Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Solo at the lake.

I was up and packed to go check out the lake house early this morning.  Loyce had decided that she didn’t want to go since the weather was really not going to be too nice at the lake.

It was overcast and gray when I left and the truck was still dripping from its transmission area onto the otherwise dry driveway.  I wonder how much snow is packed into the tunnel?  Its just water in a frozen state, it has to come out.  I took the car to the lake.

I got here about 1:30 and found that for the most part, the place was just as I had left it.  Except for the piles and piles of leaves everywhere.  And the winter dirt that accumulates.  But nothing is broken and the pontoon appears to still be floating on its lift normally.

We have an automatic lift controller that senses when the lift tanks are low on air and adds to them.  So that is the little item that allows us to be gone for extended periods of time.  I haven’t gone down on the dock yet but everything looks OK from up here in the house.

And to my great relief, the Verizon Air Card has three bars of signal!  Yea!  Because that was the main reason to get it .  We have always poached internet here at the lake since we were not here for long periods of time.  But…….. now we  have a reliable, paid for, connection that will work out in the RV parks as well.

It was warmer this afternoon for a short while almost reaching 70 but the wind was blowing across the water at almost gale force.  The lake had white caps coming into our cove.  Not a nice time to sit outside, so I went to Wal Mart instead.  I didn’t bring any groceries, and the fridge was empty from taking everything back to KC last fall.

Tonight is cruising the internet with the air card, and listening to the wind blow in the dark.  All the docks are creaking and banging.  At least the house doesn’t rock back and forth like the RV.

Retired Rod

Monday, March 30, 2009

Snow is Melting, and the Truck is home.

We went below freezing at about midnight last night, and reached a low of 26 degrees.  It was below freezing for over 10 hours, so I was glad that I had winterized the rig.  I would have been worried the entire time if I hadn’t, and spent even more time checking it out for damage today.

Loyce was up with the dog at daylight this morning, as she is blind, and doesn’t remember the snow at all.  She has spent the last two winters in Texas and Arizona.  So the trip outside to do her job has been problematic.

Once outside, Loyce grabbed the snow shovel and worked for over an hour cleaning the driveway and the back porch.  I went out after she gave up, and did the sidewalks and the rest of the driveway.

Next it was back over to the mall parking lot to see about the frozen truck.  Still wouldn’t budge out of park gear.  So I did a very unmanly thing.  I hate to admit this!  Surely I will be struck dead by the great ultra ego.  I read the instruction manual that Ford had so graciously left in the glove box.

Seems that they anticipate you might need to manually release the shift lever out of Park.  “With a screw driver, pry off the center console cover around the gear shift lever, and on the lower left, next to the lever there is a white release button.”  Well you don’t say!

So the button was liberated from under its cover and pressed.  The shift lever was released from its locked position and the truck started up with the lever in Neutral.  Yea!

I managed to back away from the curb and drive around the outer circle of the Mall twice, warming the truck up.  Once back by the car, I shifted back into park, and it came back out as though nothing was ever wrong.

I went and got Chris, and he helped me jockey the cars back to our house.  At dusk tonight, the water is still dripping out from under the transmission area of the truck and running down the street.  We were up to 47 this afternoon, and it is not supposed to freeze  again until Wednesday night.  The snow should be gone by then.

Loyce and I went out this afternoon on a KC area quilt store shop hop, looking for some more “Paper Doll Fabric”  that she had called all over for.  We got some at a shop over in Independence, Mo, and she is happy about that.

Tomorrow, we hope to pack the car up and go off to the lake cabin in Lake Ozark.  We have not been there since November, and we will hold our breath all the way down, wondering what we will find when we get there.

It will be what it will be.

Retired Rod

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sloppy Snow and a Frozen Gear Shift

The rain lasted all night.  We hovered around freezing but the ice didn’t stick.  The ground must be warm enough to keep it melting.

It rained quite hard here this morning, and big ice chunks slid down the outside of my windows.  They were enough warmer from the heat inside that the ice couldn’t stay frozen.  Slush began to pile up on the concrete.

By about 2 the ice began to be snow.  Then the flakes became bigger until they were the size of 50 cent pieces.  By 4 the ground was covered and the temperature was 34.

Tonight we went to a bar and grill that is a local chain here in the Kansas City area called 54th Street.  We drove the 4WD truck, thru the 5 or 6 inch deep slushy snow.  When I arrived at the restaurant, enough slush had gathered under the truck so I had trouble getting out of gear with the floor shift.

While we were in the restaurant, the whole thing froze up and I can not shift the truck into neutral or out of park.  But it is not in park solidly enough to engage the park start switch, so the key will not start the truck.  It is still sitting over at the restaurant.

Hopefully the warming of the day tomorrow will warm the truck enough to allow some of the slushy snow to fall of from underneath, allowing the gear shift to move normally.  It is supposed to warm into the 40s, and stay above freezing for the rest of the day.

Anybody had trouble with a Ford F150 not shifting in the snow?  I have had the truck for 2 years, and have never had this happen before.  Wet spring storms are really a mess.

But it has to get warmer, Right?

Retired Rod

Saturday, March 28, 2009


This is copied from the NOAA Weather site for Overland Park, Kansas

Overnight: Periods of rain and sleet before 4am, then periods of snow and sleet. Low around 29. Blustery, with a north northeast wind between 21 and 23 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Saturday: Snow, possibly mixed with freezing rain and sleet, becoming all snow after 1pm. Some thunder is also possible. Areas of blowing snow. High near 32. Breezy, with a north northeast wind between 20 and 23 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New ice accumulation of around a 0.1 of an inch possible. New snow and sleet accumulation of 5 to 9 inches possible.

Saturday Night: Areas of blowing snow. Cloudy during the early evening, then gradual clearing, with a low around 25. North northwest wind between 7 and 17 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.

This is the reason we went to storage this morning, and used two gallons of the Pink Stuff in our water lines.  I have a winterization hose kit on the water pump, and you stick it in the bottles and pump it right into the pipes.  Open each faucet until you get pink stuff and not clear water,

I then pour the blue windshield stuff down the drains and into the holding tanks. I use it just because it is so much cheaper and the drains do not need to be non toxic.   It doesn’t seem to bother the sewer gate valves either.

But then I contacted Chris, my oldest son and we made plans to go out to his storage lot and do his 27 foot Salem.  The only problem is that it is over an hour each way to the lot.

Once there, you are out on a farm, and have only the things you brought with you, so you had better anticipate all the problems ahead of time.  The closest town that has things is either Topeka, or Emporia and it isn’t a short run to either.

We had about 2 1/2 gallons of the pink stuff, and it wasn’t enough to get picked up off the bottom of the big water tank.  I’m sure his tank is at least 40 and maybe 50 gallons, so our 2 1/2 gallons was barely a wet spot on the bottom of the tank.  Go buy more?  More than an hour drive each way to anywhere?

So we stacked up a bunch of wood blocks under the wheels and tilted the trailer toward the side where the pump was drawing from the tank.  Worked like a charm, and the pink stuff came from every faucet.  More of the Blue windshield stuff down the drains and we were back on the road for home.

It was raining and cold about 34 last I checked.  But it looks like the freeze will be coming tomorrow and especially tomorrow night.

My other son Ben was headed over to his storage lot with 2 gallons of pink stuff to do his rig too.  Never heard how he came out, but perhaps the whole fleet is ready for this last shot of winter.

