Saturday, October 31, 2009

October 31, 2009

We decided to stay an extra day here since the weather was nice and we wanted to see the National Cowboy Museum again. We last visited it in 2005 when we were on our two-month motorcycle trip. The exhibits change frequently so we weren't worried about seeing all the same things over again.
We arrived at the museum at about 9:45; it was pretty quiet for a Saturday. We both spent a lot more time this time around reading all the little stories that accompanied the exhibits or art work. It was very fascinating. We wandered through a miriad of rooms - it was almost like a maze. At lunch time we had been there over two hours and still hadn't got out of the first two main rooms! We stopped for lunch at the Persimmon Hill Restaurant in the Museum. The food was very tasty, well-presented and reasonably priced.
We spent the next 3 hours seeing the rest of the museum and then headed back to our RV for a rest. That's a long time to spend on one's feet and I know I took lots of opportunities to sit on the benches provided.
Walter Brennan, of course:-)

Such a realistic statue!

The End of the Trail - 18 feet tall

Tomorrow we will be on the road again. We expect to be in a RV Park in Amarillo, Texas or, if we don't want to do that we might stay overnight at the Flying J in Amarillo. I don't think we would have a repeat of our experience a couple of nights ago, and our motorhome is set up to be self-sufficient, at least for a few days.

Friday, October 30, 2009

October 30, 2009

The sun was shining all day today but it was frigid! At least we didn't have the full force of the cold front that Colorado and Utah experienced. But we still wore gloves and were layered up pretty good:-)

We left for the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. It was less than 10 miles from the park and easy to drive to. We looked around at the outside memorial area for a short time but the weather was so cold it forced us into the museum right away. The museum was a very complete and well-presented depiction of the bombing of the Murrah building and the tragic loss of life and the stories of those who survived. It also dealt with the criminal investigation and the subsequent trials. We were very moved by the magnitude of the event, and by peoples' stories. It brings home the whole concept that this could happen anywhere on the globe. It puts it right in your own back yard. The images will be with us for a long time.

We took some pictures of the outside memorial.
This is the 9:01am gate (depicting when everything was normal)
chairs representing the 168 dead (the bomb went off at 9:02)
The 9:03 gate (everything is forever changed)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

October 29, 2009

We weren't in a hurry this morning but we were still on the road by 8:30. I think we wanted to get out of that park and on the road again. It was quite windy while we were travelling and we got into a couple of pretty heavy rainfalls with occasional lightning. At one point we had to pull into a gas station to wait out the rain.

At 1:00 we arrived at a very nice campground in the middle of Oklahoma City. The rates were pretty cheap at $29.00 per night. So we think we'll stay here for about 3 nights and use the time to see the sites. We're particularly interested in seeing the Oklahoma City Memorial and National Museum representing the 1995 terrorist bombing.

We went out for dinner tonight at Olive Garden. It was a nice change but I for one ate too much. I'm going to have to get used to the fact that I can eat better at home - and get smaller portions!

Today we travelled 189 miles.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October 27 to 28, 2009

We have had to rethink our plans a little bit. The trip to Branson is off; we would have to dig too deep into our travelling money for that little side trip, especially if we attended a show. So, we decided to continue on Hwy 44 and to stay at Flying J at Joplin Missouri instead. -- What an experience that was!! We've been noticing that our Electrical Management System has been indicating 'low battery'. I should have paid more attention. It turns out our house batteries were nearly dead and wouldn't even provide enough power to activate the fridge while we were boondocking at the Flying J parking lot, even though we had the fridge on propane. We actually lost all our power and had to spend the evening without heat and light and we couldn't access our fresh water tank either. Fortunately the chassis batteries are separate from the house batteries and we had no problem starting the RV the next day. But even when we were driving down the highway we couldn't charge the batteries and we weren't even able to operate the radio after a while. I never knew the house batteries affected so much of the operation of the RV.

