Monday, September 24, 2018

Day 51, Monday, September 24, 2018 - Lo Lo Mai Springs Resort, Page Springs, AZ & Jerome

Wukoki Pubelo
Monday, September 24, 2018 - Lo Lo Mai Springs Resort, Page Springs, AZ, 111.8 Miles, 4,529 Miles for the Trip

After packing up the trailers we headed back on the 35 mile loop road to stop at the two visitor centers, and the Wukoki, Wupatki & Lomaki Pueblos.

The drive to Sedona from Flagstaff on US 89 is interesting. You drop around 3000' in relatively few miles, complete with many 15 MPH switchbacks. The F150 did a good job of holding the trailer while in 2nd gear, although some braking was necessary for the hairpin turns. A pretty drive, although I didn't get to see much of it other than the road.

We are in Lo Lo Mai Springs Resort in Page Springs, about 9 miles south of Sedona. Full hook sites (although the price is the same for either water & electric sites or full hookups). One of the staff drove us around the campground to pick out our sites. We found two that let us face each other, although it took some long runs for both water & electric for my site, for $44.66 per night. We are here for two nights, today to see Jerome, and tomorrow Sedona.

We headed to Jerome after setting up. It is an amazing town built on the side of a steep hill. There are switchbacks within the town, making it at least three levels that overhang each other. We walked around looking at some of the galleries, including the one I bought my owl at last year. The same artist is now making all kinds of other animals, including turtles, bats, roadrunners, and cats. Nice stuff, but i already have too much for my tiny house, and even tinier trailer. More pueblo & Jerome photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

We ended up in Jerome past 5:00, and decided to eat dinner at the Haunted Hamburger in town. I had the Ghostly Hamburger (Cheddar cheese, bacon & mushrooms on a substituted turkey burger) and an order of onion rings. The burger was good, but the onion rings, while OK, didn't match those at the Patio Drive in in Blanding, UT.

After that is was a short but curvy drive down Historic 89A back to Page Springs & the Campground.

Day 50, Sunday, September 23, 2018 - Sunset Crater National Monument, AZ

Agatha Rock, AZ
Sunday, September 23, 2018 - Sunset Crater National Monument, AZ, 168.5 Miles, 4,417.2 Miles for the Trip

We got a reasonably early start out of Gouldings campground, stopping for gas at their station. Probably should have waited until we hit Arizona since it is cheaper there - $3.13 at Gouldings, and most of the stations we passed once we hit Arizona were under $3.00, although just. We had to adjust our clocks, not because we crossed a time zone, but because Arizona doesn't do daylight savings time.

Not a long drive to Sunset Crater National Monument. We passed Agatha & Owl rocks along US 163 in Arizona, and continued on US 89 to Sunset Crater National Monument.

We are in the campground, dry camping in paved sites with picnic tables, fire rings & grills for $12.00 per night with the Senior Pass. Bathrooms with flush toilets, but at the only water faucet they as k you not to fill your fresh water tanks - they have a limited supply. I'm still well over 1/2 a tank, so no problems. The place looks like a fiberglass trailer rally. There are two Casitas, our Escape & Scamp, and an Oliver in the campground loop.  More pictures at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After setting up, me in a pull through & Done & Anne in a back in site we headed into the park to see the lava field & remains of the volcano. Don needed gas & Anne wanted to confirm our reservations for tomorrow night so we drove about 5 miles towards Flagstaff to find gas & a cell signal.

Dinner was Spaghetti, meatballs & sausage, along with garlic rolls (I didn't have any Italian bread so I used some rolls to make garlic bread broiled in the trailer oven). Not bad if I say so myself!

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Day 49, Saturday, September 23, 2018 - Gouldings Monument Valley Trading Post, UT, Day 2

Sunset & Moonrise over Monument Valley
Saturday, September 23, 2018 - Gouldings Monument Valley Trading Post, UT, Day 2, 0 Miles, 4,248.7 Miles for the Trip

Not a lot of text today, but many photos. We started the day with a trip along the Monument Valley Drive. The light varied as we drove by the buttes, mittens, and formations, but we got lots of photos.

At John Ford Point, there was a guy with a horse charging $5.00 per photo of people on a horse. Don & I insisted that it was a fake horse as we drove along the road before the point, but Anne insisted it was real. Of course, she was correct, but it was an awful calm horse that hardly ever moved even its head (the tail did a bit of swishing). I guess I'd want a calm horse if strangers were climbing on & off on the edge of a cliff. Anyhow, he was busy most of the time, although I did get a photo of him & the horse alone. More Monument Valley & Valley of the Gods photos at Today's LakeshoreImages page.

I bought a couple of pieces of native made pottery to add to the TV shelf at home. I've got to stop soon - the shelf is getting full!

Around 3:00 we headed back to the campground so I could do my eye drops, then headed to the Valley of the Gods. Quite different from Monument valley. Much less crowded, maybe less "monumental" formations, but lots of them. Anne had a great time naming each of them. Again, we took lots of photos even thought the lighting was a bit harsh. On the way back to the campground we stopped at the Mexican Hat Lodge Swinging Grill for steaks for dinner. The grill really does swing, rocking the steaks & Texas Toast over a wood fire. Excellent steaks, although a bit more expensive than our usual dinner, even for restaurants. As we drove past Monument Valley on the way back to the campground, the sun was setting and an almost full moon was rising over some of the formations. We got a couple of photos.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, September 21, 2018

Day 48, Friday, September 21, 2018 - Gouldings Monument Valley Trading Post, UT

Monument Valley at Sunset
Friday, September 21, 2018 - Gouldings Monument Valley Trading Post, UT, 182.2 Miles, 4,248.7 Miles for the Trip

We retraced some of the roads we had already driven on the way to Monument Valley, but did stop at Picture Rock State Historical Site for a couple of photos. We could have continued another 35 miles into the Needles section of Canyonlands, but decided to skip it. We also stopped at Wilson Arch for a "trailer in front of the arch" photo.

We arrived at Gouldings Campground just before 3:00. We are in sites 57 & 58, back to back sites. Mine has the utilities (and grill & picnic table) on the wrong side, and the sewer connection so far away that even if it was on the right side, I couldn't reach it. $52.00 plus tax per night, bringing it to $107.00 for the two nights for a full hookup (sorta) with cable on red sand. The monument is on the border between Utah & Arizona, which makes for interesting clocks - Arizona does not do daylight savings time & the Navajo's do, whether in Arizona or Utah, as does Utah. Depending on where you are, it could be an hour earlier or later...

After setting up we headed to the Gouldings Grocery Store for some tomatoes, asparagus, and junk food. Dinner was Beyond Burgers, & asparagus. After dinner, Don & I headed to the Navajo Monument Valley visitor center for some sunset photos. I wish the moon was full and more towards the major monuments, but you take what you can get. Very crowded, including a volleyball team that posed for a photo with their backs to the camera.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Day 47, Thursday, September 20, 2018 - Archview RV Resort, Moab, UT, Day 2 & Canyonlands NP

Grand Point Overlook
Thursday, September 20, 2018 - Archview RV Resort, Moab, UT, Day 2, 0 Miles, 4,066.5 Miles for the Trip

We started out the morning with me heading to the Legends Barber Shop for a haircut. Don decided he needed one as well, and Anne went along for the ride. By the end of the visit, each of us had a new do. On the way back we stopped at the campground, then headed to Canyonlands.

At the visitor center I confirmed that False Kiva is now off limits. They had major vandalism about two months ago, and closed access to the site. I sure wish it hadn't happened - I found it one of the most thought provoking & serene locations I've ever visited & I was hoping to show it to Don & Anne.

We continued into the park, first stopping at Mesa Arch. Not as impressive during the day as it is at dawn, but you would never guess by the number of people. I never got a chance to shoot the entire arch without people, but took a bunch of photos anyway.

After that we drove to the Green River Overlook & checked out the campground. The campground was fully booked, as usual. After that we drove to Upheaval Dome, then back to Grand Point Overlook.

