Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, totally worn out, shouting "Wow...What a Ride!"

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Iowa-Visiting Friends and Great State Parks

October 5-12, 2016

Wednesday morning the weather had turned for the better, it was a beautiful for traveling. About 3 hours later we arrived at Brushey Creek State Recreation Area near Ft Dodge Iowa. We were able to score a full hookup walk in site. We'll be here for 5 nights, off season rate for the site is $14/night, can't beat that price.

We enjoy our 5 days here doing a variety of things we haven't had much chance to do lately. We finally got the canoe back in the water and spent a few hours paddling around the lake.

We took a 10.7 mile hike/walk around the lake on a beautiful fall day.

Dinners cooked over a campfire.

Beautiful evening skies

Best of all was our proximity to Des Moines and the chance to spend time with our friends Cindy and Paul who are headed back to AZ this winter. Sure going to miss meeting up with them this winter.

On Monday we moved east across Iowa to Volga River State Recreation Area. Our friends Mark and Nancy will be here in a few days but we had another couple to visit prior to their arrival. Site 17 has full hookups and is again only $14/night.

On Tuesday we headed to Prairie Du Chien to visit our friends DuWayne and Jackie. After a quick lunch we headed to the marina where they keep their pontoon boat docked. It was a beautiful afternoon for a ride on the Mississippi River.

Barges filled with grain heading down the Mississippi River.

DuWayne and Jackie recently sold their house to their son and moved into their motorhome. After our boat ride we headed over to where they have built themselves a home base. They hope to have a site for visitors ready for next summer, looking forward to bringing our house to Dujac Farm.

Another month and we'll see them in TX, we're looking forward so spending the winter hanging out with them.

One more day and our friends Mark & Nancy will be joining us for 10 days of camping in Iowa and Illinois.

Until next time...

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Finally...Relaxing In South Dakota

September 27- October 4, 2016

Monday when we found we wouldn't be getting new sneakers for the truck once again I started making some phone calls to places down the road. A call to Tires Plus in Fargo ND gave me cause for hope. After telling him how disappointed we'd been twice already he assured me he had the same tires in stock and could get us in on Tuesday and could hopefully do the alignment.

Tuesday morning we were on the road by 7:45am so we could get to Buffalo River State Park in Glyndon MN and drop the rv then head back to Fargo about 20 miles away. We arrived at Tires Plus just about noon and Glenn was already for us. The tires were there and they were ready to install them. We knew it would take a few hours so we headed to lunch then for a walk. We decided to take a walk over to the Chevy dealer and talk to them about the check engine light that was staying on. With the information we had from when the engine code had been read last time we were told it should be covered by warranty and they could get to it on Wednesday. We were also given the option to bring it in later Tuesday afternoon and we could get a shuttle ride back to the park. As we were getting done at the dealer we received a call from Tires Plus, the truck was ready, new sneakers and an alignment. In the end we saved about $400 from when we initially tried to get new sneakers back in Cochrane AB.

Since we had the canoe still on the truck we rode back to the campground and dropped off the truck then headed back into Fargo to the Chevy dealer. A shuttle ride back to the campground and we were home, seems strange to not have a vehicle.

Buffalo River State Park is a small park with 35 electric only sites, this time of year there is no water so we came with enough for a day or two. The cost is great at $25/night, 50amp, we have a great Verizon signal and the Dish satellite works just fine. The first evening there was only one other site occupied by folks in a tent.

Wednesday afternoon we got a call our truck would be done soon, they sent someone to pick us up. The truck had a full diagnostic done and a few things were addressed, most were covered by warranty. Afterwards we headed over to the Valvoline store and had the oil changed, since there was a Walmart nearby I headed there to get a few grocery items since we knew our next place would be out in the sticks. By the time we left Fargo we had dropped quite a few $$'s, but the truck is feeling much better.

Thursday morning we headed on down into South Dakota to Roy Lake State Park, what a beautiful park it is. We scored a site right on the lake with good Dish and Verizon signals. The sites in this park are electric only but at this time of the year they still have the water on so we filled our tank before heading to our site. We stayed here 3 nights, what a restful place it was.
Another beautiful state park, well kept and a great day use area also. The emphasis here is fishing but there is also a disc golf course which if it hadn't been as windy we would have taken advantage of. Lots of geocaches in the park and we found a few of them, a short trail on an island. What a beautiful place to spend the weekend. Neither one of feel like exploring the area, think we're both burnt out from the constant on the go when in Alaska. This park was a great place to decompress.

During one of our walks Dave spoke to the owners of this rig. It's owned by a local chiropractor and restaurant owner. The back of the rig is turned into a large bbq and smoking area. They do a lot of BBQ competitions and were on a weekend off but still cooking. We were the lucky recipients of a smoked chicken and some smoked brisket. YUM!!

Dave got out and spent some time with the camera. 

Finally a real campfire!!!

With bad weather in the forecast on Sunday we headed south 3 hours south to Lake Vermillion State Recreation Area about 25 miles west of Sioux Falls SD. Monday high winds were predicted and Tuesday the prediction was for rain and thunderstorms. We haven't headed south as we are meeting friends at Volga River State Recreation Area in Iowa on 10/13 so were moving when the weather is nice and just wandering around the area checking out different state parks. The SD parks are easy on the budget at $19/night, can't beat that. 


There is a local sculpture park nearby, unfortunately it is closed but we did get a picture of the worlds largest bull head.

