Thursday, November 28, 2013

Back In Tucson

Friday 11/22

Did not get as cold as forecast last night, actually warmed up during the night - up to 22 degrees this AM. We decided to stay over the weekend as there are winter storm warnings and watches from Raton Pass down to Albuquerque Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Now here is the weird part: we are supposed to be limited to 14 days in any 45 day period at Cherry Creek and tonight is our 14th night. Remember the hassle about having to move sites to a different loop the first weekend we were here? Well, as it turns out that restarted the clock on our stay. When they counted up nights at the office this AM they only got to 10! So we’re good through the weekend. The hassle turned out to be a benefit - who knew.

Spent the day at Emily & Gregs watched F1 practice then I sat down and paid the monthly bills. A trip out for some grocery shopping and baby feeding filled up the rest of the day.

The twins had their eight month week check-up yesterday and they are flourishing. Hillary is rapidly catching up with Oliver in weight, she is 7 lbs. 1/2 oz. and he is 7 lbs. 14 oz. He had a couple of pounds on her when they were born.

Had dinner at the Cherry Cricket with Connie and Laurie. Emily’s brother Lawrence flew in from Chicago late this evening for Thanksgiving.

Saturday 11/23

Highway reports show I-25 with snow packed and icy patches all the way fro Colorado Springs to Albuquerque. Good thing we decided to stay put as there is also winter weather farther south into New Mexico.

We watched F1 qualifying at home before we head over to Emily’s. More time spent with the babies today and everyone gathered there for Thai takeout for dinner.

Back home to watch the Blackhawks win over Vancouver in a well played, fast game only marred by blatant “dives” by a few Vancouver players.

Sunday 11/24

Dropped Nancy off at Connie’s to do some laundry and then they went shopping. I went back to the campground to get the truck and took it to a self-service car wash - it was filthy from traveling over to Best Buy in the snow on Thursday. Took $12 worth of quarters, but it looks a lot better. I hate starting out on a trip with dirty equipment.

Still cold here and it is still snowing in Raton Pass, but it still looks good for Tuesday, sunny and in the 40’s most of the way to Albuquerque.

Whole gang assembled to watch the  Broncos - Patriots game in the evening. I joined Greg in rooting for New England since everyone else there were Broncos fans.

Monday 11/25

Went over to Emily’s early to help with the babies so she could get some quiet time to study. Spent the morning watching them while Brittany, Miles’ part time nanny, kept an eye on him - which is a full time job all in itself!  

About lunch time I went back to the campground and loaded the car on the truck, did some cleaning and then went back to Emily’s and picked Nancy up. We said good-by to Emily, Greg and the kids, but only after Miles got to climb into the truck and “drive” it for a few minutes. First thing he says when he gets in is “Put on your seat belt.” He is very firm about it and will not fiddle with anything until we both have our seat belts on!

Stopped at Connie and Laurie’s, had a drink and chatted with them for a while and then headed home to watch the Blackhawks game.

Hitting the road tomorrow, clouds have cleared off this evening and weather looks good for the trip.

Tuesday 11/26

Off to an interesting start this morning. I was about to hook up and Nancy was closing the slides when the living room slide jammed halfway closed! Investigation showed that the slide cover (awning) was frozen to the top of the slide! Oh joy! I attempted to loosen it with my extendable wash brush (breaking it in the process), but that did not work. The snow and ice was too heavy and the brush pole not long enough (or strong enough!).

Got out my long tank flushing hose and nozzle and tried spraying it off, but that did not work either. Finally I got out our collapsable ladder and climbed up where I could spray and poke at the snow and ice until I got it all off. The slide closed fine then. Not the first time we have used the ladder, but the first time it has proven to be indispensable. 

Finally got on the road at 9:30, only a half hour behind our goal, so not too bad. Our decision to wait out the weather proved to be a good one, as the roads were clear and dry all the way to Albuquerque. Uneventful trip, lunch and dinner at Cracker Barrel and arrived at American RV Park at 7:15 PM, 15 minutes behind my original estimate.

