Let me introduce our motor home, VGER. VGER is named for the villainous character in the first of the Star Trek movies. VGER has been in our family going on 15 years this summer. It (VGER was an it) was purchased at a Monaco Come Home Rally in Raine, LA. We traded in a 10 year old Monaco we had purchased as a used coach in the spring of 2001. We sold our home and moved into that used coach full time on July 7, 2001. VGER was purchased new, 1235.4 miles on the odometer when we took possessi
In the 2001 movie, Rat Race, Kathy Bates tries to sell a squirrel to Whoopi Goldberg and her daughter. They defer but ask Kathy Bates for directions. Being a race, they are traveling at breakneck speed down one road after another following the directions. Finally at one point, hurtling down a gravel road with dust billowing behind they pass a sign: "You Should Have Bought a Squirrel." That is followed by a scene of them going over a cliff, landing on a pile of rusted and wrecked cars. It i
For sixteen years we have returned to the Rio Grande Valley, in the southern tip of Texas, each fall. We enjoy the mild winters and the abundance of recreation, natural resources and wildlife in the area. The December issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine is dedicated entirely to the Rio Grande Valley (RGV). This publication from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is an excellent resource for those looking for a spot to visit in the winter, perhaps like us, you'll find it to be just
I had to check my last blog entry to see when it was posted. It was September 6, not quite three months ago. Since then we have been on the go...
We spent a month with our daughter and her family in California. Our granddaughters are growing up fast but a few golden moments still to go. We took them to a working farm. A 1940's version of a poor working farm. We slept in the rehabbed chicken coup. The girls fed the cows, gathered the eggs, bottle fed some really large calves, made fri
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 coul
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 gi
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 mo
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 Rive
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 part
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 obj
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 Sig
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 afte
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
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 M
In a previous entry I described the total eclipse of the sun which is happening next month, August 21, 2017. Total solar eclipses are rare. How rare? It has been 26 years (July 11, 1991) and that was only seen in only one state, Hawaii. The next solar eclipse for the US will be April 8 2024. This one enters from Mexico into Texas and slices northeastward through New England exiting the US in Maine, continuing on through New Brunswick, and Newfoundland. There have been many partial eclipses
We returned to our winter residence in Edinburg, Texas, in Mid-April after a three-week trip to Tahiti that included a two-week cruise in French Polynesia. Living the high life agrees with me but all that food seems to find a home somewhere around my waist. Nine days after our return we were headed north in the motor home with friends accompanying us on the trip.
The motor home had been in the shop for about six weeks during the winter, some repair, some upgrades and some maintenance.
August 11, 1999 Louise and I traveled to Paris to see a total solar eclipse. The trip was our first adventure to Europe and was a wonderful adventure that helped convince us that there was much to see in the world. Our trip was a success, we saw the total eclipse briefly as the clouds parted during totality. The sight was spectacular, something that many people may live a lifetime and never experience. I had traveled with my family to Hawaii July 11, 1991 to see the total solar eclipse there
Happy New Year!
Another year, 2016, is coming to an end. We are happily ensconced in our winter home here in Texas. I’d say deep in the heart of Texas but it is more like the tippy-toes of Texas, way down south almost on the US-Mexico border. We had a light shower this morning so my outside work is delayed until the ground and grass dry. I’m enlarging the patio in our back yard and adding a walkway alongside the house to replace the path I’ve worn in the dirt. The lawn needs mowing a
When last you heard from us we were winding up a huge tour of the National Parks in the Four Corners area. We arrived in Las Vegas for an extended stay. Actually, it was planned as a departure point. We stayed at a park in Henderson, a southeastern suburb of Las Vegas. The rates were good and the security was by all accounts very good so we felt comfortable leaving our coach there while flying to St. Louis to be with family for the big 50 birthday party. Las Vegas RV Resort turned out to be
Our travels have taken a turn for the hot lately. We've been spending most of our time in southwestern Colorado, northeastern New Mexico and northern Arizona. The temperatures we've faced have been moderate to cool. Several weeks ago we decided to visit Louise sister in the Mohave Valley in western Arizona. The elevation is 483 feet alongside the Colorado River. Needless to say the temperature was quite a bit warmer than in the mountains and high elevations we were used to. Temperatures we
Happy birthday to our National Park Service. One hundred years ago this week, Congress created the National Park Service. There were national parks before the park service was created. The park service became the agency that managed the national parks. In the last few weeks we have visited four parks. At each park we found amazing views, exciting experiences and crowds of people enjoying their heritage.
Our first stop on the way west from Denver was the San Luis Valley of Colorado and
This summer is our 15th summer on the road. We've traveled in every state in the US (except Hawaii) and every province in Canada (except Nunavut). Given that experience, there are still new things to do and see. We left Scottsbluff, NE on August first headed for Denver. We have family, a sister and daughter there and we've stopped there at least once every year. Still, we found something new on this trip. Louise's sister and her husband have now retired and we had a nice visit with them an
Our summer travels began in April with a trip to Rusk, Texas for a Lone Star Chapter Rally that included a train ride on the Texas State Railroad. The trip from Rusk to Palestine takes about an hour at 20 miles per hour. They turn the steam engine around on a triangle track then return to Rusk. It's a good time getting together with friends and making new friends. As chapter participants, Louise and I are fickle. Like our trips to FMCA National Conventions, we'll get there if it is on our w
Our travel schedule for this summer is taking shape. We have a short trip coming up in two weeks so it is time to get the motor home road-ready. I took it out for a short drive several weeks ago and had it safety inspected for the Texas license renewal. Lights, wipers and horn all work. A brief look a the tires and a check of the current registration and insurance papers, verify the VIN and I'm good to go. On that drive I was reminded of a recurrent problem we've had. Our alternator has b
Our trip through Labrador picks up on Sunday morning as we depart the Paradise River Rest Area. The bridge over the river is a long metal bridge and it was talking to us as the morning sun began to warm the cold metal structure. As the metal expanded there were occasional loud metallic bangs that echoed through the canyon of the Paradise River. We crossed the river and continued on our way. Traffic on a Sunday morning was very light. I counted five vehicles in the first two hours on the roa