Sunday, July 29, 2012

The iPhone returns


We all slept in this morning until we wanted to get up.  Last night I developed a rash over my whole body and took a benedryl and anti itch medicine and I was able to sleep ok.  It was mostly gone this morning.

We decided to go out for a real Amish Breakfast but when we got to the farm they only did groups of 15 or more and you had to make arrangements ahead of time.  So we headed to another place and had some good biscuits and gravy and an Amish girl waited on is.  I did not take her picture as the Amish do not want their pictures taken.
Great breakfast and backed goods

After breakfast Bonnie with of box of cinnamon buns to go

Then we went to Yoder's meat market and Bonnie bought me some cheese and mom picked up some bacon.  Then down to the Amish market to pickup some rolls for sandwiches.  Then back to the coach.

Everyone was tired and sat around or laid down.  I decided to make an appointment at the Genius Bar at Apple and see if they could fix my iPhone, as suggested by my SIL the other day.  It was 30 some miles away about the same as at home.  So I headed that way.  I got there almost an hour before my appointment and checked in.  I had my computer and they have WiFi so I was prepared.  They called me up in about 30 minutes.  He took a look down the earphone jack with a tool and showed me that it looked red.  Thats an indication that it has gotten wet.  I assured him it had not.  Since it was dead he had to open it to get the serial number to check the warranty.  When he did it turned out to be a piece of red lint, so I was in good shape.  He replaced the phone and activated it at Verizon.  I borrowed his cable and restored my backup, all is good again.  I was out of the store by 3:20pm the time of my appointment.

I was back to the coach long before I thought I would be.  I finished updating the apps and then decided to go out and get some milk for tomorrow.  I spotted this.

I remember these when I was a kid

I counted over 30 cars all in great shape
Thats about it for today.  It rained off and on most of the day but its hard to tell that it did.  Tonight is our last planned night on the road I think it is night 29.  Around 450 miles tomorrow and we will be home.  The rash is trying to come back tonight.


Long day today.  We left at 9:00am and headed home.  Lots of trucks on the Indiana Turnpike.  We ran through numerous contraction zones but all but one of them moved along at 55 mph.  At the one we were delayed only a few minutes.  Other than the bone jarring joints in the road the coach ran great.  The radiator still leaks but only when its under pressure and its is small.  I only had to add antifreeze once on the whole trip.

As I got off of I90 onto the 400 near home Elizabeth and Alexus passed us on their way home, it was a great welcome home.

We pulled into Java Village and I backed into the folks driveway right at 6pm.  We unloaded their stuff and I was headed home and in our driveway at 6:30.  Shortly after we got home Elizabeth and Alexus pulled in and jumped right in and helped us unload the coach.  We finished up right around 7:30.  It was humid and I jumped right into the shower.  Elizabeth started the wash and Bonnie fixed some supper.  Emily seemed happy to be home and she has an appointment at the Vets tomorrow morning.  Seems she has stones in her bladder and she does not like her soft food that has the medicine in it.

We watched a little of the Olympic opening ceremonies and then we each watched one of our recorded programs.  My rash seems to come back at night and so I took another benedryl and finally laid down around midnight.


Good nights sleep and it rain quite a bit my gauge says 3.74 which seems like a lot of rain but it woke me several times.

Bonnie took Emily the cat to her Vet appointment and I headed up to catch up on paperwork at court.  I spent 3.5 hours up there and came home hoping to take a nap.  That did not happen.  I needed to go to Attica and deliver a gift.  That worked out well and I got to visit with friends for a while.  Then a quick stop at the drug store and home.  Was not home long before it was time to leave for Elizabeths for dinner.
We had grilled chicken and vegetables.  Then I got a little nap before the peach shortcake was ready.

Finally home and watched a little TV and now off to bed.


Had to set the alarm this morning and was up at 7.  I had let my MAC run overnight to download the new Mountain Lion Operating System.  I finished loading it this morning and so far no problems.  We were off to church a little after 9.  We went to Crossroads Christian Church where Elizabeth goes.  Her boss Stuart Harper from Buffalo City Mission was the speaker today and I really enjoyed and learned from his sermon on who the homeless really are.

Then we headed over to the Holland Farmers Market to visit with Bonnie's sister and to take back some of the stuff her parents forgot the other day.

Then home for the afternoon.  We picked up some corn to try.  I worked on entering all our receipts into quicken and Bonnie caught up on TV.

Bonnie cooked the corn for supper but it was old and very starchy, so better luck next time.

Here are some numbers from the trip.

We put 4194 miles on the Coach   We put 1400 miles on the Car

We burned 450 gallons of diesel ave was 9.44 mpg with the a/c running and the generator running in the afternoons to run the roof ac units.

