About Me

Lee Creek, North Shuswap near Chase, B.C, Canada
We went full-time Rving in October of 2005! We retired from full time to part-time as of the end of 2015. Our present "small but comfortable" Wagon is a 2008 Camper trailer(TravelAir Rustler), pulled by a 2008 Dodge Dakota, 4X4.l. Our home base is a resort Park, in Oliver, British-Columbia, Canada. I retired in 2005 and my Life Companion, Valerie, retired October 1, 2006 from nursing. We invite you to follow and share our new adventures and mishaps. Life is but an adventure full of dreams yet to be fulfilled!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December 27 to 31, 2008, Louisiana

DEC. 27, Saturday, Preparations for departure

It was overcast again this morning; it rained overnight and right now it’s muggy and hot. Spent the day packing and getting ready for tomorrow.
We had happy hour with our friends then relaxed in the evening at home.


DEC. 28, Leave for Lafayette, LA

W got up to rain this morning, of course! While I dumped, Val had one last session of Tai-Chi with Dennis then we said our goodbyes and left Abita Springs. Drove south on hwy 59 to I-12 then south again on hwy 190, across the causeway which cost us $12 (it wasn’t there the last time we were here); then it was across New Orleans and onto Hwy 90 all the way to Broussard, just south of Lafayette. We drove through beautiful country side, bayous and manicures farm land.
We stopped for lunch at a truck stop with a casino but we didn’t go in. We finally arrived at our destination, MAXI CAMPGROUND( a CCUSA), in Broussard, 9 miles south of Lafayette. We paid $11 a night. After setting up, we got a call from my brother Andre saying that they were in Lafayette and would be over later. That is a surprise we weren’t expecting and it is wonderful. He and Claudette arrived about an hour later and we had a nice visit before turning in. They spent the night with us of course.

N 30* 08” 59”
W 91* 57’ 05”
Alt. 42 feet
Distance today: 297 KM at an average speed of 45.5 MPH in 5 hours total.


DEC. 29, sightseeing

We got up to a beautiful sunshine and a warm day (65*F) Just perfect for sightseeing! We went out for breakfast then began our tours. We first drove to Lafayette National Park which was closed on Mondays so we didn’t get to see the inside of the buildings. We then drove to the Acadian Village which is a replica of a village back in the 1800’s. This too was closed for the season but we did walk around and took a few pictures. All the building were locked, of course. It was interesting, too bad it was closed.
We then drove to New Iberia and Avery Island where we saw the “Jungle Gardens” owned by the Mc Ilhenny family, who also own the “TABASCO” hot spice. The garden was the highlight of our day. We drove on a pre-determined 5 miles road and made numerous stops to look around. We saw a couple of small alligators, Azelia and Camellia flower bushes, an old Buddha statue from China, bamboo jungle, Palm trees gardens, and a bird sanctuary for Egrets which were almost extinct in the early 1900’s. We did a lot of walking and had a marvelous time. Afterwards, we visited the TABASCO plant where it is made and bottled. It began with a film showing the process, we were given two small bottle of green and red Tabasco then walked in a hallway with a glass separating the factory from us That was disappointing because we couldn’t talk to the workers. All we could see was the bottling process. From here, we went to the Store where we tried Spicy ice cream then different Tabasco sauce.
We tried another tourist sight but again it was closed so we gave up and came home, had dinner, visited for a while then Andre and Claudette left for their hotel. They are leaving early tomorrow for Baton Rouge and more sightseeing.
We made plans to get together for New Years!


DEC. 30, Tuesday, Lafayette

We got up to another sunny day. We went to town and stopped at the info centre which turned out to be very well done with a small bayou and a wooden walkway. There were lots of fish and turtles in the lake. We drove into town and looked around the downtown and saw the old Cathedral built in 1821. We went inside and it turned out to be very simple but beautifully awesome. Outside was an “old live oak” which turned out to be over 500 years old. WOW!
We then went to Wal-Mart and picked up groceries then came home to put all away.
I caught up to my pictures and blog.


DEC. 31, Wednesday, Last day of 2008

Another year gone by! I am writing this early as I want to post it before the new year. It is a sunny day but a bit cooler, a cold front is coming down from the north. We are awaiting my brother’s arrival so we can go celebrate the New-Year. I will tell you all about it on my next write up.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE and WISH YOU ALL A PROSPEROUS 2009!
See you all in 2009 and enjoy the new pictures in folder #32

Friday, December 26, 2008

December 24 to 26, 2007, Abita Springs

DEC 24, Wednesday, Abita Springs

Christmas eve, WOW!! The year has just flow by. The four of us went cycling to another part of the trace. We drove to Mandeville then cycled to Lacombe, a 20 mile round trip. The trail was the same, straight! We did go through a bayou but never saw any gators or armadillo which is what Val is really wanting to see.
In the evening, we watched a video, “Mama Mia”. If you like ABBA then it's worth watching.


DEC 25, Thursday, MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!

We both slept in this morning, then we got ready for our dinner at 1 p.m. at the club house. It is overcast and very muggy this morning; a balmy 68*F (18*C) at 11a.m. It also rained overnight.
We went for our X-mas dinner at the club house. It was a really good meal. We sat with Denis and Sandy and a young family with two girls and a young boy. It sure brought back memories of our own families. The dinner was excellent and we got to taste different dishes from down south.
Later in the afternoon, I called our kids and grand-kids. We must have talked over 2 hours combined. Thank goodness for Skype! Anyway, in the evening, we watched another movie loaned to us by Denis and Sandy.
It was a good day!


DEC. 26, Friday

After Val’s lessons in Tai-Chi, we, the four of us, went cycling again for the last time as tomorrow is reserved for packing and getting ready. We only did a 8 miles round trip. It was really muggy and warm today, 78*F (24*C) We actually have the A/C on right now to ease the humidity inside. On the trace, there were lots of people cycling and walking and we even saw two girls on horseback. We stopped and got to pet them… the horses that is! At the park, where we turned around, it was full of kids and parents.
We got a call from my brother Andre this morning. They are in New Orleans and leaving for San Antonio. We will see them around the 30th or 31st in Lafayette, our next stop. Oh yeah, downloaded new pictures if anyone is interested, in folder #32

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

December 19 to 23, 2008 In Abita Springs,

DEC. 19, Friday

Another warm day which is great. I did my banking this morning while Val learned Tai-Chi from Denis. We are really taking a beating with the exchange these past two months. I think it’s time to move on to Mexico where the exchange will be a little bit more reasonable.
In the afternoon we all went cycling again and this time we headed west to Covington, a 8 miles return ride. The trail ends here so we looked around a bit, had ice tea at a local restaurant on the Trace then headed back.
Val got a CD on Tai-Chi from Denis so she is very happy. I had to watch it all evening!!! (SMILE).


DEC. 20, Saturday

Warm and muggy all day & evening. It rained a bit in the afternoon but only for a couple minutes. We were planning on cycling again today but decided against because of the threatening sky.
We went for some groceries then took a drive down Hwy 59 to Fountainbleue State Park to take a look around. Came home and put the groceries away and just relaxed


DEC. 21, Sunday

Strong wind and cold weather greeted us this morning. It barely got up to 58*F and the forecast is for 28*F tonight. It rained quite heavily in the afternoon so it was a good day to read. Val did her Tai-Chi with Denis and Sandy this morning before the rain and I dumped the tanks and vacuum the basement.


DEC. 22, Monday

A very cold night, it went down to 26*F (-4*C) and it went up to only 46*F (8*C) all day. I guess we can’t complaint when we hear that Canada is having a freeze and tons of snow!!
Our toaster decided to call it quit so we went to Wal-Mart in Covington and bought a new one and some groceries while at it. The traffic was horrendous; everyone is out shopping for last minute Christmas items.
I called my friends on Vancouver Island, Leslie and Paul and we chatted for a while on Skype. It was good hearing their voices.


DEC. 23, Tuesday, in Abita Springs

A bit warmer today but overcast. We stuck around here today. Val did her Tai-Chi and I just puttered around and read. We went for walks around the park.
The evening became much warmer and right now, at 10 p.m. it is a balmy 65*F outside. Go figure!!
I called my father-in-law, Wilf Roger on Vancouver Island, it was nice chatting with him.

Friday, December 19, 2008

December 14 to 18, 2008 In Abita Springs, Louisiana

DEC. 14, Sunday, move to Louisiana

We were on the road by 09:40 a.m. and headed west on I-10. Traffic was light going through Mobile, Alabama. We crossed into Mississippi again and just before entering Louisiana, we stopped for lunch. When we left, it was drizzling but as we drove west, it slowly cleared up and right now, the sun is trying to peek out. It is also warm.
After lunch we continued on and arrived at our exit at Hwy 59 off I-12 where we headed north to 435 and a couple miles later, arrived at our destination for the next 2 weeks, Abita Springs RV Resort. As we were driving here, I realized that we were a day early!! We were not supposed to leave until tomorrow but they were kind enough to accommodate us anyway. We are here under A.O.R. so paid $8/night all inclusive and we have internet.
We set up under a warm sun and the temp. outside is 80*F, time for shorts! HURRAH!!!!!

N 30* 29’ 46”
W 90* 00’ 03”
Alt: 151 feet
Dist. Today: 270 KM in 4 hours
Av. Speed: 51.4 MPH


DEC. 15, Monday, in Abita Springs, Louisiana

SUNNY AND VERY WARM! Is it ever nice to be able to put on shorts once more. We have to work on our tan too. I discovered my sewer hose is leaking so we had to get another one at Camping World. We also took my bike to Covington, a town next to ours, to get a tune up on the gears.
Came back home and enjoyed the sun and met a few neighbours. This park is much friendlier than the previous one. There’s also been a lot of improvement since we were here last. We also discovered that WHR sold this park but they are still honoring the membership for the time being. The office told me that they would keep their membership with AOR which is good, I guess.
Two couples that we had met at Styx River are now here too. It clouded over in the afternoon, so much for the tan! It rained in the evening and overnight


DEC. 16, Tuesday, at the Resort

It rained overnight but was mainly cloudy for the day. Val did a couple loads of laundry and I set up our dish. Finally got a signal so we can now have Canadian news.
Chatted with Sandy and Dennis, couple from Quebec who were in Styx River with us, and made arrangement to go see the Abita Springs brewery in town tomorrow. We are also planning a bike ride once I have my bike back. There is a long bike trail on an old railway track which goes from Covington through Abita and on to Mandeville and the State Park.


