Monday, November 30, 2009

Headed back

Since Neil asked, lets retell the CO LP detector story.  We purchase the MH new, but it is an 08 that was on the lot for a year with the recession.  Right after we took delivery, on the trip home to KC, the detector began to beep. 

I complained heavily, and they sent me a brand new in the package detector.  It took off beeping the minute it had power.  They claimed that they had taken off the plastic from the carpet and it was giving off glue gas and all I had to do was wait and it would stop.

The short story is we are still waiting.  And it is still beeping!  They claimed the beeping was because it was so hot in the MH and that caused the construction gas to be expelled faster.  It is 53 here right now and the heat has not been started for the night, and it beeped when I brought the Pizza Hut box in a few minutes ago.  I guess it thinks pizza smells like CO, or maybe LP.  So now I can turn it off.

We have really had a change in the weather here as of yesterday.  It got really dark this afternoon, and began to rain.  Rain like it does in the Midwest.  It is to be cool for the next several days, but we will not get to see it warm back up.

In the morning we will finish packing the car with our winter clothes, and Loyce's quilt hobby supplies, and head out for KC.  We did this last year also, but went before thanksgiving.  With some luck, we will make a rapid trip back to our sticks and bricks home in the KC area.

Of course I do not really want to go, but the boss lady says we have too...........  These things are more meaningful to her, than to me.  I would go the week of Christmas, and come home the day after.

My smashed finger was throbbing during the night, and this morning I rode the scooter over to the K Mart on the corner to buy a roll of bandage tape.  We used to call it adhesive tape but I couldn't find anything by that name.  The roll that I bought was made by Johnson and Johnson, so it must be about the same.

I taped the finger up into a protective bandage, and that got me thru the day.  Tonight I am typing with the end of the bandage.  That is still sore, but I am coming along. I'll take it off in a few moments, and go to bed without the bandage.  Perhaps tomorrow will not require as much protection.

It will take us a while to get packed out in the morning, but we should be off in the morning.

Retired Rod

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Switch on the CO Detector

I'm a one handed typing fellow tonight, as I managed to smash my middle finger in the bedroom window this afternoon.  The windows are dual pane, and quite heavy.  It came closed with a bang right on the nail.   I let out quite a yelp, and had to sit in the lawn chair for a  period of time just to not pass out.

So tonight the blog may be a little shorter.......

I decided to install a switch on  our beeping CO LP detector.  Much of the time we have had the fuse removed from the circuit so it won't keep us awake, but that kills all the lights in the bedroom except the florescent in the ceiling. 

I added a toggle switch that hangs on its wires, so I can remove it without leaving any marks from its presence.  But the other stuff in the bedroom now works, and when the detector goes crazy in the middle of the night, a simple switch of the toggle will turn it off.

I can only hope that we will not be killing it when there is really CO present.  So if I wake up  dead from having the detector off, we'll know it wasn't a good idea.

But the fuse has been out for months so we would be dead already if we had a problem.  I left it on all afternoon, and it beeped at the most minimal introduction of anything.  Like taking off the top of the deodorant stick, and cooking some chili on the stove.

We are using electric heat, water heater, and fridge, so we have no CO source to worry about.

It was when I was cleaning up after the work that I managed to smash my finger in the window.  I've done nothing at all since that time.  Lets hope it feels better tomorrow!

Retired Rod

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday is a routine!


Ok you girls win!  No electric beater for the mashed potatoes!

Yes Friday is something of a routine here in Mesa Spirit RV Resort.  Lunch is served in the activity hall, and they call it Country Store.   It is something of a swap meet, as vendors are invited in to set out their wares.  Tables are free for the vendors, and that makes for a regular group of merchants.

Loyce needed a battery in her watch, and I was assigned to get that done.  She had more pressing responsibilities at the stores on Black Friday.  She left early in the morning, and I hung back to read blogs.  I managed to dress and shave in time to get up to the activity hall by the 11:30 time that I had decided upon.

The watch battery was handled by the watch repair guy that comes each week.  He fixes bands and batteries and the occasional winder stem while you wait.  He popped the back, and flipped the little battery out on the table with a sharp instrument.  The new battery was inserted with a tweezers and the back was replaced in a mechanical press.  Tools that I wouldn’t have. Ever!  $5.  Not bad for service to your rec hall, a block away from the RV.

After a hot dog and a box of very nutritional pop corn, I was back home waiting for Loyce.   Well, I don’t wait too well, so I rode over and filled up the gas tank on the scooter.  I’ve used one gallon since we’ve been here.  I rode for a while, circling back to see if Loyce was home on each one mile square away from the park.

Finally she arrived and we decided to go to the flea market.  She needed to return some ear rings, and I needed some small pieces from the tool mart.

You will see by the picture above, that I picked up a potato masher at one of the kitchen tool booths.  And I agree, that the hand masher will work when boondocking, that is if we ever boondock.  Remember Loyce wants to camp in the city.  And certainly not without electricity.  But as Penny reports, the spuds are gummy when beaten with the machine. 

Now about those bangers and mash!  Been a while since I’ve heard that terminology!  I like my sausages and potatoes as well as anyone, but I think my heritage called them bratwurst.  And likely the potatoes were scalloped or au gratin.  Bangers often have onion gravy, that can be tasty no matter your nationality.

Retired Rod

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Good Thanksgiving!

We had a good day cooking our small turkey breast.  We set up the roaster about 10 AM and it ran for 2 hours.  I had put a foil tent over the roast for the first hour and a half, and removed it for the last half hour.  This helped keep the meat moist and juicy.

We did the classic bucket of mashed potatoes.  I peeled for about a half hour, but it was really worth it as real potatoes have a lot more flavor.  We did learn that we didn't have any way to mash the potatoes when they were done.  We need to pick up a small electric mixer for the rig.  Never had call for one in the past.  I guess we don't bake much, since I can't have deserts, unless they are sugar free.

We are becoming more proficient with our convection microwave.  Since this is the only oven in the rig, it is not optional that we learn to operate and become successful with this appliance.  It seems that the secret of this is learning the mix of microwave vs convection.  Convection alone tends to brown the outside of your food but is slow to cook thru.  But by adding microwave, the process becomes even faster and cooks right thru the dish.

Today was just green bean casserole which was fairly easy.  It was done in under 20 minutes, with browned cheese on top to boot.  Our meal was good!

We had a beautiful day here on the desert!  Yes we made 30 degrees here!  That would be centigrade!  That's 85 for those that understand fahrenheit.

Since it was so nice, I worked on a new picture of our rig and site here in the Mesa Spirit RV Resort.

The results are at the top of this blog.  The rest of the day was football games and the Dog Show on TV.

We had a good day!

Retired Rod

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Off to Camping World

I have to admit, that it is Howard's fault that I went to Camping World this afternoon.  That would be Howard of  Yesterday, he featured a blog of RV maintenance.  One of the things he he did was to install screen door cross bar.
I had wanted to install something that would provide a handle for the door on the inside.  When you close the outside door, you slide the cover in the center of the door open and grab the outside door handle.  But when you close only the screen door, there is no handle.  Again you can slide the cover open, but pulling on the cover pulls it out of the track.  So I wanted a handle.

Of course the second I saw what Howard installed, there was the answer!

After I went to Camping World, I came home and installed the bar at once.  You adjust the ends for the width you need based on measuring and marking center.  Each end is slid in the same amount so the marked center remains the center.  They give you a template to help with this adjustment.

