Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Ottumwa, home of Radar O'Reilly.

Coralville Lake located between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, IA.

After we left Houston Aug., 20th we headed towards Iowa. We stayed at two Corps of Engineers lakes, one in Texas and one in Oklahoma. The COE accepts the "America the Beautiful Senior Pass" giving us half off of camping fees, making one night $14 and the next $9.50. They did not have sewer, although there was a dump station if needed, and both had 50 amp service plus water at the sites. At over 100° each day we needed the 50 amp as both air-conditioners ran continuously. Considering that, it seems like they didn't make much monet off of us! Both had beautiful lakes. 

On our second day we went past Paris, TX. Camp Maxey is a National Guard Training facility located 8 miles north of Paris. It began as a WWII training facility with a capacity for 45,000 soldiers. From 1942-1945 they trained infantry soldiers, including my Dad, heading over to Europe. Back in the day it came complete with a mock German Village. It also served as one of 3 internment camps for German prisoners of War captured in North Africa.

According to Pat my Dad said that during training they were given sticks to use as a bazooka. During the war when they heard the Germans coming they were given a real bazooka and 3 rounds. My Dad told Pat it would have taken them all 3 rounds just to try and zero in! As a clerk, he fortunately was probably in the rear echelon and not on the front lines.

My Dad is in the middle. For his entire life the men he served with were close friends.

Not sure if this is in Paris, TX, but I know my Mom took a train from Ottumwa down to Texas to visit him. My Dad on the left with my Mom.

On our way north I completed the puzzle we were given at our April MSQC retreat. It's a downtown mural of the old Hamilton, MO train depot.

Had a fun day with Debbie and my sister-in-law, Sally.

I have plans but will it ever happen, lol?

We spent a few days in Ottumwa. Thanks to Luke, Pat's brother, for letting us park at his house. 


Luke, working on his blacksmithing skills.

Most campgrounds won't let you wash or work on vehicles. We took advantage of our time in Ottumwa to wash and wax the RV and car.  Also knocked a few RV chores off the list. 

We went hiking with Pat's sister and brother-in-law at Lake Wapello which is about 30 miles from Ottumwa. Lots of bugs and lilly pads. Named for Chief Wapello this park was built by the CCC in the 1930's.

The shoreline wasn't reachable in some areas because of so many lilly pads.

Once again, a visit to Ottumwa must include a trip to the Canteen.

"Someone" put this "For Sale" sign on our RV. Unfortunately, no offers!

We spent the holiday weekend with our youngest son, Chris. A talented woodworker, he completed his bar top since our last visit.

Pat trying on one of the "nose coasters."

We went out on the boat, one day with Chris and one day with his neighbors and boat co-owners.

I thought Pickles would make a nice travel companion for us but Chris' neighbors, and Pat, didn't agree! 

First time on a Maui mat.

Hunger always wins over a photo. Apple Cider Donut from Wilson's Orchard.

Have you seen the older commercial of an older couple waiting on the porch for their grandchild only to bombard them with all of their tech problems? Well, that's us with our kids! Chris helped us with a camera issue and 3-D printed a pitchfork we need for a costume.

Greater Ottumwa Park in Ottumwa. With it's large Goose population I have nicknamed it "Goose P*** Park." We stayed there once but just too many geese. 

Time to leave, which also meant a visit to the park to dump our tanks. Thankful that Pat has handled this task for the past 4+ years. 

In the park they have a very nice Veterans memorial. 

We're 'on the road again' 🎶. Headed east, hopefully, to fall weather. We're done with this heat! 
Where are the Piepers now? Paducah, KY

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