Tuesday, December 4, 2012


We are back at the Hoover RV Park, Hoover, AL.  It is a nice place, not a destination park, but has full hook ups on a paved parking area adjacent to Regions Park sports facility.  Convenience is the key here to shopping, eating, interstate, and all of our Doctors and friends in the area.

We spent the first week having one to two appointments a day.  Had to have some old cavities replaced and went to my old Orthopedic Surgeon about my shoulder.  I had been putting it off for a couple of years.  Cleaning the MH and using my inflatable boat (paddleski) left me with a couple of days of a sore shoulder, hence the boat doesn't get used as much and the MH is not a clean as it could be :). 

His diagnosis was that a scope (which is what I had done in 03) could be done and get another 5 years or longer out of it.  I keep waiting until they perfect the growing of new limbs and things and then you just swap them out.  With all of this medical hub bub I'm afraid my wait may be a lot longer or never. :(  Oh well, we just deal with what we have and make the  best of it.  Only worry about the things that you can change and just suck it up on the rest. 

I'll be having the scope tomorrow, out patient.  I hope to be able to leave town the first of the following week.  Although it is warm in Florida still, I guess we will head in that direction and get ready for the holidays.  I just hope to beat Santa down there.  He missed our place last year, hopefully he'll be able to locate us this year.  I have the GPS on the phone turned on.  I'm sure that will help. :)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Year of RVing and Thanksgiving

Well, the 16th saw us owning the motor home for a year. Once we owned it, we haven't spent the night anywhere else. There wasn't any bedding the first couple of days, but we survived with a throw. We have had a wonderful year.

I will say that the initial daily excitement of something new has kind of worn off, but the sense of total freedom still exist. As I get up each morning and sit in the observatory watching the news and sipping a hot cup of coffee, I relish in the enjoyment of this lifestyle. I have always loved to see daylight come and the motor home gives me the perfect opportunity to see the sights very comfortably. Before selling the house, I would grab my cup of coffee and head for the hot tub on the patio.

We have seen many wonderful sights this year and ended up back in our original neck of the woods to end the year. In our rush to get back to the Atlanta area in August, we came through some nice country we will get back out to.

It seems as if there is always some minor inconvenience coming up that needs attention. It is surprising that I can work through the problem and usually know what the problem might be and sometimes work around it.  This is a very complicated machine that just shakes and shimmy's down the highway.  Imagine driving your house down the highway and how that would end up. But even with all of those mishaps I wouldn't trade this for anything at this time.

I've also found out that with all my research of the lifestyle and RVing in general that I am able to help people out of situations or impart with some valuable knowledge.  I know that for some of you that may be hard to believe, but it is the truth.

Carolyn has really gotten used to the lifestyle and really enjoys it.  The motor home has all of the conveniences of the house and we have always used our on board shower and laundry facilities.  Note: we did have to take showers using hot water heated on the stove and poured over the head, but that was just for three days. :):)))))  Carolyn didn't think much of that idea. :)

We have spent the last couple of weeks at River Country RV in Gasden, AL.  Several people had stayed there and said it was nice and Amy (our daughter) said it was a nice place.  Upon leaving Red Bay we just ambled over to there.  We were only going to stay for two or three days, but upon arriving and seeing where they were going to put us we just took a week.  After four days we took another week.  The first week was very windy with hurricane Sandy and cool, but with our location we just stayed in looking at the view.  No sand, but plenty of fish and birds.

The second week warmed up and wasn't near as windy.  It allowed for a little getting out with some nice sunsets.  Oh and that is Carolyn...
Our friends Steve and Debbie had been in Red Bay when we left and decided to come by and see us here before heading on down to Destin.  We had a couple of good meals and enjoyed the park views.  Steve had worked on his sound system and had put all of his components being delivered to the TV's by HDMI which increased the picture quality and significantly enhanced the sound quality.  Before it was muffled and not clear.  We would have to turn the TV all the way up to understand what was being said for most shows. We worked on mine and now all is great.  All it took was an HDMI splitter and a couple of short cables.
We also worked on my coach radio and hooked my Zune to the axillary input.  Result is music of my choice while driving down the road instead of constantly searching for channels.  Crystal clear!  Wish I had done that before that 2400 mile, 4.5 days of driving last August. :)
Thanksgiving was very nice.  We had way more than we needed to cook and are still eating leftovers.  Got to see some of the family and Amy, Heath and the kids got by.  It was a great day.  We are very Thankful for the good Lord to have guided us to this point in our lives.  It is all about choices of life and what you do with the results.  We are at a good place right now and look forward to what is before us to see.  If it is anything like the last year we will be truly blessed indeed.
Come follow us this year and share our experiences.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Asheville and the Blue Ridge Parkway

Many, well maybe one or two, may be wondering if we are still traveling.  We ARE.  We are just doing it slower.

