We went for an afternoon visit today to see Uncle Jerry and Aunt Konnie. I was thankful I wasn’t driving – I don’t do well in these conditions! It snowed all the way to their place and it was so pretty. I just love the snow! Here’s the highway leading to Rubio, the little tiny almost non-existent town they live just outside of.
And I love gravel roads covered in snow (although this isn’t a whole lot of snow). That bend in the road – it takes you to one of the prettiest places in Iowa! I shared pictures of Uncle Jerry and Aunt Konnie’s place last summer and it’s just as pretty in the winter. The only difference is it was so cold out and I didn’t wear my boots so I only took a few pictures from the truck as we were moving so I didn’t get the best pictures.
Off to the right, a few of Uncle Jerry’s horses with their backs to the wind. Uncle Jerry has always had horses and at one time he raised mules. On past these horses there were goats and llamas. I didn’t get any pictures – next time maybe. Uncle Jerry said he had just bought some new goats yesterday and they were due to give birth at any time. If it had been a warmer day and I had been dressed more appropriately I would have gone out with him to check on the mamas. Baby goats – how sweet. When I was growing up we would have been getting ready for lambing season. I loved the baby lambs!
And to the left I the old farmhouse and barn. Up the road and around the bend and you’re there. The house on the left and the most beautiful view to the right. A big old farmhouse and room to roam. Lots of memories here and they’re all good. My older kids always enjoyed visiting and now Drew does too. It’s almost like time slows down when I’m visiting Uncle Jerry and Aunt Konnie.
Another Labor Day camping weekend has come and gone. And it went way too quickly! Things weren’t quite the same as one couple had to cancel at the last minute and another couple decided to come but that’s okay. We missed our friends and made new friends and hopefully we will all be together next year. That’s what we’re planning anyway!
We got to the campground early evening Friday and were the first ones there. We got set up and decided to eat supper at the restaurant. They had all you can eat seafood buffet. Who can pass that up! First we loaded up the truck with firewood as there was no bringing in your own here. Drew loved climbing the woodpile while we loaded up the truck! As we were getting ready to eat another couple showed up and they were wanting to eat at the restaurant too. Not what we usually do when camping but when it’s late and you’re tired and it’s there – why not!
Saturday saw us eating a brunch of bacon and eggs and hash browns then exploring the campground. None of us had ever been to Skip-a-Way before. It was definitely full for this weekend and we could see why. There was miniature golf, a game room, a splash pad, peddle boats, canoes, and kayaks for the lake and tubing down the Turkey River. They guys played around in the game room then we played a round of miniature golf. We walked around the campground and enjoyed seeing all the campers that were set up permanently. They all had sites decorated and landscaped and you could tell everyone knew everyone else. How fun that would be.
The days were nice and the nights were chilly and it was perfect for campfires in the evening. We spent a lot of time sitting and chatting around the fire, getting to know one another and to just relax. the best part of camping as far as I’m concerned!
Sunday we had planned on Tubing the Turkey but it was just chilly enough that we decided to make a change in plans and we’re all glad we did. We took a road trip to Spook Cave and it was so much fun. We’ve toured many a cave but not like this. This tour was all by boat. There were times you couldn’t sit up at all as the roof was so low. Not good for those who are claustrophobic. We had a great tour guide who was able to deal with the guys and their antics. She never batted an eye! I decided I want to go back as there is a campground right on the grounds with the cave. You camp right beside a creek and a waterfall. It would be a fun getaway for the family. Maybe next year!
After the cave we drove onto Pike’s Peak for a fun hike and beautiful views. We got to see the spot where Matthew proposed to Whitney the year before which was fun for all of us and especially Whitney’s mom and dad! Again, I would like to spend more time here and do some more hiking and visit the Effigy Mounds. It was a beautiful place.
By the time we got back the campgrounds we were all tired so a quick supper and more campfire time! Rod got out some lanterns and set them off. Something so simple and yet it’s fun to watch them soar away into the night.
Sunday we were up and headed to the restaurant for breakfast and we were all headed for home by noon. Before we left we were planning our trip for next year. Sounds like we’ll be going south instead of north this time. We like to change it up. As this was our year to plan it I’m glad to hand off the task to somebody else for a couple three years. We’ll let Steve and Wendy make the choice and we’ll have fun no matter where we end up! Skip-a-Way wasn’t necessarily our favorite campground we’ve ever been at but it had lots of fun things to do and places close to visit and it really doesn’t matter where we are. We just all enjoy spending the time camping together!
