Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Packing Up

So now it starts, the many, many trips out to the rig.  I really don’t mind it in the summer time, but this time of year, I must put on decent shoes, no sandals and a coat.  And although I’m running a small heater in the rig, it only keeps it at about 45 F.  Workable, but only as long as I’m moving. 

I checked out the 2 furnaces to make sure they were working, the back one gave us a little trouble on our southwest trip.  But they seemed to be just fine and were belching out the heat.  But I don’t leave them on as they use a fair bit of propane.  Surprisingly it is very difficult to find propane here.  Oh there are lots of places to fill up your BBQ tank, but they don’t have the adapter for motorhome propane tanks.  It’s a real pain.  The first stop on our trip does not have propane either, but  I contacted them and there’s a place 2 miles down the road.  We will ensure that our tank is topped up before stopping for the night.  It’s at 2/3 right now, but I know we will have to run the front furnace while driving as it gets chilly in there.  If it was just Ken and myself we’d be ok with the dash heat but we have 3 fur traveling buddies.  We do have the Extend A Trip adapter though on our tank so we can hook up a regular propane tank (which we keep in the car while travelling) if we run out and can’t find a place to fill up.  In the US there are alot more places where you can fill up.  Flying J for example.

I suppose that I am about 1/3 packed up.  I’m in the write it down and check it off mode now.

Rick and Paulette must be almost at their first stop for the night.   How exciting to be taking your first big trip in your brand spanking new 5er.  And it sure looks like a beauty.  I wish them a safe trip to their winter digs.

I’m still undecided about the water situation.  I know that our rig is supposed to be just fine using onboard water at these temperatures.  But I’m a worry wart and I’m thinking that for the first night we’ll dry camp.  I have lots of bottled water and the campground even has heated water taps.  But it won’t kill us for 1 night to dry camp. 

Don’t think I’d be blogging again before 2011 so I want to wish all of you a very Happy, Healthy and Safe New Year.

Happy RVing….

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Quick One

Was so pleasantly surprised today to see 2 new followers..welcome Wandering Willy and Happy Trails.

Christmas is over for another year.  It’s always such a huge rush and build up and it’s over so fast.  I spend all day cooking, preparing and organizing a big meal and it’s done and eaten in about 45 minutes.  Gee, I wish it only took 45 minutes to get it on the table.  But it was yummy and everyone was crying the blues about being too full.  So I guess it was well worth the effort.  Everyone is gone now, the house is back to normal.  Hubby and dogs have gone off to bed and I’m just winding down here.  It was a great day!

Monday we’re going over to where we store the rig and bringing her home.  I have 9 days to get packed up and ready for our 3 1/2 month trip south.  Seems like I make a zillion trips from the house to the rig.  Just when I think I’ve loaded everything, another thing pops into my head.  I have woken up in the middle of the night and tell myself ‘I must remember to put this in’ and of course in the morning it’s completely erased from my brain.  So I keep a pen and pad on my nightstand.  Sometimes it’s a little difficult to read what I’ve written down, but it helps to know it’s there if I get a brain wave in the middle of the night.

Well, it’s late, I’m very tired.  The house is quiet and I’m the only living thing in it that’s not sleeping.  So I’m off to bed.  Night all.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Merry Christmas

Just a very quick note to wish everyone a very Merry and Happy Christmas.  However you may celebrate your Christmas, I hope it’s a truly wonderful one.  All the best in 2011.

We will be on our way south in a couple weeks and I will pick up the blog again at that time.

Happy and safe RVing.  And keep those blogs coming…..

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Update – We made it home !!

Didn’t want to update anything until we were safely home, just didn’t want to jinx anything.  We left Flagstaff on Saturday the 9th and arrived home yesterday.  We were on pins and needles the whole way home, but our ‘beast’ gave us no more trouble. 

We have just about unpacked all of our stuff.  Today I’m going to go and blow out the lines and when I can get to the store I’ll do the antifreeze part.  She still needs a good cleaning, then we’ll take her over to the dealer and get anther transmission flush (the fellow in Flagstaff recommended we do that) and also the coolant.  An oil change and an oil change and filter for the genny too and then we’ll store her for about 2 1/2 months. 

Thanks all of you who wished us luck and sent words of encouragement, it was greatly appreciated.  We were really in the depths of despair with this rad problem.  

As we’re not going anywhere for a couple months, there will be no more blogs until then.

**Sorry I missed a new follower..welcome Rick and Paulette.  I’ve been following your blog for a long time and really enjoy it.  Thanks for signing up, but I won’t have any new entries for a while.  Enjoy your new 5er.**


Until much later then…take care.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Another Update

Just a quick note to say that we arrived in Albuquerque today at around 4 PM.  It was about an 350 mile drive from Flagstaff.  Ken and I were on pins and needles the whole trip..waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak. 