We found a Service Outlet at Cabin, Oklahoma, on Hwy 69. They were able to change the four batteries (they were fried) for us and we were on our way by mid afternoon. Fortunately our stop today was only about 90 miles from the Flying J gas station so it didn't matter that we spent a lot of time getting our service done. Actually we have been fairly fortunate in our dealings with service companies lately. I certainly have no complaints.
The Service Outlet had an RV Park in the back and let us plug in there until our appointment so that we could run the fridge and not risk spoiling our food.
This is a picture out the window of our view. (I think Lise wants to drive :) )

We made it to the Will Rogers RV Park, near Tulsa, OK, except it is now a KOA. We chose this stop on the advice of a friend and we had hoped to see some horse racing, but it turns out they only have the racing there from February to May. So, instead of staying here for two nights we'll be on the road again tomorrow morning. Next stop, Oklahoma City.

Monday, October 26, 2009

October 26, 2009 Indiana, Illinois and Missouri

We didn't leave too early this morning so as not to get caught up in rush hour traffic heading into Indianapolis. I started out the day in shorts and then realized it was a little premature. It isn't that warm yet :-) No hurry; it'll be plenty warm soon enough.

The plan today was to drive to a park just west of St. Louis, Missouri. The weather was good and the traffic was quite light. We did have a bit of excitement going through St. Louis as I hadn't checked the maps well enough. We missed the turnoff for I-44 and headed up through St. Louis towards Kansas City before Lise was able to navigate us back on course. It probably added an extra half hour to our trip but it's not like we're on a schedule!

It looks like we'll make a little side trip to Branson, MO for a couple of days to check out the entertainment there. We visited Branson a few years ago on our motorcycle trip and have always wanted to go back.

We travelled 335 miles today.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

October 23 to 25, 2009

We spent two nights in Kingston, basically to kick back and do nothing. We've been so busy lately that I think both Lise and I needed to lose some of that stress and tension. We met our in-laws, Richard and Barb Salter, who were staying at the RV Park prior to heading back to Ottawa tomorrow or Tuesday.

On Saturday we drove through Toronto without too much trouble. It was quite windy but it didn't bother us too much. We actually arrived at the Flying J at London pretty early in the day and decided to continue on to an RV park in Wyoming, Ontario, just short of the US Border.

Today we had a fairly uneventful stop at the border. The customs agent came into the rig to look around and check out our cupboards and fridge. Otherwise, pretty straightforward and we were through the border in about 5 minutes.

We had planned to stop at Angola in Indiana, but again we were there too early. We had miscalculated the distance; so we kept on going and were lucky enough to find a campground just north of Indianapolis. We are at GloWood Campground at South Pendleton, Indiana. It is not always easy to find a campground if the one you have planned on is not available for some reason. The signage is pretty skimpy and even if you see a sign there is the possibility that they don't cater to big rigs. I would hate to drive into one of those places and have to try to turn around after. We always plan our stops ahead of time, using the internet, Microsoft Streets and Trails mapping, and Woodall's - which provides information on camping in North America (I rely on that a lot!). Anyway this place is just fine, the park management are friendly and we have our internet connection so we can get updated on things.

We might have to slow down a bit. We are going to get to our home park too early at this rate. We'll see how it goes over the next few days. We travelled 390 miles today.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

October 22, 2009

We're finally on the road! Over the last two weeks we've been quite busy doing all the things you have to do when preparing for a long trip. We make lists to help remind us what needs doing and then checking off once an item is complete. It seems like every time we completed a list a new one was started. Overall though, everything went pretty well and we were able to get on the road at 10:00 this morning.

It was drizzly for part of the trip but started drying out when we hit the 401. Our first day was short, just a 2 1/2 hour trip to Kingston for a two-day stay at Rideau Acres. We'll probably head to London, Ontario on Saturday and overnight at the Flying J before crossing the border at Sarnia on Sunday morning.

