Search the Community
Showing results for tags 'Missouri'.
Found 7 results
Jefferson City/Columbia MO
f027177d posted a topic in CampgroundsHeading into Jefferson City/Columbia, MO area for the weekend of Aug 1 and 2. Looking for a place to stay for a 50 footer--MH and equip trailer. 50 year old couple. Any suggestions?
Family Time and the Motor Home
tbutler posted a blog entry in Tom and Louise on Tour in North AmericaWe are wrapping up a three week stay with our family in Missouri. We've had a chance to see all of our grandchildren and enjoy some time with each. Ryan is now a freshman in high school and a new member of the marching band. Spencer is in eighth grade and enjoys sports as only a young boy can. Kaitlyn started sixth grade in the middle school and is just getting involved in 4H and is picking out an instrument for the school band. Elaina is a fourth grader, a junior cheerleader and really enjoys taking care of her younger brother, age 8 months. Luke is setting weight records for 8 month old babies but that will change as he has just figured out crawling and is about three days short of becoming a real carpet terror. They are all growing up fast. The two older boys are already taller than Louise and likely will pass me before we see them again next spring. I'm glad that we aren't feeding and clothing them! Our children, the parents of these wonderful children have weathered the economic downturn and are making a recovery along with the rest of the country. Our son-in-law works in the housing industry and we were particularly worried about his business but he has come through the tough times and is rebuilding his business. Our son is working in the petroleum and natural gas industry, needless to say he is doing well with the present boom in that industry. Watching the grandchildren grow up is a thrill but also quite humbling. We went on a hike with Ryan. He is working on his Eagle Scout hiking merit badge. I indicated a desire to take on a ten mile hike with him. The hike was about all I could manage. The trail was rough and overgrown with brush and weeds. He took the hike in stride, I was beat by the time we reached the parking lot. Louise went along as well and was able to finish the hike despite crippling pain in her knees. We both felt in pretty good shape having just been on hiking trails frequently in the last four months in New Zealand and Australia. It will be a while before I'm able to get Louise on the trail again. Wisdom would have had me choosing a different trail if I had thought about the wet summer and its affect on the growth of brush. The trail was one I had hiked before but it has been rerouted over rougher ground than the old route which I loved to hike almost 30 years ago. We have been pleasantly surprised by August in Missouri. Today is one of the few days we have had temperatures in the mid 80's. Most days have been in the upper 70's and low 80's with frequent cloudy and rainy days. Nights have been in the 50's and 60's so the air conditioners are getting a real break. A normal August in Missouri has frequent days with temperatures in the upper 90's. We remember them well enough that we don't live here any more. Neither do we stay at home in Texas. I'm still working with the dealer for Carefree of Colorado trying to resolve issues with the awnings. The replacement canvas which was shipped to us here in Missouri arrived and I immediately found three of the four awnings to be significantly different than the original awnings. Two were narrower than the original and one was much longer, not matching the length of any of the others. I have a warranty claim number and they are supposed to be replacing them for me but as of this date, I haven't heard of a schedule for their arrival. We'll have to pick them up at another location on our route of travel. Both Louise and I have had dental exams and subsequent dental work. We also visited our dermatologist and both of us have passed our annual skin check with flying colors, always a relief. Louise renewed contacts with her bridge club, a group of ladies she played cards with for many years. Tomorrow we'll attend the monthly meeting of the Missouri Pilots Association and touch base with a number of friends. We'll get updates on their lives and let them know what we've been doing since we last saw them. I wanted to fly while here in Missouri but the weather, foggy and low clouds and blocked that activity. So what does our motorhome have to do with all this? It is the magic vehicle that makes it all work. We have been able to stay here in our own "home" parked in our daughter's driveway. We are within a few miles of our son and we have plenty of time on our own as well as time to visit with each of them. We aren't inconveniencing either of the families. We have our schedule and their schedules are their own. We don't have to worry about carrying suitcases and living in motel rooms. We are cooking and eating the food we need to remain healthy when we aren't eating at restaurants or with family. It's a budget thing, it's a health thing, it's a convenience thing. Our motorhome is an important part of our life and staying in touch with family.
