Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 29 & 30 - Webster County Fairgrounds, IA, Kieler, WI

Yesterday we got up and hit the road by 9:15, and drove to the Webster Co Fairgrounds where we parked for $15 per night - which we think is pretty spendy for 30 amp electric and water!  However, the fairgrounds were lush and green, very well taken care of, no thistles or goat heads for Cinder to get into, and we were the only people there!  Gotta love that!  We sat outside and had happy hour, while throwing the ball for Cinder and just enjoying ourselves.  We did not even unhook the car!  I made a terrific dinner of pasta with olive oil, garlic, onion, red pepper flakes & thing about it was I had already cooked the pasta (see spaghetti dinner at Holyoke), and had the rest in the fridge and freezer.  Did not have to buy anything :)  We also had leftover angel food cake with fresh peaches...yum!

This morning we started out just fine - we knew we had about 200 miles to go, and there was a heat advisory out, so we started the generator and ran the AC while going down the road.  Now don't you know that when we stopped for gas the AC blew fuses or something - David wiggled some wires, clicked the breakers and we had AC again.  Then we stopped for lunch at a grocery store, and of course, bang, no AC again.  David was too out of breath to go out and try to fix it again, so we headed down the road with just the dash air - wow, it was hot hot hot!!! 

We arrived here at Rustic Barn RV park where we didn't realize there was no 'sewer' hookup until after we were parked - The inside of the MH was showing 104 degrees, so we will dump on our way out in the morning - this is an 'ok' campground, but we would not stay here again.  $32.75 for elec & water...I don't think so! 

We did go out for dinner - even with the AC running we couldn't get it below 85 in here, and we were HOT - so we found a place called Kall Inn Supper Club where we had an excellent meal!  I did take pictures but I'm too tired to load 'em up tonight. 

Tomorrow we head into Madison Wisconsin...I'll try to catch up with pics and stuff then.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June 28, 2011 Blue Ox

We spent a very restful night, and this morning bright and early - ok, 8:45, we talked to our rep, he took our tow bar in to have it x-rays, tested for stress, etc, etc...and sure enough, it showed some wear...imagine that, it's only been pulling vehicles since 1998! 

So, instead of paying $280 to fix the problem, and having a 13 year old tow bar, we bit the bullet and upgraded to a new version.  Better than losing the car - but definitely not easy on the pocketbook!  Just go see what a new Aventa 10,000 lb tow bar runs..ouch!

We did get a tour of the factory at 2:30 - that lasted until after 4!  Did you know that Blue Ox is truly an american made product?  Yep, completly made here in Pender NE...where they employ 110 people, and some amazing welders!  It was a great tour!

We went to the local pizzeria for dinner - not healthy but oh so good!  We're just in for the night, I have fresh peaches sliced in a little splenda to go over a little angel food cake...night all!

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 27, 2011 Pender NE

We got up this morning, did the usual, and bid farewell to Mike N Carlyn and hit the road at 9:15.  Here are a couple pics of the park in Polk…very nice :)

We spent a couple hours going 137 miles, and rolled into the Blue Ox RV Park in Pender NE about noon.  We pulled into our site that had been assigned to us a week or so ago. 

I checked my email and there was one from our friends from LSC (Lone Star Corral), Jim N Sharon Guthrie giving us directions to McCook Lake SD where they are working for the summer.  Well, since it was only 46 miles, we decided to head on up.  We went over to Blue Ox and checked in, met our rep Mike and talked to him about refurbishing our system.  We then headed up the road to SD.
We saw LOTS of water – some ramps on I-29 were closed, and the water was more than halfway up the light poles!!!  Holy cow, that river is way over its banks! 

We got to the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve where Jim and Sharon are work camping.  Sharon toured us around the visitor’s center while Jim went after a golf cart – and we toured as much of the area as we could.  Unfortunately the lake is so high, and the corp of engineers were working on levees…Normally you can go 10 miles of trails – now you can go about 3.  Here are a few pics, but it would serve you better to go to their website for the full story.

We visited for hours – then we went out to dinner at a Casino – it was buffet, the price was great $9.95 – second one half price :) and included drinks N dessert  What a deal!

We visited some more, then we headed back to Pender, because I don’t like driving on roads I don’t know at night…and gypsy, our ‘usually’ reliable gps took us through down town Sioux City on the way there, and I certainly did not want to experience that in the dark!

We arrived safely back here at the park, and are now snuggled in for the night.