At the barber shop, the woman cutting Anne's hair suggested we check out the Petroglyphs that are just after the climbing area along the Colorado River on UT 279. Many, many drawings in fairly good condition, so lots of pictures. You may need to look at the larger versions of the images to appreciate the art. Pictures of the Pwtroglyphs & more of Canyonlands at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After that we headed to town for a stop at the City Market for food, Walker Drug Store for water (they were out of individual bottles at City Market) and a chair to replace my destroyed one. They had a $49.95 chair with built in fans (don't ask) on sale for $10.99, so I bought one. It is comfortable enough that Don & Anne may pick one up on the way to Monument Valley tomorrow.

Dinner was ham steaks, pickled beets & mash potatoes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Day 46, Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - Archview RV Resort, Moab, UT

The View from Dead Horse Point
Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - Archview RV Resort, Moab, UT, 96.7 Miles, 4,066.5 Miles for the Trip

I forgot to check the camera for photos before I finished yesterday's post and today I found some photos we took at the Hanksville BLM office of the Wolverton Mill. A bit different from all the other mills I've photographed. Most were grain mills, one an air compressor, but this one was built to process gold ore. They rebuilt it at the BLM office site, including using a helicopter to haul down the wheel.

We had a short drive to Moab, buying gas at Green River on I 70 for $3.39 per gallon. Cheaper than the $3.49 in Hanksville, but more than the $3.17 in Moab. We checked a number of places to stay, and most were filled. My first choice was Dead Horse Point State Park, but both campgrounds were completely booked. We settled for Archview. I've stayed here before, in fact Don is in the site I stayed in during 2011. He & Anne are in site 42, I'm in 43. Both are small sites, small enough that I have to park the truck perpendicular to the trailer & I'm still in the driveway. At least the mulberry tree that dropped purple berries all over my trailer & tracked inside is not in fruit this time of year. I did have a red ant mound next to my power pedestal. I sprayed them with my roach & ant killer & all it did was make them mad. Luckily, there was an Orkin Man spraying some of the cabins & while it wasn't part of his contract, he came over and sprayed them. What ever he was using worked! Sites are full hook up with cable TV, fairly level, on sand, and $48.96 per night with taxes & a 20% first timer's discount. Glad Anne reserved them since I've been here before.

After setting up we headed into town to pick up my prescriptions and hit a grocery store. While they didn't have Bubba burgers, they did have my favorite non meat hamburger, Beyond Burgers. I picked up some for tonight's dinner.

On the way back we noticed a green chair that looked a lot like my folding chair in the middle of the road. Didn't think much about it until we got back to the campground & discovered that mine was missing. I suspect I left it sitting on the tonneau cover while getting out the ground cloth & it fell off on the way to town. We went back to try to retrieve it, but it was broken up badly enough to call it toast. I still have another one just like it, so I'll have to dig it out of the back of the truck.

We decided to go to Dead Horse Point for the afternoon. Great views, so I made far too many panoramas looking at the same view from different parts of the point. The heavy clouds softened the lighting compared to the last time I was here. On the way back we drove through both campgrounds, as well as the Horsethief BLM campground. There were a couple of sites available at Horsethief & it looks like many more will open up tomorrow, but with no electric & still very hot weather, we will probably stick with hookups.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was Beyond Burgers, a Knoor's side, and left over chicken Alfredo. Don & Anne both put the stamp of approval on the Beyond Burgers. Not bad for the first time eating vegetarian burgers!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Day 45, Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - Duke's Slickrock Campground, Hanksville, UT, Day 4

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - Duke's Slickrock Campground, Hanksville, UT, Day 4, 0 Miles, 3,969.8 Miles for the Trip

A slow day. Still hot - temperatures in the high 90's. We drove to the BLM office to check on some hiking locations, but all the ones we wanted to see seemed to be a bit too long a hike in the heat. So, we pretty much sat around and read all day long.

Dinner was the last of the chicken patties and me having a Quorn fake chicken patty (one of Karin's favorites, and one that I can't tell from chicken. We also

Monday, September 17, 2018

Day 44, Monday, September 17, 2018 - Duke's Slickrock Campground, Hanksville, UT, Day 3 & Capitol Reef NP

Along the Scenic Drive
Monday, September 17, 2018 - Duke's Slickrock Campground, Hanksville, UT, Day 3, 0 Miles, 3,969.8 Miles for the Trip

We headed to Capitol Reef National Park around 10:00, and spend most of the day (until 3:30) driving around the paved & gravel roads taking lots of photos. We stopped at the Gifford House for lunch - individual fruit pies & ice cream. Mine was cherry; a bit too sweet for me, but good. As usual, I took a bunch of general photos and some panoramas. I didn't have my GPS attached to the camera, so some locations are a guess. Many more photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Back at the trailer, we decided it was still too hot to make dinner, so we went to Stan's Burger Shack. I had the fish & chips dinner. The fish was OK, but the chips were deep fried mashed potato chips. I also made the mistake of ordering a chocolate shake. I ordered one in Blanding, and got a cup of soft ice cream & a spoon. I thought that was just a Blanding thing, but evidently, it is a Utah thing, or, at least, a this part of Utah thing. The shake was not to drink, but designed to eat with a spoon. At least we didn't have to cook in the heat.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Day 43, Sunday, September 16, 2018 - Duke's Slickrock Campground, Hanksville, UT, Day 2 & Goblin Valley State Park

Goblin Valley State Park
Sunday, September 16, 2018 - Duke's Slickrock Campground, Hanksville, UT, Day 2, 0 Miles, 3,969.8 Miles for the Trip

We headed to Goblin Valley State Park to show Don & Anne one of my favorite parks in the area. While Matilda, my GPS said it was only 14 miles away, that required a turn on a gated dirt road. We elected to follow the pavement, and it was about 30 miles to the park.

While the campground was just about full, we spend some time wandering around the Goblins, then drove out to the entry for Little Wild Horse Canyon. We didn't hike the canyon, but did take lots of photos along the way. The lighting is kinda harsh, but we were stuck with a cloudless day.  Many more photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After that it was back to the campground in Hanksville. Another very hot day, although the peak was only 99°F rather than yesterday's 101°F. Still, very hot, particularly in the sun (there are no shade trees in this campground, even for an extra $4.00 that Bule Mountain charged). We spent the afternoon sitting in the trailers reading blogs, forums, and books. I discovered that this year they started reservations at Capital Reef, and checked for availability - there are two sites open on the 18 - 20 - of October... So, we will stay here for another couple of days & drive to Capital Reef to see the park.

Dinner was Wacky Mac Chicken Alfredo put together by Anne. We had cornbread from Duke's Restaurant that was served prior to our meal yesterday. Some of the best cornbread I've ever had. I guess they also think so. While they had no problem giving us a second round with dinner, when we went to buy a double order (6 pieces with honey butter), it was $10.00. Still, it was pretty good cornbread!

By the way, I apologize to all that sent comments to the site - Google used to send me email notification of pending comments, but seem to have stopped.  I haven't found how to start receiving email notifications, and just discovered a couple months backlog of comments awaiting review.  Again, sorry; I'll check more often!

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Day 42, Saturday, September 15, 2018 - Duke's Slickrock Campground, Hanksville, UT

Hite Overlook of Lake Powell
Saturday, September 15, 2018 - Duke's Slickrock Campground, Hanksville, UT, 120.1 Miles, 3,969.8 Miles for the Trip

A beautiful drive north on UT 95 to Hanksville. We stopped a couple of times for photographs, including the Hite Overlook. It was an interesting overlook - both my GPS & the signs at the overlook stated we were looking over Lake Powell. Not a lake in sight, although there was a very lonely concrete boat ramp going nowhere. It does point out the drought conditions here in this part of the southwest.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

We arrived at Duke's Slickrock Campground around 1:00, with Don & Anne setting up in site 21 & me in 20. I got everything unhooked & leveled, then fired up the AC (it is in the high 90's today, with a peak of 101°F). The voltage feeding the trailer dropped to 102V and my Progressive EMS shut off the trailer. So, the first thing I did was check with Don - he was running his AC & had 119V. I shut off the electric to the water heater & switched the refrigerator to gas. The AC started up, ran through a couple of cycles with the voltage at 104, then dropped enough to cause the EMS to disconnect. I dug out my 50 amp to 30 amp adapter, and plugged into the 50 amp side of the pedestal. Usually this solves the problem, but not this time. The office called in their maintenance man who remembered some problems with some of the pedestals in this section. I dug out my 30' extension & plugged into site 22, got 121V unloaded, and 119V with the AC running. I suspect there is a neutral problem, because there was almost 250V across the 50 amp hots. I sure wouldn't want to plug in a 50 amp trailer. An open or poor quality neutral on a 50 amp connection can cause higher than 120V on one leg & lower on the other.