It's nice to finally have 50 amp service at a campground. Our campground near Rockland only has 30 amps for seasonals. It's not a big deal but now we can run the heater, microwave, hot water and vacuum cleaner at the same time:-)

It is a little warmer in Kingston, about 13 degrees celcius. I'm hoping for better than that though over the next two weeks!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October 3 to 14, 2009

We received some pictures from a photo session our son and daughter-in-law had done while we were still in Chilliwack. There are lots of great pictures and they will be great memories for us.

David and I sharing a quiet moment

Dylan seems to like being held by Grandma

Adam, Leah, David and Dylan
We've had a pretty good last two weeks. There has been lots to do getting ready for our big trip back to Arizona. We've had some issues with the car that have been fixed and we had an issue with the propane furnace in the motorhome that has also been fixed. Both times the fix was fairly easy so, in the end no big problem. The furnace issue turned out to be a fried control board and the RV repair shop happened to have the part and even though they were booked up for the next few weeks they managed to fit us in and make the repair on the same day I went in to see them. Of course it meant packing the motorhome up getting it ready for travel; whenever we have to move it requires a lot of work changing our house back into a vehicle - things have to be put away and properly stowed so they won't break or cause any other distractions. We're getting pretty good at it now.
There will be a big rush to do our food shopping over the next few days, picking up items we like that aren't available in the south. We'll also be getting our insurance in order, arranging our electrical hookup and phone connection in Arizona, and saying our final goodbye's to friends and family.
The campground is starting to empty. Most of the seasonals will be leaving next week, some going to Florida, some to Texas and some to Arizona. Hopefully the weather improves by then. It will be minus 5 celcius tonight; we are wondering why we're still here. Oh well, it won't be long now. The countdown has begun!

Friday, October 2, 2009

June 11 to October 2, 2009

It has been quite a while since our last post! We are still at the same campground just outside of Ottawa, and will be here for a few more weeks - then it will be time to head back to Arizona again for the winter. :)

June, July and most of August was pretty depressing, weather wise. It rained for most of the month of July and that certainly put a damper on most of our outdoor activities. But September was a good month so that was ok.

June was spent visiting with family, seeing to doctor and dentist appointments and just settling into our daily routine.

On July 1st we visited Petrie Island at the east end of Ottawa for Canada Day activities. This is a picture of our grandson Liam on a ride at the Canada Day festival.

We also took the motorhome to Kingston for the weekend and our daughter Renee, her husband Marc and our grandson Liam came along with us. It was the first opportunity we have had to take them on a trip with us to enjoy the motorhome lifestyle. Marc and I also got some great golf in at a super golf course in Kingston.
Lise went to see the musical Grease at the NAC in Ottawa with her sisters. Sounds like it was entertaining. The American Idol winner from a couple of years ago - Taylor Hicks - had a part in it as well.
We went to Toronto twice in August - the first time to see a Toronto Blue Jays baseball game. Renee, Marc and Liam went as well. We stayed two nights and also went out for dinner with my brother and sister and their spouses. That was special as we don't get to see them very often. Our second visit was to attend the musical - Jersey Boys, the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. It was a great show and the music was brilliant. I find myself humming the songs all the time now, even a month later.

September we travelled to Chilliwack, BC by air and visited with our son Adam, his wife Leah and our grandchildren David and Dylan. The last time we had seem them was last year when we were parking our motorhome in Chilliwack prior to heading south for the winter.
Here is Adam holding Dylan at the pool. We are celebrating David's birthday.

Here is David, taking skating lessons.

And here is another one of Dylan I couldn't resist putting in. He's so outgoing and smiley. He's great to be around and we certainly had a geat time visiting with them over the two weeks we were there. We are thinking of visiting them again in the spring.

Now it is time to start making our lists of things to do before we head south. The first thing on my list was to get this blog updated. I'm happy to have one thing completed anyway. I think the next three weeks are going to go quickly. We will probably be heading to Kingston (Rideau Acres) for a few days before we cross the border on the 28th.