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 is now a Gated Community 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, April 30, 2008

April 28 to 30, Ontario and Quebec

Apr. 28, Sunday, Kingston, Ontario

A lazy morning. It's pouring rain out there. A good day to stay inside. Val is doing some laundry and I am catching up on paperwork and such. Called Fleetwood and left a message to call me back regarding the suspension. Also called Telus to change our plan to "Talk Canada 75". The coffee pot decided to call it quit today so we went into town and bought a new one. Also fuel and what a shocker. I put in 74.068 Litres @ $1.389 for a total of $98. ( that's about [74.068L/ 4.546 =] 16.28 gallons @ approx. $6.01/gal) That's over two dollars more and our exchange is almost at par...... Talk about a rip-off!!!??? U.S. prices are really looking gooooood now! And this is only the beginning....haven't bought any beer and wine yet!? It rained all day and finally stopped in the evening.

APR. 29, Monday, Kingston

Another cloudy day but it's not raining so far this morning. The temperature really dropped last night. We were at only 2*C (35*F) overnight. Brrrrrrrr!
We went sightseeing today. Took a look at the Rideau locks, a series of 8 locks that go up the river that takes you to Ottawa. It begins in the Thousand Islands area. A very popular river with power boaters in the summer. From here we drove to downtown Kingston and took a look at the Citadel (Fort Henry). We are early in the season so everything is closed including the Info Centre. Nevertheless, the front gate was open so we looked inside but all the door were closed. It is the same as the Citadel in Quebec anyway. We continued on to downtown where we looked around at all the old house from the 1800 and early 1900's Absolutely beautiful. We saw the old Kingston Penitentiary. We drove through a part called "the old town" dating back to the late 1800's and we had lunch in a small pub (SEE PICTURES). From here we went to the mall and exchanged a razor Val had bought but didn't work and then we drove home. It is sunny but only a very cool 9*C (48*F). The wind makes it even chillier but at least it's sunny!

APR. 30, Wednesday, moving to Quebec

A sunny morning but the forecast is for more rain and only 9*C again. Where is spring??? Anyway, today we moved to Quebec, near Montreal to be exact, for one night. The trip was uneventful. Drove on 401 to exit 14 in Quebec where I took 132 and stopped in Saleberry, south of Montreal, at a Fleetwood dealership to make an appointment for the suspension and all the rest of the warranty work to be done before the end of May, when the warranty runs out. They did not seem happy to see me even though I told them I had the whole summer here. They did agree to fix the suspension as it is a safety issue so they took pictures and will order the parts but as for the rest, he said that "maybe" they could do it in the fall....not good enough. We carried on and drove towards Montreal where I got lost looking for our campsite( took the wrong turn). I found a visitor centre in Longueuil so stopped only to learn that the campsite on the river is closed due to renovation. In the meantime, my brother Pierre called and came over to serve as a guide. We went to a Wal-Mart where we spent the night and went out for dinner with my sister Therese, her husband Michel and Pierre, of course. It is sunny with cloudy periods and quite cool. The wind is nippy.
We had a very nice visit and after dinner, everyone went home and we stayed with our rig. I don't feel comfortable leaving it, especially where we are. Tomorrow, we will move to a campsite just outside of town and about 20 minutes from my sister. Pierre will come back in the morning to assist and guide.

