Category Archives: Missouri

Butt Patrol and Other Stuff

There is a new sheriff in town and he’s coming after ya and there is no place to hide.  If I offend my smoking friends, I’ll apologize now.

IMG_1051I normally end my workday by going on Butt Patrol. We work hard on keeping this RV park clean and that means picking up what others are too lazy to toss in a trash can. My 5-gallon pail and Niftty Grabbers come in handy for this job. The picture above was taken in the parking lot adjacent to the water park. Why are people so rude? Now I realize that smokers need a place to deposit their butts. We have butt cans at all entrances however that does seem to be the answer. Apparently this butt can was not clearly identified.

IMG_1050I have a suggestion for smokers. Please keep your butts to yourself. Meaning, when you are done smoking, stick the butt in your pocket or purse. Nasty? Yep – that’s the idea. You smoke ’em, you keep ’em. I do not need the job security.

We survived the mid-year July 4th weekend with no problems. In fact, the crowd was very well-behaved. Our redneck neighbors where not here so that helped keep things quiet on our end of the street. The RVers even respected our No Fireworks rule. The water park saw its largest attendance on Friday and Saturday with over 1,000 people taking advantage of our wave pool and slides each day.

Meanwhile, while not on Butt Patrol, I was busy working. Two projects rounded out my week. Replaced a threshold and laid about 300 sq.ft. of roofing. I did not get a before picture of the door but here is the after.

IMG_1052The original threshold was completely rotted away. Someone had secured an aluminum threshold on the floor inside the door, not under the door. There was a cement ramp in front of the door that was all busted and cracked so it got replaced as well. When all was done, there was no visible light under the door and the delivery fellow liked the new ramp.

Next project was the roof. The roof was in bad shape. Roll roofing was the covering of choice 20+ years ago when this section was added to the main building. The roof covered the dry storage area of the kitchen. Our cook commented that the dry storage area was not very dry especially after a rain.

IMG_1054Removing the old roll roofing material was effortless. I am surprised the material did not just blow off with any wind. My buddy, Pete is at the top of the photo where you can see how wet the plywood is under the rotted material. That all dried up before we laid down the roofing felt.

We discovered wood-rot along the edge of the roof as well. Apparently the roof had been repaired in the past. The original roof covering was OSB board, NEVER use OSB on any roof. It is cheap and you get what you pay for. The OSB was covered with  1/2″ plywood but none of the seams were sealed which meant when rain water penetrated the rotted roll roofing, water made its way to the OSB by way of the seams. This photo shows how rotted the edge of the roof was. Once I cut through the plywood, the exposed, wet OSB crumbled like soggy bread.IMG_1056After working three mornings, the roof was done. Flashing was added around the satellite platforms so rainwater would flow around the platforms, not under them. Monday and Tuesday were the hottest days of the summer. Heat index was pushing 105. Working on the roof those days was challenging but it got done.

IMG_1061Another successful project completed by Dr. Phyxit.

Our weekend is here again. YEA! I think we will go shopping for a couple of recliners. I might even take a picture or two along the way. I leave you with a photo of an old barn. I wonder what stories it could tell.

DSC_0562Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.

Three Day Weekend

Yep, you heard that correct. We had a three-day weekend. Our schedule was adjusted so we will be on the clock during the 4th of July weekend blowout. Normally we have Thursday/Friday off. Next weekend, the park is at capacity starting Wednesday night. We will be off on Thursday and at work on Friday-Sunday. Then our normal schedule resumes the following week. Confusing?

Thursday we did our normal shopping, clothes washing stuff. I also had an appointment with an allergy doc on Thursday so my projects had to be cut short. Friday Carol headed to town for a mani/pedi while I chilled at the RV. My Friday project required that she be hanging around just in case someone needed to call 911. Saturday we played tourist and traveled to Paris. Tonight we are relaxing and getting caught up on stuff that has been on the back burner for a while.