A couple of screws and the bar is locked.  Next you drill four holes in the screen door and with some sheet metal screws, the job is done.  I placed the package on top of the bar for the picture since I had no idea what I was looking for when I went to CW.

It got dark  while I was installing the handle, so using the thing in a door open situation will have to wait until tomorrow.  But using it here tonight, seems to be the answer I was looking for.

Also while at CW, I picked up the portable stand for the Webber Q grill.  You might remember that we purchased a Q 100 for an anniversary present back in September, and CW had the stand for $44.95.  Not a deal, even though they said that was a special. It is about the standard price.

Late in the afternoon, we went to Wal Mart and bought a small Turkey Breast roast.  We have a small church style roaster that we carry to make nicer dinners, so we plan to roast the piece of Turkey outside under the awning, and finish the dinner inside.

So have an nice Thanksgiving.  We plan to enjoy ours, and we are thankful for everything we are given.  Especially our friends and family.  As usual, most things that are really worth having, cannot be purchased.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Shopping in a newer area!

Another slow day, just the way we like them.  It became warmer by about 9 AM.  Warmer, equals over 60 degrees, and we are able to leave the door open after that.

We had breakfast and sat around reading the computer, and Loyce doing her crafts.  No one suggested going anywhere.  But Loyce declared she needed to go over to K Mart to check on some of her prescriptions.  I hung back at the ranch.

While she was gone, I cleaned up with a shower and fresh clothes.  Now we were ready to leave, but the only place we needed to go was another craft store.  Loyce's favorite place, Jo Ann's.  So I quickly decided that we would go to the new store 10 miles South of us here in Mesa.

This is in the San Tan Valley, and has the new Interstate running on its South side.  Bordered on the East by the San Tan Mountains from where it gets its name. The area is unincorporated, so its called an Area and has struggled with a name, but finally got a post office this past summer.

The shopping area is brand new, and has a new Wal Mart and Sam's Club as part of the anchor stores.  And of course the Jo Ann's that was our destination.  I went to the food row of the outer shopping and found the Wendy's.  One little 99 cent burger and a value fries.  With the senior discount was $2.14.  My lunch!  Loyce had already eaten at the MH.

We drove around the area, and found a Dollar Store, but again I waited in the car.

We returned home, and I began wire brushing a rusty area on the entrance steps.  A wire wheel in the drill prepared the step for paint.  But I had no paint!

So now it was scooter time to ride the 4 miles each way to Wal Mart, were Rustoleum was waiting to be purchased.   After the paint job was done, the sun disappeared into the West, and it became cold almost instantly.

As the days get shorter, the desert gets colder.  But we will leave here and go back to Kansas, where the weather is rainy and cold, so I will not complain about cold and dark.  We made it into the 70's and I had no jacket until the scooter ride, so life is good.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Older than dirt!

Thank You all for the many messages wishing me a Happy Birthday!  I am lucky to have found so many friends with the blog and facebook.  Isn't this an almost unbelievable way to communicate and meet so many folks?  I appreciate each and every one of you taking your time to read these ramblings.

So it was my birthday, and we had to do something that was more fun than sit here in this motorhome.  I proposed that we drive to Payson, Az.  That is about 75 miles North of Mesa, but also is up at 5500 feet.

Its is amazing how the elevation makes such a change in the climate.  As we climbed from the desert floor, we lost the saguaro cactus first, and then the prickly pear disappeared.  We began to see real trees, and the sagebrush gave way to small evergreens.

As we climbed the last 1000 feet and entered Payson, the trees began to be tall evergreens and real trees that had leaves.  Of course they were brown by this late in the fall, but actual trees just the same.

From the street in Payson, you can see in the distance that more mountains are to the North.

Loyce had a little surprise up her sleeve, as she now had and address for me to find in Payson.

Now what does she always want to find?

You can't read it but the window says "Quilters Outpost"  Now imagine that!  She wanted to come up here because there was yet another quilt store.
So I got to hang out in the car while she went inside and did what ever girls do in quilt stores.   But not being trainable, I wandered over to the neighboring shopping area, where there was a health store.

In front of the store I found a tractor.

This is a model B IH Farmall.  International Harvester.   Some study has yielded that letter tractors began in 1939, and model B tractors were discontinued in 1948.  During WWII the production went to the war, so I'm betting that this one might be rather rare.  The lady in the store knew nothing about the piece, other than that the store owner also owned the tractor.

It is very different up here than down in Phoenix.

Most of the trees are evergreen, but this was across the street from the shops in town.  It didn't look much like late November.  We drove on to the East into the Tonto National Forrest. 
We would have gone farther, but we decided that it was getting late, and that we would repeat this trip when we leave the area to go back to Kansas next week.

As it was getting darker by the minute, we headed right home to Mesa.  Pictures were no longer much of an option, with the little point and shoot camera.

As we traveled the hour long distance, we hatched a plan that we would have a birthday dinner at Texas Road House on Stapley and the Superstition Freeway.  This is just like all the other Texas Road Houses that I have been in.  They appear to be carbon copies no matter where they are built, but the meal was also a good carbon copy of what we have come to expect.  So all was well.

I had the rib eye, and so did Loyce.  We get the smallest one, because with a potato and a salad, I am so full at the end of the meal, you could roll me on out to the car!  We did not tell them it was my birthday, since the waiters all come over to your table and Hollar "HEE HAW!!!!" about four times and then sing happy birthday with no particular tune.

Since I can't eat the dessert anyway, it isn't worth suffering thru the humiliation!  Even Loyce agreed.

Ben and his house full of bandits called as we were headed to the restaurant, and they all yelled happy birthday together on the phone.  And later, I found that Melissa had Clair put a voice mail message of herself singing happy birthday, too.

Wow, all this fuss just because I am now old enough to collect social security, and more importantly get the America The Beautiful Senior Pass!  Wow!

Retired Rod

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hanging out at home.

Today was stay at home Sunday.  Loyce went to the laundry after noon and stayed for several hours.  So I obliged that duty by staying home and watching TV.  And of course I fell asleep during the history channel's how the earth was created show.

Not the most exciting, but full of facts.  At least until I nodded off. 

I buzzed over to K Mart that is up on the corner of our square mile here at the RV Park.  I was looking for some epoxy glue to try and reglue a bracket that holds the shower head.  The installer overtightened the screws and broke it right down the middle.  K-Mart didn't have any epoxy.

After watching some of the NFL football game, I went to Wal Mart four miles Northeast of here in the car.  It was dark and cold by this time, so the bike remained parked.  I found some epoxy, and bought a bunch of groceries.  Once back, I finished the football game.

I mixed up some of the glue, but it didn't seem to harden in the seven minutes as the package advertised.   Probably need to call the guy in Alabama again, but he is tired of me by now.

So the day was slow, but enjoyable, as the temps were in the mid 70's again.  40's at night, and 70's in the day.  No rain for the next seven days.Sun, sun, sun.  Someone has to do it. 

I got older again today.  Luckily that happens only once a year.

Retired Rod

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mesa Market Place

We decided to go to the Mesa Market Place today.  Yesterday when I suggested going to the Flea Market, it was already after 1PM and the place begins to close up by 3.  By 4 everything is locked and the vendors leave.

Today we headed out much earlier, so we would have time to do our shopping.  We were there before noon, and shopped for about 2 hours.

