Thursday, October 19, 2017

Headed For Home and a Wedding

Tuesday 9/26 - Thursday 9/28

Nice relaxing visit with Joan. The girls did some shopping, I pretty much sat on my butt for two days!

Friday 9/29

Friday afternoon we headed back to the trailer, stopped in Geneva and had a real nice diner at Livinia with Patt and John. Two hours of good conversation and good food. Back home we watched some of this morning’s F1 Practice.

Saturday 9/30

Nice morning walk around town, a bit cool 46 degrees this AM! Put the quilt Joan lent to us on the bed last night! Had breakfast and after it had warmed up a bit we took a nice walk through town. Spent the day doing cleaning and maintenance, Nancy made a run to the store.

Sunday 10/1

Relaxing day, morning walk around the lakes at the RV park, F1 race, run to store, etc.

Monday 10/2

Morning walk and on the road about 9 AM. Checking tires in the morning I had one Pressure Pro beeping, checked the tire and it was OK. Then it kept beeping! Should not do that. Investigation showed that the sensor for the left front outer trailer tire was on the right side and vice versa! Bet all left and rights are switched! Will have to check it out later. Uneventful trip to Timberline Campground in Waukee, IA. Third night here in a month! Lunch at Cracker Barrel.

Tuesday 10/3

Up a little early and on the road by 8 AM. Wanted to get to Independence, MO with time to tour the Truman Home. Arrived at Campus RV Park about noon. Nancy headed over to the National Park Service Visitors Center to get tour tickets for this afternoon. Only about seven blocks away from the RV park. I met her there a little while later and we watched the movie on Truman. 

Stopped at Dave’s Bakery and Deli for lunch and then walked over to the Truman house. Good exhibit.

Wednesday 10/4

Drizzling rain in the morning, headed out a little after nine. Traffic around the south side if Kansas City was fairly heavy and made tougher by the fairly steady rain. Got off the interstate at US 169 and headed straight south towards Ollogah, OK and the Will Rogers Ranch (Dog Iron Ranch. Dog Iron being the brand used on his father’s cattle.). 

US 169 was a good four lane for the first hour or so, but then it became a narrow two lane with marginal shoulders. Not helped by the steady rain and fairly heavy north-bound truck traffic!

Stopped at a grocery store in Coffeeville, OK and Nancy made sandwiches for lunch. Arrived at the ranch in mid-afternoon. I knew the the RV spot there was on grass and they had warned about soft ground if it rained! Talked to the caretaker there and asked if there was a possibility of parking on the pavement ( I had looked carefully at the Google satellite view). He said maybe, so we went on in.

Turns out we are the only guests here. Jacob, the caretaker, is a very nice and accommodating young man and he said we were welcome to give it a try. Still raining steadily. I was pretty well soaked by the time I got us hooked up. I pulled into the paved circle, and then backed the trailer up to the edge of the pavement. Just able to reach the electrical hookup with the 50 amp cord and two 30 foot long 30 amp extensions that we carry. No water hookup though! We always carry a half tank of fresh water so we should be good for two nights.

Walked over and looked through the ranch house. This is the house that Will Rogers was born in, although it has been moved a quarter mile from it’s original position. The large Rogers ranch was mostly flooded by the creation of a large man made lake. The house now has a lovely view out over the lake. Good video about the house and family and information on the family in plaques on the walls.

 Thursday 10/5

Short walk around the park, we are parked next to the grass airstrip dedicated in 1931 by Will Rogers and Wiley Post. Does not appear to be used very much, if at all.

Headed into Claremore around 10 AM. Tracked down a bakery Nancy had found on Yelp and bought some bread, checked out the Rib Crib (also from Yelp) to see if it looked like a viable place for lunch. Then we went to the Will Rogers Museum. A very impressive facility built by the state after his death. A good number of interesting artifacts and a lot of videos and film clips.

Late lunch at the Rib Crib and back out to the Dog Iron Ranch. Walked around the grounds and checked out the barn. This is still a kind of working ranch, horses, cattle, a couple of donkeys and goats in the barn. There was a good video about the home ranch and WRs rope tricks. Pretty impressive stuff.

Friday 10/6

Weather better this AM. Got a good start at 9 AM. No problem maneuvering the trailer out of the loop we were in without getting off the pavement.

