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October 2009
Do not take life too seriously.
You will never get out of it alive.
Elbert Hubbard
Sun Valley to Mesa, AZ, 183 miles October 26 - 31, 2009, Sun Valley to Mesa, AZ, 183 miles
Monday, October 26. It's a good thing we remembered to disconnect the water lines last night as it was 31 degrees again this morning when I got up. Around midnight, the warning signal on the thermometer let me know that it was 37 degrees and my plant was still sitting on the ground outside the motorhome. That thing has made me so mad when it starts going off in the middle of the night but I'm real thankful that it warned me tonight and I had time to rescue my plant before it got damaged.

It wasn't going to be a real long drive today, so we took our time and were on the road by about 10:30. The drive was absolutely gorgeous the entire distance of 183 miles. We drove through unexpected mountainous terrain that was almost solid green from the evergreen trees. At one point along the way, there was a flashing sign warning us of a forest fire ahead. Sure enough, we spotted 2 of them on the top of mountains, not close enough to endanger our travels.

We pulled into the Good Life RV Resort ($15/day with our Coast to Coast membership) and will settle in for at least a week. The park is typical for this area, RV sites with concrete pads and park model trailers, all within about 5 feet of each other. We do like some of the amenities that they have to offer and the fact that most have security and are kept in good repair. You kind of get used to tight living quarters with this lifestyle.

Although we plan to be in the area for several weeks, we're not sure if this is the park that we want to stay in the entire time. We're here to "test the waters" and see if we would want to spend an entire winter in this area, so might check out several options.

Tuesday, October 27. It felt good to not have to move on to another destination today. We took our time getting ready for the day. Frisco and I located the dog walk and he seemed to enjoy it, although there weren't any other dogs around for him to play with.

We headed to the nearest CVS this afternoon to get our flu shot, now we have one of the required vaccines out of the way. Because we plan to provide childcare to our new grandson, we need the seasonal flu, the H1N1, and whooping cough vaccines. There are no H1N1 vaccines available and I'm finding it hard to find the whooping cough - I got the runaround on about 5 different calls this morning. We also located a car wash and got the grime washed off the Jeep. The motor home really needs it but I'm afraid they won't let us wash it in the park.

A front from the west is coming through this area, so the weather turned from bright sunshine to a hazy, dusty, windy day. The temps are dropping and are expected to be unseasonably cool, down in the low 60s for the next 2 days. I think it followed us.

We are both congested, have the sniffles, and have burning eyes. It will probably take a few days to acclimate to the dryness of the area.

Nan and Dale invited us for dinner this evening and it was nice to see them again. Monica and Dylan joined us and we had a real nice time. We're looking forward to spending more time with them and have a trip to Rocky Point planned for next week.

Wednesday, October 28. Neither of us felt very good this morning. It was either what we had to drink last night (very little) or the flu shot that we got yesterday that had us under the weather today. After a little nap, a shower, and a snack, we were both feeling a bit better.

I prepared a sweet potato casserole and then we headed to Apache Junction to visit with our friends Allan and Sharon and Mark and Renita. Allan and Sharon just bought a manufactured home in a 55+ community and Mark and Renita are passing through on their way to return to the Texas gulf coast for the winter. We got a tour of the new home that is quite impressive, nicely furnished and setup as an art studio/home, complete with a fenced in back yard for their 2 dachshunds, Ned and Alice.

Dinner was excellent, Sharon baked a ham (she now has an oven for doing such things) and made a delicious cabbage salsa, Mark made a cucumber salad and an apple cake (an old family recipe). As usual, we talked and talked and talked, having such a great time. As we were leaving, we noticed a "for sale" sign in the window of the cute little house across the street from them, so will have to see if we can get a look at it tomorrow.

Thursday, October 29. Ever since we were here last April, we have planned to look at some properties in the area, thinking that it would not be a bad place to set down some roots and get our stuff out of storage in Florida. We still plan to travel a good part of the year and definitely want to be in a warm place during the winter. At first, the plan was to look at park models but now that Allan and Sharon have purchased a manufactured home, we decided that this is a much better approach. The cost is very comparable, you get so much more (around 1000 square feet or twice the space), an actual yard and not just 3 feet between you and your neighbor, you have some legal protection, and a smaller community with the same kinds of amenities.

