We’re not in Missouri any longer Toto!

Leaving Missouri, heading for the pretty agricultural state of Kansas, to see family! Just as we were leaving Missouri we stopped to admire the Tri State Monument, the place that the states of Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma meet. We can’t say it was beautiful, but we did enjoy the little walk and took the opportunity for some photos.

Onward to Bartlett, Kansas and the home of Herschel and Jeanne Eck and family! We have so much fun when we are together with them and their children, home are Davis, Alea, Clifdon, Jason, Dakota, and Matriarch Aunt Sylvia Busbee. We were joined by their son Walter and Karen and family, Nolan Busbee and Emily from Guthrie. Later on Saturday we were joined by Charissa (from Arkansas) and Aunt Maxine (her Mother from Guthrie, OK) A tamale making party was held and we created about 94 of those little lovelies, two pots of Instant Pot home made refried beans, Jeanne’s spanish rice, and luscious corn dish (cream cheese, corn and butter – what a combination!) Did I mention, followed by home made ice cream, and several pies, apple, peach, pecan!! Between the food, the stories, the music and singing outside around the campfire, we all had a great weekend. We appreciate that they hosted us, thank you Herschel for taking the day off from work, thank you Jeanne for your hospitality when you weren’t feeling so great. Alea and the boys, you were all so fun to hang out with! It was so great to see Aunt Sylvia, what a treasure she is at 87 years young!

Sunday morning we said our goodbyes and headed to Oklahoma, the Tulsa area of course. We had hoped to be able to get to spend a bit of time with the steps, Danny, Rob, Amy and Robyn, but we were sad to say that due to a covid exposure that did not happen. That changed our plans about seeing anybody when we were in the Tulsa area. We would really have enjoyed spending time with them, as well as the Church of God family in Sapulpa. But instead we……. rode bikes! Our Army Corps of Engineers Brush Creek Campground was outside of the town of Sand Springs on the Arkansas River below Keystone Dam. You will remember that Keith and I stayed here last February, after we had wrapped up our time in Tulsa after Dad’s passing. John guided us on a bike ride of the River Trail in Tulsa, we parked at one end and rode until we needed to get back and get ready for a dinner engagement. 19.31 miles that trip! This bike riding thing is getting easier and is tons of fun!

We enjoyed a lovely dinner, outdoor dining of course, with John, Bill, Patty (John’s high school girlfriend) and her husband, Phil Hershberger. Pictured above is a dessert brownie enjoyed by us all. Great end to another epic day!

John knew that just a few miles from us, in Sand Springs was the Katy Trail (Oklahoma leg) and we could ride that trail to downtown Tulsa, the Brady Arts District specifically, and have Coney Island Hot Dogs. A midwest delight of small hot dogs, on buns, covered with chili, cheese and onions! Yes, we all indulged, and yes, we made it back to Sand Springs, a total ride of 21.60 miles!

We spent a great few days, socially distant and on our bikes, although there was one good walk involved also. Our campground had a fitness trail! Discovered in by accident as Keith and I were walking along the river bank edge and came upon a circuit training “kiosk”. The next day we brought John and Bill along with us and walked the entire trail. It was only about a mile, but once again it was fun!

We left Brush Creek Campground and traveled mostly on Hwy 33 to Guthrie, Oklahoma. Guthrie was home to Keith and John’s Grandparents, Ray and Thelma Busbee and O.C. and Lottie Joiner Porter, and the home base for the Busbee family. We spent some time at the cemetery, paying respects to Mother (Doris Busbee Bardell), Grandparents Ray and Thelma, Uncles Lawrence, Leslie and Loren Busbee, cousin Jan, and others. The picture below shows John and Keith at the headstone of their maternal great-grandparents.

A call to the local bicycle repair shop and Keith and I got our bikes cleaned and tuned up. Traveling in the rain and dirt has been hard them, not to mention all those miles we’ve put on them since August!

Just a few miles south of Guthrie is the beautiful town of Edmond, Oklahoma (between Guthrie and OKC). Edmond is the home of Aunt Maxine, Uncle Loren left Edmond for Heaven this past June. Although we had just seen Aunt Maxine and her eldest, Charissa, in Bartlett, Kansas, it was great to spend more time with her. Pictured below with us are cousins Charissa and Sarah, and Sarah’s grandsons, Levi and Rowan. We had a three course breakfast, typical Aunt Maxine!!

John had the urge to ride his bike in and around OKC, which was great with us! We dropped him off at his trail head at Stars and Stripes Park, took Bill and ran a few errands (which included Joanette’s long overdue first in the series of two, Shingles vaccinations!), picked our bikes up in Guthrie and headed back to OKC to pick John up at the other end of his bike trail. The three of us enjoyed a walk on the River Canal Trail in downtown Oklahoma City and enjoyed the Centennial Land Run Monument while we waited for John.

It was time for the departure. Six weeks of traveling and recreating with John and Bill were coming to an end. John and Bill have a home in Cathedral City (Palm Springs area) California and were longing to be home! It was a sunny Sunday morning when we said our good byes.

We made plans to meet again at Thanksgiving at “our place” in Wenden, Arizona. At least we have lots of great memories and a plan for the near future. We can’t verbalize how much we enjoy spending time with John and Bill. “They are a hoot”! and they probably the say the same about us!

The day before our departure we should mention that Joanette was watching the two neighbor girls out walking their dog, but she couldn’t see the dog. After spying on the girls for quite some time, a little gray miniature schnauzer showed himself! Of course, we talked to their dad through the window about how cute their pup was! The next day, about the time of the departure, Joanette was again talking with the schnauzer dad, grilling him about where he found her, and other schnauzer stuff, when he offered up the phone number of the gentlemen he got his pup from. Duly noted, Joanette added that to her “Notes” on her phone.

Off to Broken Bow, Oklahoma, and friends Harley and Kerry, and their three rat terriers, Little Girl, Jesse and Buddy, and then down to Louisiana!

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