So, I packed up the trailer & moved. We are here for 2 days, $35 per night ($39.03 with tax) for level, full hook up pull through sites on gravel. I parked the opposite direction so our doors face each other. We have no shade, and it is way too windy for the awnings. I hope things calm down later in the day, although the local radio station (which, unfortunately plays elevator music - I'd call it grandpa music, but I'm a grandpa & I can't stand it, although the did play one John Denver tune which was OK) noted that the weather won't break until Monday.

While the AT&T app shows an excellent -57dBm connection, there doesn't seem to be any data, at least I can't connect to websites or a speed test site using the Mobley AT&T modem. My phone connects to my favorite on line radio station KJZZ in Phoenix, so it may be that the radio bands that the Mobley uses are not available here in Hanksville, although the Mobley did download some of my email. Verizon, at -90dBm shows 6.42MB down & 1.14MB up when it connects, which isn't often. The campground WiFi is good at 9.65MB down & 1.66MB up, and so far is the most solid service.

We again wimped out on cooking dinner in the heat and headed to Duke's Cafe. I had a fish sandwich on a pretzel roll, which was better than it sounds.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, September 14, 2018

Day 41, Friday, September 14, 2018 - Blue Mountain RV Park, Blanding, UT, Day 4

Friday, September 14, 2018 - Blue Mountain RV Park, Blanding, UT, Day 4, 0 Miles, 3,849.7 Miles for the Trip

While it was a restful, uneventful day for me, not so for the Guidos. Anne developed chest pains, and Don talked her into a visit to the emergency room. After a day of testing, they ruled out everything important, but didn't come to a definite conclusion. She is doing OK and arrived back at the trailer around 7:00PM.

I took the truck to a car wash (well, I guess it should be called a truck wash since all 4 bays were filled with pick up trucks). I only removed a layer of grime - there are still many bugs left on the grill. I vacuumed some of the red dust (they call it sand, but it is too fine to qualify as sand). The entire truck bed is covered with a layer, heavier towards the rear. While I got rid of some of it, there is still lots left. I also filled the truck gas tank with $3.30 per gallon unleaded (at least it is back to 87 octane), shaved off a half inch of beard, had a shower, and finished a depressing book - Paul Trembley's The Cabin at the End of the World. An interesting read, but I could now do with something light!

Dinner was a pot pie. I used tonight's eating alone as an excuse to try cooking a pot pie in the microwave. 11 minutes vs 65 in the oven, and a lot less heat in the trailer, so I've wondered if it is worth it. I wouldn't want to do 11 minutes of microwaving when dry camping because of the large number of 12V amp hours (about 28 or over a 5th of the battery capacity), but with hookups, it is a time saver. The verdict - not as good as baked (less flaky crust & the liquid in the pie gets too thick. Still, it is quick!

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Day 40, Thursday, September 13, 2018 - Blue Mountain RV Park, Blanding, UT, Day 3

House on Fire, Mule Canyon, UT
Thursday, September 13, 2018 - Blue Mountain RV Park, Blanding, UT, Day 3, 0 Miles, 3,849.7 Miles for the Trip

We all decided it was time to slow down a bit (actually, I think Don & Anne were ready to rebel). We went to Mule Canyon and a mile hike to the House on Fire ruin. This is a favorite of mine to photograph - I took 1st place at the New York State Fair Photo Contest a few years back with an image of the ruin. We met a fellow traveler at the ruin, chatted a bit about places, then headed back to the grocery store & the trailer. It looks like quite a flood went through the canyon recently. I included a photo that shows grass & bushes, that, is some places, were leaning downstream 4' - 6' above the canyon floor. Glad we didn't go earlier when the bottom was covered with mud, or even earlier when the flash flood occurred!

We spent the rest of the afternoon sitting around reading outside. A bit of wind, but the tree Don & Anne are parked next to provided shade (at an additional $4.00 for the tree).

Dinner was brats, snap peas, and watermelon for dessert.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Day 39, Wednesday, September 12, 2018 - Blue Mountain RV Park, Blanding, UT, Day 2

Butler Wash Ruin
Wednesday, September 12, 2018 - Blue Mountain RV Park, Blanding, UT, Day 2, 0 Miles, 3,849.7 Miles for the Trip

While there was 0 miles towing, we put 181.6 miles on the truck. We started out with a stop at Butler Wash Ruins, a short 1/2 mile hike. After that it was trip to see some arches on Arch Canyon Road. It is the same road we will be hitting tomorrow to see the "House on Fire" ruin, but we drove by it & tried to follow some instructions from the campground owners. Not sure who was right, but Arch Canyon Road ended well before the turns they gave us. I included a photo of the "end" where we had to back down to find a spot to turn around. Even low range, 4 wheel drive wouldn't make it over the gravel & hill. Looking at a BLM map, it looks like the road we wanted is before Butler Wash Ruins.

After that we headed to Natural Bridges National Monument. We stopped at all the "bridges" and photographed each of them. As usual, I also included a bunch of trees.

After that we headed to Muley Point & the Moki Dugway, then on to Goosnecks State Park. They now have an entry booth so I had to pay $5.00 for a 5 minute photo stop.

The next stop was at Mexican Hat for a few photos, and since it was almost 6:00, a stop at the Olde Bridge Bar & Grill for dinner. I had a Quesadillas, and Done & Anne each had a Navajo Bread covered with "Stuff". Their meals were huge, and although mine was smaller, it was very good.

The original plan was to stop at Monument Valley, and maybe drive the loop road, but by the time we finished dinner, it was late enough that we settled for a "Forest Gump" shot of the valley (Not sure why it is called that since I never saw the movie, but I've been told that is what it is), and headed back to Blanding.  Many more photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Day 38, Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - Blue Mountain RV Park, Blanding, UT

Site 31, Blue Mountain RV Park, Blanding, UT
Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - Blue Mountain RV Park, Blanding, UT, 96.2 Miles, 3,849.7 Miles for the Trip

I went out again last night, this time with the 80 - 400mm lens, hoping to get some photos of planets or constellations. No such luck; all I ended up with was blurry blobs. I guess I need a real telescope...

We decided to stop after breakfast (the breakfast burrito was better than the pancakes) and do laundry. While there is a laundry listed at he Blue Mountain RV Park, the one here at Mesa Verde is huge, with lots of large front loaders & large dryers. The price wasn't bad either. We arrived in Blanding around 2:00. It is hot, and the park doesn't have much shade. Site 32 does have a large tree, but it is rented tonight. Don & Anne are going to move to it tomorrow. They are currently in Site 30; I'm in 31 and will stay here. The last time I was here (in 2014) I stayed on the other side of the tree in site 33, but it was much cooler in June. Full hookup sites for $32.00, $35.89 per night, including tax.

With internet access available, I thanked people for birthday greetings, talked with my daughter in DC, and caught up on some of the forums I follow. We decided to forgo cooking dinner (too hot) and headed to a recommended diner, the patio Drive In. A small indoor eating area; much of their service is at the drive up window. The burgers were highly recommended, but I had a chicken Philly, along with curly fries & a basket of onion rings. All was excellent, as was Don & Anne's burgers. The onion rings were fresh cut onions, lightly breaded; some of the best I've ever had. I also had a chocolate shake, which, I discovered, is not a drink, but eaten with a spoon. It was good, but not what I expected. All in all, a very good stop.

Until Tomorrow -

Day 37, Monday, September 10, 2018 - Morefield Campground, Mesa Verde National Park, CO

Shiprock, NM
Monday, September 10, 2018 - Morefield Campground, Mesa Verde National Park, CO, Day 2, 0 Miles, 3,753.5 Miles for the Trip

I went out with the 17 - 35 mm wide angle lens & took a few photos of the milky way; even managed to include a meteorite.