Mike N Carlyn, thanks for a great time.
Jim N Sharon – had a great time, thanks for the memories!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

June 26, 2011 Polk NE

Today started the usual way - we had a pop tart early, then puttered around - then it was NOT usual...we got ready and went to church with Mike & Carlyn!!!  Yes, I know we don't normally do that, however, it was a service that is held only once a YEAR.  It is a Methodist service held in an old Swede church, in Holder, NE.  When they told us about it and invited us, we just had to say yes!

The grounds are a bible camp, and the deal was struck 25 years ago to move the church about a mile up the road for the bible camp to use - but they must have a real Methodist service once a year to keep the church.  Through the years they have done an enormous amount of work on the church, both inside and out, and it is really feel you've stepped back in time.  The service was very nice, and lots of old fashioned hymns were sung and enjoyed.

After the service, they put on a wonderful roast beef lunch, with full salad bar, and several kinds of pie - cherry, peach, apple, strawberry rhubarb...everything was wonderful, and we thank Mike & Carlyn for buying our lunch!

Afterwards, we came home and just got in the door in time for lots more thunderstorms.  Such booming and banging!  There is much soggy ground around here, but it sure makes for beautiful green lawns and flowers!  We all got naps during the rain, then we both loaded up our laundry and drove to Central City to the nearest laundromat (15 miles) about 4...did all the laundry, stopped at DQ for dinner & dessert, and came home to yet more thunderstorms!  There are severe storm warnings all round us, as well as tornado warnings...scary scary stuff!  Hail, lightening, rain, wind...but we are snug in our MH and the tornado shelter is about 25 steps from us, so if the radio alert goes off, we're outta here! 

Our friend Jimmie Schader, at Lone Star Corral, sent us this picture of the Pride of Barbados plant that is blooming on our lot...number 24!  They only bloom when it is VERY hot - so I hope to only see it in pictures :)  Thanks Jimmie!

We're heading to Pender NE tomorrow - stay tuned for that adventure! 

Mike & Carlyn - thanks for the memories...see ya down the road!

June 25 - Cozad to Polk

We got under way by 10 am from Cozad, with approximately 150 miles to go to get to Polk, NE, where our friends Mike & Carlyn Drew from Lone Star Corral spend their summers. 

Once again, I must say that the Muny Park in Cozad is quite a bargain, with 30 amp electric, good water and a dump station – cement pads and beautiful grassy sites.  Within ½ block there is a municipal swimming pool, a lovely ½ mile paved trail through trees and fields, with lots of benches to sit on if you get tired, and lovely open areas for your pets!  We really enjoyed it there :)

We got to our exit at Aurora (322) and filled up the gas tank again…we are averaging 7 mpg so far on this trip, grabbed a couple of Arby sandwiches and headed up 14.  We arrived at the City Park in Polk NE about 1 pm.   There are only 2 RV spots, but they are paved with full hook-ups, 30 amp electric.  First 2 nights are ‘free’, thereafter $5 per night donation!

 Oh what a lovely little town!  There is a post office…a bar…a senior center….an all in one hardware store and several churches.  No grocery store, no gas station…but believe it or not, several ‘brick cobblestone’ streets, and many really nice old homes.  The population is 322 now, down from a high of 562 way back when.

We talked with our friends and decided to go to ‘The Lincoln Manor’ in Central City for dinner.  We had a wonderful prime rib dinner (the special)…and more chatting, then we came back and I had baked an Angel Food Pineapple cake and cut up strawberries and blueberries to go on it, topped by some whipped cream!  We enjoyed it under the pavilion where we continued to talk!  It is amazing to see how long it takes to ‘catch up’ on everything!!!    

Friday, June 24, 2011

June 24, 2011 Holyoke to Cozad NE

So, many wonderful days at National has passed in the blink of an eye!  I'll just let some pictures tell the story!

So, all good things must come to an end, and this morning after a fabulous omelet in a bag breakfast put on by the Black Hills hillbillies, everyone packed up and hit the road.  We traveled about 156 miles to Cozad, NE, where there is a simply lovely little city park called 'Muny', where there is 30 amp electric and fresh water, and a dump station for the princely sum of $10 per night.  We are watching a baseball tournament from the comfort of the motor doesn't get much better than this!

We got to Skype with Tanaya and family (actually new baby Landon who is now over 9 pounds...woohoo, what a gorgeous little man!

Then we got to Skype with Daryl, Branden, Devon & Ariel (next time she gets to go first, we didn't get to talk to her much!) but they are in the tail end of yet another typhoon, so the connection kept going off :(  BUT we are thankful we got to actually see them!  -

We also went into Lexington and re-stocked at Super Wal-Mart...yippee!  The grocery store in Holyoke had atrocious prices!

