Kaibab National Forest in Williams, AZ…

March 15-29, 2017

We left Lake Havasu City, AZ and headed for Kaibab National Forest in Williams, AZ. www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab. This is the most beautiful place we have EVER stayed! We dry camped for 2 whole weeks and could have stayed longer but you are limited to a maximum 14 day period then you have to move at least 25 miles.

We found the perfect spot! We stopped at the Visitors Center in Williams when we got into town. The ladies were very knowledgeable about what the forest roads were like and which way we should head. The elevation is 7200 ft so there was still some snow in areas. Other areas were really wet since most of the snow had started to melt.


Our drive to our spot. And our spot. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL! And it was pretty chilly…but beautiful! There was a small patch of snow when we got there. Tori and Annie didn’t know what to think. Annie seemed to enjoy it a little more than Tori. Annie has “bear paws” so we figured the cold didn’t bother her as much as it did Tori.

We were here a week. The snow had melted, the ground was starting to get more solid. We thought…we may be able to get the bikes out!

We woke up the next morning…7 ½ inches of snow! 7 ½ inches! You’ve gotta be f’ing kinding me! Luckily it melted in about 3 days but we were back to soft and muddy again. Still beautiful though! And the “girls” had a ball in the snow!

We decided we will definitely come back here but maybe a month later. But you never know.

Driving through Williams was almost like going back in time. They have 2 main roads and each one is a one-way street. A lot of nice shops, restaurants and breweries. We spent a Sunday down here just walking around…and eating.

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We didn’t see much wildlife like elk, deer, bear, etc. We saw a lot of fresh elk prints every morning. We saw a few deer running across the road one day on the way back to our campsite. There were some prints we couldn’t identify but they were big. Oh…the “girls” did drag some elk parts back…a leg with a hoof and a hip (we think).

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And on to Las Vegas…again…for 4 days.

A Stop in Lake Havasu City, AZ

March 12, 2017

Left Quartzsite,  AZ March 8 because it was heading into the upper 80’s, low 90’s this week.  Too hot for us to boondock.

We are staying in Havasu Falls RV Resort so we can “plug in” & have air conditioning. 

We were only going to stay 3 days but decided to stay for a week.  Trying to figure out where we’re going next.  

We want to continue boondocking so trying to map out areas that have temperatures in the low to mid 70’s.

We think when we leave we’ll head towards Flagstaff, AZ.  Not all the way yet as they’re still gettting snow.

Will keep you posted.

To Las Vegas…and Back….

January 30, 2017

We spent the week of January 20-27 in Las Vegas. Every year we spend Georgie’s birthday there. No different this year except we took our “home” with us. We stayed right on the strip at the RV Park at Circus Circus. (I thought I got some pictures of this park but I apparently did not).

We would definitely stay here again. The sites were a very nice size, easy in, easy out, convenience store, security and a very nice dog park.

As we left La Posa South LTVA the rigs were packing themselves in for the Quartzite RV Show. We still don’t understand why they all park so close to each other when there’s over 11,000 acres to park on.

On our way to Las Vegas we pulled off I-40 in Needles, CA to get some fuel. Man oh man! The price of diesel fuel was $3.74 a gallon. We have paid on average $2.55 a gallon.

Anyway, we pulled off exit 144 since there were 3 stations, a Mobil, Shell & Chevron. We pulled into Shell but realized we were on the wrong side of the pump. We went next door to the Chevron since the price was the same. As Georgie was pumping fuel a young man from Shell came over. He said he thought we had a broken shock. He could hear it when we pulled in and when we pulled out. He and Georgie got under the rig and I’ll be damned…there were 2 broken shocks! He said when we were done we could pull back over to Shell. He’d see what he could do.

We went back to Shell. They were a full service station. They jacked up one right side of the rig. The broken shock could not be repaired. We decided to have all 6 shocks replaced. One of the leaf springs was bent badly so we would have to replace that as well.

We couldn’t have been luckier…they had the shocks and the leaf spring in stock. How was that possible? We found out they have a contract with Penske trucks as well as Good Sam’s RV service. They have to be well stocked in order to keep these contracts.

The young man that came over initially was a licensed mechanic. We were in good hands.

The work done took over 3 ½ hours but they only charged us for 2 hours. As well they gave us a substantial discount on parts as well as another discount for a cash payment. The whole thing was just over $1000. Shocks with a lifetime warranty were used.

When we finally got back on the road we kept saying how lucky we were. Had this young man not come over we may have ended up in a world of shit. Lucky…that’s all we can say.

Because of this slight delay we didn’t get into Las Vegas until rush hour on a Friday night! Oh shit! This doesn’t look so bad but it really was! We made it because Georgie is an expert driver!

We had a great time in Vegas…as always! On Georgie’s birthday we had the breakfast buffet at Red Rock Casino…

And dinner at Batista’s…we love this place! We think they have the best Italian food in Vegas!

