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!"

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Another Wednesday

He's the reason we are in CO in October, two years is way too long between visits. Tom and Krystal came out on Tuesday for lunch and a quick visit. Tom has just started taking a few college courses and works 36+ hours at Red Robin so we will see him as much as we can. Of course Fridays dinner will be at Red Robin with our favorite waiter. With my ankle bruised but better bowling was not going to happen. :( 

We've been having some issues with our camera, my brother looked at it and seems a fiber is on the lens, it's not cost effective to even have it fixed so Andy took us camera shopping. We headed to Sam's Club where he is a member and walked out with a Canon Power Shot SX510 HS. We played with it yesterday and my brother will be helping us understand it more this afternoon.

We are enjoying Cheyenne Mountain State Park, it was opened in 2006 has 50+ full hookup sites (only 10 or so are open in the off season)  has spectacular views and 20 miles of hiking\biking trails. We are still getting acclimated to the altitude so we've done a few of the easy short trails near our site.

It's been too cold and windy to sit around a fire but from the warmth of the rv we have the views.

And just in case no one realizes it, guess what day it is!!!

Happy Hump Day

Until next time...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Made it to CO!!!

 We have been traveling across KS & CO the last few days, I went ahead and joined Passport America to take advantage of some cheap overnights. Our first night was in Russell KS at the Triple J RV Park, the park sufficed for what we needed and gave us a beautiful sunset to finish our day.

Our second night was in Stratton CO at Marshall Ash Village, not a place I'm inclined to return to, noisy truck stop across the street and we were the only overnighters there. There were a few older rigs that had seen better days and us,  so we closed the blinds and we were where ever we wanted to be. 

We were up and on the road a little after 8am, we've had head winds for the last 3 days so we've been taking it easy and letting every one pass us, can't remember the last time we passed someone. We arrived at Cheyenne Mountain State Park about 11am. All was going well until my klutzy self emerged and I fell down,
fortunately I just bruised the foot, ice and ibuprofen have helped. The sites here are walk in only this time of the year and they keep one loop open, though they did say they could open the other if needed. With the day access pass for the second vehicle it is $31 a night for full hookups, huge sites and views to go with them. We are here for at least 5 nights and watching the weather to see when we will leave, our next drive day has Raton Pass in NM in it so want a good driving day.

Site 36 Cheyenne Mountain State Park

Our views looking towards Colorado Springs and Fort Carson, we have NORAD inside Cheyenne Mountain

We've spoken to Tom and he has class tonight and is busy studying so we'll see him tomorrow, tonight we are headed to my brothers home for dinner with him and his family. We will be bring our camera and see if he can do anything about the streak we have in it, if not he'll give us some good advice on getting a new one while we're here.

Until next time...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Clinton Lake State Park

We have enjoyed Clinton Lake State Park as much as possible, with the temps and winds it has made for some cold days here and brought about some changes in our travel plans. We are leaving here this morning and plan to arrive in CO on Monday a week early, Cheyenne Mountain State Park has a few full hookup sites open all year. We are planning to spend a week there then head south,  when we will probably spend  3 days traveling in search of warmer temps. Looks like we'll have to get all the way down to southern NM before we have much warmth.

While here we have spent time biking around both campgrounds, surprised myself by not having to walk my bike up any hills. :) Dave has drowned more worms, we've enjoyed a campfire or two, we took a ride around Lawrence KS, nice town but too big for our taste, heck Burlington VT was too big we are just not large city folks. But for our sons we will go to the cities of Colorado Springs and Phoenix, Tom already has plans for us (bowling & a Halloween party?) and David wants some advice on a few things around the house.

9-2011 last time we saw Tom & Krystal

 Halloween of 2010 Tom & Krystal were living in VT with us, looking forward to seeing their costumes this year.

