Tuesday, November 29, 2016

2016 Adventure Continues/Lessons Learned

 Lessons learned: 2016 adventure continues
*What is the difference between straw and Hay? Still not sure but straw glistens in the sun like gold in the
*Thankful we paid extra for the driver door when the auto retract steps do not work so you have to manually push them up. Only way without a small ladder is the driver door…works like a charm.
*A breaking system for the tow makes all the difference in the mountains. Soooo glad we purchased this at the Newmar International Rally and now we are legal in all states.
*Paper maps really do come in handy when you are lost and there is “no service” in the mountains.
*An apple tree laden with fruit right outside The Rectangle makes for great free snacking.
*Before visiting a favorite restaurant from 10 years ago and even though the outside has the same name you might want to check to see if it has the same owners.
*When the regular customer at the winery recommends a favorite always try it as it may be your favorite too. (yes brought it)
*Cats howling is the most woeful sound and breaks the silence of the night.
*When changing altitude coming out of the mountains one must remember to once again reset the number mattress.
*You know you are in the country when they pull the pickup next to the house to stand on and put the Christmas lights.
*When Mary drives The Rectangle the mpg goes down, nothing new here.
*Nothing dirtier than a dirty Rectangle.
*Learning to play the “pass it on” card game with other RVers at a rally can be fun even for those (David) who do not like games AND the most one can lose is $1.00 is a plus.
*It is a sad day when the bar b que meat at the restaurant only open for a few days is really dry, but then the surprise is the sides were so good you want to come back to get some to take out.
*It is angels sent to give comfort that always surprises us. Lunch with friends not seen for several years and conversation about everything and kids leads to talking about Granville, Ohio and all the unknown of a place no-one has been but will now be home to one of the kids. Then a woman from the next table comes over and says she is sorry but she overhead our conversation re Granville, Ohio and she is from there and begins to glow with the words of how wonderful the town/area and college there is and how lucky anyone would be to live there. See angels everywhere.
*Meanwhile back to the new breaking system, well…alarm goes off going down the road, code err come up and we call the company and they say Oppps not good, it has to be shipped back to the factory to be fixed. Really? We are a month and half from being home and we now have no system so we will (if stopped) not be legal? So, they say, just put it in the tow like it works an if stopped we can say we have a system and they will see it then when we get home to send it back. OK, so we are faking it till we make it back. The good news is we are out of the mountains on flat land.
*When you cross the state line back into Texas it is known you have a been waiting to exhale and the feeling you are “home” takes over even if you are many weeks from being “home”.
*The last week of travel is bitter sweet and that is OK.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Lessons of Utah

Living in a Rectangle
Lessons Learned:

*A great quilt shop makes one jealous that there is not one like it in our hometown. Draper, Utah Thimble and Treads is fabulous. www.thimbleandtreads.com

*A great knit shop makes one jealous that there is not one like it in our hometown. Blazing Needles Knit Shop  www.blazingneedles.com

*There are two parades a day at an RV park, those going out and those coming in.  It is a weird sort of fun to watch those parades and realize you can recognize the old hands and new hands pulling in and especially those trying to back into a space; one can takes bets on how many tries it will take to get it just right.

*There has yet to be any road or highway without construction cones/barrels and road work ahead signs. Not a single one.

*Rexall drugstores are still going.

*Bottle brush pine trees are the oldest tress in most parks and live a very long time, we saw one they claim is 5000 years old? Who on the tour would argue?

*Pretzels are the perfect snack to take the edge off even if the tour bus says no eating, one can sneak a pretzel into ones mouth. They allow water on the bus so all is good.

*There is nothing like an old fashioned root beer float at The Gem soda shop and restaurant in Panguiltch Utah

*What makes one road a byway and another a high way?

*Rocks on windshield not nice, little red gets plugs again.

*Most fields have bee hives

*On our 33rd anniversary we had Elk lasagna made and given to us by our RV neighbors that were back this year to Elk hunt. It was a special gift and excellent along with our broccoli  and champagne.

*Aspen on either side of the road with little red running between as their leaves flutter at a fast pace feels like crowds waiving and cheering us on down the road.

*We have six “rooms” in The Rectangle— the screen porch area in the front of the coach with the two main chairs, the dining area that can seat 4 for dinner or 6 for cocktails, the kitchen small but gets  the food out, the den with large couch (makes a queen bed), the bedroom and closets, two bathrooms and then there is the outside patio area. Each “room” has its own ambiance and gives separation if only mentally. We have fun letting each other know we are “going to the screen porch area”…or I’m in the den…or dinner now in the dining room

*Sheep are good for wool, meat and stopping traffic on the country road.
*Visiting National Parks in Utah in September; English is the most unheard language in the parks.

*BarBQue in Pangultch, Utah is pretty good.

*Now we are off to Colorado

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Lessons continue for 2016 travels

July/August 2016
Lessons Learned:
*At outdoor festivals when people bring their own chairs they always begin to make rows
*Misters at a festival are so nice.
*Cooper mining in Butte may be nearly gone, but it is certainly not forgotten.
*Butte is the birth and burial place of Evil Knievel…  Town was happy when he left (he was a trouble maker) but happy to take him back after he found fame.
*The Irish and their music/dance are well ingrained in Butte as they worked the mines in large numbers.
*Local beer is always fun, easy to find in the travels out west but having to buy in a growler puts pressure on to drink it quickly.
*The lack of wineries in our travels has put our on board stock at risk so local buys will have to be from the store
*Seeing a newborn calf being born in a pasture one pulls over to see the little one standing for the first time and trying to walk to Mom is a testament to mother’s milk
*Never lose your driving skill in heavy traffic as Salt Lake City will put any city on notice as one of the worst
*When making reservations for The Rectangle always check where the trees are…satellite does not like trees.
*Listening to your spouse talking to ATT agent for wifi issues is like listening to a very funny SNL skit complete with foreign accents.
*There are a lot of families that live in the RV parks and follow the job from one place to another especially pipeline workers, data center electricians, speciality mechanics…
*The first day of school is very exciting in an RV park when the school bus stops with a lot of elementary students ready to learn.
*Downtown SLC is super clean but there are a lot of homeless on the streets.
*A great farmer’s market will yield great peaches, corn and fresh baked bread.
*Temple Square in SLC has it all together when it comes to tourism and when you start to see a lot of brides it must be Saturday Temple wedding day. (we were told there were 70+ weddings that Saturday)
*A massage makes it all better…thank you Massage Envy. Now to find that pedi/mani place.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Lessons Learned National Parks