Total cost for the 30 days worked out to average $111 a day thats fuel, food, repairs to the coach, repair to the car tire, campground fees, and eating out.  It does not count what souvenirs and mementos, just double the number.  The 20 pounds or so of rocks were pretty much free and did not come from inside any national park.  All in all its a pretty economical and very convenient way to travel.

We had a good time and made lots of good memories.

That it for this week.

Thanks for checking in.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Air Leak (Monday) Radiator Leak (Tuesday)


This morning when I started the coach I noticed it took longer for the air gauge to get up to 120.  Then when I turned off the engine it bled down to 90 quickly.  I went outside and could hear it hissing.  I called coach-net our roadside service provider and they called back in about 10 minutes with a place to to take it to get it looked at.  We finished packing up and headed to Nebraska-Machinery.  They are a CAT dealer but were willing to fit us in where others said we would have to wait weeks.  I met Rick Todd who was filling in for the Service Manager and he assured me they would be able to fix it.  He had kept a bay open for me and had me pull right in.  I left it in his hands and we headed for the mall.  Penny's was having a going out of business sale and Bonnie wanted to go.  We got there a few minutes before 10.  We stayed cool and the ladies shopped.  It cost more here than the coach repair would cost.  I talked to Rick just before noon and it was all fixed $65 valve and 1 hour of labor at $92, cheaper than most RV places.  So we were on the road by 1pm.

We pretty much focused on driving the rest of the day with only a couple stops to stretch and hit the head.  We also entered the Central Time Zone and lost an hour, pulling into the campground around 9:20.  Hope we can sleep in a bit in the morning.  Then we will head for Iowa.  Once again everyone is in bed and I better get there also.


Told Bonnie tonight I was getting tired of working on the MotorHome.  We started out this morning in the 70's in Henderson, Nebraska and finished up tonight in Iowa City, IA 106 on our thermometer.  Nothing really to take pictures and it is just too hot for anyone to go sightseeing.  So we are in travel mode and will probably be home earlier than planned.

Would hate to break down while hauling a tank.  This is at Flying J where we fueled up

When we got here tonight I checked the oil and coolant.  The coolant looked a little low and so I added some.  But then looking around I saw some stains in the dust and dirt on the back and crawled under and sure enough the radiator is leaking some.  I had it replaced in October 2010 so it should not be leaking but it is.  I think we will be able to get home with it as it is.

We ate out at a local Italian restaurant tonight and it was really good, we all shared a pizza, Dad even asked for seconds.  Then back to the coach to shower and have a little ice cream for dessert.  Tomorrow we will lose another hour so it will seem like a long day again.  But we plan a couple nights in Shipshewanna, IN.

Thats it for tonight, stay tuned for more adventure.


The radiator seeped a little today but other wise no problems.  The GPS let us down a couple times today or I missed turns and got us a little lost.  But we finally made it to Shipshewanna, IN about 5:30pm.  Its just to hot to tour much so we will relax tomorrow and then head the rest of the way home on Friday.   That will make 29 nights on the road, I think it will feel good to be back in our house for a few weeks.

I could not believe the number of trucks on the road all day especially as we went South of Chicago and Gary Indiana.  Many of them being driven like sports cars.  Cars cutting us off were also a concern.  But we made it and I think we are all tired again tonight.  So tonight will be an early night to bed for all of us.
Bonnie made BBQ with cole slaw for supper and ice cream for dessert.  I went up and washed the car.  It gets awful dusty behind the coach and we got some tar on it out west somewhere.

So thats about it for the trip home, no pictures again as we are in travel mode vs tourist mode.  Many of you have commented on the pictures, I am glad that you have enjoyed them.

Sundays update should be from home and I will try to do some recaps of the trip.

Thanks for checking in.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Eastbound and down--Mouse #8 caught


Caught mouse number 8 this morning in the wet bay.  We packed up and pulled out of West Yellowstone this morning at around 9:30.  The drive across the park went well except for 2 minor critter jams.  The good news was that we did get to see a couple herds of buffalo and one nice bull.  We had not seen herds on the other days.

Nice bull

First herd

Second herd
It was 45 in West Yellowstone this morning and 6 hours later when we pulled into Thermopolis, WY it was 104, what a change.  The A/C is on for the first time in days.  The way it looks it will be more of the same as we head East.  Tomorrow we will explore the town and visit the hot springs.  We went out for supper tonight and visited a local place 12 miles up the road in Kirby, WY called Butch's.  It was good and we all got our belly's full.

