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Rolling On!

tbutler

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A month ago we had the close call with fire (see my previous post, Good News, Bad News) in Lander, WY. Leaving Lander we made a dash for California. A night here, two nights there, and next thing you know we are in Valley Springs, CA. Our son-in-law and his father installed a 50A hookup for us on their home so now we can park next to their driveway. What about the lawn you ask? In this part of California, rock and gravel are a natural ground surface and we found the parking spot just made for us. There is water available and a sewer clean out that I can reach with the macerator hose. It is much more convenient than staying almost 20 miles away and driving to and from each day as we take care of our granddaughters.

For two weeks we we daytime babysitters for two girls, ages 5 and 7. Their year-round school schedule has a vacation break in early October so this is a regular appointment for us the last few years. A babysitter could do the job but we can save their parents some money and connect with our granddaughters. We use the days to go on adventures. Apple Hill is a favorite for the girls. Located on US 50 just east of Sacramento, there are orchards and wineries in this region that have banded together to market themselves as Apple Hill. In October they have corn and hay mazes for kids, pumpkin patches to explore and pick out a special pumpkin. You can had feed the goats and sheep at one farm, at another you can go on a hay ride. On weekends, vendors open their booths and sell their wares. Lunch is available at most venues and there are some spectacular pies for sale.

The girls enjoy almost any outing, a day exploring the local reservoir which is far below full allows us to walk on the lake floor and explore rocks. Bowling is a real adventure. Nothing is more fun that knocking down those pins, yippee! Louise and I love to play golf and we decided the girls would enjoy riding along. We got a loaner putter, kid size, so the girls could putt. They took turns dropping their ball next to grandpa or grandma and putting to the hole. Nine holes took care of their interest in golf.

Leaving on Friday, I took the motor home to Lodi RV Center to have a new slide out cover installed, replacing the one with the burn holes. That done I was off to Sacramento to get two new tires from East Bay Tire Company. Monaco International, a chapter of FMCA has a purchase agreement with Michelin for tires similar to the FMCA program and I was able to get the tires at discount. I had the new tires put on the front and moved the front tires to the right rear replacing the oldest tires on the motor home. There was one more stop to make. Beverages and More, doing business as BevMo, has periodic wine sales, buy one, get another for 5 cents. It's basically a 1/2 price sale. We stock up on wine for our winter retreat at this sale. A ten dollar bottle of wine becomes $5, a forty dollar bottle is now $20. It is a chance to get an interesting variety of wines at reasonable prices.

Louise meanwhile is finishing the last day with the girls at their house. As soon as their mom arrives home, Louise is off to Sacramento to join me. We meet at the Pilot Travel Center on I-80 just west of I-5, hook up the car and are on our way. We reach Corning, CA just after dark and park at the Rolling Hills Casino just south of town. This has been a favorite stopping spot for us, easy off and easy on with now special parking for RV's and trucks. Off early the next morning we keep the wheels rolling all day long, arriving in Olympia, WA just before dark. We'll spend two nights here and pick up a totem pole that we commissioned last summer when we were in La Push, WA. I fell in love with totems on our trip into British Columbia on our way to Alaska. We found an artist, teaching carving at the school in La Push. David Wilson has done the large totems and also does exquisite smaller works. We met David on Sunday and saw our totem pole for the first time. It is simply put, spectacular. Atop the three foot pole is an eagle perched on the sun. Then a whale with dorsal fin and at the base a bear. Each of the figures has significance for Louise and I so this is our totem pole.

Monday morning we were on the road once more. I had contacted the Monaco Factory Service Center in Coburg, OR. They agreed to take a look at the damage to the motor home caused by the motor home fire in Lander. We arrived there just before noon. I had a good discussion with the shop foreman, the damage was much less severe than he expected from our phone call and photos that I sent. It could be repaired but the repair wouldn't be as good as the original wall is now and likely wouldn't look much better. The possible damage to the paint doesn't show. He recommended that we ask the insurance company keep the claim open for a year to see how the wall weathers a year of seasonal changes. I left feeling much better.