Stopped at the Flying J in Tulsa for 250 gallons of diesel. Fought a headwind most of the way west, so fuel mileage lousy today. Just after noon traffic came to a screeching halt at El Reno, OK. We were right at the exit so I jumped off and we pulled into a Walmart to eat the lunch Nancy had packed. CB radio said tie-up was construction so after lunch we went up to Buss 40 and went west to the next interchange which was past the construction.

Got into Sayre, OK about 2:30 and found the RV area in the city park. Nothing fancy, but large and long pull through sites. A good deal for $12. Quick run to the grocery store and settled in for the evening.

Saturday 10/7

Pretty strong thunderstorms rolled through around midnight last night, a bit of rain and wind but that was about it. Cleared out in time to record the F1 race at 1 AM! Learned a new trick with the Dish local channels earlier in the week, don’t know why I had not thought about this before. Every time we move we have to call Dish Network and ask them to change our service address in order to get local stations on the satellite. A bit of a pain.

Last week I happened to look at the spot beam map and realized that Des Moines was on the fringe of the Kansas City spot beam, as is Claremore, OK. So when we arrived in Waukee, IA on Monday we changed our locals to Kansas City and we had the networks for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday without making any change. On Friday in Sayre, Ok I changed locals to Amarillo and that worked for Friday and then Saturday in Santa Rosa, NM.

Uneventful trip today to Santa Rosa RV in Santa Rosa, NM. Turns out they have a Bar-b-Que restaurant on site that will deliver to your site! Had pretty good ribs and beef for dinner.

Sunday 10/8

Up fairly early, still running on Central time although we moved into Mountain time yesterday afternoon. Took our time getting going, watched the pre-race and start of the F1 race, on the road around 10 AM. Uneventful trip to Ojo Caliente, still a pretty good head wind though.

Stopped in Santa Fe for groceries and then on to Ojo Caliente Spa. Had to park and go into hotel/spa restoration to register for the campground. Pretty tight spaces and narrow roads with lots of trees. Getting into our site was pretty tricky. Needed to turn around in order to back in. Site is right at a junction with three roads and an island with trees in the middle! Had to came in on 6 o’clock leg, had to turn right and down far enough to get trailer straight, then back down the left hand leg, around a curve with trees tight on both sides, then pull back into the 6 o’clock leg with the site on the right. Then had to back in between water standpipe and large trees. Went smoother than I expected, I even impressed myself!

Monday 10/9

Walked a little way up a mountain trail by the campground, but it was steep and rocky so we did not go far. Off to the spa early in the morning, soaked in several of the pools, somehow we missed the arsenic pool that we liked in the past. Nancy went for a message late in the AM, I soaked a bit more and then sat in the sun and read, kind of a cool breezy morning.

After Nancy finished we went over to the restaurant and had a nice lunch. Thought about going back to soak, but we decided to go back home and relax.

Tuesday 10/10

Cold last night! 28 degrees here! Snow in the mountains to the north, and apparently in Denver! Glad to have that quilt!

Took our trekking poles with us this morning and went up the trail/road to where we had a good view over the spa and off to the mountains in the east. Beautiful morning, sunny with a nice breeze. After the hike we went to the spa restaurant for lunch again. Really good food here, but a bit pricey, so lunch is a better deal, then we can have a light dinner at home.

In the afternoon Nancy went back to the spa for another treatment and a soak, I just took it easy. Balancing $24 admission against soaking in the hot spring again, I opted for the 24 bucks!

Wednesday 10/11

No rush to get on the road this AM as we are only 100 miles from Albuquerque. Took a nice long walk to the end of the campground and down a road to a round barn, marked as the only one in the state. Sat on a bench by the Ojo River for a while where it was babbling through some small rapids.

Short trip to Albuquerque and Enchanted Trails RV Park where they were good enough to squeeze us in at the last minute during a really busy week! Got settled in and went over to Deb’s house (my 2nd cousin). My cousin Lee, Deb’s Mom also got in today. Had a nice visit with them as well as Dan, Deb’s main squeeze, and the about to be married couple Selden and Kelsie. Deb baked a nice lasagna.

Thursday 10/12

Went over to the Petroglyphs National Monument. Quite an interesting place. Relaxed at home for a while and then went to Kelsie’s parent’s house in the evening for the rehearsal dinner, catered by Deb, Dan, & Lee! Excellent roast beef sliders with fixings.