Monday, April 28, 2008

April 25 to 26: Disaster strikes and arrive in CANADA

APR.   25,  Thursday, Amish country and disaster strikes
We had a late start.  After paying our park fees of $25. we got on I-70 and headed east.  We crossed Columbus, Ohio and took State Hwy 62.  We were treated to marvellous sceneries of typical American Colonial style houses and buildings.  It was marvellous.  The lawns and yards were immaculate and the whole thing was just awesome.
We continued east on 62 and the country side was picture perfect with lots of neat farms, gentle rolling hills and quaint little villages. (took lots of pictures)  We finally arrived in Millersburg where we stopped for lunch and walked the main streets and looked at a couple of shops.  This is Amish country and it's evident everywhere.  Even saw a horse and buggy parked beside a couple of semis.  Cool!!  We continued on to Berlin, the heart of the Amish county and again stopped at a couple of shops.  It is gorgeous country and there are lots of Amish people about in their traditional attires.  Really neat! ( SEE PICTURES)
From here, the country side became monotonous but pretty all the same.  We arrive at our cross-road in Canton where we fuelled 11 gals @ $4.21 and continue on State 30 then I-77 to Akron.  Here we turned north on State 11, a four lane hwy and headed for Jefferson where we were planning on spending the night.  It is 3 p.m. 
Twenty miles north, DISASTER struck.  I saw white smoke coming off my trailer tires so I slammed on the brakes and moved to the shoulder.  I discovered that the spring had come apart, caused by two broken shackle plates on the "MooreRide" suspension system.
I called BCAA and got a tow to come out.  They arrived a half hour later, pretty quick.  All they could do was put a block between the spring and frame to open a small gap between the tires, then they followed me to the next exit by mile 61, approx. 1/2 mile, across and over the highway and stopped in a yard where Bob, the tow truck operator knew the owner and he(Mike) offered us to spend the night in their gravel yard, provided us with power and water and made sure we were comfy.  So here we are, 8 p.m., just finished setting up and Val is making us a light dinner.  We even have TV, AMAZING!!!  What a day!  No WIFI
N  41* 21' 55"
W 080* 42' 09"
Alt: 1059 feet
Distance today: 392 KM @ an av. speed of 43 mph
APR.   26,  Saturday, repaired and on the go again
I was up early and on the phone by 8 a.m. trying to find someone to fix the suspension.  Mike and his crew are in the yard already and already customers are coming in to pick up gravel, mulch and rocks for their gardens....it's Spring after all.  Anyway, he and his mechanic, Creg, came over and took a look at the damage and Creg figured he could fix it but first we had to wait until they were finished with a truck already in the bay.  That was fine by me.  Creg came with me in my truck and we went to a horse trailer dealer who might have the two plates needed about ten miles away.  He did!  So I bought them at less than $6 with taxes and drove back to the yard.  We sat until 11:30 and in the meantime, I called the RV dealership in Warren but they couldn't do anything for us until at least Monday.
Mike waved me to come in and we backed-in the trailer in his garage where they proceeded in doing the repairs.
We were hungry so I asked if it would be OK to unhooked and Mike insisted we take his company truck instead, so we did and had a nice lunch in Cortland, a village nearby.  We came back to find the trailer ready to roll.  I expected to pay at least $100 if not more and when Mike said it cost NOTHING, I was SHOCKED!!!!  I insisted he takes something and he refused.  They both said they were more than happy to help a fellow camper.  WOW!!  WOW!!  So we thanked them profusely and were on our way by 1:30 p.m.
We headed north again on State 11 , turned east on I-90 and stopped in Kingsville to get fuel: 18 gallons @4.16  We kept going, crossed into Pennsylvania and an hour later, into New York State.  Right away we noticed the high prices of fuel @ $4.559; glad we fuelled earlier.  We exited I-90 at Fredonia, a toll highway in N.Y., paid $5. and continued on State 20.  It has now become hilly with some steep climbs. 
Finally arrived in Warsaw where we stopped for the night at Rainbow Lake resort, a AAA discount park ( also a P.A. site but only Sunday to Thursday) but still cost us $30.  the most we've paid so far but we want water and electricity ( I don't dare travel with water in the tanks now).  Glad to be here....it's 6:30 p.m.
    Tomorrow, we crossed into Canada.  Looking forward to be home even though I know the prices are going to be higher for fuel and repairs.
N  42* 45'54"
W 078*  11'28"
Alt: 1746 feet
Distance today: 360 KM @ an average speed of 44 mph
APR.   26, Sunday, in Canada
Left around 10 a.m. after dumping; went through Warsaw on hwy 20, a pretty little village, and climbed a 10% hill.  Thank goodness, it wasn't long.  From here, the hills became easier to negotiate and the country side became flatter.  We turned north on I-86, went through Rochester and headed east on State 104.  It was a pretty straight and flat road with beautiful farming country and lots of trees.  Connected with I-87 and headed north for Canada.
We arrived in the 1000 Island area, and what a gorgeous area this is.  We paid the toll to across the bridge and saw all kinds of little Islands and boats going back and forth.  On the north side of the Island, we crossed into Canada, about a 20 minute wait, and after the obligatory check-up, we hit the 401 in Ontario and headed south to exit 623 and our campsite, "Rideau Acres Islands", a Passport park ( approx 20 miles away).  Paid for 3 nights as we want to let the forecasted storm blow over, I hope to be able to wash the Unit and Val wants to do laundry.
Glad to be back in Canada, I think
N  44* 18' 24"
W 076* 25" 15"
Alt: 335 feet
Distance today: 390 km @ an average speed of 47 mph

