Tuesday, 31 August 2010

We made it

This will be a short one today.  Too tired to get my brain in gear.

We made it to St. George, Utah today.  The park is very nice, but there is no shade at all and it is hot, hot, hot here.  Registering 40 degrees.  And no break in site for several days.

I contacted a fellow that does mobile RV repairs.  He’s coming over tomorrow to take a look at our awning.  Ken will go up on the roof once it’s much cooler, later this evening, to remove the restraints.  With this heat I’m afraid that the duct tape might be fused to the rig.

No pictures today, I drove the car.  And there really wasn’t much to see.  But I will take some tomorrow in the early morning of the park and include them in my blog tomorrow.

We stopped and FINALLY had the rig weighed.  This is a very critical thing to do.  You should not weigh more than what they tell you in the stats for the rig.  And good news we are way under.  Gross weight is 24,000 and we are just over 21,000.  I was very careful when I packed up cause I knew we would be going over the mountains.  We removed lots of things that we felt we wouldn’t need on this trip and left them at home.

It is supposed to get cooler tonight, oh I really hope so.  If it’s this hot next week when we are supposed to be going out into the canyons and stuff,we will roast. 

We are the very first people from the caravan here so far.  I imagine that some will arrive in dribs and drabs over the next couple of days.

So until later…take care.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Better Day

Our site Richfield, Utah KOA Secured Awning #2 Secured Awning

Today was a much better day.  Ken managed to tied down the wayward awning and duct tape it.  It was rock solid, it wasn’t going anywhere.  It’s funny, you know, I would go out to Wal-Mart, or (in Canada) Canadian Tire and come home with all these things that I thought would be a good thing to have handy in our rig.  Example..rope, various duct tape, and lots of other Knicks and knacks that I thought just might come in handy sometime in the rig.  Ken would kind of give me the look, you know, shopping again. Well, yesterday, the rope was useful as was one of the duct tapes.  Guess I wasn’t so silly after all.

We decided not to bother looking for a RV place here in Richfield, Utah, but wait until we get to St. George where we’ll be for several days. 

There were at least 3 very long uphill hauls, up to 7,000 + so we decided as it was only 125 miles to give the rig a break and I drove the car.  I took Maggie with me for company.  It was a great drive, beautiful scenery and of course I couldn’t get any pictures.  But I figure there will be lots of similar scenery on our trip so can get pictures then. 

The campground is great.  Cable TV with lots of channels, so we didn’t have to get a site without trees.  We are sitting under trees, shaded, and there is a beautiful breeze going through the rig.   No need for AC tonight. 

So until tomorrow..take care.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Not a Happy Camper or should I say RVer

 Sign says it all Big Open Sky Colorado River The mountains #2 The mountains

Put your mouse over the pictures for a description, click picture for bigger view.

Ok, today was supposed to better than yesterday.  In one aspect it was, the road was fine, no major hills.  I did not have to drive the car today.   But….about half way from our destination one of our little side awnings decided to quit.  It started to unravel.  Great..just great.  So we stop and we are able to unravel it fully and get it ravelled back up again.  Ok we think we’re good to go.  Nope, not so.  Our pull strap is back somewhere on Highway 70 and it started to unravel again.  We stop and try and figure out how to secure it.  The only way we can think of is to bungee it.  We did this and it sort of worked, not great.  We had to reduce our speed to about 45 for the last 50 miles so as not to have it go flying down the highway.  We get here to the campground which is in the middle of nowhere and there are no RV dealers in town.  Isn’t that wonderful.
Ken went and talked to the KOA owner and he suggested duct taping it down.  We have no choice, this is what we will have to do, I guess.  There are 2 RV dealers in the town where we’re headed.  If they can’t, then it will have to wait till we get to St. George, Utah, day after tomorrow.
I belong to a great forum where there are long time full time RVer’s and I contacted them.  They said it sounded like one of the springs was broken.  Lovely !!!!!

So that was our day.  The campground is ok.  Has all the hook-ups, our dish is picking up some channels.  We had a really quick windy rain shower go through.  The sky is overcast, maybe that’s why we are not picking up a great signal.  Looks like we’re in the middle of the desert here.  I guess in a way we are.

