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BUYING NEW TIRES

ANY ADVICE REGARDING TIRE CHOICES FOR OUR ALLEGRO BUS, MICHELIN GOODYEAR AND TOYO ALL HAVE A GOOD TIRE BUT THE TOYO HAS THE BEST PRICE BY A LONG SHOT.  EVEN WITH THE MICHELIN FMCA DISCOUNT 8 ZXA2'S WERE OVER 6 GRAND. LEANING TOWARD TOYO'S. HAS ANYONE TRIED THEM?

BRADSIL

BRADSIL

 

Saying good bye is never easy

It's been awhile since our last post, a lot has happened. We left PA on 13SEP17, as planned. Our first stop was Twin Lakes RV center in Lagrange IN. Had a few minor things checked out and serviced. Then it was a short hop down the road to Dan's Hitch in Elkhart to have our Roadmaster Brakemaster installed on our 2016 Nissan Frontier. I bought it in Chandler at the convention and then learned about the M&G system. I would much rather have had it installed but Roadmaster was going to charge me $200 to ship and restock the Brakemaster so I figured since I had it, I would keep it. Had no idea it would take them 6 hours to put the thing on. They did a good job but the guy at the desk, Ryan, should not be dealing with the customers at all. SOB is rude and obnoxious. Would I use them again? Heck no. Then we did a night at Walmart in Gary IN and on to Des Moines, IA. I wanted to stop there because I am still being jerked around by Remco on the disconnect I bought for the truck. Went to a real good shop called Westside Mechanics owned by Bill Bryant. Great guy and a great tech. Really knows his stuff. Took a look at the disconnect and said the remedy is for them to build me a new drive shaft. Remco didn't want to hear that. The issue is still not fixed and I will elaborate on a future post. We then stopped at the Amana Colonies and met up with a fellow youtuber. After a few days it was on to Sioux Falls, SD for our residency. For those of you wondering about the title of this post, here is the reason for it. We go into Sioux Falls on Friday the 22nd and checked in to Yogi Bear's Jellystone campground. This place is like the Chuckie Cheese of campgrounds and just as expensive. We hooked up and settled in for the night. Got up Sat morning and did our usual morning ritual and took the dogs for their walk. On our way back to the coach Penny (the white one) lost control of her back legs and laid down. I was able to get her up on over to the grass while Sweetie Pie went and got the truck. We made a few calls and after describing her symptoms, was told the animal ER was the place to go. So we took her down to the ER and got her checked in. Long story short, she had a tumor on her heart that ruptured, filling her heart with blood. Doc could have drained it but it would have just filled up again. I could see she wasn't getting any better and was actually getting worse. The options were few and none really any good. Then reality set in and I realized I was about to have to say good bye to an old friend. We get very attached to our dogs and she was only 10. This came as a total shock. I could see she was laboring just to breath so I set down on the floor with her while the Doc did her thing. I've had to do this 3 times now and it never gets any easier. I always stay with them till the end because I don't want them with strangers at the end. I want to be the last person they see before they go. So, I said my goodbyes, told her what a good dog she was and told her I would see her again at the bridge. Did I cry? You bet I did, like a freakin' baby. My eyes are misty as I write this. So, now we still have Jack and he is just now settling in to being the only dog. Penny was 10 and Jack is 8. She was always there and now she's not. For a few days he would look for her. He'd go to the back of the truck expecting her to jump out. When I would walk him, he'd stop at the corn field and watch for her. We've always had 2 dogs and now it is like we are out of balance. We will get another dog but not sure when. When the time is right, the good Lord will show us which one he wants us to have. It's always been that way. Saying good bye is never easy. For those of you coming to SD for your residency, there are a few things Dakota Post neglected to tell us. We were told once we get there to make an apt with a certain employee and she would help us with what we needed. To be honest, she wasn't much help at all. When I went for my driver's license, I was asked if I wanted the word "Veteran" put on my license. What I wasn't told was that you need to have something that says you were Honorably discharged. Even though I was, even though I had my DD214 and even though I was 100% disabled (which I'm pretty sure you have to be Honorably discharged to get), I couldn't get it. I told the dude, no big deal. I don't really care if it says it or not. So, if you want "Veteran" on your license, you will have to prove you Have an Honorable discharge. Then it was on to DMV to get our tags. No problem on the truck but to get tags for the coach, we had to show the UVW (unladen vehicle weight). Nobody told us about that but since it was listed on our PA title (which we had because the coach was paid for in full), we thought we were good. Nope, they wouldn't accept it. When I asked why, I was told that "anybody could have put that on there". Not sure about SD but back in PA, we don't write up our own titles. That comes from an office know as the "DMV". I thought that was where I was, same office, different state. I have a real hard time trying to deal with that level of stupidity so I just quoted Arnold and said, "I'll be back". I called Thor to try and get something with the listed UVW on it. The first lady I talked to found it and was going to email it to me. Great. Never got the email. So I had to call in again and the next guy I talked to said he couldn't find anything on it. Pretty much just too lazy to dig very far. I called a third time and talked with a guy who not only found it but emailed me a screenshot of it. I went back to the DMV and showed them the screenshot and was surprised when they said, "Yeh, we can accept that". They wouldn't take it off of an official PA DMV title but they would take it off of an email somebody sent me. So, lesson #2, you will need something showing the UVW if you want to get tags for your coach. Now, for lesson #3. We could have rolled out of here then but since we want to get our gun permits, we have to be residents of the same county for 30 days. What DP neglected to tell us is that you can't apply until after the 30 days and it can take up to a week before you get it. Not sure why that is but after 30 days we wanted to roll south but now we have to wait another week. Being in South Dakota around Nov 1st is pushing it a little too close for us but we have no choice. This was a long one so for those of you that hung in here for it, I do apologize. I'll try to keep them shorter from now on. Stay tuned and stay sharp.

Punxsyjumper

Punxsyjumper

 

Anticipation!!!

This has been a busy past couple of months. Last week was busy and tonight we are kicking back with a cold one after one heckuva busy weekend. Why so busy? Fulltime RV life starts wed morning. We are so ready to roll. First stop will be in Elkhart IN for a few service issues that need taken care of. Nothing major. Then it is on the SD for our residency. Will be there for 30 days and then south to visit Sweetie Pie's cousin in OK. Then down to TX and over to Lubbock. After that, the schedule is verrrry flexible. Maybe down through Las Cruces and over to Tucson. We've been invited for Thanksgiving with friends in Yuma. Then up to Pahrump, NV. I think on the way thru Quartzsite we might do a recon and check it out since will be coming down for the RV show in Jan. Once we get rolling I will be a little more active with the blogs. Going to continue my youtube channel (Punxsyjumper) but instead of doing farmlife like I been doing for the past 10 years, it will be RV life. Even got myself a drone so, watch out! Hope to get some good drone footage of some spectacular sights. Stay tuned and stay sharp. 