DEC. 17, Wednesday, Brewery visit

Val went for her exercises at the club this morning and I planned our trip to Mexico. In the afternoon, Sandy and Denny joined us for a visit to Abita Springs Brewery. When we arrived we were told we could sample any draft beer that were available so we each poured ourselves one. The bar was self-serve so everyone just walked behind the bar, grabbed a glass and poured whatever kind of draft beer one wanted. There were approx. 12-14 different kinds to choose from.
We were first presented with a video of the process they take in making the beer than we were taking on a tour which consisted of three rooms, one where they mix the ingredients, one room where the fermenting takes place and another where they load the kegs. From here, our guide announced that this was the end of the tour and everyone was to go back and taste more beer. We never saw the bottling room. It was a bit disappointing but we quickly buried our sorrows in beer. I think we each tried 4-5 different kinds. Some I liked and some not. Our sampling consisted of pouring a bit of beer in the glass to sample. I don’t want anyone to think we had full glasses and drove home afterwards!!
Anyway, after leaving there, we were driving through town and Sandy asked if we had seen the Mystery House. We hadn’t and she expressed a desire to see it so we drove over there and visited the place. It was very colorful, consisting of old junk plastered all over the walls and ceiling (see pictures in Picasa link folder #32 Louisiana & Texas). There was a store selling all kinds of little paraphelias and junk but then we went through a door and through 3 buildings full of different kind of stuff, some of it quite neat. The claim to fame was an alligator 20 feet long which we saw…the head of an alligator and the body of a fish!!! The place reminded us of our time in Quebec with Glenda and Terry when we drove to Sherbrooke and saw an old junk yard sale off the highway.
We came home pleased with our day and planned on going for a bike ride tomorrow.
We had a sunny day and very humid again but warm.


DEC. 18, Thursday, a cycling ride

Val went for her exercises in the morning. It’s muggy and warm out. In the afternoon, we went cycling with Sandy and Denis. The sun came out and a small breeze which cooled things up a bit. We started at Abita Springs and followed the Trace to Mandeville, a 9 miles ride one way. The trail was fairly flat and very straight…only had 2 curves in it. We stopped for ice cream at the south end then returned to Abita. After the ride, we went for a beer at the local pub then came home. A good day overall.
I called my brother Gilles and found out that he has finally received my cheque from Fleetwood. Now we just have to settle the landing gear motor and gear!!

I have uploaded new pictures in folder #31 and opened a new one named #32 Louisiana

Saturday, December 13, 2008

December 11 to 13, 2008 in Alabama

DEC. 11, Thursday

It goes from one extreme to the other. Today, it’s barely 40*F with the wind chill. Raining on and off all day.
We took a drive to Robertsdale and went to a produce stand we had seen the other day. Val bought some fresh vegetables then we went to a local shopping centre but there wasn’t much so we drove south to the beach. Val kept saying that we had been there before but for the life of me, I couldn’t remember until we got there and I saw familiar things. My memory is really awful lately. Anyway, we came home via hwy 59 in time for dinner


DEC. 12, Friday, to Pensacola, Florida

A sunny day; we decided to drive to Pensacola and visit the Naval museum and the town. We had heard that it was a very nice museum. It wasn’t nice…it was GREAT! We had a wonderful time and spent over 2.5 hours there. We saw a movie on US naval fighters in IMAX, tried out a flight simulator, explore all kinds of planes and helicopters, visited replicas of WW I & II, but the highlight was our guide, a veteran flyer from the Midway battle. He was stationed on the aircraft carrier “Enterprise”. He had all kinds of wonderful and factual stories on the battle. We also saw a display on George W Bush senior and a story on his service. The bonus of all this was it was free.
We drove to the Perdido Key on the Gulf and drove along the beach covered in sand so white that it gave the illusion of snow. We watched a beautiful sunset and crossed the Intracoastal Waterway a couple time before heading north and home. It was a much warmer albeit cool day.


DEC. 13, Saturday, in Styx River.

Cloudy today and a bit warmer. We had a Santa Clause parade in the park this afternoon consisting of 3 floats with Santa as being the main attraction. Lots of candy were thrown about and Val collected a bag full. Lots of kids about so it was fun.
In the evening there was a dance which we attended for a while. There were only a half dozen couple there unfortunately and a live band. Western was the main music played.

Tomorrow, we move to Louisiana!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

December 8 to 10, 2008 In Alabama

DEC. 8, Monday, To Robertsdale, Alabama

We left at 9:30 and got on Hwy 90 heading east. We went through Biloxi, across the bridge to Ocean spring and onwards to Pascoulaga where we got on I-10 East. We wanted one last look of all the beaches and pretty drive along the Gulf. We drove through Mobile which brought back memories and a déjà-vue feeling. We arrived at Styx River in Robertsdale, Alabama around noon. We set up and Val went for a walk where she managed to find people from Quebec whom we had met the last time we came through here, a year and half ago. That woman is just amazing! We are here for the next 7 nights under R.O.D. @ no cost.

We covered 122 miles in 3 hours at an average speed of 42 MPH
N 30* 37’23”
W 087* 35’32”
Alt: 134 feet


DEC. 9, Tuesday, in Robertsdale, Alabama

We went into town to get some groceries and stopped at Camping World for a look-see! Ended up buying a couple things. The sky is really threatening right now. The forecast is for heavy rain by tonight. It is warm though, a balmy 70*F but it’s supposed to drop to 50 so we are enjoying it. It did begin to rain so we came home via a different route and fuelled @ $2.289…gotta luv it!
Put the groceries away and read our books. Very humid and muggy tonight; there is a TORNADO WATCH on for the county we are in…wonderful!


DEC. 10, Wednesday, a stormy day

Boy, did we ever get it overnight! Thunder, lightning and heavy rain. Poor Tucker was going crazy and spent the night in bed with us again. It’s 10 a.m. right now and it is pouring out there. Looks like a wash day and reading day which is exactly what we did.
It let off in the afternoon so I tried setting the satellite again but to no avail. I don’t know what is going on. The signals just won’t come in.
It started raining again in the evening. It’s really humid and muggy.

Monday, December 08, 2008

December 1 to 7, 2008 Mississippi

DEC. 1, Monday, Gulf Coast, MS

Sunny and cool today. We went for a drive to Gulfport along Hwy 90. We then drove on Hwy 49 north to the downtown area and looked around. Found a Wal-Mart where we exchange our coffee can as I had bought decaf. instead of regular.
We then drove back home as it was getting late in the afternoon. We tried to set up the satellite dish to no avail.


DEC. 2, Tuesday Gulf Coast sightseeing

Val did a couple more loads of wash this morning; she had run out of quarters yesterday. Later in the morning, I got a surprise call from a long lost friend, Paul, and we had a nice chat unfortunately I had to cut him short as another call from Star Choice came in and as I was trying to set up my dish, I had to take it. I told him I would call him back later.
Later in the day, we went to Bay St-Louis to look around. It is sunny and a bit warmer than yesterday. We stopped at a beach where there was only another couple with a Golden Retriever. It came to Tucker and they smelled each other then the dog viciously turned on Tucker and bit his leg and tail drawing blood on his paw. After separating them, the owner was very apologetic and we went home. We cleaned up the wound and disinfected it. He wouldn’t walk on his leg and later, it swelled up so we took him to a local Vet. where he was found to be OK. We have antibiotics so we put him on that. What a day!
Later in the evening, I returned my friend’s call but they weren’t home. I also called another long lost VIP in my life, Wilf, whom I had lost touch with and finally got his number from Paul. We had a very good chat. He just lost his wife, Vera, last September so he is feeling quite lonely. I wish we were closer now.

DEC. 3, Wednesday, more sightseeing

Tucker is feeling a little perkier today and had no problem going for a small walk. We went east again along hwy 90 and drove all the way to Biloxi where we visited the military SeaBees Base. They are the engineer department for the Navy and build landing pads, airports and whatever else may be needed. In the museum, there was a section dedicated to ”Desert Storm” and Hurricane “Katrina” where they did a lot of clearing and rebuilding for the community.
We had to go on the Base to see the museum so had to get clearance from the MP’s but we had no problems. By the way, there is lots of Casino on Hwy 90. One could be here for a month and do a different one every day.
From here, we drove across the bridge over Biloxi Bay and into Ocean Springs. This was a really neat little village with lots of neat little shopping shops. We stopped for lunch here in a place which at first, we thought was a grocery store due to the sign. (See pictures). It was getting late in the day so we drove back on I-10 to exit 31 and took a side road to our campsite as per Ms Daisy. As we turned on a road, we saw a building with a big sign saying PASSPORT AMERICA so we stopped and found out this is the Head Quarter for the club. We met the owner, Ray Fernandez, who turned out to be quite a talkative fellow. We had a hard time to leave. They were all very friendly and welcoming. Ray gave us a book called “TUFFY” about a small girl having a small dog and he dies. Originally written by his dad, the original owner of “Passport America”, we felt quite privilege to be given one copy. The original Park, “Magic River Campground” is also near so we went to visit it. You can stay there for $12 a night, no time limit.
Quite a surprisingly exciting day.


DEC 4, Thursday,

We got up to rain this morning. I took Tucker back to the hospital to have a haircut and a beautification. He was getting a little bit scruffy looking. Then I took Val to the medical clinic to get that potato out of her ear. And a big one it was according to her. She said that a big ball of wax came out of her ear but the other one was OK. Now she can hear my orders and has no more excuses although I suspect she will find new ones! (SMILE)
We picked up Tucker at lunch time and came home. Another cold front is expected. It’s only in the mid 50’s right now.


DEC. 5, Friday

Sunny but windy and cool again. We went back to Bay St-Louis today. We visited the old downtown which still showed a lot of damage from Katrina. We came upon the old train station which is now a visitor centre. The young lady there had lots to talk about and gave us a good history on the town, she also recommended we go see the old “Blue House” across the street which we did. It is a local art centre now and used to belong to a lady by the name of “Miss Alice Mosely”, a folk artist painter who died in her prime year of 94. We met her son who happened to be there at the time and had a wonderful chat with him about the history of the place, his mom and the town square where this place is situated. He met Elvis Presley when he was young. He actually lived in a shack (his words) behind Graceland. It was wonderful listening to him. His name is Tim and he is now in his 70’s.
We walked the town square which was almost all destroyed but under re-building mode and visited a couple stores then left. We went to the Space Centre north of I-10 but unfortunately we missed the last tour so we went to Gulfport and picked up our mail at UPS. We had received a call earlier advising us it had arrived.


