Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Southern Oregon

We currently find ourselves in Boise, ID at Hi Valley RV Park.  It was a beautiful drive over although kind of hot.  The last few months I've noticed that my dash air had not been as cool as it used to be.  Running around in 60 - 70 degree temps for 2 hours at the most it is not a problem.  Today running for 5 hours in 80 + temps it was warm to say the least.  To top that my front AC is giving me problems popping the inside breakers.  We're here for a week so I guess I'll have to see about those problems.

To continue on with the migration, we travelled to Smith River, CA a small little town   We stayed at a park right at the mouth of the Smith River. 
We drove up and down the coast and pretty it was.  Lots of pictures, but we knew there were many more sites to see.

We went on up to the Cape Blanco RV Park in Port Orford, OR.  Nice small park, but they made every effort to accommodate our size rig.  There were about 5-6 sites that would do but mostly made up semi permanents.  We did the normal sites again on the water.
Cape Blanco Lighthouse  We were there on a clear day, but when we went back it was foggy.
We drove up to Bandon, OR and found it to be a quaint little town that if we go back we may elect to stay there.  Coquille Point is just below town and has nice views for several miles down the coast.
We traveled 100 to 150 miles at a time and then go up and down the coast to see all the sights.  We were amazed at the beauty everywhere.  Cool days clear (when the fog would burn off) and sights to see.  It doesn't get much better.  We couldn't wait to get up the coast, but we didn't really want to pass anything up.  We would just watch the tourist come in and leave the next day or two.  We were real happy that we no longer had to travel that way.

The next post will be of Winchester Bay which I believe is our favorite place.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Northly Migration

We have finished our migration north almost feeling like the whales that move up and down the coast. 

After leaving the National Parks we headed to Travis AFB, just out of San Francisco.  It was amazing the temperature change from the coast to just 30 miles inland.  On the day we went into the city, it was 58 on the north side of the Golden Gate and 102 in Fairfield just about 30 miles as the crow flies.
Well hallelujah we have pictures back.
While in SF we did all the usual sites; Coit Tower - closed and we could only look up.  Expected Clint Eastwood to be around. :), Fisherman's Wharf - Lots of people and not many places to park but a nice place to have lunch.; Drive through town - not many yards in any of the areas we went by.  All the houses share walls in almost all areas of town.  Went by several city parks and all were full of people doing all kinds of things, they just have no where else to go (no yards).  We did go to Lombard Street which is the most crooked street in America to see the mass confusion going on there.  We walked there from the Fisherman's Wharf area and wow, those are some good hills. (I looked for Steve McQueen (Bullet) to come whizzing by)  We also drove down Lombard Street just to say we were there. :)

After SF we headed up the long awaited Highway 101 for the start of our northerly migration.
The first stop was Fortuna, CA.  It was a nice park just off the highway.  We road up to several sights in the area.  The first was a ride to the beach at Samoa where we found a tourist in his "dune buggy".  He needed assistance in the worst way.  Luckily I had my strap to pull him out of the sand.
We then rode up the coast to Prairie Creek Redwood State Park.  There was a nice 7 or 8 mile road through the Big Redwoods.
A funny story was when we were driving back down the road and saw a sign with an arrow that said "Big Tree".  We stopped and there were some big trees in the direction of the arrow.  There was also a little footpath leading through the ferns (which were chest high).  I traipsed off looking for the big tree.  There were several all around and I couldn't consider one any bigger than the other so I took pictures of all of them.

We got back in the truck and drove about 75 yards and there was the parking lot for the "Big Tree".  The joke was on me. :)

It was a beautiful area, but there was more to see. :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Utah and Beyond

While in Bluff, UT, which isn't much, we were right in the middle of several scenic areas that we felt as a must see.  Gooseneck State Park, Valley of the Gods, Monument Valley, and other areas are fairly significant in their views.  None of the pictures I took can come close to the vast scope of the view presented around every turn.

Gooseneck State Park is one of those that has a view in each direction. Everyone that post on their blogs post this a picture like this.  Ugh it won't post. I've worked 5 or 6 times trying to upload pictures and they just sit there and spin. But believe me it is pretty. :)

We would go out most every day in one direction or another and see some amazing scenery.  I took a picture about where Forest Gump turned around after doing all of his running, and went home.  My pic doesn't quite look like theirs because traffic wasn't stopped and I didn't want to get run over.

