Sunday, December 15, 2013

December 6-14, 2013 The Villages, Florida and Home

Friday, December 6, we left the Disney area and went to The Villages.  The Villages is a large community for Senior citizens. We went on a program called "Lifestyles" that allows people to come into The Villages for several days to get a feel for for how living in this community might be.  It is quite a unique place as it is a golf cart community meaning that most places within this community can be accessed by golf carts.  Golf cart pathways are so busy that I told Tom it looked like ants scurrying along ant trails.  There are 3 town squares that each one has entertainment nightly that the residents come to listen, socialize or dance.
From The Villages
 Recreation areas are set up providing lots of activities- swimming, golf, hobby interests- almost anything that can be thought about.  We spent a week and enjoyed our time.  Everyday there are numerous open houses of new and preowned homes.  A realtor, Tim Collins, gave us a tour of the facility our first day and then arranged for us to see some  homes later in the week.  Tim was very easy going and did not try to pressure us into buying anything.  The weather was wonderful all week (80 degree temperatures)- ironically, in Maryland it snowed during this week.  On Sunday we attended church at The Villages United Church of Christ and got a good feel for the church.  We liked what we saw in the Villages but have not committed to anything at this time.
Thursday, our last day, we were out in the car ( our Pontiac G6) going to a restaurant for lunch when a warning appeared on the dashboard about the "power steering".  After eating and driving off the warning again appeared so we decided we had best get this checked out before heading home on Friday.  We drove to a Chevrolet dealer in Leesburg.  After checking the car out we were told that we needed a new steering column but the good news was that this problem would be covered under warranty and would not cost us and we would also be given a rental car at no cost.  The job was to be done the next morning. We were taken to an Enterprise car rental and were given a Cadillac.  We had hoped to leave early on Friday morning for our trip back to home but that was now changed.  Our stay at the Villages was to be over at 11am Friday morning so we about 10:30am we loaded up the rental car and left.  Hoping that we could get on the road in the early afternoon we ate lunch and then stopped in at the car dealership to see if the car was near to being done.  Unfortunately, we were now told that it would probably be 3 or 4pm until it would be finished, as they wanted to be sure there would not be any problems for us going home.  We then went to the local Mall and decided to take in a movie.  We saw  "A Madea Christmas", a Tyler Perry movie that was entertaining and filled in time for us.  After returning to the dealership we still had to wait until almost 5pm when our car was finally repaired.  Of course, then we had to move everything from the rental car to our car and then we were able to travel.  We did drive to Brunswick, Ga. about 200 miles before stopping at a motel for the night and a Cracker Barrel restaurant was next door that we were able to get a bite to eat.
Saturday morning we were on the road by 7:30am after eating breakfast at the motel.  We were somewhat anxious about our travels as a winter storm was moving east in our travel direction.  We did hit a few rain showers through the Carolinas but it wasn't until just south of Richmond, Va. that we hit steady rain.  North of D.C. we started seeing snow along the roadsides but it was not until we were through Frederick that we we driving through slushy roads.  And the streets in Taneytown were snow covered although it was now raining.  Our driveway was covered and Tom needed to back out and get a running start to get up into the driveway.  We traveled a little over 700 miles in 12 hours with a stop at a Burger King for lunch.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Disney- December 2-5, 2013

We decided to spend 3 days at Disney parks.  So Monday we were in Epcot,
From The Villages
From The Villages
Tuesday at Animal Kingdom
From The Villages
and Wednesday at Hollywood Studio.
From The Villages
From The Villages
 The weather was perfect with temperatures in the upper 70's to mid 80's.  The parks were well attended but we didn't have to wait in long lines but for 1 or 2 attractions at each park.  We opted out going to the Magic Kingdom since we had just been to Disneyland in the spring of this year.
Today,  Thursday (12/5), our last day in this area we did some Christmas shopping and then ate lunch at T Rex, a restaurant in Disney Village.
From The Villages
 As the name implies the restaurant is  dinosaur themed and every 20 minutes meteor showers begin and the dinosaurs become animated.  It was rather noisy and could be scary for some kids, other kids were excited about the activity.  The food was good- I had fish tacos and Tom had a rib/chicken combination dinner.


Sunday, December 01, 2013

Thanksgiving and Florida, November 28- December 1, 2013

Thursday,Thanksgiving day,(11/28) we had decided in September that we would have our Thanksgiving dinner at the "Noisy Oyster Restaurant".  We arrived at the restaurant about 1pm and ordered the Thanksgiving meal.
From The Villages
 We were not disappointed as the meal was wonderful- turkey, ham, turkey and oyster dressings, mashed red skin potatoes, corn, green beans, collard greens, Mac and cheese,sweet potato and pecan casserole, applesauce, cranberry sauce, orange and cranberry bread and pumpkin or sweet potato pie.  It was all you could eat.  Plates full of food were brought to the table, no going through a buffet line.  The food had a taste of homemade.  And the cost of $17.95 per person extremely reasonable.  We were unable to eat pie after the plateful of food but were given a to go box with pie to take with us and we ate later in the evening.  It was a nice day in spite of not being with our family.  We did enjoy talking to Todd and Beth on the phone.
Friday morning (11/29) we were up early, packed up and on the road by 5:30am traveling south.  We drove 500 miles to Lake Bueno Vista, Florida and Marriott's Royal Palms, a time share.  We were in warmer weather.  Leaving Myrtle Beach the temperature was 30 degrees and in Florida at 3:30pm it was 70 degrees.  We had stopped for lunch at a Sonny's barbeque so being tired we just settled in and ate some food in our unit that we had brought with us.
Saturday (11/30) we went out to a Cracker Barrel restaurant for breakfast before going to a grocery store.  Later in the day we went to Disney Marketplace which was crowded with people.
Today, Sunday, (12/1) we visited a friend, George Calendar, that we met when we first started traveling in the motorhome.  George and his wife, Pat, had lived in Maryland before relocating to Florida.  Sadly, Pat lost her fight with cancer about 2 years ago.  It was a nice visit catching up on travels and the goings on of mutual friends and acquaintances.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Myrtle Beach without the Motorhome, Wednesday, November 27, 2013

We have been back on the road once more but this time we are traveling without the motorhome.  Last Friday we left home at 5:30am driving to Myrtle Beach,S.C. arriving about 3pm.  It was in the 40's at home and the 70's in Myrtle Beach.  We are staying in a time share unit at Marriott Ocean Watch.  The weather down here has been up and down all week.  Saturday was a warm day then Sunday the cold set in until Tuesday when it warmed up with rain- late evening  there was even a tornado watch issued for the area. Luckily, there was just thunder and lightning.  Today Wednesday it has become cold again and windy.
There is a very nice exercise room in this complex that Tom and I go to each morning to use the various equipment after eating breakfast.  We found a jigsaw puzzle that we spent a couple days working on until we finally  had it together.  We do eat out each day for lunch or dinner. Because of the rain and then cold we have spent time catching up on reading rather than walking the beach.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Safely Home- Monday, November 4, 2013

We were up and on our way home by 9:30am.  Tom was feeling good this morning so we did not anticipate any problems getting home.  About 1:30pm we arrived in Taneytown and in the driveway by 2 o'clock.  And then we went to the local Pizza Hut for lunch.  Returning back to the house we got busy cleaning out the refrigerator/freezer and then removing anything that might freeze.  At this time we are not sure what or when our next motorhome trip will be.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Final Campout of the Year - Sunday November 3