Tomorrow we intend to see friends Mike & Carlyn Drew in Polk NE...stay tuned!

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 19 & 20 National's

We are at our Red Dale Wagon Train, National Rally in Holyoke, CO.  Sunday morning started slowly, it was Father's Day and I made sausage gravy & Biscuits for David, and he thoroughly enjoyed them!  After breakfast we walked around the still pretty empty fair grounds, chatting with folks and saying 'Hi'...

David got on a 4 wheeler with our friend Ron Bernard, and they started parking rigs as they came in.  It is quite a job parking these big rigs, making sure everyone has just enough space - and it is a tight fit for two big rigs in a fairground lot!!!  They did a great job!

I went walking around with Cinder, then moseyed up to the event center and got registered - got our meal tickets and badge for the 2011 rally.  It is really so great to see folks that we haven't seen for 2 years!  Woohoo! 

The Directors (courtesy of our sponsors) put on a hot dog feed from 12 - 2, hot dog, pizza bites, nacho's w/cheese, lemonade & ice tea...great lunch!

A bunch of us played Bingo from 3 - 4, then 7 of us went to the Golden Dragon, the local Chinese restaurant - and was it ever good!  Wow, small town feel and fantastic food...good friends!  Did NOT take the camera, but here are some pics from the day.  Oh, I didn't mention that while we were having our evening entertainment, the tornado sirens went off, and we all went into the tornado shelter - it touched down about a half mile from us!  Scary, but all were ok :)

                                  Hospitality - this morning was bagels :)

Barb Pindell, Joyce Parker, Greg Sluyter

Washers game - Center is Shirley Marsh & Joyce Parker.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

June 18 Chappell to Holyoke

This morning we got up with 11 units of Jackalopes in the campground!  Yes, the club that we used to camp with once a month was at Chappell!  We got together for a lovely pot luck breakfast - it was all so delicious, but most of all it was seasoned with the friendships we have forged over the years! 

Do you know that you can click on any of the pictures to make them bigger?  Please do so if any interest you!

After a quick meeting Pam & Gary took off for Holyoke, CO...David and I were about 20 minutes behind them.  It was a short travel day - only about 50 miles, which was very pleasant! 

Statistics:  We are at the Red Dale National Wagon Train 2011 Rally.  It is being held this year at Holyoke, Colorado.  It runs from Sunday, June 19th through Friday, June 24th, which is hitch up and go day :)

We actually were members of the Jackalopes, and the Longmont Red Dale Drifters.  We are now classified as Members At Large, because we no longer have a stix and brix house here in the mid-west!  So, for the next couple days, I will attempt to show and tell - show you in pics what we are doing, tell you in words! 

We came in a day early to 'help' the Drifters park the clubs as they come in.  It doesn't sound like a very hard job, but when you are expecting 75 to 100 BIG rv units in one location, it is quite a task!  Thankfully, we had Ron Bernard from the Drifters who got here early enough to map our the parking and started us parking in the different locations!  We got a spot pretty close to the building, where the events take place, which is wonderful - so David can walk to stuff and not have to drive the car! 

After David backed in the MH, we immediately started chatting to friends :)  This went on for hours, in the sun, the result of which was:  TOO MUCH SUN

 The Drifter's then gathered together and had a wonderful Salad Supper - there was SO much food!  All kinds of salads, including crab, tuna, pasta, potato, macaroni, jello salads, cheese & crackers, fresh fruit, french bread, chocolate chip bars as well as rice krispie treats...It was all delicious!  Then there was a short meeting and it was time to come back home.  At the beginning of the meeting a front came through and it got very COLD...we had to put on jackets! 

The day ended with playing with Cinder, relaxing in our home and chatting about the was wonderful and we anticipate many more this week!

Oh yes, Happy Father's Day to all the dads out my dad, Chauncey Friedline, I love you more than words can say, and to the love of my life, David, you are a wonderful father, and a spectacular Grandpa!!! 

Here are a few pics of the Drifter's Salad Supper!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

June 16, 2011 Sidney

Well, I've written this entry twice, both times BLOGGER lost it - would not save and would not copy..grrrr!

We took a trip to Sidney NE today, to Cabela's - got out with less than $50.00 which is a minor miracle :) 

We're under severe thunderstorm warning right now - know where the shelter is if the weather radio goes off!!!  Dark skies, lots of lightening...

Since I didn't take pics the last two days, here are several of my oldest Grandson, Devon and his girlfriend Vanessa going to Prom a couple weeks ago.