Saturday, April 26, 2008

APRIL 20 to 24, 2008 Indiana & warranty works

APR.   20,  Sunday, more sightseeing
Not much to report today.  We went for a drive up Hwy 61 then along the river for about 30 miles and returned on a different highway.  The country side is very beautiful with its wide open field, farms and neat little villages.  Most of the villages have retained their atmosphere and looks of the early 1900 and late 1800's.  It makes the places looked really quaint.
Once we returned, we ordered and had a pizza in our room then just vegetated.  Looking forward to leaving tomorrow
APR.   21,  Monday, the truck is repaired
We got up late and took our time packing and checking out.  The truck is not supposed to be ready until around noon.  We went for breakfast at a neat little cafe we found in West Burlington, not far from the dealership. 
We arrived at the dealer and started to unpack the car and get it ready to return it when I saw the truck coming out of the garage.  What a pleasant surprise,  it's ready at least one and half hour early so I walked over and got the keys and hooked up.  These guys have been really superb.  Pleasant to deal with and always courteous.  I would definitely recommend them and go back in times of needs.
After paying the bill (OUCH!!!!!!!), we got on our way.  Drove east on hwy 34 to 67 where we turned south then east again on 116.  I started looking for fuel as we were getting really low.  Finally found some in Farmington where I took on 26 gallons @ $4.199.  It was time, I think I was running on fumes!!
Carried on to Peoria where we got on I-74 and finally stopped in Bloomington, Illinois, around 2:30 p.m.  Early but we have lots of time as our appointment is not until Wednesday now and we are only 175 miles away.  It's a beautiful day and we might as well enjoy it and not get stressed out.  We camped at "Kamp Kamfort RV park", a passport park for $13. full hook-ups but no internet (they have it but you have to pay an extra $2.)
N 40* 35' 43"                 
W 089* 09' 20"
Alt:  809 feet
Distance today: 210 KM
Av. speed: 48 mph
APR.   22, Indiana
A late start.  We were on the road by 10:15 a.m.  We drove east on I-74 and stopped in Oakwood for fuel: 10 gal @ 4.13 then we stopped again a few miles down the road for lunch at the Indiana visitor centre.  The country side is very scenic and beautiful.  Lots of neat farms and huge fields of corn and hay and whatever else farmers grow.  It's pleasant to look at and a nice change from the brown of the desert.
We went around Indianapolis on 465 and stopped at "Flying J" for fuel: 10 gal @ 4.13( I get a discount at Flying J hence my stopping there whenever I can).  We took I-70 east to exit 96, our campsite, Heartland RV park.  We paid for 2 nights and set up but stayed hooked-up as we will be leaving early in the morning.  Our appointment with "Mt Comfort RV dealership" is for 8 a.m. tomorrow.
It was a cloudy day most of the day but right now, it's sunny and very warm.
N   39* 49' 23"
W 085* 49' 56"
Alt: 862 feet
Distance today: 345 KM
Average speed of 48MPH
APR.   23,  Wednesday, Day for repairs
Got up at 6:15 and we were at Mt Comfort RV by 7:55 a.m.  We went over the list of repair with Ted our consultant (16 items in total) and then we left for Crawfordville where the Fleetwood manufacture is situated.  We met with Fran and she gave us a tour of the place.  It was interesting to see how our rig was put together and to walk around inside the manufacture.  I was impressed yet I wasn't....I just can't put my finger on that feeling.  The place was very quiet (and a lot cleaner than LaGrande, Oregon) as this is an inventory-taking week so most of the workers were off and there is no production going on except for a skeleton crew.  The lay out of the buildings and the parking lot reminded us  of Fleetwood in LaGrande, Oregon.  We did see a lot and were impressed by Fran's empathy towards us and our problems.(SEE PICTURES)   We made sure she got an earful but it didn't much good. 
We left after 2 hours and headed back to Mt Comfort.  We stopped in Indianapolis and saw the Famous race track, "The Indianapolis Raceway".  The entrance goes under the track from the street and then we entered the centre compound.  The museum is the first thing you see and as we entered we could hear a race car going around the track(actually we could hear it from the main street too).  We parked and took a look around and saw the car going around.  There were quite a few people sitting around on the grass.  After this, we headed back.
Almost everything has been fixed.  Only 5 items are remaining and we will get those fix in Quebec.  ( it has to do with ordering parts)  We have to come back again in the morning as 3 items haven't been fixed yet including the problem with the landing gears.  I say there is something broken but they say that no, it's because the trailer is too heavy!??????  We will be back in the a.m.  Fuelled: 12 gal @ 4.390
APR.   24, Thursday, a day of disappointment
I hate to brag but I was right about the landing gears and they reluctantly admitted it, sort of!  The motor is rocking back and forth as the legs go up as half the bracket is broken.  The amazing thing is this was also checked by Beaudry and they also missed it.  So they called Fleetwood and believe or not, Fleetwood in Crawfordville doesn't have the gears!!!  It has to come from northern Indiana from another plant so we would be stuck here for the week-end.  NOT AN OPTION!!!  It's an expensive State and the campsite don't come cheap either.  After wasting 3/4 of the day, waiting for Fleetwood to call and playing phone tag with them, we decided to go and get the gears fix once in Quebec.  We would have stayed another night if the gears had been sure to come in tomorrow but it won't happened.  I have never been sooooo disappointed.  We came here with the thinking that being close to the Manufacture, we would get the parts quickly but....NOT SO!
We headed East on I-70 and to Ohio.  The country side in Ohio is now like a big forest.  Lots of trees and it's becoming hilly.  We stopped in Springsfield for fuel: 15 gal @ 4.199 and for the night at a "Good Sam" park, "Beaver Valley RV Park", on hwy 40, just off I-70, exit 62.
After setting up for the night, I dry-washed the truck, rearranged the kayaks, cleaned the window, greased the slide supports and took Tucker for a walk.  Oh yeah, also added another State on my map outside the 5er.
N   39* 55' 26"
W 083* 40' 50"
Alt: 1114 feet
Distance today: 200 km
Average speed of 52 mph

