Friday, July 31, 2009

CO/LP detector update

We are in Cedar Ridge COE campground, which is one of the campgrounds that make up the Bloomington complex here at Clinton Lake, Kansas. The little town here is Clinton.

We stayed overnight, and now have one night in our new rig.

Update on the CO,LP detector. Beep! It beeped all the way over here and for an hour or two after we arrived. The fuse box wasn't labeled enough to pull the fuse, or know which one it might be, so my trusty side cutters snipped the power wire.

What I failed to explain in my hurried post before we left yesterday, was that I made arrangements to have a new CO sensor shipped overnight, and I will have to cut the wires to remove the old one and send it in as defective.

I am an old electrician from our family's days as an electronic supply house in the 50's and 60's. I was also a construction electrician in the US Navy SeaBee's during my stint in Viet Nam. More recently I have passed all the Ham Radio exams and hold an Extra grade license.

This explanation is merely to suffice, that cutting the wire is no big deal to me. As long as I understand what I am disabling and the consequences. The LP gas is not connected to the sensor, as we had gas water heater, gas refrigerator, and gas cook top all still functional after the dirty deed with the side cutters.

Now plumber, on the other hand, is obviously not my forte. I connected the water hose, and carefully selected the valve setting, to see if the water inside worked. In about 10 minutes, I had a knock at the door, from the neighbor stressing that water was pouring from a port on the front of the coach next to the door. Yikes-----and no I didn't know it.

You can fill the water tank from the city connection by changing a valve setting underneath, and I had somehow selected to do that. I was pressurizing a non pressure tank. It didn't rupture in the process, thanks to my neighbor camper! So now I look like the village idiot, around here. Good thing we are headed out after I post this.

The only other thing we have that refuses to work, is one of the burners on the cook top will not light with the ignitor.

I am having trouble staying connected! Bye!

Retired Rod

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Our maiden voyage.

We are headed out to the campground over south of Lawrence.

We will see how many systems actually work, and what repairs we will need. I already need a new LP Co detector, as ours goes, Beep. beep,,,,,,,beeeeeeeeep, and can’t be quieted. Side cutters should do the trick!

But it remains to be seen if cutting the wire will slam shut the propane supply valve. So perhaps my sensor will be the only one in the world with a on off switch. Beep!

I do not know if we will have air card from the COE park, but usually the answer is no. So see ya when we get back on line.

Retired Rod

Dealing with storage, and loading outside bins

The loading in mostly done, and the storage lot is all reserved for the big blue moose.

This morning I went to the lot and explained that the travel trailer was gone forever, and I needed to transfer to the long spot that I had reserved. They did the paper work, and I am moved.

This afternoon, when I brought the Motor Home, the site I rented was occupied with other vehicles. Go figure.

So I just picked a spot at random and parked. We will have to go straighten it all out in the morning, since they were closed. Hopefully the fellow that rented the space three over will not come back tonight.

I went to Wal mart and bought some plastic bins to put stuff into. I had big sliding bins in the Jayco as an option, and that spoiled me. Here you just have locker doors, and if you pile things very high, it falls to the ground when you open the door.

So I spent the afternoon sorting and arranging bin by bin.

I did spend some time reading the owners manuals for the freightliner chassis. Specifically the Allison transmission. Its push button automatic, and has 6 forward gears. You can control how many of the gears you want to use, like 1-4 and then hold in 4th.

If you were out in the country, you could play around and see how it all works, but not here in Kansas City. The traffic requires full time attention. An eight and one half foot wide thirty eight foot long truck doesn’t mix in traffic too well. Especially if your messing around with gears and knobs, rather than driving.

We are thinking of going over to the Core of Engineers park by Lawrence, to have a shake down overnighter. See if we can make all the systems work. Would hate to start out cold turkey and find the water pump didn't work, or the water heater. Haven’t asked the reefer to get cold yet either.

This might be an early night to bed, since this has all caught up with me.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Another fast paced day

The big Blue Moose, is still sitting out in the street in front of our house. It never moved all day. A brand new toy, and it was only started to make the generators run.

