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Full Timing, Super C or 5th Wheel
CCallaway posted a topic in Buying an RVWe are a family of 5 planning to full time for a year and see the lower 48. I thought I had decided on a Renegade Verona but started looking at the floorpans of 5th wheels last night and realized the I liked the living quarters better. I feel like a college professor in that I've read all the books but don't know squat. No offense to college professors. Other than living conditions I wonder about driving in the mountains in a 5th wheel vs Super C. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
SNOW NOW- BOUT 2 FLY
HEAVENBOUND posted a topic in RV Photo GalleryJUST FINISHED PLANNING OUR SUMMER HOPE TO SEE SOME OF YOU THERE. MEMBERS OF THOUSAND TRAILS. 6/14 MICHIGAN 6/18 NIAGARA FALLS 6/25 ORLANDO, FLORIDA 7/2 WISCONSIN DELLS 7/15 NAARVA RALLY, SARASOTA FLORIDA 7/23 FISHING, STURGEON BAY ,WISCONSIN
Motor Homing and Family Visits
tbutler posted a blog entry in Tom and Louise on Tour in North AmericaWhen last you heard from us we were winding up a huge tour of the National Parks in the Four Corners area. We arrived in Las Vegas for an extended stay. Actually, it was planned as a departure point. We stayed at a park in Henderson, a southeastern suburb of Las Vegas. The rates were good and the security was by all accounts very good so we felt comfortable leaving our coach there while flying to St. Louis to be with family for the big 50 birthday party. Las Vegas RV Resort turned out to be an excellent choice. In early September, the park is mostly empty but the staff is on duty taking care of the park. During the winter this must be quite a busy park but for now, it provided easy access to the Las Vegas area and the good security we wanted. There is a gate house with someone on duty 24/7. We spent several days out on the town. I had a Euro recliner that was part of the original coach equipment. It was showing its age and I had been considering replacing it. I figured a larger city like Las Vegas would provide a good selection of furniture stores. A little internet browsing and we picked several stores to visit. The first had recliners, the big puffy kind, not exactly what I needed. The second store had one that looked good and it was on sale but, they didn't have it in stock. It would be several weeks, we weren't staying that long. On the way to the car, we walked past a tent sale for the same store. We decided to take a look and found a nice chair and ottoman combo that fit our needs. These were clearance items so I figured what we were looking at was the item on sale. It looked to be in good condition so we caught a salesperson between corralling children playing on the furniture and put in our request. Over to the register, provide all the information and we get directions for picking up our, new in the carton, chair. It was half the price of the one we had looked at in the main store and was quite similar. I'm in it now! I put the old chair out on the street in the RV park with a note attached, "Free to a good home." The next morning it was gone! We did the obligatory run through some of the big casinos on The Strip. It really isn't as exciting as it was when I was young. They even charge for parking these days. We drove out to Hoover Dam one day. We've done the dam tour before and I'd recommend it to everyone who is interested in taking a look at this amazing piece of engineering and construction. This time we took the walk across the Mike O'Callaghan - Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. This is the amazing engineering project that allows US Hwy 93 to bypass the dam. The views of the dam and the canyon from the walkway are spectacular and unlike a helicopter ride, you can linger and take all the pictures you want. There is a great array of informational panels and displays about the project. We flew Southwest Airlines from Las Vegas to St. Louis on Thursday, September 8. Friday we attended a practice marching band performance at our oldest grandson's school. He has found his calling in marching band and we enjoy the seeing the performances. Saturday we pitched in and helped get everything cleaned up and ready for the big birthday party. We had several people in the family turning 50, my youngest sister and our oldest son-in-law were both celebrating. I myself had just turned 70 but nothing was said about me being one of the celebrants. About an hour before the party my brother and his wife who are living in Kentucky arrived. There was a decorated table with my name on it and a sign that said, "70 Rocks!" My grandchildren had picked out some special rocks to anchor the sign, rocks that we had brought them from our travels. Our oldest daughter and her husband hosted the event using their garage, driveway and patio to entertain the crowd. We had great weather, a musician had been hired for the night, there were plenty of snacks, beverages, and several campfires with chairs set up around. We had a very enjoyable evening visiting with family and friends. Sunday we slept in then went to an RV Show with the other two birthday celebrants who are both into RV's now. My oldest daughter and her husband have a nice travel trailer that they have been using for some nice family trips. My younger sister and her husband have a Class B that he used for commuting to work across the state for years. The RV Show had a good display of trailers and motor homes all on a shopping center parking lot. In previous years the venue was indoors but for various