Tuesday, September 2, 2008

September 2008

Sept. 30th can’t believe that it has been a week since our last entry. We are falling into a daily routine as Kathleen babysits and Jon does some repairs and fix ups. During the last several days Kathleen had a bad head cold and as the weather was bad, a lot of rain we just sort of stayed in and relaxed for several days. Also on Thursday we visited an old family friend as he is now recovering from an operation and at the present time he started cancer treatments. We also continued to make the upgrades on the MH that we hope to help with the living style. Yesterday the weather broke and it turned out to be a nice day, Jon went out and played a round of golf with some friends. They had two threesomes that played 18 holes finishing up near dark.

Sept. 23rd we did some clean-up and repair on the motor home in the morning and then as Kathleen’s granddaughter came Jon left to play golf with Kathleen’s son at one of the local courses. In the evening we visited with Kathleen’s brother and viewed pictures and just had a great time, it was a long day and rest came very easy.

Sept. 22nd Jon went to do some shopping for items to do some work on the motor home and to install the equipment we bought at the Rally last week. He also had to do some banking and he stopped in for another visit with his mom. Kathleen started to babysit her granddaughter as she will be doing that while we are in the area, they have a great time together and this time we are parked next to the play ground. We went to the hotel in Grantville for supper and had a meal fit for royalty, just another good day in our lives.

Sept. 21st we attended church and had a good time seeing a lot of friends. We couldn’t spend a whole lot of time after church as we were invited to both of Kathleen’s son’s home in the afternoon. We had a great time visiting and catching up on the families, we ought to make a video on our travels and show it so that we don’t leave out any information. Later in the day we went to “Cabela’s” to get our chairs and to pick up a set of flannel sheets. It is a shame that Jon’s daughter won’t meet with him as he has tried to make contact and is rebuffed at all times.

Sept. 20th we finished our journey to PA and we got to the local CG at about 1:00 pm were we set up for our month stay. After setting up we went and visited Jon’s mom and had a good time. Upon leaving, Kathleen’s son called as they were returning from the Penn St. football game and they met us at the CG and we got pizza and had a nice visit, Kathleen got to see her almost 5 year old granddaughter. It was a very good day and we were glad to be back in our home area.

Sept. 19th we are leaving the Rally today and it is another great event that we leave with sadness as a lot of the friends we made we possibly wouldn’t see again, that is the way of fulltimers and RVer’s in general. We will keep up with some through their blogs. As we left we had our Motor Home weighed and were quite happy with the results, the front was balanced on both sides and the rear was 50 lbs. more on the driver’s side. One little problem was that the rear was just a little overweight, but so is America Ha-Ha. We drove across Ohio to Columbus and than got on Rt. 70 into West Virginia were we stopped at a new Cabela’s. A new exit was created for Cabela’s and they are still doing a lot of construction in the area. We are still looking for chairs and this being the 3rd Cabela’s we stopped at, the chairs we wanted were not in stock but they called the store in Hamburg and they have them and will put two away for us. We can pick them up next week. We than drove to the Wal-mart in Somerset, Pa. for the night, did a little shopping to pay for our site, He-He. We did remap our route as the little we were on the turnpike we felt we paid to much money, so we are taking another way which is about 35 miles longer and still save some $$.

Sept.18th after coffee & Donuts we took the first session off to get some things done around the Motor Home. Jon was working with Mac McCoy “The Fire Guy” on getting a fire extinguisher for the engine compartment, since the regular ones he sells would not fit. After a lot of ideas Mac came up with a salutation and it will work fine. At that time Kathleen was baking dessert for tonight as “Boogity” invited over for supper tonight. We attended classes the rest of the day and picked up a lot of information that will be useful in this life style. We than went to “The Boogity Express” for supper and had a nice visit, we will be working together next summer and it looks like it will be a lot of fun. We had the last of the door prizes tonight and everybody over the course of three days got a door prize plus more, with the ending of this event we returned to the motor home as it is the end of the rally. During the day we did wish Nick the best for the future and thanked him so much for the rally.