We had a safe trip today with just one drawer opening on a sharp curve that I took a little faster than I wanted to, it jumped the track but I was able to fix it.  Time for bed I am tired tonight, the trip down for the top of the continental divide must have stressed me today.


Bonnie and I slept in till about 8:30 this morning it was nice and cool with the AC on and the fan blocked out all the noise.  Mom and Dad were up and sitting outside when I got up and Bonnie got up a while later.
After breakfast the 3 of them went shopping and were gone a few hours till lunch time.  It gave me time to catch up on a few things and just relax.

Bonnie fixed pork chops for lunch and then we decided to go to the state park and soak in the mineral springs.  It was free to soak for 20 minutes in the 104 degree water.  Then we walked out to the swinging bridge and some of us crossed over to the other side.

The hot water is cooled in this pool to mix with the hot water

We soaked in the covered out side pool

Boardwalk thru the springs toward the bridge

Bridge over the Bigfoot River first built in 1916

Dad made it part way

Bonnie finishing the crossing

View from the middle of the bridge
The weather was ok today, it was overcast so only got into the 80's, luckily the humidity is low here.

After that we headed to the County museum.  What a surprise, it was fantastic.  They have so much stuff and it is all displayed nicely.

County owned and operated

An original switchboard that was used here in town

There was an annex with all kinds of equipment like this road grader
There was coal mining equipment, a caboose, and oil drilling and pumping equipment.  Out front they had a nice memorial to veterans.

One of my shipmates
 Butch Cassidy and the Hole in the Wall gang used to come to town and often drank at this bar that was in a local Saloon.  The bar was made in Ireland originally.  The bar was eventually renamed the Hole-In-The-Wall.  The hole in the wall hangout is not far from here but you need a Jeep to get to it or a horse.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid drank at this bar

It was cool to lean on the bar at the same spot as the Hole in the wall gang did.
After that we headed back to the campground and each did our own things.  We also got a chance to visit with some of our neighbors.

Well off to bed now as we are moving to Nebraska tomorrow.


Today was a long moving day.  We left Thermopolis and drove US highway 26 to Scottsbluff, NE.  Got here around 4:30pm.  We are staying in the city campground behind the Zoo, should be interesting.  We are here two nights.  When I pulled out my iPhone it was dead again.  I could not revive it this time.  Bonnie and I went to the Verizon Store but all they can do is order a new one to be sent to me.  It would not get here until Tuesday so will have to figure out where we will be on Tuesday.  A storm blew through at dinner time but missed us to the north just a little wind and a few drops of rain.  Everyone has gone off to bed so I guess I will join them.


We were all up fairly early today for a Sunday morning.  Bonnie had pointed out a church yesterday and we headed for the 10:45 Worship Service at Bethel Baptist Church.  It was a smaller church but seem to really have a lot going on.  They had just finished up VBS and the kids put on a short program.  The message by Pastor Dallas Powell was good.  He is into technology and his message outline is online at  I use you version and the church had WiFi so I could scan the QR code printed in the bulletin and follow the outline on Bonnie's iPhone.  Mine is still broke and I will wait till I get closer to home to order a new one.

Pastor Powell
After church we went back to the coach for a quick lunch and filled up the water bottles.  Then we headed to the zoo.  The zoo was city owned and they let it run down pretty bad.  A private organization has bought it and it is starting to shape up but has a long way to go.  They have put in a splash pad for the kids and most seem to go there for that.  We did spend a couple hours there in the heat and enjoyed seeing all the animals.

A good looking zebra

Playful maricats

Sleepy Tiger
They it was a relatively short ride to the Scotts Bluff National Monument

This natural pass in the bluff is where several of the trails heading west converged and continued.  The oregon tail is well known and the pony express used this all so.

This is approximately where the trail was.  In places you can still see the ruts.
They had a nice display of wagons some with a person explaining things.  We were able to drive up on the bluff

Nice view from up on top.

In 1933 this survey marker was even with the ground.  Wind and rain have eroded a lot of rock

Bonnie noticed my favorite chair was ripped.  I sent an email to the company
We were then off to Super WalMart for some resupply of the pantry.  One back home I broke out the grill again and we had grilled chicken, potato salad, and strawberry shortcake for dessert.  Everyone is tired again and heading to bed early tonight.  The folks are pretty much wore out and not to interested in seeing to much more.  So not sure what else we will do on the way home.  Tomorrow we head for Henderson, NE, then Davenport Iowa on Tuesday, and hope to be in Shipshewana, IN on Wednesday for a couple days.