Retired Rod

Friday, March 27, 2009

Colds A Comin'

100 Percent chance of snow for Saturday. Low Saturday night 26 deg F. Da--, looks like we came back way too early again this year. We always get this 4th week cold snap in March. Its just like clockwork.

Tomorrow I will have to go buy some more pink stuff and pump it into the water lines, for about three days of freeze protection. That seems like a big waste of time, but broken water pipes are not a good alternative!

Now watch, I'll go do the winterize and the low will be 33. But can't take that chance.

Today was grandma's big sitting day with the grand kids. Well two of them anyway. They had McDonalds and everything. I sneaked out about the time to go to McDonalds, feigning the need of a haircut. I was lost for about two hours.

Returning home, found both girls still here, with the younger taking a nap. So this time I needed to go to the locker to get some meat. That's about 12 miles each way. After that trip, I came home and took a nap.

Boy it's hard to get good grandpas these days!

After they all went home, I have been reading a book and researching the internet.

Better get this posted as I will have to be over at Wal Mart early tomorrow before they sell all the remaining pink antifreeze.

Retired Rod

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Off to Storage

Outside today and finished all the little things that I needed to get done to store the RV.  Empty this cupboard, cleanout that storage locker. On and on.

We have to park the RV in the Driveway after our run in with the cranky neighbor that calls the police at the drop of a hat last fall.  We have 72 hours to get everything straightened around, and the RV has to leave.  Our 72 was up!

So right on schedule, I hooked up and towed it away.  I’m sure she was watching out her front window, with the phone in hand ready to call the cops.  We’re from Iowa, and don’t have our suspenders fastened to our ear rings.  Talk about up tight.  LoL.

At the new storage place, the nice gal that made my reservation, was replaced by an older gal that was not impressed with my reservation, and assigned my paperwork to a younger fellow that had never started a parking customer before.  It took about a half an hour to get him thru the contract, and the computer entry to get me registered.

They have a penalty schedule that increases the amount of rent daily if you are late.  Starting with day three, and by day 25 you owe two months rent for that month.  By day 60 they have taken title to all your stuff and will refuse to give anything back.  This is largely set up for the door locker building, but still I wonder what I have just signed up for.  God help me if I am a day late paying.

It has really turned cold here and rainy overcast.  It is to be below freezing by Saturday night.  I may have to go winterize the water lines if the freeze appears to be prolonged.

I wonder why we came back here before April 1st?

Retired Rod

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A day at the tag office

I darned near forgot to post something tonight. I was sitting here reading the Escapee's magazine and time disappeared. I was lost in the world of solar upgrades, and how to cross the Canadian boarder.

Today was renew the truck license day. It is licensed at our lake home in Missouri. All of our toys have Missouri licenses, since we primarily use them in that state. Since the truck will be pulling these toys, we also register and insure it in Missouri.

This causes a problem when it is time to go get the license renewal. Usually we go to the lake place, and then go get these things taken care of from there. But today I felt I needed to get this license over in Missouri here in the Kansas City area. My insurance agent told me that I didn't need to come all the way down to the lake just to get this done, so I was out to learn something.

Missouri has an inspection sticker that is required in order to get a new license tag, so off I went to get inspected. We had to do this with the used cars we were selling this past summer, so I had a garage in Belton that we had used. They remembered me, so I got right in and in no time I had a new sticker.

As I have blogged before, Missouri is a personal property tax state, where you have to go declare everything and pay the tax at the county court house. You then take your paid receipt to the license bureau, and they check it all out. Proof of insurance, your drivers license, questions about your Missouri residence, since the DL was at the Kansas address. It all started to make me nervous that I might not answer correctly and mess up the whole shebang.

But I now have new design plates with the all important 2011 sticker in the middle. It only took about 3 hours of running around. I was mad when I got home, because it dawned upon me that the pontoon boat also needs a new tag, and I could have gotten it too. Can't think of everything.

This afternoon, it was outside and under the trailer to re fasten the metal flashing material that had come loose at the bottom of the siding. The very windy conditions we have been experiencing since Sunday morning, had blown this out of its fasteners. With a drill and some sheet metal screws and washers, it is reattached. Jayco should actually be fixing this under warranty, but then we saw how good their warranty was on the awning, so it is not worth the fight.

Tomorrow we will take the trailer to its new storage lot. Some paper work will need to be filled out and copied, and the money paid, but then we should be good to go.

Routine stuff, but all in the life of an active RVer.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bills and a Storage Decision!

Our first day at home was spent digging thru the piles of mail. And the neglected bills. We thought we had this mostly under control, but as usual, we had missed some that we didn't anticipate.

So some quick computer payments were generated. I did deliver a check to the car insurance folks late in the day. Can't let that get behind, as we found out in February. If we get everyone happy, then it is on to the annual income tax preparation. Yuck!

We have decided that we are upgrading our storage lot for the Travel Trailer. Our old lot is a community lot were the chain on the lot is a combo lock, that everyone who has ever stored there knows how to get in. It is in a seedy part of the old town, gravel,poorly fenced and poorly lit.

There are hunreds of vehicles in this complex, and we have never lost anything, but we have had tire troubles in the last year. Seems that every vehicle that I drive into this place ends up with a nail or a screw in its tires. We've lost two of the trailer tires, and have patches in two of the truck tires. Both of our SUV's have patches in one of their tires, and all in the last year.

In one corner of this storage lot, they routinely dismantle cars for salvage, need I describe more? We're out of here. So this afternoon we went to a new storage lot over in Missouri.

This place is storage units with the garage doors, and the outside Trailer parking. It is iron fenced with digital access where everyone has their own entry code. Entry is recorded from the code entered, and photographed with the digital video cameras. The recordings are saved for 45 days. The lighting is bright, and their are cameras are in every corner.

This is expensive, at about twice the price, but I can't go on wrecking every tire on all the cars. They want proof of insurance, and vehicle registration to prove you own the item stored. And best of all they do not allow disassembly or junking out of cars.

At first I thought, man that costs too much, but after about an hour, I went back and put money down to hold a spot.

Storage is not a problem for fulltimers, as they never have a time when they are not using their rigs. The problems of leading a dual life. LoL

Retired Rod

Monday, March 23, 2009

From Overland Park, Kansas

We left the camp ground at 11 this morning, taking advantage of the full hookups to wash and clean the inside of the Rig. We do not have anything more than 15 amp and a garden hose here at the house, so cleaning is easier at the last campground of an extended trip.

The wind liked to blow us off the road today, as we travelled the turnpike. It was from the South but once you get to Wichita, you turn Northeast and at times due East. The the crossing wind wants to put a 30 foot travel trailer in the ditch. Since it weighs more than the truck, this is a real battle.

But we are now home, and have three months of mail to go thru, and a mound of stuff that we brought in from the RV, to get put away. We were both astounded that we had that much stuff with us. We swore we would not take that much again next year. Yea Right!

So here it is late at night, sitting in what seems to be a huge house, with the hearth room I am sitting in being larger than the entire trailer, still staring into the computer screen. At least this is a desktop, that is somewhat easier on my eyes.

We will have to finish the clean out of the trailer tomorrow, and get it over to storage, but tonight we are both glad to be off the road for a little while.