One of the best places we found in Las Vegas 14 years ago was Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop! They have the best subs we have ever eaten. We had subs from there 3 times this visit!

We arrived in Vegas a few days before our friends. We, of course, wanted to hit a few casino’s. Georgie decided we would head to Harrah’s. As we pulled into the parking garage there was a height limit. As you can see…WE BARELY MADE IT!!! And…Georgie went all the way to the 6th level with our antenna hitting EVERY SINGLE CONCRETE BEAM!!! It felt like if we happened to run over a small rock the top of the truck would have hit! I was ducking at every beam! He thought it was soooo funny!

As always, driving around Las Vegas there’s always “interesting” things to see. This is one we don’t remember seeing before.

I tried to talk Georgie into stopping here, Puppetry of the Penis! He just laughed and kept on driving.

We passed it a few times with Ray & Jackie during the week we were here…no other takers wanting to stop. Party Poopers!

On our way back to Arizona we passed fields of Joshua Trees that reminded us of our precious daughter-in-law, Ashley Bauman!

On one of our trips out here with the kids we were taking them to the Grand Canyon. We had rented an 8 person van. Ashley was in the very back between Brent & Brandon. We were on the road about 45 minutes when we noticed Ashley didn’t look so good. Apparently she gets car sick. And the fact she sat all the way in the back didn’t help. She never mentioned she gets car sick. Nobody said she was getting sick sitting back there.

Anyway, we pulled over, right in the middle of a huge Joshua Tree field. Ashley quickly got out of the van and made her way up a small hill, sat down, and tried to compose herself & not throw up. While she sat there the other kids roamed around, commenting on Joshua Tree’s.

The rest of the trip the kids made all kind of comments & jokes about Joshua Trees. (you probably had to be there) We laughed our asses off every time one of them made a joke about it!

When we got back to La Posa South BLM in Quartzite, AZ we were hoping our same site was unoccupied…it was! So happy!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The check engine light had come on in the truck soon after we arrived in Quartzite. We took the truck to the Ford dealer in Blythe, CA (which is only 20 miles away). They said a vane was stuck in the turbo. They could repair it for around $3000. They also said it didn’t have to be done immediately. Georgie had been researching having the truck “bullet proofed”. There’s a guy in Atlanta that does it. It runs about $10,000 but it’s not actually “bullet proofing” but on the same order.

The real “bullet proofing” is done in Mesa, AZ by Bulletproof Diesel. They fabricate the major components used. We decided rather than spend $3000 to get 1 thing repaired we would spend the money and get it bulletproofed. Georgie got very lucky when he called to make an appointment. They had an opening February 13-17 (it takes 5 days for them to do it). Usually appointments are 4-6 weeks out. Mesa is on the east side of Phoenix, about 2 ½ hours from Quartzite, AZ.

We left for Mesa at 4:30 am since we had to be there at 7:30 am. Watching the local news every day it seems that I-10, the 101 & 202 loops always had major delays. We didn’t want to be late plus we had to stop at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix to pick up a rental car.

Side note on the rental car: We rented a Kia Soul (little hamster car) because our friends, Ray & Jackie, had rented one in Las Vegas. It was really comfy & had good get up & go! Since Georgie dropped me off to pick up the car…I was the only driver…FOR THE WHOLE WEEK! Yeah for me! I really miss driving more than I’ve been doing the past 9 months. Anyway…this car was really fun to drive & had plenty of room for Tori & Annie.

All went well. We picked up the truck Friday afternoon. Nice not to have to worry about something major going wrong for the next 200,000 miles!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Well…it’s time to “pick up stakes” and head a little further north. We’re going to head a couple of hours north to Lake Havasu City, AZ on Wednesday. I need to have something checked on my Harley. Desert Thunder Motorcycle Shop is there. Georgie had to have the volt meter changed on his & they were recommended. He was happy with their service, pricing and speed of the repair.

We were going to boondock for 2-3 days but decided it was going to be pretty warm, in the high 80’s so we are staying at Havasu Falls RV Resort for 3 days…ahhh…air conditioning! We’ll head north to maybe Kingman, AZ or Las Vegas (again) for a couple days. Not sure where to after that.

We were really sad to leave Quartzite as we had our own little piece of heaven since December 29, 2016 (except for the week in January…Vegas). We, unknowingly, were in the “nudist section” of La Posa South BLM. Yeah…our life was very quiet…and…we didn’t worry if we left the blinds open at night…ha, ha, ha!

Ahhhh…Quartzite, AZ!

January 19, 2017

Well…we’ve been here since December 29th. We’re 2.7 miles from the hard road, US 95. We keep saying we couldn’t have found a nicer spot. We have all the space in world it seems. We are about ¼ mile off the main road…just a single lane gravel road (more like a path). We have to look hard to see another rig. This is our view from atop the 5th wheel. Look at all this space we have!

