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About this blog

An account of our travels and tribulations.

Entries in this blog

 

Running Hot and Cold

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

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Celebrating National Parks

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

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Exploring Old Territory

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

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On the Road Again

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

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Adventures of a Shadetree Mechanic

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

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Labrador - Part 3 - Rocky Road

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

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tbutler

 

Labrador - Part 2 - Into the Interior

After our three day stay at L'Anse au Claire we set out on a drive across Labrador. We had some idea of what we faced but only the journey would really tell us what was ahead. I had queried numerous people about the nature of the road and received many different assessments. Depending on personal perspective and the vehicle being driven the same road may get widely varying descriptions. That was certainly the case for the road from Red Bay to Goose Bay. Labeled as the Labrador Coastal Highw

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Labrador - Part 1

It has been almost a month since we finished our trip to Newfoundland and Labrador. I needed the time between the trip and this post to put it all in perspective. We had a wonderful interesting and sometimes challenging trip through Newfoundland. On the 22nd of August we took the motorhome on the ferry from St. Barbe, Newfoundland to Blanc Sablon in Quebec. While waiting to board the ferry we were treated to a very interesting event. A moose swam across the bay from the far shore to St. Bar

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Comments on Big Rig Facilities in Newfoundland

That is a place I have wanted to go. You have a 40' and I a 45', will there be a problem for me? On roads and campgrounds? Do you reserve ahead, before you go? Thanks Carl Carl asked a good question so I'm going to answer it with this post. I've seen a few 45's on the road here. We've been able to find places to stay without a problem though the number of places with full hookups is limited. The standard is 30 Amps with water and a dump station. There may or may not be wifi and signal s

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A Farewell to Newfoundland

By mid-August we had been in Newfoundland for three weeks. Our final week we explored the Northern Peninsula. This is the large peninsula on the western coast of the island. The peninsula is defined by the Long Range Mountains which run the length of the peninsula. At the southern end of this area is Gros Morne National Park. We stayed for two nights at a campground on Bonne Bay while exploring the southern portion of the park. The campsite was a parking lot type campground which doesn't s

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Exploring the Newfoundland Outback

Newfoundlanders wouldn't call it the outback, that's an Australian term. I'm referring to the places that are as far from the TransCanada Highway as you can get in Newfoundland. As with the outback of Australia, the connections to the modern world fade quickly and the natural world and early history emerge. We found some wonderful places on our way to the tips of a few of the fingers of land that are so common in Newfoundland. Leaving the capitol city, St. John's, we traveled to Placentia an

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Puffins

We left Gander, Newfoundland, on Friday, July 31 on our way to St. John's, NL. Along the way we passed through Terra Nova National Park. We spent several hours at the visitor's center and did some hiking around the area. We had hoped to stay in the park for several days to do further exploration but there were no spaces suitable for us in the campgrounds. They do have some spaces that we could fit into but they were already taken so we continued on late in the afternoon. Coming into Clarenv

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A Good Year to Visit Canada

On our way through New Brunswick we encountered a toll road. I pulled up to the toll booth and asked what the toll would be for us. The man in the booth said it would be $5.25. I asked if he could take US money and he said yes. I handed him a $5.00 bill. He punched that into his register and laughed, "It looks like I owe you 75 Canadian pesos." I laughed as I took the change and replied, "Gracias." He laughed. Yes my friends, the US dollar is riding high against the Canadian "peso." The

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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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So Much News, So Little Time

I'll start by celebrating the return to life by the FMCA Computer System. Today is the first day I've been able to log on in the last two or three weeks! That doesn't explain my long absence from blogging. When we returned last fall I fell right into some intense volunteer work as Education Chair for the Rio Grande Valley Chapter Texas Master Naturalist. We had a class of 22 trainees who will become new members once they complete their volunteer commitment. With classes and field trips to p

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Have a Happy New Year

We've been back at our winter residence for nearly two months now. When we were full timing the motor home was our residence. How different things are now. We moved into a mobile home (they call them manufactured homes when they sell them) in 2010. Manufactured is a better term. The home was mobile for about 500 miles but now that it is on its foundation, it likely won't be mobile again until it is hauled away in pieces. Anyway, it is a house and has all the joys and responsibilities of a h

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tbutler

 

Eastbound on I-10 on the Way Home

We spent Sunday night at the Wal-Mart on the north side of Tucson. Monday morning we were out just after rush hour. Making the turn from traveling southward from Oregon, we now turn into the sun in the early morning, heading east toward Texas. Traffic through Tucson on I-10 is heavy but not as bad as some city driving. About 30 miles out of Tucson the traffic begins to thin out and travel becomes easier. Tucson isn't far from the eastern border of Arizona so we are quickly into New Mexico a

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On to Las Vegas!

Picking up the story where I left off with the previous entry, we are on a trip from Western Oregon to our winter home in the southern tip of Texas. As I write this we have been at home for three weeks. Returning home means a flurry of activities which have now started to normalize. I'm back to writing... Leaving the Susanville area we continued south toward Reno, Nevada. Once across the California line the 55 MPH speed limit for vehicles which are towing is behind us. The speed limit ris

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Fleeing the Cold, Rain and Clouds

We spent most of this week with our daughter and her family at their vacation home in Oregon. During our stay there were several days of rain and clouds. Nights were cool enough that we had the furnace running. Oregon is beautiful. Their home is on the Umpqua river about 30 miles inland where they can actually fish from their back yard for salmon. In fact, the oldest girl, age 8, landed a 20 pound Chinook Salmon on Wednesday. Her father assisted by powering the rowboat and helping her with

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tbutler

 

California Girls

After our stay at the factory service center in Oregon, we are now in California staying with our daughters family in the Gold Hills south of Sacramento. We come here every fall to take care of the two girls, age 6 and 8. Their school is on a year-round schedule and they get a break this time of year. Mom works in another school district which has a different vacation schedule. Dad has a varied night work schedule. So we take care of the girls for a week. It saves them money for child care

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The Great Repair Adventure

The bane of every motor home owner is maintenance. I'm a relatively handy guy and can handle lots of simple things but over time there are problems that occur that are better done by someone with more knowledge and experience than I can muster. As I've aged, the line that separates what I want to do and what I will pay someone else to do has moved. Part of that is wisdom, simply learning that my fix may not be the best way to repair something. Another thing that moves the line is my physical

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Remembering Weed, California

Having traveled the country for 14 years in a motor home there are many places mentioned in the news Louise and I have visited. They become more than just abstract names of places in the news, they become familiar territory. In the news in the last few weeks, Phoenix, Lake Havasu, Tuscon all had major flooding and damage. We stayed in RV parks and visited friends and relatives in those cities. Today Joshua Tree National Park was in the news with flooding also. We've hiked many miles in Josh

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From the Great Plains to the Front Range in One Day

We left Wounded Knee with a desire to return on another day. Early morning on Sunday and a holiday weekend as well are not the best time to visit most any site. Driving on west we passed through the town of Pine Ridge the largest community of the Pine Ridge Reservation. Entering town it looks to be a pretty typical community. As we turned south and left town we saw the underbelly of the community. It was a sad site to see many older native Americans living in poverty, I have added a link fo

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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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An Easy Drive Across the Prairie

We left Yankton, South Dakota, on Saturday morning on our way to Denver, Colorado. We have made this trip in one day many times in the past. This trip would be different. It is Labor Day weekend and we don't have reservations in Denver until Labor Day itself. So we have all day Saturday and Sunday and part of Monday before we have a place to park in Denver. We drove west on South Dakota Hwy. 50 until we reached US Hwy 18. This is a new route for us. I had set the GPS for Wounded Knee. We

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