Friday, August 31, 2012

Another Month Goes By

Time flies!  August is drawing to a close and September arrives tomorrow.  We have moved from Palisades Dam to Idaho Falls.  We will be at the Snake River RV Park and Campground until September 28th.  A highlight of our last week was a trip to Dubois, Wyoming for a work assignment.  Rosie and the pooches rode along and we had a great lunch at the Cowboy CafĂ© in downtown Dubois.  Here are some Dubois pictures:

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                       Main Street                                                                     Cowboy Cafe

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                      Our booth for lunch                                                            Local Artistry

It is great to be back in Idaho Falls.  We got to shop at our favorite Wal-Mart,  picked up a months worth of mail, and attended a gathering of one of our favorite social groups on Thursday night.  I got my truck into my regular and trusted repair shop to diagnose my power steering fluid leak.  Turns out the power steering fluid also works in the power brake turbo-boost system.  This will require replacing a pricey part in the braking system, but the garage will look for a reliable used part on Tuesday to save a $100 or so.  In the meantime, I will keep adding power steering fluid.

Time for the monthly full expense report:

Camping –                            $456 ($14.70 per night)

Diesel Fuel when pulling –  $308.50

Truck Repairs/Service –      $176.78

Generator Gas/Propane -     $0

Satellite TV/Radio –            $103

Total for August        $1,044.28

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Return To Idaho

Having completed a great circle through Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming again, we are back in Idaho at the Riverside Park Campground at the base of the dam on the Palisades Reservoir.


A photo from the archives.  We are in the center of the picture.

Upon leaving Rawlins on Wednesday, we decided to pull all the way through to this spot instead of stopping at the Montpelier Canyon Campground near Montpelier, Idaho.  When I checked the Verizon Coverage Map, I discovered there was no cell service there.  For business reasons, and personal preferences, we really like to have cell and internet connections wherever we camp.  The trip from Rawlins to here was 346 miles; about 100 miles further than we prefer to pull the trailer in one day.  We are here for two reasons; one is I had work to do yesterday in Jackson Hole, WY which is about 50 miles away, and I have some work in Dubois, WY on Monday which is about 150 miles away; the second reason is the rate here for Golden Age Passport holders is $8 a night with electricity.  So we are going to stay here seven nights before we return to Idaho Falls for a month.  I will also get a chance to utilize my Idaho Fishing License.

While moving from Colorado to Wyoming I discovered that my power steering fluid level was very low.  I must have a serious leak in a hose somewhere because I have used up three small containers of power steering fluid in about 600 miles.  I have a large container on standby to get us into Idaho Falls and my preferred diesel mechanic, Richards Diesel Service.  The tip of my oil dipstick has also disappeared into the oil reservoir somewhere, so I need to drain the oil to get that out of the pan.  I suppose this all goes with the territory of having a 9 year old truck with 218,000 miles on it.

This morning, I noticed our little terrier Annie staring at the area between the couch and the wall.  I have seen that look before when we were walking in large grassy areas.  So I got out a flashlight and checked behind the couch and sure enough, there was a little mouse staring back up at me.  So down to the store to pick up mouse traps.  I prefer Decon, but small convenience stores have limited inventories.  Rosie was wondering if Annie is part cat Smile.

It is nice to be back in cool weather, but there is a good strong wind coming from the east and it is a little too cool for comfort outside.  I hope it dies down so I can go drown some worms later today.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Wyoming Central!

Except for Yellowstone Park and Teton Park, Wyoming is a pretty desolate place.  Rawlins Wyoming is in the center of that desolation.  After spending 2 days in Cheyenne, we pulled the 150 miles to Rawlins today and are set up in RV World Campground.
Given the treeless prairie surrounding Rawlins, this is a nice campground.  There is some grass here.  Our site was nearly level and plenty long.  There is a large enclosed dog run to let the pooches off leash to do their thing.  The satellite reception is incredible as there is nothing to get in the way of the signal.  To top it off, the managers on duty today, David and Sheila Knapp, are a wonderful couple with big smiles and a very friendly demeanor.  The electric only site rate here is about $21 per night with Good Sam discount.  On top of all that, the weather is wonderful; temperatures in the high 70’s with a low of 48 predicted for tonight and tomorrow morning.  We are so happy to be out of high temperatures and high humidity.  We ate dinner outside on the picnic table tonight.  I think the last time we ate outside was in West Yellowstone in May.