Retired Rod

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Oasis RV Park, South Haven, Kansas

We left the KOA at the exact stroke of 10 AM.  Loyce even pointed it out that we were right on our schedule. LoL.

We drove to Fort Worth at 60 MPH, and never slowed once.  Right over I 20, and then I 30 past the downtown area, and never slowed.  This is too good to be true!

And so it was, as I looked ahead, the traffic came to a complete stop.  Not even crawling, just stop.  And then ever so sloooooooooowly we inched ahead, at about a half car length at a time.  For about 4 miles. An hour passed, and we finally determined that we had road construction.

Once we got to the barricades, we were squeezed to one lane, and routed onto the shoulder, to pass men pouring concrete into sections of the road that had be removed down to the gravel underlayment.  So four lanes of traffic had to pass on the single lane shoulder. 

We got off at the ‘Pilot station’ that we always find, and bought gas and lunch. 

Oklahoma seemed to go on for ever, and I 35 is wash boardy,  Ka Thup, Ka Thup.  Shook the truck at a different pace than the trailer, so they seemed to fight against one another in a jerky fashion.  Tried to shake the new fillings from my teeth.

We looked at the RV Park that we stayed at back in November on the South side of Oky City, but decided to press on.  So we will arrive in good time tomorrow.

So we are here in the Oasis RV park on the West side of the Interstate about 4 miles over the Kansas, Oklahoma border.  The place is all gravel, out in the middle of a field.  But we have full hookups and free Wifi.  What more could you want?

The Shower Room is Spartan, with only one working shower in the ladies, per Loyce.  No, I didn’t go look!

And yes the traffic is roaring by at the full interstate speed, but this is the last night of our winter RV adventure for this year, so I will savor the experience, until next year.

Retired Rod

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Another Day of Driving, West, Tx

So where in the world is West, Texas?  We are here, and there is a bunch of highway noise all around, so we must be near the interstate.  Well yes that would be I 35 over there out our front door.

We left the Last Resort, at the crack of 10 AM.  Seems like no matter what time we get up, we always can mess around until ten.  John and Brenda were out to wish us safe traveling, and see ya later.  We’ll miss these folks.   We headed West on Tx 188 to Sinton, and then North on Highway 77. 

This road runs from Brownsville, Harlingen, Corpus Christi, and then North for miles and miles.  Today we saw those miles and miles.  Crossed I 10 about halfway between San Antonio and Houston.  Then the afternoon began to drag as it seemed we would never get to Waco.  But we did!

Waco was a zoo as it was about 4 in the afternoon and the traffic was wall to wall in both directions.  So we did what we do when the traffic is too bad.  We stopped!

West, Texas is 18 miles North of Waco.  We are at the KOA right next to the highway, I had called about an hour before we got here to make sure they had a spot.  We cashed in our frequent stayer points, and got the site for a $1.

That was cool!

We are parked back to back with two 5th wheels that are from way up North in Ontario.  They wouldn’t tell me the town, but said it was 12 hours North of the boarder.  I did finally get one of the fellows to tell me that they drive up the North Shore of Lake Superior, and thru Thunder Bay.  Are there roads 12 hours North of Thunder Bay, or do they portage 5th wheels?

They have until the 25th to be back in Canada, as their 180 days are up since they entered the US on September 25th.  They said some of their friends fly back home for Christmas, and then get a new 180 days when they fly back to Texas.  They were staying in the RGV.

So tonight we are sitting here listening to the cars roar by and oh guess what there is a train going by, with a whistle too. Its close enough that I can hear the wheels on the track.  That is a nice touch.

But chill out Rod it only cost a dollar!

Retired Rod

Friday, March 20, 2009

Baby Sitting, Washing and Desert

Our youngest grand daughter came to the RV today to hang out with grandma, and Grandpa too.  So we did regular stuff around the camper when you are headed out the next day.

We were not hooked up to the truck, so that took a half an hour.  And then we had the awning out and it was covered with leaves.  So that needed to be swept clean and rolled up. You know all the stuff that needs put away.  It took four days to get it all out but now it needs stowed all at once.

We went and did one more load of washing to get old grandpa’s clothes clean, and I think we can leave now.

We had a good dinner at the Big Fisherman with Ben, Danielle and the kids, and said our see ya’s, back in KC.  Yes we are really going there.

Then tonight, we were invited for desert at John and Brenda’s motorhome, and had pear crisp, with ice cream.  lots of brown sugar.  Mmmm good.  There were six of us there with Dennis and Denice as the third couple, also from Canada, and they also spent the winter in Arizona.  So we had much in common.

Some was laughter, and some was serious, as we got to know each other much better.  We stayed later than we should have and owe an apology to our hosts for not having the good sense to leave.  But there were more subjects to go over!  Thanks For having us, we had a lot of fun!

We hope to find these folks in the same campground soon.  And will read their blog daily, looking for any opportunity, you know, to make that helpful comment at the appropriate time,  LoL.

Tomorrow we head North, and I have not selected a place to call it quits for the day.  Depends on how fast we get out of here and how we feel as we drive North.  So until we get connected to the internet again, have a good day!

Retired Rod

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Big Tree and Back to the Beach

We are very at home here in the Aransas Bay area. After spending some of last winter here, we are familiar with most of the businesses and facilities.

Today we headed out to explore the Fulton area, and then up to Copano Bay and over to Lamar.

It is late in the winter season and the first thing that we are not used to, is the birds are gone. Not entirely gone, as the marshes still are alive with birds singing, but the massive number of birds on all the docks and up and down the shoreline, have moved to their summer homes.

There are occasional Egrets and Blue Herons, but no where near the number that were here a month ago. The Blue Herons spend much of the summer in Missouri, at our summer home on Lake Ozark, and it is getting warm there now, so….it is time to follow them home.

We did go out and pay our mandatory visit to the Big Oak Tree. This is on St Charles Bay, and is part of the town of Lamar. It is so peaceful, and was a council place for Native Americans before we European descendants arrived.


The most important fact on this reader board is that the tree is over 1000 years old.


John Brown did an excellent job of writing about this tree in his blog of several days ago so I will quote his explanation.

The Big Tree of Lamar is one of the most famous in the world. The giant live oak is a charter member of the Live Oak Society of America, and has been the subject of one of Ripley's "Believe It or Not" cartoons. It is measured to be more than 35 feet in circumference, 44 feet in height and has a crown spread of 89 feet. The Texas Forest Service estimates the tree to be over 1,000 years old.
The Big Tree is also known as the Lamar Oak, Bishop's Oak and the Goose Island Oak. It is recognized as the State Champion Coastal live oak. It is said to have been a council tree for the Carancahua Indians and for the white men who came after them.

Thanks John.


From there we did the normal everyday stuff, getting an oil change for the new Toyota, and lunch at the Subway. Next out to the beach to see the grand kids. However, since the ferry is very busy, and we are 10 miles away, and we are slow, we didn’t get there in time before they were too tired and had to go back to their campground.

I did drive along the beach again for several miles, and will report that the rowdies are still out in full force. And so were the police.

We joined them (grandkids, not the rowdies, LoL) at their trailer, and spent the evening before it got dark with them. A good time, but I wouldn’t want to camp at that place, since it is narrow lots to the maximum. I was sitting next to their picnic table in my lawn chair leaning against the tire of the motorhome in the next lot. But it is only one sand dune away from the ocean. With all the kids right now.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

On the Beach Saint Patrick’s Day

I’m not Irish, and am not aware of any relative that was.  So I have no long lost Irish story to relate, and I didn’t put any green food color in my beer today as well.