I called our friend's broker, Kara, but she was unable to show us the one across from their house but she did show us a very low priced one that wasn't really to our liking. We did have a nice, long conversation and will meet up with her tomorrow. We then met up with another broker that showed us several homes in Rancho Mirage, ranging in price from $28,000 to 59,900. The 2 that we liked the best were listed at $28 or 34,000, both very nice and doable places - something to consider. Tomorrow we will meet with Kara again and look at a few more. Because the market in this area has been so depressed recently, we were told to just make an offer, even if it seems ridiculous to us, so we shall see.

Friday, October 30. Kara told us about a couple of mobile homes for sale near us, so we drove through that park today. We looked at one that was for sale by owner, a single-wide older model for $15,000 that had been completely redone inside. It was very nice but a little bit small. We made an appointment to look at another tomorrow.

We needed to check out a few RV parks where we could get a good monthly rate and stay put for the next month. We decided on the Desert Vista RV park, a small 65-site park that we were going to spend the winter in back in 2006 (but then we landed the job at Moss Landing in California).

Tonight, we went to Monti's in downtown Tempe for dinner to celebrate the receipt of Mike's 1st Social Security check. We had an excellent steak dinner, good drinks and lots of good conversation. Mike celebrated pretty heartily and was certainly feeling good when we got back home.

Saturday, October 31. Happy Halloween! Mike was pretty under the weather when he woke up this morning, he thinks he had some bad mushrooms for dinner last night. Hah! It took a while to get going today.

We had a 1:00 appointment to look at a house, a 1973 mobile home with dark paneling, red carpet, gawdy light fixtures and window coverings, and not to our liking at all. It is priced at $12,500 so it would make a nice home for someone, just not us.

We drove around a bit and stopped to look at another, the "for sale" sign said to come in, so we did. The couple living there had only been there for a year, they spent that time updating it and it was very cute; tastefully done with all new appliances, faucets, window coverings, light fixtures and ceiling fans. They planned to stay there, but recent health problems forced her mother to live with them and there wasn't enough room for 3 people. We both liked it a lot. After leaving, we decided to make an offer, so we headed right back there and gave them a down payment on the $12,000 price that we decided on.

We are now homeowners at The Highlands at Brentwood in Mesa, AZ - all for the price of our Jeep. Since it is a mobile home, there are no closing costs, you register it with the DMV for $7/year. It is a 55+ community with a small 9-hole golf course, pool, hot tub, exercise room, laundry, and storage for our motor home. The current owners will stay until January 1, then Dale will check on it for us until we can return next fall to stay for the winter.



October 24 - 25, 2009, Tijeras, NM to Sun Valley, AZ
Saturday, October 24. Another freezing morning, but beautiful once the sun came up. After unhooking and emptying our tanks, we headed west again. The scenery was gorgeous, especially near the New Mexico/Arizona border. There is no lack of Indian wares to be had along the way.

The destination was the Root 66 RV Park ($14.50/night with our Escapees discount). The owners are quite friendly and the park is clean, has full hook-ups and free wi-fi. Here it is, a little 22-site privately owned park with amenities that we couldn't get at the last membership owned park that we stayed at. Something is wrong with that picture.

Sunday, October 25. It was a nice sunny morning, Frisco and I had a nice walk, chatted with a fellow traveler, talked with family on the phone, and fixed a nice biscuit and gravy breakfast.

We headed east to the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert National Park and took the 28-mile drive through the park. I had stopped here with my brother Rocco on my trek to California back in 1968, but Mike had never been here before.

Much of the terrain is actually a grassland, not a desert as I expected. It's beautiful, with long distance views of unusual geological forms. Evidence of early life is shown by the petroglyphs and the ancient ruins of pueblos built around 1250. The petrified forests were gorgeous, not that plentiful as irresponsible people have harvested the pieces through the years. We enjoyed the drive, stopping at most of the viewpoints and vistas along the way.