Sunday, April 20, 2008

April 15 to 19, 2008. Arkansas and Iowa

APR. 15, Tuesday, through Missouri to Branson, Arkansas

Our day began @ 06:30 a.m. I drove to Joe Cooper Ford to get a lube and oil change for the truck. It took about an hour then I returned to our site and packed. We were on the road by 9:15 a.m. We drove East on I-44 through Oklahoma City and connected with "old 66", a 4 lanes highway to begin with then 2 lanes through some very pretty country side scenes. I stopped for fuel East of Tulsa @ West Siloam and took on 12 gallons @ 3.899. We are now on Hwy 412 which we got on east of Tulsa.
We crossed into Arkansas and into the Ozarks mountains, famous for the hillbilly's who live here, although we didn't see any. If anything, what we saw was pretty nice and rich in value.
We came upon an intersection where we turned north on Hwy 65 an a few miles later, we entered Missouri. The country side is absolutely gorgeous. The road winds its way through the mountains which are not really that high but full of trees and open fields of grass and wild flowers. Twenty miles into Missouri, we arrived in Branson. We turned onto 265 then 165 where we followed a precipice for about 3 miles. The view of the lake and the country side was absolutely awesome. We turned into our park, "The Stagecoach RV Park" Paid for 2 nights @ $15 each, parked and set up.
It's been a long day....8 hours of driving but we are here...Branson, Missouri, Country Western et-al

APR. 16, Wednesday, sightseeing

We drove around town in the morning, exploring and sightseeing. We went for a walk into the historic part of Branson and had lunch in a cute little restaurant. We also bought two tickets to a show, a comedy/musical show at the "Pierce Arrow Theatre"
Branson is built on top of a couple ridges in the Ozarks mountains which creates some incredible scenic views. The downtown consist of two main "Strip, Vegas style", full of theatres, shows and tourist attractions. There are side streets to get around all this if not interested in the slow driving. It is definitely a destination for tourist. Got fuel @ 4.009 for 14 gallons. Prices for fuel are all over the map and there is rhyme or reasons for any of it.
After stopping for some pictures at a scenic viewpoint, get an ice cream cone for free, helping an older couple with a flat on their trailer camper and dropping off Tucker at home, we went back into town and attended our show for 3 o'clock.
The first half was great, full of laughter and good music but we were both disappointed in the second half. It was much slower and not as much comedy. All the same, we did enjoy it and bought a couple tapes for future showings.
Came home and had BBQ steaks for dinner.

APR. 17, Thursday, onwards to Iowa

After packing, we got on the road by 8:55 a.m. Headed north on Hwy 65. We crossed the Ozarks mountains and the scenery slowly changed to rolling hills and farmland. I stopped in Lincoln for fuel: 15 gal @ 3.999 then headed up to I-70 where we turned East then north on Hwy 63 in Columbia. We stopped for lunch at a rest area on I-70.
Hwy 63 was fairly flat with lots of dairy and farmland. We stopped in Kirkville for fuel: 17 gal @ 3.899. As we got closer to Iowa, the road became hilly again then we saw our first sign showing a "horse drawn buggy". We crossed into IOWA.
Our excitement really reached a peak when we actually saw a buggy being pulled by a horse on the road and we drove by it. (SEE PICTURES) We saw another one when we got to the corner of hwy 63 and hwy 2. Five miles down the road we arrived in Bloomfield, saw a campsite and stopped for the night ( Lakeside Estate and RV Park @ $20.) and none too soon.
For the first time since leaving the Baja, we got rained on. It really feels weird considering all the good weather we've had so far. We had heavy rain, lighting & thunder. Tucker is having a hard time with this as he hates the noise so he is hiding behind and below chairs. We have no internet but it feels good to be stopped. It is 5 p.m. Temperature is warm still; mid 60's

