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!

Our Adventures in South Dakota…

August 26 – September 5, 2016

Left Cheyenne, WY and got to the Black Hills the same day.  We stayed in Keystone, SD (pop. 347) Pictures of Keystone, SD 2016 and camped at Holy Smoke RV Park.
Holy Smoke RV Park.
This was really a nice little park about 5 miles from Mt. Rushmore, National Park Service Mount Rushmore.  We took some really cool rides while we were here.

More Pictures of Mt. Rushmore, SD
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We rode to Sturgis, SD (pop. 6,883) & Deadwood, SD (pop. 1,270).

Sturgis, Sturgis Website, was just a dinky little town.  Maybe 1 stop light at the most.  I think the biggest business there was the Harley dealership.  We were there the week after the rally (thank God!)  The population in this little 2 horse town grows to over 1/2 million people for this one week!  I don’t even like a crowded elevator!  We’ve been to Bike Week in Daytona Beach, several times.  This is a much, much larger city (pop. 61,000) and they get around 1/2 million people for this!  There’s a lot more room to put that many people!

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Deadwood, Deadwood Website, on the other hand was an old, national historic landmark.  The cemetery, Mount Moriah Cemetery, is where Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, as well as other notable wild west outlaws are buried.
There’s a museum, plenty of gaming halls & casino’s, a gold mine and quite a few places to eat & shop.  20160828_130500
The HBO series, Deadwood, was based on this little town.  When talking to some of the local’s, they said that HBO spent quite a bit of time there doing research on the true history as well as the original saloon where Wild Bill was shot.  The series buildings were modeled after the buildings in town.  Pretty cool.

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We took a ride through Custer State Park, South Dakota Custer State Park.  Beautiful!  We came across a herd of about 200 wild bison.  We had to stop as they walked across the rode…coming very, very close to my bike.  I think I might have shit a little in my jeans.  I didn’t move!  They just meandered by in no hurry at all!
Georgie took a ride the next day by himself (I didn’t mind a little “alone time”).  He called after being gone an hour or so and could hardly speak.  He had been almost trapped by 1000 or so bison!  He said one stopped right in front of his bike and just gave him the hairy eyeball!  He wasn’t sure what to do.  It finally walked off but left him a little nervous.

We rode Needles Highway, Black Hills Needles Highway, part of the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway, Highway 87.  This road was way too cool!  Only motorcycles or small cars could fit through some of the tunnels…like threading a needle.

More Needles Highway…

Also on our list of rides there was Iron Mountain Road (16A), http://www.allblackhills.com/scenic_drives/iron_mountain_road.php.  It was part of Custer State Park.

 

 

Our Ride to Silverton and Ouray, CO

Monday, August 1, 2016

Moved from Cortez, CO to Durango, CO for 2 reasons.  1st, Annie still had to see the Vet in Durango.  2nd, we wanted to ride the Million Dollar Highway to Silverton then on to Ouray.

Got settled into our new park, Alpen Rose RV Park by 2pm.  20160803_175622 20160803_180542 Alpen Rose RV Park Durango

 

 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Well…we left the rig at 9:15 am to ride the Million Dollar Highway.

Before I go any further you have to know that I have only ridden in Florida…it’s very, very flat!  Very flat!  We have to look hard to find a road with curves and rarely find hills let alone mountains.

Anyway, we got to Silverton at 11:15 am.  It was only 41 miles but it took us 2 hours!  Parts of this road were terrifying!!  No shoulders on some parts and NO GUARDRAILS…ON 20160802_115511 20160802_115441 20160802_115352 20160802_115320SWITCHBACKS, some were double switchbacks!!!!  I mean to tell you…when you looked down…you couldn’t see the bottom. 20160802_124704

Georgie decided he would pull over at an overlook…on a huge incline…on a curve!  I just kept on going!  Again…are you f***ing kidding me?  I pulled over about ¾ of a mile further…where it was a little more level.  He caught up.  He said, “What the hell!  I thought you’d want to take some pictures.”  “NOT THERE!” I said.  Maybe on the way back…where the overlooks where on the side where there were mountains…not humongous cliffs.

When we stopped in Silverton, Georgie said to me, “did you see blah, blah, blah?”

“Are you f***ing kidding me!  I kept my eyes straight ahead!  I wasn’t looking at anything but the road on those curves!”

20160724_11083220160802_113356 20160802_113838 20160802_112203 20160724_110931 20160724_113016 20160724_105358We walked around Silverton for about an hour.  Picked up a couple of Harley shirts then back on the bikes to head on up to Ouray, another 25 miles north…on the same road…with more switchbacks…double switchbacks…a lot of them!

