Sunday, November 25, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Weekend at Viejas

This last weekend was a good camp out.  Cool to cold weather, but a good group and lots of good cheer and plenty of food.  Even Viejas came through with a really great seafood meal at a good price.  For veterans there was even a better price.

Of course we were not here

But then again we have a wonderful place to live and we were here

So a good time was had by lots of Mission Bells Clubbers this last weekend.

Steve Hansen and I took a hike up here.  Which was only 20 minutes away.

Of course one of the highlights of any Mission Bells gathering is the food.  This year Karen Rege and Hansen's plus almost everyone else made these meals memorable.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

When Preventive Maintenance Does Not Work

Our Motor Home has just over 100,000 miles on it.  In the time since it was new it has never had to be towed because it broke and could not drive on it's own, until today.  The cause, even though the previous owner had the transmission serviced and put in five year fluid and it worked perfectly, I told the place I store it to do the transmission service and put in the extended life fluid.  When they did the service it stopped working.  And I don't mean the transmission did not work as it should, I mean zilch, the trans is not tranning at all.  When you put it in drive nothing happens.

The service shop has tried replacing the electronic stuff, sent the control panel up to Allison, and now my poor baby had to suffer the ignominious fate of being towed to the transmission shop.  This is not a happy occurrence.  

I will post updates when I find out what is wrong. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

First Picture From France From The World Travelers

Tom Peacock just sent me this.  He said that they had lunch here the first day, and that snails were on the menu, but no one ordered them.

This just in today.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fun, But Not Economical Now

by Eric Odendahl

Who knows what the California gas price for regular will be  after oil companies gouging stabilizes? 
Let’s say in their great generosity they “really bring it down” to $4.25 a gallon.  Traveling in our motor-home  for 400 miles (long day for us) at 7 miles per gallon equals 57.1 gallons.   At $4.25 a gallon,  the fuel cost cost for the day would be $242.68.  Just for the heck of it, add a “moderate” campground fee of 30 bucks to make it $273.
Two eating out would push the cost to much more  than $300, but even if we dined  all day in rig for 20 bucks our daily total comes to $293  in California.
If we took our Prius for 425 miles, we could do it for 10 gallons (we actually always do better,  even 50 on one part of our last Prius highway trip).
Anyway, gas for day would be $42.50.  Add 100 bucks for a moderate motel (might find clean place for less) and the total would be $142.50.
Take the $143 by auto from the $273 by motor-home and the two of us would have $130 to gorge on at restaurants.  Could eat only breakfast and supper, or snack in car until supper.  Whatever.   Big savings.
So, the first thing to do is to get out of California with your motor-home.  Still not great savings, but realize we motor-home folks enjoy many comforts, especially sleeping in our  own beds rather than in motels.
When we retired just 20 years ago last month and took our big trip in the 26-foot Itasca across the U.S., gas was just over $1 a gallon.  (Best mileage for us then about 8 per gallon.) Campgrounds were 10 or 15 bucks. We ate out more than needed, but think we still saved much over  motel living. And, driving fast by auto was 14 to 20 miles per gallon at the time.
Let me know what you think.  (I did not major in math!!)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Met Up With Peacock's In OK

We had the distinct pleasure of seeing Tom and Liz Peacock the a nice KOA park in Oklahoma City a week or so ago.  We went our to a local Indian Casino for a meal and try our hands a bit at gaming.  I was fortunate enough to end up a bit ahead on the slot machines.  In this particular casino if you win a jackpot the machine bings and bongs for 15 minutes handing out 25 cents at a time.  So my last jackpot of maybe 25 bucks took 10 minutes to collect.

I don't have any pictures of our adventure at the Indian casino, but Tom did send me this picture of their rig outside the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina a few days later.

They also met up with Ken and Jean in Ashland within a few days of this photo.

Right after seeing the Peacock's in OK City we went to Amarillo and ate at

And we saw the famous Cadillac Ranch

My steak at the Big Texas was Big and good.  But once past these two attractions what we will remember most about Amarillo was 50+ mpg winds and torrential rains.  Enough so some wet got past our front slide seals and we had a wet carpet for a few days.

We then went to New Mexico.  Albuquerque was a good visit.  No rain and no strong winds.

We then went to the area around Holbrook and some more high desert attractions.

The above pictures are Homolovi Ruins, Little Painted Desert, and La Posada Hotel in Winslow.

We have been in the Presott area for a few days and are going to be back home in a few days.  That is a few days early.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Our Trip So Far

The last post I talked about how I preferred Denver and west to what is east of that in the USA.  It is now about 3 weeks later and I want to enlarge on that.  Almost all of the weather we had east of Denver and back to Ohio was soggy, muggy, flat, and unpleasant.  The people we visited on that part of the trip was a lot of fun.  We went to Chicago.  That is Barbara in the foreground.

