Saturday, May 30, 2009

The total was 7,465 miles in COZY and about 600 miles in the Jeep for a total of around 8,000 miles. We averaged $2.26 per gallon of Diesel or 35 cents per mile which is much better than we budgeted. Except for the office furniture I destroyed we did not have any unexpected expenses or break down. All in All it was a perfect vacation and we are already discussing our next excursion which will most likely be a trip to Fairbanks Alaska in a year or maybe two.
We are home now and everything seems to be in good shape. We owe a great thanks to Brian for maintaining the pasture, and taking care of the horses while we were gone.
Special thanks to our boss Rob for allowing us to be gone for a whole month, this has been a really great vacation and we couldn't have done it any other way.

Friday, May 29, 2009

We spend the last couple of days of our vacation at Pearl's sister's (Helen) home in Alsea Oregon. Helen has a home on the Alsea River, and it is beautiful. They have deer come to their home almost every night and they feed them sliced apples.

We bar-b-q'ed some steaks and Helen and Don had some Elk steaks that Don had shot last winter, so we threw a couple of the Elk Steaks on the bar-b-q and they were great. I never dreamed Elk was so good. I commented the deer Helen was feeding would fit in the freezer pretty well and almost got threw out of the house. (My Bad)

we took highway 87 from just above Redding to Susanville to hit 395 into Reno. We spent the night on the side of the highway in the forest in some kind of logging area for our final night. This was a really nice drive but there were so many deer on the road and on the side of the road we decided we needed to pull over before we hit one. This picture was taken at about 8:30 at night. We took off at 6:00 Friday morning and was back in Reno before noon on Friday.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Here is a picture of the Church Lance Preaches at. He has really made some big changes and his congregation has grown substantially.

He now has services on Saturday night, Sunday morning and Sunday evenings.

We parked COZY in the parking lot in the back of the church and headed over to Lances to visit.

After dinner we all headed to the local ice cream parlor for some delecious ice crea.

The kids all spend lots of hours on the trampoline. They even got Pearl and I on it. It was much harder than I remember from my childhood days.

Joey was a little dissapointed when he saw all the Tator Tots were gone.

The kids all wanted to see COZY so we stopped by the church after Ice Cream.

The living room in COZY wasn't exactly designed for 9 people.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's 5:30am Tuesday morning and we are getting ready to take off for Longview, Washington to visit with Lance, Lisa and the grandkids.

It's only 200 miles so we will probably stop somewhere and have breakfast and arrive by Noon.

Looking forward to seeing how tall all the kids are getting, it's been almost a year since we have seen them last so I am sure everyone has grown an inch or two.

Monday, May 25, 2009

We left Yellowstone about 6:00 this morning. We have just arrived at Yakima Washington and have decided to spend the night at a Rest Area here.
Pearl made some spaghetti and meatballs a couple of days ago (m-m-m good) and while she was at it she made some Stuffed Bell Peppers and today around 4:00 pm she put them into the crock pot to cook and it is now 7:45 and we are fixing to have dinner. Stuffed Bell Peppers, mashed potatoes, corn. Pretty darn good fixings for a rest area.
Dinner is ready so I have to go.
We will meet Lance at his church tomorrow around noon. He said we can park the bus at his church and have electricity and a level space. It is only about 200 miles to his church (we drove 700 today) so we should be right on time.

Friday, May 22, 2009

We are in Yellowstone National Park, and will be here until Monday. There is no internet, cell phone or TV here so we will kind of be isolated for a few days.

In driving around the park we found an area that has a weak but workable signal for our internet and phone. It is about 45 miles from our camp so I will only be stopping by once or twice more before we head out Monday.

This means I will be a day or two behind on work email, but will check in every chance I get.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

We almost made it to Billings Montana and decided to call it a day.

Should be an easy day tomorrow to get to Yellowstone and hopefully find a nice camping spot inside the park and relax for 3 or 4 days.

We made it to Saint Paul Minnesota last night around 9:00 pm and spend the night in a Rest Area.

We got back on the road a little after 5:00am this morning headed for Yellowstone National Park. We are already to Fargo North Dakota but is's still over 700 miles to Yellowstone, so we probably won't get there until Thursday morning.