DEC. 6, Saturday

We went to a local flea market today and walked around. It consisted of three rows of table about 100 yards each. Lots of junk but nothing of interest for us although we did meet a neat lady whose father was from Quebec and her mom was from southern Louisiana. She is a Cajun and told us a few neat stories. She was very friendly and kept calling Val “baby” She was selling jewellery and the one thing that had attracted Val there was a necklace with replica of a the eye of a Hurricane and had a fleur-de-lys in the middle. It was very pretty.
We had lunch there then came home.
I wrote a few e-mails including one to Fleetwood about the money they owe us which has now been 3 months since it was promised to us. (I was expecting a cheque in our mail which didn’t come) and sent our claims in for medical expenses.


DEC. 7, Sunday, last day in Pass Christian.

Another cold night (34*F) and cool day (55*F) but at least it is sunny. Filled one of the propane bottle @ $23 then loaded the kayaks and basically got ready for tomorrow. Did a couple of minor repair/maintenance. Tomorrow, we leave for Robertsdale, Alabama. We met a couple from Ontario who will be leaving their rig here for a period while they go back to Ontario for Christmas.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

November 28 to 30, 2008 Gulf Coast, Mississippi

NOV. 28, Back to the Ford dealership

I was up by 6:30 a.m., at the Ford dealer by 7:30 and back to our site by 10:20 a.m. It was discovered that there was an extra wire attached to the throttle switch which was causing the short circuit. Once disconnected, the throttle functioned normally. I later discovered that the extra wire connected to my Jake and it served to stop the Jake from operating when I press on the throttle. I still have Jake function but I must turn the switch on and off manually now. I will get that fix later. Of course, because it was an aftermarket item, I had to pay for the time spent on it but at least now I know.

Came back to our trailer and picked up Val and Tucker and we all returned to town. We went to the Visitor Centre, walked around and took in the history then went into town to find a internet café. Afterward, we walked around a bit then went for lunch at a local pub. I had a dish with craw fish, mushroom in a creamy spicy vignette. It was sweet, spicy and…DELICIOUS. This dish is mentioned in one of Greg Iles’ book “the quiet game”, so I had a “famous” dish. Val had her usual Gumbo soup! We also had biscuits and sweet butter (butter mix with jam).
We began driving to our next sightseeing when the sky became very dark, the wind picked up and it began POURING and I do mean pouring! Warnings came on the radio about possible tornadoes so we decided to go back to the trailer and keep an eye on it since we had the awning out.
It was a good day overall.


NOV. 29, Saturday, to Gulf Coast in Pass Christian, MS

What a night! We had a storm come through overnight and there was lighting and thunder. I swear one struck near us. It was so loud that Tucker jumped in the bed with us and crawled under the blanket. He spent the rest of the night with us shivering, poor little guy.

Anyway, the rain stopped long enough for us to pack, dump and hit the highway. We followed the Trace to its end then onto Hwy 61 south. Topped up our fuel in Natchez for $2.89. Two hours later, we entered Louisiana and eventually got on I-110 through Baton Rouge then East on I-10. We fuelled in Gonzales at @2.899 then went on East on I-10 through New Orleans, eventually re-entering Mississippi . We exited at marker 24 and headed south toward the Gulf and Pass Christian. We arrived at our new site around 4 p.m., Five Star Family resort. I think it’s more like a one star now as it is still showing heavy damages from Katrina. At least we have full hook-ups minus WIFI but we can survive that. Paid $8 a night so can’t really complained now, can we? We will be here for 7 nights, until Dec 9.
Time to relax. It’s raining again.

N 30* 22’ 41”
W 089* 13’ 19”
Alt: 20 feet
Distance today: 405 KM in 6.5 hours
Av. Speed: 50MPH


NOV. 30, Sunday, Gulf Coast

Got up to a sunny morning but cooler and windier. Val did the laundry in the morning and I continued setting up outside and tie down the awning, In the afternoon, we went to Long Beach to Wal-Mart to get some groceries and topped up on fuel since it’s only $2.549 here. Driving along the Gulf on Hwy 90 is quite beautiful yet sad as there is still strong evidence of the damage caused by Katrina, even 5 years later. It’s a slow process. The highway and the bridges have been rebuilt so we are driving on new pavement which makes the drive very pleasant. There are lots of commercial building closed up and showing damages still.
After picking our groceries, we drove back along the Gulf as far as Gulfport. There is miles and miles of white sand beaches and hardly a soul on them.
We came home and had dinner.
This park was used by FEMA after Katrina and to this day, there are still some of the people using the trailers here. We talked to a couple of lot owners who told us that this used to be a very beautiful park. The office was destroyed and the club house was damaged. While FEMA residents were here, more damages were caused and a few things were stolen. That’s really too bad.

Friday, November 28, 2008

November 24 to 27, 2008, in Natchez, Mississippi

NOV 24, Monday, Still in Jackson

Another warm night. Temperature went up to a balmy 68*F but it did rain as forecasted. One thing about rain her is that the soil becomes really muddy and sticky. It is like red clay that clings to everything.
We went into town to do our internet thing. Uploaded my pictures and blog and downloaded the e-mail. We also went to the drugstore to replenish our drugs supply to nourish my cold. We came home and I made reservations on our campsites for the next few weeks. We will be going to the city of Natchez, MS for 3 days then to Gulfport, MS and eventually end up in New Orleans to meet Andre and his girlfriend and hopefully Audrey and Marcel. The Fleetwood dealership also called to let us know that our parts are in and we have to be there at 8 a.m. tomorrow. Hopefully, this will be fixed for good this time.


NOV. 25, Tuesday, repairs

I don’t know if it is my cold or my anxiety but I was awake at 5 this morning; just couldn’t sleep!? We were on the road this morning by 7:30 a.m. after dumping. We drove south on I-55 through Jackson and arrived at our destination, Turning Wheels RV Dealership, on time with 5 minutes to spare for our 8 a.m. appointment. They started on the repairs for the office slide right away and worked on it until 4:30 p,m. The opening for the slide was not square so whenever an adjustment was made to correct the opening of the slide, it would not fit properly in the opening thus the ripping of the rubber roof. The manager told me that they’ve seen a few of Fleetwood product like this where they rush through the construction and don’t always square things up.
In the mean time, we went for breakfast then we drove the section of the Trace which we will miss due to where we are now situated. This consisted of a distance of about 15 miles from I-20 to I-55. We then drove to Flying J where I fuelled and came back to the Dealership and sat around for the rest of the day. We also took a short drive south to a park which turned out to be a meeting place for gay men. There were a few of them there already and it was very obvious. Boy, oh boy! The situation we find ourselves into sometimes!! I also filled the propane tank, $31.

We finally got our rig back at 4:30 p.m. and we decided to stay a local park, the Swinging Bridge RV Park, a Good Sam park for the night as it was getting too dark. This way it will also give me a chance to inspect the job thoroughly tomorrow before we head to our destination, the town of Natchez and the end of the Trace.

Total distance today: 184 KM, including all the sightseeing


NOV. 26, Wednesday, to Natchez City, MS

We stopped at the dealership before going on so that I could get a couple of minor touch up done then we were on our way via I-20 and I-55 and finally back on the trace.
Our first stops were historic site then we went on to Rocky Spring, an old town which was busy in the old days. Now all that’s there is remnants of foundation, an old church and a cemetery. A trail took us to all of it and it was quite impressive. We had lunch here. There is also a Camp ground which was where we were supposed to camp last night.
After lunch, we went our way to our next stop, Bullen Creek where we took a nature walk then it was Mount Locust, a rebuilt Inn from the Natchez Trace days. It was very impressive. We walked the grounds, saw the bedroom and kitchen then we looked over a slave cemetery still containing approx. 15 bodies. A little further was the owner’s cemetery and what a contrast! There, we saw beautiful Headstones for each member of the family and well kept grounds where as the slave cemetery only had one little headstone remaining.

We continued on south to our next stop, the Natchez State Park, approx 10 miles off the trace on a small hill with a dam lake. We paid $16/night and will be here 3 days. It is a bit isolated but only 10 miles from the town of Natchez. On the way up here, we saw an old, old farm with buildings just like you see on TV when looking at hillbillies. No kidding! The buildings looked like they were about to fall down anytime. We even saw a black man with coveralls and suspenders on the porch. REALLY!!!

Our site was an easy back in and we got set up with no problems. The place is full of young families, here for the Thanksgiving Week-End.
After setting up, we drove into town on an emergency run to the Animal Hospital. We picked three ticks our of Tucker and one of them was on his eye lid which swelled up and was very reddish so we were a bit nervous and got him checked. The doctor told us he would be Ok and gave us some antibiotics for him. We had a good scare but they were wonderful. Even met a black teacher who got an award for his teaching skills. ( we learned that from one of the nurse there).


NOV. 27, End of the Natchez trace and the town of Natchez


HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!

We left around 10:30 a.m. and got back on the Trace. We drove south west and stopped first at the Emerald Mound where we saw a couple of poor blacks with their bottle of moonshine ( no kidding). Then it was to the Elizabeth Female Academy, built in the 1800’s by the Mississippi government to educate their women. Talked about forward thinking! All that’s left now is an old wall which is also falling apart.

We have arrived to the END OF THE NATCHEZ TRACE after over 400 miles of wonderful highway, awesome sceneries and a history to fill you with pride and adventure. It was a wonderful drive and we would recommend it to anyone. We drove over 400 miles without seeing one light, no stop signs nor any traffic jam. We learned a lot and were impressed with the cleanliness of the road side and the parks. It will be hard to beat and we will miss it.

We drove into town to the Tourist Info centre but it was closed due to the holiday. For that matter, everything was closed today including most of the restaurants and pubs. We crossed the Mississippi River into Louisiana, visited Vidalia, a small town on the Louisiana side then came back into Natchez. We saw the floating casino but didn’t go in. I think that Glenda and Terry would be impressed with this one. We drove through town and saw lots of old historic houses and churches.
As luck would have it, the truck started acting up again. The throttle control switch again. Guess what I am doing first thing tomorrow…back to the Ford dealership for the third time. I really can’t believe this string of bad luck I am having! Really frustrating.

Monday, November 24, 2008

November 20 to 23, still in Jackson, MS

NOV. 20, Thursday, in Jackson

Sunny and warm! Not much to report today. Fran called to say the parts are being shipped today and should be here Monday so we are here for the week-end, whether we like it or not. Val did the laundry and I washed the rig and the truck. Then we went up the street to a café with internet and I uploaded our blog, downloaded our e-mail, uploaded our pictures and did some banking. Came home and had a shot of Bourbon. Yum! Yum!
BBQ’ed steaks for dinner. We met a couple from Quebec, Louise and Ronald. Very nice people whom we had over for a drink after dinner.