We didn’t even stop in Ouray.  We just turned around to head back…because the sky was black as coal…it was going to rain.  Georgie wanted to stop, I said no way!  And get caught in the rain, on this road…with all the switchbacks…and no guardrails!

I’ll bet if I said it once I said it a hundred times on the way up…to myself but out loud…HOLY F***!!!

It wasn’t as bad going back. We got back to Silverton without hitting rain.  We stopped for gas.  Talked to a few people on bikes going both directions.  They asked how it was.  Good thing they talked more to Georgie than me.  I did say it wasn’t bad coming back.

We left Silverton and headed home.  The sky was still very black.  Georgie, as usual, said we’d be fine.  The rain was behind us.  WRONG!  It started raining, a little, about 20 minutes in.  Not too bad.  Well…it just got worse and worse.  It was howling and very cold!  I worked out ok for me though.  I was more worried about just seeing the road rather than the curves…or the speed limit.  It felt like sleet hitting our faces.  I was sure I would have bruises on my face.  I didn’t.

We were about 23 miles from home when George pulls over on the shoulder.  It’s still raining mind you.    As we’re riding at 60 mph his bike shuts off.   He got it running in about 5 minutes and it ran fine.  Never did figure it out.

It finally stopped raining about 15 miles from home.  The sun came out and dried our jeans.  Now they were clean I thought.  Good thing we had our leather jackets on ‘cause it was really cold riding, not to mention the freezing cold rain.

I kept thinking, if I could ride this road, especially in this kind of weather, I could ride any road!  Bring it on!!

Our Time in Cortez, CO…so far!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Arrived at La Mesa RV Park in Cortez, CO (pop. 8,500) about 4 pm. What a nice park. No pool but we don’t need one. Staying 17 days.  We set up in about ½ hour. They have a Safeway & City Market (Kroger) as well as a Super Walmart. They also have quite a few “weed stores” (as Georgie puts it). You can easily spot them…they have a large green cross outside. Georgie made sure this was our 1st stop! That’s all I heard from him the last 2 days of our drive here. Green Cross

 

 

Since it’s legal here I decided I could smoke some. Yea, well! We were laughing SO hard. I was laughing so hard I started to fall backwards. I grabbed the edge of the counter…and ripped it off…on my way down to the floor! Great! Of course this was just one more thing to laugh about! Old people and dope…what can I say.

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Saturday, July 16

Unloaded the Harley’s.  Cleaned the garage. Took a nap…a long nap…because we can.

 

Sunday, July 17

Had to take Annie to the Emergency Vet in Durango (pop. 17,800), Riverview Animal Hospital. 20160717_103711

 

 

20160717_123150Found a nice restaurant where we could eat outside so Tori could be with us, Ska Brewery. I think they have the best hamburgers we have ever eaten!Ska Brewery

 

 

 

Monday, July 18

Hung out around here. Did some laundry. Took a drive to see the town.

 

Tuesday, July 19

Rode the Harley’s to Four Corners Monument-90 miles round trip. Stopped at Ute Mountain Casino on the way there. A lot of penny slots.20160719_111106 20160719_111253 20160719_120312 20160719_120440

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Wednesday, July 20

Back to Durango. Annie had to get her bandages changed. Made reservations at Alpen Rose RV Park for Aug 1-8.

 

Thursday, July 21

Rode out to Dolores (pop. 953) through Mancos (pop. 1,360).   Cortez to Mancos to Dolores to Cortez

 

 

Friday, July 22

Rode back to Dolores. Had really good pizza at Riverfront Bar & Grill. Sat out on the deck, right on the Delores River.Riverfront Bar & Grill

 

 

Saturday, July 23

I stayed home to do some things around the house. Georgie road to Dolores. He rode through San Juan National Forest. Was only gone about 2 hours.

We’ll take a drive up there some evening before dark. Georgie thinks we’ll see a lot of wild life.

 

Sunday, July 24

Back again to Durango for Annie’s check up. Got her bandages off but now has to wear her Cone of Shame ALL THE TIME!

20160724_110832 20160724_105358Drove up to Silverton (pop. 629). What a SCARY drive! Rt. 550 is called The Million Dollar Rd.20160724_105715 We hit a deer as we came around a curve. Most of the road has no shoulder, just a looooong drop off.   No guardrails! Silverton doesn’t have any fast food places BUT…they have at least 1 “weed store”. We decided that since Annie will have to go to the Vet at least 1 more time we’d stay another week in Durango and ride the Harley’s up to Silverton.