We went to the Asheville, NC area to see the leaves change.  We weren't going to drive straight there as it is a long drive from B'ham and we didn't leave until about 9:30.  An easy drive to Chattanooga rest area led me to call Miles RV Campground in the Asheville area to see if they had a sight.  They did and indicated that I was still over 5 hours away and probably would not get there before they closed.  Well, that was like a challenge and I put the pedal to the metal. I got there in about 4 hours like I thought and just missed the office by about 30 minutes. It is a decent park flat with paved roads and gravel and paved pads.  We got a pull through site and faced into the center of the park with a large football sized field in front of us.  For $25 a night, weekly rate, it was a very reasonable rate for the area.  There was a little noise, Interstate, highway, business next door and a train a couple times a night, but it was convenient to everything we wanted to do.  We could even walk to the Post Office and get something to eat.

I've been coming to this area for 30 years to see the leaves during this time of year.  We were a little earlier this time and arrived on the 14th for about the start of the change.  We were here for 12 days and each time out saw an unbelievable change in color. Here are a few pictures, but believe me, they do not begin to tell the story.

Several years ago we were driving on the Parkway and saw a Motor home sitting in a pull off early one morning.  We imagined they were there having breakfast and set our sites to one day do the same.  Here is the location of where the Motor home was parked.  Don't you think that would be a nice place to start the day?
Everybody likes to come to Asheville and see the Biltmore Estate and we have seen it to.  Once you have seen it there is an understanding of how the Vanderbilt's contributed heavily toward the establishment of the National Forest system and their contributions toward modern forestry methods.  We benefit from their involvement every time we go into a National Forest or Park.  I can only imagine what it would be like if there were no protections.  They lived here.

We had an electrical problem during our stay that when we called a technician and talked with Xantrex required a new Inverter.  We cut our stay short and headed toward Red  Bay to get this done.  We installed a Magnum MS2812 as recommended by several people.  We stayed over at the facility that night and had another occurrence of the problem.  A further check came out that a bad breaker in the panel wasn't making good connection and burnt the connection and required a new breaker.  Now things that were hit and miss about working have worked since that install. (knock on wood)  End result I have a good Xantrex RS3000 inverter, AGS, and panel.  If anyone needs one I have a good deal going on. :) 

We are currently in Gadsden, AL sitting on the river at River Country Campground.  We are 15' from the water facing it.  More next time.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hope Somebody is Still Out There

It has been awhile and we have done a lot of nothing.  We spent two weeks in Guntersville, AL to be with the family. We saw everyone a couple of times and went through the motorhome to unload stuff we either hadn't used or realized that we didn't need.  It wasn't much, but every little bit helps.

We spent 10 days in Red Bay at the Tiffin Service Center.  They had replaced my rails (the radius that meets the roof to the side wall) in April and the DS rear had come loose and lifted up.  I had noticed this while in Hungry Horse, MT and was going back to Tiffin when we came back to this area. I also had several little things to do, i.e. DS day/night shade had come loose from the ceiling and the burner on the stove would not stay lite.  I also had a couple of questions about systems and my understanding of what they were doing.

Tiffin is quite busy, basically all the time.  They have about 100 sites and they are almost always full with several in the overflow dry camping locations, especially this time of year.  It doesn't take long to get into a full hook up site, it's just a process.

We arrived on a Tuesday about noon.  While coming through town I met two MHs with toads leaving.  I was optimistic about getting a full site and we just walked in to site 57.  It was looking up.  Got things rolling and got into the express bay on Monday of the next week.  It is just a process of waiting for your number to come up and then the process will begin.

Carolyn had a problem with a drawer slide and that was a quick fix - out of the track.  The shade was put back with an additional clip.  Things were looking up.  The stove problem (I thought was a thermocouple gone bad) was just the knob.  It has a little metal piece on the flat section of the knob and the plastic had split enough that allowed the metal piece to turn within the space and not make good contact.   Great.