Wednesday 11/27

OK this is getting weird - second morning in a row with a strange problem delaying our start. American RV Park has propane and we had an empty tank, so lets fill it up. They filled the tank, I put it back in and could not open the valve! The guys at the park looked at it, tried several things and could not do anything with it. “There’s a guy across the highway that replaces these valves, I’ll take it over there.” Great! In the meantime we went down the road and dropped $697 at Flying J to top off the tanks and got back to the park just as the guy was returning with our tank.

Result? It is not stuck closed - it is stuck OPEN! Seems gas will not flow if it is not connected and they did not close it after they filled it. So when we tried to open it we were jamming it OPEN. The repair guy suggested hooking it up and using the gas before trying to close it.

So ... we finally got on the road at 10:30 AM. Good weather and good roads again. Stopped in Truth or Consequences for lunch, cut across from I-25 to I-10 on highway 26 and got to Ft Wilcox RV Park at 6 PM.

Blackhawks game tonight - not happy with Dish Center Ice: 1st another game that I have to watch the Canadian feed in non-HD, and 2cd - I turn it on and there is nothing there! Called tech support, they try to sell me a line that the game does not start until 10 PM Mountain time!!! Went to “special tech support” got the same BS. Asked for a supervisor and got a permanent hold.

Left the TV on the station and ... lo & behold, the game comes on a half hour late and 12 minutes into the game! What a crock!

At least the Blackhawks won, went into the third period behind 0 - 2  and won 3 - 2.

Thursday 11/28

No oddball issues this morning. Stopped in Wilcox and washed the truck and trailer, got to Desert Trails just about noon. Office closed but we knew where we were going. Got parked and set ip and relaxed. Karen and Gary stopped by, they have been here for three weeks. Seems like a number of people came in early this year to avoid the bad weather early in November.

The shelves in our pantry fell down during traveling, so we had to empty it out and do a temporary fix. I need to do a permanent fix before we leave. Light dinner at home and just relaxed.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Oh, and did I mention snow?

Tuesday 11/19

I was a bit under the weather today, thought it was a cold so I stayed home to keep away from the babies. Turns out it was just sinus, felt fine later in the day, Nancy went over and helped with the children for the day.

I did a few things on the trailer and the truck, dug through the drawers in the truck and found the radio receipt! Yeah! Best thing is - I paid for a two year warranty!

Quiet evening and dinner at home. The Blackhawks B team apparently showed up here in Denver tonight. They played a good game, but gave up too many turnovers and got beaten bad. 

Wednesday 11/20

Went over to Emily’s to help Greg as she had some errands to run. After lunch we went over to The Tattered Cover to browse. I bought three books - yes, I know, I have a bunch of unread books on my Kindle and we have books in the trailer. What can I say!

Whole family had dinner at Connie’s tonight.

Thursday 11/21

As predicted it snowed last night, looks like a couple of inches at most. They also said it was going to get cold and it did with a vengeance! It was 45 when we went to bed last night - 16 degrees this AM! That makes it the coldest night we have spent in the trailer. but everything seems fine.

High today was 18! 

Got out and had the truck radio fixed, no charge since I had located my receipts. For some reason that we could not determine it had lost it’s power source, so the tech wired in a new one.

Nancy spent the day doing laundry at Connie's house and then baby sitting with Miles while Emily & Greg took the twins to the doctor for their eight week check up.

After getting the truck fixed - and VERY dirty - I went back out and had a propane tank filled, so we have two full tanks to get us through this cold snap, supposed to be single digits tonight! Weather south to Albuquerque is also starting to look iffy, we may have to wait a few days to get on the road. Not sure if they will try to throw us out of here as it is supposed to be a 14 day maximum stay. We’ll see what it looks like tomorrow. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Baby Sitting in Denver

Tuesday 11/12

Stopped by the campground office at 8:30 to see where they wanted us to move. No spaces in Coyote, won’t know if there are any available until Noon! They could put me in another loop, but we would have to move again in five days!

