Posted by: richandmary2011 | June 14, 2012

June 14,2012

Niece Cally and I have arrived in San Diego, CA. We are staying with nephew Joey and his wife Liz. Based on my last report and because the coach needs some maintenance, I decided taking the train to California would be a neat experience and we could stop off to see Yellowstone National Park. If you have the time, I highly recommend train travel, especially if you can get a sleeper car. The price of meals is included in the price and you can enjoy the scenery much more than when driving.

Richard drove us from Louisville to Chicago to catch the Amtrak. Check-in was a breeze (much better than airports). Our train was about an hour late, but it was okay. We had a roomette so we could sleep when desired. The meals were delicious. Our first stop was Salt Lake City, Utah. We stayed a night in a hotel, where I noticed that I had left my good camera on the train.   The next morning we picked up a rental Class C RV.  It was perfect for us, easy to drive and manuever.  I had brought linens and kitchen stuff and after a stop at the grocery store, we were on our way.  We drove to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and spent the night in a park. The next day we went white water rafting down the Snake River. The water was high so it made for a great trip. It was Cally’s first such adventure and other than whining about how early it was, she really enjoyed it. She even jumped in the river and became a member of the “Snake River Swim Team”.  The wind was very chilly in the canyon and even with wet suits, we were all cold.   Since we had already checked out of the park ,when we returned, we changed clothes in the rig, Cally curled up under blankets on the bed and went to sleep while I drove to Yellowstone.

Our first night was spent at Fishing Bridge RV park. There were full hookups but no cable, wi-fi or phone service. There is no fishing allowed at Fishing Bridge any longer since it is the area where cutthroat trout spawn. I saw some beautiful bull elk on the river.  I really wished I had my telephoto lens. Cally was going crazy without her phone working – no texting ability was a crisis. We did a little laundry and used the pay phones to make calls. Another first for Cally.

Our next stop was Canyon RV park up the road about 16 miles. We passed the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. I checked out the waterfalls  and such, but it was so cold. I took some videos with Cally’s camera.  We found out later that a new ranger died that day when she fell off a cliff. She was just 18 years old and it was her first day on the job.

We went on a wildlife tour in the evening. We saw the funniest encounter between an elk and some bears. We stopped on the side of the road to see what everyone was looking at (the first sign that something is about-cars pulled off the road).  On the side of the hill, there was an elk and a black bear standing  close together pretty much ignoring each other. Then a baby bear came running down the hill. The elk took notice and turned around.  She chased the cub up a tree. Momma bear distracted the elk and the cub came down. The elk returned and  cub went back up. They carried on like this for a while until the elk chased both bears up the hill. At first no one noticed there was a baby elk behind the trees. He followed everyone else up the hill, then the bears chased the elk down. They all returned up the hill and we lost sight of them.

We also saw lots of bison with babies,  a wolf, a fox, prong horn deer, osprey , eagle, cliff dwelling swallows, an owl nest with owlettes and ravens. Some people saw a Grizzly bear. It was a good tour.  It started to snow on the way back to the visitor center and continued throughout the next day.

Our last stop was Old Faithful. Cally met up with her friend Elizabeth. I cleaned up the RV and packed up the kitchen and bed stuff since I had to return it the next day.  We left Yellowstone about noon and I drove 460 miles back to Salt Lake City.

After shipping a suitcase with RV stuff home, I returned the RV and rode a bus and train back into the city. That night, after waiting an extra 3 hours for the late train (suspected of running over some one east of Denver), we were on our way to Sacramento. We spent the night in Sacramento and spent the next 20 hours riding south where we are now.

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Posted by: richandmary2011 | May 27, 2012

May 27, 2012

Well, I finally made it to Hardyville, KY last night. It was good to see familiar landmarks and hubby. It took almost 12 hours to drive 440 miles. Things were going fine, up and down and around hills, until I took the exit east of Lexington.  Who ever wrote the GPS directions for this part must have been drunk and never drove anything bigger than a sedan. I had to go through the downtown area at 5pm, then missed the cutoff to the Blue Grass Parkway. Somehow I got on route 68 west and couldn’t get off for two hours. Drove through a national park (I think) with two lane curving road and no destination signs, just farm road numbers.  Finally saw a Sam’s Club delivery truck and followed him to civilization.  Thankfully, it was still light out when I got here, so I could find the house.