We averaged over 12 miles to the gallon which is EXCELLENT. Our top speed was 75 mph going downhill and we averaged 54 mph all day

N 40* 44' 22" W 092* 25' 23"
alt: 970 feet
distance today: 590 km

APR. 18, Friday, Broke down in Burlington, Iowa

It is raining this morning. It's a slow start. We left at 10:50 a.m. Yes, that late! We got on hwy 2 and turned left into Bloomfield village. Took a look around then we drove the scenic road which parallels hwy 2. It was interesting and we drove through a couple really neat villages. We saw more Amish buggy and saw two Amish men working outside, dressed just as in the movies, it was neat!! We got back on hwy 2 as we neared the Mississippi river and stopped in Fort Madison for lunch. Then we continued on hwy 2 and turned left on Hwy 61 and headed north towards Burlington. As we neared the town, I decided that I had enough of this and turned to head towards Illinois. I stopped at the bridge where I saw a tourist info centre and it's a good thing I did. As we pulled into the parking lot, I saw steam coming from the hood and smelled the sweet smell of Anti-freeze. Sure enough, it was leaking like a sieve, coming from a pulley so I suspected the water pump. Two guys stopped by and offered their help and called a couple garage around town but to no luck. I got them to give us the Ford dealership address, entered it into "Ms Daisy" and drove there. Had to stop once to let the truck cool and added more water and finally made it to the dealership. It was confirmed and so here we are, stuck in Burlington for the week-end. They cannot fix the truck until Monday. They gave us a courtesy car and we got a hotel for the week-end, at the "Arrowhead Motel" as they won't allow us to stay in our rig due to liabilities. What a day!!!! Called the RV garage in Indiana and left a message. I will call again tomorrow.

APR. 19, Saturday, laundry and sightseeing

Cloudy and raining on and off all day. We went out for breakfast then got our laundry from the rig which is sitting in "SHOTTENKIRK FORD DEALERSHIP" and came back to the motel and did our laundry. Afterwards we went back to the info Centre and got some info on the town, drove around and did some sightseeing. The old town is very historic and has a lot of old and neat buildings. It was at one time the capital of Iowa, back in the late 1800's. It also has the crookedness road section which made the Ripley's Believe it or not record.(see pictures) We drive through a nice little park called "Crapo Park" (that's not a typo) then had a beer in a neat little bar in an old building from the early 1900's