Punxsyjumper

Punxsyjumper

 

And Now Comes Irma

As the news of Harvey begins to fade from the news, the next major disaster looms just off the southeast coast of the US.  A hurricane that looks like a buzz saw in the satellite movie clips is making its way toward Florida.  There are other states that may be the location of landfall, Georgia, South and North Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi are all in the cone of uncertainty.  So as I write I'm using Florida but this applies to many other states as well.  The damage this hurricane causes could easily surpass Harvey, Andrew, Katrina and all previous hurricanes in recorded history.  Each storm was different, none was good. If you own an RV, you are ideally prepared to evacuate.  I can't imagine not doing so.  There is nothing you can do to save your sticks and bricks house.  If you are in it when it floods or is destroyed by wind, you are risking your life for no good reason.  You are risking not only your life, those who may have to come rescue you are at risk as well.  If you live in Florida, you likely have a good understanding of hurricanes.  If you don't live there, you should be gone by now. For those not familiar with hurricanes, Irma is a monster.  Wind speeds of over 180 MPH have been registered by the Hurricane Hunters.  Wind gusts over 200 MPH have also been measured.  Those are unencumbered wind speeds, taken over the open ocean, there is nothing to slow the wind.  As Irma approaches land, wind speeds at the surface will be less, but not much less.  But the wind speed isn't just wind.  The wind carries debris.  We're not talking about lawn chairs, we're talking about pieces of houses, 2x4's, roof shingles, broken glass, street signs, entire roofs of buildings, sheets of metal stripped off metal buildings and so much more.  The faster the wind speeds, the more debris and the larger the pieces.  When any of these objects impact your home at 100 MPH, it will cause damage.  Buildings that are sturdy buildings sustain horrible damage during hurricanes.  You don't want to be in the building when that happens. Flooding due to rain, storm surge and runoff in ditches and streams will be severe over a wide area.  This storm covers a huge area, states other than Florida will almost certainly experience heavy rain and flooding.  If your home is flooded and you stayed in it, now you are living in misery.  The water is not pristine, it carries bacteria, chemicals, mud, insects, and more.  There is no normal once water enters you home.  The rainfall almost certainly will not be what Harvey brought.  Unlike Harvey, Irma is in a hurry.  It will be hit and run.  Like any hit and run, you won't believe how much damage can happen in a short period of time.  Following the storm, even if your home sustains no damage, life will be very difficult.  There will be no electric service for many days, weeks or perhaps even months.  There will be no air conditioning or fans.  Supplies like water, groceries, fuel, batteries, toilet paper will all be in limited supply.  Mosquitoes and other insects will swarm over the debris.  An alligator was removed from one of the homes in Houston, Florida will likely see the same.  If you are able to leave, do so.  Do so now.  You can return following the storm and be a helpful volunteer resource instead of being a victim.  Don't wait for officials to order evacuation.  Get ahead of the game, hit the road.  Public officials have to balance many factors before ordering evacuation.  You as an individual have only your own personal safety and your life to consider. Maybe Irma won't hit where you live.  Why take a chance?  Waiting will only make evacuation slower and more difficult.  If the storm misses, you will have had a trip to remember.  We are all rooting for a miss but everyone is planning on being hit.  Hope for the best, plan for the worst.  Good luck to those in Florida and along the East Coast.

TBUTLER

TBUTLER

 

Falling Headliner

I have an 06 Winnebago Vectra. The headliner is falling,I realize this will be an expensive project. That's not as much of a problem as finding someone who is able or willing to do the job. If you have had this problem pleas let me know what you did to take care of it.

olliejr

olliejr

 

Harvey was a Rabbit when I was in High School

The Junior Play when I was in high school was Harvey.  My best friend played the lead role, Elwood P. Dowd.  Elwood, a grown man, had an imaginary friend, Harvey.  Harvey was a rabbit, a six foot tall rabbit, according to Elwood.  I had a minor part, acting was never my thing.  Anyway, these days there is another Harvey and it isn't a rabbit.  Harvey is dumping a huge quantity of rain on the upper Gulf Coast of Texas and now Louisiana.  A stalled storm can unload a huge amount of water on any given spot.  Think of it as a conveyor belt, picking up water from the warm water in the Gulf of Mexico and carrying it to the coast of Texas where it deposits it, continuously, in huge quantities.  Several years ago we had a single thunderstorm that sat right on top of our RV Park in Texas, Sandpipers Resort.  I can say that the thunderstorm sat there for one hour because I looked at the radar record as and after the storm was over.  In one hour this thunderstorm dropped 5+ inches of rain on our park.  The low spot in the park became a lake, we dubbed it Lake Sandpiper.  Our mobile home was on the northern edge of Lake Sandpiper.  Fortunately for us, 5 inches wasn't enough to do any damage but a few other homes sustained some minor damage.  Lake Sandpiper, having no drainage outlet other than a 2" pump, persisted for a week.  That was but a single thunderstorm.  I used to live in a rural area in Missouri.  We had a thunderstorm that dropped 11 inches of rain in one hour.  It was an amazing to watch the water come down in such a torrent.  Immediately, the local river became a rolling current, filling it's banks and then spilling over into adjacent agricultural fields.  Tiny creeks became impassible, low areas flooded and became stagnant for weeks.  Crops died from excess water, people were delayed on their way home but no one died and the area recovered almost without any concern or help being necessary. Harvey is a different matter.  Harvey is a succession of such storms.  And the storms aren't falling on an agricultural area, not even a hilly area, Houston and many of the other towns along the Gulf Coast are on the coastal plain, a wide flat area along the coast of Texas that extends from Louisiana all the way to Mexico.  Drainage is slow in flat areas particularly when they are only a few feet above sea level.  Add to that the fact that much of the Houston area is covered with pavement which doesn't absorb water but sheds it into nearby ditches.  Pavement isn't the only impermeable area, homes themselves have roofs which are by design impermeable.  Who would buy a leaky roof?  So lawns and parks are the primary areas that absorb water when it rains.  Urban areas are particularly prone to flooding.  I can recall a visit to Houston many years ago, on our way from Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio to Fort Bragg, NC.  We were visiting some relatives that lived there.  During our visit a short thunderstorm passed over the area.  Upon leaving, we saw significant street flooding.  Nothing that prevented our travel but we drove through six inches of water in places.  So Houston and it's surroundings are prone to flooding and Harvey is the perfect storm for the area.  I'm not ignoring other towns, many towns further south along the shore took the brunt of the winds of Harvey.  There have been many clips on the news showing the destroyed buildings.  Some towns are nearly completely leveled.  Fortunately the death toll in those towns is amazing low.  Within Houston, the disaster is multiplied by millions of lives.  A city has problems that no other area has.  The density of population multiplies the inconvenience, loss of life, financial loss by millions.  Ability to move the population, evacuate the area, is highly limited by the sheer numbers that are involved.  The after-effects of this storm are going to be sobering.  Katrina and now Harvey have inflicted huge losses and pain on populations in large cities. Anyone involved in disaster planning for large population areas should be alarmed and should be working to re-evaluate their disaster plans.  Metropolitan planning needs to account for population density and evacuation routes and plans need to be studied and improved.  We can do better if we will learn from the past and present.  Our home in Edinburg, Texas was spared.  Harvey hit land far enough north that people staying in our park sent messages via Facebook and other communication letting us know through pictures of sunrises and sunsets and words advising us of no wind, no rain, that all was well in Sandpipers.  In fact, announcements about RV Parks recently have focused on a very few that are taking storm refugees.  I can't imagine a park that wouldn't take refugees from Harvey if space were available.  In the RGV there are about 80 parks that will accommodate thousands of RV's during the winter.  Those parks are largely empty right now and could provide a place for RV refugees to stay.  If you are looking for a place to go with your RV to get out of the way of the clean-up, call any of the parks in the RGV.  With luck you may even get a site that might last through the winter.  There is no doubt that complete recovery will take years.  Tonight I sit in a safe and secure place but I can imagine the intense concern and dread of those in the Houston area.  It's called empathy, a normal human emotion.  Don't fight it, consider your life and what you would feel if you lived in the Houston or central coastal area of Texas or Louisiana tonight.  Our thoughts are with those in the grip of the storm tonight and into the future.  "Lake Sandpiper" April 10, 2015