We will be here until Wednesday.  Why, you ask, are we in the middle of nowhere Wyoming for 4 nights?  Well, I have work appointments here on Tuesday.  We could have stayed in Cheyenne, but we were paying $34 a night there, so it is a no-brainer to move here and pay $21 per night when you are living on our budget.  Sitting here in my “office” I can see the traffic on Interstate 80 going by.  It is incredible how many big rig trucks go by every minute.  We are far enough away so we don’t hear the traffic noise inside the camper, so sleeping should be wonderful.  Rosie put an extra comforter on the bed in anticipation of much cooler nights.

Here are a few more pictures of the park:
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             Miniature Golf anyone?                                                                    Our Site!
Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Best Laid Plans!

After leaving our friends home in Evergreen, CO, we pulled up to our prepaid campsite north of Blackhawk, CO.  Upon arrival, we discovered two problems; no Verizon service (despite what the Verizon coverage map shows) and no fresh water connection to fill our tank, which was empty.  The Verizon coverage was the big issue, I need cell phone and internet access (through Verizon) to manage my internet business.  So, what to do?

After checking out another campground in the area and finding no cell service there either, we decided to return to Bear Creek Lake Park in Lakewood, CO.   The camp hosts were happy to see us return and gave us a discounted rate of $15 per night for 3 nights.   I also got $6 refunded from for the site above Blackhawk.

So this is a short blog and no pictures.  We leave tomorrow (16th) for Cheyenne, WY where I have work assignments to complete.  The choices in Cheyenne are limited, so we will be in an expensive ($35 per night) campground, but with full hookups and a laundry for two nights.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cool! Finally!

What a difference 4,000 feet in elevation makes.  Friday we left Lakewood, Colorado at 5,000 feet and slowly climbed our way to our new destination in the mountains overlooking Evergreen, Colorado at just over 9,000 feet.  Daytime temperatures went from 96 F. to 78 F.  This morning it was 49 F at 6:30 am.  We actually turned on the heater to take off the chill.  Sleeping with covers is a real change of pace for us.

Our longtime friends, Loren and Marie Scribner, had invited us to camp in their driveway for the weekend.  Loren has been building this house for the last several years as a personal project.  He designed the home and has placed every piece of wood and many other components of the home into place with his own hands.  He contracted the electrical and plumbing, but the rest of the home has been a labor of love.


I made a mighty effort to back down his driveway, but the angles were too steep.  I ended up setting up camp on a wide spot in the road just above the house.


I was a bit concerned about camping on a public road, but this spot is near the end of the road.  Traffic going by is less than 10 vehicles a day and I left plenty of room for traffic.  Anyway, we have been here two nights and no knock on the door by a local Sheriff’s Deputy.  It has been a very relaxing weekend and we are headed out tomorrow for a forest service campground near Black Hawk, Colorado, about 30 miles away.

Rosie and Marie worked at the same bank in Evergreen for many years before Rosie retired.  Marie retired a month ago.  Today, Gloria, another friend from the bank came over to visit and we had a wonderful time.  Unfortunately, I think my waistline has expanded a wee bit.  Marie has been stuffing homemade brownies ala mode down my throat for two days.  Rosie says I have not resisted very hard.  Well, tomorrow I will get back to my regular dining habits of no dessert.

Mountain living is a bit different than city or country living.  Besides the altitude, there is an abundance of wildlife in the woods.  Every morning about 6:30 Marie places appropriate feed out for the local deer population.  They even eat right out of her hand.

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Birds also frequent the feeders on the deck:

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I leave you with a group photo and some of the beautiful detailed features of this home:


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Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Rosie Takes A Hike

When it comes to favorite things to do for Rosie, hiking is on the top of the list.  Show her a trail, especially a mountain trail through the woods, and she is a very happy camper.  Our trips to Colorado are centered on Rosie getting together with her former hiking group buddies and heading up a trail.  This group of remarkable women are in their 60’s, 70’ and 80’s and still going strong.  Here is a photo of the group that went hiking last Thursday:


Rosie is the one with the big smile in the center of the group.