We didn’t go camping this past weekend like planned. We spent Saturday in Coon Rapids with Joe’s family instead. It was their county fair and they decided at the last minute to put a float in the parade and asked us to come up. Joe’s brother just bought a tractor that was identical to the first tractor their dad had owned and they thought it would be fun to put it in the parade. They pulled a hay rack and had family sit on the hayrack. Albert, who is 91, had a great time throwing candy out to the spectators and the kids had a blast squirting everyone with squirt guns! There wasn’t room for everyone to sit on the rack so a few of us watched the parade and took pictures instead.
After the parade we went out for lunch at the local bowling alley then visited with Albert for a little while before heading home. It was great to see Albert enjoy the day!
On the way home we stopped at Bass Pro Shop for some cheap entertainment. Drew loves to see the fish and all the animals in the store. Someone had their Great Dane there and what a beautiful majestic dog to see! We all tried our hand at shooting targets. (I wasn’t very good at it!) Then onto Casey’s for gas and ice cream cone and a drive around Lake Red Rock and supper at our favorite Mexican restaurant in Pella before finally heading home. Drew couldn’t wait to get home, let Isee lose and then run and play outside. It was a long day but we had fun!
I had two things I planned to get done over the long weekend – help Joe finish the lean to and hang some lights I had made on the pergola. What did get done? The dog kennel and lots of fun! Sunday we spent the day in Des Moines with my sister. They have neighbors who own a “lake” where they get to camp for free and they are the only ones who camp there. It’s 10 minutes from their home in Norwalk so they go out often. Lots of fishing, playing in the sand and yummy food was had by all! We were there all day and didn’t get home until after 9:00 p.m. and we were wore out!
The lake was an old quarry and back in the 90’s it was known as Clearwater Lake. They held concerts there and the lake was used for swimming. The Beach Boys played there at one time. I remember hearing about it but Joe and I were busy starting a family in the 90’s and never went. The old stage is still there and the old lifeguard stand. It’s a neat place for Beth to get to camp.
Monday saw us up and revamping the kennel. We made it out of hog panels and steel posts. The dog house is in one corner and it’s very roomy. Izzy had spent the past few years living in a horse stall so we thought she would enjoy the freedom of this kennel. And she seemed to be okay with it. As long as we were outside. As soon as we went in the house she would get out. We discovered she was climbing up the hog panels and then jumping out! So, we put a chain link cover over the top. And we covered one end with a tarp for shade. I know – it sounds very redneck. But it doesn’t look too bad and she is nice and safe. Plus – it didn’t cost us anything as we used what we had. She can’t get out, she has a nice insulated dog house, plenty of shade, grass to lie in, food and water. She seems happy and we can relax knowing she is comfortable and safe.
After finishing up the kennel and eating lunch Joe mowed the yard while I finished planting flowers and swept the deck. Then we took Izzy to Belva Deer where we met Dad and Mom for a picnic. Eric met us out there too. Izzy loved it. She is such a people person and she loved on everyone and she loved going for a walk. She was wore out after so much excitement and fell asleep on the way home. Then when we got home she went straight to her dog house and laid down. I think she’s liking her new family and home!
For a weekend with no plans except working around the house we sure did a lot of running but it was also a relaxing and fun weekend. Lots of family fun!
Our Saturday plans – build a kennel for Izzy then go to Des Moines to visit my sister. Sounds simple. We got up and started on the kennel. Then my dad called. He had his Mule stuck in a ditch on the side of the road and was afraid it was going to tip. So we ran over there and helped pull him out. That was a close one. Back home and I get a phone call. Abby had ordered a sign to be made by a friend, could I pick it up for her? Drew and I headed over to pick up the sign. Abby’s friend is the daughter of a good friend of mine and I had worked with her when I worked for the city so of course I had to stay and have a chat. And Drew had to see their chickens, goats and bottle calf. That took about an hour. On the way home Mom texted and said the greenhouse had fresh strawberries. So, off to the greenhouse for strawberries we went.
By the time we got home it was noon. Joe finished up on the kennel while I made lunch. Beth texted and said it was raining in Des Moines. Mom texts and asks if we want to go out for supper with them. So change of plans. We’ll go to Des Moines on Sunday and go out for supper with Dad and Mom. As we are in town getting gas with Dad and Mom our phones go off – tornado warning for our area. The sky looked really scary. But we were heading out of the storm area so off we went. It ended up being a beautiful evening in Mt. Pleasant. The restaurant was an experience. It was very busy and very small. There was seating outside but no empty tables so we went inside. A very small space, not much seating but we lucked out and found a table. The décor was fun, rustic, and the menu was big. They are known for their tenderloins so Mom and I got those. Joe and Dad got pineapple burgers and loved them. Joe and I definitely want to go back. After eating we spent some time walking by the Skunk River and through the campground on the other side of the river from the restaurant. It was a fun spur of the moment adventure. It’s good to be flexible sometimes!