Went to a wedding in Ohio

 Saw the motor home hall of fame in Indiana

Went underground in Missouri

Saw and went up the Arch

I actually hit many / most of the 70 mph balls thrown at me.

Barbara and I bought cheese in Amish Country

And we made friends with a Spanish water dog.
We are now back west in Albuqueque NM and it is not raining.  Back home in the West.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Does A Different USA Start At Denver

My father who was a natural born traveler always said "The best part of the USA is Denver and West".  He was born in Los Angeles.  I was born in San Francisco and I agree with him.  But what happens at Denver to make the western parts of the USA different than the eastern?

The change that takes place at Denver is that you come out of the Rocky Mountains and go into the Great Plains.  A bit after you cross the 100th parallel the rain is more reliable and it becomes greener.  You get States like Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio which are nice enough places with lots of people but almost no drama in the scenery at all.  There is no Arches or Canyonland in Ohio.  You do get lots of green small lakes like the one we are camped at now.  But you cannot see past the trees opposite the lake.  Few long distance vistas.  Even in the eastern mountains they are almost entirely covered in dense forest.  So driving down a highway in Maryland looks like driving down a highway in Ohio.  You have a road and trees on either side.

I also like the deserts.  There are no deserts in the east.  If it does not rain once a week it is declared a drought.  Automatic lawn sprinklers are slow sellers here.

There are plenty of nice places to go back here.  I loved visiting Annapolis in the spring.  Bucks County PA when the bushes and trees are blooming.  The village of Newtown PA is completely in bloom the first week in April.  And George Washington did sleep there.  New England becomes a blase with color in October.  Vermont is a wonderful small place to visit and see the small villages.  Or ski or fly fish.  And there are very nice beaches in Florida.  A great seafood in New Orleans.  I have been to all those places and still think the west is by far the more interesting place to live.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

RV Trips and Repairs

OK, it is not a "real" RV trip, a long one at least, until you have spent a day in a repair shop.  Last year our turbo blew and we spent an unscheduled night in Cortez CO.  So today we spent the day in a truck repair shop in Lincoln NE.  Home of the Cornhuskers.  Our bus is now patched up and good enough to go on.  A small little valve that is supposed to bleed off air from the cooling system has failed and it is letting coolant out.  And we blew a dash air hose.  The shop had neither.  So we are using roof air and will not use the aqua hot till we replace the valve.  I think I will stop in Elkhart Indiana and see if one of the big shops there can fix either or both.  While they are doing that I plan to see the RV history museum.

Of the States we have been in so far we liked Utah the best.  Colorado had it's high points, literally.  There are some very nice spots in CO, but I70 is a little too hilly to enjoy driving a motor home on.  The raft ride down the Colorado was pretty cool though.  Then there is NE.  When I come up with something I like about it I will write it down.  We are going to visit the Hurlburt's in a couple of days.  They were friends of ours we met at Foothills a few years back.  We are looking forward to that.  Then on to Chicago and farther east.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Nuttmann's Trip So Far

We have been on the road 10 days so far.  We are in Central City CO.  Nice old town nestled in the trees above and to the west of Denver.  It is 73 degrees, hallelujah.  We have been in very hot weather since we left.  I am not sure if Calico or Green River UT was hotter.  Both showed over 100 on our outside thermometer in the afternoon.  I am afraid after our three days here we will be back in the hot stuff for much of the rest of the trip.  But it is August, so I guess this is expected.

The best things we have seen so far were as usual the National and State parks.  Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and Fremont State Park by Richfield UT.  Here are some pictures of these places.

Fremont was a great place to visit.  More easy to see and walk to Indian (Native American) art than I had ever seen.  Arches was a beautiful display of Red Utah rocks.  We saw a few arches, but many are a hike longer than we could take in 100 degrees.  Canyonlands was also a great place to visit.  Somewhat different than Arches, but more than worth going to see.

Barbara and I went white water rafting yesterday.  Quite an adventure.  We got very wet and had a great time.  We held back though on taking the zip line and the leap of faith (which I renamed the leap of death) but watched other, younger people do those.  Don't even ask me what the leap of faith was.  Nothing to do with religion.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Janet Williams Adds Pictures From Her Recent Trip

Janet has recently gone to Oregon and here are some pictures from her trip.

"The first photo is with a cousin and my brother in Pacific City, Oregon.  The second is part of our family group having a sing-a-long by Devil's Lake near the Oregon coast."