We found the local Safeway store in Holbrook (on Route 66) and stopped to stock up on a few items before heading home. The owner of the park greeted us when we got back and told us to disconnect the water hose, as the temps were expected to drop to freezing again tonight. Great. We're both ready to be in a warm climate again for a few weeks, although there is talk of a cool down there also, with highs in the 60s this week. I think the cold is following us from the northern tundra of Wisconsin.
Tijeras, NM to Sun Valley, AZ, 240 miles
Amarillo, TX to Tijeras, NM, 259 miles October 21 - 24, 2009, Amarillo, TX to Tijeras, NM
It was a rainy, cold morning and we got off to a late start. I slept in until 8:00 and Mike didn't pull out of bed until 9:00, so it was almost 11:00 before we got started. Mike drove the entire trip and I just sat and crocheted and played games on my iPhone.

The terrain changed from flat prairie land to large, tree-covered areas with flat-topped hills (I think they are called mesas). We made good time in spite of the light rain for most of the way - that could be because we entered into the Mountain Time zone, so went back an hour.

We arrived at the Hidden Valley Resort RV park (free with our Resorts of Distinction membership) at about 4:00 and were disappointed in the condition of the park. We were put in a water/electric only site because that was all they had available and will have to empty our tanks before we leave. That's not a real big issue, but there is no cable TV, probably poor local reception, and no wi-fi except near the office. The park is quite run down and I believe I will be writing a letter to express my disappointment - for whatever good that will do - at least I will voice my opinion.

I immediately went to check out the laundry facility and it kind of sucks too. There are 4 washing machines, 1 is out of order and 2 large dryers but 1 of them is also out of order. That's where I'm sitting right now, killing time on the computer (the only spot where you can get the wifi signal). We will have to rely on the aircard that works but is slow. We sure are dependent on technology these days.

We plan to stay for 4 nights, but will have to see about that. I've found some interesting scenic drives in the area and also wouldn't mind checking out Albuquerque. It has been years since we took a vacation to this area and spent our time primarily in Santa Fe.

Thursday, October 22. I had an awful night, found myself wide awake around midnight so I played video poker and sudoku on my iPhone for a while. Tossing and turning, I finally got back to sleep but was wide awake again at 6:00 this morning. What's up with that?

My view out the window is of the San Pedro Mountains and the clouds are starting to break up above them. There is snow up there! Brrrrr!

After doing some housekeeping this morning, we took a 40-mile drive along the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway that heads north from Tijeras to Santa Fe. Off to the west, we could see the Sandia Mountains and the Cibola National Forest. The clouds were still quite thick and you could barely see the mountaintops, so we decided not to take that route. The drive through the high desert was beautiful and the historic towns of Cerrillos and Madrid that were ghost towns until the artisans took them over. Both of them were booming back in the mining days of the early 1800s. Coal, lead, turquoise, gold, silver, and zinc were all mined in the area.

At Madrid, we stopped and checked out a few of the local shops that carry textiles, pottery, jewelry, and artwork of local artists. The Maggie's Diner scenes from the movie "Wild Hogs" were filmed in Madrid. The diner was constructed for the movie set and is now being brought up to code and will house a museum.

Friday, October 23. There was no water coming in to the motorhome this morning, that means that it got cold enough during the night to freeze the water in the hose. Dang it! The forecast for Albuquerque was a low of 44 degrees, we must be at a much higher elevation than that. My walk this morning was quite brisk and I was glad that I happened to have a pair of gloves handy in my drawer. I discovered a very nice hiking path that led through the woods, the smell of cedar was quite strong, and Frisco really liked all of the bunnies darting around.

We took a drive along historic Route 66 to Albuquerque's Old Town, a focal point of community life since 1706. The streets are narrow and circle the central plaza, there are many hidden patios with winding brick paths leading to shops and restaurants. The shops carry the usual repetitions of t-shirts and junk from China but we also stumbled on some gorgeous silver and turquoise jewelry and a shop housing beautiful onyx stone lamps and candle holders. At Little Anita's, we had a Margarita and some delicious Fajitas, then headed back home.
October 20, 2009, Chandler, OK to Amarillo, TX
By 9:30, we were on the road again, headed west. It isn't an ideal day for driving as the winds are whipping us around quite a bit. Mike drove for a few hours and then I took a shift and was lucky that the winds decreased a bit.