After Bluff, we headed toward Las Vegas through Williams, AZ.  While there we rested up and stocked up on groceries.  The drive to Vegas wasn't to long and very scenic.  We made it through Vegas (not the strip) to Nellis AFB.  That is the nicest biggest sites on a military base we have seen. It was a huge site on a circle.  The drive to the Strip wasn't to far (about 10 mi maybe) and we did that twice.  The first was a mid day trip and while nice was just plain hot.  The second time was late afternoon and we stayed until well after dark.  It is something to see all lit up.  No gambling was done although we did eat fairly well.  We didn't leave anything in Vegas, so I guess we did nothing bad. :)  There are some weird people there though.

We left Vegas and headed to Yosemite by way of Bakersfield, CA.  The overnight selection there was a nice campground with paved streets and hard sites.  It was a little more than I like for an overnight, but it had a restaurant with discounts.  That was a convenient item and we used it that evening and the next morning.

Leaving Bakersfield we used Hwy 99 and ran straight up to Fresno and took 41 out to Coarsegold.  It is about 20 miles out of Yosemite.  There we had selected the Escapees park, Park of the Sierras.  It is a Coop park where all the sites are owned and you can place your site into the rental pool when not occupied.  It had huge sites nestled on the side of rolling hills.  Not your usual RV Park, but kind of like a resort where the buildings are arranged according to what the land will provide for access.  And for $20.00 a night a bargain compared to the other campgrounds in the area.

While here we went to Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks.  We would go out about 9 AM and get back each day about 6 to 8 PM and would drive about 200 miles.  That is a lot when you doing about 30 -40 mph and turning left or right and going up or down. :(  It made for one tired puppy when the day was over.  Some days we would go out and others we wouldn't.  Out of the three parks their is only one road that goes to the other side of the mountain range (Tioga Rd) we drove it and on the other side of Yosemite there was snow left and the lake was frozen and just breaking up.  That is where we stopped and ate our lunch, beautiful.  The usual sites were beautiful, but when we went up to Glacier Point late in the afternoon, that was really something.  There all the sites were in their splendor and just out in front of you.  Half dome  was striking with the afternoon sun on it.

We also went in on a Saturday when we first arrived, but didn't go very far and realized there were to many people and left. But before we did we went to the Mariposa Grove to see the big trees.  We were not disappointed.  They were everywhere and so were the people.  We saw the ones we wanted to see (trees) and left.  You can do this when not on a schedule. :)

Coming out of the park we turned on this scenic byway that looked (on the map) like it might be good.  Five hours later we got back to the Park tired and hungry.  It did all right at first then it turned into what I would say were logging roads.  I've been on some of them that were in better shape.  We made wrong turns on not well marked roads, etc.  We finally found our way through to where I kind of knew where we were and there was a little snow left on the ground where the sun couldn't hit.  Carolyn was very happy about that.

We made day trips to both Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks mainly to see the big trees and were not disappointed.  They were all over the place in the areas where they had been preserved. 

Logging in the 1890's threatened all of the big Sequoia's.  The wood wasn't good for much and was being used for toothpicks and pencils.  The move by Roosevelt to make National Parks and Monuments saved a vast amount of natural environment all across this beautiful land of ours.  While I'm not a tree hugger, man would have truly destroyed it forever.  Just go to any park or public land and see the carvings and graffiti left behind by mostly kids thinking it would be cool.  No respect for themselves or anyone else.  My political statement is over.

Our drive across the country to get to Yosemite and see that has been marked by some beautiful sights and I can only imagine what is around the next hill or curve. 

Everyday and I do mean everyday we give thanks to God for where we are in our lives and are very thankful for being here.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Time Marches On And So Do We

When last we spoke, we were headed after our doctor visits to Guntersville to visit family and await arrival of our tires to Red Bay.  It took a little longer with the doctors, but gone we are.

We have a friend that call the Ga Mtn RV Resort in Guntersville home.  He has lived there for 7 years. About 3 years ago he traded his older (no slide) MH in on an Allegro Bus. It was delivered to his site and they picked his older one up and drove back the next day.  Note, he has never driven this MH.  I've suggested to him that he needed to go to Red Bay (Tiffin Meca) and check on the recall items.  He may need them repaired. 