Monday, April 14, 2008

APRIL 11 to 14, 2008, heading north to Texas and Oklahoma

APR.   11,  Friday, sightseeing around Alamogordo
WOW!  What a day!!!  It started by driving to the White Sands National Memorial Park where we visited the National Memorial Park and the surrounding desert.  We paid our $6. entrance fee and proceeded to the far end, approx. 8 miles away.  On the way, we stopped at the road side history cards and visited a few area such as the boardwalk where we saw foliage and critters footprints, a dry lake and it's formation then drove to the picnic area where we climbed a huge sand hill.  The sand was loose and we had to remove our shoes to climb it.  It was fun and Tucker also enjoyed it.  The picnic table were covered with an interesting roof design(see pictures).  From there, we drove around the end and saw a filming set with Jack Black as the "movie Star" and the movie was a comedy called "Year One".  He was famous for the "school of Rock"!
Took some pictures then left and went by an area where there were 6 school bus parked and the sand hill was full of kids and adults sliding down the slopes.  From there, we stopped at a Nature walk and hiked for about a mile around the sand dunes and looked at the foliage growing within that environment.  It was really neat and sure interesting. Amazing what can grow amongst sand dunes
On the way out, we stopped at the Visitor Centre and bought a souvenir then drove back to Alamogordo where we took Hwy 82 north.  We drove up the mountain to 8695 feet.  What a climb and what a view of the valley!  WOW! WOW!  We walked around the village which was like a western cowboy town and had lunch (which was EXCELLENT!!) and visited most of all the little shops.  Val bought a weaving basket made by local Indians(Apache).
We drove back down the mountain and stopped at the Space Museum.  Again, it was very interesting.  It held the history of the first atom bomb test site at "Trinity site" north and near of here, a history of the advanced made in rocket building and space adventure.  One of the shuttle landed here in Holloman AFB.  We started on the fourth floor and slowly walked down visiting all the different exhibitions.  It was awesome and very well laid out.  We spent almost two hours in there.
We arrived back at our park after fuelling up for our trip tomorrow.  Had dinner and now it's relaxing time and a time to reflect on our full day.  The wind has come up again but it's supposed to calm down by the morning.  We head north to Amarillo, Texas in the morning.  We've enjoyed our stay here.  There is a lot more to see but it's time to go!
APR.   12,  Saturday, into Texas
We were on the road by 8:20 a.m.  Took Hwy 70 north-east to Tularosa.  From Tularosa we climbed to 6000 feet through the Sacramento Mountains which was the last set of mountains before the plains.  Drove through some very pretty little villages and for the last time, we descended to a valley and finally onto the foothills.  We kept going and the rolling hills slowly changed to a flat prairie like country side.  We arrived at Roswell, where a UFO and an Alien were found, as the story goes.  There even was a movie made on the rumours.  The town is full of all kinds of tourist attractions on Aliens.  I stopped for fuel here and took on 10 gallons @ 4.199
We continued north-east on hwy 70 to Clovis where we stopped for a quick lunch at  a road side picnic area.  We soon arrived at our cross-road where we turned onto Hwy 60 and finally crossed into TEXAS!  Stopped again in Friona for fuel: 14 gallons @ 3.959   From here, it was an easy drive to Canyon and finally arrived in Amarillo where we spent the night at "Ranch RV and water Park", (Passport America)  A very nice park worth spending time in but now this time around.  The sky is clear and it is cool but still very comfortable.  We had a tail wind all day and averaged about 12.5 miles to the gallons which is very good, considering.
N 35* 11' 43"                W 101* 46' 26"
Altitude: 3660 feet           Distance today: 530 KM
@ an average speed of 54 mph
APR.   13,  Sunday, Oklahoma City
Left at 8:15 and stopped at Flying J for fuel : 8 gallons @3.91, and breakfast  Also took on propane @ $23.95 (Everything has gone up)
We got on I-40 and drove on and on eastward bound.  The country side was flat and just like the prairies at home.  Flat and boring.  We did see a HUGE "Cross" on the side of the highway which claimed to be the biggest cross in the universe!? (see pictures)
Stopped in Shamrock for fuel before hitting Oklahoma which was a mistake; took on 17 gallons at $4.06 and as soon as we crossed into Oklahoma, a few miles down the road, fuel was $3.89.  My luck!!!
The wind was getting stronger and stronger as we got further east.  Blowing from the north, it was hitting us on the side and making driving somewhat difficult.  The country side was very beautiful.  Some rolling hills, lots of trees and lots of farm land.  We could also lots of cattle in the fields.  We arrived in Oklahoma City around 3 p.m. and parked at Rockwell RV, a "Good Sam" park.  We will stay here for 2 days as we want to visit the city.  Fuelled at Flying J: 17 gallons @ 3.839
Went to Wal-Mart for some basic groceries such as bread and milk.  Time to relax from a long day.
N 35* 27' 30"                W 097* 38' 04"
Altitude: 1230 feet           Distance: 402 km
Average speed of 55 mph.
APR.   14,  Monday,
We had a late start this morning.  I guess we haven't caught up to the time change (Central Time).
We drove to "Stockyards City" about 3 miles away from here, then we took the trolley to Oklahoma City centre.  First, though, we went to check the "famous" stockyards.  It was HUGE.  This place dates back to the early 1800's when cowboy would come into town with hundreds of cattle to sell to markets in the East.  Ever seen "LONESOME DOVE"????  We were impressed with the place.  We climbed on an elevated boardwalk and we had a full view of all the cattle pen.  There were hundred of them and as many cattle.  Being Monday, they had a live auction and we got to see it.  We saw cowboy steer the cattle towards the auction house.  We walked inside the house/barn where they had the auction.  It consisted of a big room like an amphitheatre.  They would bring small groups of cattle (3 to 8) and then they auction would begin and ranchers would wager on the stock they wanted. 
Afterwards, we went into the city within a city and walked a couple streets before taking the trolley to downtown Oklahoma City, also know as OK city.  We walked around for a while, found the canal which according to the Visitor Centre, was built before the one in San Antonio.  It was nice but not as nice as the one on San Antonio.( am I being prejudice?)  We took another trolley to see the National Memorial where McVeigh and his accomplice bomb a federal building on April 19, 1995.  It was a moving and awesome experience and we both shed a tear as we walked the grounds and looked at the Memorial.  The gates at the East side and west side represents one minute before and one minute after the explosion..  On one side, there are 168 empty chairs in 9 rows representing the 9 floors of the building and the 168 people that lost their lives.  19 children also perish in this atrocity.  The other side had  a tree that survived the explosion and a wall full of kids drawing from all over the country and the world.  It really was heartwrenching.
We took the trolley back to our truck at the Stockyard, after having lunch, and came home.
Heard back from Fleetwood and we have an appointment, not with them but with an RV dealership near there.  Also got an appointment for an oil change tomorrow morning, first thing.
We leave tomorrow for Arkansas and Missouri.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