Sept. 17th we went to the coffee and donuts and as usual we meet some more great RVers there. After that we attended one class and than we did a local Geocaching, than went to the local Wal-Mart for a few items. Since we had got gift certificates for a small milk shake at Wendy’s we stopped there for lunch. When we returned we bought an Electrical Management System and set up our time to get weighed on Friday. We attended class in the afternoon and picked up some pointers and useful information. We than got ready for the pizza party that was held for the Rally which was followed by a show by “One More Time”. We sat in a group from “RV-Dreams” and had a nice evening, just a great day at the Rally. Have to say that since we have been here it has been so relaxing and our sleep has been very good.

Sept. 16th in the morning the day started with coffee and donuts and we another couple (Donna &Bob) who we found out that we had meet her best friend in Montana this past summer at the Workamper cookout at LoneHurst CG. We had a full day of classes and learned or passed on information. We looked at two items we feel that we are going to buy for the Motor Home and that being a Electrical Management System and a engine mounted fire extinguisher. It will make our home safer. In the evening we went to the door prize event and we won a free RV weighting gift certificate, we will get the coach weighted on Friday before we leave. Also we have been looking for several people from another web site and one couple that was setting across from us and won a prize was one of those couples and we went up to them afterwards and while talking to them the other couples came up as we all got together. We are planning to get together at the pizza party on Wednesday. The one couple did come over in the evening and we had a nice talk and wouldn’t you know they are parked right across the field right in front of us. Another great day at the Rally.

Sept. 15th we did some morning clean up and chores and met some more of the people here at the Rally. The activities started at 2:00 PM and we started with the Rally events and other than a break for supper we didn’t get back to the Motor home till 9:30 PM. It was a good day and for us it is a much needed down time.

Sept. 14th as we awoke to a new day we really liked the New Lisbon CG, it was very clean and all of the campers were very friendly. We did some more clean up and jus a relaxing morning. We left and stopped about a mile away for breakfast at the local truck stop and we than filled up with fuel. The fuel was advertized at $3.899 and we thought we were getting a good but, when we went in to pay for it they charged .239 cents for tax on top of that which we found out later that is the way Indiana does it. All we can say is that is the last time for fuel in Indiana. We arrived at the Gypsy Journal Rally a little before noon and got set up before Ike got here. We would say that we got maybe ¼ inch of rain but we had a lot of wind, every body at the rally came through without and major damage just a lot of downed limbs and branches. Till 7:00 PM it was all over and getting back to normal.

Sept. 13th upon leaving St. Louis and crossing the Mississippi River we felt good about this, also as it was the first time we saw the Gateway to the West Arch. We continued through Illinois and into Indiana about 25 miles from the Ohio border. It was a good day for a drive and we had no rain as we know Hurricane Ike is somewhere near us. After we stopped we started to clean up the motor home, we had a dust from the summer and it was a long over due for a clean. The weather was dry but very humid some thing we have not experienced over the summer.

Sept. 12th, we woke up to rain and we started out from Great Bend in the rain and we drove about 1 hour till we got to Rt. 70 that will be our main road for the rest of the journey. We drove in the rain for about six hours till we got east of it. We tried calling several Wal-Marts in the St. Louis area and none of them allow overnight parking. Coming into St. Louis we found a Campground and stayed for the night. We did go to Cabela’s looking for chairs, but with no luck. This Cabela’s is in a mall setting and is not even close to the one in PA. in size and items on display. We did stop at a nice Cabela’s in Utah and it was a very good store. After looking at the situation in St. Louis we can understand why there is no over night parking at the major stores, as there is no room and space is at a premium.

Sept. 11th, another full day of travel ahead of us as we figure about 425 miles. It was a really good weather day and the drive was good. We got to Great Bend, Kansas we found the local Wal-Mart and set in for the night. Soon after we stopped it started to rain.

Sept 10th, we arose early this morning as we are now heading east to get back to PA. We had to go into the park to fill up with fresh water, which as we drove up there was no one in line and we connected to fill. It took about 20 minutes to fill and the line grew as we were filling, upon finishing we left and went out the East side of the park and took a few Pictures along the way. We than headed across the northern part of Arizona towards Four Corners on Rt. 160 which is very picturesque. We stopped at Four Corners and did the picture thing and also had lunch, after that we followed Rt. 160 into Colorado and went up over Wolf Creek Pass which is near 11,000 feet high. The motor home did a fine job going up and than back down. We stopped for the night in Alamosa, CO at the local Wal-mart.