You can't tell from the picture, but the booths go for almost a quarter mile under this roof. But that is multiplied by a factor of 4 as there are four rows of these buildings.

I took this picture with the cell phone, and it didn't handle the latitude of light present under the roof.  The bright outside light was way too much.

We usually split up when shopping the flea market, as we have different interests.  I like to walk right along, and Loyce spends more time examining everything in each shop.  I walked almost all four of the building rows, but purchased only a few items.

After that we went to a burger king for some dollar menu cheeseburgers.  They are small, and make a conservative lunch, since we were doing fast food.

Next we went to the quilt store in Chandler that we drove right by two days ago.  Loyce was really not overly interested, but still spent about a half hour in the store.

So to get some equal time, LOL, I stopped at a motorcycle shop on the North side of Chandler.  Probably shouldn't have done that, as they had several Maxi Scooters on hand.  These bikes are 400 to 650 cc sized step thru models.  Really they are motor cycles, with automatic transmissions.  They are heavy and expensive.  Where do I sign up?

But the little scoot that I have is only 8 months old!  100cc ittis.  You know, if only I had 100 cc's more.  But I did really like the Suzuki Bergman.  They made the bike for the German market, and thus the name. 

Retired Rod

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Country Store and Sweet Potato Fries

Today was our first Friday of the new season here at Mesa Spirit.  Each Friday the staff kicks off a new week with their news bulletin and weekly themed activities.  Mostly we are not good participants, but we do watch as the activities pass by.

On Friday a noon luncheon is held called Country Store.  Each week a new soup of the week is sold along with hot dogs, ice cream sundaes and cones. The rec hall is filled with tables for the weekly swap meet which attracts vendors from all over the area.   Folks come for the luncheon and stay for the shopping.  Popcorn is a quarter, and pop is fifty cents.  The park seems quite empty, but I was amazed at the number of folks at the rec hall.  The place was over half full.

Now last spring the Country Store was able to fill the rec hall to overflowing.

I thought we should go over to the Mesa Market Place, and see how the local swap meet was coming along, but Loyce didn't want to go and canceled the entire idea.

So mid afternoon, we headed out to the East from the park, stopping at Wal Mart first. That killed another hour, before we got away.  We headed out to the Northern most road of Mesa and Apache Junction.  This was a good sight seeing trip, as we refreshed our memory of the area.

We ended up at the Apache Junction Wal Mart to purchase some products that were not at the Mesa store.  By then it was getting dark.  So we headed to our favorite restaurant.  Fuddruckers!

I had my french fried sweet potatoes!  I think I like them better than the burger.  I order the smallest burger but enjoy the fries.  Every last one of them!

Another Friday in Arizona!

Retired Rod

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hunting for a table leg.

We have settled into our home park routine here at Mesa Spirit.  Seems like it is cool or colder or coolest right at dawn.  And we huddle under the covers about that time not wanting to get out of bed.

We run a minimal amount of heat at night, as it can get really expensive to use the electric heaters all night.  So it gets quite cool in the rig before morning.  Once up and into your clothes, it isn't so bad.  And I have found that he rig holds the colder temps inside even though it has warmed up outside.

Now all this is relative, as it is never very cold here, but the high forties is fairly cold when in an RV.  We do have dual pane windows, and this rig is much better than our summer trailer was at staying warm once the heat is on.

All of this is to explain that we fall into the habit of sleeping in later, because we are waiting for the sun to warm the RV.

This morning, we were up and dressed a lot earlier than we have been, but had no particular plan of somewhere to go.  Seems like we even went out and got in the car without a plan.  Our only plan was to leave the park.

I was hoping to go find a motor scooter dealer, and look over the accessories they had available.  Loyce was interested in finding another quilt shop that we had been to last year, so we headed out.

We drove around, just checking out the things we remember from last year and relearning the general lay of the land.  I did find the Kymco dealer, but was fairly disappointed by the whole place.  They also handle new and used full sized bikes, and the whole place has the bad boy cycle shop feel.  Not what I was hoping for.

We stopped at a Home Depot to buy a table leg.  Let me explain.  Tiffin makes their dinner table on a steel frame that is fastened to the cabinetry on the wall.  There are no legs.  Loyce wants to put her heavy sewing machine on the table.  It should hold it alright, but it will bounce around as she runs the motor.  The steel frame will flex under the load, and that will cause the seams to not be straight.

We decided that a single leg wedged under that table would stabilize the whole deal and be a simple solution.  That is how we now find our self at the Home Depot.  They did have just the leg in the mill work department, but I needed it cut to a custom length.  Finding someone to run their saw and cut the leg proved time consuming.  Eventually we found the right guy.

We messed around looking for the quilt shop, that we remembered from last year, but must have driven right by.  I finally used my blackberry to look up the web site, and called for the address.  It was miles back behind us, and we gave up.

After returning home, I spent some time at the folks next door,  getting to know them and having a tour of their park model.  They are from South Dakota.  Loyce was back at her projects here at home.

So that was our less than exciting day, but we did leave the park and get out for the day.  That is a major improvement from yesterday.

Retired Rod

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Relaxing at the RV

Lets see, did I do anything today?  ..................   well.............   I did drive over to the car wash with a mighty dirty Toyota.  And splurged on the most expensive wash they had.  It was normally $12 but today, it was on sale at $9.  So why not? I had bugs.  1,600 miles of them.

Oh and not to mention all that red dirt and mud from driving thru the river at the bottom of Palo Duro Canyon.  Remember the big equipment scooping up the silt from the concrete river crossing?

So once that was over, I came back home and read a few more blogs.  Loyce worked on all her projects that she purchased yesterday on her shopping trip.

Late afternoon, I headed out on the scooter to go get a late lunch hamburger from the 99 cent menu at Wendy's and then to the fruit and veggi market on Main street.  Purchasing a few bananas and apples, to go in the rear top case on the bike.

Back home we watched TV for the evening, and that was the day.

I think after traveling for 15 days straight, we are finally stationary and taking advantage of the down time.  Neither of us seems to have a plan for the day.

So holding down the lawn chair in the shade on the North side of the RV seems to be the perfect answer of what to do today.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hanging out!

I had a quiet day here at the campsite, while Loyce headed out with the car to shopping points known only to her.  She needs this fix every now and then to keep her sanity.  She is free to do as she pleases, without me carping about it taking too long and sitting in the car waiting impatiently.

So I spent the day attacking the palm tree that is in the back of our campsite.  It has grown without any grooming for years.  The neighbors on our side of the wall next door, had sawed off the leaves that reached over their site, so it was lop sided and unattended on my side only.

Seems the fellow over the block wall in the next campground was also chopping off leaves as they reached over his wall.

I didn't ask for permission, since I knew I wouldn't get it.  I began sawing off leaves or fronds and piling them out by the road.  I felt sure this would attract attention.  One of the park guys did stop by, and ask how I was getting along, but said nothing about what I was doing.  So I pressed on.

Tonight, the tree is trimmed up to above our heads and a pile of fronds are next to the road.  We'll see if the staff comes and hauls them away.  Or if I get into trouble.  Really the staff should have trimmed this tree along with all the others in the park, but I am told that the tree was planted by the park model owner that had this site previously.

I didn't ask the circumstances of the removal of this housing unit, but I do know it was quite old, and now it is gone.  Someone in the park must make these decisions, but that knowledge is not leaked out to us lowly RV owners.