Clinton Lake
 Clinton Lake State Park is a large park with a variety of site types, there is fishing, boating (too windy for us this time), hiking and biking trails all at the campground.We had heard about this park from a visitor to our campground in VT, she had told us it was a nice place and worth a visit, well it is and definitely worth a return when the weather is nicer. The temps have hovered in the 50's, that would be fine but add in lots of wind makes for whitecaps on the lake and then the evening have dropped into the 30's. Our fireplace is doing a great job of keeping the rv warm so we've kept the furnace off, as our friend Mark would say no cringing since we're not using our propane instead using the campground electricity.

amber waves of grain at Clinton State Park

We have found we really do like the state parks over all much better than the private campgrounds, still haven't made it to a national park this trip but imagine they will be much like the state ones. Everything I've read about Cheyenne Mountain State Park sounds good too, we're looking to our stay there. For the next two nights though we have found a few places just off the interstate to pull into, all Passport America parks of which we are now members. Thanks for the advice everyone, the saving just over the next two nights will pay for half the membership whenever our 4th stay occurs it will have payed for itself.

So today we head down the road three hours to Russell KS then tomorrow we are aiming for Stratton CO and Monday on into CO Springs, all around 3 hour drive times with the last day being a bit shorter. We will be gaining elevation every day so hope the winds calm down, the forecast is for good weather and the only large town between here and Colorado Springs is Topeka KS. We've always loved this drive into CO and how the Rockies show up from so far away, just glad it's CO Springs and not some of the northern part of the state we're headed to. 

Until next time...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Super Hero

 I have always thought the computer should respond as fast as I can push buttons, well this morning I was reminded once again that doesn't happen. Somehow :) my laptop was doing some kind of loop (love those technical terms) and wouldn't do what I wanted it to. Blue screens of death appeared so I turned the laptop over to Dave who once again saved my laptop from me.

Until next time...


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

On to Kansas

Monday we got up and finished laundry then got on the road just before 10am, after a few stops at rest areas we pulled into Lakeside RV park at Lakeside Casino near Osceola IA around 1pm another 160 miles down the road. Full hookups and $20\night right off the interstate. Winds were howling on the drive so it was a long 3 hours. Decided to try the buffet mistake-not very good.  Checked the forecast because of the cold front coming down from the north, decision time in the morning.

Tuesday morning we got up to a few showers, looked they were going to clear up for a bit then get really nasty in the evening and on in to tomorrow, time to head to Kansas.  Another 3 hour run and we are now set up at Clinton State Park in Lawrence KS, a little warmer but the winds are howling and the cold front is about here, we’ll have water until they turn it off and 50amp service so the fireplace can go all it wants. $50 for the annual state park pass for both trucks and $69 for 4 four nights, lots of roads to ride, fishing for Dave if he wants, the satellite dish is working, Verizon has 2 bars and we're close enough to Topeka and Kansas City to do some site seeing. 

So we drove 3 days in a row, albeit no day was more than 3 1/2 hours but with headwinds and having to follow a rv the whole time I'm ready to stay put for a few days. We have 10 days to get across Kansas and to Colorado Springs, now to find out what there is to do around here.

Until next time.. 

Wisconsin with good friends

What a fabulous time we had at Wyaulsing State Park in WI, while it would have been nicer to have bit more sunshine and higher temps the company more than made up for it. In the days preceding our time there Dave kept saying "if I see snow in the forecast we head south" so glad there wasn't and hasn't been any here. The lows bottomed out at 29 one night and the days were chilly 40's & 50's, a definite chill in the air.

Praire Du Chein, WI

Confluence of the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers

 We arrived about 11:30 Wednesday after a hilly 160 mile ride, our friend Mark had already switched our reserved site to a walk in near them, we are in the Wisconsin Ridge loop which sits 500' above the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers.