A Wet Driving Day to Our Next Destination
tbutler posted a blog entry in Tom and Louise on Tour in North AmericaThe next leg of our trip begins with an early wake-up. I was checking weather when it started to rain. It was a light rain but I had to unhook the utilities so I quickly went outdoors to unhook the water and sewer. The car had to be run before towing and I took care of that. I came in with a wet head and damp shirt. I dried my hair and hung the shirt to dry. Louise woke and I ate breakfast while she got ready to travel. Louise doesn't like to eat early in the morning but she does want her coffee. She had set the coffeemaker and coffee was already brewed and waiting. Once she was ready, we brought in the slides and I unhooked the electric. We were on the road at 8:00 a.m. We had stayed at the KOA at Choctaw Casino in Durant, Oklahoma, which is right on US 75/69 and we would stay on highway 69 all the way to I-44 at Big Cabin. We have traveled this route many times, it is one of the shortest routes from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area to the St. Louis area. Highway 69 is very rough in spots but the traffic is usually free flowing and it is two lane all the way. There are small towns along the way which have low speed limits and the smart driver watches those speed limits very closely. As we pulled out of the campground the rain was increasing. It rained all the way to I-44. The amazing thing was that it would change almost constantly. One of my major tasks driving was to adjust the windshield wipers to the varying rate of rainfall. The rain was mostly light but the road was always wet. Passing trucks meant a heavy shower of water. We made good time, we were at Big Cabin by 1:00 and made that our lunch stop. We pulled into the fuel stop there and parked in the trucking area. I had to adjust one of the windshield wipers while Louise fixed sandwiches for us. Leaving Big Cabin we passed through the entry toll booth to the Will Rogers Turnpike. Passing through the payment booth the clerk didn't even look at the ticket and rang up the charge for the full length of the turnpike. I asked her to look at the ticket and she corrected her mistake. I thought the tickets were programmed to ring up the proper charge but I guess not. I'll have to watch these more carefully from now on. At Joplin I pulled into the Flying J to fuel up. The rain was on again, not heavy but enough that I was wet once more. It always takes longer to fuel at the RV pumps. I put in 80 gallons to take care of the drive from San Antonio where we last filled the tank. We got 8.3 miles per gallon on this leg of the trip, right on our long term average MPG. Leaving Joplin the rain stopped and the remainder of the trip was dry. The really amazing thing was that the temperature stayed in the 70's all day long. We had been driving in searing heat in Texas and the trip in Oklahoma and Missouri didn't even require that we run the air conditioners. We made one more rest stop in Sullivan, Missouri to get dinner before the final few miles of the trip. We knew that there was a Wal-Mart near some restaurants and we were going to park there while eating at the nearby KFC. When we got to Wal-Mart they had barriers for tall vehicles at all the entrances so we drove on down the access road to another shopping area and parked there, walking a few blocks to the KFC. From Sullivan it is less than an hours drive to my daughters family home in Foristell. We helped fund a parking pad for us in the rear of their home. I helped plan the utilities and we have full hookups here. They have hosted us for stays in the area ever since. Arriving just before sunset, we parked, leveled, hooked up water and electric and put out slides. I surveyed the motor home and was pleased to find that the exterior didn't look too bad. It will need a wash but not nearly as dirty as I expected. The toad was another story. After a short visit we were in for the night. We needed a good nights rest in preparation for our grandsons first marching band performance of the year the next day. The performance was the closing event of a two week band camp which helped prepare the marching band for their fall performances. Our grandson is a freshman and this was his first performance with the band. We were impressed with all that he had learned in two weeks. It rained during the picnic before the performance but the rain stopped for the marching performance. I washed it the next morning.