Years ago, this park was all park models, and they were quite old back then.  Now it is mostly empty RV sites sprinkled with newer park models.  They do bill the place as an RV Resort, so the emphasis has changed.

Tonight, I am nursing my hands and fingers, as the sharp barbs of the palm fronds have exacted a toll and caused numerous punctures.  Perhaps I will have something more of interest to report tomorrow, and typing fingers that are less sore to explain it with.

Retired Rod

P.S.  The sleep number bed stayed inflated nicely all night long, and I slept on it like a log.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Catching up with pictures, and New Mattresses

I went to Wal Mart today and bought a SD card reader, since the SD slot in the laptop has given up for good.  But that allows me to add the pictures from the last several days.

Welcome sign at Christmas Circle, in the center of the roundabout.


Remember this is in the center of the desert, grass is a flower and must be tended daily.  This little park was surrounded by folks playing on the grass.


The outside of the roundabout is surrounded by mountains.


We could have stayed here for weeks, but it was not in our schedule.

This was our site at the Shangri-La.  We are on every other site.  The space between the motorhomes are numbered and rented when they are full. 

You can see that we have a strip of concrete outside our door.  Well that strip is shared by the rig next to you.  It is six feet wide.  They told us we would have to put our awning back in, so they could pull in another rig.


The rig between the MHs facing us is pulled in the opposite direction.  So you have six feet of concrete with your doors facing each other.  This is for forty dollars a night!  Is it any wonder that I was confused about the price we were being charged?  I couldn’t believe what we were being charged.

Today, I started out with a flat mattress again.  The sleep number bed had again expelled the hose that connects to the pump.  This happened during the night, and I awoke wondering why my back hurt so bad.

Calls to Tifffin, with less than pleasant requests for help, were answered fairly quickly.  Seems that they did in fact have the new air mattresses over in California, but had not called to let us know.  The repair representative was dispatched immediately.  He was in Riverside, and drove thru the day reaching us about 5 PM.  He had to argue to get thru the gate of this RV park as deliveries were over at 5.

The short story is that he installed two new internal air mattresses into the existing bed.  They inflated normally and held air.  We snuck him out the back way of the park as he didn’t want to deal with the gate guy again.

Tonight will be the initial test of the replacements, here’s hoping we have seen the last of this problem.

I spent the afternoon unpacking the trailer.  The motor scooter was unloaded and used to buzz over to Wal-Mart. 

This is the first trip on the bike, since the afternoon I took the hot air balloon pictures back on September 30.  We never had a dry day that was warm enough to ride in Kansas City after September.  It is to be warmer tomorrow! Cool more scooter time!

Retired Rod

Monday, November 16, 2009

A misunderstanding and off to Mesa

It is quite cool here tonight.  We have become accustomed to the warmer temps here in Arizona, and when they go away for a while we wimp out. Whine whine whine.

It was barely 60 this morning as we awoke in Yuma, to a North wind gusting over the campground.  I stepped from the MH to find that my short pants were not nearly enough clothes.  After draining the tanks to get ready to travel, I quickly went back inside.

It was sometime after that, that the knock at the door came.  A fellow from the campground office.  Demanding to know why we had stayed at the campground without paying.  Say What!!!

I explained that I had asked for five nights and had paid my bill upon checking in.  We were in the process of leaving this morning.  Not with out paying for last night, was his response.  We were dumbfounded.

Seems as though we only thought we had registered for five nights, but the office had us registered for four nights.  I followed the fellow to the office, where I met his wife who was the manager.  She was even more indignant that we had violated laws.

I explained that we had asked for nights to include Saturday, and thought that we had paid for them.  We were getting nowhere.  They demanded payment, and I complied.  This made the camping about $40 a night plus tax.  I would not have stayed here, had I understood that price structure.  And of course the lady that checked us in was nowhere to be found.

Moral of the story is to review the receipt you are given, to make sure what you agreed to orally is on the written form.  Boy was I steamed.  Hopefully this explanation will not come off as a rant, but more of a reporting of the facts surrounding our misunderstanding.

We left as quickly as we could pack up.  There was no way to repair this situation, we were totally wrong in their eyes. Thieves!

We left Yuma, not sure we will ever return.  At least not to the Shangri-La resort anyway.

Today was our reserved check in date for the Mesa Spirit resort here in Mesa, and we arrived about 3 in the afternoon.  We are on our agreed upon site, in the middle of the camp.  Not without some difficulty, as we had trouble wheeling the MH into the tight spot. 

The site is wide enough, but there are these mail boxes all over the place, and I tried to remove two of them.   The fellow guiding me in, backed me right over one, and in trying to get off of the first one I hooked another across the street with the side of the rig.  We have several nasty scratches in the rig.

I do a lot better when someone is not making decisions for me.  Loyce was screaming at the top of her lungs for me to stop, as the CG guy was instructing me to back over the obstacles.  I ignored him from that point forward and went around the block and backed in from the opposite direction.  He was still barking out orders, but I simply didn't do what he told me.

So we are here, on the site for the next several months.  We found many activities in this area to keep us busy last year, and I am sure this year will keep us busy as well.

The place is mostly empty, as there are 1,800 sites.  Don't get me wrong, there are hundreds of rigs here, but with so many sites empty, it appears as though it is mostly empty.

We are in between two park model permanent trailers, and have a cement block wall behind us.  Our patio and driveway are concrete, so we have a clean site.  Of course this is the city, and totally lacks the IT factor that a core of engineers CG would have. 

Retired Rod

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Touring in California

While we are this close to California, I thought we would drive the car over into the state and look around the Southwest end.  We had never been this far South before without being on the coast.

That went well, as we drove over the Imperial Dunes, and on to El Centro.  The nutty folks were all over the dunes this afternoon, with their buggies.  Going up, straight up embankments.  Jumping at the top!  Not an activity for the over 60 set!

Since we are from the Midwest, and I worked for a farm Coop, we did business with the folks in Imperial Valley, so actually driving North to the Salton Sea was a treat.  It is about what I thought it should be.  Neat to see all that green out in the otherwise dry desert.

Once we were up by the West side of the lake, I thought we would head over to Borrego Springs.  Again the four wheeler is king on the road into the Anza Borrego Desert State Park.  The machines were everywhere, and the BLM campers were about every mile or so.

They huddle up into camp circles with their machines in the center.  I perceive they will party long into the night.

We made it to Christmas Circle in the town of Borrego Springs, where folks were all around the little park in the middle of the roundabout.  It is all grass, nicely manicured.  I took pictures, but the new chip in the camera will not read in my computer slot tonight for some reason.  Bummer.

We hung out in town for a while and went out to the State Park Camp Ground, but found that it would cost $34 a night to camp there.  WOW, for a state park?  California is really high priced on everything.

As it was getting dark, we headed on back to Yuma.   We were about 120 miles away.  But at 70 mph on the freeway it went by fairly quickly.

We went thru three check points by the boarder patrol today, checking for who was in the car.  Mostly they just wave us thru as we are not the profile they are looking for.  But by the Salton Sea, it took almost a half an hour to wait in line to get to the fellow doing the checking.

Many Hispanic folks were pulled from the line and were busy providing paperwork and access to their vehicles.  I'm sure there is a method for these searches, but as a simple civilian, I do not understand what it is.  The Salton Sea is 40 miles or more from Mexico.