The views of the countryside were nice, but nothing spectacular. I did have a few spiritual moments, as I could see the largest cross in the western hemisphere at Groom, TX. It could be seen for miles.

We pulled into the Oasis RV Resort ($16.50 Passport America rate) on the west side of Amarillo. It is a very nice park with all concrete pads, nice landscaping, free wi-fi (that we couldn't access) and free laundry. We no more than pulled in and the rain started and kept coming throughout the night. Around 8:00 there was a thunderstorm and heavy wind and rain. Maybe some of the dirt on the motorhome will come off.

We were both craving some sweets, so we baked a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies - yummy!
Chandler, OK to Amarillo, TX, 249 miles
October 19, 2009, Springfield, MO to Chandler, OK
It's a beautiful morning to drive on down the road, heading west again. The trip is mapped out for about 250 miles each day and we will probably stay 2-3 days at one place, maybe Albuquerque if the weather permits. It has been years since we have been to that area and I wouldn't mind checking things out.

The Garmin GPS was programmed with the address of an RV park that I found but it wouldn't bring up that specific address. Mike put the address into the GPS that he has on his iPhone and it took us down a dead end street about 3 miles from where we were supposed to be. We had to disconnect the car and do a Y-turn in the road to get turned around, called the RV park and followed their directions to the Oak Glen RV Park ($10/day with our Passport America discount). The man that checked us in told us that the addresses were recently changed for 911 purposes and that has messed up the GPS.

The park is located on historic Route 66 and the 2-way old road could be seen from the interstate throughout the drive. We were both trying to envision buildings that might have been standing when we came through here in 1968. The road is so narrow and we were only driving at 55 miles per hour back then - that is when the VW bug could stay at that pace. It was a long, long drive from Wisconsin to Long Beach, CA and back again in the same year.

We got settled in at our site, met a nice couple from Kansas City that are new to full-timing, and proceeded to have Happy Hour. We were both quite tipsy after a couple of *bleep*tails, guess we are out of practice.
Springfield, MO to Chandler, OK, 243 miles
Grain Valley to Springfield, MO, 168 miles October 14 - 18, 2009, Springfield, MO
Wednesday, October 14. We were up early this morning, wanting to get on the road for the next stop along the way, Springfield, MO to visit with my brother Randy and his family and also to see my brother Rick, whom I haven't seen in 7 years. It was in the low 40s when we hooked up, cloudy, and drizzly, so it wasn't a real pleasant task. The drive was uneventful and very scenic as we crossed Truman Lake several times along the way.

We checked into the Ozark Highlands Mobile Home Park ($25/day) that has about 30 RV sites and is a very short distance from Randy's house. The place isn't real nice but we're here for the convenience. I headed straight for the grocery store as our cupboards are bare. We spent the evening at home, just taking it easy.

Thursday, October 15. Guess what, it's another cold, windy, drizzly day here in the midwest - when is it going to change? I'm starting to feel depressed from lack of sunshine. We spent the day holed up inside with the exception of a couple of walks with Frisco.

This evening, we went to see Randy, Julie, and Lanae with a dinner stop at Ruby Tuesday. This is the 3rd time we have seen them in a year and it feels great to be with them again. Julie was busy getting ready for a fund raising garage sale tomorrow so I helped her load up her car. Mike, Randy, and I sat around talking for a while before we headed back home.

Friday, October 16. We had another great day with family. Randy and Julie picked us up and we headed to the mall to have lunch with Randy's daughter, Ali, who works at JC Penney. It was a short but sweet visit.

This evening, we went to their house and had Randy's yummy beef stew for dinner. His son, Ryan was there so we got to see him for a while too. We took Frisco with us but he and their dog, Josie didn't get along and he also was overly excited about their cat and rabbit. It's too bad, but he will have to stay home when we visit.