Lots of rolling hills here and a lot less trees but still a lot of them. We are really enjoying the different types of landscapes and while we have enjoyed the dense trees for the last week it is nice to be able to see more of the country instead of just trees.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

We got a late start this morning, headed to Yellowstone National Park. We made it to St. Paul Minnesota tonight so that leaves about 900 miles to Yellowstone. We may try to make in one shot tomorrow but more likely we will only do 600 or 700 miles and then have a short day on Thursday.

We will hang out at Yellowstone for 3 or 4 days then head towards Lance's home in Washington for a couple of days..

Pam Butler (Alamo Manager) lent Pearl about a dozen books on CD so we have been listening to the ZORRO story (consisting of about a dozen CD's) it took all day but we feel like he is family by now we have heard so much about him. There are several mysteries and we will get another one started as soon as I finish this post.

The slide show album only allows 500 pictures so I have to delete some before we can add today's pictures. Will try to do that tomorrow.

We changed our route today so we could hook up with Robert Caddel (Steve's son) in Indianapolis Indiana.

We met at "Live Casino" an Indian casino on the east side of town. Fortunately they had been using a temporary building for their casino and just moved into their new casino last month. This left a large parking lot we used to park COZY and spend the night.

We then went across the street to the casino and ate some Ribs and drank a couple of beers, talking about old times and how things are going for Robert here in Indianapolis.
Robert works for a company that sends him around the area doing non destructive testing on different metals. He is buying his first home and it is about a month from being finished and him moving in. It is a really nice home, with 3 bedrooms and a lake outside his backdoor.
Robert says he will only be here a couple of years but buying a house starts those roots to growing and I would imagine he will meet that special someone in the not too distant future and he will be locked in.
No matter how things end up for Robert, he certainly seems to have things under control in his life and is doing very well and as always is very happy with his situation.
It certainly was fun to visit with him and get caught up on how his life is progressing here in Indianapolis.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Well, its been over 2 weeks and 3,000 plus miles and we are still enjoying each others company. I think COZY has definitely been a positive influence on us.

Good thing we both were wearing our glasses or we might have missed each others lips. Trust me we both hit our target.

We went to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial this morning and found the name of a high school friend of mine "Jimmy Awalt". We were in the same class and I worked for his dad "Bill Awalt" for a couple of years at the local gas station in Plainview. His dad never really got over his son being killed in Nam. Jimmy is the only person I really knew that died in Vietnam even though I served in the military in the late '60's but never went to Vietnam.

We also went through several of the Smithonian muesums and enjoyed it quite a bit.

Many of you probably don't know I have a Commericial Pilots License and I used to own an EAA Sport Biplane much like this one It has been almost 30 years since I have flown but back in the late '70's I used to fly almost every day and flew from Mexico City to Fairbanks Alaska and all points inbetween in planes much like this one.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

We took the day off and just sat around the camp and relaxed all day. We didn't even get up until 11:00am (8:00 Reno time).

We forgot to pack a bar-b-q grill so Pearl picked one up at Wal Mart for $19.99. It took me a couple hours and several cocktails to get it all put together but I got 'er done and it cooked up a really good steak.

The plan is to go to the Capitol again tomorrow and see some more of the sights, then head back west on Monday. I don't think we will make the trip to Atlantic City.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Washington DC

We made it to Washington today and did a quick walk around the city. We will go back tomorrow and check out some more of the sites and the Smithsonian Museums.

There sure is a lot of traffice here, more than anywhere we have been. Even more than Southern California.

We are camping at Duncan Family Campground, it is only 20 minutes from the White House so it works out great for us. It really is a beautiful and relaxing rv park.

It is only 200 miles to Atlantic City Boardwalk from here so we are thinking about making a day run to the Boardwalk and spend a few hours there just to see what its like and see the Atlantic Ocean. Not for sure yet but we may be able to work it in.

We are half way through our trip 3,750 miles and 14 days. It has been great but unfortunally we are on the down hill side of our month long vacation.
They all ways end too soon, don't they.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

We made it to Richmond Virginia today (675 miles today). That's a little over 60 miles per hour average.

Pearl is making us some homemade chili and cornbread for dinner.

I think we are about 100 miles from Washington DC so tomorrow will be an easy day. We have reservations at Duncan Family Campground tomorrow.

but we can't check in until after noon. The plan is to park COZY there for several days and use the Jeep to check out the sights. Should be lots of new pictures over the next few days.

Pearl took a lot of pictures today of the scenery and farm houses. This sure is pretty country.