We had a relaxing evening watching TV and catching up on e-mails, blogs etc.  No cable here but we were able to pick up a signal from our Bell ExpressVu satellite.  I have found that the further south we go the less % of a signal we get on the transponder.  I suppose because the ‘bird’ is over the Canadian skies.

Tomorrow our destination is Amarillo, Texas.  Next set foot in Texas in my life.  But then there were alot of states on this whole trip that I have never set foot in before.  That was the idea of the whole trip.

Prior to today, yesterday we had to vacate the hotel by noon.  Ken had driven over to the rv repair shop and they said there was another delay on the repair of the rig.  It had been promised for noon.  Ken asked him what we were supposed to do because at this point we had no where to go.  He said we could wait in their (terribly dingy) waiting room.  So that’s what we had to do.  We had all the stuff we had carted over to the hotel in there, plus the dogs.  I put Arthur in the car, cracked the windows, put in his litter box, food and water and bed.  Fortunately it was not a hot day, very comfortable.  I checked on him often and he usually was laying on the floor on the drivers side.  It was a terrible wait, poor dogs, poor Maggie, she’s an old gal and it was hard on her.

The repairs were finally completed at just after 6 PM, they took the rig out for a test spin.  We went to pay (they do not take credit cards on any bill over $1500, fees I guess) and their silly debit machine did not recognize our Canadian debit card.  So Ken had to drive over to a bank machine and get the money to pay the bill.  By the time we were out of there it was 7 PM.  Ken had driven over to a RV campground earlier in the day because we knew we would not have it back till late and booked a site.  So we drove to the campground, setup in the dark, something we absolutely HATE to do.  We were all exhausted.  I gave Maggie one of her pain killers, put the heating pad in her bed and she proceeded to crash for the night.  As did Jackson and Arthur and we were not far behind them. 

This morning we left the campground and made out way to Albuquerque. 

So until later..take care.  Wish us better luck and an uneventful trip home.

Thursday, 7 October 2010


First I want to welcome a new follower, sorry if I missed you before.  Welcome Cruzin2some and thanks for joining.

Ken dropped by yesterday morning at the RV repair shop and the fellow we’ve been dealing with said his ears must have been burning because he was just going to phone us.   The rad had arrived.  YAHOO!!  and that we should bring it in at 8AM the next day (today).  So we had to make a wild scramble to change (once again) our reservation at the hotel.  We went over and checked in.  It’s really quite a nice place and includes a full kitchen which is just dandy.  So we packed up what we thought we’d need from the rig and carted it over to the hotel.  Then went back and got the critters.  They settled in quite well, Jackson a little more emotional but of course he is a very emotional dog.  Arthur (cat) settled in just as if he’d always lived here.  He is a remarkable cat. 

So very, very nice to be out of the rig.  The bad weather had kept us indoors for 3 days, and while I love the sound of rain on the roof of the rig, I was sick to death of hearing it.  And if you’ve been following the news those tornadoes in Flagstaff were just 15 miles down the road.  The weather forecast for days was giving warnings of tornadoes, flash floods, hail, severe weather, wind.  It was very depressing knowing that we couldn’t get away from it.  The Camping World that we were going to go to and pick up a few things got hit bad.  Alot of their RV’s were damaged or destroyed.  A couple that was there in their rig awaiting some repair had their rig blown over on it’s side.  Fortunately they were not hurt. 

So this morning we got up early and went and got the rig, it was still parked at the KOA.  We had closed it all up yesterday and just left the electricity plugged in for the fridge and so that the heat pumps could work.  It’s gotten quite chilly here at night, around freezing.  We delivered it to the shop and now we wait again.  If all goes well then we will leave tomorrow morning heading home.  For now we are all very comfortable here at the hotel, they even offer free full breakfasts and suppers with wine and beer.  Think I may just stay here for awhile…NOT. 

Until later then..take care and wish us luck.  Thanks.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Still Stuck

Just a quick note as an update.  We are still here in Flagstaff.  The rad that was ordered was put on the wrong delivery type.  Instead of expedited, it was sent the regular old way.  So it’s not expected here until Thursday.  It was supposed to be here tomorrow.  The mechanic said that as soon as it arrives they will work on the rig until it’s fixed.  Originally they said 6 hours, and so far they are sticking to that, but with our luck on this trip who knows.  Some nasty gremlin has put a curse on us for this trip.  It’s certainly been ‘the trip from hell’. 

We went to the farewell dinner last night, it was very nice and tough to say goodbye to everyone.  I guess they are all on their individual way home.  Makes me sad to think that. 

