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About this blog

An account of our travels and tribulations.

Entries in this blog

 

You Really Can't Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd

We took the Bison Ranch Tour at the FMCA Family Reunion, 50th Anniversary Rally, in Gillette, Wyoming. It turned into a real adventure, much more than expected. Our tour was Friday evening and was to include a meal before our return to the rally site in Gillette. We met the bus at the assigned location and boarded without incident. This was a nice commercial bus with comfortable seats and air conditioning. After the last passengers were on board we were on our way south on Wyoming Highway

tbutler

tbutler

 

Wounded Knee

As we left Martin, SD it began to rain lightly. Radar showed rain between Martin and Wounded Knee. As we passed fields of sunflowers their heads were bowed, hiding their bright yellow ray flowers we had seen the day before. The sunflowers are much shorter than the ones I planted in my garden in the 70’s. Their heads are smaller than the 12 to 16” heads I remember from those days. I know these fields are harvested mechanically but I would love to see the equipment that does the job. The hea

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tbutler

 

Work and Play, all in a Day

Our second day in Broome starts with laundry. The park laundry facilities here are generally quite good. Here in Broome there are 10 washers and just 4 dryers. All the parks have clothes lines set up for laundry right next to the laundry room. Our campervan came with a set of clothes pins and a small clothes line. Washers here are $4.00 per load so she has been economizing by hanging the laundry to dry rather than using the dryers. It is always an adventure to do the laundry. Some machine

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tbutler

 

Winter Adventures in South Texas

Winter is just about over here in the southern tip of Texas. We've recently had a flurry of activity which keeps our minds off the cool weather, wind and rain we've had for the last two months. Last week Louise and I led three excursions for our park. Each of these was a delightfully different treat. On Wednesday we escorted a group from the park to the Cowley Sugar House in Santa Rosa, Texas. The distance is a moderate 40 miles and the trip was relatively easy with local roads most of the way.

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tbutler

 

Whose Idea Was This?

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.

tbutler

tbutler

 

Where’s the Beach?

Our last day in Broome was a beach day. We drove to the beach about 11:00 a.m. and parked the motor home on solid sand at the upper part of the beach. Cable Beach is a large beach that stretches from near downtown Broome on the west coast for twenty kilometers. We were on Gantheaume Bay on the Indian Ocean. Waters were quite warm and the surf was mild, waves less than two feet made for a fun beach. There were vehicles all over the beach, many with boat trailers. This was a great swimming b

tbutler

tbutler

 

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

We were into our second week in Denver last week. Louise was busy taking care of her mother and while I could help some, Mom was getting better and mostly needed supervision. Louise needed a nightly debriefing. So being the restless sort, I thought ... "I have always wanted to add a glider certification to my pilots license. Here I am in one of the glider meccas of the U.S. for an extended period of time. I wonder what opportunities there are?" A quick check on the WWWeb brought me to Mile Hi

tbutler

tbutler

 

Westward Ho!

Our time in the campervan is now down to three weeks and we have one third of mainland Australia to explore. Leaving Batchelor we drove south to Katherine to fuel up and stock up on groceries before turning west on the Victoria Highway toward Broome, Western Australia. Western Australia (WA) would be our eighth and final state in Australia to visit. Australia has eight states so we will have seen something of each of them before we conclude our trip. From Batchelor we will go 235 kilometers

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tbutler

 

Westport and the Seal Colony

It is now Tuesday, February 12 in this series that started on January 29 with our departure from the US. The actual date of this posting is later because it has taken me quite a bit of time to catch up with recording and posting these entries. The first few days kept my mind fully occupied with all the new things to absorb about this vacation. Then there were the internet challenges. We subscribed to an internet server that is common throughout New Zealand at the TOP 10 parks where we stay m

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tbutler

 

Well We Missed Wellington

On Saturday, February 8 we woke to rain and heavy low clouds. Our plans had been to drive from Rotorua to the National Park and do some hiking and sightseeing around the mountain territory in the center of the North Island. Since the scenery would be hidden and hiking in a constant rain would not be our idea of fun, we decided to turn the day into a travel day. We needed to be in Wellington on Sunday night so we could get on the Interislander Ferry to the South Island at 9:00 a.m. on Monday

tbutler

tbutler

 

We’ve Landed on Mars

I’ve seen pictures of the planet Mars, and this part of Australia sure looks like Mars. The landscape here is relentlessly red. The red is a deeper red than the red center. The desert is red, hills are red, sand dunes are red. Even the rivers look deep red, much deeper red than the Red River on the Texas-Oklahoma border. Our whole journey from Nanutarra Roadhouse to Exmouth had only minor elevation changes and only a few curves to move us around rather than over hills. Temperatures are mod

tbutler

tbutler

 

We’re Back in the Camper Again

Arriving at Britz at 7:45 a.m. we found the place locked up. It was not only locked up, the parking lot was gated and there was no place to leave the luggage when we got out of the cab. The driver suggested that we go to a shopping center a block north of the Britz office. We found a bench near the mall entrance and piled our luggage there. Here we were homeless, we just needed to find a shopping cart for our possessions! I waited while Louise went inside to find a cup of coffee. When she

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tbutler

 

We've Found Newfoundland!