*You know you are in Idaho when there is a fly fishing headquarters in the Walmart.
*It is a problem when the virus that invaded David’s email will not go away and the Geek Squad and ATT get stumped. Finally someone at ATT figured out that all the times we changed our password it did not change…ATT had to change it on their end and finally got it to change.  Bye Bye Mailer Daemon. (Thought David was going to call the President of ATT at some point.)
*Movie popcorn tastes the same no matter where you are.
*There is a lot of land in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming…a survivalist could live off the grid here.
*Worth the money is an app ________ that gives a talking tour as you drive the National Parks. The one for the Tetons and Yellowstone was very informative and like having your own tour bus guide with you. It works if there is no internet service for your device and you have a lot of control over starting and stopping etc. Amazing what $20 will get you.
*Yellowstone traffic has to be well ranked as some of the heaviest on the planet and with road construction, well let us just say when you have a manual drive your left leg gets a real workout.
*The traffic in Yellowstone is worth the trouble to see Old Faithful lift the water in a beautiful pillar.  (it is 47 miles from the north entrance and took us over 2 hours)
*Turnouts in Yellowstone are many and they do help to “get the guy on your tail off your tail” when needed
*The hot springs is a good half mile walk and we were so looking forward to the warm waters. We walked the half mile plus on a crude path along with many others and got to the river. Now to get to the warm water is not a great distance in the water, but the rocks are very slippery, and our footing was not up to getting to that place. We will now know to bring better water shoes next time as bare foot was not working.  Age and balance showed itself as a lot of people just marched on into the river and over the rocky surface to the warm waters, but for some of us this just did not work out. OH MY there is a lot to be said for good knees and hips. There is always tomorrow or the next day?
*The longest line in Yellowstone was at the ice cream vendor in the lodge after Old Faithful gushed.
*Tours from China are very plentiful in National Parks.
*There was no line at the ice cream shop in Gardiner, town just before the North entrance.
*More later!!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

On the Oregan Trail

The Wagon ride was great, a few pics

Lesson learned about helping, it can bring laughs

 Lessons Learned about helping:

*When you hear a knock on your door and the lady next to you has locked herself out of her RV, but there is a window open she thinks she can climb through, but her ladder is not tall enough so having our  tall ladder comes in very handy. Now she is a VERY large woman and David says to be ready I may need to get through the window…but she hosted herself up the ladder and like begins to squirm and squirm trying to host herself up without getting stuck (not sure she was not stuck at this point) and David knows he has to help her by pushing, but where does one put the hand to push? He sees the buttocks, looks at me and I am laughing, he then grabs both her feet in her flip flops and pushed with all his might…Plop, she falls in the window and a minute later gets up and opens her door, she looks a bit worse for wear, but she is in her RV and her dogs did not have to bite me or David (they were not friendly and she said if we went in the window most likely they would bite us) to get the door open. She then says, “I got in that window, my trainer will be so proud of me”. OK then a good laugh was had by all.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Lessons Learned in Wyoming, Idaho and places around…

*It is great to need a sweatshirt in the morning
*It is important to know where to look for readings of electrical voltage otherwise you create a problem you don’t have and the dealer tech trouble shoots with you for half an hour on the phone until he says look at the reading on the electrical panel again because everything seems OK, then duh, you realize you had been reading the wrong meter the whole time….there was no issue, but leaned a lot about all the fuses on the coach.
*When you pull out of getting propane you might need to check to make sure the door is closed tightly otherwise you will have the pilot car for the construction zone of the highway speeding up the side of the one lane traffic beside you waving their arms for you to pull over. Thanks to the nice man who stopped the one lane of traffic to get our door closed.
*Learned to play P├ętanque with a nice couple Jim & Teresa. Teresa is from France and played since she was little. Amazon will deliver our game balls to our RV park this week.
*Trying to print Application for Absentee Ballot on a printer not used for a couple of years will test patience, but all is well as it printed even though no real idea as to what we did to get it to work, machines are like that sometimes and we will hopefully get our mailed in ballot to the address in New Mexico.
*There is not a more beautiful sight then the Grand Tetons. Just when you think you have seen enough you see them from a different angle and it catches your breath all over again.
*Li’l Red is not the greatest mountain climber…that jeep was on our mind
*Ice Cream even when served square cut in a cone at the Swan Valley, Idaho convenience and gas store is great especially freshly made ice cream. They served over 19,000 square dipped cones over the fourth of July weekend.
*Jackson Hole antler park never changes.
*I can walk away from a great looking pair of turquoise earrings
*In every RV park we have stayed when people know we are from Texas someone will ask us about Ted Cruz. One just does not want to get that conversation going as it is not a vacation topic. But the election is a topic of conversation out here.
*Lutheran churches are hard to find in this part of the world.
*Forest fire smoke travels a long ways and there is no mistaking that smell.
*Motorcyclists are having the best time on the mountain roads.
*Looking forward to Yellowstone Park…