This is the first time we have been in California as a reactivated RVer, so we are going to add it to our states visited map.  Even though we didn't actually stay overnight.  We spent all day and drove over 250 miles so that counts as a visit in my mind.

Many years ago we spent a week or more in our old fold down Starcraft trailer, in California.  We camped in LA as well as downtown San Francisco. Not sure you could do that today, LOL.

Retired Rod

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Standing down in Yuma

We finally saw the sun today.  But the temperatures are much cooler.  We had a high of 73 as registered on our car temp gauge mid afternoon.

We had such a big day yesterday, that we just hung out today. I read the internet and blogs for the morning, and we didn't leave the MH until after noon.  Went quilt store hunting.

We finally found one store, but Loyce wasn't inside more than 10 minutes, as she wasn't interested in what they were doing.  The second place turned out to be someone's private apartment.  Folks have quilting machines at home and do sewing and binding for hire.  They list themselves in order to get business, but there is no distinction between them and a retail store.

So sometimes hunting an address will lead you to a personal residence.

We went to Burger King for a quick lunch and headed for the Arizona Market Place.  Swap meet.

These places are under a common roof but each store is in a tent like structure that is owned by the vendor.

This is the same setup that we found up in Phoenix, ( Mesa) last year.

They call it the Mesa Market Place and the roofs are exactly the same over the vendors tent like structures.  The vendors that I talked to claimed they were not related, but they must have been at one time.  They are exactly alike, and that is more than coincidence.

This place has eight rows of covered shopping tent areas.  Complete with food vendors in permanent buildings.  The parking lot is on at least 40 acres.  It's all blacktop and striped for parking.

We walked for about two hours.  I didn't buy anything, but Loyce had some small items.  It is really a bunch of stuff, that has limited application to the RV lifestyle.  Tools, perhaps, and some RV stores with mats and lawn chairs for sale.  But that is the extent of it.

We came back to the rig and chilled some more.

Tonight I went over and bought a big steak which we split for supper.  A slow day, just the way we like them.

Retired Rod

Friday, November 13, 2009

Algodones, BC, Mex (Lots of Pictures)

It was completely overcast as we got out of the car in the fenced parking area on the US side of the boarder.  US customs is in a building next to the tan overhead on the left.  They were sniffing cars with dogs, so I didn’t take any pictures as they really don’t like that.


No man’s land, but still on the US side of the wall.  Wall is visible on the left side beyond the white gated fence.


I think there was a guy in the far shack, but they weren’t stopping cars.


Where did everyone go?  Usually there is a kid hawking shoe shines or gum, the moment you get thru the gate.


The overcast and possible rain must have slowed this a bit.   The streets were clean and though persistent, everyone was polite.  I saw no beggars, like I did across from Texas in Nuevo Progresso.


The sidewalks are enclosed with stands on both sides, and they hawk the usual stuff.  Belts, hats, jewelry and all the trinkets.  Dentist senor?  Eye exam?


We tired fairly quickly of the shopping, but I found some diabetes medicine that I use and bought it cheaper than the deductable I pay here in the US.  That doesn’t seem right, but that’s how it is.
In the courtyard of the pharmacy, was a restaurant.  Hey why not?


Camarones al Mojo de Ajo.  Shrimp in garlic sauce.  $7.99 US.  I tried to picture Loyce’s Chimichanga, but she had her arm over it so the picture didn’t come out.


We shopped and shopped, not really buying anything, but a bracelet for Loyce, and some vanilla.  Oh and then we bought the barbed wire cactus.  Its still in the trunk of the car.
When we decided to go, we got in this long line along the sidewalk.


We made it down that sidewalk, only to turn and find that the line went on even farther.  The customs agents were in the portable office under the roof.  You climbed the ramp inside the tan canvas corridor.  I felt like livestock in a vaccination chute.  Single file now!


He ran my passport, and asked what I bought.  I answered “vanilla and some prescriptions.”  OK! and I was out the door.  Loyce had the three foot wire cactus in a bag, and she had to answer what that was.  But we made our way to the car.

The parking is run by the local Indian tribe, but the lot is huge and completely fenced.  There was several fellows buzzing around on security golf carts, and they gladly grabbed the $5 out of my hand as we left.

When we got back to Yuma, we drove to the address of the swap meet, without using the GPS.  It was right where it should have been, except the GPS confused North with South.  We should have seen the darned thing, as we drove right by it yesterday.
We walked for quite a ways in the swap meet, but it was slow going in there.  Perhaps we’ll go back tomorrow when we are not so hiked out.

Retired Rod

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Searching around town.

Happy Veterans Day!  or as my Grandmother called it Armistice Day.  She was born in 1880 and WWI was vivid in her mind.  She remembered November 11, 1918 at 11:00 AM when the Armistice was signed.  After WWII, Eisenhower signed a bill that changed the holiday to Veterans Day, but not for her. LOL.

Oh boy, the highway noise!  I 8 never slows down, it lasts all night, and the A/C doesn't cover much of it.  Seems like you don't notice it much during the day as you are busy with other things, but once you go to bed..........

We were out in the morning, installing the vent cover on the utility trailer.  This was really quite simple, as it slides right into the track on the permanent part in the roof.  You take a pair of pliers and bend the tabs at the ends of the slides and its on.  Hooking up the crank arm is a bit more work, as you have to remove the trim ring and the screen in order to take out the screws holding the crank mechanism.  Once loose, it simply slides into the new track.  Then everything is put back in the reverse order.

I had most of the stuff out of the trailer, including the portable power washer, so I hooked it up and power washed the front of the motorhome.  We had 1,600 miles of smashed bugs on the rig.  We had removed some of them back in Amarillo, but you couldn't tell.

By now it was afternoon, but we decided to go up town and get a burger.  When this far West, we like Tioga George, find an In and Out Burger.  That's not on any of our diets but it was good.  They cut the french fries right in the window as you drive by.  The potatoes were smashed thru the cutter with a long press lever and dropped into the hot oil.  My arteries and blood sugars are crying, but it is good.  We shared one order.

For the afternoon we headed out finding the quilt shops in the area, with limited success.  One in the old Downtown area was permanently closed, with a for rent sign in the window.  But we did find one in the older outskirts of town to the South.  Quilt shop hunting with the GPS causes us to drive around most of the area we are new to.  This familiarizes us quickly with our surroundings.

In the process, Loyce discussed another attraction with some of the shop clerks.  There is a swap meet here, like there is in Apache Junction.  So with some feeble directions, we set out to find it.  We ended up South of town near the military ground with big caution signs about unexploded ordinance.  We never found the swap meet.

Later I found an entry in the GPS for a completely different address, but driving to that location netted an empty farm field.  George the GeoSat was emphatic that I should turn into the dirt field.  More research will be needed on this one.

The internet stated that Yuma had 330 days of sunshine, which would leave 35 days of overcast, so as you guessed, today was overcast.  It still made a high temp of 88, so this is a warm place for sure.

It is to be cooler, here for the next several days, but we will have to see what that means.  Perhaps we will go to Mexico tomorrow.  We'll  decide that in the morning.

As the trucks roar by........   Retired Rod

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Off to Yuma!

Oops we goofed that one up!  I was just looking over the comments on prior days blogs and realized I missed the comment of Jerry and Suzy, that they are in unit 299 at Benson SKP Saguaro RV park.

Often I go back and see if there are any new comments on prior posts, but I didn't see that one until it was too late.  Sorry folks, I hope to meet you when we pass thru again!