We're Still Rolling Along
tbutler posted a blog entry in Tom and Louise on Tour in North AmericaIt 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 conditioning on to keep the interior in top shape. When we hit the road this spring we found out all the things that had quit during the winter. As I explained to Louise, if we were living in it through the winter these things would have occurred one at a time rather than all in the first week back on the road. The list is long, but not overwhelming. We will be making repair stops as we travel. Our first three stops have been complete wash-outs, 0 for 3. Things will get better, I know it. Our first stop out of the blocks was at the Lone Star Chapter of FMCA rally in Rockport, Texas. Being new residents of Texas I want to be involved with a local chapter and Herman Mullins has been inviting us to join for several years so we had to give it a try. We got a royal welcome from the assembled membership. Herman was there to help us get parked! We found lots of friendly people and plenty of good food. We managed to drum up a golf game the first morning of the rally. A happy hour circle, games and other activities gave us plenty of opportunity to get aquainted with the 40+ members at this rally. To top it all off, I was on the championship bean-bag toss baseball game and got a ten dollar signing bonus! That was topped off when we got our official chapter license plate. And then we ran off with the grand prize in the door prize drawing. We actually got our entire registration fee refunded! What-a-deal! Leaving the rally we found out that the generator wasn't in a working mood. It gave us overheating errors on two tries to start it. So, just turn on the dash air for some relief - wrong, it blew only warm air. Louise gave the generator another try out of desperation. We planned to drive 500 miles from Rockport to Little Rock, AR and it was going to be blistering hot. Thank goodness, the generator finally gave in and ran. We turned on the roof air and kept our fingers crossed. Thank goodness it has been working ever since. The dash air is out of commission until we can get the compressor replaced. It's on order... The KVH dish has quit so we're back to broadcast TV. I was surprised to find that the number of channels that are available have increased. Our stop to determine the problem revealed a faulty computer card, no replacement available. The company wants the entire antenna unit returned to the factory... I'm thinking about it. Arriving at our destination in Missouri the next day, we picked up our two grandsons for a ten day tour of Nebraska and South Dakota. At ages 10 and 11, they are really interested in paleontology so we made the U of N State Muesum in Lincoln, NE our first stop. These are two exceptional 10 and 11 year old boys. They actually stop to read and learn from the displays. Sure, the gift shop is not an optional stop but they really love all those bones! Then we were off to Custer, SD. We made that our base for four days of exploring. We hiked to the outstretched arm of the Crazy Horse Monument with the annual Volksmarch. The boys would get 20 or 30 yards ahead of Louise and I then wait for us to catch up. I have lots of pictures of them standing by the side of the trail waiting! Our next day was a visit to Mount Rushmore followed by a drive through Custer State Park. I've been through the park several times and seen only an occasional bison. Thank goodness this trip was different. We saw many herds of the giant of the plains. Frequently they were only a few feet outside the window of the toad. And there were huge numbers of calves. We arrived back at the campground just before dark. Speaking of the campground, we stayed at Beaver Lake Campground and found it to be a great place for the boys. They actually had a collection of bicycles for use in the park, free. The boys would pick their bikes to ride and the next day get a different one. They enjoyed the playground, pool and the rabbits. Our final South Dakota activity was on the way back to Nebraska. We stopped at the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, SD. We had arranged two special experiences for the boys. They learned to throw an atlatl in a hour session with Chelsea. We ate lunch in the motor home parked on the parking lot. Then returned to enjoy the advanced lessons in paleontology. The boys learned to map and record their finds and how to preserve the fossil bones by plaster coating them. Then they were tunred loose on a plot to find bones. With each find they would record the find on the map then continue excavation until they had exposed the bones sufficiently to identify them. As the proceeded they would update the information on the map. Chelsea was our instructor and with the help of several assistants they even got Louise and I through the exercise. We then drove on to Nebraska and stayed two nights at Fort Robinson State Park. We explored the reconstructed buildings on the frontier cavalry post. We walked the ground where Crazy Horse died and learned about the life of late 1800's cavalry soldiers in the western prairie. They also have a paleontology museum at Fort Robinson which the boys still found interesting! The boys are cousins and they really enjoy each others company. I told Louise we got double points for this vacation with the boys, one point for the places we took them and one point for their chance to be together for an extended time. Through all this they never tired of each others company. Our final stop with the boys was at the Ashfall site in northeastern