Then came the Aqua-hot.  For a long time if not since we've had the MH we have not had hot water without the diesel burner being on.  Reading other peoples blogs and comments on the forums I thought the electric side of our Aqua-hot was bad.  The technician came out and we worked through the problem (two days).  I hate to say the problem was the breaker on the inside panel was flipped, again Great even though my problem. 

While working through this problem one morning the diesel side of the Aqua-hot did not fire.  Long story short, it was the control unit for that part within the Aqua-hot.  Note, not my fault. :)

While working through the diesel side problem we took cup showers for two mornings.  Now I didn't have a problem with this as I did this a lot while in the Army.  Carolyn had not had to do this, but with a little instruction she had no problems. :)

While worrying with the Aqua-hot, I was going to have the rails repaired.  They are now putting a rivet down both sides of the rail replacement, spaced about every 4".  This hopefully should prevent any further problems.

My fuel gauge had never worked properly.  No matter how much I put in it would never read much above 3/4 of a tank.  Now the question was; was I full, 150 gallons? or when registering empty did I have another 30-40 gallons left?  That is a question I did not want to test.  The fix was to cut the vent lines to the tank fill, which had a loop in them, and make them straight and then go and fill up.  I had filled up just out of town, but I was able to put about 15-20 gallons more.  Still registered the same.  The solution was to change out the fuel sending unit.  It required emptying the tank into two big drums and then change out the unit.  The old unit had fuel getting into the wires and the wire was just a hair different in angle.  Upon refill, we were full.  In fact after we left I was afraid it was stuck because it wouldn't move, but after 100 miles or so it did show a little drop.

The good part of the whole trip was that I got to use my newly purchased (Aug) extended warranty.  Now I no it was a decent purchase, everything got fixed, and I now know a little more about this complicated piece of machinery.  There is much more to learn, although I'd like to wait a little to learn it. :):)

We headed to Hoover RV Park, Hoover, AL and stayed a week having several appointments.  It was a laid back parking lot with a lot of good walking area.   It is at the Ball Stadium and is patrolled day and night.

We now sit just outside of Asheville, NC.  The leaves are turning and it just saw 60 today.  Great fall weather.  There will be more to come, I promise.

Life is good.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

We Are Back Almost

This past Tuesday found us heading toward Guntersville, AL.  We are currently at Blue Herron RV Resort.

We have been in NE Atlanta assisting Carolyn's BIL's family with his illness and lending a hand where needed.  Jimmy passed on Aug 23d after a battle with Renal Cancer for over a year.  He faced it headon and fought the battle at every turn.  He didn't let it interfer with his work and kept giving wisdom and kind words to the end.  He will be missed.

While in the area we stayed initially at FT Yargo State Park.  We were going week to week due to the situation (they have a 14 day limit, but due to the circumstances allowed us to stay over that time).  With  our week to week extensions the Labor Day weekend was coming up and they were full so we checked out on Friday before.  It was a beautiful place and was only a 20 minute drive to the house. 

Not all the sites were this large, but there were larger.  As you can see satellite was a "no go".  Also, this site - 34, was the only site with sewer besides the 2 camphosts sites.  That is because it used to be a camphost site.  It was $28 per night with no discounts.

On the 31st we moved to Jones RV Park in Norcross, GA.  It was just 5 miles further, but going in the other direction, requiring us to get on I85 and heavy traffic.  It has 2/3ds of the park as long term (more than a month).  Some looked like they had been there years.  A mile away was a heavy ethnic neighborhood with store signs in foreign lanquages.  It was $30/night or $165 per week.  There is not a lot to choose from in the area and it filled a need.  Not the place that invited you to sit outside.  The sites were not very large either.  The second picture has a site between us and to the left is another site opening to our passenger side.

Blue Heron is a nice quiet owner owned lots, that for $143.10 a week (Good Sam Discount) you can not beat.  Being owner owned lots, several are for sale and are unoccupied, giving a large amount of space around you.  50 amp, FHU for the price isn't to bad.

We'll probably stay here a week or two and then head to Red Bay.

