Sunday, May 30, 2010

Rawlins County - Class of 1970 Atwood Kansas

Where have the years gone? It's hard to believe! 40 years later. We arrived here in Atwood Kansas early Friday afternoon and got set up at a real nice, convenient site right across the street from the Atwood Lake. Very close to downtown, but also a short drive to the golf course, Country Club and the Banquet location, the Knights of Columbus hall.
Friday Evening the class met in the basement of the Country Club where they had snacks and beers and the Annuals and pictures. There were 74 that graduated in 1970 and about 30 showed up so that wasn't a bad turnout. They have lost 5 to Accidents and Cancer. Lots of visiting and a late night~!
Saturday morning DH's youngest sister showed up so we had a good visit and walked over to the cafe on the highway for a bite of lunch before we had to bid her farewell and make it up to the High School for Formal Pictures, and then to another gathering at a location right down the street from here in a nice backyard. More snacks and lots of stories! The banquet was pretty good. There were about 500 served. The dance was held at the Skyline, a remodeled Dance Hall, back to it's original condition. A good time was had by all. Another late night!
This morning I was not amused when the alarm went off at 6! Up and at 'em for a golf tournament and lunch. I stayed home! KayCee and I walked around the lake on the walking path! This area is a great location for family gatherings and picnics! We are headed out to the Cemetery to decorate graves now. I'm glad I waited, as the wind blew about 40 miles an hour last night and I'll bet some of the flowers that were already there and not tied down are probably in the next county! We are going to stop at a grill station on the other side of the lake and get some brisket for supper. It really smelled good!
It has been a really good weekend. DH had a good time seeing all the old class mates and telling stories from the past. The old town is holding up well, although the class of 2010 only has about half as many grads. Population here is shrinking as well. Tune in tomorrow for more, this internet really slow loading pics. I have two years to wait for my 40th reunion, I've just been taking notes! We leave in the morning for Hudson Colorado, about a 4 hour drive. Will stop and see Ds brother, and I don't think we'll be in a toot to leave in the morning. I'm still tired! Hope we will escaped the stormy area unscathed!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

High Plains Campground

This morning was gorgeous. No wind, no storms and cool. I don't have a gym, fitness center with elliptical or the Wii hooked up so I did my cardio workout the old fashioned way, I got my tennis shoes on and walked about 2 miles to start my day! There's plenty of space to walk and a country road right by the front of this camp and it provided me with a nice soft surface and clean country air for my walk. Our stay here at the High Plains Campground by Oakley Kansas has been excellent.
We have enjoyed ourselves. A friend that we met last year at Harlan County Reservoir in Nebraska just happens to be working here three days a week, helping the owner out for their summer season.
She doesn't live too far from here, retired from WalMart last year and decided to do some travel towing a small Casita trailer. Her first trip was to the lake and we wished her well. After a few trips, she found this campground and made friends with the owner, and found herself taking a part time job to help out! What a peach of a gal! We had a nice dinner last night with her and a couple from Florida who were also here visiting with her. Although we keep up with each other through our Blogs, it was really nice to see her face and sit and visit for a bit. She has a hobby and makes decorative ribbon wind socks, and she gave me one. I love it!
Thanks Emily!!! Her shifts here ended yesterday and she left to go home today for the weekend. I am really impressed with this park. These ladies are doing a wonderful job providing campers with a very clean facility. The summer season formally kicks off this weekend, and she had some carpet in the mini golf that needed glue, so DH helped with that little project today. I kept busy trying out all the washers and dryers.
She has a puzzle up in the laundry room and I worked on it quite a little. There's a pretty big tent camping area, large fenced dog run and plenty of long level sites with 30/50 amp service. We filled our propane tank for the first time since buying the rig in 2008. We obviously don't use very much, as we heat the coach and water with diesel. Usually being hooked up to electricity, we don't need to run the refrigerator on propane, only using that when we go down the road and ofcourse if we boondock along the way.
It is nice having a restaurant/steak house right next door too. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food we had for supper last night was very good. We will stay here again and I highly recommend it for all sizes of rigs.
We will be leaving in the morning and making our big 22 mile drive to Colby Kansas to have lunch with our son who is traveling through to Nebraska for his alumni celebration,then on to Atwood to start off our holiday weekend.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Will it Ever Quit Storming?