NOV. 21, Friday, at the Park

This has got to be the coldest night yet…26*F (-5*C) It is sunny and the temperature only got to 40*F all day. We have a very cold wind from the North. And…to top it all, I woke up with a sore throat and a bit of fever. Spent the day nurturing this, feeling sorry for myself and sleeping.


NOV. 22, Saturday,

Another very cold night! Down to 22*F overnight but sunny this morning again. The water hose froze so had to turn on the water pump and use the water in the tank for a while.
It only got to a maximum of 48*F today. We went to get some groceries then came home.


NOV. 23, Sunday,

It warmed up nicely today. It is cloudy and 62*F. Stayed home and nurtured my cold. We got a call from Audrey, Val’s sister, that they are coming to Florida in December and may drive up to New-Orleans to catch up with us. That would be wonderful if they did.
We went to bed early. I’ve been drowning myself in Tylenols, cold syrup and lozenges.
I am hoping to update my blog tomorrow so will be uploading a few pictures too. I also started a new folder call: #28A Natchez Trail, which is a continuation of #28…Enjoy!

The parts for "Q" should be here tomorrow so hopefully we can be out of here by Tuesday aftrenoon.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

November 15 to 19, to Jackson, MS

NOV. 15, Saturday, Back to the Trace Parkway, Alabama

We left at 9:30 a.m. and drove Hwy 72 East back to the Natchez Trace Parkway in Alabama. We crossed Mississippi once again and fuelled at Burnsville for $2.99/gal. We headed south-west on the Trace and stopped at Bear Creek for lunch, a very nice area near the creek and sooooo peaceful!
After lunch we continued down the road to Bear Creek Mounds which dates back to 1200 A.D. These would have had some ceremonial structures on them. This is also where we crossed back into Mississippi. We will now be in this State until the end of the Trace.
Cove Springs, our next stop, was a caved in area caused by erosion. It created small caves where it is suspected Indians lived. Inside one of the cave, there was a small lake and we could stand up in it. (See Pictures, #28 Natchez Trace)
Tombigbee-Tennessee waterway which connects the Gulf of Mexico with the Tennessee River in the North, was our next sight. This is a man-made waterway, a navigable canal 459 miles long. From here it was the Pharr Mounds, 8 mounds in a farmer’s field dating back 2000 years. It is believe they were burial grounds. We stopped at Dogwood Valley where we took a short hike on a trail to look at all the Dogwood trees which are prominent here and also to walk the “Old Trace”.
Shortly after, we went on another walk on the Old Trace but this time, it was to see 13 graves containing unknown Confederates soldiers. The original tombstones were stolen! Absolutely unbelievable!!! Fortunately, the Park replaced them.

We finally arrived at the Park’s headquarter at Tupelo and stopped to get information for a campsite and the area. We decided on the Fish and Wildlife Park as it is the closest to town and only cost $15 per night. We will be here 2 nights minimum and maybe 3 if I can find a place to fix the leaky Pinion seal at the rear end

It was cloudy most of the day and windy but the sun did manage to come out on a couple of occasions. Right now, 5 P.M., it is raining.

N 34* 18’ 32”
W 088* 38’ 59”
Alt: 390 feet
Dist. Today: 284 KM in 5.5 hours
Av. Sp: 48 mph




NOV. 16, Sunday, visiting Tupelo, birthplace of Elvis Presley

A sunny day but very cool. Never got above 50*F!

We went into town and visited the place where Elvis was born and was raised to the age of 13. The house, the church and the car are all replicas but built to the exact scale of those days. There is a sidewalk surrounding the house and each square has a year in it from 1935 to 1977, his years alive. (See pictures in folder # 28, Natchez Trace) There is also a statue of him when he was 13 y.o. There is also a fountain with water jets shooting on plaques representing each year from 1935 to 1977. Then there was the “walk of life” also known as the “story wall”. There are dozens of letters from people who knew him and either played, fought or prayed with him. Some of the stories were very touching and some very funny.

From here, we drove to town and saw the downtown but unfortunately everything was closed due to being Sunday. We drove on and stopped at an empty parking lot where I called my daughter and Vanessa to wish her a happy birthday. Afterwards, we visited the battle ground of the civil war that took place here. Time for lunch…fish and chips and Gumbo for Val.
We also visited the State park and got information on one in Jackson which I called and made reservations for the 18th. I also checked out a couple garage to have the truck fix tomorrow morning. We fuelled at 2.77/Gal


NOV. 17, Monday, truck fixed so onwards onto the Natchez Trace

I got up at 7 a.m. to be in town first thing to see about that leaky pinion seal on the truck. Stopped at a garage I had seen yesterday and got them to fix it. 3 hours later, (we had to wait for parts) I was on my way. While there and talking to the mechanic, I learned that he lived in Kamloops for 4 years with his parents. His father is a Mennonite preacher. Just amazing who one runs into. That’s the second American guy I meet who has been to the Kamloops area.
Anyway, back on the Natchez trace we go. We stopped a few miles down the road for lunch at the Chickasaw Council House. This village was known as the Capital of the Chickasaw Nation.

We crossed the half way point at Tockshish, Mile 249. Our next stop was Bynum Mounds and then the Jeff Bushy area where there is a gas station (closed) and a store(closed). There is also a camping State Park here with no services. We decided to go on.

We went on to French Camp where there was a small village and an old homestead with a store, craft items and a coffee house. It was really neat and old but well kept. We walked in the village and got fresh baked bread made that day and still warm. In the bakery, wouldn’t you know it, Val met the lady working there who was from Winnipeg and knew a few people that Val knew so they chatted for a good 20 minutes. I got myself scarce! We also met 2 Canadian couples who were camping back at Jeff Bushy for the night. One was from Ontario while the other couple was from Quebec but spoke good English.
We went on down the road and stopped at Kosciusko where there was an Info Centre. We learned that this is the town where Oprah Winfrey was born so we decided to spend the night and go see that in the morning. No campground but there was a Wal-Mart so we got water from the Centre and after getting permission, we camped at Wal-Mart.

N 33* 03’ 14”Bold
W 089* 34’ 04”
Alt: 395 feet
Av Sp: 38 MPH
Dist. Today: 182 KM in 5 hours



NOV. 18, Oprah birthplace and Jackson, MS

Another cold night (32*F) but it warmed up in the day and it is sunny! We got on the road early today…7:45 a.m. and went to visit Oprah birthplace. It was a bit of a disappointment. There was the church where she faced an audience for the first time but the house she lived in was gone which was sad. I guess we expect too much some time when we go to places like this.

We got back on the Trace off Hwy 12 and drove south to our first stop at Myrick Creek where we followed a nature trail to learn about beavers. From here we went to “Red Dog Road”, named for a Choctaw Indian Chief. We walked the upper Choctaw boundary at mile post 128, a self guiding trail through a forest of tall pines.

Our next stop was “Boyd Mound” where a village was discovered and dating back 1200 years. After this, it was an overlook of the Reservoir, 8 miles long and supplying drinking water for Jackson and the neighboring counties. We stopped at the Craft Centre and found it interesting then it was onward to Jackson and I-55 south to “Turning Wheel RV “, a Fleetwood dealership where we will get the rubber roof on the small office slide fix (All warranty of course). Hopefully it will be done right this time.

We stopped for brunch and fuelled up at 2.66 then we drove back to exit 98 where our site for the next 4 nights is situated; “Lefleur’s Bluff State Park” where we paid $16/night for electricity, water and a site by the lake.

N 32* 19’ 44”
W 090* 00’ 37”
Alt; 290 Feet
Av Sp: 33 mph
Dist. Today: 190 KM in 5 hours


NOV. 19, in Jackson, MS

Sunny this morning and although it was only 30*F, but it did get up to 65 later in the day. We went into town to the Chamber of Commerce Info Centre and got some pamphlet on what to see around here. We parked behind the building and walked to the Capitol Building where it was a self-guided tour. We went through the whole building and people were very friendly and helpful. No one seemed to care where we walked in. We even had a MS Senator introduce himself to us and shake our hands. I have to admit that the inside was very impressive. We saw the Senate and House of Representatives Chambers. Val even sat in one of the chairs (see pictures in Folder #28, Natchez Trace)
From here we walked to the Governor’s Mansion but it was closed. The guard told us to come back in the morning as it is open only from 9 to noon. We walked through downtown back to our truck and drove on Farish Street, famous in the 60’s for the area where the Civil Rights Movement was located and in the middle of the Blacks’ Quarter. Today it is in disrepair but there are intentions of rebuilding it and making it a “World Famous” historic area. We stopped at “Peach” restaurant where we had lunch. This is where the AAC (African American Committee) would meet from time to time and also Luther King had a meal here. The menu consisted of only half a dozen items. We were the only white in there but everyone was friendly and helpful. Some were curious about our kayaks on the truck. The neighborhood housing is really rundown and in disrepair. Most are abandoned but some were occupied. Farish Street and the neighborhood is part of the “Civil Rights Movement driving tour” so we were living history.

We drove home satisfied with our day. I got a call from the Dealership that they’ve received authorization and are now waiting for the parts. Fran from Fleetwood also call to tell us that everything will be shipped tomorrow, so hopefully, it will be here Friday and we can get this repair Monday. We also paid for another night so our departure will be Tuesday, we hope!

Friday, November 14, 2008

November 11 to 14, 2008, Natchez Trace and Memphis

NOV. 11, Tuesday, to Natchez Trace Parkway and Corinth, Mississippi

It rained overnight and it’s still threatening. We were on the road by 09:25 a.m. We drove south on I-65 then 155 to Hwy 70 where we turned West and it eventually went into Hwy 100. We then turned south on the “Natchez Trace Parkway” and the adventure began. There wasn’t much to the beginning which is actually the end of the trail. All literature say to start at Natchez, MS. Anyway, the highway was superb and the scenery awesome. Our first stop was at the Old Trace Trail where we walked the trail and lived history. It was so serene and beautiful. We could have gone on but the rest of the trail called. Our next stop was the Tennessee Divide where in the 1800’s this was the end of the USA and the beginning of the Chickasaw Indian territory. We had an overlook of the valley which was picture perfect.

Our next stop was an old Phosphate Mine where we saw an old abandoned mine shaft and a rail track bed called a “DINKEY LINE” in those days. Tucker loved all these little walks especially since he was running free. We then stopped at the MERIWETHER LEWIS Memorial and burying ground. He died here in a mysterious way in this lonely but serene and beautiful place. There is a monument for him and his body is buried below it. He was part of the LEWIS & CLARK Expedition to the West Coast.