Saturday, October 17. What a nice day! Randy and Rick stopped by for coffee this morning and it was so nice to feel Rick's hug again. He has been a lost soul these last years, homeless, and living on the streets of Madison and very difficult to reach. I talked to him a few times on the phone and other family and friends have seen him occasionally, but none of us had regular contact with him. Two months ago, he arrived in Springfield rather unexpectedly and Randy helped him to enter a faith-based alcohol recovery program with the Salvation Army. He has a very positive outlook about the program and feels good about being on the giving end of helping the homeless rather than being on the receiving end. His relationship with Randy is renewed and he is making good progress toward getting back on his feet. He appears in good health and it felt real good to be with him again.

Julie, Lanae, and I went to her parent's house this afternoon, then to a nearby pumpkin patch where picked out about a dozen of them and packed them into the Jeep. Frisco stayed in their back yard and played with Lanae's cousin Adrienne's puppy. He really needed to expend some energy and had lots of fun running and playing.

Julie requested that Mike make his grilled pork tenderloin for dinner so she could learn how he makes it. It turned out great and so did everything else, making for a great dinner together with family.

When we got home tonight, we had to shut off the water to the motor home as it is supposed to drop down to 30 degrees - yuck! We will use the water in our holding tank tonight.

Sunday, October 18. The thermometer is blinking 31.8 degrees and there is a layer of frost on everything. The sky is clear and the sun is beginning to climb over the treetops, so I think we will have a beautiful, cool, fall day here. It has been weeks since we've seen sunshine and I am sooo ready for that.

Julie, Lanae, and I went shopping at the mall for accessories for Lanae's Halloween costume. Randy and Mike hung out at our house until I returned, then we went to pickup Rick. We had some lunch and then headed for Lake Springfield, where we walked through the woods and enjoyed the beautiful, sunny afternoon. There was an encampment of tepees and demonstrations of some of the fur trader's crafts, some modern day camping exhibits, and a very good bluegrass band playing in the park. We had a real nice time.

We all were feeling like having a lazy Sunday evening, so we said our goodbyes and parted.
October 12 - 13, 2009, Grain Valley, MO
Monday, October 12. I hopped in the shower right away this morning and got ready to go into work with Bob. It's a long drive to his apartment complex, Windscape, in Parkville on the north side of KC. He's got quite an operation going on there and I met the maintenance man and we took a look at a couple of the vacant units.

Bob showed me around Parkville and we drove by some gorgeous, huge new homes. The terrain around here is quite hilly and there are lots of large hardwood trees that are beginning to show their fall color.

We were back home by about 11:30 and relaxed and watched the movie, "The Soloist", a sad but true story about a mentally ill homeless person that was an expert cello player.

For dinner this evening, we met Rita and Denny and Aaron and his girlfriend Joanna for dinner at the Texas Roadhouse. It was a nice time.

Tuesday, October 13. I wanted to bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies this morning, but we had used all of the eggs for breakfast on Sunday, so I headed off to the store to restock. I then proceeded to take advantage of the beautiful, full-sized kitchen for a baking project.

Rita came by and we headed for the *bleep*rell Mercantile, a group of kitchen gadget stores clustered together in a little historic community.

Later this afternoon, we headed to Shawnee to see my sister Rene and her husband Mike. We had Chinese food delivered for dinner and sat around talking for several hours. Frisco had fun with their 2 dogs too. Once again, it's hard to say goodbye after such a short visit, but we look forward to the next one.
October 9 - 11, 2009, Grain Valley, MO
Friday, October 9. It's cold and damp this morning. We packed up and were on the road by 10:00, with only a 2-hour drive ahead of us.

We pulled in at my brother Bob's house, loaded up some clothes and personal items to take in the house with us and visited for a while before heading to lunch at a nice place just 1/2 mile from their house, the Canoe Club.