After leaving Maine,  driving was easier on the interstates heading west. I spent the nights in Sturbridge, MA; Tremont, PA and near Morgantown, WV.  DO NOT TRY TO PULL AN RV INTO PRICKETTS CREEK CAMPGROUND, exit 139, US 79.  The road is barely one lane wide, with trees on both sides. There is nowhere to back up or turn around. It tried to eat my coach by taking off the awning cover on the back slide. The turn into the campground is a sharp left, downhill with dumpster on the corner. The office was closed, so it was self check-in. I unhitched the car and backed into a spot by the creek. I didn’t notice the awning till later, and when I went to retrieve the ladder, it was hanging over the ledge. I figured, morning would be okay time to fix it.

Next morning, I pulled rig to wide spot, retrieved ladder and tools and tried to replace cover. Wasn’t happening. Finally, since it was 9am, I found the hammer and commenced to beating the snot out of it until it submitted and fell off. There was a family sitting right behind me and not one person offered any help. I was not impressed.  I then hitched up the car and on the way out of the campground, bashed the right front bumper. Didn’t notice break and scratches until first gas station break. Fabulous!!

While I was driving on Friday, my sister Jody called to tell me she was in the hospital. Apparently, the day before she had an appendicitis attack and they performed surgery Friday am. She’s now home and doing well.  Sister Bec, who was in a car accident last weekend, left the hospital yesterday.  Found out cousin Stephanie passed her RN nursing boards. The Rays beat the Red Sox.  Excitement everywhere.

I am now leaving for a cookout at niece’s house.  Later

 

Posted by: richandmary2011 | May 20, 2012

May 20,2012

I have been having a great time with cousins Peggy and Andrew. Yesterday, Peg and I went kayaking and today we visited 3 lighthouses. The weather couldn’t be any better and the food has been delicious–fish tacos, steak, lobster, chowder – mmmmmm good.  I am still working on getting pictures downloaded, so be patient.

 

Posted by: richandmary2011 | May 18, 2012

May 18,2012

Well, I finally made it to Camden ME on Wednesday. After driving 412 miles, I felt like I’d been driving around in circles. Somehow or other, my navigational skills failed me as well as my GPS. Things were going okay till it started to rain, then get dark and foggy. My headlights were of no use, I could hardly see 20 feet in front of me. The roads were narrow and winding and these bridges kept popping up scaring the bejeebers out of me and Buster. He was practically on my lap, which didn’t help anything.

When I finally found Rte 1 and thought I had it made, the fog got thicker.  I was afraid to pull off cause I couldn’t tell if the parking lots were large enough to turn around or had another exit.  There wasn’t much traffic, which was good I guess, and what there was followed very patiently.  Rte 90 is the cutoff to the RV park, but it was so dark, I couldn’t find the sign. I finally just pulled into a mini-mart/gas station and asked if I could spend the night. The lady was very gracious and allowed it.  I didn’t even put down the levels, just went to sleep.

At 6am, I was wide awake. The sun was up and the weather was beautiful. Apparently, I didn’t close the car door completely, so when I went to start it, the battery was dead.  A customer was kind enough to give a jump. I let the car run for a minute while I went to get coffee inside. When I came out, the car had stopped running. Instead of getting another jump, I just put it in neutral and left to find the park.

In the daylight, the Camden area is beautiful. I found the park sign and turned in. There was a turnoff that I thought led to the office. I was wrong (dentist office). When I started to pull back out, Buster jumped on me and caused me to put the left rear wheel of the coach into a ditch. The coach leaned so much, things that usually don’t move came flying off the counters onto the floor. I tried muscling my way out, but it wasn’t happening. I had to unhook the car which was difficult since there was a downward slope and the tension was too tight to pull off the hitch.  The car battery was still dead, so I couldn’t nudge it forward. After getting the attention of the lady looking out the window of the dentist’s office, she offered to give the car another jump. It worked and I unhitched the car, which I then moved to the real park office and left running.