Life is pretty Good.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Westward Tour is Over

Our two weeks in Hungry Horse, MT were very relaxing.  Clear blue sky, crystal clear and blue waters rushing by, and when you leave the built up areas vast wilderness areas with "Beware of  Bear" signs everywhere.  We found Montana to be a very nice place with so much diversity it was amazing.

Last week we found out that Carolyn's BIL Jimmy had been admitted to the hospital.  He has been battling cancer for almost a year.  Despite several reports of getting better it has just kept up the endless march forward.  He has faced it head on and has continued to fight it at every turn. 

We decided to curtel our westward tour and head back to Georgia and Thursday after checking for our mail we pulled out of Hungry Horse about 10 AM. We drove for 10 hours and ended up in Billings, MT at a Burger King.  At least we got dinner and breakfast :)

Friday found us heading west about 7 AM.  We covered a lot of ground (after missing a turn and taking a leisurely 1 hour drive up I94. At least it was all new stuff) and ended up in Imperial, NE about 7 PM and saw Nancy and Randy.  They have been friends for about 20 years and it was very nice to see them and see the big city of Imperial.  We will definitely get back and see them in the future.

Saturday saw us pulling out at 8 AM and arrived in Boonville, MO.  We pulled into a rest area and were only going to stay for a couple of hours to grab some sleep about 8:30 PM.  It got hot and I turned on the generator and didn't get up until 5 AM.

Sunday we pulled out at 6 AM and pulled into the south side of Chattanooga about 7 PM.  We're plugged up and kicked back.  We only have a couple of hours to get to the Dacula, Ga area tomorrow morning.

We plan to be in the area to assist the family in whatever they need.  That is one of the benefits of this lifestyle, that you can do what you want when you need to.  Most people have to work around their work schedules and while, would like to, it is just not practical for them to give the time necessary.

I've sat  in the driver seat except for filling up for fuel for 45 hours over the last 4 days.  I'm one tired puppy, arf, arf!

This is just to let everyone know where we are and what we are up to.  Posting may get a little slower, sorry.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Fishing at Glacier

I have been a little remiss in posting.  I thought I had posted about my fishing trip, but had just put in on FB, so sorry fans.

On Tuesday of this week I had scheduled to take some fly fishing lessons with a guide and have a float down the Middle Fork River on the west boundary of Glacier National Park.  It was a beautiful day and I had done nothing for a few days to save my shoulder for the trip.  The boat could hold 2 for the price and they had no singles that wanted to go.  I decided that Carolyn would like to float the river also as it was supposed to only be 4-5 hours of fishing after the lessons. 

We showed up at 8:30 to get started.  The guide said if it was alright with me, we would do the lessons on the river instead of a little fish pond at their office.  It was fine with me. We drove about 30 miles up the river to put in and were on the water by 10 AM.  My lessons consisted of stopping on a sand bar and throwing about 10 minutes and then we were off.  Great!  It was about 55 degrees about that time and a little cool.  The first couple of miles the guide had me getting out and walking/wading the bank.  It was cold.  I only had water shoes and shorts on, but we caught a fish every now and then.

I caught fish and this was my biggest.

It was a nice day and the fishing was pretty good even for a novice.  I caught 13, hung but lost a couple of dozen, and got 30 - 50 bumps or hits. It took awhile to learn that I didn't have to set the hook. :)  Carolyn ended up having a great time and was real tired when we finished.  I thought she would get pictures of all the fish I caught, but as you can tell she did not.  There are more scenery pictures though and they are great.

Steve and Debbie from Sioux Falls stopped by on their way through and we went fishing Thursday before they left on Friday.  We just waded up and down a few spots for 3-4 hours.  I ended up catching 3.  Steve got this picture before we got separated.
It has been a good time here with the weather being in the mid 80's most of the time and getting down in the 40's at night.  Daytime humidity is under 30% so it is real nice.  A lot different than Alabama right now.

