Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Memorial Day - Still Visiting in Alabama


Thanks to all the Great Men and Women that have served our Great Country and Gone on to their Rewards.

The smell of fresh coffee first woke me this morning so I knew it was some time after 8am.  I finally got up just before 9.  My son called and invited us to go to a pool party at a friend of theirs but we decided to just take it easy today.  After Bonnie got up we went out and taped up cracked sealant under the living room slide to hopefully keep water out of the bays if it rains hard.  That was pretty easy and only took about 15 minutes.  Then I moved some of the electronics for the video and audio and was able to re route the cables so now both TVs work at the same time and they both have good clear pictures.

Antenna TV was running a lot of the old war movies today and we watched a couple of them.  Bonnie took off to go shopping during the movies and I think, judging from what she spent she had a good time.

Lots of bags

Lots of goodies
After she put stuff away we put the new mattress pad on the bed that she had picked up.  Then I finally got the shower I have needed all day.  I feel a lot cleaner and fresher now.  In the high 80s today and that spawned a few storms but they went north and south of us.  We did get a couple gusts and a very few drops of rain.  I got to chat on line with my sister for a good while and now I am going to just relax and watch a little TV.


No alarm to wake us this morning and we slept well on our new mattress pad.  We took our time and read email and made some calls about future campsites.  We also were planning to take the girls and pick strawberries today, but seems that yesterday was the end of the local picking season.  We did find a stand that had fresh berries but he said they were going fast and when they were gone they would be gone.  So we got moving and made it in time to buy the last berries he had left.  We dropped them off at Ashley and Robby's.  Tomorrow Bonnie will prepare them and make strawberry shortcake for dessert, with the girls help.

We took Reagan with us to go look at some motorhomes over at Bankston's.

But first a stop for an ice cone for Reagan.  I did have a subway sandwich since it was lunch time.

The Tiki Hut
 Reagan is 4 but she knew how to give directions to get here.

Looks like she is enjoying it.

The spoon was this color

Until dipped in the cold ice, then it turned colors.
We finished without a big mess and headed to the RV Dealer.  Gene the older salesman we had talked to a couple years ago was still there and we had a nice visit with him.  They did not have any used inventory so we ended up looking at a couple new units.  They are nice and we will keep them in mind in a couple years, once they get a little age on them.  Let the first owner get them in shape.

Back to the kids house and we visited for a while, I took Gracie to dance and then we came back to the rig.  Bonnie made supper and now we can relax a little before bed.

Well Bonnie threw in a load of wash and I dished up a little Blue Bunny ice-cream, guess we are Living the Dream.


Wow the week has gone quickly and today is our last full day in Alabama.  Tomorrow we will start heading North East and slowly work our way Home to NY.  Strawberries are on the agenda for today.  We had some hard rain last night but the storms all seemed to miss us.

We made it over to the house before noon and made a little lunch.  Then Bonnie put the berries on cookie sheets in the freezer to firm up and get ready to pack.

Lots of big berries
We set up the Food Saver to vacuum seal the berries for the freezer.

Food saver worked good
The Food Saver worked good and we were done in short order.

All packed and in the freezer
Still to come strawberry shortcut, which we actually have on home made biscuits.

Robby made pizza on the grill for supper and Bonnie made the biscuits for the strawberry shortcake.  Both were very very good.  While Robby was doing the pizza on the grill be got a lot of heavy rain.  Robby had a neighborhood board meeting to go to and we waited for him to get home.  Then we said our goodbyes.  We took Gracie with us and dropped her off at a friends house for an overnight visit.  Then we headed tot he rig.  Its very wet out around the rig and I am hopeful it dries some by morning.  Bonnie started a load of wash and hopefully we will get to bed early so we can get on the road mid morning.  Its been a quick week and we have had a good visit, but its time to start working our way back towards home.

We did get one last dance from Reagan before we left.  What a cutie.  Constant motion and sound.

Thanks For Checking In!

"If Your Dreams Don't Scare You, They Are Just Not Big Enough"

Monday, May 26, 2014



Woke up to hear it start to rain this morning so I got up and put the slide with the torn topper on it in. It only rained a couple minutes so went back to sleep.
We plan to move down to Athens Alabama this morning.  We have reservation at North Gate RV Travel Park, it is just off I-65 and about 12 miles from my son.  We stayed here last time we were down.  The park is owned by Greg Whites cousin.  Greg and Jan are full timers and I have been reading his blog for several years.  Its a little less than 200 miles today and we go straight through Nashville, some time we hope to spend some time exploring Nashville.