It wasn’t hard to get the coach backed up and out of the ditch. I pulled in front of the office to wait for the office to open. It was 7am and no one showed up til 9:30. While I waited, I called cousin Peggy, who was already hard at work. We made plans to meet for lunch.  I have made a decision to never again stay at a park that hasn’t been open for the season for less than a full week. The computer wasn’t working, my name wasn’t on the reservation list, the office girl was new and not fully trained. We finally got our assigned space at 10am.

I spent about one and a half hours setting up and washing the car and rig. Both were filthy from the rain, fog and road grime. After taking a shower, I met Peggy for lunch. We went to nice restaurant on the water and watched the boats while we ate. They don’t know how to make tea up here– bummer.  I then went to Wal-Mart to renew prescriptions, returned to the park and took a nap.

I spoke to Rick on the phone, then drove to Peggy’s house in Hope. Andrew (husband) and dogs (Daisy, Lucy and Emma) were there. The dogs were not too happy with Buster invading their territory. He was quite intimidated being surrounded by barking, nipping females. After a while, they all settled down but when we left for dinner, Buster had to stay in my car.

It was nice talking to Peggy and Andrew. Haven’t seen them in quite a while, but we made plans for the weekend including grilling steaks, kayaking, eating lobster and sight-seeing.  I returned to the park before it got dark and was asleep by 10pm.

 

 

Posted by: richandmary2011 | May 15, 2012

MAY 15,2012

After many gruelling hours on the interstate  system of New England, specifically Pennsylvania and New York, I finally made it to Danbury CT after 8 hours.  There are no rv parks nearby and I didn’t feel like staying at Wal-Mart, so Buster & I got a room at the Super 8 hotel.

On Monday, we arrived in Topping, VA. and had a nice visit with Chris Mesche at Grey’s Point RV park. The area is really nice with lots of small towns.  Kilmarnock, across the Rappahannock River, is the happening place.  Had breakfast and lunch at Lee’s Restaurant, checked out several specialty stores, the grocery, Advanced Auto Parts, and Wal-Mart.  Took a tour of Christ Church, one of the oldest churches in the US.  Chris and I had dinner at a seafood restaurant. Good stuff

On Thursday, a friend from Va Beach came to visit.  On Friday,  I went down to Yorktown. Interestingly, I grew up an hour down the road and never visited this historic area before.  Saturday found me in Urbana at a street art fair. Lots of nice stuff.
Sunday, I returned to visit Aunt Deanna for Mother’s Day.  Lots of folks and food.

Still having some issues with coach. Now something is draining the deep cell batteries. I bought two new ones and they died after 2 days.  Rick thinks it’s the inverter and he’s ordering a new one to replace it. Hopefully, this will cure the problem.

Tomorrow, I should arrive in Hope ME to visit cousin Peggy. Looking forward to seeing her again. Hope it stops raining so the driving isn’t so hard.

Will post pictures later.

Posted by: richandmary2011 | May 9, 2012

May 9,2012

Buster and I arrived at Grey’s Point Camp in Topping VA on Monday.  The trip from NC was long but peaceful. Beautiful farm country most of the way. When we arrived, we were greeted by Chris Mesche, our friend from Belle Parc. She was working the front desk and although I’d told her I’d stop in, she was surprised. Luckily, the camp had lots of room for us to park so we’ll be here for a week.  Yesterday I went exploring in my car. There are lots of little villages on both sides of the Rappahannock River. The strangest thing is the roads end without warning. There are no signs saying “DEAD END” or “NO OUTLET”, just “End of State Maintenance” and no more road. Very disconcerting.

I had breakfast in Lee’s Restaurant. Very nice homey atmosphere and good food. Lunch was a homemade barbecue sandwich from the corner convenience store. Last night, Chris and I went to a seafood restaurant-good food, high prices.

I took a tour of historic Christ Church. It was built during the 1700s and is still in pretty good shape.

