Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Pucker time....

8:11 am - Tuesday - April 24th - Joplin, MO - 48º F, 85% humidity, wind 1 mph out of the east by northeast.....clear blue skies with a forecast high we will not experience of 75º F.  Nice to have an almost windless day!

We had decided Sunday night we would not leave OKC until after 10 am Monday.....we were only going to drive a little over 200 miles for the day, plus there was no weather, or wind to outrun.  While TLE took care some housekeeping I dumped our black tank for the first time on our trip, checked the oil, and tire pressures of the trailer tires.  All went smoothly.  

I then turned my attention to an issue I had noticed while driving on Sunday.....my oil temperature gauge was not registering a temperature all day.  I suspected a wire had come lose from the temp sensor on the oil pan, so I checked it only to find exactly what I hoped to find.....the temp sensor wire dangling loose.......

The new connector connected to the oil temp sensor once again

.....I carry a supply of all types of 12 volt connectors so I opened up the trailer and found the plastic box containing them, pulled out a new connector, stripped the insulation of the end of the wire, and crimped on the new one.....easy peasy....and order is restored.

I fired up the big 6V92 around 10:10 am and we were on our way to the Interstate on ramp and cruising east bound on I-44 for about a mile.....our fuel gauge was just past 1/2 empty and Oklahoma is replete with low diesel prices right now so we found a station just off the Interstate charging $2.72/gallon for diesel.  We took on 107 gallons at a cost just under $300.  I checked our mileage and found we had averaged 7 mpg for the last 745 miles.....that's the best we have done in quite a while.  Usually we are around 6-6.5 mpg.

We were back on the Interstate within 30 minutes cruising north by northeast.  I-44 is a toll road all the way from OKC to the Missouri border.  Now, to be fair they really keep this Interstate maintained, and in excellent condition as I would hope they would.  We paid a total of $22.50 in tolls for the 200 miles to the Missouri border, and for that cost expect good roads.....

.....as I mentioned above they really maintain this Interstate, and there were several construction zones along our route.....some with the dreaded 'K' rail.  Through this section all trucks must remain in the #2, or right lane which is just barely wide enough.....it can't be any wider than 9.5, or 10 feet..........

Yup....that 'K' rail really is as close is it appears!

......TLE snapped the picture below using her review mirror to show how close I was to this 'K' rail for about 15 miles.....

.....see how close the trailer tires are to the 'K' rails?  All I could do was focus on staying in the middle of the lane.....it was definitely, and officially 'PUCKER TIME'!  Finally the construction zone ended,  just before the final toll booth..... 

.....and just past the toll booth was a toll road Rest Area replete with fast food, truck parking, and gift shops, so I pulled in, parked the Newell and cleared my head for about 15 minutes before we continued to the Missouri border, and the Downstream Casino parking lot.

Finally the Missouri welcome sign appeared, and the sign for 'Exit 1' in Missouri.....our exit.  Within three minutes we were selecting one of about 20 sites available for RV's.......all have water and electric (50 amp) which you can utilize for free for one one day.....after that the daily cost is $30.  I found this site on 'FreeCampsites.net', one of my several sources for overnight stays.  All you have to do is go into the  casino and acquire your 'Q Club' card and you are good to go for one night of free hookups!

So, after 7 days of travel we have now covered 1,517 miles (upper left corner of the Garmine GPS) and are very close to the half way point in our journey to Smuggler's Den RV Park in Maine. 

After hooking up our electric (I didn't bother with the water since we are only staying overnight, and I just topped off the fresh water tank before we left OKC) we walked over to the casino to get our club card, and register for our campsite.  We both got a club card with which you get $7.00 to gamble away if you wish......

......after buying a mocha frappuccino at their coffee shop TLE and I went over to the electronic penny slot machines.  I loaded in $5 of my $7 and began to bet .30 cents at a time.  My balance went up and down over the course of 30 minutes, but I ended up doubling the $5 walking away with $10.83!  I'm not a big gambler, so it's easy for me to stop while I'm ahead, which I did.  TLE was not so fortunate.....she ended up with .12 cents left out of her $5.  We cashed in our winnings and headed back to the Newell for the evening.......

Site #14....all concrete parking lot located a good 1/2 mile from the casino.....nice and quiet!

.....we spent the evening catching up on some recorded shows, plus one show ('Timeless') using our ROKU TV connection....sweet! It was so pleasant outside we left most of our windows open overnight.....haven't been able to do that for about a week now.

Some of you may wonder what sources I use to find overnight spots to park. Following is a list of my favorites:

4) Days End Directory....no direct link available as you must be a member of 'Escapees' to utilize this resource.

I never fail to find a great overnight site whether it involves an actual RV park where you pay, or something free, or as close to free as you can get utilizing these sources.

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  1. Great find for an overnight Clarke. The FreeCampsites link doesn't work - it should be FreeCampsites.net.