Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The Escape/Part 1 Sioux City

April 1st, 2022

 It has been planned for months now but hardly a word has been spoken. Those involved have been sworn to secrecy by threat of being relocated to Ukraine. So with a high degree of confidence that we just might be able to pull this off, we left.

We left, but not with our usual fanfare of streets lined with people and a police escort down main street. No we left quietly, so that we wouldn't draw attention and announce that our Super Secret Undisclosed Virus Free Location was now unattended. I was confident with the Russian landmines I bought from a friendly Ukrainian guy from the trunk of a Buick, that our SSUVFL would be safe.

Leaving on April 1st, April Fools Day, might deter some people that are superstitious, but not us. It was sunny and it promised to be a glorious day. Until we got to South Dakota (what is up with South Dakota?). There Mother Nature had her own little April fools joke to throw at us. We ran into rain that quickly turned into sleet and then into snow. Temps hung around 30 degrees. I have never been a fan of pulling our 16,000 pound camper on ice but we lucked out and it just stayed slushy until we were past it. Nothing else eventful on our first leg of the trip happened unless you count the fleecing we got at the gas pump. $105 dollars later, which used to cost $70. That was even without my usual truck stop hot dog that I cherish. Sacrifices must be made I guess.  We have one person to thank for that.

We made it to our first stop. You guessed it. South Sioux City, Nebraska. Our little journey took us into 5 different states in one day. MN, ND, SD, IA and NB. Not bad for our first real trip since the Covid hit.
We found our campground easily. It is on the banks of the Missouri River with the beautiful Sioux City skyline behind it.
The campground is Scenic Park Campground and it is open year round if you have the hankering for camping in a colder climate. This however is just a quick stop for us so that we can de-winterize and sight see. We are looking for much warmer temps. Temps here are in the 50's and low 30's right now.

We had a whole day of sightseeing planned for Sioux City. We have learned that it is a hidden gem along the Missouri River. All of the activities worth seeing are also free. How can you beat that? Or so we thought. First up was the Jolly Time Popcorn Museum.
Cute little museum filled with some history and nostalgia about Jolly Time popcorn. As kids growing up in the midwest and before all of the microwave brands, there was just Jolly Time. 

So if my brother-in-law Jeff, from the band Flint, A Spark of Hot Rock, is reading this, there is a place for you to go and look at old crap. Now I said that all of these activities are free. Free if you have will power. At Jolly Time they sell about 50 flavors of popcorn. You name it and they probably have it. So that cost us just over ten dollars to try some varieties. I picked caramel roll and Lisa picked key lime. Both were amazing.

Next stop was the Palmer Old Tyme Candy Shoppe.
They are also a candy company and they had a display of old candy making machines and also a huge variety of candy. Oh oh.
Candy machines lined one wall. All very old and they really looked unsanitary. The Palmer Candy Company is known for the Twin Bing candy. We have never had one or heard of it. I asked about it and lucky enough they had samples that you could try.
It was chocolate and peanut wrapped around a cherry fluff filling. It was very good. Again it was a free exhibit with a free sample. Win win. But in all reality, who can walk out of a huge candy store without buying something for your sweet tooth? The answer is us. 23 dollars later. We must have sucker written on our heads.

Next stop was called the Trinity Heights. I think it may have been Lisa's favorite. (This is Lisa and it was NOT my favorite). This is a Christian park and the highlight of it is.....wait for it...... the 30 foot tall statues of Jesus and Mary.

They also have many areas with other statues for inspiration and many areas just to meditate and pray if that is what you were wanting to do. It covers many acres of land and is really impressive. One of the other main draws, as if that wasn't enough, is that a wood carver carved a life size version of the last supper. It took him seven years to complete but it was truly amazing.
Again this is a free activity and to keep it free for us, we stayed out of the gift shop. Even though I really wanted a Jesus bobble head for the truck. Another sacrifice made to afford fuel. They do ask for donations so I did reach into my pocket and gave in. Jesus was smiling down on us today.