Last night, the power in the rig died. I’m not sure what the problem is, but the electric worked and the front battery was fully charged. I don’t know if it is the generator batteries going bad. This morning I replaced the CO  detector,ran the engine and the generator and everything worked fine.  Now the ceiling lights and refrigerator have stopped working again. Plus I can’t get the cable to work.  I hate used vehicles.

It has been raining since last night with intermittent stoppage. The temperature is cool and breezy. Haven’t had to break out the jackets yet, but long pants are helpful.

Tomorrow, my friend from Virginia Beach is coming over and we’ll probably sightsee. Looking forward to the visit. Later y’all

Posted by: richandmary2011 | May 8, 2012

Back on the road

Well, after hanging out in one park for six months, I am back to traveling. Belle Parc RV Resort in Brooksville, FL is beautiful and we met lots of great people, but I didn’t buy an RV to stay in one place.  Richard went back to Kentucky around the first of April, so Buster and I have become a pair. My plan is to travel to Maine to visit cousin Peggy during May, then pick up niece Cally and head for California.

To prevent any mechanical delays while on the road, I had a local RV service do a check up on the rig. They found a few things that needed fixing (burnt out lights, jack not working, etc), but nothing that would prevent me driving out the next day. With a full gas tank and everything stowed away, I hooked up the Element and plugged in the lights. Low and behold, the right turn signal on the tow kit didn’t work. When fellow camper Jeff pulled the plug from the RV, a prong fell off. I then had to unhook the Element, drive to the auto parts store, buy a new light kit plug and fix it before I left the park.

Obviously, I started out late and stopped for the night in Savannah GA instead of northern SC as planned.  Stayed at the KOA which had several lovely lakes with lots of geese and swans. I honestly was too tired to take pictures, but I had time to dislocate my big toe while walking Buster. I fixed it the next morning so now it’s just a little bruised.

I decided before I left, that instead of traveling on the interstate and not enjoying the scenery, I would drive secondary roads and take my time. Little did I know that South Carolina is completely under construction.  I even saw signs saying “Welcome to Construction Land”.  Not having a set timetable is the key to not wanting to kill people. “Be Flexible”

Anyway, day two was slow and enjoyable and I made it as far as Tabor City NC. There is a nice Jellystone Park there with lots of fishing ponds and stuff geared to families with kids.  Unfortunately,  my site didn’t have water and instead of driving all the way around the park and into another spot, I just connected three hoses and used the neighboring faucet. Luckily there wasn’t anyone on that site.  Buster continued his harassment of golf carts as they drove by.

Saturday found me at Aunt Deanna and Uncle Henry’s house in Pink Hill, NC. I love visiting these guys.  Deanna has been struggling with breast cancer for the last couple of years, but I think she’s beat it.  When I saw her six months ago, she was still doing chemo and was bald as a baby’s bottom.  Her treatments ended in February and she feels good and her hair is coming back nice and thick.

It stormed really hard with thunder and lightning for about three hours. Luckily, I gave Buster his anti-anxiety pill before it started, but he was still a little wacky.

Sunday afternoon we met my girl cousins, their spouses and kids at Logan’s Steakhouse for dinner. Had great time catching up. The kids are growing way to fast.  When we returned to the house, cousin Kevin and his kids came by as well as his sister and two nieces. We had fun just sitting around chatting and watching the kids shooting air rifles at targets.  We made a game of killing boring bumblebees with  badminton rackets. It was a challenge not to hit the people during a backhand swat.

During the RV service check, the mechanic noted that a jack needed to be replaced (leaks fluid and doesn’t always work).  Also, the motor to the slides whines while operating.  This didn’t affect my driving so I decided I would get it fixed later.  Well, later arrived at Deanna’s;  the jacks wouldn’t descend and the slides wouldn’t extend. Other than not being able to reach my undies drawer, it wasn’t a major problem while I was there. However, I didn’t want to deal with it all the way to Maine or California. I drove to an RV service center in Chocowinity NC. I figured it would take the better part of the day to fix and I’d have time to find a vet to give Buster his rabies shot.  Al, the mechanic, checked out the system.  He found a loose connection to the brake sensor which he fixed, but couldn’t find anything else.  Of course the stupid jacks worked for him. Took less than 30 minutes and after finding the nearest vet, we were back on the road.