Friday 10/13

Headed out early to watch the Balloon Fiesta. Did not actually go to Balloon Park, but stopped up above off of I-25 where we had a good look at a large number of balloons in the sky. Stopped in a parking lot and spent quite awhile watching with binoculars.

Back home for lunch and then off to the wedding back at Kelsie’s parents. Nice ceremony with a good sized crowd of relatives and friends. Helped Deb and Dan decorate Selden’s car.

Wedding was catered by a pizza truck, which was very well received!

Back home around 9 PM. Wedding was at 4.

Saturday 10/14

On the road at 8:45. Lots of balloons in the air as we doubled back to I-25 and headed south. Planned on stopping at a little restaurant in Hatch, NM on the cut across road towards Deming. Turned out to be closed! Permanently it appeared. 

Made it to Wilcox, AZ late in the afternoon, stopped at the quarter car wash in town and washed the truck and trailer. Not a great job, but at least presentable.

Stayed at Ft Wilcox, RV. New owners since our last visit and I have never seen so few RVs here. Not sure why, price might be up a bit, but it is Passport America so half price is reasonable.

Sunday 10/15

Only 90 miles to get home from Wilcox. Found everything in good shape at home. No issues other than quite a few little volunteer palo verde trees in the yard! Got the trailer unloaded and back to the RV lot late in the afternoon. Still hot here!

So ends our travels for the summer of 2017. We traveled 7,350 miles with the truck and trailer and stayed in 10 states since we left home in July!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Back to Midwest and Geneva Lakes Boat Show

Sunday 9/10

After our morning walk we headed out with the truck. I dropped Nancy at Connie’s house and then went on up to the Flying J to top off our tanks. Normally we would wait and fill up at the cheapest point along our route, but with the hurricanes we decided to top off here in case of fuel shortages.

On our way out of the RV Park a lady flagged us down as we were leaving the park. She has a Showhauler motorhome on a Freightliner chassis (which we had admired) and her husband is in the hospital. They have reached the limit for their stay at Cherry Creek (14 days) and have to leave. She needed the motor home moved to the KOA about 35 miles away. She was panicky because she cannot drive the motorhome. I said sure, I can do it, so tomorrow I will drive it up to KOA for her.

Monday 9/11

Happy birthday to our friend Margie in Jacksonville, hope she survives hurricane Irma OK!

Yesterday afternoon I put a post on the Heavy DutyTruck forum at and asked for advice about moving the Freightliner. Got some great suggestions and even a video that showed how to operate the auto trans. Great group of guys!

Headed out with the Freightliner first thing in the AM. The low fuel light was blinking (apparently they run their generator on the diesel) so we made a stop at Flying J on the way out of town. Two days in row fueling there! I was very surprised to see that the rig only has two 70 gallon tanks! Our Volvo has two 150 gallon tanks. Must be a space issue.

Uneventful trip out to the KOA east of Denver on I-70. I like driving  my 18 year old Volvo better than this one. I suppose it’s normal for motor homes, but an awful lot of rattling from the living area.

Get her parked in a spacious site, hooked up the utilities and showed her how to dump her tanks when needed, then she brought me back into Denver. 

I was not real impressed with the KOA. Sites looked a little tight, although her “patio site” was quite large. Park is only about 100 yards south of I-70 with train tracks running along the north side of the park!

Tuesday 9/12 to Sunday 9/17

Another nice week visiting family. Soccer practice, a couple of games, and hockey practice with the kids. Some really good meals at Connie and Laurie’s house. 

Headed back towards Wisconsin this morning. Decided to take state and US highways instead of the interstate to Elm Creek this time. We went East on I-70 for 40 miles and then picked up US 36 almost to the Kansas line, then North on US 385 and East again on US 34 to US 183 North to Elm Creek, NE. A much more pleasant drive than fighting the traffic West across I-270 to I-76 and it took about the same time. Will most likely use this route again. Stopped in a community park in the village of Joe’s Colorado to have lunch we bought with us. Amenities a bit short on the route!

Sunday night at Sunny Meadows in Elm Creek, NE. Price went up since last time we stopped two weeks ago, but $20 is still a good deal. Finished the quiet eventful F1 race that we had recorded this morning before we left and then the first episode of the Vietnam War series on PBS.

