JoDo Chasing Rainbows

Jesse James Birthplace

Jesse James is part of US folklore. Many movies have been made about him and his exploits. We visited his birthplace in July 2022. I was more interested in getting beyond the myth and learn more about him and his family. I learned that this part of northern Missouri was sympathetic to the pro-Civil War South. Many of the families in this area were southern transplants who also kept enslaved people. The James’ family was very much aligned with the Confederate South. Jesse was too young to fight in the Civil War but he and his brother were ‘bushwhackers’. These guerilla like units operated in Missouri and Kansas during the Civil War. According to some of historians, some of the early robberies after the Civil War were banks or operations aligned with Unionist sympathies. What I could not find is whether the money he stole ever was given to anyone beyond his band of robbery friends. Movies almost make him seem like he is a Robin Hood type of character.

The family is very good at telling the story. Many personal items have been preserved and passed down to tell the story of the family. Jesse’s mother was an enterprising woman. After this death he was buried in her front yard. She would sell stones for $.25 a piece. That tradition lasts to today. There is a bucket with rocks where you can drop a quarter and take a rock.

San Antonio RV Show

We attended the San Antonio RV show which was held from January 5 – January 8, 2023. We are not looking for a new RV. We are still very happy with the RV that we bought two years ago. We wanted to see what manufacturers are doing with floor plans as well as visit vendors. We were disappointed with how few vendors we at this show. There was cookware and knives. One good thing is that I found a company to wash and hand wax our RV. Our appointment is scheduled for next week. My disappointment surrounded the lack of different kinds of vendors. I looked forward to purchasing unique to RV products. That was lacking. I guess this is part of the COVID hangover.

Here are Donna’s thoughts.

It was great to attend a RV show after not attending for a few years. We attended on Friday during work hours in hopes to avoid large crowds. There was a decent size crowd. This is our first RV show in Texas. This show had numerous travel travelers and 5th wheels. There was a small number of class C RV and most of the class A were diesel pushers.

My only compliant in the RV section was that it was difficult to access the water bay areas. That is the most important area to me due to a poor set-up can make dumping miserable business. We met a couple who were looking for a class C. It was going to be their first RV. They had done a lot of research on models and amenities. I passed along that before purchase that they spend some time in the RV with the slides closed. You need to be able to see if you can access your bathroom, bed and refrigerator with the the slides closed. You don’t want to find this out on your first trip and realize you can’t get a drink out of your refrigerator when the slides are in.

It was good to be back doing things we loved doing before the pandemic.

Jowanna’s thoughts

I spent my time looking at what manufacturers are adding to RVs. Here are some things that I noticed.

  1. Higher end RVs are adding induction stoves and convection microwaves as standard features. I noticed that many more RVs have dishwashers. Most class A RVs had washer and dryers and those who didn’t were already plumbed to add aftermarket.
  2. One trend that I don’t like is size of TVs. RVs seem to come with three TVs – living room, bedroom and outside. My pet peeve is the size of the TV outside and in the bedroom. Why do I need a 42′ TV in my bedroom. This is where I sleep. I know I am in the minority but I don’t like electronics in the bedroom. The compromise is a small TV for Donna to watch. The outdoor TVs are also getting larger. I am not opposed to outdoor TV but you should not be able to see someone’s TV from outer space. It is just too much.
  3. 5th wheels are getting fancy with floor plans. My favorite is the door in the rear so that you enter and a mud room. The rest of the living space is elevated. It cuts way down on the number of times you have to go up and down stairs when you are staying inside.
  4. Last thing I noticed is the amount of RVs where double sinks in the main bath ar ea. I thought I would hate having once sink but we have lived quite easily with that. It does look nice but I would hate to have the extra cleaning.

I walked into more RVs than Donna did. I am amazed at what is staying the same and what is changing. This show had rigs that fit every price point. I took pictures of some of my favorites.

Fifth Wheel with mud room entrance. I was amazed at how much storage under the unit. I was impressed.

Travel Trailer with couch/murphy bed for optimizing space.

What does half million class A looks like.

Fifth wheel with rear raised kitchen.