Well it is Sunday evening and the final campout for the year is over.  Friday more Traveling Americans came into the park with a total of 16 rigs and 37 people.  This was a great turnout but then the last campout usually is well attended.  On Friday evening we went out as a group to Waterman's Seafood Company Restaurant- we had reservations and the restaurant accommodated us well even though they were very busy with other customers.
Saturday morning started with breakfast prepared by the hosts- Larry and Joanne, the Fordham's and us.  It was quite a large group but we had plenty of food- biscuits and sausage gravy, baked oatmeal, egg casserole, potatoes and fruit.  Tom was still a little light-headed but he felt up to going along with Larry and Joanne and me to Deal Island to see their house that they purchased this year on the island.  A nice home in a good location for easy access for Larry to get his boat in the water for fishing in the bay.  Saturday evening we had a potluck dinner with Joanne providing chicken barbecue and I made pulled pork.
This morning we woke up to a time change as time fell back an hour to standard time.  The group gathered for a potluck breakfast with a nice varity of breakfast foods.  After a club meeting the group broke up and many began packing up and heading home.  We are staying another night along with Linda and Ken Rouzer and Art Welsh.  We have spent a fairly quiet day watching racing and football on TV and cleaning out cupboards of things that would freeze.  Tom will winterize the motorhome after we get home to prevent any damage from freezing weather.  Tom continues to feel much better and feels he will be ready to drive the motorhome home tomorrow.  We had offers of help to get us home-  Bill Fordham who also has a Phaeton motorhome offered to return tomorrow to drive our motorhome home,  John Rush offered to come along with Bill and Larry and Joanne has offered to be at the house to help us to get this thing in the driveway.  Such great people that we travel with!!  Hopefully, we will be able to go as we have and not need the help.





Thursday, October 31, 2013

Final Campout for the Year and a Trip to the Hospital- Thursday, October 31, 2013

We have been out in the motorhome once again.  A week ago we left home and went to Frederick for the fall Maryland Samboree.  There were 5 units from our Traveling Americans Good Sam chapter in attendance.  Unfortunately, one of the men had to have a trip to the hospital due to some heart issues and he did not get released until Monday.  The Samboree was the usual goings on with evening entertainment which was so-so.  There was a food vendor on site that had really good crab soup and according to others great crabcakes.  Our chapter put together a picnic basket (the theme of the Samboree was "Retro Picnic") that was judged (we were first place) and then raffled off with proceeds going to local food bank (a $100.00 bought the basket).
On Sunday we departed Frederick heading south to Whaleyville, Maryland, near Ocean City.  The Traveling Americans final campout for the year is the first weekend of November at Fort Whaley Campground so rather than go home for a few days we just decided  to spend the week there.  Tuesday Tom and I drove into Ocean City and walked the boardwalk.  We then stopped for lunch before returning to the campground. It was a nice day so once back at the motorhome Tom got out some chairs to sit outside.  We were reading books when Tom said that he was dizzy.  When the dizziness did not let up after a few minutes Tom got up, moved to the picnic table and began vomiting.  At that point I called 911 for an ambulance.  He was taken a short distance to Berlin, Md. to Atlantic General Hospital.  The dizziness and vomiting continued. A CT scan ruled out a stroke.  Medication was not effective so he was admitted. More medication was given to him and by the next day the vomiting was gone and dizziness was much better.  More testing- MRI, Doppler studies on the carotid arteries and and echo-cardiogram plus an review by a neurologist were done with nothing outstanding showing up.  The final thinking that it could have been an TIA  episode.  Late Wednesday afternoon Tom was discharged from the hospital with several prescriptions.  I was glad to have Tom back in the motorhome, being alone in the motorhome is a little lonely.  Another couple from TA have also been here for the week which was a comfort.
Today, Thursday, Tom has been taking things easy and resting.  More TA folks have come into the campground, including Larry and Joanne.  We have had offers of assistance to getting the motorhome home if need be- hopefully, we will not need to do that but it is a comfort to know help is available.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

October 2, 2013, Wednesday, Home Once Again

Leaving the campground in Ashland, Virginia we traveled northeast to Taneytown.  We were home before 12 noon, about 3 hours, 165 miles.  We were able to get around the Washington, D.C. area fairly easy- maybe the government shut down had something to do with that.  After getting the motorhome into the driveway we went to the local Pizza Hut restaurant for lunch. The remainder of the day was spent moving things from the motorhome to the house, a few loads of laundry, going through mail and picking tomatoes.  Back to house living for a short while.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 Myrtle Beach

This morning by 8:45am we were in the motorhome leaving the beach, Pirateland and our friends behind.  Actually all our friends except for Art Welch were also leaving Myrtle Beach today but we would be together again in a couple weeks for the last campout of the Traveling Americans.  Tom and I wanted to get the longest stretch of the trip home completed today.  So we traveled 365 miles to Ashland, Virginia arriving about 3:30pm at the Americamp RV Park.  The temperature here in Virginia (high 80's) is higher than what we were having in South Carolina the past several days.

Monday, September 30, 2013- Myrtle Beach

Saturday morning, after our morning walk on the beach,we headed out toward North Myrtle Beach.  As we drove through the Market Commons development we saw a craft/flea market and decided to stop.  It was a benefit for a parochial school.  We walked about the area checking out the stands and the goods being sold.  I bought a cute outfit for our nearly 2 year old Gabi, a "thirty-one" organizer bag and a couple dog treats for the campground dogs.  We then continued our drive to North Myrtle Beach for another festival- Irish-Italian International Festival.  A street was closed off and vendors were on both sides selling all sorts of items.  We did buy a couple items for Christmas.  Moving on, our next stop was for lunch at a Mexican restaurant in that area and finally at Rita's for a gelato.
Sunday we drove south looking for someplace to eat lunch.  We finally ended up in Georgetown.  Several days ago there had been a huge fire in the historic section of this town so we drove to that area.  Quite a few buildings were completely destroyed and there were still some smoldering embers.  In this same area was some restaurants.  We ate at the "Big Tuna" or Old Fish House (apparently both names are used).  Tom and I had the same thing for our meal- gumbo and an oyster po'boy- which were very good.  We walked about the area after eating and just happened to find an ice cream for dessert.  The weather has been just beautiful with temps during the day getting to the low 80's and dropping to the low 60's/ high 50's at night.  Windows are open and the a.c. is turned off.
Today, Monday, our final day here began with seeing 2 couples from our group leaving this morning.  After hugs and wishes of safe travels Woody and Linda Woodruff and Ed and Barb Perry were well on their way. Tom did some outside cleaning and checking of stuff on the motorhome while I finished reading a book.  Life is tough sometimes!!  We then went out for a late lunch at River City Cafe, a restaurant known for burgers.  There are several of these restaurants in this area but we were in Surfside and the restaurant was along the beach with outside dining.  The pigeons were also outside dining.  The burgers were good as advertised.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013- Myrtle Beach