Woke up to Thunder and Lightening at 6 a.m. We weren't in any real hurry today since we only had 150 miles or so to drive. They said on the radio that the storms were pretty stationary, but the computer said they would be over by 10 a.m. so I took my time getting around. By a little past 9:30 it really got with the program and started raining pretty hard. We sat and watched some of the low spots start filling with water and decided it was time to get out before we might not! DH didn't make me go out, he did all the hook up solo (he had a rain coat!) I got to do the light checks from in here. We got out and went the 1/4 mile on the gravel road in front of the Western Star RV Ranch with no problem, but I still breathed a sigh of relief when we got on pavement. We made just a couple stops as we made our way up Hwy 83 towards the town of Oakley KS. The new shocks make a very noticeable difference in the ride. Now we have all new tires and all new shocks....we're ready to roll for the summer. The dark and forboding clouds stayed at bay pretty much the whole way until we got right outside the park and we had to use wipers once or twice. We got a very large nice site on the top end of the High Plains RV Park, just off of Exit 70 on I 70. This is a very nice and relaxing place. That's my opinion now. I will look for a storm shelter in a bit! We got a drenching rain and thunder booms just after we got parked and the electricity hooked up. Another large Country Coach came in after we did. I have had a nice visit with the gentleman. They are from Florida and headed west and north to Alaska. I very briefly met one of the ladies working here at the park when we stayed at Hunter Cove at the Harlan County Reservoir. We both write a blog of our travels and she is working here part time this season. We are going out for supper with her tonight. With any luck the storms will subside for the night....could I be that lucky? At least we're safely off the road.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Land of Oz....and Toto too!

Well, Amarillo was nothing if not exciting. We were in storm warnings last night, but thought they would subside.
Went to bed about 10, and at 1:00 a.m. I woke to the sirens. Jumped up and grabbed stuff, the dog. We ran to the tornado shelter, thank god they had a basement! It rained and it hailed, the wind blew, but we didn't have rotation right there. The underpasses on some highways were flooded and cars were stalled. I 40 was closed. I 27 was closed for a time. We stayed in the shelter until 2:30 a.m. The Basement was in the white steel building that held the pool, laundry and game room.
Had to wade in calf deep water from that gate, across the road in front of our coach to get back in. Dried off, took Tylonol and tried to mellow out to get some sleep. Didn't happen due to all the heavy snoring coming from the same room......the same bed....finally fell asleep about 4:30 and got up at 6:00 Watched the water receed in front of coach and drove around to see if we would be able to get out. Thankfully we were able to back out onto pavement. Left Amarillo in the fog....(that should be a song) and got here to Liberal and the land of Oz about noon. The great guys at the Central Power Detroit Diesel shop got our coach in the shop right after lunch and installed the remaining six shocks. We went for lunch and picked up some supplies. Drove around Liberal for a bit and went back to the shop. They were finished about 4:30 so we drove out to the Western Star RV Resort, 5 miles east of Liberal. We are just out of the Thunderstorm Warnings now, hopefully it will be a quiet night and I will get some sleep. We will move on north to Oakley Kansas tomorrow.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Up and Gone at First Light

