Still Waters and Good Times.

After dinner in Paducah, Kentucky last Tuesday evening, I continued my drive west and crossed the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers at about 7:00 PM and entered Missouri.  I was’t tired, so I decided to continue driving west on highway 60 for a few more hours.  Six hours later I was just south of Springfield, Missouri, in the town of Nixa.  I am not against hotels, or RV parks.  I’m sure I will stay in both during “Road Trip 2014, but if it’s late at night and I find a safe location, I prefer to save the $75.00+ hotel cost and stay in the truck-bed.  Nixa had a great, safe little park and I took advantage of it, sleeping for a few hours.In the morning I visited the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield west of Nixa.  On August 10, 1861, the battlefield was the scene to one of the first major engagements between the North and the South during the Civil War.  What makes the battle well known to many Civil War buffs is that Union General, Nathaniel Lyon, was the first General Officer killed during fierce fighting.  Although the South was seen as victorious that day, more than 2500 fighting-men from both sides were wounded or killed during the 6 hour engagement,  leaving some to wonder if there really was a “winner” after all.
Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Visitor’s Center
Wilson’s Creek Battlefield

Just before noon, I visited the Global Expedition Vehicles (GXV) factory in Nixa.  Even though I will probably never be able to afford one of their incredible overland vehicles, I have always wanted to see their operations up close.  I normally don’t like to show-up unannounced but since I wasn’t really sure when or if I would arrive in Nixa, I didn’t want to call ahead and make an appointment that I might not have been able to keep!  Lucky for me the folks at GXV were happy to show me a few of their vehicles and I was even more impressed than I thought I would be!  The Global Expedition Vehicles are truly amazing machines.  Basically, they are self-contained go anywhere RVs on steroids.  I was lucky enough to meet a new owner at the factory, there to pick-up his vehicle and go on his first trip! He let me have a peek inside his vehicle and the interior looks every bit as good as the exterior!  Maybe one day I will buy one…. because what is a life without dreams….
Thanks to all the great people at GXV for letting me visit the factory!

An amazing Global Expedition Vehicle at the factory in Nixa, Missouri.
A Global Expedition Vehicle.

Back on the road that afternoon, I continued west toward Oklahoma.  I camped for the night at the Twin Bridges State Park near Miami, Oklahoma.  The park had about 130 spaces for campers and RVs but I think when I arrived, I made the 4th guest for the night.  Summer break has not started yet and I was there during the week, so the park was pretty empty!  There was a severe thunderstorm warning all night but fortunately I only got about 2 minutes of rain and gusty winds!  No tornadoes is always a plus when you are sleeping in a tent-cot that would probably act like a giant sailboat in high winds!  The tent-cot survived 30 mile an hour winds and I got a good night’s rest!

The Rt 66 Sign in Miami, Oklahoma.

Thursday morning, I continued my trip toward Stillwater, stopping at a few famous Rt 66 spots along the way.  Most people don’t know it but Oklahoma at one time had more than 400 miles of Rt 66 meandering through the state and has some iconic sites still today!

I spent from Thursday afternoon to Sunday morning in Stillwater and Oklahoma City visiting my aunt and my cousin.  It was really great seeing them again.  They were awesome ambassadors and showed me a wonderful time!  We toured the campuses of both Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma, went to the horse races and ate some great food!  After eating chili-cheese fries from Eskimo Joes and Pizza from the Hideaway… I might need to look for a pair of old-man stretchy pants!
Thanks Aunt Jackie and cousin Brock for a great visit!

The Stillwater Welcome Sign.
The Boot on the OSU Campus.
The beautiful grounds of OSU Campus.
OSU Campus
The Spirit Rider at OSU.

Now, I continue my journey westward toward the panhandle and “No Man’s Land.”