 

Monday, July 25

20160725_10090320160725_100841Rode the Harley’s to Mesa Verde National Park. What a beautiful ride! Lots of switch-backs but there were guardrails so not too bad…for me. About 50 miles round trip.

Square Tower House Overlook Ride Down Mesa Cliff Palace Cliff Palace View Cliff Dwelling 1

There are a lot of places to stop. As far back as 800 AD the Pueblo Indians built and lived in the Cliff Dwellings.Square Tower

 

 

 

Tuesday, July 26

Started to wax the rig.  This is going to be a big job.  We’ll do a little at a time. It was somewhat overcast today so was a good day to do this.

Georgie fixing bedDropped the bedroom clicker beside the bed. On my side there is a small space between the bed and the floor so the slide can go in and out. The clicker fell down in that small space. We had to take the strip of wood off Georgie’s side then slide the broom handle all the way across to push the clicker up where I could reach it. Georgie was in charge of putting the strip of wood back. He’s getting so handly!

We fixed the emergency window latch. It broke on the drive here.   We ordered a new one.

 

Getting the Harley’s Strapped Down…

Well…we must be just plain stupid!  We had strapped our bikes in the garage several times.  Each time George’s bike would tilt even though it was tied down tight each time…or so we thought!

As you know, it’s possible to find anything & everything on YouTube.  I watched tons of video’s on “How to load & tie down a bike”.  They were all basically the same and appeared to be the same way we were loading & tying down.

Then I started watching video’s on “How to use ratchet straps”.  (George wouldn’t watch them.  He said, “you watch them & tell me what they said”)  We could get them tight but when it came time to loosen them…that was a whole different story.  We just couldn’t!

I found DirtFarmerJay’s video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0r16xOkVJZQ.  He shows how to use ratchet straps & how to loosen them.  Viola!  We did EXACTLY what he said to do.  Those bikes aren’t going anywhere!

We put 2 strips of ETrack  down for George’s bike.  It weighs about 875 lbs.  This would give us more options to secure his bike.  Mine only weighs about 525 lbs so the D Rings on the floor worked fine.

Live and learn…again!

Oh No! The Harley’s.

The bikes...

The bikes…

We’ve been in the same place for 7 months.  We’re getting ready to head out to Colorado in a few days then on to Pennsylvania to visit our daughter & 2 granddaughters for a few weeks.

We will be gone for 3 months.

Anyway on to the Harley’s.

We had the garage ready to put the bikes in.  Ramp was down.  George was on my bike.  The ramp looked like it was on a somewhat steep angle but not too steep.  Boy were we wrong!

George got up the ramp but as soon as he got to the top the bike caught on the ramp floor & stopped dead.  He started to roll back with me chasing him.  I didn’t want him to fall over…on MY bike!

When he got to the end of the ramp..over he went!  Bike was racing…on it’s left side!  George was on the ground.  Unfortunately for him I was more concerned about my bike at the moment.

He was fine..just a little blood where he ripped his hand open but I knew he would live.

Lesson learned!  We decided we’ll have to wait until we pull out & are on level ground before we load the bikes from now on.

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The ramp…

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The dip…the BIG problem!

Getting the Rig Ready for Full Time Living!

Well…the house is sold.  Suppose to close Nov 4, 2015.  We had an estate sale last weekend and sold almost everything we owned.  The house is bare & echo’s.  Our dogs, Tori & Daisy, don’t know what to think.  The cat, Alley, just wanders around looking for a place to lay.  Our 2 boys, ages 35 & 37, came over from Orlando a few days ago to help clean out the garages.  We had a 10 yard dumpster delivered last week for this very purpose.  We filled that one in a few hours & had to have another one delivered Friday afternoon.  These things aren’t cheap, $200 for the dumpster, $60 per ton dump fee.  They gave us a discount on the 2nd one, $150 + dump fees.  Doesn’t seem like much but $50 is $50.  If the boys couldn’t have come over it would have either taken us weeks to do what they did in a matter of hours or we would have had to hire someone to do it.

We took our 5th wheel to Camping World last Wednesday for tires, wheel bearings/brakes check, 45 point inspection & generator check.  We should be able to pick it up Monday.  So far nothing major in the 45 point inspection.  Roof is fine.  May need an overlay in another year.  They found an LP leak that will be repaired.

We are moving the rig Nov 1, 2015 to a nice campground in Bradenton, FL, http://timberlanervpark.com.  We won’t be traveling until my husband gets his business sold.  He owns a Martin’s Famous Potato Roll bread route.  He’s had a lot of inquires.