After that, Mike and I went to my sister Rita's house, as she was babysitting for her grandson, Barley. He sure has grown in the last year since we saw him. He's all boy, getting excited about trucks and tractors and had fun playing with Frisco. We went for a little walk as the sun came out and warmed it up to maybe 57 degrees - what a drag! I'm ready for warm southern sunshine but it looks like we will be putting up with this stuff for the next week or so, as it's cold south of here too.

Bob and Penny had a wedding to attend this evening, so we stayed and had dinner with Rita and Denny and a great visit. When we got back to Bob's around 10:00, we ended up sitting and talking until almost midnight. It's so nice to be around my siblings again.

Saturday, October 10. After Bob's delicious breakfast, we took our showers and headed out to do some visiting. First stop was our niece Amber's house. She is one of the 3 "soon to be" moms in our family and definitely has a little baby bump. It was nice to see her, although it was a short visit. She and Joel will stop by tomorrow for breakfast.

From there, we headed to the American Jazz Museum and the American Negro League Baseball Museum that are both housed in the same building in the Jazz district of Kansas City. They were both very nice and we watched videos and learned a lot about the history of both interests.

Next stop was Rita's house because we learned that their son, Aaron was there and wanted to see him. That was another short visit because we got to talking about the movie, "Couples Retreat" and decided to go to the show that was starting in about 10 minutes. The movie wasn't that great, but was entertaining.

Back at Bob's, we made chili and hung around visiting. Another great day.

Sunday, October 11. My morning started with a trip to the grocery store for stuff to make breakfast. Amber and Joel joined us with the dog, Cooper. We had a great breakfast of Penny's yummy biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, and fruit salad - Amber brought some cinnamon rolls that were delicious too. Christel, Josh, and Barley stopped by and also Rita and Denny. We had a nice visit, looked at pictures and videos.

After the guests left, we had a couple of hours to relax before leaving for the Ameristar Casino where we met Rita and Denny and had a nice dinner before heading to the theater to see Louis Black, the standup comedian known for his "pissed off" dialogue about current events. It was a 2-hour show of almost constant laughter from his rants on politics, 60 year olds, pot legalization, the economy, and much more.

We didn't stick around to gamble as Penny had a paper to finish and turn in by midnight for a class that she is taking.
Forest City, IA to Eagleville, MO, 228 miles October 7 - 8, 2009, Eagleville, MO
Wednesday, October 7. BRRRRRR! It got down to somewhere between 34 and 36 degrees overnight. Our little heater and heated blanket kept us nice and snug through the night but my morning walk was chilly.

What a morning. Nothing seemed to go right, starting with the realization that we had used up all of the water in our holding tank. First stop, the local park to fill up with fresh water only to realize that the water has been shut off to all of the faucets in the park. On to Winnebago where we had to exchange a part that we purchased yesterday and then to the rally grounds across from the factory. We filled up with water, exercised Frisco, and hooked up the car. After I checked the lights and the tow-bar, Mike pulled ahead and ‚??screech‚?Ě, the emergency brake was left on in the Jeep. It's a good thing we go through a series of check to make sure all is well before taking off ‚?? he would have noticed that one right away though.

We stopped at Cabin Coffee and I ran in to get sandwiches for lunch and some coffee and tea for the road. By now it was 11:00 and we headed down the road. Mike realized that the broken window in the bedroom was flopping open (the crank would no longer close it tightly ‚?? the part we just purchased), so he pulled over to put some tape on it. While he did that, I decided to sweeten my tea and ended up spilling half of it all over myself. On the road ‚?? again. The tape didn't hold, started flapping in the wind, so we had to pull over once again and re-tape it. On the road ‚?? again. The tape came loose again but was holding by a thread and lasted until we pulled in for gas, then Mike cleaned the surface good and taped it up again. This time it held. On the road again ‚?? oops, not yet ‚?? the fuel tank cover was flopping in the wind.

This time, we were able to make it to our destination, the Eagle Ridge RV Park ($21/night) at Eagleville, MO. It is a small park with only 27 sites, but a nice, quiet place to settle in for the night. We only have another 110 miles to go to Kansas City, but we're tired and Mike has fought the wind coming out of the southwest the entire trip.
Thursday, October 8. We've decided to spend another day here, it's a nice place and it's a rainy day, even rainier in KC. I cleaned the house and did a couple of loads of laundry.