May have found an area to spend the summers, but then there are a lot of places we haven't been yet. :)

Life is pretty good.  If it gets better I might not be able to stand it...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fish and Glacier

While in Ekstroms Stage Station just east of Clinton, MT we kicked back and enjoyed the beauty and the local rivers to fish in.  After my first foray into the local fishing, and falling in 3 times on the first day, I got better outfitted and never fell in again. :)

I had some neighbors that came in from the Carolina and California areas.  Rudy, Ryan and Greg were there to fish.  Greg had lived in the area for awhile and had some good pointers.  I tried to act as a sponge and learn all I could.  I guess it worked since I didn't fall in again and even caught another fish (total of 2) and got several strikes and hung another, but lost it.  I didn't go all day like most other people did.  I could go 3 or 4 hours and then would have to let the inflammation in my shoulder go down for a couple of days before I went back.  Had a picture of the three guys, but deleted it by mistake. :((

One of our days out was to cross Skalkaho Pass in the Bitteroot National Forest.  Beautiful area and after crossing the pass came up on the Skalkaho Falls.  Even in the warm temps and the height of the summer, there was a lot of water coming off of the falls.  The water was even good and cool to drink.
We left the area on July 26th and headed toward Hungry Horse, MT and are staying in Canyon RV and Campground.  It is a nice place with some trees to provide a little shade and enough open space to allow for Satellite access.  It also is only 9 miles to the west gate to Glacier National Park.
Usually as we ride through these forest and parks we miss the photo of the wildlife.  It is so quick there is little time to reach for the camera much less take a picture.  The other day I got a great picture of local park wildlife.
I'm not sure if this classifies as wildlife, but it was in the wild and huge, kind of like Alice and Wonderland.

The first full day here we went on the Going to the Sun Road.  It is a fascinating and beautiful drive.  We elected to drive ourselves versus the bus or touring car route so we could go at our own pace and stay as long as we wanted to at any one location.  These pictures do not begin to offer what the view is, but merely offer a glimpse into what one may see.

As you can see very nice.  We plan on extending a couple of days to see more.  Stay tuned for the Logan Pass adventure.

Life is Pretty Good!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dream Comes True

I have always had a dream, even before fulltiming, of catching a mountain stream trout and eating it.  Now with time the eating eat part has faded, but the dream of catching trout was still there.  With the advent of the fulltiming thing I thought that it was even more possible especially seeing Howard catching some in the places he has been.  Well as my previous post indicates (note: this is the second post for the day) I was licensed, outfitted and ready. 

My neighbors left at good daylight, but I wanted to clean the front of the MH first.  We (Carolyn was my photographer and the person that was going to try to catch me downstream) left about 1030.  We drove trying to find the perfect access so she could watch and I wouldn't have to much trouble, and there wasn't anybody around to see my first foray into fly fishing.

We found a place and got Carolyn set up in her chair.  I proceeded to enter the water and hadn't gone 15' when I slipped on the rocks and down I went.  I had my hunting waders on and I believe the clod hopper boots weren't made for nimble rock movement.  Plus these were 12" to 18" rocks to maneuver over.  Lucky for me their high and I didn't get to wet.  Downer was the vest I got seems to hold water. :(  I figured out how to empty most of that out and proceeded on.

Learned an important fact.  Walkie Talkies need to be in plastic bags, as they do not do well submerged in water. :(  It is now in a bowl submerged in rice to try and dry it out.  We'll see.

I wasn't to far from the bank and kept hitting the limbs behind me.  It took me about 30 minutes to hang my fly in a tree and that was that.  Now I had to come to the bank and recreate what these other neighbors had done for me in sitting me up.  I'm here to tell you that I tied another fly on with a perfect knot (note here: Knots are important in fly fishing). 

I put the purple haze on the guy in the store said they were hitting and got back to it.  After another 30 minutes I caught my first ever trout.  My trusty photographer wasn't ready, but came on strong.  I told her to get a picture, she said, "I can't see the fish".  To heck with the fish, its in the water take pictures of me, you can't take to many.  Well, we worked through all that and came up with a couple of pictures.  A nice rainbow trout.

Carolyn trying to find the fish.
The second spot was nicer and allowed me more movement.  The first place had me in to deep of water which added my imbalance.
The day was nice, got some experience, caught a fish, got 4 other bites and only fell in 3 times.  Carolyn wasn't ready the other two, but caught me after I got up.  She says I got up to fast, I told her the water temp was 61 deg and it was cold.
Back at the MH drying out and warming up.  Probably will go back tomorrow. 

PS - my neighbors only caught 1 fish out of 3 people.  :)

Life is pretty good.

Falling into It

It has been awhile, but we have done a lot.

