Our New House

It was brought to my attention that we haven’t updated our Blog since 2013. Since we have become stagnant and haven’t really traveled for a while I didn’t have much of interest to post. Not that our life isn’t interesting, there just isn’t much RV Travel going on.

Well recently we have turned another page in our lives. We decided since we like our lifestyle so much that buying a house wasn’t in our plans. However we have pretty much outgrown the RV so…

We bought a Park Model home in the same resort where we have lived for the last 11 years in the motor home. If you are not familiar with a Park Model, it is a small 400 square foot manufactured home. Ours however is a bit more than a simple park model. First off ours is set in the ground so it is ground level, then a 200 square foot addition was added making it 600 square foot overall and the whole thing is stuccoed and the roof is tiled. There is also a 117 square foot building on the property, which serves as a laundry room and a shop. This building is attached to the house by a covered patio with outdoor kitchen. Along with the real residential appliances they topped it off with an air conditioner that can turn the house into a meat locker in the 120-degree Arizona summers. You can see more photos by clicking on the link in the left column.

I have added a link to the photos of our house HERE.

So, although we are keeping the motor home, it looks like we are not Fulltimers anymore.

Best wishes to all our readers and I hope your travels are as enjoyable as ours.

I will leave the Blog up because I know others enjoy reading about our travels.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Billings Montana

Last night we were in Buffalo Wyoming and today we are in Billings Montana. Billings is suppose to be the largest city in Montana, right on the Yellowstone River. In fact we are in the KOA which is right on the Yellowstone River. This is the very first KOA and you would think it would be old and run down, however it has got to be the nicest KOA we have stayed at yet. There are lots of mature trees, so much so that I couldn’t get any satellite TV, the grass is green, the place is well kept, and clean. I am not too impressed with Montana so far. We traveled miles and miles of nothing but barren rolling hills but we have miles and miles to go so we will see what lies ahead. We are staying two nights so tomorrow we will do some shopping and hopefully visit their Wildlife Habitat.

By the way, I just added more photos to the Photos Of Our Journeys link.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Devils tower South Dakota

Today was an easy and enjoyable drive. We left Rapid City around 10:00a and arrived at Devils Tower around noon. What a sight as we came over the hill and saw Devils Tower. The town consists of a very small post office, small gift store with minimal grocery supplies and a snack bar, and the KOA RV Park. The KOA is the biggest thing in town with the campground two gift shops and a restaurant. This is a nice KOA and Devils Tower is right in our back yard. This is the campground where the movie Encounters of the Third Kind was filmed. Every night just after dark they show the movie on the back wall of the office. You can sit and watch the movie and look over at the Tower. Tomorrow we are going into the National Park to get a closer look.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

It’s good to know people

The local long time residents give the best tours. Today we hooked up with some friends we met at one of the rallies we have attended. They have lived in this area all their lives and travel in their motorhome during the winters. I asked Jim what the winters are like around here and he said, “I don’t know. I haven’t been here for about the last 3 winters.” Anyway they took us on a tour of Deadwood and Sturgis today. Jim told us about the days when he used to go into Deadwood and hangout in the bars. He was able to scrounge up enough money to pay the 50 cents for a beer and go upstairs into the brothels. He claims he never had enough money for the brothels but had a good time just hanging around there. We also found out that he is the great grandson of Calamity Jane. Yeah, that’s what I though, a bunch of bull, but he has artifacts at home to back up his claim. Turns out his grandmother is the illegitimate daughter of Calamity Jane. The very one that Calamity Jane tried to claim was the daughter of Wild Bill Hickok. We then went over to Sturgis where Jim took us down Main Street where all the action happens. He explained how the businesses along Main Street close down, put all their merchandise in storage, remove there plate glass windows and rent there stores out to the venders. You could see that a lot of businesses have already cleared out there stores and there were venders booths already setup and in business along the streets. Jim also took us out to some of the bars and campgrounds where all the action will take place. We also got to see the original building where the Sturgis phenomenon all started with about 13 bikers. When we got back to our campground I noticed they have already changed their marquee to “Welcome Sturgis Bikers”. This place will be filling up soon, we will be leaving soon. All this today and I forgot my camera!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Mt. Rushmore Tour

Yesterday sure was a full day. We were picked up at the campground and taken to Fort Hays (the movie set of Dances with Wolfs) for a tour. First thing was a pancake breakfast then on the bus for the tour. We visited Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, and traveled the Needles Highway. The bus driver didn’t stop talking for the whole trip. He pointed out all the spots of interest and told stories of the colorful characters from the area such as Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Custer and Crazy Horse. After the tour we were treated to a Chuck Wagon Supper Show with BBQed and beans served on a tin plate. The band was great and the comedy was so-so. I highly recommend this tour package if you come to Rapid City.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Bear Country