June 15, 2011 Chappell NE

Today was one of those days where we did domestic stuff...I defrosted the freezer, and we drove to Julesburg CO (16 miles away) and did laundry.

Julesburg is a very nice little town, lots of big beautiful cottonwoods (aaccchhhooo) and very well manicured lawns.  We got some very good ice cream to eat while the washing machines were running!

I also took the opportunity to read - I have a kindle and I love it!  Especially since I've joined Pixel of Ink on facebook and they send me messages about free books every day - I have about 40 downloaded that I haven't had time to get to yet!!! 

It got to be 86 here yesterday - the hottest weather we've had since we left Texas.  We did run the AC for about 2 hours, then we sat outside after dinner and when it was cool enough, we turned it off and just run the fans. 

There was quite a light show last night - a little bit of rain but LOTS of lightening!  Not a lot of thunder either...kind of weird!

Because I was in a 'domestic' mood, we had taco salads for lunch, followed by fish, baked potato & cole slaw for dinner...unfortunately the fish tasted like 'freezer' and we had to toss it :(  I hate it when I let food go bad!!! 

This RV park is very nice - 30 spots, some 50 amp and some 30 amp, 1/4 mile off I-80, and very quiet except for the trains.  However, having lived about a block from the trains in Cheyenne for 14 years, we like lto hear them and we sleep very well!

No pics today - I'm sure no one wants to see me defrosting the freezer, or washing windows :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 13 & 14 Goodbye to friends in Cheyenne

Our day started just fine yesterday - June 13th.  We got up, had our coffee, and talked about what was on tap for the day - at 9 am we were at Cost Cutters, I got a haircut, as did David AND a beard trim...he looks so young and handsome when he is not a 'mountain man'...See...

After that we went and picked up my jacket that I forgot at Sanford's last Thursday evening - returned a dress to Sam's that I loved on the hangar - not so much on me :)  Then we met Marsha and Megan at Twin Dragon for lunch - what a great time we had!  Marsha was one of my ee's back when I was a 'working girl' in a previous life.  Megan is her daughter that just graduated - Megan also kept my grandkids in the summer for me when they were in Cheyenne.

After far too much chinese food, we went back to the MH and got naps - and my friend Lynn came to visit - she is a terrific lady who lived 5 houses away from us for 13 years!  We had a great visit and hope to see her down the road!

Our friend Janet stopped over to visit about 4 just to say good-bye.  I find that they are very hard in this lifestyle, especially when you are as close as Janet and I.  Yes, tears flow, but plans are already in the works for her to come to PA to visit us!  Yaaay!

Then we got a call from Dwight and said meet them at Don Rey's Mexican Restaurant at 6:15 for dinner...of course we did.  We got to meet their new adopted daughter, Juanita (Wanny) and we agree that she is a treasure!  Of course, no blog post would be worth it's salt without at least one picture of food...and I had a 'torta' for the first time.  It was wonderful!  Perfectly cooked pork, with avacodo, mayo, cheese, something spicy on a freshly grilled handmade bun...YUM!  Here is also pics of Soni, Dwight & David!

This morning we got up and got everything ready to go.  I had someone ask the question, what do you do on a 'travel day'...well, we put up the lawn chairs, pack away any outside 'stuff' we have out, (mostly dog toys, leash, etc.) and we really do make an effort to put stuff away the evening before!  The toaster, Paper towel holder, fruit bowl and the basket with the condiments in go under the table where they ride nicely! 

David does the 'outside' stuff, which means dumping the black and gray tanks if we have a hookup, rolling up the water hose, and unhooking the electric.  I make sure the windows are shut, the rugs put where they won't interfere with the slide, cutting boards secured, bathroom door locked, refrigerator door locked, all loose objects in shower and kitchen and bath sink are corralled into baskets, from curtains open and tied back.  We check and make sure the antenna is down, and hook up the car.  FINALLY we are ready to head down the road, after at least one walk around and a light check (make sure the lights on the car work in conjunction with the lights on the MH).  It sounds like a lot of work, but really, we can get it all done in about 20 minutes..not hurrying!

That's what we did this morning, except that we didn't have a sewer hook up so David took the MH to Flying J where we paid $3.45 a gallon of gas (Cheapest since we left Hondo in April), and then he went down to the visitor center where there is a pretty nice dump station.  While he was doing that I went for a grocery run at Safeway.  I met him at the visitor center, we loaded up the groceries, hooked up the car and away we went...bye Cheyenne until the next time!