Nebraska. Here there are rhinocerocus bones that were buried in a volcanic ashfall. The rhinos had clustered at a waterhole along with camels and horses and other animals, trying to cope with a smothering ash cloud. Four feet of ash fell and the animals suffocated and were buried. The site was discovered about 40 years ago and has been preserved inside a large building that protects the unfossilized bones. There are dozens of skeletons and excellent information about the nature of the animals. Both this site and the museum at Fort Robinson are extensions of the U of N State Museum in Lincoln. We returned the boys to their parents and picked up their sisters. Two girls ages 7 and 8 are a world apart from the two boys. We planned an eight day trip to Indiana and Kentucky. We visited the zoo in Evansville, Indiana. The youngest was disappointed that there was no elephant. They managed to make friends with a jaguar. Both girls got to hand feed a pair of giraffes and they enjoyed the many play items on the grounds of the zoo. Then drove on to Palmyra to stay in the county park there. Our first day we toured the Schimpff's Confectionery in Jeffersonville, Indiana. This is a great place to take kids and adults. The tour covers the history of the business which has been in continuous operation by the same family line for over 100 years and they have the equipment to show for it. We got to watch them make their signature red hots and then got a sample that was still warm. We got a special treat at the county park has a swimming lake with a sand beach. The girls enjoyed several hours of play in the water and on the beach. The next day we drove the toad to Lexingtion, KY to vist the Kentucky Horse Park. The girls weren't ready to leave when the park closed. The horseback ride around the park was followed by several visits to the Children's Barn where they learned all about horses in hands on activities including a brush and shine lesson with a real horse. Thomas, a large black Frisian, stood absolutely still as a dozen children brushed and combed him to be show ready! We saw several shows and rode the horse drawn trolly around the park. After all that it was Pizza Hut, a break for Louise, and a long drive home. Their final experience was at the Indianapolis Children's Museum. This museum is a wonder for young children. We've visited this museum a number of times and it never disappoints. They seem to find ways to make it more interesting every time we visit. The girls loved the carousel and then spotted the play houses. They even enjoyed the Lego's and Hot Wheels exhibits. Taking after their brothers they even enjoyed the dinosaurs. After returning the girls we attended a baseball game for the 11 year old boy and then celebrated fathers day with my son and the 10 year old boy and the 6 year old girl. Today we rested. Louise caught up with the laundry and gave the entire motor home a thorough cleaning. I was off to spend the afternoon working at my mothers home, helping to get the house ready for sale. We buried my mother in late April followed by Louise's mother in mid-May. Both were near/in their 90's and had been in failing health over the last few years. We are parked at my daughters home and they are leaving on vacation tomorrow. I'm looking forward to some quiet days ahead. We'll leave Missouri mid-week next week and be pretty much on our own for the rest of the summer. Dozens of things to write about... more soon.
We start at day 1...
tbutler posted a blog entry in Tom and Louise on Tour in North AmericaI 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 Kaitlyn are pretty good most of the time so I have time on my hands while they are busy. We are in Foristell, Missouri (Go Tigers!) where the temperatures are 50 degrees right now. Our motor home sits in Edinburg, Texas where the temperature is 100 degrees today! Glad we left the air conditioner set or we'd find the interior melted when we got back. Speaking of Tigers, was that a great game last night or what?? I guess that depends on your perspective. From the Missouri bench it was fantastic. Sorry Memphis fans. I'm speaking Elite Eight in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament. We'll fly Southwest Airlines back to Harlingen (about an hour East of Edinburg) tomorrow and be in our cozy home by evening. Pipewrenchgrip, Bill and Laura, will have dinner for us tomorrow evening. Sure hope I can convince them to tune the NCAA for the Mizzou game. They have been watching our rig while we are gone. This is a duty we've traded off during the winter for the last seven years. Harlingen, Edinburg, McAllen are all in extreme southern Texas in an area known as the Rio Gande Valley. You have to look at a map or drive there to really appreciate how far South these cities are. Our latitude is about equal to the southern tip of Florida. We are much further South than Yuma or San Diego. In fact, Amarillo Texas is closer to Fargo, North Dakota than it is to Brownsville, Texas! Mild winters and hot summers rule. We usually arrive about the end of October and depart for cooler climes in mid April. Our community is a close knit "family" and springtime brings the sorrow of parting. Being one of the last winter visitors to leave means saying good bye to everyone one at a time. Most of them will return but there are a few every year who we won't see for some time. We have a directory that lists all who want to be listed and use it to plan visits when we are near our friends. Enough for today, got to leave something to say in the future. Look for more information once or twice a week.