While updating the website this morning, I realize that I can no longer save the mapquest images that I've been using on the website. Back to the drawing board, I was able to come up with a way to do it, rather cumbersome but it works. I will have to research a better way.

October 5 - 6, 2009, Forest City, IA
Monday, October 5. "On The Road Again" The sun can be seen again this morning, seems like it's been a long, long time. I don't think it will be around for long as the forecast shows rain where we are headed. Oh well.

After emptying tanks, unhooking, hooking up the Jeep, filling up with propane and a couple bottles of Prairie Fume, and filling the fuel tank, we headed out west to Minnesota and Iowa. We had on and off sunshine and good driving conditions until I got behind the wheel for the last 120 miles, then it started to rain. Not bad but enough to coat everything with a layer of mud.

We arrived at Lichtsinn Motors, the local Winnebago dealer in time to check in and give them our extended warranty info for our 8:00 appointment tomorrow morning. We are parked in the RV service lot with an electric hookup, at least we will be warm. Hopefully, they can take care of it all tomorrow and we can be on our way again.

Tuesday, October 6. It was a long, cold, and rainy day of waiting after dropping the motor home off at 8:00 this morning. We spent a good part of the time sitting in the car, or sitting in the waiting room of the sales office, or sitting in the waiting room of the service office. We did stop at a nice little restaurant for lunch and we spent some time looking at motor homes. We both fell in love with a 2006 Journey, a 35' diesel coach that was fully loaded and beautiful, but once again, we managed to talk ourselves out of being foolish. Better to live with what we have for now.

The Bravo came out of the shop costing us only $1700, but was completely checked over including brakes, wheel bearings, sealants and fluids, AC, slide, water heater, and windshield washer. We do have to take care of some sealing of the roof and replace the rooftop skylight/sealant in the very near future. That is a job that we should be able to handle on our own rather than pay $250 for someone else to do it. The service was great and we left there by 5:00.

The wind has come up and it was rocking the rig all night long.
De Forest, WI to Forest City, IA, 288 miles
October 7 - 8, 2009, Eagleville, MO
Wednesday, October 7. BRRRRRR! It got down to somewhere between 34 and 36 degrees overnight. Our little heater and heated blanket kept us nice and snug through the night but my morning walk was chilly.

What a morning. Nothing seemed to go right, starting with the realization that we had used up all of the water in our holding tank. First stop, the local park to fill up with fresh water only to realize that the water has been shut off to all of the faucets in the park. On to Winnebago where we had to exchange a part that we purchased yesterday and then to the rally grounds across from the factory. We filled up with water, exercised Frisco, and hooked up the car. After I checked the lights and the tow-bar, Mike pulled ahead and ‚??screech‚?Ě, the emergency brake was left on in the Jeep. It's a good thing we go through a series of check to make sure all is well before taking off ‚?? he would have noticed that one right away though.

We stopped at Cabin Coffee and I ran in to get sandwiches for lunch and some coffee and tea for the road. By now it was 11:00 and we headed down the road. Mike realized that the broken window in the bedroom was flopping open (the crank would no longer close it tightly ‚?? the part we just purchased), so he pulled over to put some tape on it. While he did that, I decided to sweeten my tea and ended up spilling half of it all over myself. On the road ‚?? again. The tape didn't hold, started flapping in the wind, so we had to pull over once again and re-tape it. On the road ‚?? again. The tape came loose again but was holding by a thread and lasted until we pulled in for gas, then Mike cleaned the surface good and taped it up again. This time it held. On the road again ‚?? oops, not yet ‚?? the fuel tank cover was flopping in the wind.

This time, we were able to make it to our destination, the Eagle Ridge RV Park ($21/night) at Eagleville, MO. It is a small park with only 27 sites, but a nice, quiet place to settle in for the night. We only have another 110 miles to go to Kansas City, but we're tired and Mike has fought the wind coming out of the southwest the entire trip.
Thursday, October 8. We've decided to spend another day here, it's a nice place and it's a rainy day, even rainier in KC. I cleaned the house and did a couple of loads of laundry.

