Departing Texas for this winter we headed straight up I-35W north towards Oklahoma City. Enroute we boondocked overnight at the Fort Worth Cabelas. If you did not know you can boondock for one overnight at any Cabelas store. They have set aside long RV spots (watch for the signs) as well as a water and dump station that can be used with a code you receive inside if making a purchase. Easy for us; we're always in there. We gassed up at the Bucees Store @Exit 70 in Fort Worth for an amazing $1.99/gal for diesel. Averaging 13.4 mpg we arrived in the OKC metro area we steered east into the Tinker AFB Fam Camp located on the south side of the base just off I-240. Another one of those "Veteran Perks", full hookups for $19/night or $116/week. Very nice showers and laundry with washers and dryers at only 50 cents per load. They even have a very large ice machine. Propane is available at Uhaul just across from the base. www.militarycampgrounds.us/oklahoma/tinker-afb-famcamp It gives us complete services and security and very close proximity to the Base Club for the AWACS Luncheon, BX, Commissary, golf course, hospital, and gas station as well as allows us to sneak away for a day or two for shopping and to visit extended family.
Col. Shanks made it a point to open the evening to anyone and everyone who ever knew Miss Anna as her heart and soul intertwined with so many folks, both Air Force families from around the globe and her time at Rose State College. Everyone who knew her was touched by her love of life and convictions of belief.......always centering on family. It was an evening filled with warmth, memories, love, and a celebration of a life well lived.
We ate out probably more than normal while in the Oklahoma City area as there are plenty of good venues, but Barb did enjoy the following meals by her personal 'In Camp Chef':
Wild Boar Ham Steak with Peach Salsa, Garlic Sour Cream Redskin Taters, & Salad
Fusilli Alfredo w/Beef Sausage, Diced Heirloom Tomatoes, Garlic Bread, and a Salad
This visit for Barb and I has been long overdue. Gordon Wiltse is someone we have both known, worked for, respected, and admired for over 36 years. We always plan on stopping in to visit, but plans as they often do....inevitably change. This year we 'set it in stone'. Few people have had an impact on the AWACS system, research, and development as 'Gordie' has. His USAF career spanned 26 years and even more with Boeing and the Delaware Resource Group. He is one of a select recognized few that have significantly improved AWACS Surveillance development. Since retirement, Gordie lives comfortably with his wife Gloria in Grain Valley, MO enjoying their grandchildren. For both Barb and I it was a treat to visit with him again.
Leaving KC we head east on I-70 for now, taking our time and measuring distances and weather at home. We are planning on a variable length stay in East St. Louis at Scott AFB Fam Camp, keeping an eye on the forecast, in order to time our arrival in Michigan without the presence of 'the white shroud'. We stay in contact with friends and neighbors in order to find out if we can get up our driveway or not. Our ETA is April 8th. Last year we ended up hiding out in Missouri for nearly 3 weeks to avoid the last winter storm of the year at home, arriving May 1st. Again this year the weather, to say the least, has been unpredictable. We didn't boondock too much this winter, totaling only 19 days, saving $570, figuring $30/day for RV parks. We used generator power 45 hours totaling 9 gallons at $18. The other 408 hours was solely solar/battery bank. This equated to a net off grid savings of $552 this season.
"A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles"
WiFi courtesy of Verizon MiFi