This afternoon we went out on the beach, as is the custom here in South Texas, and drove up and down checking out all the folks.  Mostly kids walking, listening to their boom boxes, and checking out each other.  These are out the windshield.


Oh yah, my truck is green, so maybe that is Irish, somewhat, well maybe not!

When we were here last year, we would come out here and find vast stretches of the beach that had no cars at all.  But not today.  In some places they were parked three rows deep along the top of the surf.  And the tide was coming in. 


We drove down and back for about 20 miles, the wind was cool the temps in the 60’s and the water is only 62, but the sun is warm and swim suits abound.  Loyce won’t let me take pictures of those, LOL. 

While we were waiting to catch the ferry, I took this picture of a passing freighter in the channel.  I was struggling to drive and run the camera at the same time, so the front is concealed by the beach …………. outhouses.  Oh well.


Candid shots are how we all perceive life every day, so sometimes they do as good a job telling the story as the posed ones.

We were up early, and had a good breakfast of pancakes and eggs.  When I returned from the shower house, I looked again at the tire that I plugged in Colorado, and have been airing when we leave someplace.  I had aired it yesterday, and it was almost flat today.  Now that’s a bunch faster than it had been leaking.  So after closing the slide and jacking up the trailer, it was removed and in my truck.  I had to disconnect that from the trailer as well.

So Loyce and myself set out to find a Goodyear store in Corpus.  We did find one using the database in the GPS, but drove around thru lots of traffic to get there.  The guy claimed he didn’t have a replacement, but then looked thru all his papers and did some cross referencing and brought one to the showroom. Well good, how much, $163 mounted and balanced.  Ouch, I only paid $124 in November for one in Oklahoma City.  But what are you going to do?

So then we had What a Burgers, and headed out onto the beach from the Corpus end of the Island.  All the grandkids were in the pool at Pioneer RV, and were about totaled out, needing naps.  So that is how we got out, driving up and down the beach by ourselves.  Along with a minor traffic jam of Spring Break wacko’s.  And the cops that were busting folks right and left, for looking cross eyed at them.  Buddy, I think you’ve had tooooo many beers!

It took us an hour in line to catch the ferry back to the mainland, at 5 to 6 PM.  The longest we have every waited, and they were running all 6 ferries, another thing we have never seen before.

After the tire was back on the trailer, and we were set back up for travel, John and Brenda came by on their afternoon travels around the park.  Of course we had to go thru the events after we all left Kerrville, and we hope to get together again before we leave here this weekend.  They are so fun to be with.

Tonight, we went to the Big Fisherman restaurant, that is around the corner from the entrance of this park.  Never went there before I read Dortha and Mark’s, and Ellie and Jim’s blogs from January.  They seemed to live at the place, so we had to check that out too.  It was big inside, and the meal was mostly sea food, and Loyce pronounced it as ‘quite good’.  So that will be a ‘do over’ before we leave.

Let see, it was late, but we went to the laundry in downtown Aransas Pass, and cranked  off a couple of loads, arriving back here about 10.

Now why am I falling asleep typing this?

Retired Rod

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rockport, Tx

I was up before dawn, for another travel day. Loyce and I really didn’t like the Blazing Star Rv Resort all that well. It is cramped, and had the camper on our door side been someone other than our son and family, it would have really felt confining.

I went over to the bath house, and there was a family in one of the private bathrooms, and the kids were screaming at the top of their lungs. The mother was not in that room with the kids, but rather in the next bathroom. She kept yelling at the top of her lungs, “I can’t figure out what’s wrong with you kids.” To my knowledge she never did go investigate.

And so it goes during Spring Break week. The bathroom was out of TP, towels, hand soap, and hot water! The floor was like someone had thrown in a shovel of sand, the shower was loaded with dark hair. There were over 240 spots and there were only three of these little huts with four individual unisex rooms. I went back and showered in my rig.

We were on the road by 10 and in Corpus Christi by 1:30. But then the drive up to Aransas Pass takes another half and hour. We stood around and waited while the desk guy went thru his spreadsheet trying to find our reservation. But finally all was well and we are in the back of the Last Resort RV Park on an brand new site. With trees.

I had to center our rig just so,between the trees, in order to get the slide out, which slid under the nasty crooked branch of an old oak tree. The salt sea air really mangles the trees down here and they look, well, all crooked. The awning does not slide out all the way, before hitting the tree on the other side. The grass is green, and the site has brand new concrete, and is clean and white. New picnic table too. The first site with a table since we were at a KOA back in November.

I understand that a growing number of the RV Dreams Chat Room folks are planning, and have reservations to spend three months next winter here in this very back area of the park. It is peaceful and serene back here with no highway noise and only some small carriage lights at the fronts of the sites. It is quite dark in the old oak trees at night, and seems almost private.

Loyce went up and did some laundry, late in the afternoon, but was not overly impressed that the room was too clean. I did decide that John Brown is over in the next row of sites to the North of us, but did not wander over that way, since we had to go to our son’s site in Pioneer RV Park out on mustang island, and go out to dinner.

We went to Fin’s Icehouse and Grill, a place that we have been to last year and enjoyed. Tonight the special was Mahi Mahi stuffed with crab and shrimp, served on a bed of rice and asparagus spears. That was good!

We drove up into Rockport once we made it back over the ferry, just to remind ourselves of the lay of the land. It was only last year, but the memory does get a tad foggy at this age. LOL

Retired Rod

Monday, March 16, 2009

Blazing Star, San Antonio

We are at the Blazing Star campground near the entrance of Sea World West of downtown San Antonio, Texas.  All our kids are at the SW park as I write this.  We would not have chosen this place with the exception of that fact.

The office is really nice, with a log cabin style building, but the sites are in a single word, CLOSE.  Dang close, but they are concrete drives.  Texas has had little or no rain, so the used to be grass is mostly brown stuff, with leaves on it from last fall.  The trees do have new leaves now, that must be really young.

It did warm up today after about 2 PM.  Suddenly the sun broke thru the clouds and the temp shot up over 60, reaching 66 by late in the afternoon.

We had driven downtown to the Alamo, and the river walk area.  All of the lots on the corners had signs out that said ‘full’.  The parking garages were doing brisk business.  We drove over the bridge next to the red metal statue, that we think is the center of things, and there were so many folks on the walk way, that those on the stairway down had no where to go.

This was the same way for much of the U shape of the walk, East of the main river.  Rounding the corner and driving North past the Alamo, was wall to wall folks in a long doubled back line waiting to get into the front gate.  Wow.  We drove around some, expanding the circle.  Out past the Tower of America and back to the center of town again.  The line seemed longer.

Loyce decided that since we have been down at the river side before, that it wasn’t worth the fight to stand along a crowded river bank.

We did see the Fuddruckers that is on Alamo Street, and it had folks standing in the door waiting to get to the counter.  I punched in Fuddruckers to the GPS and there was another out on 410 bypass, to the West of downtown.  So we left the crowd.