Wednesday morning after walking the beach we went out to some of the nearby stores.  Hamerick's is a large store with racks and racks of clothing, a bit overwhelming for me.  I didn't buy any clothes but in the housewares area I picked up a few items.  Orvis is a nice store with good quality sporty clothing- I usually just look but I did find a quilted vest on sale that I bought.  Wednesday night was a rainy night.
Tom was to go golfing early Thursday morning but when we woke up it was still raining and it was questionable but the guys decided to go to the course anyway and as it turned out the rain stopped so the golfing was done.  While he was gone I did take the morning beach walk and then spent time sitting around talking with the other golf widows.  Those of us not golfing decided that tonight we would go out for a seafood dinner as a group.  Time was spent deciding on what restaurant to go to and finally we decided on the "Noizy Oyster".  What a great find that restaurant was.  Crab cakes were some of the best and then we learned the secret- the owner/cook was originally from Maryland (Manchester).  A great meal with good company.  Bruce and Cricket McGinnis had stopped by earlier in the afternoon to visit with everyone.   The McGinnis' were once motorhome owners but recently sold that as their life now in Florida had taken on new interests.
Today, Friday, Tom and I went to a Greek Festival at St. John's Greek Orthodox church.  This festival started yesterday and will continue through Sunday.  We purchased some pastries to bring back to the motorhome- and they were very good.  We ate lunch of chicken gyro, Greek salad and potatoes as we listened to a trio playing and singing Greek music.  Vendors selling an assortment of goods as jewelry, candles, clothing items and food items were in tents around the grounds.  At 1pm we were able to go into the church as the priest gave a talk about the church.  The walls and ceiling of the church were beautifully paint with Biblical scenes.  Today when we walked to the pier at the state park the far end of the pier was roped off to allow only fishermen that were fishing for Mackerel in a tournament but we didn't see any of these fish being caught.  Nearly every evening we see professional photographers taking pictures of families, couples or individuals on the beach by the pier.  One evening a young lady dressed in a wedding gown was having pictures taken with the gown dragging through the surf and sand.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013- Myrtle Beach

After a rainy night we awoke Sunday to gray skies and cool air, but no rain.  The Traveling American gang had planned a breakfast for Sunday morning with everyone adding to the menu of eggs, pancakes, sausage, bacon and fruit.  Tom and I then went to the nearby flea market for about a half an hour and then to the movies.  We saw "The Family" with Robert Deniro and Michelle Pfeiffer- a somewhat disappointing movie with these actors.  We're beginning to rethink going to any r-rated movie when the last 2 that we saw would not have had a dialogue if the big 'f'' word was taken out.  From the movie we we walked to a Mexican restaurant in Market Commons, "Nacho Hippo" and had a nice meal of tacos that were a little different from most- chicken with mango, spicy shrimp.
Monday morning the clouds were gone and bright blue clear skies.  The air had a feel of fall crispness.  We took a short walk on the beach and then gathered our beach stuff and went out on the beach for a few hours.  In the evening we walked along the beach to the pier at the state park and then walked out on the pier before buying ice cream cones and returning back to the campground.  Beautiful evening for walking with the sunsetting.
Today, Tuesday, Tom and I again walked to the state park pier and back after breakfast.  We then drove north to Calabash, N.C. which is directly north of North Myrtle Beach.  We ate lunch at Captain Nance's.   Calabash seafood is most always fried which is what we had -Tom had a flounder, shrimp, deviled crab with baked potato and cole slaw and I had shrimp and deviled crab with the same sides as Tom- and, of course, hush puppies were also served.  The best part was our 2 meals together was less then $20.00.  And we had plenty to eat!  We bought some fresh shrimp at the dock for $5.00 a pound to bring back to the motorhome. Callahans is a big gift shop in Calabash that we had to wander through and I had to buy 2 turtles (the pecan, caramel, chocolate ones) for our dessert.  Returning to the campground we had a new neighbor, Art Welsh, another Traveling American that will be staying for this last week.  Later in the evening we walked to the pier and then out on the pier and returned to the campground as it was getting dark.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013- Myrtle Beach

Today, Saturday, Tom and I drove south to Pawley's Island stopping at some of the little shops and just browsing.  We then came up to Murrell's Inlet and ate lunch at Creek Ratz.
From 2013-09-21
From 2013-09-21
 Beautiful day for sitting out on the deck of the restaurant enjoying our food.  I had a shrimp po' boy that had enough shrimp for 2 sandwiches- I shared with Tom.  Tom had a cheesesteak sandwich which was also quite ample. We did walk about the area.  A car show in one of the parking lots had some nice looking cars on display.  After returning to the campground and resting for a while we did walk out on the beach.  (Our beach walking had been placed on hold since Tom developed a blister on the bottom of his foot after walking on the beach in a pair of Croc-type shoes and later playing golf several days ago. It is getting better so we thought we would try a short beach walk.)  As we were walking out to the beach another couple, John and Michelle, from the Traveling American Camping club drove by, stopped to talk a bit and then moved on.  John and Michelle are staying in a cabin in the campground as they no longer own an RV.  We will be seeing more of them tomorrow as we are planning to have breakfast together in the morning.  The clouds have moved in this evening and rain is predicted for tonight and tomorrow morning.  We have been so lucky to have the nice weather during our stay here that a little rain is nothing for us to complain about.

Friday, September 20, 2013 Myrtle Beach

Tuesday, Tom spent some time cleaning the outside of the motorhome.  In the evening, the gang went to an Italian restaurant to celebrate Rita Fordham's 70th birthday.  The food was good and the socializing even better.  A delicious chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling and icing was the finishing touch on a fun evening.
Wednesday, a repairman from Saf-T- Glass came to repair our windshield that got a chip on the way down here.
Thursday, Tom and I met a school classmate of mine at Gordon Biersch Pub Brewery for lunch.  Faye Copenhaver and I were classmates all through school and she is now living in the North Myrtle Beach area.  It was a nice get together talking about the past and catching up on our lives.  In the evening, the gang assembled for a fajita potluck dinner. Fajitas, black beans, chips and salsa followed by a dessert of pineapple upside down cake.  Yummy!!
Today, Friday, Tom and I went to the Tanger Outlets. The Croc shoe outlet was our first stop with both of us getting flipflops.  Then we roamed around stopping at various stores and ending at the VF outlet.  In the evening we went to Broadway at the Beach, another shopping, dining and entertainment area.  We decided to eat dinner at Carlos and Charleys, a chain restaurant that we had seen numerous places and had not eaten at.  We were very disappointed in our meal- this was the first Mexican? restaurant that we had been to that did not have chips and salsa unless they were paid for extra, the beans were more like baked beans and the portions small for the cost of the meal.  Tom voiced our displeasure but the only response we got was because this location only had 4 months of good business they had to manage this way.  Sorry but we ate at Johnny Rockets in this same location earlier in this month and found good prices for good food.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013- Myrtle Beach