Thursday they went on a trail in the Three Sisters Wilderness area near Evergreen, CO.  Here are some pictures Rosie took along the way.

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After a hard day hiking, it is important to relax in a fitting style; so everyone gathered for wine and cheese at Shari’s home in Conifer.  When I picked Rosie up, she was still floating on Cloud Nine.

While the hiking was going on, I was engaging in one of my preferred activities, playing pool at my friend Mark’s home.  Haven’t played pool since last August at the same place with the same opponent.  Pool is like riding a bicycle, you just get back into it with ease.

Sunday evening we met up with another fulltimer couple and bloggers, Bill and Lynn Greenwade of RV Having Fun at one of the better Mexican Food restaurants in the Denver area; The Morrison Inn in Morrison, CO.  It is near the Red Rocks Concert venue and around the corner from Vandemere Speedway.  Bill and I have similar backgrounds as Safety Professionals in the insurance industry.  We had a great time getting acquainted and learning about each others travel plans for this coming winter.

Monday, Rosie and her friend Herta traveled up to Black Hawk, CO for a little gambling.  Turns out that Mondays and Tuesdays are free lunch days at the casino they left some money at.  Who says there is no such thing as a free lunch?  She even brought home two delicious muffins, compliments of the casino.

Today was chore day, primarily laundry.  I am trying to figure out what happened with our canopy.  The little flipper thingy that is used to extend and retract is flopping around loose.  May have to have a professional RV tech look at that one.  We also figured out the source of “smelly” water coming from the bathroom sink.  After I cleaned out the low point drains and their caps, the smell went away. 

We have changed our plans for the month of September.  We were going to spend a couple of weeks near Idaho Falls, but now will be spending a month at the Snake River RV Park in Idaho Falls.  We are missing some of our IF friends and want to spend some quality time together before we head off to the Oregon Coast.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Another Month Gone By

Well, here we are, three months and eleven days into our full timing adventure.  Since leaving Idaho Falls we have been through Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska.  We are now in Littleton, Colorado at the campground in Bear Creek Lake Park.  This is a very large city park (hundreds of acres) with a lot of amenities.  There are small lakes for swimming and water sports, a long paved bicycle path, hiking paths and the campground with electric hookups for $20 night ($19 for us old codgers over 62).  The sites are well spaced and pretty level.  The campground hosts are a very friendly couple.  Most sites have 20/30/50 amps; ours is 20/30 amps, a fact I discovered after we had unhitched.  I picked the site because it was on the highest point in the campground and it looked good for satellite TV reception.  Since the temps are down in the 80’s and low 90’s, we don’t need both AC units going, so the 30 amp connection is fine.  It is a fine site for the satellite TV though, I got a 92% connection rating, something I seldom see.  We will be here until August 10th.

Made the drive to our former neighborhoods in Bailey and Shawnee yesterday.  Great to see some old friends.  Rosie went to her former hairdresser and looks even more ravishing than ever.  She also is setting up to meet up with the old hiking crew for a hike in the mountains near Evergreen, CO.  While she is hiking, I will be playing pool with my old buddy Mark at his home in Shawnee.

We have been walking every morning.  Here are some pictures from our walk this morning:


At the bridge over Turkey Creek


A long bike path is my kind of trail


Our site looks like it is in the middle of nowhere


But if I turn a little to my right, I can see Home Depot


Saw these two bucks on our walk (look in lower right corner)


That is our rig at the top just right of center

Two of Rosie’s hiking pals just paid us a surprise visit.  Rosie is so excited to be back in Colorado.

Here are the full timing expense numbers for July:

Camping –                           $618 ($19.94 per night)

Diesel Fuel when pulling –  $440

Truck Repairs/Service –      $74

Generator Gas/Propane -     $10

Satellite TV/Radio –            $103

Total for July            $1,245

Thanks for stopping by.