The scenery today, although spectacular due to the mountains wasn’t really pretty.  But I’ll post some here anyway, you decide.

Until later…take care.  Wish us luck tomorrow with this dumb awning.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

No Repeats – I Hope

Just before Denver Notice elevation of 5009 BEFORE

We had not been looking forward to today.  This was the day that we hit Denver and the Rockies and the 10 mile climb up to 11,000 feet and the Eisenhower Tunnel.  Our rig has an Allison 6 speed transmission (gas) and we’ve been following the owners manual as how and when to use it, but we think they have misguided us.  Anyhow we’ll figure it out.  We started out up this 10 mile run but it was hard on the rig.  So we had already discussed what we would do.  We pulled over, unhooked the car.  I drove the car for the rest of the day and Ken went off in the rig with all the critters.  I was right on his tail mind you.  It was for 200 miles we did this, but the rig was under less stress ( and of course, Ken)

I was sooooooooooo disappointed because the scenery was spectacular and of course I couldn’t take any pictures.  It was amazing, very hard to even drive and not look around you.  For me it was an easy drive in the car, and as it is standard I was able to keep pace with Ken in the rig up ahead. 

The campground is beautiful, very rustic, a lovely babbling brook goes right by our window and the sound is great.  Jackson was no sooner out of the rig when he flew into the water.  It’s crystal clear, and flows in the Colorado River.  No A/C required tonight, all the windows are open, breeze floating through.  They will stay open tonight and we will sleep with the sound of the brook.  One big major negative to this place, the sites are erratic.  I drove around for 20 minutes before Ken came into the campground trying to figure out where we would fit.  But it’s a very nature oriented place.  Lots of trees, oh guess what, no dish reception.  What a surprise.  But they do have great internet.  I am in the process of making supper, pasta, yipee.  We’re starved.  I think we’ll sleep like babies tonight with the sound of the water.

So very sorry, no pictures tonight, but Ken says the route tomorrow, well there are NO 11,000 mountains to climb.  Man that was brutal.  And I can actually stay in the rig.  Amen….

Ok I went out and took some pictures or our site.  We are here at Elk Creek Campground, New Castle, Colorado.  So here you go…

Elk Creek Campground #2 Elk Creek Campground 

So until later…take care.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Hwy 76..crappiest roads in the country

The above title says it all.  Once we left Nebraska and hit Hwy. 76 in Colorado, it went to hell in a hand basket.  The road was a disaster!!!!  Ken’s nerves had been worn to a frazzle by the time we got here.  We are in Memorial Park, Brush, Colorado.  It’s a little park with water and hydro hook-ups.  Free, that’s good.  I’m not uncomfortable but I don’t feel as secure as I do in a campground and of course the signs along the highway coming into this area don’t bode well.  ‘Correction facility in the area, don’t pick up hitchhikers’.  Well that just gives me a real warm and cozy, I tell ya !

We were on the road by 9AM was kind of hoping it would have been a little earlier, today was a long day, mileage wise.  And we fell back another hour in the time zones.

Heading West Westward Ho

Still More Constuction Guess What…MORE CONSTRUCTION

Passing Rig Thought this was a pretty rig passing us

Critters Sleeping All quiet for a little while

Monument Archway #2 Great Platte River Road Archway Monument

Monument Archway

This was impressive..has something to do with the old wagon trail.  If it hadn’t been so darn hot we would have stopped to check it out.  You can read more about it it here Click here

The Verizon stick is working great here in the park, 5 bars.  We parked under/beside as many trees as we could find due to the temperature being 99 F.  So it appears our dish can’t find the ‘bird’ tonight.  I’ll try again later.  If not I brought DVD’s. We do get 1 channel on our TV antenna.

As usual as soon as we park and get settled all the creatures crash.  It’s tough on them too, travelling.  But they have all been very good.  On our last gas up stop I took Jackson out for a pee break.  He stepped on a burr and couldn’t walk.  I tried to pull it out with my fingers and got a couple stuck in my fingers, which hurt like a son of a gun.  Fortunately I had taken a dodo bag and was able to pull it out with that.  Those little suckers are very sharp.  My fingers were bleeding. 