The weather isn’t as warm as we were expecting. I guess before we head somewhere we should check the weather and the median temperatures. The temps here run mid 60’s during the day, upper 40’s to lower 50’s over night and in the morning.

We’ve had a lot more sun. The solar is working great! We don’t feel like we’re doing without boondocking. We spend a lot of time outside with the dogs.

We did break down and buy a satellite…Dish…$40 month. We got a new antenna when we had our roof put on this last fall. It worked ok the few times we used it. We just like to get the news in the morning and maybe in the evening. Well…it works for shit here! Once in a while we may get a network channel but usually just PBS. We are not PBS people! I thought…no big deal, we’ll just go in town and get a news paper every day or so. Yeah well…it was hit or miss. Sometimes they had the paper, sometimes they didn’t. The newspaper wasn’t really cutting it either.

Maybe it wasn’t the TV we needed, just some noise. We bought a radio. That was ok too but…not really.

We went into town a few days ago to see if we could find someone to come out and look at our antenna and wiring. Maybe the wiring was the problem. There are A LOT of rigs here…big ones, small ones, all different kinds. A lot of them had their antennas up. We paid great attention to which way they were facing. We had ours facing the same directions. Nothing! That’s why we thought maybe it was our wiring.

We stopped at Satellite Advantage in town. It was a little building, kind of set back from the road, facing a gravel parking lot…with a tall chain link fence around it. We finally figured out how to get in. It was a busy little place! 2 people behind the long counter, both helping 2 people at a time. We noticed they had DISH, Direct TV, some other satellite TV as well as a few different antennas. We were checking out the antennas. Trying to decide which would work better and HOW we would attach it to our rig.

After about 15 minutes a lady came from behind the counter to help us. She explained how we would have to attach one of these antennas. We would have to by a pole at least 20 ft tall. The antenna would be attached to the top. It had to be at least 20 feet above ground to get any channels. She also explained that all the channels they get here come from Phoenix, almost 100 miles away. She also said that they come and go. We may have 8-12 channels in the morning and only have 1-2 later in the day. We explained what we were getting and if there was anyone that could come look at our wiring. They had a guy that could come out in an hour. Cool!

Gene was here in less than an hour. He started looking at our wiring, checking it with this yellow thing he called a stick. He checked both the living room and the bedroom. After about 45 minutes he said the wiring was all good. Shit! We just knew it had to be the wiring! He said the charge for his services would be $150. If we were getting DISH or Direct TV the owner would probably discount this.

We looked at each other and said, “What the hell! Let’s just bite the bullet and get it.”

He left. We jumped in the truck and headed back to Satellite Advantage. We decided on DISH. Gene followed us back here, hooked everything up, and showed us how to use it. Viola! We had TV…that we could actually watch. News! And some other shows we like to watch in the evening. Everything was right with the world again!

Now to figure out what to do about internet access. We have none! Our phones are shit! Paper weights! It takes 2 days for a text to be sent never mind trying to send a picture. We are in the desert…definitely off the grid!

We have SPRINT. Our plan has unlimited everything, free roaming, no throttling. We’ve had this plan almost 17 years and have been very happy with it. Until now! Nothing! We can barely make a call. I’ve spent hours on the phone with tech support, even speaking to several supervisors. The last time, a couple days ago, my call got dropped 4 times! 4 times! Unbelievable! Each time I called right back only to get someone else asking me to do this or do that. I explained each time that I had already done that and just wanted to speak to a supervisor. It was very hard for me to keep my cool. I could never get the same person I had before. I was very nice and very respectful. More flies with sugar I kept thinking.

Nothing has been resolved…we still have paper weights. I just haven’t worked up the courage to try calling again. I don’t want to cry…LOL!

We are headed to Las Vegas on Friday, January 20th for Georgie’s birthday, our yearly trip, except last year. We’re meeting friends. They fly in on the 22nd. We wanted to stay on the strip. Circus Circus has a campground right behind their hotel and casino. That’s where we’ll be. Our friends are staying at Treasure Island so we’ll be pretty close.

I’m looking forward to having phone and internet! The casinos are just a bonus. It’s the little things.

Georgie’s bike broke. We were going to take a nice ride. I needed gas so we headed into town and stopped at the 1st gas station. Georgie’s bike sounded bad. I got gas and we headed back to our rig. We were just a mile from our site and his bike stopped! It just stopped. No sputtering, nothing. Here we sat…on the side of a dusty gravel road. He tried to start it more than once. Nope. Nothing. Pushing it a mile on a gravel road wasn’t really an option. I know…I’ll tow him. I’ll go get the truck, get a rope and tow him. Yeah…no rope. But we had a long orange extension cord. You know, the kind you use in a garage. You put a light bulb in one end and plug the other end in. It’s about 20 feet long.

Georgie looked at me like I had 2 heads. He said in the 47 years he’s been riding he’s never been towed. That’s ok I thought. In the 42 years I have been driving I’ve never towed a motorcycle. I headed to the “house”. I got the extension cord and the truck. I also grabbed the Harley book for his bike and a small bag of tools. He could fix it!