Monday 9/18

First bad weather day of the trip. Stuck to I-80 and ran in light to medium rain much of the day. Mid-afternoon we passed a really nice mid-teens Rolls Royce tourer running along I-80 about 50 MPH! Lunch at the Cracker Barrel in Council Bluffs. Not a long day though. Settled into Timberline Campground in Waukee, IA. Went into West Des Moines for dinner at Culver’s, stopped at Hy Vee for groceries and back to Timberline.

Tuesday 9/19

Damp, foggy morning, but no rain. Short walk around the campground. A lot less crowded than it was on Labor Day weekend.

Again we decided to take a different route. Went North on I-35 to US 20 and then East to Rockford, IL. Pretty boring drive across the rest of Iowa, no better than I-80 actually. Once into Illinois though it a lot nicer drive through hilly country East of Galena.

Arrived at Blackhawk Valley Campground late in the afternoon. Nice spot and a good deal since it is a Passport America park, less than $20! Only drawback is in the name “Valley” no satellite coverage due to lots of trees and only a couple of local over-the-air stations - no PBS so we missed episode three of The Vietnam War. Joan said she is recording them, so we can watch it next week.

Wednesday 9/20 

Short drive to Lake Geneva. Pulled into our friend John’s airplane hanger around noon. We will hook up water and electric and stay here for the weekend. Only a couple of miles from John’s family’s house where our friends will be gathering and five minutes from the Abby Resort harbor where the Geneva Lakes Boat Show will be taking place.

Got settled in, Nancy and I went into Walworth to a laundromat  and then we had dinner with Patt and John along with his cousin Sue at Gordy’s.

Thursday 9/21

Nancy went to help Patt with show handout prep while I went with John to help unload the trailer and set up the displays and stock for the club sales tent at the Abby. Brutally hot day, 90 plus! We were pretty well exhausted by the time we finished.

Later in the afternoon I worked the launching ramp with Jim Olson, helping the entrants getting their boats in the water. 

Really nice group dinner at Patt & John’s. Weekend group is growing, Eight couples plus a couple of singles there by the time the weekend was over!

Friday 9/22

Out early for the boat show house tour. Large group took three lake cruisers from the Fontana dock around to three magnificent houses and then lunch at the Lake Geneva Country Club. Don’t know the total, but there were five groups of 40 to 50 people. Houses were very impressive (one on the market for $7.1 million!) and lunch was excellent. Still hot, but a beautiful day for the tour on the lake.

Friday night’s dinner event was at a huge boathouse close to John’s hanger where we are camping. The gentleman is building a 70 foot lake cruiser and there would be room to put twi of them in this building. As it was about 250 people had cocktails and a sit down dinner next to the giant aluminum hull! Not to mention the huge, very modern woodworking shop and well equipped lounge area! He and his sons are working on constructing the interior of the boat, quite a project!

Saturday 9/23

Out early, Nancy helping with registration starting at 6:45 AM! I dropped her off and then returned to the trailer for breakfast and a shoer, then back to the Abby harbor where I worked the entrance tent until mid-afternoon. Still somewhere North of 90 degree, everyone seeking shade. Attendance seemed to be a little off this year, parking is always a problem and the theory is that some people did not want to walk long distances in the heat.

Another great dinner at Patt and John’s John’s brother-in-law Ned outdid himself with an excellent pork loin on the grill!

Sunday 9/24

Able to start a bit later this morning. Nancy and I both working the merchandise sale tent most of the day. Turned out to be a pretty good spot as the temperature remains really hot and the tent is in the shade. With a large barn fan running it was actually pretty pleasant.

At the end of the afternoon we helped pack up the merchandise and out away the displays. As opposed to Thursday setup we had some younger guys to help with the tear down so it went a lot faster and us geezers could avoid carrying the heavy stuff!

Once again Ken made a really nice dinner at Patt and John’s. Some of the group took off Saturday night and a few more did so today after the show.

Monday 9/25

Took our time this morning, short drive to Sycamore RV Resort. Nancy went into Walworth to do laundry while I did some maintenance on the truck and got hooked up. Dumped out tanks and headed for Sycamore a little after noon. About an easy hour’s drive and we settled in and relaxed. Fun, but busy weekend!