Since this is on the Missouri River, we went to the Louis and Clark interpretive center. Very good dioramas and an interesting movie that helped explain the expedition. We wanted to learn more about it before it got rewritten. 
President Thomas Jefferson explaining his part about the expedition.
Lewis and Clark telling us all about it also.
This is Sergeant Charles Floyd explaining his part of the expedition. Now this is something new to us and it plays an important part of history around here.  He was a 21 year old woodsman enlisted into the expedition. He died 3 months into the trip and he was the only one that didn't make it. He was buried in the bluffs above Sioux City. He made quite an impression on Lewis and Clark and they thought a lot about him. Lastly we have a few words from Lewis' dog named Seamen. 
I just threw that one in because Jim just loves dog videos. He was a Newfoundland. They have some bronzes out front so I got a picture with one of them. Also free except for a small donation.
If you didn't know better, you would think I was one of the original members of the expedition. I mean with my charisma and looks. Not to mention my stamina and outdoorsey stuff. Next door was the Sioux City Visitor Center inside a big river boat named the Sergeant Floyd. Have you heard that name before?
It was a working river boat up until the 1980's when they hauled it up onto shore and turned it into the visitor center and river boat museum. Lots of history inside of it and you get to go up all three floors. At the top is the wheel house with the controls still inside. Lisa really loved that. I could not get her to stop ringing that infernal bell.
It went on for hours and hours. She then got a picture of me as captain.
If that doesn't give kids nightmares, I don't know what will. There was a Sergeant Charles Floyd memorial on the bluff where he is buried so we took the short drive to find it. 
I have driven by that for many years and never stopped. Now we have and we know the history of it. It was a very informative day and best of all I got to spend it with my better half. She took a photo to commemorate the fun filled day.
Being the ever critical person she can be, she said she didn't like it. I said wait, I can do better.
Sioux city did not disappoint. Now off to our next fun filled location.

I have to add a segment called Pop's corner. So sit down children while I dole out a healthy helping of common sense. It's been 2 years since we were on the road and I have heard that camping has changed due to the pandemic. New people are enjoying this activity which is great. There's room for all of us. 

Fulltime RVing is when mostly retired people sell their houses and move into an RV and travel the country and enjoy their retirement. But there are other so called fulltimers who I really wouldn't call fulltimers. One class is the people who are down on their luck and have no other choice but to live in a dilapitated RV. They are easy to spot because they look like meth labs and who knows, they could be. There are a few of those here in Sioux City and it is kind of sad in a way.

The other type of fulltimers are the construction workers. they have money because you can tell. They have new fifthwheels, usually toy haulers to haul motorcycles or ATV's with them. They also have jacked up four wheel drive trucks with obnoxiously loud exhausts. Round and round they drive in the campground circling for I don't know what reason. They gather by someones truck with thier hands in their pockets drooling over it until the owner then says, "Wait until you hear it!" Vroom, vroom, vroom it goes and they are all just giddy about it. Dumbasses.

Our last night in Siuox city, our neighbor decided to let his diesel truck run all night long. I didn't notice it until I got up at 4:33 am when I heard it. Lisa said she was up at 1:22 am and heard it and looked out the window and saw the lights on. Finally at 7:30 it turned off. Don't people have the common courtesy for other campers? We have 4 possible theory's. 1. He was drunk and passed out in the drivers seat when he got home. 2. He committed suicide and there is a hose running from his exhaust to the camper. 3. It's a GMC and he was afraid it wouldn't start in 30 degree temperatures. And finally number 4 which is probably the correct answer. He's a dumbass.

"Pack up Gladys, lets get the hell out of Dodge! Onto more super secret undisclosed locations."


  1. Your secret was safe with us, we did not tell anyone you were gone so if you find a homeless encampment at your house when you get back don't blame us!

    1. I blame you for everything. No comment about Seaman?

  2. All that candy lol Ray would have spent $$ too. I am more into the popcorn snacks. :) Safe travels for the next leg of your adventure. It's nice to get out again. We are currently camping for a week near Victoria, BC Testing everything out after the MH sat for 8 months. Only a few things so far that will need some attention. Have fun. :)

    1. Ours sat for a long time and now that we are home we have a long laundry list of things to fix before our next secret adventure.

  3. Great story and pictures of you and Lisa

  4. Fun bunch if free stuff! Off to a good start.

  5. Towing in the snow would not be fun. Safe travels!

    1. With so many anonymous commenters we are glad we went under cover. Thanks.

  6. OMG you guys need a TV show!! Blahaha

    1. They already did a show like us. It was called "The Honeymooners".