I got back to him and told him I brought his book and tools. He said it was something electrical. He couldn’t fix electrical, at least not sitting on the side of the road. So we are going tow it.

We got the bike hooked to the truck…about 10 feet behind the truck. It was scary! I drove between 4 mph to 6 mph. We made it! It was exciting! Not really.

We asked around. 2 people recommended Desert Thunder in Lake Havasu City, about 90 miles away. We jumped in the truck and headed up there. Georgie talked to the owner. He had a guy that could pick up the bike the next morning. He was here at 6 am. It was the voltage regulator. Thank God! At least it was nothing major. They replaced it and the battery. We picked it up the next afternoon.

Lake Havasu City is where the London Bridge is. We saw it…and drove over it!

One of the more exciting things we get to do is empty the black tank…the shitter! If we were in an RV park we would just hook up to the sewer. We are in the desert…not an RV park. Things are a little different here. We have a 32 gallon tank we empty the shitter in to. We have to be careful. We have a 60 gallon black tank. If we filled it up we’d really have a shitty mess! We only go 6 days between emptying. Then we hook it up to the back of the truck and head 2 ½ miles to where we can empty and rinse it.

We are loving it here. The big RV show starts the 20th. It’s starting to fill up here. I have gotten very possessive about our spot. There’s hardly any traffic by us so when we hear or see a rig go by I keep saying, “They better not park near us. I’ll have to take my clothes off and run outside!” We ARE in the nudist area…just by chance.

Georgie was out with the dogs today playing ball when a guy in a pickup pulled into our area. I looked out the window to see Georgie talking to him. He left. I asked what he wanted. Georgie said, “He was a hippie. He wanted to know if there was an outhouse close. I told him the closest one was up near the entrance. He said he heard that people were naked back here. Haven’t seen any yet.”

If you camp in a tent you have to be within 500 feet of an outhouse, that’s why he was asking.

More to come…

We Finally Made it to Quartzite, AZ…But What a Trip Out Here!

Our trip out here was pretty uneventful (until Dec 26)…thank God! We stayed here and there when we left Brent and Ashley’s in St. Cloud, FL (just outside Orlando) on Thursday, December 22.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

River’s Edge RV Campground, Holt, FL ***** $27 nt total FHU including cable

Friday, December 23, 2016

Walmart parking lot, Lake Charles, LA *** It was free and it was a parking lot. Parked along the side. Manager said if we parked there we could put our slides out on that side. We only put our living room slide out.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

North Llano River RV Park, Junction, TX ***** $35 nt total FHU including cable

Decided since it was Christmas Eve we would stay in a campground, cook a ham & scallop potato dinner and just relax. We were so tired we had grilled ham & cheese then went to bed.

This was a nice park with large sites, a camp store, Laundromat & dog run.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Chevron Truck Stop, Vado, NM **** It was a truck stop.

 

What a nice Truck Stop. Huge parking lot. We were able to park away from the tractor-trailers & put all of our slides out. Pretty quiet but still very close to I-10.

We woke up around 6am. Tori started in heat! What a mess. Blood everywhere- sheets, carpet, rugs, kitchen, etc. Blood clots. She had never had a heat like this.

Monday, December 26-Thursday, December 29

Left Chevron at 7:45 am. Filled up gas for generator. We were about 3 ½ hours from Tucson, AZ.

Tori was still bleeding…a lot! Decided we should just go as far as Tucson then find a vet…today.

Found a campground, Prince of Tucson RV Park**** (only 4*. Staff was wonderful, park was very clean & tidy. 2 laundry rooms with newer washer & dryers. A few really old people that were unpleasant & seemed to live here all the time) then found a vet a few miles away, St. Mary’s Veterinary Clinic. They said it sounded like Pyrometra. A disease in female dogs that hadn’t been spayed. Cysts can form in the uterus and on the ovaries that are full of puss. If they were to burst dogs usually die within 48 hours.

They could see us at 2pm.

We got to the rv park at 1:15pm. Got parked & hooked up. We didn’t even get the dogs out of the truck. Just headed for the vets office.

The vet said he had never seen this much blood with a dog in heat…never he kept saying. They did blood work. It all came back normal. She didn’t have a fever but the vet kept saying something is definitely wrong!

He said we could take her to a facility that did ultrasounds to see if there were any tumors or anything else that could be wrong. He also said he could do x-ray’s. It would show abnormalities but not specifics. We opted for the x-ray’s. They didn’t show anything abnormal. The vet knew something was wrong, probably Pyrometra.

We scheduled surgery for the next day.

We took her in at 7am. The vet wanted to do one more x-ray before the surgery. We got a call at 2pm. Tori was out of surgery and in recovery. She was doing well. All her stitches were inside so we didn’t have to stay to have them removed.