He was hot to trot upon my arrival.  I was going to spend 2 weeks there, but since he was so adamant about going, I shortened my stay and took him over to show him the situation and introduce him to the system.  We got there on a Friday about lunch and all was full with 15 units sitting in overflow (boondocking).  We hustled down to the Self Service Park and got 2 recently vacated sites.  We were set.  Two weeks later we both had our issues completed and were on our way.

We got a call reference Carolyn's mom about her breaking her leg.  We headed straight to B'ham to see about that issue.  Carolyn went ahead so she could go to the hospital and I followed to the Hoover RV Park.  That is about what we call our home park.  We got that issue taken care of and were prepared to leave the area.

On the last day (Friday) out of Red Bay I got a new switch installed to my DS MCD shade.  Short story it didn't work.  We left, partly because of weather coming in, on Sunday and made it all the way to Shreveport, LA.  We weren't doing anything but spending the night so I looked for a truck stop or rest area to pull into.  Tried Walmart, but couldn't even get into the parking lot.  Found a truck stop with a paved area out back that didn't have but 3 trucks in it.  That was our park.

When we tried to get set up the air supplied step cover would not retract.  When the switch was activated I could hear air leaking.  I got out and checked where it was coming from.  It was from a part labeled the, air step solenoid, a call the next morning found that was what it was and no RV service facility in the area had one to fix it.  I called Tiffin back and ordered the part to be sent to Carolyn's aunt in Tucson.  It was difficult, especially for Carolyn, to climb up or down from the coach with the step cover closed.

The next call was to MCD to see if I could get the open time on Tuesday they had for my simple fix.  I explained the whole situation and said I didn't need a new shade, just fix the current one and I thought is was a bad electrical connection.  She said come on in that day and she would work me in before the next appointment.  Great.  We arrived about 2 PM and had a tech working on it within 20 minutes.  He carried the whole shade in to analyze the shade and found another bad motor.  It got replaced and back in within 1 hour and to top it off because it was new and had already been worked on, it didn't cost a thing.  It continues to work fine.

We headed the next day toward Tuscon and stopped in Midland at supposedly the best park in the area.  Just didn't care for the area and would probably not come back by there.

We made it to Deming, NM the next night and stayed at 81 Palms RV Park.  It was a nice clean park and I would stop there again.  Note, there weren't many people there and lots of open sites.  If it had been full, it would have been real tight.

We landed in Tucson the next day at Davis Monthan AFB, Agave Gulch.  This is a clean area and real quiet.  It was with 2 miles of Carolyn's aunt's house and gave us the opportunity to see the family for the 4 days we were in the area. 

When we got to Tucson, I thought I should check my fluid level in the Aqua Hot.  It was completely dry.  That was a shock, so I dug out my extra fluid and poured 1 1/3 gallons of fluid and it kept going down.  I heard fluid leaking and looked under the coach and saw it running out through the hole in the bottom.  I jumped on the net and found an Aqua Hot mobile tech that was recommended by the office.  He said he could come out late the next morning.  He arrived about noon and found out it was just a cut hose and trimmed off the end and slide it back.  While I had already paid for a service call I just let him put on the air step solenoid that had been sent ahead of me.  All in all I got out for an hour of work and a gallon of fluid.  Boy I'm getting lucky on this stuff.  My head is sore from knocking on my wooden head.

We headed to Cottonwood, AZ, Deadhorse State Park.  While there we saw the Sedona area and Jerome.

While there on the top of the mountain Carolyn got the call that no one wants to get.  Her mother had passed that afternoon.  We stayed on top awhile and made some calls to other family members and then got back to the park to make arrangements and think about how we were going to make this happen.  (While in Florida and the B'ham areas we had gone in and made arrangements in case this happened while we were gone this summer.)

We decided to leave the MH in the area and fly to Orlando where the burial would occur.  We found a military Family Camp just out of Flagstaff.  We headed toward Williams, AZ to allow time for the family and activities to take place.  On Monday we headed to Flagstaff and the Tuthill (Luke AFB Family Camp) to leave the coach and pack.  We could not get a flight out of Flagstaff so got a flight out of Phoenix.  We spent the rest of the week in Orlando and flew back on Sunday.

I used to fly regularly in the Army and a few times after.  This past week was appalling as to how low flying has gotten.  It took a whole day to fly to Orlando and 21 hours to fly back.  They nickel and dime you for everything.  I had heard that you couldn't get pillows and blankets anymore and noticed that there was not room in the bins for pillows and blankets.  The music and occasional movie you used to get, you now had to pay for.  If I had to travel by plane to see the country I would just sit at home!!!!