But remember that we had sold the Jayco Travel Trailer on Sunday, and we are supposed to deliver today. So that was priority right from the start. I had a ham antenna on the roof of the trailer, and it needed to come off.

At about 9 AM, I packed the ladder and tools and headed for the storage lot. Several things had to happen before the delivery. We decided to throw in a matching table and lamp that we used in the back of the trailer. So that was hauled back. The antenna was removed, and I went thru to make sure we had everything.

I never got back to the house, and the new owner was on the phone informing me he was on his way. We had not set a time, but the time was now. I needed Loyce’s signature on the back of the title, and then headed back for the storage lot.

The delivery went smoothly, and the trailer hitched to his Chevy Suburban nicely. He was having troubles with his brake controller, but I stayed out of that. I had the cashiers check, and he had the title. I let them out of the locked storage lot. I watched, as they pulled the Jayco out of sight to the North.

Not that I don’t have a brand new Motor Home, waiting, but the trailer has become a good friend in the last two years, and I hope they will have good luck with her too.

Then the cold steely side of me took over and I drove the checks directly to the bank. I want them in today’s business. Collect the funds quickly, the old accountant in me mused.

Once home, I found my son Chris here, looking the new Motor Home over from top to bottom. We spent about an hour, going thru what we knew, and what I need to learn.

But it was getting on in the afternoon, and I needed to get over to the DMV. I arrived about 2:45 and learned that the ticket I pulled was about 90 numbers away from the one they were serving. Dang, this place is always like that.

I waited for an hour, gnashing at the bit. Patients was never my long suit. Finally I made it to the window, and into the looming trouble of explaining why a 2008 vehicle had never been registered.

Yes this is the manufactures statement of origin. Yes there are two of them since the chassis was made by one company as an incomplete vehicle, and the second from Tiffin where the motorhome was manufactured.

No it has never been placed in service even though it has 981 miles on it since it weighs 20,000 lbs empty, it cannot be shipped, but must be driven here from the factory. Finally I paid over ten grand for a license plate. That was mostly sales tax at almost 8 percent. Wow.

Once back home, I installed the expensive plate on the back, and went after the RV dealer’s tacky looking name sticker. The predominate color of the rig is really dark blue, while this name badge is white and green. The Goo Gone softened the glue, and it came off mostly intact.

We don’t have front license plates here in Kansas, but the dealership had a green plastic plate up there too, with their name on it. Its in the trash now too.

All the grandkids showed up tonight, and tracked wet grass all over in the new rig, but grandma lets them get away with it. I would have been killed, of course.

What a day! I never did get back over to the storage place to register all the documents with them so the rig can actually be placed into the lot. Plus, they are not aware the travel trailer is not coming back.

But then I have to have something to do tomorrow, Right?

Retired Rod

My friend Lowell from Des Moines, documented our delivery process while we were doing the walk thru at the RV dealer in Des Moines.

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And in here we find the sewer connections!


I filled the propane tank all the way up.


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Note the awful green dealer plate.

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Are you tired yet? I couldn’t absorb much more, and we still had to drive it to KC!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

We take delivery.

What a long day! Its 11:45 and I am beat. We left at about 9 and arrived at the dealership about 1:30.

We spent about 3 hours going thru all the stuff on the coach. I have no idea what all I was shown. My head is spinning. When I was flying, the Cessna and Piper airplanes were not as complicated as this Motor Home.

At a little after 4, we started back to KC. We were home at 8:30, but have studied stuff ever since. Still I am not sure I can run it all. I just need to sleep on it and see how much I really remember in the morning.

The rig drives nicely, for a 26,000 lb truck. You are seated level with the semi drivers, and can look them in the eye as they pass. They have many more liters of engine that this little 6 banger. They just fly past you.

We had about 30 gallons of fuel in the tank when we left and used about 20 of it coming home. That is about ten miles per gallon. I was driving 65 or more, and at times 70. Which is the speed limit. Of course the cars were flying past since speed limits were not intended for them.

I filled in Kansas City just North of the downtown. I put in 70 gallons for $161. That was at $2.29 / gallon.

All and all it seems like a good piece of equipment. Time will tell.

Retired Rod

Monday, July 27, 2009

Into the whirlwind!