147E Wisconsin Ridge

We have shared breakfast and dinner with everyone and  found we can seat 6 for a meal in our rig.  Dave got in a little fishing with some success this time, enough to fry up as part of a surf & turf dinner. Lots of good food even got to cook some ribs, had pancakes with real VT maple syrup

Before the weather got cold we got a few bike rides in and even walked a trail. Both couples we are here with have Golden Retrievers, we enjoyed taking Gracey on a hike-there weren't any signs so hope it was okay. We took the wagon road trail which went down and then back up, not a road I would have wanted to ride a wagon through.  What a pleasure it was to enjoy the company of a young golden who loves the world and people, we have enjoyed meeting a number of dogs here, Cinder the young black Lab next to us,  Mr Bear the handsome Rottweiler were just a few of our favorites. Being with Gracey and Mazey just reminds us of how much we miss having a dog in our lives, thanks Mark & Nancy, Roger & Eileen for sharing your furkids with us.

We had a fire every night we were there and talked late into the night, of friends we all haven't seen in a long time. Of how our lives have followed similar paths and we are all looking forward to this next phase in our lives. The one where we can take some time for ourselves, we've raised our kids, put years in at jobs and now it is time to enjoy the benefits of having done all of that. Mark & Nancy having been trying to sell their house for the last year or so to no avail, recently though things have started to change.  How nice it is to find out, again, some of the choices we made as young people in friendships is rewarded in picking that friendship up after a 18 year absence and it was like yesterday when we had all gotten together last.

Mark & Nancy are trying to sell a house in Fulton IL, they currently have folks renting the home who hope to buy it within the next six months. Saturday evening while we were sitting around a fire Mark received a call from his real estate agent, evidently the tenants tried to turn on the furnace to no avail, after calling a heating contractor it was determined the furnace had four or more cracks in it. What a way to end the evening, by Sunday morning Mark & Nancy had decided they needed to head home. Since the weather was getting colder day by day we decided to head on down the road so by 10:30 we were pulling out of Wyalusing State Park a day early :(

On Sunday we traveled about 160 miles to Colony Country Campground in North Liberty IA, $34 with a Good Sam discount and fhu’s,  a nice little park a few miles off of I80.  We got there early enough to do laundry at the campground and left a few dollars at Walmart. Looking at the extended forecast we decided to only stay one night, if ever back in the area for visiting it would be a nice place to stay for a few days. 

We were so sorry to have our visit with our friends cut short but understand the responsibility (leash) a home is and understand the choice they had to make and were not at all surprised when they told us. We will be back to IL in the near future so we know it won't be 18 years again between visits. Thanks again Mark, Nancy and Gracey (and Roger, Eileen & Mazey) for including us in your trip. 

Until next time...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Excuse us while we take a few days off to reconnect with friends we haven't seen in a very long time,  let the celebration begin!!! What happens in WI ....

Until next time...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Monday morning Mom and Dad came out to say goodbye and see you next year.  We left Effingham IL just a little before 9, our destination was Rock Island IL 265 miles north, leaving us with a 3 hour drive to WI on Wednesday.

For convenience sake we picked Quad City KOA, we knew there were open sites. On line their rates were $42 for a pull thru or $25 for a back in, they insisted we take a pull thru because of the two vehicles, told them we wanted a site with out shade, well they escorted us to site 27. Site 27 was a long pull thru under trees, a sewer connection and the concrete lid to a large underground holding tank were right out the coach door. Up to the store I went to see about one of the back in sites with no trees, remember that $25 rate, well it's only for online reservations and there is an extra vehicle charge of $5 a day. So $25 quickly went to $35 a night, the most we've paid anywhere. Oh yeah and they're not going to charge us the $5 they usually charge to put your own canoe or kayak in. We are spending two nights here, we've found we don't like driving back to back days and it was suppose to be rainy on Tuesday,  but you can bet we'll be on the road early Wednesday morning. Anyway lesson learned :(

After settling in Dave started working with the satellite system, an hour later he had us up and running, so we already consider the stop over here in Rock Island a success. Our rainy Tuesday was spent doing research on our route to CO, we'll take a few weeks to get there, we are trying to time it for the weekend my brother is in town. Our son Tom has been making noises about one of us subbing on his bowling team, that could be interesting.