We traveled to Hardin, MT last Monday.  We planned that stop to see the Little Big Horn Battlefield.  While I brought the camera, I forgot to get my card out of the computer.  It was going to be a hot day with temps around the 100 deg mark.  The campground, Grand View RV Park, has the driving tour CD's for checkout to drive the battlefield.  The CD cost $16.95 and was welcome.  It only takes about 1 1/2 hours to drive it and that was with stops to observe the terrain.

Regardless of individual feelings of the battle, Custer basically lost the battle because of lack of communication  between the elements which caused confusion among the troops and a break down of organization.

When we finished the drive it was 99 deg.  I was going to walk maybe 200 yds to the final marker.  It was uphill and about 2/3ds of the way I had to stop and catch my breath.  We left shortly after and went back to the MH and tried to stay cool.  Later that afternoon the breaker on my pole tripped 5 times.  Did I say it was HOT.

While there there were two harvest crews in the park.  Talking with one owner he told me he had 7 combines and all equipment necessary to go from field to field and harvest and take it to the market.  The farmer just pays him.  He doesn't make to the South because of the average size of the fields.  He said the biggest field he has been in was in North Dakota and was 11,000 acres.  Now that is a big field by anybody's standards.

We had met some people in Cedar Key, FL back in February and stopped in Big Timber, MT on Wednesday to say hi to Mike and Janna.  They are good folks and although we have only seen them twice now, it seems we are old friends. 

Now Big Timber did not look very big and I thought it would be a quick stop, but we were mistaken.  We stayed at Spring Creek RV Park and it was a pleasant surprise.  Although they did not have what was reserved we regrouped and had to move once, but we got our three days.  The site.

The Boulder River runs by the park and it really moves.  Mike says it drops 5000' from the top of the mountains to where it enters another river. 

At the edge of the Gallatin National Forest is the Natural Bridge.  The water runs out of the mountains there and had cut a bridge in the rock.  It has collapsed, but still goes underground and emerges downstream.  When there is a large run off it runs over the collapsed  bridge as there is too much water to go underground.
We had to move to another site in order to stay another night and have dinner with Mike and Jana.  They took us around the area to see some wildlife and scenery and we were not dismayed by either. This is some amazing country.
Dinner with Mike and Janna was great and the scenery was wonderful.  I kept my eye out for some of the bears they have seen lately, but did not see any.  Not really sure I really wanted to. :) Since it doesn't get dark until about 10 PM the evening crept away to soon.  We left with a nice picture of our friends.
We left Saturday and landed at exit 126 on I90, about 5 miles east of Clinton, MT.  Wanted to go to Missoula, MT about 20 miles away, but they didn't have room.  We are at Ekstroms Stage Station, Rock Creek, MT.  It is alright with 50 amp and sewer and I can get sat TV.  Everybody was walking around with fly fishing attire on.  I took a nap and then we drove up Rock Creek Road into the forest.  I had looked and saw that this road went all the way through and we could circle around Phillipsburg and back.  The road ran beside to creek for almost the whole way, 40 miles.  There were people fishing in a lot of spots.  When I got back, I went to the local mercantile to check it out.  I was informed that Rock Creek is one of the US Blue Ribbon Trout Fishing Streams. 

Now it has been a dream to catch a trout out of a mountain stream.  So, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to see if that could happen.  I now have a license, rod, reel, flys, and desire.  My neighbor in the park used to live here about 30 miles away and has come  back with family to do some fishing.  They went out last night and caught three in about 2 hours.  I'm ready and as you can see can get into the water.
Stay tuned for progress. :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Upper Big Horn Mountains

After we got the MH repaired, we just vegged out let the storage bays air out and dry.  It is kind of like watching grass grow, but at 13% humidity and an 8 mph wind it doesn't take all that long.  

Sunday we started out about 9:30 to ride a loop up highway 14 into the northern Big Horn Mtns and make a loop and come back on 14A.  The scenery was fantastic.  Such a diverse area with the difference in altitudes.  We topped out twice at 9300' to 9400'.  That is on the roadway.  There was a little ice/snow in places still left, some only 1/4 to 1/2 mile from the road. 

The best views were while going up the OMG highway.  It is the western entrance to the Big Horn Mtns on hwy 14A.  It lasts about 10 miles and has 10% grade the whole way.  I was going up and my truck ran up to about 220 degrees.  It was narrow and did not offer a lot of availability to pull off.  There were people pulling trailers, sometimes two, with SRW coming off the mountain.  In my defense of not getting any pictures, there were such wide views I couldn't get everything in a picture to do it justice anyway.