reasons they moved outdoors, more appropriate I thought. It is fun to look at the state of the industry even if we weren't shopping. Monday morning we were on our way back to Las Vegas. Tuesday we had an appointment at Freightliner in North Las Vegas, to look at a few chassis problems. They were short handed and didn't think they could do more than look at any problems. So we left there disappointed. We had a Wednesday appointment at Cummins in North Las Vegas and went there to see if we could get in early for engine maintenance. They were booked so we ended up at Walmart for the night and got in early the next day. Wednesday we departed North Las Vegas about 1:00 p.m., temperatures still near 100, and headed into cooler weather in northern Nevada. US Hwy 95 along the western border of Nevada is a common route when we leave Northern California on our way south to Texas. This was the first time we'd traveled that route headed north. It does make the scenery a little different. We covered a little over 300 miles that afternoon and settled in for the night in a "dispersed camping" area alongside Walker Lake. Temperatures were in the 60's overnight and by morning, the coach was nice and cool. A little more than 200 miles through the Sierra Nevada on California Hwy 88 to Jackson and on to Valley Springs to our youngest daughter's home. We've been here two weeks now, temperatures in the low to mid 90's are a little warmer than desired but a cool front has come through and they have dropped into the 70's into the afternoon and 50's at night. That's more comfortable. It never (hardly ever) rains when we are here in the fall and this fall is no exception. We stock our wine rack while here in California. We have a favorite winery nearby and we will take several cases of their wine with us as we return to Texas. There is also a liquor chain here, BEVMO (Beverages and More). They have periodic 5 cent wine sales. Buy one bottle at regular price and the second bottle is 5 cents. We enjoy a variety of wines and this gives us a chance to spend a little more than normal on a bottle of wine and still keep it on budget. So we'll look a little like bootleggers as we head for Texas. It's all legal! The motor home makes a great truck. Our two youngest granddaughters live in Valley Springs and their schools year-round schedule has them on vacation for the next two weeks. That is our mission, to keep the girls busy while they are on vacation. Their mother will be on vacation next week and we'll all head north to their "OHO," their Oregon House. Several years ago they purchased a house on the banks of the Umqua River in western Oregon. The whole family loves to fish and the river is in their back yard. The house is on a good sized hilll, well above river level so anything resembling normal flooding will be no problem for them. We'll spend a week there then depart for Texas as the family returns to California and back to work and school.
tbutler posted a blog entry in Tom and Louise on Tour in North AmericaAfter 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 or a babysitter and we get to know our granddaughters better. We've been here for one week, the week before our babysitting duties. The girls have been in school and we've been free to do some shopping and relaxing. There are no RV parks near where our daughter lives. For a number of years we stayed at a park about 20 miles away. We tried several parks over the years but none was convenient and we were often driving home in the dark. Last year the kids put in a 50A outlet and we there is a water faucet about 50 feet away and a sewer connection. Life is so much more convenient when we are living next door. We've had an opportunity to go with the girls for their gymnastics lessons. They have been attending classes for several years and they are showing nice improvement. It is fun to watch them develop their skills. The girls love to visit the motor home. They find excuses to come visit us when we aren't at the house. We keep a store of coloring books and drawing paper to entertain them. There are some other toys and games and they enjoy those as well. Both the girls are in 4-H and we will take them on a 4-H field trip to Apple Hill next Wednesday. Apple Hill is a fall festival area for children. There are dozens of apple orchards, wineries and farms. In the fall they all market their wares, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, petting zoos, and a host of other activities for children. For adults there is food, a pleasant outdoor shopping and recreation experience and a place to entertain the children. We've taken the girls in the past. This year it will be part of a larger group. Both Louise and I have done many field trips with children when we were classroom teachers. This will be a flashback experience for us. Today we went with Mom and the girls to the Grape Stomp in the town of Murphys. Each year they hold a festival to celebrate the grape harvest. As part of the festival they hold a grape stomping contest. This is "I Love Lucy" grape stomping. There are two person teams, one person stomps the grapes and the other moves the grapes and pushes the juice out the drain to a collecting bucket. Each team is given 5 gallons of grapes, freshly harvested, still attached to the vines. The grapes are in a half barrel which has a one inch drain. Contestants are sometimes in costume, sometimes just shorts and t-shirts. They have five minutes to get as much liquid as they can from their 5 gallons of grapes. It is as much fun for the