Our friends Mark & Nancy and their cousins Roger & Eileen have arrived at Wyalusing State Park in WI and Mark has scored the number one walk in site in the park, Roger and Eileen are across the street. Mark has been looking out for a walk in sites for us, he'll go down first thing Wednesday and sign one up for us. If all goes according to plan we will be across the street from them, we hope to be there by lunch time.

We are headed north so the comforter has come out,  the temps are getting colder, no shorts in the near future, good thing Mark and Dave like fires as we're going to need a few.

Until next time...

Monday, October 14, 2013

Family Time

Not much newsworthy going on here, we've been working on my folks house for the most part and visiting some of the family. Unfortunately a lot of them have to work so getting to see them isn't so easy, we did get a visit in with my Uncle Jim, who will be 95 next week, and Aunt Lois, my cousins Dennis & Nancy and their daughter Sarah, and cousins Jack & Carol unfortunately we didn't get to see everyone we wanted but there will be a next time in another year or two. Thanks Dennis and Nancy for dinner Sunday night, we had a great time seeing you both and look forward to next time, though Dave  took a few pictures none turned out well enough to post.

We haven't had much luck getting the satellite hooked up here, think the tree cover is too much for it to go through it's learning process. We are leaving here today ( I know Columbus Day) and heading to Rock Island IL and spend two nights, it will make our drive to WI much more reasonable and won't have to do a PDD Day. For those who don't know,  Paul Dahl writes the blog R Sanity RV Adventures which I've been reading for the last year or so. Paul is known for driving incredibly long distances in one day, hence the Paul Dahl Disorder or PDD. We've found a KOA for $25 a night near the route, from Google Earth it doesn't appear to have too much tree cover so we're hoping to get the satellite up and running while there. Looks like there are a few things to see in the area so we might actually play tourist for a bit too.

My folks don't cook much anymore since it's just the two of them so we've been eating out more than usual, one place we went to is Rockhome Restaurant in Arcola IL, they have a buffet run by the Amish, food was quite good and Dave said he their walleye was some of the best he's had.  For one lunch we had Chinese, Dave and I had been to a fantastic buffet here once before and wanted to try it again, well it did not disappoint and my folks now know of it. Thanks Mom and Dad for everything, see you somewhere next year, maybe on your ride north from FL

This has turned into a lovely albeit expensive stop, with Walmart so close by the wallet is feeling the pinch :) oh well we knew it would be like this for a bit as we settled into the traveling part of this lifestyle. We hear the trains in the distance, the tracks are 2 miles away, but the sound reminds me of nights at my grandparents house. My grandfather was a section foreman for the Illinois Central, when they bought their house in Neoga it was next to the tracks, my summer nights were spent sleeping on the front porch and listening to the sounds of the trains rumbling through. Don't know how I'd feel these days if these tracks were any closer though, but at two miles away it's a soothing and non intrusive sound.The folks who run this campground are very nice, we've spoken with Bob quite a bit as he walks by guiding the rv's to their sites. For those staying overnight they have some long pull thru sites and we see at least 10 or so rigs every night come in,  lots of entertainment watching the evening parade and with the precision parking no one driving through sites :) The rate for the week is $182 less than some of the state parks we've been in and the same as the COE park we should have been in. For convenience sake I imagine we will stay here next time, there is a large smoker at the campground that has only been used twice, Dave was invited to use it if he wanted, not enough time this year but we're already planning on using it next time.

We did finally get the canoe in the campground lake, Dave fished and I read while laughing at all the fish jumping around us and Dave catching nary a one until this little guy came and played with Dave for a minute.

Dave and I have enjoyed our stay here, we like we're my folks have settled, they have a house that gives them the room they need for all their hobbies and it's near family who will keep an eye out for them. The family time has been great and I enjoyed meeting family members who have come along since the years I spent my summers here. We're already looking forward to our next time here, by then my folks will have another list ready for Dave, may have to plan a few more days next time :)

My folks will be here soon to say goodbye and of course to get a few pictures in, time to get packed and ready to move on down the road.

Until next time...