Anyhow will update if any significant happens.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Lake Powell, Arizona

This maybe my last blog.  Or I may just do a quickie now and then on our way home just to keep you updated as to our progress home.  We have left the Caravan.  When we arrived at Lake Powell campground I noticed that under the engine part of the rig was a puddle, a large puddle.  I felt it and noticed that is was slightly oily.  It appeared to be coming out of the engine coolant jug.  Engine coolant isn’t oily.  Asked our tail gunner to take a look at it and he said that it appeared that (not sure if I have this right) transmission fluid had gotten into the coolant.  Could be wrong about that, but some fluid that gotten into our engine coolant and this is a definite NO NO.  Anyway, long story short, our Wagon Master phoned a few contacts, we phoned Coach Net, they wanted to tow the rig to Flagstaff.  All the owners of rigs in the caravan said that if you can avoid having your rig towed, then do so, not good for the chassis.   One of the mechanics we spoke to said it could be driven, if we did this and that.  So we did this and that and drove it to Flagstaff, where a part has been ordered and should be in beginning of next week or is that this week?  Our tail gunner stayed behind us all the way here, 134 miles, to make sure we were ok and finally went on their way to the rest of the caravan after they saw us safely into the KOA campground here.  What a super bunch of people they all have been. 
The farewell dinner is Sunday night and they are only 57 miles from us, so we are going to drive the car down for the dinner.  Have to say a proper goodbye. 

All of these problems has really gotten me down.  There were others in the caravan that had problems too.  Not quite as major as ours, but problems, an alternator went, a blow out, a fridge down, chipped windshields a couple other minor things.  Hopefully ours can be fixed in 6 hours as they promised.  But I’m not going to write that in stone.  We are going to book into a pet friendly motel for the day, cause what do you do with 3 animals for at least 6 hours. 

On a brighter note.  We took a 6 hour boat cruise up Lake Powell.  It was created by the damming of the river and creating Glen Canyon Dam.  We wanted to take a tour of the dam but of course we were tied up all day with figuring out what to do about our problem.  Parts of the river are 400 – 500 feet deep.  Makes me sad to think that under all that water are buried homes, artefacts etc.  But I know that electricity is important and water.  It used to be just a small river prior to the dam being built.   The tour took us up to Rainbow Bridge, a natural arch in the stone.  This is considered an spiritual place by the Indians, and when the dam was built this was preserved.  It is now a national monument.  It is 275 feet across and 290 feet high.  It is nearly as tall as the Statue of Liberty.  The Indians believed that they should not walk under the bridge and the park asked that you respect their beliefs and also not walk under the bridge.  I didn’t see anyone walk under it.  Also one of the big tourist attractions in Arches National Park, an arch, just collapsed one day.  Imagine if you were under that.  Surprised

Until later…take care.

Put mouse over picture for a description, click to enlarge picture.

A very wet Maggie Maggie and Jack take a swim

Behind the boat Canyon in Lake Powell Houseboat on Lake Powell Lake Powell Rainbow Bridge Ruth and Ken The Boat Tower Butte -1 mile high End of the day

Here is our whole Caravan

Grand Circle 2010 259

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

4 Corners & Monument Valley

We started off to an early start yesterday morning, thinking that we’d get underway around 8:30 AM.  Got all packed up, pulled in the slides, put up the jacks? put up the jacks? put up the jacks.  Ok, jacks not coming up.  Try a few things, nothing.  Ken goes and gets our tail gunner, the handy man.  He checks a few things, can find nothing wrong.  I haul out my manual for the jacks.  They have an electric console that you use to lower and retract.  I try all the troubleshooting options.  Nothing.  Our tail gunner, Bob, puts on his overalls and crawls under the rig to see if he can find anything amiss.  I keep fiddling with the console.  Finally, manually, I get 3 out of the 4 up.  Then lo and behold I finally get the 4th and final jack up.  We finally get underway, almost 1 1/2 hours later.  It was a long drive today, 194 miles. 

We stopped at the 4 corners monument.  This is where Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico’s border all actually touch, therefore the 4 corners.  Not much there, just the monument a few kiosks selling Indian jewellery.  So we were on our way.
We got here to Monument Valley.  Now the jack console is giving the error message on another jack.  So we don’t/can’t put the jacks down.  The site we’re in is a little uneven so we move the rig around until we can get it almost level.  It’s not a good idea to put out the slides out if the rig isn’t reasonably level and the fridge must be almost level or you could ‘fry’ it.  Only problem with the jacks not down is that the rig is a little rocky when you walk around.  I called Fleetwood and they gave me instructions on how to reset the console, but we don’t want to try this until we are somewhere there are RV repair shops.  So we will wait until we get to Sedona to try this procedure.  Next stop our Wagonmaster is going to try and get us the most level site. 
We went on a jeep ride today out into Monument Valley.  It was a 3 hour trip.  This is Navajo Indian territory.  The valley is beautiful.  A dessert with these beautiful peaks and spikes.  Today was not a very hot day and we left early in the morning so it was a very comfortable drive out in the valley in this open vehicle. 