Tuesday 9/26

Morning walk and then we headed for Joan’s house in Tinley Park. Left the trailer in Sycamore. We will stay with Joan for three nights just visiting.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Geneva Concours and Then Two Weeks in Denver

Thursday  8/17

Busy day, after our morning walk we drove into Aurora to the Sherwin-Williams Automotive Paint store to take another shot at matching the paint for the trailer. Stopped at Egg Harbor in Geneva for lunch and then Dr. Kerpe’s office for our annual physicals, last of the medical appointment gauntlet for the month. Then stops at Meir’s and Trader Joes and Nancy dropped me off at the Geneva library while she went to Tranquility Spa.

In the evening we hit South Moon Bar-B-Que in Hinckley for a slab of ribs.

Friday 8/18

Laundry and a few chores, otherwise a quiet day after a nice long morning walk.

Saturday 8/19

Out early this morning and headed into Oak Park for haircuts at Kathy Reller’s salon, then straight South to Tinley Park and a stop at Joan’s, then back home in the late afternoon. A lot of driving today!

Sunday 8/20

We went into St Charles early this morning after a short walk. Nancy is helping Patt Barrett with Concours paperwork and I was helping John mark car locations on the streets in Geneva. Write the location on duct tape, rip it off, bend over and stick it on the curb and street - a bit achy this evening!

Back home mid-afternoon and relaxed.

Monday 8/21

Eclipse was pretty much a bust here as it was quite cloudy at mid-day. I was in Marengo getting the oil changed on the truck and Nancy was in St Charles helping Patt with Concours prep. They did get to see a bit of the eclipse as the sun popped in and out of the clouds.

First thing in the morning I went into Geneva and helped John finish up the street marking and then up to Marengo for an oil change and lube on the truck. After the oil change I went on into Elgin and had a windshield stone chip repaired at SafeLite.

Nancy drove into St Charles a little bit later and spent most of the day preparing concours materials.

Both back home late in the afternoon and had burgers on the grille.

Tuesday 8/22

Nice walk on a cool morning, then after breakfast I installed the four shocks on the trailer that MorRyde had sent to me. Easy job, took less than an hour and they had given me a $200 discount for having to install them myself. Not a bad labor rate! The job was made considerably easier by our BigFoot leveling system as it is capable of lifting the entire trailer (used it in the past for tire replacement). I only had to lift a couple of inches to get the clearance to install the shocks.

John B called and said the sheets for the concourse story boards (pictures and descriptions of the cars to be placed in front of each car) were in so we drove into Geneva and spent the afternoon helping paste the printed sheets onto the story boards. Stopped at Culver’s on the way home for dinner.

Wednesday 8/23

After our regular walk and breakfast we ran back into Geneva to help John finish the story boards. Finished up a little after noon and had lunch with John at Deane’s Market and Deli. Then we relaxed at the Geneva Library for a few hours since there was a concours volunteer meeting schedule for later in the evening. Not worth driving to Sycamore and back.

Had a nice pizza at Gia Mia on 3rd St. and then the volunteer meeting at Living Well Cancer Center - they are the charity that the concours helps support.

Thursday 8/24

Morning walk and then spent the day at home, grocery shopping, laundry, etc.

Friday 8/25

Into St Charles early in the morning as I had to meet John at the truck rental place at 7 AM! Dropped Nancy off at Patt and John’s house to help with prep material there, then went and picked up the rental trucks. I drove one truck and Ed Midgley drove the other. Went to Ball Seed in West Chicago to pick up the planters that they had filled for us over the summer. Good crew for loading and distributing the planters along third street, but we are all getting old! It’s a lot harder than it was ten years ago! We need some younger guys.

Saturday 8/26

After our morning walk we got a few things down around the trailer and relaxed. Early afternoon we went into St Charles and settled into a motel. Concours dinner at the Geneva Golf Club this evening and then we have to be on Third St in Geneva at 5:30 AM  tomorrow morning!

Really nice dinner and a chance to chat with old friends at the dinner.

Sunday 8/27

Made it to Third St at 5:35 AM! Met with our block captain and helped with setting up the plastic chains and stanchions to rope the cars off. Helped getting the cars parked on our block and then took over manning of the trophy tent for the rest of the afternoon.