We stayed a couple of days to rest up and now find ourselves in Bluff, UT, Cottonwood RV Park.  As we travel around the next few days I hope to get some fine pictures. 

It won't be as long next time. :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Our 3rd Year

Better late than never.  Our 3rd year actually started November 16th.

Our 3rd year finds us with a different attitude about the lifestyle than when we first started.  We are comfortable and very much settled into our daily routines.  While we like to see new places and things we have found out we get to pick our days to have fun.  If it's cool and raining we don't have to go any place.  If we run out of time we will just see it next time.  The least costly park is not always the best choice.

We also want to head toward the Pacific coast this year, again.  Outside any emergencies we'll make it with a few stops along the way and on the way back.  We've put about 18,000 miles on the MH since we bought it.  I anticipate we'll have a lot more on it by the end of the year.

The end result is we are very happy and pleased with our place in life and the options to our travels can change at the drop of the hat and that is alright. :)

We/I went Duck hunting the first of December.  We stayed in West Helena, AR at Pat Kelley's RV Park.  It is a PA park and while was 30 min from the lodge was a decent place to stay.  We experienced an ice storm and that delayed our leaving a day because of crossing the Mississippi River.  Traffic was moving very slow and no commercial trucks were coming across while I was watching.  We just set tight another day and the good part was the park didn't charge me for the extra night.

We ended up leaving Alabama for warmer weather in Florida.  My buddy Steve and Debbie were in Kamp Gulf, Destin watching outside TV in shorts.  We spent 3 days there on our way to our winter stay in the driveway in Clermont, FL. 

Blogger is not allowing me to post pictures.  I know it's been awhile, but something has changed.

We had Christmas in Clermont and stayed in our moochdocking mode for 6 weeks.  After that we went to the RV Dreams Boondocking Rally in Ft Ogden, FL.  Had a great time and shared some stories.  We loved those breakfasts prepared by the Solo CafĂ© group.

We left after 5 days and went to The Glades and met some friends in the area.  While there we went to meet some friends at Riverbend RV Resort, Labelle.  Now I'm just saying this was a real nice park, real nice.

We stayed in The Glades for two weeks.  It got to 85 deg and that was pretty warm.  I was happy to get to a little cooler temps (mid 70's).  We left and stopped over the weekend in Clermont before heading to the Suwannee River Resort in Mayo, FL.  It was a lot cooler there.

We are currently in Hoover RV Park, Hoover, AL.  Seeing a few doctors and just resting.  We're heading up to Guntersville and await the arrival of our tires.  Then we will head to Tiffin meca and get the windshield replaced.  Seems as if ours cracked when we left Mayo, at least that is when I saw it.  I had a flat tire in Mayo and had it fixed.  I believe that when he jacked up the rear that twisted the frame enough to crack the windshield.  Didn't see it then so can not be sure.

Maybe Blogger can straighten out by my next post and I'll have a picture or two. :)

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Appointment

It's been awhile since I posted, but we haven't done a lot.

Our trip to Mitchell, SD was so that I could be close to my Pheasant Hunt. Part of my (not Carolyn's) full timing lifestyle was to travel the country seeing the sights, fishing, and hunting across the country. All the magazines had indicated lots of places free to hunt. That is still the case, but getting a little older :( it is a little more difficult to walk 10 to 20 miles across terrain that you don't know hoping to see the ever elusive game animal. Also all the farmers have found they can make a fair off season living leasing their land out to hunters. All that boils down to, it is harder to do that than I thought.  The conclusion is to find local outfitters and book hunts for a few days and sit back and let them do the work to get WHERE I need to be. :)

My hunt was with an outfitter in Woonsocket, SD. Note that we are residents :) so that is a savings already. We stayed in Mitchell, SD at Fam E Fun Campground. Nice campground and easy to maneuver around. Owner is friendly and lives on site.
It was about a 40 minute drive, but had shopping and activities close by.

It seems that Huron, SD may be the center of the area Pheasant activities. A ride through town found this.
We had our limit each day. Hopefully they will be good eating.

Getting to Mitchell we drove 4 hours through a storm with 24 mph cross winds and gusting to 44 mph with driving rains. It was not a pleasant day at all.

After that we dropped down and went by the Blue Ox factory to have the hitch serviced.  We had it serviced Feb of 12.  The factory here did a much better job and went over everything. It works a lot better now.  They have a nice campground for $20 per night and free if getting service done.

