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About Chickadee

  • Birthday 09/29/1945

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  1. John H.: Ya haven't replied to any of the posts and I've been waiting to hear whether that stuff on your toad did, or, did NOT, smell like diesel?? The reason I ask is that we experienced a similar issue (in our 06 Mtn. Aire) after departing a Cummins service center where we had a number of things done prior to an Alaska trip....including topping off of the engine coolant reservoir (Final Charge). After driving approx. 40 or 50 miles, I pulled into a rest area to do a walk around and found our toad covered with similar residue which did NOT smell like diesel fuel, nor engine oil, but, felt kinda slippery (like liquid soap between your fingers), and I couldn't identify any particular odor. Long story short....tech immediately drove out from the Cummins shop and we discovered that the spray back stuff was (or had been) coming from the overflow tube of the engine coolant reservoir which had been overfilled during servicing. In fact, there was still evidence of a drip or two at the open end of this black rubber overflow tube which extends down the side of your engine coolant reservoir tank about a foot. Take a look,.....that might be the only trouble. Steve
  2. hermanmullins & ALL!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR back at ya, and to ALL you fellow FMCA'rs. Steve & Lynette
  3. DLS15150: FWIW...we are presently in Tampa area having departed Bluewater Key RV back on Nov. 3rd, and, we went through the same planning process you are experiencing. We too thought we'd like to "stage" the run out on to the Keys from some spot around Homestead or Florida City so we could fuel up, and then have a leisurely drive down to Bluewater so as to arrive at a good check-in time (ie. between 1 & 3 p.m.). We ended up staying up at Moore Haven (SW corner of Lake Okeechobee) since we wanted to run over to Ft. Myers to visit friends and pick up some rig stuff before heading to the Keys. Anyway, we at first thought Moore Haven would be too far for our run down the Keys, BUT...it turned out to be PERFECT!!! In Moore Haven we stayed at The Marina campground, got a chance to even wash the rig, stocked up at WalMart in Clewiston, fuled up, and, on the day we headed to the Keys, followed Hwy. #27 South, picking up Rt. #997 just S.W. of Miramar and on down to Florida City and onto Rt. 1 out on to the Keys. We travel in a 45'MH, towing Honda, and this route was VERY VERY comfortable and easy and ONLY took about 1 1/2 to 2 Hrs. We then had a VERY enjoyable drive down the Keys to Bluewater. As we'd topped of fuel in Moore Haven, the tank fuel gauge after parking at Bluewater was still barely below the Full point (we get abt. 7-8 mpg.). Guess my point is...it's a little congested between Miami and Homestead and picking a staging park out a ways (like where we stayed) was a WHOLE LOT more relaxing and convenient. Steve & Lynette
  4. Jay: Have been inquiring on other sites to see if anyone has input but as yet....nada. I see you reposted under Campgrounds above which is a good idea. Geeze....the more I think about your idea, the more interested I become. That sure would be an interesting route...at least for you guys in your Built for Two. Before going full time we haunted Humboldt and were VERY seriously considering a Born Free and may downsize to such a rig in the future. It one of the GOOD ONES!! Do stay in touch re: what ya might find about this route, and we'll do the same. Steve & Lynette
  5. Hawkeye111: Hi from Tampa area!! Ya know, I've noticed your post on this FMCA site for the past few weeks and at first, I kinda dismissed it as not do-able. That is,...I really didn't think there was a ferry system along the N. shore of the St. Lawrence that would connect somewhere near Natashquan, Quebec, so ya might drive WSW toward Quebec City. HOWEVER, your idea has kinda stuck in my mind and I've been looking closer at that route. YA KNOW....it just might be do-able . There seem to ferry routes from St. Anthony (N. Newfoundland) across to Labrador and then jumping along the N. shore SW toward Natashquan. Your idea SURE peaks my interest!!!!! Problem is, I have yet to run into anyone (RV'r) who's pursued this route. BOY!!...would it ever be FUN!!....though I spose we (wife & I) couldn't do it as we fulltime in a big rig, towing, and I'm guessing that those ferry's might not be able to handle us....DANG!!! What rig outfit are you thinking of using if traveling this route??? For the heck of it, I'm still going to continue exploring to find info about your idea.....who knows....it might open up a whole new travel destination/route for RV'rs. Stay in touch...eh? Steve & Lynette