It was definitely Pyrometra. There was a large cyst in her uterus and a cyst on her ovary. We were SO lucky to have found a vet that was caring, knowledgeable and that could see Tori quickly.

We stayed another day, just to make sure Tori was going to be ok. She seemed much better so off we were…to our destination…Quartzite, AZ.

Thursday, December 29-Saturday, January 21

Made it to Quartzite about 1:45 pm. Staying at La Pose LTVA South (long term visitors area).

From September 15 – April 15 anyone can stay for up to 7 months for just a $180 seasonal pass. There are many LTVA’s in Arizona and California. This pass admits you into any of these.

We decided to stay in the South LTVA because they had potable water & a dump station. Since this was our 1st boondocking experience we figured we wanted to be close to these 2 “conveniences”.

Friday, December 30

Georgie’s eye started bothering him. He put contacts in on Thursday before we left for Quartzite. They felt fine. He woke up Friday. They were bothering him a little. By late morning he decided to take them out & just wear his glasses.

He must have got something under his contact that scratched his eye. His eye has been watering non-stop! And his damn nose won’t stop running! He’s gone through a whole box of Kleenex…in 3 days! And his eye is killing him!

Thank God it’s been mostly overcast the last few days. The bright sun REALLY hurts his eye.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

We can’t use our Keurig while on solar so we have a drip coffee maker. We pour hot water over coffee. It makes about 4-5 cups of coffee. It has a metal filter that you put a paper filter in to put the coffee in.

The filter is on the right. Somehow…not really sure how, but that filter was thrown in the trash. We took the trash up to 1 of the 6 dumpsters they have here.

As I was straightening up the kitchen & putting everything in its place I noticed the filter wasn’t in the pot. I looked everywhere for it. I finally realized I must have thrown it out when I was throwing out the paper filter with the grounds in it.

Shit! This is going to be a shitty job…dumpster diving for a metal filter! Off to the dumpsters we go, ladder in tow.

We get to the dumpsters. Georgie says he threw the trash in the 3rd dumpster from the left. He said the dumpster was almost empty so it would be close to the bottom. OH YEAH!

To our surprise it was the shortest dumpster and there was very little trash in there. No ladder needed. Spotted our trash, reached in and pulled it out, found the filter and VIOLA…it’s a wonderful thing!

Got back to the rig…2 ½ miles from the dumpster by the way, boiled it for a while and breathed a sigh of relief! We didn’t want to have to run to Parker, AZ (an hour away) to find another coffee pot.

So far, life as we know it is back to normal…except for Georgie’s eye…it’s still killing him!

Monday, January 2, 2017

We haven’t had a lot of sun since we arrived. We need the sun to charge our solar so we run the generator a couple times a day to charge the batteries. Our batteries stay between 12v-12.3v without the generator.

We watch 3-5 hours of TV (mostly at night). The generator gets our batteries up to around 13.1v so we can have this luxury.

 

 

Starting Our 2017 Road Trip…a little early

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Headed to St. Cloud, Fl to have an early Christmas with the boys and their families.  5 of our 7 grandbabies are over there, Trinity- 15, Tyler-9, Cayden-5, Lyla-3, Lucas-1 mo.

Parking at Brent & Ashley’s.   They have 5 acres & 50 amp service.

Going to head out on December 22nd.  Making our way to Quartzsite, AZ before January 1.

While we were in Bradenton, Fl  (October 1-December 17) we had a new roof put on at Elite RV in Palmetto.   It’s called RV Armor.  It comes with a lifetime warranty.

We also had solar installed.  3-160 w panels, 6-6v deep cell batteries, 3000 w inverter as well as a charge controller.  Hoping to spend 9-10 months boondocking  (dry camping).

We tried it out the other day and had several interior lights, 2 32″ TV’s & 3 Fantastic fans on. With all that on we were only running a 6% load.  We turned the air conditioner on with no problem but figure it would drain our batteries in a couple hours.  Figure we could go 5-7 days with no sun charging our batteries.  We also have a 5500 w generator if we need it.  We’re so excited to be able to live “off the grid”!

Had a nice surprise when we got to Brent’s!   Josh Halligan, one of Brent’s best friends growing up, was parked out in the street.  He drives for Swift & just happened to be in the area dropping off a load.  Was really nice catching up!  He was a fixture at our house!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Left Brent & Ashley’s this morning headed to Arizona.

Ashley, Lyla & baby Lucas
Brandon & Trinity came over.  He was on gate duty!

Had a great time as always.  Christmas last night at Brandon’s.

Tyler, Trinity, baby Lucas, Lyla & Cayden

This is all for now.  (Going to try to keep this updated better than before)

Luray, Virginia…What a Gem!

September 26-28, 2016

Before I get started…VIRGINIA HAS A HELMET LAW!

We only stayed 2 days (at Jellystone RV Park http://campluray.com/rv-tent-campsites/#RVSITES, just outside of town).

We unloaded the Harley’s & decided to take a little ride through town.  This is definitely a 1 stop light town.