We then stopped at the Steeler Iron Works where pig iron was manufactured in the 1820’s We went by the “McGlamery Stand”. “Stand” meant an Inn in those days. Then we stopped at the “Sunken Trace” where mud was really bad when it rained so the pioneers built different routes to circumvent this and which we could see to this day.

We finally entered Alabama, crossed the Tennessee River and stopped at the “Colbert Ferry Crossing” where Chief George Colbert of the Chickasaw Indians ran the ferry to cross the river. This was considered the worst place on the trail as Chief George was a real robber and charged exorbitant prices to cross the river. He had total control over the ferry and the only one on the trail. He was half Indian and half Scots…what a combo!
Our final stop was the Buzzard Roost Spring where we saw a pretty little water source coming out of a hillside. It was a favorite waterhole in the days of the Trail.
We exited the Natchez Trace at Hwy 72, Alabama, drove West to Corinth, Mississippi, where we fuelled @ $2.97/Gal and then stopped for the night at Corinth RV and Gun Club, a P.A. park and paid $15 for the night. We will be back on the Trace next Saturday. Now it’s time to see Graceland.

I have started a new folder in my Picasa link call: “#28 NATCHEZ TRACE” Check it out!


NOV. 12, Wednesday, to Memphis, Tennessee

It is raining this morning and it looks like it’s going to last all day. We really can’t complain as this is the first day of rain we have since leaving Quebec on Oct. 20

We packed and left around 10:30 a.m. and by then the rain had stopped. We drove on Hwy 72, a 4 lanes highway. The scenery was mainly farm fields and rolling hills. The hwy took us slowly north-east to Memphis. We crossed into Tennessee about an hour and half later and arrived at our campsite a half hour later. We are actually in Germantown, a suburb of Memphis and are staying at the Memphis Agri-Centre RV Park. Cost is $25 per night, full hook-up and WI-FI. We are here for 3 nights. There is a farmer’s market here, open on week-ends and the Centre is having an auto show this week-end. We won’t be here to see those however.
After setting up, we drove to the Wal-Mart, a mile from here, and got some groceries. As we drove home, it began raining again and it poured all evening long. I had to take Tucker in that stuff to do his “thing”. Thank goodness for umbrella but the poor little guy got soaked. He didn’t seem to mind though!?

N 35* 07’ 36”
W 089* 48’ 06”
Alt: 305 feet
Av. Speed 46 MPH
Dist. Today 123 KM



NOV. 13, Thursday Graceland

It is foggy this morning and it pretty well stayed like that all day. We went to Graceland today. We drove to the West side of Memphis and got off on Elvis Presley Blvd from I-55. We stopped at an Info Centre and met a really neat senior lady with tons of information. She was quite spunky for her age with a very nice sense of humour. We left there and drove to Graceland a couple miles down the road.

Graceland was quite a neat place but really touristy and commercialize. We parked across the street from Graceland, bought our tickets and went on the bus that took us across and to the house. From there, we went in and toured the place. We basically saw everywhere except the upstairs which is private. We went outside on the grounds and saw the building where his father had his office and also the building which used to be a racquetball court but turned into a museum after his death.
We also saw his burial place including his parents and his stillborn brother. It was very well done. It made us reflect on life and his life and what it all meant to each of us. It was touching.
We returned to the main area across the street, had lunch then visited the other 3 museum which included his car collection, his stage suits & movies and his career in the army.

From here, we drove west to the Mississippi River and visited the Chucalissa Museum which is an archeological site of an Indian village dating back to 1000 A.D. The museum contained artifacts from that era and we also were able to visit the laboratory which was really interesting. There were stones, bones and tools and vases they found on the site.
Outside, there is a huge mound which was a place where they built their village. The whole place is run by local Indians who were more than happy to share their knowledge. It also helped that we were the only one there at that hour (4;45 p.m;)

You can see all the pictures in folder # 29 Graceland (136 pictures) and #30 named Memphis which is all the pictures not taking at Graceland. Enjoy them!


NOV. 14, Friday, to Memphis city

Today is Vanessa’s Birthday, my grand-daughter. HAPPY BIRTHDAY PRINCESS! We called them but the only person at home was Graeme, my grand-son who was just walking out the door and heading for a show in Vancouver. What a busy life they lead. We will call back later

Anyway, today was cloudy all day but warm. I got up early and took the truck to Dobb’s Ford dealership to have the throttle switch looked at again as it was acting up again and was much worse this morning. Almost three hours later, I drove out of there with a new Throttle switch which was under warranty so no cost to me. Came back home and noted that it ran much better. We went to downtown Memphis in the afternoon and visited Beale Street where Blues and Rock & Roll was born. The whole street was alive with music and lots of bars and clubs.
We parked by the visitor centre near the Mississippi River and took a trolley into town. We bought a day pass for $3.00 and had a wonderful time. We had lunch at BB King club then walked Beale street and lived the atmosphere.
We took the trolley further into town and walked some more then came back to our truck and came home without any further glitches. Miss daisy took us a different route which was Ok but sure glad we didn’t have “Q” hooked up at the back. Makes me wonder how she really functions!?? Anyway, the scenery was good and we enjoyed a different way home.

Tomorrow, we move out back to the Natchez trace Parkway and Topelo. Looking forward to that.
As stated before, all the pictures have been downloaded to folder 29 GRACELAND and folder 30 MEMPHIS. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

November 8 to 10, in Nashville

NOV 8, Saturday, a concert at the Ole Opry

A sunny day. I went to the office first thing this morning about getting tickets for the Grand Ole Opry. I was lucky to get two tickets for tonight show. I was told to be sure to be at the office by 5:15 p.m. to get on the bus which is included in the price.
On that basis, we kind of stuck near the area. We went looking for an awning rod and I finally found one at this RV dealership near Nashville and Camping World. After that, we stopped at a pub/resto and had lunch and a beer then came home
At 5:15 we were in front of the office and the bus arrived on time. 7 couples from this campground went. We drove to Nashville downtown and to the “Grand Ole Opry” It is really neat being here and so took a few pictures, of course. Our agenda is pretty full of big names such as Connie Smith, Vince Gill, Randy Travis and of course, the introduction of Kevin Costner, the actor becoming Western singer. He was disappointing somewhat. His voice was not great and I wasn’t the only one feeling that way.
The show was 2 hours long and it was wonderful and we enjoyed every minute of it. After the show, it took us a good half hour to get out of the parking lot and we finally got home around 10 p.m. Needless to say, Tucker was happy to see us. By the way, our driver was quite neat and very informative. We drove by Broadway Street which we intend to check out tomorrow.


NOV. 9, Sunday to Nashville

It is cloudy today and cold. It only got to a maximum of 48*F all day!
We drove to downtown and parked behind the Grand Music Hall of Fame. We went in, paid our dues and then went up to the 3rd floor where the tour began. It consisted of a tribune to a lot of stars including Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley and a bunch of other singing artist.
The second floor was mainly dedicated to Hank William and his family including Hank #2 and 3. He led quite a life and I didn’t realize that he was such an alcoholic.
From here, we went down to the Hall of Fame where the walls were covered of plaques displaying a figurine of the star and a brief history on their life. We saw names like Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, to name a few. IT WAS AWESOME!!!
We went outside into the cold and noticed a commotion across the street so we went to investigate. There was an event going on; an introduction to some Stars into the “Walk of Fame” sidewalk. This is where the star has his/her name written in the sidewalk within a Star frame. We saw Randy Travis, Martina McBride and little Richard have their name immortalized and each of them gave a speech to the crowd. Another awesome sight! We also saw and heard Barbara Mandrel and Trey Aitkin. It was pretty cool.
From here, we walked to Broadway St, the Honky-Tonk area. We walked the whole street almost, bar hopping and listening to different Country singers and blues. We called Audrey (Val sister) and Marcel but they weren’t home. They really would have enjoyed this scene.
The afternoon went by too fast and soon it was time to come home. A great day overall!!

I MADE A FOLDER ESPECIALLY FOR NASHVILLE…#27 Check out all the new photos


NOV. 10, Monday, repair window and get ready to leave

It is sunny today but we had a very cold night…went down to 30*F. It is 35* right now at 8:30 and the forecast is for a temp. of 55* later in the afternoon.

I called my insurance about the window and got a claim number. I also made reservation for Memphis. We will be there 3-4 nights. I called Jackson Fleetwood dealership in Mississippi and made an appointment for the 19th to get the slide fix.
After lunch I went to get the window fix while Val did the laundry. Came back 2 hours later and loaded the kayaks and filled the airbags. Also washed the windows on the truck so that I can see where I am going.
Tomorrow, we will be driving part of the Natchez trail through Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi.

Friday, November 07, 2008

November 6 & 7, 2008, Onwards to Nashville, Tennessee

NOV. 6, Thursday, To Gatlinburg and Great Smokey National Park.

We left the house for more sightseeing. We drove through Pigeon Forge which is full of tourist attractions that I like to call “tourist trap”. I have to admit it is very beautiful and reminded us of Benson, Missouri. Hwy 441 took us to Gatlinburg, another very pretty village full of tourist attractions. The street through was very narrow and hardly any places to park. We stopped at the Smokey Mountains National Park information centre and got a map of the area.
We drove on up to the “Clingmans Dome”, 6,643 feet in elevation. We actually had to drive to the ridge where the State Line between Tennessee and North Carolina is situated. We went up to the dome’s parking lot then walk up or was it crawl up to the dome, where we had an absolutely fantastic and awesome view of the surroundings. They say one can see 7 States from this location on a very clear day!? I sort of can see why. We could look into North Carolina and also could see Pigeon Forge and Sevierville from up here and the day was a bit hazy.

We spent about a half hour up here then went back down. It was 75*F down in the valley and only 55*F at the top. We drove on to the Cades Cove Loop. The road was tortuous and narrow at some spots but we managed. We stopped for lunch at a picnic area then went on the Cades. The road looped around the country side and was a single lane farm road (paved and one-way only), an 11 miles loop which turned out to be a nightmare as there was lots of traffic and when someone stopped to take a picture, the whole lot of us behind had to stop. There were NO places to pass. Sure, signs said to pull over and be courteous but…it wasn’t heeded to. Anyway, we crawled around and it took us 2 hours to do 11 miles. Once out of there, we drove back to Hwy 73 then Hwy 321 back to our site and arrived home at 6 p.m.

Overall, it was a good day. We did see a bear, and lots of deer and horses.