We drove about 150 miles to Cheppell NE where we are set up very nicely!  Full hookups and long level grassy sites for $12.50 a nite...passport america rate!  I'll get some pics tomorrow I hope - we plan on cleaning windows and the rest of the coach - got to do those deep cleaning things when you have hook ups! 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

June 12, 2011 Breakfast w/friends, hangin' w/Janet, Dinner with the Ashby's!

Oh what a day - we're exhausted, but happy!

This morning we hosted breakfast with Ray n Sandy and Joe n Donna.  I made sausage gravy and Sandy brought biscuits, Donna brought juice...and we had some jelly and watermelon too!  'breakfast' lasted almost 3 hours - so much fun!  No pics, too early :)

Then I went over to visit with Janet - again time flew by too fast, and once again, no pics!  We hung out on her deck for hours just chatting and reconnecting.

Once I was home, I put together a lovely rhubarb blueberry was supposed to be strawberries, but Safeway had them on sale and they were sold out, so I got blueberries...and off we went to Matt N Brit's house.  In their house live two gorgeous little ones, Alana and will agree they are adorable!  Matt grilled steaks, Brit made a great asian salad with baked potatoes, boy dinner was yummy! 

What a great evening...thanks for a great dinner Brit N Matt! 

To all our wonderful friends - thanks for the memories!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

June 11, 2011 BBQ & Pizza :)

This morning once again was a 'hang out' morning where we really didn't do anything - we were going to have breakfast at the Moose club, but when we walked over there was a sign that said NO breakfast...:( 

We were invited to a BBQ at Cindy Love's house at 1ish, and I put together a nice tossed salad, using fresh lettuce and onions from Maureen's garden!  We got to Cindy's and boy, she sure puts on a BBQ!  Unfortunately, her bubby Shawn was called out to work, but another of our friends, Deena was there, along with Cindy's daughter Stephanie and her two children (totally adorable) and a friend of Shawn's, Dave.  There was pasta salad, veggie tray, marvelous potatoes in foil, ribs, sausage, chicken breast, burgers & dogs...oh my!!!  So much food! 

This was my SECOND plate...

Of course, seeing our friends and having such a great time reminiscing and solving the problems of the world really takes precedent over the food...or the food is the excuse we use to get together to do that.  Here we are :)

We finished off the day by running some errands and having the best possible pizza in the world (at least the Cheyenne portion of the world) - Parkway!  Oh yeah, it's that good!!!

June 10, 2011 - Cheyenne & Longmont Friends

This morning was kind of laid back - took my time waking up, having coffee with my sweetie, surfing the net...looked at the clock and uh oh, best get moving.

Met a wonderful friend for breakfast at Perkins.  Jody and I met through Zonta International, and finding we have many things in common, became pretty good friends!  We chatted for an hour and a half, and had a lovely time catching up!  Jody, thanks so much for breakfast!  I had my camera with me and did not take a single picture...sorry!

Then we were off to Longmont to see Lloyd & Maureen...what a terrific couple!  Maureen fixed us a wonderful lunch of chili relleno casserole and salad with fresh lettuce and onions out of her garden, pund cake with raspberries and whipped cream yum!  Once again we talked for several hours to these fascinating people!  They have a 'ranch' in Montana and we got to see pictures and hear stories from many years ago - they are heading up there soon and will not be at 'National' in Holyoke.  They both have some health issues so it was doubly important that we get to see them.  Life really is far too short you know to miss out on good friends!  Maureen and I went out and robbed her garden of some fresh lettuce, onions, and rhubarb.  Yum!

Then we went about 2 blocks and stopped to visit with another very special couple, Joe & Sandy!  If you follow the blog, you know that I was in PA when they stopped in Hondo to visit us, so they had to make do with David :)  They also spent a couple months with us in Rockport in the winter of '09.  Needless to say, they are always on our list to see if we are close!

Joe asked if we had to hurry back to Cheyenne or if we could stay for dinner, of course we can ALWAYS stay for dinner :)  They took us to a lovely restaurant called Pinocchios...once again, several hours of fun talking, reminiscing and planning the future!  We will see these two along with many of our camping buddies beginning next Friday...and at 'National' held in Holyoke CO June 19th through 24th...if you are anywhere close, give us a holler and we'll meet up!!!

Joe & Sandy - thanks so much for a delicious dinner, and wonderful friendship!

Oh yes, in the picture we were all laughing very hard because I forgot to take pictures of our dinners...and Sandy said see if someone else would let me take a pic of their food...hilarious! 

Jody, Lloyd N Maureen, Joe N Sandy, and of course David, thanks for the memories!