So what was the Thursday project? Our original kitchen sink faucet did not have a sprayer and the water filter dispenser leaked steadily. We shopped for a new faucet and filter set the week before. As with most home improvement projects, fittings change, tools change and well, you just never have the proper stuff to make the new parts fit in the place of old parts. For folks living in big cities, that is not a problem since the big box stores like Lowes, Home Depot, Menards, etc are generally a few minutes away. Once I removed the old faucet and filter, I realized the fittings on the new parts did not match up with the existing plumbing connections.

I took a trip to the very close RV store and was promptly told you cannot use residential parts in an RV. Obviously this fellow did not know who he was dealing with. I do not pay RV prices for anything unless it is absolutely necessary. So I came back to our RV empty-handed knowing I would need to find a different solution. A trip to Lowe’s would be required. In the meanwhile, we had the water cut off to the motor home and I needed a shower. A few minutes later and a quick trip to the RV park’s shower, I’m ready for doc apt and my trip to Lowe’s.

When we got back, I was able to get everything back in place with no parts left over, water turned on with no leaks, and a new faucet and filter at the kitchen sink. On the left is the old hardware, on the right is the new. I’m stuck in the middle. Good thing I’ve lost weight.

sinkEverything works except for the low flow from the filter faucet. Not sure what that is about just yet. The faucet/sprayer works as expected.

Friday’s project was to replace the support arms on our awning. Back in February, we had our awning out while in Alabama. A sudden strong wind came up and flip the awning over the top of the motor home. The fabric was OK and the main roll bar was OK. The support arms were mangled. Calling around, we figured the support arms would cost around $300 plus shipping. If the fabric was torn we could have justified an insurance claim to replace the entire awning. I just hated to spend $300 without exhausting all other options. As I was ending my rounds here at Mark Twain Landing, I emptied my butt pail (full of trash collected around the park) into the large compactor. I found one of the support arms I needed in the compactor. Cool. Then I found more awning support arms in a few other places. Actually I believe God led me to the parts because I had been praying for them for a couple of months now.

Carol was my supervisor as I worked. I even managed to get on the roof of motor home to get rid of the rope that was holding the rolled up awning in place. The only thing left to do is tension the springs in the awning tube. I revisited an RV website and found one of my early friends had a link on how to do this – the safe way. That will be another project.

awningEverything is strapped down tight, plus the awning is facing East. Not likely to have a strong east wind since Mother Nature visits from the West.

Saturday was a day to play. We had a late breakfast then took a drive to Paris. Paris, MO that is. On the way there we made a side trip to Indian Creek Recreation Area on the other end of Mark Twain Lake. This is a Corps of Engineer Park that has 249 sites and is the largest of all COE parks in the system.  Sites are wooded and spaced out. We enjoyed our drive through the camping area because we saw some cool RVs.

Indian CreekThe RV on the left wins the prize for smallest RV ever, while the yellow Love Shack wins the prize for “hippest” or “coolest”.

Moving on down the road, we arrived in Paris, MO and began our search for our coveted covered bridge. There are only 4 covered bridges in the sate of Missouri and we were close to one – Union Covered Bridge. Of the four covered bridges in MO, this the only one constructed using Burr Arch Truss design. In fact, this bridge incorporates two on each side of the bridge.  We stopped for photos and a walk through the bridge with the fur babies.

Union Covered BridgeWe headed back to our home and enjoyed leftover 3-envelope Roast. This was a good recipe that we will do again. The front that was pushing through our area finally pushed through. By the time we got back to RV Park, temperature was around 71. Many of our Texas friends are enduring record heat this summer. Corpus Christi recorded a record high of 107 today. We are glad we are in Missouri.

We are hunting for a winter job with Corps of Engineers in Texas as Gate Attendant. Their bid list comes out in two weeks. Not sure where we will end up just yet. When God let’s us know, I will let you know.

Thanks for stopping by. Y’all come back now.

Mayday

No, this is not a call for help. Today’s post is about the end of another month. May has been interesting and has flown by faster than greased lightening.