After our successful visit to the Harrisburg Cummins Coach Care Facilities, we traveled north into New York. We made a stop at Cooperstown to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame. For two baseball fans, this was a fun stop. So many great stories. The memories come flooding back. From there we drove through southern Vermont and New Hampshire to the Atlantic Coast. The road was slow and we encountered some rain and low clouds but the scenery was still beautiful. There were numerous places where

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tbutler

 

We're Still Rolling Along

It is hard for me to add things to my BLOG when we are living in our fixed home. Now that we're back in the motor home for the summer I have dozens of things to write about. At home I've been busy settling in for two years now, kind of like a dog turning around several times before it finds just the right spot to lay down. During this period of settling in I am afraid that I've been pretty much ignoring the motor home through the winter. It's plugged in and we keep minimal heat and air condition

tbutler

tbutler

 

We start at day 1...

I am Tom, my wife is Louise. I'll not spend time on further introductions. If you want more information, please see our Meet a Member feature under Join FMCA on the main menu of the FMCA page. I promise you more information than you could possibly want to know. Even my friend Pipewrenchgrip said he read MOST of it!!! I have been very active on the FMCA Community the last few days. We are away from our motor home doing babysitting for my daughter and her husband. Grandson Ryan and granddaughter

tbutler

tbutler

 

We Journey North

Friday, April 4, 2014. We drove a short distance into Brisbane and made a quick stop at Britz to deal with several nagging problems with the campervan. That done, we left the city about noon headed north toward Cairns, a city on the northeast coast of Australia. At Cairns the famous Barrier Reef is closest to the coast and is thus most accessible. We hope to spend several days exploring this wonderful natural feature. The challenge is that the distance from Brisbane to Cairns is a daunting

tbutler

tbutler

 

We Have Turkeys

We are currently in the gold hills of California near the town of San Andreas. The abundance of turkeys in this area is amazing! Today we were sitting outside beside the motorhome and I saw a turkey fly by behind Louise, along the main entrance to the park. It landed within view and then circled around the motorhome next to us and back up the road behind me. We went to look and there was a whole flock, more than 20 turkeys. They were just across the road from us. This flock wanders through the

tbutler

tbutler

 

We Finally Find Cool in the Pacific Northwest

Leaving the midwest in late June we battled temperatures near or above 100 degrees on a regular basis. Even as we traveled to Montana we were still enountering temperatures in the high 90s. When we got into eastern Washington we began to notice some cooler temperatures. Now, after crossing the Cascade Mountains we have arrived at Chehalis, Washington. We are about 90 miles south of Seattle on I-5. Temperatures here are in the 50's and 60's at night and highs have been in the upper 70's or lower

tbutler

tbutler

 

We Explore Tasmania

Our second day we drove south to Hobart and Tasman National Park. There we saw interesting natural features, tessellated pavement, sea arches and a blowhole formed when waves cut a tunnel through the cliff front so that water comes bursting through with each wave. At Eaglehawk neck we walked from one shore to the other in five minutes. A low sandy neck of land connects the area to the south to the north mainland. On the southern peninsula lies the town of Port Arthur which was a penal colony

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tbutler

 

We Climb Bald Rock

Leaving camp at Mother of Ducks Wildlife Preserve in Guyra early in the morning, we drove to Glen Innes for breakfast at McDonalds. I know, not your idea of luxury dining but they do have internet. We parked behind the building and could access the internet from the campervan. I spent 30 or 40 minutes on line after eating breakfast. Right next door was the i. This one was a jewelry shop and information center. Louise enjoyed chatting with the jeweler. I was able to find several brochures

tbutler

tbutler

 

We All Live In a Yellow Submarine!

They sound like a couple of angels now, our two grandsons, ages 7 and 8, snoozing on the foldout bed. They have been raised as close as cousins could be and they prize their time together. So I thought it would be a good idea to take the pair on an RV adventure. This will test my mettle, putting them together is like putting a couple of Uranium atoms close together! Stuff happens. It's just good ol' boy stuff. This evening they hauled rocks from one place to another for a while. Then they found

tbutler

tbutler

 

Waitangi Treaty Grounds - Early New Zealand History

We left Orewa Beach Sunday morning headed north to Whangarei and beyond to Russell and the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. After several days in the campervan we had a list of things we needed. Groceries were at the top of the list. Yes, despite our purchase on Friday we were in for another purchase of food. We located the Countdown Grocery and Louise went in to start shopping. I went to a housewares store, Briscoes. I thought it was going to be more like a Lowe’s than a Bed Bath and Beyond but I

tbutler

tbutler

 

Waipoua State Forest

We left the park at Russell headed west to cross the island to the west coast. We wanted to spend some time hiking in the Waipoua State Forest, site of the largest Kauri trees in the world. Kauri trees are a source of gum and an important economic export from the islands until World War II. Much of the forest is gone but several very large Kauri trees can be seen in this forest. The road to Waipoua State Forest was quite serpentine, travel was slow and we encountered frequent one lane bridge

tbutler

tbutler

 

Visiting the 50th State

It has been a while since my last entry but I have an excuse ... Louise and I have just returned from a visit to our 50th state. It was the 50th state we have visited together and also the 50th state for the U.S. Of course, I'm speaking of the only state that is impractical to visit in a motorhome! Hawaii is one long wet drive and the puddle is so deep. We elected to make our trip on a cruise, which, in a way, is a little like living in a motorhome. Our ship, the Celebrity Constellation, was t

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 part

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tbutler

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