OK, fine. Came back at 11:30 and drove through the loop, one space open. Went to office - sorry cannot rent out until noon! Now these folks are volunteers, but I almost lost it. “Look, we have a toddler and two newborns, a family moving into a new house and three family members off to a funeral today! I just drove 45 minutes (OK I exaggerated) back here and now you want me to wait around another half hour to see if the people who have left will come back and want another night? Give me a break!”

Finally he called the ranger and got an OK to let me move into the space 15 mins early! WOW!

Yesterday morning when we went out our water hose had sprung a leak. Don’t think it was cold enough to freeze the night before, so it probably just wore out. Tossed it in the dumpster and got out the second hose, filled our water tank as it was supposed to colder Monday night, then disconnected the hose and left it on the ground. Today when I went to pick it up some critter had chewed a hole almost the size of a dime in the hose! Bet that’s what happened to the first one as well, it just started spraying so they did not chew a big hole. Showed the piece I cut out of the hose to the ranger on my way out, she thought maybe a prairie dog.

So after I moved the truck and trailer and hooked back up I stopped at Lowe’s and picked up two new hoses and a repair connector for the old damaged one. I will put that out while we are here instead of risking a hole in one of the new hoses.

Back at Wood’s house to feed and help with the babies. Emily and her folks are off this evening to a funeral in Omaha, so Greg, Nancy, & I are taking care of Miles and the babies. Nancy helped with the 9 PM feeding and went to bed, Gregg and I stayed up until Midnight to do the feeding, then Greg did the 3 AM on his own and Nancy & I got up to do the 6 AM on Wednesday morning - how do new parents deal with this without help?

Wednesday 11/13

Spent most of the day taking care of the babies as Greg had some errands to run and the rest of the family is in Omaha. Ran back out to the campground during the day to patch the chewed hose and found there was another tooth puncture in it as well! The two hoses from Lowe’s are quite nice, so I will not be leaving them out 

Thursday 11/14

More baby sitting today while Emily went to school with Miles as the volunteer “Mom assistant”.

Between feedings I ran back to Cherry Creek to pay for two more days. What a pain that is becoming.

Friday 11/15

Back to the new house this morning and spent some time reassembling furniture that the movers had disassembled and/or broken. Watched F1 practice from Austin on Greg’s nice, large flat screen - about three times the size of the one in the trailer!

Late in the afternoon we came back to the trailer and relaxed, brats for dinner. 

Saturday 11/16

Stopped at campground office and paid for two more days! Went over to Connie’s and Laurie made a really nice breakfast. Then we went to Emily & Greg’s to watch F1 qualifying on the big flat screen.

In the evening Connie, Laurie, Nancy & I went to Tag’s Burgers. It was crowded and rather than wait a half hour for a table we opted for the patio, which was actually quite comfortable with the heaters going. Once in a while the breeze would come up and it was downright chilly, but overall not bad. The burgers were excellent, living up to expectations.

Back home we watched the Blackhawks game we recorded - they lost 7-2! 

Sunday 11/17

Went to Emily and Greg’s and watched the F1 race from Austin. Spent the afternoon visiting and watching/feeding the babies. That is the main activity these days - two six week olds that eat every three hours. We are all pitching in to try and take some of the load off Emily & Greg.

Looking at the weather forecasts we have decided to head for Albuquerque when we leave on Saturday instead of our original plan of stopping in Las Vegas, NM. Weather for Sunday looks iffy in the higher elevations.

Pizza at their house for dinner and then back home to watch the Blackhawks again, this time they won!

