like a pretty good sized group of people in the Day Use area for something like a family reunion or a church group outing. After today, I doubt that there will be that many people in the canyon. But, we’ll just have to wait and see.

While we pretty well have all the amenities in the coach, we do have the convenience of a very nice set of restrooms right across the road from our campsite. There are even showers, but I’m thinking they might be “timed” showers requiring the insertion of quarters or something, I think that because there is a Change Machine right in the middle of that end of the building.

For the next few days, we’ll have no phones (or very little) down in the canyon, no pool (cause that isn’t open yet), but we will have our pets. So, unlike Roger Miller’s song, “King of the Road,” we aren’t completely without benefits.

Site 50 Red Rock Canyon State Park; Hinton, OK


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