Trying a Different Route Pays Off
tbutler posted a blog entry in Tom and Louise on Tour in North AmericaWe have just completed our trek across country from Missouri to California. We've done this trip many times since we have grandchildren in both states. The quickest route is to travel I-70 west to Denver then jog north on I-25 to Cheyenne, Wyoming where we pick up I-80 on to California. This trip we decided to take a different route. We planned to visit friends in Yankton, South Dakota so it seemed that going north into Iowa and then west to Sioux City, Iowa would be a nice change. Interstate 70 across Missouri is always a race track, loaded with trucks and lots of auto traffic. Avoiding the interstate tangle of Kansas City was another plus. So we decided to drive north on US 61 and US 281 and I-380 to Waterloo, Iowa. That was the first leg of our trip. US 61 is four lane from I-70 almost all the way to the Iowa border. The road surface is fair to good and traffic is light. US 281 is good surface and four lane most of its distance. The only heavy traffic we encountered was on I-380 from Iowa City to Waterloo. This may not be consistently busy, it was Friday afternoon about 4:00 p.m. when we passed through Iowa City. We arrived at the Wal-Mart just off US 20 in Waterloo about 5:00 p.m. I spent an hour or more working on replacing our water pump. When we unhooked and switched to the water pump preparing to leave my daughters home, the water pump wouldn't work. I found a blown fuse, replaced it and it blew again. Calling ShurFlo I found that we would have to send in the old pump to get warranty service. I wasn't ready to do without a pump for a week while we waited for a replacement so picked up another matching pump at a local dealer before we left town. Now I'll return the defective pump for an exchange and have a spare on hand. Saturday morning we drove west on US 20 through central Iowa. Traffic was very light and the highway was excellent. About 100 miles from Sioux City the four lane pavement gives way to the old two lane highway which wanders from town to town, up hill and down dale. That part of the trip was slower but still comfortable travel with very light traffic. On our way, our friends from Yankton, South Dakota called to let us know that I-29 was still flooded by the Missouri River and was closed south of Sioux City. We laughed, if we were on our regular route to their home, we would have been searching for a route around the flooding. As it was, we would not be affected at all by that closure. We took I-29 north from Sioux City to US 50. The final ten miles of I-29 was littered with orange barrels and two way traffic which slowed our travel before we arrived at Junction City and US 50. We spent two days with our friends, sharing our summer experiences. They took us to the Gavin Point Dam on the Missouri River to see the water being discharged from the dam. We marveled at the 90,000,000 cubic feet per second discharge from the dam which was considerably smaller than the 160,000,000 cubic feet per second discharge that was occurring in May and June of this year. The force of water is a spectacle not to be missed, whether from a dam, waterfall, rapids, or waves on a shore, water is awesome. Of course that force is also threatening as the people downstream from the dam learned this spring. We enjoyed dining out at a nearby restaurant overlooking the Missouri River. We went bowling one evening which gave me a chance to try out my new knees. I didn't have my ball or shoes so bowled using a spare ball loaned to me by my friend. By the end of the evening it felt like my own ball! I was back to bowling my average. That was reassuring to everyone as the four of us are a bowling team in the winter in south Texas. By the end of the evening I was ready to get off my feet and ice down my knees. With the recommendation of a neighbor we found a welder to fix part of our towing linkage. One of the two brackets that link the car to the tow bar had developed a crack. The welder was able to clean up the crack and put a good weld on the crack. It is holding well and should get us home for the winter. Then I'll have to pursue a replacement. Leaving Yankton, we drove south on US 81 to US 20 in Nebraska. This is the same highway we were on in Iowa. Right away we experienced several sections of road repair. We were beginning to question our decision when the repairs stopped and we traveled many miles before encountering more repairs. There is very little traffic on US 20 in Nebraska, the road surface is generally good and travel is surprisingly fast. The towns are small and widely scattered so you travel many miles before the next town. Most of these small towns don't even have a stop sign so you can keep on rolling. After miles of crop and pasture lands we reached western Nebraska which has beautiful scenery of sand hills. These are ancient sand dunes, now supporting grasses and trees. As US 20 continues into Wyoming, there are more rocks and mountains. The scenery is beautiful. We encountered a few showers but arrived in Casper, Wyoming before dark. The Wal-Mart parking lot, our overnight stop, is packed with RV's, many are on the way to or from Yellowstone we suspect. US 20 joins I-25 about 50 miles before reaching Casper. Wyoming 220 from Casper south to Rawlins, Wyoming gets us back to I-80 and our normal route west. Rain hit us again on I-80 in western Wyoming and eastern Utah. Louise and I are sharing driving duties. I simply can't sit in the drivers seat for an extended time. I set the timer at 2 hours and when it goes off I look for a spot to pull over so we can change drivers. Louise takes the wheel for an hour then looks for a stopping place. While she drives I have my legs propped up on pillows on the passenger seat leg rest. That coupled with wearing the surgical stockings from the hospital keep my swelling in check. Louise drives the approach to Salt Lake City until we reach the Park City area where the slopes become steeper and the