  6. G'morning, ALL FMCAers! Well, here we are hunkered down for winter near Tampa, FL. Been poking around on the computer and kinda gettin' into various gold panning info sites. On our visit to Alaska in '07, we kinda got a little hooked on recreational gold panning ... it's a HOOT! Anyway, prior to going full-time, I'd occasionally watch those T.V. shows about gold panning clubs, etc., but never been much for joining. So I was wondering whether there are other "closet" sourdough gold panners out there who do a little prospecting here and there? Although were over here in Florida (where our sone and family live), we much prefer to travel throughout the western states, Canada, and, of course, ALASKA! I do know there's some panning activity in places like the N. Georgia Mountains, but it's just not the same somehow as squattin' by some stream "out West" or points North. Are there ANY other novice panners here on this FMCA site who might want to share some stories about panning experiences you've had? Steve and Lynette
  7. Ken & Sandi (NH Nomads): Hi from Tampa. BOY!!...are you guys in for a FABULOUS trip! ALASKA, including Top of the World Hwy., is absolutely one of the best, if not THE best RV'ing destinations. Wife and I and 3 CATS!! did the Alaska trip in 07 (all summer/June to Oct.) in our 40' MH towing Honda Element w. canoe on top, and YES, we did travel the Top of the World Hwy. from Dawson City, West to the Alaska border and on to Chicken, AK, then down the Taylor Hwy. in to Tok. There's so much we could "gush" on about that trip, but I'll keep it only to your question about Top of the World/Taylor route. We were torn about whether or not to take that route due to the conflicting viewpoints expressed by everyone. We ended up electing to drive Top of the World primarily because we definitely wanted to visit Dawson City, and we DID NOT want to backtrack S. down to Whitehorse in order to continue in to Alaska....and.....we're VERY glad we did. Now, we drove up to Dawson City on our way to Alaska, so after spending time in Dawson we got up early on the day we decided to depart and drove a short distance to the ferry landing at the N. end of town where the barge like ferry takes ya across the Yukon River to start Westward on Top of the World. A couple of things,.....1.-try to pick a weather window for departing that promises good conditions (no rain) and has given Top of World a day or so to dry out prior to your departure. The reason is that driving the route in very wet conditions can be problematic, and, if your lucky enough to travel it while it's clear weather but a day or tow after wet weather, there will be little or no dust issue...we lucked out in that regard. .....2.- try to get in line for the ferry early (particularly if there a caravan groups in town leaving the same day) so that ya won't have to wait for the ferry ride across the Yukon for long. We simply drove our 40 ftr. w. toad attached onto the ferry and they zipped us across along with another rig and perhaps two or three cars. No Big Deal there and IT'S FREE!!!!!! Anyway, the Yukon portion of the road from where ya get off the ferry all the 40ish miles West over to the Yukon/Alaska border was a wide road (like narrow U.S. two lane) that seemed to once have been paved but had stretches of gravel and was all very smooth and no issues. Once we crossed in to Alaska and on to Chicken, AK (about another 20 mi.) the road narrowed significantly to what I describe as a 3 track sandy/gravel. Still VERY drivable but DO be cautious about moving too close to the sholder since soft sandy/gravel sholders could pull ya off road. Don't worry about this but just pay attention and if meeting an oncoming rig, SLOW down and you'll each pass by each other with NO PROBLEM....again....if it is BAD wet weather, ya might want to wait out the drive. Now once you get to Chicken, (and DO stay a day or two!!), then you're home free since the Taylor Hwy. is a beautiufl, wide, striped, paved two lane all the way S. to the Alaska Hwy. just E. of Tok. although I do recall a few slide areas where they had or were repairing the Taylor. If ya have questions, just ask, but.....DO TAKE THE TRIP....you'll love it. Steve & Lynette
  8. nskyking8: Thanks for info, and web address for free travel guides. VERY helpful. Steve & Lynette
  9. THANKS ALL: Sure appreciate feedback on my Hill Country inquiry. Lots of places to pick from, so we think we'll giver er a try on our way West in Feb. Steve & Lynette
  10. G'morning Gary: We've stayed at, and REALLY ENJOYED Bay Bayou RV Resort located in Oldsmar (Hwy. #580) at the very N. end of Tampa Bay and right on the E. edge of Clearwater. We've stayed there a few years, but have now moved closer to where our son and his family live over on the E. side of Tampa. Bay Bayou is a GREAT location for Clearwater AND, for St. Pete., and Tampa. See: www.BayBayou.com . Steve & Lynette