TBUTLER

TBUTLER

 

Health insurance

Looking to start working remotely in September and was wondering if anyone has or is working from motorhome and what you did to set up laptop/computer to motorhome.  Any information would be greatly appreciated.

kevin1960ward

kevin1960ward

 

Eclipse Success

August 21 was a happy day for eclipse viewers in Riverton, Wyoming.  We stayed in the Riverton RV Park, a Good Sam park right in the town of Riverton.  Riverton was not exactly on the center line of the eclipse but was well within the band of totality.  We were giving up about 8 seconds of totality staying at that location as opposed to setting up at a remote location somewhere.  It was nice to be able to get up, walk out the door and set up to observe the eclipse just outside the door of our motor home.  At sunrise, there was a veil of thin cirrus clouds moving in from the northwest.  The forecast called for occasional smoke from fires in Oregon but we never saw evidence of that on Monday.  We were sharing the campground with many other eclipse observers.  Telescopes were set up at many sites.  It was fun to watch individuals scurrying to set up equipment.  I also was scurrying.  I carry a small telescope, a Meade 5" scope and a large tripod to support it.  I had various camera gear, my still camera is my main tool.  I've been experimenting with video and had a GoPro set up and also a regular video camera.  Neither of the video efforts were useful.  It's a learning process.  An event like the total solar eclipse is not a good time to be experimenting.  With just 2 minutes and 20 seconds for the show, there is no time to make adjustments or change things in mid stream.  So I set those things up and just let them run, hoping for some level of success.  There was a film crew in the campground and they had a compliment of complex, high end cameras to document the corona, the outer layer, of the Sun.  Similar crews were stationed across the US in a coordinated effort to get something like 90 minutes of continuous video of the corona.  There were also observers who had only the solar glasses to view the eclipse.  They were relaxed, lawn chairs set up was the extent of their preparation.  One couple we met was in a rental RV.  They were from Belgium and had made reservations at this RV park in early 2016 as soon as they began taking reservations.  As mentioned previously, we paid a premium fee to stay in the park and we were lucky to get a site following a cancellation by someone who had made reservations long ago.  As part of our fee, we got a number of perks that aren't part of a normal RV park stay.  A pair of solar glasses, a Moon Pie, root beer floats Sunday afternoon and a catered dinner on Monday evening helped give us more for our money and helped build a campground community.  The camp owners were out and about visiting with all their guests and we enjoyed many a conversation with them and other guests.  The partial phase of the eclipse began at 10:40 a.m. with a shout of "first contact" from someone in the campground.  People continued to visit, wandering from location to location, discussing the eclipse, visiting as friends.  Every so often, people put on the solar glasses and looked up to check the progress toward the big show.  A herd of about 30 cows and calves were bedded down in the shade of some trees just across the fence from the campground.  As the eclipse proceeded to about 75% the entire group got up and headed off toward the barn.  We all had a good laugh. As the Sun became a thin crescent, my eye was glued to the telescope.  It gave me the most precise view of the final moments before totality.  As the eclipse became total, I backed away from the telescope and looked up at the eclipsed sun.  The view through the telescope might seem to be a better choice but its field of view would contain only the entire Moon or Sun when at lowest power.  It works fine for the partial phases but for totality, nothing beats the naked eye or a pair of binoculars.  My preference is just the naked eye.  Nothing is like just standing in the shadow of the Moon and looking at the amazing corona.  After a minute or so, I began snapping pictures with the still camera.  I wasn't making adjustments, just taking a number of photos.  Looking around I was able to see Venus high overhead.  I never was able to see Jupiter or any other stars.  I did seem to catch a star or planet in my still photos, I haven't been able to identify it yet.  As totality ended a cheer went up across the campground.  The thin veil of clouds had moved off as totality began and we were able to see a beautiful total eclipse of the Sun.  There followed a period of conversation among all the observers, sharing impressions and feelings about this event.  I had a host of equipment to pack away but that could wait.  There was a tremendous emotional charge that needed to be savored and shared.  Slowly we began packing away our equipment and returning to more normal activities.  Before the following partial eclipse some people began leaving the campground.  Throughout the afternoon, more RV's made their way out of the campground.  In mid-afternoon we left the park in the toad to go in search of eclipse T-shirts.  We were amazed to see traffic backed up in Riverton.  Cars would move from one traffic light across an intersection into line for the next traffic light. We took back streets to the campground in order to avoid the traffic jam.  Later in the afternoon we had a conversation with a fellow camper who had left the campground for home.  They got through town and then encountered a traffic back-up several miles out of town and were down to a crawl, 2 mph or so.  They decided to turn around and stay overnight to leave on Tuesday. We also left on Tuesday morning.  There was no traffic jam in town or on down the road.  Traffic was almost certainly a little heavier than normal but on a 80 mile stretch of two lane highway we seldom had more than two or three vehicles behind us.  We were never slowed down by slower traffic, plenty of opportunities to pass when we needed to do so. The next total solar eclipse will occur in 2024.  That eclipse path crosses from Mexico into the US near Del Rio, Texas and cuts across the country to the northeast, exiting into Canada from Maine.  Once again there will be millions of people who will gather to observe the total eclipse of the Sun.  We found the remote area of Wyoming to be an easy place to get to the path of the total eclipse.  We were far from large cities, the nearest were Salt Lake City and Denver.  We were at least a two hour drive from the nearest interstate highway.  This made for an area where crowds were manageable.  We were pleased with the readiness of the small communities to serve the influx of eclipse watchers.  The local merchants were promoting and accommodating eclipse crowds.  There were activities in the park, a shuttle was set up to transport people from one location in town to another.  Thinking of the next solar eclipse I don't think there will be a place this remote.  The population of central Texas, San Antonio, Austin, Temple and Waco are all just off the line of totality so there will be huge crowds headed for west Texas to observe.  To the north and east there are no good remote locations, huge population centers will be nearby along the entire eclipse path.  Let's hope that some good lessons were learned from this event.  Start planning for the next if you didn't get to see this one.  Make reservations early and hope for good weather.  