APRIL 7 to 10, 2008

APR.   7,  Monday
Sunny and hot again today but blowing a strong wind in the afternoon so the awning went up. 
Today, I took the truck in to have the Jake checked.  It is OK but I do need the Y valve by the turbo replaced.  This is a 6 to 8 hours job I am told.  Something to do when we near home.
After this, I mailed the airbag that was replaced to Firestone for warranty purposes.  One more thing to wait for and keep track of.
Downloaded more pictures, and started getting ready to leave by packing the bikes, the BBQ and all the little toys.  Val called Kim about the dinner tomorrow.
APR.   8,  Tuesday
Our last day here!  Lots of people leaving today...going home I guess!?  I cooked my "famous" Shepperd Pie, french Canadian style, heh!  Put away the lounge chairs, loaded the kayaks then we headed to Sierra Vista for Val's chiropractor appointment.  Afterwards, we went to Kim and Tim and had our last visit with them.  The dinner was a success, I think, and we chatted for a couple hours then came home after saying our goodbyes.  We were home by 9 p.m.
APR.   9,  Wednesday
We hit the road around 8:30 a.m. and headed south on hwy 80.  Drove through Tombstone and Bisbee (places we have visited before) and then headed East to Douglas.  From there, it was Hwy 82 north-east, a very pretty drive and we saw the backside of Chiricahua mountains.  Turned east on I-10 and stopped at Lordsburg for fuel: 23 gal @ 3.85 at "Flying J".  It was soon after this that the sandstorm caught up with us.  Very strong wind but thank God, it was behind us which improved my fuel consumption tremendously.  The winds were gusting to 50 MPH ( learned that on the news later).  We arrived at Las Cruces and decided to stop here.  Visibility was down to almost nil and I-10 Westbound was closed to ALL traffic.  We parked at Coachlight Motel and RV for $15. (water and electricity only) and relaxed.  We have WIFI here so I was able to caught up to our Income Tax, skypped Steve and wrote a couple of e-mails.We moved our clocks one hour ahead (Mountain time) 
We averaged 34 mph with top speed of 64 mph on I-10 and 12.5 miles per gallon.  Great!!
N 32* 17' 34"                      W 106* 48'24"
Alt: 3939 feet
Distance today:449 KM
APR.  10, Thursday
Sunny this morning and already the wind is picking up again.  It's not supposed to be as strong as yesterday but none the less strong winds are forecast.  We left Las Cruces around 10 a.m. and already the winds are blowing up sand and dust.  We drove north on 292 to hwy 70, then east across town and up the pass in the San Andres Mountain.  It was a steady but easy climb to almost 6000 feet then over the top and what a view we got!  The whole valley containing the white sands opened up in front of us and we could see for miles although the air was a bit cloudy because of the sand blowing up.  We crossed the White Sands Park and the missile range and stopped at the visitor centre to take a look around.
We carried on north-east on 70 to Alamogordo, crossed town, fuelled up: 15 gallons @ $3.999 ( some places in town it is 4.12/gallon) and arrived at our park, the Edgington RV Park and Storage.  Paid $26. for two nights (Passport park) as we want to go back to the White Sands and explore a bit but not today as it is just too windy.  We now have winds gusting at speeds of 30-40 mph.  We set up and relaxed at home.  We have WIFI.
N 32* 57' 48"                W 105* 58' 34"
Alt:  4572 feet                Distance today: 122 KM
Average speed: 41 mph with a top speed of 63 mph

Monday, April 07, 2008

April 1 to 6, Happy April's Fool!!!