From Pender, NE we headed south and stopped in Independence, MO for a couple of nights.  On the way out of town we stopped at a Blue Beacon Truck/RV wash. I've heard about them and some have really talked them up.  The bus was filthy after driving in the rain. Just walking outside I would get dirty.  I got in line with the 18 wheelers and finally moved into the bay after about 30 minutes.  I was concerned with brushes being used and scratching the paint.  There were no brushes used just 2-3 guys on each side with a pressure wash and a row of nozzles down the center on top. Took about 10 minutes. I got the Rain X applied also and total was $47.00.  It was clean. I didn't take the time to dry it down when I pulled out so I got some water spots, but I don't think my wheels had been cleaner.

We headed further south and stopped below Branson in Omaha, AR.  It is a nice area with drives that are nice this time of year.

We went on down to Grenada, MS to stay at Frog Hollow Campground a few days.  Carolyn's sister Linda lives just up the road and we had a nice visit.

From there we went to Tiffin Meca (Red Bay) to get the body work from all the wrecks :(( done.  I also had a problem driver side window MCD shade that needed to be fixed.  Consensus was to replace it and we did.  We drive from there to Guntersville, AL and it didn't work.  Luckily we are going right by there Monday on my was to AR for another appointment. (quack quack).  I think is just an electrical connection that came loose.

We have been here in Guntersville seeing family and friends for Thanksgiving.  It got down to 16 two nights ago.  We have been in the cooler than normal weather for three months now.  My buddy Steve has been sitting in Destin, on the beach, in shorts watching he outside TV.  I think that might be pretty nice for a change so after my next appointment (Duck Hunt) and a week of Doctor appointments in Birmingham we are headed on South.

We had a great Thanksgiving and as usual ate to much.  We have a lot to be thankful, good health, great healthy family, and the ability to be at this place in our lives.  More on that soon.

Till next time.  Run your life, don't let life run you!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Their Turning Off The Lights

Our leisurely summer is over and it is time to head south.  Last night the temperature got down to 33 degrees on one site.  To compound that problem the campground is turning off the water tonight at 11 PM.  The last two weekends have had local MN Good Sam rally's.  They blow in Friday and blow out Sunday AM.  As you can tell most have left this morning already and the few left related with the rally are rolling up their hoses.  It does make for a quite campground. :)
The site has been a nice one.  It's real level and larger than some we have been in.  The park, St Cloud Campground and RV Park, touts itself as a rally park and has a building set aside for that activity and a kids game room and playground.  It also has a few long term residents, but their sites are clean and well maintained.
Our summer, although starting a little late, mid July, has certainly been laid back.  We spent 6 weeks in Michigan and 6 weeks in Minnesota.  We saw a few sights along the way and really enjoyed the Lake Superior shoreline.  It is like going to Florida and enjoying the Gulf, but it is all fresh water and clearer than the Gulf.  The drawback it is cooler although we did see people swimming at different places.

We stayed initially in St Cloud to allow for the insurance adjuster of the guy that hit me to come by.  I figured that being mid Friday PM that they got back to me that Wednesday would be a good day to leave.  My surprise came Sunday evening the adjuster called to set the appointment and Monday AM at 9 we had a check in hand.  It wasn't a bad experience at all, just the hassle of it. 

The park was nice enough with shopping close by so we decided to stay another week.  It was to far to go to our original plan to International Falls.  One of the reasons we wanted to go was to see Voyager National Park and if they closed the government that would not be open.  They did, and it was, so it was a good decision not to go.  Sometimes regardless what I do we get it right. :)

Going into town one day (Walmart run) found us on a traffic circle.  The truck GPS told us to go to the 3d exit.  A major discussion started about whether to turn right or left.  Having been a country boy going to Germany in 1972 it didn't take long (once) to find out a left turn puts you on a perpetual loop. :)

We were just delaying heading south until my appointment Oct 19th in Woonsocket, SD.  We decided to stay another week only to find out that the water would be turned off on our last night.  There wouldn't even be a faucet in the park to get water. ???  Even in the south we have freeze faucets.  So we were going to have to move anyway.  We are headed to Mitchell, SD tomorrow in preparation for my 19th appointment. 

I guess we'll let winter or fall anyway blow us south.  If you haven't guessed yet, I like cool weather. :)