TBUTLER

TBUTLER

 

Question regarding shore power to home

I just purchased a 2008 42' Tiffin Phaeton tag axle. I am installing an outlet in my home to plug into when the coach is not in storage.  My ? is, should it be 120  or  240  50 amp? Also, should the battery switch be on when plugged into shore power to keep the batteries charged?? Thanks for your advice

MALMBKA

MALMBKA

 

Wisconsin to Florida in mid November 2017

We are members and this November we will again be driving our 28' Class C to Florida from Wisconsin. We expect to leave Milwaukee around November 15th. We are flexible on our departure date and route south. We would appreciate any feedback or suggestions from other members regarding fun stops during this journey. We like Wineries, Craft Beers, barbeques, civil war sites, lakes, rivers and waterfalls. Thank you in advance for your help.

bobts

bobts

 

Riverton - Our Eclipse Stop

This will be a short note to let all know where we are located and what conditions are in Riverton, WY.  On Saturday we set out from Fort Morgan, CO for Idaho.  We spent Saturday night at Little America, a fuel and food stop on I-80 in SW Wyoming.  Sunday morning I checked weather conditions along the line of totality and found the forecast for Riverton, WY to be about the same as Boise or Pocatello, Idaho.  Since Riverton was closer to Colorado where we would return, we decided to head for Riverton, WY. This morning I am up because the internet here was not accessible.  As I explained to a fellow camper, the local system was probably designed to handle 1000 connections and now it is getting hit with 10,000 connections.  Nothing works when the system is overloaded.  Anyway, back to Sunday morning.  As we left I-80 in Green River, Louise called a campground in Riverton.  They had a cancellation and we got a full hookup site.  We arrived about 2:30 p.m. and were welcomed to our eclipse home.  There are several astronomers in camp.  One couple we've met is from Belgium.  Our rate for two nights stay was well over double the rate posted on the office board.  The fee includes a pair of eclipse glasses, a mini moon pie (label says since 1917 how appropriate, 100 years old this year), tickets for a root beer float here in camp and also a Sunday night dinner.  So we get more than just a site.  The forecast here calls for clear skies but there will be patchy smoke from the fires in Oregon.  I saw some of that last evening.  Boise has clear skies - sunshine, no mention of smoke.  Pocatello has patchy smoke.  Casper, WY which was also on our option list has patchy smoke.  Our other option for viewing was to stay in Colorado at Fort Morgan and then drive to Scottsbluff, NE.  There the skies are forecast to be sunny.  When we made the decision to leave Colorado on Saturday the forecast called for storms in Scottsbluff.  We should see the eclipse, perhaps not under the best skies but it will be visible here.  There are a whole set of activities going on in the city park and the town is positively humming with activity.  There is even an eclipse shuttle.  They were well prepared for the crowds, everyone here seems to be well informed.  The casino in town has lots of dry campers and they have a program for those saying with them.  There is a county-wide newspaper with a schedule of all the activities going on and information about viewing the eclipse including times for a number of locations within the county.  It's going to be a memorable day.

TBUTLER

TBUTLER

 