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As we’re cruising through town at 25 mph we passed a cop sitting in a parking lot off to the left.  We didn’t think anything about it.

We were almost to the end of town, which took less than 5 minutes, and Georgie noticed he was behind us.  No worries. 

We get to the end of town, pull in a parking lot to turn around, and the cop follows us.

We stop, turn off the bikes and get off.  He stops and gets out of his SUV.  Georgie asks, “Can I help you?”  The cop is smiling and says, “I saw you ride by me and I noticed you didn’t have helmets on.  I was sure Virginia still had a helmet law but thought maybe I was wrong.  I called the station to double check.  Yep, we still had a helmet law.”

Our faces drop, mouths wide open!  SHIT!  We had been so good about checking each state.  We had only been riding in states that didn’t have any helmet laws. (We don’t own any helmets any more)

The cop asked us if we can call someone to bring us helmets.  We explain that we were just visiting.  We didn’t know anyone here plus we didn’t own any helmets, that we were staying at Jellystone RV Park.

The 3 of us kind of chuckle.  He asked the same thing again.

Georgie asks him if he can just give us a warning. 

He takes our drivers licenses back to his car.  He comes back in a couple minutes.  He asks us the same thing…again.  Nope.  Nothing changed in the last few minutes.  We hadn’t met anybody in the last 3 minutes.  We still didn’t have any helmets.

He hands us our licenses and says, “I’m going to the station…this way (pointing to his right).  You go to your campground that way (pointing to his left).  I’ll leave 1st.”

Talk about luck!  We were damn lucky we got stopped by a really nice cop!

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We rode straight back to the campground and immediately loaded the bikes in the rig.  Done riding in Virginia.

And now…the reason we stopped in this little town. 

This is the little town of Luray, VA. (population 4,895)

http://www.townofluray.com/visitor-information.html

It sits in the Shenandoah Valley at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, 90 miles west of Washington, DC, 10 miles east of I-81.

We traveled I-81 coming & going to Pennsylvania more times than I can count.  We never even heard of Luray or their famous caverns.  Guess we were always in a hurry.  Now that we are retired we have all the time in the world to pay more attention to all the sites…both well known and hidden gems…like Luray Caverns http://luraycaverns.com.

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It took us about 1 1/2 hours to go through the caverns.  It was hard to pick just a few pictures so I didn’t even try.  This is a MUST SEE if you are in the area.

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They also had this really nice antique car museum.  These aren’t all the cars by any stretch of the imagination, just some we thought were pretty cool!

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These are just a few of about 50+. 

 

NOW we’re headed to Florida…but this was a stop worth making!

Anxious to Get to Pennsylvania…

Tuesday, Sept 13-Monday, Sept 26, 2016

It was an uneventful trip to Pennsylvania  (thank God!!).  Arrived at Fid & Jessica’s about 4:30 pm.

Called Jess to let her know we were close.  She said she was going to meet us BEFORE we got to her house because…the GPS would take us a way that we couldn’t get into their driveway.

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They just finished building a log home in Pine Grove, PA.  We had not been there before.  It’s about an hour northeast of Harrisburg (where Jess & the girls used to live).  Her cousin Annmarie & family live up there so Jess would spend quite a bit of time there.  Annmarie’s husband, Ryan, introduced Fid  (aka Brandon Fidler) & Jessica.  One thing led to another…yep, they fell in love & Jess went from a city mouse to a country mouse.

Anyway, it’s a good thing we followed Jess.  In this area there aren’t a hellava lot of places to turn a truck & 40′ rig around! 20160925_185203 20160925_185331

We got up the driveway…a lot slower than Jessica did! (She thinks 40 mph on a loooong gravel driveway is pretty normal).  We got parked, hooked up (they have 50 amp service, water & sewer hook-ups since they lived in a trailer until their house was done…yah for us!)

The house

The house

The view

The view

Living room

Living room

Living room to kitchen. Cat walk from master bedroom to master bath

Living room to kitchen. Cat walk from master bedroom to master bath

Kitchen to living room

Kitchen to living room

Kitchen to livingroom

Kitchen to livingroom

Down to the basement

Down to the basement

Part of the kitchen

Part of the kitchen

Girls bathroom

Girls bathroom

Girls bathroom

Girls bathroom

Master bath

Master bath

Master bath

Master bath

Master bath to master bedroom

Master bath to master bedroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had such a nice time with all of them…Fid, Jessica, Madison & Lola!

 

 

 

 

 

They have a busy house!  Friends stop over almost every night.,,Breanna (B), Alex, Kiefer, etc, etc, etc!  Poor things…they just moved in a few days before we got there.

Jessica, Alexandria Fidler, Breanna Baer

Jessica, Alexandria Fidler, Breanna Baer

 

 

 

 

 

Lola had a recipe book.  She found some simple recipe’s she wanted to make for dinner one night & asked me to help.  We had a great time.  She’s quite the cook!