spectators as for the teams. Louise posted the girls near the stage so they could see the action. They were close enough to catch some of the splattering juice from one of the teams! We only watched one of the preliminary flights of contestants. There were over 50 teams competing in the contest this year. The main street of Murphys is lined with vendors and all of the wineries in the area have their tasting rooms open. In the park where the contest is under way you can purchase a souvenir wine glass and there are many wines there to be tasted as well. With the girls along we didn't do much wine tasting. As the designated driver my job was to entertain the girls while the ladies tried some of the wines. We brought home three bottles of wine. The girls enjoyed wading in the stream that flows through the park. They met several of the dogs who were also enjoying the cool water on a warm afternoon. They spent some time touring a real old-time toy store. It had all the great stuff many of us remember from the neighborhood dime store. I resisted my impulse to steer the girls toward some of the musical toys even though mom refused to pay for my silence! We all had a good time. We've taken the girls on trips in past years and this year will be no exception. We're going to take the girls on a trip to Oregon. Mom and dad have a family vacation house not far from the Oregon coast and they will spend a week at the vacation house. We'll take the girls in the motor home for the trip to Oregon. It will just be a two day trip, no special destinations, just a road trip in the motor home and the girls will be thrilled with that. After we spend several days with the family we'll begin our trip south for the winter. There are so many ways that having a motor home enriches our lives and the lives of those we love. We truly are fortunate to have this wonderful home.
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.
The F in FMCA
tbutler posted a blog entry in Tom and Louise on Tour in North AmericaLouise’s mother, Irene, lived in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, for many years. When we visited her one of the things she would always talk about was the production of her fruit trees. She kept count of the number of oranges, lemons and grapefruit that each of her three trees produced. We used to laugh about her recordkeeping tendencies. She did serve as the chief accountant for the Denver airport for many years, so she came by the recordkeeping honestly. Tonight as I was recording our mileage for the day, it occurred to me that I’m just like Irene, keeping records of all our travels. The records help me time and again as I write comments on a forum discussion or when I want to know what we were doing in any given year of our travels. Each time we park, on the road or in a campground, I record the town, the mileage and the distance traveled for the day. There is an entry for every fuel stop and maintenance stop with the date and mileage of each occurrence. I have another record where I list all the states we visit each year. I can tell you how many times we’ve taken the motor home to Nebraska (6) or Georgia (1). I started this listing later on when it occurred to me that I didn’t have a brief descriptive record of our travels. It all helps me recall all of our travels. Sorry Georgia, I’ve had better intentions, but interestingly, both of our planned trips were canceled by health emergencies Irene experienced. Shortly after purchasing our new motor home at a Monaco International rally in Louisiana, we planned to take our time making our way along the Gulf coast and then up the Atlantic coast to Kitty Hawk for the 100th anniversary of flight. We got a call from Louis’s sister, Carol, who had been staying with her mother. Irene had been in the hospital and was recovering but needed someone at home with her during the recovery. Carol wanted to get back to her family, so we were off to Lake Havasu City. We drove from Louisiana to Lake Havasu City in a matter of four days. We left after several weeks and rushed back across country, stopping only to fuel up and sleep. We got to Kitty Hawk in time to enjoy the celebration. Several years later we planned to get to Florida to see a launch of the NASA Space Shuttle. We had reservations along the Florida coast for the launch and also made reservations for the flying celebration, Fun N Sun, in Florida. From there we would journey north up the Atlantic coast. Again, Irene was in need. We got a call, heart attack, in the hospital, it sounded grave. We packed up our winter camp in 24 hours and 48 hours later we were in Denver at Irene’s bedside. To this day I have not seen a shuttle launch and of course we know how that story ends. We buried Irene this spring, shortly after her 91st birthday. She leaves behind many memories stored in our minds and hearts. Her fruit trees became an important part of her life and the records she kept were evidence of her dedication to them and her success. Many of her friends and acquaintances remember her for all the fruit she shared with them. She would load up sacks of fruit in the trunk of her car and share them with anyone who wanted them each Sunday after church. Over our ten years of full-timing, we spent many days parked at Irene’s home. She had a 30-amp outlet on the outside of the garage and water available from the spigot in the backyard. We could come and live next door to her as needed. Our motor home has given us the freedom to be there for our families. Those times are even more valuable to us today.