First big event for us this month was ‘ Smokin on the Lake’ May 17-19. This is an annual event for Mark Twain Landing RV Resort. Just like other BBQ competition. The idea is to BBQ the best chicken, pork ribs, pork butt, beef brisket, or deserts. Top winner can take away $800. Rules are simple and must be followed. There is also a kids competition to encourage a new generation fo ‘Q’ers. All of this is judged by KCBS. Click Mark Twain Landing Facebook page to see photos of this event plus many other. The park was pretty full.

Unfortunate for me, I was unable to get out to mingle with the group very much. Friday evening as I stepped into our motor home, my left knee made this horrible sound.  C R A C K! Think of this as a sound you never want to hear. As I attempted to put weight on my left leg, I felt excruciating pain in my knee. This is not a good thing. I spent the rest of Friday with ice on my knee. Carol was out visiting with the crowd when I did this. By the time she got back, I was already in bed and had taken a healthy dose of Advil.  Saturday morning, I was able to put weight on my knee but did not think it would be a good idea to walk around on it so I asked for a couple of days off to give my knee a chance to recuperate. By Tuesday, I felt better and headed to work.

Following ‘Smokin on the Lake’ we had one week to get the park cleaned up for a full Memorial Day weekend.  I had some small repair chores to take care of plus having to check all outside 110V electrical receptacles to make sure they worked. Over the previous weekend, there were several complaints about outside receptacles not working. Of all these receptacles, I replaced one bad receptacle. I also had time to built a door latch and door pull for the gate on the fence I finished the previous week.

Friday 5/24 we had a steady line of RVer’s checking in. The park was scheduled to be full Memorial Day weekend. Saturday, Splash Landing, the cool water park that is just across the road from the RV park, was scheduled to officially open. Mother Nature had other plans. Rain, kept the park closed until Sunday. We have not had many warm sunny days so the water temperature was a chilly 57 degrees. That did not deter the locals; they were all ready for the water park. The few brave souls who got wet were able to claim the title “First In”. Sunday was a beautiful sunny day. Just another workday for me. I spent most of the day making a table for the snack bar at Splash Landing. Also worked on repairing a couple of holes in the ceiling at the snack bar that were accidentally put there during by two other workampers who completed a major electrical reroute. That is what carpenters do.

Other than having a couple of campers who did not understand they could not put up tents next to their RV (park rules) and finding a broken CATV cable, the weekend was pretty good. We had several large family groups here. Apparently the three day weekends are filled with large groups. As I took care of some small repairs on Monday, several first time campers commented to me about how much they enjoyed the park.

My last big project for the month was overlaying a metal roof over an old roof that leaked like a colander. My knee got a workout going up and down the ladder, plus crawling around securing the new roof. Glad I got it done yesterday – we had rain today.

Carol is improving in rehab from her Rotator Cuff surgery. She is also working more hours which is helpful. She has been working at the gate checking folks in and out. Last week she worked at the ticket booth at Splash Landing. This weekend she will be running the cash register at the restaurant.

We have experienced more rain during the two months we’ve been here. Plus we’ve sheltered for two tornado warnings. We are working with a good group of workampers and campground managers. There is a good possibility that we will be back here next summer and may have options to work at other Legacy parks around the US. That would be cool.

Thanks for stopping by. Y’all come back now.

May Projects

WOW

It has been a month since my last post. What’s with that? Well, not to make any excuse but I’ve been busy working. Resting has been a priority on my days off. So what’s happened in the past month?

IMG_0915Carol had Rotator Cuff Surgery on her right shoulder April 16th. It was time to repair an old injury that needed repair before we get real busy around Mark Twain Landing RV Resort.  She was out of work for two weeks. Now she is in PT twice weekly. The good news is she will get over this and will recuperate. The bad news is that her job duties have changed. Currently she is working the gate on the weekends. This gives her a few hours to add to my hours at the park. Once the park opens officially on Memorial Day weekend, she will be working in a float position at the swim park.