This new restaurant also was a mad house, but we stood in line inside at least.  They were out of sweet potato fries,  but the manager told us the story of why they have them.  Seems they added them to the menu as a specialty item during the Thanksgiving holiday.  As a seasonal item until they were gone.  They were an instant hit, and have been on the menu ever since.  They sell faster than he can get supplied.

At dusk, we hear a lawn mower grinding away at a neighbors grass in the private residences behind our fence.  Dogs are barking and the kids are riding by on bicycles and skate boards.

Spring has come back to San Antonio.

Retired Rod

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Good Bye Dreamers!

Because we have the Toyota car, we do not often disconnect the truck from the trailer.  Right now we  have not had them separated since we hitched in Phoenix.  That was last Monday morning.

So as we prepared to leave the campground, our chores were minimal. Drain the tanks, roll up hoses and the light cord.  But we have the stabilizer jacks to crank up, but it still didn’t take too long, and we were on the road.  It was a cold job just the same.

We enjoyed the “gathering” of the RV Dreams chat room folks.  Or the Dortha Hall Group as the campground referred to us as, since Dortha had made the initial arrangements.  

We didn’t see too many of the folks out by the time we left, but I did drive up and say goodbye to Speedy, since he was out packing up things to leave himself.  I understood that some of the remaining folks were to get together later Saturday night, but we were out of here.

It was only 68 miles to the West side of San Antonio, and the Blazing Star RV park next to Sea World.  Our son Ben, Danielle and the kids were already here, since they arrived late in the evening yesterday.

We got set up by mid afternoon, and started all the family routines, that we have not been part of since December.  As I write this late at night, two of the three kids are here in our RV with us, as their folks are visiting an old friend from their high school days.  They have Ema with them, but I am sure she is zonked on one of the beds at the friends place, since there were no naps today.

Tomorrow, they will attend Sea World.  I for one do not want to deal with the all day walking on the neuropathetic feet.  That would be torture for me, so I will hang back.

Perhaps it will warm up some here in Texas tomorrow.  It is still barely 50 degrees, and it was warmer in Kansas today than it was here.  That should change next week.

Retired Rod

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Breakfast for dinner

This evening It was breakfast for dinner night. I came in on this after the plans had been made. So I never understood what started this idea. But heck, I didn’t care, I like breakfast anytime. So count me in. Mark from RVing with Poppa is in the dark purple shirt in the back of the room. He must have been one of the originators of the plan.


Either that or he was volunteered by the planners. But he is the egg cook. He is boiling scrambled eggs. The fellow with the freezer bag has the raw eggs and fixings ready for the hot water treatment.


Man that bag is hot! Does it look done? Nope not runny!


Here our happy recipient is receiving his omelet.


After a trip thru the side dish line, Speedy is looking quite happy about his breakfast.


I didn’t get a picture of the frozen peanut butter, ice cream graham cracker pie, but it hopped into my stomach rapidly. Mmmmm, thanks Brenda. You should have been here. Had we been here all week, we would have gained ten pounds.

This afternoon we had a visit here in the park from Sandra, of Nightly News. We have read her blog for more than a year now, and we were very happy to meet her in person. She is camped in another camp ground, that has a more natural setting on the river just outside of Kerrville. If you read Sandra’s blog, she is always taking her morning walk, and relating with words and pictures the sights she encounters. As they travel, these walks take you thru a diversity of natural settings, and wild life. She keeps us suspensed to learn of her daily encounters.

Having never met before, we visited for most of an hour as though we were old friends. Happy travels Gordon and Sandra, and Loyce and I are loyal readers!

Powerful things these blogs, we need to use them carefully.

Retired Rod

Friday, March 13, 2009

Kerrville and Fredricksburg

It was cold here this morning (36 by the dash of the truck). Still raining some, and windy but we were out to have a look around the Buckhorn Lake Resort campground. This is the big red barn that is the activity center, and the smaller social room that is to the left side.


We are parked at the round about right off of the entrance street. Next to the windmill. It is the real thing, Aermotor, like on the farm.


I don’t think I have ever had a putting green out my back door before. This is behind the site next to us between the lots in back of us. These are the back in sites that are cheaper! They are about 60 feet deep!


Across the street there is a barbecue area, that they hold parties in. On warmer days of course. It is the dark area with the stack on the fire pit.


All of these pictures were taken standing in the same place.

From the front of our site looking East. The Montana across from the white pickup is Jessie and Ginger. Speedy and Sherri are the second Dark Fronted Carri Lite beyond J&G.


Looking West, the dark Motorhome is Mark and Dortha but we do not know where the others are here in the park. Later, learned that the big 5er was Rollie and Gina.


Today we went to Fredricksburg which is 22 miles North. This is a old German town from the 1800’s This is the Pioneers Memorial at a park in the center of town.


Pioneers Library


Another quilt shop.


Shops along the main street. Shopping is the main attraction for this town.


None of these shops were quilting supplies. They buy quilts that are commercially made and sell them for big prices.


This old brick building is the restaurant that we had our German lunch in. Der Lindenbaum. It was good, but both Loyce and I thought the German potato salad was too sweet. The Kraut was good, and sour too.


Tonight, we went to the Mr Gatti’s Pizza joint on the South side of downtown Kerrville, and met with all the RV Dreams Chatroom folks that are here in the park for the “gathering”. They are getting together to have group meals, and invited us as soon as they knew we were here. Instant friendship, and we are grateful for the opportunity.

I was familiar with many of these fine folks from reading all the RV blogs that are listed along the side of this blog. I can not begin to tell you all the folks we met, and would surely leave someone out if I tried. But all of them made us feel right at home as we were the new kids in town. We had never really met anyone before, but somehow we were not with strangers because they have all shared their lives with us thru their blogs. A neat feeling!

They all came back and went to the game room here in the park for more good times, but we needed to call Ben and see how they were coming along. They are on the road and headed this way, so we talked for quite a while keeping them company as they drove.

A big day, and we are both killed, so I will try to post this thru the slow Wifi here in the park. With the pictures, that may be tough, so I will quit for now.

Retired Rod

Thursday, March 12, 2009

And the rain came, Kerrville, Tx

It started to rain again last night, as we went to bed in Fort Stockton.  Not hard at first, just slow and steady.  By the middle of the night, it was still raining.  And then we got up about 8 and it was still raining.

Loyce found my plastic poncho, and I went out after breakfast to put things away.  You all know the drill, sewer, water hose, electric cord.  Put up the stabilizer feet.  All in the pouring rain.

We were off before 10, but we only had about 265 miles today, so time was not a problem.  But as we drove, the rain became a deluge at times.  So heavy that the wipers couldn’t clear the windshield.  We slowed to 40 at times because the road was covered with water, and making us hydroplane.

The speed limit on I 10 is 80.  And folks feel that is the minimum.  They are all indignant if you only do 60 pulling your big old RV.  Trucks are limited to 70, but they pretty much keep up with the cars.

We kept at it steady, but not fast, 55, 60 sometimes 65 on a down hill stretch.  Stopped for gas after about 125 miles, and rested.  Then back at it. 

In one of the worst areas where the canyons and hills seem never ending, we came upon all kinds of lights.  A policeman standing under a bridge making a motion to slow down by pushing the palms of his hands towards the ground.

We were only going 30, but he wanted much slower.  An accident, I turned on the 4 way flashers, and pushed on at about 15.  Then under the next bridge we came to the problem.  A SUV had lost it and slid into the center median and rolled several times and was upside down in the center of our lane.  Not a window in the vehicle, and their stuff was all over the ditch and road.