We have enjoyed our stay here and the owners are a delight.  We are surrounded by neighbors but the park is quiet and laid back.  Well time to button up and get moving.

All hooked up and ready to pull out
We pulled out around 11:30 after dropping off a book Bonnie had borrowed at the office.  Lots of trucks on the road and I drove until we got past the crazy traffic around Nashville.    Then we pulled over into a TA Truck stop and had some lunch and took about a half hour break.  By this time we had the generator running and the roof airs running to keep it cool.  It was in the high 80s all afternoon.  Bonnie took over the driving and in about an hour we entered Alabama.

We made it to Alabama
Then awhile later we arrived at our new home for about the next week.

We have stayed here before and it is a very nice no frills place for $125 a week full hook-ups.  We signed in and got set up on a nice level spot.  We are headed West so I put the sun screens up on the windows and then got back in the A/C.

My son suggested the Catfish Cabin and we headed over there for dinner.  They have a graduation party to attend tonight.

Bring in your church bulletin and get 10% off on Sunday afternoon
 We both had catfish fillets and were happy to see they brought some real Hush Puppies!

Real Hushpuppies
They still use the family recipes to make their food and tarter sauce.  I also had real brewed ice tea.
We stopped at Tractor supply on the way to the rig, I needed a pressure gauge for my water regulator and Bonnie picked up some snacks at Big Lots.

Almost bed time and its so nice to have good internet at the second campground in a row.


When I updated where I was in yesterday, it a social media site for RVers, I saw that Terry another member was here at the same CG.  So I sent him a message and we hope to meet today and chat.  They are members of Campers on Mission which we would like to hear more about.  We had a nice long visit with Terry and Nancy B.  They are very active full timers in Campers on Mission.  Terry is also a HAM and we talked a little about that.  We enjoyed learning about COM and we will be checking more about them from their website.

We had a voice mail from my son when we got back to the rig that said they were cooking out and so we hurried up and headed over there.  Bonnie was in the midst of doing the sheets and but them in the dryer as we left.

We had a great home cooked meal and we were all able to sit down and enjoy it.  Shish kabobs, corn on the cob and beans and bread, good eating.

A selfie with Reagan


Ashley and Gracie
After the meal we watched a slide show on the TV of all the pictures Ashley took in London and Scotland.  She was over there for 2 weeks on a study program from here studies to become a Nurse Practitioner.   Robby had to to to Colorado for work at the same time and we got to see his pictures from Pikes Peak.  Then we all headed out to the rig and visited for a while and they got to see the coach.

We used most of the chairs

We had a full house
The two girls are spending the night with us and so far have played hide and seek and now we are all settling down for a nice nights sleep.  A good day and we were busy most of the day I am ready for a good nights sleep and the sheets were nice and dry when we got back here.

We all laid down lights out and it was nice a quiet for about 5 minutes.  Then the girls wanted to call their mother, Bonnie went out with them and they called and asked to go home.  So they got picked up about 30 minutes later and went home.  Bonnie was disappointed.  Gracie has stayed with us before but never both of them together.


The AC shut off last night so it must have cooled down some.  I was up around 7:30 hoping my son can help me with the slid topper today.  Its in the low 70s now but forecast is for 85.  My son is to come over today and help me repair the slide topper.

I went out and looked at what needed done and it looked like we cold do it.  I downloaded the manual from Carefree and looked at it several times.  My son and family got here around 2 and he thought we had enough time to at least get a good start.  We got the slide topper apart and down on the ground and set it in the sun to dry since the AC is plugged up and draining across it.  Oh boy another job up on the roof.  Once it dried we laid down the adhesive and taped it with Gorilla tape.

It came apart easily

Glueing and taping where the thread rotted away

Last little latch and we were done
I had too much sun and not enough to drink.  I told Robby to go ahead and take everyone to the balloon fest and launch and I would clean up and put things away.  I pretty much sat in the shade and drank a big glass of water Bonnie got for me before they left.  Took me about an hour but I got the tools put away and even changed the pressure gauge since the tools were out.  Then I managed to drink a glass of lemonade and even got a much needed shower.  I am on my third glass of drink as I write this.  I had some salty chips and am starting to feel better.  I think as soon as I finish this I will go lay down for the night.  The others called and were stopping to eat but I begged off too late for me to eat and then go right to bed.  This heat and humidity is getting to me, plus alleges are still in high gear.

Our supervisors wanting us to hurry and get done.
Well thats all I am up to tonight.