We didn't get to move today. Wind was blowing 22 at 6 a.m. We've had tornado and storm warnings all around but they have moved out and the trees are all but still now. We have one ominous cloud now however that has backed up from the east. Watching it pretty closely. I have spent the day catching up on mundane tasks. Cleaning, cooking and laundry.
Fixed the floral arrangements for the Brown Family graves in Atwood. Party planning has begun,took a trip to the Hobby Lobby this afternoon looking for Cowboy decorations and ideas. We are going to have such fun in Cheyenne at the Terry Bison Ranch. The upcoming Memorial Weekend will be a whirlwind of briefly connecting with hubby's classmates from high school, followed by a visit to the Atwood Cemetery.
We will be staying at Colby Kansas and then moving on north to Hudson Colorado while we do some maintenance on the Aqua Hot, and I run into Denver to have some chairs re-upholstered and pick out fabric for my new windshield drape. Somewhere along the route Betsy needs a bath. We will set out really early tomorrow, and it will be an easy trip north, only 166 miles to Central Power in Liberal KS., where they will replace the rest of the old shocks on Betsy and then we will be on our way.
We may spend the night at the RV Park there, or go on north to Oakley Kansas for a couple of days. Just writing plans in Jello and keeping the options open. We have to be in Colby Friday.
On our way back through town from the canyon the other day, we stopped off at the American Quarterhorse headquarters and Museum. Not enough time to tour then, will do that at a later date, but they have some great looking bronze statues! I pray the weather straightens up before the weekend! Just sharing more photos of the past few days.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Some have said there's not much to see around Amarillo Texas. I beg to differ. Maybe there's not tons of tourist destinations...and stores selling trinkets, but there's certainly plenty to do and see.
We took a drive through Palo Duro Canyon State Park yesterday. It's the second largest Canyon in the Nation.
I was up to take a bunch of pictures and enjoy the day. Well, all we saw from the beginning was do not do this and do not do that, and closed this and closed that. That's after we paid the $10.00 park fee. I was very disappointed in that.
Our state parks are only one focus of the cuts from the imploding economy, but I fear they are all cutting off their noses to spite their faces. Looks like they just want you to show up and give them your money and then go away!
Disgusting! After coming back to town, we drove out of town the other direction and took a look at the "Cadillac Ranch", a Cadillac Car Sculpture built by an eccentric resident many years ago. The cars over the years have been the target of spray painters and I guess now it is expected.
Rather an ugly piece of work out in a field with a mowed path. There's a Gander Mountain Store located right in front of this RV Resort. It sucked DH right in, so we browsed. At that point we decided to get yet even more exercise, and we did something that I usually avoid.
We went to the mall on a Sat. afternoon! After about an hour of that, I was plenty ready to come home. I fixed supper at home and then we took another shot at Wal Mart. I can't seem to get out of there any more for less than $150.00 They love to see me coming! Today was a down day, we are still experiencing some sort of Jet Lag, so spent the day at home with the wind blowing 45 - 60 mph. We're rocking and rolling and may not head to Liberal tomorrow after all. I'm missing the NHRA Topeka Summer Nationals this weekend. Literally MISSING them...still watching the finals on TV tonight. Caught up with all my bookwork today and did a little cooking. Starting to make lists and plan stuff for Cheyenne. It's hard to believe it's coming weekend after next! I want to find a way to be "missing" the wind! I hate it! My weather radio is programmed and we may be in for some rocky storms later. They have a nice basement here at the bath house, but I hope we don't have to test it out! To bed I go, I will get up really early to make the final decision if we move or not. Depends on the wind, but I think we're in warnings for tomorrow all day, so will probably sit still.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Amarillo in the Wind

We made it to Amarillo yesterday before the wind started in earnest. Had all kinds of things planned for the whole weekend, and today we crashed. Not literally, but I think coming east, the time change is kickin' our butts.
Today I was pushing to go out and do things, and finally made it to the post office down the street and to Wal Mart, then supper at the Big Texan Steakhouse again. I really just didn't feel like doing anything and every time I looked at the other half, he was laying on the bed! Tomorrow I have a few stops. Our front step has stopped working and after stopping at the Rt. 66 Casino for the night, it wouldn't go in! DH read up on its workings this afternoon and other than the motor giving up, which he doesn't think is the problem, probably reason being a loose wire from all the vibration of the rough roads. When the energy returns and the wind dies down, I'm sure he'll find the problem.
At our stop outside of Albuquerque at the Route 66 Casino, we were able to contact a young man that used to live in our old hometown. He now sells real estate there and is doing pretty good! I graduated from high school with his mother. He came out to the Casino and we had a nice visit, and when he left we went in and had dinner at the buffet. That's the first boondocking stop for this trip, and probably the last for a while.
The wind is supposed to gust up to 50 tomorrow, we are headed to the Palo Duro Canyon and the RV Dealer down on the south Interstate to look around. If all these little things keep going wrong, I will start looking at other coaches in real earnest. I hope this wind takes a rest by Monday when we head to Liberal Kansas for more shocks to be installed. That's only a three hour trip so should be a cake walk. Happy Weekend Everybody!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ready to Blow on Down the Road