Viewing the Total Solar Eclipse

It is now three days until the eclipse.  In fact as I write this, in 72 hours it will be over.  You either get to see it or you don't.  The partial eclipse will be visible in all 50 United States and Canada.  All of Mexico and Greenland will see the eclipse as a partial eclipse.  Even the countries in Central America and the northern half of South America will see a partial eclipse.  Western Africa, Spain, Great Britain and Iceland will see a partial eclipse.  Even eastern Russia will see a partial eclipse.  The only people who will see a total eclipse of the Sun are in that narrow ribbon that stretches across the US from Oregon through Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, a teeny tiny corner of Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, a tiny corner of Georgia, the western tip of North Carolina, and South Carolina.  For the rest of the world it is a partial eclipse or no eclipse at all. As the eclipse begins, everyone will see a partial eclipse as the Moon takes the first tiny bite out of the Sun.  It will take about an hour for the Moon to move to a position where it can cover the entire Sun.  That will be the total eclipse, the Moon completely hiding the Sun.  People on the west coast of the US will see that happen at about 11:17 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time.  Twenty minutes later, people in western Wyoming will see this happen at about 11:37 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time.  Twenty three minutes later totality occurs at about 1:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time as the shadow of the Moon sweeps past Grand Island in central Nebraska.  Twenty minutes after that, the shadow sweeps over western Kentucky at 1:20 p.m. Central Daylight Time.  Twenty seven minutes later the shadow sweeps off the Atlantic coast of South Carolina at 2:47 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.  Just ninety minutes from from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean.  After the total eclipse exits the east coast of the US, there will be another hour or so of partial eclipse as the Moon slowly uncovers the Sun.  The pattern for those in the ribbon of totality is eclipse starts - partial eclipse - total eclipse - partial eclipse - eclipse ends.  The whole process will take about two hours, depending on where you are it can be a little shorter or a little longer.  How long will totality last?  Just two minutes for those on the west coast of Oregon.  By the time the shadow reaches Wyoming the Moon will cover the Moon for almost two minutes and 30 seconds.  On the coast of South Carolina the Moon will cover the Sun for two minutes and 34 seconds.  In western Kentucky totality will last just over 2 minutes and 41 seconds.  Do you have your eclipse glasses?  Are they safe?  There are certifications on your glasses.  Mine don't have the ones publicized on the Weather Channel but they were recommended by NASA so they are good.  Don't know?  There are other alternatives.  A #14 welding glass will work for viewing the Sun.  If you can see anything through your glasses, they are not good solar glasses.  You can use your solar glasses to view the Sun right now.  Simply go outside, put the glasses on and look up at the Sun.  What will you see?  You should see a slightly bluish disk that is the Sun.  You may be expecting something really big but it won't be giant in size.  We think of the Sun as being very large and it is, 109 times the diameter of Earth. Think of a necklace.  Now imagine a necklace with beads made of Earth size beads.  There would be 109 Earths on that necklace and it would stretch not around the Sun but straight through the center.   If the Sun was a fishbowl one million three hundred thousand Earth's could fit into that fishbowl.  When you use your eclipse glasses you will be looking at a disk that appears to be about as large as our Moon.  In fact it will appear exactly as large as our Moon which is why our Moon can just cover up the Sun.  If you don't have solar glasses you can still watch the eclipse using a small mirror like a compact mirror.  A mirror two or three inches in diameter works just fine.  The mirror can be square or rectangular and will work very well, just as good as a circular mirror.  Hold the mirror in direct sunlight and reflect the sunlight onto the side of a building or an RV.  A white or light colored vehicle or building will work best.  If you stand close to the building the image will be bright but small.  If you stand further back, the image will be larger but not as bright.  The geometry of t, his is that the light should be shining on the mirror and the reflection should be falling on the shaded side of a building or RV.  At a distance of 100 feet you should have an image about 4 feet in diameter.  If you get tired of holding the mirror, tape it to a tripod, a fence post or other support.  Don't look into the mirror, that is just like looking directly at the Sun.  Using this technique, you may even be able to see sunspots if there are large ones on the Sun's visible light surface.  The method everyone knows is to use a pinhole to project an image of the Sun.  In the example above, the mirror is doing the same thing as a pinhole but on a larger scale.  Big pinhole, big image.  A big pinhole will yield a blurry image.  The mirror method will yield a slightly blurry image but this is not noticeable when viewed from twenty feet away.  With a true pinhole viewer, you will get a tiny image of the Sun.  You can make it longer by making the box you are using longer.  The typical diagram shows something like a shoebox.  The image will be about 1/8 inch in diameter.  Lengthen this to a longer cardboard box and you get a larger image.  A sheet of white paper where the image falls will make the image appear brighter.  If you can find a refrigerator box, you can carry this to an extreme.  Cut a small hole in the box so people can insert their head into the box.  This will keep the box dark.  Put paper on the opposite end from the pinhole where the image will fall.  Cut a one inch hole where the pinhole will go.  Cover that hole with a piece of aluminum foil.  Use a pin to puncture the aluminum foil to get a nice pinhole.  If the box is really dark inside, you will have a nice size image that be seen.  If not bright enough, make the hole slightly larger using a pencil point or other similar size object.  The pinhole is toward the Sun.  Turn the box so that the light coming through the pinhole falls on the paper at the other end of the box.  Turn the box so the paper is completely shaded from direct sunlight.  There should be a small dot on the white paper.  That is an image of the Sun. A natural variation of the pinhole projector occurs when sunlight filters through the leaves of a tree.  Look in the shadow of a tree and you may notice that the spots of sunlight coming through the tree take on a crescent shape as the eclipse proceeds.  These are images of the Sun.  Sometimes with trees you will see hundreds of images, some overlapping.  This works best where the shade is falling on a flat smooth surface like a sidewalk, a parking lot or a porch or deck surface. The third method is much less desirable in my judgment but it does offer a guarantee of seeing the total eclipse no matter where you live.  If you are unable to see the total eclipse in person, this represents the next best thing.  You will be able to watch the eclipse and hear it described for you in some cases.  The Weather Channel will cover the eclipse from beginning to end from a variety of places along the line of totality.  Local TV stations are likely places to get live coverage of the eclipse.  The internet will no doubt have many images and perhaps some live coverage as well.  You can also look at images of total eclipses by searching the internet.  You can see pictures from long ago and from many locations on the Earth.  There will be no comparison to the excitement and the drama of standing in the Moon’s shadow and watching the actual eclipse.  It would be like going to the library and looking at a book of birds and then claiming that you had a “Big Year.”  Setting a record for the number of birds seen in a year.  Shoot, why not go for a “Big Day” and see all the birds in the world in one day?  I have no doubt that given the resources of the internet, it could be done.  This is why I’ve encouraged those who can to get to the path of the total eclipse.  It will never get easier or less expensive than when it comes to us here in the US. Now, for those who are going to see the total eclipse some special instructions.  These apply only to those who are within the ribbon of totality described above.  Once the Moon completely covers the Sun you can remove your glasses and look directly at the dark "hole in the sky."  My first impression of my first total eclipse was that someone had pulled a cork out of the sky leaving a deep dark hole where the Sun used to be, an intense dark spot where the Sun used to be.  Around it will be the corona of the Sun.  The corona is the outer atmosphere of the Sun.  It is safe to view the corona without viewing glasses or other eye protection.  The corona may be a uniform circular veil around the eclipsed Sun, fading with distance until it is no longer visible.  Depending on solar activity, sunspots and solar prominences the corona may be quite irregular with spikes and gaps.  I’ve already described in a previous post the planets Venus to the west of the Sun and Jupiter to the east of the Sun which will be visible during totality.  For those with a partial eclipse you can look for these planets by blocking out the sun near its maximum and looking to the west and east of the Sun for Venus and Jupiter.  Those viewing the total eclipse will get the bonus of seeing a number of other bright stars in the sky.  Orion’s bright stars, Rigel and Betelgeuse, Sirius, the dog star and Pollux and Castor in Gemini may all be visible to the west of the Sun.  East of the Sun you may see Spica in the constellation Virgo, Antares in the constellation Scorpius, Vega in Lyra will all be to the east of the Sun.  Here are a few of the things you may notice during the eclipse.  In the beginning, the changes will be slight and if you are far from the center line of the eclipse you may not notice much at all.  As the eclipse deepens, the nature of the light will change, shadows will become less sharp, the bright light fades and the shadow seems less dark.  The temperature will drop, birds will sing like they do in the morning and evening before going to roost.  Some birds will go to roost in areas where the eclipse is near total or total.  The wind speed may drop and possibly become calm.  The reverse will happen as totality ends and the Sun returns to the sky. As the totality begins and again at the end you may see Baileys Beads as sunlight dances through the valleys between mountains on the Moon.  The first direct glimmer of sunlight as the Moon covers or uncovers the Sun is called the diamond ring.  It will be a fleeting moment, it signals that you must look away and put your glasses back on.  Take a breath and reflect on two of the most amazing minutes of your life.  You have stood in the shadow of the Moon and seen the Sun like few other people have.  To ancient people it had various meanings, often described as fear and dread.  It was frequently thought of as an evil omen.  Ancient people feared the Sun might never return.  Now, we understand what is happening.  We can enjoy the eclipse as a unique and rare natural occurrence.  Such are the benefits of the age of enlightenment.  