A few days have passed since I last posted a blog so I will attempt to catch up.  On Wednesday (9/11) we loaded up the grandkids and their "stuff" and drove a little more than 200 miles north where we met up with Todd ( their dad, our son).
From 2013-09-11
From 2013-09-11
 After eating lunch at Cracker Barrel the kids continued on north to their home with their dad and we returned to Myrtle Beach.  We did return in time to go out to dinner at P.F. Chang's with the gang here.  A nice dinner with adult conversation- how refreshing after 10 days of being with little ones.
Thursday, Tom and I attended to errands- car washing, a haircut for me, WalMart shopping and then a lunch at Gordon Biersch brewery in the Market Commons.
 Friday, Tom went golfing with Bill Fordham, Jeff Albert, and Ed Perry.  Woody and Linda Woodruff took Anni Albert, Barb Perry and me along on a shopping trip to a flea market and pottery store.  A round cake pan  for to use in the micro/convection oven and a small electric chopper to replace one at home were my purchases.  Unfortunately, the cake pan was to large (14-inch) but Tom and I returned the pan and got a 12-inch that was the perfect fit for the oven.  In the evening Tom and I drove to Murrell's Inlet having dinner at Dirty Dog Saloon- beautiful evening for having dinner on an outside dining area.  Before leaving the area we walked out on a pier.
Saturday, Tom and I drove around Myrtle Beach.  We are planning to be down here in November in a timeshare unit and wanted to see just where that was located.  We then had lunch at Fiesta Mexicana.
Sunday, we spent here at the campground.  We like to walk on the beach in the morning which we did.  It had been hot here until Saturday when the temperature cooled down to lower 80's during the day and upper 60's at night.  I brought a piece of pork to make pulled pork along and had suggested to have a pot luck dinner on Sunday with the pork being the main course.  So about 6pm we assembled, ate and then sat around enjoying one another's company.
Today, Monday, Tom again has gone golfing with the guys.  I have spent the morning reading.  We have had a little shower of rain this morning.  This is the first rain that we've had since we've been down here.  I received a text message from Todd about a shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington this morning.  When I started to write this blog talking about Wednesday, September 11 memories of the events on that date in 2001 came to mind and then I hear of another incident today.  At lunchtime Rita Fordham, Judy Rush, Anni Albert and I went out to lunch at Toffino's Bakery and Deli.  We had lunches of sandwiches and then bought pastries to take "home".  I had bought a Napolean which I shared with Tom in the evening which was very good.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Myrtle Beach, Tuesday September 10, 2013

Monday morning started with breakfast of eggs, pancakes and bacon with the Traveling American gang.  It was nice spending some time with this group as we have not had too much contact as we have been so involved with Parker and Gabi.  After breakfast we went to the pool area for a couple hours.  We had lunch in the motorhome followed by afternoon naps.  We then drove into the commercial area of Myrtle beach.  A  ferris wheel, 187 feet high, called the Sky Wheel that had cars in which we were totally enclosed in air conditioning was our first stop.  We did walk about the boardwalk in this downtown area before heading out the a shopping plaza called "Broadway on the Beach".  We ate supper at "Johnny Rockets" restaurant and were entertained by the waiters and waitresses dancing to "oldies music".  Afterwards we walked about this Plaza.  Crossing over a bridge, the kids were attracted to the ducks in the water and then noticed the fish and had to have some food to feed the fish.  A little carousel with 3 carousel horses was another attraction and a family with 1 boy invited Parker and Gabi to ride  and then we paid for a second ride for the 3.

Today, Tuesday, we again went to the pool in the morning, had lunch and naps. Another Traveling American, Ed and Barb Perry, motorhome pulled into the campground this afternoon.  "Mr. Woody" came over to the motorhome in the afternoon to give a private magic show to the kids which they seemed to enjoy along with Tom and me.
From 2013-09-10 Myrtle Beach
From 2013-09-10 Myrtle Beach
 After supper we walked to the beach and the kids had a great time playing in the surf.  This is the last day that the kids will be here as we will be meeting their daddy in North Carolina for their return home.
From 2013-09-10 Myrtle Beach
From 2013-09-10 Myrtle Beach

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Myrtle Beach, September 8, 2013

Saturday morning we returned to the pool area with Parker and Gabi.  We made some progress getting the kids into the big pool with us holding them.  Gabi was jumping into my hands from the steps into the pool but Parker was more hesitant. After returning from the pool we dressed and went out to a local Mexican restaurant for lunch.  Gabi fell asleep for a short nap before getting to the restaurant but that didn't interfer with her afternoon nap after returning to the motorhome.  Morning swimming wears out the kids and old folks alike causing everyone to snooze in the afternoon.  An attempt was made at kite flying in the evening but was not too successful.

Today, Sunday, another morning at the pool.  We played for a spell in the big pool and then with much coaxing finally got the kids on an inner tube in the "lazy river".  Tom had both kids on a double inner tube.  Gabi was the first one to get on and then Parker finally decided to give it a try.  Needless to say, after several circuits on the "river" and feeling it was time to leave they were hooked and didn't want to get back on land.  But lunchtime was calling so we had to leave.  A barbeque trailer in the campground was the answer to lunch.  We picked up lunch from the trailer and took it to the motorhome to eat.  Tom and I had pulled pork with slaw, baked beans and a dirty rice dish, the kids had barbeque chicken with fries and slaw.  This evening Tom successfully tried getting the kite up in the air out on the beach while the kids played in the surf.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Myrtle Beach, Friday, September 6, 2013

Yesterday, Thursday, we spent another day at the beach in the morning and then naps in the afternoon.  Playing on the beach in the hot sun makes little kids and grandparents tired.  In the evening we started to walk to the play ground and then realized it was just too far for Gabi to walk, and probably Parker, that Tom got the Jeep and we then rode.  Squirrels were chasing one another through the trees by the playground that was entertaining to the kids.

Today, Friday, we spent the morning at the pool.  There is a pool with a foot of water that Parker seemed to be most comfortable playing.  A lazy river that meanders around the pool area where one can float on inner tubes was more Tom and my speed.  We wanted Parker to ride along with Tom but he wouldn't do.  The larger pool, only 4 feet deep at the deepest, was too much for Parker but Gabi enjoyed being carried around by Tom or me.  We wanted Parker to get in with us like Gabi but he just refused.  Again after a late lunch everyone sacked out for a spell.  Today it is a little more pleasant with few degrees cooler temperatures and less humidity.
From 2013-09-06 Myrtle Beach

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Myrtle Beach, Wednesday, September 4, 2013

We enjoyed the past weekend celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Traveling Americans.  There was quite a turnout for this event with current members as well as several past members.  Like all of our get togethers there was great food and conversations.
Sunday afternoon Todd, Beth and the kids stopped down for a visit and left Parker and Gabi with us.  These 2 little ones were going along to Myrtle Beach in the motorhome.  This was their first stay in the motorhome.  On Monday morning, Labor Day, we packed up and headed south for about 200 miles.  We stopped in Selma, N.C. for the night.  Then Tuesday we finished our travels to Myrtle Beach.  It was a little tiresome for Parker and Gabi but overall they didn't do too bad.  Parker, especially, was excited to be going to the Beach.  After getting into PirateLand Campground we went to a couple local stores to get bathing suits for the kids and beach toys.  It was really hot and humid and then we had a thunderstorm which cooled things down a little.  Presently, there are 7 units parked together from the Traveling Americans club.  Some will stay for a month and others lesser time and 1 unit will be joining us later.  Since we are the only ones with little ones we will devote our attention to Parker and Gabi for the period that they will be with us.
From 2013-09-03 Myrtle Beach
Today, Wednesday, we spent about 3 hours on the beach.  It is another hot, humid day.  Parker had a great time playing in the water.  Gabi was more leery of the waves but would stand out in the surf holding on to Tom or me. Parker had been to a beach 2 years ago but this was Gabi's first time.  After eating a late lunch we all feel asleep.  It's hard work playing on the beach.
From 2013-09-04 Myrtle Beach
From 2013-09-04 Myrtle Beach
From 2013-09-04 Myrtle Beach
From 2013-09-04 Myrtle Beach
From 2013-09-04 Myrtle Beach