We stopped to get a pizza out of the freezer for lunch, so I picked some wild flowers for Pearl. (they are on top of the rear view camera)

Yea I know; pretty smart huh! :-)

Pretty darn good Pizza, now we're both happy!

We are making good time, just crossed into North Carolina and we have over a half tank of fuel to get us on down the road another 400 miles or so.

We left Montgomery Alabama about 5:30 this morning. Pearl and the Cat were sound asleep when I took off. Pearl got up around 6:30 and has taken over the driving duties around 8:30, but the Cat is still sound asleep.

I think it is almost 700 miles to Washington DC and we are expecting to be there by 6:00 pm tonight as it is all interstate highways.

I haven't made any RV camping reservations in Washington for tonight as yet, so I guess I will start looking once I post this.

We were going to park COZY in Steve's driveway last night but he isn't a RV'er so he didn''t relize a slope of almost 25 degrees would prohibit our parking there to say nothing about sleeping at that angle. We took COZY to the local Wal Mart and left her there all day and we left Steve's place around 9:30 last night and sleep in the Wal Mart parking lot. I didn't get up to look out the window but we could hear teenagers playing basketball around midnight outside in the parking lot. Luckly they didn't use the bus for a basket or anything and we fell asleep about the time they went home.

We spent the day (Wednesday) with Steve Haley and his daughter (Chanda), her husband (David) and Steve's two grandkids Haley Ann and Aiden.

Steve didn't have a chance to prepare lunch before we arrived so we ended up with Wendy's Hamburgers and Chili for lunch.

David is in charge of the Montgomery Police Swat Department (2nd in charge really). He is a real cool dude and has lots of stories to share but when he is off duty he is a regular type guy. He is in charge of the State Police Self Defence training and you can tell just by visiting with him he can get real serious when needed.

David bar-b-qed the steaks, Steve made the salad and Chelsey prepared the corn on the cob. Pearl and I just got to watch and visit. Steve even said he baked a home made Apple Pie but rumor has it it came for wal-mart. No matter it was great.

Chanda is a Probation Officer and she had several good stories of her own that she shared. They are a great couple and Steve lives with them and baby sits his two grandkids while they are away at work.

Steve is an awsome grandad and you can tell he really loves those kids and waits on them hand and foot all day long.

As always, the kids all loved hanging out with Pearl.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

We made it to Montgomery last night, it has looked like rain since we have been here but not much has actually fallen.

Apparently they had a big flood last week that caused quite a bit of damage but we are hopefully inbetween storms.

We will be parking Cozy at his house tonight (if he has room?) and heading out for DC tomorrow (Thursday).

If it dosen't rain tonight, I think we are instore for a bar-b-q and a little cold beer.

We will post more pictures tonight or in the morning.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pearl is making pancakes, and after breakfast I will hook up and we will be on the road to Montgomery Alabama to see my old buddy Steve Haley. This video is from the day we left Reno headed to California, but it works for here because we got caught in the rain yesterday, almost like the day we left Reno. The weather dude said it rained almost a half inch in less than an hour. It was some of the hardest rain I have ever seen and we had just washed the Jeep yesterday afternoon.

See ya in Alabama

Monday, May 11, 2009

One of Pearl's favorite things to do. I simply don't understand this souvenir thing. I would much rather take a picture and have a drink and think about it. That helps to lock in that memory much better and for longer than some souvenir that you're going to stuff in a drawer somewhere.

Just one man's opinion, now lets go have a drink and let these memories soak in....

If your wondering what we are doing when we are not driving, eating great food, shopping or enjoying that ocasional cocktail!

I am not going to tell you what I do, but here is what Pearl does.

We arrived in New Orleans Sunday afternoon. This is one of my most anticipated destinations and we are looking forward to experiencing some good Cajun style food. We went to the French Quarter Sunday Night and had a great meal that started with some "Mud Bugs" as they call them here. We call them Crawdads in Nevada.

We tried to find a bar with some Jazz music but it was 5:00pm and that is a little early for these guys to get up and unfortunately we were too tired to wait around until the sun set and the action started. Here is Pearl at the House of Blues

One of the reason we were so tired is, when we hit the road we stay on the road. Here is a quick video of how we swap drivers going down the road. We don't have cruise control so once the driver gets up the bus starts slowing down so we start at 65 mph and are only going about 40 by the time the new driver is sit down and stepped on the accelerator. It saves quite a bit of time and fuel though.

We usually drive about 2 hours between "Hot Swaps"