Things are coming a bit too fast these days.  Last night as I was drafting the story about the new Motorhome, I also spent an hour or so and created an add for the Jayco.

I priced it well back of list price, but above wholesale.  Attractive, I would call the price, and the add incorporated a bit of the option list from the Jayco archive on the 2007 model.

Along with some pictures I took yesterday afternoon, I posted the add on the local Craigslist.  By 9 AM this morning, the phone started ringing with folks wanting to know about the trailer.  I was on the line constantly for about an hour.  But one fellow wanted to see the rig right now. 

Well OK, it will take about 15 minutes to get there.  Meet you at 10:30. 

The long and short of it was I had a deposit check by noon, and he is to take delivery on Tuesday.  And only $200 short of the asking price.  He knew that I was priced right, and made a reasonable offer.  But he gets the Equalizer brand hitch in his deal.  That’s OK, since I probably do not have another bumper pull in my immediate future.

So tomorrow we go to Des Moines and take delivery, and get trained on the systems of the new rig.  If we leave by 9, we will be up there by 1 in the afternoon.  If we are out of there by 4 or 5, we will be back here by 9 or 10 once we catch a bite to eat.

Since we will not have anything with us but our clothes and credit cards, meals will be in the fast food places.  A sit down meal will take more time than we will have.  I would like to drive thru KC before it gets dark, but I will wager right now that it won’t happen that way.

After sleeping some here at home, it will be off to make delivery of the Jayco the next morning.  This time I will be the teacher.  This fellow wants me to go thru everything.  All systems.  I hope I’m up to that, and everything works.

I see its after midnight, so had better get to bed.  Stuff will settle down by Wednesday.  Oh but that is the day I’ll have to go to the DMV to get a Kansas registration.  Oh such a joyful thought!

Retired Rod

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Big Change in our RV lifestyle

We are fairly conservative folks, and like to fly under the radar, as much as possible. Fading into the background and not being to ostentatious is our style. And was the style of our travel trailer as well.

In the RV world, it seems that if you have a travel trailer, you are judged by some, ok most, to be poor and beneath the big 5th wheel and motor home crowd. You are segregated to the back of the campground, where the non premier spots are located, or placed in the area where the seasonal rentals are parked.

These areas are not always the nicest part of the property.

We experienced this in Mercedes. Texas. At the time, our rig was still very much new, but because of its class, we were parked with the very oldest of rigs.

Parked in the oldest part of the campground, where the concrete was poured in small square chunks, under older and long since departed for Mexico, park model trailers.

I tried to be moved to the nicer new part of the park, but there was never any vacancy for us. Out of curiosity, I tried to make a reservation in the new part for the following year, and again there wasn’t any vacancy for us. Not in the new part anyway.

We have experienced this in many of the commercial parks that we have visited, and even last year in Mesa Spirit, we were in the older sites with the hodgepodge concrete, and the older stapled together park models.


This was our back fence neighbor two spots over, last winter. I never really noticed it, until our next door neighbor left his spot, revealing the back of this unit. (These folks were really nice, but he is in a mobility scooter and not able to do much.)

On the way home last winter, we decided that we had to get a better rig! Still our conservatism wouldn’t allow us to make the move, since we do not full time.

I spent countless hours on the internet jumping from web site to web site, fictitiously plotting this change. We ruminated from 5th wheel to motorhome. Each time, I cringed at the thought of spending so much money on a depreciating asset.

Slowly we made our mind up on a motorhome. Even though it would cost a lot more. If we got a 5er, our existing truck is only a half ton, and would need to be traded as well. Parking a dually F350 out in front of our house would be a problem with the hoi polloi neighbors. But, I couldn’t pull the trigger.

Analysis paralysis had set in, and it seemed there was not going to be that perfect rig, that fit the current version of “us”. And I couldn’t bring myself to spend so much.

Howard Payne wrote in a recent post about a couple that had waited to go full time, and had a tragic accident. The lady had been burned and is still fighting for her life. Her husband, Tim, stressed this thought to Howard.

"Don't wait to follow your dreams!”

(Sadly this lady passed away several days after I wrote about their story.)