  11. Hi, all: We have never visited the "Texas Hill Country" and plan to be in that area during February of 2010 as we migrate West. Can anyone tell us a little about what visiting that area in February (i.e., weather, good places to camp, etc.) might be like? Someone once mentioned Buckhorn RV Resort somewhere around Kerrville (I think), and it looks nice online, but thought you guys might have other info. We're kinda thinking it'll be COLD there in February, which isn't bad (we're from Minnesota originally ), but we're wondering how cold, since we don't do "cold" much anymore if we can help it . Thanks for any info. Steve and Lynette
  12. Hey, Wayne: THANKS for the Shadow Puppet site. REALLY enjoyable. Steve & Lynette
  13. G'morning ALL FMCA'rs: So, here we are in Mtn. View, AR, and though we've only been here at Ozark RV Park a couple of nights so far (and we plan to stay a week and a half), we're finding it to be a WONDERFUL spot to visit. Mtn. View is located SE of Branson, MO and S. of Mountain Home, AR in the ol Ozark Mtn. range. Boy, if ya haven't visted here, we'd really recommend it. We were a little concerned about traveling through the Ozark road system with our 45' MH towing our Honda since we pictured the routes as being tough to navigate, but, although they are somewhat narrow, with ups and downs and curves, we had no problem gettin here coming in on E & W running Hwy. #66 from the town of Leslie, AR which is located on N & S running Hwy. #65 to the West of Mtn. View. Just for information purposes, we were heading S. from S. Dakota and had a great drive down I-29 from Sioux Falls, SD to Kansas City (KC) taking the Hwy 435 city bypass around the NE corner of KC then on to I-70 East and overnighting E. of KC in a great little RV cmpgrnd. (Country Gardens) at Odessa, MO 31 miles E. of KC on I-70. Next a.m. we cont. E. on I-70 to S. running Hwy. #65 (Exit 78) and all the way South through Springfield, Branson, and to our turn onto Rt. #66 at Leslie, AR. It's ALL a great route FYI. Anyway...this Ozark RV Park is RIGHT on the N. edge of town (walking dist. to quaint dwntwn shops, squares, parks, and numerous mtn. music venues, etc.) and RIGHT next door to the Ozark Folk Center State Park (music auditorium, craft center, restaurant, etc.). Haven't taken in a folk music show yet, but plan to attend a Jimmy Driftwood Memorial Show tomorrow night (he's a local historical folk music celeb. who also wrote the song; Battle of New Orleans). Park is VERY neat, clean and I think all are gravel sites, surrounded by grass, trees (well cut back for easy maneuvering of even big rigs) and...you can read the rest in your cmpgrnd. catalogs. Will know more later after touring around more, but it sure is a great feeling spot. Can't wait to dive into some of the "authentic" mountain cusine . Bye for now. Steve & Lynette
  14. bbot: Thanks for info re: arrival time at Bluewater....AND...Super WalMart overnight. Steve & Lynette
  15. Tom & Louise: (Dang!!!..still can't figure out how to enlarge text!!!) Anyway, I sure appreciate your realistic perspective on things. We've lived and traveled in our MH since 05, having sold ALL before departing on this lifestyle. And....occasionally I catch myself fondly recalling some task, or some item of "stuff" we had that I kinda miss. For example, (and I can't believe I'm saying this ), I used to LOVE being out on a winters evening shoveling snow from the walks and driveway of our home in Duluth, Minnesota. Often other neighbors were out shoveling or blowing snow at the same time, and, if it was still snowing, the falling flakes in the light of the streetlamps made for a wonderful experience. Would I go back for more????.......nope!!!.....but it was fun. OH,.......also,......I really miss by ol leaf blower from time to time. I really enjoyed clean up after cutting and trimming our lawn back then. Dumb...EH?? Don't know if there are any other drawbacks to this full time RVing lifestyle.....other than getting a case of the "blues" once in awhile.....I guess kinda like the character Lee Marvin played in the movie Paint Your Wagon talked about. But I don't think occasonal "blues" are something that living in a single place would prevent.....especially as we get older....and....older There IS, one....(I guess ya might say)....disappointment about full time RVing which I occasionally think about, and that has to do with a diminishing sense of excited wanderlust the more places we go. I recall a real sense of excitement when we used to thumb through road atlases planning where we might take a trip during our next vacation from work. Now, since we've been on the road and free to go, and have gone, anywhere, more and more places start to seem pretty much the same.....THAT IS, EXCEPT FOR ALASKA!!!!! Kinda getting like Lee Marvin's character said in Paint Your Wagon,........"then people come in and gum it up good!!!" Aw, well. Enough!! Steve
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