Truck Camping…


Here are just a few of the items we packed to take with us on our very first, and the start of many, we hope, of a truck camping trip. We have an aged tent that fits (kind of) on the bed of our truck. I will publish photos of it in a future blog. We have two aged thermo type pads that we Velcroed together for a double bed. To fill out all the other old equipment, we borrowed back an old sleeping bag that we had given to our son when we moved into the RV.
This is pretty much what our truck will look like as we head north west out of Oklahoma City. We will be driving into Colorado and plan on stopping at as many things that we find interesting. We plan to hike, drive over as many mountain passes as possible, ending up in Denver Colorado to visit our friends, Bruce and Becky.

Hinton Oklahoma….


We snatched our grandson up and hit the road west out of Oklahoma City for a visit to the Hinton Historical Museum and Parker House. It is located at 801 S. Broadway in Hinton, which for some reason, my GPS could not find. So I located it the old fashion way, I stopped and asked for directions. The museum has an old farm house (that we had to pass up, as one in our party had enough visiting) a 25,000 square foot two story barn filled with lots of state and local history showing how people lived from the late 1800’s forward. They have Oklahoma’s largest buggy and barbed wire collections.
This is a fire extinguisher, I guess one of the first on wheels.
This is the first “station wagon” or so we were told. We had a private tour given by Art Peters. He has a great slide show and really explains the canyon system running east to west and how it was used in the 1800’s. The original wagon tracks are still visible in a few of the canyons.
This is a copy of “rules of conduct” for riding the stage coach. I hope you can read them, pretty interesting.

A lot of small towns in Oklahoma have similar paintings on some of their buildings, and we think they look really neat.

Bananas….




Never, put your banana in the refrigerator!!!This is interesting.After reading this, you’ll never look at a banana in the same way again.Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world’s leading athletes. But energy isn’t the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.PMS: Forget the pills – eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood. Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.Hangovers: One of the quickestways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a “cooling” fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.Smoking &Tobacco Use: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body’s water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.Strokes: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say to: “A banana a day keeps the doctor away!” From www.defensenutrition.com/forum. I hope this is all true, because I really like bananas. So does Leo!

Route 66


We have been trying to visit Route 66 while we are here in Oklahoma and, again this week, I am working ( maybe) on planning a trip later this week. I seem to do much more planning and thinking, and little to no action. The photo above is not from the real Route 66. This photo is from one of my regular sites that I like to read, www.michaeltotten.com. This site gives the reader a good view of the middle east and Europe. The Route 66 signs in this shop window is located in Pejton, Prishtina, Kosovo. The story is titled “An Israeli in Kosovo.” Kosovo is a Muslim-majority country so seeing Route 66 signs and Israeli business’s seems strange, but I think it is a good thing. Michael’s blog is always a good read, well written, great photography and entertaining, sadly, everything this blog is not. But, we will keep trying to improve.

Home is where we’re parked….


This is not a very good shot of Medlar Field where the State College Spikes, an A-affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates play. Their web site, http://www.statecollegespikes.com/ has a wealth of information on the Spikes. “Fear the Dear” is their official logo. I’m afraid there is not much fear of the team as when we attended a game I think the Spikes were five and seventeen or something close to that. We had a great time though, thanks to our good friends, Ken and Dodie, for the great seats and my Mom and step-Dad, we were just to the left of home plate and carried on like we were life long fans. Norm even won a gift certificate for Wegmans, a very cool grocery food store. If, in your travels, you come across one, make sure to stop and shop, you will be glad you did.
Harry Carson’s gas station had been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and he was still there when I made my move away from Pennsylvania. You could always get gas, milk and bread any day of the week, from early morning till late at night, either Harry or his wife Mickie were always there. The original building is gone, replaced by a convenience type store with gas. This plaque is all that remains with a likeness of the original building and garage. Now known as Carson’s corner, it will always be Harry’s to me and all the long time locals. This guy sure seems glad to see us back in Oklahoma. I think his Mom and Dad were also!

The Arts Festival……


We went to the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts and spent about eight hours meandering through all the exhibits. This tiny water park was sure popular later in the day. Those are real boulders that are hauled in for the week. If this is not one of the biggest arts festival, it is one of the best ones in the country.

Wow! Look who showed up for the festival. Just like real life, he answered no questions. I’m still not sure if it was because he only has about one hundred and forty some days of experience in the senate, or, and I think this was the real reason that he did not speak, no tele-prompter.
Penn State has been around for a long time, this looks like an old building.

This is one of the newer buildings, is goes over the highway.

Friends, Family and Pies, oh my…….


We are at the Highway Pizza joint in State College Pennsylvania with our good friends Steve and Linda. We have been meeting here for years and call it our “regular place.” Our connection goes way back to high school. I think we have been friends since Norm and I started dating way back in 1970. The four of us were even kicked out a few years ago! Steve and Linda and their two daughters spent the night in our bathroom with the four of us in Miami during hurricane Andrew. Four adults, four kids, a dog and two cats rode out the storm in our average sized bathroom. Always a good time with these two. Norm and her Mum-Mum in Centre Hall. She is 91 and as feisty as can be.
Ryan, Ken, Lorri and Leigha. My brother and his family here in Pennsylvania. Ryan is an all around athlete, Ken took over our Dad’s construction business and made it grow and prosper, Lorri works at the school and takes the summers off, and Leigha just scored a job with the Pennsylvania department of corrections, and graduates high school next year.
This is Renee playing’ Guitar Hero ( I think she is one). We are related somehow, but I’m not quite sure how.
This pie was one of two our Aunt Elsie made us. She makes the best pies in the world!

Roof Work…


That is Norm way over there doing prep work on my Mom’s roof. With Norm leading the charge and telling my step-dad, Bob and I what to do, we got the job done in two days.
Bob sprayed the first third, I took the second third (that is when Norm noticed some runs) so she took control to finish the spraying.
The finished product. Nice and white till today when the rain returned to central Pennsylvania.
Norm weeded my Mom’s garden and it looked so good from the roof, I had to photograph it.
When we travelled on route 66 in Oklahoma we found a round barn that was open to visit. This round barn is, I think, still in service. It is along route 45 near Centre Hall Pennsylvania.

Flight 93….


They had bench’s all facing the crash site with the passengers and crews names on.
This book was of great interest to me and I have read quite a few CVR’s in my career, but none as moving as this one.
This fenced off area is due to erosion around the site. It is a temporary memorial and to learn more about the permanent memorial, check out www.nps.gov/flni. To donate to the fund go to www.honorflight93.org.
Norm and I both felt a special reverence here. They also have interpretive (interp’s to all our friends from DETO) talks now. The talk fills in the story and has insights into some of the hero’s involved. If you know the story of sheep and sheep dogs, than you know that this flight had all sheep dogs aboard.