Day 1228: 4 Days of Walmart Hopping

Since Sunday, April 19, we have been quick-tripping across the US from Oklahoma to Massachusetts. Tomorrow, we will arrive at David’s sister’s home in South Hadley, where we will attempt to park in her driveway (a first for us)!  This will give us a few days to visit with her, her husband Bob, and David’s parents, Betty and Harold.

This speedy way of travel can get old fast! It is not that it is particularly hard, it is just that we are not fond of sitting on our arses day in and day out.  We would much rather take the slow track, stopping and experiencing the areas that we are traveling through.  But, there are loved ones to visit with, and a job to get to in Maine, so we will just have to revisit the areas some other time.

It also is not the first time we have made this trek, so we know what to expect.  One aspect of this method of long, day-after-day trekking, is the luxury of parking for free at a Walmart.  Now, there are many people who take issue with Walmart, and I suppose we could also overnight park at a Cabela’s, or a Home Depot, or a Lowe’s, as these all allow for RV overnight parking. But Walmart works for us, as I am always able to run in and grab some fresh veggies, salsa, fruit, to get us to the next location.  These RV fridges are just not that big, and I appreciate the convenience of having a grocery store in my yard, so to speak.

We have had a mix of weather, as well.  We seemed to be running in front of it for the most part, but were greeted this morning with cold wind and rain in Pennsylvania, and never really got away from it until we were in Connecticut.  The snow was lovely, and we certainly found winter, but dang, it was (and is) cold.  The shorts are put away, and I can feel my tan fading fast!

Here is what our route has been:

Day 1225 – April 19: Route from OK to MO

We left Keystone Lake State Park outside of Tulsa, OK and drove to Missouri on our first day.  Our first night was supposed to be at the Walmart in Eureka, MO, but we discovered upon arrival that they did indeed, NOT allow overnight parking.  The fact that they were a mile from Six Flags St Louis should have been our first clue.  Luckily, we had a backup plan, and “landed” at the Ridge Point Walmart instead.  Probably should have checked Allstays before we arrived, instead of just looking at Google Map’s aerial view.  Live and learn.

High Ridge, MO[/caption]

 

Departure Time: 10:37 am
Drive Time: 7:41.54
Miles Driven: 405.2
Gallons Used: 35.4
Avg MPG: 11.4
Arrival Time: 7:12 pm (Central)

Day 1226 – April 20: Route from MO to OH
Spring was definitely starting to make an appearance, as seen in these flowering trees all along our route:

So Bright!
So Bright!

 

I know I spent the day with my laptop and phone, trying to figure out why my phone memory is showing that it is nearly full, while have most apps and photos and videos going to my sd card.  Additionally, I ran some of the KOA training videos so that we could get a taste of what is to come.  And, we topped it off with the episode of “Undercover Boss” that featured Jim Rogers (https://youtu.be/ONGRxuyPk38) – Now we can’t wait to get to work in May!

Departure Time: 10:15 am
Drive Time: 7:20.10
Miles Driven: 405.8
Gallons Used: 32.5
Avg MPG: 12.5
Arrival Time: 7:15 pm (Eastern)

Day 1227 – April 21: Route from OH to PA

Storm Hasn’t Caught Us Yet

 

The highlight of this day’s driving was Amazon Prime Music, specifically the Simon & Garfunkel channel.  We had a blast, as David tripped back to his days of corduroy bell bottoms and Crosby Stills Nash & Young “Deja Vu” 1970 glory. Yeah – I was 6. Don’t remember it.  Still, the music was good, and it was so much fun listening to David sing along.

Departure Time: 10:24 am
Drive Time: 6:13.26
Miles Driven: 340.6
Gallons Used: 28.1
Avg MPG: 12.1
Arrival Time: 5:44 pm

I was really itching to cook, and I was rather productive – dinner, milk and cookies!