We ate breakfast at the campground complex. Pancakes & bacon for $8.00, and expensive (and lousy, but free refills all day) coffee at $2.65. Still, easier than making it at the trailer. We will probably do it again tomorrow.

After breakfast we headed to Canyons of the Ancients National Monument & Hovenweep National Monument to see & photograph more ruins. There is a nice museum at the Canyons of the Ancients visitor center that we enjoyed. We stopped along the way to upload yesterday's web page & photos since I seem to be able to receive mail, but the internet connection on the park WiFi, as well as both AT&T & Verizon don't seem capable of uploading anything.

Lots of driving (it is a 90 mile loop around the two locations, and we added another 150 miles by going to photograph Shiprock in New Mexico. I did it on a previous trip, but only from the south, and there was quite a bit of smoke from area wildfires. This time I got off on the wrong direction, but found an interesting location to photograph it from the north. There was still quite a bit of haze, but I posted a few images.

Anyhow, it was dinner time by the time we hit Cortez on the way back to Mesa Verde, so we stopped at the Denny's for dinner. I had my usual when in real restaurants that don't have fish on the menu - a chicken fried steak. Not the best, but far from the worst. On edit - maybe I have to knock it down a notch or two - I was up much of the night, thankful I had a bathroom in the trailer!  Things seem to have settled down now that I'm in Blanding.  More later...

We arrived back at the campsites around 7:00.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, September 10, 2018

Day 36, Sunday, September 9, 2018 - Morefield Campground, Mesa Verde National Park, CO

Cliff Palace
Sunday, September 9, 2018 - Morefield Campground, Mesa Verde National Park, CO, 99.6 Miles, 3,753.5 Miles for the Trip

First off, happy birthday to me! 74, and I am still kicking! We headed out this morning, heading to mesa Verde with a stop at the Durango Albertson's for some Bubba burgers. I guess they are not as popular in Colorado as they are in other areas - none to be found. We did pick up a bunch of stuff anyway, so it wasn't a wasted stop.

After that it was on to Mesa Verde. All the in park sites with hookups have been filled, so we are dry camping for $15.79 per night. I'm in site 249, and Don & Anne found a shady site next door. After dropping the trailer we headed to Cliff Palace for a 3:30 tour. Cliff Palace is 45 minutes from the campground - the park is large, with long distances on 35MPH roads, so you have to plan for travel time.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

A good tour by Ranger Jackie. It was very hot in the sun, so we spent much of the time in the shaded parts of the ruins. After that we drove to some of the overlooks for more photos. We arrived back at the campground around 7:15, and had grilled chicken patties along with Bush beans & strawberry shortcake for dessert (my favorite birthday cake).

Unfortunately, you won't see any of this until we get a usable internet connection. With the amplifier & external antenna AT&T is fast enough to download my mail, but can't do uploads of images or the Dreamweaver web pages.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Day 35, Saturday, September 8, 2018 - Pagosa Riverside Campground, Pagosa Springs, CO, Day 2 & Chimney Rock NM

Chimney Rock National Monument
Saturday, September 8, 2018 - Pagosa Riverside Campground, Pagosa Springs, CO, Day 2, 0 Miles, 3,653.9 Miles for the Trip

We got a late start, but since we were only going to Chimney Rock National Monument, and staying at Pagosa Riverside Campground for tonight, who cares? The park is about 20 miles of so from the campground with a good dirt road entering the monument. We stopped at the visitor center and bought tickets for a guided tour - $7.00 each with the senior pass. Our timing was great; the 12:00 tour started just as we arrived. The 1.5 mile road from the visitor center to the start of the tour was very washboarded; it tossed my GPS off the dash.

The tour was great, with lots of information about the people living in the area and the restored buildings. Many more photos at today's LakeshoreImages page or my Chimney Rock National Monument page.

After the guided tour, there was an audio tour of a lower section with houses & a Great Kiva. Back at the visitor center there was an opportunity to try throwing an Atlatl, a device that was used before the invention of the bow & arrow. We all tried but no bullseye!

After that we headed back to the campground for a late afternoon of reading, ducking under the awning when light rain showers caught us a couple of times.

Diner was spaghetti, sausage & meatballs, and what would have been watermelon for dessert, but it started to rain, so we packed it in.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, September 7, 2018

Day 34, Friday, September 7, 2018 - Pagosa Riverside Campground, Pagosa Springs, CO

Our Sites
Friday, September 7, 2018 - Pagosa Riverside Campground, Pagosa Springs, CO, 123.5 Miles, 3,653.9 Miles for the Trip

We had some great skies overnight; I stepped out o the trailer around 9:30 and while there were some clouds over the mountains, most of the sky was clear. Almost no ambient light, so the milky way was visible, and I watched two meteorites streak by in just 10 minutes. I was just a bit too lazy to dig out the camera & tripod (my excuse is the truck lights up on the back, sides, and even the front when you open the doors, and doesn't go out until after 1 minute or two after you close the door, so I didn't want to spoil the night for others.)

I did get a few sunset photos, as well as an interesting building backed by mountains, and the usual campsite photo.  The other photos can be seen at today's LakeshoreImages Page.

We stopped at a Walmart on the way for some supplies.

We asked for two sites together, and the only ones that had were these back to back sites. They worked well, and we are here for 2 nights. $41.40 per night with Good Sam's discount for electric & water (plus cable) sites. AT&T data is OK (as is the phone), while Verizon is a bit weaker & slower, but both, and the campground WiFi are usable.

We didn't do much other than sit around reading during the afternoon. Dinner was Bubba burgers (turkey since the beef are all gone) with smoked Gouda cheese, coleslaw, some left over pasta & shrimp salad, and watermelon for dessert.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Day 33, Thursday, September 6, 2018 - Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO

Great Sand Dunes National Park
Thursday, September 6, 2018 - Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO, 169.1 Miles, 3,530.4 Miles for the Trip

We got an early start and stopped in Pueblo, CO for gas & propane. A good price on propane at $2.19 per gallon, at least compared to Dakota Ridge, where they wanted $3.75.

At the park, we drove through loop 1, and didn't find 2 nearby sites that would fit the trailers and were not reserved. In loop 2, there were two sites that looked like they would work, but while Don & Anne managed to fit & level the Scamp in site 62, I couldn't level the Escape 21 in site 65, even stacking all the Lego blocks from the front storage bin under the low side. I found site 71 was just large enough, and level enough that with the Anderson leveler & one of the new 4" levelers both under one side, I was close enough. Both are dry sites for $10.00 each using the Senior pass. Actually, there were quite a few one night sites available, but most were too small or very unlevel. I have a great view of the dunes out the back window.

After setting up, we headed to the visitor center for pins, "T" shirts, and a hat for Anne. After that it was down to the parking lot for walking on the dunes. While we didn't climb the dunes, we did get a bunch of photos of the dunes & some deer along the road. I had to move a log on the sand flat to get more of the dunes in the background, but the clouds were wonderful.  Great Sand Dunes photos, as well as the site picture are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After that we headed back to our trailers. Anne is making something with left over shrimp & pasta, and we will finish off yesterday's chicken for dinner. We will probably eat here in my trailer since it is quite windy and cooling fast outside. The weather report called for 44°F tonight. Glad I filled the propane tanks, because I suspect the furnace will be running towards morning!

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Day 32, Wednesday, September 5, 2018 - Cheyenne Mountain State Park, Colorado Springs, CO & Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, CO
Wednesday, September 5, 2018 - Cheyenne Mountain State Park, Colorado Springs, CO, 67.4 Miles, 3,361.3 Miles for the Trip

I can't start today's page without mentioning last night's shower at Chatfield State Park. It was 3 minutes for $.50, which isn't a terrible price, but the first minute was needed to get the water hot enough to stand under. No shower curtain, but that didn't matter since the stream of water coming from the shower head was so anemic that I'd bet less than a gallon was produced during the entire 3 minutes. Luckily, I put in an extra $.50 for a 6 minute shower because it took at least 4 minutes to rinse the soap off. At least it was an honest 6 minute shower. Plenty of hooks, and a miniature bench. All in all, one of the worst showers of the trip.