It's a Great Life
tbutler posted a blog entry in Tom and Louise on Tour in North AmericaI was standing at the window of our daughter's home looking at our motor home parked in their driveway. I was baby-sitting two of our grandchildren, the payment we make for camping in our daughter's campground. I do the early shift because our son-in-law and daughter leave for work earlier than Louise likes to rise and shine. I enjoy the early shift. If I'm quiet, the children will sleep until my shift is over. I can use the time to read the paper and catch up on my computer communications. Anyway, back to my original thought. Looking at our motor home, I realized that our motor home offers everything we need to be at home. This is not a new thought, we've been living in it for 9-1/2 years. We are able to live independently of our daughters family even though we are parked right next to them. We interact as much or as little as we or they desire. For an extended stay that could turn into mooching on the kids, the motor home allows us to stay independent and out from underfoot. We have been here for almost two months and will be here for another two months until both my knees are replaced and I'm healthy enough to travel again. When we do hit the road again, we'll head west to California to visit with another daughter and her family and see two more grandchildren. We aren't traveling right now. We aren't parked in some exotic scenic location. We aren't in a cool summer location. Parked or on the road, our motor home enriches our life. This is one versatile machine.
Bad to the Bone
tbutler posted a blog entry in Tom and Louise on Tour in North AmericaOur travels after Denver were easy to plan. We drove about three miles from Golden Terraces RV Park to I-70, headed east and stopped when we got to Foristell, Missouri. Another three miles south of I-70 and we were at our daughters' home where we are parked for an extended period of time. Our activities since arriving here have included a dance recital by our granddaughter, a barbeque on Memorial Day weekend which included several killer games of croquet, and now a brand new knee for me! We've visited with my mother, both of our children and their families including our four grandchildren in the St. Louis area. Our granddaughter loves to dance and it shows. The dance school has a huge performance about this time each year. The participants range from 2 and three year old dancers up through high school and beyond. The really young ones are cute beyond description. The older dancers have amazing ability. Our granddaughter is somewhere in the middle. She does love to dance and it shows in her performance. The show starts at 1:30 and runs until 4:30 for a full afternoon of dancing. We treated everyone to ice cream at Fritz's, the local ice cream shop. The next week included hitting the doctor's offices including getting surgery for my knee scheduled. Louise has had a persistent cough, ear congestion and swollen glands. The doctor diagnosed a sinus infection and bronchitis. She is now on the mend. My orthopedist scheduled my knee surgery for June 2. This set off a series of visits for tests and exams at the GP and a pre-surgery visit at the hospital. As part of my pre-surgery routine, I set about getting everything top shape on the motor home. I had no idea how long it would be until I was able to work on fix-its after my surgery. One of my projects was to install the day/night shades from MCD Innovations which we ordered on our way out of Texas. The shades arrived on Friday after our arrival in Foristell. I had them installed by the following Monday. So now we have first class shades in the motor home. Louise loves how dark the night shades are. She has been sleeping late trying to shake off her bronchitis and sinus infection. At 5:30 a.m. on June 2, I reported to the surgery unit at St. Anthony's Hospital. Two hours later I was in the operating room and two hours after that I was waking up in the recovery room. It is now the 4th of June and I'm resting comfortably at home in the motor home. My orthopedist prescribed a rigorous pre-surgery exercise and conditioning program and it has paid off by getting me home quickly. Now I'll continue with the follow-up therapy. Once this knee heals, I'll have the other replaced. I thought perhaps I didn't need to have the replacements but a week off the pain medication I've been taking for the last several years settled that issue. Once both knees are replaced and healed completely, we'll break camp and head down the road for more motor home adventures. In the meantime I'm really ddddddddddddddddrowsy. Those hospital beds aren't all that comfortable. I only got about six hours of sleep the last two days. It turns out I'll be enjoying those MCD Innovations shades also!