Sept. 9th we awoke and after breakfast we packed some packs with water and snacks. We took off for the Grand Canyon, there we got on a shuttle bus and went first to Yaki Point From there we boarded the bus and went to the Eastern end of the Rim Trail and walked the trail as far as we could to the west. It was a great day as there were a few clouds in the sky and the temps were in the low 70’s. We did get to see a rain storm that was in the canyon and on the North Rim, we never got a drop of rain from it. We than did some shopping and on the way home we did one Geocache. Getting back to the campsite we build a fire and roasted some hot dogs for supper. As we had no TV service we just relaxed and read some books.

Sept. 8th upon awaking we start to get the MH ready for travel, we stored everything and brought the slides in. We than met Jim & Peg for breakfast and had and enjoyable time and said our good by’s. We left Boulder City headed south out of Nevada into California and finally into Arizona. We went from a low elevation of about 1500 feet to almost 7000 feet in today’s journey. We checked into Ten-x CG near the Grand Canyon, a nice CG that has all paved roads and sites even though the sites are somewhat narrow it is still spacious. It is in the Kaibab National Forest and because we have the Senior Pass the cost is $5.00 per night. Since we had the Senior Pass a little over a year it has saved us Hundreds of dollars and the cost was only $10.00. After setting up and fixing something to eat (which was a take home box from the night before) we drove the 10 miles to see the Grand Canyon, since Jon saw if before he watched Kathleen’s expressions as it was her first time at the Canyon. We could go on about the beauty here but words cannot describe the area. We than went to the IMAX theater to watch the story about the Canyon. The high temp we saw today was 101.

Sept. 7th met Jim & Peg and we went for breakfast and then we did the tour of the Hoover Dam. As I was here before and this was Kathleen’s first time we were both amazed at the structure and the hardy men that built it. We spent quite a bit of time there and just enjoyed seeing the construction of the new bridge that is being built over it. The bridge is named to honor two of our country’s hero’s, one being Mike O’Callaghan a past governor of Nevada who lost his leg in Korea, and the second one for Pat Tillman from Arizona who lost his life in Afghanistan, Pat was not the first choice as John McCain was the first choice as he refused saying he is not here for personal gain but to serve others. He not only talk’s the talk but he walk’s the walk, he’s got our vote as he is for real. After that we introduced Geocaching to Jim and Peg as we went looking for 5 caches and found three, one of those we didn’t even go looking for. We think that they got the fever. After that we did some shopping in Henderson and had Supper. We returned to the MH and visited for a short while. It was a great day and was great to be with some of out distant relatives. High temp today was 111.

Sept 6th after a very good nights sleep we got an early start, after about an hour on the road we stopped for fuel ($3.91/gal) and at Cracker Barrel for breakfast. We were surprised at how empty it was as this is Saturday morning and only about 1/5 of the parking lot was full and most of that was for the store sidewalk sale. But than again it is in Utah and we know it is a very fugal state. We continued on towards Las Vegas and to the Canyon Trail RV Park in Boulder City. After setting up we met with Jon’s cousin and his wife and had a great time together. We ventured into Vegas and went to Fremont Street to watch the overhead light show. Prior to the show we ate at Tony Roma’s and had a very good meal. While waiting to be seated Jon put $2.00 in a slot machine and Kathleen invested $1.00 in a machine, Gambling urge satisfied even though either of us hit anything, Priceless. After the meal we walked the four block area and watched several of the street shows. Probably what got our attention the most was the spray painting artist, as their work was great. After watching two overhead light shows we returned back to the CG. High temp for the day was 108.