Thursday, August 29, 2013

On to Virginia, Thursday, August 29, 2013

We spent 4 nights in Gettysburg, Pa. mainly due to the closeness of home.  Since we were out with the motorhome we did not want to go through the work of getting  in to the driveway and then back out 4 days later.  I had my medical test (colonoscopy) in Westminster on Tuesday with good results and  we went home in the Jeep on Wednesday to mow grass, vacuum the house and gather up beach things for going to Myrtle Beach. So this morning, Thursday, we left Artillery Ridge Campground and the horses that are corralled within the campground and travelled to Milford, Virginia for a Labor Day weekend campout with the Traveling Americans- 176 miles.  The campground, R & D Campground. has been the site used for the last 5 or 6 years by this group as many leave from the campout to continue on down I-95 to Myrtle Beach, S.C.  This will be our first year of joining this group in Myrtle Beach.  Two years ago we had started out to go to Myrtle Beach but had problems with the motorhome that caused us to cancel out and purchase a new motorhome.
The Traveling Americans are celebrating the 45th anniversary of the club this weekend so a big turnout is expected with some past members returning to join in on the activities.  Tomorrow evening will be the official start although there are about 10 units here already.
From 2013-08-31 Traveling Americans
From 2013-08-31 Traveling Americans
From 2013-08-31 Traveling Americans
From 2013-08-31 Traveling Americans
From 2013-08-31 Traveling Americans

Monday, August 26, 2013

Once Again We Are On The Road, Monday, August 26, 2013

It has been quite some time since we have posted anything but that is because we have remained home since our trip to California.  It is such a chore getting our motorhome in and out our driveway that we are not as apt to go out for weekend jaunts as we have done before.
Our 13 year old granddaughter, Maddi, was with us for a few days.  On Saturday morning we, along with Maddi, loaded into the motorhome and drove north to New York state near Watkins Glen to the home of Jim and Rose MacBlane, the parents of our daughter-in-law, Beth.  Beth was throwing a surprise birthday party for Todd, our son in the evening.  The party was scheduled for 4 pm but we didn't get there until 4:35pm and Todd was very surprised.  We parked the motorhome in their yard and had an enjoyable evening.  We spent the night in the motorhome along with Maddi and Anthony, our step grandson.
Sunday morning, Todd took us on a tour of Jim's wooded area along with grandchildren, Parker and Gabi.  We then got on the road and headed south but without Maddi or any other grandkids.  We came down to Gettysburg to Artillery Ridge Campground where we are staying for 4 nights.  I am scheduled for a medical test in Westminster on Tuesday so we just decided to stay here until that is completed and we are scheduled to go to Virginia for a Labor Day campout with our Traveling American camping club on Thursday.
Today, Monday, we went to a local orchard this morning to get some fruit- apples, peaches, nectarines and blueberries- and then a quick stop at a grocery store for milk.  The remainder of the day will be spent at the motorhome.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Home, Saturday, June 8, 2013

On the road by 7am and heading home.  We continued our travels on I-81 to Hagerstown, Md.and then we worked our way over familiar back roads to Taneytown at 3:10pm and 411 miles.  We only stopped for fuel and then just ate a snack in a mall parking lot in Winchester, Va.  We were pleasantly surprised to see that we have new neighbors in a house that has been for sale for a couple of years.  We are feeling somewhat tired tonight.  It was a long travel day and then we had the chore of getting the motorhome in the driveway and bringing items from the motorhome into the house.  But it is good to be home for a spell.
I forgot to mention that we had rain last night in Bluff City, Tn.  This morning Tom found that the leak around the door is still there.  We have been to Red Bay twice for this problem and it still exists.  Upsetting!!

Friday, June 07, 2013

Bluff City, Tennessee, Friday, June 7, 2013

A few minutes past 7am we were on the road traveling east to Huntsville and then northeast to Chattanooga, Tennessee on to Knoxville.  East of Knoxville we got on I-81 the route that will take us through Virginia, West Virginia and then Maryland.  We have now crossed back into Eastern time zone again.  We are in a campground in Bluff City, Tn., Lakeview RV Park, which is close to the Bristol Speedway.  We drove 429 miles today.  How nice it was not to have the sharp clicking noise that we had experienced on this trip.  Tony, the Tiffin tech, did a great job using resources to find the cause of the noise and then seeing that it was corrected.  Tomorrow we will continue up I-81 and, hopefully, will be home by evening.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Second Day in Bay 6, Thursday, June 6, 2013

Again today we were in Bay 6 with Tony, the RV tech.  The goal today was to find the source of a noise in the front of the motorhome on the passenger side.  We have been hearing this noise for sometime and it has been getting more noticeable, especially on rough roads.  First thing we along with Tony went out on a test ride in order for him to hear the noise.  Then he tried tightening up the window shades  and added some caulking and another test drive and the noise continued.  Tony consulted with cabinet experts and they went out on a test drive  applying some additional screws in the cabinets in that area but that was not the answer.  So more coverings were removed in that corner and then Tony’s boss went along for a test ride and found a metal frame was the cause of the noise.  The 2 guys that do wind shield replacement got involved.  More test drives.  The metal frame causing the problem should have had 5 screws securing it in place but there was only 1 screw which the head was no longer on.

From Dropbox
  Trying to figure out how to put screws in place was a problem and thought perhaps the windshield may need to be removed in the morning.  But after much trying they finally were able to get the screws in place.  A last test drive confirmed that the problem was solved.  We were at last finished and would be able to leave and the workday had ended for the Tiffin workers.  We are staying tonight and will leave in the morning.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Tiffin Service Center, Wednesday, June 5, 2013

At 6:50am we were in Bay 6 ready to have some work done on the motorhome.  We had a list of things that needed to be dealt with.  Our tech, Tony, seemed a little slow getting started but that is always the way here.  The first problem was the steps and it was found that the arm that had broken was not the only problem but something with the step motor (gears were stripped) so we had to have a whole new step assembly installed.  While Tony was  dealing with that problem another tech, Chris, started to look at our big slide in the front and found that the gear box had teeth broken off and stop bolts had not been installed at the factory.

From Dropbox
From Dropbox
(This was the slide that had been taken out last July and new flooring installed but the problem with the lack of stop bolts were not seen then.  Luckily, a loud bang (teeth being stripped, probably) occurred just yesterday, and not the day after we were gone from here, when extending the slide that caused us to ask questions about what was going on with the slide.)  The water leak in the stair well was thought to be a caulking, or lack of, issue so Tony took care of that along with replacing a taillight that had moisture in it.  Another team of 2 workers replaced the noisy fan in the bedroom.  And then the black tank flusher was checked out with a new no-flow valve installed but then they had to, as a last resort, break into the black tank and take out the spray nozzle to drill larger holes in it.  Tom said the spray nozzle had pinholes so it is no wonder that that becomes clogged.  By the end of the workday we were feeling good about all that had got done today.  We still have a noise in the right front corner that is of concern.  Tomorrow, Tony will test drive the motorhome in order to assess the problem and, hopefully, find a solution to it.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Second Day in Red Bay, Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Day 2 at Camp Red Bay.  How lucky are we??  Since our appointment here is not until tomorrow and this place is busting at the seams we did not have anything done in the Tiffin service bays today.  Not only is this campground filled but folks are in other campgrounds in the area waiting for service.  We feel real fortunate to have a campsite at this location.  Tom had made an appointment at Bay Diesel for chassis lube and oil and filter changes prior to getting here so this afternoon we had that taken care of.  Bay Diesel is a mile or 2 from here so it is real convenient.  We did get a call this evening telling us that we are scheduled to be in Bay 6 at 6:50 am tomorrow- let the games begin. 