We were up by 7 ish this AM and sorted out all the stuff that needs put away on a travel day.  We had parked for three days, and that meant we had three times as much stuff to put away.  I had drained all the nasty tanks the night before, so all we needed was a cursory rinse and the hoses were rolled.  But we did have to back up and connect the utility trailer.

Husbands and wives should never try to connect a trailer together, as it will surely cause marital strife.  Loyce was doing her best to get me to back up just right, but I was not following her hand signals correctly.  So I knocked the trailer off of its blocks and had to re jack the front above the ball.

But eventually we were connected without drawing too much of an audience.  We paid our electric bill ($10.75)  for three days? and hit the road.

We stopped in Tucson, at the RV repair place and purchased the vent cover for the utility trailer, which slowed us by a good half hour.  Its still sitting here in the chair beside me.

We made the turn onto I 8 after purchasing diesel at the Flying J just South of that intersection.  It was $2.61 with the RV card, and was the cheapest since we were in Oky City.  We made about 10 mpg.  That was at almost 70 mph most of the time, which is not too bad.

We arrived here in Yuma, Az at 4:30, having traveled 280 miles.  It was hot out on the desert this afternoon, as we registered above 90 degrees most of the trip.  That would be cool in the summer time but it is November, and still 90.

As we arrived, we had no plans of where to stay.  None.  I had looked at a few blogs of folks that stayed here, but not a one of them had bothered to say the name of the park they were at.  Oh well.  So I called up RV park reviews, in the truck parking lot of the local Love's truck stop.

The reviews of almost all the parks were made by people that were upset with their stay.  So, the park with the least nasty comments was the one we settled on.  We are at the Shangri La RV resort on the Interstate about mile marker 12.  This is mostly a 'park model' park, but has nice long pull thru's in the front of the park for transients.  We are along the frontage road of the interstate, so highway noise is very high.  We may have to run the air conditioner fan to help cover the racket.

We are able to get the motorhome, trailer, and the car inline on the site.  That must make the length over 70 feet.  The width, however, is quite narrow.  It can't be more than 20 feet, but there is no one next to us on the door side, so if it stays that way we will be fine.

We are slated to be in Mesa on Sunday, so we rented 5 days here.  I'm not sure what we will do for the 5 days, but one of them will include going to Mexico.

Neither of us has ever been here before so everything is going to be a new experience.  We will report on that as it goes along.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Shopping and Fixing the Vent

We went to Tucson today to quilt shop hop.  Tucson is 40 miles West of Benson and it takes almost an hour to get into the shopping areas from here. 

We paid our $15 this morning about 11 AM as that was check out time.  So we were crossed off the needs to leave list.

By mid afternoon, we had 89 degrees registered on the dash thermometer.  It was almost hot when I was sitting in the car waiting for the shopaholic!  But you know, only a week ago, I was freezing in KC as it was raining day after day, so it was gorgeous.

As we were leaving, I stopped at an RV parts house to purchase a new vent cover for the utility trailer.  Seems that they are all the same size, 14” square, but they have three different hinges that are popular.  And of course I had no idea which one I had.

So as we came home, I had to unload the trailer and remove the vent to find out the type I had.  The worse of it was I had guessed right which one I had, but chickened out purchasing it since if wrong, I would have to bring it back.

So as we drive back to Tucson tomorrow, we will be stopping back at the RV parts store to purchase the right vent cover.  At least I will have it fixed, and the part is under $20.  The streets around the store are narrow and tight, so driving there will be somewhat of a challenge.

We will head away from Tucson to the North, but will not go to Phoenix.  Since we will be staying there for most of the winter, we hope to go somewhere else first.

Retired Rod

Monday, November 9, 2009

Touring South of Benson

After driving to Arizona from Kansas in six days, with the 26,000 pound motorhome, today was a day of relaxation.  Well sort of anyway.

In the middle of the night, my repaired sleep number bed mattress went flat at three AM, right on cue.  So I slept on the hard plywood board under the mattress.  There is a small pad in the mattress top, so I had some cushion but not much.  The sides of the mattress are made out of hard foam rubber, so you are kind of sleeping in a box of foam, with nothing underneath.

I couldn’t stand that too long, but managed to get the hose plugged back into the air mattress about 7.  That allowed for some sleep in the morning.

I went up town, and found a hardware store where I purchased some extra strength contact cement and attempted to re glue the hose into the mattress.  So tonight will be another test of glue strength.

We headed out in the afternoon for places South of Benson, and that meant Tombstone and Bisbee.  We’ve been all over Tombstone before, so we stopped at the one place we haven’t been before.

Boot Hill.

It’s just an old fashioned grave yard, with gift shops around it.  It does keep down any vandalism as the gift shop employees are right there.


The Clantons and McLaurys killed at the OK Corral shooting.


From there we went down to Bisbee.  We didn’t have any place in mind, but wandered around the downtown looking for some lunch. 

We happened on a sandwich shop and had a Turkey and Cheese and Avocado on Sour Dough.  It had lettuce, tomato, mayo and Dijon on it.  It hit the spot, but was tourist trap pricey.


We wandered a few stores, but came away empty handed.  The place is real artsy and has many jewelry and antique shops.  Its hard to use most of that stuff in the RV life. LOL


We run out of paid for nights here tomorrow, so we will have to make a decision about leaving or staying.  But perhaps tomorrow in the light of day the answer will come to us.

Retired Rod

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Arizona or Bust!

I didn't feel like testing the sleep number mattress, so I slept on the fold out couch.  It is also an air mattress, but more of the old fashioned type.  It has the mattress padding, and an internal air bag.  You blow it up with a pump that plugs into the 110V outlet.  I guess you have to blow it up with your breath, if you are boondocking.

It sleeps rather hard!  At first I didn't have it up high enough, and I sagged to the bottom with my bottom.  But then after a couple of hours of that and a back ache, I blew it up some more with my breath.  Now it was quite hard, and I went to sleep until about 6:30.

By that time, the traffic began to be heavy in front of the RV park, so I was up again.  I never did hear the train during the night, so perhaps its a daylight track.  I never went into the bathrooms or any of the other facilities, so the park was fine.  A gravel lot with hookups.

As we were leaving, at about 10 AM the park owner was out front on the bunkhouse porch waving us goodbye.  A nice touch.

We got started driving, and made it over the mountain range West of Alamogordo in short order.  This is a steep incline when coming from the East, but the Cummins diesel shifted back to high gear from the double overdrive (6th back to 4th) and pulled like a trooper.  We never slowed below 50 miles per hour, but the throttle was floored.

We had to drive right thru downtown Las Cruces as there is no interstate connection between US 70 and I 10, without going South on I 25 and then coming back North again.  That is way out of the way.

Once on I 10 we kept on keeping on!  The miles seemed to fade into the rear view mirror.  Before we knew it we were in Arizona.  I did a wave at Al and Kelly when we went over the highway to Douglas, as they are somewhere South of there.  They couldn't have been too far away, as Mexico is only about 60 miles South.

We headed on, as it was almost 4 in the afternoon.  At Benson, we decided we had had enough, and headed into town.  This is where the Escapee park is located here outside of Tucson.  We have been members for about a year now, so that's where we are parked for tonight.  I bought two nights, since I am tired of the relentless driving.  This is somewhat of a destination park, and has all the fellowship that the Escapee's are known for.