I have worked on a few of big projects during the past month – repaired a hole in a rook of one of the rustic fishing cabins, replaced the sub floor in a bathroom and part of the floor in the kitchen. And replaced 40 feet of fencing that was blown down over the winter.

The Roof

Hole in Roof

Judging from the looks of the hole in the roof, a tree branch punctured the roof then as it fell off, it pried the roof upward thus creating a strange-looking hole. And of course it rained into the hole. Fortunately the rain was not heavy and the ceiling was 1/4 paneling not dry wall.

The Floor

Bathroom1

The maintenance order indicated the commode was loose on the floor. Also the tile needed to be glued down. When I pulled up the loose tile, I discovered a very wet wood sub-floor. That was why the commode was not secure on the floor. After scrapping away the wet sub-floor, I realized I had to cut out about 9 square feet of flooring.

Bathroom2After clearing the sub-floor, I discovered the wetness was also in the kitchen and the vanity drain line was never connected to the main drain. This project grew each day I work on it.

Bathroom3I finally got the new sub-floor down and trimmed and laid new tile. Bathroom looks 100% better than it did.

Bathroom4Remember the wet floor also went into the kitchen? Well, to repair that required removing a small water heater. Removal was no problem. Repairing the floor was no problem. Putting the water heater in, I managed to break the cold water main line feeding into kitchen. One more thing to fix.

Bathroom5 The good news is I did get it finished. The cleaning crew did not like that they had to go back and clean the cabin after they had already cleaned it.

The Fence

Forty feet of fencing adjacent to the wave pool blew down over the winter.  The center photo was taken after the first day on this project. I had help on this one. That’s my work truck in the foreground. The right photo was the result of the morning work on day two.

Fence1The afternoon of day 2, my work buddy George is trimming the top. The center photos shows the completed fence with a door opening. Tomorrow I finish the door and make sure all panels are secured. I thought I would include a photo of the wave pool This is day two of filling the wave pool which by the way is 8 feet deep. It takes 3-4 days to fill this pool. On a busy summer day, there can be between 500-800 people in the swim park enjoying the pools and slides. The water looked inviting today especially since it was pretty warm this afternoon. The ground water temperature here is a chilly 55 degrees. I think I’ll let nature warm the water a bit.

Fence2Well, that’s a wrap for my work. Carol is still recuperating from her surgery and is completely bored with not much to do. We have found a great group of folks to work with and for at Mark Twain Landing. If you get near St. Louis or Hannibal, Missouri we would love to have you stop by for a visit.

Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now. (PS – I will try to update the blog more regularly.)

Lover’s Leap

Another day off and we decided to do a touristy thing today. We decided to just drive around Hannibal, MO a bit to see what we could find. We were told about a pretty good BBQ place but we were not sure of the directions. We did find a large General Mills facility in town before we found The Sauced Hog. They claim to be the premier place for ribs, brisket and pulled pork. We will be the judge of that later. We were not ready for lunch so this will be a stop for another day.

Sauced_Hog_menu_page_1-1

Hannibal is a small town of about 18,000 people. The community is best know as the boyhood home of Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain). That explains why many things in the area include the names Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. As we continued our drive, I saw a flag on the top of a bluff that overlooks the Mississippi River. We took off up the hill towards the bluff.

At the top we found Lover’s Leap, a park operated by the city.

DSCN0359Tom Sawyer wrote of many such places in Missouri. The view from the top is pretty cool. The Mississippi River may not appear spectacular but it is still the muddy Mississippi with Illinois across the river from Hannibal.

DSCN0356

While atop the bluff, we had a chance to share our RV lifestyle with two young couples. They both said they dream about doing what we are doing. We gave them our contact info, encouraged them to read our blog and to let us know if they had any questions.

Next on our day excursion was a stop at Walmart for a few supplies then a side trip to Palmyra, about 20 miles North of Monroe City. We were in search of a butcher shop and may have found one there.

That’s about it for our exciting day. Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.