Monday, June 03, 2013

Red Bay, Alabama, June 3, 3013, Monday

This morning we were up real early for Tom- must to have been due to windows being open and the sun shining in.  So we were able to get on the road a before 7:30am and continued our travels south on I-65 for the  five remaining miles in Kentucky and then through Tennessee into Alabama.  In the vicinity of Decatur we turned west on state route 24 that goes right to Red Bay- 235 miles today.  We were here before noon and once we got checked in at the Tiffin Allegro campground we then went to the local Mexican restaurant for lunch.  The restaurant choices in this town are so limited- Mexican restaurant, Piggly-Wiggly lunch counter, a fast food place and a restaurant that looks nice on the outside but food there lacks. We comment that the best place to eat is the Piggly-Wiggly.   We are here once again for work on our motorhome and we do have an appointment for Wednesday and plan to stay no longer than Friday.  We just relaxed this afternoon, took a walk and then made a run to the grocery store for milk.

Kentucky, June 2, 2013, Sunday

This morning we left Van Buren, Ohio traveling south on I-75 on through Ohio and then into Kentucky.  We stopped in Elizabethtown for lunch at a Cracker Barrel, then refueled  at a Pilot station before ending our travels today (402 miles) at Franklin, Kentucky, 5 miles from the Tennessee border.  The time zone has changed once again for us from Eastern to Central- we gained an hour today.  We have not had any rain so far today but the clouds have been heavy off and on today.  We are staying in the Bluegrass Music RV Park.  Tomorrow we will continue to Red Bay, Alabama and the Tiffin campground.

Tom’s High School Reunion, June 1, 2013, Saturday

Today was a busy day.  We went to the American Legion in North Baltimore, Ohio for a lunch with the 50 year club of North Baltimore High School.  Tom’s class was the honored guest since this year marked their 50 year anniversary.  There were about 20 of the 46 classmates in attendance.

In the evening we went to Findley, Ohio for a dinner at Waldo Peppers restaurant with Tom’s classmates and guests.  Everyone that attended the lunch plus a few more were there.  A nice meal served buffet style was enjoyed and then the reminiscing and visiting filled the next several hours.  It is always nice to reconnect with the past.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Visiting Deshler, Ohio, Friday, May 31, 2013

This morning started with Tom and I going for breakfast at the Iron Skillet at a local truck stop.  Restaurants are not in abundance in this neck of the woods but I’m not complaining because the breakfast was good.  We then rode over to Deshler, Tom’s hometown.  Tom stopped and talked with an old friend that has a business in town.  Old buildings have been torn down and new buildings built.  And some old buildings should be torn down.  Trains are still running frequently through the town.  In a NAPA store Tom thought he had found a part to repair the steps but when he tried repairing the steps the threads needed to be reversed from what he had.  So he had to return the part and we will just have to wait until we get to Red Bay, Alabama.  It has been cloudy all day with showers.  Tomorrow is predicted to be stormy.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Van Buren, Ohio, May 30, 2013, Thursday

This morning we left Harrison Lake and drove 75 miles southeast to Pleasant View Recreation, a campground, at Van Buren, Ohio.  We will be staying here for the next 3 nights.  Tom’s high school class is celebrating their 50th year reunion on Saturday.  It has been several years since we have been in this area so we plan to visit some places that were once very familiar to Tom.  Today, we went to the city of Findley for lunch at Cheddar’s restaurant, a restaurant that Tom and I had been to several years ago when we were out here for a funeral of Tom’s Aunt Liz.  The restaurant today was as we remembered, good food with good prices.  A stop at a car wash got the road dirt washed off the Jeep and then we returned to the campground and just chilled out.  Tomorrow we plan to visit Tom’s hometown, Deshler.

Ohio, May 29, 2013, Wednesday

Continuing on I-80 east we left Geneseo, Illinois at 8:15am.  We had bright sunshine this morning not the heavy clouds we had been seeing the past several days.  We continued to see many fields flooded from the rains of the past few days.  And as we traveled east we began to see heavy clouds but did not have any rain.   We skirted around the southern edge of Chicago and then we were in Gary, Indiana vicinity.  The traffic is always heavy in this Chicago/Gary area but today it was moving well.  Traveling through Indiana we again changed time zones from Central to Eastern, the last time zone change.  I-80 is a turnpike through Indiana and it was a terrible road as far as being in need of repairs.  It is obvious that the toll is not being put back into the road repairs.  Because of our step breaking yesterday we decided to stop in Elkhart to check out at some RV supply stores for the part to repair the step.  They had electric step parts but not for our step brand.  So we continued eastward into Ohio (another terrible turnpike road)  but we did not have to go very far until we got off the turnpike and after getting fuel then drove to Harrison Lake State Park, 406 miles.  Tom’s sister, Julie and husband, Tim, and their family live real close to the Park.  Harrison Lake State Park is a really pretty camping area with nice sites with electric (50amp) only.  After setting up for the night I made a dish of potato salad and then we went to Julie and Tim’s for dinner.  Tom’s brother, Paul, and wife, Robin, and their family were also their along with a neighbor lady, Louise, that we all are quite fond of.  We had an enjoyable evening eating and catching up on the family news.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Leveling Jacks and Illinois, Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Last night about 1:30am we were awakened with the sound of heavy down pouring of rain with a few rumbles of thunder.  When we got up the rain had stopped but the clouds were still heavy.  Before 8am we were on the road again and seeing more flooded areas in Iowa.  About 100 miles later (9:15am) we were at the turn off for Moscow, Iowa where the manufactures of the leveling jacks (HWH) for our motorhome is located.  We have been having problems with the jacks retracting, as they should, so we had planned to stop by and see if we could have them checked out.  We were in luck as they were not busy today and could take us in immediately.  One front jack that had been replaced by Tiffin on one visit to their facility and was working okay.  The other front and 2 rear jacks today had the springs replaced and the 2 rear jacks worked as they should but the front jack still was problematic so a new jack was installed.  Another couple from North Carolina, Opal and Bob, were there having work on their motorhome done.  About lunchtime these nice folks asked us about going out to lunch so we all went to Tipton, a neighboring town, to a family restaurant that HWH folks had recommended.  We had a nice lunch and good company.  The work on our jacks was completed about 2:30pm- best part there was no charge as we are still under warranty.  Getting ready to leave Tom step out of the motorhome onto the retracting  outside steps and the steps broke.  So Tom then had to secure the steps and then we finally got away from HWH at 3pm.  We have plans to go to Red Bay, Alabama to the Tiffin factory before going home so this will be another issue that will need to be address.

Continuing on our travels on I-80 east we crossed the Mississippi River into Illinois and then 65 miles later we stopped at a campground, Geneseo Campground, in Geneseo, Il.

From 2013-05-28
  We had thought about staying at a campground along the Mississippi River but with all the rain and flooding we thought better of that idea.  I did call this campground to be sure they were opened and free of flooding.  We had heard that campgrounds were closed because of flooding in this area.

The clouds are still heavy and there have been spells of strong winds but so far just sprinkles of rain occasionally.  The weather reports are predicting severe storms just south of where we are for tonight.

Iowa, Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day a day set aside for remembering those who gave their lives for our freedom.  It also is a day in many locations that family members decorate with flowers the graves of family members and refer to the day as Decoration Day.

A night of dry camping and, thankfully, we had no stormy weather during the night.  At 7:20am this morning we were leaving the parking lot and back to I-80 east.  The wind was really blowing making driving for Tom a little challenging.  Not long on the road until we encountered wet roads.  We crossed the Missouri River and entered Iowa.