NOV. 7, Friday, moving on to Nashville

We didn’t leave until 10:30 a.m. A lazy morning as we only have 160 miles to go to our destination: Nashville, Tennessee.
We drove to Dollywood Drive to see the place but it is situated in such a way that one cannot see it from the road so we kept going and got on 411 then I-40 West. We drove around Knoxville on I-640. We wanted to drive through the city but I-40 was closed due to construction so we had to go around.
We hit heavy rain just west of the city. We stopped at Camping World and I drove into a dead end by mistake. There was a turn-around but it was tight so I tried it and as I turned around, the trailer smashed the rear window to smithereens. Needless to say, I was quite angry at myself for such a stupid error. We temporarily fixed the window and then went on. Camping World and the dealership there didn't have the awning rod I've been looking for.

We went on to Nashville, crossing the Cumberland Mountains for the last time and the country side became flatter finally. We stopped for lunch and met a single lady with her dog (a widow actually), travelling with a 20 feet Citation trailer and a 150 Truck. She was on her way to Texas via the Natchez Trail. We think she has a lot of courage and guts…my hat to her!

We went on and finally got out of the rain and the sky became friendlier as we got nearer Nashville. We turned onto Hwy 155 to get around Nashville then north on I-65 to exit 98 and our next stay, Nashville Country RV Park. It is a Passport America and we paid full price for the two nights and Passport rate for two days. The book said one rate and when I questioned it, the lady told me that was last year rate and they now charge full price for the week-end year round. That amounted to an average of $27/night for 4 nights which is a bit steep but I wasn’t willing to move again as we arrived here at 4:15 pm. and this the only Campsite near the city.
We set up and I went to get some propane then found a garage to get the window fix. I have an appointment for next Monday. There are a few Canadians here and I met a guy from Kelowna, BC who's name is Ron Crockett and he claims to be a descendant of Davy Crockett. How about that!??

N 36* 22’ 25”
W 086* 42’ 37”
Alt: 511 feet
Av speed: 49 MPH
Dist. Today: 388 KM

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

November 1 to 5 To Kentucky and Tennessee

NOV. 1, Saturday, To Kentucky

I got up early and drove to the Ford dealership only to find that they were closed due to inventory! Go figure! That black cloud is still there. Anyway, I tried a couple of other places with no luck so decided to go on. This campsite is shutting down today so we can’t stay here anyway.
We got on I-77, a toll highway and headed north to Charleston, West Virginia. Our cost was $3. for the whole trip on the toll highway. Once in Charleston, we got on I-64 again and headed west. The highway going through Charleston was very narrow and curvy so we had to slow down to 50 mph. We stopped for lunch then went on. We crossed into Kentucky and slowly the scenery changed to rolling hills. We stopped at the Info Centre and decided to stop at Daniel Boone Park. We turned onto 697 and finally arrived at our destination: Fort Boonesborough State Park where we paid $22./night and booked 3 days. I hope to get the truck fix here.
This is where Daniel Boone and his compatriots built a fort along the Kentucky River. We will visit it tomorrow.
It was sunny the whole day and the temperature went up to 72*F (22*C) It’s still warm now at 8 p.m. There are lots of young families here for the week-end. We met a couple of them who were from Kentucky and were camped across from us. They were quite impressed with our travels stories.

N 37* 54’ 03”
W 084* 16’ 10”
Alt: 608 feet
Av Speed: 55 MPH
Dist. Today: 359KM



NOV. 2, Sunday, In Richmond, Kentucky

We rolled our clock one hour back overnight! Now back to Eastern Standard time we got up an hour earlier. Another sunny and warm day…gotta love it! We went to the fort and were told it was closed but we could still go through without any charges. As it turned out, it was for the best as the volunteers, who were all dressed up in that era’s fashion, were having a meeting and going over the year’s show. So we had them walking around in their gabs and took lots of pictures. It also turned out that quite a few of the cabins were unlocked so we could take a peek inside of them. We even talked to a couple of the volunteers.
We then went for a drive to where we thought they made barrels for bourbon but we never found it. Even Ms Daisy had a hard time. The truck was acting up again so we headed back to our site.
I ran a diagnostic on the engine and it showed that the throttle sensor was the cause which is what I had already figured anyway.
We had a BBQ tonight and a warm night it was


NOV. 3, Monday, sightseeing

I got up before 7 a.m. and drove to the Ford dealership where they were very friendly and accommodating. They confirmed my diagnostic and had to order a new Throttle Control Switch which they had within a couple of hours and then installed it. By noon, and $250 poorer, I was on my way back home.
I picked up Val and Tucker and we headed out for more sightseeing and bourbon tasting. We headed to “Buffalo Trace Distillery” in Frankfort, the Capital of Kentucky. Our guide was named Freddy, a colored man whose dad and grand-dad also worked here. The tour was free and our guide was most informative and knowledgeable. He had a thousand stories about the place and recounted its history without any glitches. We learned for example that Kentucky produces 98% of the world’s bourbon. We also found out that once out of the keg, the bourbon stops aging. Did you know that aging 20 year old bourbon in a barrel loses almost half of its content to evaporation!?? WOW!! Bourbon can be served chilled or at room temperature and each gives its own taste, believe it or not! We tried both and it’s true.
We had a wonderful day. Tomorrow, we move to Tennessee.


NOV. 4, Tuesday, In Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and a side trip to Kentucky Fried Chicken

We were on the road by 9:30 a.m. after dumping. We drove west to I-75 and filled up @3.09/gal. We stopped in Corbin, where the original Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant was situated and where Colonel Saunders began his career in his restaurant and motel on Hwy 25. We took a few pictures and of course, we had lunch there.
Got back on I-75 and headed south to Knoxville. We crossed the Cumberland Mountains in Tennessee after stopping at the Information Centre. The people there were very friendly and informative. We stopped for fuel in Powell and paid $3.19 Diesel is more expensive in Tennessee.
We went on to Dandridge where we were hoping to spend our time only to find out that the campground was closed so we drove back on I-40 and then on 411 to Pigeon Grove at the “Eagle Nest Campground”, a Passport campground. We are here for at least 3 days and may stay an extra one.

N 35* 47’ 32”
W 083* 36’ 07”
Alt: 1002 feet
Av speed: 50 mph
Distance today: 383 km


NOV. 5, Wednesday, sightseeing

Before leaving for our sightseeing, I called Fran at Fleetwood and of course got her answering machine so I left a message.

We went East to the “Davy Crockett State Park”. The country side was absolutely gorgeous. We had the Appalachians mountains on our right and the country side was full of autumn color and rolling hills. We stopped in Greeneville where the 17th President, Andrew Johnson lived and worked before becoming a politician. He was the first President to be tried for impeachment (unsuccessfully by the way) He was acquitted by one vote in the Senate!
At the Park, we saw a replica of David Crockett’s house where he was born and raised. We took a few pictures, bought a magnet as a souvenir and drove back home via a different route.

I have now fulfilled a lifelong dream…seeing where Davy Crockett, my childhood hero, was born
in Tennessee and where he died at the Alamo, Texas. Life couldn’t be better!

CHECK OUT ALL THE NEW PICTURES IN FOLDER #25 in PICASA

Friday, October 31, 2008

October 31, 2008, In West Virginia

OCT. 31, Friday to West Virginia,

Why does everything that can go wrong, always happen on Fridays?

We were on the road by 9 a.m., stopped in Front Royal to get the tires changed then onto I-64 by 10:30 a.m. We headed west then south-west on I-81. The scenery was absolutely breath-taking. We were driving over rolling hills through the Shenandoah Valley. We stopped at Staunton, Virginia for fuel @$3.139 then stopped at a rest area for lunch. We finally headed west on I-64 and climbed to a height of 2600 feet going through mountains full of autumn color. Gorgeous! (SEE PICTURES)

Our stop for the night was Beckley, in West Virginia, at the Coal Mine Campground, a coal mine museum and campground run by the city. We paid $22 for full hook-up in a very nice and quaint setting. I went into town to get propane ($33) then found the Ford dealership to have the truck look at. The throttle is acting up and causing a lack when I coast. I have to let go of the peddle and then press on it to get it going. This actually started a couple days ago but was very sporadic. Hope it can be fixed tomorrow.
Very warm day and sunny. It got up to almost 70*F

N 37* 47’ 01”
W 081* 11’ 49”
Alt: 2467 feet
Av speed: 52 MPH
Dist. Today: 402 KM

Thursday, October 30, 2008

October 27 to 30, 2008, in Front Royal

OCT. 27, Monday, wash day

We got up to a very cold and cloudy day…the sun was too good to last, I guess. While Val did the laundry, I went to town to the tire shop and ordered a new tire for “Q” and while there, the truck got a lube and oil change.
I took some pictures of the damage to the roof on the small slide and then went to the office to post my pictures in Picasa, update the blog, download all our e-mail which were mostly jokes and sent an e-mail to Fleetwood with the pictures of the damage area. It was worst this time around. It even ripped the duct tape I had put on. Have to get that fix soon.

OCT. 28, Tuesday, in Front Royal

Cloudy, cold and very windy was our day. We went back to Winchester to Camping World as I couldn’t find my membership card for Camping USA. When we got there, I took my little membership folder and opened it to retrieve my Camping World card and found the card that I was missing. How silly! I had looked everywhere except in there as I didn’t remember putting it in there. So we looked around a bit then left without buying anything which is really good for me. We stopped at Wal-Mart and bought milk and wine ( 15$ a keg compare to 32$ in Quebec) and some pajama for me
The wind is really gusting right now…up to 40 mph (60KMH) Pretty strong! Came home and relaxed.


OCT. 29, Wednesday

It is sunny this morning but the wind still is gusting pretty strong but not as strong as yesterday. I am glad not to be on the road with the rig as it would be really hard on fuel unless it was behind us.
The afternoon brought calmer winds so we decided to do the Shenandoah Skyline Drive today. It begins about 6 miles from here and we climbed to about 2900 feet then leveled off for a while before climbing again. The highest we went was 3500 feet and we had a view of the valley on either side of the mountain ridge. The highway is built along the ridge or near it so the views are absolutely breath-taking and awesome. It was cold though! It went down to 38*F at the top…BRRRRR! We drove for about two hours then came home via the valley floor where it was much warmer.
Val cooked a nice meatball stew which warmed us nicely.
TOOK MORE PICTURES, SO CHECK THEM OUT.