On the Road Again!
tbutler posted a blog entry in Tom and Louise on Tour in North AmericaOur winter this year was spent in our new mobile home in Sandpipers Resort in Edinburg, Texas. The motor home has been seriously neglected during this winter. We don't have to winterize in the normal sense. Tanks are drained and the refrigerator emptied and unplugged. We left the heat on and air conditioning when needed. Tires were inflated to maximum inflation pressure and we were parked on wooden blocks. I did wash the motor home several times through the winter and we were in and out moving items to and from the motor home. Still, we were occupied with the new house more than the motor home this winter. This is quite a change after almost ten years living full time in the motor home. Our goal was to leave south Texas on Sunday, May 1. Everything was going according to schedule until Louise came down with a serious cold just days before we were to leave. Fortunately, she had a good head start getting things into the motor home before the cold hit her. The final day was mine with all the mechanical things to tend to, check fluids, fill fresh water tank, move the coach off the blocks and adjust tire pressures. I finished loading the last of my personal items and closed up the house about 5:00 p.m. - yes, 5:00 p.m. We had delays, the starting batteries now 7 1/2 years old decided today was the day to quit. I started the coach using the battery boost from the house batteries. Then the Trailblazer wouldn't shift into neutral for towing. It has a chronic loose connection that no GM dealer has been able to fix. After a number of tries we finally get a shift and we're on our way - out the gate at 6:30 p.m. Our first stop was just 200 miles down the road. We were scheduled for maintenance at Iron Horse RV in San Antonio. Top of the list was to replace the starting batteries. Then there was a drip from the hot water heater that turned out to be a loose connection. That took several tries and replacing a broken fitting to finally solve that problem. The water pump was failing so it was replaced. The big job was replacing the refrigerator. The Norcold 1200 had finally become unusable during our last trip of the fall so when we unplugged it for the winter I knew it was the last time it would run. Our food was packed in ice chests for this trip, it would be transferred to our new refrigerator once it was installed. We chose to have a residential refrigerator installed in place of the Norcold. Iron Horse identified a model which would come close to fitting the space occupied by the Norcold. It was about 4 inches taller and three inches deeper but was the same width. Removing the old and installing the new took about two days with some interruptions for our tech to do other jobs on our coach and occasional assists working with other coaches. We left Iron Horse RV about 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday with good batteries, a working water pump, no drip from the water heater and a cold refrigerator. We spent the night at Riverside RV Park in Waco and then drove to MCD Innovations in McKinney, Texas the next day. The first of our pleated shades had broken just before we parked in the fall and we were unable to get repair because the shade couldn't be disassembled. Knowing that all the rest of the shades are 7 1/2 years old, we decided to replace the whole lot. Being on a schedule we elected to have MCD Innovations measure the windows for us and then ship us the shades for self installation later. With the roll up day/night shades and all our other fix ups we'll have a much improved coach. They got us measured Thursday afternoon and we were ready for an early morning departure on Friday. Our next destination was Denver, Colorado for a family wedding. It is an easy two day drive of about 400 miles each day. We had never driven the route from McKinney to Amarillo before and I really enjoy seeing new country and a new road. From Amarillo to Denver is a route we've traveled many times. We stayed overnight at the Wal-Mart in Dumas, our first night boondocking with the new refrigerator and it did just fine running on the inverter for the night. We arrived at Golden Terraces RV Park about 3:00 in the afternoon on Saturday, right on our planned schedule. Now we have a week of preparation for the wedding. Family visits, planning, scheduling, and on Saturday our youngest niece will be married. For now, we're sitting out a fine spring rain in Denver. The temperature is a cool 43 degrees. Wednesday morning I brushed snow off the Trailblazer. It is good to be back on the road again.