TBUTLER

TBUTLER

 

Eclipse Notes - Six Days to Go

Yesterday Louise and I played golf.  As we started the back nine, I noticed the last quarter Moon high in the western sky.  You can see the Moon in the morning sky before sunrise.  It will be visible in the morning sky and even in the afternoon for the next few days.  As it creeps closer to the Sun, it will be more difficult to find, a smaller crescent in the brightest part of the sky, near the Sun.  On Thursday morning the waning crescent Moon will be above and to the right of a bright object in the pre-dawn sky, the planet Venus.  Look again on Friday morning and you will be able to gauge how far the Moon travels in it's orbit in one day.  The Moon will still be above and right of Venus but much closer on Friday Morning.  By Saturday morning, the Moon will be almost directly below Venus.  You would have to look very closely on Sunday morning to find the thin waning crescent Moon.  Not only will the Moon be just over 1 day's travel in it's orbit from the Sun, you would only be able to see it in the light of dawn if you had a near perfect eastern horizon.  Any hills, buildings or trees will block your view.  On Monday, eclipse day, if you are in that narrow ribbon where the total eclipse will be seen, you should be able to find Venus to the west of the Sun.  Even those seeing a near total eclipse (partial eclipse) may be able to find Venus as the maximum eclipse occurs at their location.  If you know where to look, the planet Venus is visible in full daylight if it is far enough from the Sun in the sky.  If you can find the Moon during the day on Thursday you may be able to use it as a guide to viewing Venus during full daylight. There will be another planet easily visible during the total eclipse.  That planet is the largest of the planets in our solar system, Jupiter.  Jupiter is visible in the evening just above the horizon in the western sky.  So Jupiter is east of the Sun.  During the Eclipse you should see Jupiter east of the eclipsed Sun.  Those with a deep partial eclipse may also notice Jupiter to the east of the Sun, not far away.  If you are looking for the planets during a partial eclipse.  Take off you eclipse glasses, block the sun with your hand, a piece of paper or another object.  Be sure to keep the Sun covered as you search the sky near the Sun for Venus and Jupiter.  Never look directly at the Sun without eclipse glasses. We are camped on the high plains in Eastern Colorado.  Our weather has featured fairly frequent afternoon and evening storms.  This has been pretty consistent since we arrived on August 1.  Areas where we plan to go had thunderstorms early this morning.  The forecast for now seems to be improving for those areas (Casper, WY or Scottsbluff, NE).  As eclipse day approaches I'll be watching the weather, on my smart phone and tablet as well as on the weather channels (WEA - The Weather Channel and WN - Weather Now).  For the moment, we are planning on a car trip from our current location but if we have to travel further for clear skies we may leave the campground on Saturday or Sunday.  Given two days we could roam from western Oregon to eastern Missouri.  That is what I want, maximum mobility and the clearest skies I can find.  I wish clear skies and good viewing to all.  

TBUTLER

TBUTLER

 

Our intro

Just a quick introduction to us. After some encouragement from another blogger (thanks Tom) I'm going to try this blogging thing and see where it goes. After 10 years of homesteading in the western PA mountains, we are switching up from growing our own veg and raising our own meat to selling it all and going full time in a 40' pusher. We bought the coach last year and left in Nov 2016. We went through OH and visited a buddy in KY. Then we went to TN and visited more friends. From there we headed to Lafayette LA to visit a good ol Cajun boy and his lovely bride. We were lucky enough to be invited to spend Thanksgiving with them and their family. From there it was west through Houston and on to San Antonio. Got to see the Alamo and then on to Lubbock to visit an old Army buddy that I hadn't seen since 1981. We planned on spending Christmas with them but after the temps got down to 8 degrees in the evening, we had an early Christmas dinner with them and hit the road. From there it was up to 4 corners and then over to Monument Valley. Snow chased us out of there as well so we wound up in Kingman AZ. From there it was on to Pahrump, NV where we spent the winter. Great place, going back this winter. From there we went to Bullhead City AZ and I attended the first RV Basics class in Chandler AZ and spent a couple days at the convention. From there it was up to Cedar City UT to check out some of the canyons and scenery. Then we left for Spokane WA and wound up replacing an alternator in Boise ID. I know the Camping World's get a bad rap but we did have a great experience at the one in Boise ID. Turns out they are the #1 rated CW in America. If you go there, ask for Claudio and tell him the Volkswagon guy sent you. Got to Spokane and spent a week. Then up through Priest River and Sandpoint ID. Over to MT and took Rt 200 down to 95 then down to Missoula where we got on 90 east. We did, Custer battlefield, Devils Tower and then the Black hills. After that we hit the Badlands and then headed back home. We are now wrapping up a few things here and planning on heading back out in Sept. Going to SD for our residency and then south. for the winter. We hope to keep everybody up to date on our route so if you see we are going to cross paths, by all means give us a holler and let's get together for a cold one. Stay tuned and stay sharp.

Punxsyjumper

Punxsyjumper

 