Back to today. A short drive, mostly on I 25 to Cheyenne Mountain. A pretty mountain directly in front of our sites, although much of the time it was buried in the clouds. A nice, cool but rainy day, at least off & on. We are in sites 39 (me) & 38 (Don & Anne). Nice sites with the best "view out the back window" of the trip. It overlooks the park in which Colorado Springs is located. I made a panorama of the view, then made another one at night. The nighttime view is beautiful. The site was $30.00 plus a $10.00 reservation fee, plus $7.00 to get into the park (no water feature so it is a dollar less than Chatfield) Still pretty expensive, although it is also a full hookup site. Site photo & views at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After setting up we headed to the Garden of the Gods, the reason we came to the area. I've never seen it and it is well worth a visit. Beautiful rock formations with interesting color, and one of the largest "Trading Posts" (Gift store) I've ever seen. We spent a couple of hours driving around, ducking rain storms, and taking photos. Many more at the page I put together for the location.

On the way home we stopped at Safeway, buying a pile of groceries, and baked chicken for dinner, along with red, white & blue potato salad. The blue was blue cheese. Not one of my favorites, but interesting.

Until Tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Day 31, Tuesday, September 4, 2018 - Chatfield State Park, Littleton, CO, Day 2

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 - Chatfield State Park, Littleton, CO, Day 2, 0 Miles, 3,293.9 Miles for the Trip

A nice, relaxing day. Anne called an old friend (and one of my former students) who lives in Denver, and he came over to visit for the afternoon. Phil has (as usual) a new project underway, which we talked about as well as catching up on the last couple of years.

We spent the last hour of the afternoon trying to make a reservation at Cheyenne Mountain State Park near Colorado Springs. While the first come system for Colorado parks is "interesting", their reservation system is "really interesting!" If you go to a park's website & click on camping, it takes you to an all Colorado page where you need to reenter the park name. After a difficult to use form to chose the date, type of site, etc, when you choose a site, it gives you a choice of using your Colorado Parks login, Reserve America login, or open a new account. My Reserve America login didn't work, so while I have never reserved on line in a Colorado State Park, when I spent over 10 minutes opening a new account, it told me the account already existed. We finally managed to get sites using the Colorado system over the phone, although that wasn't the easiest reservation we've ever made....

Other than that, not much happening today. Dinner is being put together as I type - I'm making a salad, and Anne is making a shrimp & pasta dish. The flies are biting, so we will eat in my trailer. After dinner I will try out the park's showers. $.50 for 3 minutes, which I find a bit excessive for a park that charges $38.00 per night & is on a reservoir, but then.

Until Tomorrow.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Day 30, Monday, September 3, 2018 - Chatfield State Park, Littleton, CO

Waiting to Pick Our Sites

Monday, September 3, 2018 - Chatfield State Park, Littleton, CO, 23.8 Miles, 3,293.9 Miles for the Trip

A short drive to Littleton, CO from Golden. The plan was to stay 2 days, and find a laundromat to do our 4-5 loads of laundry. We arrived at 11:00AM, and discovered the strangest first come. first served campground procedure I've ever found. Even the volunteers at the desk thought it was "interesting". When you arrive without reservations, they have you sign up on a list. They have a parking lot for you to wait in. At 1:00, you stand around outside the office, then they read the names off the list, and the individuals come into the office one at a time to reserve a site from those available. While the system does work, it is very slow. We didn't get out sites until almost 2:00, which pretty much killed the day for going anywhere.

The sites are nice, large sites with good spacing between neighbors (196 for me & 192 for Don & Anne). $30.00 per night for full hookups (plus an $8.00 per day entry fee for the vehicle). Very nice sites with lots of room - mine was a almost level pull through, Don & Anne's a back in. Site photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

There is a laundry, as well as showers at the campground (at the other end of the loop) that had 4 washers & 4 dryers, so we decided to do our laundry at the park. We got it all in the four washers, but three out of the four dryers were not very hot, and required 2 hours to dry the clothes. Still less expensive than driving to a laundromat. The internal park road to the campground is around 5 miles long, and another 15 or so to Littleton.

Dick & Anne came over for dinner and a last good by. We had cheese brats, Chili cheese brats, snap peas, and watermelon.

Until Tomorrow.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Day 29, Sunday, September 2, 2018 - Dakota Ridge RV Resort, Golden, CO, Day 3

Rocky Mountain National Park
Sunday, September 2, 2018 - Dakota Ridge RV Resort, Golden, CO, Day 3, 0 Miles, 3270.1 Miles for the Trip

We got a slightly earlier start than normal, arriving at Dick & Anne's at 8:55. The plan was for a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, and we wanted to leave early to attempt to beat the traffic. Things were not too bad until we hit the park. Check the photo of the backed up traffic at the entrance station. 1.2 miles of backup. It was moving fairly quickly, thanks to a separate lane for pass holders. When we got close to the station, we were waved through using Dick's Senior Pass.

I took lots of photos, including a couple of panoramas. There was some haze in the air from smoke, but for the most part it was a nice day for the trip. Many more photos and the panoramas at today's LakeshoreImages page.

We drove the length of the Ridge Road, returning to Golden on US 40 & I 70.

We got back to Dick & Anne's around 6:00, and had cheeseburgers, corn on the cob, sweet potato fries & blueberry shortcake for dessert.

Until Tomorrow.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Day 28, Saturday, September 1, 2018 - Dakota Ridge RV Resort, Golden, CO, Day 2

Red Rock Amphitheatre
Saturday, September 1, 2018 - Dakota Ridge RV Resort, Golden, CO, Day 2, 0 Miles, 3270.1 Miles for the Trip

A windy night, but little rain. We stopped at Camping World on the way to Dick & Anne's, but neither of us found what we were looking for. I did pick up a set of ramp levelers, different than the Anderson ones of which I lost one of the two. While they don't go as high, they have the advantage that they are short enough to fit both wheels without modification.

With Dick & Anne we checked out a downtown city campground (it was & is full) that is nicer and, I'm sure, cheaper than Dakota Ridge. We also visited the farmer's market and walked along the creek.

After that we dropped Anne off at the trailer (she was getting too much sun) and headed to the Red Rock Amphitheatre. A huge place filled with lots of vacationers & locals. They were putting in a concert while we watched. I took a couple of photos, including a panorama from the bottom. On the stairs leading to the top or back of the amphitheatre there is a sign stating the climb to the top would use up 40 calories. At close to 5000', it also used up a bit of breath!  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

They had a museum that we went through that listed all the performances from the start to 2017. Just about every musical performer has played here. I discovered that John Denver was part of the Chad Mitchel Trio in 1965, about the time that they performed at Oswego - I was a student & ran the followspot for the concert. I don't remember him being there, but that was early enough in his career that I might not have noticed. When Chad walked into the gym, he borrowed the glider I was flying and asked to toss it. It was a hand built, high performance glider, he threw it and it circled around above us and hit him in the back of the head. He gave it back to me...

We got back to the trailers around 2:30, and hung out until 5:00, when we headed back to Dick & Anne's to go out for pizza (something we haven't had so far on the trip). Good thin crust Hawaiian pizza at Mannie & Bo's with a nice Dry Dock Amber beer.

Until Tomorrow.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Day 27, Friday, August 31, 2018 - Dakota Ridge RV Resort, Golden, CO

Check Out Don & Anne's Picnic Table
Friday, August 31, 2018 - Dakota Ridge RV Resort, Golden, CO, 51.8 Miles, 3270.1 Miles for the Trip

We did a mix of secondary roads & interstate heading to Golden, CO to see some friends, Dick & Anne, former Oswego residents that moved to Colorado for the skiing. They have a home on Leadville & Golden, as well as a place in Fairhaven, NY.

We are in the Dakota Ridge RV Resort, an expensive, but nice place only 2 miles from Dick & Anne's house. Like all resorts, not inexpensive at $63.42 per night, but, again with the Labor Day weekend, we were lucky to find anything.