curves tighter. I'll get us through the city and to our fuel stop at Lake Point, Utah. From there Louise drives to our next overnight stop. Near Knolls, Utah is a wonderful rest stop which we have used frequently. Most of the truck parking is on a slope but there are a few nearly level spots at the western end of the west bound rest stop. The rest stop is well off the highway and high above the highway so there is no highway noise. A truck pulls in next to us late in the evening and immediately shuts his engine down. We both sleep well tonight. Thursday morning we are up and away about 8:00 a.m. We've been making really good time and our scheduled arrival in San Andreas, California is assured. We're stopping for fuel as we travel west because the fuel keeps getting more expensive as we travel. We'll grab some more fuel in Winnemucca, Nevada and then head on to Fernley where we leave I-80 for the short cut to Carson City, Nevada. We find the Wal-Mart posted "No Overnight Parking." This is a change, we have stayed there many times before. We continue on south on US 395 to Hwy 88 which will become California Hwy 88. This will take us over the Sierra Nevada. It is now late and we're not going to tackle that highway at night so we find a wide area along a river and park for the night. We are alone and it is quiet. I bookmark this spot in the GPS for future use. Friday morning Louise fixes a fine hot breakfast and we're on our way. Only 90 miles to Gold Strike Village in San Andreas, California. These 90 miles are real mountain driving. We're on two lane roads, plenty of turn-outs and lots of tight turns. The engine brake gets a workout on the down slopes and the engine has lots of exercise on the climbs. We arrive in Jackson, California just before noon. Louise wants a grocery stop so we make our way to the Safeway in Jackson. After shopping and eating lunch we are into our campground by 2:30 p.m. Saturday morning we are watching our five year old granddaughter play soccer. It's just too much fun to be missed. It makes the whole trip worthwhile. We'll be here for a month enjoying both the 5 year old and our 3 year old granddaughters. More soccer games, reading books, babysitting, and just being grandparents. The girls want to know what the scars on my knees are. They trace the line of the scar on my right knee and talk about stitches. I laugh and tell them they used staples. Ewww! Wait until I get the x-rays on disk. They should arrive in the mail next week. That will keep the girls entertained for five minutes.
A Lot of Work for a Little Mouse
tbutler posted a blog entry in Tom and Louise on Tour in North AmericaI haven't been doing much work around the motor home lately. My left knee replacement is healing well and I'm up to getting out and around more these days. The water filters in the basement needed replacement so I waded into the midsection of our home. As I began removing stored equipment I noticed little chewed bits of the blue shop towels I use. So now my task becomes a project. Sure enough, there are more and more signs of a mouse. We haven't had one for eight years but it has finally happened again. As I dig through the stored materials, more signs emerge. Under the sliding drawer in the forward storage area I find bits of acorns. Somebody had a picnic here. There is only one answer here. Everything has to come out and a good cleaning is in order. One compartment after another is emptied and cleaned. Our son-in-law brings the shop vac which speeds the cleaning tremendously. The trash bag of mouse debris keeps growing. I've grown careless over the years, there are rags that should have been secured that now are waste. A used sponge has been gnawed to a nub. The motor home hasn't been cleaned this well in years. Did I mention that the temperature is 97 degrees on a clear sunny day. I have the large awning out and some shade on the other side of the motor home. I'm pushing hard to get done before the sun gets to the door of each compartment. Our grandchildren are enjoying the swimming pool and our daughter is supervising. We visit during breaks. I have to stand up and sit down occasionally. My new knee doesn't take well to all the bending and kneeling. I'm drinking water like a fish at every break. The mouse or mice have been throughout the basement. We have seen no evidence in the living area but the storage area has evidence in every compartment. It takes me four hours to finish working through the storage areas. I check every access point. The sewer hose has gaps around it so I rearrange my improvised collar to better block the space around the hose. Everything else looks secure, so this must be the access point. I have two old traps from our only other encounter with these critters. These are baited and and placed in the utility compartment. A quick trip to town secures four more new traps. Every compartment has two traps ... now I'm waiting. It's possible that our daughters family cat, Miss Race Car (named by our grandson when he was six years old), a Norwegian Forest Cat, has already caught up with the offending mouse. I had a conversation with Miss Race Car, who sleeps under the motor home regularly. I impressed upon her that I had been counting on her to keep the motor home free of mice. If she hasn't already done so, I'll get the little rascals. The water filters are changed and we have a good flow of water for my well deserved shower. Louise fixes me my favorite libation and sends me out the door to fire up the grill. We'll have steak tonight! We enjoy sitting outside even with the heat. One of the really unusual things about this heat wave is that there has been a light breeze constantly. I lived in Missouri for most of my life and my recollection is that when the weather got really hot the air would be deadly calm. This year we have a breeze and it makes the heat almost bearable. I'm glad to be out and about and back to work. There will be only a few more work days before my right knee replacement on Thursday next week.