We arrived just as their happy hour was starting, but the office is in a different building than the clubhouse, and by the time we were on our spot and set up, the hour was over.

Tonight was poker and many other activities, but we were quite tired, and happy to sit and watch TV.

I have no idea what tomorrow will be, but lets hope its a lot slower.

Retired Rod

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Onward to Tularosa, Nm

As I said last night, when the air mattress went down, we haven't seen the last of this.  And yes the mattress went flat in the night again last night.  It has a filler nipple that is fastened to a hose, which goes to a pump.  That is how it controls the air.  The sleep number!

But the pipe will not stay in the mattress.  So I called Tiffin this morning.  While I was driving out of Texas.  They will be shipping a whole new mattress assembly to their Western factory rep in the next few days and I will have to make arrangements to meet him somewhere in Arizona.

But in the meantime, I will have to attempt a repair to get me by.  The Tiffin guy suggested that I glue the spout in the mattress with GE Silicone Seal.  So this afternoon when we stopped for lunch, I glued it together, with the silicone.  I don't hold much faith in this solution, but I am doing as I was told before taking over with the more drastic measures.

So now since I was awake at 5:30 with a flat bed, I stayed up and got most of our stuff ready to go.  Loyce was sleeping on the couch, as I was trying to repair the bed.  But it wouldn't stay together, so we were both up.

We were on the road with complete breakfast before 9 AM.  That never happens, but it did.  We drove West on I 40 out of Texas and into New Mexico.  The flat lands of the Panhandle give way to the rolling hilly scrub brush, and you know you are into NM.

We headed South when we got to Santa Rosa on Hwy 54.  This goes up in altitude to about 7,000 feet but it is fairly gradual.  We drove for what seemed forever, finally making Carrizozo.  The land is quite beautiful but yet desolate.  When you get higher in altitude, the trees become almost all evergreens, but still dwarf trees, after being in the Northwest all summer.

We wore completely out as we arrived in Tularosa, and pulled into the Boot Hill RV Park.  This is where readers Al and Kelly of the Bayfield Bunch stayed when they came thru here last week.  Since they thought favorably of the joint, we will give it the try too.

The lady in the check in process was very nice, and the fellow that led us to our site, would have set up camp for us had we let him.  With the motorhome, we seldom use much of the camp's facilities, so to us it is a gravel parking area with hookups.  We are right along the highway, so the road noise is heavy.

And of course there is the train across the way, but it is farther away than our Oregon KOA experience, where it went in one bedroom window and out the other.

Tonight may be flat mattress time again, but I am going to open the couch just in case before I go to bed.  Loyce's half of the mattress seems to be fine.  So I am the only one with the sagging behiiind.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sight Seeing in Amarillo

We were jolted awake about 1:30 last night by a loud explosion, and a blow torch sound that sounded like a giant propane water heater next to our bedroom window.  The noise turned out to be four miles away.
“A massive fireball with flames shooting 700 feet into the air erupted shortly after 1 this morning in Bushland, forcing the evacuation of residents, destroying at least one home, and lighting up the night sky for miles.


Authorities said a gas line ruptured at an El Paso Natural Gas pump station in the Prairie West subdivision. Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas said it’s too early to determine what triggered the blast, which rattled windows miles away in Amarillo.
Thomas said at least two people were injured.”   (Copied without permission from
Needless to say we were awake for another couple of hours before we got back to sleep.  The night sky was lit up with the gas line that was burning out of control.  Sirens were wailing down the interstate as fire trucks and police roared by.

As all this was going on, and we were watching out the couch window of the coach, I was disassembling the sleep number bed.  My side of the mattress was completely flat and the air pump was running continually.

The top of the mattress had to be unzipped, and the tube that connects the air supply needed rerouted into the  air bag.  I pushed it back together.  There are no clamps or crimping devices, so I would bet that it will happen again. That bed is a $1200 option that now has gone flat in the middle of the night.  Sigh!

We weren’t up very early in the morning after our sleep interruption.  And our heads hurt from the disturbed sleep. But this is our day to see a few things here in the Amarillo area.

Cadillac Ranch   (Wikipedia)



Up close, these cars have about a half inch of paint on them.  Painted over and over with spray cans.  The cans are tossed everywhere on the ground, even though there is a dumpster right at the gate.  This is private ground.  Folks don’t care.

I found it interesting that this sight has actually changed once, as the old sight was getting too close to civilization.  They were dug up and moved a couple of miles farther West.

From there we drove South to Canyon, and then to Palo Duro State Park.

Palo Duro Canyon from the visitors center.

DSC_0472 DSC_0470

Once down the 10 % grade rock wall, the floor was made up from soft red  sandy material.


You drive thru the Red River as you wind thru the park.  The silt erosion gathers at the road crossings, and they have to clear it.

DSC_0474 DSC_0475

The colors and beauty at the bottom of the canyon are spectacular.


There is only one way down into the canyon and you retrace your drive to get back out.

The Cavalry and the Indians had quite a skirmish at the bottom of the canyon in the latter part of the 1800’s and the soldiers captured and killed the Indian’s horses.  Captured 1,400 and killed 1,000.

The Indians went back to their reservations afterward as they had no transportation or supplies to wage war.  A different time, I’m sure.

Retired Rod

Thursday, November 5, 2009


It was getting quite dark when I headed out to take a picture of our site here in the Oasis RV Resort here in Amarillo, Texas.  We are at what Al of the Bayfield Bunch would call a high ender's park, with the nice concrete pads to park on.  You wouldn't want to get your wheels dirty now would you.  The pad is perfectly level, and did not require the jacks, but I put them down anyway because it helps stabilize the rig.  That keeps the shaking down when we waddle around inside.

This place is quite new, and many of the RV Dreamers have stayed here.  They have recommended the place, so we had to come see what all the hub bub was about.

Not only do we have Full Hook Up's, but even the laundry is supposed to be free.  We haven't checked that out yet.  Another nice feature is they do not care if you wash your rig.  We may have to take advantage of that if we have the time.

This place could command a big price, but they charge $20 a night.  This is an introductory price, but has been going on for some time.

A view back to the front of the park toward the office.

We were up fairly early this morning, and headed out of the KOA park by about 10 AM.  This time I did look to make sure of the time.  We rolled along at  65 miles an hour, not pushing too hard.  We knew that there was no problem with sites as we had called for a reservation and found we didn't need one.

I stopped at a Flying J to get some diesel and propane, but we had a little problem, as their propane hose was not long enough to reach the passenger side of the coach.  The pump was on the driver's side, and the guy told me to go turn around and come into the pump backwards.

But before I could get turned around, two more RV's were in line for the diesel pump.  Backwards suddenly wasn't an option.  The fellow suggested that the pump was on the curb side in Amarillo.  Well then!  I drove on to Amarillo.

After stopping in the rest area to make some lunch, we arrived at the Flying J in Amarillo.  This time the RV drive was curbed and quite narrow, and steep.  I drug the trailer jack post heavily getting into the driveway.  That's when I noticed the vent cover on the top of the utility trailer was gone.  Darn!

I had to go into the office 3 times to get someone to come pump the LP.  Meanwhile the RV's lined up behind me to get to the pump.  They didn't understand why I was just sitting there next to the LP tank and not pulling ahead to the diesel pump.  They honked their horns in dissatisfaction. Finally the LP guy came and filled our tank.  I pulled ahead and topped off the diesel tank as well.  The folks behind me were really glad to see me go!