From Coburg we headed east, almost directly. We dropped south to Eugene and picked up Oregon Highway 126 for a beautiful scenic drive along the McKenzie River and then through the mountains to US 20 which would take us across eastern Oregon to I-84 in Idaho. The drive on US 20 rivaled our trip on US 50 across Nevada. Both roads are little traveled across desolate areas. We stopped for the night at a roadside rest area near Buchanan, Oregon. The next morning we completed the last 100 miles of US 20, surprised to see corn fields, hay fields and finally the Onion Capitol of the US near Ontario, OR along the eastern Oregon border. We cross Idaho and enter Utah, pulling up for the night at a rest stop in Brigham City, UT. Our next leg took us out of Utah on I-80, across Wyoming and into Nebraska where we stopped for the night at the Cabela's campground in Sidney, NE. We opted for the electric only sites and enjoyed a good nights sleep.

Leaving Sidney early the next morning we made an unplanned stop. Louise had been complaining of double vision the day before and it was worse this morning so we pulled up in North Platte, NE to visit the hospital there. We spent about six hours there getting excellent care. Louise had a number of tests run in the first 30 minutes that eliminated many of the worst possibilities. A CT scan and an MRI cleared most of the remaining possible causes. The doctor diagnosed a palsy of the sixth cranial nerve which controls eye movement. Her left eye is aimed slightly to the right and its movement isn't coordinated with the right eye, thus double vision. Needless to say, this is not a good condition when you are riding miles and miles in the motor home. The doctor says these often cure themselves. Meanwhile, Louise has an appointment to see an Opthalmologist next week.

We finished our drive Thursday in central Nebraska at a Wal-Mart in Kearney. We completed the next leg of our trip on Friday as we pulled into 370 Lakeside Park in St. Peters, MO. Saturday we joined my son and his wife for a couples baby shower/happy hour. That evening Louise and I went to dinner and a show before turning in for the night. We really enjoyed Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips. It was really a spectacular drama and another great performance by Tom Hanks. Sunday we went bowling with my daughter and her family. Monday morning I made a run to my dentist for a cleaning and checkup. Then we were off to Warrenton, MO to meet my two sisters. We had lunch and celebrated the final closing of my mother's estate. Another chapter of life ends. By the end of the day we would be parked at Wal-Mart in Joplin, MO.

Tuesday we crossed Oklahoma and made our way to McKinney Falls State Park in Austin, TX. Louise attended an executive meeting of the Texas Silver Haired Legislature on Wednesday afternoon. Today, Thursday we drove south to Hill Country RV in New Braunfels, TX where I will attend a weekend state meeting of the Texas Master Naturalist organization. Next Monday we'll stop in San Antonio for routine service for the Cummins engine and the Onan generator before rolling into Sandpipers Resort in Edinburg, TX where we will park the motor home for the next eight months! Whew! We will close out a much heavier year of travel than any time in the past, almost 17,000 miles from January to parking on October 28. The trip described above was over 5000 miles in just a month and 5 days. This is not the way I prefer to travel but I'm glad that I have the motor home and am able to do this when necessary.



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Tom, Glade to hear the damage to the sidewall of the coach was not that bad.

The DW has been going through the double vision issue for the last 2 years. Its kind of under control with special lenses, but when they get out of ajustment she has 2 of everything cumming at her. Makes for some interesting reactions with vehicles coming down the road !

We wish Louise a quick recovery !

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Rich,

Thanks for the comment and good wishes. I hope that things get better for Lois. Retirement is great but getting older is not for sissies!

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I agree, but do not want to retire! Iam having too much fun working but maybe in 2015 I will cut back more. However I will attend the Perry Georgia rally in 2014 with my bride of 43 years and our weimaroner who is every bit our baby girl and she knows it!

Tri-State Traveleers

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