Fakes right, goes left!
tbutler posted a blog entry in Tom and Louise on Tour in North AmericaOk! So I had this great excursion of air and space planned for this spring in Florida. It was so simple, depart south Texas, drive north, keep making right turns until we got to Lakeland, Florida. Then we got a phone call from Louise's sister. Her mother had a heart attack on Friday, April 10. Our plans immediately took a tailspin into the trash can and we shifted gears. After some discussion I canceled my tennis match for Saturday morning. Louise arranged to get us out of the couples water volleyball tournament on Saturday afternoon. Then I made a first pass at getting ready for travel by taking down the external sun screens and wheel covers. They were all rolled and stowed in the dark and quietly too, it was after quiet hours. The fresh water tank is flushed and filled and I start organizing my desk (some call it a nest) area. The GPS is loaded with the maps and waypoints for the route. Louise began packing up all the little decorations that make the RV a home during our winter stay. Saturday morning I'm up early taking care of communication details with family and friends. I check the weather forecast for the next few days along our route of travel. The computer, disk drives and printers are stowed. Then I began the serious work of washing off the worst of the south Texas dust that had accumulated over the last few months. Everything comes out of our small shed and it is carefully packed away in the Trailblazer and Windsor. Then our tables, chairs, porch and other gear that will be left behind are stowed in the shed. Meanwhile Louise has systematically organized and secured the interior of the motor home. Nothing is going to rattle or crash when we pull out. A quick shower and we are out the gate at 6:20 p.m. Our route now takes us north to San Antonio, then northwest toward Denver. The GPS has plotted a course that I would never have worked out on my own. Leaving I-10 west of San Antonio, we head toward Lubbock, Amarillo, Lamar and Limon on our way to Denver. From I-10 to Limon is completely new territory for both of us and we enjoy the sights as we keep pushing on to the north and left. Our first overnight was a parking area north of Alice, Texas. The next day starts with rain, wet roads and light showers give way to cloudy skies, perfect for driving. Traffic is light, this is Easter and most people are with family. The smaller highways have little traffic. As we near Amarillo we encounter more showers including a quick hail storm as we pass through Hale, Texas. The hail is soft and the rain is hard for about three minutes. Then it is all over. After fueling at Flying J, we locate a Sam's Club parking lot. The GPS said it would be a Wal-Mart but the data must be old. The Sam's Club is new! We park at a back fence. A sign on the fence says "no idling, shut off engine" so we comply. We covered over 600 miles on Sunday. It is a nice quiet place for the night. Next morning up early again. The temperature is 30 degrees cooler than the previous day and the tires are all low on pressure. I air tires while Louise makes breakfast and tidies the interior. Continuing northward through the Texas Panhandle and through the Oklahoma Panhandle we encounter some of our roughest roads. I watch the LCD TV that I installed to replace the old CRT. I am pleased to see that it is handling the rough roads with no problem. We talk history, here and there we see an old soddy. Contrast that with the immense wind farms we see throughout northern Texas. In places we see new wind generators right next to old windmills pumping water for livestock. Louise catches an occasional nap, I drive. She can drive and does frequently but I am intent on keeping us moving. At 4:05 p.m. we pull into Prospect RV in Wheat Ridge, CO. Nancy has arranged for us to park on a space temporarily until she can put us in a better spot. We won't have a sewer connection until we move. They have turned on the water in this part of the park today or we wouldn't have had water either. We are glad to be parked. Hooked up and showered we are off to see Louise's mother. Seventy two hours ago we were going to Florida. Forty eight hours ago we departed Sandpipers. Now we are living in Denver! What great flexibility the motor home gives us. Louise's mother had a stent inserted into the offending artery and is doing well. I hope I'll be able to stand such surgery when I am 88 years old. We'll be here for as long as needed to assist with her care. When Louise's sister and family are able resume caring of her with their full work schedules, we'll salvage what we can of our summer plans.