With this as our thought process, we went to look at a rig that was owned by Shorewood RV of Anoka, Minnesota. It was parked on their sister lot in Des Moines. We made the whirlwind trip, to go see it. Negotiations commenced, and we ended up signing the purchase agreement.

We will have to sell the travel trailer outright, as it has a limited audience, so I am told. They all groan when you bring it up, as a trade in.

What we bought, may also not be as main stream as most folks would like, but then that is somewhat us! Not too main stream! We purchased a 37 ft, front engine diesel, Allegro Bay, by Tiffin in Red Bay, Alabama.

This is on a Freightliner chassis, and has the Cummins 6.7L engine followed by an Allison 5 speed transmission. These rigs have not proven to be as popular, as the rear engine models, and are more difficult to sell. But they are much more fuel efficient, and in general, easier to maintain. I am also more at home with a front engine truck. We had a class C, Dodge motorhome in the early 1980s.

What we gave up with this type of rig is the rear engine quietness. The front engine puts the diesel noise right up front with you, as you travel. Also the air brakes and air ride systems of the pusher, which are really nice. (Expensive!)

What we gained was a much cheaper entry point, and oil change maintenance that doesn’t cost $1,200 to have done. Also Loyce likes the mid, side door, rather than the door in front of the passenger seat. Yes I know you can get the electric floor that fills in the space once you are underway, but I couldn’t convince her. Too much like a bus!

The rig is a 2008 holdover, and was nicely discounted, but perhaps it needed to be, since it will be instantly used if I should try to trade it in. Again my conservative nature forces me to seek the tightest deal possible.

I don’t have any pictures of this unit yet except a crappy one taken with the cell phone from the outside. I will steal the pictures from the sales add and post them below, if I can.

But perhaps you will now understand why we were cleaning out the inside of the trailer yesterday, and spending so much time on financial stuff the day before. Had the deal not gone thru, we would have shook our heads and moved on.

But for now it seems to be complete, except for taking delivery on Monday. And yes I had to reserve another spot in the storage place. Can’t leave it in front of the house overnight. The grumpy lady at the end of the cul-de-sac will call the cops!

Retired Rod`




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PS: I hope we can park in the front of the campground now!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mowing and Trailer Cleaning

This morning, Loyce declared that she was mowing the lawn.  Well dear have a nice time at that.  I headed over to the storage lot and hooked up the travel trailer, and brought it home.

We had decided to go thru the entire trailer and sort out all our stuff, much of which we brought back into the sticks and bricks house to clean, decide save or not to save and so forth.

We spent a hot day out in the trailer at 93 degrees.  I only have 15 amp receptacles in the garage, and it is not enough to run the roof A/C. It makes for a hot time in a trailer in the 94 degree heat of the Kansas afternoon.

I finally drove the rig back over to the storage and parked it.  I was done for the day.  Loyce must really be killed since she walked the entire yard with the Lawn Boy.  She does not have the desire to ride the John Deere yard tractor, belly mower.  I offer, but she claims that there is no exercise from mowing with that.

Tonight we had the 4th Friday of the month ham club meeting.  It was and informative meeting, where we went thru some of the programming on the local club repeater.  The controller is programmed with touch tones, and one of the guys has built a generation system to enter the touch tones with his computer.

Afterward we all adjourned to the local Godfather’s Pizza for a Mini, Personal Pan, and much discussion.  There are several of us that are RVers as well as hams, and we were talking about trips that have been taken, of will be in the near future.

And just like that it is after midnight again.  How does that happen?

Retired Rod

Friday, July 24, 2009

Financial this and that day

This was a family financial matter day.  As we are getting ready to scoot out of here for a three week trip to the Northern and western states, we need to get many things in order before we can leave.

That requires that Rod gets on the stick and addresses these things instead of putting them off.  It seems too much liked the old work job responsibilities, and I will try to duck out at every opportunity.  Seems as though I really do not want to be responsible any more.

After lots of phone calls, I needed to go see the insurance folks to redo some of that coverage, so I drove over and spent time in their office, mid afternoon.

After returning home, I tried to use the Lexmark printer, and found that the ink cartridge was bone dry.  And I needed a fax right now.  This called for some serious scooter riding, over to the local Cartridge World, where I got into a discussion about the merits of a step thru scooter with the tech.