Thanks for checking in.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Yellowstone NP


Wow what a day.  My tire monitor alarmed again this morning so I decided to take the car to have it looked at.  I checked reviews using YELP on my iPhone and found one place highly recommended.  So I headed over there to Randy's Auto Service.  Pam at the front desk and Clark the technician took good care of me.  He found a small piece of metal in the tire.  He dismounted it and patched it from the inside.  I was back to the Campground in less than an hour and we loaded up and headed into the park.  We had one false start and had to go back into the coach for lunch and water and a couple other items.  (We did forget to close a roof vent).

Clark just finishing up, he even hand torques the lug nuts
Our first stop was at a small falls, then we pressed on toward Old Faithful, here are a few pictures.

Don't fall in
I am so tired tonight we were in the park over 12 hours today and did not eat supper until after 10pm.  Bonnie did a roast in the crockpot so it was ready for us when we got home.  Its 11:30pm now and we are hitting the road at 7am tomorrow.  So I will let the pictures tell the story.

Mud flats

Beautiful twisted pieces of pine
 It rained and hailed on us and the girls got soaked.  An hour before this picture it was raining and we were worried the coach would get soaked with the open vent.

Ground Squirrel 

Old Faithful starting to vent

A good blow

Crossed this twice today

We saw Eagles, Coyote, Elk, Wolves, Geese, and Bison to name a few.

Right outside my window

Maybe 30 Elk

Part of the Wolf pack
 We stopped at one last waterfalls

Bonnie's Mom
We are tired but will sleep good and do the upper loop tomorrow.


We were all up before 6am and on the road by 7am.  One false start we had to come back to wash the windshield and get the inside film off the windows with the sun so low and bright.  We were headed for the North entrance to the park.  Bonnie had us signed up for a program at the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center.  We had about an hour long tour and got to see a lot of their historical records and specimens.  I enjoyed the tour and was happy to learn all that they are doing to preserve the records of what has happened here at the park.  Along the way we did not run into much traffic so we were able to make a few stops along the way to see some more of the sights.  Here are a few of the pictures.

It was pretty foggy the first half of the trip

But this is all steam coming out of vents on the side of the hill

This is Sheepeater Cliff

This guy is a Yellow Bellied Marmont

We spotted a couple Elk

This concrete roadway used to be wooden
Ranger Billy showed us the artifacts and specimens

These are the jawbones from some of the first wolves that were reintroduced into the park and died unexpectedly

An ancient tool made from obsidian a black volcanic rock

One of the first to try to make money at Yellowstond
 He would put horseshoes in the springs for a week or so to get them coated in minerals and then sell them.

Here is a finished one

After the tour we took a gravel road further north that is actually part of the park and can be accessed without going through the park entrance.  We spotted a small group of Prong Horn Antelope standing belly deep in the tall grass.


Then back into the park proper through the Roosevelt Gate.

I took a couples picture and they took ours.

At the North Entrance

Here is what we did the rest of the day.

Stopped at the petrified tree

Lunch near the petrified tree

Tower Falls

The down logs are from the 1988 fires, the new pines sprouted also in 1988 after the fires

This guys was trying to sleep near the Rangers Museum

The Ranger had a couple kids that were visiting help him fold the flag.

Some of these hot springs really bubble

Lots of Ravens in the par,
We visited lots of other spots also but some are hard to capture in pictures.  I will post them on Facebook.  We were back to the coach by a little after 7, had left overs and decided to sleep in some in the morning.  It is in the 40s at night so it should be great sleeping weather.  We will tour the town in the morning.


We all slept in for an extra hour this morning.  Bonnie called today our bonus day.  We looked around town and the ladies shopped until a little after noon.  Then after lunch we headed into the park planning to stay into the evening and hoping to see some more wildlife.

Spotted these elk on the way into the park

Bonnie took this shot
Then we stopped at at a few of the thermal features that we had missed the first time, we decided we would turn around at Old Faithful.

Amazed at how clear the water is this one was not even steaming

Vintage travel car, one of the tour groups uses this

Colorful hot spring

This geyser was to erupt at 5:30 +or- 2 hours.  We were there at 3:30 so we left

Pulled up to this one just as it erupted

Then on to Old Faithful got there just as it started to erupt

Back to the other on just as it was finishing it eruption, glad we did not sit and wait
 Then we ran into another critter jam on the way out, only about 10 minutes it was 2 Elk again.  Our neighbor Lee was smoking ribs on this smoker and I chatted with them for a while.  Then in for left overs and to work on the blog.  The internet is very slow tonight

This smoker uses pellets.
Well time to publish this and hit the hay.  Tomorrow we move around 300 miles to Thermopolis, WY.  We are hoping to soak in the hot springs there.

Thanks for checking in.