Dinner was savory groats.  Here is my adaptation of a Martha Stewart recipe:

Savory Oat Groats and Kale
1 small onion (1/2 cup), finely chopped
1 medium leek, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, cut into matchsticks, and rinsed well
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 small carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 cup oat groats
1 cup homemade vegetable stock
1 cup water
6 ounces Tuscan kale, stemmed and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
Freshly ground pepper
Crushed red-pepper flakes

Saute onion, leek, and garlic in water-lined stockpot. Cook, stirring, until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in carrot and groats; cook 1 minute. Add stock and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 25 minutes.
Stir kale into groats. Cover; cook until liquid is completely absorbed and groats are tender but still chewy, and kale is steamed, about 15 minutes more. Season with pepper and red-pepper flakes. Garnish with nutritional yeast.

I made soy milk for the second time with my Soyapower machine, and had the okara that I wanted to use (the okara is on the left):

Soy Milk and Okara

A quick Google search for recipes, and I found one that I could modify to meet our needs:

Okara-Oatmeal Cookies
In a bowl, thoroughly combine
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup chocolate chips

In a second bowl, whisk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup okara
1 Tablespoon molasses
1/2 tsp. vanilla
until thoroughly emulsified.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until they are thoroughly incorporated. Drop by the Tablespoonful onto a cookie sheet (Silpat or parchment-lined).

Bake for 14-15 minutes at 350°F.

Road Trip Muchies!
Road Trip Muchies!

Day 1228 – April 22: Route from PA to CT

Woke up to this (yes, it was as cold as it looks):

Rain Rain Go Away

 

And warmed up with breakfast on the road:

Kale Yams Squash Beans Salsa Yum
Kale Yams Squash Beans Salsa Yum

 

We had snow for the first hour of our drive.  Our biggest concern was the solar water heating system, since we have not drained it, as we were not expecting freezing temperatures.  I know, what were we thinking? We kept the pump on, so that the water was circulating as we traveled.  It looks like it faired just fine.

The positive of the day: The Beast (truck) and The Tardis (RV) both got a nice little wash, since it rained the entire time we were on the road.  We got a break just long enough to go for a walk.

Departure Time: 11:00 am
Drive Time: 5:44.26
Miles Driven: 304.8
Gallons Used: 26.1
Avg MPG: 11.7
Arrival Time: 5:00 pm

After our walk around the rest area, we each set about doing our own thing. This means that David did some stretches (as well as he can with the slides in), and then started working on some paracord bracelets. I went to the kitchen to make a batch of veggie burgers using the rest of the okara that I had in the fridge.

This is my adaption of Veggie Burgers With Okara:

4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup yellow onion, minced
1/2 cup carrot, minced
1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, minced
1/2 cup broccoli slaw, minced
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
2 cups of okara
1/2 cup of flaxseed meal
1 cup of stale non-dairy bread crumbs (I used gluten-free bread crumbs found in the baking section of Walmart)

Mix minced vegetables in a large frying pan, and saute them over medium heat in a thin layer of water until tender. Add in spices and okara, mixing thoroughly. Slowly add in flaxseed meal and cook the mixture for another couple minutes until relatively firm. Remove mixture from heat and allow it to cool for a minute or two.

Preheat oven to 350 and form mixture into patties. Coat the outsides with bread crumbs, and place on a Silpat or parchment-lined sheet, and bake for 15 minutes. Carefully flip burgers and cook for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve warm. This recipe makes about 6 burgers.

Where are the pictures, you ask? Ummm, we ate them faster than I anticipated, and missed the photo op! But, there will be a next time!

Sorry for such a long winded post, but had to get up to date! There are many posts sitting there waiting for me to finish, so be sure to sign up for the email updates, as the posts will be in date order, but behind this (and future) post!

I’m glad that we could have this chat,
Nancy

The last 4 days:

Drive Time: 27 hrs
Miles Driven: 1,456
Gallons Used: 122