He was interested in the mileage, which is more than 75, but I have never really checked it since you only put in a gallon or so every three of four days.  When a fill up is about $2.50 your mileage doesn’t really matter much.

After a serious nap in the 5 PM time frame, we had supper and I have stared into this computer ever since.  A rather boring day, but someone has to do it.

Retired Rod

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Maybe some plans

We spent a slow day today and really have nothing to report but the usual BS about a slow day.

Kansas is sunny and 90 like usual, and we are discussing an up coming trip to the North West of here.  We usually head out and do some late summer traveling, about the last of July or the first weeks of August. 

Once the kids have to report back to the school house, we slip out for a while.  The vacationers are mostly heading home.

We discussed a trip up to the Glacier National Park area, but have not converted any plans into reservations yet.

Need to get on the PC here and see what is available.

We laughed that we could go to Sturgis for the big motorcycle rally.  But I know for sure Loyce wouldn’t be caught dead there. 

Perhaps tomorrow will allow for clearer thinking.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rain made our decision

We started the day with rain, lots of it.  It seemed to rain sideways.  At least it was blowing into the screen porch.  The router with the verizon air card in its side, was on the table, in the porch.  It was getting wet, before I rescued it.

The distance to the cell tower must be across the lake, as the aircard works best when outside.  We have snail pace 1x speed here at the lake.  But it is internet that I pay for.  Otherwise we have to join an open router, that we have no idea who is providing.

It is fairly common to find these hot spots all over the lake, as many folks leave them open for the boaters.  We have used them for many years, but the air card works more reliably.  It doesn’t fade and has that blazing 1x speed.  Just a shade faster than dial up.  Maybe.

It wasn’t even a decision, with all this rain, we are going to KC.  So packing and cleaning commenced. We left about 12:30.  The trip back to KC was rainy all the way.  We stopped at a Subway for lunch, and it was pouring as I ran across the parking lot for the covered sidewalk. Loyce waited in the car.

It did stop raining as we approached the city, and was dry when we got home. 

I spent the next 3 hours running the pressure washer here, cleaning the black car up to be hid back in the garage.  Well then the scooter needed to be washed as it had gotten dirty in the rain last week at Olathe Lake.  When I hid in the Wal Mart waiting for it to stop.  Another subway sandwich, if I remember right.

Well then lets blow off the Toyota too, and it became almost dark.

So that was our day, another routine trip back to town.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Another Boat Ride

We intended to go home today, but the cover was never put on the boat.  So I suggested that we might take a little ride.  So ride we did.  Again it was sunny and 80 or 85 or beautiful.

We boated around the end of Horseshoe Bend and passed the Lodge of the Four Seasons.  They have some new buildings since we were over there last, so we will have to go with the car and see what they have done.

Leisurely on to the highway bridge that connects the East side to the West.  This is a toll bridge, but eliminates miles of driving when you want to go to Laurie or Sunrise Beach.  We were headed toward the Grand Glaize bridge, when I decided that it was mid afternoon, and I was hungry!

I know there is a restaurant back in one of these coves, so I entered the first one on the left.  Nope not in here!  So around the point into the next cove, and yep there it is at the back.  This cove is now an idle speed cove, so it took forever to get to the very back.

Oh yah I remember its called Backwater Jacks.  You would think its name was Budweiser LOL.


I am sure this is the reason that the neighbors declared their cove as an idle speed cove.  They have large parties here on the weekends.  But not many folks here today.  The pontoon on the left is the front of ours, as I had just tied it up.

The specialty here is the Fried Potato Salad.  Its kind of weird.  They take cubed potatoes about 3/8ths of and inch, and fry them in oil.  Like they were french fries.  Then they mix them with a potato salad dressing.  Like they were ordinary boiled potatoes.  The dressing is yellow like mustard dressing, but the potatoes look like hash browns.  The stuff is served hot and is quite good, actually.

I had the 1/2 pound burger, and Loyce had the tenderloin.  It was fun to sit out on the deck and drink the bottomless pepsi with our dinner.