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There is a bar up there that most seem to frequent called The Cat (Black Pussycat)!  It’s in a house…in the basement!  I didn’t have the pleasure of going but…Georgie, Jessica & Fid went a few times.

The Cat

The Cat

Full bar

Full bar

Fid, Jessica & Georgie

Fid, Jessica & Georgie

 

 

 

 

Took some very nice rides!  Even a couple with Jess & Fid!  One ride Fid took us on was to the Appalachian Trail to a beautiful overlook.

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We were invited to Sunday Brunch with Fid’s family for Jessica’s birthday.  It was a little chilly (for us anyway).

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There was a HUGE raffle at Pine Grove Fire Hose Hook & Ladder Fire Company.  When I say huge, I mean HUGE!  They gave away prizes of $50, $100 and the grand prize was $10,000!  (we didn’t win anything) That’s a lot of money!  Tickets were $20 each.  Sandwiches, sides & soda were included!

It seems everyone in Pine Grove is a volunteer fire fighter…men & women.  Stacey Fidler (Fid’s sister) even drives a fire truck!  Very impressive!  The fire house also has a bar…$1 for a bottle of beer!

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Stacey Fidler

We had such a nice time!  The weather was perfect!  It was hard to leave but it was starting to cool off a little more than we’re comfortable with plus…Florida was calling!

Jessica, Madison & Lola

Jessica, Madison & Lola

On Our Way to Illinois….

September 5 – 9, 2016

We left South Dakota and headed for Morton, Il.  to see my best friend in the world!  Julie Cleveland & her husband Anthony.  Julie & I have been friends for more than 50 years!

Had reservations at Spindler Campground, http://www.fondulacpark.com/facilities/carl-spindler-campground, there Thursday, September 7th to Saturday the 10th.

We got as far as Waterloo, IA & decideded to stop for a couple days.

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Dog Park

Found a nice KOA campground,http://koa.com/campgrounds/waterloo, that was reasonably priced, close to the interstate. view-of-part-of-the-park laundry-room-and-bath-house convenience-store

What a nice park!  We were up on a hill overlooking a small lake.  The off leash dog park was right behind us.  It was beautifully landscaped & had gravel roads in great shape.

 

 

 

Went to lower the landing gear so we could unhook the truck.  Only 1 side was going down!  How could this be?  They work together.

I got on my phone to find a mobil rv repair place.  They apparently weren’t as common here as they are in Florida.  Got a lot of nope, we don’t do that but you could bring it in.  We could get to it in a few days.  Yea…that’s not going to work for us.  We finally got hold of a guy that listened to Georgie explain what he saw.  We sent a few pictures.  He called & told us how to fix it.  Wish we had his name.

About 2 hours later we got it fixed & unhooked. Whew!  What a relief.

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View from campground looking towards the casino

Enjoyed a couple days there.  They had a nice, new casino, Isle Casino, http://waterloo.isleofcapricasinos.com.  We went a couple times.  Did some laundry & just kinda hung out.

 

 

 

 

 

On the 7th we got ready to hook the truck up…best layed plans…HA!  Both truck batteries were dead!  Unfucking believable!   Called AAA.  They were there within a 1/2 hour.  Not so bad.  Georgie decided we should get 2 new batteries.  So he followed the guy that jumped us back to his shop.  The guy tested our batteries…they were fine.  We needed a new alternator.   Oh yeah!  How long was THIS going to take?  A very nice surprise…only about 45 minutes!  The guy was great!

Georgie got back.  Backed up to the hitch.  Oh…ANOTHER NICE SURPRISE! (not really)

I went to extend the landing gear…it wasn’t moving!  We had to raise it to get the truck hooked up! WTF!  (Said out loud)   Spent about an hour trying to figure out what it was.  OH!  We figured it out…it wasn’t good!

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Called that same guy, sent pictures, etc.  He had to order a part.  He ordered a new worm gear & had it shipped to him overnight.  It came, we picked it up & tried to figure out what we had to do.  It took 2 days!

Luckily the KOA was able to extend our stay…day by day.  We didn’t think it would take 2 days…but it did!

September 9 – 12, 2016

We were finally on our way to Illinois.  We were also lucky that the campground there could change our dates…and didn’t charge any additional fees!

We got to Spindler Campground about 7:30 pm.  Guess who was waiting for us?  Julie & Anthony!  What a really nice surprise!

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Spent some time with them.

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Went to dinner with Julie, Anthony, her sister Janet & husband Greg, and her brother Jim!  We laughed all night!  I may have peed a little in my pants.  I didn’t tell any of them that.   I did, however, seem to spill my guts about most everything else that’s happened to my bodily functions as I’ve grown older!  (I’m chuckling a little to myself right now)

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Julie, me, Anthony, Georgie, Jim, Janet, Greg

 

 

 

 

 

Julie is one of those friends that you can talk to once a month and it’s just like it was yesterday that we talked.  We just pick up where we left off.  That’s why I love her so much!