I decided I needed a day to recoup. I slept past 6 a.m. for the first time in days. Had a leisurely morning and long hot shower.
Decided to do all the laundry today instead of leave it until Amarillo. DH took KayCee to her Spa appointment and dropped me off at the laundry, where I met and visited with our neighbors here in the park. They live in Florida and they are just out on a short trip. He has many health issues, and cannot even visit the Grand Canyon normally because he cannot walk very far. I count my blessings every time I run across someone that is less fortunate.
I am amazed at how in spite of everything, a 4 wire pacemaker and only 30% of his heart working, they are still out on the road, in an older RV, without a tow vehicle. She even had him drive the motorhome down to the office to pick her and the laundry up because she has a bad back! We took one last drive around the down town area and stopped at Twisters for one last trip back in time.
The menu there reminds me of the things we offered at a soda fountain I used to work at many many moons ago! What a trip. I have studied the weather and road conditions along our route on across Arizona on I 40 and into New Mexico tomorrow.

Chance of wind is less and we will be blasting off and trying to get through the blowing dust area before noon. That means I will be up at 5:30! A.M.

I am sharing more pics from our stop here in the Grand Canyon Area.I will also load some into a album for Facebook. It's been fun! One more Bucket list.....check!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Williams, Grand Canyon and Prescott

So many pictures. Fantastic View. So little time! I will share more in the days to come. We had a beautiful weekend and the weather was perfect to be outside. Friday night we had supper at a well known steak house, Rod's, still operated in it's first historical location. Very good food and service. Saturday we walked all over downtown Williams, the Gateway to the Grand Canyon and the last town to have Route 66bypassed by Interstate 40.
A lot of Rt. 66 memorabilia. We started out for lunch at the Twisters soda fountain. Walked up and down the main street for blocks, browsing in all the shops and taking lots of pictures.
There was a Model T Car rally and lots of bikers in town. This is a very popular destination for folks on a day trip from Phoenix or those on a weekend tour from Las Vegas. Took a pause for pie at the Country Pine restaurant.
OMG is my only comment! The pics say the rest.
This town has much early history, before the automobile days. We attended a "reenactment" of a Fort Williams Civil War Battle in the middle of town.
A Chamber of Commerce group does this every night and they have also marched in Vegas for a Tea Party Appearance of Sarah Palin and John McCain. It was fun to watch and they invited us to sit and have "Cowboy Coffee" around the fire. The railroad reached Williams in 1882. Today it is a Burlington Northern Sante Fe. line. Also many folks come here to ride the Grand Canyon Railway train up to the Grand Canyon National Park and back.
We chose to take a "Marvelous Marvs" Personally Guided tour on Sunday. We went in a very comfortable van with just one other couple, although he can have up to 12 people. It was a wonderful day. He provides a wealth of information along the trails,points out the greatest photo ops. Besides my DH loves livin' on the edge! He offers a fantastic way to see and learn about the Grand Canyon first hand as he is a native to the area. He takes you for a lunch at the cafeteria and then gives you time on your own to explore the gift shops and walk a little farther down the Bright Angel trail if you want to before you head back. This hotel was the one in tne Chevy Chase movie "National Lampoon's "Vacation." The South rim is very commercialized and congested but if ya want the Natural experience, this is it.
On the return trip we watched a video of the Mule Rides to the bottom of the Canyon. Oh how I wish I was younger. I could go for that! When I could do that, I was too busy and couldn't afford it! Due to the large numbers of people, and the large amount of traffic at the busiest National Park, this tour was a wise way to see it. It also helps to cut down on the smog that is emitted into the air and obscuring the views into the canyon. The train takes you up to the beginning of the park, drops you off and you're on your own. You have to make it back to the train before it departs or you're on your own. I really think we got the much better deal for the money!
He picked us up here and dropped us off at our coach! We also chose not to stay at the RV Park by the Depot, but up on the hill at the "Canyon Gateway" RV Park. Very quiet and nice clean facility. Much more reasonable rates also! Yesterday and today we left KayCee at the Canyon Pet Spa. She is tired, so must have had a good time. Today we drove about 60 miles south of here through the Kaibab and Prescott National Forests. We had lunch in Prescott and visited an Affinity RV dealer. Shopped in their store, and looked at some rigs. The one I would consider was a 2010 Winnebago Tour. Ahhhhhhhh. I'm not downsizing with that though, and that kinda was the plan! I just can't get away from comfort! Foofy to the We drove over to Prescott Valley to a Bronze Smith shop, that makes bronze statues for many different things. Our youngest son's best friend used to work there, so we stopped in for a look. We got the mini tour when we told them where we were from, and our mutual friend. It is a very interesting procedure to make those Native American and Western Art pieces. We watched the Artists at work!
Of all the days, I forgot to take my camera, so will share those pics that DH took with a disposable camera when we get them developed. We still have a few minutes to spare when we got back, so we drove out to their 18 hole golf course and looked it over and stopped into a "Renaissance" shop that is going out of business. I didn't get my outfit once again, one of these days I will! Hopefully before I go to a Renaissance Festival again. Next time I want to dress up! Believe it or not, tonight we stayed home and ate left overs. I booked our spot for Amarillo Texas on Thursday Night, and by then I will need two hours of exercise to work off that pie!