OCT. 30, Thursday, last day in Front Royal

We got up to a warmer day and sunny sky. It went up to almost 60*F. Val did another load of laundry and I put everything away outside then checked the internet for mail and downloaded more pictures and the blog
I wrote a letter to Fleetwood in California where the HQ is situated about our rig...It will be interesting if we get any response.
Tomorrow, we leave for West Virginia

Monday, October 27, 2008

October 22 to 26, Pennsylvania to Virginia

OCT. 22, Wednesday to Harrisburg and more problems

We were on the road by 10 a.m. A late start but we are in no rush to get anywhere. I got propane before leaving @ $24. Then we continued on Hwy 209through some very awesome scenery. The Pocono Mountains here are in full autumn color and it makes the drive very pleasant to the eyes. The road was tortuous at some places and the streets in some of the villages were quite narrow but we took our time and had no mishap.
We stopped for lunch and took on fuel. $3.529/Gal. We saw fuel as high as $4.09 on the highway. I don’t know how they get away with this!?
We arrived to I-81 and turned left (south) towards Harrisburg. We got off at exit 90, Lickdale, near Harrisburg and camped for the night at Lickdale Campground, a GOOD SAM park. Paid for two nights. We are stopping here to shop for groceries and visit the town of Hershey where they make chocolate and other places.
As we put the slides out, I found a rip in the roof of the office slide, same place as before so will call Fleetwood on this. Obviously, St-Cyr didn’t check the slide as I asked them to do.

N 40* 27’ 11”
W 076* 30’ 35”
Alt: 458 feet
Av. Speed: 36.4 MPH
Dist today: 146 Km


OCT 23, Thursday, sightseeing

A cold night but it did get up to 60*F during the afternoon. After a late start, we headed south on hwy 72 through Lebanon, all the way down to Lancaster, the centre of Amish County. The country side was absolutely spectacular. We saw lots of horse drawn buggy and Amish men working the fields. Farms were really neat and clean and manicured.
When driving through Manheim, we stopped for a break and I met a guy with a Canadian plate on the front of his car. He was a local man but his wife was from Chilliwack, BC, of all places. Her family name is Schultz. What a small world!!!
We had lunch in Intercourse (Please no smart aleck jokes!!!!), and walked around the town. There are two theories as to where the town got its name. One is that in the early days of 1800, intercourse was an expression meaning “talking between people” and eventually the town was called that as it was known as friendly people place; the other theory is that there was a race in town and the start of the course was “enter course”. People began calling the town “Enter Course” which eventually became “Intercourse”… so there you are!

We then drove back home via Hershey where the chocolate factory is located but unfortunately it was closed.
We had a drink then dinner. It’s cooling off very quickly at night now.
As a side note, Fleetwood finally called back and Fran will call me back with more directions later. In the mean time she wants me to send her pictures of the damage.
Tomorrow, we move to Gettysburg, PA


OCT. 24, Friday to Gettysburg

We were on the road by 10:30 a.m. We headed south west on I-81 then turned south on I-83 in Harrisburg. Once across the Susquehanna River, we took Hwy 15 south and headed for Gettysburg. We arrived there about 2 hours later and stopped at Artillery campground only to find out they were full. We called a couple of other places which were also full due to the Halloween week-end. We finally found another site at Gettysburg’s Campground and were told it was $37/night so we headed there only to find out that it was actually $47/night. After arguing we lost and so we took it for one night only. (And then campgrounds wonder why we go to Wal-Mart…what a rip-off!) We got a site with water and electricity only for $43.
After setting up, we went to the Military Museum, watched a movie on the battle and then were taken upstairs to the Panorama encirclement which consisted of a huge painting of the battle rounding the whole dome and we re-lived the battle with the help of lights, sounds and narration. It was extremely well done and we were both impressed. We visited the museum and then took the Auto-self guided tour where we got a map then drove around to look at all the memorials and history. It was very impressive and I couldn’t believe the amount of memorials and dedications for all the Regiments involved on both side. It really was awesome! Over 51,000 soldiers died, were wounded or went missing during that battle. What a waste of youth. A real carnage!
Gettysburg is a really picturesque town and worth seeing. Lots of history and they have retained a lot of their heritage.
We came back to our site after stopping for a couple of grocery items and found the place busy with Halloween decorations, lights, dozens of kids running around and activities everywhere.

We would have like staying longer but I resent paying these outrageous prices.

N 39* 48’ 54”
W 077* 17’ 08”
Alt: 535 feet
Dist. Today: 118 Km
Av. Speed: 40.9 mph


OCT. 25, Saturday, to Front Royal, Virginia and a minor problem

There is rain this morning but it’s much warmer than it’s been. We left at 10:30 a.m. and headed south on 116 then turned right on 16 to I-81. We stopped for fuel just getting on the Interstate. We paid 3.52 for 10 gals. It began raining in earnest and at times it was so heavy that I had to slow down just to be safe. I find it always amazing how some people drive in that stuff with NO LIGHTS ON!!! Anyway, we crossed into Maryland and 15 minutes later, we were driving in West Virginia. Couldn’t take any pictures due to all the rain. We stopped at the West Virginia Info Centre for some information on Charleston when we go there. It took about an hour to cross W.V. and we finally arrived in Virginia and eventually Front Royal off I-66. As we got off the highway and I made a turn, I looked in my mirror and to my horror, saw a HUGE bulb sticking out of the wall of the rear tire on the 5th-Wheel. I stopped to investigate and saw that there was a 6 inches bulb sticking out of the tire. We drove on slowly to Skyline Ranch Resort where we will be staying for the next 5 days. The bulb blew on the way there but the tire stayed inflated, thank goodness! We will get that fix this week, for sure. Now it’s time to set up and relax. It has been a good day but I am tired and it’s time for dinner.
Oh yeah… I found out that I lost my awning rod. I think I lost it back in Pennsylvania when we were driving on back road and the storage door came open. One more thing to buy!
There is WI-FI here but I have to go to the office so will probably do that tomorrow.

N 38* 54’ 20”
W 078* 17’ 24”
Alt: 804 feet
Dist. Today: 189 km
Av speed: 38.3 Mph


OCT. 26, Sunday, in Front Royal

A beautiful sunny and warm day greeted us this morning. The temperature went up to 66*F in the afternoon. We went to Winchester, about 20 miles from here, to Camping World and bought a few necessary things and awning rod for “Q” (our Quantum). We took Hwy 340 which is very picturesque and also stopped at Costco and Wal-Mart for groceries.
We came back to Front Royal, found out where the tire shop is then came back home to put the groceries away and relax.
I HAVE POSTED NEW PICTURES

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

October 20 & 21, 2008 In Pennsylvania

OCT. 20, Monday

A sunny day greeted us at 7:30 a.m. I got dress and went to visit with Gilles and Lise while Val got dressed. We said our goodbyes to Lise as she had to leave for an appointment by 9 a.m. After this, we put everything away and unhooked all the hardware such as hoses, power and internet cable. Hooked the truck and pulled into the street and by 10:30 a.m. we were ready to leave. We said our goodbyes to Gilles and Anthony (their son)
We hit the road and eventually made our way to Hwy 55 south, crossed the border with no problems and no search and were on I-91 by 11:30 after a 15 minutes delay at the border. We found Vermont very beautiful and scenic. We stopped for fuel in Ascutney, a town built in 1777. We took on 25 gallons @ 3.799 ( I was running on fumes, I swear) then went through Massachusetts and headed West on I-90 then south on 202 to Southwick. We stopped at Veronique and Stephan’s place ( my niece) and spent the night there. We had a very nice visit and went out for dinner. They have 2 girls who are marvelous and spunky! We hit the bed by 10:30 p.m.

N 42* 03’ 37”
W 072* 45’ 39”
Alt: 262 feet
Av. Speed: 51.7 MPH
Distance today: 517 KM


OCT. 21, Tuesday

We got up at 7:30 and after breakfast and saying our goodbyes to everyone, we went south on Hwy 202 by 9:30 a.m. We drove through Connecticut, a very small State, and after a fuel stop where we took on 15 Gal. @ 3.959, we were in New-York State in no time on I-84. We continued to Pennsylvania where we turned south on Hwy 209 and followed the Delaware River.
We arrived at our night destination in Brodheadsville at a “P.A.” park named Silver creek campground. We have WIFI here so I was able to download this. It’s really windy, gusting to 30 mph at times but we are cozy warm.

N 40* 56’ 39”
W 075* 22’ 32”
Alt: 789 feet
Av. Speed: 44.3 MPH

Dist. Today: 335 KM


Sunday, October 19, 2008

October 12 to 19, 2008, our last week in Dr'Ville

OCT. 12, Sunday. In Drummond’Ville

We got up late to a beautiful day again. We’ve sure been getting the weather lately. I cooked breakfast then we went back to work on the renovations. Varnished the doors and put the final touch on the small trap door in the bathroom. Sure looks great
A good day overall!


OCT. 13, Monday

Gaetan and Diane came out for a visit so we sat by a nice fire. Val cooked Chili for everyone and it was a success. Everyone left around 9 p.m. and Gilles had to get ready to leave for his work.
A good day overall!


OCT. 14, Tuesday

Had a good night sleep and after breakfast, Val did the laundry and I began to pack the bikes and our stuff. Organized the basement and then washed the bugs off the front of the truck and cleaned the inside.
It was sunny this morning but it’s cloudy now, late in the afternoon but it sure is warm…19*C


OCT. 15, Wednesday

We had a bit of rain overnight but right now it’s cloudy with sunny periods and much colder than yesterday. Forecast is for 14*C today which isn’t too bad.
I installed the doors for the new cupboard under the TV. It took this long for the varnish to dry properly. I was going to wash the truck but decided to wait as the forecast is for rain.


OCT. 16, Thursday

It rained overnight and still raining right now at 9 a.m. I sent an e-mail yesterday to Fleetwood again. This time, I made threats to seek outside help and…hold and behold…they finally answered this morning via e-mail. She says she will call our cell later so will see how good she is with her word.
I did a couple chores for Gilles, washed the truck and packed the rest of stuff. All that’s left now is loading the kayaks and step-ladder.


OCT. 17, Friday

Not much to report. I helped Gilles around the yard, took Tucker for walks and packed the BBQ and table.
After dinner, Val made apple crisper dish and we went to share it with Gilles, Lise and Anthony. Came home around midnight and straight to bed.


OCT. 18, Saturday

A very cold night…-5*C! Definitely time to leave.
Big day! Everyone came over to say their goodbyes. It was wonderful. Everyone started arriving around 2 p.m. We had a big fire going outside and then a wonderful dinner. The girls danced inside in the evening while the guys stood outside by the fire chatting and telling stories and lies!
It ended too soon and tears were shed as everyone left. Johnny and Ginette slept over our place and the six of us continued the party until 1:30 a.m.