The site is tight, with the back of the Escape hanging over the back of the site into the bushes. I had to unhook and park the truck parallel to the road. A bit of leveling, both side to side & front to back, but I do have a fairly level picnic table & lawn. Check out the table at Don & Anne's site (although they did manage to stay hooked up). Since we needed a vehicle to get to Dick & Anne's, one of us had to unhook anyway. My site photo is at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After setting up I checked the cell connections. While there is campground WiFi, like most of them, it is so slow it is useless. AT&T has the fastest service at 14.1MB down & 7.8MB up, but Verizon is usable at 8.1MB down & 4.9 MB up. This close to Golden & Denver, there are both news & classical music (as well as jazz) FM public radio. Since I have a fair amount of data left on the Verizon Jetpack, I gave it to Don & Anne for our stay here.

There is an Escape 21 a few sites up from mine, but the owners left in their truck before I got a chance to say hello. The bathrooms are a bit of a hike away, but have very nice showers with good showerheads, three double hooks, a bench, dry deck on the drying room floor, and large spaces in both the shower & drying rooms. There is a pool that is almost long enough for laps as well as a hot tub.

We headed to Dick & Anne's for the late afternoon, passing a Camping World that we may stop at tomorrow. We sat around & talked for the afternoon, and had a great dinner of fish, corn on the cob, a salad and biscuits covered with blueberries & ice cream for dessert.

Until Tomorrow.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Day 26, Thursday, August 30, 2018 - South Shore Campground, Carter Lake State Park, CO

Jan, Jon & Don
Thursday, August 30, 2018 - South Shore Campground, Carter Lake State Park, CO, 177.1 Miles, 3218.3 Miles for the Trip

I included a photo of some of the yellow flowers we see along the road almost everywhere on this part of the trip, and one of Don & Anne's site showing that we could have fit both trailers in one site.

Much of the drive was south on I 25. I saw my first Escape on the road - a 19 just south of Cheyenne, WY. We reached the Carter Lake South Shore Campground around 2:30. We entered at the closest entrance to I 25, and drove many miles through the park, including a very dusty section of dirt road to get to the South Shore Campground. A short drive in the other direction on paved roads took us out of the park...

We are in sites 36 & 37, Electric only sites for $33.75 per night ($8.75 of that was a reservation fee). Sloped pull through sites that required a bit of leveling, and no shade (it is in the mid 90's). There is very poor Verizon coverage, and only fair AT&T here at the campground. I was able to send messages to my sister using the cell amplifier in the trailer, and the posting of this page went well with the Mobley AT&T device in the cell amplifier cradle. I didn't take a campsite photo before we left to see Jan, and it was dark when I got back, so you will have to wait until tomorrow for a site photo. Meanwhile, the rest of today's photos are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

We drove to Lyons, CO for a visit. While the GPS told us it was 4.8 air miles to Jan's house, it was actually 26 miles by road. Jan is doing well, just got back from NY, and will be heading to the Tetons this weekend. I included a couple of photos of us & the house.

We spent the afternoon chatting, then headed back to Lyons, and the Oskar Blues Bar & Grill for dinner (our excuse was it was too late to cook). I had an excellent catfish PO Boy, and very good sweet potato fries.

Until Tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Day 25, Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - Glendo State Park, WY

Ayres Natural Bridge
Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - Glendo State Park, WY, 214.9 Miles , 3,041.2 Miles for the Trip

And, we are back in Wyoming. While checking out at a grocery store a couple of days ago we mentioned that we were teachers at a couple of the NY state universities. The women checking out in front of us asked which one, and we discovered she graduated in dance from SUNY Purchase. She suggested heading to Douglas, WY to see the Ayres Natural Bridge, so we did. They have a campground, but we had already made reservations at the Bennett Hill campground at Glendo State park. More photos and the site pictures at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Getting back to Bennett Hill campground at Glendo State Park, I can't rate it high on my list of favorites. Very dusty, sites 1 & 2 are far apart with a vault toilet between us, and while there is electricity & water at our sites, no showers or flush toilets. The lake is quite aways away. Still, it is a place for the night, and campsites are hard to find with the Labor Day weekend coming up. Since it is hot & sunny, we were looking for a site with electricity for the air conditioners, and there were only 2 sites in the entire park; the rest were tent sites.

Dinner was Ravioli, sausage, & Italian bread.

Until Tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Day 24, Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - Kemo Sabay Campground, Hot Springs, SD & Wind Cave

Wind Cave
Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - Kemo Sabay Campground, Hot Springs, SD, 140.7 Miles , 2,826.3 Miles for the Trip

We are back in South Dakota. The plan was to visit Wind Cave for one of the tours. We stopped on the way to the campground & booked the Fairgrounds tour, a 1 1/2 hour trip through the cave, and a different one from my 2011 visit.

The cave is not one of my favorites - it is cold (both in temperature & in look & feel). Fairly dry, but it does have some unique formations, including the country's largest collection of box wood formations. I took lots of photos and added some to the Wind & Jewell Cave page. I admit to warming up the images a bit.

The campground is described as "Rustic", and it does a good job of meeting the description. $27.05 for a full hookup site on grass (although the sewer is too far away to use), good side to side, but not quite level front to back. Since one of us had to unhook anyway to drive back to the cave, IZ volunteered. There are two bathrooms labeled men & women, each with a single sink & toilet. No showers. Lots of stored & abandoned trailers throughout the park. It is fine for one night, but not high on my list of recommendations. We did try for other campgrounds in the area, but this was the only one that wasn't full. We did discover that there were open sites at the Wind Cave National Park, but they were not reservable, so being this close to Labor Day, we decided not to take the chance on the availability of space.

We decided to drive into Hot Springs for a Chinese Buffet for dinner. We think the waterfall photo is the hot spring, but are not sure. In any case, we included a photo. Site & hot spring photo at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Until Tomorrow.

Day 23, Monday, August 27, 2018 - Devils Tower KOA, WY

Devils Tower at Night
Monday, August 27, 2018 - Devils Tower KOA, WY, 232.2 Miles,2,747.3 Miles for the Trip

A mix of I 90 & some secondary roads, with a couple of stops in Rapid City and one at the South Dakota Air & Space Museum on our way to Devils Tower. We have all been here before, but you don't want to pass it up if you are in the area.

We are in sites 12 & 13, electric & water sites for $51.00 per night less 10% for my KOA discount, plus around $1,50 for the Wyoming tax. Since part was paid by Anne & part by me, who knows what the final amount was (I know Anne does - she keeps track of the balance between us).

After setting us we headed to the base of the tower and walked part of the trail around it.

We stopped for some photos of the Prairie Dogs on the way back to the trailers.

After a quick dinner if leftover beef carbonate, we headed to the viewpoint where I took the milky way photos a couple of years ago. One of my favorite photos - it is currently on my refrigerator door. No such luck with the milky way tonight - there is an almost (97%) full moon & heavy clouds. We did take some photos that showed the glowing clouds around the tower, including a couple that I used a flashlight to light the tower. Amazing how much light comes from the latest LED flashlights! The last photo was one from the milky way shoot a couple of years ago.

Lots more photos of everything at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Be then it was getting cold enough that we called it a night around 9:45 and headed back to the trailers. I have my electric heater on for the first time of the trip. While it is only down to 55°F, it feels colder.

Until Tomorrow.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Day 22, Sunday, August 26, 2018 - Sleepy Hollow Campground, Wall, SD, Day 2 & The Badlands

The Badlands
Sunday, August 26, 2018 - Sleepy Hollow Campground, Wall, SD, Day 2, 0 Miles, 2,515.1 Miles for the Trip

We headed for the badlands loop late morning, and stopped for many photos. I added a bunch to the Badlands National Park page. Lots of photos, and panoramas from two visits at the badlands page.

After that we made a stop at the Minute Man missile exhibit, then drove to one of the abandoned silos.

On the way back to the campground, we actually went inside Wall Drugs. As expected, a tourist trap of many, many small stores selling travel related stuff. Anne bought some fudge & taffy. Photos of us at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Back at the campground I started dinner, which was carbonate of beef, a beef, beer, mushroom & onion meal over egg noodles. Takes awhile to cook, so I waited until we were in a place for two days. Just as I put the pot on the grill to start browning the meat, the wind came up. I do mean came up - it actually blew the pot off the stove, then blew the stove off the table. I moved the works inside the trailer, and with the air conditioning running (it was 95°F out) it was still cool enough to survive. Dinner was pronounced good, which is good because there is enough that it will be tomorrow night's meal as well.