Right next door to our campground is Bear Country. This is one of those drive through wild animal preserves. You drive up to the gates, pay your admission fee and drive right in. Following the road we came across wolfs, elk, and bears. Lots and lots of bears. The elk stand right in the middle of the road and sometimes block the road to where a worker has to come out and chase them away to unblock traffic. You wouldn’t want to upset them in anyway because they have a rack on their head as wide as your car and could probably do some damage. The bear area is similar with bear walking down and crossing the road all around your car. There must be 100 bear in this area. Their in the dens, in the water, rubbing up against the trees and like I said walking right down the middle of the road. I guess it was too hot for the Buffalo because we could see them huddled up in the shade a distance from the road. After the drive through, you have an opportunity to get out of your car and walk around some pens where you can see badgers (snarley mean little buggers), cats of all sorts, and baby bears. The baby bears were of course the main attraction. This was a lot of fun.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Rapid City

We have made it to Rapid City South Dakota. We made a one night stop over half way between Sioux Falls and Rapid City. The drive was a straight shot but very windy. I am real happy the way this Workhorse Chassis handles a strong cross wind. It wasn’t a struggle at all. There is not much on the road between Sioux Falls and Rapid City. We have traveled through forests, bayous, and corn fields. But the travel across South Dakota is nothing but rolling hills of nothing but wheat fields. You can see for miles and not even see a tree.
Of course we got here in time to get setup just before the thunder storm hit. The local news says it should be short and then it will get hot again. We will be here for a week so I will have time to get things cleaned up again. We plan to do a lot of touring and hopefully lookup some friends that live here in Rapid City.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Sioux Falls Park

Well, you can’t go to Sioux Falls without seeing the Sioux Falls. Yes, there is a reason why it is called Sioux Falls. Today we visited Sioux Falls Park while the Motorhome was in the shop (more on that later). This is where the Sioux River comes crashing down over a section of Quartzite stone. They created a park around the falls which was pretty nice. There were a few people just sitting in the park enjoying the sound and sights of the falls and a few kids fishing from the rocks. I guess the locals around here call it there own Niagara but I have seen both and there is NO comparison.

As I said in the earlier post, The motorhome developed a starting problem. I found that it took a few cycles of the fuel pump (key on, key off) to build up the fuel pressure to start it. Fortunately there is a Workhorse shop in town so we buzzed by on one of our outings. They said, sounds like a fuel pump and they can get me back on the road in 1 day. I said how about Monday since we have to be out of the park that day, so the appointment was made. They found a pretty clogged up fuel filter and we decided to go ahead and change the fuel pump since the filter had a lot of crud in it. They had the whole job done in 2 hours. Tonight we are “camping” at the Sioux Falls Wal-Mart and will get an fresh early start in the morning.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Sioux Falls South Dakota

We decided not to make a stop between Avoca Iowa and Sioux Falls South Dakota as we planned. However we did stop for lunch at the point where we had planned to stop for the night. We almost were forced to stop there for a while because the motorhome refused to start on the first 2 tries. Finally on the third is started and everything seemed fine. We traveled the last 100 miles to Sioux Falls without any problems. I decided to leave it running while I went in to register just in case and it was a good thing because when I did shut it off at our site it would not start again. After several tries I called my roadside service and found out that they do not do roadside trouble shooting. They will tow us to the nearest service center. We didn’t feel like spending the night in a service center so I told them I would call them back it I couldn’t figure it out. Well with a little fooling around I got it running. I found no fuel at the engine. The problem is, I don’t know why this is happening. Sounds like vapor lock but I didn’t think these modern engines suffered from vapor lock. We got the last site at the park we in and will stay for 4 nights and relax. We have been through to many states in too short of time lately and need to slow down a bit. The car and the motorhome are so dirty. I can’t wait to get things cleaned up.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Avoca Iowa

This town is like something you would see in a movie. It is a very small quiet country town. There is actually a Drug Store on the corner in town. The park host says the town closes at 10:00p. The sheriff imposed a 10:00p curfew. We only drove 2 hours today. After yesterdays drive I wasn’t ready for another long haul. We are at a County Fairground Campground. We were actually going to stay at a campground across the street but after taking a look at it decided the Fairgrounds Campground looked better. We are on grass under some nice full shade trees with full hookups and all for $10. The only problem is the biting flies. I think if we were across the street we would still have to contend with them. You are on an honor system here. You fill out the envelope and put your money in and slip it into the slot. There is a Camp Host here that keeps an eye on things. He is from Oregon and is really friendly and helpful. He helped me pick out a choice site, helped me back it in and even trimmed a tree branch because he was concerned I would scratch the motorhome. I would really like to sit somewhere for a while but haven’t found any thing worth staying for at the last few stops. For two days in a row now, I placed the satellite dish on the tri-pod, went inside to get the settings and it was right on without any adjustments needed.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Altoona Iowa