We took a side trip in the Big Horn Canyon National Rec Area.  It is pretty much a desert environment with a river running through it creating a deep canyon.  The top picture is of that area.  This area has 150 wild mustangs and Big Horn Sheep.  We didn't see any Sheep, but did get a picture of a couple of wild horses.  After all it was the middle of the afternoon with temps in the mid 90's.  I would have been in the shade.

I got this new camera and allows me a 55-200 zoom.  This was maxed out.

We had a great drive, but we did not get back until 6 PM which made for a long day.  The Big Horn mountains, both the upper and lower, is a beautiful area.  I know we will be back, that is unless we go over the next hill and see something better. :)  That has been happening a lot lately.  Now that I know I can boondock, the world is my oyster. :))))

We're  off to see where Custer met his match.

Friday, July 6, 2012

We Survived

Big Horn National Forest - Wyoming 
We have been offline for most of this week.  We had an opportunity to boondock with Howard and Linda.  They have a rig that is really set up for this activity and I really thought I could get over my reluctance to put my foot in the water.

Our rig has A solar panel, Inverter, 6 house batteries and a generator.  My daily activity on the solar did not meet my outgoing amperage from the  batteries, thereby increasing my need for generator usage.  We discussed over time several suggestions to increase my capabilities thus changing some parameters of the inverter/auto gen start. 

Finally, the last night, I just jumped off the deep end and turned off the inverter.  I came up sputtering and splashing and I had success.  Nothing melted in the freezer, although it went from 0 to 16 degrees and withing 3 hours had recovered.

Now to the benefits.  Wowie, Zowie did we have fun.  We are just quiet nature lovers at heart and did we get our fill of that.  After saying that, can you ever get full???  There was plenty of scenery even before we found our site.  While doing that we did have a discussion with the Forest Rangers about what was available for campsites.  End result we were right, they were wrong, and we went down the road and found a quieter spot, just couldn't see the snow all of the time.

The view.

Our campsite.

We had many more photos of the above, but you can not show them all.  I can only say the wildlife, mule deer, marmots, Linda and Carolyn saw a moose, were fantastic.

On the 4th of July we took both Howard and Linda's See Eagle and my brand new, unpacked, See Eagle Paddleski to Tie Hack reservoir for an initial cruise.  Carolyn was a little leery about how small and narrow it was, but 30 minutes into the cruise she was having a ball and felt more secure.  As you can see.

I will admit to an overwhelming moment gliding around the lake realizing that July 4th, the designated day of freedom, and with us being totally free on the boondocking experience and finally doing things we had only dreamed about.  I felt like William Wallace and wanting to yell at the top of my lungs, "F R E E D O M".  You just had to be there.  We have Howard and Linda to thank for this as much as anyone.  They gave us their history and experiences to lead us and many others to believe that this experience can be anyone's.  All you have to do is prepare and then dip that toe in the water.

We did have a minor problem upon leaving.  An engine coolant hose burst before we made it out of the mountains.  I made it to the pull off to check the brakes before continuing.  Getting out of the MH we could see coolant running out of the storage bays.  We proceeded to open and unload and try to get up as much as we could while making our calls to Coachnet to initiate help and assistance.  The tow truck arrived at 1 hour and 45 minutes after pulling off the road.  It took 2 hrs to hook up the motor home to the tow truck.  1 hour later we were at the Steve's Truck Service in Sheridan, WY for a Tuesday appointment.  The mechanic looked at it during our discussion about where to park where so I could get some kind of power, and determined that he could fix it quick. :)))
It was a 5" piece of hose connector at the Aqua Hot (I figure for an engine bypass heater).  That fixed, and 6 gallons of coolant and we were in business.  Great because it was hot in Sheridan and all I was going to have was 15 amp power. (I didn't have a 30 to 15 amp connector)  I was prepared to boondock again.  I know I can do it now.  It was just another day in paradise.
We were tired and found a local park, Peter D's RV Park.  We're staying 2 nights and will get to see the OMG hill on highway 14 in the upper Big Horn National Forest.  Stay tuned for more.

It just keeps getting better and better.