It was late in the day once we boated the 17 miles back home.  As we were covering the boat, the sun disappeared and rain was near.  But we were home and on to bigger projects.  A nap!

So we never did get our stuff into the car and head back to KC.  Maybe tomorrow, since the boat is now covered.

Retired Rod

Monday, July 20, 2009

On the Water

I was reading a forum and lost complete sense of time.  It is after midnight, and Loyce went to bed.  I however, being the computer geek, still sit up waiting for the crow or something like that.  LOL

We spent the day out on the water in the pontoon boat. We boated up the Gravois Mills arm of the Lake, all the way to the end.  Well until the water started to be under 10 feet deep, which sets off the depth alarm on the sounder.

Since it also alarms me, that I might accidentally run into the bottom unexpectedly, I turn around and get to deeper water.

The day was beautiful, and sunny. The temperature was in the lower 80’s, which was just perfect.   We will not have any better days on the water than today.  It would have been a little cool if we were in swimming, but we were not.

We got back to the dock and I spent the better part of another hour using a goo gone product removing spider spots from the white vinyl upholstery.  I think is is patio furniture cleaner, but that may not be exactly correct.

Some of the black spots stain the vinyl so badly that even this product cannot remove them.  I haven’t found a product that will either.  Unfortunately.

Tonight we went into town and had roast beef sandwiches at Arby’s.  We are at a loss for a more creative meal, and have been to most all the restaurants, and are quite bored with the lot.

We will most likely pack up and head back to KC in the morning.  I will have to deal with the 26 foot long mooring cover and its ten thousand snaps before we can leave.  This usually puts me in a bad mood.  Especially if it is hot.  Perhaps an early start would help.

Retired Rod

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Saturday at Lake Ozark

The same old duties at the lake.  Pressure wash the boat.  The bugs here claim anything that sits still as their home.  For some reason the dock that floats out in the water 40 feet from shore is a prime target.

I understand the mud daubers, they can fly out on the dock, but how do thousands of spiders get out there?  They were born there, and they live there and never come back to dry land.  They live in the boat, and web in the thing in two weeks.  Webs that do not wash away with the pressure washer.

Well anyway, every time we come here it is the same half day of washing the boat and dock from top to bottom.

We spent the afternoon out on the water.  We pick out different coves to go into, and see what has changed since the last time we were there.  There are over a thousand miles of shore line here, so finding new coves that you haven’t been in during the last year or more is not a problem.

The wind was out of the North, and it was not much more than 75 degrees, so it was almost cool out on the water.  But the sun was out and it was very enjoyable. 

The big boats were out in full force and caused us heavy wave action in the main channel.  Our pontoon boat bobs up and down and becomes unpleasant, if you spend too much time in the center of the lake.  So this requires more investigation of the next cove.

We came back to the dock, and got cleaned up to go to Applebee’s tonight, as something different.  This is not a place that we normally frequent, but it had a good burger, and TV’s all around the whole place.  It was fun too.

By noon tomorrow, the boating crowd will begin to head back to their respective homes.  The lake will become calm, if the wind isn’t too high.  Boating will become more pleasurable.  That will be quite alright with us.

Retired Rod

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Back to the Lake

We are such creatures of habit.  We decided to go to the Lake for this weekend, and perhaps Monday or more.

That puts us into the routine, that we have gone thru over and over.  Packing and loading the car.  Changing the car in the garage for the one we are going to drive, and so forth.  But after all the scurrying around we were on the road by about 1:00.  Now why it takes until after lunch to get all organized is a mystery, but that is how it is.

We got here about 4:30 and the house was hotter than hatties inside, but it was only 75 outside.  Doors and windows open and the hot quickly was exchanged for cooler outside air, and we were off to go get Barbeque at Bandana’s.  Again the regular first day routine.  Dinner was really good and I feel like a balloon, but that is about normal.  We always order the luncheon plate, even at night, since the dinner is too big for us, ahh senior citizens.

Tonight I had to catch up on the computer, and Farm Town, since I am now totally hooked on this time waster.  Why, is a mystery to me, as there is really no point to the game other than make your farm pretty.  You have to farm to earn money and experience points to be able to buy stuff to go on your farm.  I’m not sure what makes you the winner.  I guess when you reach the last level and have all the experience points and money to buy a mansion.