If a restaurateur recommends a place to stop it's usaully a good place to eat. The owner of the BBQ rig recommended Red Steakhouse in Vermillion SD. On our last evening at Lake Vermillion we took the 75 minute ride to Vermillion, Red Steakhouse is housed in an old bank. A beautiful place with outstanding food though a bit pricey. Appetizers of onion rings and escargot, followed by a steak dinner for me and pork belly and shrimp for Dave were delicious. Our waiter Jake was great, attentive and there quickly to take dirty plates or refill our drinks, top notch service. Dessert was bread pudding, of course I was enjoying the experience so much I forgot to get a picture till dessert and then didn't take any pictures of the beautiful old bank. Red Steakhouse was a great way to finish our time in South Dakota.

Until next time...

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Making Our Way Across Canada

September 21-22, 2016

With rain in the forecast in a few days we decided to get on across Canada. On Wednesday morning we were on the road by 7:30am with a 7 hour 440 mile ride ahead of us. After an uneventful long travel day we arrived in Indian Head Saskatchewan. We arrived at Indian Head Campground about 3pm, the campground was just off the highway, the sites had nice spacing and our pull through was long enough for us with lots of spare room. With a fire pit and a beautiful evening we enjoyed our overnight stay.

Thursday our drive was much shorter so our departure wasn't nearly as early. Our next stop was Brandon Manitoba at Turtle Crossing RV Park. In 2012 the campground suffered a devastating flood, after starting the rebuild process once again in 2014 they suffered another flood. The park is in the best of shape but if the river doesn't flood again and they get their dike built then one day it will once again be a beautiful park. With a price of $25 (Canadian) per night it was easy on the budget and served our purpose just fine.

We were treated to a beautiful sunrise for our last morning in Canada. 
Until next time....

Back In The USA!!!

September 23-26, 2016

Friday we had another relatively short travel day. As we left Brandon MB we headed south towards the USA. We crossed over at a small border crossing, this was the first time we were asked to see the inside of the rv. Well our onions didn't make it back with us :) Soon after crossing into North Dakota we reached Dunseith home of a giant turtle. We knew the turtle was here as we'd been through here a number of years ago and stopped to see it. Today was just a quick stop to grab a picture from the truck.

Our destination was Graham's Island State Park near Devils Lake, a beautiful campground with water and electric sites, there is a full hookup area but we opted for the W/E area. With our new Dish For My RV app we knew which sites we could get a satellite signal at. This time of the year it is first come here and we had a choice of most sites.

After getting set up we headed into Devils Lake, we checked two tire dealers and now have an appointment for Monday to get new sneakers on. Late afternoon the rain came, we are happy to be in such a beautiful place to ride out the bad weather.

Saturday was a day of relaxing and blog catching up. I spent most of the afternoon writing the last 3 posts and getting caught up to today.

Sunday was rainy and cold, stayed inside all day. Extended our stay through Monday

Monday we called about our appointment for our tires. Truck broke down that was bringing the tires, can't do it for a few days. We decided we'll move on down the road on Tuesday, we'll try again the next stop.

Until next time...

Monday, September 26, 2016

Disappointed-On To The Badlands

September 17-20, 2016

On Saturday morning we headed back to Cochrane AB but first we stopped in Canmore AB to have lunch with friends from our place at Gulf Waters in TX. Our friends Pat and John live in Canmore, other friends Vicky and Steve also from Gulf Waters, were in town for a visit. We enjoyed lunch at one of Pat and Johns favorite eateries in town. Unfortunately we forgot our camera :( oh well we'll get some this winter in TX.

After our delicious lunch and tour of Pat and Johns beautiful home we headed on to Cochrane.We had stayed at Bow Rivers Edge on our way north and totally forgot to take a picture of the site we were in for this visit.

The main reason for stopping in Cochrane was to get new sneakers for the truck. We headed over to Canadian Tire, got a quote for some tires that were in stock and could be mounted the next day. First though we wanted to compare prices with Costco so we headed there next. Costco's prices were about the same but they couldn't get them for a week so back to Canadian Tire we went. An appointment was set up for Sunday afternoon for the tires and an alignment.

Sunday afternoon we headed over to Canadian Tire for our appointment, we dropped the truck off and started walking to some of the local shops where we had things we needed to take care of. Thirty minutes later we get a call saying we have none of those tires in stock and we can't do the alignment with the canoe on top of the truck. What the heck, we had checked with them the day before, supposedly there were 12 tires in stock and we had asked if we could leave the canoe on top of the truck and was told it was fine. They said they'd try and get some brought over from another store. Well after we got our business done we headed back to Canadian Tire, nope no tires and they didn't know when they might get them. They blamed the mess up on the new sales associate we had helping us. After venting our frustration we got the keys back for the truck and headed home. Needless to say this has left us with a distaste for Canadian Tire.

Monday morning we got on the road fairly early for our drive to Dinosaur Provincial Park. When Dave had seen photos of this park we decided this would be our next stop. A beautiful 3 hour drive on the Trans Canadian Highway though the Alberta countryside took us to this unique area.

The similarities to the South Dakota Badlands is what drew us but it is known for it's dinosaur discoveries. We had our choice of quite a few sites, after figuring out which would work best for us we chose site 32. We had no cell service but the park has okay wifi, our Dish satellite worked just fine, what more could we need for a few nights.

A beautiful fall day and our first real campfire in many months, life is good.

If I didn't know better I would have thought we were in the South Dakota Badlands. 

They have a visitors center here which has lots of info on the local finding but they charge $6/person to visit it. Since we are not into dinosaurs that much we didn't pay the fee to enter. There are two stops on their scenic loop that discuss what was found nearby.
What a great place to decompress at for a few days.

Until next time...