Had a good nights sleep but the train whistles seemed louder than normal.  This is our 4th campground on this trip and all four have had trains that we would hear at night.  Of course Goshen takes the cake were well over 100 trains pass every day.

I knew I was too tired to write and publish the blog when we got back last night so I will try this morning.  We hat set the alarm for 730 on Sunday and we were up and got ready to head to church with my sons family.  We really enjoyed going with them to the early service and even got to chat with the Pastor for a few minutes afterwards before he started the second service.  He is my age and graduated from the same school in Arkansas that Robby did and growing up his family lived in Lockport, small world.

Mount Zion Baptist Church before the service started
After the service we took Harrison home and Robby and Ashley stayed with the girls to work in the nursery.  Harrison got the TV working for us and we watched the INDY 500.  Once everyone was home we had some soft tacos for lunch and were able to see the end of the race.  Nice to see a home grown American win the race.

We were invited for dinner over to John and Sandy's.  They are friends of ours from our church in New York.  They are in the process of moving again, John is currently working Oklahoma and comes home for a long weekend once a month.  They have had their beautiful house listed for a long time, but they are competing with a lot of new construction in the area.  Add them to your prayer list please so they can be together in Oklahoma.

John loves to BBQ and we had plenty to choose from.  Sausage, Chicken, Roasted Corn on the Cob, and Grilled Veggies.  Gracie our GD was with us and their GD Alexis was with them.  The two girls played together the whole time, we hardly knew they were there.  Gracie said she had a great time and they exchanged phone numbers to hopefully get together some more.

Sandy and Bonnie catching up

Chef John working his magic (really he has great skill)

The table setting was beautiful, Alexis has grown up since we last saw her
We had a great time and enjoyed catching up on all their news and sharing ours.  It was well after 10 when we got Gracie back home and almost 11 when we got back to the coach.  Bonnie went straight to bed and I tried to relax a few minutes before heading off to bed.

We have had great weather and are having a great time.

Thanks For Checking In!

"If Your Dreams Don't Scare You, They Are Just Not Big Enough"

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Pulling out and heading South for Mammoth Caves


After being in Indiana since May 8h we finally pulled out of Elkhart 4H Fairgrounds and headed south.  The target to day was Cave City, KY.  We skirted Fort Wayne, then Indianapolis, and then straight through downtown Louisville.  We took our time and arrived at Singing Hills Campground off Exit 53 of I-65.  Boy were the roads rough in Indiana so rough that we lost part of the coach.

We lost a hub cap.
Not sure when it happened but I noticed it when we filled up with 80 gallons of diesel at Pilot just into Kentucky.

It should look like this
Well I think this is common but I hear they are getting hard to find.  The trip really wore me out and I almost put off writing the blog and went to bed.  But here I am.

We are only about 5 miles from Mammoth Cave so we ran over there to check out what tours were open this time of the year.  Hopefully we can see some of the cave tomorrow, there is a good selection of Ranger led tours.  We did get a treat on the way in.  We saw several mature turkeys strutting their stuff for a couple hens.  Also a few immature Toms.

I see the weeds got in the front of him

This one was really strutting.
We decided to eat and maybe run to Walmart.  The campground owner had suggested a Mexican place and we gave it a try.  It was really good, I could not finish mine.  Here is a shot of Bonnie's

Nachos Supreme
Thats it for me tonight I need some sleep.


I slept pretty good last night, I could hear a a train whistle way in the distance, nothing like the 150+ trains that passes within a couple hundred yards the whole time we were at the fairgrounds.  Wow that was a busy train track.

I had my oatmeal and coffee while Bonnie got up and dressed and read some email.  Then before I cleaned up I figured I would tackle a couple jobs.  First was to look again and try to see if something was under the bedroom slide that is not quite going out all the way.  We got it out close to all the way, still did not see anything under it.

Next is one I have been dreading.  The toilet has not been holding water like it should.  After its flushed a little water needs to stay in it to seal out the stink from the tank.  I have had the seal for a long time but was not sure it was the correct one.  Others have assured me either will work.  So with Bonnie's help we dove into it.  The toilet came apart easily and I set it in the shower.  Bonnie went to work cleaning it.

Cleaning up the seal
 Not a pleasant job but seems we had the right stuff

Cleaning the dust off the decorative trim.

I cleaned the flapper valve and got ready for the reinstall
We set the clean toilet back on the pedestal and I got busy tightening it with the plastic rings and band.