Loyce had been watching an old movie on the TV.  Grease from 1978.  Old music from years ago, it is kind of fun, but the plot is non existent.

But we are at the lake and will more than likely go out in the pontoon tomorrow.

Retired Rod

Friday, July 17, 2009

Out and about

The day started out sunny and hot.  Fearing the afternoon heat, I charged out and spent two hours mowing and all the rest that goes with yard work.  I was hot and killed when I came back in.

So as we approached the noon hour, the clouds rolled in and it began to cool down.  I thought the rain would start as it was that dark, but it didn’t.  I gave up on a scoot ride, and took the car.

I drove South down to Louisburg.  This is only 10 miles or so down highway 69.  I thought someone said there was a RV Park down there, but I could never find it.

I did look at the trucks in the Ford Dealership, just to see if that special one was there, that I couldn’t live without.  It didn’t jump out at me.  They had the new cars and trucks barricaded off so you had to park and walk thru them.  It was raining and I didn’t get out of the car.  No salesman came out of the building despite me driving really slow around the perimeter of the lot.

Most times, if you show any interest at all you are barraged with salesmen wanting to help you.  Not there.

From there I drove over or Hillsdale Lake.  This is back West  on Hwy 169.  It is an Army Core of Engineers lake, but the park is a State Park.  Boo hiss!  They require a sticker that costs $25 or some such amount just to enter.


This is from the top of the dam.  It is not too large and becomes shallow quite quickly.


I held the camera out the window while driving, and there was a guy behind me that was perturbed.


Thru the rain spattered windshield, the dam is quite long, but there was almost no water coming out of the out flow.  I looked, but decided it was so inconsequential that it didn’t warrant the drive down the back side to get a picture.

From there I went to a motorcycle apparel store in Spring Hill.  In the old bank building downtown.  They had a lot of stuff, boots, helmets, gloves, and expensive clothing of all sorts.  They were friendly and I may have to order some stuff.  You know how that goes.

With these motor bikes, the stuff costs just as much as the bike itself.  But you can’t be a cowboy unless you get an outfit!  If you get an outfit, you can be a cowboy too!

Tonight we hung around the house, computering. Even Loyce was up in her office looking at email.

Retired Rod

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Where can you camp?

As I was writing last nights blog, I realized that there are very few camping opportunities here in the South West corner of the KC metro. So I looked around on the internet, and didn’t come up with much.

I went to RV Park Reviews, and it listed the state park down in Spring Hill. But that place is a zoo almost every weekend. I also listed a campground in town up on Johnson drive. I thought that’s interesting, I didn’t know we had a campground in the city. That’s 75 blocks North of here, so I thought, “Scooter Ride!”

I first went to the Scooter World store where I had purchased the Kymco, and bought a new face shield for my helmet. There is nothing wrong with the one I have except it is smoked. I need a clear one for night time riding. You really need the thing more at night than you do in the daytime. Otherwise you eat bugs like crazy. Yuk!

So after the bike store, I rode to the Walnut Grove RV Park. I almost went right by. It is a house on the street like almost all the others. But it had a sign declaring it to be an RV Park.

I rode in like I owned the place zooming past the office. Makes it look like you are headed right to the house of a friend or something, and I have seldom been stopped with this approach.

This is mostly a deep back yard of these folks home. In the Walnut trees, with the ground all gravel. With full hook ups of course. I stopped along the back fence and took a picture looking back to the front.


The blue mobile home up front is completely permanent. But many others are skirted, and haven’t moved in quite a while. The road was blacktop, everything else was gravel.

Its alright, but does not have anything to look at except the junker trailer next door.

It would do, and you could put your awning out as the sites were wide enough, but unless you have a specific reason to camp right in the city, I think I would pass.

It was 93 or so, and I couldn’t get home fast enough, the sun was blazing and the cars were hot hot hot. At home, I sat in the AC and turned the fan on high, but it was 5 PM by then.

Tonight I rode to the Five Guys hamburger joint as it was becoming dusk. The new face shield was just the ticket, no bugs to chew!