The folks were in the ambulance, so we had no way of knowing how badly they were hurt.  Loyce let out a cry on the 2 way radio, as she relived our roll over last month.  But we were not going 80, barely 60, and we only rolled over on our top.  And just once.  This thing had rolled several times.

Folks were stopped all over the place, so we pressed on.  Too fresh in our minds to try and help these folks.  Nothing we could have done to help anyway, as some of the folks were already in the way.

We arrived here in Kerrville by about 3 and set up in light rain.  Didn’t unhook the truck, as the rain began to come down again in earnest.

By 5, we made the Wal Mart run, into Kerrville.  You know, just to make sure it was close by.  Security!  But then we went to Cracker Barrel and had some comfort food.  Chicken Steak with potatoes and gravy.  A million calories.  But I feel so pleasantly full…….

I got into the RV Dreams chat room later tonight, to admit to the multitudes that we were here.  They still have a whole bunch of folks here and group activities planned.  We were instantly invited to go along.

Its about 39 outside and the rain has never let up.  I thought I would go walk the dog, but not without a scuba suit.   The forecast low tonight was 41 but we have already passed that.  Better turn the heat up.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fort Stockton, Tx

The Fort Stockton, Texas RV Park, is an old KOA park that has dropped out of the system. It is still the same park that it always was, but has lost the listing in the KOA propaganda. So now the price was $28 and $24 after a Good Sam discount.

What’s not to like about that? We arrived here at 6:15 PM after yet again setting our clocks ahead another hour. This time it was the change from Mountain time to Central time. Heck we have no idea what time it is. Its like we came back from California on the jet.

We left the Escapee Park before 10 and headed to Las Cruces. This was only 60 miles or so and the morning was crisp, but to us cold at 42 degrees. We drove right thru and didn’t stop. Well until we got to the Texas State line.

We needed gas and hauled into the Pilot at mile stick Zero. That didn’t take all that long, but the clock was running. Remember my wanting to find a Haggar Outlet Store last week? John Brown of John and Brenda’s Incredible Adventure commented that the Outlets at the 6 mile stick of Texas, had the Haggar store I was looking for. So we parked in their giant parking lot, car truck and trailer, and went to investigate.

Well after 5 new shirts, and all on really good sales, we were out of there. Thanks John!

But now Loyce had to go to Wal Mart too. That road and parking lot was an absolute zoo. I ended up pulling the trailer right past the front door, as that was the only path to the street without high curbs, that were too tight to turn a 50 foot rig around. Cars everywhere, I parked and sat right along the Fire Lane. Man was I glad to see that place behind me.

I 10 goes right thru the downtown area of El Paso, with the zooming cars that have to pass you on all sides, and the lanes that end up becoming exit lanes, as you have to continually work your way left. I was glad to see El Paso behind me too.

West Texas on I 10 is neat to look at, but is mostly nothing. Brown winter desert, and big hills, almost mountains that goes for ever! Here in Fort Stockton, we are at mile stick 264, and I think we went thru maybe three towns getting here from El Paso. I was glad to get off the road.

There is a restaurant right here in the RV Park, and we went there for supper tonight. It was good! A bit like eating right in your own kitchen, but with 8 or more old fashioned tables.

Tonight, it has begun to rain again, and it is to be in the 40’s before morning. The rain is to extend into the weekend, so our shopping in Fredricksburg might be wet and chilly. But what the heck!

Retired Rod

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Travel Day, Deming, NM

We were up with our watches set to New Mexico time.  About 7:30, so the Arizona neighbors all wondered why those nutty people on the next site were out breaking camp at 6:30.

Since we had changed our watches Saturday night before retiring, by Monday morning, we were becoming accustomed to the DST.  We had most everything ready to go, so our morning was mostly eating breakfast and me showering.

We were out the gate by 9:00 AM, New Mexico time.  Rob’s wife, Sissy waved at us from behind the curtain in the windshield of the gigantic class C.  Super nice folks  to be sure.  Perhaps we will see them again somewhere. 

It had rained most of the night, and the roads were barely dry as we made it thru the 5 miles of construction that has all the intersections closed in downtown Tucson.  The road is concrete barricaded, to lanes that are oh so narrow,  as you negotiate this gauntlet.  My palms were sweating on the steering wheel, as I constantly checked the mirrors to see that the trailer was in the center of the lane.

After a burger and some gas at a station with a Wendy’s, we were headed East for Benson.  The clouds became thicker as we climbed to 4,000 feet.  Benson was in 70 percent overcast with towering cumulus.  The sun, making its way thru in beams, lit the ground in eerie patterns.  The clouds had ragged bottoms and shafts of rain in between the sunshine.

We climbed to Texas Canyon, and its round oversized boulders balanced precariously on top of each other, looking as though they could fall and kill someone at any moment.  Reaching 4,900 feet, which is the high point of I 10 in that part of Arizona, we crossed into the high plains.

By now it was 2:00 in the afternoon, and New Mexico was in sight.  To the South we drove past Cochise’s stronghold of mountains, where the Indians hid from the Army folks that were after them in the late 1800’s.  The tops of the mountains were shrouded in clouds and rain squalls.  My mind thought of Geronimo standing at the peak, looking at all of the white men desecrating his land.  A train rumbled by on the track North of the highway.

For miles and miles, there were parked railcars along these tracks.  They were divided at the cross roads so the local roads would not be blocked.  They were all new car hauling rail cars.  All empty. They stretched out for miles. Parked and forlorn.  Since new car sales are at a standstill, the railcars are idle.  As an accountant, I thought about their owners and the money they most surely are absorbing as they sit without fares.

Tonight we are at Dream Catcher RV park, which is an Escapee park.  It is open to the public, but we joined the club last December, so we are discounted to an unbelievable rate for full hookups.  $12 plus electricity.

Deming has a Wal Mart, and a K Mart side by side, so shopping filled the evening.  We did not unhook the truck from the trailer, so packing up will be disconnecting the hoses and electric cord in the morning. 

Onward to Texas!

Retired Rod

Monday, March 9, 2009

And were off

We are ready to roll in the morning.  Its about 10:30 PM as I write this, and that is Mountain Daylight time.  But Arizona didn’t change to daylight saving time last night like the rest of the country did.

So Arizona clocks are the same all the time.  But California and all the folks in the Pacific time zone sprang forward and now match Arizona.  Confused?  We are.  I did change our clocks, since we are leaving Arizona by mid afternoon tomorrow, we might as well get with the program right now.

I looked, and Arizona is an option on the computer as a specific time zone.  So, they are in a world all by themselves here.

I wish we could have hooked up the trailer to the truck today, as that would be easier when there is no time constraint, but our site is only 35 feet deep.  The truck would be out in the street, so we will have to do that in the morning.

We plan to drive as far as Deming, New Mexico, tomorrow where there is a SKP park along the interstate.  They do not take reservations, but the lady at the office told me there is no particular problem with us having a site for Monday night.  We can press on to Las Cruces if necessary.

With the air card, I am hopeful to get connected tomorrow, but there is no Wifi or cable TV at the SKP park, so if we are gone off the face of the earth, you will know why.