Not a pretty site

Just about finished
I had put our fantastic roof fan on reverse so it was blowing air into the coach and that keep most of the smell (bad smell) from coming in the rig.  So far we have a success and it is holding water.  I did find some mineral deposits on the old seals and imagine that is were it was leaking.

The next job was to see why the bathroom fan was not spinning.

I removed the screen so I could get at it
I suspected the plunger type switch that provide a ground when the cover raises I just needed to get at it.  The fan blades are to close together for me to get my hands up through them.  Just need the right tool.  Well that tool turned out to be a fork.  I used a fork to work the plunger up and down a few times and when I threw the switch it worked.  I am happy for that it saved a trip up onto the roof.  Enough for today.  I put the tools away and sat down to cool off.  Its getting warm but its ok with the windows open and the fans running.

Bonnie picked out the tours she wanted to day today at the caves.  One is too many steps for my tired knees so she will take it.  It has 440 stairs, the shorter one that I will take is 12 stairs and much shorter.  Time to change and clean up to go.  Hope to write more later.  The CG has good internet.  I was able to make reservations in AL for memorial day weekend.

I showered and layer down for a 15 minute power nap.  Looked out the window and noticed the slide topper stitching is coming apart on the living room slide, another project.  Did get a quick nap and then we headed over to the Cave for an afternoon tour.  I turned on the AC to keep the coach somewhat cool while we were gone.

Bonnie choose the Historical Tour and I took the shorted Frozen Niagara tours.  Hers had over 500 stairs and my knees will not take that.  My good camera had dead battery when we got there so all these pictures are iPhone pictures.  I was surprised how good they came out.  My tour had 85% of the cave formations on it.  Bonnie's tour did not have the typical cave formations and she was not able to get any pictures.  So here is the afternoon in pictures.

Our Tourist Shot
The buses took me 3 miles to the man made entrance, Bonnie went in the natural entrance

Ranger Thomas did a great job and had some neat stories

This is the entrance and exit that we used.
These are Camelback Cricketts
 The crickets leave the cave to feed but can not survive if their body temperatures get over 70 so they live in the cave where it is 55-60.  They have to feed every two weeks.

A few of the formations

A view looking down into Crystal Lake

This is the bottom of one of the many sink holes.  A good amount of water is falling from it.  
We could not use a flash so its hard to see the water.

A few last formations

A close up of the Camelback Crickett

This is an old Pack Rat nest it even has an old flash bulb in it, can you spot it?
We enjoyed the tours Bonnie's was totally different a very dry part of the cave and she likes all the pretty colors and formations better.  We made a quick trip over to WalMart for food and parts for some other projects that are in the works.  Chicken and baked sweet potato for supper and now watching to see who wins the Voice, then off to bed.


It seems to get light very early here so I was up before 8.  Nothing planned for today, I do need to pay the campground for tonight.  There are a couple small projects to do on the coach and I think Bonnie is going to do the wash.  It is warming up into the 80's today so we may need the A/C.

First thing I need to do is set up my medicine for the next few weeks, same as if we were at home.

Four weeks worth morning and night
Next I got the pieces, parts, and connectors out for a few projects.

My parts from Walmart
Well I got the tire monitor repeater set up to work in the car, then I moved onto look at the TV I think I need to replace some connectors and re-route some of the wiring but the picture is a little better.

Little repeater to set up in the car
Then I moved outside to the the Motion Light Bonnie got at the Escapade.  Everything fit, I had the right connectors and it went up easily.

Opened it up after reading the directions
 Got the ladder out and took off the old light that was partially melted from the hot light.  This one is LED so should stay cool.

It fir right in the original screw holes

All buttoned up now to check it out when it gets dark
Since I had the ladder out I went around to the other side and checked out the Slide Toppers.

Top view just about the whole seam is open

Bottom view
Hopefully it will stay on the ends until I can get my son to help me take it off.  I bought some industrial strength adhesive at WalMart that I read about.  It should come off easily and hopefully the glue will hold until I can get it sewed or maybe replaced.  Seems they do not use the correct UV resistant thread when they make these.  While a lot of things shake apart on a motorhome a lot are just not made with the right materials.

I went up to the office to pay for this last night and had a nice talk with Eldon he and his wife Beth own the campground.  They were missionary teachers in Zambia for about 7 years, then he was a broadcast engineer, ( we even know some of the same people), now they own this campground and are enjoying it.

Well we just got a Thunderstorm watch for later tonight so I am going to go ahead and post this.  We hope to pull out mid morning or so for Alabama.

Thanks For Checking In!

"If Your Dreams Don't Scare You, They Are Just Not Big Enough"