Flying J is becoming almost impossible use for a fill up in any timely manner.  I do much better if I get inline with the semi trucks, but there is no LP in those islands.

We have a 30 gallon tank for LP, and filling it 80 percent gives you 24 gallons usable.  We have never put any gas in since we got the RV new, using it all summer on the initial tank.  We added 10 gallons today, which will take us into the park in Mesa full.  Arizona does not allow the LP truck to come and fill you rig in the park.  So it is necessary to drive the whole RV to get propane.  Breaking camp that way is not a good thing.

We paid for two nights here, and were told we could have the third night for free.  These folks really want your introductory visit to be memorable.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Over 400 miles away!

Isn't it interesting, that we drove 217 miles yesterday, and decided to quit.  Well today, we drove 219 miles and right on que, we quit again. 

This time we are at a KOA that is literally right on the intersection of the Highway.  That would be I 40 and a county road at Elk City.   The CG owner said the frontage road in front of the CG is old Route 66.  He also elaborated that most of the old buildings have been removed.  They were literally falling to pieces, and had to come down.

We stopped about 4 PM, but didn't travel all of the time during the day.  We left sometime around 10 AM but I didn't actually make note of the time as we departed.  Traveling to Oklahoma City was typical interstate stuff with all the big trucks passing by, pushing you hard with their wind vortex.

Isn't it surprising how a truck will suck you back towards it once the front of the vehicle is beyond you?  Perhaps it is that you have to hold into the truck as it approaches so as not to be pushed off the road, and then suddenly the force is gone and you steer yourself against the side of the truck.

I only go about 65, and most of the semis do 70 to 75, so they love to shove me all over the place.  But we don't have to please a dispatcher, like they do, so keeping up with a schedule is not necessary.

As we entered the Northern suburbs of OK City, we passed a really nice Wal-Mart in Edmond.  Some discussion about hanging a Uey and going back ensued on the two way radio.  But then as we approached I 44, I saw the Flying J.  So I headed in for Fuel.

They have an RVer's card, which gets you the cash price with a credit card, and I have had one for several years.  6 cents off today.  We filled up both the car and the coach.  Jumping back on the Interstate, going NORTH!  back to Wal Mart. LOL.

We messed around in the store for about an hour,  picking out assorted goodies.  And a burger from the MickeyD's at the front of the store.

Once back on the road, we headed West toward Amarillo on I 40.  We had a lot of wind from the South and the Interstate was in terrible shape and jarred the coach and everything in it.  It didn't take me long to tire of that experience, so we are here along the Highway at a KOA.

Ya, I know, too expensive and too commercial.  But we are in the trees out back of the main building, and have FHU with 50 amps.  But it is in the 50's so far tonight, and we only have one heater running, and it is thermostatically controlled, so it has been off more than on.

We do have a ton of Highway noise, as we are right along the frontage road.  The satellite TV picked up some of the signal, but again was spotty due to the trees, and there is very little signal with the antenna.  Its over 100 miles back to OK City and 160 to Amarillo.  The park does have cable at the post with about 7 channels, but I never hooked up.

An interesting side note, the Interstate does not have rest stops along Western Oklahoma.  So folks stop at the CG looking for a bathroom.  The owner said they make such a mess of his facilities, that he put a Kybo out along the frontage road.  If your not a guest, the Kybo is all yours! A fellow was at the door as we arrived, and was shown the Kybo, but left in a huff!  No Kybo for him. We were amused.

The wifi is quite strong and requires a code to get thru security, so it is fast too.  So we cooked up some of our Wal Mart groceries for supper and are bundled in for the night. Ah life on the road!

Retired Rod

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

First Night Out.

It seems like it is way late at night, but perhaps it is just my internal clock which is still on daylight saving time. It should be midnight, but the watch says 10:45.

We are in a RV park called Oasis RV, and it is just inside the the Kansas boarder on I35 North of the Oklahoma state line.  This is a park that we found and stayed at when we were coming back this spring.  It is a grassy field with hookups and gravel roads.
But the hookups work nicely and we have 50 Amps.  But the TV is a little spotty, and I couldn’t get the satellite to lock on due to the heavy overcast .  With the new digital TV, the antenna was not able to keep a signal constantly.  So we lost the World Series game anytime that something important happened.

But we will be long gone before anything really important happens, so its only a minor inconvenience.  At least the wifi works well.  So what else can a fellow ask for.

The Highway is a quarter of a mile away, but is still quite noisy if you concentrate on it.  But perhaps if we ignore it sleeping could be good.

As far as park amenities, it won’t take long to explain, cause they don’t have any.  Except a laundry list of different prices depending on which discount club you belong to.  I used Escapees, for a $25 price.  Good Sam was $30 but Passport America was half price for $17.

On our first night out, we put most everything away, and go thru stuff to see what we have forgotten.  I somehow left the battery to this laptop at home, which is perplexing, but not a disaster, since we should be back before Christmas.  Not like being gone until March.

The rig does have a big inverter, so if I need to run it, I will be using the power brick exclusively.
That’s it from here. All is well, and no disasters today.  Last year we blew a tire on the travel trailer about 25 miles South of here.  Read the story Here.

Retired Rod

Monday, November 2, 2009

Packing up the laptop!

I have waited until the last minute, but tonight will pack up the laptop.  This means that most of my computer life will be on hold until we reach a campsite somewhere and are set back up as RVer's.

I'm not sure how long it will take Loyce to get her stuff down here and into the Rig.  So perhaps we will leave on Monday and perhaps not.  She is taking some of her quilting stuff, so that will take her longer to decide what goes.

So we may be incognito for a while, but I still have the desktop to stay up to date on blogs when I get a minute.  And I do sometimes blog from it as well, but it is Linux, so I can't use Live Writer.

I'll try to stay on line some, but if not overly creative with blog ideas, please understand.

Retired Rod

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween party and beggars.

I have to admit, that I gave the Hawkeyes up for dead today.  Three fourths thru the game, it was 24 to 7 or some such score, against the Hawks, and I went outside to get more of our packup work completed.

Loyce turned off the TV while I was in the garage, so when I came back wanting to know what the score was now she didn't know.  But since it was so dismal, I went back outside.  Little did I know that during the fourth quarter, they caught fire and routed Indiana, 42 to 24.  They are now 9-0.

We decided to go get the Motorhome out of storage, since our contract is up tonight.  There was some question in the fellows mind if we could leave it there tonight since we didn't pay for November.  Well the way I see it, you pay for the night based on the day before, and leave the next day, but they were having problems understanding that.  So its out front in the street.

My neighbor directly across the street told me that the lady that called the cops on us last year has moved away, so not to be so worried. 

We did have beggars night tonight, and I went to Wal Mart's parking lot with the motorhome for the evening.  All the grandkids were here to go begging in our neighborhood, since they think they get better loot here.  They were soo tired when we tried to have a birthday party for Delaney, that she just began to cry when she was told to blow out the candles.  She is now three.  Seems like she was born yesterday.

I did get to rock the 5 month old  for about an hour during the party, as everyone else was busy with the beggars at the door.  She went right to sleep, and grandpa proved he still had some baby touch.

So the big Halloween party is over, and the motorhome is back in front of the house, and tomorrow we will start up the fridge and move our belongings to the closets.

By Monday, we should be gone.  I hope!

Retired Rod

Remember Clocks fell back an hour during the night!