Retired Rod

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Rob’s Car

Today Rob had the 32 Ford out of the trailer, and ready to go to a car show over in Scottsdale.  This is a completely fiberglass body.  The entire car is new vintage.


Where does the cool end on this machine?


He said that Dairyland was his grand dad’s Ice Cream store in the 40’s.


Oh yes, that says Corvette on the top of the engine.  A Chevy 350 V8, and it does have an automatic transmission.  I called it a fourspeed the other night, which it is but not a stick shift as I implied.



We sat out under the big awning on the side of the Big Big motorhome, and contemplated all the work he has done on this ride.  It is a labor of love. 

It has air conditioning, and heated and cooled seats.  It had power steering, but they took it off, as the car is so light, that it didn’t need it.  It did have rack and pinion steering, and everything is modern technology, including computerized fuel injection and coil block ignition.

I’m sorry that I do not know enough about the vehicle to be more descriptive, but having never built or worked on one of these, I barely knew what questions to ask.

We hung around here most of the day, but Loyce went looking for a Quilt showing mid afternoon.  She couldn’t find it. 

It was quite cool here today making it up to only 67 this afternoon, which by sundown, had me looking for my long pants.  This is the first time I have needed those in the last week.

We went back to old Chicago tonight, for another Calzone.  This is another do over since we went there on Valentine’s day.  But it was good again!

We are just biding our time to leave on Monday morning.

Retired Rod

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pop Corn and a Hot Dog

Routine day here, crawled under the trailer with a can of  lithium grease to lub the crank up jacks.  They are the manual models.  None of that fancy electric stuff all you other RVers have. Get your hand crank handle out, and bend down real low to the ground, and start cranking the big screw jacks.

They tend to rust when left in one position for a long period of time.  Four months here in Mesa would be a long time, so spray grease is in order.

Then I took the cover off the LP gas tanks and brought out the bathroom scales.  Tank and gas weighed 45 lbs.  The tank weight empty stamped on the handle was 25.5, so that leaves 19.5 lbs of gas.  They are 30 lb tanks, but you can only put 80% in them so that is 24 lbs.  So we have used 4.5 lbs and that is equal to one gallon.  The tanks hold about 5 gallons each, and we have 9 out of the ten total gallon capacity.  Haven’t used much gas this winter, only for cooking.  I do have the peace of mind knowing exactly how much we have left.

In the afternoon, Loyce made another of her daily trips to JoAnn’s fabrics, but I didn’t get to go along since I was up at the country store gathering, buying pop corn.  In the red and white movie style boxes.  They sell them along with hot dogs and today the soup was potato.  I only bought one hot dog, and the pop corn.  This will be my last country store for this winter.  The attendance was off quite a bit today, as many folks have left for home.

Later, along towards evening, I went over and had the oil changed in the truck.  It had only 2500 miles on it but was over on time, since it hadn’t been changed since September.  The truck has set here a lot this winter without being driven.

Tonight we went back to Garcia’s for supper, as again that will be the last time we will visit this fine establishment this winter as well.

Cooler tonight, as a cold front is moving in from California. Caused a bunch of rain for them, but perhaps we can get by with only some cool days.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The neighbors


I promised to steal a picture of the gigantic semi tractor motorhome next to us, and Penny from Conroe, Tx dropped a note wanting to see it,  so here it is.  The sun was behind it and facing into the camera lens so the colors are a bit washed out.

This has a Cat 500 hp diesel, and is a toy hauler with a drop floor, that allows you to drive right out without a ramp.  The door on the back opens upward.  They did haul a full sized Jeep for a number of years, so you can get an idea of the size and carry capacity.

I now know the folks name and where they are from, but will refrain from posting all that in order to respect their privacy.

More projects

Slow days continue here in Mesa. I continued on my quest to get the RV ready to move to newer experiences. Today was the check the tires day.

Now what could that be, just go check them right. Well not exactly, more like unload all the stuff out of the back of the truck, and get to the air compressor. Then sort out the 12 gauge drop cord that powers it. The little 16 gauge cords will blow out the protection breaker on the compressor before it gets up to 100 lbs, and you are not sure why it quits running. Took me a while to figure that one out.

So while going around to check all the tires, and airing them, it is necessary to bring in the big slide on the drivers side of the trailer. Just a push of the button, except, all the inside stuff inside needs to be moved so the slide can slide in. So that must be why it took an hour to air the tires. But they are now all up to pressure, and ready to go.

Also I checked the battery on the tongue to make sure the water hadn’t cooked away, since we have sat here for four months hooked to the electric box. That’s a lot of charging. But the battery is protected from the charger with a separate circuit, and the water level is just as it was last fall. And I am much relieved to find that our converter does in fact “float” the battery, not cook it to death.

I think we are mostly ready to move, and I saw the campground guy out reading our meter on the electric box. We are not going until Monday, so does that mean we are free to use all we want, or do they assume how much you will use by then. I will read it myself to see how they do that.

We spent the afternoon out South of town in the new part of Gilbert, as Loyce has found a JoAnn’s that she likes there. She could go every day. Good thing we have the larger car now, because it will be really full on the way home.

It was overcast and cooler here today as we were only in the early 70s for a high. It was just as warm in central Iowa, but we didn’t cool off too much as the sun went down, where Iowa was back in the 40’s after dark.

We are all on the down hill side of the winter now.

Retired Rod

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Washing the Rig and Shopping

Today I worked most of the morning, and into the afternoon on washing the outside of the RV.  It had not been washed since we left Kansas back on the first of October.

The dust of the winter desert is deposited daily, and then washed away with the occasional rain.  This leaves a grimy film that dulls the luster of the fiberglass, and is hard to get off.  So a scrub brush and five gallon bucket was required.  Using dish soap, progress was slow.  But now we are back to the usual only somewhat dirty exterior.

That about killed me, but by mid afternoon, we headed down to Casa Grande.  We went to the Tanger outlet mall, hoping to find a Hagar men’s store like the one in Lake Ozark, Missouri.  But the trip was a bust as that store was not part of the mall.

But we went up town, as Loyce had heard there was a quilt store in the downtown area.  And after some slow driving around, we found it.  She spent some time inside, but didn’t seem too impressed.

There is a large mall area East of Interstate 10, and I went into a JC Penny looking for some Golf, pull over shirts.  And I came away with two new shirts. 

It took us well after dark to get back to Mesa, and I’m sure we could have gone to a Penny’s here much more easily, but that is hind sight now.  We buzz around here in Arizona, like it was Iowa or Missouri.  We have been over most of the roads, and trips are repetitive.  Must really be time to leave.

Not much excitement here, just slowly preparing to get hitched up and on the road by Monday, after sitting in one place for four months.  It seems as though nothing is in its place for travel, so getting organized to leave is a much larger task.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

This and That

We are in the waiting to leave phase now.  We have done everything we can think of in the Phoenix area, and have eaten at many of the good restaurants, and a few stinkers too.

Last night we went to the Sea Food Restaurant, on Val Vista and Baseline.  This is Loyce’s favorite meal, as she enjoys almost every selection available on the menu.  She had Mahi Mahi.  Now I was boring as usual in the seafood restaurant, and ordered coconut encrusted shrimp.  They were quite good but a little too sweet for the sugar restricted diet.

We came home stuffed, and were not overly hungry for breakfast this morning. 