Tomorrow we are on our way to Lake Powell, Arizona.  It is 133 miles.  We are there 2 days.  There is a boat cruise and luncheon on the boat.  Tomorrow night is another Pot Luck dinner.  I am making an Apple-Pineapple Betty dessert.

There is only 6 days left on the caravan, a week today we will be on our way back home.  I can hear my daughter saying YEAH !!!! 

4 corners Standing on 4 Corners 4 Corners

Our transport Monument Valley #4 Ken & Ruth The 3 Sisters Monument Valley #3 One of 2 Mittens Hotel with a view Monument Valley #2 Monument Valley

Saturday, 25 September 2010


Today's excursion was a trip to Silverton, Colorado.  We started out by taking a tour bus which made the 1 1/2 drive up to an elevation of 10,000 feet.  This was the highest point going through the mountain pass then we came down to 9318 feet in Silverton.
Silverton started out as a mining town in the 1860’s.  Deposits of gold and silver were found there.  By 1883, Silverton had a population of about 2000.  Mining closed down in 1990, but there is supposed to still be gold and silver in the mountains and it is felt that mining will return one day.  Today there is a population of around 600.  Winters are very severe. Very cold and lots of snow.
Many tourists visit Silverton via the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad tour.  This is a old steam engine trains that travels from Durango to Silverton.  The train has been in operation for 128 years.  It is a 3 1/2 hour ride from either Durango to Silverton or Silverton to Durango.  There are 2 trains that run the route daily. 
We took the train back to Durango.  I don’t think it barely gets over 10 miles per hour.  It’s only 50 miles to Silverton and it took 3 1/2 hours to do the trip.  It’s a pretty trip which runs for the most part right along the Animas River.  Coming back to Durango there is one large climb up and you really begin to wonder if the little train is going to make it to the top, but it does.  Apparently going to Silverton there are several very long uphill hauls for the train.  I know that the bus had several long uphill climbs.  As I said at one point we were just over 10,000 feet.
It was a long day, we left here at 9:30 AM and didn’t get back until about 6:45 PM.  Ken did not go as we felt it was just too long a day for the dogs to be cooped up, especially Jackson.  Maggie would have been fine, but I think he would have been climbing the walls.  They did offer dog walking services here but we didn’t feel that was sufficient for him.  So while he was home here he washed the rig and car which really needed it badly.

Until later..take care.

Place mouse over picture for explanation and click to enlarge picture.

.Ride up in the bus Ride up in the bus #2 Silverton Silverton

Main Street Main StreetI Like this Restaurant I like this restaurant !!

A long way up Animas #2 River Animas River Looking back at the train Polution Straight down The Train The Train #2

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Mesa Verde

Today was a bus tour to Mesa Verde.  This is where the Anasazi built cliff dwellings.  There was a tour this morning that left here at 7:30 which was to climb down to one of the dwellings.  But that meant you would be gone all day, until 5:30.  With 2 dogs, that was not feasible for us.  So we did the bus tour which was from 12 noon to 5:30 tonight.  And as it was we were still able to walk down to one of the smaller dwellings and see it.  It was fascinating !  It’s like travelling back in time.  You can see the soot on the roof of the caves, soot that is over 1000 years old.  National Geographic named it as one of the 50 ‘must see’ places of a lifetime.  It is America’s first World Heritage Site.  We climbed down into a kiva click here.  This is a ceremonial hut, but their huts are built below ground.  The entrance to them is through the roof via a ladder.  The site is located about 15 miles inside of the park and you drive up and up and up.  Fortunately, we were driving the car, not the rig.
Last night we had a really bad rain storm.  We were sitting here watching TV and watched the storm moving in through the front window of the rig.  Ran outside quickly and retracted the side awnings.  We lost our satellite signal, of course, due to the storm.  The rain seemed to be coming sideways.  Poor Arthur was sleeping in the passenger seat of the rig and the rain was hitting so hard, it scared him and he ran and hid.  Always a concern in a rig when it rains, leaks.  Checked out everything and it seemed fine.  Went to bed with the sound of rain falling on the roof.  Fortunately the storm moved on. 
Tomorrow we move onto Durango, a short 47 miles down the road.  They say they have wifi…we’ll see.

Until later..take care.

cliff dwelling cliff dwelling #2 Cliff Palace entrance to the kiva inside a kiva inside a kiva #2 inside the kiva me in the cliff dwellings move cliff dwellings someone exiting the kiva soot on ceiling of cave the canyon the cliff dwelling