We woke up this morning to Dennis. The rains from Hurricane Dennis started about midnight. It was only a gentle rain but steady. It wasn’t until a few miles down the road that we finally broke out and the sky lightened up and the rain stopped. Then is started getting hot again. I decided since we left at 9:00a that we could drive a little further today. What a mistake. I think if it were some nice country roads it wouldn’t be so bad but there was no good way to get here than to take the Interstate. Putting up with trucks whizzing past at 70 MPH and bad roads for over 4 hours just doesn’t work. We stopped for gas and lunch and got here by 2:00p. This is just too long on the road. We don’t have to be in such a hurry. We are now at a park called Adventureland, which is between an amusement park and a casino in a town called Altoona, which is just out of Des Moines, the capitol of Iowa. This is just another overnighter. Oh, by the way, we passed 2 mile stones today. We crossed the Mississippi river heading west and the motorhome turned 10000 miles.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Build it and they will come

We are camped in a corn field for the night. Actually we are in a campground called Hickory Hollow, next to a corn field, in a little town called Utica Illinois. This is only a one night stand and is a Passport America park so we got a full hookup pull through site with 50 amp service for $15 a night. It is a fairly new campground and is really nice. As you can tell we chickened out and decided not to head for Hurricane Dennis. Even though it is pretty much petered out there is still all the rain associated with it. We have had enough rain in the last 6 months.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Bad timing

Our plans were with good intent but our timing is off. While in Niagara Falls we decided (well, I decided) to head on over to Elkhart Indiana and visit some motorhome factories. And while we were at it we will head on down to Kentucky and visit some good friends we have met along the way. Well it turns out that most of the factories have shutdown for the 4th of July week so factory tours are out. It hasn’t been a total loss though. We did visit the RV Museum and are planning to take a tour of Amish farms. There are a lot of RV dealers here, of course, so we have been checking out new motorhomes. Also with hurricane Dennis heading on up this way it looks like the weather in Kentucky is going to be a little hairy. I have come up with an alternative route if Dennis look like too much of a mess. I will decide Monday morning which way we are heading when we hit the road. I guess I should be grateful that I have a choice.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Elkhart Indiana

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Last night we spent the night at a campground in Bowling Green Ohio. The place was pretty nice. It's is a Passport America park and only cost us $13 a night. It is called Fire Lake and all sites have a lake view since all sites surrounding a small lake.
We found out that our LP alarm works yesterday when Susan dropped a container with rum in it on the kitchen floor. It instantly shut off the LP and set off the alarm.

Anyone that knows RVs knows about Elkhart. This is where a large number of major RV manufactures are. As you drive down the roads in Elkhart you have to keep an eye out for the horse and buggies. There are a lot of Amish here. The shopping center parking lots even have parking places for them with posts to tie up the horses. Some of the RV manufacturers use their skills in their cabinetry. We will be touring a few factories and visiting the RV museum.
The drive here was so relaxing. We drove US-6 all the way. Maximum speed was 55 mph as we passed miles and miles of corn and wheat fields. The farms look just as they do in all the pictures I've seen with old red dilapidated barns and silos.

As we work our way back toward the west we are still in the Eastern Time zone. What this means is the closer we get to the Central Time zone it stays light later. It doesn't get dark around here until 9:30. It's hard to get used to.

Monday, July 4, 2005

All quiet on the Eastern front

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Where did everyone go? Today is the 4th on July and this place has cleared out. I guess since most people have to head back to work tomorrow, last night was the big celebration here at the campground. There were fireworks all over the campground for hours. This morning almost everyone packed up and headed home. It is very quiet tonight.
Tomorrow we are heading out. We will spend one night in Bowling Green Ohio then it's over to Elkhart Indiana. We plan to take in a couple of RV factory tours while in Elkhart. Might even leave with a new home. Who knows...

Saturday, July 2, 2005

We are camping

Click on photo to enlarge

This is the first time since we started our Fulltime journey that I have felt like we were camping. We are in a campground In Geneva-On-The-Lake in Ohio for the fourth of July weekend and it is full of campers. Not RVers but campers. We are in a large open grassy area where you just find a spot and setup. There is water and electricity spread through out so if you got here early enough you can at least have power and water. We missed out on all the 30 amp power and all we could find is 20 amp power. There are families everywhere and people out mingling with others and helping each other out. It is a far cry from some of the RV parks we have been in where you might not have any contact with your neighbor other than maybe a friendly wave or a nod. Here you have the sounds of people having fun, kids playing, the smell of campfires, and the sound of fireworks all around. Fireworks are legal here, heck they even sell them at the local Wal-Marts. I think it is going to be a noisy and entertaining weekend, but we are ready. After all the touring of Washington DC, Gettysburg, Hershey, and Niagara, we are ready to just sit for a while and do nothing. This is the perfect place and a good long weekend for that.