Monday 11/18

Nancy went off to Connie’s house this AM to do laundry, I did a few things around the trailer and then took the truck over to Best Buy to have the radio checked. The tech thought it might just need to be reset, but that did not work so I made an appointment for Thursday to have him take a look at it, hopefully it is something simple.

Heading out this morning we could see fresh snow in the Rockies, nothing in the front range yet, but plenty of snow at the higher elevations.

After Best Buy I took the truck by Emily’s house so Miles could look at it, he is really into “big trucks”. Last spring he was a bit afraid when I put him up in the cab, but this time he was fascinated, wanted to know what all the switches and buttons were for, sat in the seat and pretended to drive. He liked pushing buttons that made air hiss.

Monday, November 11, 2013

On The road Again

Headed for Denver
Thursday 11/7/13

Going to stop in Denver for a couple of weeks to help with the new babies. For those of you who are not up on the family saga (family members can skip this part), our niece Emily and her husband Greg were living in Boston. They have a little boy, Miles, who just turned two and she was pregnant with twins, due in late Oct.

They decided to move to Denver so she could be closer to to her mother, Nancy’s sister. Greg was looking to join a different medical group, so he found a position in Denver and they went to Denver at the end of August and started looking for a house. Then the twins decided to arrive a month early, Sept. 27!

Since then Nancy and her sister Joan, along with Greg’s Mom have been taking turns going to Denver and helping with the babies (and the toddler!).

So we are going to spend a couple of weeks in Denver helping out. Emily & Greg have purchased a beautiful home near her parents house and are in the process of getting moved in.

Left home about 10:30 AM on Thursday. Weather was great and the only fly in the ointment was the new radio I purchased a year ago July decided not to work at all. It was working fine when I parked the truck in August, now it is dead! So, no music or Sirius during the trip to Denver.

Campgrounds are few and far between in Iowa this time of year, so we planned on doing a Cracker Barrel overnight, either Des Moines or Council Bluffs depending on the timing. We made it to Council Bluffs a little after 8 PM and had dinner, then turned in.

Friday 11/8

Breakfast at the Cracker Barrel and back on the road around 9. Uneventful day, still nice weather. Hit Country View campground in Ogallala, NE by mid-afternoon and relaxed a bit, did some grocery shopping and had a quiet evening. Nice campground very close to I-80, good overnight stop.

Saturday 11/9

Third day of nice traveling weather, sure wish we had a working radio though. Arrived at Cherry Creek Sate Park about 2 PM. We bought an annual Colorado Park pass last spring when we were here so we are good for park access through next April. Only need to pay for the camping. Speaking of which, I did not make reservations as the park is not very full this time of year. When you make an on-line reservation you pay for the whole thing at once. When you do  “walk-up” you can only pay for two days at a time! So I need to stop at the office every other day and ay for two more days - for two weeks!

Spent the evening with the family, the babies are just as cute as can be and Miles has turned into a little boy since the last time I saw him (Nancy was here a week ago).

Sunday 11/10

Uneventful day with the family, learning how to feed babies! Got a good look at the kids new house, it is really nice, a newly rehabbed 19th century home with plenty of room for a growing family.

Monday 11/11

Stopped in the campground office to pay for the next two days and they said we need to move you to Coyote Loop since we are closing the one you are in today at Noon! WHAT!? I told them on Saturday we were staying for 14 days and they put me in Pioneer loop. I also told them that I could not move today as I had family commitments all day. Then the other office person said they are not closing the loop until tomorrow. Does anyone know what they are doing here? 

So I asked what space they want me to move to on Tuesday morning and they said they could not tell me until tomorrow morning. What a poorly managed place. There will be a serious stink if there is not a space for us tomorrow.

Worked my a** off today. Tom Britt - Greg’s father - and I spent the entire day assembling IKEA furniture. A bed, a chest of drawers (which took over four hours by itself!), two cribs and a bookcase. I guess you save some money buying IKEA, but the assembly is a nightmare. I’ll be sleeping good tonight.