OCT 19, Sunday Last day in Dr’ville

We didn’t get up until 9:30 a.m. Sunny outside but very cold. Still -2*C and the water line is frozen. It finally thawed about an hour later. We went out for breakfast then Johnny did a couple of touch-up in the rig and then we visited. They left around 5 p.m. and we had dinner with Gilles and Lise then came home and hit the hay by 10 p.m.
Tomorrow, we head south!!!
Downloaded a few pictures in a new folder #23 (Last day and heading south to Vermont)

Monday, October 13, 2008

October 6 to 11, 2008; Drummond'Ville

OCT. 6, Monday,

It was sunny today but cool again. We went into town to get propane and some food, picked up a water bottle at the corner store and came home.
I moved the sewer hose container under the rig so that it was easier to reach then I built a shelf for the front locker. Re-organized a couple of containers and re-sealed the shower stall. (I noticed a leak this morning)
Called the kids in the evening but missed most of them as they had gone out to watch Vanessa play however Hayley was home so we chatted with her for a good while. She has started dancing lessons and likes it a lot. Talking to her made me miss them even more but it was great chatting with Hayley all the same.


OCT. 7, Tuesday

A very chilly night…-1*C (31*F). BRRRRRRR!! It is a sunny day and it’s supposed to go up to 11*C
I fixed the bed frame so that the corners are now rounded and it fits the mattress. Also put the small TV away in its place and picked the leafs outside.
Made a few calls to Insurance office for Insurance into the States and Mexico; Fleetwood (still trying to get an answer on the landing gear motor)…they are ignoring me now that the warranty is over; and our storage at home.
We called the kids again tonight and caught up with Rochelle and Graeme. We wished Graeme a very happy Birthday….he’s 19 now! WOW! He said he was going out with a few friends to the pub as he is now legal. Told him to have fun but DO NOT DRIVE! Actually, he’s fairly responsible so I don’t think he would. Anyway, we spoke at length with Rochelle also but unfortunately, Kevin and Vanessa weren’t home. They sure lead a busy life these kids!
A good day overall.


OCT. 8, Wednesday

It went down to -2*C overnight but it’s supposed to warm up quickly and go to 12*C. Another sunny day and the temperature did go up to 17*C; pretty warm. We went grocery shopping then came home and fixed the satellite reception on our dish, too many trees around.
Got our mail today so catching up to all the magazines I received.


Oct. 9, Thursday

It rained overnight and in the morning but did clear up in the afternoon. It was 11*C first thing this morning and went up 18*C; what a crazy weather but no one is complaining!
My sister Therese came over and spent the afternoon and night with us. Val cooked a stir fry for dinner and we had it with Lise and Anthony. Gilles came home around 7:30 p.m. and he had a small plate that we had saved for him. It did rain in the evening again and over night.


OCT. 10, Friday


Sunny again today. I cooked breakfast then we just sat around and visited with my sister and Gilles’ family. We had dinner together and Therese went home around 7:30 p.m. and we went to bed early today.


OCT. 11, Saturday

Cold night,,,,2*C! But sunny this morning with a few clouds. My brother Johnny and his girlfriend, Ginette, came out from Longueuil and spent the week-end with us. We worked on the rig replacing the fireplace for a storage cupboard, putting the satellite receiver up and out so that we could access it easier, making a hole in the wall in the bathroom for easier access to the shut-off valves for the washer/dryer and a few other odds and ends.
Afterwards we sat around the fire and visited and had a few laughs

9 days to go!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Octobre 1 to 5, 2008, in Drummond'Ville

OCT. 1, Wednesday

We woke up to rain but it stopped later in the morning and was on and off all day. Went to the bank in the afternoon then just relaxed and read. Val cooked a delicious stew for dinner.


OCT. 2, Thursday

Val did the laundry and I put together our medical claim for BC. We also got a call from Joanne (Val’s daughter) with wonderful news that she was pregnant with twins. She is due next April, so another reason to get home next spring.
I got a call from a guy whom I knew when I was an Army Reservist (16 to 18 yrs old). I met him in town and we had a coffee together and brought back so many memories that I felt overwhelmed. It was neat and I am glad he called. I felt kind of bad because as we talked, I really didn’t remember him from that era but he sure did!
Gilles came home tonight and we all had a drink together. It was very windy today. The leafs are falling in droves


OCT. 3, Friday

It was sunny with cloudy period today so we worked on putting all the summer equipment away for the winter and we put up the tarp garage for Lise’s car.
Windy again today and the yard is just covered in leafs and pine needles. Gilles got a call from Johnny to come down and give a hand building an addition to his shed so we all agreed to go.


OCT. 4, Saturday


We left the house around 9:30 a.m., stopped for breakfast and drove to Longueuil to Johnny and Ginette’s place. We spent the rest of the day working on the addition and got it all finished except for the siding. It was sunny and cool which made for a pleasant day.
Ginette cooked us all a marvelous pork roast dinner and we made pigs of ourselves. It was delicious. Afterwards, we visited and finally came home around 11 p.m.
A long but productive day!


OCT. 5, Sunday

Sunny again but very cool. It got down to 2*C (34*F) overnight. We spoke to our friends in Idaho, Steve and Linda, on Skype in the morning. The neat thing is that we were able to see them on our camcorder. Modern technology!
A lazy day sort of, Gilles worked on his lights and I raked the yard. Afterwards, I moved all my stuff in the garage ready to be loaded on the truck as soon as I can wash it.
Andre and Claudette came over from Montreal for a visit. We all had dinner together as Val cooked a lasagna; another success.
Gilles left for Latuque around 8 p.m. and Andre and his girlfriend also left. We cleaned up the dining room and also turned in.
15 days to go to our departure!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

September 26 to 30, 2008, back in Drummond'Ville

SEPT. 26, Friday, In Drummond’Ville

Oooooh, It feels so good to wake up in our own bed and use our own bathroom!

A cloudy day but it is warm. Today was a very sad day for everyone! Gilles and Lise had to euthanize Sam, their Bovier dog as he had serious medical problems with no guarantees that it would get better. It was really hard.

We got groceries as we came home then had a few drinks with Gilles and Lise.


SEPT. 27, Saturday, Relaxing

It rained overnight and a cloudy day. Gilles and Lise went to Montreal today to see her daughter and celebrate their grand-daughter’s first birthday. Val cleaned the inside of “Q” and I worked on the outside.


SEPT. 28, Sunday A new addition....Myra

Rained overnight again but the days are just overcast. Gilles, Lise and Val went to pick up the new addition to the family; a 2 months old female Bouvier. She is really cute….see pictures on our Picasa site, folder #22. Tucker took up to her quickly.

Later in the afternoon, friends that we met in Florida 3 years ago, Renald and Denise, stopped by on their way home. We had a marvelous visit and we had them over so dinner. Val had cooked a big pot of chili and we had it in Gilles house. Everyone enjoyed it….Gilles even took the left-over with him to LaTuque.
They left around 7:30 p.m. and so did Gilles. A good day, indeed.


SEPT. 29, Monday

It rained again overnight but it’s cloudy for the day. I went to the local lumber yard and picked up some materials to build a shelve in the front locker under the bedroom. I also called Telus and changed our plan to North America plan as of Oct. 10…all part of our departure.
A neighbor who is a welder came over to weld the bike rack straight so the bikes ride straight up rather than slanted as before. He also strengthen it. My cost? $30. Not bad!


SEPT. 30, Tuesday, out for a drive

A sunny day. The forecast is for rain for the next two days so we decided to enjoy this day by going for a drive in the country side and enjoyed the changing leaves.
Came home around 3:30 p.m. and had a drink with Lise then it was dinner time.

End of the month already! WOW! We have 20 days left to our departure.

Friday, September 26, 2008

September 20 to 25, the Saga is finally over

Sept. 20, Saturday, in St-Hubert

Got up to a warmer morning. It only got down to 10*C overnight. Michel and Therese are gone to his brother’s chalet to help him close it up so we now have the house to ourselves. PARTY TIME!!!!!!
We went to visit Johnny and Ginette and had supper with them. Pierre joined us and we had a very nice visit although Johnny was not feeling well. He thought he had a touch of the flu. Came home around 10:30 p.m.


SEPT. 21, Sunday

A warm night and it was cloudy this morning but it cleared up. First day of autumn! Worked on setting up the new laptop in the morning and in the afternoon Michel and Therese returned home


SEPT. 22, Monday, Parts arrive in Quebec

Checked on the tracking number with UPS and saw that the parts are in Mirabelle, clearing customs. House cleaning today and helped take apart the outdoor awning and Michel got home we trimmed the hedge at the front of the house.
That evening we watched two Rolling Stones concert. This is one of Michel’s favorite group so the sound was cranked up real loud and everyone had no choice but get in the mood. There was so much vibration that two pots fell on the floor, one of which broke and sprayed its content all over the floor. Thank goodness it was a hardwood floor so it was easy to clean. We finally got to bed by midnight…poor Michel has to go to work at 5 a.m.


SEPT. 23, Tuesday, Black cloud still with us

According to UPS tracking, our parts were in transit all day. From Mirabel to Brossard then to be delivered to St-Cyr but never delivered. Called UPS 800 number and got a lot of lip-service and sympathy but no action. One more day to wait.
We went for a drive to St-Jean de Richelieu where there is a big Military college for Officers and a small Base.
We then drove on to “St-Paul de l’Isle-Aux-Noix”. We followed the Richelieu River all the way. It was a very pretty drive. We also stopped at Fort Lennox National Park but unfortunately it was closed so we just walked around. The fort is actually on an Island which we could see but the ferry only runs on week-ends in the fall. This part of the highway is called “the road of the Forts”. It was a very strategic passage when the US was trying to invade Lower Canada.


SEPT. 24, Wednesday, and the saga continues.

Called UPS again and tried to have the parts delivered in the morning….they were finally delivered at 3:20 p.m. at St-Cyr. So much for customer relations!
We went cycling back to St-Jean de Richelieu and followed the canal. Saw a few boats heading south, going through the locks. This canal has 22 locks in total to by-pass the rapids on the Richelieu. It is also a navigatable waterway between the St-Lawrence River and New-York city.
There were also some awesome houses along the way. We stopped for lunch in St-Jean then headed back. Took a few pictures which have been down-loaded. The whole trip took us 4 hours including all the breaks.


SEPT. 25, Thursday…..Q is FIX!!!!

We got the call around 10:30 a.m. that “Q” (Quantum) is fix and ready to go. YIIIIIIPPPEEEEEEEEEEE! Packed all our stuff, cleaned the trailer, dumped and said our good-byes to Therese and Ginette (She came over to say good-bye)
We arrived in Drummond’Ville around 3 p.m. after fuelling up ($1.23/Liter)
No problems backing up and setting up. We sat with Lise and had a beer and FINALLY relax. Gilles came home around 7 p.m. and we had a big campfire.