It is getting late so I'm finishing this up and heading for the showers.

Until Tomorrow.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Day 21, Saturday, August 25, 2018 - Sleepy Hollow Campground, Wall, SD

The Dignity Statue
Saturday, August 25, 2018 - Sleepy Hollow Campground, Wall, SD, 159.6 Miles, 2,515.1 Miles for the Trip

We stopped on the way out of the Oasis Campground for some photos of the buffalo sculptures across the I 90 Business road. I also included a photo of the Al's Oasis complex. From the photos inside, I suspect it was there when my family made our 1950 trip across the US; we probably stopped. All in all, it was one of the better interstate side campgrounds I've stopped at. Clean bathrooms & showers (although the stream from the shower did directly hit the shower curtain, got the floor of the drying room wet and there was only one hook in the drying area).

Almost all but a mile or two of today's drive was on I90. We started East to see the Dignity statue at the Chamberlain rest stop. A beautiful statue overlooking the Missouri River. I suspect that the colored glass inserts look interesting when the sun is in the right position. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

A bit shorter than normal drive today, one that we prefer to the 250 mile ones. We are in Wall, the home of the famous Wall Drugstore (I know my parents stopped here) that advertizes on hundreds of signs along I 90. I haven't actually been in the store in 60 years, although I have driven by a couple of times. We did stop at the Grasslands Headquarters for Anne could purchase a 1 year senior pass - she left her "forever" pass at home. At least she didn't have to pay the full $80.00 for a new pass - the year pass is only $20.00, and if you buy one every year for 4 years, turns into a forever pass.

We are in electric & water sites for 2 nights at $35.32 per night with a Good Sam discount. Clean bathrooms with shower stalls with doors, but the fine spray water saving showerhead. There is a pool, but it looks like a 1-2 stroke per lap length, so I probably won't go for a swim. There is a group of train tracks (shiny ones, which means they are active) right next to our site. Nothing has gone by so far except a small work train with a very quiet whistle. Since they look like they are there for the grain elevators, maybe there won't be much overnight traffic.

Just as we set up for dinner, a brief thunderstorm rolled through. Anne dragged me out of the trailer to get a photo of a rainbow. The grain elevators don't make the most picturesque background, but it was a double rainbow, something that I don't see too often.

Dinner was Bubba burgers & a spinach and mandarin orange salad.

Until Tomorrow.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Day 20, Friday, August 24, 2018 - Oasis Campground, Oacoma, SD

Site 26
Friday, August 24, 2018 - Oasis Campground, Oacoma, SD, 205.8 Miles, 2,355.5 Miles for the Trip

When I fired up my computer t 8:30 AM, I discovered a refund of the unused Wednesday campground fees from the South Dakota State Park system. So, while I still don't think much of their reservation system (or maybe the one staff member that did the first reservation) they did do right by us. I'll also say the campground itself was nice, as were the bathrooms & showers.

We drove secondary roads for the entire trip to Oacoma, SD, much on SD 14 & SD 50. We are in the Oasis Campground, a overnight stop on the edge of I 90. Not too much traffic noise, particularly since it is 91°F in the propane cover, and the AC is running. We are in sites 25 & 26, full hookup sites for $40.17 with a Good Sam discount. The sites are level gravel with a picnic table & fire ring. While there are a few small trees, not much shade.

While the plan was for Bubba burgers tonight, there Al's Oasis diner is just down the road, so that might be a replacement. Well, we went to the diner for dinner. I had the second worst chicken fried steak I've ever had (the worst was at the Two Sister's Cafe near Babb, MT), but Don & Anne's buffalo burgers were good.

Until Tomorrow.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Day 19, Thursday, August 23, 2018 - Pelican Lake Recreation Area, Watertown, SD

It's A Decoy!
Thursday, August 23, 2018 - Pelican Lake Recreation Area, Watertown, SD, 254.6 Miles, 2,149.7 Miles for the Trip

I forgot to include the story of the "Swan" in last night's post, so here it is a day late. Anne (whose site is the furthest from the dock & bay) said "Look at the Swan!". We looked, and argued that it might be a goose, but in any case, I had to get a photo. I put on the 80 - 400 zoom lens and sneaked up on it for a photo. Discovered that it was neither; but a decoy. The pond scum on the bottom and chipped paint of the beak, as well as the neck joint kinda gave it away. You couldn't see any of that from the campsites, so I can't blame Anne for getting it wrong, but for both days we constantly said "Hey, the Swan is still there"!

Today's drive was a mix of secondary roads & interstate. We called yesterday afternoon to make reservations here at Pelican Lake, and started what was to become an interesting saga. First, the SD reservation website let me get 3/4 of the way through reservations for 2 sites, then froze. I gave up & called their 800 number and got a very busy & confused reservation specialist that proceeded to finish our booking, but did them for last night rather than tonight.

After we set up a group that had booked 8 sites for the weekend thought they had our sites in their booking. They were nice about it, but we called the reservation center to straighten it out, and it got even more interesting. They insisted that the person doing the booking told me 3 times the date the reservation was for (she didn't) and emailed me the confirmation (she didn't), and they insisted that I had to pay for last night's unused reservations, and had to make new ones for tonight. We did discover that even though the reservation was in my name & billed to my credit card, they emailed the reservation confirmation to Anne, who doesn't have data on her phone, so couldn't find it until we were set up & she was on my WiFi. I didn't want to make the folks that were staying for the weekend move their trailers tomorrow, so we took new sites two sites away, and was given the promise that Doris (the head of the reservation system) would call with a possible refund of our unused (and to my mind, un made) Wednesday reservations. My suggestion is that if you make reservations for a South Dakota state park, be very careful that you get what you expect!

In any case, we are now in sites 75 (Don & Anne) and 76 (me), an electric only site for $24.27 plus a $6.00 park entry fee. Clean bathrooms with showers a bit further away than they were from our previous sites 73 & 74.  Site photos are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was a variety of sausage sandwiches & a fried yellow squash.

Until Tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Day 18, Wednesday, August 22, 2018 - Ruttger's Pine Mountain Camping Resort, Day 2, Backus, MN

Wednesday, August 22, 2018 - Ruttger's Pine Mountain Camping Resort, Day 2, Backus, MN, 0 Miles, 1,895.1 Miles for the Trip

A quiet night and relaxing morning. Don & Anne headed to Scamp at 10:00AM and dropped off the trailer for a new bathroom window. I started 2 loads of laundry. Only one washer & one dryer, and the dryer took 2 runs to dry the clothes, so it took time. Don & Anne did at least two loads as well, so we kept the machines busy.

I spent the time waiting for the clothes to dry reading, so I got a lot done. The trailer was ready mid afternoon, so it is back at the campground. A brand new Scamp pulled in during the day. A couple from Wisconsin that gave us a tour of the trailer (and took a tour of the Escape).

While I have made my usual complaints about "Resorts" with the utilities in the wrong place & higher than normal prices, if you are going to camp near Backus, it is a nice place. Good folks running the place, and they do put lots of TLC into the bathrooms, provide free coffee, and have a swimming pool large enough that I can do 6 stroke laps.

I had an interesting battle with my bluetooth speaker. I fired it up planning to pair it with my iPhone 10, but it was already paired with something. Classical music, but I shut off every device I had & it kept going. A weak signal that came & went, but there was no one within 100' of our trailers, so who knows what it was.

Dinner was the left over grilled chicken thighs, mashed potatoes, and steamed snap peas.

Until Tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Day 17, Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - Ruttger's Pine Mountain Camping Resort, Backus, MN

Don & Anne at Scamp
Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - Ruttger's Pine Mountain Camping Resort, Backus, MN, 159.3 Miles, 1,895.1 Miles for the Trip

I called a Walgreens that was on the way to Backus this morning, checking to see if they could fill my prescriptions that were previously filled at the Oswego Rite-Aid "Now a Walgreens". Their computers have not yet added the Rite-Aid databases, but they were able to call the Oswego pharmacy & get the refills transfered. Actually, it went smoother than most of my on-the-road fills.