Never enough time with her but…we had to get on to Pennsylvania to see our daughter Jessica & her family.

A Year in Review….

It’s been a year since we started this Great American Adventure!  What a wild ride it’s been so far!
I unexpectedly quit my job of 22 years with a 30 minute notice.  Our plan to RV full time got moved up about 3 years.
George put his business up for sale.
We bought our 40′ 5th wheel toy hauler.  Sold everything we owned.  Sold our home of 20+ years & moved into our 5th wheel. 

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We found a beautiful park to move the 5th wheel to, Timberlane RV Park & Resort http://timberlanervpark.com20160116_081559

 

 

We moved here November 1, 2015 and stayed until July 1, 2016.  George’s business sold & closed in June 2016.

While we were here the motor on our bedroom slide had to be replaced, the living room air conditioner had to be replaced,  we made some changes inside the rig…

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One of our Goldens, Daisy, passed away.  This happened in February.   We thought, maybe it would be easier to travel with just 1 golden retriever, Tori, and our cat, Alley.

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That lasted about a week!  Tori was depressed.  We were depressed.  We were a 2 dog family!  We started our search for another Golden.  Daisy was a rescue & was such a good girl we knew we only wanted another rescue.  We ended up with Annie…a goldendoodle!  She was not a rescue but an 8 week old puppy!  We were NOT prepared for a puppy!

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We prepared to take our first road trip…July, August & September.  We wanted to be back in Florida October, November & December.
We spent the next 2 weeks getting the rig ready.  George made an appointment to have the brakes checked on the rig as well as getting 6 new tires.  We took it to A & A Trailer in Bradenton, http://www.aandatrailerhitch.com.
They had the tires off & were checking the brakes.  The brakes were shot!  We not only had 6 new tires put on but we had to replace all 6 brakes!

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While we were waiting for the brakes to come in our refrigerator stopped working.  We need a new refrigerator!
Finally…off to some of the western states!  Our 1st stop was St. Cloud, FL.  Our 2 boys & their families live here…5 minutes from each other.
Brent & Ashley (& Lyla) live on 5 acres east of St. Cloud. 

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He put in 50 amp service so we could park at his place.  It’s a 3 hour drive.  We going to stay 3 days…best laid plans!

While there our little Annie was playing outside with Tori, Zoe & Emma (Brent & Ashley’s 2 Goldens).  She ran, full speed, into the L pin on our front leveling jack!

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This is one expensive dog!  1 surgery & $1200 later…

 

 

Now…off to Colorado!

Ran out of fuel in Texas!

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July 15…made it to Cortez, CO!

Had to take Annie to a vet in Durango.  She had an infection where she had been stitched up.

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Another surgery, 2-3 visits for the next couple of weeks & $2000 later…  Plus an extra week’s stay…in Durango.

Found out our “gas tank” was leaking!  It supplies gas to the generator & also serves to fill the bikes if needed.  Patched it.

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Made the best of this unexpected stay…rode the Million Dollar Highway to Silverton & Ouray, CO!

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August 8…off to Cripple Creek, CO

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August 16…off to Cheyenne, WY. 

WAIT!  Only made it to Colorado Springs.  The brakes on the truck were smoking!  BAD!  Had to get new brakes on the truck so we spent 3 days in Colorado Springs.  Made the best of it.  Got to ride up Pike’s Peak!

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August 19…now we’re off to Cheyenne, WY.

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August 26…on to Keystone, SD (Mt. Rushmore)  Took some fantastic rides…Sturgis & Deadwood, Custer State Park, Needles Highway & Iron Mountain Road!

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September 5…headed to Morton, IL to see my best friend…Julie Cleveland!

(More on this & rest of our trip in separate blogs…soon I hope)  We had reservations at Carl Spindler State Park outside of Morton September 8-11. 

We decided to really take our time getting there.  Decided to stop in Waterloo, IA for a couple days.  Ready to head out on the 7th but…the bar that runs across the leveling jacks broke so we couldn’t hook up!  Ended up there until September 9th waiting on the part then installing it!

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September 9…another delay but finally got to Morton, IL around 7pm.

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September 12…on to Pennsylvania to see our daughter & her family for a couple weeks.

She, Fid & the girls had just moved into their new log home a couple days before we got there…oh yeah!  Poor kids. 20160925_185331

 

 

They also had a 50 amp service so we hooked up there a few steps from their place.

September 26…off to Luray, VA…to see the Caverns!  Spent 2 days!  This is a must see!

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September 30…made it back to Timberlane RV Park in Bradenton, FL.  Here until January 1, 2017 but will probably leave December 17 & head over to St. Cloud for an early Christmas with the boys & their families then on to….somewhere between there & Las Vegas, NV!  Meeting our friends, Ray & Jackie, January 22-26 for a well deserved “Vegas Fix”!

Thinking we may not come back to Florida until November for a couple of months.  October this year was SO hot!