While updating the website this morning, I realize that I can no longer save the mapquest images that I've been using on the website. Back to the drawing board.

Forest City, IA to Eagleville, MO, 228 miles
October 1 - 4, 2009, De Forest, WI
Thursday, October 1. The heater that we bought yesterday had to be returned today. It was turned on and set at 75 degrees (the default) but it never got warmer than 62 degrees in here. Something just wasn't right, so I took it back this morning and got a different model.

Mike spent another good portion of the day trying to get my email accounts to work properly. After hours working on it, he ended up having to reinstall the operating system which meant starting over from scratch. How do I mess these things up?

We met Dan and Sharon, Joan, Louie and Dave, and Vicki (Mike's aunt and cousins) at Toby's this evening for dinner. Joan told us that she first came to this restaurant waaaay back in 1944, imagine that! The keep getting rated as one of the best fish fry spots it the area. It's not a fancy place, but it sure has good food. What a nice time we had and we're so glad that we were able to see them all before heading out again.

Friday, October 2. What a fun day - NOT! Yesterday, as I was getting ready to go for dinner, I noticed a swollen area on the roof of my mouth - that darned tooth that I had trouble with back in June was causing problems again. The first thing I did this morning was call the dentist to see if he could squeeze me in and check it out. While waiting for their return call, I stripped the bed and got the laundry ready to take care of.

By 10:30 I was sitting in the dentists chair hearing the news that the tooth was dead. The options were antibiotics (only a short-term fix), a root canal + a new crown (no appointments available until some time next week), or pull the tooth and get an implant when it heals - at least 3 months from now. I opted to have it pulled and am now sitting here with gauze packs in a huge hole, ice packs, pain killers and antibiotics. No visit with Mom this afternoon or fish fry tonight with Pat and Roger.

We will stay an extra day so I can recover, see Mom and Pat one more time and we can get the laundry done.

Saturday, October 3. I'm still under the weather, more from the effects of the medication than anything, so I started taking only the regular Advil for pain and am coping with the antibiotics. I sure don't like drugs but am glad they are available when needed.

Pat came up and spent the afternoon with us. He and Mike returned the 2nd space heater that we bought (we decided the oil-filled heater just didn't quite serve our purposes) and since we got it at Menards (not a nationwide store), we had better make sure we had what we wanted. They came back with an oscillating ceramic heater that really should do the trick. It even has a remote control.

I went for a short walk while they were gone and cut up some ingredients for a batch of chili and put that together when they returned. It really hit the spot.

Sunday, October 4. Happy Birthday, sweet brother Bob! It's 5:30 and I'm sitting here at my computer - that's what happens when bedtime is at 6:30 in the evening. I didn't go to sleep that early, but played Sudoku and read while listening to 2 of our favorite radio programs on WORT, Rockin' John and Two for the Blues. Mike discovered that we can listen to the live feeds from our computers, so I definitely plan to do that in the future.

It was a sad day of goodbyes, starting with our dear friends Pat and Roger. We were treated to breakfast with them at Gus' Diner in Sun Prairie, had a great meal and conversation and made some plans to get together in California in the spring.

Back at the KOA, I paid for another night stay and got the mountain of laundry that had built up out of the way while Mike took care of the vacuuming. As soon as that was taken care of, we headed up to see Mom. On our arrival we learned that because of Frisco's naughty behavior the other day, they are no longer allowing dogs to visit that wing. Dang, we feel terrible about that. We ate some delicious Honey Crisp apples that we had picked up along the road on the way there, took her outdoors but it was a little too chilly, so walked around the place inside. Again, it was hard to say goodbye, especially when she is so alone.

Back home again, we were joined by Pat, Tracey, and Savana. I ordered some pizza and we chatted for a couple of hours before having to say goodbye to them too. It is especially hard to leave here as this place becomes so familiar and "at home" feeling.

Created on 10/01/2009 07:30 AM by bridge
Updated on 11/01/2009 10:57 AM by bridge
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