Hiking in the Ozarks! (Desoto, MO) Part 2

Our October 2021 hiking vacation, so to speak, continued on a good note! We were watching the weather closely and discovered the mid west gets a lot of rain storms. But like us in Myrtle Beach, the systems move fast and it seemed the ground dried out. We were prepared for indoor activities just in case….It looked like both Thursday and Friday had high chances of rain. We don’t mind those days as we enjoy museums and other interesting inside venues – such as caves!

Bill and I tried to scuba dive one time, in Cancun. We had “free” snorkeled a lot but those opportunities were disappearing as the reefs were becoming damaged from all the snorkelers. Snorkeling was becoming “controlled” which meant more people going out together so they could be closely monitored. The idea of scuba diving seemed the answer to enjoying that beauty under the ocean! We were optimistic we could scuba dive, but Bill was just too buoyant while I had a hard time equalizing. We did manage an hour in plus 30′ but pretty much declared it wasn’t for us. So to see a dive sign at the nearby Bonne Terre mines initially put Bill off. I looked closer and saw it included an underground boat tour. It just looked worth the price of admission – and it was!

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A new adventure – we’re rusty!


Grandpa meeting his first grandson!

It was the birth of our first grandson that catapulted us into RVing. We needed a solution to visiting him since we lived in Florida and he was in Virginia. We wrote about it here. So fast forward two years and we’ve now welcomed our second grandson into the world! In between their births, we’ve stayed traveled between 66 campgrounds, with 49 of them being the first time we’ve camped there, and we are now at approximately 474 nights in a camper.  And we are changing how we travel now that we have a motor home.

We had to do a cost benefit analysis of how we were traveling and we’ve read about other full time travelers doing the same. Bottom line, we are slowing down between campgrounds. To get the best rates, we need to stay a minimum of 7 days and the absolute best rates are for 30 day stays. We have learned the more you set up and tear down your camper, the easier it gets. We’ve now done it so much, it’s second nature. BUT, we’ve now realized we are rusty when it comes to traveling to a new location.


And this is where we are now. We made reservations through our Choice Hotels membership right before grandson #1 was born. And I got “hood-winked” so to speak. I spent $199 for a four day three night vacation in Myrtle Beach. We knew it was a nice area and had plenty of great campgrounds. So we really wanted to let our daughter and her husband stay in the hotel and we would just camp there for a mini vacation for them. And as part of the deal, we would get back a $200 Mastercard Gift card for listening to a two hour presentation. It sounded good at the time, but we never could coordinate that trip and grandson #2 came along. So the deal was about to expire and we found out there was another resort close by where we could stay, Shenandoah Crossings in Gordonsville, VA. It’s at the foothills of the Shenandoah National Park. This was where we discovered we loved to hike between 2003 and 2004. You can read about our one year of monthly hikes here. Ah sweet memories….so here we are!

We decided to leave our RV. It was just cheaper to leave it and stay in a cabin in this resort. We actually had planned to drive here in the motor home after it was time to leave our daughter and grandsons. But long story short, this deal was about to expire and we need to stay a little longer to help them out. And besides, who could leave this bundle of joy so soon?

Baby brother!

Baby brother!

Next up, our adventures at Shenandoah Crossings, rusty as they are! But let us not forget this important scripture as we move on….

Is not wisdom found among the aged?
Does not long life bring understanding?

Job 12:12

Our latest adventure!

Grandson #2

Don’t we look happy?

Words just can’t explain the JOY of a new born baby, especially when he was delivered before my eyes (Debbie) last night, August 22, 2015. He is his big brother’s twin, born nearly two years apart, born at the same hour, weighing nearly the same as well as the height! What fun we are going to have! And we thank God for his safe delivery, for how excellent his health is and how strong our daughter was to endure so much pain. Fortunately it was only for a few hours.

Our #1 grandson was with his paternal granny. Yay, she and her fiancé had a great time with him and the family puppy dog (nine years old but a 9 pound miniature dachshund). It’s great to have family close by to help out.

What was wild was that Bill ran errands while my son-in-law, daughter and I were in the labor and delivery room. And as is his tradition, he ate dinner at the local KFC. Poor guy, he doesn’t enjoy the finer things in life! Anyway, introvert that he was, he had his Sudoku book as his dining partner. Went into the far corner and settled in his world of escapism while he waited for #2 grandson to be born.

So an older man, age 91 and his new 79 year old friend came over to sit NEAR him. And a conversation was struck up. It started talking about the song playing, by Skeeter Davis, “Why.”  Bill was familiar with it and in fact, we knew her from our days in the ministry. Then the topic switched to politics and Bill gave him a great education. Then Bill learned their story.  They just met. He was widowed in April. They both have adult children, grand children and even great grandchildren, but none of their children want to help them out. So they are both alone in the world and found each other. They counted their pennies and hired a taxi for a date out for dinner. The woman admitted she was depressed and really struggling in life. They each barely have enough money to live on and don’t have the where with all to locate help.

When Bill picked me up from the hospital, the first thing he said was how blessed we are to not only have each other, but to have a daughter we know will always look out for us – as we have done for her all these years and now help with our grandsons. So all the JOY we felt was tempered by the situation of two lonely strangers who coincidently sought him out.

He gave them several suggestions and they were so appreciative he was so friendly towards them. It was as if they were still in their own awkward stage of a new relationship. This morning, as we prayed together and for our daughter and her family, we also prayed for this couple. Our hearts ache for them as we have so much joy with our daughter and grandchildren.


“Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?” Job 12:12