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Long Day but We Made It!

We said our goodbyes this morning and got on the road by 9:30. By 4:30 we had made our way up State Hwy 95, through a lot of military "Proving Ground" and climbing through the hills with ease. We stopped for lunch in a vacant lot in Parker AZ. and continued north to Exit 9 and headed east down I 40 through Kingman, traveling along the old Route 66 Hwy. All kinds of signs to watch for Elk and falling rocks, neither of which we saw! I didn't take any pics, as there were too many bugs on the windshield. Seven hours and 331 miles later, we pulled into the Canyon Gateway RV Park in Williams AZ. We are both exhausted! I guess not used to that long of a day on the road. We got all set up and drove around town for a bit, stopping to a recommended Steak House for Supper. Too full and not long til I'm in the nite nite mode. I am looking up some things for tomorrow, and some things in Williams looked interesting, so we will be going back on Walk About tomorrow. My "Julie the Tour Guide" mode needs to be going and I'm not into it quite yet! It's much cooler here. Hard to believe we were floating in the pool at 6 last night and it was still 90, tonight here it's 49! We will be leaving here next Wednesday,unless we find things that need looked at and then we will stay one more day. We are about 55 miles south of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Our big tour will be on Sunday and a trip down to Prescott on Monday with a stop in the Affinity RV Dealer there. They have a fully stocked store and Service Dept. This is a real "No Frills" RV Park, but off the road, quiet and nice location so won't ocmplain. I'm spoiled rotten after the month I've just spent in Yuma! I love that place!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Firsts and Lasts

Well, I've been so blasted busy I haven't had time to sit down and write here. Sorry! We are having a lot of lasts this week,getting ready to move on from our new desert home. This is the first time that I have really been reluctant to leave somewhere, and it's hard!
We got the Coach washed and waxed for the first time by a Detail Service. It looks awesome. Tomorrow was supposed to be blast off day, but due to the weather (more where we are going) and wind here, I decided to hang around and wait it out until Friday. I love being able to write our plans in Jello! It has been getting down to 27at night at Williams AZ and they are having lots of wind. Interstate 40 was closed past there at Flagstaff today and we will pass right through there. Seems like that happens every day or two. I'm not looking forward to leaving 90s and going to 27s and putting another blanket back on the bed! If the weather is yukky we won't get very good pictures nor enjoy the tour of the Grand Canyon anyway. We are going on a tour instead of riding the train up to the canyon. I've heard it's lots better than the train and a lot more personalized. KayCee will go to a Doggie Resort while we are gone. DH and I have had the same cell phones for years. Yesterday, my phone gave it's last effort! I have been eligible to upgrade for a long time but haven't done it because my little phone worked just fine. It gave up and I mentioned that I would go in to Verizon on our last day here since it was just down the street and get a new phone. DH decided he needed one too, so we spent three hours today upgrading phones, and the rest of the day I walked around like a geek with a book in one hand and the phone in the other! I'm getting acquainted. I got an LG enV touch,with a camera and flip out keyboard and touch front screen, and DH got a Cosmos Camera and Keyboard phone. I haven't hardly heard a peep out of DH as he's busy learning to text! They do everything but cook supper for ya. I didn't get a Blackberry because I am around the computer all the time and thought that was overkill. I text to the kids quite a bit, seems I get an answer from them quicker, so I will enjoy the nice keyboard. I just hate to learn anything new and try things for the FIRST time. I did my last loads of laundry in this great facility today. This morning I had a load in and was in the gym first before 7 a.m. thinking it was my last day. I have bought a couple more days now, so will take my time in the gym and in the pool tomorrow. Won't be any swimming in Williams. I hope all the bad storms and tornadoes stay away when we head for Texas and Kansas in a couple of weeks. I don't want to add to the numbers of victims and damages in the Central part of the U.S. The winds came in with a gale at 3:30 this morning and tonight they are a lot lighter, I hope this is the last of them until after we've gone.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

