Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cruising Through Idaho

We headed across Idaho on Rt. 90 and that route was a bit mountainous. I do not like cliffs and drop-offs so there were a few spots that were not to my liking! The vistas were something to see, but I was glad when we got down to flatter ground.

Stayed at a KOA for the evening and Peg took advantage of the pool they had by taking a little evening swim. Tomorrow we follow the Columbia River to Portland!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Clinton, Montana. . .Feels Like We Are Home!

It always feels like we are going home to see family when we pull into our friend Patsy's house. She and her late husband Gary became instant friends of ours several years ago when we met at Buddy Gregg Motorhomes in Knoxville when we all were getting repair work done. At that time we also met our friends Roy (and his dog Snert), Dave and Marie and Hank and Lillie. We have all kept in touch over the years. A great testimonial to the RV lifestyle!

On Rt 212 across Montana it rained and the road became muddy and that mud stuck to our motorhome in places I never knew it had! So when we got to Patsy's house, she was very nice in letting us use her pressure washer to clean off the coach. It took Peg and I a couple of hours to get it reasonably clean.

We had a late dinner and then I thought we should check to see if Patsy's motorhome would start since I had to take it to Missoula to get a few repairs in the morning.

Friday, July 30th...Drove the motorhome to the repair center first thing in the AM and then we decided to run errands and see some of Missoula as we waited for the repair center to make the repairs and call us. 

I got my hair cut (which I desperately needed) and we stopped into a few stores for "necessary" items. We met Patsy's daughter, Rachel, for lunch at a nice outdoor deli. The weather was great and being outside was a treat.

We finally received a call about the motorhome at the house around 6pm (the shop was open until 9pm) so we jumped in the car and headed back to Missoula to pick it up. Everything seemed to work fine on the drive home. Got it parked in the storage barn and closed it up and plugged the motorhome in to keep the batteries charged.

We ate around 9:30pm (Peg, Patsy, Rachel and I) and had a nice time reminiscing about our previous visit and about our friend Gary. It felt really sad to me that he was not with us. We do miss him, his humor and his presence! Tomorrow, we are off to the state of Washington. This visit was too short!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Journey to Custer's Last Stand-Little Big Horn National Park

Since we were taking a different route across Montana, we decided to stop and see the Little Big Horn National Park where Custer's last stand became history. We were not sure we could park the motorhome in the park, but after we entered, we saw a space on the side of the road just big enough for us so we pulled over, parked and began exploring.
We walked up the hill to the monument depicting that final battle. On the monument is listed all the soldiers that fought in the battle. The Indians certainly had the upper hand in this battle. And speaking of Indians, there is a really cool memorial across the road for all the Indian braves that fought and died in this battle. I especially liked the wrought iron images on the top of the monument.

Inside the memorial, which was embedded slightly below ground level, were plaques that told some of the story of the battle and listed the Indians that fought. It was a monument in the round so you were surrounded by native information (sort of like Custer was!).

The cemetery there was quite massive as you can see by the photo. This was only half of the cemetery. You can also see our motorhome in the background beyond the cemetery. I thought the park was laid out well and was easy to walk. There was a driving trail that we did not take since we did not want to unhook the car.

We did sit in on the talk by one of the native rangers. She was born and raised in this area and her relatives fought here as well. She told us where the battles were fought, the background behind the attack and showed some of the weapons that were used in that era. All and all, it was very informative but it was quite hot so we were glad when the hour talk was over.

This was an interesting diversion on our way to Clinton, Montana and our friend Patsy's house...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Renville, MN to Rapid City, SD

Left for Renville, Minnesota to see Peg's brother Clyde. Arrived there about noon and had lunch with Clyde, Niece Nancy, her husband Harry and their son Austin. Saw Clyde's house and neighborhood. Still had to make it to South Dakota so we left there early afternoon.

Made it to Mitchell, SD and stopped for the night...

Sunday, July 25th we finally arrived in Rapid City, SD. We had reservations at Hart Ranch about two sites down from Rod and Jean. Also in the park were Jake and Sherry and they came over for a visit after we called and told them we were there.

Monday...Jean and Peg went to Walmart to restock the RV shelves and Rod and I went to Cabellas. We were looking at ammo and Rod wanted to get a carry pouch. That evening Rod and Jean and Peg and I played two games of Pegs and Jokers. Can't remembered who won though!!!!

Tuesday...We went to Rapid City, our new city and state of residency to get our driver's licenses, voting rights set up and concealed carry gun permits. Took us an entire morning, but we got the drivers license, signed up for voting and applied for our permits.

We also went back to Cabellas to look around (it's becoming one of my favorite stores). When we returned, we visited with Rod and Jean for a while in the evening. They were getting up early to drive the rental truck they had to Iowa to pick up the rest of the stuff from their storage unit and then drive it down to Casa Grande to their house. A long trip was in store for them...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mahtomedi, Minnesota

Left Winnebago and headed west to Mahtomedi, Minnesota. Why did we stop there? Peg's brother, Ivan and family live there and he said we could stay in their church parking lot while we visited. We arrived just after noon and called Ivan. He came down to pick us up and, along with Peg's other brother Rick and Ivan's son Lomax, we headed to a DQ for lunch.

After lunch we went to a local animal shelter where Ivan's daughter Anna (our Godchild) was finishing up her last day at day camp. She was part of a play all the kids put on for the parents at the center. She did a good job!

We hung out at the house until dinner and then they took us back to the motorhome and we spent the night in the church parking lot.