APR.   1,  Tuesday,
We went to Tucson today to Camping world where I bought some items I couldn't do without then we drove to the Pima Aircraft museum.  Cost was $35. for both of us and I thought it was worth it although I know Val found this a bit boring.  Lots of different airplanes including JFK Kennedy plane (airforce one) and the original "Black Bird"  The museum was well laid out and lots to see.
Came home around 5 and Tucker was happy to see us back.  Shrimp and salad for dinner.  YUM! YUM!
APR.   2,  Wednesday
A cloudy day and the forecast is for strong winds in the p.m.  The sun is shining through and it is warm.
Today, we had the stain glass window installed in our door.  This is something we've been wanting to do for a long time and it LOOKS GREAT!!!!  I have taken a few pictures and will download them soon.  Other than that, it was a quiet day, reading and installing some of the things I bought yesterday.  The airbag for the truck came in today and I will have it installed tomorrow.
APR.   3,  Thursday
After Val's exercises, we drove to Sierra Vista to D&J repair shop where I dropped off the truck to have the air bag replaced with the new one I ordered and received.  Tim picked us up and we drove to Fort Huachuca where Kim works and where there is a museum.  We had some hassles at the gate where they refused us entry because we were Canadians/foreigner  and Fort Huachuca is an army camp.  Tim persisted and we were finally allowed entry and we visited the three museums which were very well laid out and informative.  Fort Huachuca was the Fort that held the famous black regiment called "Buffalo Soldiers".  So named by the Indians because of their curly hair.  Now, the Fort is a training Centre for the Army Intelligent Corps.  As I stated this is also where Kim works and we went to see her at her office.  She was quite happy to see us.
Afterwards, we picked up the truck.  It wouldn't start and after checking the charge and cleaning the terminals, it started again.  The mechanic figures I probably need a new battery.  Will have to check that out tomorrow.  We went back to Kim and Tim's house for a drink and Kim cooked us a marvellous dinner.  Afterwards, we had one more drink, a chat then we left for home.
When I got home after fuelling in Benson ( 14 Gal @ $3.659), we got home to find that the wind ripped one of my awning strap off, carpet all rolled up and some of the stuff blown away.  There must have been quite a wind while we were gone.
APR.   4,  Friday
A cold night last night.  It went down to minus 5 Celsius.  The internet was down all day but we did get our mail today...YIPPEE!!!!
Went into town and had the batteries checked and both were fine so it must have been the dirty terminal.
I finalized our trip East to Indiana.  Will have to call them on Monday to make arrangement to get the warranty work done.
APR.   5,  Saturday
Called UPS at home and paid our bill with them.  Made reservations to visit Kartchner Caves tomorrow and had a chat with Terry on skype.  His mother became sick and he had to fly home.  All is well though and he is back to Hemet, California to continue his trip north. 
Put the awning up and we headed out for a drive and some sightseeing.  We took I-10 east to Hwy 191, headed south and looked around the village of Cochise then south to Cochise Stronghold State Park.  It was very interesting and beautiful.  The canyon had a gentle slope but one could see how difficult it would be to penetrate without being seen.  There was a camp site at the end and it was half full of campers with tents and small campers.  A small track with interpretive plaques was laid out and we walked it and read the history.  From here, we continued on Hwy 191, drove through a small desolated village called Sunizoma and arrived at the Chiricahua National Park, surrounded by mountains of the same name ( it means "land of wild turkey", by the way).  The park consist of stone towers eroded by mother nature over centuries and forming beautiful spires.  We stopped at the Park's visitor centre then drove to the top of the Massai Point, an elevation of 6900 feet.  we took some pictures the drove back down and headed north on Hwy 186 to Wilcox then I-10 and west to Benson and home.  A very satisfying day, indeed.
APR.   6,  Sunday
Another sunny and warm day.  Better enjoy it now because when we head north and east, things will change, no doubt!!  I did our income tax on the net while Val did her cleaning then we went for groceries.  Came home, put them away the drove to Kartchner Caverns State Park.  They were discovered by two young man and 14 years later, they became public and a State Park.  The caves were huge and very humid and warm. ( 78 *F and approx 90% humidity)  The tour was approx. one and a half hour, very well narrated by a young, knowledgeable lady.  The only unfortunate thing was we couldn't take any pictures inside the caves so we will have to remember them by memory.  The inside was well done with well marked paths and well lit.  A is a site to behold.  stalactit and stalagmite, long and short, fat and thin, huge columns made of limestone.  We even saw tree roots at one stage of the tour.  This was at one time filled with water and one could see the water marks.
Came home and had a delicious stew.  Stopped in Benson to fuel: 19 gal @ 3.859