The scenery so far since we left Nebraska and entered Colorado has been blah.  I can see why they call this town Brush.  Right now we are at over 4000 feet elevation and tomorrow we go up to 10,000 in some places. 

Tomorrow’s stop is supposed to be New Castle, Colorado.  So until later..take care.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Grand Island – Nebraska

First let me welcome a new follower.  Welcome B.W. and Carol and thanks for signing up.

We got an early start this morning.  Filled up the rig with more gas and we were off.  The road was straight, up and down, over hill and dale, but straight.

Lots of wind turbines in this area..

Lots of wind turbines Wind Turbines Again

Went through Omaha today.  Was looking for Marlin Perkins everywhere but didn’t see him.  Guess he was busy at the TV studio. Click here

Welcome to Omaha

And so we continued down the road, listening to our XM radio.XM Plays On

We decided after one night of no internet, that we really didn’t want to be without it.  I like to check the weather for the day, and check on the next place we’re going to, and of course to stay in touch with people back home.  So we hopped into the car and drove over to the Walmart in Grand Island.  Best Walmart I have ever set foot in.  Huge, spacious aisles, clean. Anyway we picked up a Verizon stick and a month to month card.  Tomorrow night the campground we’re going to does not have internet so we shall see how well it works. 

So until tomorrow (hopefully)..take care.

Lake Anita State Park – Iowa

This is us tanking up before we hit the road.

Tanking up

And these were taken at the last campground, this was the view out of our front window.

Geneseo Campground Ken and Jackson Ken and JacksonGeneseo Campground Ken,Jackson and Maggie Ken, Maggie and Jackson

This is a lovely park, we are overlooking the lake.  The sites are spacious, but a little tricky to back into.  We had to unhook the car and back in.  But it has full hook-ups, sewer, water and 50 amp power.  Very pretty spot, level site.  No wifi and we have a big tree blocking our dish signal, but that’s ok because we are picking up several local channels. 

The drive was good, road was straight as an arrow.  I always thought that Iowa was flat and plains.  Not so, hills, lots of hills, we are actually at an elevation of almost 1500 feet.

Mississippi River Sign Mississippi RiverMississippi RiverMississippi River #2 

We crossed the Mississippi River today.  Didn’t realize it came up this far, but it does.  I have never seen so many trucks on the highway as on this highway.  Huge, beautiful trucks.  Every colour of the rainbow, sparkling clean.  They must have cost a fortune.  All their rigging, chains, bungees, neatly stashed behind the cab.  These guys obviously love their trucks.

We passed a town that is has introduced wind turbines for their power.  I actually think that they are beautiful, graceful, not ugly like some people think.

More Wind Turbines Wind Turbines Please ignore the bug goo on the window.

Well that’s all for today.  Really miss my internet, if we could find a Verizon store I would sign up for one of their rockets, but haven’t really left the highway much except for Jackie stops and gas.  I’ll keep looking. 

Until later..take care.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Relaxing Day

Happy Birthday Danielle..21 wow all grown up.  Hope you have the best of days ever.

We spent a nice quiet relaxing day doing nothing really.  It was really hot here so we couldn’t even really sit outside with the dogs.  We turned on the air and came in and did pretty much of nothing.  Tomorrow we are heading for Anita, Iowa.  Apparently the campground does not have wifi, so if that is the case there will be no blog tomorrow. 

There is a lovely view out our front window of field and trees, no rigs, no campsites, just green field and trees.  Lovely, Jackson loves to run like a mad man in the field.  Good for him to stretch those youthful legs of his.

Before I forget I want to welcome a new follower.  Welcome Pat and thanks for joining us our our trip.

Also want to thank said lady for the lovely date and nut loaf, which is almost gone, and the raisin bread, which is well on it’s way to being gone.  They both were delicious.  Thank you very much for baking them for us.

Well until I can get an internet connection down the road..take care.