Sept. 5th we left Moab area and headed towards Capital Reef NP and all we can say what a gorgeous drive. When we got to Hanksville we headed west on Rt. 24 to Capital Reef NP and the scenery was WOW, don’t know of any words to describe it, also we did see some Coyote alone the way. When we got into the Park we stopped at the orchard, as we are in the harvest time of the year, and picked peaches and apples. You could pick all that you wanted for $1.00 per pound, and we picked 20 pounds worth, now it is time for Kathleen to make different items with them. After that we took Rt. 12 towards Bryce Canyon, maybe it was a mistake or good luck as we got to elevations as high as 9600 feet with some 14% hills. Not the best route for a 40 ft. motor home pulling a car as it was a pull going up and as we started down we encountered some cattle on the road. We thought we had enough fuel for the day but with the hills we encountered we had to stop. As we were taking on fuel the lady at the station was somewhat in awl that we came over the mountain and than told us about the next part of the journey. More mountains and at one part for about 300 yards the road was 20 feet wide with no guard rails and several hundred foot drop off on either side all this going down hill. At this point the view was out of this world as well as the rest of the way to Bryce Canyon. At Bryce Canyon we parked the motor home and took the shuttle to Bryce Point, from there we walked 1 ½ miles to Inspiration Point, the views along the way were awesome. We than headed to Rt. 15 to find a Wal-mart to stop for the night as we were totally wiped out. We do have to say that what we saw in the last two days is more than we could ever expect to see in that time period.

Sept. 4th we first went to Canyon Lands NP and explored the area, as we didn’t want to take the car on the dirt roads we only stayed with the paved roads, also we didn’t take any hikes of over one mile as we had a time issue. Such a wonderful area and with so many different sights. At around noon we returned to the Motor home and had a snack and than went to Arches NP and did the sightseeing trip as well. It is hard to believe that there is this much beauty in this area, we knew that the Wall arch fell down about a month ago, but there a so many more and the weather is making new ones all of the time. We are so glad that we have the Senior Pass for the National Park system as it would be costing us a fortune in fees. We than went into Moab to do some window shopping and a little refreshment, tomorrow we leave this area and travel across Utah.

Sept 3rd We left Bingham City, Utah and traveled south 290 miles to the Moab, Utah area. The drive was uneventful other than all of the new scenery that we encountered. It was so nice having cell phone service and also having that service in the campground, as we did not have that luxury during the summer. We made several calls throughout the day to family and friends, just to catch up on the news. Hopefully we don’t use up all of our minutes, LOL. We set up the Motor home on BLM land at the Horse Thief Campground. Just a beautiful site as we are on top of a bluff and it is like we could be in an RV commercial. We set up the Direct Tv dish so that we could watch Sarah Palin, the new VP make her speech at the RNC this evening. After that we ventured into Moab to fill up with gas and to get some information in the area. We did find out that the campsite is 1700 feet higher than the town of Moab.

Sept. 2nd this was our last day of work at Wilderness Edge. We worked till 1:00 pm and got ready to leave. We left at 2:30 and started our trip south, as we were going out of the canyon we took notice that the tops of the higher peaks were getting snow covered. When we got there in May the snow was on the mountains and melted by July, now after 6 to 7 weeks the snow is returning and it is like a new rebirth/season for the mountains. We traveled about 5 hours and stopped in Bingham City, Utah at the friendly Wally world. We went to Sonic to eat and the Dollar Tree store and then we hit Wally’s and spend a lot of time in the store. Kathleen went one way and Jon went his way each to get items on their list we than met and did our general food shopping as we had our shelves bare upon leaving the retreat. It is such a gorgeous view in the parking lot as we are right up against the Bear River Mountain Range.

Sept. 1st while we have one more day of work at this was a little different in that we got about 1/2 inch of snow this morning, we kept kidding them that if we knew it would snow we should of left yesterday. It was a cold blustery day and the fall season is setting in. In the evening the owners took us out to a very nice Inn for a fare well diner. There were worries as we went to the Slide Inn which is along the Madison River. The day before the gates of Hebgen Lake dam were compromised and the river is very high. They even had an alert in Ennis which is about 50 miles away the day before in the event of flooding. The dam itself is ok but some of the 75+ year old wooden gates failed. It was a fun time and at the same time it turned sad as we said some good-bys to Glenn & Chris who have been wonderful managers, that is the hard part about workamping in the good-bys that come after a short work period. Glenn & Chris be well and have a great and long journey through life.