RV Yoga

At the Monaco International Pre-Rally for FMCA 2017 in Indianapolis, Louise and I looked at a nice used coach.  It was a 2008 Monaco Signature in beautiful condition.  Louise loved it, very nice inside and out.  I really liked it also but the price, the age and the 45 foot length were a problems for me.  We ended up walking away from the deal.  I told Louise that I now had a huge budget for making “home improvements” on our 2004 Windsor.  So, I started by ordering something I had seen on the Signature.  It had two pass-through storage bays, just as our coach does.  Both those bays had slide trays.  We have one slide tray and I have often thought about adding a second.  At the FMCA convention I found one vendor offering slide trays for storage compartments.  I talked to them, got prices that didn’t scare me away.  I went back to our coach, measured carefully, and then went back to the SlideMaster booth and placed an order.  It arrived on Tuesday, a freight shipment, on a huge 18 wheeler.  Slide Master coordinated the delivery with the Emerald RV Park in Fort Morgan, Colorado where we are currently staying.  The truck driver very generously agreed to unload the slide tray alongside our coach.  So, there it sat, 229 pounds shipping weight including the 42” x 8’ pallet.  I unwrapped it, operated the slide, looked at the hardware supplied, and began moving it toward its eventual home.  Everything had to be unloaded from the compartment.  Piece by piece I moved everything from the compartment. With the slide extended, the opposite end was easier to lift.  I set it into the open compartment.  Then I moved the slide to the opposite end, making the far end from the coach lighter and lifted it, sliding it into the coach.  I scooted it this way and that way until I had it positioned so it would slide both ways with the desired clearances.  In specifying the vertical position, I had given them the height of the lip on the storage compartment, 2 ¼ inches.  The sliding tray needed to clear that lip.  They supplied 2 inch aluminum block shims for each mounting hole and also one ¼ inch aluminum block for each mounting hole.  Unfortunately, the desired shim that was needed to elevate the sliding tray was 1 5/8 inches and there was no way to get to that with the shims they provided.  I ended up using a wood 2x2 plus some 1/8 inch stock that I had on hand.  I wrestled the 8 foot 2x2 under the rails on each side of the tray. I drilled holes in the 2x2 shim and through the compartment floor at each end of one rail and anchored the tray in place.  A check confirmed that everything cleared the doors, the position was good.  Everything that fit in the compartment had to be stored for the night (we’ve been having frequent rains) so I reloaded the compartment.  Good news, everything fit just as before. The next morning I’m off to Ace Hardware for bolts, nuts and washers.  The two 3 inch bolts I used the previous day seemed too long so I got a set of 2 ½ inch bolts.  I set about drilling holes at each of the pre-drilled locations.  The first bolt went in the hole and it was too short.  Back to Ace Hardware, longer bolts.  When I drilled the holes, the standard 3/8 inch drill was too short, I made do with the 5” bit by inserting the bit only as far as absolutely necessary to get enough length and even at that the drill chuck was contacting the rail of the slide tray.  I forgot to get a longer drill bit so it was back to Ace Hardware.  Before the project was complete I was on a first name basis with the checkout clerk.  I finished inserting the mounting bolts on one side of the tray on the first day.  Day two I unloaded everything in the compartment – again.  I crawled back into the compartment and began working on the other side of the tray, drilling holes and inserting bolts in those holes.  I’m working in and out under the storage compartment doors.  The slide tray has cross members so I’m laying over the cross supports and maneuvering in limited space.  Every move is twisting and stretching, craning my neck to see through my glasses, using the mini-vacuum to clean up the drill shavings.  Once all this is done I have the bolts in place.  I can put the nuts on the lower side of the end bolts myself, working the top of the bolt inside the compartment and putting the washer and nut on under the coach.  I even managed to do the second on one end of the tray.  The rest will require Louise working from above, holding the head of the bolt stationary while I put the nut on below.  So now I’m underneath the coach on pads, pinned between the gravel below and the coach above.  I’m putting silicon caulk on the washers to seal the hole from the bottom.  Maneuvering a caulking gun is never easy for me but doing it laying on my back under the motor home, well, let’s just say I was in danger of being caulked permanently to the motor home.  I can maneuver all the way to the center but everything is limited, stretching, trying to see what I’m doing all the while.  We got it done, the whole thing is in place and bolted down, ready for use.  So, I reload the tray, everything back in place. “So, what does this have to do with Yoga?” You ask.  Louise loves to watch Rachel Ray each morning.  This morning Rachel Ray had a guest on the show.  She was young and an author.  It was a promo for her book on Yoga.  She loves Yoga and she was demonstrating Yoga moves that you could do while reading a book, watching TV, vacuuming the house and many other ordinary situations.  At one point while watching the show, I mentioned that this reminded me of my last few days of working on the slide tray.  I said, “RV Yoga.”   Louise laughed and said, “The topic for your next blog.”

TBUTLER

TBUTLER

 

eddy

anyone ever tow a 2008 Honda accord with a dolly, any problems?

eddyjtri

eddyjtri

 

Best Supporting Actor: Our Moon

Look up at the sky tonight or any night in the next few days.  The brightest thing in the sky is the Moon.  Our Moon will play a key role in the coming total solar eclipse.  Between now and the 21st of August, the Moon will move from its current position, slowly closing in on the Sun.  On August 21 the Moon will slide between Earth and Sun, casting its shadow on Earth.  You can watch this drama starting right now.  If you look at the Moon in the next few nights, you will notice that shortly after the Sun disappears below the western horizon you can turn to the eastern horizon to see the Moon rising higher into the sky.  Continue to watch every night, you will notice that the Moon is closer to the horizon each night at sunset.  Next week if you look for the Moon it won't be in the sky until after sunset.  At the same time you will notice that the Moon changes in appearance, becoming fully lighted, full Moon.  A few nights later the Moon will begin to darken along one side and you will have to stay up later to see it in the sky.   All of this can be quite mysterious until you think about what is happening in three dimensions.  At this point the show becomes much more exciting.  You will be able to see the Moon in the morning sky before sunrise.  Watch carefully each day as the Moon moves closer to where the sunrise is occurring.  In the days just before the total solar eclipse, a thin crescent Moon will be poised in the eastern sky above the sunrise point.  You will have to look very carefully to find it in the eastern sky on August 19.  Few people will be able to find the Moon on the morning of August 20 but if you have been watching you will have a real good idea where it is hiding in the glare of the Sun.  On August 21 the invisible Moon will slowly reveal itself as it slides between Sun and Earth.  Of course we won't be seeing the familiar Moon we are used to seeing.  During the eclipse we will see it's silhouette as it moves between us and the Sun.  If you are fortunate enough to be within the ribbon of totality, the Moon will slide across the face of the Sun and for just a few precious seconds the Moon will fit exactly over the Sun.  Then just as fast as it moved in front of the Sun it will retreat, slowly exposing the full face of the Sun.  Once more, the Moon will become invisible.  By the evening of August 23 or 24 you will once again see the Moon in the night sky. When it makes it's reappearance, be sure to give it the applause it deserves.  That wonderful total solar eclipse you saw was brought to you by the greatest supporting actor of all time, our Moon.  If you watch each night and morning until the eclipse you can also challenge yourself to think in three dimensions about what you are seeing.  See if you can keep track of where the three actors in this play are each night.  Earth, Sun, Moon in a dance of the centuries.  The show never ends.  Follow it every night, just as your ancestors did. 