Oh and by the way..by clicking on the pictures in here they will enlarge.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Campground that almost wasn’t

On the Way On the Way

We had a late start this morning, after 10AM.  But the road was straight albeit in badly need of repair.  We ran into another small traffic jam, again due to 2 lanes converging down to 1.  But it wasn’t as lengthy as yesterday’s
Another traffic jam .

Only had to stop once for Jackson at a rest area.  Why don’t we have these in Canada?  They are so great.  We stop for lunch or for doggies potty stops.
Jackson's Peepee stop

We had conflicting instructions on how to get to this campground in Illinois.  GPS (we call her Emily) was telling us one way and the directions from the campgrounds website said another.  Ken seems to put more stock in Emily than Trip Tik or myself so we followed her.  The way she led us brought us to a 10 foot train trussel.  We are over 13 feet tall !!!!!  Fortunately I spotted the low clearance sign before we got there.  We would have had to stop, block traffic, unhitch the car, and backup.  You cannot back up a motorhome with a car in tow.  But we were able to detour around it.  So we drove along following Emily and then she says ‘destination reached’.  What ????!!!! we’re in the middle of nowhere.  So we drive a bit and see a sign that we can barely make out something about Geneseo something or other.   Little tiny road, so Ken turns down it.  Crap !!! wrong road, and it doesn’t look like there is anywhere we can turn around.  We keep going.  I said to Ken, this is not looking good, so we stop.  Fortunately there is a motorist driving by on this tiny road that has nothing on it.  Ken talks to her and she says that we are the third motorhome people today coming down this road asking ‘Where the heck are we?’  So she gives us the correct directions and oh thank goodness there is a turnaround in a picnic area, very rough, very small but we manage.  Back on the main road, following the good Samaritan’s directions and we find it.  One of those moments when you want to kiss the ground.

Reagan Thought this was interesting

Road Sign This was right after the above sign

Beautiful US flag Thought this was lovely

Lovely little campground, just 63 sites, very level, very clean and we finally have a clear view of the sky.  Our satellite works.  So as we have allotted extra time on this trip we decided to spend 2 days here.  Gives us and the poor critters a break.  There is a lovely big field here that Jackie had run on when it’s not so hot.  Ken is going to take them over later this evening when it cools down.  Internet is good. 

All critters have been fed, walked and are now sleeping.  It’s quite warm here, so A/C’s are on, would be nice to open windows and let some fresh air in but it’s 29 degrees a little too warm for that.

I may not blog tomorrow as we will have spent the day here so may not be anything interesting to blog.

Until later…take care

Sunday, 22 August 2010

And so onto Riverside, Michigan

We left Wheatley, Ontario at about 9 AM this morning.  Our next stop was the KOA in Riverside, Michigan.  We had to cross into the States today.  Over the Ambassador Bridge and into Michigan.
Ambassador Bridge Ambassador Bridge

There was a very small line up at the border.  They were asking to see passports even before we got to the kiosk.  He questioned us twice about how much money we had on us.  As though he didn’t believe us, as though we were coming in with scads of money.  He said ‘that’s not very much money for 2 months, what are you going to do after that???’  Ah, excuse me, haven’t you heard of ATM’s, Visa, etc.  Not many people travel with alot of money these days, you don’t have to anymore.  It was the most extensive check we’ve ever had.  Asked us many times if we had fruit, vegetables, kept telling him, No, I don’t buy those until I get into the US.  Two of them came inside, even read the label on the cat food bag????? What’s up with that???  Then Ken had to go outside and open the car and some of the bins.  They weren’t rude or anything, just thorough.  I didn’t have anything to hide, well maybe some raw dog food, but we got through.
US Canada Border Border

We got stuck in a traffic jam due to some construction where 2 lanes converged down to 1, lost probably 1/2 hour or so. 
Traffic Jam Traffic Jam

After that it was clear sailing…
On the Road

Campground is nice, roomy sites, lots and lots of open green spaces, great for the dogs.  Again though under trees, so no dish reception.  No biggie. 