After that it was on to Backus, MN, home of 250 people & the company that manufacturers Scamps. Don & Anne had a few things they wanted fixed on the trailer, and a couple of additions. Unfortunately, some of the changes were no longer available, but tomorrow they are going to get the leaking bathroom window replaced. We stopped by and made an appointment for 10:00 tomorrow.

We are in the Ruttger's Pine Mountain Camping Resort for 2 nights, and like all resorts, difficult sites. They are water & electric only sites on grass, and too short to back in, at least without the trailer tongue stuck in the road. It is a dead end with only one site past ours, so maybe we could have gotten away with it, but we decided to parallel park towards the back of the site. I may be encroaching a bit on site 5, but they are very wide, shallow sites, so I hope I'm OK. There isn't much maneuvering room to get the van & Scamp turned around & out of the park in the morning. Should be interesting!

The bathrooms are a mid length walk away, very nice, including plenty of hooks in a dial valve valve on a standard showerhead. No bench, but there is a stool in each drying area.  A few more Scamp photos & the site photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner is grilled chicken thighs & 4-Amigos Tortilla Soup made as a side (less water).

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, August 20, 2018

Day 16, Monday, August 20, 2018 - Thief River Falls Campground, MN

The New Truck & Trailer Photo
Monday, August 20, 2018 - Thief River Falls Campground, MN, 164.2 Miles, 1,735.8 Miles for the Trip

I have to say Winnipeg might just have the most variable weather in the continent. One night is is in the high 70's, the next mid 50's. Days in the high 90's, the next in the low 70's. I do prefer sleeping with the temperatures in the 50's than the high 70's, so last night was OK. I did dig out my extra blanket around 5:00AM.

We took a long time saying goodbyes to the Escape crowd & Ian, the head of the team that put the Anniversary gathering together, then headed back to the US. I stopped on the way out of the park to take a new photo of the truck & trailer since the one I have on various forums shows the Tacoma, and the entryway to the grounds has an interesting gateway.

The easiest border crossing I've ever made. They asked if I enjoyed the Bolar 50th, then handed back my passport & waved me through. I guess my Bothwell cheese is safe; wasn't sure it was allowed across the border since the US & Canada are always fighting over dairy products.

We arrived at Thief River Falls around 2:00. Don't go looking for the falls; there isn't one. I suspected that since we drove over 160 miles and I don't think we gained or lost 10' of altitude!

We are in a city park with electric only for $20.00 per night. Pull throughs (sites 46 & 47) on grass. The cleanest bathrooms I've seen on the trip. I haven't given a shower report yet this trip ( I know, I'm slipping) but like the bathrooms, they are immaculate. Push buttons with standard showerheads that run for about 15 seconds, and only warm water, but warm enough. 2 shower curtains with a fold down bench in the drying area. Only one hook in the drying area, but many on the wall outside. Site photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Since I'm describing showers, I should mention the ones at the Boler 50th. They brought in 18 wheeler trucks, one for the women & one for the men. I'm not sure what the layout of the woman's shower was like, but the men's had small shower stalls running on both sides of a narrow center aisle. No dressing area, just the aisle. While a bit cramped, the water was hot & the showerhead provided plenty of water.

We spent much of the afternoon chatting with the host, although Don & Anne did most of it - I was in the trailer changing my avatars from the "I'm going to the 50th Boler Anniversary" image back to a photo.

Anne put together a tuna noodle casserole for dinner.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Day 15, Sunday, August 19, 2018 - Red River Exhibition Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Day 5,

Sunday, August 19, 2018 - Red River Exhibition Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Day 5, 0 Miles, 1,571.6 Miles for the Trip

A warm night with a bit of rain, thunder & lightning, but it cleared up by the morning. Very windy - a peak of 30MPH lifted my mat off the ground & knocked over both tables & my Coleman Grill/Stove. No damage, but the wind was strong enough that sitting outside wasn't all that comfortable. I finally set my chair up in the wind shadow created by the trailer. Unfortunately, that was in the sun, which, when the clouds parted, was pretty hot.

Around noon we headed to the city to visit the Bothwell Cheese store. They suckered us in with a wine & cheese gathering the other day and $2.00 off tickets to the store. The smoked Gouda cheese samples were wonderful, and evidently others thought so as well; we bought the last two blocks left in the store. I also bought a small brick of Red Wine X Old Cheddar, and one of Monterey Jack cheese. I have no idea how good the cinnamon buns they had at the check out counter are, but I'll find out in the morning.

After that it was back to the trailer and more sitting around. I finished a Jeffery Deaver book, Speaking in Tongues, that I hadn't read before, and then cooked up some sausage Anne bought at the cheese store for dinner. We had that along with some sauerkraut & a Caesar salad.

After dinner I started putting some stuff away preparing for leaving tomorrow.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Day 14, Saturday, August 18, 2018 - Red River Exhibition Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Day 4

A Truly Motorized Grill!
Saturday, August 18, 2018 - Red River Exhibition Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Day 4, 0 Miles, 1,571.6 Miles for the Trip

A nice quiet day at the fairgrounds. 10:00 - 3:00 was Trailer Open House for those willing to show off their trailers. Of course I did, and had many visitors checking out my Escape 21, as well as Anne & Guido's Scamp 16. I took a break from showing the trailer to make a round of some of the others, and around 3:00 went to the Solar workshop. A well put together presentation by Azimuth Solar Products, Inc. I had originally volunteered to do a solar workshop, but when the folks from Azimuth came along, Ian talked me into doing a photo workshop instead. Glad he did - I learned some interesting stuff from their workshop. A few more photos at today's LakeshoreImages page, or many more at the Saturday update for the Boler 50th Anniversary Rally.

I hope the shower trucks will be open tomorrow, otherwise it is heading into the Escape shower since I didn't get back from dinner in time for the 7:00PM closing. Ian said the space in the park is reserved until Tuesday morning, so we plan to leave either Monday or Tuesday, but the closing ceremony is tonight so who knows what will still be around tomorrow.

After that we sat around the trailer until dinner time. Too hot again to cook (92°F), at least when there are food trucks parked a short walk away. I had a chicken wrap & a hand squeezed lemonade.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, August 17, 2018

Day 13, Friday, August 17, 2018 - Red River Exhibition Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Day 3

Calling the Troops to Dinner!
Friday, August 17, 2018 - Red River Exhibition Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Day 3, 0 Miles, 1,571.6 Miles for the Trip

Another day, another day talking with Verizon. At least this time it was actual talking with someone that wasn't reading answers from a script. I discovered that my "Beyond Unlimited" (how can you be beyond unlimited?) plan, that on paper offers the same coverage and data limits in Canada as it does in the US actually doesn't. Although two different help chat individuals told me to ignore the "You have used your .5GB of data, and if you want .5GB more, pay $5.00" message that arrived on my Jetpack. There really is a .5GB per day limit, even with the beyond plan for each device on the plan when in Canada or Mexico. The interesting thing about the pay more message is it tells you to say yes if you want to buy the additional data. The Jetpack has 3 buttons in the message window - "up" "down" and "delete", none of which seem to say yes...

Tony, the most knowledgeable Verizon help desk individual I talked with said this was the first time he had a Jetpack user ask how to buy more time & he tried a number of things, none of which worked. We found solutions for the iPad & iPhone, but not the Jetpack. So, I am now posting some of the pages with the iPhone, some with the Jetpack, and the rest with the iPad, using tethering on the phone & iPad. Each has a .5GB daily limit, so I can actually put the pages out, but it is a bit of a PIA.

Anyway, enough griping. It was a cool night, getting down to 50°F, but after throwing on a blanket at 4:00AM, I was comfortable. The cold morning was great since I planned to bake a blueberry pie & the oven heats up the trailer. Finished the pie around 10:00, then wandered around taking more photos. After that it was back to the trailer to relax, and wait for the Beef on a Bun dinner. Of course I took photos of that as well. Both groups are added to the Boler 50th Anniversary page. Scroll down to Friday for a link to scrollable photos.

Dinner was the Beef on a Bun with blueberry pie for dessert.

Until Tomorrow -