In fact we hung around the trailer this morning, and sat out under the awning and attached sun canopy.  The sun canopy was purchased from the folks at the DonWes flea market down in Texas last year.  Our door and awning are on the East side, and the morning sun is low on the horizon, and make sitting out in the morning a sunny (hot) experience.

Our new neighbor, with the big semi tractor class C motor home came over, and we enjoyed his many stories about North Texas.  Thanks Rob.  He’s in the auto industry and has unlimited tales to relate.

By early afternoon we were off looking for some lunch and a notary. Seems that we still needed more forms to transfer the Corolla title to the insurance company.  Will it ever end?

We did look at some interesting double wide park model homes in the Park across the street from Mesa Spirit.  If we were not into RVing, the rest of the year, and did not have the expenses of the lake home, this would be a good alternative for the winter.

Kind of a worthless day, but the insurance adjusters are happier. Loyce is working on some new little doll quilts, and having fun.  So all is well.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Awning parts, and batteries for the neighbor

What a busy day! We were up early, and had breakfast, as Loyce had to go to the quilter’s meeting at 8. She has many new ideas from the association with the ladies.

I was off to the RV dealer to see what was to become of our repair. I wish I hadn’t gone. The folks at Jayco said our broken bracket was because I had hit something, and I was being less than truthful with them, so they would not warranty it. End of story.

Well I did no such thing, and would have told if I had, and got it fixed and paid proudly. So, so much for our relationship with Jayco. No more of their products, ever.

I went over and grabbed the bracket and the necessary parts off of the wall, paid for them and left the dealership. I spent the morning, installing the parts on the awning.

I am no awning repairman, but after installing the pieces and adjusting back and forth on the brackets for several attempts, it appears that the awning has been installed crooked from the factory. This is why the parts ended up broken, and they will break again over time, since it is crooked and is stressed each time it is deployed.

Perhaps my dealer in Missouri can help me when we get home, but I will have to pay him, as Jayco is not about to.

We had the largest motorhome I have ever seen pull in next to us several days ago. It is built on an extended semi tractor truck frame. It is all steel and fiberglass, and weighs 40K. It has both rear axles of the semi, and they are tandem rear ends. Meaning that the 500 hp engine drives all eight tires, when they are locked together. A gigantic class C.

This rig is a toy hauler, that has a Mini Cooper in the back. The floor of the toy hauler lowers to the ground, and you drive right out of the rig. Above the garage, is the master bedroom. Like a fifth wheel built backwards, with the semi driver cab on the front end. Maybe I can steal a picture when Rob isn’t looking.

He is pulling a matching trailer, that has a 32 Ford hot rod inside. It has a small block chevy V8, and a four speed. Of course the entire car is custom, and nothing about it was made in 1932. The entire car is new parts, and modern day technology. It does have a load of attitude.

But today, he was having battery problems with his four semi truck batteries. They are 2002 year stamped, and it was amazing they lasted so long. But they were gone. Done. He wasn’t going anywhere. He had checked all around, and the price of having someone come here and replace them was quite high.

I told him to pull the batteries, and we would go get him some with the pickup. So he did and we did. Sam’s club had the exact number he needed, and at $82 each. This particular Sam’s was over West of Scottsdale in Phoenix, and we spent about 2 hours picking them up. I saw 90 degrees on the dash of the truck while we were in route.

He installed them when we got home, and the diesel roared to life. He was quite happy to have this little job behind him, and the Mini Cooper did not have to haul the dirty truck batteries on the nice clean interior carpet. It would have taken two trips as well.

Perhaps I have a new friend. I know they are from North Texas, and collect cars, but have not found out her name yet. He is Rob. More on this later.

We reached 88 today, officially, which will be the highest temperature we will see while we remain here in Arizona. At least if the forecast is correct, we are to begin to cool down starting tomorrow. It was really warm, as we snaked our way through traffic to get to the distant Sam’s Club this afternoon. All of this while the rest of the country has snow.

It is not lost on me, our good fortune to be here in the desert.

Retired Rod

Monday, March 2, 2009

A down day!

We just hung out today, not doing much all day.  I put the awning back down this morning, as the wind from yesterday has gone away.  Then the sun screen was installed to block the morning sun so I could sit outside.

Loyce was working on her many craft projects inside, and the day warmed up nicely.  So nice in fact that I dozed off in the recliner lawn chair.  Well the sun was out and all, you know.

So when noon came and went, we finally decided that it was necessary to go back to the swap meet.  For some T shirts.  Loyce thought she knew where the booth was that she couldn’t find Friday.  So we went out there again today.

Amazing how much time one can spend walking around all these booths.  We separated and stayed in communication with our cell phones.  She found the T shirt shop, and we met back there.  My ankle was hurting, so I went on to the car, but Loyce braved on to more shops.

Tonight we have been hanging around home, but have been talking to the neighbors that are leaving in the morning, wishing them all the See Ya Laters, as we all are promising to return next year.  Plans in Jello, LOL.  But who knows we may be pining to be back here, well before next winter.

The desert is beginning to have a very pleasant smell to it, that is quite noticeable when you are outside.  Like flower blossoms, a sweet almost light perfume odor.  This must be from the many blooms beginning to come on the cactus.  We are new to the desert this year as we have never been here, for more than a week at a time.  This is a new experience for us.

As of tomorrow, we will have one week left here.

Retired Rod

Sunday, March 1, 2009


How about a RV park parade? Mesa Spirit Style.

These folks are called the note blenders…… Maybe benders would be more like it.


OK what is this supposed to be?


Is he supposed to be a bird? Chicken?


Not much bigger than a large dog.


But somebody needs to clean up after all those horses. He had candy in the bucket and he threw it to the kids, old and young.


I was worried that this person might fall off of the bike. The weaving back and forth was not in their repitour.


This golf car would backfire every now and then. Scared the daylights out of us, but not the tin man.


The witch and the scarecrow. Dorothy must be behind the witch, she has red shoes.


Is he supposed to be the cowardly lion man looking for courage? Ray Bolger would be proud.


Emergency Medical here in the park.


Pink Ladies.




Red hat lady on a moped.


Oh Canada!


F and G street decorated a cart.


These red hat ladies show up all over the place.


The North Dakota folks had the biggest group, and won first place in the big group entry. Golf cart in the snow, see the guy with the shovel.


These ladies represent SNOW!


And then the North Dakota folks that are in Arizona, celebrate SUN!!!!!


They all look sunny in their yellow shirts now don’t they


These guys were singing on the karaoke Speakers on top of the Golf Cart. The sign on the cart says All Star Entertainment. Perhaps they were professional, as they sounded fairly good even though they were hoofing it down the road while singing.


1947 Chevy The year I was born! She looks a tad better than me though.


I would guess 1955 ford pickup. (Several days later, I spotted this truck and asked what year it was, and it is a 1956. Seems that it has a wrap around windshield which was a new thing for 56.)


1966 or so Malibu, we would have killed in High School for one of these. Especially with the 396 engine.


It went on for a while longer, but my presser finger was becoming tired.

What we won’t do for Saturday entertainment here in the RV Park.

Sunday March 1st, is grandson Caden's 7th birthday!!!!! Wow, how can Caden be 7? Loyce told me, ya your getting old grandpa. Well if I'm old, what does that make her?

Anyway, HAPPY BIRTHDAY CADEN!!!!!!!!!!

Retired Rod