Here are the 3 critters, in some of their favourite poses.  Jackson is our co co-pilot (is there such a thing?)  Maggie crashes on the couch and AFTER we get set up this is one of Arthur’s favourite places.
Jackson co-pilot Maggie Arthur

Until later..take care…

Saturday, 21 August 2010

First Stop

We left the house this morning at 8 AM right on the dot, but then we had to go to the churchyard (this is what we usually do) to hook up the car as we don’t have room to do this at home.  The 38 footer just fits in the driveway with about 6 feet to spare, but we can’t hook up the toad.  

We had to stop 2X along the way, #1, Jackie had to do a #2 desperately, and stop #2 he had to have a #1 desperately.  Now Maggie could hold it till the cows come home, but I think Jackson’s problem is that he’s not totally relaxed in the rig and that gets his internal organs churning away like crazy.  You’d think after all the trips we’ve made he’d get over it, but he’s a VERY emotional retriever so guess that won’t change.  And we love him the way he is, so guess that goes with the territory.  Oh and the second stop he was so in need that we had to pull over on the highway curb.  Holy jumping jiminy, every time a truck went by the rig shook and shook.  I took the opportunity to use the biffy and thought I was going to get shook right off the seat!!!

The campground is nice, very rustic, lots of space between sites, lots of trees which is very nice but our satellite can’t find the ‘bird’ with all these trees so no TV.  No big deal.

It’s a back in site so we had to disconnect the toad, and it’s raining a little, mosquitoes galore.  Thank goodness for OFF.

We got here at 1:15, the drive was fine, straight, arrow like roads all the way.  Boring actually, nothing of value to really see. 

Tomorrow we are supposed to end up at Riverside, Michigan. 

Till then..take care.  (Where there is something worthwhile to take a picture of I’ll include them here.)

Thursday, 19 August 2010


Two more days to go and we’re off…I guess you could say that we are about 95% packed and ready.  The usual last minute stuff to add.  I keep a bag and add to it as I think of things or cross them off my list.  When the bag is full I make a trip to the rig.  This goes on several times during the day.

I want to thank Sam and Donna and Joyce as new followers..welcome.  Hopefully once we get on the road this blog will be more interesting.

I have tried to pack ‘light’ but I find that the food is by far the most weighty.  My freezer is jam packed full.  As we plan to take almost 2 weeks to get there, that is alot of food needed.  I don’t really want to have to stop and shop much, maybe just for the usual, like bread, milk and ‘liquid refreshments’.  By the time we reach the mountains for the last 500 miles, we should be considerably lighter.

So many things to get done around the house when we leave this time of year.  We had to close up the pool, put all the lawn furniture away, and dispose of all my potted plants.  Didn’t want to leave them out, they just would be dead in a week or so anyway.  Couldn’t see the point in asking my daughter to water them when there would be no one here to enjoy their beauty.  Just more work for her to have to do.  Backyard looks forlorn without all it’s summer finery and the pool not gurgling away.  But it’s one less job to do when we get back.

I checked the temperature yesterday in St. George, Utah which is where we hook up with the caravan and it was 100 F.   Jumping jiminy crickets!!!!  But at only 22% humidity it wouldn’t be like 100 here.  But do hope it has dropped a little by the time we get there in a couple weeks. 

As I won’t use my internet ‘rocket stick’ in the States (roaming charges OUCH) I’m hoping that the campgrounds on the way down have wifi.  I do believe that most places do have internet connections in some shape and form. 

Next entry will be on the road…so till then..take care.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

2 Weeks to Go

Just a quick note to say that 2 weeks today we’ll be on our first leg of our Grand Canyon Trip.  If I am lucky enough to have an internet connection at the campgrounds, I will blog everyday and hopefully upload some pictures.  We are going to Utah, Arizona, Colorado on the main part of the trip.  We plan to hit New Mexico, Texas and some other states we’re never set foot in on the way home. 

It’s count down time, the rig goes in for a check-up, then we bring it home and start our packing up.  I keep a pen and paper by my bed cause I always wake up in the middle of night and say ‘I must remember this or I must remember that’ then proceed to stay awake cause I’m trying hard to remember.  Dumb.  So by keeping pen and paper handy, I can jot it down and it makes sleeping a lot easier.

So next time .. we’ll be on the road (and as my Mom used to say God willing). 


Addition – don’t forget to follow us on our adventure starting August 21st..see you here.