This is a Test!

First of all....Happy Mother's Day to all of the Mother's I know! You are all special and I hope you get to do whatever you want to do tomorrow! I will. I have got flowers already and a few greetings. These flowers, although beautiful, are poisonous to animals so we watch KayCee when she's around them.
Next, Congrats to all the Graduates that I know. Sorry I missed the celebrations, but I am wishing you well long distance! I bought a new camera yesterday. A Nikon Coolpix L110. It has a 15X zoom and all kinds of bells and whistles that I have to get familiar with. I walked around the resort and took a few shots this morning. The boys in the air were around, but I only got a shot at a couple of singles.
They zoom up pretty good! I have installed the software and I figured it would be difficult, but it's just a bit different than my Kodak Easy Share, so eventually it will get easier. I did a couple of errands today, we spent several hours out in the pool this afternoon as it was 95 today.
Then I fixed Shrimp Scampi and veggies for supper. I splurged and baked a pan of brownies tonight too. There's a food setting on that camera, and I'll add that pic to this tomorrow! They don't hurt ya if ya just look at em! DH will get dessert in a little bit. I can't believe that this is our last weekend here. It's getting pretty hot, but we have A/C and I'm not looking to the freezing temps up north, but it's time to see the rest of the things I have on the agenda.
I'm just glad we get to come back to this wonderful place that we've found, my oasis in the desert! Now lets see if I can download these pictures to here. The colors of these pictures are a lot more vivid and the pictures of this owner's lot, with the vacation spot is a real entertaining space! We won't be doing that!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Rally Team Mile High Ranch Home Again

Everybody back in the good ole' U.S. tired but safe and sound. I think it is safe to say, "A good time was had by all!"
It was an experience for DH that he'll never forget. He took lots of pictures and we had them put on CDs today, but haven't got it all sorted out yet. I guess the NORRA site has interviews with DH and they were one of the featured teams, thus the pictures of them during the race. They both placed 4th in their respective classes, and after they reached the finish line, they took a 1\2 day guided fishing trip at LaPaz and they all caught a fish. I went to Newport Beach on Wednesday to wait for their return across the border. They had one casualty, the van got a hole punched in the oil pan and they used a part of a beer can and JB Weld in layers to fix it well enough to travel home.
They were x-rayed and searched pretty thoroughly at the border and finally made it home about dusk Wednesday. Christy and I had a very leisurely time playing with the dogs and watching the sites out over the ocean in the afternoon. She has two very smart Aussies! We stayed with them Wed night. I went to sleep listening to the waves pound the beach, and woke up to barking seals! I took an early morning walk along the walkway but didn't go clear down to the beach this time. This place is definitely my fantasy land and it's always a treat to visit there and hang with our good friends.
We said our goodbyes on Thursday and made our way back down the 101 through Laguna Beach and then the 5, stopping for lunch at Carlsbad,another special place.
Then on down the 805 to the 8 up through the Cleveland National Forest and through the Imperial Dunes and the Earth Quake area, arriving back at Yuma in time to change and relax in the pool. We have had that all to ourselves lately.
I went out and got our new camera this morning and started to tie up some loose ends getting ready to leave in the middle of next week. A crew is coming on Tuesday to wash and wax the coach, and it was back to the pool this afternoon. Now I have to put in some time this weekend working with the new camera and software, learning to use it before we leave. I hope I made a good choice....time will tell.......