Retired Rod

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Olathe Lake

First I would like to say thank you to all the folks that responded about our doggie Brandy. We are still very tearful and sad. How can the passing of a pet be as emotional as if we had lost one of the human people in our family?

I think the answer lies in the fact that a dog is truly your friend. The dog has no judgmental aspect to his unconditional friendship. He doesn’t see you as fat, or bald, or behind on your house payment. If you don’t have enough for him to eat or more than an old rug for him to sleep on, he is still your undying buddy.

When you are gone, he waits patiently by the door for you to return, and his whole day is made perfect by your return. His enthusiasm is almost uncontrollable. That is what we will miss without our dog. The house seems empty.

It was overcast again today and it began to rain about 6 AM. Will it ever become sunny? But then by noon, I gained enough confidence to get the scooter out and head for old Olathe, and our Newest Wal Mart. I didn’t go directly there, but rather took the round about way. Just riding for the fun of it.

It began to rain fairly seriously, and I made a bee line for Wal Mart. I had lunch at the Subway. Shopped a little until the sun came back out.

I headed West to the Olathe Lake city park. The roads were still wet.


It was hot as the sun came back out in full force. The steamy mist cooked off the blacktop pavement. Part way around I stopped and walked down to the lake. The dam is across the lake, and the spillway is the little concrete thing to the right of the long dam.


There are numerous little shelter houses scattered throughout the park. This one had a swing to the right just out of the picture. There was a porta potty by the parking lot.


At the South end of the lake, the dam is not as visible from here.


Across the water is the sailing club building. This road must have gone across before the dam was built.


So I rode around to the sailing club landing and spotted these Asian folks doing something out on this landing pier.


He threw the contraption into the water, and pulled it back out.


There I timed my shot a little better, its a net.


The thing hangs all limp, but with his proper wrist action he spins the net out into a circle before it hits the water.


When he got it pulled back in, the little gal in the pink would grab the flopping little fish and toss them into the bucket. They were mostly small little minnow fish. I couldn’t imagine what they intended to do with them. Perhaps bait, or maybe fish soup.


I looked up Kansas fishing rules, and cast nets are legal as long as it is for bait fish under 12 inches in length. Both of these guys had nets and they were throwing them as fast as they could. They must have a (financial) purpose, as it was deadly serious to them.

This is the boat ramp. There is no beach on this lake, so the girls were using the dock as a sun bathing and swimming facility. They weren’t too keen on my camera, so they turned their backs to me. The signs restrict the lake to 5 mph and no wake, boat operation. Its alright to put in your speed boat as long as you just idle around the lake.


At the far end, this is the spillway over the dam. I’m not sure it has ever seen water.


But the water coming out of the lake goes under the road here, and there is a rushing water noise in the distance. I parked the bike to investigate.


I could only walk part way back to the lower spillway, but this is how the water exits the lake.


I tried to zoom in, but there were too many trees in the way. Getting closer would have required swimming, and the water was fairly cold. I passed.


Olathe Lake is a much older facility, but would still make a good picnic park. No camping is allowed. The park closes at midnight, and has gates over most entrances.

I have yet to find any overnight facilities around Overland Park, or Olathe. We do not allow vagabonding here. Move along, you hear! The city, you gotta love it.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Today was not a happy day at our house. We lost our pet Bichon dog Brandy.

She came to live with us back at Christmas time in 1994, and was approaching 15 years old. She has struggled with life this last year, and her passing is a relief for her.

We almost lost her back in 2005 as she had a bladder stone the size of a golf ball, and had to have surgery to remove it. The surgery was not successful, and she had to endure the second surgery only several days later to repair the first surgery. We thought she was gone at that time, but she lived on.


This is a picture of her in October, 2005, it is in the front of the car we purchased at that time. While over 10 at that time, she was still vibrant and very much so the playful puppy she had always been.

Our three year old grand daughter has always been overly attached to Brandy, and does not know that she has passed. Even though Brandy went blind in the last year, Delaney would lead her throughout the house, calling her name as she went. Explaining her loss will be a hard one for sure.

She had many depths to her personality, and could be perturbed with you for disturbing her.


She was an integral part of our family, and will be mourned for a long time.

Retired Rod