From 2013-05-27
  Cloudy skies appeared threatening but we didn’t encounter any rain.  East of Des Moines we were seeing what appeared to be numerous lakes on both sides of the road which we soon realized were not lakes but fields completely flooded.
From 2013-05-27
From 2013-05-27
  Streams and rivers were bank high and some over the banks.  We stopped at a Flying J’s for fuel after Des Moines and then about 30 miles further we stopped in Newton, Iowa for the night (359 miles).  It was past 1:30pm and we had not had lunch.  We just couldn’t seem to see anyplace convenient for parking the motorhome. 

We had planned last night to stop in Newton at Rolling Acres RV Park, a Good Sam park, but when we arrived here the campground is now Newton KOA.  Don’t know what is up with campgrounds changing to KOA campgrounds but this has happened along this route at several campgrounds.  We sure are not happy seeing this as KOA’s(KEEP ON ADDING- our interpretation of the letters) are more expensive then most other campgrounds and the quality is in no way superior to other campgrounds.  If other campgrounds were available in the area we would have chosen to go elsewhere but, unfortunately, that was not the case in Laramie or here.

After setting up we did go out for lunch at Culver’s.  We were now in Culver country, a good hamburger and frozen custard restaurant.  We were somewhat disappointed in our Swiss-mushroom burgers as the cheese was not melted and the mushrooms were few but the custard was perfect.

Listening to the news, we have heard that 6 inches of rain has fallen in this area Saturday and Sunday and the possibility of more stormy weather tonight is predicted.  Tom has set up the weather radio to alert us of any threatening weather and we were told of a storm shelter to go to in the campground if necessary.  Sure hope we don’t have any bad storms to deal with.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Nebraska, Sunday, May 26, 2013

At 7:45am we were on the road leaving Laramie, Wy. and continuing east on I-80.  A little less than 100 miles of travel until we were in Nebraska and the plains.  There were many meadows with blank angus cattle as well as fields of crops.  We followed the Platte River much of the way.  Just as we were about to go off the highway at North Platte there was an accident – a SUV pulling a travel trailer (Air Stream?) was laying on their side in the medium strip and 2 people were on stretchers being placed in ambulances

From 2013-05-26
.  We sure hope no one was seriously injured.   We did stop at North Platte to get lunch at a Perkin’s restaurant and to refuel at a Conoco station.  We then continued on to Kearny, Ne. where we are staying tonight.  The Great Platte River Archway Monument allows overnight dry camping .
From 2013-05-26
  We stayed here several years ago and since campgrounds are somewhat scarce in Nebraska we are back here.  We did go into the museum to be sure we could stay here for the night but we did not go through the museum this time.  Before dark we did walk around the grounds and crossed the Platte River to a “Learning Trail” that spoke of the early settlers and the Indians of this area.
From 2013-05-26
  The trail is 8 miles long, needless to say, we did not walk  the entire trail just a short segment of the trail.   It is cloudy and we were told in the museum that storms are predicted for tonight and tomorrow.  We’re keeping our fingers crossed that nothing too severe occurs.  The winds today were strong making driving somewhat difficult for Tom.  Truck traffic has been quite heavy on I-80.  We totaled 374 miles today and we crossed into Central time from Mountain time.  Tomorrow we plan to be in Iowa.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Slow Start to Laramie, Wyoming, Saturday, May 25, 2013

This morning we were ready to leave the campground about 8am but…..   When Tom started the motorhome up a shrill whistling singling that the air was not getting pumped up sufficiently so we could not go anywhere as this effected the brakes.  So he got parked back into our campsite and went down to the office to get phone numbers of a service person.  Saturday on a holiday weekend, of all the luck!!  But the first number tried to a place (Smith’s Power Products) across the road from the campground he got a response and was told that the serviceman would be about 45 minutes as he was coming from home.  True to his word within 45 minutes the serviceman was there and he quickly saw the problem.  An air pressure relief valve was stuck in the open position.  He suggested putting a plug in it as a temporary fix which he did.  When Tom tried to pay for the service he was told “no charge”.  Unbelievable in this time!  Tom did give the young man some money although he really didn’t want to take it.

Finally at 9:40am we were on the road again but first we stopped for fuel and then we got rolling on I-80.  We had only planned to go to Laramie, Wyoming today which was 215 miles.  About the last 50 miles Tom had to fight the wind a bit but we were in the campground, Laramie KOA, by 2pm. 

A former high school classmate, Bonnie Blue Robertson, lives in Laramie with her husband, Ray.  Tom had contact with her and we were going to meet up for dinner together.  About 5pm we went to their house and chatted for a spell.  We then drove downtown and had dinner at a local restaurant, Lovejoy’s.

From 2013-05-25 Bonnie and Ray
From 2013-05-25 Bonnie and Ray
  Afterwards, we walked about the town and made an ice cream stop and walked a little more.
From 2013-05-25 Bonnie and Ray
  Tom and Bonnie had a good time reminiscing and we all enjoyed socializing.  Bidding farewell and hopes of seeing each other again, we returned to the campground.  Tomorrow we will be in Nebraska.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Rock Springs, Wyoming, May 24, 2013, Friday

This morning we left the Twin Falls area heading east on I-84.  All along the highway were crops being irrigated.  I told Tom the irrigations looked like giant spider webs like the spider webs that are seen in the mornings with dew.

From 2013-05-24
  It was not hard to understand how this much irrigation would impact the Snake River flow over the Shoshone Falls.

I-84 turns south east through Utah.  Seeing the red cliffs along the highway brought to mind our trip last year to the National Parks in Utah.

From 2013-05-24
  There is beauty in every state but I do think Utah has an over abundance.   We skirted around a northern section of the Great Salt Lake and then connected with I-80 east.
From 2013-05-24
  I-80 will be our route of travel to Ohio. 

After about 40 miles on I-80 in Utah we were crossing into Wyoming.  There were still cliffs along the highway but no longer the red but yellow, still scenic but not as vibrant as the red cliffs.  Snow covered mountain peaks were visible to the south and I assume Utah mountains.

From 2013-05-24
  There were large flocks of sheep in this area.  Evanston was the first town that we came to a little past noon so we took the business route through the town in hopes of finding someplace to have lunch.  Luckily, we saw a Mexican restaurant with a large parking lot that we could park the motorhome in and had a nice lunch.  We then continued on to Rock Springs where we are camped for the night at Rock Springs KOA.  We had made reservations here since this weekend is Memorial Day but the campground is not full.  We traveled 368 miles today.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Lava and Falls, Thursday, May 23, 2013

This morning after packing lunch we were on our way traveling 80 plus miles to the Craters of the Moon National Monument.  Driving from Twin Falls in a northeasterly direction we passed through areas of crop farming with irrigation in high gear and then areas of dry ground with a scrub brush growing among lava rocks.  As we neared the Park’s entrance lava fields were present.  The Visitor’s Center was at the entrance to the Park and we stopped there.  A film presentation about volcanoes was shown and a small display area.  After being question about being in caves since 2005 with the appropriate answers we were given a permit that would allow us to go into the caves (wild caves).  Then going through the entrance gate we were free to see the Park.  As it was past noon we found a picnic area to eat lunch- it was good that we brought lunch with us as there was no food in the Park and the nearest town was probably 20 or more miles away.  It was chilly with temperatures in the 50’s but we were dressed warm enough to eat outside.  Lava is everywhere but as time goes by there is more and more vegetation growing among the rocks and on the lava cones.  At this time many of the flowers were in bloom.  We walked a trail to the caves, Boy Scout cave and Beauty cave.  Boy Scout cave appeared to have a small opening so we passed on entering that one- we didn’t feel up to crawling into a cave.  Beauty cave had a nice opening so we cautiously climbed over rocks to get down into the cave.  Once inside the floor, near the opening, was covered in ice but as we walked a little further into the cave the floor was drier without ice.  We didn’t venture too far as we only had our cell phone flashlights and it was very dark with not the best of surface to walk on.   The Inferno Cone is a large volcanic cone that had a trail 0.2 mile (600 plus feet) upward to the top that we walked up.  It was quite breezy on that cone but a great place to see over the Park.  The Splatter cones had nice easy walking walkways up to them as they were not nearly as tall as the Inferno Cone. The volcanic activity in this area occurred about 2000 years ago which is relatively recent.