TBUTLER

TBUTLER

 

The National World War I Museum

We visited the National World War I Museum in Kansas City, MO this week.  The memorial was built immediately following the World War.  It was known as The World War at the time because there wasn't a second one and everyone hoped there would never be another one.  Of course today we know that wasn't the case.  There has been a second world war and a succession of other wars of smaller scale, revolutions, regional wars, proxy wars between world powers, a never ending sequence of violence between countries continues today.  We are now in the 100 year anniversary of many of the final events of World War I.  With that much time to reflect on the events that led up to the war and all the subsequent events, a clear analysis can be done.  The memorial built in 1921 has been completely reworked to be more than a memorial, it is now a first class museum.  While the war seems quite distant, Louise and I found the events and lessons of the war to be very relevant to current events.  The introductory film explores the events and causes leading up to the war.  The museum documents every aspect of the war from the battle conditions in various battlegrounds, the countries involved, the weapons used, the heroic acts and the human suffering of those involved in the war and those caught in the middle of the war.  At the present time, there is a traveling exhibit that includes among other things, the actual declaration of war signed by Woodrow Wilson.  To read the words and realize the tremendous commitment putting the signature on that document would take is quite sobering.  If you are in the Kansas City, MO area this summer, stop by to visit this outstanding national museum.

TBUTLER

TBUTLER

 

RAIN STAINS ON CEILING

I FOUND THE SOLUTION, TO THOSE NASTY RAIN STAINS ON THE " CEILING" CARPET... FOLEX STAIN REMOVER.  IT'S HARD WORK BUT IT DOES WORK. SPRAY IT ON. THE SCRUB IT WITH ANYTHING THAT WON'T HURT THE CEILING, THEN WIPE IT OFF WITH PAPER TOWELS. YOU WILL USE A LOT OF PAPER TOWELS SO BE PREPARED.

KANUK LADY

KANUK LADY

 

Rally Report

We are in rally mode.  We do this every two or three years.  It is a fun thing to watch the coaches gather, a small city literally pops up almost overnight.  Thousands of people bring their houses, whether full timers or just camping for the week, they have almost all the comforts of home.  And, at the end of the week we will all scatter to the four points of the compass and the city will just disappear - poof! Our rally attendance began last week.  We were one of the last arrivals at the Monaco International Pre-Rally in Celina, Ohio.  Monaco International is a chapter of FMCA, in this case the chapter is open to owners of all the Monaco family of coaches, including Safari, Holiday Rambler and Beaver.  We like their pre-rally before an FMCA Convention and this one lived up to our expectations.  We arrived Wednesday, July 5, in time for the 4th of July Picnic.  Many gathered earlier in the week just for the chance to sit around and visit informally before the actual rally began on the 5th.  By the time we arrived, most of the coaches were already parked.  There had been significant rain so they were being quite selective with the parking.  Even so we were directed to drive across a field up to a road on the far side.  As I did so, I could feel the coach lugging in the soft ground.  I kept a steady foot on the accelerator and managed to pull up to the road. More rain was forecast so after seeing some of the coaches that had arrived earlier, now with wheels sunken well into soft soil, I went in search of lumber to place under my rear wheels.  At Menard's I purchased two 3/4 inch plywood pieces 2 feet by 4 feet.  I also purchased four 2x12's four feet long, one for each tire.  The 2x12's supported the tires while the 3/4 inch plywood under the 2x12's kept them from sinking into the ground individually.  I now had a 2 foot by 4 foot pad to put under each rear dual.  At this point let me point out our coach has air leveling only, we have no jacks which could be used to raise the rear of the coach.  So I pulled forward far enough to put the pads behind the wheels and backed onto the pads.  It worked, I was solid, for the moment.  The front wheels sunk in some but being near the road, the soil was more solid there.  I could move them if I had a solid surface for the drive wheels. By the end of the rally on Sunday, the whole assembly on the left rear had sunk into the ground about 3 inches.  Still, the tires were now on a solid surface.  It rained several times more during the rally, such that there were large puddles in the street which weren't gone by Sunday, our planned departure date.  Saturday afternoon as festivities were winding down, I made a run to Menard's and picked up two pieces of 3/4 inch plywood, 2 feet by 8 feet and four 2x12's six feet long.  This would give me additional support as I pulled off the pads I was parked on.  I was certain enough that the wheels would just sink into the now saturated soil when I tried to pull out if I didn't have some support under them.  Part of the convincing came from watching other coaches being pulled out by wreckers.  Louise described our departure from our parking spot as the Egyptian method, kind of like moving stones for the pyramids.  Place a set of boards in front of the tires, pull onto them, move the set that were under the wheels ahead, pull onto them, move the boards again.  By then we were close enough to the road to put the short 2x12's in front of the tires and the plywood in front of that.  I accelerated firmly until the tires were near the end of the plywood and then eased off to let the rear tires "coast" across the last of the soft soil.  The left rear was running on mud and the tires pushed mud up eight inches between them.  The resulting mud sculpture was impressive.  We were out without damage, delay or expense.  Yes, I could have used my road service for this but if I can keep the wrecker away from my rig I'm happy. We left Celina Sunday afternoon and drove to Anderson, Indiana.  We spent the night at a very nice RV park, Timberline RV Resort.  There we purged our waste tanks and recharged the fresh water tank in preparation for our stay at the FMCA Crossroads to Fun, Indy-2017.  We arrived at the north campground shortly before noon Monday.  There was a line of coaches waiting to be parked.  We waited patiently and then impatiently for more than 30 minutes before finally reaching our assigned space.  The north campground is pretty far from the activities of the convention but we have bicycles and they run a shuttle so we are happy to be here.  More importantly, we are in a real campground with 50A power (which we paid for), water and sewer at our site (which was a pleasant surprise).  We have learned never to expect this but sometimes we just get lucky.  Louise was ecstatic.  She can tolerate dry camping for a short period of time, we had just completed 5 days living on our tanks.  She much prefers to have all the nice features of our coach working fully.  I am certainly happy.  It is Tuesday, the convention starts tomorrow.  We woke up to thunderstorms this morning.  It continues to rain this afternoon.  Almost 3:00 p.m. now, we are under flash flood warnings until noon tomorrow and it continues to rain off and on with the occasional lightening and thunder.  We are not in an area subject to flash flooding but if we travel we know there are already roads closed in the area due to flooding.  We are parked on a solid surface, gravel is below the grass growing in this area.  No worries about tires sinking into a soggy grass surface.  So this year, we won the lottery.  Now if we can get the storms to move on we'll let the fun begin. I certainly don't know for sure but I think FMCA may have scheduled us to be in the campground on Monday because the full hookups makes it easy for us to be on-site for a week.  I assume then that those without hookups are being parked this afternoon or tomorrow morning.  It would be a tough day to arrive and set-up.  My heart goes out to those who are faced with this challenge and to the parking crew that is out in this weather getting everyone safely situated for the convention.

TBUTLER

TBUTLER

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