Tomorrow we are off to Renville, MN to see another of Peg's brothers...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Week at Winnebago

The Winnebago Rally was a VERY busy place for us in the MCD Innovations booth. Most of the new Winnebago coaches had our shades in them, so when people looked at the new coaches and saw the shades, they liked what they saw and wanted them for their coach! This created a lot of traffic in our booth. We met a lot of Winnebago owners and the days went by quickly. Glad there were four of us in the booth. The line-up at the front door on the first day says it all (see photo).

One night we had "dinner" at the rally grounds since they had what they called a "Row Party". The different states that were represented put together foods that each state was known for. You walk around the grounds sampling the soups, deserts and other foods from each area. It was plenty of food and all the folks were proud of their states offerings.

This years theme was A Salute to Hollywood so many of the RV's were decorated in Hollywood fashion. There were many people in costumes as well. Everyone seemed to be having a fun time!

Peg and I did an interview with Marketing Specialist, Kelly Harms for our American RVer show. She is always a very upbeat and informative person to speak with. We had done an interview with her about a year ago when we visited the Winnebago factory, so we already knew each other.

We packed up the MCD booth on Thursday and we were heading to Minnesota on Friday, the first leg of our journey across country to Salem, Oregon for the Monaco Pre-rally!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

We Arrive at Forest City, Iowa!

It was Saturday afternoon and we finally arrived at Pammel Park in Forest City. We are about two miles down the road from the Winnebago rally grounds. Since we own a Monaco motorhome, we were not allowed on the Winnebago rally grounds, not even to unload our vendor booth display. This did work out well since the park was very nice with a creek running in front of us and we had 50 amp power. There was water and a sewer dump available very close if we needed it. We had quite a bit of space between sites in this park, unlike the way they parked the RV's at the Winnebago rally area.

We explored a bit and crossed over the creek on a swing bridge. This led to a golf course across the creek and some other picnic sites.

We loaded the booth display into the car on Sunday and after two trips, began setting up the booth on the Winnebago grounds. Carla and Dave arrived on Sunday with their motorhome and the four of us were here and ready to work this rally.

Monday night we had dinner at a little place Dave knew about on Clear Lake that specialized in Walleye and seafood. The food was great and we had a nice view of the lake.

Friday, July 16, 2010

On the Road to Forest City, Iowa

Headed out from the MCD factory today on our way to our first of three rallies. We were headed to Forest City, Iowa for the Winnebago Annual Grand National Rally. As with all our travels, we try to stop and visit friends and relatives along the way. This time was no exception. We got to Independence, Missouri on the second day of travel and spent the night in the Elks Lodge just outside of the city. That lodge had recently completed building an RV park for members with 50 amp power and water available.

We were invited for dinner at Peg's sister's so we unhooked the car and drove to Jan and Dave's house. Niece Melissa and husband Tom were also joining us for dinner. It was a quick visit because we were on a schedule. The dinner was great and so was the conversation.

Tomorrow, Saturday we should make it to Forest City...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

RV Basement "Stuff" to Storage

Today we got all our belongings out of the basement of the motorhome and put them in a small (5' x 10') storage unit so everything will be safe while we travel to rallies for the next month or so. We thought this was a better solution than keeping everything in Dave and Carla's motorhome basement as they will be traveling as well.

It was a tight fit with the motorcycle and two bicycles in the storage unit, but we needed the room in the car and RV so it is now a done deal! Only took two trips to get everything there and stored away! Glad that is done...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Independence Day (July 4th weekend) 2010

After the Fleetwood Rally, we were able to take a few of days off and drive down to Paducah, Kentucky to see Peg's brother Ray and sister-in-law Jean. We stayed at the Kentucky Dam RV Resort, a small campground located off highway 641, about 12 minutes from Peg's brothers house in Benton. We were happy to have 50 amp power and full hook-ups as the weather was quite warm!

Ray rented a pontoon boat from The Moors, a marina on the Kentucky Lake. We had a boat-full of people including Peg and I, Ray and Jean, their daughter Sandy and her three boys. I was nominated to captain the boat, so we headed up the lake seeing the sights. This was on Thursday the 1st, so the boat traffic was pretty light. I could imagine what this lake would be like on any holiday weekend!

Lunch was on the water. We found a spot near a small island to drop anchor, and pulled out the sandwiches, chips and drinks. After lunch, the hot sun prompted us to take a dip in the water....well most of us. Since I was the captain, I had to stay with my ship (any excuse is a good one). I did find some neat small shells and decided to explore the island we were anchored next to. I walked to the other side and took this photo of the lake.


We had rented the boat for four hours and time was growing short, so we pulled up anchor and headed back to the marina, traveling near the shoreline. All the boys wanted their turn at driving the boat so I tried to teach them some "rules of the road" and they all took a turn, even little Lawton. Michael and Taylor did a good job of piloting the boat, but I took the helm to bring it back into the marina.

That night we went to an outdoor concert in the tiny town of Benton in the square. A local man and his band was playing and it appeared that they were a popular draw in the area. There were well over a hundred people listening and singing along. The band did a good job. When we got back to the RV, that night and for a couple of nights afterwards, the fireworks began to fly and we could enjoy much of the display out the front window of the motorhome!

The last day we were at the campground, Ray and grandson Michael came over with fishin' polls and we all tested our luck in the small pond on the campground property. We stayed for a few hours casting and reeling, casting and reeling and I got two bites. I think it was from a hungry turtle since it let go of the bait before I got it to shore each time. No one else had any luck pulling in a fish so we called it a day.

We hung out five days in Benton and enjoyed spending the Fourth of July with family before traveling back to Texas.