As we were returning back to Twin Falls we saw a Ring-neck pheasant along the roadside.  We have not seen pheasants anywhere for years.  This was every bit as exciting as seeing the coyote that ran across the road yesterday in front of the motorhome or the marmot that ran across the road today.

  We wanted to go to Shoshone Falls but were having trouble finding  just where along the Snake River Gorge to go as there was no signs directing us toward them.    And yet we had read that they were “The Niagara of the West”.   Trying the GPS, we were successful in finding the park, a Twin Falls city park.  There is a $3.00 per vehicle fee but our senior National Park pass got us in free.  And we were not disappointed in the falls.  They were just beautiful and something that we are glad we were able to locate and see.  At this time the flow over the falls was considered medium but within a few weeks the flow will really decrease.  The water will be used for irrigation of the farm lands during the summer months prior to it reaching the falls.   It was downstream from the falls that Evel Knevel had his failed attempt at jumping the Snake River Gorge years ago.

Before returning to the campground we stopped at Shari’s restaurant.  We have seen these restaurants in several locations  in this northwest region.  We ordered dinner with the addition of dinner salads.  Our dinners came and we did not have our salads.  After the waitress apologized for the mistake and we declining having salads at that point, the manager came by to say we would be given a piece of pie on the house.   Apparently, this restaurant is noted for its pies.  We got our pieces of pie to go as it was past 7pm and we were ready to get back to the motorhome. 

Tom, feeling overly ambitious and being able to do so, washed the motorhome and car.  Not too many campgrounds allow washing of vehicles but on this trip we have encountered this several times.  After that was completed we had our coffee with the pie from the restaurant.  Good berry pies- I had Marionberry pie and Tom had a 3 berry (blueberry, raspberry and blackberry)pie.  Tomorrow we will be moving further east into Wyoming.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Winter Wonderland Travels, Wednesday, May 23, 2013

What a day!  We started out earlier than most days.  We were on the road by 7:30amPT but we knew that in a short time we would be changing from Pacific time zone to Mountain time causing us to loose an hour.  We drove south, in rain, on SR 96 for 50 miles and then at New Meadows we took SR 55, Payette River Scenic Byway.  About 10 miles on this route we came to a ski resort town of McCall and we then started seeing the rain change into snow flakes.  At first the snow was melting as it fell but as we continued the pine trees and ground along the road was getting snow covered.  It was snowing so hard at times that it was impossible to see the surrounding areas- we passed a lake that was completely obliterated by the snow.  Snow was not sticking to the roads.  We drove in snow for about 80 miles and I must admit it was a beautiful drive in a winter wonderland.  When we got below Banks, Idaho we were in rain and then soon the sun was shining.  At this point we were traveling along the Payette River which was very scenic with the fast moving white water.  We skirted around Boise and then took I-84 east to Twin Falls.  On I-84 the winds we strong but fortunately for us they were blowing toward the east.  Driving into Twin Falls we crossed a bridge over the Snake River Gorge.  After getting into Twin Falls 93 RV Park at 4pm MT, we  went out for dinner and a grocery store stop.  We then also stopped at an overlook for the Snake River Gorge which is also a result of the Bonneville Flood that occurred during the ice age.  And the weather here in Twin Falls is cold- temperatures are in the upper 40’s- we were in areas that had snow along the roads higher than we are tall that were warmer (60’s).  Unbelievable- hope tomorrow is warmer as we travel about this area.

Hell’s Canyon, Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Our day started out with a trip about 30 miles south to the town of Riggins.  We were still in hopes of finding a boat trip through Hell’s Canyon but there didn’t seem to be anything happening much before this coming weekend, Memorial Day weekend.  We did make a visit to the Hell’s Canyon National Recreation Park headquarters south of White Bird and were given some suggestions for scenic drives- one which we will be taking tomorrow as we move toward the Craters of the Moon National Park.  We stopped at a fruit stand that seemed to have lots of groceries besides fruit and also a hardware store.  We bought some sweet cherries (from California) and a jar of huckleberry pie filling.

After a brief stop at the motorhome to deposit the fruit stand purchase we went a short distance to Hoot’s CafĂ© for lunch.  Then we set out to drive to an area of Hell’s Canyon, Pittsburg Landing.  Pittsburg Landing is one of a very few areas that can be driven to in the Canyon from the Idaho side.  This Canyon is on the border of Idaho and Oregon.  Trails from this point lead to viewpoints of the Canyon.  The 17 mile drive starts near the campground and meanders up and down mountains until it descends down to the Snake River and Pittsburg Landing, the spot that the jet boats are loaded for the trips into the Canyon.  Just prior to getting to the landing area we drove back a road to walk a short trail through an area that had pictographs on big rocks.  Getting to the parking lot of the landing we walked down to the Snake River.  A mother duck and her ducklings were playing in the river.  We had considered walking a trail but big dark clouds were forming so we thought better not- we didn’t want to be out in stormy weather.  Returning back on the 17 mile road we saw a snake slithering across the road.  We saw numerous deer on our travels over this road.  And then we saw our dream log house on one of the mountaintops that had a great view.  We were driving in rain much of the way to the campground and the rain has continued with temperatures dropping into the 50’s from the 70’s.

White Bird, Idaho, Monday, May 20, 2013

Our journey today took us east on I-90 around Spokane, Wa. and then into the state of Idaho where we picked up US95 south.  We were along the border of Washington and then Oregon when we stopped in White Bird, Idaho.  We were in rural country with fields of dark green grain crops and bright yellow canola.  Hills and mountains were pine tree covered in the northern areas and then just appeared to be grass and some shrub coverage further south.  US95 is indeed a very scenic route- we had debated about traveling this route and at the campground in Wilbur the campground owner said that it was a good road.  There are 2 areas of concern that being descending to Lewiston and then the 7-mile section south of Grangeville that descends 3000 to the Salmon River Canyon.  White Bird, our campground stop for the night is just a little south of this descent. 

The Nez Perce National Historical Park Visitor’s Center was along the way in Spalding.  After we had stopped to eat lunch in the motorhome in a gravel parking lot we came to this Center.  It would have been a much nicer place to have eaten our lunch but we didn’t know about it until we came to it.  We did stop and go in the Center.  This Park is different from most other parks in that there are sites in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.  This Center in Spalding is the main one.

When we got to the small town of White Bird the GPS messed us up by sending us in the opposite direction from the campground.  A motorhome on narrow country roads with no place to turn around is a problem.  Fortunately, the road did not have any traffic so we stopped, unhooked the Jeep and were going to turn around in a farm driveway.  A cowboy(he had a cowboy hat and was riding a horse) saw our dilemma and suggested that a little further up the road we would be able to turn around easier.  So we got turned and then finally found the campground.  We were hoping to take a jet boat up Hell’s Canyon tomorrow but there needs to be at least 6 people and so far no one has signed up.  e will be here for 2 nights only so I guess there will not be a boat trip.