Five hours later, we arrived in Topping VA and the jacks worked.  Good night

Posted by: richandmary2011 | December 5, 2011

December 5

It’s been awhile since I posted and lots of traveling’s been happening. While waiting for the wedding, I took a short trip to North Carolina. There was a hurricane happening, so I had to hang out in the mountains for a while. I met up with former co-worker Charlie Cline and his family. Waynesville, where he lives, is beautiful and so peaceful. I stayed in an RV park down the road from him. Met several other full-timers and shared info on ins and outs of traveling. Buster made new friends also.

After the storm passed, I traveled to see family near Beaulaville NC. I met the newest addition to the family, Kolton and had great time getting reaquainted with cousins, aunts and uncles.

Rick bought a johnboat hull to build up into a fishing boat. It’s to be his winter project.

Niece Jaid married Zach and the wedding was beautiful. The reception was a great party.  We also had a going away party for nephew Joey and his new wife, Liz. She was assigned to Camp Pendleton, CA as a navy corpsmen.

Afterward, I left KY and drove the RV to FL by way of Myrtle Beach, SC and Ormond Beach,FL. Buster and I spent 3 days at Myrtle Beach State Park which was fabulous. Buster wouldn’t even touch the sand on the beach, but we went on some long walks through the woods. Afterward, I drove to Ormond Beach and spent time with friend Trudie, then on to see sister Jody.  Checked into park in Brooksville, FL on Nov 1.

We are getting settled in to stay for a couple of months. I don’t plan to stay in on e place without a few side trips around FL. Right now we are in Cabo San Lucas, BCS, MX. We stayed in our time share for a week and now are in a little hotel in town. The fishing here is great, even if you don’t catch much. Our total catch so far consists of Bonita, Dorado, Needle fish, shark and Marlin. Yesterday, we took another couple on a 28 foot boat and Klaus caught a 100 pound Marlin. He was so thrilled. Unfortunately, his wife Debbie was seasick from the get go and had to lie prone the whole time.  I had a Mako shark on the line that I fought for about 40 minutes before he bit through the line and got away (I HAVE WITNESSES).

We’ve been snorkeling, kayaking and touring north of here. Of course, we also eat and drink the local offerings.

Last night, Rick and I had a great dinner at a new restaurant in town. It consisted of lobster, filet mignon, shrimp, blue crab and mahi -mahi. For dessert, bananas foster. All for $50.00 usd.

Tomorrow, we are touring Todos Santos and Wednesday, we leave for home.

Posted by: richandmary2011 | September 20, 2011

Sept 20

Not much going on. I’m hanging out in Kentucky till my niece gets married at the end of the month. It’s been raining for the last couple of days and will continue til the end of the week.  Enjoy the attached pictures. There are a variety of places that haven’t been previously posted.

 

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Posted by: richandmary2011 | September 8, 2011

September 7,2011

Arrived in Pink Hill, NC on 8/29 after Hurricane Irene left the area. Hanging out in with aunt Deanna and hubby Henry. I’ve seen more storm damage before, but that doesn’t discount the mess here. Lots of really big old trees are torn out by the roots. Power lines snapped in half and roads crumbling.  I know the northern states were devastated also.  Although Hurricane Katia missed us, it’s been raining since last night. Besides dealing with crazy dog, Buster, the RV also has a leak over the living room slide. This morning I put up a blue tarp, so I feel like the rest of the coast after Irene.

Did y’all have a good Labor Day weekend? We had a cookout here with all the Benson’s, including Uncle Bud and Betty. We also celebrated cousin Kevin’s birthday. Had a great time.  Today Deanna went for chemotherapy. She’s doing really well and enjoying life.

Tried to fix slide cover today (Thursday), but unable to remove pin holding part. Will try again when I get back to KY. Maybe some brute force (Rick) will help.

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