As I’ve noted before the weather has been almost perfect all month, but we had severe thunderstorms earlier in the week and the weather kind of hung around. Had a light drizzle off and on all morning, but it did not really interfere with the concours. Only a couple of no-shoes and a fair crowd of spectators durning the morning. The weather cleared off at mid-day and the crowds thickened. A beautiful afternoon for the trophy parade and presentations, which we assisted with.

I carried my hiking GPS today and I walked six miles in the four or five block area! After the Concours John and Carol Holmes had six of us over to their house for dinner. Of course we were all dog tired!

Monday 8/28

Recovery day! Short morning walk and pretty much took it easy. Joan drove all the way up to Sycamore to visit before we headed back west. Watched the F1 race that we had recorded on Sunday.

We were growing concerned about the cost of diesel due to the Texas flooding so I went up to Marengo and filled the tanks at the Pilot. Now we have 300 gallons, enough to easily get us back home.

Tuesday 8/29

After our walk we went into Geneva and helped John put away Concours material in his shop; washing coolers; stacking awnings, etc. Once that job was finished we started in washing and storing the 500 plus stanchions! Carry them outside, spray with soap and water, carry back inside, dry, and hoist up into the upper level storage! Got about halfway through.

Wednesday 8/30

Morning walk and back to John’s shop to finish the stanchion cleaning. Finished up just after lunch, about 2 and a half hours. Then we went over to Pat and John’s house to shower and relax. Part had a thank you dinner for a group of 18 volunteers at Livia on Third St. this evening.

Thursday 8/31

Getting ready to head out of town. Nancy did laundry, I loaded the car onto the truck. In the process I managed to fall out of the truck! Fell about three feet onto my back, nice bruise on my butt and a pretty good hole in my elbow from a small stone I fell on. Fortunately no one saw me so no damage to my pride.

Friday 9/1

Delayed our departure little bit so the DVR could finish recording F1 practice. Hit the road at 10 AM, uneventful trip, nice weather and - for a change! - a nice tail wind which really helped the gas milage! Lunch at the Cracker Barrel in Davenport, IA and spent the night at Timberland Campground in Waukee, IA.

Saturday 9/2

Back on the road a little after 9 and another good day on the road. A bit of traffic, but nothing of any consequence. Lunch at the Cracker Barrel in Council Bluffs and stopped at our regular place, Sunny Meadows, in Elm Creek, NE.

We have been tossing ideas around about what to do after we leave Denver. We have two weeks at Cherry Creek and then we have to leave (only 14 days out of 45 allowed in the state parks). My cousin’s grandson, Selden is getting married in Albuquerque on 10/13. We had planned on noodling around in Southern Colorado and Utah for a couple of weeks and getting home around the first of October. When we looked at hotels in Albuquerque we found it was during ballon fest and hotels were ridiculously expensive! I contacted Enchanted Trails RV Park where we have stayed before and they we able to juggle the schedule and squeeze us into the last available spot for 10/11-12-13!

So, not much point in going back to Tucson only to turn around and go back up to Albuquerque! So we decided to spent the extra time in Utah. The before we left Illinois, Patt and John asked if we could join them in Lake Geneva for the Geneva Lakes Antique and Classic Boat Show weekend. They always have a group of mutual friends at their vacation home there for the weekend. So, revising our schedule again, we have decided to go back to Wisconsin when we leave Denver! Then back again to Albuquerque for the wedding! Crazy huh?

Sunday 9/3 - Saturday 9/9

Another easy day into Denver and Cherry Creek State Park on Sunday. Always tough to find a place for lunch along this route, but we stumbled onto a good place this time. Lucy’s Place is a small diner right off I-76 in Sedgwick, Co. Exit 165. Great service and good food. Crowded with locals, so there might be a wait at times.    

We have traveled over 4,000 miles since we left Tucson and we have only hit a few light showers while on the road.  Good thing we made reservations six months ago as the park in Cherry Creek is full. We are a week into our stay as I write this and the “Campground Full- Reservations Only” sign has been out at the entrance to the park almost every day since we arrived,

Nice week visiting with family. Went to soccer practice with Hillary and Oliver (almost four-years-old) on Thursday. This morning we went to watch six-year-old Miles’ soccer game. That was pretty interesting.

Will be here in Denver for another week before heading back East.